Washington made a storming start to set up a 102-86 victory over Chicago on Friday, moving the Wizards above their NBA Eastern Conference rival.
Overall league leader Golden State had a comfortable home win over a Cleveland team that continues to struggle in the absence of LeBron James, San Antonio overcame the absence of its Big Three to beat Phoenix, and New Orleans prevented Memphis reclaiming the Southwest Division lead.
Washington took a 20-point lead in the first quarter against Chicago and a key to their victory was that John Wall finally beat Derrick Rose head-to-head.
Wall finished with 16 points and 12 assists and had a hand in seven of Washington’s final eight baskets in the first half after the Bulls had begun to rally. The leader in All-Star votes among Eastern Conference guards, Wall snapped his 0-5 record when both he and Rose are on the court.
Marcin Gortat added 21 points and 13 rebounds for the Wizards.
Rose has been in a horrid shooting slump — 25.5 percent over his previous six games — and he went 8 for 19, scoring 19 points.
Golden State completed a perfect six-game home stand with a 112-94 victory over Cleveland.
Klay Thompson scored 24 points, while Stephen Curry had 23 points and 10 assists for the Warriors, who have won 14 straight home games.
Cleveland is 1-6 since James has been sidelined with a strained back and left knee. He is expected to miss at least two more games.
J.R. Smith scored 27 points for the Cavaliers, who stayed close most of the way until Golden State blitzed them late.
San Antonio fought through the second half without their experienced star trio and beat Phoenix 100-95.
Danny Green had 20 points and Patty Mills had 15 points, including two 3-pointers in the final 2 minutes, for the Spurs, who rested Tim Duncan in the fourth quarter, benched an off-target Tony Parker for the same time and lost Many Ginobili to back spasms for the entire second half.
P.J. Tucker and Eric Bledsoe had 19 points each for the Suns, who have lost five straight in San Antonio.
New Orleans’ Tyreke Evans had 21 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Pelicans past Memphis 106-95.
Jrue Holiday had 23 points and eight assists for New Orleans, who hit half of their 20 3-point attempts.
Marc Gasol and Mike Conley each scored 19 points for the Grizzlies, who regained Zach Randolph from nine games out injured, but still could not take the win needed to go back top of the Southwest.
Atlanta withstood a spirited rally by Detroit and won 106-103 in a clash of the league’s two form teams.
Al Horford had 19 points and 16 rebounds while Paul Millsap scored 17 points for the Hawks, who have won seven straight and ended the Pistons’ streak at the same number.
Detroit trailed by 23 points in the second quarter, but worked their way back into the contest and had a chance to tie when Kentavious Caldwell-Pope missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Caldwell-Pope scored 16 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter.
Denver extended their winning run to four games by taking a 118-108 victory at Sacramento.
Arron Afflalo and Ty Lawson each scored 22 points for the Nuggets, who erased a six-point halftime deficit by outscoring the Kings 36-15 in the third period.
DeMarcus Cousins had 32 points, 13 rebounds and a season-high four blocks for the Kings, who are 4-8 since appointing new coach Tyrone Corbin.
Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant scored 32 points and Dion Waiters made an impact in his home debut to help the Thunder defeat Utah 99-94.
Indiana outlasted Boston and won 107-103 in overtime, with Roy Hibbert scoring 19 points in an even team contribution.
Los Angeles overcame the absence of a rested Kobe Bryant to beat Orlando 101-84, with Jeremy Lin scoring 18 points for the Lakers.
Milwaukee handed Minnesota its 14th straight loss, with Brandon Knight scoring 14 points in the Bucks’ 98-84 win.
Philadelphia’s Nerlens Noel dunked with 3 seconds remaining to lift the 76ers to a 90-88 win against Brooklyn.
Japanese couple Rikiya and Ayumi Kataoka had their honeymoon wrecked by the COVID-19 pandemic, but their resourcefulness in enforced exile in Cape Verde has won them appointments as ambassadors for its Olympic team. The Kataokas had completed a third of their round-the-world trip when a suspension in long-haul flights stranded them for five months in the archipelago of 10 tiny islands off the coast of West Africa. Unable to resume their journey to Europe and then home to Japan, and unwilling to head to the African mainland, where virus cases are spiking, they had to trade their skills with domestic businesses to
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