Kyrie Irving racked up 30 points and 11 assists to lead the Boston Celtics to a 134-129 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder at home on Sunday.
The win was the fourth consecutive and the ninth in the last 10 for the Celtics. The Thunder’s seven-game winning streak was snapped.
Paul George led the Thunder with 37 points but was just 5 of 16 from behind the 3-point line.
Irving hit a critical floater with 23 seconds remaining with the Celtics clinging to a two-point lead. He drove past Terrance Ferguson, and let go of the floater over the outstretched arms of Thunder 7-footer Steven Adams. Russell Westbrook, coming over to help, got his finger on the shot, but it fell through the basket to extend Boston’s lead.
Westbrook had a monster game once again — 22 points, 16 assists and 12 rebounds — but his critical turnover with 8.1 seconds left and Oklahoma City down by two helped Boston escape with the win.
The Thunder got a 3-pointer from Jerami Grant right after Irving’s floater, then got the ball back after Jayson Tatum missed the second of two free throws to keep Oklahoma City’s hopes alive.
But Westbrook lost the ball charging toward the basket, and Tatum made both free throws at the other end.
Westbrook had his sixth consecutive triple-double and his 19th this season. Westbrook now has three streaks of six or more consecutive triple-doubles in his career.
Marcus Smart hit big shot after big shot to lift the Celtics to the lead for the final time.
With just less than seven minutes remaining in the third, Oklahoma City took the lead before Boston roared back. Smart hit a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession to ignite a 14-0 run that lasted more than three minutes. It was one of three 3-pointers Smart hit during the stretch.
Irving was 14 of 19 from the field in the win. Eight players scored in double figures for Boston
Boston was without center Aron Baynes, who missed the game with a left foot contusion. Baynes, who missed 13 games earlier this season with a broken hand, will miss “a few weeks,” he told reporters before the game.
Paul George outgunned James Harden in a matchup of MVP candidates, and 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 3-pointers plus 15-for-18 free throws.
Westbrook matched an NBA record set by Wilt Chamberlain with his ninth consecutive triple-double: 21 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists. The Thunder posted a 53-39 edge on the glass.
Harden totaled 42 points, his 29th consecutive game with at least 30, but he missed a contested 3-pointer after Westbrook pushed the Thunder ahead.
Clippers 123, Celtics 112
Landry Shamet made four 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and scored 17 points off the bench in his debut for Los Angeles, which rallied from a 28-point deficit to knock off host Boston.
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.
Montrezl Harrell led Los Angeles with 21 points off the bench, and Danilo Gallinari had 19 points and 10 rebounds. Gordon Hayward scored 19 points off the bench to lead the Celtics, who lost leading scorer Kyrie Irving to a right knee sprain with about four minutes left in the first half.
Hornets 129, Hawks 120
Kemba Walker was 13-for-27 from the field and 9-for-17 on 3-pointers in reaching the 30-point mark for the fourth straight game, scoring 37 as Charlotte defeated host Atlanta.
It was the 40th time that Walker has topped 20 points and the 17th time he’s scored at least 30 this season. He added seven assists.
Charlotte’s Marvin Williams came back to haunt his former team with 27 points. Atlanta was led by John Collins with 21 points, and rookie Trae Young added 20 points and 11 assists.
Pacers 105, Cavaliers 90
Bojan Bogdanovic led a balanced offense with 23 points, the fifth time in his last six games he has topped 20 points, as host Indiana avenged a home loss in December to the Cavaliers.
Cory Joseph came off the bench to finish with 10 points, nine rebounds and 10 assists. Domantas Sabonis did not score in the first half, but finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds, also off the bench
Reserve Jordan Clarkson scored 18 points to lead Cleveland, which has lost four straight and 10 of its last 12.
Grizzlies 99, Pelicans 90
Joakim Noah had 19 points and 14 rebounds as host Memphis, playing its first home game since making two trades at Thursday’s deadline, defeated New Orleans.
Justin Holiday added 15 points, rookie Jaren Jackson Jr. scored 14, newcomer CJ Miles had 13, Mike Conley 11 and Ivan Rabb 10. 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 and rookie Kenrich Williams had 10 points and 13 rebounds.
Wizards 134, Bulls 125
Jabari Parker and Bobby Portis made a triumphant return to Chicago, helping Washington win its second straight game.
The meeting was the first since Washington acquired Parker and Portis from Chicago at the trade deadline for Otto Porter Jr. All three played significant roles when their two new clubs won the front end of back-to-backs on Friday, with the Wizards beating Cleveland at home, while the Bulls surprised Brooklyn on the road.
Parker had 20 points, and Portis had a game-high 12 rebounds in Saturday’s win, during which 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 3-pointers, finished with 17 points for Chicago.
Raptors 104, Knicks 99
Kyle Lowry scored a game-high 22 points and hit a 3-pointer with 7:03 remaining that gave Toronto the lead for good in fending off host New York.
Serge Ibaka registered a double-double (15 points and 13 rebounds) for the Raptors, who have won four consecutive games. 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 a reserve.
Kevin Knox scored 20 points, and DeAndre Jordan posted a double-double with 10 points and 18 rebounds for the Knicks, who tied a franchise record by losing their 16th straight game.
Jazz 125, Spurs 105
Donovan Mitchell scored 23 points and Rudy Gobert added 21 points and 13 rebounds to lead host Utah to its second straight win while sending San Antonio to its fourth straight loss in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Royce O’Neale matched his season-high with 17 points off the bench as the Jazz had six players score in double figures.
DeMar DeRozan scored 23 points and LaMarcus Aldridge added 15 to lead the Spurs.
Magic 103, Bucks 83
Orlando took advantage of the absence of Giannis Antetokounmpo, snapping host Milwaukee’s six-game winning streak.
Jonathan Isaac led the Magic in scoring for the first time this season with 17 points. 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.
Orlando has won four of its last five and is now 2 1/2 games out of the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.
Dec 15, 2018; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin (23) celebrates during the fourth quarter against the Boston Celtics at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Blake Griffin had 27 points, eight rebounds and six assists and the host Detroit Pistons snapped a six-game losing streak while ending the Boston Celtics’ eight-game winning streak with a 113-104 victory on Saturday.
Andre Drummond posted 19 points, 20 rebounds, five blocks and three steals for Detroit. Reggie Bullock, returning after a five-game absence due to an ankle sprain, supplied 15 points while Langston Galloway tossed in 14 off the bench and Reggie Jackson chipped in 12. Luke Kennard added 10 points and three assists.
Kyrie Irving’s 26 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals led the Celtics. Marcus Smart had 21 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three steals while Jayson Tatum contributed 17 points and eight rebounds.
Boston led 66-63 early in the second half but the Pistons scored the next 13 points. Jackson got the outburst going with a putback. Drummond contributed a layup and a dunk, and Kennard hit a 3-pointer and assisted on another basket.
Bulls 98, Spurs 93
Kris Dunn scored 24 points, and Lauri Markkanen added 23 as Chicago recovered from a 21-point, second-quarter deficit to stun host San Antonio.
Ryan Arcidiacono tallied 12 points for Chicago, which won for just the second time in the past 12 games. Robin Lopez added 10 points for the Bulls, who limited San Antonio to 31 second-half points.
LaMarcus Aldridge recorded 29 points and 12 rebounds, and DeMar DeRozan scored 21 points for the Spurs, who had a four-game winning streak halted. Marco Belinelli scored 17 points, and Rudy Gay added 12.
The Bulls played without leading scorer Zach LaVine (23.8 average), who injured his left ankle in Thursday’s game against the Orlando Magic.
Lakers 128, Hornets 100
LeBron James notched a triple-double with 24 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists before sitting out the entire fourth quarter, and visiting Los Angeles rolled to an easy win over Charlotte.
The Lakers led by as many as 16 in the first half, then turned the game into a rout with a 19-2 surge early in the third quarter. They led by as many as 36 in the second half.
For James, it was the continuation of a personal domination over teams from Charlotte. James now has a record of 47-6 against the Hornets and Bobcats during his 16-year career with the Lakers, Cleveland and Miami. Lonzo Ball also enjoyed a triple-double for the Lakers with 16 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.
Magic 96, Jazz 89
Nikola Vucevic stuffed the stat sheet in powering Orlando past Utah in Mexico City.
Vucevic had 15 points, 19 rebounds and five assists, and Evan Fournier added 24 points and seven rebounds for Orlando. The Magic won both games in Mexico City after losing three straight.
Donovan Mitchell led the Jazz with 24 points, and Derrick Favors had 21 points and eight rebounds for Utah, which has lost three of its past four. Rudy Gobert leads the NBA in field-goal percentage but made just 2 of his 6 shot attempts. The Jazz shot only 31.5 percent from the floor as a team.
Rockets 105, Grizzlies 97
James Harden recorded his second consecutive triple-double while Gerald Green supplied heroics off the bench as visiting Houston earned its third consecutive win and climbed back to .500 with a victory over Memphis.
Harden finished with 32 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists, sinking three free throws with 1:16 remaining to extend the Houston lead to 101-91 and halt the Grizzlies for good. Memphis had sliced a 21-point deficit to six points on two Mike Conley free throws but got no closer. Green scored 17 points with 4-for-4 shooting on 3-pointers.
The Grizzlies have dropped four of five games, including back-to-back contests at home. Conley finished with 22 points and six assists, while Marc Gasol added 17 points and nine rebounds.
Thunder 110, Clippers 104
Paul George had yet another big game, scoring 33 points as Oklahoma City snapped a two-game losing streak with a win over visiting Los Angeles.
George has scored 30 or more points in four of his last six games and is shooting 57 percent from the floor over the last four games after going 11 of 19 from the field against the Clippers.
Los Angeles hit 13 3-pointers, including four by Danilo Gallinari, who led the Clippers with 28 points.
Suns 107, Timberwolves 99
Deandre Ayton scored five straight points during an 11-0 fourth-quarter run to spark Phoenix to a win over visiting Minnesota.
Derrick Rose scored five straight to end the Minnesota drought and cut the Suns’ lead to 96-89, but the Phoenix defense clamped down.
Phoenix was happy to welcome back Devin Booker, who was averaging 23.5 points, 6.7 assists and 3.6 assists per game. Playing in his first game after missing the previous six with a hamstring injury, he led the Suns with 28 points on 10 of 16 shooting from the field. He also recorded seven rebounds and seven assists.
Dec 8, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; Boston Celtics forward Daniel Theis (27) dunks against the Chicago Bulls during the second half at United Center. Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports
Daniel Theis scored a career-high 22 points, and Boston opened the game with 17 consecutive points while rolling to an easy 133-77 victory over the host Chicago Bulls on Saturday night.
Jaylen Brown scored a team-best 23 points off the bench, and Jayson Tatum made all four 3-point attempts while scoring 18 points as the Celtics won their season-best fifth straight contest. Terry Rozier added 15 points, Kyrie Irving and Semi Ojeleye each scored 13 and Marcus Morris tallied 12 for Boston.
Shaquille Harrison scored a career-best 20 points, Zach LaVine added 11 and Cameron Payne had 10 for the Bulls, who have lost eight of their last nine. The franchise-worst 56-point defeat occurred in Jim Boylen’s third game as coach after replacing the fired Fred Hoiberg.
It also was the Celtics’ largest margin of victory in franchise history.
Boston was 22 of 43 from 3-point range as Brown, Ojeleye and Rozier each knocked down three. The Celtics shot 53.8 percent overall.
Theis collected a season-best 10 rebounds to help Boston record a 54-37 rebounding edge. He had an increased role with Al Horford scratched due to a knee injury.
The Bulls shot 38.3 percent and were 6 of 24 from 3-point range.
Chicago missed its first 11 field-goal attempts while the Celtics were scoring the first 17 points. Morris’ dunk with 6:12 left capped the burst for Boston.
Jabari Parker’s two free throws with 5:42 to play were the Bulls’ first points, and Robin Lopez’s basket 36 seconds later was the team’s first field goal.
The Celtics held a 20-point lead on Gordon Hayward’s 3-pointer with 33.1 seconds left before settling for a 35-17 advantage.
Boston led 43-21 early in the second quarter after Rozier drained a 3-pointer with 9:47 left in the half. LaVine’s three-point play moved Chicago within 48-33 with 6:17 to play, but Marcus Smart knocked down a 3-pointer with nine seconds left to give the Celtics a 64-43 halftime lead.
The assault continued in the third quarter as Boston pushed the lead over 30 for the time when Irving buried a 3-pointer to make it 83-51 with 5:41 left. The margin was 34 two-plus minutes later on Brown’s basket, and the Celtics closed the quarter with a 93-60 lead.
The lead topped 40 for the first time when Brown drained a 3-pointer to make it 109-67 with 8:19 remaining.
Brown also did the honors to push the lead over 50 when he connected on a 3-pointer to make it 125-73 with 3:12 to play.
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