Hornets 116, Wizards 110
The Charlotte Hornets turned some well-timed rest into a much-needed win.
Kemba Walker scored 28 points and the Hornets beat Washington on Friday night in a matchup of teams chasing the final Eastern Conference playoff berth.
The Hornets came out after three days without a game and scored 40 points in the first quarter.
"We worked on a few things and I think you saw it carry over to tonight," Hornets coach James Borrego said. "I think it was more of a refresher for our bodies, our minds. Got our spirits right and I thought we came out and competed tonight."
Jeremy Lamb added 18 points and eight rebounds, and Nicolas Batum and Tony Parker had 16 points apiece for Charlotte, which defeated Washington for the second time in eight days.
"Just loved the way we came out and competed from the very beginning of the game," Walker said. "We established ourselves really early on both ends of the floor. That was a big win. We showed some resiliency (and) showed how much we cared about our season."
Walker, coming off a 40-point effort against Houston, shot 11 for 30.
Bradley Beal, who had 15 points in a loss at Charlotte last Friday, had 23 by halftime Friday night and finished with 40 points on 15-of-29 shooting.
Jabari Parker had 17 points and 11 rebounds for Washington. Jeff Green scored 20 points.
Charlotte put six players in double figures and its bench outscored the Wizards reserves 57-33.
The Hornets scored 27 points off 17 Washington turnovers.
"We had a chance to save this. Maybe not our night," Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. "We fought back and made it interesting. We came up a couple of stops short."
Charlotte led by 21 early in the third quarter and was ahead 95-78 to start the fourth, but Jabari Parker's floater cut the Hornets' lead to 107-97 with 5:26 remaining.
Washington got within six before Batum and Lamb hit 3-pointers.
The Wizards rallied again and Green's two free throws made it 113-108 with 1:56 to play, but Lamb answered with a three-point play.
The Hornets led 25-20 when Frank Kaminsky's 3-pointer started a 15-6 run to the end of the first quarter.
"They came out just trying to punch us in the mouth, right then and there as soon as the tip started," Washington's Thomas Bryant said.
Tony Parker scored the first five points of the second quarter and the Hornets led by as many as 21.
Beal hit back-to-back 3-pointers and the Wizards cut it to five before trailing by 13 at halftime.
"I'm tired of seeing Washington and Beal so good luck to the rest of the NBA," Borrego said. "Good luck trying to figure him out."
Hornets second-year swingman Dwayne Bacon, who came in averaging 4.9 points, scored 13 points for his second straight game. Bacon played 29 minutes, shooting 5 of 8.
"He's really confident right now. Probably the most confident I've ever seen him," Borrego said. "He continues to get to the rim, make plays in the paint, draw fouls and he's competing on the defensive end."
Clippers 128, Bulls 121
Danilo Gallinari scored 27 points, Montrezl Harrell added 26 and Los Angeles rallied in a third quarter that saw both coaches ejected for arguing to beat Chicago.
The Clippers trailed 63-57 at halftime, but took control in the third by scoring a season-high 45 points to go up 102-84 going into the fourth. Los Angeles shot 40.8 percent from the field in the first half but was 16 of 24 in the third quarter and 5 of 8 on 3-pointers. The Clippers also had six steals and forced seven turnovers.
Gallinari scored 12 points in the quarter and Landry Shamet made three 3s. Los Angeles opened the quarter with a 19-4 run and the lead reached 18 shortly before Clippers coach Doc Rivers and Bulls coach Jim Boylen were kicked out when they began arguing with 1:10 remaining after Boylen felt Harrell was too aggressive on an offensive foul.
Zach LaVine had 31 points and seven rebounds for Chicago and New London’s Kris Dunn added 14 points, five rebounds and three assists.
Bucks 113, Heat 98
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 33 points, and Milwaukee rallied from a 20-point halftime deficit to beat Miami.
Antetokounmpo also had 16 rebounds and nine assists for the Bucks, who became the first team in NBA history to trail by at least 20 points at the half and win by more than 11. Khris Middleton scored 21 and Eric Bledsoe had 17 for the NBA-best Bucks, who improved to 52-17.
Milwaukee outscored Miami 71-36 in the second half.
Justise Winslow had all of his 20 points in the first half for Miami, which had its lead over Orlando and Charlotte for the No. 8 spot in the Eastern Conference trimmed to just one game.
Spurs 109, Knicks 83
LaMarcus Aldridge had 18 points and 11 rebounds, and San Antonio beat New York to extend its season-best winning streak to seven games.
DeMar DeRozan and Bryn Forbes each had 13 points for San Antonio, whose previous season high was five straight victories.
New York, which was without injured point guard Dennis Smith Jr., lost its eighth straight.
Rockets 108, Suns 102
James Harden had 41 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds, and Houston outlasted Phoenix.
The Rockets had trouble putting away the Suns, who have won just 16 games this season, and trailed for much of the night as they struggled from long-range, making just 11 of 40 3-pointers.
It's Houston's franchise-record 10th straight win over the Suns, and the Rockets have won 10 of their last 11 games overall.
Devin Booker had 29 points for the Suns, who lost their second in a row.
Trail Blazers 122, Pelicans 110
Damian Lillard scored 24 points and became the second-leading scorer in Trail Blazers history as Portland beat New Orleans.
Lillard passed LaMarcus Aldridge (12,562) on the team's list, giving him 12,584 and leaving only Clyde Drexler ahead of him with 18,040.
C.J. McCollum added 23 points, and Enes Kanter and Rodney Hood each had 17 points for the Trail Blazers, who improved to 8-3 since the All-Star break. Zach Collins scored 12 points and Jusuf Nurkic had 11 points and 12 rebounds as Portland handed New Orleans its fifth consecutive loss despite impressive performances by a couple of Pelicans.
New Orleans' Julius Randle had a career-high 45 points and 11 rebounds.
76ers 123, Kings 114
Joel Embiid had 21 points and 17 rebounds and made some big plays on both ends of the court late in the fourth quarter, Jimmy Butler scored 22 points and Philadelphia beat Sacramento.
Tobias Harris and JJ Redick each added 19 points and Ben Simmons contributed 18 for the 76ers, who won their third in a row to pull even with idle Indiana for the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference. Philadelphia holds the tiebreaker with the Pacers and is trying to maintain hold of home court in a first-round playoff series, something coach Brett Brown said he coveted before the contest. Fifth-seeded Boston is two games behind the 76ers and Pacers.
Harrison Barnes and De'Aaron Fox had 16 points apiece for Sacramento, which lost its third in a row and seventh in the last nine to further hurt its playoff push.
Pistons 111, Lakers 97
Andre Drummond had 19 points and 23 rebounds, and Detroit took advantage of LeBron James' absence, beating Los Angeles.
The Lakers, who have fallen well off the pace in the Western Conference playoff race, have been managing James' minutes, and he sat out this game entirely. Los Angeles played at Toronto the previous night.
The Lakers were also without Lonzo Ball (left ankle), Tyson Chandler (neck), Brandon Ingram (right arm) and Lance Stephenson (toe).
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