76ers 108, Knicks 92
T.J. McConnell doesn’t have the star power of Joel Embiid or Ben Simmons, but it was the undrafted reserve guard who received the loudest cheers while helping the streaking 76ers to another win.
McConnell had a triple-double with 10 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists. Dario Saric scored 24 points to pace all five starters in double figures, and Philadelphia won its fourth in a row, over slumping New York on Monday night.
The first-time All-Star Embiid scored 17 points and Simmons, a top Rookie of the Year candidate, chipped in 13, but it was McConnell’s night.
“I just think it’s the thing that endears him to all of us,” Philadelphia coach Brett Brown said. “You really respect him. He just plays so hard. He’s a wonderful lesson for so many basketball players for what perseverance and toughness can bring you to.”
McConnell said Embiid was egging him toward the triple-double, and the fans and 76ers bench reacted with crazed enthusiasm when he grabbed his 10th rebound with 1:05 remaining.
“Joel just wouldn’t let it go,” McConnell said. “It was priceless. It speaks volumes about what kinds of guys we have. It was an awesome moment.”
J.J. Redick had 18 points and Robert Covington chipped in 13 for the 76ers, who won their 10th straight at home to remain in playoff position in the Eastern Conference. Philadelphia, which never trailed, sits eighth in the Eastern Conference and moved three games ahead of ninth-place Detroit.
Michael Beasley scored 22 points to lead the Knicks, who lost their seventh straight. The Knicks were playing their third game without All-Star Kristaps Porzingis, who suffered a torn left ACL last Tuesday against Milwaukee.
“It’s going to be tough without K.P.,” Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said. “We have to be tougher, scrap harder.”
Courtney Lee had 18 points in his first game coming off the bench this season for the Knicks. Lee had started all 57 games this season, but Hornacek elected to go with 6-foot-8 Lance Thomas for defensive purposes to guard Simmons.
Emmanuel Mudiay had seven points in 19 minutes in his second game with the Knicks after being acquired from Denver. He debuted with 14 points and 10 rebounds in Sunday’s 121-113 loss at the Pacers.
The Knicks tied the game for the third and final time on Enes Kanter’s jumper with 3:57 left in the third quarter. Philadelphia took control from that point on.
The 76ers ended the period by scoring 13 of the final 19 points to take an 86-79 lead into the fourth, and then tallied the first eight points of the final quarter. Amir Johnson made the first of two free throws with 8:34 left to put Philadelphia ahead 94-79.
The Knicks scored just 13 points in the fourth period.
Tim Hardaway Jr. missed all eight of his 3-point attempts and finished with nine points.
Clippers 114, Nets 101
If this is what the Los Angeles Clippers can do by keeping it simple, imagine the possibilities once they know their plays.
Lou Williams scored 20 points, DeAndre Jordan had 16 points and 17 rebounds, and they got plenty of help from a balanced lineup in a victory over Brooklyn.
Los Angeles put seven players in double figures and shot 56.5 percent from the field in its fourth win in five games, bouncing back nicely from a loss in Philadelphia.
Austin Rivers, who had 17 points, said even he was surprised with how easy the Clippers made it look, since they’ve had to slash their playbook in the aftermath of trading Blake Griffin to Detroit.
“I think a lot of people slept on us when we got all these players but I think we’re getting better and better,” he said.
Danilo Gallinari had 16 points and reserve Montrezl Harrell collected 15 points on 6-for-6 shooting. The Clippers made 19 of their first 26 shots and won for the 12th time in 17 games.
D’Angelo Russell and Joe Harris each scored 16 for the Nets, who dropped their sixth straight.
“We couldn’t stop them. We never found a solution to stopping them,” Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said. “They got downhill on us. We knew we had to keep them out of the paint and we never did. That was the story of the game. We couldn’t stop them.”
The Clippers are still adjusting to a different team after acquiring new starters Tobias Harris and Avery Bradley from the Pistons, and coach Doc Rivers said the Clippers were being careful not to call too many plays, since the new players hadn’t had enough time to learn them.
Whatever they did Monday worked just fine.
“Like I told them after the game, there will be a night where only two guys get big numbers and we win, and there’ll be nights where five, six, seven, eight guys will score in double figures and we win,” Doc Rivers said. “Doesn’t matter, as long as we win.”
The Clippers were 15 of 21 in the first quarter, building a 34-22 lead. They kept it up in the second, pushing the lead to 45-28 on consecutive layups by Harrell, who made all four shots in seven first-half minutes. Los Angeles led 66-51 at the break.
They had 90 points after three quarters and when the Nets cut it to nine in the fourth, the Clippers scored six straight to take a comfortable lead again.
Pelicans 118, Pistons 103
Anthony Davis had 38 points and 10 rebounds to help New Orleans beat Detroit in another one of his strong performances against the Pistons.
Davis is averaging 30.4 points per game against the Pistons, his highest total against an NBA team. He scored a career-high 59 against them nearly two years ago.
That’s one reason the Pelicans have won 11 of the last 12 games against the Pistons.
Detroit attempted to defend Davis with Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin, but they were no match for Davis inside, off the dribble or on the outside. The All-Star was 14 of 24 from the field, including 3 for 6 on 3-pointers.
Davis had 10 points in the second quarter, powering New Orleans to a 60-52 lead at halftime.
Nikola Mirotic helped the Pelicans pull away in the third quarter and finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds.
New Orleans has won two straight for the first time since DeMarcus Cousins tore his left Achilles tendon. It is 3-5 without the All-Star center.
The Pistons have lost three straight after winning five in a row, including four with Griffin.
Griffin scored 22 on 8-of-17 shooting. Drummond had 13 points and 21 rebounds.
Bulls 105, Magic 101
Zach LaVine broke for a tiebreaking dunk after stealing an inbounds pass in the closing seconds, Lauri Markkanen scored 21 points and Chicago beat Orlando.
The Bulls blew an 18-point lead in the fourth quarter but still came away with their second win in three games after dropping seven in a row.
LaVine stole Jonathon Simmons’ inbounds attempt with 15 seconds left and finished with a thunderous slam. He added two free throws after Mario Hezonja missed a 3-pointer to lift Chicago to a tight win.
LaVine finished with 18 points and seven rebounds. Bobby Portis added 19 points and seven boards, and Jerian Grant had 14 points and seven assists.
Hezonja led Orlando with 24 points, and Evan Fournier scored 22.
The Bulls appeared in control when they led 93-75 with 8:23 left after an 11-0 run. Denzel Valentine punctuated that spurt with a dunk and two free throws.
But the Magic went on a big run of their own, with Hezonja leading the way. He nailed a 3-pointer to give Orlando a 98-96 lead with 3:07 remaining. Portis tied it with a floater and responded to a 3 by Fournier with one of his own, making it 101-all with 2:29 left.
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