Joel Embiid scored 35 points with 11 rebounds, James Harden added 24 points with 13 assists and the Philadelphia 76ers made it consecutive wins to open a five-game road trip by earning a 113-112 victory Sunday over the Los Angeles Lakers.
LeBron James scored 35 points with 10 assists for the Lakers, while reaching the 38,000-point mark for his career on a first-quarter basket. James is one of just two players to reach the scoring plateau as he closes in on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s NBA record 38,387 points. Russell Westbrook scored 20 points with 14 rebounds and 11 assists for the Lakers in his fourth triple-double of the season.
James looked determined early, scoring 16 points in the first quarter and reaching 38,001 points on a jumper from the top of the key with 5:43 remaining in the opening period. In a tight game throughout, the Lakers led 58-57 at halftime before the 76ers went ahead 86-83 through three quarters.
Los Angeles pulled within a point on a 3-pointer from Troy Brown Jr. with 37 seconds left in the fourth and got the ball back after an Embiid miss. But they were unable to win in the closing seconds as Westbrook lost the handle on a go-ahead layup bid at the buzzer.
Nuggets 119, Magic 116
Nikola Jokic hit a 3-pointer with 1.2 seconds left to cap a 17-point, 14-assist, 10-rebound triple-double, and host Denver beat Orlando.
Aaron Gordon scored 25 points, Jamal Murray had 18 and Michael Porter Jr. finished with 16 for Denver, which has won 13 straight home games. Markelle Fultz had 20 points, Franz Wagner scored 19, Paolo Banchero added 18 and Bol Bol finished with 17 for the Magic.
Orlando led 115-112 with 1:08 left, but Gordon had a dunk and two free throws to put the Nuggets ahead 116-115 with 16.8 seconds left. Fultz split a pair of free throws to tie it, but Jokic hit his step-back 3-pointer to end the game.
Trail Blazers 140, Mavericks 123
Damian Lillard recorded 40 points and six assists, and Portland cruised to a victory over visiting Dallas, which was without NBA scoring leader Luka Doncic.
Jerami Grant, Jusuf Nurkic and Anfernee Simons added 20 points apiece as Portland defeated Dallas for the second straight night and posted its highest point total of the season for the second consecutive game. Doncic didn’t play due to a sore left ankle. Spencer Dinwiddie had 28 points and nine assists, and Jaden Hardy scored a career-best 25 points for Dallas.
The Mavericks trailed 106-103 after Hardy’s basket with 9:57 remaining in the game, but Lillard buried two 3-pointers and Nurkic added one during a 16-0 burst that increased the Trail Blazers’ lead to 19. Nurkic and Grant buried 3-pointers to push the advantage to 130-107 with 4:40 remaining, and Portland sailed to the finish behind a 42-point fourth quarter.
Knicks 117, Pistons 104
Julius Randle scored a season-high 42 points as New York defeated host Detroit for the 12th consecutive time.
Randle made 15 of 24 shots from the field and added 15 rebounds and four assists. Jalen Brunson supplied 27 points with four assists as New York, which has won seven of its past eight games, completed a sweep of the four-game season series with Detroit.
Jaden Ivey and Saddiq Bey each had 21 points and six rebounds to lead the Pistons, who were without leading scorer Bojan Bogdanovic because of a non-COVID illness.
Bulls 132, Warriors 118
Nikola Vucevic continued his recent dominance of Golden State, exploding for 43 points, tying his career high, to lift host Chicago to a victory that ended an 11-game losing streak to the defending champs.
Vucevic hit 18 of his 31 shots and half his 10 3-point attempts, giving him 14 more points than he’d scored in any previous game this season. The big man also found time for a game-high 13 rebounds, four assists and four steals. Zach LaVine backed Vucevic with 27 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Coby White chipped in with 15 points, Ayo Dosunmu with 12 and Williams with 10.
Klay Thompson bombed in eight 3-pointers in 15 tries to account for all but two of his team-high 26 points for the Warriors, who fell to 4-17 on the road. Stephen Curry put up a 20-point, 10-rebound double-double for Golden State, while Jordan Poole had 15 points, Anthony Lamb 14 and Andrew Wiggins 11.
Clippers 121, Rockets 100
Kawhi Leonard and Terance Mann each eclipsed 30 points, and Los Angeles turned a runaway fourth quarter into an easy home victory over Houston.
Mann scored 31 points, Leonard tallied 30, and both had six rebounds and four assists. They combined to shoot 24-for-40 from the field as the Clippers, who outscored Houston 30-10 in the fourth quarter, snapped a stretch of seven losses in eight games.
The Rockets suffered their 10th consecutive loss. Eric Gordon led Houston with 24 points while Kenyon Martin Jr. added 22 — with seven dunks — and nine rebounds.
Thunder 112, Nets 102
Josh Giddey and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 28 points apiece as Oklahoma City dominated the fourth quarter of a victory over Brooklyn in New York.
The duo combined for 18 of Oklahoma City’s 37 points in the fourth and helped the Thunder improve to 10-5 in their past 15 games. Giddey made 12 of 21 shots, including all four of his attempts in the fourth quarter, and added nine rebounds and nine assists. Gilgeous-Alexander went 8-for-17 from the field and 11-for-14 at the free-throw line.
Reserve Seth Curry scored 23 points for the Nets. Nic Claxton added 17 points and 13 rebounds, but Kyrie Irving was 7 of 20 from the floor and was held to 15 points as Brooklyn shot 42.9 percent and played without Ben Simmons (sore back).
Kings 132, Spurs 119
Harrison Barnes scored 29 points on 8-of-11 shooting and Domantas Sabonis added 18 points, 18 rebounds and eight assists as visiting Sacramento defeated reeling San Antonio.
The Kings trailed by a point at halftime but gained control in a dominating third quarter after which they led by a dozen and never allowed San Antonio to get closer than four. Sacramento has won four straight while the Spurs have dropped five in a row and eight of their past nine.
De’Aaron Fox added 23 points for the Kings, with Davion Mitchell tallying 19 off the bench and Keegan Murray and Trey Lyles hitting for 12 each. Jakob Poeltl led the Spurs with 23 points while Josh Richardson added 21. Keldon Johnson scored 20, Tre Jones hit for 16 points and Jeremy Sochan 15.
–Field Level Media