With Carmelo Anthony exiting late in the fourth quarter with a hand injury, New York was without its closer in the final seconds of a tied game. However, they found one in J.R. Smith, who made huge plays on both sides of the ball. Smith came up with a pivotal steal and then drained the game-winning bucket as time expired to help the Knicks escape Charlotte with a 100-98 victory over the Bobcats. Smith finished with 13 points and also had a key block late in the game. Tyson Chandler put forth a monstrous double-double, posting 18 points and 17 rebounds to help pace the Knicks to their fourth straight win. Anthony finished with 23 points, but scored just three on 1-of-11 shooting in the second half before leaving. Raymond Felton tallied 17 points and nine assists and in his return after missing four games with back spasms, Jason Kidd totaled seven points, two steals and three blocks.
Final Score: Indiana 99, Portland 92
Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) - Paul George amassed 22 points and the Indiana Pacers used a dominant third quarter to record a 99-92 win over the Portland Trail Blazers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. George Hill added 18 points and David West had 16 along with 10 rebounds for the Pacers, who outscored the Trail Blazers by a 31-14 margin in the pivotal third quarter en route to their fourth victory in their last five games. Six Indiana players scored in double figures. Portland had a two-game win streak snapped despite a game-high 23 points from Damian Lillard and double-doubles out of LaMarcus Aldridge and J.J. Hickson. Aldridge accumulated 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Hickson pulled down 12 boards to go along with 14 points as the Blazers concluded a 7- game road trip at 2-5.
Final Score: Boston 104, Minnesota 94
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Rajon Rondo put home 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting and handed out 11 assists in his return to the court on Wednesday as the Boston Celtics topped the Minnesota Timberwolves, 104-94, at TD Garden. Rondo was handed a two-game suspension by the league for his involvement in a brawl with the Brooklyn Nets on Nov. 28. He shoved Nets forward Kris Humphries after what he believed was a hard foul on teammate Kevin Garnett. Garnett finished with 18 points and 10 boards, while Paul Pierce netted 18 points for the Celtics, who bounced back from a loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday. Jason Terry contributed 17 points and Brandon Bass donated 12 points and eight boards in the victory. Kevin Love netted a game-high 19 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, while Nikola Pekovic added 14 and nine rebounds for the Timberwolves, who were coming off a dominating performance at Philadelphia on Tuesday.
Final Score: Golden State 104, Detroit 97
Auburn Hills, MI (Sports Network) - Klay Thompson poured in a game-high 27, including 19 in the third quarter, and Stephen Curry had 22 points and 10 assists to lead the Golden State Warriors to a 104-97 win over the Detroit Pistons. David Lee had 20 points and 11 rebounds and Harrison Barnes had 10 points for the Warriors, winners in four of their last five. Tayshaun Prince had 24 points and Andre Drummond scored 15 to go along with 12 boards for the Pistons, losers in three of their last four. Rodney Stuckey had 17 points and nine assists in the setback.
Final Score: Atlanta 108, Denver 104
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Al Horford and Josh Smith each put forth double-doubles and the Atlanta Hawks prevailed with a 108-104 decision over the Denver Nuggets. Horford posted 25 points and 12 rebounds while also coming away with four steals in the win. Smith contributed 16 points and 13 boards to help the Hawks bounce back after their six-game winning streak was snapped against Cleveland on Friday. Louis Williams and Zaza Pachulia gave solid efforts off the bench, scoring 16 and 11, respectively for Atlanta. Ty Lawson scored a game-high 32 points on 12-of-16 shooting, including 5-of-5 from downtown, but the Nuggets fell for the fourth time in their last five games.
Final Score: Chicago 95, Cleveland 85
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - Marco Belinelli dropped in a season-best 23 points and Luol Deng had 22 as the Chicago Bulls continued their recent dominance over the Cleveland Cavaliers with a 95-85 triumph at Quicken Loans Arena. Starting in place of an injured Richard Hamilton, Belinelli shot 7- of-15 from the field and went 7-of-8 from the foul line in a near wire-to-wire victory that extended Chicago's win streak over Cleveland to 10 games. Joakim Noah added 13 points and 15 rebounds to help the Bulls bounce back from a 4- point home loss to Indiana on Tuesday, with Carlos Boozer amassing 10 points and 12 boards in the win. Anderson Varejao extended his string of double- doubles to 10 consecutive games for Cleveland, but the Cavaliers struggled in the absence of two of their top three scorers in Kyrie Irving and rookie Dion Waiters. Cleveland hit a troubling 36.5 percent of its field goal attempts in falling for the third straight outing and seventh time in eight games.
Final Score: LA Lakers 103, New Orleans 87
New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - Kobe Bryant became the fifth player in NBA history to eclipse 30,000 career points, as the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the New Orleans Hornets, 103-87, on Wednesday. Bryant entered the elite scoring club with 1:16 left in the second quarter, when he made a floating jumper in the paint for his 13th and 14th points of the game. Bryant (34 years, 104 days) became the youngest player in NBA history to reach the milestone. He had 29 points and six rebounds on Wednesday. Dwight Howard added 18 points, eight boards and five blocks for the Lakers, who snapped a two-game skid. Antawn Jamison and Metta World Peace donated 15 and 11 points, respectively. World Peace became the sixth player in NBA history to record 12,000 points, 4,000 rebounds, 1,000 3-pointers and 1,500 steals in a career. Only Reggie Miller, Bryant, Gary Payton, Jason Kidd and Paul Pierce have gotten to those marks in their careers.
Final Score: San Antonio 110, Milwaukee 99
San Antonio, TX (Sports Network) - Gary Neal and Tony Parker each scored 22 points to lead the San Antonio Spurs to a 110-99 win over the Milwaukee Bucks. Parker also had 10 assists, while Tim Duncan recorded 17 points and 10 boards. Tiago Splitter had 15 points off the bench for the Spurs, who have won eight of their last nine. Monta Ellis had 21 points and 11 assists and Ersan Ilyasova dropped in 17 points for the Bucks, losers in four of their last five.
Final Score: Utah 87, Orlando 81
Salt Lake City, UT (Sports Network) - Al Jefferson tallied 31 points and 15 rebounds in the Utah Jazz's 87-81 win over the Orlando Magic. Jefferson, who went 13-of-20 from the field, exited late in the contest with back spasms. Paul Millsap added 22 points for Utah, which snapped a three-game slide. Glen Davis donated 18 points and 12 rebounds for the Magic, who went just 1-of-15 from beyond the arc.
Final Score: Sacramento 107, Toronto 100
Sacramento, CA (Sports Network) - Tyreke Evans netted 23 points, including two critical three-pointers late in the fourth quarter, and the Sacramento Kings held on for a 107-100 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday at Sleep Train Arena. DeMarcus Cousins put home 25 points and ripped down 13 rebounds, while Jason Thompson added 13 points on 6-of-11 from the field and 10 rebounds for the Kings, who put the brakes on a three-game slide. John Salmons contributed 12 points and seven assists and Aaron Brooks gave 11 points in the triumph. Kyle Lowry dropped in a game-high 34 points, including a perfect 12- for-12 from the free throw line, while Mickael Pietrus finished with 21 and six rebounds for the Raptors, losers in eight of their last nine contests. DeMar DeRozan and Ed Davis donated 14 and 13 points, respectively, in the setback.
Final Score: LA Clippers 112, Dallas 90
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Some guys go an entire career without recording a four-point play. Jamal Crawford tallied his NBA record 34th during the Los Angeles Clippers' 112-90 rout of the Dallas Mavericks. Crawford netted 20 overall for the Clippers, who have won four straight on the heels of a four-game skid. Reggie Miller is second on the NBA all-time list with 24 career four-point plays. Blake Griffin had 19 points and 13 rebounds, while Chris Paul added 14 points, 13 assists and five steals in the victory. Chris Kaman, who spent the first eight years of his career with Los Angeles, played his first game at the Staples Center against his old club and finished with 12 points for Dallas, which has dropped four of its last five.