While the Thunder nurse the injury of one of their best players, the Grizzlies welcomed one of their own back to the court. Defensive Player of the Year Marc Gasol returned to action after missing 23 games with a sprained MCL, and Memphis took care of business with a closely fought 90-87 win over Oklahoma City.
And the grit-'n'-grind Grizzlies were in full force with their defensive anchor back on the floor. Memphis held OKC to just 41 percent shooting and forced 19 turnovers as it played its familiar brand of physical basketball. The Grizz shot only 40 percent themselves, but they did a great job on the defensive side of the ball, holding down everyone else not named Kevin Durant.
Gasol finished with 12 points and four rebounds, but he made some big plays down the stretch to help seal the win. Good job, Marc! You should congratulate yourself!
Durant had 37 points on the night, but he managed just four rebounds and four assists. Reggie Jackson with 17 points and Serge Ibaka with 11 were the only two teammates in double figures. Durant was clearly favoring his left wrist late in the game; with Russell Westbrook already out, any injury to their leading scorer would be brutal.
The Knicks' five-game winning streak was nice while it lasted, but it came to an end on Tuesday night at the hands of the recently struggling Bobcats. And speaking of hands, Charlotte got Michael Kidd-Gilchrist back from a broken left hand just in time for the team's 108-98 win over New York.
Al Jefferson exploded for 35 points and eight rebounds and Kemba Walker added 25 of his own as the Bobcats shot nearly 51 percent from the floor. They also committed just five turnovers and got to the line 33 times on the night.
Carmelo Anthony led the way for the Knicks, but it took him 22 shots to get to 20 points. And Amar'e Stoudemire just kind of WELPED all over the place.
To be fair, he also did this:
Cavaliers 120, Lakers 118
The Cavaliers went into Los Angeles and took one from a struggling Lakers team, and without their newest acquisition, the 120-118 win may not have been possible.
Luol Deng went off for 27 points, five rebounds and four assists, and he went 5-for-5 from the three-point line in the process. Anderson Varejao had a great night as well, going for 18 points, 18 rebounds and six assists as he continues to be a monster on the glass during the month of January.
Jodie Meeks led the way for the banged-up Lakers with 26 points, and Pau Gasol pitched in 20 and 12 boards in the absence of Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Jordan Farmar, Steve Blake and Xavier Henry.
Just one night after the Spurs became the first team in the West to reach 30 wins, the Pacers went out and crushed the Kings, 116-92, to become the first team out East to get to that 30-win plateau.
This game was voted in as NBA TV's Fan Night game of the night, and it was not pretty. Indiana completely overwhelmed Sacramento, shooting nearly 55 percent for the game to the Kings' 42 percent. Paul George led the way with 31 points for Indiana. And Lance Stephenson was just having fun.
DeMarcus Cousins had 31 points and 13 boards of his own, as he continues to fill the stat sheet despite not making much noise in the standings.