Clippers secure win over Golden State while Spurs continue to roll.
There were 11 games on the NBA schedule on Wednesday night, with the Brooklyn Nets upsetting the defending champions, the Miami Heat, at home.
Despite switching allegiance this past summer, there is undoubtedly something about playing the Heat that brings out the best in Paul Pierce, and the veteran did it again on Wednesday with 29 points at the AA Arena.
Brooklyn are an Eastern Conference best 23-9 since the turn of the year, but this is arguably their biggest win thus far which moves them to 3-0 against Miami this regular season, and will give them great confidence moving forward if the pair meet in the playoffs.
Mirza Teletovic had 17 points off the bench for the Nets while Chris Bosh (24), Dwayne Wade (22) and LeBron James (19) all responded but couldn’t help prevent losing their fourth in the past five games.
Elsewhere in the East, the New York Knicks extended their winning streak to five games after Carmelo Anthony inspired them to victory over the Boston Celtics with a 34-point night.
“We got it going early,” Anthony said. “We shot the ball well early. Defensively, we had it clicking early. They made a few runs, but we finished the game out strong.”
Tim Hardaway Jr and J.R. Smith also played their roles as New York continue to improve, as coach Mike Woodson feels the pressure continue to alleviate as the Knicks move to 26-40 and are now just three games adrift of the final playoff spot.
Over in the Western Conference, the San Antonio Spurs made it eight consecutive wins as they comfortably oversaw the Portland Trail Blazers.
San Antonio (48-16) are now a game ahead of the Oklahoma City Thunder at the top of the standings and possess the best record in the league, and with a healthy roster they will be hopeful of continuing their momentum into the post-season.
Kawhi Leonard had 12 points and nine rebounds on the night, but it was a balanced attack as they continue to turn their form around against the elite teams that they had been struggling against earlier this season.
In the late game, the Los Angeles Clippers improved the longest winning streak in the NBA to nine games with victory over the Golden State Warriors.
Blake Griffin had 30 points and 15 rebounds in another impressive performance, but despite Mike Conley’s play beating him to top spot, his dunk was the best of the bunch on a night of high-flying action.
Brooklyn Nets 96-95 Miami Heat
Denver Nuggets 120-112 Orlando Magic
Sacramento Kings 115-98 Philadelphia 76ers
Detroit Pistons 87-101 Toronto Raptors
Charlotte Bobcats 98-85 Washington Wizards
New York Knicks 116-92 Boston Celtics
Memphis Grizzlies 90-88 New Orleans Pelicans
Dallas Mavericks 108-101 Utah Jazz
Portland Trail Blazers 90-103 San Antonio Spurs
Cleveland Cavaliers 110-101 Phoenix Suns
Golden State Warriors 98-111 Los Angeles Clippers