Hornets (8-9) 129; Wizards (10-8) 124
The 14-game NBA slate kicked off with a thriller, as Dwight Howard (26/13/3) and Kemba Walker (24/5/5) led the Hornets past the Wizards in overtime. John Wall (31/1/11) and Bradley Beal (22/4/2) paced Washington, but they ultimately fell short. Despite the game going the extra five minutes, both teams took care of the ball, as they combined for 48 assists and just 23 turnovers.
Cavaliers (11-7) 119; Nets (6-11) 109
Despite strong efforts from Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (20/6/2) and Joe Harris (18/5/4), the Nets couldn’t earn the road victory after keeping the game tied heading into the fourth quarter. Both teams struggled offensively in the first half, but in the second, they both caught fire. In the fourth quarter, Cleveland outscored Brooklyn 42-32 to secure the win.LeBron James (33/6/5) and Kevin Love (18/10/3) led the way for the Cavs. LeBron scored 23 of his 33 points in the fourth, his highest-scoring fourth quarter ever at home.
76ers (10-7) 101; Trail Blazers (10-8) 81
The four Blazers starters not named Damian Lillard (30/3/2) combined for just 22 points on 8-of-32 shooting. As a team, Portland shot just 33.7 percent, including 7-of-26 (26.9 percent) from three. They also had more turnovers (17) than assists (14). The dynamic duo of Joel Embiid (28/12/1) and Ben Simmons (16/8/9) continued their recent dominance in the victory for the Sixers.
Clippers (6-11) 116; Hawks (3-15) 103
Blake Griffin (26/10/10) had his best game of the season, recording a triple-double in the victory. Wesley Johnson (24/1/1) went 6-for-7 from three and Lou Williams (20/1/8) had 20 points in his first start of the season. As a whole, Los Angeles’ starting five accounted for 102 of their 116 points. Dennis Schroder (19/3/7) led Atlanta in scoring while rookie John Collins (14/10/3) posted a double-double.
Knicks (10-7) 108; Raptors (11-6) 100
The Knicks erased an 11-point halftime deficit with a ridiculous third quarter in which they outscored the Raptors 41-10 and had a 28-0 run at one point. Kyle Lowry (25/10/5) and DeMar DeRozan (18/6/4) led Toronto in scoring, but no other Raptor scored more than 11 points.Tim Hardaway Jr. (38/6/7) set a career-high in points and Kristaps Porzingis (22/12/1) had a double-double for the Knicks in the important victory.
Heat (8-9) 104; Celtics (16-3) 98
The streak is finally over. After 36 days and 16-straight wins, Boston finally lost a game. While the Celtics had a fourth-quarter surge, outscoring Miami 35-25 in the fourth, they couldn’t pull off the miraculous comeback. The backcourt of Goran Dragic (27/5/4) and Dion Waiters (26/2/6) surprisingly dominated for the Heat in front of their home fans. As a whole, Miami led the rebounding battle 48-to-37 and shot 49.4 percent from the field, compared to Boston’s 41.7 percent.
Rockets (14-4) 125; Nuggets (10-8) 95
This game was over at halftime, as the Rockets held a 75-40 lead. The trio of James Harden (21/8/9), Chris Paul (23/2/12) and Trevor Ariza (25/2/0) accounted for 69 points on 23-for-37 shooting in the victory. Houston shot 54.9 percent for the game and knocked down 18-of-41 threes (43.9 percent) and dished out 30 assists while playing without both Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson due to minor injuries. Will Barton (20/6/3) led the Nuggets in scoring in the loss.
Mavericks (4-15) 95; Grizzlies (7-10) 94
Harrison Barnes (22/9/1) made a ridiculous three-point shot at the buzzer to win the game for the Mavs. Dallas erased a 17-point deficit that they had at halftime to complete the comeback. Tyreke Evans (18/9/7) led Memphis in scoring and Marc Gasol (14/10/4) had a double-double as the team struggled offensively without point guard Mike Conley.
Timberwolves (11-7) 124; Magic (8-10) 118
The Magic made this one interesting in the fourth quarter, outscoring the T-Wolves 38-18, but in the end, Orlando couldn’t pull off the comeback. Minnesota’s starters accounted for 110 of their 124 points as Jimmy Butler (26/3/3), Taj Gibson (24/9/2), Jeff Teague (22/3/11) and Andrew Wiggins (20/6/2) all scored 20 or more points. Aaron Gordon (26/9/3) and Terrance Ross (22/6/1) led Orlando in the losing effort.
Pelicans (10-8) 107; Spurs (11-7) 90
Per usual, Anthony Davis (29/11/4) and DeMarcus Cousins (24/15/3) led the Pelicans. Shockingly, New Orleans outscored San Antonio 68-30 in the second and third quarters combined to get ahead to a huge lead. LaMarcus Aldridge (16/4/1) led the Spurs in scoring and the team shot just 39.8 percent from the field.
Thunder (8-9) 108; Warriors (13-5) 91
The must-watch game of the night wasn’t very close, as the Thunder dominated from start to finish. Russell Westbrook (34/10/9) was one assist shy of a triple-double and the duo of Carmelo Anthony (22/5/1) and Paul George (20/11/1) also showed up and had productive games. Stephen Curry (24/5/6) and Kevin Durant (21/5/2) led the Warriors, but Klay Thompson (9/4/2) and Draymond Green (4/4/6) combined for just 13 points on 4-of-18 shooting. It was the first time that the Thunder beat the Warriors since KD left town.
Bucks (9-8) 113; Suns (7-12) 107
Playing without Giannis Antetokounmpo due to a minor injury, the Bucks relied heavily on Khris Middleton (40/9/3) and Eric Bledsoe (30/6/7), who combined to shoot 25-for-52 in the overtime victory. Milwaukee’s bench accounted for just eight points on 3-of-15 shooting, but it didn’t matter in the end. It was, of course, a revenge game for Bledsoe, who was traded earlier this season after an ugly battle with the Suns organization. It was also a revenge game for Suns center Greg Monroe (22/15/1) and he dominated off the bench. Devin Booker (23/4/4) and TJ Warren (20/11/1) chipped in with solid performances for Phoenix.
Jazz (8-11) 110; Bulls (3-13) 80
Utah outscored Chicago 55-34 in the second half to secure the win. No Bull scored over 15 points and starters Lauri Markkanen (3/7/0) and Denzel Valentine (2/3/4) struggled badly, going 2-for-13 combined in the ugly loss. Derrick Favors (23/7/1) was dominant on the inside for Utah.
Kings (5-13) 113; Lakers (8-11) 102
Sacramento relied on Zach Randolph (22/7/7) and Willie Cauley-Stein (26/6/1) in this one and the Kings shot the ball well as a whole, going 55.3 percent from the floor. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (20/1/3) led the Lakers in scoring while rookie Lonzo Ball (11/7/11) posted a double-double in the losing effort. Both teams shot the ball well from beyond the arc, as Sacramento went 10-for-21 (47.6 percent) and LA went 15-for-29 (51.7 percent).