Love and Company outscored Phoenix 35-20 in the final frame as the Wolves' power forward dropped 33 points, 13 rebounds, nine assists and two blocks as Minny has now won four of its last five to keep those small playoff hopes alive. He's now gone for at least 30 points in four consecutive games, which is pretty good. What's better: Love is averaging (get this) 35.8 points, 12.8 rebounds, five assists and four threes per game over his last four. Which is solid.
The Wolves are still six games behind the Suns in the loss column with 25 games remaining, but you never know what can happen. And speaking of Phoenix, it got 24 from Markieff Morris off the bench but just 16 points and three assists from Goran Dragic. They remain one game up in the loss column over the Grizzlies for eighth in the West.
Well, Houston just keeps rolling right along. James Harden went for 43 points on just 20 shots and Dwight Howard returned from an early injury scare to post 20 points and 11 rebounds as the Rockets dismantled the Kings in Sacramento.
And here's how you know you're having a good game in an opposing arena.
Houston shot nearly 57 percent from the floor and hit 11 of its 22 three-point attempts and held the Kings to just 40 percent shooting for the evening. The Rockets have now won 10 of their last 11 games and are just two games back in the loss column of second-place San Antonio, and just four games back of top-seeded Oklahoma City.
DeMarcus Cousins was ejected late in this game after a disagreement over a foul call. It was his 15th technical foul, inching him closer to an automatic one-game suspension for a sixteenth.
Chicago just keeps finding ways to win, while Atlanta continues to slide dangerously close to the edge of the playoff bubble. Kirk Hinrich was fouled on a three-point attempt and hit all three free throws to give the Bulls a one-point lead, and the Hawks turned the ball over four times in the final 23 seconds to help Chicago secure a 107-103 win on the road.
The final four Atlanta possessions were brutal: Jeff Teague gave the ball away twice, Joakim Noah stole the ball from Mike Scott and Elton Brand threw the ball to the Bulls on the game's final play. Mike Dunleavy led the way for Chicago with 22 points, Noah had 20 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and three steals, and five other Bulls scored in double figures.
Teague had 26 points and seven assists, but two of his four turnovers came on those two crucial back-to-back possessions very late in the game.
Wizards 115, Magic 106
John Wall dropped 27 points, five boards and seven assists to lead a hot-shooting Wizards starting group to the team's fourth consecutive win, this time in a 115-106 victory over the pesky Orlando Magic.
And this was fun...
Trevor Ariza went for 22 points, Bradley Beal put up 21 and Marcin Gortat dropped 21 points and 10 rebounds as the Washington starting lineup combined to put in 94 points in the game. The Wizards also hit 10 of their 16 three-point attempts and shot 52 percent from the field.
The Magic got 26 from Victor Oladipo and 22 from Maurice Harkless in the loss.
Cleveland hung tight against current third seed in the Eastern Conference, but yet another loss has pushed this team into deeper desperation as the Raptors continue to flex their muscle after a 99-93 win over the Cavaliers.
Toronto got 33 points and six assists from All-Star DeMar DeRozan and 19 points on just 11 shots from Terrence Ross, and the Raptors held the struggling Cavs to just 40 percent shooting, including 29 percent from three. Kyrie Irving went for 25 points and nine assists, but Cleveland is having difficulty getting consistent offense from anywhere else.
Also: Oh hey, Terrence.
Trail Blazers 100, Nuggets 95
Any win without LaMarcus Aldridge is a good win for the Trail Blazers, even if it's a 100-95 squeaker against the recently lowly Nuggets. Damian Lillard went for 31 points, seven boards and nine assists as he continues to carry Portland in his All-Star power forward's absence.
Six Blazers scored in double figures, and the team managed to hang on despite shooting just 36 percent from the floor and getting dominated on the glass, 64-41. It helps when you manage to hit 15 more free throws than the other guys, but still. When J.J. Hickson goes for 16 points and 25 rebounds, you'd think a Denver win was in the cards. Not in this one.
It was an uncomfortably close three-point Indiana lead at the half, but that was before Indiana brought out the sledgehammer. The Pacers outscored the Lakers 34-16 in the third quarter to pummel Los Angeles into submission on their way to a 118-98 victory at home.
Paul George went for 20 points, seven rebounds and six assists and Evan Turner notched 13 points and six boards in his first 26 minutes as a Pacer, and Indy continues to cling to a one-game lead in the loss column over the Miami Heat for first place out East.
Los Angeles — who has now lost 13 of its last 16 games — got 23 from Kent Bazemore, who has been a pleasant surprise since coming over from Golden State in a deal that sent Steve Blake to the Warriors.