Walker stays hot, scores 43 as Hornets upend Celtics 117-112
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kemba Walker scored 43 points, giving him 103 in his last two games, and the Charlotte Hornets battled back to beat the Boston Celtics 117-112 on Monday night.
Walker followed up his NBA season-best 60-point effort in an overtime loss to the 76ers on Saturday night with another spectacular performance, scoring 21 in the fourth quarter and making 14 of 25 shots, including seven more 3-pointers.
Walker outdueled Boston’s Kyrie Irving, who finished with 27 points and 11 assists.
Jeremy Lamb had 18 points and Willy Hernangomez added 14 as the Hornets beat the Celtics for the first time in eight tries.
The Celtics entered the fourth quarter leading 87-84 and quickly stretched the lead to double digits behind Irving, who scored and was fouled on a drive.
But Walker refused to lose this time.
The two-time All-Star simply took over, scoring on drives, midrange jumpers and from long distance. He scored 11 straight points in one stretch, including a 3-pointer from the right wing. Walker was 7 of 10 from the field in the fourth quarter, including 4 of 6 from beyond the 3-point arc.
76ERS 119, SUNS 114
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Joel Embiid scored 19 of his 33 points after halftime and added 17 rebounds to help Philadelphia beat Phoenix.
Ben Simmons added 19 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists for Philadelphia, which won its third straight while improving to 9-0 at home, remaining the only team in the league unbeaten at home. The 76ers play five of their next six in Philadelphia.
Devin Booker had 37 points and eight assists for the Suns, who started a four-game road trip with their sixth loss in seven games. Phoenix, which fell to 3-13 overall and 0-7 on the road, has the worst record in the West and is one of three winless road teams in the NBA.
Strong first-half shooting helped Phoenix to a surprising 62-57 halftime lead. The 76ers took control in the third, going up for good on Embiid’s three-point play 3:45 into the quarter. They ended the period ahead 92-86 and led by as many as 12 early in the fourth on J.J. Redick’s runner.
PELICANS 140, SPURS 126
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Anthony Davis had 29 points and nine rebounds, Julius Randle added 21 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists in 25 minutes, and New Orleans won its third straight.
Randle injected the Pelicans with the hustle and play-making they needed from their top reserve. He had six of New Orleans’ 14 offensive rebounds as New Orleans totaled 21 second-chance points. He also made nine of his 13 shots.
E’Twaun Moore scored 24 points and Jrue Holiday 21 for New Orleans, which shot nearly 58 percent (59 of 102). Nikola Mirotic hit three of four 3-point attempts and finished with 13 points, while second-year pro Frank Jackson, who because of injury did not make his debut until this season, scored 12 points.
DeMar DeRozan scored 21 points and Bryn Forbes added 20 for the Spurs, who’ve lost four of five. Dante Cunningham hit all five 3s he attempted and scored 19 points, but did not score in the second half. Rudy Gay added 17 points.
BUCKS 104, NUGGETS 98
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 29 points and Eric Bledsoe added 22, including two late 3-pointers, as Milwaukee overcame a 17-point first-half deficit to down Denver.
Antetokounmpo added 12 rebounds for Milwaukee, which came from 22 down in the first half to beat the Chicago Bulls on Friday night.
The Bucks swept the two-game season series against the Nuggets for the first time since 2009-10.
Jamal Murray had 17 points, eight rebounds and nine assists for Denver, which has lost six of its last seven games. Nikola Jokic had 20 points and Malik Beasley chipped in with 12 points off the bench.
KINGS 117, THUNDER 113
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Buddy Hield made three consecutive 3-pointers late in the fourth quarter and scored 25 points, Marvin Bagley III had his first career double-double and Sacramento beat Oklahoma City to spoil Russell Westbrook’s return.
Iman Shumpert scored 21 of his 23 points in the first half, Bogdan Bogdanovic added 16 and the Kings beat the Thunder for the second time this season. Bagley had 15 points and 13 rebounds, and De’Aaron Fox added 13 assists.
Westbrook had 29 points and 13 assists in his first game since Nov. 5. The seven-time All-Star missed five games with a left ankle sprain, then left the team Saturday to welcome the birth of twin daughters. He flew to Sacramento and rejoined the Thunder on Monday morning.
The Kings blew a 19-point lead and were up 98-96 when Hield went on a tear from the perimeter.
Paul George had 27 points and nine rebounds for Oklahoma City, an NBA-best 10-1 over its previous 11 games.
PISTONS 113, CAVALIERS 102
DETROIT (AP) — Andre Drummond had 23 points and 16 rebounds, and Detroit cruised over Cleveland.
Blake Griffin added 21 points and 12 rebounds for Detroit, and Reggie Bullock scored 21 points. The Pistons led 66-46 at halftime, and the game was never close after that. The Cavaliers are now an NBA-worst 2-13 heading into their reunion with LeBron James. The Los Angeles Lakers play at Cleveland on Wednesday night.
Drummond scored 13 points in the first quarter. The Pistons shot 74 percent from the field in that period and led 38-27. Detroit scored the first 11 points of the second, and Bullock’s 3-pointer in the final seconds made it a 20-point advantage at the half.
Collin Sexton led the Cavs with 18 points, and Jordan Clarkson contributed 16.
GRIZZLIES 98, MAVERICKS 88
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Mike Conley scored 28 points, Marc Gasol had 17 points and 15 rebounds and Memphis broke open a close game in the fourth quarter.
Jaren Jackson Jr. finished with 13 points and Garrett Temple added 12 as Memphis won its fourth straight and sixth in the last seven.
Dennis Smith Jr. led the Mavericks with 19 points and five assists. DeAndre Jordan added 17 points and a season-high 20 rebounds. Luka Doncic had 15 points and 10 rebounds but was 6 of 20 from the field, part of Dallas shooting 34 percent.
The loss snapped Dallas’ four-game winning streak, and the Mavericks were held under 100 points for the first time this season.
PACERS 121, JAZZ 94
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Bojan Bogdanovic scored 21 points, Domantas Sabonis nearly had a triple-double and Indiana beat Utah.
Sabonis had 19 points, nine rebounds and nine assists as Indiana won its third straight — this one without All-Star guard Victor Oladipo, who sat out with a sore right knee.
Ricky Rubio matched his season high with 28 points to lead Utah, which has lost three of four and looked weary on the final night of a five-game trip. Rudy Gobert had 12 points and 11 rebounds in a game that wasn’t close after the first quarter.
Utah coach Quin Snyder pulled his starters midway through the fourth.
CLIPPERS 127, HAWKS 119
ATLANTA (AP) — Montrezl Harrell had 25 points and 11 rebounds, Lou Williams added 16 points and a season-high 11 assists, and Los Angeles rallied past struggling Atlanta to win its fifth straight game.
Tobias Harris scored 24 points and Mike Scott had a season-high 18 on six 3-pointers for the Clippers, who erased a 15-point deficit in the second half for the second consecutive game.
The Clippers, playing without second-leading scorer Danilo Gallinari, improved to 11-5. At this point last season after winning in Atlanta they were 5-11.
Trae Young scored 19 of his 25 points in the first half, and Taurean Prince had 21 points for the rebuilding Hawks, who dropped to 3-14 and have lost eight in a row.