Nuggets win a shootout
Smith shines in year’s highest-scoring game
J.R. Smith scored a season-high 30 points and the Nuggets overcame the absence of Carmelo Anthony to hold off the Phoenix Suns, 138-133, last night in Denver in the highest-scoring game of the season.
Chauncey Billups returned to the lineup after missing three games with a sprained right wrist and had 25 points and eight assists for the Nuggets.
Anthony was feeling ill Friday against Chicago but played anyway and hit the winner in the final seconds. He lasted just 2:48 in this game before sitting down for good.
Jason Richardson did his best to keep Phoenix in it with 39 points, and Steve Nash had 17 points and 11 assists.
Nash missed a 3-pointer with 17.8 seconds left that would have tied the game. Phoenix trailed by 19 before narrowing the gap.
The Nuggets were ahead, 115-99, when the Suns scored 9 straight to get back in it. Smith and Arron Afflalo hit 3-pointers to keep the lead at 9, but Richardson hit two from long range to cut it to 5 with 2:08 left.
After Smith missed on a 3, Nash drained one to make it 128-125 with 1:35 left.
Billups answered with a layup and Smith hit two free throws, but Richardson hit his seventh 3 of the night to cut it to 4.
Smith missed two free throws with 28.9 seconds left and Nash’s 3-point play with 22.5 seconds left made it 132-131. Billups hit two free throws and after Nash missed a wide-open 3 that would have tied it, the Nuggets closed it out from the line.
Knicks 125, Pistons 116 — Amar’e Stoudemire had 37 points and 15 rebounds to help visiting New York beat Detroit in double overtime.
Raymond Felton added 23 points and 11 assists for the Knicks, while Tayshaun Prince led the Pistons with 31 points, including 21 in the fourth quarter and overtime. Rodney Stuckey scored 29 points for Detroit.
Danilo Gallinari hit back-to-back 3-pointers to start the second overtime, giving the Knicks a 115-109 lead, and Wilson Chandler made it a 9-point game with another 3 on the next possession.
Prince had tied it at 99 at the end of regulation and then made a 3-point play to knot it at 109 in the first overtime.
The Knicks were playing their second afternoon game in as many days, while the Pistons last played at home Friday, but it was New York that looked stronger at the finish.
With Ronny Turiaf (knee) sidelined, Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni went with a small lineup, putting in Michigan native Chandler. Turiaf’s absence and two overtimes meant that four Knicks starters played at least 50 minutes.
Hawks 96, Raptors 78 — Josh Smith had his third career triple-double and Marvin Williams added 17 points and 12 rebounds as Atlanta beat host Toronto.
Smith finished with 12 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists as the Hawks won their third straight game after losing 7 of 9. Joe Johnson and Al Horford scored 16 points apiece.
Smith fed Johnson for a running layup with 4:30 left in the final quarter to complete his triple-double, putting the Hawks up, 92-69, their biggest lead of the game.
Toronto left to boos after being held to a season-low point total and losing its second straight after a four-game winning streak ended Friday at Boston. Andrea Bargnani, limited to a season-low 11 points against the Celtics, led Toronto with 14 points.
Pacers 95, Lakers 92 — Roy Hibbert had 24 points and 12 rebounds and Kobe Bryant scored 41 points but missed two tying 3-point attempts in the final seconds as Indiana won its first game at Staples Center.
Danny Granger added 18 points for the Pacers, who followed up their surprising road win over Miami six days ago with an even more stunning victory. Indiana had lost 11 straight to the Lakers on the road since Feb. 14, 1999, shortly before Staples Center opened.
Bryant scored 23 points in the second half as the two-time defending champions rallied from a 15-point deficit in the second half, pulling to 93-92 on Pau Gasol’s free throws before Hibbert dunked in traffic with 16.4 seconds left.
Spurs 109, Hornets 95 — Manu Ginobili scored 15 of his 23 points in the second half and San Antonio overcame a 17-point third-quarter deficit to hand New Orleans its first home loss of the season.
Tim Duncan scored 21 points and Richard Jefferson added 19 for the Spurs, who matched a franchise best 7-0 start on the road, set in the 2006-07 season.
David West scored 23 points for the Hornets, who were outscored, 65-34, in the second half in losing for the first time in eight home games. Chris Paul added 15 points, while Emeka Okafor and Marco Belinelli each had 12 for New Orleans.
Jazz 109, Clippers 97 — Deron Williams had 26 points and nine assists and Utah got significant contributions from reserves C.J. Miles and Francisco Elson down the stretch to beat host Los Angeles for its fifth straight victory.
Miles scored 10 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter for the Jazz, who won for the 13th time in 16 games after opening the season with one-sided losses to Denver and Phoenix. And they’ve done it without center Mehmet Okur, who has been sidelined because of a torn Achilles’ tendon he sustained during the playoffs.
Rookie Blake Griffin had 35 points on 13 for 21 shooting, grabbed 14 rebounds, and dished out seven assists for the Clippers. Eric Gordon added 21 points.
Rockets 99, Thunder 98 — Kevin Martin scored 23 points, Shane Battier hit 4 of 6 attempts from 3-point range, and Houston held off visiting Oklahoma City.
Nets 98, Trail Blazers 96 — Devin Harris had 25 points, including a clutch 3-pointer with 1:11 left, and eight assists to lead New Jersey over visiting Portland.