Shaquille O’Neal had no problem with back-to-back games at the end of a road trip, scoring 29 points on Monday as the Phoenix Suns downed the Washington Wizards 103-87.
O’Neal went 10-for-14 from the field, 9-for-10 from the free throw line and had eight rebounds in 36 minutes for the Suns, who salvaged their six-game, East Coast road trip by winning the last two games to finish with three wins and three losses. O’Neal had 19 points and 11 rebounds in 39 minutes in Sunday’s victory over Atlanta.
Amare Stoudemire added 22 points and 15 rebounds, and Steve Nash had 14 points and 15 assists for the Suns, whose 53-38 rebounding advantage helped overcome their 17 turnovers.
Caron Butler scored 28 points, and Antawn Jamison had 27 for the Wizards, but they didn’t get much help as Washington lost for the 10th time in 12 games.
HEAT 95, HAWKS 79
At Miami, Dwyane Wade finished with 35 points and Miami held Atlanta without a field goal for nearly 13 1/2 minutes during one first-half stretch.
Atlanta set a franchise-futility record with its 27-point first half. Still, the Hawks got within seven points early in the final quarter before a quick 11-3 burst fueled by Wade and Mario Chalmers sealed it for Miami.
Daequan Cook scored 16 points and Chalmers added 12 points and six assists for Miami (24-19), which moved a season-best five games over .500. Udonis Haslem had a game-high 13 rebounds.
KNICKS 104, ROCKETS 98
At New York, Wilson Chandler responded to being taken out of the starting lineup with 18 points to lead New York to its first win over Houston since 2004.
Chandler’s 3-pointer with more than two minutes left gave the Knicks the lead for good at 97-96. The Knicks had lost eight straight to Houston.
Tracy McGrady led Houston with 20 points in his second game back from a left knee injury.
The Rockets were playing without center Yao Ming (sore right knee) for the second straight game.
Houston guard Rafer Alston said Houston played selfishly, resorting too often to one-on-one basketball and missed not having Yao on court.
“It changes the dynamics of the game, especially down the stretch when you could call a post-up play for Yao and if he’s double-teamed he can kick it out. We’d get better looks instead of contested jumpers,” he said.
Alston said the Rockets also lacked Yao’s defense.
“They were penetrating and no one was stepping up at the basket,” he said. “You miss him there.”
Yao, who said he hoped he would be able to play when the Rockets host the 76ers today, was disappointed he could not play on a special night for local Chinese fans.
“I wish the Chinese people in New York a happy new year,” he said.
HORNETS 101, 76ERS 86
At New Orleans, Chris Paul had 27 points, 15 assists, 10 rebounds and seven steals for his fifth triple-double of the season in New Orleans’ win over Philadelphia.
Peja Stojakovic highlighted a 26-point performance with six 3-pointers for New Orleans, which was badly outscored inside but made up for it with 14 3s as a team.
TIMBERWOLVES 90, BUCKS 83
At Milwaukee, Al Jefferson had 23 points and 10 rebounds, and Ryan Gomes added 22 points to lift Minnesota over Milwaukee, which was playing without Michael Redd for the first time since he sustained a season-ending knee injury.
Randy Foye and rookie Kevin Love also each added 12 points for the Timberwolves.