NBA: Red-hot Bulls continue their surge
By The Associated Press
CHICAGO (AP) – Derrick Rose and Luol Deng each scored 26 points, and the Chicago Bulls ran away with their 13th win in 15 games, all but grabbing a share of the Eastern Conference lead with an easy 118-100 victory over the Utah Jazz on Saturday night.
Rose scored 17 points in a blistering first quarter to help the Bulls take a 37-17 lead, and Chicago set a franchise record with 18 3-pointers while pulling within percentage points of Boston.
It was a championship-level performance by a team that’s trying to carve its own historical niche, and it came on a night when Chicago celebrated the 20th anniversary of its first title. With Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and other players and coaches from that team on hand for a halftime ceremony, the Bulls put on a show the old-timers could appreciate.
Al Jefferson led Utah with 33 points.
Lakers 96, Mavericks 91
DALLAS (AP) – Kobe Bryant overcame a sore ankle to score 16 points for Los Angeles.
Bryant shot just 6 of 20, but scored six points and assisted on the other basket in a 9-0 run by the Lakers late in the second quarter. That snapped a tie and put them ahead to stay.
After Bryant came down awkwardly on his left ankle late in the third quarter and left the game for a bit, the Lakers immediately scored eight consecutive points to stretch the lead to 10.
Andrew Bynum had 22 points for the Lakers. Shawn Marion and Dirk Nowitzki each had 25 for the Mavericks, only a half-game ahead of Los Angeles for second place in the Western Conference.
Spurs 115, Rockets 107
HOUSTON (AP) – Tony Parker scored 21 points and helped NBA-leading San Antonio hold off Houston.
The Spurs led by 13 points in the second quarter and were up by 10 at the half before Houston took its first lead at 67-66 on a dunk by Jordan Hill with 6:06 left in the third quarter.
Houston’s final lead was 89-87 with 9:52 to play on a three-point play by Kyle Lowry. The Rockets tied it at 97 with 6:39 to play but a 3-pointer by Parker with 6:24 to go put San Antonio in the lead for good.
Manu Ginobili added 19 points and Antonio McDyess had 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Spurs.
Kevin Martin had 12 points in the Rockets’ big third quarter and finished with 28.
Heat 118, Grizzlies 85
MIAMI (AP) – Dwyane Wade blocked four shots in a dazzling 55-second span shortly after tipoff and Miami rolled past Memphis for its second straight victory.
It was one of Miami’s top defensive displays of the season, holding the Grizzlies to 39-percent shooting and forcing Memphis into missing its final 10 shots of the first half.
Wade finished with 28 points, nine assists, five rebounds and five blocks. LeBron James scored 27 points while taking the fourth quarter off for Miami, which got 18 points and 10 rebounds from Chris Bosh. The 33-point victory margin was Miami’s largest this season, and the Heat set a season high with 11 blocked shots.
The Heat were coming a victory Thursday night over the Los Angeles Lakers.
O.J. Mayo led Memphis with 19 points.
Nuggets 131, Pistons 101
DENVER (AP) – J.R. Smith scored 26 of his season-high 31 points in the second half for Denver.
Smith was 9 of 15 from 3-point range for Denver, 7-2 since the blockbuster trade that sent Carmelo Anthony to New York on Feb. 22. Nene added 18 points and 11 rebounds, and Ty Lawson had 15 points and 11 assists.
Chris Wilcox led Detroit with 21 points. Richard Hamilton added 15 points and Ben Gordon 13.
Hornets 115, Kings 103
NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Chris Paul returned from a concussion and scored a season-high 33 points and adde15 assists, seven rebounds and five steals for New Orleans.
David West scored 25 points and former King Carl Landry added 20 for New Orleans, which has won four of five games and passed Portland for sixth place in the Western Conference.
Marcus Thornton, the former LSU star whose trade from New Orleans to Sacramento for Landry was unpopular with many Hornets fans, scored 25 points in his return. DeMarcus Cousins had 19 points and 11 rebounds.
Hawks 91, Trail Blazers 82
ATLANTA (AP) – Jeff Teague matched a career high with 24 points, Jamal Crawford added 20 and Atlanta snapped a four-game slide with a victory over Portland.
LaMarcus Aldridge scored 22 points, and Wesley Matthews had 19 for Portland.
The Hawks were without starting center Al Horford because of a sprained ankle and reserve forward Josh Powell, who was arrested before the game on traffic charges not far from Philips Arena.
Clippers 122, Wizards 101
WASHINGTON (AP) – Blake Griffin scored all of his 26 points in the first half for Los Angeles.
In the matchup between the last two No. 1 overall picks, Griffin got the best of John Wall, both on the scoreboard and in the individual battle. Wall had 25 points, eight assists and seven rebounds.
Eric Bledsoe added a career-high 23 points for Los Angeles.
Bucks 102, 76ers 74
MILWAUKEE (AP) – Andrew Bogut scored 17 points and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute had 14 points, 12 rebounds and five steals to help Milwaukee beat Philadelphia.
Despite a trying season because of injuries to all five starters, the Bucks are a half-game back of Indiana and Charlotte for the final spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Lou Williams led Philadelphia with 16 points.