Celtics (18-3) 108; Pacers (11-9) 98
The Celtics improved on their NBA-best record with a comeback victory. Outscoring Indiana 37-16 in the third quarter after trailing by nine at halftime, Boston was led by Kyrie Irving (25/4/6) and Al Horford (21/5/6). Marcus Smart (15/6/5) went 7-of-8 shooting in a spot start for Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier (17/1/2) kept up his hot shooting off the bench, going 7-for-9. Without Victor Oladipo, Myles Turner (19/6/0) led the Pacers in scoring.
Spurs (12-7) 106; Hornets (8-11) 86
LaMarcus Aldridge (16/7/4) and Pau Gasol (17/7/3) led the Spurs and scoring and Kyle Anderson (14/5/3) had five steals in the victory. The Hornets shot just 36.9 percent, including 4-of-25 from three-point range. Kemba Walker (18/3/5) led the Hornets in scoring, but the other four Charlotte starters combined to shoot just 6-for-29 from the floor in the loss.
76ers (11-7) 130; Magic (8-12) 111
With the loss, the Magic have now dropped eight games in a row. Although rookie phenom Ben Simmons missed the game due to an injury, Sixers starters combined for 97 points. TJ McConnell (15/7/13), Simmons’ replacement, flirted with a triple-double while JJ Redick (29/5/1) led the team in scoring and Joel Embiid (16/14/6) posted a double-double. Philly knocked down 16-of-34 shots from beyond the arc and won the rebounding battle 53-to-41 while dishing out 35 assists compared to 22 by the Magic.
Trail Blazers (12-8); Wizards (10-9) 105
Led by Damian Lillard (29/6/6) and CJ McCollum (26/4/3), the Blazers outscored the Wizards 35-22 in the fourth quarter to secure the comeback victory. Playing without John Wall due to an injury, the Wizards relied on Bradley Beal (26/1/7) and Otto Porter Jr. (24/10/2), but couldn’t hold on.
Raptors (12-7) 112; Hawks (4-16) 78
This game was completely out of hand by halftime, when Toronto held a 67-39 lead. After three quarters, the Raptors led 99-58. Seven different Raptors scored in double-figures and Norman Powell (17/2/1) led the way off the bench. Just three Hawks scored in double-figures and Atlanta shot just 34.7 percent in the blowout.
Rockets (15-4) 117; Knicks (10-9) 102
Although the Knicks got out of the gates with a 39-29 advantage after the first quarter, the Rockets outscored them 37-13 in the third quarter to pull away. Without Kristaps Porzingis due to an injury, the unlikely frontcourt of Michael Beasley (30/8/2) and Kyle O’Quinn (20/15/4) absolutely dominated for the Knicks, combining to go 21-for-32 from the floor. But, James Harden (37/2/10) burned New York with an epic double-double en route to a home win.
Mavericks (5-15) 97; Thunder (8-11) 81
In the night’s shocking outcome, Russell Westbrook (28/12/9) and the Thunder fell to the rebuilding Mavericks. Paul George (2/6/10) had a terrible shooting night, going 1-for-12 for just two points. Westbrook fell one assist shy of a triple-double. Dirk Nowitzki (19/5/4) led Dallas in scoring. The Thunder shot just 36.3 percent for the game and scored 31 points in the second and third quarters combined.
Warriors (15-5) 110; Pelicans (11-9) 95
Stephen Curry (27/4/6) had a terrible shooting night in the Warriors’ win, going just 9-of-25 overall, including 3-of-13 from three-point range. Playing without Kevin Durant for the second-straight game, Klay Thompson (24/4/2) stepped up for Golden State, who outscored the Pelicans 67-44 in the second and third quarters combined. Anthony Davis (30/15/2) had a double-double for New Orleans, but DeMarcus Cousins (15/7/4) was limited due to foul trouble.
Jazz (9-11) 121; Bucks (9-9) 108
Giannis Antetokounmpo (27/13/5) turned in a typical performance for the Bucks, but Utah’s surprising offensive explosion was too much for Milwaukee to handle. The Jazz shot 56.8 percent, including an amazing 18-for-32 from beyond the arc in the win. They also had 31 assists and just 10 turnovers compared to 19 assists and 16 turnovers for the Bucks. Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell (24/4/4) was sensational, going 6-for-10 from three.
Clippers (7-11) 97; Kings (5-14) 95
The Clippers took advantage of their 29-10 advantage in the third quarter to earn a much-needed victory. Blake Griffin (33/4/5) was dominant, going 13-for-25 shooting for LA. Buddy Hield (27/5/2) went 10-for-18 shooting off the bench for the Kings, but in the end, they fell short. The teams combined to shoot 20-for-22 from the free throw line in what was generally a pretty clean game.