The top two defenses in the NBA were on full display Monday in the annual Martin Luther King Day game. George Hill split a pair of go-ahead free throws with 1.4 seconds left in the Indiana Pacers' 82-81 win over the Memphis Grizzlies. Rudy Gay banked in a difficult shot at the top of the key over the outstretched arms of Paul George following a timeout, but Gay didn't get the shot off in time. Indiana allowed 89.3 points per game coming in, while Memphis gave up 89.6 points per contest. The tilt featured 19 lead changes and 10 ties. George was an assist shy of a triple- double, finishing with 12 points, 10 rebounds and nine helpers for the Pacers, who have won 16 of their last 21 games since a sluggish start. Wayne Ellington had 17 points off the bench to lead Memphis, which has dropped four of its last six contests.
Final Score: New Orleans 114, Sacramento 105
New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - Ryan Anderson nailed seven 3-pointers en route to 27 points and Greivis Vasquez recorded a double-double with 19 points and 11 assists, helping the New Orleans Hornets beat the Sacramento Kings, 114-105, on Monday. Eric Gordon and Al-Farouq Aminu added 16 and 14 points, respectively, for the Hornets, who have won seven of their last nine games. Anthony Davis netted 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field to go with three blocks in the win. DeMarcus Cousins scored a game-high 29 points and snagged 13 rebounds for the Kings, who have lost six of their last nine, Isaiah Thomas contributed 20 points, while Tyreke Evans finished with 16 points and four assists.
Final Score: Atlanta 104, Minnesota 96
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - The Atlanta Hawks picked up their energy just in time against the injury-depleted Minnesota Timberwolves. Al Horford tallied 28 points and 10 rebounds in the Hawks' 104-96 victory over the Wolves. Jannero Pargo added 16 points for Atlanta, which had lost eight of its last 10 games coming in. The Hawks shot a sizzling 57.7 percent (41-of-71) from the floor, but turned the ball over 22 times, which led to 26 Minnesota points. Derrick Williams netted 17 points to lead the Timberwolves, who have dropped six of their last seven contests. Minnesota was without Kevin Love (hand), Nikola Pekovic (bruised right quad) and Alexey Shved (ankle), all double-digit scorers, and head coach Rick Adelman, who is tending to his hospitalized wife.
Final Score: Houston 100, Charlotte 94
Charlotte, NC (Sports Network) - James Harden racked up 29 points and seven assists and the Houston Rockets ended a seven-game losing streak by rallying for a 100-94 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats at Time Warner Cable Arena. Harden netted 12 of his points during a fourth quarter in which Houston outscored the Bobcats by a 26-13 margin to erase a seven-point deficit and earn its first win since Jan. 8. The Rockets also benefited from a large advantage from the free throw line, burying 32-of-41 foul shots compared to a 20-of-24 success rate for Charlotte. Harden finished 19-of-21 from the charity stripe. The Rockets also received big contributions from the bench, with Marcus Morris recording 21 points and eight rebounds and fellow reserve Carlos Delfino dropping in 16 points to help Houston deal the Bobcats a franchise- worst 15th consecutive defeat on their home floor.
Final Score: Brooklyn 88, New York 85
New York, NY (Sports Network) - Joe Johnson poured in 25 points, including the go-ahead jumper with 22.3 seconds remaining, as the Brooklyn Nets bested the cross-town rival New York Knicks, 88-85, on Monday at Madison Square Garden. Deron Williams donated 14 points and 12 assists, while Brook Lopez added 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Nets, who have won two straight and nine of their last 10 to pull within one game of the Knicks atop the Atlantic Division. Carmelo Anthony scored a game-high 29 points to go with seven assists, but missed a potential go-ahead jumper late in regulation. J.R. Smith and Amare Stoudemire chipped in 16 and 15 points, respectively, for the Knicks, who have lost four of their last six.
Final Score: Golden State 106, LA Clippers 99
Oakland, CA (Sports Network) - Stephen Curry netted a game-high 28 points on 6-of-8 shooting from behind the arc as the Golden State Warriors posted a 106-99 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers. Klay Thompson and Jarrett Jack each registered 18 points, while Jack added 10 assists for the Warriors, who have won two straight games following a season-high three-game losing streak. David Lee supplied 12 points, 11 rebounds and six assists. Blake Griffin scored 26 points, pulled down 13 boards and dished out eight assists for the Clippers, who had won four in a row. Jamal Crawford scored 24 points and Caron Butler totaled 19 in the loss.
Final Score: San Antonio 90, Philadelphia 85
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Tim Duncan had 24 points and 17 rebounds in the San Antonio Spurs' 90-85 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. Tony Parker added 20 points and eight assists, while Kawhi Leonard chipped in 16 points and seven boards for the Spurs, who have won two straight road games after losing nine of their previous 11 away from home. Evan Turner tallied 18 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists for Philadelphia, which has dropped seven of its last nine contests.
Final Score: Chicago 95, LA Lakers 83
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Kirk Hinrich led six Bulls players in double figures with 22 points to go with eight assists and seven rebounds, as the Chicago Bulls pulled away from the punchless Los Angeles Lakers, 95-83, at United Center. Marco Belinelli scored 15 points, including two key 3- pointers during a late 18-4 run that put the game away. Jimmy Butler, starting for the second straight game in place of the injured Luol Deng, recorded 10 points and eight rebounds for the Bulls, who have won four of their last five. Carlos Boozer (14 points), Richard Hamilton (13) and Nate Robinson (11) rounded out Chicago's leading scorers. Steve Nash paced Los Angeles with 18 points and six assists, while Kobe Bryant was held to 16 points to end a string of 24 straight games of 20-plus points. The Lakers have dropped three in a row overall and six straight on the road for the first time since the 2004-05 season.
Final Score: Washington 98, Portland 95
Portland, OR (Sports Network) - Jordan Crawford drained a 3-pointer from the left wing as time expired to lift the Washington Wizards over the Portland Trail Blazers, 98-95, at the Rose Garden. Crawford scored all 13 of his points in the fourth quarter to lead the Wizards to their fifth win in seven games. Nene and Martell Webster paced Washington with 24 points apiece, while Nene added nine rebounds and five assists, and Webster dished out six assists. Damian Lillard scored 18 points, Wesley Matthews poured in 17 and LaMarcus Aldridge recorded 17 points and 12 rebounds for Portland, which has dropped six straight. Nicolas Batum posted the Trail Blazers' first regulation triple-double since Damon Stoudamire on April 15, 2005 with 12 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds.