NBA

NBA-best Celtics beat Magic to improve to 14-0 at home

By Sports Desk December 18, 2023

The Boston Celtics completed a five-game homestand Sunday just like they started it over a week ago - with a win.

The Celtics pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat the Magic 114-97 to improve their NBA-best home record to 14-0.

The only better home start in franchise history came from the 1957-58 club, which won its first 17 games in Boston.

It was the fifth straight victory for the Celtics, as they improved to 20-5 to move a half-game ahead of the Minnesota Timberwolves for the league's best record.

 

Jaylen Brown scored 17 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter for Boston, which used a 20-3 run over a six-minute stretch in the final period to put the game away.

Brown hit five of the Celtics' 17 3-pointers, while Jayson Tatum was 4-of-6 from beyond the arc and finished with 23 points.

Boston now embarks on a four-game California trip before returning home to host the Detroit Pistons on December 28.

Paolo Banchero led Orlando with 36 points and 10 rebounds, but the only other Magic player to score in double figures was Jalen Suggs, who added 13 points.

Orlando (16-9) failed to reach triple digits for just the second time all season in losing for the fourth time in six games following a nine-game winning streak.

 

Pelicans drill franchise-record 22 3-pointers in rout of Spurs

The New Orleans Pelicans missed the first two 3-point shots they attempted in the opening minutes against the San Antonio Spurs.

They didn't miss too many more after that.

The Pelicans set a franchise record with 22 3-pointers in an emphatic 146-110 win over the San Antonio Spurs for their fourth straight victory.

After missing those first two 3-point tries, New Orleans (16-11) connected on 22 of 40 shots from beyond the arc the rest of the way and led by as much as 40 points to send the Spurs to their 19th loss in 20 games.

CJ McCollum led the Pelicans with 29 points while going 6-of-7 from 3-point range and Brandon Ingram added 26 points and made 5-of-7 3-point tries.

 

Victor Wembanyama was the lone bright spot for the Spurs (4-21), who lost by more than 35 points for the third time this season.

Wembanyama had 17 points and 13 rebounds for his eighth consecutive double-double - the longest stretch by a teenager, surpassing the previous NBA record set by Dwight Howard in 2005.

 

Antetokounmpo passes Abdul-Jabbar to become Bucks' career rebounding leader in win over Rockets

Giannis Antetokounmpo became the Bucks' all-time leader in yet another statistic in Milwaukee's 128-119 win over the Houston Rockets.

Antetokounmpo finished with 26 points and a season-high 17 rebounds to surpass Kareerm Abdul-Jabbar to become the franchise's career rebounding leader.

Antetokounmpo moved past Abdul-Jabbar midway through the fourth quarter when he grabbed Tari Eason's missed shot for his 14th board of the game, giving him 7,162 rebounds with the Bucks.

The two-time NBA MVP is also the Bucks' all-time leader in points and assists, and is now one of just four players in league history to lead a franchise in points, rebounds and assists, joining Michael Jordan (Chicago), LeBron James (Cleveland) and Kevin Garnett (Minnesota).

 

Damian Lillard had game highs of 39 points and 11 assists and Khris Middleton scored 14 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter for Milwaukee, which pulled away for its fourth straight win. It also marked the 13th straight home win for the Bucks, who improved to 14-1 in Milwaukee.

Houston (13-10), meanwhile, saw its five-game winning streak come to an end as it dropped to 2-9 on the road.

Fred VanVleet led the Rockets with 22 points and six assists, while Alperen Sengun added 20 points, eight rebounds and five assists.

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    The Kings finished ninth in the West this season, and went 94-70 in Fernandez's two seasons on the Sacramento staff.

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    Prior to his stop in Sacramento, Fernandez was an assistant coach for the Denver Nuggets for six seasons, during which the team made the play-offs four times.

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