Hornets 133, Pacers 126
Kemba Walker had that look in the fourth quarter. Charlotte coach Steve Clifford has seen it before, and he knows not to question it or argue with his point guard when he sees it.
"He just had that look like, 'I ain't coming out,'" Clifford said. "I thought it was a good idea and we went with it."
Walker played the entire fourth quarter, scoring 13 of his game-high 41 points in the final period as the Hornets rode a record-setting start to a victory over Indiana on Friday night.
Walker made 11-of-22 attempts and helped fend off the Pacers' final rally after they had whittled away at what had been an 18-point Charlotte lead. Cory Joseph's free throws cut Indiana's deficit to 128-124 with 40 seconds left, but Charlotte hit five free throws after that to ice it.
"I just want to win, man," Walker said after playing 42 minutes. "I know sometimes I play big minutes, but a lot of the times it's me telling him not to take me out. But like I said, I just want to win. I want to do anything possible to help my teammates win."
Walker outdueled All-Star point guard Victor Oladipo, who led Indiana with 35 points, and helped the Hornets hang on after their fast start.
Buoyed by 16 points from Nicolas Batum, the Hornets scored 49 points in the first, a franchise-best for a quarter. Charlotte connected on 7 of 11 from 3-point range and hit 19 of 23 from the field in that stretch. It marked the highest point total for an NBA team in any quarter this season.
Charlotte led 49-37 after the first, as the Pacers came within a point of matching the most first-quarter points by a Hornets opponent this season.
"They hit every shot and I think we allowed them to get a rhythm," Pacers assistant coach Dan Burke said. "We did not do anything to break their rhythm. The only positive is that we kept scoring."
The 49-point first bettered a 47-point fourth quarter Charlotte had on Dec. 4, 1991 against the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Pacers outscored the Hornets 34-25 in the third quarter, led by 13 points from Oladipo, to narrow Charlotte's advantage to 96-91.
That's when Walker went to work in the fourth. He hit 4 of 6 attempts and all four free throws in the final quarter.
"He plays like that the next 30-something games, I'm cool with it," Batum said. "I'm cool with it."
Four other Hornets players scored in double-digits, led by Batum's 31 points and Dwight Howard's 12 points and 11 rebounds. Charlotte won its second game in a row.
Myles Turner added 19 points and 11 rebounds for Indiana.
Bucks 92, Knicks 90
Jabari Parker waited nearly a year to get back on the court with Milwaukee. He made an immediate impact with 12 points, including seven in the first quarter, and Giannis Antetokounmpo took it from there.
Antetokounmpo made a driving layup with 1.9 seconds remaining to lift the Bucks over New York in Parker's return.
"I was just trying to stay composed, not trying to get carried away," said Parker, who entered the game to a boisterous ovation. "I was pretty much distracted because I heard the crowd, but had to calm down. Still got to show the people why I've been working so hard."
The Bucks got their fifth win in six games. Antetokounmpo, who sprained his left ankle late in Thursday night's loss to Minnesota, showed no ill effects and led all scorers with 29 points. He hit the winner by spinning around a defender in the lane and going up with his left hand over Enes Kanter and Kristaps Porzingis. He jogged back down the court with his tongue hanging from his mouth while the home crowd roared.
"I was able to find the lane," Antetokounmpo said.
Parker hadn't played since tearing his left ACL on Feb. 8, 2017, in a game against Miami. He made 4 of 7 shots over nearly 15 minutes as a reserve.
Kanter had 17 points and 18 rebounds to lead the Knicks, who were coming off a 103-73 loss to Boston on Wednesday night. Porzingis also had 17 points.
Entering the fourth quarter tied at 74, the Bucks and Knicks continued their seesaw battle with neither team able to pull away. A layup by Antetokounmpo tied it at 90 with about two minutes remaining. After Tim Hardaway Jr. missed a pair of free throws for New York, Antetokounmpo failed to connect on a step-back jumper with 41.8 seconds left. After Kanter missed a layup, Antetokounmpo hit his decisive layup.
Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said he thought his team made a strong effort against Antetokounmpo on the play.
"Enes made him spin and (Porzingis) came from the weak side. I thought he was going block it," Hornacek said. "He's just so long he was able to get it off."
After a Knicks timeout, Hardaway Jr. — who made just 1 of 14 shots — missed a deep, off-balance jumper at the horn.
The teams were tied at 55 at the half. Milwaukee got 13 points from Antetokounmpo and 12 from Parker, who played nearly 10 minutes in the first half. Kanter had 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Milwaukee got a much-needed spark from Parker in the first quarter. He scored seven points in just more than five minutes of action to help pull the Bucks within one point at the end of the quarter.
Raptors 130, Trail Blazers 105
DeMar DeRozan scored 35 points, Jonas Valanciunas had 18 and Toronto beat Portland, its sixth straight win over the Trail Blazers.
Fred VanVleet scored 16 points, Kyle Lowry had 15 and Pascal Siakam 13 as the Raptors improved their home record to 20-4, the best mark in the NBA.
DeRozan made 11 of 22 shots and matched his career-high by making six 3-pointers. He finished 6 for 10 from long range.
The Raptors made a season high 19 3-pointers. Toronto shot 19 for 40 from behind the arc, with nine players making at least one 3-pointer.
Damian Lillard scored 32 points, becoming the fastest player in franchise history to reach 10,000 for his career, but Portland's four-game winning streak was snapped. The Blazers have lost five of their past seven on the road.
Pelicans 114, Thunder 100
Anthony Davis scored 43 points to help New Orleans beat Oklahoma City.
Davis made 17 of 34 shots and had 10 rebounds, and E'Twaun Moore added 26 points for the Pelicans.
New Orleans had lost two straight since All-Star DeMarcus Cousins was lost for the season with a left Achilles tendon rupture. They righted the ship by shooting 51 percent from the field against the Thunder.
Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook had 16 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds for his 16th triple-double of the season. Steven Adams had 23 points and 12 rebounds for the Thunder, who lost their third straight after an eight-game winning streak.
Jazz 129, Suns 97
Donovan Mitchell scored 40 points, one shy of his career high, and Utah beat Phoenix to win its fourth in a row.
The Jazz rookie sensation made 14 of 19 shots and a career-best seven 3s in nine attempts. It was the sixth game of at least 30 points in his young NBA career.
Ricky Rubio had 14 points, nine assists and six rebounds for the Jazz. Joe Ingles added 16 points, including 4-of-6 3s, and Derrick Favors had 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Josh Jackson led the Suns with 20 points. Devin Booker, still bothered by bruised ribs, scored 18 points for Phoenix but on 7-of-24 shooting.
The Jazz, who hadn't played since their 30-point home win over Golden State on Tuesday night, opened a four-game trip in dominating fashion.
76ers 103, Heat 97
Joel Embiid opened the first set of back-to-back games in his NBA career with 17 points and 11 rebounds to help lead Philadelphia past Miami.
Dario Saric made his first five buckets and had 17 points and 10 rebounds. Ben Simmons, the rookie star who felt snubbed from the All-Star game, scored 20 points.
Embiid was expected to play Saturday at Indiana in what would be the first-ever back-to-back for the 7-foot-2 center, who missed his first two seasons with injuries.
Kelly Olynyk scored 19 points for the Heat, who outscored the 76ers 37-17 in the fourth quarter. Miami turned a 28-point hole into a four-point game with 25 seconds left.
Lakers 102, Nets 99
Brook Lopez scored 19 points in his return to Brooklyn, making Los Angeles' final basket with 1:28 left.
The Nets' career leader in scoring and blocked shots also had a big block down the stretch as the Lakers did just enough to avoid a third straight loss.
Julius Randle had 19 points and 12 rebounds, and Brandon Ingram added 16 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds for the Lakers. Josh Hart finished with 15 points and 14 rebounds, helping Los Angeles to a 56-38 advantage on the boards.
Spencer Dinwiddie had 23 points, nine assists and seven rebounds for the Nets. Rookie Jarrett Allen, playing the center spot Lopez occupied for nine seasons in New Jersey and later Brooklyn before getting dealt to Los Angeles in the trade that brought D'Angelo Russell to Brooklyn, had a season-best 20 points.
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