Clippers rally, top Jazz by 2
SALT LAKE CITY — Chris Paul scored 29 points, and the Los Angeles Clippers rallied from a 19-point deficit in the third quarter to beat the Utah Jazz 116-114 on Friday night, stretching their winning streak to 16 games.
Ex-Clipper Randy Foye’s 3-pointer at the buzzer was contested by Matt Barnes, but no foul was called. Foye finished with a season-high 28 points for Utah.
Paul scored the Clippers’ final seven points, most from the free throw line, as Los Angeles extended the NBA’s longest winning streak this season.
The Jazz led 74-55 with 8:08 left in the third on a pair of free throws by Paul Millsap. But the Clippers outscored Utah 29-14 the rest of the quarter to pull to 88-84 going into the fourth.
Al Jefferson added 22 points for Utah. Gordon Hayward had 17 off the bench.
Nets 97, Bobcats 81
NEW YORK — Brooklyn gave P.J. Carlesimo a victory in his debut and Charlotte a 17th straight loss, getting 26 points and 11 rebounds from Brook Lopez in a rout.
A day after firing Avery Johnson, the Nets played as they did last month, when they were 11-4 and Johnson was Eastern Conference coach of the month. They are just 4-10 in December, a slump that cost Johnson his job, but got back over .500 with ease.
Deron Williams added 17 of his 19 points in the first half, and Joe Johnson had 16 for the Nets, who led by 29 points and won for just the second time in seven games.
Pacers 97, Suns 91
INDIANAPOLIS — George Hill scored 22 points, including three 3-pointers, and led Indiana over Phoenix.
Paul George had 15 points, and David West added 14 points and seven rebounds for the Pacers, who have won four straight and seven of eight.
Sebastian Telfair had 19 points and six assists, and Marcin Gortat had 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Suns, who have lost four in a row.
West, who scored eight points in the fourth quarter, netted the go-ahead jumper to give the Pacers an 87-85 lead with 3:17 left to play after the Suns rallied from a 16-point deficit.
Wizards 105, Magic 97
WASHINGTON — Jordan Crawford scored 27 points, and worst-in-the-NBA Washington showed it can still win a game every once in a while, breaking an eight-game losing streak with a victory over Orlando.
Nene added season highs of 23 points and 11 rebounds and shot fourth-quarter free throws while hearing chants of “R-G-3!” — the new equivalent of “M-V-P!” in a city where Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III is the new superstar — as Washington won by its largest margin of the season.
The game represented one-quarter of the win total for the 4-23 Wizards.
Hawks 102, Cavaliers 94
CLEVELAND — Jeff Teague scored a career-high 27 points, and Atlanta scored the game’s final nine points to beat Cleveland.
Teague’s jumper from the foul line gave the Hawks a 95-94 lead with 2:32 remaining and sparked the run that sent Atlanta to its third straight win.
Kyrie Irving led Cleveland with 28 points, but the Cavaliers failed to score in the final 2:53 after taking a 94-93 lead.
Lou Williams scored 16 points for Atlanta, which is 8-4 on the road. Al Horford added 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Dion Waiters scored 18 points for Cleveland, which had its season-high, two-game winning streak end.
Pistons 109, Heat 99
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Will Bynum had 25 points and 10 assists, leading another spirited performance by the Detroit reserves, and the Pistons beat short-handed Miami despite 35 points by LeBron James.
Miami was without Dwyane Wade, suspended for a game by the NBA for flailing his leg and making contact with a Charlotte player on Wednesday.
Spurs 122, Rockets 116
SAN ANTONIO — Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili combined to score 84 points, and San Antonio snapped Houston’s five-game winning streak.
Parker had 31 points and 10 assists, Duncan had 30 points and five rebounds, and Ginobili had a season-high 23 points for San Antonio (23-8). Danny Green was 5 for 7 on 3-pointers and finished with 17 points.
James Harden scored 33 points, Chandler Parsons added 24, and Jeremy Lin had 21 for Houston (16-13).
Raptors 104, Hornets 97 (OT)
NEW ORLEANS — DeMar DeRozan scored 30 points, Kyle Lowry had two big baskets in overtime, and Toronto held off New Orleans.
The Raptors, who never trailed in the second half, scored nine of the first 11 points in overtime after blowing a seven-point lead in the last 1:30 of regulation. Amir Johnson scored under the basket to give Toronto a 93-91 lead. Lowry then drove the baseline for a reverse layup and hit a 3-pointer to make it 98-93.
DeRozan finished off the Hornets with two free throws and an outside shot that made it 102-95 with 31.7 seconds left.
Nuggets 106, Mavericks 85
DALLAS — Danilo Gallinari scored a career-high 39 points, and Denver spoiled Dirk Nowitzki’s first home game since returning from knee surgery by beating Dallas.
Nowitzki had five points in 17 minutes in his third game back, and the Mavericks lost their fifth straight for the first time since January 2011.
Gallinari scored five points in the 5.3 seconds before halftime and opened the second half with a 3-pointer to put the Nuggets up by 11. Andre Iguodala hit four 3-pointers in a 32-point third quarter and finished with 29 points.
Kings 106, Knicks 105
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — James Johnson made a 3-pointer at the buzzer, lifting Sacramento to a victory over the New York Knicks after blowing an early 27-point lead.
With time running out, John Salmons found Johnson above the top of the key. Johnson’s shot left his hand just ahead of the final buzzer and helped the Kings avoid a major collapse.
Lakers 104, Trail Blazers 87
LOS ANGELES — Dwight Howard had 21 points and 14 rebounds, Kobe Bryant scored 27 points, and the Los Angeles Lakers never trailed in beating Portland for their sixth win in seven games.
Pau Gasol had 15 points and nine rebounds as the Lakers closed out their 2012 schedule by climbing back to .500 (15-15) in their rocky season. Los Angeles had little trouble rolling past the Blazers, taking a 20-point lead in the first half and holding star rookie Damian Lillard to 11 points on 4-for-17 shooting.
Warriors 96, 76ers 89
OAKLAND, Calif. — David Lee had 25 points and 12 rebounds, one of six Golden State players in double figures, and the Warriors held off a late charge in the fourth quarter to beat Philadelphia.
Jarrett Jack added 16 points in a reserve role, and Carl Landry had 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Warriors, who nearly blew a 20-point lead in the second half before securing its first win over the Sixers in more than two years.