Oklahoma City got a little too comfortable down the stretch, letting a comfortable double-digit lead slip away in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter before it finally sealed a win, 102-95. Cleveland outscored the Thunder by 10 in the final period, forcing Kevin Durant back up off the bench as he dropped a game-high 35 points for Oklahoma City.
Spencer Hawes, who helped pull the Cavs within single-digits late, finished with 20 points on 8-of-17 shooting, adding three rebounds and three assists. Dion Waters added 30 points, four assists, three steals and two rebounds for Cleveland. Serge Ibaka was a standout for the Thunder, dropping 16 points to go along with 11 rebounds, three blocks and an assist. Russell Westbrook sat out the game to rest his knee.
Houston Rockets 129, Minnesota Timberwolves 106
The Rockets were never really scared, coming through big in the second quarter on Thursday night and cruising to a double-digit win as they blasted the Timberwolves, 129-106. With Dwight Howard out with a left ankle injury, James Harden took over for Houston as Omer Asik got the call to the starting lineup. Harden finished with 28 points and eight assists, adding five rebounds and a steal as the Rockets dominated the transition game.
Kevin Love dumped in 29 points, six rebounds, five assists, two blocks and a steal. Gorgui Dieng got the start at center and added 22 points on 6-of-16 shooting, nabbing 21 rebounds, four assists and a steal for Minnesota. The Rockets had seven players score in double figures, with Chandler Parsons dropping 19 points, nine rebounds and five assists.
Portland Trail Blazers 116, Washington Wizards 103
The Blazers came out of the gates sluggish, letting the Wizards push them around early until a flurry of three-pointers to open the second half allowed them to pull away and seal a win, 116-103. Damian Lillard led they way for the Blazers, notching a double-double of 23 points and 10 assists, adding six rebounds with LaMarcus Aldridge resting his aching back. Portland moved the ball effectively and limited their turnovers as they grabbed a much-needed win at home.
Portland is now 21-4 (.840) against the Eastern Conference this season, the best mark of any Western Conference team.— Trail Blazers PR (@TrailBlazersPR) March 21, 2014
The Wizards were without Marcin Gortat and relied on John Wall to carry the scoring load with 24 points and 14 assists. Bradley Beal had 18 points on 6-of-18 shooting, adding four rebounds, an assist and a steal. Drew Gooden dusted himself off and proved useful once again, dropping 18 points and nine rebounds in 26 minutes off the bench. Wesley Matthews had 28 points, five assists and a steal for the Blazers.
Golden State Warriors 115, Milwaukee Bucks 110
Milwaukee made a fourth quarter push against Golden State, who have looked shaky at home as of late, but couldn't make up the difference in the final minute as the Warriors won, 115-110. The Warriors were led by Steph Curry, who had a dominating night shooting the ball and racked up double-digit assists. Bad news for Bucks fans came in the first half as rookie Nate Wolters had to leave the game with a fractured left hand.
Curry finished the game with 31 points on 9-of-14 shooting, adding 11 assists, three rebounds and a steal. Klay Thompson had 29 points despite shooting just 3-of-11 on three-pointers. The Bucks had seven players in double figures, including four bench players. Brandon Knight had 27 points and six assists. Ramon Sessions added 18 off the bench.