Durant drops 41 in OKC’s win over the Knicks.
There were eight games on the NBA schedule on Sunday night, with the Chicago Bulls securing a win over the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center.
The hosts were undoubtedly short-handed as Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Jordan Farmar, Nick Young, Jodie Meeks and Xavier Henry were all missing with injuries.
As a result, the Bulls were able to lead throughout with Joakim Noah ending the game with 18 points and 13 rebounds, after coach Tom Thibodeau opted to leave him in the game for the final seven minutes despite having five fouls.
Kirk Hinrich added 19 points while Taj Gibson had 18, and despite a season-high 27 points off the bench from Chris Kaman for the Lakers, they were unable to really compete with their Eastern Conference rivals.
Point guard Steve Nash had eight points in 21 minutes before departing the game with irritation in his left leg, with the 40-year-old playing in just his third game since missing 39 because of a nerve problem in his back.
In the earlier game of the day, the Oklahoma City Thunder were able to see off the New York Knicks behind 41 points from Kevin Durant.
With the build-up focusing in on Durant’s battle with Carmelo Anthony, the latter endured an off night as he was only able to contribute 15 points on 5-for-19 shooting for the visitors who did manage to compete for the majority of the game with the Western Conference leaders.
Durant finished just shy of a triple-double with 10 rebounds and nine assists, while Reggie Jackson (19 points) and Serge Ibaka (16 points and nine rebounds) were also fundamental in the win.
In contrast, the Knicks have now lost four of their last five with Raymond Felton and Amar’e Stoudemire scoring 16 points each.
Meanwhile, there was another shock courtesy of the Orlando Magic after their win over the Thunder on Friday, after they added the Indiana Pacers to the list of their recent victims.
Although still only 16-37 for the season, Orlando have added some much needed confidence to a disastrous season as Victor Oladipo scored 23 points to lead his team to victory while Nikola Vucevic added 19 points and 13 rebounds.
Paul George led the Pacers with 27 points, but it wasn’t enough for the leaders in the East who slip to 39-11 for the season.
Elsewhere, there were wins for the Washington Wizards and Brooklyn Nets over the Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Pelicans respectively, while Chris Paul had seven points and eight assists in 23 minutes on his comeback from injury, as the Los Angeles Clippers routed the Philadelphia 76ers.
New York Knicks 100-112 Oklahoma City Thunder
Chicago Bulls 92-86 Los Angeles Lakers
Dallas Mavericks 102-91 Boston Celtics
New Orleans Pelicans 81-93 Brooklyn Nets
Memphis Grizzlies 83-91 Cleveland Cavaliers
Indiana Pacers 92-93 Orlando Magic
Sacramento Kings 84-93 Washington Wizards
Philadelphia 76ers 78-123 Los Angeles Clippers