NBA Daily Roundup
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NBA DAILY FOR WED, MAR. 12
Recaps of NBA games played Tuesday
Andrew Bynum's return helps get Pacers back on track
The AP reports: INDIANAPOLIS -- Andrew Bynum provided the energy boost Indiana needed early. David West delivered all the big shots late.
Together, the Pacers' tag-team inside tandem simply overpowered the Celtics.
West scored 24 points Tuesday while Bynum finished with eight points and 10 rebounds in 16 minutes, helping the Pacers pull away from Boston, 94-83.
"He (West) is our backbone. He's the one that lifts us and he's our best late-game playmaker and shot maker," Paul George said. "We always rely on David and he always digs us out of holes." ... Jared Sullinger led Boston with 17 points and nine rebounds, Kris Humphries added 15 points, but it wasn't enough to win a third straight as the Celtics lost more ground in their chase to make the playoffs.
Pistons clamp down on Kings in 99-89 win
The AP reports: AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- If the Detroit Pistons had played defense like this all season, their chances of making the playoffs might not look so remote.
Josh Smith scored 24 points and Rodney Stuckey added 23, and the Pistons held Sacramento to 11 points in the third quarter in a 99-89 victory over the Kings on Tuesday night.
"I thought our bigs were tremendous in pick-and-roll tonight," Detroit interim coach John Loyer said. "But it was a team effort. The guys on the ball did a good job. We didn't give them easy looks."
Andre Drummond added 15 points and eight rebounds for Detroit, outscoring DeMarcus Cousins in a matchup of two of the NBA's top young big men. Cousins had 13 points and 14 rebounds but shot 5 of 15 from the field... Rudy Gay scored 20 points and Isaiah Thomas added 19 points and eight assists for Sacramento.
Manu Ginobili helps Spurs ease past Bulls for 7th straight win
The AP reports: CHICAGO -- It didn't take long for the San Antonio Spurs to show the Chicago Bulls why they're leading the NBA.
Manu Ginobili scored 22 points and Tony Parker had 20 points and nine assists, and the Spurs beat the Bulls 104-96 Tuesday night for their seventh straight win and 10th in their last 11.
San Antonio jumped out to a big advantage early, taking a 38-14 lead after one quarter and going up 61-33 into halftime. That helped them improve to 24-6 on the road, the NBA's best mark away from home.
Kawhi Leonard added 16 and nine rebounds for the Spurs (47-16), who maintained their hold on the NBA's best record. With the win they stayed a half-game ahead of Oklahoma City and Indiana, who both won... Parker had 18 at halftime and went 8 for 15 from the field for a team that made 51 percent overall against one of the NBA's best defensive clubs. Ginobili was 9 of 11.
Grizzlies strengthen hold on final Western Conference playoff berth
The AP reports: MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Memphis Grizzlies are headed on a three-game road trip with a better grip on the Western Conference's final playoff spot.
Marc Gasol scored 19 points, Zach Randolph added 18 points and 12 rebounds as the Grizzlies defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 109-99 on Tuesday night.
The victory kept Memphis in the conference's eighth spot with a one-game edge over the idle Phoenix Suns. But players are not satisfied with the current position... Mike Conley added 17 points and Lee finished with 16. Mike Miller had 14 for Memphis, which won its third straight.
Damian Lillard led the Trail Blazers with 32 points on 8-of-21 shooting from the field, but connecting on 12 of 13 free throws, including six in the fourth quarter when he was fouled on a pair of 3-point attempts. LaMarcus Aldridge had 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Nicolas Batum contributed 15 points for Portland, which lost its third straight, matching its longest skid of the season.
Timberwolves outlast Bucks for 112-101 victory
The AP reports: MINNEAPOLIS -- The shots were clanking and the frustration was mounting for J.J. Barea during a three-game shooting slump that was getting him booed off his home court with regularity.
With the lowly Milwaukee Bucks hitting everything in sight, Minnesota coach Rick Adelman gave Barea some time with the Ricky Rubio in the same backcourt, and the throwback lineup helped jumpstart Barea and the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Kevin Love had 27 points, 10 rebounds and six assists and Barea scored 19 points to lift the Timberwolves to a 112-101 victory over the Bucks on Tuesday night.
After going 5 for his previous 25, Barea hit seven of 10 shots to help wake up the sluggish Wolves and Kevin Martin scored 26 points to help them finish a four-game homestand at 2-2... Brandon Knight scored 21 points for the Bucks (13-51), who led at halftime and were looking for their first set of back-to-back victories this season. But after scoring 61 points in the first half and leading by 11 points in the second quarter, the Bucks were outscored 19-4 to start the fourth quarter.
Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook help Thunder get best of Rockets
The AP reports: OKLAHOMA CITY -- Russell Westbrook wouldn't say he wanted payback against Patrick Beverley.
His play said otherwise.
During last year's playoffs, Beverley dived for the ball and ran into Westbrook's right knee as a timeout was being called, causing the injury that ended Westbrook's season and cost him about half of this season. In their first meeting since the incident, Westbrook had 24 points, seven assists and four steals to help the Oklahoma City Thunder defeat the Houston Rockets 106-98 on Tuesday night.
Beverley finished with two points and five fouls in 25 minutes while being booed by a spirited crowd. His matchup with Westbrook highlighted a game filled with shoving, technical fouls, talking and even a flagrant foul... Durant scored 42 points and Serge Ibaka had 12 points, 16 rebounds and four blocks for the Thunder, who had lost two straight.
Chandler Parsons scored 19 and Dwight Howard had nine points and 10 rebounds for the Rockets. Houston had won five straight, including victories over Miami, Indiana and Portland.
Warriors continue roll with rout of Mavericks
The AP reports: OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Golden State Warriors have created space behind them in the crowded Western Conference standings and are showing no signs of slowing down their surge up the standings.
Jordan Crawford scored 19 points, Andrew Bogut had 15 points and 10 rebounds and the Warriors routed the Dallas Mavericks 108-85 on Tuesday night for their fifth straight win.
Golden State (41-24) is sixth in the West, three games ahead of Dallas (38-27) and Memphis (37-26). The Warriors also are four games behind the Clippers (45-20) in the Pacific Division, with the final meeting between the teams this season looming large in Los Angeles on Wednesday night... Former Warriors fan favorite Monta Ellis scored 15 points, and Dirk Nowitzki had 12 points and six rebounds in a disappointing display by Dallas. The Warriors outshot the Mavericks 51.2 percent to 36.6 percent and outrebounded Dallas 46-40 en route to building a 24-point lead early in the fourth quarter.
NBA DAILY FOR TUE, MAR. 11
Recaps of NBA games played Monday
Jefferson, Walker lead Bobcats past Nuggets 105-98
The AP reports: CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Charlotte Bobcats are getting used to big nights from Al Jefferson and Kemba Walker.
Now, they have Gary Neal to throw into the offensive mix.
The newly acquired Neal came off the bench and scored 19 points as the surging Bobcats won their seventh home game in a row, defeating the Denver Nuggets 105-98 on Monday night.
Jefferson led all scorers with 26 points and Walker scored 24, but it was Neal's work off the bench that may have made the biggest difference with Gerald Henderson out with a strained right calf muscle... Josh McRoberts added 15 points for Charlotte, including a key 3-pointer with 6:15 left at the shot-clock buzzer to extend Charlotte's lead to 90-82 after Denver had cut it to five.
Denver also got 15 points from Kenneth Faried, 16 from Aaron Brooks, and 11 points and a team-high 10 rebounds from J.J. Hickson.
Williams, Livingston lead Nets past Raptors
The AP reports: NEW YORK -- Plagued by foul trouble in the first three quarters, Paul Pierce came up big down the stretch for the Brooklyn Nets.
Deron Williams and Shaun Livingston each scored 18 points and an ailing Pierce hit a key late 3-pointer to lead the Brooklyn Nets to a 101-97 victory over the Atlantic Division-leading Toronto Raptors on Monday night.
Pierce scored 10 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter and Joe Johnson added 14 for the Nets, who won their season-high eighth straight at home. Brooklyn moved three games behind Toronto in the Atlantic... Kyle Lowry scored 21 points to lead Toronto, which had won three straight and nine of its previous 11. Tyler Hansbrough and Amir Johnson added 16 points each.
Dwyane Wade carries Heat late as Miami handles Washington
The AP reports: MIAMI -- LeBron James set the tone pregame. Dwyane Wade took over in the fourth quarter.
And the Miami Heat got a win they desperately wanted.
Wade scored 13 of his 22 points in the final period and led a critical 12-0 run down the stretch, James led all scorers with 23 points and the Heat clinched a playoff spot by beating the Washington Wizards 99-90 on Monday night to snap a three-game losing streak... Chris Bosh scored 22 for the Heat (44-17), who moved within one game of Indiana (46-17) in the race for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference and 1 1/2 games behind San Antonio (46-16) for the league's best record. Ray Allen added 13 for Miami, which was coming off a trip where it lost at Houston, San Antonio and Chicago, the last of those coming in a late collapse on Sunday... Bradley Beal scored 18 points, Martell Webster added 17 and Drew Gooden scored 15 for the Wizards. Marcin Gortat finished with 14 points and a career-high-tying 18 rebounds -- 10 of them in the first quarter alone.
Knicks spread scoring load, send 76ers to 17th straight loss
The AP reports: NEW YORK -- Carmelo Anthony had plenty of help against the struggling Philadelphia 76ers.
Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 28 points as the New York Knicks had four players score 20 or more points and defeated Philadelphia 123-110 on Monday night, sending the 76ers to their 17th straight loss.
Amar'e Stoudemire added 23 points to tie a season high, and Anthony and J.R. Smith each scored 22 as the Knicks won their fourth game in a row and fell just short of their season-high points total... Michael Carter-Williams recorded a triple-double with 23 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists for Philadelphia, mired in its longest skid since the 1972-73 season.
Brandon Knight leads Bucks' 18-point rally past visiting Magic
The AP reports: MILWAUKEE -- For about a three-minute stretch of the second half, Milwaukee's Brandon Knight just could not be stopped.
A quick first step to get to the hoop for a layup. A rousing dunk on the break off a high outlet pass saved by teammate Ramon Sessions. A back-breaking 3 from the wing.
Knight scored 11 straight points during a stretch between the third and fourth quarters to help the Bucks erase an 18-point deficit and defeat the Orlando Magic 105-98 on Monday night... Maurice Harkless had 14 points to lead seven players in double figures Orlando, which got guard Victor Oladipo back after the rookie missed two games with left ankle soreness. Oladipo finished with 12 on 5-of-6 shooting off the bench.
The Magic just had no answer for Knight.
Kyle Korver, Paul Millsap help Hawks snap slide at 6 losses
The AP reports: SALT LAKE CITY -- Kyle Korver and Paul Millsap made themselves right at home in their return to Utah.
Just when Atlanta seemed almost incapable of winning a road game, Korver and Millsap broke the hearts of the fans that cheered them for years to finally help the Hawks break through.
Korver scored 26 points and Millsap added 23 against their former team as the Hawks outlasted the Utah Jazz 112-110 on Monday night to snap a six-game losing streak... Jeff Teague had 14 points and the Hawks used a late 16-4 run to salvage a win at the end of a gloomy six-game road trip.
Blake Griffin scores 37 before fouling out as Clips turn back Suns
The AP reports: LOS ANGELES -- Blake Griffin is nothing short of a lightning rod -- for teammates, opposing players and referees. He also can play any kind of game required to keep the Los Angeles Clippers near the top of the Western Conference standings.
Griffin scored 22 of his 37 points in the first quarter and made 14 of 16 shots before fouling out, and the Clippers beat the Phoenix Suns 112-105 on Monday night for their eighth straight victory... Things got testy with 5:28 remaining, as Griffin and P.J. Tucker began wrestling on the floor after they jockeyed for position in the paint on a missed 3-point shot by Matt Barnes and Griffin fell on top of Tucker. The two had to be separated, and the game was delayed while referees Bennie Adams, Jason Phillips and Matt Boland examined the video monitor to sort it all out. Tucker was charged with a loose ball foul and then ejected, while Griffin stayed in the game -- until he fouled out with 3:23 remaining.
NBA DAILY FOR MON, MAR. 10
Recaps of NBA games played Sunday
Joakim Noah, Bulls drop Heat in OT; LeBron James held to 17
The AP reports: CHICAGO -- Joakim Noah and Jimmy Butler understand it. The real victory for the Chicago Bulls will come when they're knocking the Miami Heat out of the playoffs, not during the regular season -- no matter how charged the atmosphere is.
Even so, they'll take this.
Noah had 20 points and 12 rebounds, D.J. Augustin scored 22 and the Chicago Bulls beat the Miami Heat 95-88 in overtime Sunday after Butler blocked LeBron James at the end of regulation... Dwyane Wade scored 25 for Miami, but with James struggling again, the Heat dropped their third straight to match their longest losing streak of the season.
James scored 17 points on 8-of-23 shooting and couldn't come through after Miami blew a 12-point lead down the stretch. With a chance to win it at the end of regulation, he got stripped by Butler on a layup attempt.
Lakers overcome Kevin Durant's triple-double, trip up Thunder
The AP reports: LOS ANGELES -- From Jodie Meeks' big day to the final result, this was definitely a surprise.
Meeks scored 24 of his career-high 42 points in the second half, and the Los Angeles Lakers beat Oklahoma City 114-110 on Sunday despite a triple-double by Thunder star Kevin Durant. Pau Gasol added 20 points and 11 rebounds for the injury-ravaged Lakers, who had lost 29 of their previous 37 games. Meeks was 11 of 18 from the field and 14 for 14 at the line while becoming the third player to reach the 30-point mark this season for last-place Los Angeles (22-42)... Durant had 27 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists for his third triple-double this season. Serge Ibaka had 21 points and 15 boards for Oklahoma City.
Davis leads Pelicans past Nuggets, 111-107 in OT
The AP reports: NEW ORLEANS -- With a quick step to his left, Anthony Davis bolted from the man he was supposed to guard and launched himself toward the backboard in time to swat away Ty Lawson's driving layup.
As the crowd erupted, Davis knocked the ball off the glass and back into his hands. With 1:14 to go in overtime, Davis' sixth block also became his 17th rebound. That, along with his 32 points -- which tied a career high -- proved too much for Denver to overcome, and the Pelicans held on for their third straight victory, 111-107 on Sunday night... Tyreke Evans, meanwhile, added 20 points, his fifth straight game with 20 or more.
Kenneth Faried had 22 points and 10 rebounds for Denver, which had won its previous two games and led by as many as 16 in the second quarter.
Aaron Brooks scored 12 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter, nearly rescuing Denver from its collapse.
Rajon Rondo's 18 assists, Jeff Green's 27 points spark Celtics
The AP reports: BOSTON -- The Boston Celtics overcame Detroit's dominance inside by passing the ball precisely and protecting it better than they had all season.
Rajon Rondo had 18 of Boston's season-high 38 assists and the Celtics committed just seven turnovers in a 118-111 win over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday night.
"When one guy has it going as far as passing the ball, it's contagious," said Rondo, who also scored 11 points and didn't turn the ball over. "We scored a bunch of points tonight. We kept on pushing. We played free and just had fun."
Jeff Green scored 27 points, Kris Humphries had 20 points and 11 rebounds and Kelly Olynyk added 18 points off the bench for the Celtics in their second-highest scoring output of the season.
Marcus Thornton scores 27 points, leads Nets past Kings
The AP reports: NEW YORK -- Marcus Thornton has been around the Brooklyn Nets for only two weeks, so he's still trying to learn his new team's playbook.
According to Nets first-year coach Jason Kidd, there are some plays his reserve guard understands pretty well.
"It's called 'shoot it,'" Kidd said.
Thornton did just that on his way to scoring 15 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter against his old team while Joe Johnson added 18 points to help Brooklyn overcame an injury to Paul Pierce in a 104-89 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Sunday night.
Alan Anderson had 11 points and Shaun Livingston and Deron Williams each scored 10 points as the Nets won for the fifth time in six games. Brooklyn's win was its seventh straight at the Barclays Center, matching a season-high set Dec. 27, 2013 to Jan. 24, 2014.
James Harden scores 41 points in Rockets' OT win vs. Blazers
The AP reports: HOUSTON -- Coach Kevin McHale said it first and then player after player echoed his sentiment: Early in the season Houston wouldn't have won the type of game they did Sunday night.
James Harden scored 41 points, Jeremy Lin had 26 and the Rockets rallied for a 118-113 overtime win against the Portland Trail Blazers... LaMarcus Aldridge led the Trail Blazers with 28 points and 12 rebounds, but managed just two points in OT. It's the second straight loss for Portland, following a 103-98 defeat at Dallas on Friday... Dwight Howard added 17 points with 12 rebounds and Parsons had 16 points for Houston. Harden also had 10 rebounds, six assists and six steals.
Kyle Lowry's triple-double lifts surging Raptors past Timberwolves
The AP reports: MINNEAPOLIS -- The Toronto Raptors have had every excuse to give in this season. They've had injuries to key players, turned the roster over significantly with an early season trade and had low expectations after a regime change portended a possible tear down and rebuild.
Kyle Lowry doesn't make excuses. Dwane Casey doesn't make excuses. And the Raptors haven't given an inch while climbing the Eastern Conference ladder.
Lowry had 20 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists for his fourth career triple-double, lifting the Raptors to a 111-104 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday night.
DeMar DeRozan added 25 points and seven rebounds and Steve Novak hit five 3-pointers for the surprising Raptors (35-26), who have won nine of their last 11 games to surge to third place in the East. They are nine games over .500 for the first time since 2006-07.
Mavericks extend Pacers' losing skid to 4 games
The AP reports: DALLAS -- Devin Harris rolled through the lane, hit a layup and pumped his fist when the whistle blew for a foul.
Vince Carter tipped a loose ball three times before emphatically grabbing the rebound, scowling while the play was still going on in a sequence that led to a 3-pointer.
The Dallas Mavericks have shown some fight to answer to their longest losing streak of the season. Now it's time for the Indiana Pacers to do the same. Harris and Monta Ellis scored 20 points apiece and the Mavericks extended Indiana's season-long skid to four games with a 105-94 victory against the Eastern Conference leaders Sunday night.
Stephen Curry, Warriors hold off Suns for 4th straight win
The AP reports: OAKLAND, Calif. -- When Steve Blake checked in at the scorer's table with 5:25 remaining in the third quarter, Stephen Curry shook his head and shouted across the court, asking Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson not to take him out.
Jackson, a self-described "feel coach," changed his plan. He had Blake enter instead for Andre Iguodala, who looked over at Curry and laughed on the way to the bench.
Curry keyed the deciding run later in the third quarter. He finished with 18 points and nine assists on a strained right quad, helping the Warriors hold off the Phoenix Suns 113-107 on Sunday night for their fourth straight win... David Lee added 26 points and nine rebounds and Klay Thompson scored 22 points for the Warriors, who built an 18-point lead early in the fourth quarter before the Suns surged back.
NBA DAILY FOR SUN, MAR. 9
Recaps of NBA games played Friday
Knicks handle Cavaliers behind Carmelo Anthony's 26
The AP reports: CLEVELAND -- On a night of celebration, there were two surprising, strange sights: LeBron James back on Cleveland's bench. The Knicks back in the NBA playoff chase.
Carmelo Anthony shook off a congested chest and a horrid shooting start to score 26 points, leading New York to its third straight victory, 107-97 over Cleveland on a Saturday when James was briefly reunited with the Cavaliers.
Amare Stoudemire added 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Knicks, whose winning streak began after a seven-game slide and amid reports Phil Jackson may accept a job in New York's front office.
Anthony missed his first six shots, but found his touch in time to help the Knicks in their late-season run at the playoffs. J.R. Smith scored 17 and Tyson Chandler added 15 points and 11 boards for New York, which came in 3 1/2 games out of the final postseason spot in the Eastern Conference... Kyrie Irving had 30 points, eight assists and eight rebounds for the Cavs, who retired center Zydrunas Ilgauskas' No. 11 jersey at halftime. Spencer Hawes had 21 points for Cleveland, which dropped to 0-4 in March.
Jazz end skid, send 76ers to 16th straight loss
The AP reports: PHILADELPHIA -- The Utah Jazz finally found a way to win on their six-game road trip: Play a team that can't win anywhere.
Gordon Hayward scored 22 points, Alec Burks added 19 and the Jazz beat Philadelphia 104-92 on Saturday night, sending the reeling 76ers to their 16th consecutive loss.
"It's a win, man," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. "The young guys got a chance to finish a game that was close."
Derrick Favors contributed 15 points and 14 rebounds, Enes Kanter had 13 points and 10 boards, and Diante Garrett scored 11 points for the Jazz (22-41), who snapped a five-game losing streak and completed a six-game road trip at 1-5... Tony Wroten scored a career-high 30 points for the Sixers (15-47), who hadn't dropped 16 in a row since a franchise-worst 20 straight losses during the 1972-73 season, when they finished 9-73. The Sixers also lost their franchise-worst 13th straight home game.
Grizzlies pull away in second half, beat Bobcats
The AP reports: MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Mike Conley scored 20 points, Zach Randolph added 16 and the Memphis Grizzlies turned up their offense in the second half to beat the Charlotte Bobcats 111-89 on Saturday night.
Marc Gasol added 14 points and nine rebounds, while Kosta Koufos had 11 of his 12 points in the fourth quarter and grabbed 10 boards.
Al Jefferson scored 17 for Charlotte, shooting just 7 of 17 from the field. Chris Douglas-Roberts finished with 15 points, his fourth straight game in double figures, but Kemba Walker had just 11 -- all in the first half -- on 3-of-13 shooting. Charlotte shot 40 percent for the game.
Spurs win 6th straight on backs of Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili
The AP reports: SAN ANTONIO -- Tony Parker scored 30 points, Manu Ginobili added 24 and the San Antonio Spurs overcame a lethargic performance to beat the Orlando Magic 121-112 on Saturday night.
Kawhi Leonard added 17 points, Tiago Splitter scored 14, Danny Green 12 and Tim Duncan had 11 points and 10 rebounds as the Spurs (46-16) extended their winning streak to six games.
Tobias Harris scored 23 points, Nikola Vucevic added 19 points and 13 rebounds, and Arron Afflalo had 17 points for Orlando (19-45). Maurice Harkless added 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Magic, who were swept in the season series.
Beal scores 23 in Wizards 114-107 win over Bucks
The AP reports: MILWAUKEE -- Bradley Beal scored 12 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter, helping the Washington Wizards avoid blowing a 28-point lead and beat the Milwaukee Bucks 114-107 on Saturday night.
Washington opened a 71-43 lead in the second quarter, but the Bucks cut the deficit to 104-101 on a pair of free throws by Ersan Ilyasova with 2:13 to go.
Beal then scored on a driving layup and hit a baseline 3-pointer to give the Wizards a 109-101 lead with 2:01 left. Washington won for the eighth time in nine games.
John Wall, Washington's leading scorer at 19.9 points per game, was held to nine points and missed 10 of 14 shots. Trevor Ariza scored 17 of his 26 points in the first quarter.
Brandon Knight scored 25 points for Milwaukee (12-50), the first NBA team to lose 50 games this season. The Bucks have lost seven of nine games.
Hawks vs Clippers
LOS ANGELES -- For the Clippers, Blake Griffin shot 11-of-19 for 27 points, eight rebounds and five assists -- though he did commit seven turnovers. Chris Paul had 19 points and 10 assists. Matt Barnes scored 17, though he did have four turnovers. DeAndre Jordan shot 6-of-8 for 13 points and 12 rebounds. In the loss for the Hawks, small forward DeMarre Carroll had 19 points but not much else, Kyle Korver shot 6-of-7 and 3-of-3 from three-point range for 17 points and six assists, center Pero Antic scored 16, and Paul Millsap scored 14, plus he somehow snatched five steals.
NBA DAILY FOR SAT, MAR. 8
Recaps of NBA games played Friday
Marc Gasol key as Grizzlies shut down Bulls
The AP reports: CHICAGO -- From the tough defense to the rugged rebounding and passing big men, the Memphis Grizzlies and Chicago Bulls are practically mirror images.
Give this one to Marc Gasol and the Grizzlies, who clamped down on Joakim Noah and the Bulls in the final minutes.
Gasol had 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Memphis used its stout defense to beat Chicago 85-77 Friday night.
"Our defense was pretty steady," Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger said. "Thirty-nine in the first half, 38 in the second half. That was just solid for us. We kept them off the glass and they're a good offensive rebounding team. We contested shots and we pressured guys."
Jefferson, Walker lead Bobcats past Cavs 101-92
The AP reports: CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- When Michael Jordan speaks, people still listen.
The Charlotte Bobcats owner praised his team during a pregame locker room speech Friday night, but warned his players it's only going to get tougher from here on out.
Jordan spoke directly about the Bobcats potentially making the playoffs -- something that seemed inconceivable five months ago for a team that was 7-59 and 21-61 the previous two seasons... Al Jefferson scored 28 points, Kemba Walker had 20 points and 14 assists, and the Bobcats (29-33) defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 101-92 for their sixth straight win at home, surpassing their win total from the previous two seasons combined.
Ross leads Raptors past Kings, Gay 99-87
The AP reports: TORONTO -- The game marked the return of Rudy Gay, but the night belonged to the Toronto Raptors.
Terrence Ross scored 18 points to lead the Raptors to a 99-87 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Friday night, spoiling Gay's return to Toronto.
Gay had 15 points for the Kings, who acquired him in a seven-player deal on Dec. 9. The game marked Gay's first trip back since he was shipped with Aaron Gray and Quincy Acy to Sacramento for Greivis Vasquez, Patrick Patterson, John Salmons and Chuck Hayes.
Rajon Rondo, Celtics dominate, halt Nets' win streak
The AP reports: BOSTON -- Jared Sullinger was at a loss to explain how his Boston Celtics could win while committing a season-high 28 turnovers.
"I honestly don't know," he said.
Try this: 20 points, nine assists and seven rebounds by Rajon Rondo, a 62-37 rebounding advantage by the Celtics and a horrible 4-for-30 shooting performance on 3-pointers by the Nets.
The result was a 91-84 victory in which Brooklyn never led and had its four-game winning streak stopped Friday night.
Carmelo Anthony, Knicks cruise to easy win over Jazz
The AP reports: NEW YORK -- There's little margin for error, and the New York Knicks know it.
They need a big finish to the regular season, and after the way they've started the last two games, maybe they have one in them.
Carmelo Anthony scored 18 of his 29 points in the first quarter, sending the Knicks to a rare easy night in a 108-81 victory over the Utah Jazz on Friday... Anthony added a season-high eight assists while playing just three quarters of a game that wasn't competitive for long after the opening tip. J.R. Smith had 17 points and Tyson Chandler finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Knicks, who led by as many as 32.
Timberwolves beat Pistons 114-101
The AP reports: MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Timberwolves can't afford any more lazy starts like the one that got them beat two nights ago. They can't afford any more losses to teams with inferior records. Their one last, desperate playoff push begins right now.
The Detroit Pistons are in the same boat. But they sure aren't playing like it.
Kevin Love had 28 points, 14 rebounds and five assists, and the Timberwolves led by 31 points in the third quarter en route to a 114-101 victory over the Pistons on Friday night.
Kevin Martin scored 24 points and Ricky Rubio added 11 points, nine assists and eight rebounds for the Timberwolves, who trail the Dallas Mavericks by five games for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West with 21 games to go.
Davis leads Pelicans over Bucks 112-104
The AP reports: NEW ORLEANS -- Anthony Davis has one game left to show why he's the best player under 21 years old in the NBA.
For the past two games, he's looked rather good for any age, and has pulled the Pelicans out of a slump.
Davis had 29 points and 14 rebounds and New Orleans defeated Milwaukee 112-104 on Friday night.
Tyreke Evans scored 25 points for the Pelicans, who've won two straight after losing their previous eight games.
Mavs rally past Blazers after losing 30-point lead
The AP reports: DALLAS -- Dirk Nowitzki says he wasn't thinking about the last time the Dallas Mavericks blew a 30-point lead and lost.
The biggest collapse in franchise history was a long time ago, and he was too busy trying to make sure it didn't happen again.
Nowitzki scored 22 points, Devin Harris hit the go-ahead shot in the final minute and the Mavericks rallied in the fourth quarter after blowing their huge first-half lead, beating the Portland Trail Blazers 103-98 Friday night.
Kenneth Faried's 32 key Nuggets' win over reeling Lakers
The AP reports: DENVER -- Reflecting on his game during a monthlong recovery from a broken left rib has helped Ty Lawson come back strong.
Kenneth Faried scored a career-high 32 points, Lawson had 30 in his third game back from the injury and the Denver Nuggets beat the skidding Los Angeles Lakers 134-126 on Friday night.
"When you sit out, you watch a lot of tape from a lot of games and I could see things opening up or things I wasn't taking," said Lawson, averaging 27 points and 11.6 assists since his return. "It's been helping me shooting the 3s, and making them, and it's opened up the rest of my game, the mid-range shots, getting to the basket and getting more assists."
Lawson shot 5 of 7 on 3-pointers and had 17 assists, matching his career high. Faried grabbed 13 rebounds and Wilson Chandler scored 19 points. Timofey Mozgov and Evan Fournier added 13 points apiece for the Nuggets, who swept the three-game season series.
James Harden, Rockets turn on burners in 3rd to rout Pacers
The AP reports: HOUSTON -- James Harden and the Rockets were determined to make up for their most lopsided loss of the season when they got a second shot at Indiana on Friday night.
Not only did Houston do that, but it handed the Eastern Conference-leading Pacers their biggest defeat in the process.
Harden had 28 points and the Rockets used a huge third quarter to turn a close game into a blowout in a 112-86 win over the Pacers... David West had 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Pacers, losers of three straight for the first time this season.
Hawks no problem for David Lee, Warriors in return home
The AP reports: OAKLAND, Calif. -- Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson asked his players a simple question during Friday's morning shootaround: How many of them had ever been on a team 14 games over .500?
Only veterans Jermaine O'Neal, Steve Blake and Andre Iguodala raised their hands.
With so many home games remaining, the opportunity in front of the Warriors is rare. Golden State took another step forward Friday night by easing past the Atlanta Hawks 111-97 for its third straight win... David Lee had 18 points and six rebounds, and O'Neal came off the bench to add 17 points and eight rebounds to lift the Warriors (39-24) a season-high 15 games over .500 with a relatively smooth win.
Iguodala and Stephen Curry each scored 13 points to help Golden State build a 66-52 halftime lead and go ahead by 20 in the fourth quarter. The Warriors, fresh off a 4-2 road trip, are 8-2 since the All-Star break and beginning to look like the team that roared to the second-round of the playoffs last year.
NBA DAILY FOR FRI, MAR. 7
Recaps of NBA games played Thursday
Tim Duncan leads Spurs past Heat with 23 points, 11 boards
The AP reports: SAN ANTONIO -- Led by a no-frills coach, the San Antonio Spurs have long stated the regular season means little to them.
Yet even normally stoic San Antonio couldn't hide its emotion on the court, and the satisfaction afterward, of toppling the two-time defending champion Miami Heat.
Tim Duncan had 23 points and 11 rebounds, and the Spurs never trailed against the Heat, weathering a sluggish third quarter for an intense 111-87 victory Thursday... Tony Parker scored 17 points, including 14 in a wild first half, Boris Diaw added 16 and Kawhi Leonard had 11 for the Spurs (45-16), which has won five straight.
Chris Bosh had 24 points, LeBron James added 19, Dwyane Wade had 16 and Michael Beasley 11 for Miami (43-16).
James, who ditched the protective mask he was wearing early in the first half, was hounded by Leonard into shooting 6 for 18.
Gerald Green's career-best 41 help Suns race by Thunder
The AP reports: PHOENIX -- Gerald Green came to the NBA straight from high school with an abundance of raw talent that never translated into a big-time pro career.
Then came his offseason trade to Phoenix -- his seventh team in seven seasons -- and he seems finally to have found a home.
On Thursday night, especially in one remarkable quarter, Green was as good as it gets against one of the best teams in the NBA.
He scored 25 of his career-high 41 points in the third quarter and the Suns erased a 16-point deficit to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 128-122... Markieff Morris added 24 points, including two free throws with 24.4 seconds to play. Goran Dragic scored 22, including six of the Suns' final 12 points after Oklahoma City led 118-116.
Russell Westbrook scored a season-high 36 for the Thunder, who would have pulled a half-game ahead of Indiana for the NBA's best record with a victory. Kevin Durant added 34.
Clips hand Lakers another blowout in sixth win in past seven meetings
The AP reports: LOS ANGELES -- The Lakers were the designated home team this time. That meant the Clippers had to put up with looking at all those championship banners and retired numbers that their co-tenant at the Staples Center has had hanging on the wall since the arena opened 15 seasons ago -- and weren't able to cover them up with banners of their own players.
Perhaps seeing all those reminders of the Lakers' decades of success will be an inspiration to the Clippers about 6½ weeks from now, when they head into the playoffs without their intracity rivals -- who are in danger of finishing with their worst record since moving to L.A. from Minneapolis in 1959.
Blake Griffin had 20 points and 11 rebounds during three thunderous quarters by the Clippers, who routed the Lakers 142-94 Thursday night to extend their winning streak to a season-best six games. It was the most lopsided victory ever for the Clippers' franchise and the most one-sided loss in Lakers history... Darren Collison had a team-high 24 points while starting at shooting guard for the injured Jamal Crawford. Paul added 13 points and 11 assists for the Clippers, who have won the teams' past two meetings by a combined 84 points.
The previous record for worst loss by a Lakers squad was set on Jan. 9, 1995, when they fell 129-83 at Portland. The previous worst home loss was on Feb. 9, 1960, when Boston beat them 129-90.
ESPN.com reports: Clippers: 48-point win over the Lakers * Clippers largest win ever (45 vs 76ers on Feb. 9, 2014) * Clippers largest win vs Lakers (36 on Jan. 10, 2014) * Clippers most points ever scored vs Lakers (138 on Nov. 27, 1981) * Lakers: largest loss ever (46-point loss at Portland on Jan. 9, 1995) * Clippers: most points ever scored on the road (140-135 OT win at Knicks on March 25, 2009) * Clippers: most points scored since March 13, 1998 (152-120 win vs Raptors)
ESPN.com reports: The Clippers outscored the Lakers 44-13 in the second quarter, then continued the onslaught and outscored them by 16 in the third. Meanwhile, every Clipper starter finished with a plus/minus better than 30.
NBA DAILY FOR THU, MAR. 6
Recaps of NBA games played Wednesday
Al Jefferson powers Bobcats' upset of Pacers
The AP reports: CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Al Jefferson had a pretty good inkling it was Charlotte's night when he banked in a 31-footer from well beyond the top of the key to beat the shot clock midway through the fourth quarter.
"I didn't call the bank, but I trusted my right hand," Jefferson said with a laugh.
Jefferson scored 34 points and the Bobcats stunned NBA-leading Indiana 109-87 Wednesday night, handing the Pacers just their second two-game skid of the season. Jefferson was 16 of 25 from the field and had eight rebounds for the Bobcats (28-33), who won their fifth straight at home to equal their combined win total from the previous two seasons... Kemba Walker added 19 points and nine assists for the Bobcats, who have the seventh-best record in the Eastern Conference.
Rockets race past Magic behind James Harden's 31 points
The AP reports: ORLANDO, Fla. -- Dwight Howard received the worst reception of his career last season when he made his initial return to the city that was his NBA home for eight seasons.
This time, for his second trip, he was wearing yet another jersey and met by a similarly hostile crowd. But once again, there was no pity taken on his former team.
James Harden scored 31 points, including 25 in the second half, and the Houston Rockets dug out of a double-digit, first-half hole to beat the Orlando Magic 101-89 on Wednesday night.
Howard added 19 points and 14 rebounds as the Rockets dominated inside, outscoring the Magic 58-26 in the paint... Arron Afflalo led the Magic with 18 points. The Magic dropped to 0-2 this season against the Rockets.
Ariza scores 26 points; Wizards beat Jazz 104-91
The AP reports: WASHINGTON -- Drew Gooden scored his first points of the season and had his first double-digit game since April 2012. Andre Miller tallied his most assists since December. Al Harrington played his most minutes since November.
The Washington Wizards turned to the thirty-something brigade Wednesday night in their 104-91 win over the Utah Jazz. Thirty-two-year-old Gooden, 37-year-old Miller and 34-year-old Harrington -- who've all been away from the game for long stretches until recently -- were a strong supporting cast that padded a lead in the second quarter and helped hold onto it in the fourth... Trevor Ariza scored 26 points, Bradley Beal added 22, John Wall had 14 points and 10 assists, and Marcin Gortat had 16 points and nine rebounds for the Wizards, who have won seven of eight.
Thompson, Lee lead Warriors over Celtics 108-88
The AP reports: BOSTON -- Klay Thompson and David Lee scored 18 points each and the Golden State Warriors went a season-high 14 games over .500 with a 108-88 romp over the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night.
The Warriors scored the first six points, led 12-2 with just over five minutes gone and stayed ahead by at least 20 points throughout the second half.
Golden State had an easy time against one of the NBA's worst teams one night after beating one of the best. Thompson's 12-foot turnaround with 0.6 seconds left had given the Warriors a 98-96 win at the Indiana Pacers, the league's top team at home.
Former Celtic Jordan Crawford had 15 points and Stephen Curry added 14 for the Warriors (38-24), who won for the seventh time in nine games.
Kelly Olynyk scored 19 points for Boston (20-41), which dropped its seventh game in its past eight.
Nets climb over .500 for first time this season with win over Grizzlies
The AP reports: NEW YORK -- Joe Johnson scored 21 points, Marcus Thornton came off the bench for 20, and the Brooklyn Nets powered their way above .500 for the first time this season by beating the Memphis Grizzlies 103-94 on Wednesday night.
Deron Williams added 16 points and Paul Pierce 14 for the Nets (30-29), who have won four in a row overall and six straight at home in turning around a turbulent start... Jon Leuer scored 19 and Marc Gasol 18 for the Grizzlies, who were without Zach Randolph because of the flu and then turned in a sickly performance. Memphis never led and missed a chance to tie Phoenix for the West's eighth and final playoff spot.
Joakim Noah records another triple-double as Bulls down Pistons
The AP reports: AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- The Chicago Bulls didn't get a great night from their starters Wednesday. Their backups made sure they didn't need one.
Reserves D.J. Augustin and Taj Gibson combined for 48 points on 18-of-30 shooting as the Bulls beat the Detroit Pistons 105-94 for their fifth win in six games. The Bulls only led by one point going into the fourth, but Augustin and Gibson had 20 of Chicago's 34 in the fourth... Joakim Noah finished with 10 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists for his sixth career triple-double, including two in the last three games and three in the last month, while Jimmy Butler had 18 points and 12 rebounds... Greg Monroe led Detroit with 27 points, but the Pistons struggled all night to get anything going from the outside. They took 34 shots from outside the paint, and only hit nine (26.5 percent), including 2-of-11 on 3-pointers. In contrast, the Bulls hit 46.7 percent from outside.
Isaiah Thomas lifts Kings past Bucks 116-102
The AP reports: MILWAUKEE -- Isaiah Thomas scored 25 points and had six assists to lead the Sacramento Kings to a 116-102 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night.
Rudy Gay added 22 points, eight rebounds and five assists, and DeMarcus Cousins had 21 points, 10 rebounds and five assists for the Kings, who won their ninth road game after finishing with an 8-33 record away from home last season.
Sacramento opened its season-high seven-game, 12-day road trip by shooting 52 percent (43-for-82) from the field.
Brandon Knight finished with a team-high 25 points and six assists for Milwaukee, and Jeff Adrien added 15 points off the bench. The Bucks (12-48), who have the worst record in the NBA, were coming off their biggest win of the season, 114-88 over visiting Utah on Monday.
Carmelo Anthony, Knicks handle Wolves to snap 7-game slide
The AP reports: MINNEAPOLIS -- Carmelo Anthony scored 33 points to help the New York Knicks snap a seven-game losing streak with a 118-106 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night.
Tyson Chandler had 15 points and 14 rebounds and Amare Stoudemire added 18 points and eight boards for the Knicks, who had not won since beating New Orleans on Feb. 19.
Kevin Love had 19 points and eight rebounds, but scored just one point in the second half as the Timberwolves returned from a successful West Coast road trip with a thud. Kevin Martin had 12 points on 3-for-10 shooting and the Wolves were 7 for 26 from 3-point range.
Raymond Felton had 18 points and eight assists for the Knicks and J.R. Smith added 14 points, five assists and five rebounds for the Knicks.
Nuggets spread scoring duties vs. Mavs, end skid at 6 losses
The AP reports: DENVER -- Wilson Chandler scored 21 points, Ty Lawson had 20, and the Denver Nuggets snapped a six-game losing streak by beating the Dallas Mavericks 115-110 on Wednesday night.
Kenneth Faried, Randy Foye and J.J. Hickson added 16 points apiece for the Nuggets, who have won all three meetings this season against Dallas. Hickson scored 12 of his points in the fourth quarter to help hold off the Mavericks, who play the Nuggets a final time this season in two weeks in Dallas.
Dirk Nowitzki had 27 points to lead the Mavericks, who lost their third in a row. It's their first three-game losing streak of the season.
Brandan Wright added 18 points and Vince Carter 17 for Dallas.
Trail Blazers rout Hawks as Kyle Korver's 3-point streak ends
The AP reports: PORTLAND, Ore. -- Wesley Matthews had a simple goal going into the Blazers' game against the Hawks: Don't let Kyle Korver get the ball.
Korver wound up with few chances and his NBA-record streak of 127 games with a 3-pointer was snapped in Atlanta's 102-78 loss to Portland on Wednesday night... Korver had surpassed Dana Barros' record of 89 straight, set from 1994-96, earlier this season. He was 0-for-5 from 3-point range against the Blazers and finished with five total points, well off his 12-point average... Nicolas Batum had 14 points and a career-high 18 rebounds for Portland. He has had at least 11 rebounds in his past three games, and has seven double-doubles this season.
Mo Williams added 15 points off the bench for Portland, which had six players in double figures and led by as many as 29 points. The Blazers have won six of its past seven games while keeping pace as one of the teams battling for the top four seeds in the West.
NBA DAILY FOR WED, MAR. 5
Recaps of NBA games played Tuesday
Danny Green scores 24 as Spurs turn Cavaliers aside
The AP reports: CLEVELAND -- They found the open man. They made the extra pass. They moved the ball with stunning efficiency.
The Spurs put on a basketball clinic. The Cavaliers couldn't stop it.
Danny Green scored 24 points and San Antonio turned to its 3-point shooting to shake off a sluggish start in a 122-101 victory over Cleveland on Tuesday night.
Kawhi Leonard added 18 points, and Patty Mills and Boris Diaw had 16 apiece as the Spurs, running their offense to near perfection, won their fourth straight. They did it with stars Tim Duncan and Tony Parker combining for just 14 points... Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters scored 24 each for the Cavs, who have lost nine straight to the Spurs. Spencer Hawes added 20 points and 13 rebounds for Cleveland.
Klay Thompson hits last-second shot to lift Warriors over Pacers
The AP reports: INDIANAPOLIS -- Klay Thompson seized the moment twice Tuesday night.
With a victory seemingly slipping away late in the third quarter, his quick scoring flurry helped Golden State regain control early in the fourth. Then, when it seemed the Warriors wouldn't be able to hold off Indiana's late charge, he knocked down a 12-foot turnaround jumper with 0.6 seconds to go, giving the Warriors a rare 98-96 victory in Indianapolis... Thompson was terrific in his dramatic closing act. He started the quarter by making his first three shots and finished with 16 of his 25 points over the final 12 minutes -- none bigger than the baseline fadeaway he hit over George Hill... Paul George had 12 points and eight rebounds in the first quarter. He finished with 26 points and 12 rebounds, missing a potential go-ahead 3-pointer with 23.9 seconds left and the 29-foot buzzer beater that would have won it as he fell into the scorer's table. David West had 27 points and seven rebounds.
Rockets limit LeBron James to 22 points, hold off Heat
The AP reports: HOUSTON -- LeBron James was wiped out. And it showed.
Dwight Howard had 22 points and 16 rebounds, James Harden added 21 points, and the Houston Rockets held James in check Tuesday night during a 106-103 win over the Miami Heat.
James had a chance to tie the game with a desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer, but it was off -- just like most of his second-half shots.
The four-time MVP finished with 22 points, one night after setting a club record with a career-high 61 against Charlotte. He acknowledged before Tuesday's game that he was "extremely tired'' and that he spent most of the day sleeping... Dwyane Wade had 24 points for the Heat after sitting out Monday night. Beasley also scored 24, a season high.
Russell Westbrook has 21-minute triple-double, Kevin Durant 42 in rout
The AP reports: OKLAHOMA CITY -- Russell Westbrook taught rookie Michael Carter-Williams a swift and thorough lesson.
Westbrook had a triple-double in 21 minutes to win the matchup of talented point guards and help the Oklahoma City Thunder defeat the woeful Philadelphia 76ers 125-92 on Tuesday night.
The three-time All Star finished with 13 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists after blowing past Carter-Williams at will. Westbrook wrapped up his eighth career triple-double on a rebound with 4:55 left in the third quarter and left the game for good moments later... James Anderson scored 20 for the 76ers, who lost their 15th in a row, their longest slide since a 15-game skid in 1994. Philadelphia shot just 34 percent... Serge Ibaka and Reggie Jackson each scored 14 points and Perry Jones added 12 for the Thunder, who shot 57 percent from the field in their most lopsided victory of the season.
Clippers win 5th straight behind Blake Griffin, 28 from Matt Barnes
The AP reports: PHOENIX -- Matt Barnes knows shooting nights like this are rare moments to be savored.
The 11-year NBA veteran scored 18 of his 28 points in the third quarter, and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Phoenix Suns 104-96 on Tuesday to match their season best of five victories in a row.
Barnes made 12 of his first 13 shots and scored 16 points in the first 5:09 of the third quarter... Blake Griffin added 22 points and Darren Collison had 18 for Los Angeles.
DeAndre Jordan had 10 points and 17 rebounds, and blocked Goran Dragic's layup try with the Suns still in it with 41 seconds to go.
P.J. Tucker scored 18 and Gerald Green 17 on 6-of-19 shooting for the Suns, who played without center Miles Plumlee (right knee sprain). They also lost guard Leandro Barbosa to a broken left hand in the first half.
Anthony Davis, Eric Gordon push Pelicans past Lakers to end skid
The AP reports: LOS ANGELES -- In one year, Anthony Davis has gone from Hornet to Pelican -- and become one of the NBA's top young stars after getting selected with the first overall pick in the 2012 draft.
Davis had 28 points and 15 rebounds a week shy of his 21st birthday, and the New Orleans Pelicans snapped an eight-game losing streak with a 132-125 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night... Eric Gordon also had 28 points for the Pelicans and Brian Roberts scored 10 of his 19 during a 1 1/2-minute span in the fourth quarter. Tyreke Evans had 24 points and 11 assists, helping New Orleans salvage the finale of a five-game road trip that included a 32-point loss to the Clippers on Saturday night at Staples Center.
Pau Gasol had 29 points and 12 rebounds for the Lakers, who were attempting to match their longest winning streak of the season after beating Sacramento last Friday and Portland on Monday. The loss was their 27th in 35 games and dropped them back into sole possession of last place in the Western Conference, a half-game behind Sacramento and Utah.
Newcomer Kent Bazemore had 23 points and Jordan Farmar added 20 off the bench for Los Angeles.
NBA DAILY FOR TUE, MAR. 4
Recaps of NBA games played Monday
LeBron James' 61 points in win set career, Heat records
The AP reports: MIAMI -- Best player. Best game of his career.
LeBron James clearly isn't ready to concede his MVP award to anyone yet.
Dazzling from inside and out, James put on the best scoring show of his NBA life Monday night, pouring in 61 points -- a career high and franchise record -- as the Miami Heat beat the Charlotte Bobcats 124-107. It was the eighth straight win for the two-time defending champions, who are starting to roll as the playoffs get near. James made 22 of 33 shots from the field, including his first eight 3-point attempts... His career best had been 56 points, on March 20, 2005, for Cleveland against Toronto. Glen Rice scored 56 to set the Heat record on April 15, 1995, against Orlando.
James had 24 points at halftime, then added 25 in the third quarter. The record-breaker came with 5:46 left, when James spun through three defenders for a layup that fell as he tumbled to the court.
Tayshaun Prince, Grizzlies snap Wizards' winning streak
The AP reports: WASHINGTON -- Tayshaun Prince was having his best scoring game of the season, and the Memphis Grizzlies were cruising in the fourth quarter, when a loose ball somehow ended up in the hands of little-used Washington Wizards rookie Otto Porter. Porter let it fly to beat the shot clock -- and it went in for his first NBA 3-pointer.
"My thought was like, 'Man, if you make that type of shot, then here goes the fourth quarter,'" Prince said.
The Grizzlies led by as many as 19 in the final period, but the Wizards made six 3s over those final 12 minutes. Porter, a career 0-for-10 from long range entering the game, made a second one. The lead was down to two after Bradley Beal's 3-pointer with 8.9 seconds remaining, but time ran out not a moment too soon for Memphis, which made its free throws in the closing seconds to preserve a 110-104 win Monday night.
"The most important thing," Prince said, "is we stay composed."
Prince finished with a season-high 21 points, and Zach Randolph added 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who improved to a season-high nine games above .500 and pulled within one game of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Jason Collins makes home debut as Nets cruise past Bulls
The AP reports: NEW YORK -- Jason Collins started walking from the bench to the scorer's table, fans rising out of their seats all around Barclays Center.
He committed a foul five seconds after entering. His only shot barely hit the rim.
Collins' performance may not have been pretty, but everything else was great. Collins played the final minutes of a winning home debut with the Brooklyn Nets, who cooled off the Chicago Bulls with a 96-80 victory Monday night... Deron Williams scored 20 points and Joe Johnson had 19 for the Nets (29-29), who got back to .500 for the first time since they were 2-2 after beating Utah on Nov. 5.
D.J. Augustin scored 16 points off the bench for the sloppy Bulls, who turned it over 28 times, leading to 30 Nets points, and had their four-game winning streak snapped.
Andre Drummond helps Pistons top slumping Knicks
The AP reports: AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Andre Drummond had his best night on the boards.
He was happier about another rare feat. Drummond had 17 points and a career-high 26 rebounds to match a single-season franchise record with his 44th double-double, helping the Detroit Pistons surge to beat the New York Knicks 96-85 Monday night in a matchup of slumping teams.
The Pistons had lost four straight and seven of eight.
"I'm just happy we won the game," Drummond said when asked about his career-high rebounding total.
Drummond's 26 rebounds matched Houston's Dwight Howard for the most in an NBA game this season... J.R. Smith missed a lot of attempts before closing 5 of 17 from the field and scoring 16 points for the Knicks.
Ilyasova scores 31, Bucks beat Jazz 114-88
The AP reports: MILWAUKEE -- With Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the house, the Milwaukee Bucks played like NBA champions.
They shot 57 percent. They held an opponent under 100 points for the first time in 12 games. And they enjoyed a rare breather for most of the second half in a 114-88 victory Monday night over the Utah Jazz.
"It all came together tonight and that was really good to see," coach Larry Drew said after the Bucks' most lopsided win of the season.
Ersan Ilyasova scored a season-high 31 points on 13-of-14 shooting to lead five Bucks in double digits. Zaza Pachulia added 14 points, six rebounds and five assists, and the NBA's worst team improved to 12-47.
Enes Kanter had career-high 27 points to lead Utah, mired by a mistake-prone third quarter in which the Bucks regularly led by at least 20.
Kevin Love notches 50th double-double of season in Wolves' win
The AP reports: DENVER -- Minnesota built up a big advantage at the free throw line throughout the game, and it was just enough to hold off Denver's furious rally.
Kevin Love scored 33 points and tied a season high with 19 rebounds for his NBA-best 50th double-double this season, and the Timberwolves withstood Denver's 45-point fourth quarter to beat the skidding Nuggets 132-128 on Monday night for their third win in a row.
Kevin Martin added 22 points for the Timberwolves, including four clutch free throws in the final 11.7 seconds. Martin made 16 of 17 foul shots, helping Minnesota rack up NBA season highs in attempts (64) and makes (52) from the line. Denver, meanwhile, went 16-of-25 (64 percent).
Wesley Johnson tips Blazers late as Lakers survive
The AP reports: PORTLAND, Ore. -- Wesley Johnson was hard-pressed to think of a more memorable shot he's had than his game winner against Portland.
Kent Bazemore lobbed to Johnson for the go-ahead basket with 6.9 seconds left, and the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Trail Blazers 107-106 on Monday night... Pau Gasol scored 22 points, and the Lakers won their second straight, snapping the Blazers' five-game winning streak. Jodie Meeks added 21 points... Robin Lopez had 19 points and 16 rebounds, while Batum had 17 points and 15 rebounds for the Blazers.
Cousins, Thomas lead Kings past slumping Pelicans
The AP reports: SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Reggie Evans led the Sacramento Kings in a crucial category Monday night: hustle.
Evans supplied plenty of spirit to go along with DeMarcus Cousins' 23 points and 12 rebounds in a 96-89 victory over the slumping New Orleans Pelicans.
A veteran forward in his 12th season, Evans had 10 points and 13 rebounds. But his real value was his usual aggressive play on a night when the Kings weren't too energetic during a lackluster first half. Still, they outrebounded New Orleans 47-30 in halting a three-game losing streak... Tyreke Evans scored 14 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter and added 10 rebounds and eight assists for the Pelicans, who have dropped eight straight and 10 of 11. Brian Roberts scored 15 points and Eric Gordon fouled out in the fourth quarter with 10.
NBA DAILY FOR MON, MAR. 3
Recaps of NBA games played Sunday
Joakim Noah's triple-double leads Bulls to easy win against Knicks
The AP reports: CHICAGO -- The Chicago Bulls were open all over the floor, so Joakim Noah kept collecting assists. Jumpers for Jimmy Butler and Kirk Hinrich. A dunk for Taj Gibson, another jumper for Butler, and on and on it went.
The All-Star center put on quite a show.
Noah had 14 assists in his fifth career triple-double, leading the streaking Bulls to a 109-90 victory over the New York Knicks on Sunday... Noah also had 13 points and 12 rebounds in his second triple-double of the season, but it was his deft passing that really stood out. It was the most assists by an NBA center since at least the 1985-86 season and a franchise record for his position... D.J. Augustin had 21 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter as Chicago (33-26) improved to 21-8 since Jan. 1 and a season-high seven games above .500 overall. Butler scored 19 points and Carlos Boozer had 14... Carmelo Anthony scored 21 points and Tyson Chandler had 22 rebounds, but New York dropped its sixth consecutive game. The Knicks (21-39) are just 6-16 since Jan. 14.
Raptors finally take down Steph Curry, Warriors
The AP reports: TORONTO -- Stephen Curry's otherwise sparkling stat line had one ugly entry: six turnovers, four of them in a costly fourth quarter.
DeMar DeRozan scored 32 points, Kyle Lowry had 13 and the Toronto Raptors beat the Golden State Warriors 104-98 on Sunday, their first victory in eight tries against Curry.
Curry scored 34 points, topping the 30-point plateau for a career-best 15th time, and David Lee had 20 points and 11 rebounds as the Warriors lost for just the second time in seven games since the All-Star break.
Curry was at fault on four of Golden State's six turnovers in the fourth, leading to nine Toronto points... Greivis Vasquez and Patrick Patterson each scored 12 points and Jonas Valanciunas had 10 for the Raptors, who had lost 11 of their previous 13 meetings with the Warriors.
Pacers beat Jazz to win fifth straight game
The AP reports: INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana Pacers played just well enough to beat an inferior opponent, which has been the way most of their five-game win streak has gone.
David West scored 25 points, Paul George added 22, and the Pacers beat the Utah Jazz 94-91 on Sunday night.
Indianapolis native Gordon Hayward had 21 points and Derrick Favors scored 17 for the Jazz, nine of them in the first eight minutes as Utah opened a 14-4 lead.
A dunk from Favors cut the Pacers' lead to 89-86 with a minute left to play, and West missed a jumper to give Utah a chance to tie with 35 seconds remaining. Hayward cut the Indiana lead to one, but Lance Stephenson sank two free throws to seal the win... C.J. Watson, starting for the injured George Hill, scored 13 points for the Pacers. Hill sat out his second straight game with a bruised shoulder.
Tobias Harris, Magic extend 76ers' losing skid to 14
The AP reports: ORLANDO, Fla. -- A miserable season just keeps getting worse for the Philadelphia 76ers.
Tobias Harris scored a career-high 31 points and the Orlando Magic beat the 76ers for the second time in less than a week, winning 92-81 Sunday night to extend Philadelphia's losing streak to 14 games.
The 76ers' skid is their longest since 1994, when they lost 15 straight, and includes a defeat last Monday to the Milwaukee Bucks, the NBA's worst team. The 76ers have the NBA's second-worst record, while the Magic have the third-worst.
Nikola Vucevic had 18 points and 17 rebounds for Orlando, which outscored Philadelphia 26-12 in the fourth quarter to earn the win... Thaddeus Young had 29 points for Philadelphia and Michael Carter-Williams added 17 points and 11 rebounds.
Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook team as Thunder overwhelm Bobcats
The AP reports: OKLAHOMA CITY -- Kevin Durant scored 28 points and Russell Westbrook had 26 to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder past the Charlotte Bobcats 116-99 Sunday night.
Durant made just 8 of 24 field goals, but sank all 12 of his free throws.
Westbrook was 10 of 12 from the floor in 25 minutes in his fifth game since returning from right knee surgery. Reggie Jackson scored 17 points and Serge Ibaka had 15 points and 10 rebounds for Oklahoma City, which won its second straight after losing its first three games following the All-Star break. Oklahoma City outrebounded the Bobcats 44-29.
Al Jefferson scored 25 points and Anthony Tolliver added 17 for the Bobcats, who had won four straight before losses to San Antonio and Oklahoma City.
Westbrook scored 17 points on 7-for-7 shooting in the first half to help the Thunder take a 61-55 lead at the break. Jefferson had 15 points on 7-for-9 shooting. The Bobcats shot 54 percent in the first half, but were outrebounded 20-13.
Tony Parker returns after 6-game absence, leads Spurs over Mavericks
The AP reports: SAN ANTONIO -- Tony Parker had 22 points and seven assists in his return from a six-game absence, leading the San Antonio Spurs' balanced attack in a 112-106 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday night.
Tim Duncan scored 17 points, Kawhi Leonard added 16 and Boris Diaw had 13 points and 10 rebounds for San Antonio. Manu Ginobili had 15 points and seven assists and Tiago Splitter had 11 points as the Spurs extended their winning streak to three games.
Dirk Nowitzki scored 22 points, Vince Carter added 21 and Monta Ellis had 17 for the Mavericks, who have lost eight straight to the Spurs.
Parker looked refreshed after not playing since Feb. 10 for what was officially listed as "rest," but unofficially was due to a series of lower body maladies.
Suns scorch Hawks in 1st half of 129-120 win
The AP reports: PHOENIX -- Gerald Green hit 5 of 6 3-pointers in the first half to help the Suns score 79 points before the break, the most in the NBA this season, and Phoenix held on to beat the Atlanta Hawks 129-120 Sunday night.
The first-half total was two shy of the US Airways Center record for points in a half. The previous high for Phoenix in any half this season was 67, but 63 percent shooting, including 12 of 18 on 3-pointers in the first half, shattered the team mark.
Green finished with 33 points and Phoenix tied a season high with 15 3-pointers and set a season high with its 129 point output.
Goran Dragic added 19 points for the Suns, hearing the chants of "MVP" from the home crowd, and Marcus Morris had 18 points and nine rebounds off the bench. Twin brother Markieff added 21 points and eight rebounds.