Wednesday's NBA Capsules
Thursday, April 12, 2012
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Chris Paul scored 31 points, including the game-winning shot on a layup with 8.8 seconds left, lifting the Los Angeles Clippers to a 100-98 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night that kept them in position for home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
Paul got past Thunder defensive specialist Thabo Sefolosha and squeezed the ball onto the rim past the league's leading shot blocker, Serge Ibaka, to put L.A. ahead.
Kevin Durant missed a 3-pointer that could have won it, hitting the back rim on a shot over Clippers center DeAndre Jordan from the left wing.
Durant led Oklahoma City with 22 points and Russell Westbrook scored 20 on 3-for-14 shooting. The West-leading Thunder have lost four of their last six games.
Blake Griffin added 16 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists for Los Angeles.
LAKERS 98, SPURS 84
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Andrew Bynum had 16 points and 30 rebounds, the most in an NBA game this season, and the Lakers didn't need Kobe Bryant to blow out the Spurs.
Metta World Peace scored 26 points and the Lakers, playing their third straight game without the injured Bryant, manhandled the Spurs underneath to hand the West's second-place team one of their most embarrassing losses this season.
Bryant is sitting out to heal his sore left shin. There remains no timetable on when the NBA's leading scorer might return.
Bynum's dominating night surpassed the previous NBA season-high of 25 rebounds, set twice by Orlando's Dwight Howard and Milwaukee's Ersan Ilyasova.
Danny Green led the Spurs with 22 points.
HORNETS 105, KINGS 96
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Jason Smith scored 22 points, hitting 10 of 12 shots, to lead the Hornets to a victory over the Kings.
Marco Belinelli added 21 points and Greivis Vasquez 15 points for New Orleans, which shot 55.9 percent (38 of 68) and surged ahead for good with an 18-3 run in the third quarter.
Marcus Thornton led all scorers with 25 points and Tyreke Evans added 19 points for the Kings, who have lost six straight.
DeMarcus Cousins had early foul trouble and played only 20 minutes, missing nine of his 12 shots.
Xavier Henry scored 14 points, while Chris Kaman grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked three shots for the Hornets, who have won two of three.
KNICKS 111, BUCKS 107
MILWAUKEE (AP) — J.R. Smith hit a 3-pointer for the lead with 1:04 left, and the Knicks held on to beat the Bucks in a game that could turn out to be critical to both teams' playoff hopes.
Carmelo Anthony had 32 points and 10 rebounds while Tyson Chandler added 19 points for the Knicks, who took a two-game lead on Milwaukee for the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference. Smith had 14 points off the bench.
Monta Ellis had 35 points and Brandon Jennings added 22 for the Bucks, who were coming off a 20-point loss to Oklahoma City at home on Monday.
The Bucks had won two of three games with the Knicks before Wednesday, and a win would have given them a head-to-head tiebreaker edge.
CELTICS 88, HAWKS 86, OT
BOSTON (AP) — Paul Pierce overcame a miserable shooting game with a key jumper in overtime and Rajon Rondo finished with a triple-double with 20 assists, 10 points and 10 rebounds to lift the surging Celtics to a win over the Hawks.
Kevin Garnett had 22 points and grabbed 12 boards before fouling out with just under 3 minutes left in OT, and Brandon Bass, who also hit a jumper in OT, scored 21 points.
It was Rondo's 19th straight game with double digits in assists.
Jeff Teague led the Hawks with 21 points and Josh Smith had 20 with 11 rebounds. The Hawks had won eight of 11 since losing to Boston at home on March 19.
GRIZZLIES 104, SUNS 93
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Rudy Gay scored a season-high 32 points and the Grizzlies won their fourth straight with a victory over the Suns.
Memphis outscored the Suns 17-6 after Phoenix tied the game at 87 with 6:27 left. Dante Cunningham had six of his 10 points during the stretch run.
Zach Randolph had 17 points and nine rebounds for Memphis, which won for the ninth time in the last 11 games. O.J. Mayo finished with 15 points, and Mike Conley had 12 points and seven assists.
Marcin Gortat had 19 points for Phoenix on 9 of 12 from the floor, while Shannon Brown scored 18. The Suns' two-game winning streak was snapped. They are 10th in the Western Conference.
JAZZ 103, ROCKETS 91
HOUSTON (AP) — Gordon Hayward scored a season-high 29 points and the Jazz helped their fading playoff hopes with a win over the Rockets.
Paul Millsap added 21 points and Al Jefferson had 15 for the Jazz, who held the No. 10 spot in the Western Conference standings coming into the game.
The Jazz shot 51 percent (40 of 78) and led by as many as 18, taking advantage of Houston's poor shooting.
Houston started the night in the sixth in the West, and had a four-game winning streak snapped.
Goran Dragic scored 19, Kyle Lowry added 15 off the bench and Marcus Camby grabbed 13 rebounds for the Rockets, who shot 36 percent (31 of 87) from the field.
PACERS 104, CAVALIERS 98, OT
CLEVELAND (AP) — Danny Granger scored 23 points, five in overtime, and George Hill made a dagger 3-pointer in the extra session, lifting the Pacers to a win over the Cavaliers.
The Pacers, clinging to the No. 3 spot in the Eastern Conference, outscored the Cavs 10-4 in OT.
David West added 19 points, Hill had 17 and Roy Hibbert finished with 11 rebounds, five assists and four blocks for Indiana, 6-1 in its last seven.
Antawn Jamison scored 21 and Lester Hudson 19 for the Cavs, a league-worst 0-5 in overtime games. The Cavs were just 2 of 9 in the extra five minutes.
76ERS 93, RAPTORS 75
TORONTO (AP) — Thaddeus Young scored 17 points, Nikola Vucevic had 12 and the 76ers beat the Raptors, an important victory in their chase of a playoff berth.
Elton Brand scored 11 points and Andre Iguodala, Spencer Hawes and Louis Williams each had 10 as the 76ers avenged a 21-point home loss to Toronto last Wednesday, a game in which the Raptors held the Sixers to 22 points in the second half, and just seven points in the fourth quarter.
This time, the 76ers blew the game open in the fourth, outscoring Toronto 30-18 and coasting to victory thanks to an 11-0 run. The Raptors went scoreless for 4:16 late in the game.
NUGGETS 113, TIMBERWOLVES 107
DENVER (AP) — Ty Lawson scored 24 points, including four free throws in the final 17.6 seconds, to help the Nuggets hold on for a win over a Timberwolves squad that was missing Kevin Love after the All-Star forward went out with a mild concussion in the first quarter.
Arron Afflalo added 21 points for the surging Nuggets, who have won two straight to remain in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race.
Love sustained a head injury early in the game after taking an inadvertent elbow to the head from JaVale McGee when the Nuggets center went up for a shot. Love had missed all five of his shots before being knocked out of the game.
He was going to be kept overnight at an area hospital for precautionary reasons.
TRAIL BLAZERS 118, WARRIORS 110
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Jamal Crawford scored a season-high 34 points, Wesley Matthews had two baskets in the final minute and the Trail Blazers beat the Warriors despite missing All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge.
J.J. Hickson added 23 points and 13 rebounds, and Matthews finished with 18 points for Portland. Raymond Felton had 16 points and 10 assists.
David Lee had 21 points and 14 rebounds for the Warriors (22-35), while Nate Robinson added 19 points and eight assists. Golden State trailed by as many as 15 in the third quarter but fought back to tie the game at 95.
Portland led 109-106 after Klay Thompson made a 3-pointer, but Matthews knocked down a mid-range jumper and then a 3-pointer to put away the game away.