Rockets work three OTs to beat T-Wolves, 120-114
HOUSTON — The Houston Rockets seemed headed to an easy victory over the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves last night, cruising to a 17-point lead in the first quarter.
They ended up enduring a half-court buzzer beater, three overtimes and a record-setting performance by Al Jefferson.
Aaron Brooks scored a career-high 43 points, Chuck Hayes grabbed a career-best 17 rebounds and the Rockets beat Minnesota, 120-114, in triple overtime.
"This was one heck of a game," Hayes said. "I'm just happy that after three hours, we were able to come out on top."
Jefferson pulled down a franchise-record 26 rebounds and scored 26 points for the Timberwolves, playing the team's first ever three-overtime game.
"We kept fighting and got back into the game," Jefferson said. "I'm really crushed. It took a lot out of us."
The Rockets led most of the way, but Corey Brewer swished a half-court shot as the buzzer sounded in regulation to tie it at 89 and force an unexpected overtime period. Make that three.
LAKERS 100, MAVERICKS 95
Kobe Bryant hit a 20-foot jumper to break a 95-all tie with 28 seconds left to help visiting Los Angeles turn back Dallas and Dirk Nowitzki, who became the 34th player in NBA history to score 20,000 points.
CELTICS 111, NETS 87
Paul Pierce scored 24 points, Ray Allen added 15 points and visiting Boston made 10 of its first 11 shots in rolling to its highest-scoring first half of the season with a 71-35 lead.
PACERS 122, SUNS 114
Danny Granger scored 33 points and Mike Dunleavy added 30 to help host Indiana rally from a 24-point deficit early in the second quarter to beat Phoenix.
HAWKS 94, WIZARDS 82
Joe Johnson scored 24 points, Jamal Crawford added 22, and host Atlanta saw its 22-point lead cut to two early in the fourth quarter before pulling away.
HORNETS 108, CLIPPERS 94
Chris Paul had 15 points and 15 assists, and Peja Stojakovic added 20 points to help host New Orleans beat Los Angeles for the 12th consecutive time.
SPURS 109, THUNDER 108
Rookie DeJuan Blair had 28 points and 21 rebounds, and Richard Jefferson hit a jumper with nine seconds left in overtime to lift visiting San Antonio.
KNICKS 93, 76ERS 92
David Lee scored 24 points, including a layup with 13.3 seconds remaining, as New York won in Philadelphia for the first time in 10 games since Dec. 17, 2004.
NUGGETS 115, MAGIC 97
Carmelo Anthony scored 27 points, Chauncey Billups added 24 and host Denver broke open a close game with a 35-19 third quarter to turn back Orlando.
TRAIL BLAZERS 120, BUCKS 108
Brandon Roy scored 22 points before sitting much of the second half with a tight right hamstring and host Portland trailed for the first seven minutes before rolling past Milwaukee.
HEAT 115, WARRIORS 102
Dwyane Wade scored 35 points, Dorell Wright hit a 3-pointer to break a 38-all tie in the second quarter and visiting Miami never trailed again in beating Golden State.
Clippers Griffin done: Blake Griffin's first season with the Los Angeles Clippers is over before it even began. Griffin will have surgery on his broken left kneecap, keeping the No. 1 draft pick out for at least more four months, the Clippers announced yesterday. Griffin hasn't played a regular-season game after suffering the injury in the Clippers' final preseason game Oct. 23.