Denver dominated the glass and forced the Heat into 18 turnovers as they stole a win from Miami at American Airlines Arena, 111-107. The Heat got the best of the Nuggets to open the game but Denver exploded for 38 points in the second period as they surprised the two-time defending champs. Despite a poor shooting game from Ty Lawson, he still dropped 13 points, nine assists and four steals.
The Heat had four starters and two bench players in double figures, and shot a combined 52 percent from the field. No player for Miami had double-digit rebounds, mostly due to Kenneth Faried nabbing every board he could get his hands on. Despite Ray Allen's 22 points off the bench, including five three pointers, Miami dropped their 10th game of the season to a sub-.500 team.
Washington Wizards 105, Orlando Magic 101 (OT)
The Wizards made fans in Orlando wait all night before they finally took home a win in overtime, 105-101. John Wall had a terrible night shooting the ball, going 7-of-18 while scoring 21 points to go along with 11 assists and five rebounds. Washington had four of their five starters log double-doubles. There was a scary moment for the Wiz with under a minute left in OT as Bradley Beal contested a Victor Oladipo layup and ended up turning his ankle. He is listed as day-to-day.
For Orlando, the loss was yet another mark on a dismal season as turnovers and poor shooting from beyond the arc doomed their effort against one of the East's best teams. Arron Afflalo finished with 18 points on 7-of-21 shooting, adding five rebounds and three assists. Nikola Vucevic had eight points and 12 rebounds.
The Blazers stopped a four-game skid and ended their road trip with a win in New Orleans, 111-103. Portland, playing without LaMarcus Aldridge (back) and Mo Williams (hip) had to rely on Dorell Wright to play starter's minutes at the four. The former Sixers and Heat wing had a successful night, scoring 15 points on 4-of-8 shooting, all from beyond the arc. He also added four rebounds and three assists. Nic Batum had 22 points, 18 rebounds and five assists.
For the Pelicans, Anthony Davis led the pack with 36 points on 15-of-27 shooting, adding nine rebounds, two blocks and an assist. New Orleans let Portland dominate them in the final quarter, getting out-scored 31-22. The Trail Blazers hit 14 three-pointers and shot 48.7 percent from the field as they struggle to stay afloat in the Western Conference.
Cleveland shocked Oracle Arena on Friday night by scraping together a mid-game run after being down double-digits in the first quarter, taking home a road win, 103-94. The Cavaliers pushed through as the Warriors threatened in the fourth quarter, but strong showings from Spencer Hawes and Kyrie Irving kept Golden State at bay. Hawes finished with 22 points on 8-of-18 shooting, adding 13 rebounds and two assists.
Golden State was led by Steph Curry, who had 27 points along with eight assists, four rebounds and three steals. Andrew Bogut had just four points but pulled down 12 boards. Outside of Draymond Green's 18 points and nine rebounds, the Warriors' bench was abysmal, adding just 12 points in a combined 40 minutes.
Toronto Raptors 99, Memphis Grizzlies 86
The Toronto Raptors continue to impress, dominating the playoff-hopeful Grizzlies at the Air Canada Centre, 99-86. Jonas Valanciunas scored 23 points on 11-of-15 shooting to go along with nine rebounds. Kyle Lowry added 22 points with 12 assists and seven rebounds as the Raptors stopped the Grizzlies from moving the ball.
Memphis shot just 2-of-8 on three-pointers as Marc Gasol scored eight points on 3-of-8 shooting. Mike Conley had a solid 10 points, six rebounds and six assists but a lack of production from the Grizzlies' starters ultimately sunk their hopes in Toronto. The Raptors are battling to retain their hold on third place in the Eastern Conference.
Indiana Pacers 101, Philadelphia 76ers 94
Indiana almost dropped a game to the team with the second-worst record in the NBA, but held on late to get a win, 101-94. The Pacers shot 58 percent from the field and dropped nine three-pointers as they pushed a balanced offensive attack. Lance Stephenson had yet another double-double, tallying 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting, adding 12 rebounds, four assists and a steal.
Thaddeus Young played 45 minutes for Philadelphia, dropping 25 points on 10-of-31 shooting adding 10 assists and six rebounds. Michael Carter-Williams had 12 points on 5-of-16 shooting with nine rebounds and eight assists. As a team, the Sixers shot 39 percent from the field including just 8-of-26 from beyond the arc. Philadelphia is on a 19-game losing streak.
Los Angeles Clippers 96, Utah Jazz 87
The Clippers appeared to be in deep trouble going in to second half, down 51-43 to the bottom-feeding Jazz. Los Angeles responded in the third quarter by dominating Utah on the defensive side of the floor, forcing turnovers and capitalizing on the fastbreak to extend their winning streak to 10 games. Chris Paul impressed with 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting, adding seven assists, six rebounds and three steals.
Utah thought they had a top team in their sights at home, where they typically play well for at least a few quarters. Enes Kanter had 11 points and 15 rebounds but the Jazz couldn't keep the Clippers from scoring when it counted most and ended up dropping their third game in a row.
The Bobcats came out strong on the offensive end and squeezed down on the Timberwolves in the second half to secure a win at the Target Center on Friday night. Charlotte's tough defense allowed them to stop Kevin Love, who had all 18 of his points in the first half. Al Jefferson had his 20th 20-point and 10 rebound night of the season, a franchise record.
Minnesota couldn't get anything going off the glass, and were out-rebounded by a margin of 19. Kevin Martin finished the game with 19 points on 6-of-13 shooting, adding five rebounds and an assist. Al Jefferson had 25 points and 16 rebounds as the Bobcats moved to 32-34 on the season.
Phoenix Suns 87, Boston Celtics 80
Phoenix shot just 19 percent from beyond the arc on 26 attempts, but tough defense stymied the Boston Celtics enough for the Suns to come away with a win on the road, 87-80. The Suns were led by Eric Bledsoe, in just his second game back from a knee injury. He posted 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting, adding 10 rebounds and four assists. Markieff Morris helped out with 15 points, nine rebounds and two assists off the bench.
For the Celtics, absolutely nothing went right as they shot just 31 percent from the field for the game. Despite a positive turnover disparity, Boston suffered Rajon Rondo shooting 4-of-15 from the field and Jeff Green shooting 2-of-14. Kris Humphries was the lone bright spot, dropping 11 points on 5-of-8 shooting with 13 rebounds.
San Antonio Spurs 119, Los Angeles Lakers 85
The Spurs won their ninth straight game, resting their starters early while blowing out the Lakers, 119-85. Danny Green was the only Spurs starter to score in double figures as the San Antonio bench saw 150 of the available 240 minutes. Five bench players scored in double digits. Matt Bonner scored 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting, adding 10 rebounds and four assists.
No one expects the Lakers to beat the Clippers and Spurs right now but you can't be losing to them by 48 and 34 points.— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) March 15, 2014
Los Angeles looks like a shell of the team that would surprise with unselfish play earlier in the year. Pau Gasol was the positive for Mike D'Antoni, notching 18 points on 8-of-16 shooting with 11 rebounds, four blocks and two assists. Kendall Marshall struggled with just six points on 2-of-9 shooting despite his nine assists.