Rumors of the Lakers defense's revival were greatly exaggerated. Los Angeles allowed 67 points in the first half to a Denver team without Danilo Gallinari, with the fast-paced Nuggets outrunning the Lakers and beating them to the ball around the rim. Wilson Chandler had 23, Andre Iguodala had his second straight points-assists double-double - something he previously hadn't done all year and we were left wondering which Kenneth Faried dunk was our favorite. Kobe Bryant had 29 as well as a team-high nine assists, and while you can't pin the loss solely on Dwight Howard's 3-for-14 free throw shooting - 11 points was the margin of victory - it didn't help. (Oh, and it would've been nice if he had run a little for that ball.) The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Lakers.
Signs pointed against a geriatric Celtics team being able to pull out an overtime win during their fifth game in seven days, but Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett were hot in the extra session to ensure a win for Boston. It was a game of momentum swings - the Jazz had a 15-0 run in the second, the Celtics outscored them 32-19 in the third, the Jazz responded by winning the last period 25-17 - that came down to the buzzer twice. Pierce scored with about half a minute left to give the C's the lead, but Alec Burks tied it up with a nifty finish around the basket that sent it into overtime after another Pierce miss. But Pierce - the Celtics kind of like to get him the ball in clutch situations - scored seven straight Boston points in overtime, and combined with 2-for-2 shooting by Garnett, was just enough for the win. Gordon Hayward and Pierce each led their teams with 26.
Bradley Beal had another 20 point night for a Wizards team that's actually on a bit of a winning streak, having reeled off three in a row. You might not believe the final score here if you saw a hideous 17-16 first quarter, as both teams stopped turning the ball over every time down the floor. DeMar DeRozan led the way for Toronto with 25, while Rudy Gay finished 1-for-11 from the field.
Atlanta, 114, Detroit, 103
Al Horford had a ridiculous 23-point, 22-rebound night for the Hawks, who won in an effort the scoreline doesn't really do justice. Atlanta was ahead by as much as 26, with the not-traded Josh Smith dropping 23 and Jeff Teague chipping in 20 points alongside 12 assists. The Pistons were without Brandon Knight, who has been out for all three games in a current losing streak with a knee injury, as well as Will Bynum, who was suspended, but neither guard's absence explains Horford's complete dominance around the basket.