|Denver’s Chauncey Billups (top) drives on Richard Jefferson for 2 of his 25 points. (Delcia Lopez/Associated Press)|
Amare Stoudemire scored a season-high 36 points, Steve Nash handed out 16 assists, and the Phoenix Suns beat the Rockets, 115-111, in overtime last night in Houston.
Nash scored 11 points and grabbed a season-high eight rebounds, and Grant Hill added 19 points for the Suns, who snapped a five-game road losing streak. Phoenix has won nine of its last 12 games in Houston.
Aaron Brooks scored 24 points after shooting poorly in the first half and Trevor Ariza had 21 for the Rockets, who’ve lost five of their last eight games.
The Rockets overcame poor shooting with stingy defense to make it close at the end.
The Rockets missed 14 of their first 16 shots and trailed by 13. Chase Budinger’s driving layup with 4:24 left in the first quarter snapped Houston’s six-minute scoring drought.
Phoenix stretched the lead to 18 in the second quarter, as Houston’s starters continued to misfire.
Thunder 112, Warriors 104 - Kevin Durant scored a season-high 45 points to take over second place in the NBA scoring race, Russell Westbrook added 28 points and eight assists, and host Oklahoma City held off Golden State.
Golden State rallied from 14 down in the fourth quarter to get within 3 in the final two minutes before Durant and Westbrook finally closed the door with five free throws down the stretch.
Durant made 16 of 21 shots and ended up 2 points shy of the highest-scoring output of his career - and the Thunder ended up needing every basket.
Cavaliers 114, Clippers 89 - LeBron James scored half of Cleveland’s 46 points in the first quarter and the host Cavaliers tied an NBA record with 11 3-pointers in the opening period of their rout of Los Angeles.
The 46 points tied a franchise mark for most in a quarter, and Cleveland’s 16 3-pointers fell one shy of the team record for a game. Cleveland has won eight straight.
James, who finished with 32 points and 11 assists, fueled the early outburst by making his first seven shots - including four 3s. He hit long ones from 30 and 28 feet in the quarter.
Magic 91, Pistons 86 - J.J. Redick scored 17 points and Dwight Howard overcame free-throw problems to put up 16 points and 15 rebounds as visiting Orlando sent Detroit to its fifth straight loss.
The victory means Orlando’s Stan Van Gundy will coach the Eastern Conference in the All-Star Game Feb. 14 in Arlington, Texas.
The Magic clinched the second-best record in the East, behind Cleveland. Cavaliers coach Mike Brown is not eligible for the honor this season because he coached the East in last year’s game.
Nuggets 103, Spurs 89 - Kenyon Martin scored 27 points and visiting Denver won again without Carmelo Anthony, beating San Antonio.
The NBA’s leading scorer missed his fourth consecutive game with a sprained ankle, but the Nuggets still bounced back after Oklahoma City pummeled them Friday. Anthony could return tonight against Sacramento.
Timberwolves 112, Knicks 91 - Kevin Love had a career-high 25 points to go with 11 rebounds and host Minnesota exacted a little payback on New York.
Ryan Hollins had 16 points and three blocks in his second straight strong game since being inserted into the starting lineup for the Timberwolves, who lost by 27 points at Madison Square Garden last week.
76ers 83, Nets 79 - Andre Iguodala scored 14 points, including 7 in a key portion of the third quarter, to help visiting Philadelphia beat lowly New Jersey and snap a three-game losing streak.
The Nets (4-42) kept pace with the 1972-73 Sixers for the worst record in NBA history.
Raptors 117, Pacers 102 - Chris Bosh had 26 points and 15 rebounds, Andrea Bargnani scored 17 points, and host Toronto topped Indiana.