Hornets win matchup of Doc, Austin Rivers 90-78
BOSTON — New Orleans Hornets rookie Austin Rivers sank a layup and ran past the Boston Celtics’ bench on his way back down the floor.
Doc Rivers had to fight his fatherly instinct and ignore him.
“I was about to say something and I didn’t; I caught myself. I forgot he was on the other team,” the Celtics coach said after facing his son for the first time. “It’s just a strange dynamic. I didn’t enjoy it, honestly. I know it’s neat for everyone else, but as a father, I don’t know if I enjoyed that.”
Greivis Vasquez had 15 points and 11 rebounds and Austin Rivers won his first NBA game against his father on Wednesday night as the Hornets beat Boston 90-78. New Orleans has won six of its last seven games to escape the Western Conference cellar.
“I knew it was a different game and I didn’t try to pretend like it wasn’t, and I think that helped me,” the younger Rivers said. “Now that this is out of the way, it will be a lot easier. I can just go out there and not worry about, ‘Oh man, this is weird.’”
Paul Pierce scored 12 points with 10 rebounds before fouling out in the final minutes as the Celtics’ six-game winning streak came to an end. Kevin Garnett scored 15 and Rajon Rondo had 11 assists.
Pierce shot 5 for 16 from the floor and made one of seven 3-point attempts as Boston went 4 for 18 from beyond the arc.
The Hornets were worse, going 2 of 17 from 3-point range. But they have won eight of 12 since an 11-game losing streak that stretched through much of December.
“If you look at our record, we’re in no position to laud or get happy about a couple of wins,” New Orleans coach Monty Williams said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do. I’m more concerned about our next practice — how our guys prepare and come focused for that practice. That will tell me about our growth.”
Al-Farouq Aminu had 18 points and nine rebounds and Anthony Davis had 10 of each for New Orleans. Rivers scored eight points, going 3 for 6 from the field and 2 for 4 from the line while adding two fouls and an assist in 23 minutes.
“I’m not going to say anything too stupid,” Austin Rivers said. “At the end of the day, he has a lot more credentials or whatever you want to call it than I do. This is just one little moment for me.”
Doc Rivers is the fourth coach to face his son in an NBA game, joining Butch van Breda Kolff, Mike Dunleavy and George Karl. He spoke briefly with his son before the game, but showed little reaction during the game. The two embraced at the final buzzer.
“My dad didn’t really say anything to me,” Austin Rivers said. “Just before the game and after the game that he loved me and just told me to go out there and compete.”
The younger Rivers got a big cheer from the opposing crowd when he checked into the game with 4:19 left in the first half. Doc Rivers leaned back to say something to the assistant coaches sitting behind him and cracked a brief smile.
Austin Rivers spent much of his first stint on the court staking out a position on the right side, which placed him in front of the Celtics’ bench; there was no interaction with his father’s team. With about a minute left in the first quarter, he muscled a hook shot in for a basket, but his father had no reaction.
“I’m sure he hadn’t slept in about three or four days,” Williams said. “That’s a tough one: playing against your dad, your mom’s in the house, I’m screaming at him — and he goes out there and keeps his poise. I don’t understand that kind of pressure.”
The Celtics opened a 21-10 lead but then allowed six straight points, including a drive by Rivers. The Hornets scored 11 consecutive points midway through the second quarter to turn a five-point deficit into a 38-32 lead; they led by one at halftime, then scored the first eight points of the third quarter to make it 52-43.
It was 61-49 when Pierce made a turnaround jumper and, after Rondo swiped Vasquez’s bad pass, Jason Terry hit a 3-pointer. Jeff Green blocked Ryan Anderson, and Terry made a short jumper; Terry had another 3 and, later in the quarter, a steal to set up Pierce for a jumper in the final seconds that made it 67-63.
But the Celtics kept missing shots, failing to score from the 6:22 mark of the fourth quarter until 2:04 remained in the game. By then, the Hornets had turned a four-point lead into an 87-71 advantage. Boston shot 7 for 23 in the fourth quarter.
SPURS 103, GRIZZLIES 82
SAN ANTONIO — Tony Parker had 17 points and 11 assists and Tim Duncan scored 19 to help San Antonio beat Memphis, extending its home winning streak to 13 games.
The Spurs shot 58 percent from the field in becoming only the third team to score more than 100 points against the Grizzlies. Boris Diaw added 14, Kawhi Leonard 13 and Tiago Splitter 10 for San Antonio (30-11).
Rudy Gay scored 17 points as all five starters reached double figures for Memphis (24-13), which lost its third straight. Marc Gasol had 12 points, Tony Allen and Zach Randolph each had 11 and Mike Conley 10.
THUNDER 117, NUGGETS 97
OKLAHOMA CITY — Russell Westbrook scored 32 points, Kevin Martin had 20 and Oklahoma City snapped Denver’s six-game winning streak.
Kevin Durant added 20 points and tied his career high with five steals as NBA-best Oklahoma City led wire-to-wire for just the second time this season.
The Thunder opened a 16-point lead in the first quarter and remained in control throughout, pulling their starters for the fourth quarter with a 25-point edge. Denver mounted an 11-0 run against Oklahoma City’s last five but that still only cut the deficit to 101-84.
Kosta Koufos had 16 points and nine rebounds to lead the Nuggets, who fell to 3-6 this season in the second game of a back-to-back set.
HAWKS 109, NETS 95
ATLANTA — Jeff Teague had a career-high 28 points and 11 assists, Zaza Pachulia finished two assists shy of a triple-double and the short-handed Atlanta Hawks ended Brooklyn’s seven-game winning streak.
The Hawks played without leading scorer Josh Smith, suspended for one game and fined an undisclosed amount for “conduct detrimental to the team” following an incident in practice Tuesday.
Pachulia had 13 points, 11 rebounds and a career-high eight assists. Al Horford had 17 points and 13 rebounds. The Hawks, who had lost six of seven, almost doubled their point total from Monday night’s 97-58 loss at Chicago.
Brook Lopez had 22 points for the Nets, who lost for only the second time in 11 games under interim coach P.J. Carlesimo.
Joe Johnson had 15 points while shooting 4 of 15 from the field in his return to Atlanta, where he played the past seven seasons. Johnson was a six-time All-Star with the Hawks but drew some boos from Atlanta fans.
MAVERICKS 105, ROCKETS 100
DALLAS — Dirk Nowitzki scored 19 points, O.J. Mayo hit two tiebreaking free throws and Dallas held off a Jeremy Lin-led surge to beat Houston.
Lin and James Harden combined to score the last 18 points for the Rockets, who erased an 11-point fourth-quarter deficit and got even at 97. After Elton Brand blocked a layup attempt by Harden, Mayo hit both free throws after getting fouled at the other end.
Lin had a chance to tie the score on free throws, but missed the second of two. The Rockets got one more chance to go in front, but Harden couldn’t get a good look at a layup. Nowitzki won a scramble for the ball and hit two free throws for a 101-98 lead.
Dallas won its season-best fourth straight game while the Rockets lost their fifth in a row, also a season high.
Harden led the Rockets with 20 points but shot 5 of 23 from the field. Lin had 19 with some critical misses among his 6-of-10 performance on free throws.
Mayo and Shawn Marion scored 18 apiece for Dallas. Nowitzki had 10 points in the fourth quarter.
BULLS 107, RAPTORS 105, OT
TORONTO — Luol Deng hit a tiebreaking jumper with 3 seconds left in overtime and Chicago beat Toronto for the eighth time in nine meetings.
Carlos Boozer had a season-high 36 points and 12 rebounds, and Joakim Noah added 16 points and 14 rebounds for the Bulls.
Deng scored 19 points and Richard Hamilton had 15 as Chicago won its fourth straight road game. The Bulls have won nine of their past 11 away from home.
Boozer’s double-double was his Eastern Conference-leading 21st, and his 11th in 13 games against the Raptors.
Alan Anderson fouled out with 27 points, matching his career high, and Kyle Lowry had 26 as Toronto lost its third straight.
MAGIC 97, PACERS 86
ORLANDO, Fla. — Nikola Vucevic had 16 points and 15 rebounds to help Orlando snap a six-game home losing streak with a victory over Indiana.
Orlando has won two of its last three, having also slipped past the streaking Los Angeles Clippers last week. It was the Magic’s first home victory since Dec. 19.
The Magic led by as many as 22 points, breaking the game open with a big second-quarter run that included a barrage of 3-pointers. The Magic connected on 12 of their 21 attempts from beyond the arc for the game.
Paul George had 20 points and 10 rebounds to lead Indiana. George Hill added 15 points.
CAVALIERS 93, TRAIL BLAZERS 88
PORTLAND, Ore. — Kyrie Irving scored 31 points, Tristan Thompson added 19 points and 14 rebounds, and Cleveland beat Portland to snap a four-game losing streak.
Nicolas Batum had 23 points and 12 rebounds for the Trail Blazers, who erased a 19-point second-quarter deficit and briefly took the lead. Wesley Matthews added 17 points and LaMarcus Aldridge had 15.
Irving won his first matchup with Portland rookie point guard Damian Lillard, who finished with 13 points. Lillard entered the fourth quarter with only three points on 0-for-3 shooting, but tied the score at 75 with a 3-pointer and then gave the Blazers an 86-85 lead by hitting a 20-footer with 2:07 left.
Irving took over from there, though. He made a pull-up jumper, a turnaround bank shot and a couple of free throws as Portland wilted.
KINGS 95, WIZARDS 94
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — DeMarcus Cousins had 21 points and 16 rebounds while Tyreke Evans and John Salmons each scored 21 to help Sacramento beat Washington.
With the score tied, Evans was fouled on a drive to the basket with 11.4 seconds left. He made one of two free throws to give the Kings a 95-94 lead.
Bradley Beal missed a runner in the closing seconds and John Wall followed with a desperation shot from inside the lane that never hit the rim.
Beal scored 26 points, including six 3-pointers, for the Wizards, who had their three-game winning streak snapped. The Wizards have the worst record (7-29) in the NBA and are a league-worst 1-16 on the road.
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