Nets 117, Spurs 102
James Harden had 37 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds, spoiling Dejounte Murray’s ninth triple-double of the season as the Brooklyn Nets overpowered the San Antonio Spurs 117-102 on Friday night.
Murray had 25 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists for his second straight triple-double and 13th of his career, one shy of David Robinson’s franchise record. Harden’s triple-double was his 66th, which is eighth on the all-time list.
“(Harden) got into his groove,” Brooklyn's Patty Mills said. “He felt where he could make an impact on the game. Got into the paint, obviously shot it well and as well from the 3. When he has that variety, he gets it going pretty quickly and pretty easily.”
Kyrie Irving scored 24 points and LaMarcus Aldridge added 16 for the Nets, who are missing star Kevin Durant because of a knee injury.
Brooklyn’s fifth straight victory over San Antonio marked a successful homecoming for Aldridge and Mills. Both were honored with video tributes and received loud ovations during introductions. Aldridge finished with 16 points and Mills had nine points.
“We knew how emotional it was for Patty and L.A. to come back to San Antonio, so I’m just happy we could get a win for them,” Harden said.
Harden’s collision with Spurs guard Derrick White midway through the third quarter seemed to spark the Nets.
White exited the game with 6:16 remaining after taking an elbow to the nose from Harden on a missed layup. White remained on the court for about 30 seconds before slowing rising and exiting with a towel pressed firmly to his nose while Harden clutched his elbow. White returned to close out the final 2 1/2 minutes of the quarter.
Harden responded with eight straight points, including an emphatic dunk over 7-foot Jakob Poeltl and a three-point play. He finished with 23 points in the second half.
White finished with 17 points for San Antonio, and Poeltl added 15 points and 11 rebounds.
Brooklyn also became more physical in the paint defensively and closed the third quarter with dunks by Aldridge and Bruce Brown as part of a 6-0 run for a 79-74 lead.
“I think tonight proved to ourselves that we can play that quality of defense that we’ve shown patches of in past games," Mills said.
Brooklyn shot 48% from the field and was 9 for 25 on 3-pointers. Harden finished 13 of 24 from the field and 4 of 8 on 3s.
San Antonio missed 34 shots in the paint.
“That’s an inordinate number of misses in the paint," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "That’s pretty tough to do. And if you combine that with 27% shooting from 3, you are going to have a problem because obviously James and Kyrie are tough to handle and they did what they are supposed to do, and they got us.”
Mills and Aldridge said they were touched by the 2-minute tribute video the Spurs showed prior to tipoff.
“To be able to get a welcome back was special,” Mills said. “A lot of memories come flooding back just from being back in the building. It was a special night.”
The Nets watched the video alongside the former Spurs players and congratulated them.
“It was better than my video,” Harden said, smiling. “I almost wanted a redo or make-up or to cry with them. It was special.”
Bucks 94, Bulls 90
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 30 points and 12 rebounds to help the Bucks overcome Grayson Allen’s ejection.
Chicago’s DeMar DeRozan scored 35 points but missed a 3-pointer that would have put the Bulls ahead with 23 seconds left. Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton made two free throws with 15.8 seconds remaining to close out the scoring.
Both teams posted their lowest 3-point percentages of the season. The Bulls shot 18.4% (7 of 38) from beyond the arc and the Bucks made 19.4% (6 of 31) of their attempts.
Allen was ejected midway through the third quarter for a flagrant foul 2 against Alex Caruso, who was driving to the basket. The play was originally ruled a common shooting foul but got upgraded to a flagrant 2 after a replay review. Caruso landed on his right side and remained on the floor under the basket for a couple of minutes. He stayed in the game to attempt his free throws, though he missed both tries.
The Bulls were playing their first game since announcing Thursday that guard Lonzo Ball needs arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. Ball averages 13 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.1 assists.
Warriors 105, Rockets 103
Stephen Curry hit a game-winning 20-foot jumper from the top of the key to beat the final buzzer, scoring 22 points and sending Golden State past Houston.
The sellout crowd went into a frenzy, confetti fell and Curry pumped his arms while dancing at midcourt — exhaling after he had missed two 3-pointers in the final 1:48. It was the first buzzer-beating winning shot of Curry’s career.
Curry overcame a slow start to lift the tired, mentally spent Warriors back up from an ugly loss to Indiana a night earlier. He also dished out 12 assists.
Houston had the ball with 11.5 seconds left and the game tied at 103, but Garrison Mathews missed a 3 and Otto Porter Jr. secured the rebound before a Warriors timeout.
Curry shot 6 for 21 with four 3s. Andrew Wiggins added 17 points for the Warriors following a 121-117 overtime loss to the undermanned Pacers on Thursday night.
Christian Wood had 12 of his 19 points in the first quarter and grabbed 15 rebounds and Kevin Porter Jr. scored 17 points for Houston, which wrapped up a five-game road trip.
Lakers 116, Magic 105
LeBron James scored 29 points and played exclusively at center in the second half as Los Angeles rallied from an eight-point halftime deficit.
Los Angeles coach Frank Vogel replaced starting center Dwight Howard with James to start the second half, and the Lakers opened the third quarter on a 20-2 run. They outscored Orlando 31-16 in the third, making 13 of 23 shots and 5 of 8 3-pointers in the frame.
Carmelo Anthony scored 19 of his 23 points in the second half and hit four 3-pointers, while Stanley Johnson added 11 points off the bench. It was the eighth time the 37-year-old Anthony scored at least 20 points this season.
One game after being benched in the fourth quarter of Wednesday’s loss to Indiana, Russell Westbrook had 18 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. When Westbrook fed James for an alley-oop in the fourth, chants of “M-V-P” broke out for James among the crowd.
Rookie guard Jalen Suggs scored a career-best 22 points for the Magic, while Wendell Carter Jr. added 19 points. Mo Bamba, who scored a career-best 32 points on Wednesday, had 11 points and eight rebounds Friday.
Hawks 110, Heat 108
Trae Young scored 28 points, Kevin Huerter added 21 and the Atlanta Hawks won their third straight game after nearly blowing an 18-point lead.
Miami was again without star guard Kyle Lowry, who missed his third straight game for personal reasons, and Tyler Herro, the sixth man who’s averaging 20.7 points per game and was sidelined in health and safety protocols for the second game in a row. Neither made the trip.
Bam Adebayo finished with 21 points and Duncan Robinson had 19 for Miami, which had won six of seven and was 15-5 since beating Milwaukee on Dec. 8. The Heat, who didn’t lead after the 30-second mark of the first quarter.
The Hawks have won three straight at home after losing 10 in a row at State Farm Arena. Atlanta is 12th in the East.
Clippers 102, 76ers 101
Reggie Jackson scored 19 points, including two free throws with 18.2 seconds remaining and Los Angeles rallied from a 24-point second-half deficit.
Nicolas Batum had 15 points, seven rebounds and a key steal late in the game for the Clippers. Los Angeles, playing the second of an eight-game, 13-day trip, won for the second time in its last five games.
Joel Embiid, who tied his career high with 50 points Monday night, had 40 points, 13 rebounds and six assists. Tobias Harris added 20 points and Tyrese Maxey had 19 points and eight assists for Philadelphia, which lost for the third time in its last 12.
Hornets 121, Thunder 98
Terry Rozier scored 24 points, Miles Bridges added 22 points and 14 rebounds, and Charlotte defeated Oklahoma City.
P.J. Washington scored 20 and Gordon Hayward 16 for Charlotte, which has won seven of eight. LaMelo Ball finished with 10 points for the Hornets.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the Thunder with 29 points but was held to four in the second half. Josh Giddey added 21 and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl notched a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
After Oklahoma City cut Charlotte’s lead to 82-73 on Robinson-Earl’s 3-pointer with 4:06 to play in the third, Charlotte pushed its lead to a game-high 25 on a 3-pointer by Bridges.
Raptors 109, Wizards 105
Fred VanVleet hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 59 seconds to play, and Toronto Raptors hung on after blowing an 18-point fourth-quarter lead.
Rookie Scottie Barnes scored a career-high 27 points, VanVleet had 21 points and 12 assists, and Pascal Siakam also scored 21 points for Toronto, which went 2-3 on a five-game trip.
Bradley Beal led Washington with 25 points. He also had eight assists, but committed nine turnovers, equaling his career high. The Wizards, who began the season 10-3, are 13-20 since.
Beal scored 13 points in the fourth quarter, and the Wizards tied the game at 102 on five straight points from Montrezl Harrell, who converted a three-point play and then dunked. OG Anunoby scored on a layup and Siakam hit two free throws to seal the game.
Grizzlies 122, Nuggets 118
Ja Morant scored 38 points and Memphis overcame Nikola Jokic’s fourth straight triple-double to beat Denver.
Morant scored on floaters, runners, fadeaways, 3-pointers, an emphatic alley-oop and driving layups while slicing through a variety of Nuggets defenders. He set a career high with 23 points in the first half and finished 15 of 26 from the field. Morant was six points shy of his career high and also had six rebounds and six assists.
Jaren Jackson Jr. added 20 points, including a 3-pointer on a feed from Morant with 41 seconds left after the Nuggets got within 115-111. De’Anthony Melton had 21 points and nine rebounds off the bench as the Grizzlies won for the second time in four games since snapping their 11-game winning streak.
Two days after his 49-point triple-double in an overtime victory over the Los Angeles Clippers, Jokic had 26 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists. It was his NBA-best 11th triple-double of the season and 68th of his career. Will Barton had 27 points and eight assists.
Jazz 111, Pistons 101
Rudy Gobert scored 24 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and blocked four shots to lead Utah.
Bojan Bogdanovic added 23 points, Jordan Clarkson had 20 and Mike Conley 19 for Utah (30-16), which snapped a three-game home losing streak and won for just the second time in eight games overall.
Cade Cunningham scored 25 points to lead Detroit, which lost for the third time in four games. Trey Lyles had 16 points, Rodney McGruder 15 and Saddiq Bey 13.
The Pistons rallied from two separate 10-point deficits and cut Utah’s lead to one at 95-94 on a floater from Josh Jackson midway through the fourth quarter. Gobert scored back-to-back baskets to prevent Detroit from overtaking the Jazz and pushed the lead back to six at 100-94 with 5:30 left.
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