On a night where most NBA fans are were busy tracking trade rumors and news leading up to the 2013 NBA trade deadline, some exciting basketball games unfolded across the league. Here is a roundup of the action on Wednesday night, including the Los Angeles Lakers honoring the memory of Jerry Buss and Houston Rockets guard James Harden torching his former team for 46 points.
Lakers 113, Celtics 99
The Lakers formally honored deceased owner Jerry Buss before the game by keeping his chair empty in the Lakers' locker room at Staples Center, and they added to the tribute by knocking off the rival Boston Celtics. Every Lakers starter scored in double figures, the team shot over 50 percent from the field, and Dwight Howard posted 24 points on 10-13 shooting to go with 12 rebounds while Kobe Bryant struggled from the field (5-15 FGs, 16 points) in the win.
Rockets 122, Thunder 119
James Harden exploded on his former team for 46 points on 14-19 shooting, eight rebounds and six assists, and backcourt teammate Jeremy Lin added 29 points and eight assists as the Houston Rockets edged out the Oklahoma City Thunder for a win at the Toyota Center. Thabo Sefolosha (!) matched Kevin Durant with 28 points to pace OKC.
Chris Bosh scored just six points on 2-10 from the field, but LeBron James (24 points, 11 assists) and Dywane Wade (20 points) carried the load for the Heat as Al Horford (27 points, nine rebounds) and the Hawks fell apart in the fourth quarter and ceded a decisive 40-17 run down the stretch.
Kyrie Irving outplayed everyone else on the floor. He led all scorers with 35 points on a crisp 13-22 shooting, and New Orleans couldn't respond in kind in the fourth quarter.
The Pacers squeezed the Knicks on offense -- New York shot just 33.7 percent as a team -- and Paul George dropped in a game-high 27 points to lead Indiana to a comfortable win at home. The Pacers led by 30 points at the half, and the rest of the game was a formality.
Nets 97, Bucks 94
Yet another heart-breaking loss for the Milwaukee Bucks. Brandon Jennings toasted the Nets for 31 points and 11 assists, but a second-half collapse put Brooklyn in control during the final minutes. The Nets tried to let the Bucks back in the game, as they fouled Monta Ellis on a three-point attempt (it was a questionable call) in the final seconds, but Ellis missed all three freebies and the Bucks lost again.
Both teams shot under 37 percent from the field in a sloppy affair, but the Grizzlies held on to the lead they build up during the first half and not even a 19-point performance from Alan Anderson could save Toronto from another loss.
Nikola Pekovic (27 points, 18 rebounds), Andrei Kirilenko (15 points) and Derrick Williams (17 points, eight rebounds) all scored in double figures as Minnesota held off the Sixers in the second half and boosted their home record back to .500 on the season.
Dallas owned the first and fourth quarters of the game, and the reserves lifted the team to win over the reeling Magic. Trade target J.J. Redick scored just 10 points on 3-12 shooting in the losing effort.
Pistons starters carried the weight on Wednesday, as Greg Monroe (19 points, seven rebounds), Brandon Knight (21 points, five assists) and Jose Calderon (17 points on eight shots) paced Detroit in the team's seventh road win of the year.