Heartbreaking to say the least. The Houston Rockets bow out of playoff contention for the 3rd straight year after losing a tough game against the Miami Heat at the American Airlines Arena 88-97. The Rockets were up 79-73 with 6 minutes left in the 4th, but the Heat came back and outscored the Rockets 24-9 in the final moments of the 4th. With the loss, the Rockets drop to 33-32, 1.5 games behind the 8th seeded Utah Jazz. While the Heat will most likely finish 2nd in the East with a record of 46-18.
The Rockets were led by rookie Chandler Parsons who scored a career high 23 points with 6 rebounds and 4 steals. Goran Dragic scored 16. Courtney Lee added 14 points and 2 steals. Patrick Patterson off the bench also scored 14 points with 7 rebounds. Luis Scola scored 12.
The Heat who played without Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh were led by LeBron James with 32 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 blocks. Norris Cole scored 16. Mike Miller off the bench and Joel Anthony each scored 11. Udonis Haslem pulled down 11 rebounds with 3 blocks.
In Atlanta, the New York Knicks win a thriller over the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena 113-112. Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with a double-double 39 points and 10 rebounds with 2 steals. Amar’e Stoudemire also finished with a double-double 22 points and 12 rebounds. Landry Fields scored 18. Baron Davis also finished with a double-double 13 points and 10 assists. Iman Shumpert scored 11. Marvin Williams led the Hawks with a double-double 29 points and 11 rebounds with 3 blocks. Jeff Teague added 23 points, 6 assists and 5 steals. Joe Johnson scored 22. Josh Smith added 14 points, 5 rebounds and 3 blocks. Jannero Pargo off the bench scored 12.
In Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Lakers win in a double overtime thriller over the Oklahoma City Thunder at Staples Center 114-106. Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 26 points, 6 rebounds and 8 assists. Pau Gasol almost came up with a triple double 20 points, 14 rebounds and 9 assists. Jordan Hill off the bench finished with a triple double 14 points, 15 rebounds and 3 blocks. Steve Blake added 13 points, 5 rebounds and 2 steals. Andrew Bynum added 10 points, 8 rebounds and 5 blocks. Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 35 points and 8 rebounds. Serge Ibaka finished with a double-double 18 points and 14 rebounds with 7 blocks. Russell Westbrook also finished with a double-double 14 points and 10 assists. Kendrick Perkins pulled down 10 rebounds with 2 blocks. Thabo Sefolosha also pulled down 10 rebounds with 3 steals. Metta World Peace was ejected in the 2nd quarter after elbowing James Harden who suffered from a concussion and took him out of the rest of the game. World Peace finished with 12 points, 5 rebounds and 3 steals. Harden finished with 14 points and 3 rebounds.
In Charlotte, the Sacramento Kings hand the Charlotte Bobcats their 20th straight defeat with a blowout victory at the Time Warner Cable Arena 114-88. DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings with a double-double 29 points and 10 rebounds with 2 blocks. Tyreke Evans added 22 points and 2 steals. Jason Thompson also finished with a double-double 14 points and 11 rebounds with 7 assists and 5 steals. Rookie Jimmer Fredette off the bench scored 11. Another rookie Isaiah Thomas scored 10. Rookie Kemba Walker led the Bobcats with a double-double 13 points and 11 assists with 5 rebounds and 2 blocks. Byron Mullens also scored 13 points with 8 rebounds. Derrick Brown also scored 13 points with 7 rebounds. Tyrus Thomas scored 10 off the bench.
In Detroit, the Detroit Pistons win a thriller over the Toronto Raptors at The Palace of Auburn Hills 76-73. Rookie Brandon Knight and Ben Gordon off the bench led the Pistons with each scoring 19 points. Tayshaun Prince scored 9. Greg Monroe pulled down 17 rebounds with 8 points and 2 steals. DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors with 16 points and 2 steals. Linas Kleiza scored 12 off the bench. Gary Forbes scored 10.
In San Antonio, the San Antonio Spurs keep their hold on the top seed out West with a victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers at the AT&T Center 114-98. The Spurs who played without Tim Duncan were led by Manu Ginobili with 20 points off the bench. Stephen Jackson added 17 points and 5 rebounds. DeJuan Blair added 15 points, 7 rebounds and 2 steals. Danny Green scored 14. Rookie Kawhi Leonard added 11 points with 7 rebounds. Tony Parker dished out 9 assists with 6 points. Antawn Jamison led the Cavaliers with 21 points. Rookie Kyrie Irving added 19 points and 3 steals. Manny Harris scored 14. Alonzo Gee scored 10 off the bench. Another rookie Tristan Thompson added 9 points and 9 rebounds.
In Minneapolis, the Golden State Warriors come from behind to defeat the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center 93-88. Rookie Charles Jenkins led the Warriors with 24 points, 6 rebounds and 9 assists. Brandon Rush added 18 points and 9 rebounds off the bench. Another rookie Klay Thompson added 17 points and 2 blocks. Dominic McGuire added 12 points and 7 rebounds. Richard Jefferson added 14 points and 6 rebounds. Nikola Pekovic led the Timberwolves with a double-double 19 points and 16 rebounds. Martell Webster added 18 points and 5 rebounds. J.J. Barea also finished with a double-double 14 points and 12 assists. Anthony Randolph also scored 14 points with 7 rebounds and 5 blocks.
In Denver, the Denver Nuggets move up into 6th place in the Western Conference with a blowout win over the Orlando Magic at the Pepsi Center 101-74. JaVale McGee off the bench and Danilo Gallinari led the Nuggets with each scoring 17 points. McGee also added 8 rebounds and 3 blocks. Gallinari added 7 rebounds. Arron Afflalo scored 15. Ty Lawson finished with a double-double 13 points and 10 assists. Rookie Kenneth Faried also finished with a double-double 11 points and 10 rebounds. Andre Miller dished out 11 assists with 6 points. Ryan Anderson led the Magic with 24 points and 9 rebounds. Glen Davis scored 14. Jason Richardson and J.J. Redick each scored 9.
In Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Clippers keep their hopes of winning the Pacific Division title alive with a victory over the New Orleans Hornets at Staples Center 107-98. Former Hornets guard Chris Paul led the Clippers with a near triple-double 33 points, 13 assists and 8 steals. Randy Foye scored 24. Blake Griffin finished with a double-double 21 points and 15 rebounds. Mo Williams scored 9. DeAndre Jordan blocked 3 shots. Former Clippers guard Eric Gordon led the Hornets with 17 points and 5 assists. Another former Clipper Al-Farouq Aminu added 14 points and 8 rebounds. Jason Smith added 13 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks. Greivis Vasquez added 12 points and 7 assists. Lance Thomas added 10 points and 6 rebounds.
1. Spurs (sw) 47-16, 2. Thunder (nw) 46-18, 3. Lakers (x) 41-24, 4. Clippers (x) 40-24, 5. Grizzlies (x) 39-25, 6. Nuggets (x) 36-28, 7. Mavericks (x) 36-29, 8. Jazz 34-30, 9. Suns 33-31, 10. Rockets (o) 33-32, 11. Trail Blazers (o) 28-36, 12. Timberwolves (o) 26-39, 13. Warriors (o) 23-41, 14. Kings (o) 21-43, 15. Hornets (o) 20-44
1. Bulls (c) 48-16, 2. Heat (se) 46-18, 3. Pacers (x) 41-23, 4. Celtics (a) 37-27, 5. Hawks (x) 38-26, 6. Magic (x) 36-28, 7. Knicks (x) 34-30, 8. 76ers 33-30, 9. Bucks 30-33, 10. Pistons (o) 24-40, 11. Nets (o) 22-42, 12. Raptors (o) 22-42, 13. Cavaliers (o) 21-42, 14. Wizards (o) 17-46, 15. Bobcats (o) 7-56