NBA: Celtics condemn Cavaliers to seventh consecutive loss; Kings pip Rockets by a solitary point
Kemba Walker led Boston’s balanced scoring with 22 points, Gordon Hayward had 14 points in his return from a broken hand and the Celtics remained unbeaten at home with a 110-88 victory over the sinking Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night.
Boston Celtics remained unbeaten at home with a 110-88 victory over the sinking Cleveland Cavaliers
Westbrook had a season-high 34 points and James Harden added 27 points and 10 assists for Houston
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 32 points and 15 rebounds to lead Milwaukee to its 15th straight victory
Boston: Kemba Walker led Boston’s balanced scoring with 22 points, Gordon Hayward had 14 points in his return from a broken hand and the Celtics remained unbeaten at home with a 110-88 victory over the sinking Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night.
Jaylen Brown had 20 points and seven rebounds, Jayson Tatum added 19 points with 11 boards, and Daniel Theis scored 10 for Boston, which improved to 10-0 at TD Garden.
Jordan Clarkson led Cleveland with 19 points, and Tristan Thompson had 17 points with 11 rebounds. The Cavaliers have lost seven straight games and 13 of 14.
Hayward returned exactly a month after breaking his left hand when he collided with San Antonio’s LaMarcus Aldridge as the Spurs’ big man was setting a screen. Hayward played 26 minutes, finishing with five rebounds and four assists.
He was expected to miss about six weeks. But he said this weekend the bone is healed and — thanks to a plate with screws — might even be stronger than it was before.
Kings 119, Rockets 118
Houston: Nemanja Bjelica made a 3-pointer at the buzzer to lift Sacramento over Houston.
The game was tied when Russell Westbrook drove into the lane for a layup that put Houston on top with a second to go. After a timeout, Cory Joseph inbounded the ball to Bjelica and his 3-pointer swished through the net to give the Kings the win and send the entire bench onto the court to celebrate.
Buddy Hield had 26 points to lead the Kings, who had six players score in double figures as they won their second straight game after losing the previous three.
Westbrook had a season-high 34 points and James Harden added 27 points and 10 assists for Houston.
Bucks 100, Magic 101
Milwaukee: Giannis Antetokounmpo had 32 points and 15 rebounds to lead Milwaukee to its 15th straight victory.
Khris Middleton scored 20 points for Milwaukee and Dante DiVincenzo added 12 points off the bench.
Evan Fournier had 26 points for the Magic, who had won four straight. Terrence Ross scored 23.
The Bucks had their first two shots of the game swatted away by Magic forward Jonathan Isaac, the league’s leading shot blocker. In all, Isaac recorded four blocks against four different players before the game was eight-and-a-half minutes old.
Raptors 93, Bulls 92
Chicago: Pascal Siakam scored 22 points, and Toronto held on to beat Chicago when Zach LaVine missed a runner in the closing seconds.
The defending NBA champions ended their first three-game skid since last November and beat Chicago for the 11th straight time. Norman Powell added 17 points for Toronto, including six in the fourth quarter.
LaVine scored 20 points for Chicago — all in the first half. Wendell Carter Jr had 14 points for the Bulls, who made just 12 of 46 3-pointers on the way to their sixth loss in eight games.
Raptors guard Fred VanVleet missed the game because of a bruised right knee. Kyle Lowry scored 11 points in his third game after missing 11 in a row with a broken left thumb. The five-time All-Star made 1 of 8 3-pointers, and the Raptors hit 7 of 29 from beyond the arc.
Clippers 110, Pacers 99
Indianapolis: Paul George scored 36 points in his first trip to Indianapolis with the Clippers and Montrezl Harrell added 26 to power short-handed Los Angeles Clippers past Indiana.
Booed repeatedly early in the game, George finished with a season-high seven 3-pointers as the Clippers won for the fourth time in five games.
Malcolm Brogdon led Indiana with 20 points despite playing with a splint on his sore shooting hand. Domantas Sabonis added 18 points and a career-high 22 rebounds as the Pacers lost their third home game of the season.
With Kawhi Leonard sitting out, George had the green light to take charge against his former team and he didn't disappoint.
Pistons 105, Pelicans 103
New Orleans: Derrick Rose hit a 14-foot jumper in the lane with 0.3 seconds left and scored 17 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter to lift Detroit over New Orleans.
With the game tied, Detroit worked an isolation play for Rose, who dribbled the ball out top against Jrue Holiday. Rose drove into the lane, spun to the right and hit the jumper over Holiday's outstretched arms.
New Orleans inbounded the ball from halfcourt toward Jaxson Hayes, but the rookie center could not get the tying tip-in.
Brandon Ingram finished with a game-high 31 points, and Holiday had 20.
Detroit had three other players in double figures: Langston Galloway (16 points), Luke Kennard (14) and Andre Drummond (13).
Thunder 104, Jazz 90
Salt Lake City: Dennis Schroder scored 27 points off the bench and Oklahoma City beat Utah.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 20 points and Chris Paul added 16 points and seven assists for the Thunder. Steven Adams chipped in with 11 points and 13 rebounds.
Oklahoma City got a big lift from its bench and outscored the Utah reserves 45-23. The Thunder shot 47 percent from the field.
Donovan Mitchell scored 26 points to lead the Jazz. Rudy Gobert added 19 points and 17 rebounds. Utah lost for the sixth time in eight games.
Suns 125, Timberwolves 109
Phoenix: Devin Booker scored 26 points, Kelly Oubre Jr added 24 on his 24th birthday and Phoenix beat Minnesota.
Oubre shot 8 of 15 from the field and made all six free throws, while Ricky Rubio finished with 16 points and 14 assists. The Suns won at home for the first time since 14 November, snapping a four-game losing streak at Talking Stick Resort Arena.
Dario Saric added 20 points for Phoenix. Rubio has had at least 13 assists in three straight games.
Minnesota lost its fifth in a row. The Timberwolves were led by Karl Anthony-Towns, who scored 33 points and grabbed 15 rebounds. He shot 12 of 18 from the field.
Andrew Wiggins added 23 points and Jeff Teague had 16 off the bench.
Grizzlies 110, Warriors 102
San Francisco: Ja Morant returned to Memphis’ lineup and scored 26 points to lead the Grizzlies over Golden State.
The No 2 pick in the draft added seven assists, two rebounds and a steal in 29 minutes after missing the previous four games with a sore back.
Dillon Brooks added 17 points and Jaren Jackson Jr had 16 as the Grizzlies (7-16) won for just the second time in 11 games.
D’Angelo Russell and Alec Burks each scored 18 for the Warriors (5-20), who were trying to win consecutive games for the first time this season.
A blizzard of blue and gold confetti billowed along downtown San Francisco's Market Street as buses carrying the Warriors players and team staff made their way along the 1.4 mile-long parade route.
Paolo Banchero became the fourth Duke player taken No. 1 since 1966, when the NBA did away with territorial draft rights.
As is typical, the series built in audience as it went on, with the 13.99 million people who watched the final NBA Finals game.