Suns rally to beat Hornets, Rockets shoot down Knicks
Suns rally to beat Hornets, Rockets shoot down Knicks
Goran Dragic scored 20 points, 12 in the final 6 1/2 minutes of the third quarter, for Phoenix.
New Orleans got career performances from Ryan Anderson and Greivis Vasquez. Anderson scored a career-high 34 points, hitting 8 of 13 threes. Vaszuez had 25 points and 14 assists, both career bests.
After blowing their big lead, the Hornets forced overtime by scoring the final eight points of regulation.
P.J. Tucker had 15 points for Phoenix, also a career best.
The Suns, down 74-55 after Vasquez’s 16-footer with 5:45 left in the third quarter, outscored New Orleans 39-9 and led 94-83 on Luis Scola’s 8-foot hook shot with 6:37 left in the fourth quarter.
Dragic led the comeback with three late third-quarter threes. Tucker’s three-pointer at the third-quarter buzzer cut New Orleans’ lead to 81-77 and started what turned out to be a 15-0 run as the Suns reserves scored the first dozen points of the fourth quarter. Jared Dudley’s three-pointer gave the Suns their first lead of the night at 82-81.
ROCKETS 131, NY KNICKS 103: At Houston, James Harden scored 33 points, and Chandler Parsons had a career-high 31 to help the Houston Rockets coast to a 131-103 victory over the New York Knicks on Friday night.
Jeremy Lin added 13 points, seven rebounds and three assists for Houston in the first game against his former team.
The Rockets entered the third quarter up by 12, and scored 10 straight points later in the quarter to extend their lead to 21.
Carmelo Anthony had a season-high 37 for New York, which dropped consecutive games for the first time this season.
GRIZZLIES 106, LAKERS 98: At Memphis, Rudy Gay scored 21 points, Mike Conley added 19, and Memphis beat Los Angeles to improve to an NBA-best 9-2.
Zach Randolph had 17 points and 12 rebounds, Marc Gasol added 14 points and eight assists.
The Lakers, playing their third road game in four nights, have lost all four road games this season and their second straight with new coach Mike D’Antoni on the bench. Kobe Bryant scored 14 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter. Metta World Peace and Antawn Jamison each had 16.
CELTICS 108, THUNDER 100: At Boston, Paul Pierce scored 22 of his 27 points in the second half and Boston beat Oklahoma City to snap a two-game losing streak.
Kevin Garnett had 18 points and nine rebounds, and Rajon Rondo finished with 16 assists and eight rebounds for the Celtics. They led by 14 points in the second half and held on after the Thunder cut it to three with under 2 minutes remaining.
Kevin Durant scored 29 points for Oklahoma City, which lost for just the second time in its last 10 games. Russell Westbrook had 26 points, eight assists and seven rebounds, and Serge Ibaka added 17 points and 13 rebounds.
NETS 86, CLIPPERS 76: At New York, Brook Lopez had 26 points, including consecutive baskets during the decisive stretch, and Brooklyn shut down Los Angeles in the fourth quarter.
Brooklyn outscored Los Angeles 23-13 during a final period in which Chris Paul had no points, one assist and six fouls. Deron Williams didn’t have a great game either, but he improved to 14-4 in the longtime rivalry between two of the NBA’s top point guards.
Joe Johnson added 19 points for the Nets. They limited the Clippers to 29 points in the second half and got back on track after losing the final two games of a six-game trip.
Paul and Blake Griffin each had 14 points for the Clippers. They have dropped two in a row following a six-game winning streak.
SPURS 104, PACERS 97: At Indianapolis, Tony Parker scored 33 points and San Antonio overcame a 17-point deficit to beat Indiana to improve to 10-3.
Tim Duncan had 22 points for San Antonio, which closed the game with a 17-2 run. Manu Ginobili scored 19 points. David West scored 22 points for the Pacers, and Paul George finished with 15.
NUGGETS 102, WARRIORS 91: At Denver, Andre Iguodala scored a season-high 29 points — 20 in the second half — and Ty Lawson had 18 points and nine assists to help Denver win its third straight game.
Danilo Gallinari added 20 points for the Nuggets. Warriors scoring leader Stephen Curry was held to six points in his lowest-scoring game since early last season. David Lee led Golden State with 21 points and 10 rebounds, and Carl Landry had 19 points.
TRAIL BLAZERS 103, TIMBERWOLVES 95: At Portland, Oregon,Wesley Matthews scored 30 points, rookie Damian Lillard had a season-high 28 points and eight assists and Portland beat Minnesota.
J.J. Hickson returned from a shoulder injury and had 14 points and 13 rebounds for Portland, which has won four of its last five games. Kevin Love had 24 points and 13 rebounds in his second game back for Minnesota.
HAWKS 101, BOBCATS 91: At Charlotte, North Carolina, Al Horford had 26 points and 13 rebounds to help Atlanta beat Charlotte for its fourth consecutive victory.
Horford was 13 of 17 from the field. Kyle Korver hit 4 of 6 3-pointers and finished with 16 points for Atlanta. Jeff Teague added 13 points and 12 assists, and Josh Smith had 10 points and eight assists.
Ramon Sessions had 22 points for Charlotte.
MAGIC 108, CAVALIERS 104: At Orlando, Florida, Jameer Nelson had 22 points and six assists, and Arron Afflalo added 19 in Orlando’s comeback victory over Cleveland.
Glen Davis had 10 of his 16 points the fourth quarter. Dion Waiters scored 25 points for Cleveland, and Anderson Varejao had 19. The Cavaliers have lost seven of eight.
PISTONS 91, RAPTORS 90: At Auburn Hills, Michigan, Brandon Knight made a layup with 7.8 seconds left to lift Detroit past Toronto.
Greg Monroe had 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Pistons, and Knight and Tayshaun Prince each had 16 points. Andrea Bargnani scored a season-best 34 points for Toronto.
What now for Saudi Arabia’s big four teams?
- Al-Hilal won their 15th top-flight title this season.
- Big summer for Saudi Arabia football with the Green Falcons at the World Cup.
Now the Saudi Professional League season is over for another year Arab News can look back at their title tilts and what the big four clubs have to do over the coming months ahead of the next season.
Coaching situation: Ramon Diaz was in charge for much of the season, but was fired in February after setbacks in the Champions League.
Assistant Juan Brown did Okay in the final stretch, but a top-class coach could get more out of this team.
Squad priorities: A reliable goalscorer to support Omar Khribin and with veteran defender Osama Hawsawi leaving for pastures new, a replacement center-back with leadership qualities. Welcoming back the major stars — Carlos Eduardo, Khribin, Nawaf Al-Abed and Salem Al -Dawsari — will be a major boost.
Aim next season: Win the AFC Champions League
Coaching situation: Sergiy Rebrov is out of contract at the end of June. His future is likely to depend on how the team fares against Al-Sadd in the second round of the AFC Champions League in May.
Squad priorities: There is not much wrong. The Jeddah giants were the highest scorers in the league last season and had the second best defense. Keeping star midfielder Leonardo fit will help as will a little cover in the center of defense. Star striker Omar Al-Somah fell out with the coach in a public way in the penultimate game of the season. It may be that one of them has to go. The Syrian has been player of the year for three years and has a longer contract than Rebrov.
Aim next season: Win the league. Maintain good performances in Asia.
Coaching situation: Krunoslav Jurcic arrived in January and the former Croatian national team boss produced an upswing in results. May just be a temporary appointment and it needs to be sorted quickly.
Squad priorities: Looks good with the Saudi Arabia national team keeper, a strong center-back pairing of Omar Hawsawi and Bruno Uvini and the full-back position seemingly sorted with the January signing of Saad Suhail. They probably need a defensive midfielder and have to keep Junior Kabananga. The DR Congo striker has shown enough in his few weeks at the club to suggest that he could be a real star next season, especially with Leonardo pulling the strings behind him.
Aim next season: A genuine title challenge and getting through the play-offs into the 2019 AFC Champions League.
Coaching situation: A bottom half finish is unacceptable for a team with Al-Itithad’s stature and history. Chilean coach Jose Luis Sierra may find that winning domestic cups is no substitute for challenging for the title.
Squad priorities: There is too much reliance on players such as Carlos Villanueva, a creative spark in the team, and Fahad Al-Ansari, the midfield engine, who are the wrong side of 30. The possible return of star winger Fahad Al-Muwallad will help, but an introduction of energy is needed.
Aim next season: Top three and, if the team wins the King’s Cup, a good showing in the 2019 AFC Champions League.