Featured Game of the Night- LA Lakers @ Brooklyn Nets
The Lakers recorded an important win in their play-off push; beating the Nets 93-82 in Brooklyn. Brook Lopez had a game-high 30 points as well as 11 rebounds for the hosts but a 21 point haul from Kobe Bryant helped LA to the win. The Lakers were already without Dwight Howard (shoulder injury) and Metta World Peace (suspension) when Pau Gasol went off injured in the fourth quarter and was reported to have left the arena on crutches. The second quarter proved pivotal as the Lakers outscored their opponents 31-16 and managed to restrict Brooklyn to just 34.1 % from the field on the night. Lopez had given the Nets a one point lead with 2:33 to go but the visiting Lakers closed out the win with a 10-0 run containing 4/4 from the free throw line from Steve Nash– who finished with 17 points and 8 assists. Earl Clark has seen his playing time increase in 2013 and has justified the reward; adding a third straight double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds. LA improve to a 23-26 record after making it three consecutive victories while Brooklyn drop to 28-20 which leaves them fifth in the Eastern Conference standings.
The Rockets were on fire in Houston (27-23) with a blistering 23 3-pointers equalling an NBA record in a comprehensive 140-109 victory at home to the Golden State Warriors (30-18). The hosts had a total of EIGHT players in double-figures and were led by Jeremy Lin‘s 28 points whilst he also provided nine assists. Both teams set the tone for a high-scoring game in the opening quarter which was edged by Houston– 38-37. By the half, Houston maintained their high level of offence to lead 77-62 on their way to posting the highest score of the season.
In the three other matches; Denver (31-18) made it SEVEN consecutive wins with a 112-104 success against the Milwaukee Bucks (25-22). The Nuggets outscored their opponents 33-18 in the final quarter to get the victory despite a 35 point, 12 rebound double-double from Samuel Dalembert. Phoenix Suns (17-32) picked up a 96-90 win on the road at Memphis (30-17) with the Grizzlies‘ All-Star Zach Randolph posting 21 points and 13 boards. Finally, the Pacers (30-19) got the W again with a home 114-104 victory against the Atlanta Hawks (26-21). All of Indiana‘s starters had double-figures as well as D.J Augustin and Ian Mahinmi off the bench with Paul George leading the way with a 29 points personal.