Nuggets 105, Thunder 103
Denver Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson rose up and knocked down a 20-foot jump shot over Thabo Sefolosha to break a tie with 0.2 seconds remaining and send the Nuggets on to a 105-103 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night.
The Nuggets weathered a few bursts of excellence from the Thunder but eventually showed off their playoff bona fides in grinding out the tight win over their Northwest Division rival. Part of Denver's strength lies in their depth, which showed up huge in front of the home crowd in this game.
Wilson Chandler helped turn the game around off the bench as he caught fire behind the arc, making six of seven three-point shots and finishing the game with 35 points. Andre Miller and Corey Brewer also added 14 points each off the bench as part of a 71-point game for the Denver reserves. Lawson's game-winner made him the only starter to finish in double figures with 11 points and seven assists.
Russell Westbrook had the Thunder off and running early as the dynamic All-Star guard finished with 38 points. Running mate Kevin Durant also added 25 points ant 14 rebounds in the losing effort. OKC is now 1-2 against the Nuggets, with the home team winning each of the three games so far this season. The two teams meet again on Mar. 19 in Oklahoma City.
Heat 98, Grizzlies 91
A stat line with 18 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds is pretty impressive for mere mortals in the NBA, but for LeBron James it was an off night. The Miami Heat survived the "off night" from their star to hold off the Memphis Grizzlies, 98-91.
James had his worst shooting night of the season, making just four of 14 shots, but Dwyane Wade took over the lead role with 22 points and eight assists to help push back the Grizz.
Miami also enjoyed a little help off the bench as Shane Battier found his stroke from behind the arc to make four of five three-pointers, including a couple of key makes down the stretch. Battier finished with 14 points and Ray Allen added 10 points to fill in the gaps normally filled by LeBron.
Memphis kept the game tight throughout by keeping Marc Gasol active around the rim. Gasol led Memphis with 24 points and nine rebounds.
Knicks 96, Wizards 88
The New York Knicks rallied in the fourth quarter to slow down the Washington Wizards and keep pace in the East with a 96-88 win. The Knicks trailed by four heading into the final quarter, but held the Wizards to 11 points in the last frame including no field goals in the final four minutes of the game.
Carmelo Anthony scored 30 points to lead the Knicks while Raymond Felton added 23. J.R. Smith added 13 points and 12 rebounds in his role off the bench. Rookie Bradley Beal showed up big for the Wizards with 29 points and 11 rebounds.
Rockets 118, Magic 110
The Houston Rockets took advantage of 11 fourth-quarter points from James Harden to run past the Orlando Magic for a 118-110 win. Harden finished the game with 24 points to lead the Rockets. Chandler Parsons and Carlos Delfino each added 21 points as the pair combined to make eight of 16 three-point shots. The Magic were left with a loss despite a huge game from newcomer Tobias Harris, who came off the bench to put up 27 points and 10 rebounds. At this point, every win is big for the Rockets as they maintain a 2.5 game lead over the Los Angeles Lakers for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Pacers 93, Raptors 81
The Indiana Pacers continued their season-long struggle with the Toronto Raptors before eventually finding their rhythm in the second half to secure a 93-81 win on the road. Both teams had an early case of the clanks but the Pacers used an inside-outside attack to pull away for the win. Paul George made four three-pointers to help pace Indiana with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Roy Hibbert, coming off of a one-game suspension, played through foul trouble to add 18 points in 24 minutes on the court. Rudy Gay scored 21 points in the losing effort for Toronto but was slowed down in the second half with back pain.
Clippers 105, Cavaliers 89
The Los Angeles Clippers continued rolling on the road by beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 105-89. The bench came up big on the second night of back-to-back games for the Clippers with Jamal Crawford leading the team with 24 points. Chris Paul also added 11 points and 15 assists as the Clippers won their fourth-consecutive game. Cleveland, playing without star Kyrie Irving (right knee), was led by rookie Dion Waiters with 17 points ans six assists.
Celtics 94, Warriors 86
The Boston Celtics started strong and then held on to finish off the Golden State Warriors for a 94-86 win. Paul Pierce came up big for the C's with 26 points and eight rebounds as Boston took advantage of an off night from Golden State sharp-shooter, Stephen Curry. After scoring 92 points in his last two games, Curry struggled to find the range from behind the arc but still managed to score 25 points in the losing effort. The Warriors dropped their third-straight road game in the last four days.
Mavericks 98, Nets 90
The Dallas Mavericks used a strong third quarter to build a 20-point lead early in the fourth quarter, enough to hold off a late rally by the Brooklyn Nets for a 98-90 win. Dirk Nowitzki scored 20 points for the Mavs, while Vince Carter came off the bench to add another 20 points to the win. Deron Williams scored 24 points for Brooklyn bu also turned the ball over seven times as the Nets dropped another game behind Indiana and New York in the East.
Hornets 100, Pistons 95
New Orleans Hornets guard Greivis Vasquez continued his solid play of late, leading the Hornets to a 100-95 win over the Detroit Pistons. Vasquez scored 25 points and delivered nine assists in the win. Eric Gordon added 21 points for New Orleans while Ryan Anderson pitched in 19 points and 13 rebounds. Detroit's young talent showed up well in the loss, with Brandon Knight scoring 22 points and Greg Monroe adding 27 points and 10 rebounds.
Spurs 130, Kings 102
The San Antonio Spurs never gave the Sacramento Kings a chance, jumping on the visitors early before rolling to a 130-102 win. The Spurs used a balanced attack with eight players scoring in double figures. DeJuan Blair led all San Antonio scorers off the bench with 16 points while Manu Ginobili helped fuel the attack with 15 assists. Marcus Thornton led the Kings in his role off the bench with 25 points.
Suns 92, Hawks 87
The Atlanta Hawks snapped a four-game winning streak as the Phoenix Suns held on for a 92-87 win on their home court. Point guard Goran Dragic score 19 points for the Suns but the bench made the difference with 58 points, led by 16 from Marcus Morris. Al Horford led the Hawks with 20 points and seven rebounds.
Jazz 98, Bobcats 68
The Utah Jazz stifled the Charlotte Bobcats early before cruising to a 98-68 win. The Bobcats scored just 24 points in the first half and never threatened the Jazz en route to their fifth-consecutive loss. Enes Kanter came up big for the Jazz in a starting role for injured center Al Jefferson. Kanter scored 23 points and grabbed 22 rebounds while logging 44 minutes in the blow out. Byron Mullens scored 12 points as one of just two Charlotte players to score in double figures.
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