Bobcats Breeze Past Pacers, 109-87
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Al Jefferson scored 34 points in Charlotte’s 109-87 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night that gave the Bobcats their fifth straight home win.
Jefferson was 16 of 25 from the field and had eight rebounds for the Bobcats (28-33), who equaled their combined win total from the previous two seasons.
Jefferson, whose 38-point, 19-rebound effort Monday night was overshadowed by LeBron James’ career-high 61-point outing, has scored at least 20 points in 21 of his last 24 games.
Charlotte became the first team since the 2009-10 Knicks to play the NBA’s top four teams in consecutive games. They previously lost to San Antonio, Oklahoma City and Miami on the road.
Evan Turner had 22 points for the Pacers (46-15), who lost back-to-back games for only the second time this season.
ROCKETS 101, MAGIC 89
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – James Harden scored 31 points, including 25 in the second half, and the Houston Rockets dug out of a double-digit, first-half hole to beat the Orlando Magic.
The Rockets dominated inside, outscoring the Magic 58-26 in the paint. Dwight Howard added 19 points and 14 rebounds in his second trip to Orlando to face his former team.
Houston trailed in the second quarter by as many as 14 points, but battled back to win for the 13th time in 15 outings.
Arron Afflalo led the Magic with 18 points. The Magic dropped to 0-2 this season against the Rockets. Orlando played without Jameer Nelson and Victor Oladipo. Nelson was out sick and Oladipo missed his first game of the season with soreness in his left ankle.
WARRIORS 108, CELTICS 88
BOSTON (AP) – Klay Thompson and David Lee scored 18 points each and the Golden State Warriors went a season-high 14 games over .500 with a romp over the Boston Celtics.
The Warriors scored the first six points, led 12-2 with just over five minutes gone and stayed ahead by at least 20 points throughout the second half.
Golden State had an easy time against one of the NBA’s worst teams one night after beating one of the best. Thompson’s 12-foot turnaround with six-tenths of a second left had given the Warriors a 98-96 win at the Indiana Pacers, the league’s top team at home.
Former Celtic Jordan Crawford had 15 points and Stephen Curry added 14 for the Warriors (38-24), who won for the seventh time in nine games.
Kelly Olynyk scored 19 points for Boston (20-41), which dropped its seventh game in its past eight.
WIZARDS 104, JAZZ 91
WASHINGTON (AP) – Trevor Ariza scored 26 points, Bradley Beal added 22, and the Washington Wizards took an early lead and never lost it, shooting 54 percent in a win over the Utah Jazz.
John Wall had 14 points and 10 assists, and Marcin Gortat had 16 points and nine rebounds for the Wizards, who have won seven of eight.
This one was noteworthy if only for substantial contributions from recent additions Drew Gooden and Andre Miller, two thirty-somethings who teamed up for a run that padded the lead in the first half.
Alec Burks scored 19 points, and Trey Burke added 14 to lead the Jazz, who have dropped the first four games of their six-game road trip. Their 7-24 road record is the worst in the Western Conference.
NETS 103, GRIZZLIES 94
NEW YORK (AP) – Joe Johnson scored 21 points, Marcus Thornton came off the bench for 20, and the Brooklyn Nets powered their way above .500 for the first time this season by beating the Memphis Grizzlies.
Deron Williams added 16 points and Paul Pierce 14 for the Nets (30-29), who have won four in a row overall and six straight at home in turning around a turbulent start. Jason Collins played 17 scoreless minutes on the day he signed his second 10-day contract.
The matchup between two of the NBA’s best teams in 2014 was a mismatch until the fourth quarter, when the Nets had already led by 30. Memphis fell to 21-9 since Jan. 1, while the Nets’ 20-8 record is tops among East teams.
Jon Leuer scored 19 and Marc Gasol 18 for the Grizzlies, who were without Zach Randolph because of the flu.
BULLS 105, PISTONS 94
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) – D.J. Augustin scored 26 points off the bench and Joakim Noah had a triple-double as the Chicago Bulls beat the Detroit Pistons.
Noah finished with 10 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists for his sixth career triple-double, including two in the last three games and three in the last month. Taj Gibson added 22 points off the bench, while Jimmy Butler had 18 points and 12 rebounds in Chicago’s fifth win in six games.
Greg Monroe led Detroit with 27 points, but the Pistons got only 12 points from their reserves on 5-of-20 shooting.
KNICKS 118, TIMBERWOLVES 106
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Carmelo Anthony scored 33 points to help the New York Knicks snap a seven-game losing streak with a victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Tyson Chandler had 15 points and 14 rebounds and Amare Stoudemire added 18 points and eight boards for the Knicks, who had not won since beating New Orleans on Feb. 19.
Kevin Love had 19 points and eight rebounds, but scored just one point in the second half as the Timberwolves returned from a successful West Coast road trip with a thud. Kevin Martin had 12 points on 3-for-10 shooting and the Wolves were 7 for 26 from 3-point range.
KINGS 116, BUCKS 102
MILWAUKEE (AP) – Isaiah Thomas scored 25 points and had six assists to lead the Sacramento Kings past the Milwaukee Bucks.
Rudy Gay added 22 points, eight rebounds and five assists, and DeMarcus Cousins had 21 points, 10 rebounds and five assists for the Kings, who won their ninth road game after finishing with an 8-33 record away from home last season.
Sacramento opened its season-high seven-game, 12-day road trip by shooting 52 percent (43-for-82) from the field.
Brandon Knight finished with a team-high 25 points and six assists for Milwaukee, which was trying to win consecutive games for the first time since last March.
NUGGETS 115, MAVERICKS 110
DENVER (AP) – Wilson Chandler scored 21 points, Ty Lawson had 20, and the Denver Nuggets snapped a six-game losing streak by beating the Dallas Mavericks.
Kenneth Faried, Randy Foye and J.J. Hickson added 16 points apiece for the Nuggets, who have won all three meetings this season against Dallas. Hickson scored 12 of his points in the fourth quarter to help hold off the Mavericks, who play the Nuggets a final time this season in two weeks in Dallas.
Dirk Nowitzki had 27 points to lead the Mavericks, who lost their third in a row. It’s their first three-game losing streak of the season.