|With big games from Shaq and Wade, and a big game in Boston, plenty familiar in NBA|
|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 24 November 2007 01:15|
Friday's NBA action sure came with some familiar sights and sounds.
Shaquille O'Neal and Dwyane Wade both had their best games of the season, and the Heat finally won at home, beating the Houston Rockets 98-91.
O'Neal had season highs of 26 points and 14 rebounds, Wade scored a season-high 31 points, and the Heat handed the Rockets their sixth straight loss.
O'Neal has struggled this season, but he and Wade looked as good as they did while leading Miami to the 2006 NBA title.
``Guys were getting me the ball in a position where I can do something,'' O'Neal said. ``It was a good game for us, a must win.''
Kevin Garnett had 21 points and 11 rebounds in Boston, where the Celtics beat the Los Angeles Lakers 107-94. The teams were great rivals in the 1980s, and Friday's game had enough star power on the floor and the stands to give it a throwback feel.
``Rivalries are made are made in the playoffs and in finals,'' Boston's Paul Pierce said. ``Lakers and Celtics is always going to be talked about throughout the history of the game because of the great rivalry we had in the '80s.''
In other games, it was: Orlando 105, Charlotte 92; Golden State 123, Washington 115; Indiana 111, Dallas 107; Detroit 83, Philadelphia 78; San Antonio 101, Memphis 88; Denver 99, Minnesota 93; Utah 99, New Orleans 71; Phoenix 113, the Los Angeles Clippers 94; Portland 87, Sacramento 84; and New Jersey 98, Seattle 93.
Kendrick Perkins had 21 points and nine rebounds for Boston, which improved to 10-1 overall and 7-0 at home. Pierce had 20 points and nine assists, Ray Allen scored 18 points and Rajon Rondo had 10 assists for the Celtics.
The Lakers won both meetings last season, and the rivalry has been mostly meaningless in recent years while the Celtics struggled. But with their new Big Three, maybe things can be different.
``Since I've been in the league, they've (stunk),'' Kobe Bryant said. ``Now they're kicking our butts. Hopefully we will get to the point where there's some parity between us and them. It means we're competing on a championship level.''
Bryant scored 28 points for Los Angeles, which got no help from having Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in the crowd with his wife, Maria Shriver. Instead, the Celtics fired up the crowd for the renewal of the rivalry by putting a muscle-bound clip of Schwarzenegger's movie ``Predator'' on the scoreboard.
``Starting to bring celebrities out,'' said Pierce, who grew up in the Los Angeles area as a Lakers fan who hated the Celtics. ``That's what I like.''
Ricky Davis scored 12 points and Udonis Haslem added 11 for Miami, which had been 0-5 at home. Most of those losses came while Wade was still out to begin the season.
``It was about time,'' said Wade, who scored 14 points in the fourth quarter. ``Coach always puts me in a position to have the ball late in the game. My teammates have an unbelievable amount of confidence in me to help us win the game.''
Warriors 123, Wizards 115
At Washington, Baron Davis had 33 points, 15 assists and 11 rebounds, and Golden State ended the Wizards' six-game winning streak.
Caron Butler finished with 26 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. Davis and Butler are the first pair of NBA opponents with triple-doubles in the same game in more than 4 1/2 years. Orlando's Tracy McGrady and New Jersey's Jason Kidd did it on Feb. 23, 2003.
Magic 105, Bobcats 92
At Orlando, Fla., Dwight Howard had 34 points and 17 rebounds to help the Magic overcome a poor shooting night.
Reserve Walter Herrmann led the Bobcats with 16 points, while Emeka Okafor added 12 points and 18 rebounds.
Spurs 101, Grizzlies 88
At San Antonio, Tim Duncan scored 28 points and the Spurs won their fourth straight.
Juan Carlos Navarro led the Grizzlies with 16 points and Rudy Gay added 15.
Pistons 83, 76ers 78
Tayshaun Prince scored 15 points and Detroit held on for its fourth home victory in four games.
Andre Iguodala had 17 points and six assists for the Sixers, who also got 15 points from reserve Louis Williams.
Pacers 111, Mavericks 107
At Indianapolis, Danny Granger scored 25 points and Jamaal Tinsley added 24 to help Indiana win for the third time in four games despite playing without All-Star forward Jermaine O'Neal.
Devin Harris scored 24 points, Dirk Nowitzki added 20 points and 11 rebounds, and Josh Howard finished with 19 points for the Mavericks (9-3), who had their five-game win streak snapped.
Suns 113, Clippers 94
At Phoenix, Amare Stoudemire scored 13 of his season-high 29 points in the decisive third quarter, and the Suns matched the best start to a season in franchise history.
Shawn Marion added 21 points, 17 rebounds and five steals for the Suns, whose 11-2 start matches the franchise record set in 1980-81 and equaled in 2004-05.
Nuggets 99, Timberwolves 93
Carmelo Anthony scored 31 points and Kenyon Martin had a season-high 18 to lift Denver to its fifth straight home victory.
Antoine Walker came off the bench to score 24 points for the Timberwolves, 0-4 on the road.
Trail Blazers 87, Kings 84
LaMarcus Aldridge had 28 points and 12 rebounds, Brandon Roy made the go-ahead basket, and Portland improved to 5-1 at home.
Ron Artest had 17 points, 11 rebounds and five assists in his return from a one-game absence.
Jazz 99, Hornets 71
Carlos Boozer had 19 points and 16 rebounds to lead Utah to its sixth consecutive home victory.
David West had 18 points and 14 rebounds for the Hornets, who have lost three straight and were 1-for-17 on 3-pointers.
Nets 98, SuperSonics 93
At Seattle, Richard Jefferson scored 30 points, and New Jersey held off a fourth-quarter rally.
Delonte West led Seattle with 17 points and rookie Jeff Green added 14 points and 14 rebounds off the bench for Seattle, which has dropped three in a row and is 0-5 at home.