Dallas 95, Detroit 90
Studs: Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavericks with 25 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists; and Drew Gooden added 11 points and 11 rebounds in his first start with Dallas. Detroit got 28 points from Rodney Stuckey and 27 from his backup, Will Bynum.
Duds: Ben Gordon was terrible, shooting 1-for-16 from the floor and committing 4 turnovers in 41 minutes, and Jason Terry was just 1-for-7 off the Mavericks' bench.
Game Notes: Stuckey and Bynum combined to shoot 23-for-36 (63.9%), but the rest of the Pistons were just 15-for-47 (31.9%). Stuckey, Bynum, Charlie Villanueva (6-for-16), and Ben Wallace (4-for-5) were the only Pistons to record more than 1 made basket… Dallas committed only 7 turnovers and recorded 25 assists on 36 made field goals… Gordon, who missed a game tying 3-pointer with 2 seconds left, was dealing with flu-like symptoms before the game… Gooden started for Erick Dampier, who missed the game with flu-like symptoms of his own…
LA Clippers 101, Oklahoma City 93
Studs: The Clippers were firing on all cylinders against the Thunder, as Chris Kaman had 25 points and 7 rebounds, Baron Davis had 24 and 6 assists, and a rejuvenated Al Thornton added 20 points in the win. Kevin Durant poured in 40 points and added 8 rebounds in a losing effort.
Duds: Thabo Sefolosha was 1-for-9 and rookie James Harden was 0-for-8, heaping a ton of pressure on Durant offensively.
Game Notes: In their prior two games, the Clippers had lost after leading by 9 and 22 points, respectively. They led the Thunder by 13 before coughing up the advantage, but held on this time to improve to 4-7… Russell Westbrook had team-highs with 9 rebounds, 7 assists, and 2 steals for the Thunder.
Phoenix 101, Toronto 100
Studs: Amare Stoudemire had 30 points and 8 rebounds, Steve Nash added 23 points and 9 assists, and Channing Frye canned 6 3-pointer on his way to 20 points as Phoenix survived the Raptors to improve to and NBA-best 9-2. Chris Bosh led the Raptors with 25 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 blocks.
Duds: Aside from Bosh (10-for-19), Amir Johnson (3-for-5), and Sonny Weems (2-for-2), no Raptor shot at or above 50%, but the team managed 45.5%. Aside from Stoudemire, Nash, and Frye, the Suns combined to shoot just 9-for-33 (27.3%) for 28 points.
Game Notes: The game was played on Stoudemire's 27th birthday… The Suns have now won 13 straight games at home… Nash converted a 3-point play with 38.9 seconds left to give the Suns the win… Bosh has an NBA-leading 8 double-doubles in 10 games this season.
Houston 101, LA Lakers 91
Studs: Aaron Brooks exploded for a career-high 33 points and reserve center Ryan Anderson added a career-high of his own, with 19 as Houston handed the Lakers their second straight loss. Ron Artest had a team-high 22 points and Andrew Bynum added 21 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 blocks in the loss.
Duds: Kobe Bryant was just 5-for-20 and Derek Fisher managed only 3-for-13, as the high-powered Lakers shot just 38.1% as a team. Aside from Brooks, Houston's starters combined for just 20 points on 7-for-27 shooting. Trevor Ariza tried to force it against his old team for the second time this season, going 2-for-12 with 6 turnovers.
Game Notes: Ariza received his 2009 Championship Ring before the game… Bryant has been playing through a groin injury he sustained last week against New Orleans… Phil Jackson reported that Lakers' center Pau Gasol has gone nearly a week without reporting any soreness, which means the missing piece in the Lakers' frontcourt should be returning relatively soon.