NBA: Melo-less Nuggets bop Memphis

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DENVER (AP) - For one night, the Denver Nuggets didn't need Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups or any of their new acquisitions.

J.R. Smith's 26 points helped short-handed Denver beat the Memphis Grizzlies 120-107 on Tuesday, only hours after the Nuggets finalized a blockbuster deal that sent Anthony and Billups to the New York Knicks.

Tony Allen had 26 points and O.J. Mayo added 21 for the Grizzlies, who had their four-game winning streak halted.

The Nuggets had only nine players on the bench following a three-team trade that also involved Minnesota.

In the 13-player swap, the Knicks picked up Anthony, Billups, Shelden Williams, Anthony Carter and Renaldo Balkman from Denver.

But New York had to pay a steep price, sending Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov and a 2014 first-round draft pick to the Nuggets, who get additional picks and cash. Denver also acquired center Kosta Koufos from the Timberwolves.

Felton, Mozgov, Chandler and Gallinari received the biggest ovation of the night without even stepping on the floor. They waved to the crowd from the side of the court after spending most of the game watching from a luxury suite as their new teammates picked apart the Grizzlies.

Lakers 104, Hawks 80

LOS ANGELES (AP) - All-Star game MVP Kobe Bryant scored 20 points, Pau Gasol added 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Los Angeles ended its three-game skid with an easy victory over struggling Atlanta.

Shannon Brown scored 15 points as the two-time defending NBA champions got right back into form after stumbling into their hometown All-Star weekend with increasingly embarrassing road losses to Orlando, Charlotte and league-worst Cleveland.

The Lakers jumped to a 22-point lead in the first half of their first home game since Feb. 3, never trailing for the NBA-best ninth time.

All-Star Joe Johnson scored 14 points for the Hawks, who opened a five-game road trip with their fourth loss in five games.

Celtics 115, Warriors 93

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo each came close to a triple-double, and Boston picked up right where it left off before the All-Star break with a victory over Golden State.

Garnett had 24 points, 12 rebounds and six assists, and Rondo had 19 points, 15 assists and six rebounds to help the Celtics stay atop the Eastern Conference standings and break a six-game losing streak at Golden State. They hadn't won in the Bay Area since Dec. 29, 2003.

Dorell Wright scored 19 points and Stephen Curry had 18 for the Warriors, who had won seven of their last nine before the break and appeared to be building some momentum. Instead, they fell apart in the fourth quarter and couldn't recover against one of the NBA's elite.

Heat 117, Kings 97

MIAMI (AP) - LeBron James scored 31 points, Dwyane Wade added 23 and Miami opened its post-All-Star schedule with an easy win over Sacramento.

The Heat never trailed, jumping out to a 35-16 lead after the first quarter and eventually going up by as many as 29 before the starters got pulled.

Chris Bosh had 22 points and nine rebounds, and Mario Chalmers added 14 points for Miami, which won for the 11th time in its last 12 games. The Heat made seven straight shots on the way to shooting 64 percent in the opening quarter, setting the stage for a rout.

Samuel Dalembert had 18 points and 13 rebounds off the bench for the Kings, who are 1-8 in February.

Thunder 111, Clippers 88

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Jeff Green scored 22 points, Kevin Durant added 21 and Oklahoma City spoiled Blake Griffin's return to his hometown by beating Los Angeles.

Griffin made a run at his first career triple-double but came up two assists shy. He followed his slam dunk title and rare All-Star appearance by a rookie by amassing 28 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists, but the Clippers sorely missed him when he was out of the game.

Los Angeles gave up a 16-0 run with Griffin on the bench at the end of the first half with three fouls, and he was out again when the Thunder put it away early in the fourth quarter.

The Clippers fell to 2-7 on their 11-game road trip that was interrupted by the All-Star break.

Bobcats 114, Raptors 101

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - D.J. Augustin had 23 points and eight assists, and Charlotte cruised past listless Toronto despite losing top scorer Stephen Jackson to a strained left hamstring.

Gerald Wallace added 20 points and Boris Diaw had 16 points and nine assists for the Bobcats, who took control with a dominant second quarter before Jackson got hurt midway through the third.

Jackson, who scored 13 points, collided with Toronto's Amir Johnson after a driving layup and later limped to the locker room while clutching his left leg. He returned to the bench a few minutes later, but didn't play again.

Sonny Weems scored 19 points and Andrea Bargnani added 18 points and eight rebounds for the Raptors, who lost their 11th straight road game to tie a franchise record.

Pacers 113, Wizards 96

WASHINGTON (AP) - Danny Granger had 21 points and 10 rebounds, and Indiana piled on the fast-break points to open the season's homestretch with a rout of Washington.

Tyler Hansbrough added 17 points in 21 minutes as the Pacers broke a two-game losing streak and improved to 8-3 under interim coach Frank Vogel. Indiana, despite sitting five games below .500, holds the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and moved within a half-game of seventh-place Philadelphia as the focus turns toward the postseason now that the All-Star break is over.

The Pacers scored all 26 of their fast-break points by the third quarter and would have broken their season high of 28 if they hadn't started taking their time because they were so far ahead.

Rockets 108, Pistons 100

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) - Rookie forward Patrick Patterson scored a career-high 20 points, including seven in a row late in the fourth quarter as Houston pulled away from Detroit.

After both teams had blown double-digit leads, Patterson's tip-in gave the Rockets a 95-94 advantage. He added a three-point play and a pair of free throws to make it a six-point game with 2:35 to play.

Aaron Brooks finished the run with two free throws. Kevin Martin scored 16 points for Houston.

Will Bynum led Detroit with 21 points and Rodney Stuckey added 19, but Tayshaun Prince missed all nine of his field goal attempts and scored only one point.

Bucks 94, Timberwolves 88

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Brandon Jennings scored 27 points and made five free throws down the stretch to lead Milwaukee over Minnesota.

Michael Beasley scored 21 points and All-Star Kevin Love had 20, but it wasn't enough as Minnesota lost for the sixth time in its last seven games in Milwaukee.

Corey Maggette finished with 20 points and got the Bucks started in the fourth quarter when he scored the first six points to break a 76-all tie.


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