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Blazers, Kings impress on NYE in NBA

By Chris Pike
1 January 2014 05:19PM EST

PORTLAND stormed back to beat Oklahoma City in a battle of the two best western conference teams on New Year's Eve with Sacramento also upsetting Houston in the NBA.

There were eight matches in the NBA on New Year's Eve with Atlanta beating Boston 92-91, Indiana downing Cleveland 91-76, Golden State thrashing Orlando 94-81, Sacramento beating Houston 110-106, San Antonio hammering Brooklyn 113-92, Toronto beating Chicago 85-79, Portland beating Oklahoma City 98-94 and Milwaukee easily beating the Lakers 94-79.

Atlanta finished strongly to beat Boston by a point on the road on New Year's Eve to improve to an 18-14 record on the season.

Power forward Paul Millsap led the way for the Hawks with 34 points and 15 rebounds with point guard Jeff Teague adding 16 points, six rebounds and five assists.

Kyle Korver also added 14 points and five assists for Atlanta in the win to close out 2013.

Rookie big man Kelly Olynyk led the way for the Celtics off the bench scoring a career-high 21 points of which 17 came in the second half. He also had five assists, four rebounds and two blocked shots while shooting 8-of-11 from the field and 3-of-5 from long range.

Kris Humphries also added 18 points and 10 rebounds off the bench for Boston with Courtney Lee scoring 11 points.

Indiana cruised to a 15-point win at home over Cleveland to improve to a 25-5 record on the season.

Paul George again top-scored for the Pacers with 21 points and eight rebounds with centre Roy Hibbert adding 19 points and five blocked shots.

Point guard George Hill added 13 points and six rebounds, and Danny Granger showed some impressive signs on his comeback from injury with 12 points and four rebounds off the bench.

Anderson Varejao led the way with 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Cavaliers while Dion Waiters contributed 12 points and Kyrie Irving 10 points, five rebounds and five assists.

Golden State continued its hot form cruising to a 13-point win in Orlando on Tuesday night opening up the contest hitting eight straight shots and then never being headed as the Warriors scored a sixth straight win.

David Lee top-scored for the Warriors with 22 points to go with his nine rebounds and two blocks while Klay Thompson had 15 points, Kent Bazemore 12, Marreese Speights 10 and point guard Stephen Curry nine points, eight assists and five rebounds.

Australian centre Andrew Bogut also finished with eight points and 11 rebounds on the back of 4-of-5 from the field.

Arron Afflalo scored 15 points and had four assists for the Magic with Jameer Nelson adding 11 points and six assists, and Glen Davis 10 points.

Sacramento continued its vastly improved form since making a trade for Rudy Gay and recorded an impressive four-point win over Houston on the road on New Year's Eve.

The Kings still sit on just a 10-20 record on the season but Gay was again the star in the win in Houston with 25 points and six rebounds.

Centre DeMarcus Cousins added 17 points and 16 rebounds also for Sacramento with Isaiah Thomas finishing with 17 points and 10 assists, Marcus Thornton 15 points, Ben McLemore 13 and Jimmer Fredette 10.

James Harden did all he could to try and get the Rockets over the line with 38 points and 10 rebounds.

Dwight Howard added 15 points and eight rebounds, Jeremy Lin 14 points and six assists, Chandler Parsons 13 points and five rebounds, and Terrence Jones 12 points, 11 boards and four blocks.

San Antonio had no trouble whatsoever beating Brooklyn at home on New Year's Eve with the Spurs improving to a 25-7 record on the season heading into 2014.

Point guard Tony Parker led the way for San Antonio with 18 points and six assists with Tim Duncan adding 15 points and five rebounds, Manu Ginobili 15 points, Australian guard Patty Mills 12, Tiago Splitter 12 and Marco Belinelli 10.

Shaun Livingston scored 15 points off the bench for the Nets who have now lost six of their last seven games to sit on a 10-21 record.

Mason Plumlee added 13 points and five rebounds for Brooklyn with Paul Pierce finishing with 13 points and Mirza Teletovic 12.

Andrei Kirilenko returned from a 26-game absence due to a back injury and had four points, two assists and a rebound in almost 11 minutes of court time for the Nets.

Toronto continued its hot run of form also since trading away Rudy Gay and the Raptors had no trouble accounted for the Bulls in Chicago winning by six points on the back of a dominant final quarter.

The Raptors have now won eight of their last 11 matches to sit on a 14-15 record on the season.

Centre Jonas Valanciunas top-scored for Toronto with 15 points to go with nine rebounds while Kyle Lowry added 13 points and six assists, DeMar DeRozan 11 points and eight rebounds, and Patrick Patterson 10 points and five boards.

Luol Deng returned for the Bulls and had 16 points and four rebounds with Jimmy Butler adding 15 points and seven boards, Mike Dunleavy 13 points and Taj Gibson 12.

The western conference's top-two teams then did battle in Oklahoma City with Portland hitting back from a 16-point deficit to outscore the Thunder 27 to 16 in the final quarter to run out four-point winners.

The win improves the Trail Blazers to a 25-7 record while the Thunder sit on 25-6 as the battle over top spot in the west intensifies.

MVP candidate LaMarcus Aldridge once again starred for the Blazers with 25 points and 14 rebounds with point guard Damian Lillard adding 21 points and 11 assists.

Wesley Matthews also contributed 16 points, seven rebounds and seven assists for Portland with Nicolas Batum finishing with 15 points and Robin Lopez 12.

Kevin Durant did all he could for Oklahoma City finishing with 37 points and 14 rebounds.

Serge Ibaka added 17 points, Reggie Jackson 12 points, seven rebounds and six assists, and Jeremy Lamb 10 points and six boards.

The NBA's worst team Milwaukee then headed to LA and beat the Lakers at the Staples Centre by 15 points sending the home side to a sixth straight defeat coinciding with Kobe Bryant being out injured.

Point guard Brandon Knight was brilliant for the Bucks with 37 points and eight rebounds on the back of shooting 15-of-25 from the field.

Ersan Ilyasova added 15 points and 12 rebounds, and Luke Ridnour 11 points.

Pau Gasol worked hard for the Lakers finishing with 25 points and six rebounds with Nick Young adding 25 points and six boards.

NBA Results Tuesday December 31
Atlanta Hawks (18-14) 92 defeated Boston Celtics (13-18) 91
Cleveland Cavaliers (10-21) 76 lost to Indiana Pacers (25-5) 91
Golden State Warriors (20-13) 94 defeated Orlando Magic (10-21) 81
Sacramento Kings (10-20) 110 defeated Houston Rockets (21-13) 106
Brooklyn Nets (10-21) 92 lost to San Antonio Spurs (25-7) 113
Toronto Raptors (14-15) 85 defeated Chicago Bulls (12-18) 79
Portland Trail Blazers (25-7) 98 defeated Oklahoma City Thunder (25-6) 94
Milwaukee Bucks (7-24) 94 defeated LA Lakers (13-19) 79

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