NBA: Kyrie Irving, Duncan Robinson spark routs with record 3-point shows, LeBron James becomes No. 2 Christmas scorer

Irving scored 37 points, hitting 7-of-10 3-point attempts in his return to Boston, as the Nets ripped his former Celtics teammates 123-95.

FP Sports December 26, 2020 09:49:47 IST
NBA: Kyrie Irving, Duncan Robinson spark routs with record 3-point shows, LeBron James becomes No. 2 Christmas scorer

Kyrie Irving scored 37 points for the Nets against Celtics in the NBA. AP

Brooklyn's Kyrie Irving and Miami's Duncan Robinson each matched an NBA Christmas Day record with seven 3-pointers to ignite lopsided victories Friday, as the Heat stretch their holiday win streak to eight games.

Irving scored 37 points, hitting 7-of-10 3-point attempts in his return to Boston, as the Nets ripped his former Celtics teammates 123-95.

"I'm glad we could put on a performance for everybody," Irving said. "We're definitely going to continue to progress every day."

Robinson finished with 23 points, hitting 7-of-13 from beyond the arc, in leading 2020 NBA runner-up Miami over visiting New Orleans 111-98.

"Getting more and more comfortable every day," Robinson said. "Last year was a great learning experience. We're just trying to build on it. We're happy to get this one."

Also rolling to a holiday triumph were the Milwaukee Bucks, who had a game-high 31 points from Khris Middleton to beat Golden State 138-99 - the second-most lopsided blowout in NBA Christmas history - thanks to a 72-43 Bucks edge in the second half.

"It was just moving the ball," said Middleton. "We made some defensive mistakes but we made some adjustments to correct those. We just wanted to put on a show."

At Boston, Jaylen Brown scored 27 points and Jayson Tatum added 22 and each grabbed eight rebounds to lead the Celtics, who had a 54-51 halftime edge.

But Brooklyn's Kevin Durant scored 16 of his 29 points in the third quarter and the Nets seized a 86-77 edge after three quarters before pulling away in the fourth.

The Nets became the first club since the 2008-09 Los Angeles Lakers to win their first two games by 20 or more points.

"We can't exceed our own expectations," he said. "We know this is a long journey ahead."

As for his return to Boston, Irving said, "I went to war with those guys. We're going to continue to lean on each other as brothers off the floor and compete on it."

No Butler, no problem

Goran Dragic came off Miami's bench to score 18 points, and Bam Adebayo added 17 for the Heat, who bounced back from an opening loss Wednesday at Orlando.

The Heat improved the NBA's best Christmas record to 11-2. despite star Jimmy Butler scoring only four points in 16 minutes and not playing in the second half due to right ankle stiffness.

"When he goes down, it's up to us to pick it up for him," Robinson said. "I thought we did a good job of sticking with it and getting a good win today."

Zion Williamson scored 32 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to lead the Pelicans, while Brandon Ingram added 28 points.

At Milwaukee, the Bucks hosted a Christmas game for the first time since their inaugural 1968 season as they chase their first NBA crown in 50 years.

Two-time reigning NBA Most Valuable Player Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 15 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for Milwaukee, while two-time MVP Stephen Curry had a team-best 19 points on 6-of-17 shooting for the Warriors, who were without injured forward Draymond Green.

LeBron becomes No. 2 Xmas scorer, Lakers top Mavs 138-115

Anthony Davis scored 28 points and LeBron James had 22 while becoming the second-leading Christmas scorer in NBA history during the Los Angeles Lakers' 138-115 victory over the Dallas Mavericks.

Montrezl Harrell scored 17 of his 22 points in the second half, and Dennis Schröder had 18 points and six assists in a second strong game for both new additions to the NBA champions. Los Angeles outrebounded Dallas 53-27 and closed out its first win of the season with a dominant fourth quarter.

Luka Doncic had 27 points and seven assists in his first starring role in the NBA's showcase Christmas evening game for Dallas. Josh Richardson and Trey Burke had 17 points apiece as the Mavs started 0-2 with a late fade at Staples Center.

James moved into second place behind Kobe Bryant for the most points scored on Christmas, passing Oscar Robertson in the third quarter. James has 383 points in 15 games on Christmas, while Bryant had 395 in 16 holiday appearances.

The Lakers were aggressive and accurate from the opening tip, taking a 69-57 halftime lead while hitting 61.4% of their shots.

Doncic went 3 for 10 in the first half but combined with Burke for 22 points in the third quarter to keep it close.

Leonard leaves bloodied, but Clippers beat Nuggets 121-108

Kawhi Leonard had 21 points before taking an elbow to the face in the fourth quarter, Paul George scored 23 points and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Denver Nuggets 121-108.

The Clippers led by 11 with 6:11 left when Serge Ibaka went up for a rebound and caught the side of his teammate's face with his right elbow. Leonard lay bleeding on the court before walking to the locker room.

Leonard was ruled out shortly thereafter, but the Clippers didn't need him to close out a Nuggets team that upset them in the second round of the Western Conference semifinals last season.

Nikola Jokic finished with 24 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds for Denver, which has dropped its first two games of the season. Jamal Murray added 23 points, 13 coming in the fourth.

The Nuggets rallied from double-digit second-half deficits in Games 5, 6 and 7 of the second-round series in September, winning all three and wiping out LA's 3-1 lead to advance to the Western Conference finals.

Denver wasn't able to do it again but made a run after trailing by 24 late in the third quarter. The Nuggets used an 11-0 run into early in the fourth, and two 3-pointers by Murray sliced a 98-74 deficit to 106-95 with 7:35 left.

Leonard went out soon after but Denver never got the deficit under 10.

(From The Associated Press and AFP)

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