A trip to the Alamo with a chance to pull even atop the Western Conference awaits for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Kevin Durant tallied 23 points and 11 rebounds in the Thunder's 91-79 win over the Boston Celtics. At 47-16, Oklahoma City is chasing the San Antonio Spurs for the top seed in the west. The Thunder have won eight of their last nine tilts and can pull even for the top spot with a win against the Spurs Monday. Russell Westbrook added 15 points in the victory. Jeff Green finally made his initial appearance in Oklahoma City since the Thunder shipped him to Boston in the Kendrick Perkins trade on Feb. 24, 2011. He missed the following season after open heart surgery, but finally returned and netted just eight points on 2-of-11 shooting. Paul Pierce recorded 20 points for the Celtics, who had their five-game winning streak snapped.
Final Score: LA Lakers 90, Chicago 81
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - All Kobe Bryant wanted a month ago was to make the playoffs. He finally has his Los Angeles Lakers back on the right side of the standings. Bryant tallied 19 points, nine assists and seven rebounds in the Lakers' 90-81 win over the Chicago Bulls. The Lakers began the campaign 17-25, but have rebounded by going 16-6 since to leap frog the Utah Jazz by a half-game for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Dwight Howard added 16 points and 21 boards for Los Angeles, which has won six straight games at Staples Center. Joakim Noah finished with 18 points and 17 rebounds for the Bulls, who have dropped three of their last four tilts. Nate Robinson recorded 19 points and eight assists in defeat.
Final Score: Miami 105, Indiana 90
Miami, FL (Sports Network) - Despite its lengthy winning streak, Miami came into Sunday's contest with something to prove against a Pacers team which had blown them out twice already this season. The Heat did just that as Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Mario Chalmers combined for 73 points to extend Miami's franchise-best winning streak to 18 games in a 105-90 blowout victory over Indiana down in South Beach. Wade scored 23 points and had six steals to lead a defensive charge in which the Heat forced the Pacers into 18 turnovers. Bosh shot 11-for-15 and had 24 points with three blocks and Chalmers buried 5-of-6 from long distance en route to a game-high 26. LeBron James chipped in with 13 points, seven assists and six boards in the victory for the Heat, who had lost by double-digits in both prior meetings this season with Indiana. David West scored a team-high 24 points. Paul George struggled for 10 points on 2-for-11 shooting for Indiana, which was the last team to defeat Miami back on Feb. 1.
Final Score: Orlando 99, Philadelphia 91
Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - Jameer Nelson netted 24 points to go with 10 assists, as the Orlando Magic outlasted the Philadelphia 76ers, 99-91, on Sunday at Amway Center. Arron Afflalo followed with 17 points, while former Sixer Nikola Vucevic posted 14 points and 17 rebounds to help the Magic snap a seven-game home losing streak. Thaddeus Young scored a game- high 26 points and grabbed 12 boards for the Sixers, who have lost 13 straight on the road.
Final Score: Toronto 100, Cleveland 96
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Amir Johnson registered 17 points and 16 rebounds, as the Toronto Raptors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers, 100-96, on Sunday. Alan Anderson had a team-high 18 points, Kyle Lowry had 15 points and nine rebounds and DeMar DeRozan had 13 points for the Raptors, who came into the game off a 118-116 overtime loss to the Lakers. Dion Waiters scored a game-high 21 points, Kyrie Irving added 12 points and Tristan Thompson recorded a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who have lost four of their last five games.
Final Score: Dallas 100. Minnesota 77
Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Vince Carter scored 22 points and grabbed nine boards as the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves, 100-77, on Sunday. Carter shot 8-of-15 from the field, including 4-of-5 from behind the arc. Dirk Nowitzki had 16 points and nine rebounds, Brandan Wright scored 13 points and Elton Brand recorded a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds for the Mavericks, who are on a three-game winning streak. Derrick Williams had 18 points and nine rebounds and J.J. Barea scored 16 points off the bench for the Timberwolves, who have lost eight of their last nine games.
Final Score: New Orleans 98, Portland 96
New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - Ryan Anderson's go-ahead 3-point play with 1.8 seconds left proved to be the difference as the New Orleans Hornets held on for a 98-96 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday. Anderson put in the go-ahead bucket as he fought through a Jared Jeffries foul underneath the hoop. He finished with 20 points and 13 rebounds to help the Hornets snap a three-game losing streak. Greivis Vasquez chipped in 20 points and rookie Anthony Davis continued his strong play as of late for New Orleans, totaling 18 points with 10 rebounds. Damian Lillard had the Trail Blazers ahead by one with 11.2 seconds left after answering an Anderson triple with one of his own. He ended with 20 points and eight assists for Portland, which had come in as winners in four of its last six. Wesley Matthews scored a game-high 24 points, but misfired on the potential game-winning basket as time expired. J.J. Hickson contributed 14 points and 14 boards in the setback.
Final Score: Milwaukee 115, Sacramento 113
Sacramento, CA (Sports Network) - Monta Ellis had 29 points with nine assists and the Milwaukee Bucks survived, 115-113, at Sleep Train Arena despite a furious comeback from the Sacramento Kings. The Kings cut a 15-point fourth- quarter deficit to one with 6.6 seconds left, but Ellis calmly sank a pair from the line to increase Milwaukee's edge to three. The Bucks then fouled Sacramento's Jimmer Fredette to prevent him from tying the game with a 3- pointer, but after splitting a pair from the line, he got the rebound and kicked it out to Tyreke Evans, whose desperation heave at the buzzer just missed the mark.
Final Score: LA Clippers 129, Detroit 97
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Blake Griffin scored 22 points and Chris Paul recorded 20 points and 14 assists to lead the Los Angeles Clippers to a 129-97 rout of the Detroit Pistons. Both Griffin and Paul shot 9-of-12 from the field for the Clippers, who came into the game off a 107-92 loss at Denver on Thursday. Matt Barnes scored 16 points while going a perfect 5- for-5 from 3-point range, while Caron Butler added 15 points to the win. Jose Calderon had a team-high 18 points while Jonas Jerebko recorded 14 points and eight rebounds for the Pistons, who are on a five-game losing streak. Greg Monroe, Brandon Knight and Will Bynum scored 10 points apiece in the loss.