Kawhi Leonard returned to the lineup and finished with a team-high 28 points, and Paul George added 24 points, nine rebounds and nine assists as the host Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia 76ers 122-112 on Saturday night.
Leonard, who missed a game with a foot injury, also had four rebounds and four assists, and Terance Mann scored a season-high 23 points off the bench as the Clippers won their fifth straight game and seventh in their last nine.
Tobias Harris led the 76ers with 29 points on 13 of 19 shooting, and added seven rebounds and six assists. Danny Green hit five 3-pointers and finished with 17 points, followed by Shake Milton with 16. Ben Simmons chipped in with 15 points and seven rebounds for Philadelphia, which saw its four-game winning streak broken.
New York Knicks 102 – Milwaukee Bucks 96
Alec Burks scored seven of his 21 points in the fourth quarter and hit the tiebreaking 3-pointer with 1:19 left as visiting New York defeated severely short-handed Milwaukee.
Burks posted his fifth straight 20-point game and set a career high with six 3-pointers. RJ Barrett also scored 21 points for the Knicks.
Milwaukee lost its second straight following an eight-game winning streak as starters Giannis Antetokounmpo (sprained left knee), Donte DiVincenzo (left foot), Jrue Holiday (left knee contusion) and Khris Middleton (left hip contusion) sat out. Thanasis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with a career-high 23 points.
Utah Jazz 126 – Memphis Grizzlies 110
Donovan Mitchell scorched Memphis for a second straight time with a game-high 35 points, propelling Utah to complete a two-day, two-game sweep in Salt Lake City that stretched its home winning streak to 19.
Jordan Clarkson chipped in with 28 points off the bench and Rudy Gobert finished with 16 points and a game-high 14 rebounds for the Jazz. Mitchell shot 12-for-17 overall and 5-for-7 on 3-pointers en route to the same point total he had in Friday’s win.
Kyle Anderson had a team-high 16 points for the Grizzlies, who hung with the Jazz all the way before losing 117-114 in the opener on Friday. Ja Morant, whose 32 points kept the Grizzlies in the game Friday, was limited to 12 in the rematch.
San Antonio Spurs 120 – Chicago Bulls 104
Jakob Poeltl tied a career high with 20 points as host San Antonio built a huge lead and then held on to beat new-look Chicago and snap a four-game losing streak.
DeMar DeRozan added 17 points for San Antonio, which had seven players score in double figures.
It was Chicago’s first game with its remade lineup after acquiring Nikola Vucevic, Al-Farouq Aminu, Daniel Theis, Javonte Green and Troy Brown Jr. at the trade deadline. All except Theis saw the court on Saturday. Vucevic led the Bulls with 21 points and nine rebounds and Zach LaVine added 18 points.
New Orleans Pelicans 112 – Dallas Mavericks 103
Zion Williamson continued his dominance by scoring 38 points as host New Orleans defeated short-handed Dallas.
Williamson fell one point short of the career high he set one night earlier in a 113-108 loss to Denver and made 13 of 20 field-goal attempts. Nickeil Alexander-Walker added 20 points before fouling out, and Brandon Ingram netted 19.
Tim Hardaway Jr. led the Mavericks with 30 points, but had just nine in the second half. Jalen Brunson added 24 points. Dallas was without Luka Doncic (non-COVID illness) and Kristaps Porzingis (knee injury recovery).
Boston Celtics 111 – Oklahoma City Thunder 94
Jayson Tatum scored 13 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter to lead Boston over host Oklahoma City.
The Celtics hadn’t led until the fourth quarter, before they blitzed the Thunder with a 21-2 run to start the stanza and gain control. Brown scored 13 of his 25 points in the third quarter to help Boston stay close.
Theo Maledon led the Thunder with 22 points. Moses Brown had career highs in points (21) and rebounds (23) for Oklahoma City.
Sacramento Kings 100 – Cleveland Cavaliers 98
De’Aaron Fox scored 20 of his 36 points in the fourth quarter, and Harrison Barnes sank a 3-pointer at the buzzer to power host Sacramento past Cleveland and to its fourth straight win.
Fox, coming off a career-high 44 points in the Kings’ rout of Golden State on Thursday, took over in the fourth quarter with eight of Sacramento’s final 11 points. Barnes’ buzzer-beater completed a 16-point, 11-rebound double-double.
Collin Sexton scored 26 points to lead the Cavaliers in his return from a two-game absence due to a hamstring injury. Larry Nance Jr. added 17 points and a team-high nine rebounds.
Washington Wizards 106 – Detroit Pistons 92
Russell Westbrook recorded a triple-double with 19 points, 19 rebounds and 10 assists and host Washington withstood a furious Detroit rally and snapped a three-game losing streak.
Both teams’ top scorers left the game early. Washington’s Bradley Beal suffered a right hip contusion, while Detroit’s Jerami Grant suffered a quad contusion.
Beal had 17 points and six assists in 21 minutes for the Wizards, who nearly gave away a 30-point, second-half lead. Rui Hachimura supplied 14 points. Wayne Ellington’s 15 points led the Pistons, who have dropped four straight. Isaiah Stewart and Mason Plumlee added 11 points and eight rebounds apiece.
Houston Rockets 129 – Minnesota Timberwolves 107
Kelly Olynyk contributed 16 points in the first game for his new team and six teammates also scored in double figures as Houston avenged a loss from 24 hours earlier by shellacking of the Minnesota in Minneapolis.
Olynyk, acquired at the trade deadline with Avery Bradley in exchange for Victor Oladipo, hit five of his eight shots, including going 4-for-6 from 3-point range, in his introduction to his new team. Kevin Porter Jr., acquired earlier this season from Cleveland, paced the Rockets with 25 points.
Karl-Anthony Towns put up 27 points and a game-high 15 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who could have caught Houston and Detroit for fewest wins in the league with a victory. Anthony Edwards also scored 27 points for Minnesota.
–Field Level Media