Magic (12-24) 102; Pistons (19-15) 89
The Magic outscored the Pistons 52-39 in the second half to capture the home victory. Despite strong individual outputs by Andre Drummond (17/18/5), Ish Smith (18/7/5) and Tobias Harris (21/3/2), the Pistons received just 12 bench points on 3-of-22 shooting. Meanwhile, Elfrid Payton (19/8/8), Evan Fournier (17/3/5), Marreese Speights (16/5/1), Aaron Gordon (14/7/2) and Bismack Biyombo (12/13/0) all scored in double-figures for Orlando, who shot 11-of-26 from three-point range in the victory. The Magic also went a perfect 17-for-17 from the free throw line. Detroit went 9-of-23 from three-point range and went 10-of-14 from the charity stripe.
Bucks (18-15) 102; Timberwolves (22-14) 96
Eric Bledsoe (26/3/6) led Milwaukee in scoring and went 8-for-8 from the free throw line in the victory. His teammate Giannis Antetokounmpo (22/10/3) had a double-double and went 11-for-20 from the floor. The Bucks shot 54.7 percent from the floor and outscored the T-Wolves 27-12 in the fourth quarter to complete the comeback. Karl-Anthony Towns (22/5/4), Andrew Wiggins (21/3/1) and Jimmy Butler (20/5/7) combined for 63 points on 21-for-42 shooting, including 9-of-20 from three-point range in the loss.
Spurs (25-11) 119; Knicks (17-18) 107
The starting frontcourt duo of LaMarcus Aldridge (25/5/4) and Pau Gasol (17/11/7) dominated for the Spurs, accounting for 42 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists. San Antonio shot 51.3 percent in the win and converted 28-of-39 free throw attempts. With 28 assists and just nine turnovers, the Spurs were very efficient on the offensive end. Oddly enough, the Knicks were better in that regard, dishing out 31 assists and nine turnovers, but they shot 45.6 percent for the game and couldn’t mount the late comeback. Michael Beasley (23/12/4) led New York in scoring off the bench.
Celtics (29-10) 99; Rockets (25-8) 98
In perhaps the most insane basketball game of the entire year, the Celtics erased a 24-point second-half deficit in front of their home fans. Stunning James Harden (34/6/10) and the surging Rockets, Celtics guard Marcus Smart (13/6/5) forced two Harden offensive fouls in the closing seconds to secure the seemingly-impossible win. Led by Kyrie Irving (26/4/2) and Jayson Tatum (195/1), the Celtics outscored the Rockets 61-36 in the second half. The Rockets shot just 37.5 percent for the game, including a 14-for-43 (32.6 percent) showing from beyond the arc.
Trail Blazers (18-16) 114; 76ers (15-19) 110
With Damian Lillard sitting out with a minor injury, CJ McCollum (34/7/4) stepped up, going 14-for-14 from the free throw line and 9-of-20 from the field. Shabazz Napier (23/3/3) and Jusuf Nurkic (21/12/1) also had strong individual nights. The Blazers astoundingly went 36-for-47 from the free throw line while the Sixers went just 10-for-14. Joel Embiid (29/9/4) went 6-of-12 from three-point range while teammates Dario Saric (25/9/4) went 5-for-6 and J.J. Redick (19/1/2) went 4-for-9 from deep in the loss. The 76ers had 28 assists compared to Portland’s 15, but couldn’t stop the Blazers in the fourth, as they outscored Philly 42-25 to complete the comeback.