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Kevin Durant scored 38 points and Russell Westbrook added 29 as the Oklahoma City Thunder edged the Orlando Magic 105-102 at Amway Arena. Durant shot 12/21 (57%) from the field, made all 9 of his free throw attempts, canned 5/8 (63%) from 3 point range and pulled down 8 rebounds. Westbrook shot 11/21 (52%) and dished out a team high 10 assists. James Harden was the only other Thunder player in double figures contributing 13 off the bench along with 5 rebounds and 5 assists. OKC shot 51% from the floor and converted 21/27 (78%) at the charity stripe. Dwight Howard led all 5 Magic starters in double figures with 33 points on 14/20 (70%) from the field and collected 9 rebounds. Jason Richardson added 16 but made only 5/14 (36%) from the field, while Jameer Nelson and Ryan Anderson each contributed 15. Orlando shot 48% overall but had their problems converting from beyond the arc (9/25 36%) despite committing only 12 turnovers. The Magic had a chance to send it to overtime in the final seconds, but Richardson's long 3-pointer bounced off the backboard at the buzzer. Orlando led by as many as 14 in the second half but were outscored 35-21 in the final quarter by the Thunder giving OKC its 7th straight win and increasing their lead over idle Denver to 10 games in the Northwest.
39 year old Grant Hill led 6 Suns in double figures with 20 points including 15 in the second half as the Phoenix Suns topped the Minnesota Timberwolves 104-95 at the US Airways Arena. Hill shot 8/12 overall and made 4 of 5 shots in the 3rd quarter to help erase a 5 point halftime deficit. Martin Gortat added 17 and Channing Frye contributed 14 for Phoenix, who shot 51% overall and 17/21 (81%) from the charity stripe. Steve Nash, the latest talk of trade rumors around the league chipped in with 13 points and dished out a team high 17 assists. Jarred Dudley and Shannon Brown each scored 12 in a balanced scoring attack that flashed shades of the classic up tempo the Suns thirve. Kevin Love led the TWolves with 23 poitns but shot just 8/25 (32%) overall. Luke Ridnour added 15 along with 8 assists while Nikola Pekovic contributed 14 and 9 rebounds. Minnesota shot just 40% including an abysmal 1/13 (8%) from 3 point range and were outscored 58-44 in the second half.
Chris Paul scored 22 points and Mo Williams added 18 off the bench as the LA Clippers sunk Sacramento 108-100 at the Power Balance Pavilion. Paul shot 9/18 (50%) and dished out 9 assists while him and Williams each recorded 3 steals. Blake Griffin playyed just 30 minutes but contributed 14 points while Randy Foye finished with 16. The Clippers shot 48% from the field including 12/23 (52%) from 3 point range. LA went to the line only 8 times converting all of their free throws and committed just 8 turnovers despite getting outrebounded 40-33 overall. DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings with 23 points and pulled down 10 rebounds. Tyreke Evans shot just 7/21 (33%) but finished with 18 points as did Marcus Thorton. Sacramento shot 47% overall including 9/20 (45%) from 3 point range but committed 19 turnovers and recorded only 14 assists to LA's 30. As players headed to opposite benches during a timeout, Clippers big man Reggie Evans walked by Francisco Garcia with an elbow near the Sacramento forward's head. Garcia slapped his hand toward Evans' head and Los Angeles' Kenyon Martin joined in the scrum as did Paul. Evans and Garcia got whistled for technical fouls and that seemed to ignite the Clippers who opened the third quarter on a 10-0 run leading by as many as 19 before the reserves finished up. the Clippers lead the Lakers by 1 game in the Pacific.
Lebron James scored 38 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and dished out 6 assists as the Miami Heat pummeled Portland 107-93 at the Rose Garden. It was the Heat's 9th straight win and their 28-7 record is the franchise's best 35 game start overall. James shot 13/22 (59%) from the floor and converted 10/12 (83%) from the charity stripe while also recording 6 of his team's 12 steals. Dwayne Wade added 33 points by making 12/23 (52%) overall including a multitude of long jumpers that wowed the sellout crowd. Wade also dished out a team high 10 assists and canned 9/11 (82%) from the free throw line. Mario Chalmers contributed 12 and Udonis Haslem finished with 11 points and a team high 14 rebounds off the bench. Miami, who leads the league with just under 105 ppg shot 48% overall and converted 23/29 (79%) from the ft line. They outrebounded Portland 41-36 and committed just 8 turnovers leading by as many as 26 in the second half. LaMarcus Aldridge led the Blazers with 20 points and Jamaal Crawford added 18. Nick Batum contributed 17 and Wesley Matthews finished with 15 off the bench. Portland also shot 48% overall but suffered from beyond the arc (5/16 31%) while committing 17 turnovers falling back to .500. Last season, James scored 44 points against the Blazers, a record-high for an opponent at the Rose Garden, in a 107-100 overtime victory for the Heat. The road team has won the last five games in the series. The Blazers jumped out to an early 14-6 lead, but the Heat came back to tie it on Wade's lob pass to James for the dunk. James and Wade combined for all of Miami's points to that point. The Heat extended the lead to 30-21 on Chalmers' jumper. They kept the Blazers at bay the rest of the half, going up 45-34 on Haslem's 15-foot jumper before taking a 60-42 lead into the break. James and Wade accounted for 41 of the team's points. Portland really never got into an offensive rhythm and could not get any closer than 10 the rest of the way.