Nets Overcome Slow Start, Beat Short-Handed Heat
NEW YORK (AP) — James Harden and Kevin Durant each scored 20 points despite three relatively quiet quarters, and the Brooklyn Nets broke away with a big run in the fourth to beat the Miami Heat 98-85 on Monday night.
Kyrie Irving added 16 points for the Nets, who completed a sweep of the Heat in two games that couldn’t have been more different. Brooklyn won 128-124 on Saturday, then took the rematch despite barely topping its lowest-scoring game of the season.
Harden had only 10 points and five shots through three, then scored 10 more in the 18-2 spurt that turned a tie game into a 96-80 lead.
Bam Adebayo had 26 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in a strong follow-up to his career-high 41 points Saturday. But outside of Goran Dragic’s 21 points, there was little else for a short-handed Heat team that is without Jimmy Butler and Avery Bradley because of health and safety protocols. Tyler Herro, Meyers Leonard and Maurice Harkless are injured.
PISTONS 119, 76ERS 104
DETROIT (AP) — Delon Wright scored a career-high 28 points and Wayne Ellington had another impressive shooting night for Detroit, leading the Pistons past Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia.
Jerami Grant scored 25 points for the Pistons (4-13), who still have the NBA’s worst record but took advantage of Joel Embiid’s absence. The Philadelphia star was out with back tightness.
LAKERS 115, CAVALIERS 108
CLEVELAND (AP) — LeBron James scored 23 of his 46 points in the fourth quarter to keep Los Angeles unbeaten on the road.
Anthony Davis added 17 points as the defending NBA champions improved to 10-0 away from home. The win for Los Angeles came on the eve of the one-year anniversary of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant’s tragic death in a helicopter crash.
Andre Drummond scored 25 and added 17 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who were blown out by 38 on Sunday in Boston.
PACERS 129, RAPTORS 114
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Malcolm Brogdon scored a career-high 36 points and Myles Turner scored 11 of his 21 in the final 8 1/2 minutes to help Indiana pull away from Toronto.
Brogdon also had nine assists and seven rebounds. Jeremy Lamb matched his season high with 22 points as Indiana earned a split in the two-game set against the Raptors. The Pacers won this one despite losing All-Star forward Damontis Sabonis to a bruised left knee in the first half.
MAGIC 117, HORNETS 108
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Nikola Vucevic scored 28 points and rookie point guard Cole Anthony added a career-high 21 points as Orlando topped Charlotte.
Orlando snapped a two-game losing streak and bounced back from squandering a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter a night earlier in a loss to the Hornets.
Orlando made a season-best 19 3-pointers, including seven in the third quarter. Evan Fournier hit 5 3s and scored 19 points. Orlando’s Dwayne Bacon had 15 points against his former team before leaving midway through the fourth quarter with an injury. Aaron Gordon finished with 12 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists.
NUGGETS 117, MAVERICKS 113
DALLAS (AP) — Michael Porter Jr. tied his season high with 30 points and Denver overcame Jamal Murray’s ejection for a shot to the groin of Dallas guard Tim Hardaway Jr. to beat the Mavericks.
Porter was 6 of 10 from 3-point range, including a go-ahead shot to start a decisive 7-0 run late in the fourth quarter after the Mavericks had rallied immediately following the incident involving Murray and Hardaway.
Luka Doncic had 35 points, 11 rebounds and a season-high 16 assists for his league-leading sixth triple-double. The Dallas star broke a tie for the NBA lead with Nikola Jokic, who had 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Nuggets.
CELTICS 119, BULLS 103
CHICAGO (AP) — Jaylen Brown scored 26 points, Jayson Tatum added 24 after missing five games because of COVID-19 protocols and the Boston Celtics beat the Chicago Bulls.
Brown had another solid game following his 33-point outing in Sunday’s romp over Cleveland.
Tatum made three 3-pointers and had five assists over 31 minutes in his first appearance since Jan. 8.
Daniel Theis scored 19 points and Marcus Smart added 13 while tying a career high with 11 assists as the Celtics won their second straight.
Zach LaVine led Chicago with 30 points and shot 6 of 10 on 3s. Lauri Markkanen scored 18 and Thaddeus Young just missed a triple-double with 16 points, nine rebounds and nine assists, but the Bulls dropped their second in a row after three consecutive wins.