Game Night! ft. Oklahoma @ San Antonio

SPURS STAY TOP OF THE WEST; KNICKS MAULED ON MELO’S RETURN & THE SIXERS END LOSING RUN

San Antonio (49-15) remained in top spot in the Western conference after a strong second quarter spell lifted them to a 105-93 over Oklahoma City Thunder (47-17). Tiago Splitter had 21 points on 9-11 from the field whilst grabbing 10 boards with Kawhi Leonard (17p) and Danny Green (16p) adding valuable contributions. Kevin Durant had a game-high 26 points for the Thunder while Russell Westbrook had 25 despite putting up 14 extra shots.

A 16-2 run had put the visitors in control early on as they led 32-22 at the end of the first. The advantage peaked at 13 points and Gregg Popovich soon called a time-out with his side down 40-29 and the game changed. The Spurs compiled a 20-4 run to take the lead with Green nailing two triples and Leonard adding nine points including a spectacular play to give the home side a 53-46 advantage at the break.

Westbrook had 11 second half points which helped bring OKC within a single point on the back of a 9-1 run but the Spurs regained the control and didn’t let their opponents get close again for the rest of the game. Manu Ginobili finished the third with five points as the Western leaders took an 83-74 advantage into the final period. The game was effectively sealed at the start of the fourth as the Spurs went 9-0 in the first three minutes. Green netted another triple late on to finish 4-4 from 3-PT range.

Golden State (36-29) inflicted a painful 92-63 loss on the New York Knicks (38-23) after another strong showing from Steph Curry. The Warriors guard had 26 points in the victory while Klay Thompson added 23 as the duo went 10-17 from downtown with David Lee adding 21 points, ten rebounds and EIGHT assists. Carmelo Anthony added 14 points and 10 rebounds on his return but the Knicks were restricted to just 27% shooting from the field. Utah Jazz (33-31) eased to a 103-90 win over the Detroit Pistons (23-43) despite a third quarter scare as they moved back level with the Lakers in 8th spot in the West.

Denver (43-22) claimed their NINTH straight win after beating the Phoenix Suns (22-42) 108-93 on the road with Kosta Koufos leading the way with a 22-10 double-double.  The game was evenly poised before the Nuggets stormed clear in the final quarter. Philadelphia 76ers (24-39) ended their losing streak with a 106-97 home win against the Brooklyn Nets (37-27) as Spencer Hawes (24p/10r) and Jrue Holiday (15p/11a) starred with double-doubles.

The night was a momentous one for Deron Williams as he completed an NBA milestone:

Here’s the top play of the day featuring Kawhi Leonard (NBA):

Advertisements

Game Night! ft. Sacramento @ Miami

LEBRON AND WADE HAVE SEASON-HIGHS TO PROPEL MIAMI TO WIN IN DOUBLE OT; INDIANA MAKE IT FIVE STRAIGHT WHILE THE BULLS FALL BACK

Miami Heat (41-14) needed two periods of overtime to record their TWELFTH straight victory after beating the Sacramento Kings (19-39) 141-129 in a thriller.  LeBron James posted his first 40 point game of the season and dished out a career-high 16 assists with Dwayne Wade a grateful recipient on his way to a season-high 39 point haul while Ray Allen chipped in with 21 points on 5-10 shooting from beyond the arc. For the Kings, Marcus Thornton had a season-high 38 points off the bench with 8-12 from long range and DeMarcus Cousins added a 24p/15r double-double but couldn’t prevent a SIXTH consecutive defeat.

Miami trailed at the half and at the end of the third but a bright spell in the fourth gave them a 105-96 advantage with four minutes on the clock. Thornton made a trio of triples and a lay-in from Cousins with 8.5 seconds left was enough to take the game beyond regulation at 112. Thornton drained another shortly followed by a three from Isaiah Thomas to make it a one point game before LeBron split his free throw attempts and the game was extended further at 124. The reigning MVP took over in the double-overtime with 11 points to take him to 40 as the Heat outscored Sacramento 17-5 in the second period.

STAT:

Chicago (32-25) have now lost SEVEN of their last ten as they fell to a 101-98 defeat at home to the Cleveland Cavaliers (19-38). Carlos Boozer (27p) and Luol Deng (26p) led the hosts with a combined 53 points but a 25 point haul from Dion Waiters in the absence of Kyrie Irving carried the Cavs to the win. Meanwhile, the LA Clippers (41-18) powered past the Charlotte Bobcats (13-44) 106-84 as Blake Griffin led the way with a 24p while Chris Paul provided 13 assists.

STAT: It was the 24th time this season CP3 has dished out 10+ dimes in a game.

Indiana Pacers (36-21) maintained second spot in the Eastern conference with their FIFTH win in a row after seeing off the Golden State Warriors (33-24) 108-97 despite a 38 point haul from Stephen Curry. A strong third quarter (31-20) set the platform for the victory and the home side were led by 28 points from David West while Paul George and George Hill combining for a further 44. Brooklyn Nets (34-24) moved past New York Knicks in the win column with a 101-97 on the road in New Orleans despite some late resistance from the Hornets (20-38). Deron Williams had a big night with 33 points and EIGHT assists while Grievis Vasquez led the hosts in points, rebounds and assists with a 20-8-7 performance.

STAT: Deron Williams matched his season-high points tally he also recorded against OKC in early December.

Dirk Nowitzki had a huge 21p/20r double-double in vain for the Dallas Mavericks (25-31) as the Milwaukee Bucks (27-28) picked up the 95-90 win on the road. Monta Ellis had a game-high 22 points to keep the Bucks in the final play-off position ahead of the Toronto Raptors. Minnesota (20-34) had a strong second-half comeback to take their game with Phoenix into overtime but fell short as the Suns (19-39) came out with an 84-83 victory. Orlando Magic (16-41) recorded a surprise 98-84 win on the road in Philadelphia as the 76ers (22-33) suffered a sixth straight defeat.

STAT: Larry Sanders scored 10+ points for the sixth straight game for the first time this season whilst continuing to lead the league in blocks with an average of 3.16 a game.

The King amongst Kings: check-out LeBron’s season-high night against Sacramento: (NBA)