The Associated Press
Dec. 26, 2014
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Russell Westbrook scored 34 points, and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the San Antonio Spurs 114-106 on Thursday in a rematch of last season's Western Conference Finals.
The Thunder earned their sixth straight regular-season victory over the defending NBA champions in the first meeting between the teams since San Antonio topped Oklahoma City in six games on the way to a fifth title.
The Thunder was without reigning MVP Kevin Durant, and the Spurs were missing Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, but there was still plenty of firepower.
Serge Ibaka had 21 points, including going 3 for 4 on 3-pointers for Oklahoma City (14-16). Steven Adams added 16 points and 15 rebounds to offset San Antonio center Tiago Splitter matching his season-high with 14 points.
Matt Bonner had 17 points to lead seven players in double figures for San Antonio (18-12), which has lost five of six. Tim Duncan had 15 points, six rebounds and five assists.
HEAT 101, CAVALIERS 91
MIAMI (AP) —Dwyane Wade scored 24 of his 31 points in the first half, Luol Deng finished with 25 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, and the Miami Heat beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in LeBron James' first game back at his former home.
Chris Andersen scored 12 for the Heat, who led by as many as 17, trailed for a moment in the fourth quarter before gathering themselves and pulling away again.
James scored 30 points for the Cavaliers, hugging his former teammates before the game and after the final buzzer. It was James' first time as an opponent in Miami since he helped the Heat reach each of the last four NBA Finals, winning two titles.
Kyrie Irving added 25 points, and Kevin Love scored 14 for Cleveland.
Miami was again without Chris Bosh, still sidelined by a calf injury.
CLIPPERS 100, WARRIORS 86
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jamal Crawford scored 12 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter, Chris Paul added 22 points, and Los Angeles handed NBA-leading Golden State its second Staples Center loss in three days.
The Warriors held the Clippers to 4-for-24 shooting in the first quarter and 39.1 percent for the game, two nights after the Lakers shot 51.7 percent without Kobe Bryant to beat them 115-105. That loss ended a streak of 27 straight games by the Warriors in which they held opponents under 50 percent.
The Clippers, beginning a nine-game homestand after back-to-back losses to San Antonio and Atlanta, haven't dropped three in a row since March 29-April 1, 2013. Blake Griffin missed his first eight shots and was 5 for 16 overall with 18 points and 15 rebounds. DeAndre Jordan had 14 points and 12 boards.
Klay Thompson scored 15 points, and Stephen Curry 14 for Golden State, which has lost three of five following a 23-3 start that included a franchise-record 16-game winning streak.
BULLS 113, LAKERS 93
CHICAGO (AP) — Pau Gasol had 23 points and 13 rebounds against his former team and Chicago beat Los Angeles with Lakers star Kobe Bryant resting his sore body.
Jimmy Butler added 21 points, and Derrick Rose had 20 points and six assists to help the Bulls win their season-high fifth straight.
With Bryant missing his second straight game, the Lakers were unable to pull off another upset. They stunned Golden State on Tuesday night but came up short against the Central division leaders.
Gasol, a two-time champion in six-plus seasons with the Lakers, was 9 of 14 from the field in his first game against Los Angeles since joining the Bulls in the summer.
Wesley Johnson led Los Angeles with 19 points.
WIZARDS 102, KNICKS 91
NEW YORK (AP) — John Wall had 24 points and 11 assists, eluding the Knicks all day until getting knocked to the floor by a flagrant foul that sparked an altercation, and Washington beat New York.
Wall toyed with the Knicks for 3 1/2 quarters, highlighted by a spinning, 360-degree layup, before Quincy Acy knocked him down with a forearm shove with 5:31 to play. Wall got up and pushed Acy, who responded with a punch that appeared to hit Wall behind the neck. Acy was ejected in the Christmas dust-up, and Wall received a technical foul.
Bradley Beal added 17 points for the Wizards, who had their top five of Wall, Beal, Paul Pierce, Nene and Marcin Gortat in the starting lineup for the first time this season.
Carmelo Anthony scored 34 points for the Knicks, who fell to 5-26 and have the most losses in the NBA. They have dropped six straight and 16 of 17.
New York fell to 22-28 in a league-high 50 Christmas appearances.