NBA Wrap-Up: Bulls Beat Wizards 87-77
CHICAGO (AP) - Marco Belinelli came off the bench to score 17 points and lead the Chicago Bulls to an 87-77 victory over the Washington Wizards on Saturday night. Carlos Boozer added 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Bulls (16-12), who snapped a two-game losing streak. Belinelli made 7 of 16 shots in a reserve role as Richard Hamilton returned to the starting lineup. Hamilton had missed 12 games because of a torn plantar fascia in his left foot. Chicago's Luol Deng scored 11 points after injuring his right ankle Tuesday in a loss to Houston. Bradley Beal led the NBA-worst Wizards (4-24) with 14 points. Emeka Okafor added 11 points and 18 rebounds for Washington, which has lost nine of 10. Wizards leading scorer Jordan Crawford, averaging 16 points per game, sat out because of a left ankle injury.
Raptors 123 Magic 88
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - DeMar DeRozan scored 21 points and Jose Calderon added 15 points and 10 assists, helping the Toronto Raptors to an easy 123-88 victory over the injury-depleted Orlando Magic on Saturday night. Rookie Ed Davis had 18 points and seven rebounds as Toronto won for the seventh time in eight games. The Raptors, who hit a season-high 15 3-pointers, got 16 points apiece from Kyle Lowry and Terrence Ross. Rookie Andrew Nicholson led Orlando with a career-high 22 points. Arron Afflalo added 14 points and Ish Smith had 13 points and six assists.
Hawks 109, Pacers 100
ATLANTA (AP) - Lou Williams had 21 points and a career-high 12 assists, Al Horford added 20 points and the Atlanta Hawks won their fourth straight, 109-100 over the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night. David West scored a game-high 29 points for the Pacers, who had won four straight and seven of eight. With Josh Smith, Atlanta's leading scorer this season, unable to play because of a right hip flexor, Hawks coach Larry Drew started Zaza Pachulia, who responded with 17 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Indiana never got closer than three in the fourth quarter after Paul George's three-point play made it 91-88 at the 5:18 mark. Jeff Teague's floating runner made it 101-90 less than 3 minutes later.
Hornets 98, Bobcats 95
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Eric Gordon had 24 points and seven assists, helping the New Orleans Hornets overcome a 21-point first-half deficit and extend the Charlotte Bobcats' losing streak to 18 games with a 98-95 victory Saturday night. The Bobcats are one game away from a winless December. They haven't won since Nov. 24. Gordon, who hadn't played since April 22 following arthroscopic right knee surgery, was 5 of 13 from the field and 12 of 14 from the free throw line in 24 minutes. Ryan Anderson had 19 points and made a pair of 3-pointers in the final period as the Hornets won for the second time in three games. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had 22 points and nine rebounds and Gerald Henderson added 19 points for the Bobcats.
Nets 103, Cavaliers 100
NEW YORK (AP) - Brook Lopez scored a season-high 35 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, and the Brooklyn Nets improved to 2-0 under interim coach P.J. Carlesimo by beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 103-100 on Saturday night. Lopez followed his 26-point, 11-rebound performance in a victory Friday over Charlotte by shooting 13 of 20 from the field, making a number of timely baskets in the fourth quarter that the Nets ultimately needed to hold on. Deron Williams and Joe Johnson each scored 15 points for the Nets, who fired coach Avery Johnson on Thursday and followed with two victories over losing teams. But now, they head off for major tests at San Antonio and Oklahoma City. CJ Miles scored 33 points and made eight 3-pointers for the Cavs, but Kyrie Irving capped a miserable shooting night when his tying 3-point attempt went in and out. He finished with 13 points on 5-of-16 shooting.
Thunder 124, Rockets 94
HOUSTON (AP) - Russell Westbrook scored 28 points and Kevin Durant added 26 as the Oklahoma City Thunder built a big lead in the second quarter and rolled to a 124-94 win over the Houston Rockets on Saturday night. Durant scored 11 points during a 16-0 run by the Thunder to end the first half and extend the lead to 18. Oklahoma City had another big run early in the third quarter to put the game further out of reach. Former Thunder sixth man James Harden scored 25 for the Rockets, who went cold on offense for long stretches. It was Oklahoma City's second win this season over Houston, after taking the first meeting 120-98. Kevin Martin, who came to Oklahoma City in the trade for Harden, finished 19 points and five 3-pointers. Marcus Morris added a career-high 24 points for Houston.
T-Wolves 111, Suns 107
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Nikola Pekovic had 28 points and 11 rebounds and Kevin Love added 23 points and 18 boards to lift the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 111-107 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Saturday night. Andrei Kirilenko added 20 points and five rebounds for the Timberwolves, who were missing guard Ricky Rubio because of back spasms. Luis Scola had 33 points and 10 rebounds for the Suns, who lost their fifth straight game. They led 102-99 with 3:30 to play, but once again failed to close it out. Pekovic scored two quick ones underneath but the Suns still had a chance down three with 8.1 seconds left. But Dante Cunningham stole the inbounds pass to seal it.
Grizzlies 81, Nuggets 72
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Rudy Gay scored eight of his 19 points down the stretch and the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Denver Nuggets 81-72 on Saturday night. Gay's rush was part of 10 straight points for Memphis, breaking open a 68-68 game with 4:45 left. His 18-footer on the baseline with 1:25 left gave Memphis a 10-point lead, helping the Grizzlies snap a two-game losing streak. Zach Randolph had 12 points for Memphis, which won despite shooting 40 percent. The Grizzlies outscored the Nuggets 28-15 in the fourth, eventually building the lead to 11 points. Andre Iguodala, Corey Brewer and JaVale McGee all had 12 points for Denver, which had its two-game winning streak end. Kenneth Faried had 11 points for the Nuggets, hitting 5 of 7 shots. Danilo Gallinari, who was coming off a career-high 39 points Friday night against Dallas, was held to 7 points on 2-of-8 shooting.
Bucks 104, Heat 85
MILWAUKEE (AP) - Brandon Jennings scored 25 points and Mike Dunleavy had 13 of his 18 in the fourth quarter as the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Miami Heat 104-85 on Saturday night to spoil Dwyane Wade's return. Wade was back after serving a one-game suspension for flailing his leg and making contact with guard Ramon Sessions' groin during the Heat's 105-92 victory over Charlotte on Wednesday. Wade sat out Miami's 109-99 loss to Detroit on Friday night, which snapped the Heat's six-game winning streak. Wade had 24 points on 10-of-19 shooting, four assists, six rebounds and three turnovers. LeBron James added 25 points as Miami failed to reach 100 points for just the third time in 28 games.
Trail Blazers 89, 76ers 85
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Nicolas Batum had 22 points, eight assists and seven rebounds, Damian Lillard added 20 points and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Philadelphia 76ers 89-85 on Saturday night for their eighth straight victory at home. J.J. Hickson had 16 points and 13 rebounds for Portland. LaMarcus Aldridge added 16 points. Jrue Holiday had 29 points, nine assists and nine rebounds to lead the Sixers, who have lost eight of 10. Thaddeus Young added 17 points. Portland led 84-76 late in the game, but Young made two big baskets, including a three-point play to cut the lead to three. Spencer Hawes and Dorell Wright missed 3-pointers for the Sixers, however, and Batum hit three of four free throws to seal it.
Warriors 101, Celtics 83
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Stephen Curry had 22 points and nine assists, David Lee scored 20 points and the Golden State Warriors whipped the short-handed Boston Celtics 101-83 on Saturday night to close a memorable month. First-round pick Harrison Barnes added 15 points and eight rebounds to help the Warriors build a 20-point lead in the second quarter and cruise most of the way. Golden State (21-10) finished December with a 12-4 record and has at least 20 wins before New Year's Day for the first time since 1980. Courtney Lee had 18 points and five rebounds starting in place Rajon Rondo, who was a late scratch for Boston because of a bruised right thigh and hip. Celtics coach Doc Rivers said Rondo will be a game-time decision at the Sacramento Kings on Sunday night.
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