Rondo gets 25 assists as Pelicans beat Nets 128-113
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Rajon Rondo set a franchise record with a career-high 25 assists in just 30 minutes on the court, Anthony Davis had 33 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks, and the New Orleans Pelicans beat the Brooklyn Nets 128-113 on Wednesday night.
DeMarcus Cousins had 27 points and 14 rebounds, and Jrue Holiday scored 23 points for the Pelicans, who have won three straight.
Currently sitting on the edge of the Western Conference playoff picture, the Pelicans entered their current three-game homestand looking to string together some victories against teams that have struggled on the road.
They got off to a solid start against Brooklyn, leading by as many as 16 in the first quarter, 23 in the second and 33 in the third.
Caris LeVert scored 22 points for the Nets, and Nik Stauskas had 21.
THUNDER 124, RAPTORS 107
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Russell Westbrook had 30 points, 13 assists and eight rebounds, and Oklahoma City earned its sixth straight win.
Paul George scored 33 points, helping Oklahoma City improve to 12-3 in December. Carmelo Anthony and Steven Adams had 18 points apiece.
The Thunder won despite being on the wrong end of a 23-2 run in the first half, during which the Raptors built a 12-point lead.
C.J. Miles led Toronto with 20 points. Jonas Valanciunas had 16 and DeMar DeRozan finished with 15 points.
Toronto entered the game as the hottest team in the Eastern Conference, but lost its second game in as many nights and fell to 10-3 in December.
KINGS 109, CAVALIERS 95
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Vince Carter scored a season-high 24 points, and Sacramento handed Cleveland its second straight loss.
Carter had missed the previous three games due to a rib injury and coach’s decision. The 40-year-old former dunk king gave the Cavaliers all kinds of problems in his return, shooting 10 of 12 in 30 minutes.
Cleveland was coming off a 99-92 loss at Golden State on Christmas Day, stopping the Cavs’ 26-game streak with 100 points or more. Cleveland had not dropped consecutive games since a four-game slide from Oct. 25-Nov. 1.
LeBron James had 16 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists for the Cavs, and Kevin Love scored 23 points.
WARRIORS 126, JAZZ 101
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Kevin Durant scored 21 points, and Golden State won for the 13th time in 14 games.
It was the first game between the teams since the Warriors’ four-game playoff sweep in the Western Conference semifinals last spring, winning each game by double digits.
Golden State’s Draymond Green had 14 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in just three quarters, two nights after tying the franchise record with his 20th career triple-double.
Rodney Hood scored 26 points for Utah.
TIMBERWOLVES 128, NUGGETS 125, OT
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Jimmy Butler scored 12 of Minnesota’s 14 points in overtime and finished with a season-high 39 in the Timberwolves’ fifth straight victory.
Minnesota also got a big game from Andrew Wiggins, who made five 3-pointers and scored 21 points. Taj Gibson added 20 points, and Karl-Anthony Towns had 14 points and 13 rebounds.
Will Barton led Denver with 28 points, while Trey Lyles added 23 points and 10 rebounds. Nikola Jokic scored 22 for the Nuggets, whose three-game winning streak ended.
Butler scored Minnesota’s first 11 points in overtime. Then, with the game tied at 125 and 50 seconds to go, he found Jamal Crawford for an 18-foot jump shot.
GRIZZLIES 109, LAKERS 99
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tyreke Evans scored 32 points and the Grizzlies handed the Lakers their fourth consecutive loss.
Jarell Martin added 20 points for Memphis, which had lost four of five and was coming off a 99-97 loss in Phoenix a night earlier on Tyson Chandler’s dunk with 0.4 seconds left.
Brandon Ingram scored 23 points for the Lakers, and Jordan Clarkson had 22.
Los Angeles shot 37.6 percent from the field and was just 21 of 33 from the free-throw line.
HAWKS 113, WIZARDS 99
ATLANTA (AP) — Dennis Schroder scored 21 points, Ersan Ilyasova added 20 and the Hawks won consecutive games for the first time this season.
The Wizards were coming off their best win of the season, a high-energy 111-103 victory at Boston on Monday, but they have been unable to shake a reputation for playing down to the competition.
Marco Belinelli scored 19 points in 20 minutes for Atlanta, the NBA’s worst team at 9-25.
Bradley Beal had 20 points for Washington (19-16), which was trying for its first three-game win streak since mid-November. Markieff Morris had 18 points and eight rebounds, and John Wall finished with 10 points and 11 assists.
CELTICS 102, HORNETS 91
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kyrie Irving scored 21 points and Al Horford had 20 points and 11 rebounds, powering the Celtics to the road win.
Jayson Tatum scored 10 of his 18 points in the pivotal fourth quarter, helping Boston break open a tight game. The Celtics had dropped three of four, including a 111-103 loss to visiting Washington on Christmas Day.
Horford gave the Hornets fits all night, hitting 8 of 11 shots, including 4 of 6 from beyond the 3-point arc.
Kemba Walker scored 24 points and Dwight Howard had 12 points and 17 rebounds for the Hornets, who are in the midst of a freefall down the Eastern Conference standings. Charlotte has lost 13 of 17 ahead of a four-game West Coast trip beginning Friday night at Golden State.
BULLS 92, KNICKS 87
CHICAGO (AP) — Kris Dunn scored 17 points, including two clutch free throws in the final seconds, and the surging Bulls rallied for the win.
Chicago trailed by as many as 15 in the first half, but shut down New York down the stretch of its ninth win in 11 games. The Knicks managed just three points in the final 5 1/2 minutes.
Lauri Markkanen scored 12 points for the Bulls, and Justin Holiday and Robin Lopez had 11 points apiece. Holiday also made three of Chicago’s 10 3-pointers in 28 attempts, compared to a 4-for-23 performance from beyond the arc for New York.
Kristaps Porzingis led the Knicks with 23 points, and Courtney Lee had 17. New York has dropped three straight.
MAVERICKS 98, PACERS 94
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Dirk Nowitzki scored 15 points, Harrison Barnes made the tiebreaking free throw with 37.7 seconds left, and Dallas snapped an eight-game road losing streak.
Nowitzki, the franchise’s career leading scorer in his 20th season, scored six points in the final quarter to help the Mavericks rally for their third win in 17 road games.
Barnes and Yogi Ferrell each scored 13 points. Ferrell, an Indianapolis native, hit a 3-pointer to make it 94-90 Dallas with 2:09 remaining.
Lance Stephenson, Myles Turner and Darren Collison had 16 points apiece for the Pacers, who played without injured leading scorer Victor Oladipo for the first time and struggled down the stretch.
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