PHO @ BOS: No Boston starter scored more than ten points, yet they won fairly easily. Rookie Jared Sullinger scored 12 points and added a career-high 16 rebounds in a career-high 34 minutes. Jeff Green (14) and Jason Terry (13 PTS, 5 REB, 5 AST) also led the bench brigade. The Suns are now 2-16 on the road; apart from a 17-0 run in the third, they scored 62 points.
LAL @ SAS: Somehow, the exhausted Lakers made it close, but they have lost five in a row. Unheralded reserve Earl Clark (22 PTS, 13 REB, 3 AST) had the game of his life, Kobe Bryant (27 PTS, 5 AST, 4 REB) never gave up and Metta World Peace (23 PTS, 8 REB, 7 STL) was brilliant again at PF. The Spurs got 24 from Tony Parker and a big double-double by Tiago Splitter (14 & 14) as Tim Duncan (8 PTS, 7 REB, 5 AST, 4 BLK) was somewhat subdued. Manu Ginobili (19 PTS, 8 REB, 4 AST) helped out off the bench, and both Kobe and coach Gregg Popovich praised Kawhi Leonard (11 PTS) for his great defense.
HOU @ NOH: We told you this might be ambush time. James Harden (25) was the only Houston player in double figures. Greivis Vasquez (17 PTS, 11 AST, 4 REB, 3 STL) led the Hornets) to their third straight win, despite a lousy night by Eric Gordon (2-for-12, 5 TO) and a quiet 19 minutes for Anthony Davis, whose playing time has taken a hit lately. Ryan Anderson was even worse, missing all seven shots to finish scoreless. The unlikely heroes off the bench were Jason Smith (17 PTS, 10 REB, 3 BLK) and Roger Mason, who scored 15 of his 17 in the decisive fourth quarter.
MIN @ OKC: As expected, Kevin Durant (26 PTS, 8 REB, 3 AST, 3 STL, 4 BLK) and Russell Westbrook (23 PTS, 8 REB, 7 AST) were too much for the tired Timberwolves to handle. Kevin Martin added 19 off the bench as the Thunder pulled away in a romp. Nikola Pekovic (17 PTS, 10 REB) led Minnesota; Alexey Shved (17) committed seven more turnovers and is averaging almost 4 TO over the last six games.
ORL @ DEN: Honestly, they may be the best (and unluckiest) team ever to lose ten in a row. Six Magic players scored in double figures and their last five defeats have been very close, against excellent opponents. The Nuggets, now 11-2 at home, erased a 9-point fourth-quarter deficit and were all-out to win by three. Kenneth Faried (19 PTS, 19 REB) was in superb Manimal form, Ty Lawson (19 PTS, 8 AST) is in a groove, and Andre Miller (18 PTS, 4 REB, 4 AST) had another great game off the bench.
DAL @ LAC: Dallas made a game of it, actually leading by ten in the third, before Chris Paul (19 PTS, 16 AST) and Matt Barnes (19 PTS, 7 REB, 3 BLK) took over. Jamal Crawford returned from a foot injury with 11 points in 26 minutes. Darren Collison (22 PTS, 6 AST, 4 REB) led the Mavs and Dirk Nowitzki (15 PTS, 6 REB, 4 AST) played more than 32 minutes for the third straight game; he’s still building stamina.