Celtics 117, Heat 87 – This one made Dwyane Wade hide his face after he went out with flu symptoms. No Kevin Garnett. No Ray Allen. Paul Pierce went scoreless in the first half. Didn’t matter. Leon Powe, Rajon Rondo, Tony Allen, and Eddie House all scored 20 points or more against the absolutely woeful Heat.
Nets 87, Bucks 80 – Jason Kidd may want to leave New Jersey, but they may not let him go quickly and for much, especially if he’s going to hand out 11 assists and score seven of his nine points with under two minutes in the fourth quarter.
Sonics 88, Spurs 85 – Seattle snaps its 14-game losing streak by getting one over on San Antonio. Kevin Durant had 26 plus the go-ahead jumper. Missing Tony Parker due to a bone spur in the foot, Manu Ginobili had 29 and Tim Duncan 27, but the Sonics managed to make crucial shots throughout and keep ahead of the defending champs.
Lakers 120, Knicks 109 – Remember when this used to be a really marquee matchup? Not getting back there yet, but this was still a good one to watch. Los Angeles loses yet another player (Luke Walton) to injury, but Sasha Vujacic steps up in the fourth quarter with 12 of his 20 points to propel them to victory. It may be a good sign for this L.A. team that they can get play like that from role players to step up in the absence of contributors with injuries.
Tennessee 93, Alabama 86 – The Vols almost give this one away by letting the Tide back in during the second half, but Chris Lofton’s 23 points (five of them on three point buckets) keep the distance.
Ohio State 68, Penn State 56 – What was interesting was seeing the Nittany Lions actually perform on offense. Too bad it couldn’t last longer. The team went a good deal of the second half without actually scoring, giving up the fight against the Buckeyes.
Photo: AP/Luis M. Martinez