There were 12 matches in the NBA on Friday night with the Clippers beating New York 109-95, Charlotte downing Orlando 111-101, Miami beating Philadelphia 101-86, Toronto beating Minnesota 94-89, Washington beating Chicago 96-93 and the Lakers beating Boston 107-104.
Utah hammered Detroit 110-89 while Memphis beat Sacramento 91-90, Portland beat San Antonio 109-100, Cleveland beat Denver 117-109, Dallas beat Phoenix 110-107 and Oklahoma City beat Golden State 127-121.
The New York Knicks played their first of eight straight matches inside Madison Square Garden on Friday night, but that stint got off to a disappointing start with a 14-point loss to the Clippers.
Still without point guard Chris Paul with a shoulder injury, the Clippers dominated the second half to record the win and improve to a 28-13 record on the season.
Blake Griffin led the way for the Clippers finishing with 32 points and seven rebounds with Jamal Crawford adding in 29 points and four assists off the bench while nailing of 5-of-9 from three-point range.
JJ Redick played point guard in the absence of Paul and had 12 points while Darren Collison contributed 12 points and seven assists, and centre DeAndre Jordan 11 points, 16 rebounds and three blocked shots.
Carmelo Anthony top-scored for the Knicks with 26 points and a massive 20 rebounds while only shooting 4-of-23 from the field. He was a perfect 16-of-16 from the free-throw line though.
JR Smith added 24 points and four rebounds off the bench also for New York with Andrea Bargnani adding 13 points and six boards, and Tyson Chandler 12 points and 14 rebounds.
Charlotte scored a 10-point victory on the road to the NBA's second worst team the Orlando Magic to improve to a 17-24 record on the season and sit in eighth position on the standings.
Al Jefferson led the way for the vastly-improved 2013/14 version of the Bobcats with 30 points and 16 rebounds on an impressive 13-of-17 shooting from the field.
Point guard Kemba Walker added 19 points and 10 assists for Charlotte while Gerald Henderson scored 17 points, Josh McRoberts 17 and Ramon Sessions 10.
Arron Afflalo top-scored for Orlando with 24 points and four rebounds while point guard Jameer Nelson finished with 18 points and eight assists.
Tobias Harris finished with 18 points and seven rebounds as well for the Magic with Glen Davis adding 11 points and 11 rebounds, and Victor Oladipo 11 points and 10 assists.
Miami improved to a 28-11 record on the season to be sitting eight games clear in second spot in the eastern conference but still three games behind Indiana.
The Heat beat Philadelphia comfortably on the road by 15 points Friday to have now beaten the 76ers in 16 of their last 17 matches.
Chris Bosh led the way for Miami on Friday night with 25 points, six rebounds, five blocked shots and four assists.
LeBron James added 21 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds also for the Heat with Shane Battier scoring 13 points, Norris Cole 13 and Mario Chalmers 10, five assists and three rebounds.
Tony Wroten top-scored for the Sixers off the bench with 13 points while Evan Turner scored 11 points, Thaddeus Young 10 points, Spencer Hawes 10 points and Hollis Thompson 10 points.
Toronto continued its dominance at home over Minnesota having now won on 10 straight occasions and 16 of 19 clashes overall when hosting the Timberwolves after recording a five-point victory on Friday night to improve to a 20-18 record on the season.
Point guard Kyle Lowry led the way for the Raptors with 24 points and six assists while hitting 6-of-9 from three-point territory.
Amir Johnson added 19 points for Toronto with Terrence Ross contributing 16 points, DeMar DeRozan 15 and Patrick Patterson 11.
Kevin Martin top-scored for the Timberwolves with 18 points with Kevin Love adding 16 points and 12 rebounds, JJ Barea 14 points and Nikola Pekovic 13 and six rebounds.
Washington improved to a 19-19 record on the season to sit in fifth position in the eastern conference after recording a three-point victory at home over Chicago on Friday.
Point guard John Wall top-scored for the Wizards with 23 points and 11 assists while Bradley Beal scored 14 points, Martell Webster 14, Marcin Gortat 13, Trevor Booker 12 and Nene 10 to go with his seven rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots.
Kirk Hinrich did what he could for the Bulls finishing with 18 points, five rebounds, five assists and three blocked shots.
DJ Augustin also added 16 points for Chicago with Taj Gibson scoring 12 points and Carlos Boozer 12 to go with six rebounds.
Rajon Rondo returned for the Boston Celtics for the first time in a week short of 12 months on Friday night after he ruptured his ACL and required a knee reconstruction.
The All-Star point guard started for Boston as it hosted the Lakers and he had eight points and four assists in over 19 minutes on the court, but it wasn’t quite enough for the Celtics to come away with the victory.
The Lakers won by three points to improve to a 15-25 record with Pau Gasol top-scoring with 24 points, 13 rebounds and six assists.
Ryan Kelly added 20 points off the bench for the Lakers with Kendall Marshall adding 19 points and 14 assists as point guard.
Kelly Olynyk top-scored for the Celtics off the bench with 25 points, seven assists and five rebounds with Gerald Wallace adding 14 points, Jeff Green 12, Avery Bradley 12, Jared Sullinger 11 and Brandon Bass 10.
Utah continued its recent dominance over Detroit and also continued the Pistons' miserable recent run this season.
The Jazz went to the Pistons and recorded a thumping 21-point victory to have now beaten Detroit 15 of the last 16 times the teams have played.
Point guard Trey Burke top-scored for the Jazz finishing with 20 points and 12 assists while Enes Kanter added 18 points, Marvin Williams 17 and Richard Jefferson 13.
Rodney Stuckey top-scored off the bench for the Pistons with 21 points and six rebounds with Kyle Singler adding 13 points, Brandon Jennings 11 and Andre Drummond 10 to go with 13 rebounds and three blocked shots.
Memphis has now won five games on the trot for the first time this season to improve to a 20-19 record to be closing in on Phoenix's eighth spot in the western conference.
The Grizzlies recorded a one-point win over Sacramento on home on Friday night with point guard Mike Conley leading the way with 25 points and six assists while hitting 3-of-5 from three-point territory.
Courtney Lee also added 17 points for Memphis with Marc Gasol scoring 16 points and Zach Randolph 12.
DeMarcus Cousins finished with 22 points and 17 rebounds for Sacramento with Rudy Gay scoring 19 points, Isaiah Thomas 14 (nine assists), Jason Thompson 10 and Derrick Williams 10.
Portland scored a terrific nine-point victory in San Antonio over the Spurs on Friday night to further tighten the gap at the top of the western conference.
MVP-candidate LaMarcus Aldridge top-scored for the Trail Blazers with 26 points and 13 rebounds with Wesley Matthews contributing 24 points and six boards.
Point guard Damian Lillard also added 21 points and eight assists with Mo Williams adding 13 points off the bench.
Manu Ginobili led the way for the Spurs off the bench with 29 points, seven rebounds and five assists off the bench.
Boris Diaw scored 14 points for San Antonio with Marco Belinelli adding 14, Tim Duncan 13 and Tony Parker 12 to go with six rebounds and four assists.
Australian guard Patty Mills played almost 18 minutes and finished with nine points, a rebound and an assist.
Cleveland recorded an eight-point win on the road to Denver with point guard Kyrie Irving leading from the front with 23 points, six assists and four rebounds.
Tristan Thompson added 20 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks for the Cavaliers while CJ Miles scored 19 points, Luol Deng 18 and Jarrett Jack 13.
Wilson Chandler top-scored with 23 points for Denver while point guard Ty Lawson finished with 19 points and 11 assists.
Nate Robinson scored 19 points off the bench for the Nuggets with Randy Foye scoring 16 points and Timofey Mozgov 10 with 11 rebounds.
Dallas improved to a 24-17 record on the season to be sitting in seventh spot in the western conference after recording a three-point win over Phoenix with the Suns just falling short of a huge final quarter comeback.
Monta Ellis led the way for the Mavericks scoring 24 points to go with seven assists and six rebounds.
Dirk Nowitzki added 21 points and five boards for the Mavs with Shane Larkin scoring 18 points and Shawn Marion 16.
Suns point guard Goran Dragic did all he could with 28 points and seven assists with Markieff Morris adding 23 points and 12 rebounds off the bench.
Marcus Morris also scored 13 and seven rebounds for Phoenix with Gerald Green scoring 12 points and PJ Tucker 11.
Two of the best and most exciting teams in the NBA then did battle in Oklahoma City with the Thunder coming away with a thrilling six-point victory over the Golden State Warriors thanks to a remarkable night from Kevin Durant.
Durant scored a career-best 54 points to go with six assists and four rebounds for Oklahoma City on the back of 19-of-28 shooting from the field, 5-of-9 from three-point territory and 11-of-13 from the free-throw line.
Serge Ibaka added 21 points and eight rebounds also for the Thunder with Reggie Jackson finishing with 14 points and Jeremy Lamb 12.
Stephen Curry did his best to keep pace with Durant and ended up scoring 37 points and dishing out 11 assists for the Warriors on the back 11-of-18 shooting from the floor and 6-of-10 from downtown.
Klay Thompson also scored 26 points for Golden State with Marreese Speights scoring 13 points, David Lee 13 and Draymond Green 10.
NBA Results Friday January 17
LA Clippers (28-13) 109 defeated New York Knicks (15-25) 95
Charlotte Bobcats (17-24) 111 defeated Orlando Magic (10-30) 101
Miami Heat (28-11) 101 defeated Philadelphia 76ers (13-26) 86
Minnesota Timberwolves (18-21) 89 lost to Toronto Raptors (20-18) 94
Chicago Bulls (18-20) 93 lost to Washington Wizards (19-19) 96
LA Lakers (15-25) 107 defeated Boston Celtics (14-27) 104
Utah Jazz (14-27) 110 defeated Detroit Pistons (16-23) 89
Sacramento Kings (14-24) 90 lost to Memphis Grizzlies (20-19) 91
Portland Trail Blazers (30-9) 109 defeated San Antonio Spurs (31-9) 100
Cleveland Cavaliers (15-25) 117 defeated Denver Nuggets (20-19) 109
Dallas Mavericks (24-17) 110 defeated Phoenix Suns (22-17) 107
Golden State Warriors (25-16) 121 lost to Oklahoma City Thunder (30-10) 127