Bradley leads Celtics clinic
Celtics 120, Magic 105
It was not so long ago that the Celtics were 0-4 adn looking to be a sure team to be near the bottom of the East standings. Just as everyone thought.
It was not so long ago that the Magic were a good defensive team and one of the darlings of the NBA. just as nobody thought.
The two might as well have switched places a week later.
The Celtics are now on a four-game win streak and could not seem to miss in shooting 60 percent from the floor against a Magic team that looked like it could not keep anyone in front of them.
Avery Bradley scored 24 points and Jordan Crawford turned in an 18-point, 11-assist night as the Celtics pressured the Magic into turnovers and made every jumper they could.
It was not until the fourth quarter that Boston really pulled away but Arron Afflalo said it best. The Magic were never in this one since they could not get a stop.
Spurs ease by without Duncan
Spurs 109, 76ers 85
Tim Duncan got the night off to rest. The Spurs did not need him as they easily defeated the 76ers on Monday. Danny Green led a balanced attack with 18 points on 5-for-7 shooting from beyond the arc. Five other players reached double figures as San Antonio took an 18-point lead and never looked back.
Linsanity rides in double OT
Rockets 110, Raptors 104, 2OT
Jeremy Lin scored nine of his 31 points in the overtime periods, carrying the Rockets past the Raptors. Toronto had an answer at every turn against Houston which simply could not pull away. Not without Rudy Gay's help. Gay scored 29 points on an astounding 11-for-37 shooting. His 3-pointer at the end of regulation forced overtime, but he was not able to do much more offensively in this game. James Harden scored 26 points and dished out 10 assists.
Stephenson's triple double keeps Pacers unbeaten
Pacers 95, Grizzlies 79
If the Grizzlies cannot stop this Pacers juggernaut can anyone? Especially when Indiana is getting contributions — major contributions — from unexpected people. Lance Stephenson recorded a triple double with 13 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists. Paul George cemented his superstar status even more with 23 points and seven rebounds. And the defense suffocated Memphis to 41.3 percent shooting. The Pacers remain the league's lone unbeaten team.
Heat announce when nicknames will be on jerseys
Bucks vs. Heat, 7:30 p.m.
The Heat will indeed be wearing jerseys with player nicknames on the back. When? We know that now. Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports the Heat will wear the "Name Collection" uniforms for three home games: Jan. 21 against the Celtics, March 12 and April 6 against Brooklyn. As if that was not enough, the Heat will also wear special all-red uniforms and throwback black uniforms later on this year.
Clippers outlast Timberwolves
Clippers 109, Timberwolves 107
The Clippers enacted Lawler's Law pretty early in this game and seemed ready to coast to an easy victory in the final few minutes of the game. Then Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love happened and the Clippers had to hold on and learn to finish. Kevin Martin scored 30 points, Nikola Pekovic scored 25 points and Kevin Love had 23 points, 19 rebounds and seven assists. Blake Griffin scored 25 points and 10 rebounds and Jamal Crawford came up big late with 18 points for the Clippers to hold on.
Steve Nash out with back injury
Pelicans vs. Lakers, 10:30 p.m.
The Lakers received some very bad news Monday for starting point guard Steve Nash. The team announced Nash would miss at least the next two weeks as he deals with back pain caused by a pinched nerve in his back. The problem may be worse than that as Nash described constant pain to Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times. Nash's tenure in Los Angeles has been riddled with these nagging injuries as age seems finally to be catching up to the two-time MVP.
Blazers hold on
Blazers 109, Pistons 103
The Blazers took a double digit lead into the fourth quarter and looked primed to cruise to victory. Damian Lillard bounced back with 25 points and LaMarcus Aldridge had 18 points and 12 rebounds. Yet, there was the Pistons forcing turnovers and making a game of it. Albeit, a bit too late. Brandon Jennings scored 28 points and Andre Drummond scored 16 points and 16 rebounds. It was not enough and came a bit too late as the Pistons ran out of time and struggled to execute down the stretch.
Big 4th quarter keeps Jazz winless
Nuggets 100, Jazz 81
A 30-13 fourth quarter for Denver turned a close game into a rout and kept the Jazz's early season misery going. Utah is now 0-8 and the only team in the NBA without a win. Maybe that is not totally unexpected, but still difficult to write. The Nuggets, on the other hand, appeared to have righted their ship as Brian Shaw has gotten a couple wins under his belt. Ty Lawson had 17 points and 10 assists to lead the Nuggets past Utah.
Horford paces Hawks past Bobcats
Hawks 103, Bobcats 94
It was good to have Steve Clifford back on the bench for Charlotte. And it was good to have Al Jefferson back in the lineup. It just was not good enough to get a win. Al Horford scored 24 points to lead Atlanta to a win. The Hawks climbed above .500 and used a 34-16 third quarter to take control. Chalk this one up to experience. Jefferson scored 10 points to go with sevenr ebounds in his first game since the season opener.
Rose's injury overshadows win
Bulls 96, Cavaliers 81
Chicago scored a solid victory over Cleveland. But that was not the concern at United Center. That concern laid with Derrick Rose, who struggled once again on the court, but also left the game with a hamstring injury. It is believed to be a minor injury, but any leg injury with Rose raises alarm bells in Chicago.