Jazz stun Knicks, Harden hits late shot and Pelicans set records on a busy night in the NBA…
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Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James led his team’s late rally as they overcame the Boston Celtics on Friday night, while there were several other surprises around the NBA.
The Cavs trailed by 19 points in the fourth quarter, but with James scoring 10 of his season-high 41 points in the final period with Kyrie Irving adding 15 of his 27, Cleveland were able to secure their third consecutive win.
However, perhaps the key to the game was the fact that the Cavs only allowed Boston 20 points in the final 12 minutes, compared to surrendering 42 in the third. While it can easily be looked at both ways, it was sign that Cleveland can arguably lock in defensively when required.
Rajon Rondo finished the game with 16 assists while Kelly Olynyk led Boston with a season-high 21 points as Jared Sullinger and Jeff Green chipped in with 19 points apiece.
Staying in the Eastern Conference, the Utah Jazz stunned the New York Knicks at MSG with Trey Burke’s buzzer-beater helping them overcome a 46-point performance from Carmelo Anthony.
Burke made the tough jumper from the corner as time expired to inflict a seventh straight loss on the Knicks, with Gordon Hayward scoring a season-high 33 points while Derrick Favors added 21 points and 12 rebounds.
The Houston Rockets also needed a late shot in their win over the Philadelphia 76ers, with James Harden scoring 35 points including a lay-up with 9 seconds left to lead the Rockets to the win.
There were no such problems for the New Orleans Pelicans who set franchise records in their rout of the Minnesota Timberwolves. New Orleans’ point total, 56 made field goals, 66.7 percent shooting and 48-point margin of victory all set new records for a game.
Flip Saunders was stunned by the defeat while Kevin Martin was speechless and insisted that the Timberwolves just had to “fight through the storm”.
The San Antonio Spurs also picked up a road win to improve to 5-3, with Tim Duncan leading a shared effort with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
It was a third straight win for the defending champions, with Duncan becoming the 19th player in league history to reach 25,000 career points. However, it was a night to forget for another NBA legend, as Kobe Bryant went 1-of-14 in one of his worst shooting games of his 19-year career.
Denver Nuggets 108-87 Indiana Pacers
Milwaukee Bucks 85-101 Orlando Magic
Miami Heat 103-114 Atlanta Hawks
Cleveland Cavaliers 122-121 Boston Celtics
Utah Jazz 102-100 New York Knicks
Philadelphia 76ers 87-88 Houston Rockets
Minnesota Timberwolves 91-139 New Orleans Pelicans
Detroit Pistons 96-89 Oklahoma City Thunder
Charlotte Hornets 103-95 Phoenix Suns
San Antonio Spurs 93-80 Los Angeles Lakers