Hawks deny Pistons, win 13th in a row
ATLANTA — The NBA's best defense kept the Atlanta Hawks' winning streak intact.
The Hawks won their 13th straight game, one shy of tying the team record, as Mike Scott and Paul Millsap each scored 20 points Monday in a 93-82 victory over the Detroit Pistons.
Atlanta is allowing 96.3 points per game, tops in the league. Strong defense helped the Hawks overcome poor shooting from some of their usual scoring leaders against Detroit.
The Pistons, held to a season-low 12 points in the opening quarter, made only 35.4 percent of their shots — 29 of 82.
"Our defense has got to be there every night and I think that is what put us in position ... to pull out a tough win," Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said.
The Hawks have won 27 of 29 to move to the top of the Eastern Conference. Monday's win before a sellout crowd of 19,108 opened a seven-game homestand.
Scott had eight points as the Hawks pulled away in the fourth quarter. His scoring off the bench helped offset poor shooting from Jeff Teague and Kyle Korver, who combined to make only 8 of 23 shots.
"We needed someone to score because a lot of us were off in the first half," Korver said. "Mike came in and gave us that spark."
Al Horford added 14 points, seven assists and six rebounds.
The Pistons were trying for their franchise-record eighth straight road win. Detroit had won 11 of 13 overall before its third straight loss to the Hawks this season. Greg Monroe led Detroit with 16 points and 20 rebounds. Andre Drummond added 13 points and 18 rebounds, but made only 3 of 12 free throws.
CAVALIERS 108, BULLS 94: At Cleveland, LeBron James scored 26 points and J.R. Smith added 20 as Cleveland entered a favorable portion of its schedule with a win over Chicago.
Smith made six 3-pointers, Kyrie Irving scored 18 with 12 assists and Kevin Love added 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Cavs, who have won three straight.
Jimmy Butler scored 20 points and Derrick Rose had 18 for the Bulls.
Cavs center Timofey Mozgov scored 15 with 15 rebounds in his first home game for Cleveland since being acquired in a Jan. 7 trade from Denver.
KNICKS 99, PELICANS 92: At New York, the Knicks snapped their 16-game losing streak, getting 24 points and nine rebounds from Carmelo Anthony to beat the short-handed Pelicans.
Langston Galloway added 21 points for the Knicks, who improved the NBA's worst record to 6-36.
Tyreke Evans had 23 points and nine rebounds for the Pelicans.
ROCKETS 110, PACERS 98: At Houston, James Harden scored a season-high 45 points, including 18 in the third quarter, and the Rockets beat the Pacers.
It was the 18th 30-point game and fourth with 40 this season for Harden, the NBA's leading scorer.
Houston led by 10 at halftime and used a 33-point third quarter, thanks in large part to four 3-pointers from Harden, to push the lead to 20 entering the fourth.
WIZARDS 111, 76ERS 76: At Washington, Marcin Gortat scored 20 points, John Wall had 11 points and 10 assists and the Wizards beat the overmatched 76ers.
Washington went on a 20-3 run for a 27-11 lead late in the first quarter and coasted to the win.
HORNETS 105, TIMBERWOLVES 80: At Charlotte, N.C., Gerald Henderson scored 17 points, Brian Roberts added 16 and the Hornets defeated the Timberwolves — their seventh win in eight games.
Charlotte's Al Jefferson returned after a nine-game absence due to a groin injury. He had eight points and five rebounds in his 25 minutes.
CLIPPERS 102, CELTICS 93: At Los Angeles, Blake Griffin scored 22 points, DeAndre Jordan had 19 points and 12 rebounds, and the Clippers held off the Celtics after losing most of a 23-point lead.
J.J. Redick and reserve Jamal Crawford added 16 points each in Los Angeles' eighth win in 11 games.
WARRIORS 122, NUGGETS 79: At Oakland, Calif., Klay Thompson scored 22 points, Stephen Curry had 20 points and eight assists, and the State Warriors matched a franchise record with their 16th consecutive home win in impressive fashion.
The NBA-leading Warriors (33-6) outdid Denver (18-23) in nearly every major category, including shooting percentage (54.3 percent to 34.5 percent), rebounds (53 to 39) and assists (30 to 17).
MAVERICKS 103, GRIZZLIES 95: At Memphis, Tenn., Dirk Nowitzki scored 21 points, including the last eight for Dallas in the final 2 minutes, and the Mavericks defeated the Grizzlies.
The Grizzlies took a two-point lead with about 4 minutes left, but Dallas outscored Memphis 14-4 the rest of the way.
Monta Ellis led the Mavericks with 25 points and seven assists.
RAPTORS 92, BUCKS 89: At Milwaukee, Kyle Lowry scored 18 points and was one of six Toronto players to reach double figures against Milwaukee.
Terrence Ross added 16 points as the Atlantic Division leaders (27-14) won for the third time in 10 games. Ross did not start for just the second time in the last 104 games after he was held scoreless for the only time this season in a 95-93 loss against New Orleans on Sunday.
SUNS 115, LAKERS 100: At Phoenix, Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas scored 24 points apiece, fellow guard Eric Bledsoe added 17 and Phoenix pulled away in the second half to hand Los Angeles its fifth loss in a row, the last two without Kobe Bryant.
Nick Young scored 24 for the Lakers. Bryant is expected to rejoin the team for practice today.