76ers (26-43) 105, Celtics (44-26) 99
Playing without “Mr. Fourth Quarter” Isaiah Thomas for the second-straight game, the Celtics struggled mightily in the final period in this one, as Philly outscored them 29-20. Despite a dominant performance by Al Horford (27/8/6), the Celtics shot just 6-of-29 from three-point range and had 17 turnovers in the sloppy loss. Meanwhile, 76ers forward Dario Saric (23/6/4) guided the home team to the victory.
Mavericks (30-39) 111, Nets (13-56) 104
Veterans Dirk Nowitzki (23/9/0) and J.J. Barea (20/1/7) led the charge for the Mavs, who shot an impressive 53.9 percent in the win, including 10-of-25 from three-point range. Brook Lopez (27/7/0) went 8-of-18 from the field for the Nets, who had 16 assists compared to 15 turnovers in the loss.
Pistons (34-36) 112, Suns (22-48) 95
The Pistons outscored the shorthanded Suns 35-20 in the fourth quarter and won the rebounding battle by a wide margin at 63-to-47. Andre Drummond (18/18/2), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (23/3/8) and Marcus Morris (16/5/3) all had extremely efficient performances, going a combined 21-of-33 from the floor. Suns point guard Tyler Ulis (17/3/11) played 43 minutes and shot just 7-of-24 from the field while forward T.J. Warren (15/6/1) played 45 minutes in the loss.
Pelicans (29-41) 123, Timberwolves (28-41) 109
Anthony Davis (28/12/3) improved to 5-0 overall against fellow former Kentucky star Karl-Anthony Towns (33/6/2) in their head-to-head matchups. Despite a quiet performance in the scoring column by DeMarcus Cousins (15/11/4), the Pelicans were on fire, shooting 55.1 percent for the game, going 14-for-30 from three-point range. All five T-Wolves starters played over 35 minutes in the loss.
Raptors (41-29) 116, Pacers (35-34) 91
Paul George (18/4/2) went 7-of-14 from the field and was the only Pacer to take over 11 shots in the game in what was a worrisome offensive performance for the playoff-aspiring team. Seven Raptors scored in double-figures, while just one player — Corey Joseph (11/4/9) — played over 30 minutes in the decisive victory. DeMar DeRozan (22/3/4) was Toronto’s leading scorer.
Trail Blazers (32-37) 115, Heat (34-36) 104
Damian Lillard (49/1/5) had arguably the best game of his career, going 14-of-21 shooting, including an amazing 9-of-12 from three. As a whole, the Blazers offense was clicking, but it was Lillard’s brilliance that allowed them to maintain their fourth quarter lead. Hassan Whiteside (17/10/2) and James Johnson (24/7/5) turned in solid performances for the Heat in the loss.
Spurs (53-16) 118, Kings (27-43) 102
Kawhi Leonard (12/2/3) shockingly struggled offensively in this one, going 3-for-12 shooting in 26 minutes for San Antonio. LaMarcus Aldridge (18/8/0) played just 22 minutes in the blowout win, but was very efficient for the Spurs, who outscored the Kings 78-47 in the second and third quarters combined.
Cavaliers (46-23) 125, Lakers (20-50) 120
The trio of LeBron James (34/6/7), Kyrie Irving (46/2/3) and Kevin Love (21/15/0) combined for a franchise-record 101 points in the victory. The Big Three also attempted 58 of the team’s 85 shots on the night. Shockingly, Cleveland needed to come back to win the game, as they outscored the Lakers 43-28 in the fourth quarter to earn the win. D’Angelo Russell (40/2/6) was outstanding for the Lakers and went 14-of-22 shooting, including 7-of-12 from three-point range.