Thunder 122, Lakers 105
Russell Westbrook had 37 points, 10 rebounds and five assists as the Oklahoma City Thunder pulled away from the Los Angeles Lakers late to win, 122-105, at Chesapeake Energy Arena. The Thunder closed the game on a 12-0 run to grab a comfortable victory.
Westbrook and Oklahoma City (44-16) came out guns-a-blazin', with the guard scoring 13 points in a 37-point first quarter for the home team. The onslaught did not stop in the second quarter, and the Thunder appeared on the verge of running away and hiding, grabbing a 71-55 lead at the break.
But Kobe Bryant, fighting through an ulnar nerve contusion in his right elbow, fought through the pain to help get the Lakers (30-31) back in the game. Bryant scored 10 of his 30 points in the third quarter, and along with Steve Nash's 13 third-quarter points, cut Oklahoma City's lead in half heading to the final frame.
The Lakers cut the deficit to five with just over six minutes left, but would not score a single point the rest of the way. After Nash missed a wide open three that would have cut the margin to three and Metta World Peace followed that up with a missed layup, Serge Ibaka buried a three to essentially end all hope. Westbrook put a capper on his big performance minutes later with a steal and emphatic slam on the break.
Kevin Durant added 26 points, nine rebounds and five assists, although he was a bit quiet in the second half. The Thunder got a boost from their backup point guards, with Reggie Jackson and Derek Fisher both chipping in 10 points off the bench.
Nash finished with 20 points and World Peace had 16 for Los Angeles. Dwight Howard was disappointingly a non-factor pretty much all night long, scoring just six points on 1-of-7 shooting. The fact that Fisher scored more than Howard in half the minutes certainly has to sting Lakers fans.
Celtics 109, 76ers 101
Avery Bradley is usually known for his defense. But on Tuesday night against the Philadelphia 76ers, it was Bradley's offense that was the story. The third-year guard scored a season-high 22 points to lead the Boston Celtics to a 109-101 victory over the Sixers in Philly.
Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett had 18 points apiece for the Celtics (32-27), who shot 50.6 percent from the field and made 11-of-19 from three-point range. Boston racked up 34 assists on 42 made field goals in one of its best offensive performances of the season.
After a somewhat slow start, the Celtics charged back at the end of the first quarter and led pretty much the rest of the way. Philadelphia (23-36) did threaten on several occasions in the second half, but Boston had an answer each time.
If the Sixers want to take any positives from yet another disheartening loss, it's the fact that they did go over 100 points for the second time in three games after not scoring 100 points once in February. Philadelphia had seven players in double figures, with Thaddeus Young's 19 points leading the way. Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner both had 18 points. The Sixers did a ton of damage on the offensive glass, grabbing 19 offensive boards.
Nuggets 120, Kings 113
The high-powered Denver Nuggets continue to roll along, winning their sixth straight by beating the Sacramento Kings, 120-113. Ty Lawson had 24 points and seven assists to lead the Nuggets (40-22), who shot 54.1 percent from the field in the victory.
Andre Miller, Lawson's backup, also fared well, pouring in 16 points and seven assists off the bench. Danilo Gallinari had 23 points and made five three-pointers, while Kenneth Faried chipped in 19 points and 12 rebounds.
Denver actually found itself in a bit of a fight early on, going into the half tied at 50. But a big third quarter helped create some separation for the Nuggets, and they cruised to victory despite 32 points from Marcus Thornton.
Isaiah Thomas added 23 points and eight assists in the loss for the Kings (21-41). DeMarcus Cousins had a real rough go of it, going just 1-of-12 from the field and finishing with eight points.