- The Heat returned to where their winning streak began on Sunday, as they defeated the Raptors 108-91, for their 22nd straight win. Their win streak is now tied for the second longest in NBA history, matching the 2007-08 Houston Rockets. Miami used a 17–2 run to break a 77-all tie in the fourth quarter. The Heat have been tied or trailing in the fourth quarter in 11 of the 22 wins during their streak.
- For the first time since January 1992, the Lakers used just seven players, as they won for the second straight game without Kobe Bryant. Los Angeles defeated Sacramento 113-102, as Antawn Jamison scored a game-high 27 points, his 2nd game with Lakers scoring at least 20 points (his season high is 33 points). They have now won six of their last seven and at 36-32 are one-game ahead of the Jazz for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
- The Clippers defeated the Knicks, 93–80, to improve their record to 46–21 and return to their high-water mark for the season at 25 games above the .500 mark. Prior to this month, the Clippers’ franchise—whether in Los Angeles or San Diego, and including eight seasons as the Buffalo Braves (1970–1978)—had never stood 25 games above the .500 mark. Three current teams have never been as many as 25 games above .500 at any point in any NBA season: the Bobcats, Raptors, and Nets (although the Nets did it in the ABA). The Wizards haven’t been plus–25 or better since 1979, with Elvin Hayes and Wes Unseld still wearing Bullets’ jerseys. The Bucks haven’t done so since 1986, with Sidney Moncrief leading the way; nor have the Warriors since 1992, behind Chris Mullin and Tim Hardaway. New York has now lost four straight, and remain one-game ahead of Brooklyn in the Atlantic Division.
- The Warriors posted a 108–78 victory at Houston, equaling their highest margin of victory in the 196 regular-season games played between these teams. Their previous 30-point win was recorded by the San Francisco Warriors against the San Diego Rockets on December 23, 1968 (125–95). The Rockets shot 20 percent from the field in the first half of Sunday’s loss, including a combined 0-for-13 by Houston’s starting forwards. The was the lowest first-half field-goal percentage in the NBA since the Kings shot 17 percent before halftime at Dallas in January 2012.
- The Thunder defeated the Mavericks 107-102, to win for the 11th time in their last 13 games. Kevin Durant (31) and Russell Westbrook (35) scored 30+ points in the same game for the seventh time this season (the most for any teammates). Kevin Durant continues to lead the NBA in scoring, with an average of 28.3 points per game, but for quite some time, Durant hasn’t even been the highest scorer on his own team. Russell Westbrook led all scorers with 35 points on Sunday, and over Oklahoma City’s last 20 games, dating back to February 4, he has outscored Durant. The top five in the NBA during that time: James Harden, 27.8 points per game; LeBron James, 26.2; Kobe Bryant, 25.5; Westbrook, 25.3; Durant, 25.2.
Stat Mann is the nom de guerre of our research statistician, who spends a lot of time watching basketball in central Connecticut. Someone would be angry if they discovered he was moonlighting here.
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