OKC CRASH IN DENVER THRILLER; MIAMI MAKE IT 13 STRAIGHT NEW YORK, INDIANA, SAN ANTONIO & THE CLIPPERS ALL PICK UP WINS
Ty Lawson nailed the game-winner with 0.2 seconds left to give the Denver Nuggets (38-22) a deserved 105-103 win at home to the Oklahoma City Thunder (42-16). Wilson Chandler came off the bench to match his career-high points tally of 35 after making 6-7 from 3PT range but the game-high honour went to Russell Westbrook, who netted 12/17 free throws (the same amount Denver made as a team) on his way to 38 points.
The visitors made the better start but Denver closed the opening quarter with the last five points to only trail by 3 at 29-26. The Nuggets then took the lead with an 11-0 start to the second and although the lead had risen to as many as twelve during the quarter, they still enjoyed a commanding 56-47 advantage at half-time. Denver narrowly edged the third to take a 85-75 lead into the final quarter where OKC started their fightback. A 16-4 spell hauled the Thunder back as they tied the game at 91 to set up a tense finale. The visitors went up by 3 but they were tied again with under a minute left. Kevin Durant answered Chandlers’ lay-up to level at 103 before Lawson stepped up and drained the winner before the buzzer.
Miami Heat (42-14) took their win streak to THIRTEEN games after denying Memphis (38-19) a NINTH straight victory with a 98-91 success. LeBron James had a slow start before finishing with 18 points, eight rebounds and 10 assists while Dwyane Wade led the way with 22 points for the hosts. After snapping a four game losing streak, the NY Knicks (35-20) have now won their last three after beating the Washington Wizards (18-39) 96-88 on the road. Carmelo Anthony had a game-high 30 points for the visitors while the hosts were led by Bradley Beal’s career-high effort of 29 points. Indiana (37-22) remain in third despite having recorded more wins but they kept up the pressure with a 93-81 win in Toronto (23-36) to tie the season series with the Raptors at 2-2.
STAT: LeBron James has reached double figures in scoring for 475 consecutive games.
San Antonio Spurs (46-14) powered their way past the Sacramento Kings (20-40) with a 130-102 blow-out. The home side had no fewer than EIGHT players in double-figures with DeJuan Blair leading the way with 16 although the win was marred by the ankle injury sustained by Tony Parker. The LA Clippers (43-18) moved past OKC in the win column with a fourth straight victory, beating the Cavaliers (20-39) 105-89 in Cleveland. Jamal Crawford led the rout with 24 points while Blake Griffin (16pts/11rbs) and Chris Paul (11pts/15as) added double-doubles.
STAT: Manu Ginobilli dished out a career-high 15 assists for the Spurs including a through-the-legs dime to Blair.
Boston Celtics (31-27) recorded a 94-86 win over the Golden State Warriors (33-26) after restricitng Stephen Curry to just 25 points. The home side raced out of the blocks and were carried to victory by a 26 point haul from Paul Pierce to help Boston close on Chicago (33-25) in the race for the play-offs. Houston (32-28)needed a strong fourth quarter performance to overcome the Orlando Magic (16-43) 118-110 with James Harden contributing 24pts/7rbs/8as to inspire the Rockets‘ victory.
STAT: Steph Curry has now scored 107 points in his last three games with 21 made 3-pointers.
“I think he’s the best shooter in the league.” Boston head-coach Doc Rivers on Steph Curry.
Utah Jazz (32-27) eased to an emphatic 98-68 triumph against the Charlotte Bobcats (13-45) after a career-high night from Enes Kanter (23pts/22rbs) Phoenix Suns (21-39) were led by Goran Dragic’s 19 points on their way to a 92-87 home win against the Atlanta Hawks (33-24) while New Orleans Hornets (21-39) also enjoyed a home win after beating Detroit (23-38) 100-95. Dallas Mavericks (26-32) picked up an impressive 98-90 road win in Brooklyn (34-25) despite a 24 point performance from Deron Williams.
CHECK-OUT KD‘s incredible reverse lay-up against Denver (NBA):