Bulls, Wizards and Raptors all lose to leave Eastern Conference race open…
The Cleveland Cavaliers suffered another loss on Wednesday night as they were defeated by the Atlanta Hawks with LeBron James missing out through injury.
James was forced to sit out on his 30th birthday due to knee soreness, and despite 35 points and nine assists from Kyrie Irving, it wasn’t enough to avoid another defeat as the Cavs slip to 18-13 for the season.
Paul Millsap filled the stat sheet with 26 points, nine rebounds, three assists, two steals and three blocks as he helped inflict a third loss in the last four games on Cleveland with Jeff Teague (23 points, 11 assists) also pushing the Hawks on.
Eastern Conference rivals the Chicago Bulls suffered a disappointing loss to the Brooklyn Nets which saw their seven-game winning streak ended.
Brook Lopez had a season-best 29 points to steal the spotlight from Mike Dunleavy (23 points), but the Bulls offense struggled as Jimmy Butler had just eight points while Derrick Rose was held to four on 2-for-15 shooting.
During their seven-game winning streak the Bulls had averaged 106.6 points on 45.4 percent shooting, but after a 31-point first quarter they struggled to get by the Nets and fall to 22-10.
Staying in the East, the Washington Wizards and Toronto Raptors both lost with Monta Ellis (20 points) leading the Dallas Mavericks past the Wiz, while LeMarcus Aldridge (23 points, 13 rebounds) and Damian Lillard (26 points) secured a win over Toronto for the Portland Trail Blazers after overtime.
Over in the Western Conference, Mike Conley put up 30 points, seven rebounds and six assists as the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the San Antonio Spurs with the defending champions dropping to 19-14.
The Los Angeles Lakers got a triple-double from Kobe Bryant with 23 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists as they defeated the Denver Nuggets, while the Golden State Warriors sealed a 40-point win over the Philadelphia 76ers with Marreese Speights scoring 23 points and dishing out four assists.
Detroit Pistons 109-86 Orlando Magic
Cleveland Cavaliers 101-109 Atlanta Hawks
Brooklyn Nets 96-82 Chicago Bulls
San Antonio Spurs 87-95 Memphis Grizzlies
Phoenix Suns 106-110 New Orleans Pelicans
Washington Wizards 87-114 Dallas Mavericks
Los Angeles Lakers 111-103 Denver Nuggets
Minnesota Timberwolves 94-100 Utah Jazz
Toronto Raptors 97-102 Portland Trail Blazers
Philadelphia 76ers 86-126 Golden State Warriors