Suns beat Clippers, adding on to their NBA-best 47-10 record
PHOENIX (AP) — Devin Booker scored 26 points, Chris Paul added 17 points and 14 assists, and the All-Star duo led the Phoenix Suns to another win by beating the Los Angeles Clippers 103-96 on Tuesday night.
The Suns have won six straight games and 17 of their past 18 dating back to Jan. 11. They also pushed their NBA-best record to 47-10 with one game remaining before the All-Star break. Mikal Bridges added 19 points and nine rebounds — including a crucial 3-pointer in the final minute — while Deandre Ayton had 12 points and 12 rebounds.
The Clippers were coming off an impressive win against Golden State and put up a great fight against the Suns in a back-and-forth second half that kept the outcome uncertain until the final minute. Los Angeles fell to 29-31 for the season.
Marcus Morris Sr. led the Clippers with 23 points while Nicolas Batum had 18. Reggie Jackson had a tough shooting night, making just 7 of 26 shots from the field.
HAWKS 124, CAVALIERS 116
ATLANTA (AP) — Trae Young scored 41 points, Danilo Gallinari added 25 and Atlanta held off Cleveland.
Cleveland, third in the Eastern Conference, lost consecutive games for the first time since Dec. 31. The Hawks are 10th in the East and had dropped two straight and five of seven.
Darius Garland finished with 30 points, Evan Mobley had 21 points and Kevin Love 20 for the Cavaliers, who had held opponents under 100 points 23 times this season but struggled to contain Young’s frantic pace.
The Cavaliers called timeout after Young dished to De’Andre Hunter for a straightaway 3 that made it 113-104 with 4:50 to go. Young missed a layup and Garland drove to assist on Jarrett Allen’s hook shot that trimmed the lead to 113-109.
But a couple of possessions later, Young assisted on Kevin Huerter’s corner 3 that made it 120-111 and drove the lane for a runner that put the Hawks up 122-114 with 1:27 remaining.
MAVERICKS 107, HEAT 99
MIAMI (AP) — Luka Doncic scored 21 points and the Dallas Mavericks beat Miami.
Jalen Brunson and Maxi Kleber each finished with 19 points and Dorian Finney Smith had 14 points for the Mavericks, who have won 17 of 23 since Jan. 1 and snapped Miami’s five-game winning streak.
Recently acquired Davis Bertans had 12 points for Dallas in his debut. Bertans and Spencer Dinwiddie were acquired from Washington for Kristaps Porzingis on Feb. 12. Dinwiddie finished with four points.
Miami’s Jimmy Butler scored a game-high 29 points and Bam Adebayo finished with 21 for the Heat, which is now tied for the Eastern Conference lead with Chicago.
BUCKS 128, PACERS 119
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo scored a season-high 50 points, two off his career best, and pulled down 14 rebounds to lead Milwaukee past Indiana.
The Bucks swept the four-game season series from the Pacers and have won eight straight against their Central Division foe.
Antetokounmpo, who didn’t play in Milwaukee’s loss to Portland on Monday night because of a sore left ankle, showed no ill effects as he racked up 12 first-quarter points that included a pair of thunderous dunks and a 3-pointer.
Antetokounmpo set a career high with his seventh 40-point game of the season and scored 50 for the first time since the memorable title-clinching game in the NBA Finals last season, which gave the Bucks their first championship in 50 years.
Milwaukee bounced back after consecutive double-digit losses to hand Indiana its seventh consecutive defeat. Buddy Hield scored a season-high 36 points and Tyrese Haliburton had 17 points and eight assists for Indiana.
GRIZZLIES 121, PELICANS 109
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Tyus Jones scored a career-high 27 points to go with eight assists while filling in for All-Star Ja Morant, and Memphis beat New Orleans for its sixth straight victory and ninth in 10 games.
Jaren Jackson added 23 points and ex-Pelican Steven Adams had 14 points and 13 rebounds for Memphis, which led for nearly the entire game and by double digits for more than half of it.
Morant sat out with left ankle soreness stemming from the Grizzlies’ victory at Charlotte last Saturday night.
While Morant averages 26.4 points per game, the Grizzlies have usually played well without him. They are now 12-2 in games he’s missed. Against New Orleans, Memphis had six players score 11 or more, including Brandon Clarke with 18 points.
CJ McCollum had 30 points to lead New Orleans, which fell to 1-3 since trading for the Portland star guard. Jonas Valanciunas scored 19 points and Brandon Ingram added 18 points for the Pelicans.
CELTICS 135, 76ERS 87
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Jaylen Brown scored 26 of his 29 points in the first half and Boston won its ninth in a row by dominating Philadelphia.
Jayson Tatum added 28 points, 12 rebounds and six assists for the Celtics, who have closed ground in the Eastern Conference with their stellar play of late. Boston entered sixth in the East, 4½ games back of first-place Miami. They have won 11 of 12.
The margin of victory was the largest by the Celtics over Philadelphia in a rivalry that has been played 457 times. Boston’s previous biggest win was a 124-87 drubbing of Philadelphia on Dec. 20, 1987.
Joel Embiid had 19 points and nine rebounds for the 76ers. The NBA’s leading scorer entering the contest averaging 29.5 points. Embiid had his string of games with at least 25 points end at 31 in a row.
James Harden made his first appearance in Philadelphia — but in street clothes. The recently acquired star continues to recover from a hamstring injury. Harden is expected to make his 76ers debut on Feb. 25 at Minnesota.
TIMBERWOLVES 126, HORNETS 120, OT
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Karl-Anthony Towns had 39 points and 15 rebounds, D’Angelo Russell added 18 points and 11 assists, and Minnesota came back to beat Charlotte in overtime.
Minnesota came back from a 13-point deficit in the fourth, but Miles Bridges tied the game for Charlotte with a 3-pointer and free throw in the final minute. Russell’s last-second 3 was off the mark, forcing overtime. Towns scored seven points to lead the way in overtime.
Bridges had 28 points and 13 rebounds for the Hornets, who have lost eight of nine. LaMelo Ball scored 22 before fouling out in overtime, while Terry Rozier added 25 points and Mason Plumlee finished with 14 points and 17 rebounds.
Minnesota was without their energetic young swingman, Anthony Edwards, for the second half and overtime. He limped off the court with a right ankle sprain in the final seconds of first half.
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