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Updated: 22 min 4 sec ago
Josh Smith drove to the basket - and the Los Angeles Lakers finally defended it. Smith was called for an offensive foul with 2.7 seconds left and Detroit down two, and the Lakers held on for a 106-102 victory over the Pistons on Friday night. Los Angeles trailed by 10 at the start of the fourth quarter but rallied past a Detroit team that dominated the paint for almost the entire game. The Pistons needed one more layup, as it turned out, and Nick Young was there for Los Angeles to draw the charge on Smith.
Al Horford passed on the shot earlier in the game. Horford knocked down a 20-foot jumper with 4.2 seconds left and the Hawks rallied from a 17-point deficit in the second half, stunning the Dallas Mavericks 88-87 on Friday night. ''I had that shot before, and I didn't take it,'' Horford said. ''Shelvin (Mack, a Hawks guard) kept telling me, 'That's your shot.
In the heyday of the New Big Three, when the Boston Celtics were winning the 2008 NBA title and going back to the finals two years later, there arose in the TD Garden a new tradition: Gino Time. When the Celtics were winning and the game was in hand by the final TV timeout, the arena would play a disco-era video of a shaggy man in a tight T-shirt that said ''Gino.'' Players on the bench and fans in the stands would swivel their hips along with him to celebrate as the final seconds ticked off the clock. There hadn't been much Gino Time in Boston this season, now that Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce are in Brooklyn and Doc Rivers is in Los Angeles. Until the Cleveland Cavaliers came to town.
The Spurs improved their Western Conference-best record to 14-2 Wednesday night, cruising to a 109-91 victory over the Orlando Magic without starting point guard Parker, who was out with an ankle injury. As usual, San Antonio gave a clinic on balance and depth while playing fundamentally sound basketball, getting 52 of their points from reserves. ''We count on our bench,'' said San Antonio center Tim Duncan, who scored 19 points to share the scoring lead with reserve forward Marco Belinelli. The Magic played the Spurs tight until early in the second quarter, when they trailed 41-40.
Al Jefferson joked that he feels he can score from anywhere on the court. Bobcats coach Steve Clifford would prefer the man they call ''Big Al'' to set up shop close to the basket. Jefferson, the franchise's highest-paid free agent acquisition ever, dug in deep in the low post Friday night and the Bobcats took advantage of the 6-foot-10, 289-pound center's strength and moves Friday night. Jefferson posted season highs with 23 points and 12 rebounds, and the Bobcats handed the Milwaukee Bucks their 11th straight loss with a 92-76 victory.
The Miami Heat had to work a little harder than they wanted for their ninth straight victory. LeBron James scored 27 points, Dwyane Wade had 22 and the surging Heat beat the Toronto Raptors 90-83 on Friday. Still, it didn't come easy for Miami, who watched a 20-point third-quarter lead whittled down to two points with less than five minutes to go in the fourth. ''We would have loved to push that huge lead up in the third and just keep it going but they've got some good players,'' James said.
Jason Kidd said he was just ''trying to win'' when he intentionally spilled a drink on the court, a stunt that cost him $50,000. The Brooklyn Nets coach was fined on Thursday, with the NBA saying he intentionally spilled his drink as a stall tactic. ''We'll move on.'' Kidd bumped into Brooklyn reserve Tyshawn Taylor with 8.3 seconds left on Wednesday against the Lakers, causing his drink to spill. The Nets had time to draw up a play while the floor was being cleaned after the spill but still lost 99-94.
Jason Kidd dropped more than a soda in an attempt to delay a game. The NBA fined the Brooklyn Nets coach on Thursday, saying he intentionally spilled his drink on the court as an unusual stall tactic. Kidd bumped into Brooklyn reserve Tyshawn Taylor with 8.3 seconds left in the Nets' 99-94 loss to the Lakers on Wednesday, causing his drink to spill.
When Kenyon Martin hit a jumper with 4:30 to play, the Knicks were still in it. New York then missed its next six shots and scored only two points the rest of the night. The Los Angeles Clippers' defense and the Knicks' general ineptitude both played a role in the unsurprising finish to a meeting of two teams headed in opposite directions. Blake Griffin had 15 points and 13 rebounds, and Chris Paul had 15 points and seven assists before leaving with a strained right hamstring in the Clippers' 93-80 victory over the plummeting Knicks on Wednesday night.
Paul Pierce couldn't believe he missed at the end. Young scored a season-high 26 points to spark a huge effort from the league's most productive bench, and Los Angeles beat the Brooklyn Nets 99-94 on Wednesday night after blowing a 27-point lead. Wesley Johnson made the tiebreaking basket when he stole Pierce's pass and dunked with 1:35 left, and the Lakers used their sizzling start to bounce back from a loss in Washington a night earlier and win for the fourth time in five games. ''We weren't doing anything wrong (early in the game),'' Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said.
The good news for the Portland Trail Blazers is they only face Goran Dragic and the Phoenix Suns one more time. Dragic scored 31 points, Channing Frye added 25 and the Suns used their up-tempo style to recover from a poor start and beat Portland 120-106 Wednesday night and snap the Blazers' 11-game winning streak. Markieff Morris scored 19 and twin Marcus Morris 15 for the Suns, who wiped out a 16-point second-quarter deficit to hand the Blazers their first loss since Nov. 5 against Houston.
Shane Larkin dribbled the length of the court in a full sprint and hit a running shot off one foot just before the third-quarter buzzer. When the Dallas Mavericks needed to stop a Golden State rally in the fourth quarter, they looked for defensive help from the rookie point guard playing in just his sixth game. The best game so far in Dallas for the son of Hall of Fame shortstop Barry Larkin came on a night when Monta Ellis needed a little help. Dirk Nowitzki scored 22 points, Larkin made several big plays in the second half and Ellis found a way to contribute with his passing to help the Mavericks hold off the Warriors 103-99 Wednesday night.
The shots weren't falling early for Kevin Durant and never fell for Russell Westbrook, so it was Reggie Jackson and Jeremy Lamb who carried the Oklahoma City Thunder to their most impressive win of the season. Durant finished with 24 points and 13 rebounds, Jackson matched his career high with 23 points on 10-of-14 shooting and Lamb scored 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting, lifting the Thunder to a 94-88 win over San Antonio and snapping the Spurs' 11-game winning streak. Jackson scored eight straight points for the Thunder during a surge early in the fourth quarter that put Oklahoma City ahead by 11 points. The Spurs rallied within three points before Jackson and Durant combined to score the Thunder's final 13 points and put the game away.
The Chicago Bulls felt they played only two quarters of defense Wednesday night. That was all they needed to beat the Detroit Pistons 99-79 and end a four-game losing streak. The Pistons led 53-51 at the half, but Chicago only allowed 26 second-half points, including 11 in the fourth quarter, as they pulled away for the easy win. ''They made some shots in the first half, but I liked the way we were playing offensively,'' Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said.
The Houston Rockets haven't had a drop-off offensively despite top scorer James Harden being sidelined with a sore foot for the last three games. Houston's role players have stepped up in each game to make up for his lost points. On Wednesday night it was Francisco Garcia and Aaron Brooks who came through, each scoring 21 points to help the Rockets cruise to their third straight win, 113-84 over the Atlanta Hawks. Houston didn't trail for its fourth straight home game and again used a balanced scoring attack with Harden out.
LeBron James could finally be himself. This time, James almost felt welcomed. James scored 28 points and seemed more relaxed than in previous games back in Cleveland, leading the Miami Heat to their eighth straight win, 95-84 over the Cavaliers on Wednesday night. He added eight rebounds and eight assists in his fifth game as a visitor against the Cavs, the team that drafted him and the one he led to the NBA finals before leaving as a free agent three years ago to chase NBA championships in Miami.
The Memphis Grizzlies may have missed Marc Gasol's inside defense. Jerryd Bayless scored 22 points and Mike Conley had 14 with nine assists to propel the Grizzlies to a 100-93 win over the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night. Playing their second straight game without the NBA's reigning defensive player of the year, Gasol, who is expected to be lost for 3-4 weeks with a sprained MCL in his left knee, the Grizzlies built a big lead by overpowering Boston in the paint and hung on late. Zach Randolph scored 13 points, Tony Allen 12 and Ed Davis had 11 with seven rebounds for the Grizzlies, who posted their fifth consecutive road win after losing two straight home games.
C.J. Watson needed a night like this. The sixth-year NBA pro wasn't knocking down shots and didn't feel like much of a contributor this season for the Indiana Pacers. Watson hit five 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and finished with a season-high 18 points to help the Pacers to their fifth straight victory, a 99-74 win over the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday night. He was 6 of 8 against the Bobcats.
Ty Lawson scored 23 points, reserve Nate Robinson added 15 and the Denver Nuggets held off the Minnesota Timberwolves 117-110 on Wednesday night. Kenneth Faried added 13 points and had three alley-oop dunks as Denver won for the seventh time in nine games after a horrible start. Kevin Martin scored 29 for Minnesota and Ricky Rubio added 17 points and 10 assists. Nikola Pekovic had 21 points and Kevin Love finished with 19.