The Pacers just keep on rolling, and they did so this time after overcoming an injury to Lance Stephenson, who landed hard on his back after being fouled on a layup in transition. But Indiana responded to defeat a scrappy Hawks team, 89-85, on Tuesday night.
Atlanta hung close (as it almost always does) and made a comeback effort behind 11 fourth-quarter points from Mike Scott (15 points on the night), but it wasn't quite enough as the Pacers shot just a little better from the floor all night. Scott led the way for the Hawks and Elton Brand had 12. They were the only two in double figures for the team.
Timberwolves 109, Lakers 99
Speaking of falls, Kevin Love took a nasty one, but it was his shot that did more damage to the Lakers on Tuesday night. The Timberwolves built a big lead early in this game, and despite a comeback bid from Los Angeles were able to take care of business in a 109-99 win.
But man, that Love spill was scary.
Still, the big man remained in the game and finished with 31 points and 17 rebounds, and that didn't even lead the team. Kevin Martin went for 32 points as the Wolves continued to remain within arm's reach of that final spot in the Western Conference playoff standings.
Bulls 101, Suns 92
Just when you think you've got it all figured out, this happens. The Phoenix Suns have been one of the hot topics in the NBA, yet somehow the Bulls continued to hold their heads above water in a 101-92 win.
After losing Derrick Rose to injury and trading Luol Deng, Chicago has once again rallied behind coach Tom Thibodeau's aggressive style. Carlos Boozer led the way with 19 points and 12 rebounds, and Joakim Noah, fresh off a $15,000 fine, pitched in 14 points and 14 boards.
But it was the Bulls' patented lockdown defense that made the difference. Chicago held the Suns to just 38.8 percent from the floor, and Phoenix just couldn't manage to overcome that late hump.
Kemba Walker returned to the court on Tuesday night, and that was more than enough against the struggling Golden State offense. The Bobcats went into vaunted Oracle Arena and defeated the Warriors, 91-75, and it was never really close.
Walker dropped in just seven points, six rebounds and seven assists, but his presence sure helped Al Jefferson. Big Al put up 30 points and 13 boards against Andrew Bogut and the tough Warriors interior, and all the Bobcats had to do was hang on to a fourth-quarter lead that ballooned to as many as 21 points in the final nine minutes.
And there would be no Golden State comeback in this one. The Dubs shot just 31 percent from the floor, and all five starters had more field-goal attempts than points. That's about all you need to know.