MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Kevin Garnett made an emotional return to Minnesota with an ear-splitting reception and his Timberwolves overcame a jittery start to beat the Washington Wizards 97-77 on Wednesday night.
Garnett, the face of the franchise who was reacquired in a trade from Brooklyn last week, had five points on 2-for-7 shooting with eight rebounds and two blocks in 19 minutes in his first game for the Timberwolves since 2007. Kevin Martin scored 28 points and Andrew Wiggins had 19 for the Wolves, who trailed by 15 early after Garnett’s stirring reintroduction.
Marcin Gortat had nine points and 15 rebounds for the Wizards, who have lost five in a row and 10 of their last 12. John Wall had five points on 2-for-10 shooting and 10 assists, and Paul Pierce missed the game with a bruised knee.
Nikola Pekovic had 15 points and 13 rebounds for Minnesota, but the night belonged to KG, the charismatic superstar who put this woebegone franchise on the map during 12 brilliant seasons before getting traded to Boston in 2007.
HEAT 93, MAGIC 90, OT
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Luol Deng had 21 points, Dwyane Wade added 18 and Miami rallied to beat Orlando.
Hassan Whiteside added 15 points and 13 rebounds. The Heat have won three of four since losing Chris Bosh for the season with a blood clot in his lung.
The Magic squandered an eight-point lead with less than a minute play in the fourth quarter, allowing the Heat to send the game to extra time.
Nik Vucevic had all five of the Magic’s points in overtime, and finished with 26 points and eight rebounds. Victor Oladipo had 13 points and a career-high 13 rebounds.
ROCKETS 110, CLIPPERS 105
HOUSTON (AP) — James Harden had 21 points, Corey Brewer scored 13 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter and the Houston Rockets snapped a six-game skid to Los Angeles.
It’s Houston’s first victory over Los Angeles since March 30, 2013, and just the second win in the past 13 meetings with the Clippers.
The Rockets opened the fourth quarter with a 15-1 run to take a 99-86 lead. With the second unit in, Brewer starred in that stretch, scoring 10 points, with two 3-pointers.
Jamal Crawford led Los Angeles with 24 points. Chris Paul has 22 points and 14 assists, and DeAndre Jordan has 22 points and 19 rebounds.
HAWKS 104, MAVERICKS 87
ATLANTA (AP) — Dennis Schroder had 17 points, Atlanta took the lead with a 13-0 run in the third quarter and went on beat Dallas, with the Mavericks playing without suspended guard Rajon Rondo.
The Mavericks suspended Rondo before the game for conduct detrimental to the team. Rondo had a heated exchange on the court with coach Rick Carlisle in the third quarter Tuesday night against Toronto.
Carlisle said the one-game suspension was an “organizational decision” and said Rondo will start in the Mavericks’ next game against Brooklyn on Saturday.
Monta Ellis led Dallas with 19 points.
HORNETS 98, BULLS 86
CHICAGO (AP) — Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had 18 points and 12 rebounds, Mo Williams scored 17 points and Charlotte beat Chicago after the Bulls learned Derrick Rose will have yet another knee surgery.
Al Jefferson added 16 points to help the Hornets snap a five-game losing streak.
The Bulls revealed Tuesday night that Rose has a torn meniscus in his right knee, a big blow to the franchise. That fueled more doubts about whether the 2011 NBA MVP will ever be the same, let alone lead Chicago to its first championship since the Michael Jordan-Scottie Pippen era.
KINGS 102, GRIZZLIES 90
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Rudy Gay scored 28 points, DeMarcus Cousins added 16 points and nine rebounds and Sacramento beat Memphis.
Cousins overcame foul trouble — and a confrontation with Grizzlies big man Zach Randolph — to lead Sacramento’s 10-0 spurt to start the fourth quarter. He added six assists in just 24 minutes before fouling out. The Kings improved to 2-1 since George Karl took over as coach.
Randolph had 20 points and five rebounds. The Grizzlies had won 16 of 19.
SUNS 110, NUGGETS 96
DENVER (AP) — Brandon Knight hit two key late 3-pointers and had 19 points to help Phoenix snap a five-game losing streak.
Eric Bledsoe added 18 points for the Suns, who had six players score in double figures as they ended a seven-game road skid. The Suns grabbed 65 rebounds, most in the NBA this season.
Will Barton had 22 points, and Danilo Gallinari added 20 for Denver. Already without banged-up forwards Kenneth Faried (bruised left thumb) and Wilson Chandler (sore left groin), the Nuggets lost starter Darrell Arthur to a strained right knee in the first quarter. The injuries kept coming as center Jusuf Nurkic rolled his right ankle in the fourth quarter.
PELICANS 102, NETS 96
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Quincy Pondexter scored a career-high 25 points and New Orleans beat Brooklyn for its third straight victory.
Pondexter surpassed his previous high of 22 points by hitting his fourth 3-pointer of the game with 49.9 seconds left. Tyreke Evans had 15 points and 11 assists to help the Pelicans win with All-Star Anthony Davis missing his second straight game because of a shoulder injury.
Joe Johnson scored 21 points for Brooklyn.
CELTICS 115, KNICKS 94
BOSTON (AP) — Evan Turner had his first career triple-double with 10 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists and Boston pulled away with 20 straight points in the second half.
Isaiah Thomas scored 19 in his home debut for the Celtics. Thomas, acquired by Boston on Feb. 19 in a deal with Phoenix, hit all 11 of his free throws and added seven assists and six rebounds.
Jonas Jerebko added 20 points, and Jae Crowder had 18, hitting a pair of Boston’s eight 3-pointers in the fourth quarter. Andrea Bargnani led New York with 17 points. The Knicks have lost eight straight.
BUCKS 104, 76ERS 88
MILWAUKEE (AP) — John Henson scored 21 points, Michael Carter-Williams had seven points and eight assists in his Milwaukee debut, and the Bucks built a big early lead against the point guard’s former Philadelphia teammates.
Khris Middleton added 19 points for Milwaukee.
Jason Richardson scored 16 points for the 76ers.
LAKERS 100, JAZZ 97
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Jordan Clarkson scored a career-high 22 points and Los Angeles erased a double-digit deficit in a comeback victory over Utah.
The Lakers used a 10-0 run late in the fourth quarter to take their first lead at 90-88. The Jazz failed to gets stops down the stretch and couldn’t score on the offensive end.
Gordon Hayward scored 20 points for the Jazz, and Elijah Millsap finished with a career-high 17.
TRAIL BLAZERS 111, SPURS 95
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Wesley Matthews scored 31 points, LaMarcus Aldridge had 11 points and 13 rebounds, and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the slumping San Antonio Spurs for their first victory since the All-Star break.
Portland, Damian Lillard had 18 points and Nicolas Batum added 15 for Portland, which ended a two-game skid.
Tim Duncan shot 9 of 12 and scored 20 points to lead San Antonio, which lost its fourth consecutive game. Danny Green had 17 points for the defending NBA champions.