Warriors 108, Rockets 78
Just one game after getting embarrassed at home by the Chicago Bulls, the Golden State Warriors put forth one of their best performances of the season in a 108-78 victory on the road over the Houston Rockets. With the win, the Warriors (38-30) moved 1½ ahead of the Rockets (36-31) for the sixth seed in the Western Conference.
Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson each bounced back from brutal efforts against the Bulls. Curry scored a game-high 29 points and notched 11 assists, while Thompson poured in 26 points of his own. The two combined to scored just 15 points in the loss to Chicago.
Golden State's defense was also in top form, shutting down Houston's high-powered offense from the start. The Warriors held the Rockets to just 10 points in the first quarter en route to a season-low 78 points. Houston managed to shoot only 32.6 percent from the field.
Despite struggling for almost the whole night, the Rockets did trim a 23-point halftime deficit to five late in the third quarter, but they ran out of gas. James Harden and Jeremy Lin had 21 points apiece in the loss.
Hawks 105, Nets 93
The Atlanta Hawks used a big fourth quarter to grab a key 105-93 road victory over the Brooklyn Nets. The Hawks (37-29) grabbed sole possession of the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference with the win and moved to within one game of the Nets (38-28) for the fourth seed.
Atlanta trailed by two entering the fourth quarter, but outscored Brooklyn, 34-20, in the final frame. Al Horford and Josh Smith were excellent down low, with Horford scoring 22 points and grabbing 11 rebounds and Josh Smith putting in 21 points.
Jeff Teague and Dahntay Jones made solid contributions off the bench, especially in the fourth quarter. Teague had 8 of his 11 points in the fourth while also notching 15 assists, and Jones had seven of his 13 points in the final quarter.
Heat 108, Raptors 91
Early in the fourth quarter against the Toronto Raptors, it looked like the Miami Heat's 21-game winning streak was in peril. But as it has done so often, Miami (51-14) turned up the heat when it counted, going on a 24-4 run and cruising to a 108-91 victory.
Ray Allen did most of the damage during the run, scoring 16 of his 20 points during that stretch. LeBron James was his typically solid self, nearly notching a triple-double with 22 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists. Dwyane Wade added 24 points and nine assists.
Rudy Gay was up for the challenge for much of the game, scoring 25 points through three quarters. But Gay only had two points in the fourth quarter and none after two free throws with just over 11 minutes left. Amir Johnson had 18 points and 18 rebounds for the Raptors (26-41), who lost big despite out-rebounding the Heat by 25.
Clippers 93, Knicks 80
Playing without Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler and Amare Stoudemire, the New York Knicks were able to keep it surprisingly close against the Los Angeles Clippers for one half. But the Clippers (46-21) pulled away in the second half to grab a 93-80 victory.
J.R. Smith led New York with 17 points, but he shot just 4-of-20 from the field. The Knicks shot just 35.8 percent overall, but they were able to keep the game somewhat close throughout because of 12 three-pointers.
Thunder 107, Mavericks 101
Russell Westbrook had 35 points and hit a jumper with one minute left to help the Oklahoma City Thunder get past the Dallas Mavericks, 107-101. Kevin Durant added 31 points, with 19 of those coming in the final quarter. Durant also came up with a big defensive play down the stretch for the Thunder (50-17), blocking a potential game-tying shot by Mike James.
Dirk Nowitzki had 23 points on 8-of-10 shooting for the Mavs (31-35) in the loss. Nowitzki's two free throws with just over a minute left tied the game at 101-101, but Dallas could not score the rest of the game. Vince Carter scored 18 points off the bench.
Lakers 113, Kings 102
No Kobe Bryant? No problem for the Los Angeles Lakers, who defeated the Sacramento Kings, 113-102, behind 27 points from Antawn Jamison off the bench. Metta World Peace also had a big game for the Lakers (36-32), scoring 22 points on 10-of-13 shooting.
Bucks 115, Magic 109
Monta Ellis scored 25 of his 39 points in the fourth quarter as the Milwaukee Bucks rallied from a 12-point deficit midway through the final frame to beat the Orlando Magic, 115-109. The Bucks (33-32) scored 45 points in the crazy final quarter. Ersan Ilyasova and Larry Sanders both had double-doubles in the victory.
The Magic (18-49) received strong contributions from their starting lineup, with Arron Afflalo scoring a team-high 24 points, rookie Moe Harkless scoring 23 and Nikola Vucevic notching a double-double. But Orlando's bench offered little support, scoring just 12 points for the game.
Timberwolves 97, Hornets 95
The Minnesota Timberwolves erased a four-point deficit in the final minute to take down the New Orleans Hornets, 97-95. Trailing 95-91 with one minute to go, Ricky Rubio converted an and-1 opportunity and Nikola Pekovic buried two free throws with 14 seconds left to grab the win. Derrick Williams had 28 points to lead the Timberwolves (23-41).
Greivis Vasquez had 24 points and seven rebounds to lead the Hornets (22-45), but he did not take any of the key shots in the final minute. Eric Gordon and Roger Mason Jr. both missed potential go-ahead buckets in the frenzied last minute of action.