A 34-point lead in the second quarter should've made things easier later on, but the Wizards still came away with a 114-97 win over the Heat on Wednesday night. John Wall led the way with 25 points and nine assists as Washington shot a combined 55 percent from the field.
When the Wizards took a 43-18 lead into the second quarter and expanded that lead to 64-30 minutes later, Miami's seemingly inevitable comeback finally came. However, the Heat never got closer than nine points before the wheels came off again and Washington staved off the rally as Wall scored 14 fourth-quarter points.
Nene was big for the Wizards all night, recording 19 points, nine assists, four rebounds, three blocks and two steals. LeBron James may have scored 25 in this one, but the Wizards big man was having none of it on this drive to the basket early on:
Greg Oden also made his first NBA appearance since 2009 in this game, and looked pretty darn solid in the process:
Thaddeus Young hit a three-pointer with three second remaining to help Philadelphia end its four-game losing streak on Wednesday night. Kemba Walker had a shot on the other end to tie the game before the buzzer and force overtime, but couldn't hit it.
Here's the game-winner:
Young hit the big shot, but other guys powered the Sixers most of the way. Evan Turner led the scoring with 23 points, while Spencer Hawes (17 points, 14 rebounds, seven assists) and Michael Carter-Williams (20 points, eight rebounds, seven assists) also filled up the box score.
Walker and Al Jefferson combined for 50 points, but the rest of the offense struggled badly.
Toronto trailed by 17 entering the fourth quarter and cut Boston's lead to 81-78 with 45 seconds remaining, but couldn't complete the comeback. The Raptors went over four minutes at the end of the game without a field goal until Kyle Lowry hit a three-pointer with 14 seconds left to trim the deficit back to three. From there, the Celtics hit their free throws and put the game away.
Jared Sullinger racked up 25 points and a career-high 20 rebounds for Boston on Wednesday, his first career 20-20 game. Avery Bradley also topped the 20-point mark for the Celtics, while Jeff Green added 13 but shot just 4-of-16 from the field.
Lowry led Toronto with 18 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds. DeMar DeRozan added 23 points and eight rebounds in the loss.
Chicago and Orlando needed 63 minutes of basketball to determine a victory Wednesday, but Chicago survived the three extra periods for a win. Tony Snell hit the game-winning shot in the final minute of the last overtime, then Jimmy Butler blocked a Glen Davis three-point attempt for the win.
Four players scored 19-plus points for the Bulls, led by Joakim Noah's 26-point, 19-rebound, six-assist outing. Butler may have been the team's biggest soldier, though, playing an incredible 60 minutes en route to 21 points, seven rebounds and six assists. I can't imagine it's easy playing a full hour of NBA hoops in one night.
Victor Oladipo (35 points, eight assists), Jameer Nelson (31 points, 10 assists) and Tobias Harris (22 points, 16 rebounds) all played great for Orlando, but it was Glen Davis that forced the third overtime with an incredible three-pointer:
Only one Memphis starter scored more than nine points, but defense was enough to get the win. The Bucks shot just 38 percent from the field and committed 15 turnovers, allowing the Grizzlies to come from behind and get their record back to .500.
Mike Conley filled his usual duties at point guard with 15 points, seven rebounds and five assists, but James Johnson was the real star Wednesday -- the former D-Leaguer recorded 15 points, six rebounds, six blocks and five assists. Ed Davis also had 14 points on 7-of-8 shooting and nine rebounds off the bench for Memphis.
Utah tried its best at mounting a fourth-quarter comeback with a 26-12 run in the final six minutes, but the Spurs just don't lose games at home to teams like the Jazz. Tony Parker scored 25 points to lead San Antonio, which improves to 31-8 this season with the win.
Since the emergence of Trey Burke following his early-season injury, the Jazz have developed into a pretty formidable offensive bunch. That was on display Wednesday as Burke recorded 17 points and 11 assists while the team shot 49 percent as a whole. Enes Kanter led the way with 25 points and 11 rebounds off the bench in one of his best performance of the season.
Parker and company were too much in the end, though, hitting free throws down the stretch to hold off the Jazz comeback.
Kings 111, Timberwolves 108
Sacramento nearly blew an 11-point lead in the final three minutes, but the trio of Rudy Gay, DeMarcus Cousins and Isaiah Thomas did enough down the stretch to avoid the meltdown. The three combined for 71 percent of the Kings' scoring production in this one, a testament to how much the offense leans on their talents.
Gay was especially electric Wednesday, leading all scorers with 33 points on 12-of-19 shooting. Continuing his recent pattern of improved play, the forward is looking more and more like the elite complementary scorer he's capable of being:
The Timberwolves got 27 points and 12 rebounds from Kevin Love, including a pair of huge three-pointers in the last-gasp rally, but no other player on the team scored more than 14.
James Harden scored 26 points on Wednesday as Houston wins for the fifth time in six games. The All-Star guard scored 10 points in the final four minutes to lead the Rockets from a seven-point deficit to the three-point victory.
Coming off a 16-point performance against Boston, his first time putting up fewer than 25 points in five games, Harden rebounded with a solid game against New Orleans. Or, well, he did on the offensive end -- Pelicans shooting guard Eric Gordon torched the Rockets for 35 points on 17 shots in the loss.
Luckily, he had enough support on both ends of the floor. Terrence Jones was an absolute monster in this one, doing a decent Dwight Howard impression with 25 points, eight rebounds and six blocks. Howard himself recorded 12 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks in the win.
Gerald Green scored 28 points to lead Phoenix to victory, but the real story from this game was the first-half drama involving Nick Young and Alex Len. The two players were ejected Wednesday after the rookie big man invited Swaggy P's anger with a hard foul:
The Lakers offense still ran at a high level without Young, but the defense struggled to stop Phoenix regardless of his presence. The Suns shot 49 percent as a team, with Green and Markieff Morris (24 points) doing much of the heavy lifting.
Trail Blazers 108, Cavaliers 96
The Cleveland Cavaliers hung tough at the Moda Center, playing what might have been one of their best games of the season, but Portland simply had too much firepower down the stretch. The Blazers outscored Cleveland by 10 in the fourth quarter to come away with the victory. LaMarcus Alrdidge led the way with 32 points, 18 rebounds and four assists. Damian Lillard added 28 points, six rebounds and five assists in the win.
Newly acquired forward Luol Deng was terrific for the Cavs, finishing with 25 points and six rebounds on 10-of-20 shooting. Kyrie Irving added 21 pionts in the loss, while Dion Waiters chipped in 18 points off the bench.
J.J. Redick was on fire, leading all scorers with 33 points to lift the Clippers over the Mavericks in a wild game at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Reddick was 10-of-14 from the field, including 7-for-9 from three-point range for Los Angeles, winners of a fourth straight games. The Clippers nearly broke Lawler's Law, a rule coined by longtime Clippers broadcaster Ralph Lawler, stating the first team to score 100 points wins. The Clippers led 100-92 late in the third quarter but were outscored 31-6 to trail 123-106 in the fourth quarter. The Clippers ended the game on a 23-4 run to seal the win.
Nate Robinson scored 24 points off the bench to lead the Nuggets over the Warriors in Oakland. Robinson shot 9-of-12 from the field and was one of four Nuggets to score 20 points in the victory, joining Wilson Chandler, Randy Foye and Ty Lawson.
David Lee had 28 points and 11 rebounds to lead Golden State, and Steph Curry chipped in with 24 points in defeat.
Denver hit half of its 24 three-point attempts, including this half-court shot by Evan Fournier to end the third quarter: