USA TODAY Sports
Kobe Bryant's layup beat the Hawks and got the Lakers back to .500, while LeBron James led the Heat past the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
Lakers 99, Hawks 98
The Los Angeles Lakers were on the verge of yet another heartbreaking loss, but Kobe Bryant saved the day in the end. Bryant's driving layup with nine seconds left gave the Lakers a 99-98 victory over the Atlanta Hawks, bringing Los Angeles back to .500 for the first time since Dec. 28
The Lakers (30-30) appeared to be in cruise control for much of the game, taking a 16-point lead in the third quarter. But Devin Harris and Kyle Korver led a spirited Hawks' (33-25) charge, setting the game up for a thrilling fourth quarter. The lead changed hands numerous times during the final frame, with Al Horford's dunk with 26 seconds left putting Atlanta on top by one before Bryant's heroics. The Hawks had one last chance, but Josh Smith turned it over.
Bryant had 34 points on 13-of-27 shooting to lead the Lakers, while both Steve Nash and Dwight Howard notched double-doubles. Los Angeles won despite turning the ball over 21 times, with Atlanta scoring 29 points off those miscues.
Horford led the Hawks with 24 points. Harris and Korver each had 16 points off the bench, with most of that damage coming in the second half.
Heat 99, Knicks 93
After one half, it looked like the New York Knicks were well on their way to beating the Miami Heat for a third straight time this season. But LeBron James and the Heat would have none of that, staging a big second-half comeback and winning their 14th straight game by beating the Knicks, 99-93, at Madison Square Garden.
James rebounded from his "off" game in the win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday, posting 29 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. Twelve of those points came in the fourth quarter, including a dagger layup with 23 seconds left that put the Heat (43-14) up six.
The Knicks (35-21) were in control early on, using a huge second quarter to take a 14-point lead into the break. Carmelo Anthony scored 24 points in the first half, but he cooled in the second, finishing with 32 points on 9-of-19 shooting. J.R. Smith had 13 points and 12 rebounds off the bench, but he went just 5-of-18 from the field and a dismal 3-of-14 from three-point land.
Thunder 108, Clippers 104
The Oklahoma City Thunder blew a 12-point fourth quarter lead, but rebounded in the final minutes to beat the Los Angeles Clippers, 108-104, at the Staples Center. Russell Westbrook had 29 points and 10 assists, and it was his layup with 1:24 left that put the Thunder ahead for good.
Kevin Durant added 35 points for Oklahoma City (43-16), who led by as many as 19 in the third quarter. But the Clippers (43-19) came storming back, finally overtaking the Thunder with 1:30 remaining on Jamal Crawford's three-pointer. But Westbrook quickly responded, and after a Chris Paul miss, Serge Ibaka came through with a huge and-1. Westbrook then sealed the game on a jumper with 26 seconds left.
Paul led Los Angeles with 26 points, eight assists, six rebounds and four steals. Crawford and Blake Griffin had 20 points apiece.
Pacers 97, Bulls 92
Davis West scored 31 points to lead the Indiana Pacers past a resilient Chicago Bulls team, 97-92. West scored eight points in the fourth quarter, including the key basket with 32 seconds left that put the Pacers (38-22) up five. George Hill added 21 points, and Roy Hibbert notched a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds.
The Bulls (34-26) were extremely short-handed, playing without Kirk Hinrich, Richard Hamilton and Taj Gibson due to injuries. Marco Belinelli and Jimmy Butler stepped up in their stead, pouring in 20 points apiece and keeping Chicago in it until the very end before falling just short.
Rockets 136, Mavericks 103
Chandler Parsons made his first 11 shots en route to a 32-point night as the Houston Rockets destroyed the Dallas Mavericks, 136-103, in an intrastate battle. The Rockets (33-28) used a huge third quarter to break the game open, outscoring the Mavs 44-17 in the frame. James Harden and Jeremy Lin both added 21 points.
O.J. Mayo had 18 points in the loss for Dallas (26-33). The Mavs were killed by turnovers, coughing it up 18 times, which led to 32 points on the other end.
Spurs 114, Pistons 75
Despite an injury to Tony Parker, the San Antonio Spurs put on a clinic against the Detroit Pistons, running away and hiding in a 114-75 victory. Tim Duncan and Danny Green had 16 points apiece for the Spurs (47-14), who shot 50.6 percent from the field and racked up 35 assists on 45 made baskets.
The Pistons (23-39) could not do anything right, shooting a woeful 32.6 percent on the night. Greg Monroe had 16 points and eight rebounds in the loss.
Grizzlies 108, Magic 82
Tayshaun Prince had 14 points to lead a balanced Memphis Grizzlies attack in a 108-82 beatdown of the Orlando Magic. Six Grizzlies (39-19) scored in double figures on the night, with both Marc Gasol and Ed Davis notching double-doubles. Gasol's double-double was especially impressive, as the big man racked up 11 assists.
Wizards 90, 76ers 87
John Wall closed the game on a personal 6-0 run, giving the Washington Wizards a 90-87 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers. The Wizards (19-39) trailed by three with 2:10 to go before Wall took over down the stretch, making two buckets and knocking down two free throws. Wall finished with 16 points, six assists and five rebounds.
Jrue Holiday, Spencer Hawes and Thaddeus Young each had 14 points for the Sixers (23-35), but Holiday shot just 4-of-19 from the field. Philadelphia shot only 38.8 percent from the field as its nightmare season without Andrew Bynum continues.
Kings 119, Bobcats 83
John Salmons scored 22 points to lead six Sacramento Kings in double figures in a 119-83 blowout victory over the hapless Charlotte Bobcats. Marcus Thornton and Jason Thompson both added 18 points for the Kings (21-40), who outrebounded the Bobcats, 60-31.
More in the NBA: