Thunder slam Lakers to sixth straight loss
Kevin Durant scored 42 points, Russell Westbrook had 27 points and ten assists, and the Oklahoma City Thunder easily sent the short-handed Los Angeles Lakers to their sixth straight loss, 116-101, on Friday night.
Kevin Martin scored 15 points and hit three three-pointers for the Thunder, who romped to a 27-point lead in the second half of their seventh win in nine games. Oklahoma City (28-8) matched the Clippers for the NBA's best record with a virtuoso game from Durant, who had 38 points midway through the third quarter.
Kobe Bryant scored 28 for the Lakers, on their first six-game skid since March 2007.
Antawn Jamison added 19 points as Los Angeles looked lost and overmatched in its third straight game without starting big men Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol.
BULLS 108, KNICKS 101
Luol Deng scored a season-high 33 points in the Chicago Bulls' third victory over New York this season, handing the Knicks their season-high third straight loss.
Topping the 29 points he scored here last month, Deng shot 13 of 18 from the field and also led the defensive effort that contained Carmelo Anthony in the decisive first half of his return from a one-game suspension.
Carlos Boozer added 17 points for the Bulls, whose offense won't be at full strength until Derrick Rose is back from knee surgery, yet they still shot at 57 per cent.
Anthony ended up with 39 points for the Knicks, who were roughed up again a night after losing in Indiana.
HAWKS 103, JAZZ 95
Devin Harris scored a season-high 24 points and Atlanta rallied from 15 points down in the second half.
Randy Foye had 25 points to lead Utah, which had won four of five but was denied its first back-to-back road wins of the season. Al Jefferson had 23 points and ten rebounds and Paul Milsap had 20 points and 13 rebounds for the Jazz.
The Hawks, who trailed 75-60 in the third quarter, played from behind before taking their first lead of the second half on consecutive baskets by Al Horford. The second basket by Horford, set up by Josh Smith's pass, gave Atlanta a 94-92 lead with 2:44 remaining.
Jefferson answered with a tying basket before Ivan Johnson scored on a fast break to give the lead back to Atlanta. Utah's Jamaal Tinsley made one of two free throws to leave the Hawks' lead at 96-95. Josh Smith's short jumper and Lou Williams' three-pointer padded the lead.
HORNETS 104, TIMBERWOLVES 92
Greivis Vasquez had 18 points and 13 assists to lead New Orleans to its fourth straight win.
Eric Gordon added 16 points, Ryan Anderson had 15, Jason Smith 14, Al-Farouz Aminu 12 and Roger Mason ten for the Hornets, who have won five out of six with Gordon in the starting lineup.
Luke Ridnour scored 20 points to lead a balanced Timberwolves offense. Nikola Pekovic added 18 points, Andrei Kirilenko 17, Dante Cunningham 12 and Alexey Shved 11.
New Orleans trailed 29-14 after the first quarter, but outscored Minnesota 56-32 over the next two periods to take a 70-61 lead.
The Hornets hit the century mark for the first time since 113-102 loss to Minnesota on December 14.
CELTICS 103, ROCKETS 91
Paul Pierce scored 16 of his 23 points in the second half and Kevin Garnett added 17 points and four blocks as Boston nearly blew a 17-point lead before pulling away late.
The Celtics extended their season-high winning streak to five games, but only after surviving a 12-0 run that pulled the Rockets within two points midway through the fourth quarter.
Rajon Rondo finished with 12 points and eight assists for the Celtics. Courtney Lee and Jared Sullinger scored 14 apiece and Sullinger also had 11 rebounds for his second straight double-double.
James Harden scored 24 and Chandler Parsons added 18 for Houston, which fell to 0-2 during a three-game road trip that concluded lats night in Philadelphia.
NETS 99, SUNS 79
Joe Johnson scored 19 points and MarShon Brooks added 17 points off the bench as Brooklyn won its fifth straight.
The Nets have won three straight games by 20 or more points for the first time in the team's NBA history.
Deron Williams added 14 points and Andray Blatche chipped in 15 points and eight rebounds as the Nets ended a five-game home losing streak against Phoenix.
Jared Dudley led the Suns with 18 points and Shannon Brown had 15 off the bench as Phoenix lost its fifth straight and for the 11th time in 12 games.
RAPTORS 99, BOBCATS 78
Alan Anderson scored 16 points against his former team, Jose Calderon had 15 and Toronto won for the tenth time in 13 games.
Amir Johnson had 13 points and eight rebounds while Ed Davis had 12 points and eight boards for the Raptors, who led by as many as 24. Anderson had four of Toronto's 12 three-pointers, while Calderon and Kyle Lowry each made three.
Starting for the second straight game, Toronto's Landry Fields matched his season high with 11 rebounds.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kemba Walker and Ben Gordon each scored 12 points as Charlotte's modest streak of two straight road victories came to an end.