76ers 98, Pacers 91
Spencer Hawes had 18 points and career highs with 16 rebounds and seven blocked shots to lead the host Philadelphia 76ers to a victory over the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night.
Jrue Holiday added 27 points and 12 assists to help the Sixers win for only the third time in 15 games. While the Sixers are one of the worst road teams in the league, they are 19-17 at home.
The Sixers led by one at the end of the third quarter, then opened the fourth on a 19-4 run to put away the Pacers. Evan Turner and Thaddeus Young each contributed some lead-stretching buckets in the fourth to put all five starters in double figures.
Roy Hibbert had 25 points and 10 rebounds for the Pacers.
The 76ers had enough this time to finish off one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. The Sixers got into an early groove in the quarter to put the upset alert on notice. Dorell Wright hit a 3-pointer and Lavoy Allen came off the bench to score his first two baskets to get a big run going. They forced turnovers on consecutive possessions at one point during the spurt and built a 10-point lead.
Somehow, Hawes, the much-maligned 7-1 center, outplayed Hibbert. Hawes had a fantastic one-handed rebound right over Hibbert’s head in the third that put the crowd on their feet. Hawes had six blocked shots through the first three quarters and made the Pacers think twice about going inside.
Hawes could have used a few more games like this one to make the season-long absence of Andrew Bynum (bone bruises) a bit more palatable. Instead, the Sixers are limping toward the finish line and a brutal road stretch to end the season looms.
But those are concerns for another day. Not even Paul George’s 3-pointer with 33 seconds left to cut it to five was enough to scare the Sixers.
Wizards 127, Suns 105
Martell Webster scored a career-high 34 points and became the host Washington Wizards’ first 30-point scorer this season in a victory over the Phoenix Suns.
John Wall added 17 points and 11 assists as Washington won its fourth straight at home and third straight overall while setting its season high in scoring.
Emeka Okafor added 17 points and 10 rebounds as Washington snapped a 10-game losing streak to Phoenix, dating to 2006.
Michael Beasley scored 21 points and Goran Dragic added 12 points and 11 assists as the Suns lost their fourth straight.
Celtics 105, Bobcats 88
Paul Pierce had 14 points, eight assists and six rebounds before sitting out the fourth quarter, and the host Boston Celtics won their 11th straight at home.
Avery Bradley scored 13 and Courtney Lee had 12 points and five assists as the Celtics beat the Charlotte Bobcats for the first time in three meetings this season
Kevin Garnett sat out with a strained left thigh muscle, but the Celtics had more than enough to overwhelm the Bobcats this time.
Jeff Green and Brandon Bass scored 10 apiece as all five starters were in double figures.