WASHINGTON (AP) – 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 its 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 and scored 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.
JR 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.
PJ 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, which hit half of its 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 its way back into the contest, and had a chance to tie when Kentavious Caldwell-Pope missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.