Heat Hold Off Celtics
(Miami, FL) -- It's no longer one of the premier rivalries in the NBA, but the Heat still had to battle to take down the Celtics 93-86 at AmericanAirlines Arena behind 29 points, eight rebounds and four assists from LeBron James. Miami was without Dwyane Wade for a third straight game. Chris Bosh tallied 16 points and six boards as the Heat have won three of four. Brandon Bass paced Boston with 15 points off the bench. In 26 minutes Rajon Rondo was 0-for-8 from the field with one point, five assists and three rebounds. Avery Bradley left with a sprained ankle at the start of the second quarter. The Celtics have lost three in-a-row.
Heat forward LeBron James says defense is the key to their success.
Heat forward LeBron James says they found a way to get the victory.
Heat center Chris Anderson says he concentrates on helping out on the glass.
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens says LeBron James and the Heat defense was the difference.
Celtics forward Chris Johnson says he wanted to take advantage of his chance to play.
Celtics forward Kris Humphries says their offense was improved.
Nets Scorch Magic
(Brooklyn, NY) -- A blizzard in the metropolitan area couldn't cool off the Nets as they crushed the Magic, 101-90, at the Barclays Center behind a balanced scoring effort. Andray Blatche led the way off the bench with 18 points for Brooklyn, which has won seven-of-eight. Paul Pierce and Joe Johnson each chipped in 15 points. Orlando was paced by Kyle O'Quinn's 15 points and eight rebounds. The Magic allowed the Nets to pull away when the were held to 14 points in the third quarter on the way to their 11th loss in the last 12 games.
Nets guard Deron Williams says the starters set the tone.
Nets guard Deron Williams says head coach Jason Kidd is doing well in his first season.
Nets guard Jason Terry says they are playing different basketball now.
Nets forward Paul Pierce says they never lost confidence during their poor start.
Nets forward Paul Pierce says they are playing great ball at home.
Nets head coach Jason Kidd says it's nice to win on back-to-back nights.
Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn says they stopped moving the ball after halftime.
Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn says a poor third quarter led to another loss.
Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn says our shots weren't falling in this one.
Thunder Outlast Blazers
(Oklahoma City, OK) -- It took another monster effort from Kevin Durant to lead the Thunder past the Trail Blazers, 105-97, in Oklahoma City. Durant scored a game-high 46 points on 17-of-25 shooting and knocked down six from behind the arc. In his last 10 games, he is averaging 36 points. Reggie Jackson added 15 points, seven rebounds and five assists for the Thunder, who have won four in-a-row. LaMarcus Aldridge posted 29 points and 16 rebounds, but was 1-of-9 in the fourth quarter in the loss. Wesley Matthews chipped in 21 points and four assists. Portland has dropped two consecutive games.
Thunder head coach Scott Brooks says this was a game they really had to grind out.
Thunder forward Kevin Durant says they had the right mindset throughout the contest.
Thunder center Kendrick Perkins says they challenged a very good Portland team.
Gay, Kings Crush Pelicans
(New Orleans, LA) -- Rudy Gay dropped in a season-high-tying 41 points as the Kings crushed the Pelicans 114-97 at New Orleans Arena. Isaiah Thomas totaled 20 points and 11 assists, while DeMarcus Cousins posted 18 points, 11 rebounds and six assists for Sacramento, which had lost three-of-four coming in. Tyreke Evans scored 17 points against his former team, while Anthony Davis added 16 for the Pelicans, who have dropped nine of their last 10 games. Brian Roberts netted 15 points and Jeff Withy had 14 in defeat.
Kings head coach Mike Malone says it was great to see Rudy Gay erupt for 41 points.
Kings guard Rudy Gay says he wasn't aware he had so many points until late in the game.
Kings guard Marcus Thornton says they are playing much better of late.
Pelicans head coach Monty Williams says the starting unit needs to come with more energy.
Pelicans head coach Monty Williams says Rudy Gay played with a purpose in this one.
Pelicans center Jeff Withey says he's been working hard and waiting to contribute.
Timberwolves Crush Jazz
(Salt Lake City, UT) -- The Timberwolves jumped out to an 18-point lead after one quarter and cruised to a 112-97 win over the Jazz at EnergySolutions Arena. Kevin Love scored 19 points and pulled down 13 rebounds for the winners. Corey Brewer added 19 points and Ricky Rubio finished with 11 points and 13 assists. The Wolves finished off a back-to-back sweep of the Jazz at home and away. They are 20-and-21. Gordon Hayward finished with 27 points for Utah. Alec Burks added 18 in the loss. The Jazz have dropped three of their last four games.
T'wolves forward Kevin Love says it's tough to win in Utah.
T'wolves guard J.J. Barea says they're building momentum.
T'wolves head coach Rick Adelman says playing well in the opening quarter was key.
Jazz guard Trey Burke says they need to learn from the loss.
Jazz center Enes Kanter says they didn't get the job done in the two games against the T'wolves.
Jazz forward Jeremy Evans says the Timberwolves brought more effort than they did.
Panthers Edge Sabres
(Buffalo, NY) -- Ed Jovanovski scored a goal and added an assist to lead the Panthers to a 4-3 win over the Sabres in Buffalo. The two teams combined for five goals in the first period before Nick Bjugstad gave Florida a 4-2 lead late in the second period. Tim Thomas saved 32-of-35 shots. Drew Stafford scored two goals and assisted on another for the Sabres. Steve Ott added a goal and an assist. The Panthers won their second straight to improve to 20-23-and-7. The Sabres lost their fourth in-a-row to fall to 13-28-and-7.
Panthers goalie Tim Thomas says they really needed this victory.
Panthers head coach Peter Horachek says they fought hard and made some big plays for the win.
Panthers head coach Peter Horachek says road wins are hard to come by.
Sabres winger Drew Stafford says they need to improve their defensive play.
Sabres defenseman Henrik Tallinder says they need to play better defense especially with leads.
Sabres head coach Ted Nolan says they need to be more consistent.
Devils Blast Blues
(Newark, NJ) -- Seven different players scored and Cory Schneider made 26 saves as the Devils blasted the Blues 7-1 at the Prudential Center. Mark Fayne, Ryan Carter and Jaromir Jagr all scored in the first period for New Jersey, which had dropped three-of-four coming in. Damien Brunner had a goal and two assists, while Ryan Clowe, Adam Henrique and Eric Gelinas also lit the lamp in the victory. Alexander Steen scored the lone goal for the Blues, who have lost three of their last four. Starter Brian Elliott and Jaroslav Halak combined to stop just 16-of-23 shots in the setback.
Devils goalie Cory Schneider says this win is about his teammates.
Devils goalie Cory Schneider says it's good to be notching wins over teams like St. Louis.
Devils goalie Cory Schneider says they won't be sorry after putting up seven goals on a team like the Blues.
Devils goalie Cory Schneider says he hopes they can keep the offensive roll going.
Devils right wing Jaromir Jagr says his style has evolved.
Devils right wing Jaromir Jagr says he realizes that his offense is helping the team.
Blues center David Backes says everyone needs to turn in a stronger effort.
Blues center David Backes says they need to turn things around.
Blues center David Backes says they aren't going to sit around and point fingers.
Isles Down Rangers At MSG
(New York, NY) -- John Tavares had three assists and Thomas Vanek had a goal and helper as the Islanders downed the Rangers 5-3 at Madison Square Garden. Frans Nielsen also turned in a goal and assist while Thomas Hickey, Colin McDonald and Matt Martin also scored for the Isles. Kevin Poulin made 30 saves as the Islanders won for the seventh time in nine games. Rick Nash buried two goals for the Rangers while Chris Kreider also scored in defeat. Cam Talbot notched 32 saves for the Blueshirts, who had won three straight.
Islanders center John Tavares says this is a great win over their rival.
Islanders center John Tavares says Kevin Poulin was terrific once again.
Islanders head coach Jack Capuano says his team battled back for a good win.
Rangers winger Ryan Callahan says they jumped out to the early lead but couldn't hold on.
Rangers winger Ryan Callahan says the Isles controlled most of the game.
Rangers winger Rick Nash says they couldn't finish this one off after an early 3-1 lead.
Rangers winger Rick Nash says the Isles outplayed them in this one.
Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault says they had too many costly miscues in this one.
Blue Jackets Crown Kings
(Columbus, OH) -- R.J. Umberger had a pair of goals to lead the Blue Jackets in a 5-3 win over the Kings at Nationwide Arena. Artem Anisimov added a goal and assist while Ryan Johansen and Nathan Horton also scored for Columbus. Sergei Bobrovsky made 26 saves as the Jackets won their seventh straight. Dwight King, Jeff Carter and Robyn Regehr all scored for Los Angeles while Mike Richards had two assists. Martin Jones stopped 29 shots for the Kings, who have dropped three straight.
Blue Jackets winger Nathan Horton says they need to keep moving up the standings.
Blue Jackets winger R.J. Umberger says they never stop believing.
Blue Jackets winger R.J. Umberger on being the second leading scorer in Blue Jackets history.
Kings center Anze Kopitar says they didn't take advantage of their chances.
Kings winger Justin Williams says they aren't playing good hockey.
Kings winger Justin Williams says they need to do a better job defensively.
Stars Shutout Wild
(Dallas, TX) -- Kari Lehtonen shut out the Wild with 18 saves in a 4-0 win for the Stars in the second of a home-and-home set at American Airlines Center. Alex Goligoski assisted on a pair of goals and Jordie Benn converted a penalty shot for Dallas. The Stars ended a three-game losing streak and improved to 22-20-and-8. The Wild were held scoreless for the fourth time this season and second time in a week. Minnesota dropped to 27-20-and-5.
Dallas left winger Jamie Benn says he liked the team's defensive commitment.
Dallas center Vernon Fiddler says its a relief to get a win after losing nine-of-10.
Dallas center Vernon Fiddler says the team played with energy and emotion.
Wild defenseman Keith Ballard says it was an uphill battle for them all game.
Wild defenseman Keith Ballard says the difference from the last meeting was lack of energy.
Wild defenseman Keith Ballard says they could not get going on offense.
Maple Leafs Weather Avalanche
(Denver, CO) -- Phil Kessel scored twice to lead the streaking Maple Leafs in a 5-2 win over the Avalanche from the Pepsi Center. James van Riemsdyk and Nazem Kadri also scored for Toronto while Jay McClement added a late empty-net goal. James Reimer made 35 saves for the Leafs, who have won six in-a-row. Nathan MacKinnon scored both goals for Colorado while Semyon Varlamov was pulled after allowing three goals on 10 shots. Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped 19 shots in relief as the Avs saw their four-game win streak end.
Maple Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle says they used the early momentum and rode it to a win.
Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer says they didn't want to lay down for the Avs.
Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy says rookie Nathan MacKinnon has been great from the start of the year.
Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy says they didn't give in despite the tough result.
Avalanche goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere says a couple saves on their part could've changed things.
Avalanche forward P.A. Parenteau says they found legs in the second period, but it was too late.
Pro Bowl Draft Taking Place In Hawaii
(West Oahu, HI) -- The first ever Pro Bowl draft is taking place in Hawaii. Hall of Famers Deion Sanders and Jerry Rice are serving as alumni captains that are helping choose unconferenced rosters for Sunday's annual Pro Bowl. Rice won a Tuesday coin toss and picked the player captain combo of Saints quarterback Drew Brees and Rams defensive end Robert Quinn. Sanders' player captains are Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles and Texans defensive end J.J. Watt. Sanders says the new draft format makes things more exciting and competitive.
Rice and Sanders will complete their rosters for Sunday's game during a live draft of Pro Bowl players Wednesday night on NFL Network. The fantasy football-like format change comes in an effort to boost fan interest and ratings, as well as combat complaints in recent years that players weren't fully trying so as to avoid injury.
Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice explains why he chose the player captain combo of Saints QB Drew Brees and Rams defensive end Robert Quinn.
Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice says he's thrilled to be back in Hawaii after so many Pro Bowl memories of his own.
Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice says the current rivalry between Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman and 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree doesn't compare to him and Deion Sanders.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees says he's enjoying this new Pro Bowl selection format.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees says effort in the Pro Bowl is a matter of pride.
Texans defensive end J.J. Watt says every Pro Bowl player wants to represent themselves well on the field.
Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles says being picked for the Pro Bowl is an honor he won't pass up.