Aleksej Pokusevski had 17 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists for his first career triple-double as the lowly Oklahoma City Thunder sent the NBA-best Phoenix Suns to one of their worst losses of the season, 117-96 on Sunday night.
The win tied for the largest margin of victory this season for the host Thunder and was just the Suns’ fourth loss of 20 or more points. Phoenix’s worst loss of the season came by 29 against Portland in October.
The Suns have lost back-to-back games for just the fourth time this season. Playing without Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton – both of whom were rested – the Suns didn’t have enough firepower to beat the team that has the fourth-worst record in the NBA.
Suns star Chris Paul played in his first game in Oklahoma City with fans present since the Thunder traded him to Phoenix before last season, and he was greeted by a loud ovation during introductions. He finished with 11 points and nine assists.
Nuggets 129, Lakers 118
Nikola Jokic had 38 points and 18 rebounds, Will Barton scored 25 points, and visiting Denver beat Los Angeles, which was without LeBron James due to a sore ankle. The Lakers have lost six straight games.
Aaron Gordon had 24 points, DeMarcus Cousins scored 14 and Bones Hyland and Davon Reed added 10 apiece for the Nuggets. Denver moved into first place in the Northwest Division by a half-game over Utah and is currently the fifth seed in the Western Conference.
Anthony Davis had 28 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, Russell Westbrook added 27 points and 10 rebounds, Carmelo Anthony scored 17, Malik Monk had 11 and Avery Bradley finished with 10 for the Lakers, who are in 11th place in the West and are in jeopardy of missing the play-in round.
Warriors 109, Kings 90
Andrew Wiggins scored a game-high 25 points, and Golden State retained the No. 3 playoff position in the Western Conference with a victory that formally eliminated host Sacramento from postseason contention.
Electing to rest veterans Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala and Otto Porter Jr. on the second night of a back-to-back, the Warriors also got 22 points from Jordan Poole, 19 from Nemanja Bjelica and 17 from Jonathan Kuminga in winnin their second straight. Bjelica grabbed 12 rebounds for a double-double and added a team-high six assists off the bench.
Former Warriors Harrison Barnes and Damian Jones had 18 and 17 points, respectively, to pace the Kings, who needed to win its last four games to have a shot at ending what is now a 16-year playoff drought.
Timberwolves 139, Rockets 132
Anthony Edwards recorded his first 30-point game in seven weeks, and Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell combined for 50 points as Minnesota claimed a road win over Houston, completing the season series sweep.
Edwards finished with 33 points on 12-for-21 shooting from the field while Towns notched his 38th double-double with 28 points and 11 rebounds.
Jalen Green and Josh Christopher scored 31 and 30 points, respectively, for the Rockets, who dropped each game of their four-game homestand.
Mavericks 118, Bucks 112
Luka Doncic recorded his third double-double in the last four games as visiting Dallas held on to beat Milwaukee and avoid getting swept in the two-game season series.
Doncic scored 32 points, matched his season high of 15 assists and collected eight rebounds on 9-of-22 shooting to lead the Mavericks. Dwight Powell supplied 22 points and 13 rebounds and Reggie Bullock chipped in 16 points.
Giannis Antetokounmpo paced Milwaukee with 28 points and 10 rebounds on 12-of-22 shooting to post his seventh consecutive double-double. Jrue Holiday notched 20 points and nine assists, and reserve Bobby Portis finished with 17 points.
Celtics 144, Wizards 102
Jaylen Brown scored 32 points, Jayson Tatum added 22 and Boston led by as many as 43 in a rout of visiting Washington.
Derrick White had 17 points for the Celtics in their regular-season home finale. Grant Williams scored 16 points, Payton Pritchard added 14 and Aaron Nesmith had 11 for Boston, which moved past the Milwaukee Bucks into second place in the Eastern Conference.
Kristaps Porzingis and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope paced the Wizards with 17 points apiece.
Pistons 121, Pacers 117
Saddiq Bey scored 31 points in 23 minutes, and six other Detroit players reached double figures in scoring as the visiting Pistons downed slumping Indiana.
Bey hit 7-of-9 3-point attempts as the Pistons, who won their third straight, shot 21 of 41 from deep. Frank Jackson had 19 points and four assists and Rodney McGruder scored 13 points.
Oshae Brissett had 20 points, 10 rebounds and five assists to lead the Pacers, who have lost seven straight.
76ers 112, Cavaliers 108
Joel Embiid had 44 points, 17 rebounds and five blocked shots to lead Philadelphia past host Cleveland.
It was the 11th time this season that Embiid produced at least 40 points and 10 rebounds. James Harden added 21 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds while Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris contributed 11 points each for the Sixers.
Darius Garland led the Cavaliers with 23 points, Lamar Stevens and Caris LeVert added 18 each, and Moses Brown had 12 rebounds.
Knicks 118, Magic 88
Immanuel Quickley came off the bench to post his first career triple-double, RJ Barrett scored 27 points, and New York stopped a two-game losing streak with a win over host Orlando.
New York, which won on the road for the fourth straight time, played its second straight game without Julius Randle. The All-Star power forward remained out due to a sore right quadricep tendon, but the Knicks easily sent the Magic to their sixth consecutive loss.
Quickley scored 20 points, 13 in the first half, on 8-for-19 shooting to go with 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Moe Wagner (nine rebounds) scored 18 points to pace five players in double figures for Orlando, which trailed by as many as 35 points.
Heat 114, Raptors 109
Kyle Lowry had 16 points and 10 assists in his return to Toronto, leading visiting Miami past the Raptors. A video tribute and long ovation greeted Lowry, nine-year Raptor, who returned to play in Toronto for the first time since joining the Heat in the offseason.
Max Strus scored all of his 23 points in the second half for the Heat, who have won four straight.
Fred VanVleet scored 29 points and set a team record for 3-pointers in a season for the Raptors, who had a five-game winning streak end. VanVleet’s third 3-pointer in the first quarter gave him the team record of 239 for a season, surpassing Lowry’s 238 set in 2017-18. VanVleet finished with four 3-pointers.
Spurs 113, Trail Blazers 92
Keldon Johnson scored 28 points and Zach Collins produced his first career double-double as San Antonio put everything together in the third quarter and ran past visiting Portland in the second of a two-games-in-three-days series between the teams.
The win reduced the Spurs’ magic number to clinch a spot in the play-in game to two games over the Los Angeles Lakers. The Spurs are in 10th place in the Western Conference with four games to play and can still mathematically catch New Orleans for ninth.
Keon Johnson and Ben McLemore led the Trail Blazers with 19 points apiece.The Spurs have won six of their past seven games.
Clippers 119, Pelicans 100
Marcus Morris Sr. scored 22 points, and refreshed Los Angeles routed visiting New Orleans to clinch the eighth spot in the Western Conference heading into the play-in tournament.
Morris (knee) was one of four Clippers starters to return after sitting out a 153-119 victory at Milwaukee on Friday. The others included Paul George (elbow), who scored 15 points, and Reggie Jackson (rest), who had 11 points and 10 assists as the Clippers began a season-ending four-game homestand.
CJ McCollum scored 19 points, Brandon Ingram added 15, and Jaxson Hayes had 12 points and 10 rebounds to lead the ninth-place Pelicans, who missed an opportunity to clinch a play-in berth.
— Field Level Media