The Orlando Magic took advantage of the absence of Giannis Antetokounmpo to beat the Milwaukee Bucks, while Kyrie Irving was injured in Boston’s loss at the LA Clippers on Saturday night.
Milwaukee Bucks 83-103 Orlando Magic
The Orlando Magic took advantage of the absence of Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo to snap the Bucks’ six-game winning streak with a 103-83 win.
Jonathan Isaac led the Magic in scoring for the first time this season with 17 points, while Nikola Vucevic added 15 points and 17 rebounds, and Terrence Ross also scored 15.
Orlando have now won four of their last five and sit 2.5 games out of the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.
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Eric Bledoe led Milwaukee with 19 points, 11 rebounds and five assists, and Malcolm Brogdon added 14 points. It was Milwaukee’s most lopsided loss and the fewest points they’ve scored all season having won 12 of their last 13.
Antetokounmpo, who averages 27 points per game, was resting his right knee and is expected back on Monday against the Chicago Bulls.
Orlando took hold of the game midway through the first quarter and held a double-digit advantage for much of the second and third quarters. They led by as many as 25 in the fourth and although the Bucks cut the deficit to 69-60 with 4:42 left in the third, Orlando hit back-to-back threes and regained control with a 10-2 run.
New York Knicks 99-104 Toronto Raptors
The New York Knicks tied an unwanted franchise record by losing their 16th consecutive game as Kyle Lowry steered the Toronto Raptors to a 104-99 win at Madison Square Garden.
Lowry scored a game-high 22 points and hit the three-pointer with 7:03 remaining that gave the Raptors the lead for good, while Serge Ibaka registered a double-double (15 points and 13 rebounds) as Toronto (41-16) won their fourth straight to sit second in the East.
Danny Green scored 14 points and sank three straight three-pointers in the fourth for Toronto, who also got 14 points from Norman Powell, while Kawhi Leonard (11) and Pascal Siakam (10) also scored in double figures.
Marc Gasol, playing his first game for the Raptors since he was acquired from the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday, scored seven points and pulled down six rebounds in 19 minutes as he came off the bench for the first time since his rookie season in 2008-09.
Kevin Knox scored 20 points, and DeAndre Jordan posted a double-double with 10 points and 18 rebounds for the Knicks, who have the worst record in the NBA (10-45).
Yet they ran the Raptors close, tying the game three times early in the fourth quarter before Mitchell Robinson three-pointer gave them an 86-85 lead.
But Lowry responded for the Raptors with his go-ahead three and although the Knicks closed to within 99-96 on Knox’s three-pointer with 1:59 left, Mario Hezonja and Smith then both missed jumpers, and the Raptors iced the game by hitting five of their final six free throws.
Boston Celtics 112-123 LA Clippers
Landry Shamet made four three-pointers in the fourth quarter and scored 17 points off the bench on his debut to help the LA Clippers rally from a 28-point deficit to beat the Celtics, who lost Kyrie Irving to injury in the second quarter.
Irving pulled up with a knee injury after fighting through a screen with just over four minutes left in the period and although he stayed in the game for a few possessions, he came out of the game a minute and a half later and did not return for the second half.
It’s the third time in the past five games the Clippers have come from at least 20 points down to win, with the 28-point rally setting a franchise record. It was also the largest comeback by any NBA team in the last two seasons.
Shamet, one of the players acquired in the Tobias Harris deal with the 76rs, played alongside another new face in Ivica Zubac – taken in a separate trade with the Los Angeles Lakers – who finished with 12 points and nine rebounds.
Garrett Temple, who arrived from Memphis in return for Avery Bradley, made his debut as the starting shooting guard and scored 11 points.
Montrezl Harrell led Los Angeles with 21 points off the bench, Danilo Gallinari had 19 points and 10 rebounds and Lou Williams scored 15.
Gordon Hayward led the Celtics with 19 points off the bench, and Terry Rozier and Jayson Tatum scored 16 apiece.
After leading 74-53 at the half, the Celtics struggled without Irving and scored a season-low 12 points in the third quarter as the Clippers cut the deficit to five, prompting Shamet to help seal the comeback in the final quarter.
Chicago Bulls 125-134 Washington Wizards
Jabari Parker and Bobby Portis made a triumphant return to Chicago to help the Washington Wizards win their second straight game.
The meeting was the first since Washington acquired Parker and Portis from Chicago at the trade deadline for Otto Porter Jr.
Parker had 20 points while Portis had a game-high 12 rebounds as the Wizards built a 15-point lead in the first half and kept the Bulls at arm’s length the rest of the way.
Porter, who made a pair of three-pointers, finished with 17 points for Chicago.
The Bulls were down just 108-102 with 10:57 to go before a dunk by Parker triggered a 12-2 burst that re-established control for the Wizards. Parker also buried a jumper and had a layup in the run, which was capped by a Chasson Randle three-pointer.
Hitting 13 of his 21 shots, Bradley Beal had a game-high 31 points for the Wizards, who connected on 57.9 percent overall.
Randle chipped in with 20 points, Trevor Ariza 19, Wesley Johnson 14 and Thomas Bryant 13 for Washington, who avenged a December home loss to Chicago.
Atlanta Hawks 120-129 Charlotte Hornets
Guard Kemba Walker reached the 30-point mark for the fourth straight game, scoring 37 in helping the Charlotte Hornets to victory over the Atlanta Hawks.
Walker was 13-for-27 from the field and 9-for-17 on 3-pointers, three of them coming in the third period when the Hornets denied a spirited Atlanta comeback.
It was the 40th time that Walker has topped 20 points and the 17th time he’s scored at least 30 this season.
Charlotte’s Marvin Williams came back to haunt his former team with 27 points while Atlanta-area native Jeremy Lamb added 24 points, his second time in three games over 20 points.
Atlanta was led by John Collins with 21 points, but saw his streak of consecutive double-doubles end at three. The Hawks also got 20 points and 11 assists from rookie Trae Young.
Young, who has 410 assists in 55 games, passed Armond Hill to set the franchise’s single-season record for assists by a rookie
Charlotte made their first eight shots and scored a season-high 46 points in the first quarter to take a 15-point lead and they led 73-68 at half-time.
Atlanta cut the lead to two points when Dewayne Dedmon’s basket left Charlotte with a 75-73 lead, but the Hornets outscored the Hawks 31-13 from that point to complete the win.
Houston Rockets 112-117 Oklahoma City Thunder
Paul George outgunned James Harden in a matchup of MVP candidates as the Oklahoma City Thunder erased a 26-point deficit to escape with a 117-112 win over the host Houston Rockets on Saturday.
George finished with a game-high 45 points plus 11 rebounds, torching the Houston defense with six three-pointers plus 15-for-18 free throws.
Full report here…
Indiana Pacers 105-90 Cleveland Cavaliers
Bojan Bogdanovic led a balanced Indiana offense with 23 points as the Pacers beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 105-90 to claim their fifth straight win.
Bogdanovic scored more than 20 points for the fifth game out of six, while Cory Joseph came off the bench to finish with 10 points, eight rebounds and 10 assists. Domantas Sabonis didn’t score in the first half, but finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Jordan Clarkson led Cleveland with 18 points, but a day after seeing his first action in 50 games, Cleveland’s Kevin Love did not play.
The Pacers’ Myles Turner left the game in serious pain after suffering a right knee injury early in the third period while blocking a dunk attempt by Marquese Chriss, but he returned 4:29 left in the quarter to help Indiana resist a Cleveland fightback.
Indiana led for all but 12 seconds of the game and led by as many as 17 in the first half.
Memphis Grizzlies 99-90 New Orleans Pelicans
Joakim Noah had 19 points and 14 rebounds as the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the New Orleans Pelicans 99-90 on Saturday night.
Justin Holiday added 15 points and rookie Jaren Jackson Jr. scored 14 as Memphis won its first home game since making two trades at Thursday’s deadline.
CJ Miles and Delon Wright, who were part of the trade that sent Marc Gasol to Toronto, made their debuts, as did guard Avery Bradley, who was acquired in a separate deal with the Clippers.
Julius Randle led the Pelicans with 21 points, Jrue Holiday had 15, Anthony Davis had 14 points and 16 rebounds while rookie Kenrich Williams had 10 points and 13 rebounds.
The Pelicans led by three points after a low-scoring first half, before the Grizzlies scored the first seven points of the third quarter to lead for the first time.
Ten consecutive points then helped them to a 72-62 lead after three quarters and although the Pelicans got back to within four, Jackson’s three-pointer with 2:41 put them in control and they saw the game out.
Utah Jazz 125-105 San Antonio Spurs
Donovan Mitchell scored 23 points while Rudy Gobert added 21 and collected 13 rebounds to lead the Utah Jazz to a 125-105 victory over the San Antonio Spurs.
Royce O’Neale matched his season-high with 17 points off the bench as six Jazz players scored in double figures to lead Utah to its second straight win.
DeMar DeRozan scored 23 points and LaMarcus Aldridge added 15 for the Spurs, who lost their fourth straight game after giving up 50 points in the paint and 52 rebounds to the Jazz.
The Spurs made eight of their first 11 shots in the first half to open up a 19-12 lead, but Utah rallied and used an 11-2 run spanning the first and second quarter to take a 30-26 lead – sparked by a pair of baskets from Ricky Rubio.
A 9-0 advantage in second-chance points in the quarter, combined with a 13-7 edge on rebounds, then opened the door for Utah to sprint out to a double-digit lead, which they held throughout the second half.
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