WASHINGTON – Emeka Okafor had 15 points and 16 rebounds, helping the surging Washington Wizards beat the Chicago Bulls 86-73 on Saturday night.
John Wall and Nene each scored 16 points for Washington, which has won consecutive games for the second time this season. The Wizards have won five straight at home for the first time in five years, and seven of 10 overall.
It’s a marked improvement from the start of the season, when Washington (11-31) dropped 28 of its first 32 games.
Chicago had won a season-high three in a row for the third time.
Nate Robinson scored 19 points for the Bulls, and Joakim Noah narrowly missed a triple-double with nine points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists, which equaled his career high.
The Wizards outscored Chicago 23-11 in the third quarter to take a 73-55 lead. The 11 points were a season low for the Bulls. Chicago had twice as many turnovers (six) as field goals (three) in the period.
The Wizards put together an 11-0 run late in the second quarter, holding the Bulls scoreless for nearly five minutes while building a 50-44 halftime lead.
Washington outscored Chicago 10-2 to start the third and led 60-46 with 8:58 to play. Nene hit two more field goals and two free throws as the Wizards extended the lead to 69-51 with 4:28 left in the third.
76ERS 97, KNICKS 80: In Philadelphia, Jrue Holiday scored a career-high 35 points, and Nick Young had 20 to lead Philadelphia.
Evan Turner also added 20 points for the Sixers, who led from the start and beat the Knicks for the first time in four tries and second in eight games.
Carmelo Anthony needed 28 shots to get 25 points. He has 28 straight 20-point games, tied with Patrick Ewing for second-longest streak in franchise history. Richie Guerin did it 29 games in a row in 1961-62.
Amare Stoudemire had 20 points for New York. Jason Kidd, Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith combined to go 0 for 17. Kidd had zero assists in 15 minutes.
The Sixers opened an eight-game homestand, their longest since 1986, with only their third win in 11 games. They’re 8-19 since a 10-6 start.
CAVALIERS 99, RAPTORS 98: In Toronto, Kyrie Irving made a three-pointer with 0.7 second left to give Cleveland its third straight victory.
Headed to his first All-Star game, Irving added to his credentials by calmly draining a pull-up jumper from the top of the arc.
Irving finished with 32 points, and Marreese Speights had 17 for the Cavs. Tristan Thompson scored 14 and Wayne Ellington had 12.
Amir Johnson had 18 points and 12 rebounds for Toronto. Alan Anderson scored 17, and Ed Davis had 16 for the Raptors, who had won seven of their previous nine meetings with the Cavaliers. DeMar DeRozan scored 15 points and Jose Calderon had 10 for Toronto.
ROCKETS 119, NETS 106: In Houston, James Harden scored 29 points, Chandler Parsons added 16 points and a career-high 11 assists as Houston won for the 12th consecutive over the franchise that moved to Brooklyn this season.
Omer Asik had 20 points and 16 rebounds for the Rockets, who outrebounded the Nets 50-31 and outscored Brooklyn 60-24 in the paint.
Nets star Deron Williams scored 27 points, but cooled off after a 20-point first quarter. He was ejected with 1:07 left after arguing a call with referee David Jones. Brook Lopez scored 21 points and Joe Johnson added 13 for Brooklyn.
Jeremy Lin had 14 points, nine assists and six turnovers for the Rockets.
BOBCATS 102, TIMBERWOLVES 101: In Charlotte, N.C., Gerald Henderson hit a three-pointer from 25 feet with 4.6 seconds left snapping Charlotte’s 16-game home losing streak.
The Bobcats’ streak was two short of the NBA record held by the 1993-94 Dallas Mavericks.
Kemba Walker led Charlotte with 25 points, and Ramon Sessions finished with 23 as the Bobcats won at home for the first time since Nov. 21.
Luke Ridnour had 22 points, seven rebounds and seven assists to lead Minnesota, which has lost nine of 10.