MIAMI LEAD FROM TIP TO BUZZER AGAINST OKC AS LBJ & KD DO BATTLE WHILE THE CLIPPERS WIN THE BATTLE OF LOS ANGELES
LeBron James dropped 39 points on Oklahoma (39-14) as Miami (36-14) recorded a 110-100 victory in a repeat of last year’s NBA Finals. Chris Bosh added 20 points and 12 boards while Kevin Durant produced a game-high 40 points for the Thunder despite missing his first seven attempts from the field. The teams were evenly matched early on before LeBron added six points after an Oklahoma time-out as the Heat embarked on a 11-0 run to take control in the first. Norris Cole completed a lay-up on the buzzer to give Miami a 32-17 advantage at the end of the opening quarter. Durant finally made a field goal drop in the second when he netted a triple although Miami‘s lead continued to rise. James scored ten points in a row for Miami while Russell Westbrook (24p, 10a) added nine for the hosts before Bosh finished the half with a dunk to make the score 63-46 in favour of the visiting Heat. The lead peaked at 73-50 on a Mario Chalmers 3-pointer before Reggie Jackson helped Oklahoma narrow the deficit with seven points. Shane Battier scored his first points of the night with a three to give Miami an 88-69 advantage after the third. Durant and Kevin Martin combined to make it 94-82 before LeBron nailed a dagger three. The home side managed to cut the gap into single figures after Dwayne Wade (13p, 8a) had fouled out but it proved too little too late as Ray Allen (13p) secured the win with a pair of free throws.
LA Clippers (39-17) defeated the Lakers (25-29) 125-101 for their fourth win in a row to match OKC‘s win tally for the season. The Clippers were led by their All-Stars as Chris Paul top scored with 24 points as well as 13 assists while Blake Griffin had a 22-10 double-double. They were officially the visitors at Staples Centre and used a strong start once again to power away to victory. A 31-17 opening quarter was supported by a dominant third quarter as the Lakers struggled to compete. Kobe Bryant recovered from his blip against Phoenix to lead the ‘hosts’ with 20 points whilst providing 11 assists. The Lakers remain outside the play-off positions as it stands with Houston (29-26) currently occupying the eighth spot.
Check-out the duel between LeBron and KD in Oklahoma: (NBA)
The featured match in tonight’s NBA action pitted the Houston Rockets against the high-flying Miami Heat.
Lebron James and Dwayne Wade fired Miami Heat (32-14) to a 114-108 victory at home to the Houston Rockets (27-24) with a combined 63 points. The dynamic duo also featured in the play of the game as Wade (31 points) found his team-mate with a full court alley-oop assist to James, who had 32 points. James Harden led all scorers with a 36 point haul with 17 of those coming in the final quarter as the Rockets fell short. Two important defensive plays from Miami kept their opponents at bay with Udonis Haslem drawing a charge before Wade produced a late block on a Harden three.
Miami‘s Eastern conference rivals, NY Knicks (31-16) fell to a defeat against the Washington Wizards (13-35), who picked up their second straight win. John Wall top scored for the hosts with 21 points including a top play after following up a rejection on Carmelo Anthony with the lay-up at the other end; spinning past Jason Kidd. Oklahoma improved to a 37-12 record in the West after a 119-98 win at home to the Golden State Warriors. Kevin Durant top scored with 25 points while Russell Westbrook added a further 22, a number which matches Thunder‘s victories at home this season.
LA Clippers ended their run of defeats with a 86-76 win on the road against Orlando despite the continued absence of Blake Griffin and Chris Paul. Eric Bledsoe came up good with a season-high 27 points to improve their mark to 35-16. Kevin Garnett put growing trade rumours behind him with a dominant performance helping the Celtics to a 99-95 win against the Toronto Raptors (17-32). KG had 27 points and 10 rebounds as Boston (25-23) improved to 5-0 in the absence of Rajon Rondo while Toronto fell to a second consecutive defeat despite a double-double (25p,12r) from Rudy Gay.
San Antonio (39-11) stretched their winning streak to ELEVEN games after a 104-94 victory against the Minnesota Timberwolves (18-28). Tony Parker had 31 points including 9/9 from the FT line whilst dishing out eight assists. Gregg Popovich opted not to use Manu Ginobilli and Danny Green stepped up to the mark with a career-high 28 points on 8/12 shooting from downtown. Ricky Rubio dished out double-figures in assists (11) for the second game running while Nikola Pekovic top scored for the T’Wolves with 21 points and 10 rebounds.
Indiana‘s winning streak stretched to five games with a win in Philadelphia against the 76ers (21-27). Roy Hibbert helped the Pacers (31-19) to an 88-69 success with 18 points as well as 14 rebounds as his side match the Knicks‘ win tally for the season. Dallas (21-28) picked up an important win in their play-off push; beating Portland (25-24) 105-99 with a 28 point haul from O.J Mayo leading the Mavericks to victory despite yet another double-double from LaMarcus Aldridge.
Brooklyn (29-20) bounced back from their defeat against the Lakers with a 93-90 victory at the Detroit Pistons. Brook Lopez again top scored for the Nets with 17 points as they inflicted a third straight defeat on their opponents. New Orleans got the win against Phoenix in a battle of the basement sides in the Western conference. The recently named Pelicans enjoyed a 93-84 success to move to a game behind the Suns and Sacramento Kings, who have a 17-33 W/L record.Other results included Utah‘s 100-86 victory against Milwaukee; Atlanta beating Memphis 103-92 and Cleveland easing past Charlotte 122-95 as Kyrie Iriving had 22 points.
Check out NBA’s video of Ricky Rubio’s dime through the legs of DeJuan Blair: