Published — Monday 17 December 2012
Last update 17 December 2012 8:10 pm
MINNEAPOLIS: Ricky Rubio made a triumphant return to the court with nine assists and eight points in 19 minutes, energizing the Minnesota Timberwolves in a 114-106 overtime victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday night.
Andrei Kirilenko scored five of his 14 points in overtime while Rubio watched from the bench because of a minutes restriction on his surgically repaired left knee.
Nikola Pekovic scored 21 points for the Timberwolves, who won their fourth straight game despite playing without All-Star Kevin Love because of an illness.
O.J. Mayo had 20 points, six assists and five rebounds and Shawn Marion had 14 points and 10 boards for the Mavericks, who led by 13 early before Rubio came off the bench for the first time since tearing the ACL and LCL in his left knee in March.
Spurs 103, Celtics 88: At San Antonio, Tony Parker had 22 points and eight assists to help the San Antonio Spurs beat the Boston Celtics.
Gary Neal added 20 points, Danny Green scored 12 and Tiago Splitter finished with 16 points and eight rebounds for San Antonio (19-6), which improved to 8-2 at home.
Paul Pierce and Jason Terry each scored 18 points for Boston (12-11). Kevin Garnett added 13 points and Courtney Lee had 11
Bulls 83, Nets 82: At Chicago, Joakim Noah had 12 points and 10 rebounds, and helped force a key turnover as the Chicago Bulls held off the Brooklyn Nets.
Deron Williams missed a jumper with five seconds for the Nets that would’ve tied it. Chicago won for the fifth time in six games.
Noah and Luol Deng trapped Joe Johnson late in the game, resulting in one of Brooklyn’s 18 turnovers. Deng turned the mistake into a basket that tied it at 79.
Brook Lopez had 18 points and 10 rebounds in 25 minutes for Brooklyn, which played for the fourth time in five days. The Nets won at home Friday night, beating Detroit 107-105 in double overtime.
Magic 107, Bobcats 98: At Charlotte, Glen Davis and Arron Afflalo each scored 20 points as the Orlando Magic handed the Charlotte Bobcats their 11th straight loss.
Jameer Nelson added 16 points and six assists and J.J. Redick had 14 points, including a big 3-pointer down the stretch for the Magic, who’ve won three of their past four.
Nikola Vucevic was a force inside the paint with 13 points and 13 rebounds.
The Orlando win overshadowed a career-high 32 points from Kemba Walker.
Charlotte’s second year point guard was 11 of 19 from the field. He also had seven assists.
Walker, Charlotte’s first round pick a season ago, has excelled at home. He came in shooting 45 percent and averaging 20.4 points per game at home compared to 32 percent and 12.4 points per game on the road.
The Magic shot 54.5 percent from the field, led by Davis and Afflalo, who were a combined 15 of 25.
Knicks 103, Cavaliers 102: At New York, Raymond Felton scored 25 points, Tyson Chandler had 23, and the New York Knicks overcame Kyrie Irving’s career-high 41 points and the absence of Carmelo Anthony to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Knicks won their fourth straight when Anderson Varejao missed the second of two free throws with 1 second left. They improved the NBA’s only unbeaten home record to 10-0, their best start since the 1991-92 team won its first 11 at Madison Square Garden.
Anthony, the NBA’s No. 2 scorer, missed the game after spraining his left ankle Thursday in the third quarter of a victory over the Los Angeles Lakers. But Chandler scored 21 in the second half and grabbed 10 rebounds, and Felton and Jason Kidd combined for 15 assists.
Heat 102, Wizards 72: At Miami, LeBron James had 23 points and 10 rebounds, and the Miami Heat never trailed on the way to beating the Washington Wizards.
Udonis Haslem and Dwyane Wade each scored 13 for Miami, which outscored Washington 29-10 in the third quarter to build a 33-point lead. James had 16 points alone in the third, ensuring he would finish with at least 20 points for the 26th straight regular season game and 42nd consecutive game overall dating to last season.
Chris Bosh added 12 points for the Heat, who turned 21 turnovers into 30 points.
Bradley Beal scored 19 points and Cartier Martin added 18 for the Wizards, who beat the Heat 105-101 in Washington on Dec. 4.
Pacers 88, Pistons 77: At Auburn Hills, David West had 23 points and George Hill added 18 points and seven assists to lead the Indiana Pacers to an 88-77 win over the Detroit Pistons.
The win put the Pacers two games over .500 for the first time this season.
Paul George added 15 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.
Greg Monroe led the Pistons with 18 points and added eight rebounds and Rodney Stuckey had 15 points and seven assists. Brandon Knight added 14 points.
Warriors 115, Hawks 93: At Atlanta, David Lee had 20 points and 11 rebounds, and the Golden State Warriors completed an impressive road trip with a victory over the Atlanta Hawks. Stephen Curry collected 18 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds for Golden State, which went in front to stay in the second quarter. Harrison Barnes and Carl Landry each had 19 points.
The Warriors capped a 6-1 tour against Eastern Conference teams, including a win at Miami. It was the team’s first winning road trip of at least six games since a 4-3 trip in the 1970-71 season.
Al Horford led Atlanta with 17 points. Lou Williams scored 16 and Ivan Johnson had 15 points and nine rebounds.
Clippers 111, Bucks 85: At Milwaukee, Matt Barnes scored 21 points, Blake Griffin had 18 points and 11 rebounds and the Los Angeles Clippers routed the cold-shooting Milwaukee Bucks for their ninth consecutive victory.
DeAndre Jordan added 15 points and 11 rebounds for Los Angeles, which had lost three in a row in Milwaukee. Griffin had three spectacular dunks in a brief stretch in the third quarter.
It’s the longest winning streak for the franchise since the Buffalo Braves captured 11 in a row during the 1974-75 season The Bucks, who had won four in a row, shot 36 percent from the field. Marquis Daniels had a team-high 16 points.