NBA: Spurs pummel Miami
SAN ANTONIO (AP) – Manu Ginobili scored 20 points, Tony Parker made a surprise return to the starting lineup and the San Antonio Spurs handed the skidding Miami Heat their most lopsided loss of the season, 125-95 on Friday night.
In the first meeting between these NBA heavyweights, the Spurs (51-11) improved the league’s best record and kept the Heat in a tailspin. A night after blowing a 24-point lead in a stunning loss to Orlando, Miami trailed by 24 after just one quarter and lost for the fourth time in five games.
Parker had 15 points and eight assists. He returned less than a week after the Spurs feared their point guard might miss up to a month with a strained calf.
LeBron James scored 26 points and Dwyane Wade had 19. It won’t get much easier for the Heat, who return home to play Chicago on Sunday.
Bulls 89, Magic 81
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – Derrick Rose had 24 points and Luol Deng added 16 to help Chicago hold off Orlando in a matchup of two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference.
The Bulls bounced back from a loss to Atlanta on Wednesday by earning their eighth victory in 10 games. Orlando’s loss snapped a four-game winning streak, and a five-game run against the Bulls at home.
Dwight Howard led Orlando with 20 points and 10 rebounds, but also picked up his 16th technical of the season. He faces a one-game suspension Monday night against Portland if the foul is not rescinded by the NBA. Jason Richardson and Brandon Bass each chipped in 16 points.
Golf star Tiger Woods, basketball Hall of Famers Julius Irving and Karl Malone, and Baltimore Ravens receiver Anquan Boldin were among the franchise-record crowd of 19,207.
Chicago ends a five-game road trip Sunday at Miami.
Cavaliers 119, Knicks 115
NEW YORK (AP) – Baron Davis scored 18 points in his Cavaliers debut, leading a stunning rally in the fourth quarter as Cleveland beat the New York Knicks for the 11th straight time.
J.J. Hickson scored 23 and Luke Harangody also had 18, but the spark came from Davis in his first game since his trade from the Los Angeles Clippers last week. He scored 12 points in the final 6-plus minutes after the Knicks had built a 12-point lead, including a 3-pointer that gave Cleveland a 116-112 lead with 10.6 seconds left.
Amare Stoudemire answered with a 3 for the Knicks, but after a free throw by Ramon Sessions, Carmelo Anthony was called for a charging foul after he broke free of Anthony Parker’s attempt to hold him, and the last-place Cavaliers beat the Knicks for the third time this season.
Stoudemire matched a season high with 41 points and Anthony added 29, but the Knicks still haven’t defeated the Cavs since Dec. 19, 2007.
Celtics 107, Warriors 103
BOSTON (AP) – Ray Allen scored 27 points and pulled down a crucial offensive rebound with 12 seconds remaining to help Boston hold off Monta Ellis and Golden State.
Paul Pierce also scored 27 for the Celtics, who let an 18-point lead slip to just one late in the fourth quarter and struggled to put away the pesky Warriors.
Ellis scored 28 of his 41 points in the second half as Golden State rallied and gave the short-handed Celtics a scare right to the end.
Boston wasn’t able to seal it until Allen snatched a rebound off a miss by Kevin Garnett with 12 seconds left, then hit two free throws.
Jeff Green added 21 points and Rajon Rondo had 16 assists for Boston.
David Lee had 26 points and 12 rebounds for the Warriors, who took advantage of some shoddy defense by the new-look Celtics.
Thunder 111, Hawks 104
ATLANTA (AP) – Kevin Durant scored 29 points despite a sore ankle and Russell Westbrook hit a clinching 3-pointer, leading Oklahoma City over Atlanta.
Durant sprained his left ankle two nights earlier and wasn’t cleared to play until an hour before the game, but the NBA’s leading scorer turned in his usual performance. He came in averaging 28.4 points a game.
Westbrook hit the biggest shot of all. After Marvin Williams’ putback pulled the Hawks within 102-100, the man wearing zero took a pass from Durant, picked up a screen from Nick Collison and swished a wide-open jumper from behind the arc.
As he headed back down the court, Westbrook blew on both hands as though they were six-shooters and mimicked sticking them in his holster. He finished with 28 points.
Joe Johnson led the Hawks with 24 and Kirk Hinrich added 21.
Nets 116, Raptors 103
LONDON (AP) – Brook Lopez scored 25 points and New Jersey ended a six-game losing streak by beating Toronto in the first regular-season NBA game played in Europe.
Deron Williams added 16 points and 11 assists at the O2 Arena despite playing with injuries to both hands – a strained right wrist and bruised left hand. It was the All-Star guard’s first win with the Nets since being acquired from Utah last week.
DeMar DeRozan led Toronto with 30 points and Andrea Bargnani added 23.
Attendance was an announced sellout of 18,689, but there were some empty seats. The teams will face each other again at the O2 on Saturday, as the NBA decided to bring regular-season games to Europe for the first time as part of its push to increase its fan base on the continent. The O2 has hosted preseason games for the last four years.
76ers 111, Timberwolves 100
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Andre Iguodala had 22 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds for his second triple-double of the season, and Philadelphia overcame another stellar effort from Kevin Love to beat Minnesota.
Elton Brand scored 21 points and Thaddeus Young added 16 for the Sixers, who climbed back above .500 at 31-30. They currently hold the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
The Timberwolves got 21 points and 23 rebounds from Love, the 10th time he’s had a 20-20 game this season. It was the 49th straight double-double for the All-Star forward, just two shy of tying Moses Malone’s 51-game streak set in 1978-79.
Love leads the league with 58 double-doubles.
Hornets 98, Grizzlies 91
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – Chris Paul broke out of a scoring slump with 23 points and 14 assists, and Willie Green keyed New Orleans’ fourth-quarter rally against Memphis.
Paul, limited to 17 points over the previous three games, was 7 of 15 from the field, including 2 for 3 on 3-pointers. Green scored 13 of his 15 points in the fourth as the Hornets snapped a three-game skid and moved past Portland into sixth place in the Western Conference.
Jarrett Jack had 19 points for New Orleans, while Marco Belinelli and Carl Landry scored 14 apiece. Belinelli was 6 of 7 from the floor and Landry grabbed 10 rebounds.
Zach Randolph led the Grizzlies with 20 points and 11 rebounds.
Lakers 92, Bobcats 84
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Kobe Bryant scored 27 points and the Los Angeles Lakers ended Charlotte’s inexplicable mastery over them with their sixth straight victory since the All-Star break.
Pau Gasol had 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Derek Fisher sprained his left elbow as the Lakers grinded out a shockingly rare victory over the NBA’s youngest franchise.
The two-time defending champions had lost eight of their previous 10 meetings with Charlotte, the only team other than Boston with a winning record against the Lakers (8-6).
D.J. Augustin scored 22 points for the Bobcats, who have dropped the first three on a four-game West Coast road swing. Charlotte lost leading scorer Stephen Jackson to a strained left hamstring.
Suns 102, Bucks 88
MILWAUKEE (AP) – Channing Frye scored 20 points and Phoenix used a 19-0 run in the third quarter to flip a deficit into a big lead against Milwaukee.
The Suns are chasing Memphis for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference and are just a half-game back after winning 12 of their last 16. It appeared they might not keep pace, though, after a lackadaisical first half and an eight-point deficit early in the third quarter.
But Frye converted a three-point play to spark 12 points in a span of 1:38 that the Suns stretched to 19 in a row.
Corey Maggette scored 21 points for the Bucks, who were missing four regulars due to injuries or illness, including center Andrew Bogut.
Mavericks 116, Pacers 108
DALLAS (AP) – Dirk Nowitzki scored 29 points, Jason Terry added 21 and Dallas pulled away from Indiana in the final 3 minutes to stretch its winning streak to eight games.
Jason Kidd’s 15 points and Rodrigue Beaubois’ 13 helped the Mavericks to their 18th victory in 19 games.
Danny Granger had 22 points and Darren Collison 17 for the Pacers, who have lost four of five but are 10-7 since Frank Vogel took over as interim coach after Jim O’Brien was fired Jan. 30.
The Mavericks led by as many as 14 in the third quarter but couldn’t put away the Pacers, who pulled within 101-98 on Collison’s 3-pointer with 3:24 left.
But Terry hit back-to-back 15-foot jumpers, the second with 2:29 left, and Kidd converted two free throws to push Dallas’ lead to 107-98.
Mavericks starting center Tyson Chandler missed the game with a sprained right ankle.