Pacers crush Rockets to end two-game losing streak.
There were nine games on the NBA schedule on Friday night, with the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers picking up comprehensive wins.
The reigning champions made it four consecutive wins with their 122-103 victory over the Sacramento Kings, although the headlines were dominated by LeBron James’ huge dunk over rookie Ben McLemore.
“Sucks that it was him, too,” James told reporters. “I like him. I’ve been talking to him since he was in high school.”
James ended the game with 18 points, 6 rebounds and 8 assists while DeMarcus Cousins was the star performer for the visitors after posting up 27 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists.
While Miami have been closing the gap on Eastern Conference rivals the Indiana Pacers in recent games, the latter ended a two-game losing streak after crushing the Houston Rockets.
Paul George returned to form with 24 points in the 114-81 win, while coach Frank Vogel insisted that his team doesn’t like losing and were determined to bounce back.
Indiana still possess the best record in the Conference at 21-5 and have beaten three of the Western Conference’s top teams, which all suggests that they are ready to make a statement in the post season.
Elsewhere, the Philadelphia 76ers secured a thrilling win over the Brooklyn Nets with Evan Turner sealing it with a friendly roll.
It’s a setback for Jason Kidd and the Nets given their apparent recent turnaround, but nevertheless they will feel aggrieved to have lost as Michael Carter-Williams made his comeback from injury for the Sixers and immediately got them back to winning ways.
There were also wins for the Atlanta Hawks and Cleveland Cavaliers over the Utah Jazz and Milwaukee Bucks respectively, while the Charlotte Bobcats picked up an impressive win on the road in Detroit against the Pistons.
Meanwhile, despite losing Kobe Bryant for six weeks due to a fractured knee, the Lakers were able to defeat the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Nick Young had a team-high 25 points off the bench, while both Pau Gasol and Xavier Henry added 21 points in the 104-91 win.
Kevin Love was restricted to 25 points as the Lakers move to 13-13 for the season and will be hopeful of keeping themselves in the playoff picture as they await their injured stars to return.
Brooklyn Nets 120-121 Philadelphia 76ers
Utah Jazz 85-118 Atlanta Hawks
Milwaukee Bucks 111-114 Cleveland Cavaliers
Charlotte Bobcats 116-106 Detroit Pistons
Sacramento Kings 103-122 Miami Heat
Houston Rockets 81-114 Indiana Pacers
Toronto Raptors 109-108 Dallas Mavericks
Phoenix Suns 103-99 Denver Nuggets
Minnesota Timberwolves 91-104 Los Angeles Lakers