NBA

Tatum scores 38 to lift Celtics, end Pacers' win streak

By Sports Desk January 07, 2024

Jayson Tatum poured in 38 points with a season-high eight 3-pointers and Jaylen Brown added 31 points to help the Boston Celtics snap the Indiana Pacers’ six-game winning streak, 118-101 on Saturday.

Tatum, who also had 13 rebounds and six assists, combined with Brown for 27 of Boston’s 46 baskets on a night they never trailed.

Bennedict Mathurin scored 20 points and Tyrese Haliburton had 17 points, seven assists and six rebounds and five steals. Indiana was held to a season-low point total and lost the rebounding battle, 70-42.

The Pacers were within 84-81 entering the fourth quarter, but the Celtics went up 100-85 on Tatum’s 3-pointer with 7:30 remaining.

Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis played only six minutes due to an eye laceration.

Rockets survive Antetokounmpo’s 48 points

Alperen Sengun had 21 points and the Houston Rockets overcame 48 points and 17 rebounds from Giannis Antetokounmpo to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks, 112-108.

Antetokounmpo shot 16 of 25 from the field for his seventh straight double-double but teammate Damian Lillard shot 5 of 16, including 1 for 8 from long range, and missed a season-high three free throws on 10 attempts.

Jalen Green scored 16 points and Fred VanVleet added 14 with seven assists for Houston, which has won three of four following a three-game skid.  

Randle leads Knicks over Wizards

Julius Randle scored 39 points and Jalen Brunson had 33 as the New York Knicks won their fourth straight game, 121-105 over the Washington Wizards.

Isaiah Hartenstein grabbed 19 rebounds as New York showed no letup following an impressive 128-92 rout of the 76ers a night earlier.

Kyle Kuzma had 27 points and Deni Avdija added 23 for Washington, which has lost four in a row and seven of eight.

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    Embiid had 29 points, also adding eight rebounds and six assists, as the Sixers succumbed to a 111-104 defeat at Madison Square Garden on Saturday.

    He made one stunning play near the end of the first half, finishing with a one-handed dunk after passing to himself off the backboard, but that came at a cost as he then left for the final two minutes and 37 seconds of the second quarter.

    Embiid seemed to land awkwardly on his left leg after that play and immediately dropped to the ground before getting up and walking straight to the locker room. 

    Embiid rejoined his team-mates on the floor at the start of the second half, but with the reigning MVP recently missing two months after undergoing meniscus surgery, the incident left fans concerned.

    Philadelphia coach Nick Nurse is positive regarding his chances of featuring in Game 2 on Monday, saying: "He really is a warrior, and he's battling.

    "I think he absolutely wants to play. I knew when I went in at halftime that they were checking him out and that he was up and moving. 

    "They did say we are seeing, they didn't rule him out yet. They just took him all the way to the end there to get him ruled back in."

    The Sixers outscored the Knicks by 14 points during Embiid's 37 minutes on the court, being outscored by 21 points during the 11 minutes he spent out of the game. 

    Tyrese Maxey, who led Philadelphia with 33 points and was 14-of-26 shooting, says Embiid will suit up for Monday's contest if physically able to.

    "Nothing with Joel surprises me now," Maxey said. "He's always a fighter. He's always going to try and give it his all for his team. So if he thinks he can go, he'll for sure be out there."

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    Nikola Jokić had 32 points and 12 rebounds and got ample help from his teammates as the defending NBA champion Denver Nuggets continued their recent mastery of the Los Angeles Lakers with a 114-103 win in their Western Conference playoff opener on Saturday.

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    Jalen Brunson and Josh Hart each scored 22 points and the New York Knicks got a huge lift from their bench for a 111-104 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference first-round series.

    Deuce McBride outscored the 76ers by himself with 13 points in the second quarter and finished with 21 on 7-of-12 shooting, including 5 of 7 from long range. Bojan Bogdanovic added 13 points and Mitchell Robinson came off the bench to add eight points, 12 rebounds and four blocks.

    Joel Embiid had 29 points, eight rebounds and six assists and Tyrese Maxey scored 33 points for the 76ers, who will try to even the series in Game 2 on Monday.

    Embiid was listed as questionable to play and went down with 2:49 left in the first half with an apparent injury to his surgically repaired knee. He walked to the locker room area and missed the rest of the first half but returned to start the second.

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    Edwards powers Timberwolves past Suns

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    Karl-Anthony Towns had 19 points, Nickeil Alexander-Walker added 18 and Rudy Gobert tallied 14 points, 16 rebounds and stellar defence to help Minnesota to its first home win in the playoffs in 20 years.

    Edwards keyed a 19-4 run to close the third quarter for a 20-point cushion and put a bow on his performance by stealing the ball from Kevin Durant and finishing with a slam on the other end to give the Timberwolves a 111-91 lead with 3:37 left.

    Durant scored 31 points on 11-of-17 shooting, but Devin Booker was held to 18 on 5 for 16 from the field. The Suns were outrebounded 52-28 and outscored 52-34 in the paint.

    Game 2 is in Minnesota on Tuesday before the best-of-seven series shifts to Phoenix for Game 3.

     

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