SPURS & PACERS SEE THEIR STREAKS ENDS, MIAMI CRUSH CLIPPERS WHILE THE LAKERS ARE THE COMEBACK KINGS OF THE NIGHT
San Antonio (32-19) saw their ELEVEN match win streak end in Detroit (19-32) last night as the Pistons recorded a 119-108 victory. Tony Parker had 31 points and eight assists for the Spurs but it was Greg Monroe’s huge double-double of 26 points and 16 rebounds that helped get the victory for the hosts. Gregg Popovich opted not to play Manu Ginobilli once again while Tim Duncan remains sidelined and the Spurs found themselves trailing 65-52 at the half. The visitors launched a fightback in the final quarter to close within seven points but Brandon Knight had five points in quick succession to keep San Antonio at bay and seal the win.
Miami Heat (33-14) and the LA Lakers (24-27) recorded contrasting triumphs ahead of their anticipated clash on Sunday. Despite the return of Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, the Clippers (35-17) were comfortably beaten by the Heat 111-89. Lebron James had a game-high 30 points on 9-11 shooting from the field while Dwayne Wade added 20 in the absence of Chris Bosh and Ray Allen. The Lakers found themselves 20 points down before outscoring the Charlotte Bobcats (11-38) 31-15 in the final quarter to bounce back from their defeat to Boston. Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 20 points, a total matched by Byron Mullens and Gerald Henderson, who both posted double-doubles for the hosts.
STATS: Lebron James posted his fourth consecutive 30+ points game for the first time this season while all of Kobe Bryant’s points came in the second half.
Oklahoma City Thunder (38-12) and the New York Knicks (32-16) kept up the pressure on San Antonio and Miami with victories tonight as they remain second in their respected conferences. Thunder powered in 72 POINTS in the second half on their way to a 127-96 win against Phoenix (17-34) with five players in double-figures including Kevin Durant, who led the way with 21 points. Carmelo Anthony’s 36 point haul helped the Knicks to a 100-94 victory in Minnesota (18-29) despite a third quarter wobble for their 13th road win of the season (Eastern conference high)
STAT: Jason Kidd provided his 12,000th assist during the game while the Timberwolves’ Ricky Rubio dished out 11 dimes (third consecutive game w/ double figures in assists).
A 20-11 double-double from Marc Gasol helped the Memphis Grizzlies (31-18) to a 99-93 success against the Golden State Warriors (30-20) despite a 32 point haul from Steph Curry. The 24 year-old matched his season-high total he recorded earlier in the season against Sacramento, where he was on the losing team on that occasion too. Memphis remain fifth in the Western conference despite the recent trade of Rudy Gay to Toronto.
Gay showed Memphis what they’re missing with a clutch jumper in overtime to give the Raptors (18-32) a 100-98 win against Indiana (31-20). A frantic finish ensued in regulation time with Amir Johnson scoring twice in the final six seconds to tie the game at 90. David West had a game-high 30 points for the Pacers, who saw their FIFTEEN game win streak at home come to an end.
New Orleans (17-33) picked up a win on the road against Atlanta (27-22), winning 111-100 as they made it back-to-back victories. The Washington Wizards (14-35) made it three in a row with an 89-74 home win against the Brooklyn Nets (29-21) with Nene producing a 20 point, 11 rebound double-double. James Harden fired in 35 points and dished out 11 assists to give Houston (28-24) a 118-103 win against Portland (24-25), who were once again led by All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge (31p-6a).
Kyrie Irving (24-6-8) led the Cavaliers (16-34) in points, rebounds and assists to help Cleveland to a 119-108 victory over Orlando (14-36), who suffered a 12th straight defeat. The final game saw Chicago return to winning ways after a 93-89 success in Salt Lake City over Utah Jazz (28-23). Carlos Boozer led the Bulls with 19 points while Luol Deng (15p-10r) and Jaokim Noah (12p-11r) adding double-doubles to counter Al Jefferson’s season-high 32 points and 13 rebounds.
Check-out Rudy Gay as he gets the game-winner in Indiana: