Brooklyn, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Jimmy Butler scored 11 of his 15 points in a decisive third quarter that propelled the Chicago Bulls to a 95-78 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Christmas Day. Taj Gibson led six Bulls players in double figures with 20 points off the bench. Carlos Boozer had 14 points and both Mike Dunleavy and reserve D.J. Augustin contributed 13 points apiece for Chicago, which has won consecutive games for the first time since a season-best five-game run from Nov. 8-18. Deron Williams scored 18 points to pace the Nets, who have dropped four games in a row.
Final Score: Oklahoma City 123, New York 94
New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - It was rough sledding for the New York Knicks with Carmelo Anthony sitting on the bench in street clothes. The way Kevin Durant had it going, though, Anthony's playing status may have been mute. Durant scored 20 of his 29 points in the first half, while Westbrook tallied his first triple-double of the season and the seventh of his career as the Oklahoma City Thunder routed the New York Knicks 123-94 on Christmas Day. Durant was 7-of-9 from the floor over the first 24 minutes, while Westbrook had 14 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists for Oklahoma City, which had never won away from home on Christmas, snapping its 10-game skid. Serge Ibaka netted 24 points on 10-of-14 shooting in the triumph. Anthony was ruled out prior to the tilt with a left ankle sprain he suffered in the third quarter of Monday's game against the Orlando Magic. Wednesday's contest was the first where Anthony didn't lead the Knicks in scoring this year. Amare Stoudemire scored 22 to top the Knicks, who played in their NBA-record 49th Christmas Day game and fell to 23-26 on the holiday.
Final Score: Miami 101, LA Lakers 95
Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Dwyane Wade had 23 points, seven assists and six rebounds, while LeBron James finished with 19 points and eight boards in Miami's 101-95 win over the Los Angeles Lakers. Miami has won 19 consecutive regular-season games against Western Conference opponents. The Heat are one win away from matching the 1973 Boston Celtics' record 20-game winning streak against Western Conference counterparts. The Heat have won six in a row overall. Chris Bosh tallied 23 points and 11 rebounds in the triumph. This marquee matchup took a hit last week when it was announced Kobe Bryant would be out the next six weeks with a broken bone in his knee. He missed the first six weeks of the year while recovering from a torn Achilles. Jordan Farmar came back from a 10-game absence due to a left hamstring tear. His return allowed the Lakers to have a true point guard running the offense with Steve Blake and Steve Nash still out. Farmar had three points and two assists in 32 minutes. Nick Young netted 20 points off the bench to lead LA, which dropped its third in a row. The Lakers have lost all five games against the Heat on Christmas Day.
Final Score: Houston 111, San Antonio 98
San Antonio, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - James Harden returned from a two-game absence and led all five Houston starters in double figures with 28 points, as the Rockets topped the San Antonio Spurs, 111-98, at AT&T Center. Harden sat out games against Detroit and Dallas due to a sprained left ankle, but the veteran shooting guard was a one-man wrecking crew in the fourth quarter against the Spurs. Harden had 11 straight Houston points during the final period and scored 16 in the frame. Dwight Howard contributed 15 points and 20 rebounds for the Rockets, who are within 3 1/2 games of the Spurs for first place in the Southwest Division. Terrence Jones had 21 points and 14 boards, while Chandler Parsons also scored 21 to go with six rebounds and six assists. Jeremy Lin had 13 points and eight helpers. The Rockets, who didn't trail the entire game, made 12-of-24 shots from beyond the arc. Manu Ginobili had 22 points for the Spurs, who suffered only their fourth home loss all season. Two of those defeats have come against the Rockets. Tim Duncan finished with 11 points, 14 rebounds, six blocks and five assists. Kawhi Leonard scored 13 points for the Spurs, who lost for the second time in three contests.
Final Score: Golden State 105, LA Clippers 103
Oakland, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Although it was Christmas night, there was little holiday cheer between the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors. Instead, two flagrant fouls were called and there were two ejections in a game that saw the Warriors come away with a 105-103 win. Clippers star forward Blake Griffin was ejected after picking up two technical fouls in the second half. Golden State forward Draymond Green was shown the door at the conclusion of the third quarter for throwing an elbow in the throat of Griffin. Warriors center Andrew Bogut was issued a flagrant foul for grabbing Griffin. It would seem there's much to look forward to when these Pacific Division teams meet again Jan. 30 in Los Angeles. David Lee had 23 points and 13 rebounds. Klay Thompson scored 23, and Stephen Curry totaled 15 points and 11 assists. Bogut contributed 10 points and 14 boards in Golden State's third straight win. Griffin had 20 points and 14 boards before being ejected with 10:43 left in the game. Chris Paul ended with 26 points and 11 assists. Jamal Crawford scored 19 and DeAndre Jordan had 13 points, 13 boards and six blocks, but the division-leading Clippers had their five-game winning streak stopped.