Brunson returns, powers Knicks past West-leading Nuggets
NEW YORK (AP) — Jalen Brunson scored 24 points in his return from a left foot injury, leading the New York Knicks to a 116-110 victory over the Western Conference-leading Denver Nuggets on Saturday.
Brunson had 16 points in the first quarter to get the Knicks off to a quick start, then finished strong to help them come back after trailing by 13 in the second half. Brunson had missed five of the last six games and made it through only half the one game he did play because of soreness.
RJ Barrett added 21 points and Julius Randle had 20 for the Knicks, who won their third straight and improved to 42-30, guaranteeing just their second winning record in the last 10 seasons. Robinson grabbed nine rebounds.
Nikola Jokic had 24 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists for the Nuggets, who lost for the fifth time in six games. Jamal Murray scored 25 points.
76ERS 141, PACERS 121
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey each scored 31 points and Tobias Harris added 24 as Philadelphia routed Indiana to match its season high with an eighth consecutive victory.
In a matchup of teams missing All-Stars — Philadelphia’s James Harden and Indiana’s Tyrese Haliburton — the 76ers shot 61% from the field, led by as many as 24 points and never looked back after overcoming an early eight-point deficit. De’Anthony Melton started in Harden’s place and finished with 14 points, five assists, five rebounds and six steals. Embiid chipped in seven assists and seven rebounds, while Maxey had seven assists.
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Aaron Nesmith led the Pacers with 25 points and six rebounds, Andrew Nembhard scored 20 points, and Myles Turner finished with 20 points.
JAZZ 118, CELTICS 117
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Lauri Markkanen scored 28 points and Walker Kessler had a game-saving block to help Utah to a comeback win over Boston.
Grant Williams, who had 23 points and a career-high seven 3-pointers, was driving for a potential game-winner but ran into Kessler, who blocked his shot just before the final buzzer.
Talen Horton-Tucker had 19 points and Ochai Agbaji added 16 for the Jazz, who overcame a 19-point deficit to win and stay in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race.
Jaylen Brown scored 25 points, Malcolm Brogdon had 16 and Jayson Tatum finished with 15, but was shut out in the second half as the short-handed Celtics were playing their third game in four nights. The Celtics made 22 3-pointers, one off their season high, but missed enough down the stretch for the Jazz to pull off the win.
MAGIC 113, CLIPPERS 108
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Markelle Fultz scored 12 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter, Wendell Carter Jr. had 27 points and 12 rebounds, and Orlando snapped its two-game skid with a victory over Los Angeles.
Franz Wagner scored 20 points and hit a gutsy 3-pointer with 40 seconds to play for the Magic, who had lost five of six before taking the lead in the fourth quarter and holding on.
Paul George scored 30 points for the Clippers, whose four-game winning streak ended on the last contest of a five-game homestand. Ivica Zubac had 16 points and 16 rebounds for LA on his 26th birthday, grabbing his 3,000th career rebound in the first half. Kawhi Leonard skipped the game to rest his right knee, sitting out for the 29th time in the Clippers’ 71 contests this season.
RAPTORS 122, TIMBERWOLVES 107
TORONTO (AP) — Pascal Siakam had 27 points and 10 rebounds and Toronto extended its season-high home winning streak to seven by beating Minnesota.
Jakob Poeltl had 14 points and 11 rebounds, matching his career high with his fourth straight double-double, to help the Raptors improve to 24-4 all-time in home meetings with Minnesota. Fred VanVleet scored 28 points for Toronto, while Gary Trent Jr. added 19, O.G. Aunoby 15 and Scottie Barnes 10.
Rudy Gobert had 14 points and 12 rebounds and Naz Reid scored 22 points for the Timberwolves, who were playing the second game of a back-to-back. Minnesota lost in double overtime at Chicago on Friday.
The Wolves played without guard Anthony Edwards, who left in the first quarter Friday because of a sprained right ankle. Coach Chris Finch said Edwards is using a walking boot, adding there’s no timetable for his return.
KINGS 132, WIZARDS 118
WASHINGTON (AP) — Domantas Sabonis had 30 points, nine rebounds and nine assists, and Terence Davis II provided an early spark off the bench and added 21 points as Sacramento beat Washington.
Six players scored in double figures for the Kings. Keegan Murray scored 19, Malik Monk added 17, De’Aaron Fox had 12 and Harrison Barnes 11. Sacramento shot 21 for 34 (61.8%) from 3-point range, with five each from Murray, Davis and Monk. Sacramento has won 11 of its last 13 and seven straight on the road.
Kyle Kuzma scored 33 points and Bradley Beal added 20 for the Wizards, who have lost seven of their last nine.
GRIZZLIES 133, WARRIORS 119
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Jaren Jackson Jr. had 31 points and four blocks and Memphis used a fourth-quarter push to defeat Golden State.
Desmond Bane added 26 points for Memphis and Dillon Brooks finished with 18 points while shooting 7 of 10, including all four of his 3-point attempts.
Jonathan Kuminga matched his season high with 24 points to lead the Warriors. Jordan Poole had 21 points, and Stephen Curry scored 16, but was 5 of 15 from the field. Klay Thompson added 14 points on 6-of-17 shooting, part of the Warriors finishing the night at just 43%.
BULLS 113, HEAT 99
CHICAGO (AP) — DeMar DeRozan scored 24 points to lead a balanced Bulls offense and Chicago held off a late surge by Miami.
DeRozan shot 9 of 12 from the floor to help the Bulls sweep the season series from the Heat. Coby White made four 3-pointers and finished with 18 points, Zach LaVine also had 18 and Patrick Beverley added 17 as the Bulls shot 56.3% (45 for 80) from the field overall, including 17 for 34 from 3-point range.
Chicago nearly blew all of a 27-point lead after Nikola Vucevic converted a 3-point play with slightly more than 10 minutes left in the third quarter. Miami, led by 24 points overall from Jimmy Butler and 23 from Bam Adebayo, cut its deficit to 93-90 with nine minutes left.
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