NEW ORLEANS (REUTERS) – Anthony Davis returned from a three-week absence to score 32 points before his New Orleans Pelicans teammates took over in the fourth quarter of a 122-117 victory over the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday (Feb 8).
Davis, who was booed during his pre-game introduction and whenever he touched the ball during his first appearance since asking for a trade and recovering from a finger injury, made 11 of 15 field-goal attempts and 10 of 11 free-throw attempts. He also grabbed nine rebounds.
The National Basketball Association All-Star forward sat out the final 15-plus minutes of a close game, but there was no indication of a health issue as he stayed on the bench. Jrue Holiday had 27 points, rookie Kenrich Williams added 19 and Tim Frazier and Julius Randle had 12 each for New Orleans.
Karl-Anthony Towns had 32 points for the Timberwolves. Jeff Teague, who came off the bench in his return from an eight-game absence caused by a foot injury, scored 12.
In other games:
Philadelphia 117 Denver 110: JJ Redick scored 34 points to lift the new-look 76ers past the visiting Nuggets. The Sixers won in their first game since making a blockbuster deal with the Los Angeles Clippers before the Thursday trade deadline.
Jimmy Butler added 22 points, and newly acquired Tobias Harris had 14. Joel Embiid had 15 points and 12 rebounds for his league-leading 45th double-double of the season. The Sixers snapped a two-game skid on a night when they retired Moses Malone’s No. 2 jersey.
Nikola Jokic led the Nuggets with 27 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds for his 11th triple-double of the season. Jamal Murray added 23 points, but Denver dropped their third in a row.
Milwaukee 122 Dallas 107: Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 29 points and grabbed 17 rebounds to lead visiting Milwaukee to victory over Dallas.
The Bucks’ Khris Middleton did not play, nor did Nikola Mirotic, who was acquired from New Orleans at the trade deadline. Mirotic, who still must pass a physical check-up, missed his last seven games with the Pelicans because of a calf strain.
Milwaukee did not need either Middleton or Mirotic in winning their sixth consecutive game, as the Bucks shot 54.3 per cent from the field. Rookie Luka Doncic led the Mavericks with 20 points.
Golden State 117 Phoenix 107: Stephen Curry saved 10 of his 20 points for a fourth-quarter rally that enabled the Warriors to overtake the Suns for their 11th consecutive win.
Phoenix lost their 13th straight game despite leading by as many as 17 points in the first quarter and 94-88 after a hoop by Kelly Oubre Jr with 8min 35sec left in the game. The Warriors won for the 14th time in their past 15 games despite losing Draymond Green at the start of the fourth period after he drew his second technical foul.
Klay Thompson led Golden State with 25 points, and Kevin Durant added 21. Oubre (25 points, 12 rebounds) and Deandre Ayton (23 points, 12 rebounds) paced the Suns.
Washington 119 Cleveland 106: Bobby Portis scored 30 points in his debut with the Wizards, who beat the visiting Cavaliers to end a three-game losing streak.
Obtained along with Jabari Parker in a trade with the Chicago Bulls for Otto Porter Jr earlier this week, Portis made 12 of 18 field-goal attempts. Bradley Beal had 25 points and 13 assists for Washington. Parker had seven points, 11 rebounds, nine assists and three steals in 23 minutes.
Collin Sexton scored 27 points and Jordan Clarkson added 24 for the Cavaliers, who have lost three straight games and 21 of 24. Forward Kevin Love returned after missing 50 games because of a left foot injury. He started the game and played six minutes in his first action since Oct 24, scoring four points.
Detroit 120 New York 103: Andre Drummond collected 29 points and 20 rebounds, and Blake Griffin had 26 points as the Pistons handed the visiting Knicks their 15th consecutive loss.
Drummond overcame early foul trouble to shoot 12-for-15 from the field while Griffin recorded the same numbers from the free-throw line for the Pistons, who scored a season-high 41 points in the first quarter. Detroit won for the fourth time in five games and produced their sixth straight victory against New York.
Dennis Smith Jr scored 19 of his career-high 31 points in the first half for the NBA-worst Knicks, who have dropped 23 of their past 24 games overall. Smith shot 9-for-15 from the field and added a team-high eight assists.
Chicago 125 New Jersey 106: Lauri Markkanen collected 31 points and 18 rebounds for his 10th double-double of the season and fifth in six games as the visiting Bulls led most of the way in beating Brooklyn.
Markkanen’s third straight 30-point showing helped the Bulls snap a six-game losing streak to the Nets and also win for the third time in 19 games since Dec 30. Otto Porter Jr helped the Bulls stretch the floor by contributing 18 points and hitting four three-pointers in his team debut after being acquired from Washington on Wednesday.
D’Angelo Russell scored 23 points for the Nets, who lost for the fourth time in five games.
Sacramento 102 Miami 96: Buddy Hield scored 23 points and the Kings rallied from a 17-point, third-quarter deficit to defeat the Heat.
Bogdan Bogdanovich added 16 points for the hosts, who held Miami to a season-low 13 fourth-quarter points.
Josh Richardson led Miami with 21 points, and Hassan Whiteside added 17 points and 19 rebounds. Dwyane Wade contributed 15 points the Heat, who had their three-game road winning streak snapped.
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