NBA Roundup: Heat win at Lakers for sixth straight
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade had 23 points apiece, and the Miami Heat beat the Los Angeles Lakers 101-95 on Wednesday for their sixth straight win.
Bosh also had 11 rebounds in the Heat's fifth consecutive victory against the Lakers on Christmas Day. LeBron James added 19 points and Ray Allen had 12.
Miami shot 51 percent (41 for 80) from the field while improving to 7-0 against the Western Conference this season. It was its 19th straight win overall against West opponents.
Nick Young scored 20 points for the Lakers, who were tied four times in the fourth quarter. Los Angeles shot 42 percent (33 for 79) in its third straight loss.
Kobe Bryant was relegated to the sideline with his fractured left knee, leaving him unable to extend his NBA-record Christmas Day appearances to 16. Jodie Meeks had 17 points for Los Angeles, Xavier Henry added 14, and Pau Gasol had 13 points and 13 rebounds.
Jordan Farmar returned from a left hamstring tear after missing 10 games, giving the Lakers a true point guard to run the offense. But he was ineffective, with three points and two assists in 32 minutes.
THUNDER 123, KNICKS 94
NEW YORK (AP) — Kevin Durant scored 29 points, Russell Westbrook had a triple-double by the middle of the third quarter, and Oklahoma rolled past New York, which played without Carmelo Anthony.
The Durant-Anthony showdown between the NBA's top two scorers was canceled because of Anthony's sprained left ankle, so the Thunder had the Christmas spotlight to themselves while winning for the 10th time in 11 games. The 29-point victory was the largest for a road team on Christmas.
Westbrook finished with 14 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists in his first triple-double of the season and seventh of his career. Serge Ibaka added 24 points on 10-of-14 shooting.
Amare Stoudemire scored a season-high 22 points, and Tim Hardaway Jr. had 21 for the Knicks, who also were missing point guard Raymond Felton. J.R. Smith scored 20 points, but shot 8 for 22 and was booed when he left the court for good.
ROCKETS 111, SPURS 98
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — James Harden scored 28 points and Dwight Howard had 15 points and 20 rebounds, leading balanced Houston past San Antonio.
Each of Houston's starters scored in double figures to help the Rockets improve to 2-0 against the Spurs this season. Chandler Parsons and Terrence Jones each scored 21 points, and Jeremy Lin had 13 points, eight assists and only one turnover.
Manu Ginobili led San Antonio with 22 points.
BULLS 95, NETS 78
NEW YORK (AP) — Taj Gibson scored 20 points and Jimmy Butler added 15 to help Chicago rout Brooklyn.
Butler keyed a 21-5 run that gave Chicago control in the third quarter. Returning from a right ankle injury that sidelined him a game, Butler started the burst with a 3-pointer and had a three-point play that made it 57-52.
Deron Williams scored 18 points for Brooklyn. The Nets have lost four straight.
WARRIORS 105, CLIPPERS 103
Clippers star Blake Griffin fired off some harsh words for the Golden State Warriors after being ejected on a Christmas night turned spirited.
Coach Doc Rivers is equally as irritated — and believes the Warriors tried to get Griffin thrown out.
Griffin and Golden State's Draymond Green were long gone before a wild finish Wednesday night, when Klay Thompson blocked a shot by Chris Paul with 1 second left then contested Jamal Crawford's 3-pointer that fell short at the final buzzer to send the Warriors past Los Angeles 105-103.
Griffin was ejected for his second technical with 10:43 remaining after scuffling with Andrew Bogut, following Green to the showers after they got into it at the end of the third. Green was tossed for a flagrant 2 foul.
"If you look at it, I didn't do anything and I got thrown out of the game. It all boils down to they (referees) fell for it," Griffin said. "To me, it's cowardly basketball. I don't know their intentions, but it worked. ... If I knew the answer I'd probably be in a different position. Tonight I got two technicals for nothing."
Without Griffin, the Clippers missed too many chances in the waning moments.
Paul's lay-in with 11.9 seconds left went around the rim and out, but Andre Iguodala missed a pair of free throws with 9.3 seconds remaining. That gave the Clippers the ball back with 8.3 seconds to go.
Stephen Curry overcame a slow start to score seven of his 15 points over the final 3:01 to go with 11 assists as Golden State snapped the Pacific Division-leading Clippers' season-best five-game winning streak. Thompson finished with 23 points and David Lee had 23 points and 13 rebounds.
When the game ended, players tangled near the tunnel to the Clippers' locker room and security personnel stepped in — and former Warriors swingman Stephen Jackson could be seen screaming in the middle of it all.
Whether the Warriors intended to ignite Griffin, Rivers can only guess.