There was a historic league-first, a clash between top contenders, a star who re-established his status as elite and a number of other critical results. For that and more, check below for everything that you need to know about last night’s action.
1. Jason Collins became the first openly gay player in NBA history to see playing time as the Brooklyn Nets beat the Los Angeles Lakers 108-102. Collins saw 11 minutes of playing time and recorded two rebounds, a steal, two turnovers and five personal fouls.
As for the rest of the Nets involved, Deron Williams tallied a season-high 30 points, seven assists, five rebounds and six steals, while Paul Pierce put up 25 points, seven boards and four dimes to help Brooklyn earn the win.
2. All five of the Los Angeles Clippers’ starters scored at least 18 points as Doc Rivers’ squad went on the road to defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder 125-117. Jamal Crawford led the charge with a 36 points, while Matt Barnes tallied 24, Blake Griffin put up 20, Chris Paul dropped 20 points and 12 assists and DeAndre Jordan had 20 and 12 rebounds.
While the starters scored 116 points, L.A.’s bench managed just nine collectively. Big Baby is sorely needed.
3. Kevin Durant finished with 42 points and 10 assists for the losing Thunder. KD shot 15-of-30 from the floor, 2-of-6 from beyond the arc and 10-of-12 from the charity stripe.
Durant is the first player to post 40 points and 10 assists in a loss since LeBron James on February 18, 2010.
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4. Durant is the second player in Thunder history to record 40 points and 10 assists. The other was Gary Payton, who did it twice with the Seattle SuperSonics.
5. Despite playing without the injured LeBron James, the Miami Heat earned a convincing 93-79 win over the Chicago Bulls. Chris Bosh scored 28 points and recorded 10 rebounds, while Dwyane Wade pulled out 23 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists, two steals and a block.
Perhaps most significant of all, Greg Oden made his first start since December 5, 2009.
6. John Wall dropped 21 points and nine assists as the Washington Wizards took down the Cleveland Cavaliers 96-83 at the Quicken Loans Arena. Trevor Ariza added 15 points and 10 rebounds, and Marcin Gortat tallied 13 and 13 boards.
With the win, Washington improves to 28-28. This is the latest in a season that the Wizards have been at or above .500 since 2007-08.
7. Isaiah Thomas scored 33 points, Rudy Gay tallied 32 and 11 rebounds, and DeMarcus Cousins had 27 points, nine boards, five assists, five blocks and a steal as the Sacramento Kings defeated the Denver Nuggets 109-95. Outside of those three stars, the Kings combined for just 17 points.
Sacramento has won consecutive games for the second time in nine outings. It did it three times in the first 47 games of the season.
8. Kyle Lowry scored 28 points and DeMar DeRozan chipped in 24 as the Toronto Raptors emerged victorious against the Orlando Magic. Tobias Harris matched his season-high with 28 points, but Orlando’s woes continued.
The Magic have lost 15 consecutive road games—the longest streak of any team this season.
9. Damian Lillard scored 32 points and Thomas Robinson stepped up in LaMarcus Aldridge’s absence as the Portland Trail Blazers overcame the Minnesota Timberwolves 108-97. Kevin Love finished with 31 points and 10 rebounds, but the rest of the T-Wolves combined to shoot 35.6 percent from the floor.
As for Robinson, he recorded 14 points, a career-high 18 points and two blocks in 33 minutes.
10. Dwight Howard tallied 25 points on 10-of-12 shooting as the Houston Rockets went on the road to defeat the surprising Phoenix Suns 115-112. The biggest storyline of the night, however, was the pair of career nights from the starting point guards.
Goran Dragic scored a career-best 35 points for Phoenix, while Patrick Beverely set a new career-high with 20 points.
- The Miami Heat improved to 7-1 without LeBron James over the past two seasons.
- Kevin Durant is the sixth forward in the past 25 seasons to record at least 40 points and 10 assists. Larry Bird, LeBron James, Tracy McGrady, Antoine Walker and Chris Webber were the others.