Orlando 93, Charlotte 81
Studs: Orlando displayed a balanced offensive attack against the Bobcats, as no Magic player scored above 15 points and none of the 9 players to see action scored less than 5. Dwight Howard and Vince Carter (who came off the bench behind J.J. Redick in his first game back from a sprained ankle) led Orlando with 15 each. Raymond Felton had a game-high 18 points, and Boris Diaw posted 14 points, 6 rebounds, and 8 assists in the loss.
Duds: The 7 players that came off the Bobcats' bench shot just 9-for-23 and totaled only 21 points. Charlotte also struggled from the outside, connecting on just 2-of-17 3-point attempts.
Game Notes: Carter missed Orlando's morning shoot around, prompting coach Stan Van Gundy to rule him out of the game. However, Carter's ankle loosened up on the walk back to the hotel and he was able to participate in warm-ups and come off the bench… Charlotte trailed by 22 in the first half before cutting the lead to just 6 in the fourth quarter… Tyson Chandler picked up two quick fouls in just 3 minutes. His replacement, Nazr Mohammed, picked up three in 6 minutes, and third-stringer DeSanga Diop committed turnovers on his first two possessions.
Miami 90, Washington 76
Studs: Miami beat division rival Washington for the second time this season behind another superhuman effort from The Flash. Dwyane Wade put up 41 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals for the Heat. Gilbert Arenas had a team-high 21 points for the Wizards, who also got 19 points and 7 rebounds from Caron Butler, and 13 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 blocks from Brendan Haywood. Andray Blatche drew his first start of the season and tallied 13 points, 10 boards, and 5 assists in the loss.
Duds: Arenas committed an astounding 12 turnovers. That's not a misprint- 12 turnovers! That matches the amount committed by the Heat, as Washington turned it over 22 times as a team. The Wizards' bench was also completely ineffective, totaling just 2 points in 35 minutes.
Game Notes: Miami turned Wizard turnovers into 27 points at the other end and outscored Washington 40-26 in the paint… Miami trailed by 8 at halftime, but outscored the Wizards 49-27 in the second half after a rousing halftime speech by Wade, who scored 29 of his 41 in the second… 7 of Arenas' turnovers came in a 6-minute stretch of the third quarter during which Miami went on a 16-3 run… The injury ravaged Wizards lost Randy Foye to a sprained ankle in the second quarter.
Denver 90, Chicago 89
Studs: Chauncey Billups had 17 points, 6 assists, and 3 steals, and hit a game-winning free throw with .6 seconds left to lift the Nuggets past the Bulls. Carmelo Anthony had a team-high 20 points and Kenyon Martin (15 points and 10 rebounds) and Nene (11 points and 12 rebounds) added double-doubles in the win. Derrick Rose (22 points and 5 assists), Luol Deng (21 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists), and Joakim Noah (12 points and 21 rebounds) did most of the damage for Chicago.
Duds: John Salmons was 3-for-13, and the Bulls' bench combined to shoot 6-for-26 with just 13 points. J.R. Smith struggled in his first game back from a 7-game suspension, shooting just 1-for-9 for Denver.
Game Notes: After Billups' free throw made it 90-89, he missed the second intentionally to run the clock out. Noah grabbed the rebound and the Bulls called for timeout with .3 seconds on the clock. They diagramed a play and Brad Miller nailed the would-be game-winner at the buzzer. However, after a nearly-10-minute review, the basket was overturned and the Nuggets won the game… Smith told the media after the game that he wants to be called by his given name, Earl III.
Portland 93, Memphis 79
Studs: Brandon Roy led the Blazers with 20 points and 7 assists and LaMarcus Aldridge added 16 points and 12 rebounds, as Portland used a second-half surge to top the Grizzlies. Marc Gasol led Memphis with 20 points and 8 rebounds, and Zach Randolph notched a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Duds: Mike Conley was 3-for-10 and Rudy Gay was 4-for-11, as the Grizzlies shot just 37.2% from the field. Memphis' bench wasn't much help, either, as they shot just 4-for-16 with 12 points. Travis Outlaw was 1-for-9 off of Portland's bench.
Game Notes: Rookie Hasheem Thabeet left the game in the first quarter with a broken jaw after colliding with Randolph's head… The game was tied at halftime and Memphis led briefly in the third quarter before Portland opened it up with a 14-1 run… Portland has won 25 straight games against Minnesota, Milwaukee, Memphis, and Miami.
Dallas 121, Houston 103
Studs: Dallas shot 55.4% from the floor, 58.3% from 3-point range, and 95.7% from the free throw line, led by 24 points on 7-for-8 field goals and 9-of-9 free throws from Jason Terry. Erick Dampier made all 6 of his shots on his way to 14 points, 20 rebounds, and 3 blocks. Aaron Brooks led Houston with 22 points, and Carl Landry (19 points), David Andersen (13 points and 5 rebounds), and Kyle Lowry (12 points, 4 rebounds, and 5 assists) all reached double figures off the Rockets' bench.
Duds: Shane Battier was 1-for-8, Chase Budinger was 1-for-7, and Trevor Ariza was 3-for-10, as the Rockets shot just 42.7% as a team against a typically porous Mavericks' defense.
Game Notes: The Rockets led 56-39 midway through the second quarter before Dallas ran off a 30-8 spurt to take the lead… Dallas has scored over 120 points in both games since Josh Howard's return. The Mavs are now averaging 119 points per game over their last three games… Drew Gooden returned for Dallas, after missing the past four games.
Sacramento 101, Oklahoma City 98
Studs: Rookie Tyreke Evans showed why he is Sacramento de facto leader without Kevin Martin, posting 20 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists, and the Kings' young frontcourt did their parts too, as the Kings improved to 4-4. Jason Thompson had team-highs with 21 points and 14 rebounds, and Spencer Hawes added 12 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 blocks in the win. Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 37 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 steals.
Duds: Both sets of reserves struggled in this match up of two very thin teams. Sacramento got 20 bench points, and the Thunder managed just 19. A couple of starters had a rough night for Oklahoma City, as well. Russell Westbrook and Thabo Sefolosha combined to shoot just 4-for-20.Game Notes: The Kings have now won three straight games and are at the .500-mark for the first time since December 2006… Durant made all 18 of his free throw attempts, but shot just 9-for-23 from the field, including a miss of a potential game tying 3-pointer in the final seconds… The teams combined for 55 fouls and 71 free throw attempts.