BOSTON NEED SEVEN PERIODS TO DENY DENVER; DYNAMIC HEAT DUO HELP TO BEAT LAKERS
Denver Nuggets (33-19) fought hard to keep their winning streak alive but were beaten in Boston as the Celtics (27-23) continued their revival without Rajon Rondo with a 118-114 victory in triple-overtime. Paul Pierce had a stellar night with 27 points, 14 rebounds and 14 assists while Jason Terry added 26 and Kevin Garnett contributed 20 points and 18 rebounds with six points coming in the final period. The visiting Nuggets had five players in double-figures with Ty Lawson producing a game-high 29 points to lead his side. Kenneth Faried missed two free throws in regulation time and Andre Miller missed a lay-up before Lawson sent the game into overtime with a late basket. The teams were tied again at the end of the first and second periods of overtime before Boston sealed the win in triple-OT.
STAT: Doc Rivers’ Celtics are now 7-0 in the absence of Rajon Rondo as they make their way up the Eastern conference standings.
Lebron James and Dwayne Wade combined for 62 points in Miami‘s 107-97 triumph over the LA Lakers (24-28). Heat (34-14)pulled away in the final quarter with Wade scoring 16 of his 30 in the fourth while LeBron finished with a game-high 32. Kobe Bryant led the visiting Lakers with a 28 point haul to go with nine assists with Earl Clark contiuing to be noticed with 18 points while Steve Nash and Dwight Howard each contributed 15. There was nothing between the sides at half-time as they went into the interval all-square at 53 but a seven point burst from LeBron to close the third helped Miami into a 78-73 lead. Wade took over in the fourth scoring nine points a row for his side as they increased their advantage. Lakers closed to within five but that was as close as they were to get with Shane Battier bringing up the Heat century late on from beyond the arc.
STAT: LBJ‘s 32 points made it five consecutive 30+point games to set a new franchise record.
LA Clippers (36-17) defeated the Knicks (32-17) 102-88 in New York despite a 42 point haul from Carmelo Anthony. The visitors had a one point lead heading into the fourth before they powered on to take the victory on the back of 27 points from Jamal Crawford, 25 points and 7 dimes from Chris Paul and a 17-12 double-double from Blake Griffin. Houston (28-25) suffered a 117-111 defeat on the road at Sacramento (19-33) despite James Harden scoring 30 points.
San Antonio (40-12) recovered from their loss to Detroit with a 111-89 win at the Brooklyn Nets (29-22). Tony Parker led the way with 29 points and 11 assists as the Spurs held the hosts to just 29 second half points whilst pouring in 60. Oklahoma (39-12) kept up the heat on San Antonio‘s record with their second comfortable win over the Phoenix Suns (17-35) inside a week with Russell Westbrook’s 24 points helping the City Thunder to a 97-69 blow-out.
Memphis (32-18) enjoyed a 105-88 victory against Minnesota (18-30) with Tayshaun Prince top-scoring with 18 points- his highest tally since joining the Grizzlies from Detroit. Orlando (15-36) snapped their 12-game losing streak with a 110-104 home win against the Portland Trail Blazers (25-26). Rudy Gay top scored for the Toronto Raptors (19-32) once again, as his 20 point haul helped the Raptors to a 102-89 win over the New Orleans Hornets (17-34).
Blake Griffin responds to Tyson Chandler’s throw-down with one of his own: (NBA)