Knicks overpowered by Heat; Durant leads Thunder over Lakers
February 24, 2012
MIAMI (AP) – Jeremy Lin was no match for the Miami Heat.
Forcing Lin into easily the worst game of his remarkable run as New York’s starting point guard by running streams of defenders at him, Miami topped the Knicks 102-88 on Thursday night – the eighth straight win for the NBA-leading Heat.
Chris Bosh scored 25 points, Dwyane Wade added 22 and LeBron James finished with 20 points, nine rebounds and eight assists for Miami, which will go into the All-Star break with the NBA’s best record (27-7).
Lin’s final line: 1 for 11 from the field, eight points, three assists – a far cry from the 23.9 points and 9.2 assists he had been averaging over his first 11 games in the Knicks’ rotation, when he breathed immeasurable life into a team that was floundering.
On Thursday, he simply wasn’t the same player, turning the ball over eight times. His last miss came with 6 seconds left, the outcome already decided, and he simply walked quietly off the court into the locker room.
HAWKS 83, MAGIC 78
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ATLANTA (AP) – Josh Smith scored 22 points and pulled down 12 rebounds to help Atlanta snap a three-game skid with an win over Orlando.
Jannero Pargo added 15 points and Willie Green had 14 for the Hawks.
J.J. Redick finished with 13 points and Dwight Howard had 12 for the Magic, who had won two straight and six of seven.
The Magic recovered from a 10-point second quarter by scoring 25 in the third to pull within three heading into the final period. Howard’s lay-in cut the lead to 69-68 with 4:42 left, but the Magic never got any closer.
SPURS 114, NUGGETS 99
DENVER (AP) – DeJuan Blair tied a career high with 28 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, helping the Spurs beat the Nuggets to wrap up a nine-game road swing.
Buoyed by a 19-1 run midway through the first quarter, the Spurs jumped out to a big lead and then held on at the end. They’ve won 12 of their last 13 heading into the All-Star break and lead the Southwest Division by three games over the defending champion Dallas Mavericks.
All five starters for the Spurs scored in double figures. Tony Parker had 16 points and 12 assists, while Tim Duncan added 18 points. Richard Jefferson hit 5 of 7 3-point attempts and scored 17.
Corey Brewer scored 23 points for the Nuggets, who have lost 12 of their last 16.
THUNDER 100, LAKERS 85
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Kevin Durant scored 33 points, Russell Westbrook added 19 and the Thunder beat the Lakers to head into the All-Star break tied for the league’s best record.
The Thunder won their 12th straight home game and denied Los Angeles the chance to head into the midseason break with back-to-back statement wins on the road. The Lakers had won at defending NBA champion Dallas a night earlier and were trying to follow it by knocking off the other half of last year’s West finals.
Kobe Bryant scored 24 points but went 7 for 24 from the field for Los Angeles. Pau Gasol had 22 points and nine rebounds.
Oklahoma City and Miami both have NBA-leading 27-7 records at the break.