|Lakers cruise past Clippers for 13th win in 14 games; Nuggets end Spurs' 11-game win streak|
|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 08 March 2008 00:04|
After making just two of six from beyond the arc in the first two quarters, the Pacific Division-leading Lakers went 12-for-17 in the second half to beat the Clippers 119-82 Friday night.
The Lakers have won 13 of 14 and their 44-18 record is a half game better than San Antonio's 43-18.
Derek Fisher scored 17 points, Kobe Bryant had 16, Lamar Odom added 15 points and Ronny Turiaf 13 to lead the Lakers. Vladimir Radmanovic, Pau Gasol and Jordan Farmar each scored 10 to give them seven players in double figures.
``I think what we did is that we stepped up our pressure,'' Bryant said. ``Try to make them play at our pace, or execute things that they are not used to doing, and our shooters knocked down some big shots to blow the game open.''
At Denver, Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony were too much for the defending champion Spurs, who had had their 11-game winning streak end with a 109-96 loss to the Nuggets.
Iverson scored 29 points despite spraining his right ring finger in the first half and Anthony overcame a bad first half (1-for-7 from the floor) to finish with 25 points as the Nuggets won for the 13th time in the last 15 games at the Pepsi Center.
In other NBA games Friday night, it was: Washington 110, Toronto 106 in overtime; Charlotte 108, Atlanta 93; Philadelphia 117, Seattle 83; Detroit 101, New York 97; Golden State 134, Miami 99; Boston 116, Chicago 93; New Orleans 107, New Jersey 96; Portland 103, Milwaukee 101; Utah 126, Phoenix 118; and Minnesota 111, Sacramento 103.
The Lakers' 61 percent shooting from 3-point range was better than their overall shooting percentage - 54 percent. Fisher finished 3-for-4 from behind the line, Bryant went 2-for-3, Farmar and Coby Karl each went 2-for-2, and Radmanovic and Sasha Vujacic 2-for-4.
Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said his team was simply overwhelmed in the second half.
``Obviously, they made a ton of 3-point shots,'' Dunleavy said. ``They put it on us.''
The Pacific cellar-dwelling Clippers were good on just 3-of-14 from 3-point range as they lost for the seventh time in eight games. Corey Maggette had 22 points, seven rebounds and four assists, and Cuttino Mobley added 13 points for the Clippers.
The Nuggets are off to their best start in 20 years, but even at 37-24, they're on the fringe of the wild Western Conference playoff picture, remaining one game behind Golden State for the eighth spot heading into the final six weeks.
``It's just because our backs are against the wall,'' Iverson said after Denver's second big win over a nemesis (Phoenix) in 48 hours. ``We understand that every night we have to come in here and play hard and play together and not take any possessions off. We know how serious it is in the West, and if we don't get our act together it's going to be a chance we're not going to be in the playoffs.''
X-rays were negative on Iverson's finger, and he doubted it would keep him out Nuggets' big game against Northwest Division-leading Utah on Saturday night. Anthony also is listed as probable against the Jazz after bruising his left knee.
Eduardo Najera tied his career high with 19 points and fellow reserve J.R. Smith added 15.
Manu Ginobili scored 24 points and Tim Duncan added 23 for the Spurs, who fell to 9-4 in the second game of back-to-backs.
Celtics 116, Bulls 93
Paul Pierce scored 22 points and Kevin Garnett added 16 and eight rebounds before the Boston starters sat out the fourth quarter of their 10th straight home win and seventh in a row overall.
Ben Gordon scored 20 points, and Joakim Noah had 10 points and seven rebounds for the Bulls.
Wizards 110, Raptors 106, OT
Antawn Jamison had 25 points and 16 rebounds to help visiting Washington win for the fifth time in seven games. Roger Mason added 18 points for the Wizards, who had six players score in double figures.
Andrea Bargnani had 27 points for the Raptors.
76ers 117, SuperSonics 83
Samuel Dalembert had 22 points and 13 rebounds to lead Philadelphia to its eighth straight home victory. Andre Iguodala and Thaddeus Young added 18 points apiece to help the 76ers win for the 11th time in 14 games.
Chris Wilcox scored 20 points and Kevin Durant scored 10 of his 14 points in the first quarter for Seattle.
Bobcats 108, Hawks 93
Raymond Felton had 23 points and 11 assists, Matt Carroll scored 21 points and new-look Charlotte matched its team record with a fourth straight win.
Emeka Okafor added 16 points and 15 rebounds for the host Bobcats.
Joe Johnson scored 20 points and Al Horford added 18 points and 11 rebounds for Atlanta.
Warriors 134, Heat 99
Stephen Jackson scored 22 points, Al Harrington added 17, Baron Davis had 15 points and 10 assists for visiting Golden State.
The Heat only had seven available players and were without Dwyane Wade, sidelined by left knee soreness. Chris Quinn and Marcus Banks each scored 20 points for Miami which lost for the 30th time in its last 33 games.
Pistons 101, Knicks 97
Tayshaun Prince bounced back from a horrendous game in his last trip to Madison Square Garden, scoring 28 points to lead Detroit.
Eddy Curry scored 23 points and Jamal Crawford had 17 for the knicks, who lost their fifth in a row.
Hornets 107, Nets 96
Chris Paul had 25 points and 16 assists, Tyson Chandler added 19 points and 10 rebounds, and host New Orleans won its third straight.
Richard Jefferson scored 27 and Vince Carter had 19 points and 10 assists for New Jersey.
Trail Blazers 103, Bucks 101
LaMarcus Aldridge scored 29 points, including a 13-foot jumper with 2.4 seconds remaining, to rally visiting Portland. Steve Blake had 21 points and Brandon Roy added 20.
Michael Redd led the short-handed Bucks with 25 points and Charlie Villanueva added 16.
Jazz 126, Suns 118
Carlos Boozer scored 17 of his 23 points in the second half, including a tough 8-foot bank shot with 31.1 seconds to play, and Utah won its fourth straight and handed Phoenix its third consecutive home loss.
Amare Stoudemire scored 37 points but the Suns fell to 3-6 since Shaquille O'Neal joined the lineup.
Timberwolves 111, Kings 103
Al Jefferson had 21 points and 13 rebounds and Rashad McCants added 22 points to help Minnesota record a rare road win and snap a five-game losing streak.
Kevin Martin scored a career-high 48 points and set the Kings' Sacramento record for free throws made by hitting 22 of 24.