NBA: D'Angelo Russell, Timberwolves snap 7-game losing streak; Kawhi Leonard gets 10,000th point in Clippers win
This was the first time the Timberwolves had held an opponent to under 100 points since 2 January, 2020.
Minneapolis: D'Angelo Russell had 27 points, five rebounds and five assists as the Minnesota Timberwolves snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 96-88 win Sunday over the San Antonio Spurs.
Russell scored eight of his points in the fourth quarter, including a 3-pointer to tie the score with 7:02 left and two free throws to ice it with 31.5 seconds remaining. Russell and Malik Beasley, who added 24 points, helped the Wolves get their first win since 26 December.
With the score tied at 81, Minnesota scored five straight points and didn't relinquish the lead. One of the biggest shots in the fourth quarter was a 3-pointer by forward Juancho Hernangómez, who had airballed his previous two shots from 3-point range earlier in the game.
Minnesota were playing without star big man Karl-Anthony Towns, who returned to action Saturday after missing six games with a partial dislocation of his left wrist. Sunday's absence was part of the plan to ease Towns back in and not a result of any re-aggravation of his injury. Sunday's win was Minnesota's first without Towns this season.
The Spurs were also without their leading scorer in DeMar DeRozan, who did not play due to personal reasons. DeRozan had 38 points in Saturday's overtime win against Minnesota.
Lonnie Walker IV picked up the scoring slack with DeRozan out, with a season-high 25 points to lead the Spurs. He paced the offense in the first half with 17 points on 8-of-14 shooting.
Minnesota's defense down the stretch was instrumental. This was the first time the Timberwolves had held an opponent to under 100 points since 2 January, 2020.
Leonard reaches 10,000 points; Clippers beat Bulls 130-127
Kawhi Leonard finished with a season-high 35 points, going over 10,000 in his career, and the Los Angeles Clippers rallied to beat the Chicago Bulls 130-127.
“It's a steppingstone, but I don't really care about it,” Leonard said of his milestone. “Maybe when I retire I’ll sit back and look at the accomplishments. Right now it’s about being greedy and wanting more.”
Leonard reached the 10,000 plateau on one of his five 3-pointers in the third quarter, when he scored 21 points. His points and 3-pointers made were the most in a single quarter in his career.
Leonard's last 3-pointer in the quarter gave the Clippers their first lead since they scored the game's first basket. In all, he had seven 3-pointers, tying his career high.
Leonard had 12 points in the first half, when the Clippers trailed by seven at the break. He got a steal and dunk for his first points of the third, then made five straight 3-pointers before closing out his explosive quarter with a pair of baskets, the last of which tied the game at 87.
George had 28 points, seven rebounds and nine assists for the Clippers, who avoided their first three-game losing streak of the season. Lou Williams added 21 points off the bench.
Zach LaVine led six Bulls in double figures with a season-high 45 points — four off his career high — and he made a season-best 10 3-pointers. Garrett Temple added 18 points and Patrick Williams had 17 points. Coby White had a career-high 13 assists. Chicago dropped its third in a row for the first time since starting the season 0-3.
Davis has 27 as Lakers roll to 120-102 win over Rockets
Anthony Davis had 27 points, LeBron James added 18 and the Los Angeles Lakers won for the sixth time in seven games with a 120-102 victory over the Houston Rockets on Sunday night.
Davis, who sat out on Friday with a groin strain, helped the Lakers finish with 62 points in the paint in a game in which they led by as many as 27.
The Lakers were up by double figures for most of the night and opened the fourth quarter with a 10-4 run to push the lead to 98-79 with about nine minutes remaining. Houston used a 7-2 run, with a 3-pointer from Ben McLemore, later in the quarter to get within 15 with about five minutes to go. But former Rocket Montrezl Harrell scored four quick points to make it 108-89 and both teams took out most of their starters soon after that.
Christian Wood scored 23 points and James Harden had 20 in the first of two straight games against the Lakers with the second one coming Tuesday night in Houston.
Things got heated between Markieff Morris and Boogie 👀 pic.twitter.com/7eY3YnAOhA
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 11, 2021
Morris was ejected in the first quarter after an altercation with Cousins. Morris knocked Jae’Sean Tate to the ground in the lane with a hard shoulder to the chest and Cousins quickly pushed Morris to the ground. Cousins then turned and was bending down to help Tate off the court when Morris jumped up, charged at Cousins and shoved him with both hands. He was quickly pulled away by teammates and officials but continued jawing at Cousins and trying to follow him to the Houston bench.
After a video review Morris received a flagrant 1 foul for the play on Tate and was given a technical foul and ejected for the ensuing dustup. Cousins was also given a technical foul but was not ejected.
Warriors hold off Raptors 106-105 on off night by Curry
Damion Lee converted the tying and go-ahead free throws with 3.3 seconds left and the Golden State Warriors withstood a rough fourth quarter to hold off the Toronto Raptors 106-105 on Sunday night despite uncharacteristic struggles by Stephen Curry.
Curry shot 2 of 16 and missed nine of his 10 3s for 11 points after scoring 143 over his previous four games, including a career-high 62 one week earlier against Portland.
Pascal Siakam missed a jumper as the buzzer sounded but finished with 25 points, and Fred VanVleet scored 21 for Toronto in a rematch of the 2019 NBA Finals won in six games by the Raptors.
Gilgeous-Alexander scores 31 as Thunder beat Nets 129-116
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 31 points to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 129-116 win over the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday.
Gilgeous-Alexander was one of six players to finish in double-figure scoring for the Thunder, who won their third straight and beat Brooklyn for the fifth consecutive time.
Al Horford had 22, George Hill added 14, and Lugentz Dort and Isaiah Roby had 13 each.
Kevin Durant scored 36 points to lead Brooklyn. The loss was the second straight for the Nets. Caris LeVert added 21 points, Jarrett Allen had 15 points and 10 rebounds, and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot scored 12.
Jokic, Nuggets win easily again, rout Knicks 114-89
Nikola Jokic had 22 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in another short night, and the Denver Nuggets reached .500 for the first time this season with a 114-89 victory over the New York Knicks on Sunday.
The Nuggets opened 1-4 after reaching the Western Conference finals last season but have now answered with four wins in five games.
This was the first time the Nuggets allowed fewer than 100 points this season.
Gary Harris added 14 points for the Nuggets, who got only nine from star guard Jamal Murray.
Julius Randle had 29 points, 10 rebounds and five assists for the Knicks, which the team said made him the only player other than Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson to have at least 200 points, 115 rebounds and 70 assists in his team’s first 10 games of a season.
But Randle had little help with nobody else over 12 points as the Knicks dropped their second straight defeat following a three-game winning streak. They were held to an anemic 89 points in both games.
Early hole too big for Pistons; Jazz prevail 96-86
Donovan Mitchell scored 13 of his 28 points in a decisive first quarter, and the Utah Jazz held on for a 96-86 victory over the Detroit Pistons.
The Pistons were coming off an overtime win over Phoenix on Friday night in which they rallied from a 23-point deficit, but they couldn't climb out of another big hole. Utah scored the game's first nine points and never trailed. The Jazz went on a 17-0 run later in the first, pushing their lead to 20 before the quarter was over.
Utah improved to 3-2 on its seven-game road trip. The Jazz beat Milwaukee on Friday, making a franchise-record 25 3-pointers in the process. Their shooting took a turn for the worse in Detroit, where they went just 11 of 35 from beyond the arc, but the Pistons were even worse at 10 of 42.
Detroit trailed by 15 after the first quarter, and it ultimately didn't matter that the Pistons outscored the Jazz the rest of the way.