The first postseason berth was secured and an embattled star returned to face his former team. A legendary streak ended and a preseason favorite temporarily escaped the grips of disappointment.
Here’s everything that you need to know about last night’s action.
1. Al Jefferson posted 34 points and eight rebounds to lead the Charlotte Bobcats to a stunning 109-87 victory over the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers have lost consecutive games for the first time since December 18, 2013.
Despite losing, the Pacers became the first team to secure a playoff berth.
2. Kyle Korver’s NBA-record streak of 127 consecutive games with at least one 3-point field goal made came to an end as the Atlanta Hawks fell 102-78 to the Portland Trail Blazers. After starting the season at 25-21, the Hawks have lost 12 of 13.
The last time Korver had previously failed to drain a 3-pointer in a regular season game: November 2, 2012. That was the Hawks’ first game of 2012-13.
3. Dwight Howard returned to the Amway Center as the Houston Rockets took down the Orlando Magic 101-89. D-12 stepped up with 19 points, 13 rebounds and a pair of steals, and James Harden took over with 31 points of his own.
The Rockets became the sixth team to secure a winning record and improved to 13-2 in their past 15 games and 21-6 since January 1.
4. Two of the hottest teams in their respective conferences squared off as the Brooklyn Nets held on to defeat the Memphis Grizzlies 103-94. The Nets’ starters outscored the Grizzlies’ 57-24, but Brooklyn nearly squandered its lead after leading by 27 points entering the fourth quarter.
At 30-29, Brooklyn is above .500 for the first time this season.
5. Joakim Noah posted yet another triple-double with 10 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists and two blocks as the Chicago Bulls defeated the Detroit Pistons 105-94 at the Palace of Auburn Hills. Noah moves into a tie with Stephen Curry for the second-most triple-doubles this season.
Only Lance Stephenson of the Indiana Pacers has more in 2013-14. Only Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen have more in Bulls franchise history.
6. The combination of STAT and ‘Melo was collaborative gold as the New York Knicks earned a 118-106 road win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. Carmelo Anthony posted 33 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals, while Amar’e Stoudemire finished with 18 points, eight rebounds, one assist, a pair of blocks and a steal.
The win snapped the Knicks’ seven-game losing streak.
7. The Golden State Warriors continued their recent stretch of victories over the Eastern Conference with a 108-88 road blowout of the Boston Celtics. David Lee and Klay Thompson both scored 18 points for Golden State, which improved to 7-3 in its past 10 games.
Stephen Curry, the league-leader in turnovers per game, completed the game without coughing the ball up a single time for the fourth time in 59 appearances.
8. Trevor Ariza’s hot hand continued to scorch opponents as he put up 26 points to lead the Washington Wizards to a 104-91 win over the Utah Jazz. Bradley Beal added 22 points and the recently-acquired Drew Gooden poured in a season-high 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting in 19 minutes.
As for Utah, it falls to 21-40. It went 43-39 in 2012-13.
9. The Sacramento Kings’ Big Three shined en route to a 116-102 road victory over the Milwaukee Bucks. Isaiah Thomas posted 25 points, six assists and four steals, Rudy Gay tallied 22 points, seven rebounds, six assists and a pair of swipes, and DeMarcus Cousins put up 21 points, 10 rebounds, five dimes and a steal.
Cousins, Gay and Thomas are the only trio of teammates in the NBA that are all averaging at least 20.0 points per game.
10. Defense played no role as the Denver Nuggets out-gunned the Dallas Mavericks 115-110 at home. Wilson Chandler scored 21 points and Ty Lawson added 20, while Dirk Nowitzki put up a game-high 27 for the Mavericks in a losing effort.
Dallas has lost three straight games for the first time since February 27, 2013.
Bonus Fact: The Portland Trail Blazers have clinched their first winning season since 2010-11.