Orlando 122, Phoenix 100
Studs: Orlando knocked the Suns from the ranks of the unbeatens behind 25 points from Dwight Howard and 20 points and 10 rebounds from Ryan Anderson. Matt Barnes got the start against his former team, and made the most of it, posting 13 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals. Amare Stoudemire looked like his old self for the first time this season, tallying 25 points and 14 rebounds.
Duds: Grant Hill and Jason Richardson combined to shoot 0-for-9 and were both held scoreless, as was Jarron Collins, who logged 12 minutes off the Suns' bench. Howard seemed frustrated at times, picking up 5 fouls and committing 5 turnovers in just 23 minutes.
Game Notes: Howard picked up his third technical foul in just 5 games this season… The Magic shot over 52% from the field and 3-point range, and used a 16-4 third quarter run to put their lead out of reach… Leandro Barbosa missed the game with a sore wrist and Vince Carter sat out with a sprained ankle.
Miami 93, Washington 89
Studs: Dwyane Wade dominated the perimeter defense of the Wizards, shooting 14-for-26 on his way to 40 points. Quentin Richardson had his second straight solid showing, posting 19 points and 9 rebounds. Gilbert Arenas had 32 points for Washington, and Brandon Haywood added 16 points and 11 rebounds.
Duds: Arenas shot just 9-for-27 from the floor for the Wizards. Jermaine O'Neal and Mario Chalmers combined to shoot just 3-for-13 for the Heat.
Game Notes: The benches combined for just 33 points (18 for Washington and 15 for Miami)… Mike Miller was the only Wizard at or above 50% from the floor, shooting 3-for-5 before leaving the game with a strained AC joint in his left shoulder. He is expected to miss 1-to-2 weeks.
Toronto 110, Detroit 99
Studs: Chris Bosh and Andrea Bargnani each shot 50% from the floor and combined for 47 points and 20 rebounds, and Antoine Wright added 12 points and 5 rebounds off the bench as Toronto evened their record at 2-2. Ben Gordon led the way for the Pistons with 30 points on 10-for-19 shooting and Charlie Villanueva had his best performance with Detroit, posting 16 points and 7 rebounds.
Duds: Rodney Stuckey shot just 5-for-18 for Detroit, and the Pistons shot just 68% from the free throw line as a team. Rookie DeMar DeRozan struggled for the Raptors, posting 3 points on 1-for-5 shooting.
Game Notes: Detroit got 75 of their 99 points from Gordon, Villanueva, Stuckey, and Will Bynum… Toronto committed only 6 turnovers as a team, while tallying 20 assists… Detroit was the second best defensive team in the league entering the game, allowing just 85.3 points per game… Bargnani's game-high 12 rebounds were also a career best.
Denver 122, New Jersey 94
Studs: Instead of Chauncey Billups, Carmelo Anthony, and Nene doing the damage for the Nuggets, it was Ty Lawson, Aaron Afflalo, and Kenyon Martin on this night. Lawson had 23 points on 9-for-10 shooting; Afflalo posted 15 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists; and Martin added 18 points and 10 rebounds. Chris Douglas-Roberts had 19 points and 7 rebounds for the Nets, and Eduardo Najera made the most of his first start of the season, posting 14 points and 7 rebounds in place of Yi Jianlian.
Duds: Courtney Lee was just 2-for-11 and Bobby Simmons was only 1-for-9 off the New Jersey bench. Anthony and Billups combined to shoot just 12-for-35 from the field.
Game Notes: Denver shot 53% from the field and 55.6% from 3-point range, erasing a halftime deficit with a 44-26 third quarter and a 28-17 fourth… Denver has scored 110 points or more in 11 of its last 14 regular season games dating back to last season… Yi will miss 3-5 weeks with his sprained MCL.
Indiana 101, New York 89
Studs: Indiana finally got into the win column in a game that must have made Donnie Walsh cringe. Danny Granger led the Pacers with 21 points and Dahntay Jones had 19 points and 12 rebounds starting in place of an injured Troy Murphy. Al Harrington paced New York with 22 points, and David Lee posted 20 points, 19 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks in a losing effort.
Duds: Larry Hughes shot just 2-for-10 from the field, but his teammates weren't much better. The Knicks shot 39.5% as a team, and only Lee (9-for-17) and rookie Toney Douglas (2-for-4) achieved the 50% mark. Luther Head was just 1-for-7 for Indiana.
Game Notes: The game featured 39 turnovers and just 6 fast break points… The teams combined to shoot 12-for-47 (25.5%) from 3-point range… Danny Granger fouled out after 38 minutes, but Indiana didn't miss him. They held the Knicks scoreless over the games last 9 minutes.
Boston 92, Minnesota 90
Studs: Rajon Rondo had team-highs with 18 points and 6 assists, and added 4 rebounds and 3 steals as Boston came from behind to beat the Timberwolves at the Target Center. Minnesota put up a valiant effort, led by 24 points and 8 rebounds from relative-unknown Oleksiy Pecherov, but came up just short.
Duds: Corey Brewer shot just 6-for-16, and Jonny Flynn followed up a strong first half (10 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists) with a scoreless second half, tallying just 1 rebound and 1 assist. Paul Pierce was just 3-for-12 for the Celtics.
Game Notes: Minnesota forced only 9 turnovers and collected only 2 fast break points. They also struggled on the defensive glass down the stretch, giving Boston extra possessions, which turned out to be the difference in the game… Al Jefferson's rebound total is now up to 28 through 5 games, putting him at a mere 5.6 per game.
LA Lakers 103, Houston 102 (OT)
Studs: Kobe Bryant had 41 points, to go along with 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 steals; and Andrew Bynum added 17 points, 17 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 blocks as the Lakers held on to beat Houston. Carl Landry led the Rockets with 20 points off the bench.
Duds: Trevor Ariza forced shots early and often and ended up just 5-for-21 against his former team. Teammate Aaron Brooks committed 7 turnovers, which nearly matched the Lakers' total of 9 as a team.
Game Notes: L.A. won the turnover battle 19-9 and converted their opportunities into 22 points, compared with just 7 from the Rockets… Ariza and Ron Artest were all-but inseparable in their first meeting since switching teams. The two drew offsetting technical fouls just 2:49 into the game and the fun continued from there. Artest accused Ariza of throwing 3 elbows, and Ariza claimed that Artest grabbed at his throat at one point.
New Orleans 114, Dallas 107 (OT)
Studs: A day after Dirk Nowitzki captivated the basketball world with his stunning 29-point fourth quarter performance, Chris Paul showed the Mavericks that Dirk isn't the only superstar in the Southwest Division. Paul shot 14-for-23 and posted 39 points, 5 rebounds, and 7 assists in the overtime win. New Orleans also got 25 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals from David West and 18 points from reserve Bobby Brown. Jason Terry did most of the damage for Dallas, tallying a team-high 35 points. Erick Dampier added 16 points, 14 rebounds, and 3 blocks in the loss.
Duds: Nowitzki looked winded after his explosive performance against Utah, managing only 12 points and 5 rebounds on 4-for-15 shooting before fouling out. Shawn Marion also struggled, shooting 3-for-9 and committing 5 turnovers. Peja Stojakovic, Julian Wright, Hilton Armstrong, and James Posey combined to shoot 1-for-15 and scored only 3 total points in 62 minutes.
Game Notes: Stojakovic connected on just one field goal, but it was paramount. His 3-pointer at the end of regulation sent the game into overtime, where Paul and West took over… Terry and J.J. Barea missed 3 critical free throws before Stojakovic hit the 3 to tie the game… Rodrigue Beaubois got his first career start and scored the Mavericks' first 9 points, but didn't score again.
Atlanta 113, Sacramento 105
Studs: Atlanta traveled west to beat the Kings at Arco Arena behind 26 points apiece from Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford. Crawford has now scored 53 point in the past 2 games. Kevin Martin had 29 points and 11 rebounds for Sacramento, who also got 22 points, 12 rebounds, and 5 assists from Jason Thompson.
Duds: Rookie Tyreke Evans was aggressive, but struggled offensively, shooting just 7-for-21 from the field. Spencer Hawes had a tough go of it as well, shooting just 3-for-9 in his first start of the season. Johnson and Crawford combined to commit 10 turnovers for the Hawks, compared to just 7 for the whole Kings' team.
Game Notes: Atlanta shot 54.1% from the field and 58% on their 2-point attempts. They outscored Sacramento 66-44 in the paint.
Golden State 113, Memphis 105
Studs: Monta Ellis had arguably the best performance of the day, posting 24 points, 7 rebounds, 12 assists, and 5 steals; Anthony Morrow joined him with 24 points on 10-for-12 shooting; and Stephen Jackson and Corey Maggette added 20 apiece as Golden State dropped 113 points on the Grizzlies. Rudy Gay had 29 points for Memphis, who got double-doubles from Zach Randolph (16 points and 10 rebounds) and Marc Gasol (12 points and 14 rebounds). Allen Iverson added 18 points and 7 assists off the Grizzlies' bench.
Duds: O.J. Mayo and Mike Conley combined to shoot 7-for-23 from the field and commit 7 turnovers in the loss. Andres Biedrins picked up 5 fouls in just 19 minutes for the Warriors.
Game Notes: The undersized Warrior outscored Memphis 60-38 in the paint… Iverson became the 16th player in NBA history to eclipse the 16,000-point plateau… The two first-rounders in this game are heading in very different directions. Stephen Curry had another promising outing; shooting 3-for-6 for 7 points, and adding 5 rebounds, 9 assists, and 2 steals. Hasheem Thabeet played 4 minutes, picking up a foul and committing 2 turnovers, with no other contributions.