LeBron James scored 26 points and Malik Monk added 22 as the Los Angeles Lakers earned a 108-103 victory over the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday.
Russell Westbrook scored 20 points for the Lakers, but also had eight turnovers, while Minnesota out-rebounded L.A. 56 to 28. Despite such a skewed stat in Minnesota’s favour, the Lakers managed to defeat the Timberwolves for the first time in three tries this season.
Los Angeles (19-19) also won for just the third time in its last nine games, a slide that started with a 110-92 loss in Minnesota on December 17, the same night Anthony Davis injured his knee. He has not played since. The Timberwolves (16-20) lost for the fifth time in their last six.
Naz Reid scored a season-high 23 points and had 11 rebounds for Minnesota but was held scoreless in the fourth quarter. The Timberwolves were without two of their three top scorers on the season, with Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell in COVID-19 protocol.
Minnesota led 72-66 with six minutes and 37 seconds remaining in the third quarter, before a 10-0 run by the Lakers gave them a 76-72 advantage. The Timberwolves again edged ahead 80-78 heading into the fourth, but another L.A. streak, this time an 11-4 swing midway through the final quarter, turned an 89-88 deficit into a 99-93 lead on a jump shot from Westbrook with just under five minutes to play.
After Minnesota pulled back within one with 3:35 remaining, but the Lakers went on another scoring tear to clinch victory.
Sunday night’s NBA results
- Minnesota Timberwolves 103-108 Los Angeles Lakers
- Phoenix Suns 133-99 Charlotte Hornets
- Orlando Magic 111-116 Boston Celtics (OT)
- Dallas Mavericks 95-86 Oklahoma City Thunder
- Miami Heat 113-115 Sacramento Kings
- Indiana Pacers 104-108 Cleveland Cavaliers
- New York Knicks 105-120 Toronto Raptors
Suns back to winning ways as they crush Hornets
Devin Booker scored 24 points as the Phoenix Suns got back on track with a 133-99 hammering of the Charlotte Hornets.
The Suns (28-8) entered the game having lost three of their previous four to drop out of top spot in the Western Conference. On Friday, they were crushed 123-108 by the Boston Celtics.
Jalen Smith put up 19 points for the Suns as they got back to winning ways, while reserve Landry Shamet pumped in 17 points and Mikal Bridges had 15. Cameron Johnson and Cameron Payne both scored 14 for Phoenix. The score was at 38-34 early in the second quarter before the Suns broke away.
Ex-Hornet Bismark Biyombo provided 11 points and six rebounds for the Suns, while Chris Paul had 16 assists to go with seven points and six rebounds in a return to his home state.
It was quite a showing from a Phoenix team without Deandre Ayton, JaVale McGee and Jae Crowder because of COVID-19 protocol. Head coach Monty Williams also was in protocol, while Abdel Nader has a knee injury.
LaMelo Ball had 17 points for the Hornets, while and Kelly Oubre Jr. had 15 and Ish Smith had 11 for Charlotte (19-18), who had a three-game win streak snapped. The Hornets shot just 9 of 35 (25.7 percent) on 3-pointers. They also had 18 turnovers.
Brown puts up 50 as Celtics stun Magic in overtime
Jaylen Brown scored 21 of his career-high 50 points in the fourth quarter to help the Boston Celtics rally past the visiting Orlando Magic in a 116-111 overtime win on Sunday night.
Boston led 110-104 with one minute and 11 seconds remaining in the extra period, only for Orlando to close to within one at 110-109 after a Wendell Carter Jr. free throw with 42.4 seconds left. But Al Horford provided the winning basket, a 3-pointer with 27.4 seconds to go.
Dennis Schroder had 21 points and seven assists in his return from the NBA’s COVID-19 protocol and Marcus Smart added 17 points as Boston won a second-straight following a 123-108 victory over powerhouse Phoenix on New Year’s Eve. It marks the first time the Celtics (18-19) have won consecutive games in over a month.
Terrence Ross had a season-high 33 points off the bench and Gary Harris scored 23 to lead Orlando (7-30), who blew a 14-point lead late in the fourth quarter to suffer a fifth-consecutive defeat.
Celtics star Jayson Tatum missed a fourth-straight game in the COVID protocol, while Boston center Robert Williams III (right big toe sprain) was sidelined one game after notching his first career triple-double.
Boston led 45-42 at half-time but fell into a double-digit hole after being outscored 35-20 in the third quarter. Orlando then led 96-82 with 4:20 remaining in the fourth quarter before Boston rallied with a 16-2 surge to tie the game at 98 on Brown’s basket with 37.8 seconds to play.
After a Magic five-second violation, Brown put the Celtics ahead 100-98 with another bucket with 30.9 left before Frazier’s layup re-tied it with 21.8 seconds to go. Brown then missed a 20-foot pull-up jumper just before the buzzer to send the game to OT.
Mavericks welcome back Doncic in win over Thunder
Marquese Chriss scored a season-high 15 off the bench to lead the Dallas Mavericks to a 95-86 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on the road.
The Mavericks got three key players back after stints in the league’s COVID-19 protocol, including star Luka Doncic who played for the first time since December 10, having sat out 10 games – his absence initially due to soreness in his left ankle.
Doncic put up 14 points, going on 6-of-14 shooting, with 10 assists and nine rebounds, seeing him fall just shy of what would’ve been his third triple-double of the season. Tim Hardaway Jr., who had missed six games, had 15 points, while Maxi Kleber also returned to action after missing six games.
While the Mavericks (18-18) got some of their firepower back, the Thunder (13-23) were without their two top scorers, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Luguentz Dort. It left them to turn to rookie Josh Giddey for offensive production and he led Oklahoma City with 17 points, a season-high 14 assists and 13 rebounds.
Giddey had flirted with triple-doubles several times this season, reaching double figures in two categories six times, but had yet to reach the mark in three until Sunday. Giddey also tied a season-high with four steals.
The Mavericks led by as many as 15 before the Thunder trimmed the lead to three with less than four minutes remaining in the third quarter on a Giddey 3-pointer.
But Dallas responded with seven quick points over just more than a minute to stretch the lead back to double digits. OKC didn’t seriously threaten the lead again until cutting it to four in the final minute before Kleber answered with a 3-pointer to put the game away.
Kings end Heat’s five-game winning streak
De’Aaron Fox made two go-ahead free throws with 6.2 seconds left to lead the Sacramento Kings to a 115-113 win over the Miami Heat.
On the ensuing possession, Miami’s Jimmy Butler had his turnaround jumper bounce off the rim as the Heat (23-14) had their five-game win streak broken.
Fox, who was held scoreless in the first quarter, ultimately finished with 24 points as the Kings (16-22) won for the third time in four games. Buddy Hield led Sacramento with a game-high 26 points, making 7 of 14 3-pointers.
Omer Yurtseven tallied career highs in points (22) and rebounds (16) for Miami, while Tyler Herro also put up 22 points, Butler had 21 and Kyle Lowry 14 along with 12 assists.
Miami were without 11 players either injured or in COVID protocol. The Kings, though much healthier, were missing starting center Richaun Holmes.
With Holmes out, Damian Jones got his first start of the season and he scored 18 points along with a team-high 10 rebounds. Tyrese Haliburton led the Kings in assists (12) and had nine points.
Sacramento, who led by as many as 11 points early, had a 26-18 advantage at the conclusion of the first quarter, shooting 52.6 per cent from the floor – including 4-for-7 on 3-pointers – during those opening 12 minutes. Miami shot just 32.0 per cent, including 1-for-9 on 3-pointers.
Although the score at one point was tied 40-40, Sacramento finished the first half on top, 61-57. There were then seven lead changes and three tied scores in a third quarter that ended, fittingly, all square at 90-90.
Miami led 99-92 with just under 10 minutes left in the fourth, only for Sacramento to go on a 14-4 run. The game was tied up again with only 27 seconds left before Fox’s final heroics earned the Kings the win.
Cavaliers end three-game skid with win over Pacers
Evan Mobley had a team-high 24 points and Kevin Love added 20 to help lift the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 108-104 victory over the visiting Indiana Pacers and stop a three-game skid.
Love sunk a 16-foot basket with 10 minutes to play to help give Cleveland (21-16) the lead for good following consecutive 3-pointers by Duane Washington Jr. and Oshae Brissett that saw the Pacers draw even at 90-90 early in the fourth quarter.
Washington drilled another 3-pointer, his fourth of the game, with 8.1 seconds left to see Indiana back to within three of the Cavs, only for Brandon Goodwin to hit a free throw 1.2 seconds later for the final point of the game.
After a tight first half, the Pacers eked out an 84-73 lead with three minutes left in the third period, but then a Lamar Stevens 3-pointer ignited a 17-0 Cavaliers burst.
Domantas Sabonis finished with 32 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists – all game highs – for the Pacers, who lost despite hitting 19 of their 47 3-pointers compare to Cleveland’s 6 of 26. Indiana (14-23) have now lost their last four-straight.
VanVleet scores 35 as Raptors beat Knicks
Fred VanVleet scored 19 of his 35 points in the third quarter as the Toronto Raptors defeated a depleted New York Knicks 120-105.
VanVleet was 7-for-13 in 3-point attempts and also had five rebounds and five assists in scoring more than 30 points for the second-straight game. Pascal Siakam added 20 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists as Toronto (16-17) secured back-to-back wins.
The Raptors have now defeated the Knicks (17-2) 11 straight times at home, including once in Tampa last season.
Toronto led 30-27 after the first quarter and then opened up a big advantage with a 15-1 run in the second quarter capped by a VanVleet 3-point shot.
The Knicks trimmed the lead to nine with 10 minutes remaining in the third quarter but the Raptors ultimately headed into the fourth with a 22-point advantage and New York threatened little to reduce the deficit.
Julius Randle, Nerlens Noel, and Mitchell Robinson were among the Knicks out because of COVID protocols. Kemba Walker (knee) was also out.
Source : Sky Sports