NBA ROUNDUP: Nets' Collins breaks barrier
Jason Collins heard his name called by Nets coach Jason Kidd early in the second quarter and headed to the scorer's table to check in.
When he walked onto the court, Collins became the first openly gay athlete to play in one of the United States’ four major professional leagues.
He understood the significance attached to his appearance in an NBA game, but he had a job to do.
“It felt like, ‘I've done this thousands of times before,’” Collins said after Brooklyn's 108-102 victory against the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night. “You go to the scorer's table, you hear what the play's going to be for the next offensive play and you go out there. Once you're out on the court, it's about basketball. It's what I've been doing for almost three decades.”
Collins was signed to a 10-day contract Sunday, nearly 10 months after his announcement on April 29 in Sports Illustrated. He had two rebounds and five fouls in 10 1/2 scoreless minutes.
The 12-year veteran spent his first six-plus NBA seasons with the Nets and helped them get to the NBA Finals in 2002 and 2003. This was the 35-year-old center’s first NBA game since April 17, 2013, with Washington.
Deron Williams had 30 points, and Paul Pierce scored 25 as the Nets ended an 11-game losing streak against the Lakers.
Pau Gasol had 22 points and 11 rebounds for the Lakers.
HEAT 93, BULLS 79: With LeBron James watching from the bench in a suit and tie, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade powered Miami to the victory.
James was a late scratch after he broke his nose in Thursday’s win at Oklahoma City, and his teammates picked up the slack. Bosh had 28 points and 10 rebounds, and Wade added 23 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.
The Bulls also were also short-handed. Starter Jimmy Butler was a late scratch with bruised ribs.
Joakim Noah had 20 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks for Chicago, which had won five in a row.
Miami, playing at home for the first time in 20 days, extended its winning streak to five games.
CLIPPERS 125, THUNDER 117: Jamal Crawford scored 36 points to help the Clippers get the win.
Matt Barnes scored 24 points and Chris Paul had 18 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds for the Clippers, who snapped a two-game skid.
Kevin Durant had 42 points and 10 assists and Serge Ibaka added 20 points for the Thunder, who lost their second straight. It was the most points the Thunder have allowed this season.
KINGS 109, NUGGETS 95: Isaiah Thomas scored 33 points, Rudy Gay had 32 and Sacramento earned its first win in Denver in six years.
DeMarcus Cousins added 27 points for the Kings, who snapped a nine-game losing streak to the Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. It was Sacramento’s first win in the Mile High City since a 118-115 victory on April 5, 2008. The Kings have won three of their last four games overall.
Randy Foye and Evan Fournier each scored 27 points for the Nuggets, who lost for the seventh time in the last eight games.
ROCKETS 115, SUNS 112: Patrick Beverley sank the go-ahead 3-pointer with 34.3 seconds to play and Houston escaped with the win.
Dwight Howard scored 25, James Harden had 23 and Beverley 20 for the Rockets, who trailed by 10 entering the fourth quarter.
Goran Dragic scored a career-high 35 points for the Suns but missed a 3 at the buzzer. Gerald Green had 18 of his 23 points in the third quarter, and Markieff Morris finished with 21 points.
BLAZERS 108, TIMBERWOLVES 97: Damian Lillard had 32 points and the short-handed Trail Blazers rallied for the victory.
Thomas Robinson had 14 points and a career-high 18 rebounds for Portland, which rallied from 18 points down and won its second straight after a three-game slump.
Kevin Love scored 31 for Minnesota, which had won three in a row. It was Love’s franchise-best fifth straight game with 30 or more points.
The Blazers played without All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge, who missed his third straight game with a groin injury.
WIZARDS 96, CAVALIERS 83: John Wall scored 21 points and Bradley Beal had 17, leading Washington to the road victory.
The Wizards held the Cavaliers to 11 fourth-quarter points to return to .500 at 28-28 on the season. They also strengthened their hold on the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference standings.
The strong defensive performance in the final period came after Washington lost Nene to a sprained left knee midway through the third quarter. He had eight points, four rebounds and four assists in 21 minutes.
Luol Deng led Cleveland with 17 points. The Cavaliers played without center Anderson Varejao (sore back) and guards Dion Waiters (hyperextended left knee) and C.J. Miles (sprained left ankle).
Spencer Hawes, playing his second game since being acquired from Philadelphia on Thursday, had 16 points and 12 rebounds for Cleveland.
RAPTORS 105, MAGIC 90: Kyle Lowry scored 28 points, DeMar DeRozan had 24 and the Raptors handed the Magic their 15th straight road loss.
Terrence Ross scored 16 and Amir Johnson had 12 points and eight rebounds before leaving with a sprained right ankle in the Raptors’ fifth victory in six games.
Toronto improved to 12-3 in its past 15 home games and moved six games above .500 for the first time since Feb 24, 2010, when its record was also 31-25.
Tobias Harris scored 28 points and E’Twaun Moore had 16 as the Magic opened a four-game trip with their fourth loss in five games.