NBA: New Orleans tops Wizards

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Jason Smith scored a career-high 20 points in a rare starting role and New Orleans defeated Washington 97-89 on Tuesday night, dropping the Wizards to 0-25 on the road.

Chris Paul had 15 points and nine assists and Trevor Ariza had 16 points for New Orleans, which snapped a two-game skid.

Smith was starting for center Emeka Okafor, whose left oblique muscle strain kept him out for the first time in 306 games. The 7-foot Smith, normally a reserve power forward, looked comfortable filling in at center, hitting his first nine shots.

Nick Young scored 30 points for Washington, which trailed by double digits most of the second half in losing its sixth straight overall.

Andray Blatche had 21 points and nine rebounds, and Kirk Hinrich added 10 points for the Wizards, who are four road losses from matching the 1992-93 Dallas Mavericks' NBA worst 0-29 start on the road.

Trail Blazers 99, Spurs 86

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - LaMarcus Aldridge had a career-high 40 points along with 11 rebounds for Portland against NBA-leading San Antonio.

Wesley Matthews added 21 points for the Blazers, who snapped a two-game losing streak.

Manu Ginobili had 14 points for the Spurs, who have lost only eight games this season.

Gary Neal's 3-pointer for San Antonio tied it at 78, but Aldridge's layup and Wesley Matthew's scoop gave Portland its biggest lead of the game so far at 82-78 with 7:03 left.

It was the first game of the Spurs' "Rodeo Road Trip," the team's annual junket while the AT&T Center hosts the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo. The next stop on the nine-game trip is the highly anticipated matchup with the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday.

Celtics 95, Kings 90

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Ray Allen scored 22 points and Rajon Rondo had 17 points and 10 assists as Boston overcame a slow start.

Paul Pierce added 15 points and Kevin Garnett had 12 to help the Celtics (37-11) pull away in the fourth quarter and clinch the Eastern Conference's best record through games of Feb. 6. That means Boston's Doc Rivers will coach the East in the All-Star game in Los Angeles on Feb. 20.

DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans finished with 20 points apiece for a Kings team that returned to its losing form. They were coming off wins against two of the Western Conference's elite - the Los Angeles Lakers and New Orleans Hornets - but missed out on their first three-game winning streak this season.

Glen Davis' fastbreak dunk highlighted the run that put Boston ahead 87-77 with 6 minutes remaining.

Lakers 114, Rockets 106, OT

Kobe Bryant scored 32 points and Pau Gasol hit the go-ahead layup with 1:04 left in overtime, and Los Angeles bounced back from consecutive home losses.

Gasol had 26 points and 16 rebounds, and Lamar Odom had 20 points and a season-high 20 rebounds in his return to the Lakers' starting lineup.

The two-time defending NBA champions finished their first overtime of the season on a 10-2 run, barely holding off injury-depleted Houston.

Luis Scola hit a tying layup with 5.5 seconds left in regulation for the Rockets, who have lost three straight.

Kevin Martin scored 30 points and Scola added 24 points and 15 rebounds as Houston launched a season-high 38 3-point attempts. The Rockets made just 10 3-pointers on the third stop of a four-game road trip.


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