Good evening, fellow Vinglers! There was a ton of action in the NBA today, so let's get right to it!
Scores: Cavaliers 114-103 Hornets ; Pacers 108-105 Knicks ; Pistons 111-91 76ers ; Warriors 118-112 Heat ; Raptors 114-105 Timberwolves ; Bulls 109-104 Wizards ; Grizzlies 128-119 Lakers ; Thunder 116-103 Mavericks ; Nuggets 87-81 Clippers ; Spurs 108-92 Kings
LeBron James and Kyrie Irving scored 23 points each and the Cavaliers rebounded from one of their worst games of the season with a 114-103 win tonight. The Cavaliers lost Monday to Detroit while James tied a season low with 12 points in a head-scratching performance for the best team in the Eastern Conference. Cleveland used a 40-point second quarter to take control and dominated the second half, pushing the lead to 24 points in the fourth quarter.
Paul George missed 10 of his first 15 shots before taking over the game in the fourth quarter, scoring 15 of his 27 points to lead the Indiana Pacers to a 108-105 victory over the New York Knicks. Kristaps Porzingis missed a 3-point shot that would've given the Knicks the lead with 1.9 seconds remaining. Myles Turner then made one free throw at the other end. Carmelo Anthony missed a 3-point attempt for the tie at the buzzer from the right wing.
Tobias Harris led a balanced offense with 22 points and Andre Drummond had 18 rebounds as Detroit dominated Philadelphia in a 111-91 win. Hollis Thompson scored 19 points to lead the 76ers, who lost their sixth straight. Jahlil Okafor had 13 points, but just two rebounds. No other Philadelphia starter had more than eight points.
Steph Curry connected on the go-ahead 3-pointer over the outstretched arm of Miami center Hassan Whiteside with 38 seconds left, and the Golden State Warriors beat the Miami Heat 118-112 tonight in a game that featured 13 lead changes in the fourth quarter alone. Curry finished with 42 points, and Klay Thompson scored 15 consecutive points for Golden State in the fourth on his way to a 33-point night.
DeMar DeRozan scored 31 points and Kyle Lowry added 21 as the Toronto Raptors beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 114-105 tonight for a franchise record-tying ninth straight home victory. DeRozan had eight points in the final quarter while Lowry scored 12 as the Raptors (38-18) pulled away over the closing minutes to match a home winning streak set back in 1999.
With Rose and Butler both out with injuries, the team was led by committee, a cobbled-together group of role players who stepped forward and beat the Washington Wizards 109-104. Taj Gibson and E'Twaun Moore scored 17 for the Bulls and Tony Snell was 4 for 5 from 3-point range and finished with 16 points to lead the cast of fill-ins. Doug McDermott and Mike Dunleavy each scored 14. Besides missing Rose and Butler, who has missed seven games with a knee injury, the Bulls are without Nikola Mirotic, who has appendicitis, and have played since Jan. 15 without Joakim Noah because of a shoulder injury.
Matt Barnes scored a season-high 25 points as the Grizzlies never trailed and beat the Los Angeles Lakers 128-119 tonight in Kobe Bryant's final game in Memphis.
Six Grizzlies finished in double figures as Memphis finished with season highs in scoring and 3-pointers, going 13 of 27 from beyond the arc. Barnes was 5 of 9 on 3s and P.J. Hairston, who had 17 points, was 4 of 7. Mike Conley scored 24 points and added eight assists as Memphis won its second straight and third in the last four. Jordan Clarkson scored 21 of his 28 points in the second half to lead the Lakers, who lost their seventh straight. D'Angelo Russell and Lou Williams added 22 points each, and Bryant finished with 13 points, but was 5 of 14 from the field -- including 2 for 7 on 3s. Grizzlies fans gave Bryant a standing ovation and chanted "Ko-Be!" several times, the last when he left the game with a wave to the crowd with 1:03 remaining.
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook scored 24 points apiece while Steven Adams and Enes Kanter took turns with dominant stretches in the second half of Oklahoma City's 116-103 victory over Dallas. The addition of David Lee didn't help the Mavericks inside. Adams scored 11 of his 15 points in the third quarter and Kanter had eight in the first 5 minutes of the fourth, the last on a dunk to finish a 31-7 run over both quarters for a 102-81 lead. Dirk Nowitzki had a season-high 33 points to lead the Mavericks, who went 0-4 against a possible first-round playoff opponent. While Oklahoma City is comfortably in third place in the Western Conference, Dallas has lost six of eight to fall into a group of four teams battling for the last three postseason berths.
Kenneth Faried had 21 points and 11 rebounds, and the Denver Nuggets beat the Los Angeles Clippers 87-81 tonight for their first victory since the All-Star break. Gary Harris added 17 points and Danilo Gallinari 16 for the Nuggets, who snapped a three-game skid while improving to 7-13 on the road against Western Conference opponents. Nikola Jokic matched Faried with 11 rebounds. The Clippers were led by J.J. Redick and Jamal Crawford with 20 points apiece, and Chris Paul had 17 points and 10 assists. They had won five of seven, but were outclassed in nearly every category by the struggling Nuggets.
Tony Parker scored 12 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter and the San Antonio Spurs beat the Sacramento Kings 108-92 tonight for their third straight victory. Kawhi Leonard had 18 points and Danny Green 16 for the Spurs. Kyle Anderson scored 14, while LaMarcus Aldridge struggled offensively but played solid defense on DeMarcus Cousins, and finished with nine rebounds and five blocks. Cousins had 21 of his 22 points in the second half and added 10 rebounds for the Kings, who had their three-game win streak snapped.
That's all for tonight, folks! Let me know in the comments if you wish to be tagged in future VSNA cards. See ya tomorrow!