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NUGGETS CONTINUE TO ROLL
From Elias: Ty Lawson scored 17 points in the first quarter (the most points he has scored in any quarter in his two years in the NBA) leading the Nuggets to a 123-90 victory over the Raptors in Denver's first game back at home after completing a four-game southern road trip. Earlier this month, the Nuggets had treated Denver fans to a 120-80 win over the Bobcats and a 131-101 win over the Pistons. They are the first NBA team to put together three home wins, each by a margin of 30-plus points, in one calendar month, since the Jazz did it in January 1995.
KNICKS CAN'T HOLD LEAD
From Elias: The Knicks, playing at home, ran out to a 51-37 halftime lead, but Boston outscored New York, 59-35, in the second half as the Celtics prevailed, 96-86. It had been 36 years since Madison Square Garden fans had seen their Knicks outscored by the Celtics by that kind of second-half margin; back on Feb. 8, 1975, the Havlicek-Cowens-and-White Celtics outgunned the Frazier-Monroe-and-Bradley Knicks, 67-42, in the second half of a 128-102 victory at MSG.
Paul Pierce scored 13 points in the fourth quarter of Monday night's game, matching his highest fourth-quarter output of the season (Pierce scored 13 points in the fourth quarter of a December 29 loss to the Pistons).
KNICKS FAIL IN FOURTH
From Elias: The Knicks' loss to the Celtics on Monday night was their sixth in their last seven games, and once again New York's fourth-quarter defense came up short. The 33 fourth-quarter points that the Knicks allowed to Boston raised New York's average fourth-quarter yield to 28.4 points over the 16 games since Carmelo Anthony joined the team on February 23¿the highest yield in the NBA over that span.
From Elias: What a performance by the Bulls, who overwhelmed the Kings, 132-92, by shooting 61.3 percent from the floor. Eight Chicago players reached double-figures, led by Kyle Korver and Derrick Rose with 18 points each, and all eight of those players shot more than 50 percent from the field.
In only one other game in franchise history (and that game was played 20 years and a day ago) have eight Bulls players scored in double-figures while hitting more than half of their field-goal attempts. On March 20, 1991, Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen were among the eight Chicago players who turned the trick, and less than three months later, they won the team's first NBA championship.
HOWARD AND BASS SHARP-SHOOT THE CAVALIERS
From Elias: Dwight Howard and Brandon Bass led the Magic with 28 and 22 points, respectively, in its 97-86 win at Cleveland, but it was the pair's shooting efficiency that raised eyebrows: Howard made nine of 11 shots from the floor while Bass made nine of 10. In only one other NBA game this season did a pair of teammates each hit better than 80 percent from the floor on 10-or-more shots; in a 116-110 overtime win at Toronto on January 28, Andrew Bogut (12-for-14) and Ersan Ilyasova (9-for-10) turned the trick for the Bucks.
Howard even hit 10 of 12 free-throw attempts. It was the eighth straight game in which the Orlando big man took at least 10 foul shots, the longest such streak in the NBA this season.
WARRIORS CAN'T BEAT SPURS AT HOME
From Elias: The Spurs' 111-96 victory over the Warriors was San Antonio's 26th consecutive home win against Golden State, the longest current streak of home wins for one team against another in the NBA. Phoenix is the only other team with a current streak of at least 20 consecutive home wins over a particular opponent; the Suns have won their last 23 home games against the Bucks.
It's the longest streak of home wins by an NBA team against one opponent since the Lakers won 26 straight at home against the Mavericks from 1991 to 2003.
PACERS COME UP BIG LATE
From Elias: The Pacers trailed the Nets, 40-28, with three minutes remaining in the first half, but Indiana scored 74 points over the game's final 27 minutes to earn an important 102-98 victory in Newark. The Pacers had last won a game by overcoming a double-digit deficit back on October 30 (over Philadelphia); they had lost 32 such games in a row prior to Monday night's victory.
GRIZZLIES LOVE TO SHOOT AT HOME
From Elias: The Grizzlies thumped the Jazz, 103-85, by shooting 50.6 percent from the floor. That's no surprise when the Grizzlies are playing at FedExForum: they are shooting 49.0 percent from the floor at home this season (compared with 44.7 percent on the road). Only the Celtics (50.2 percent) have a higher field-goal percentage in home games, and no other NBA team has such a wide difference between its home and road field-goal percentages.
NEAL ENDS DROUGHT
From Elias: When the Penguins assumed a 4-0 lead at Detroit on Monday night, chances seemed slim that this would be the game in which Pittsburgh's James Neal would finally snap his shootout scoring drought. But after the Red Wings scored four goals and the game eventually went to the tiebreaker, it was Neal who scored the lone goal in the shootout. That ended his streak of 12 consecutive unsuccessful shootout attempts, which had been the second-longest current streak in the NHL, behind Sam Gagner's 14-shot drought.