Archive for the ‘ Games ’ Category

Heat edge Kings in overtime battle

 

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The Heat, playing without Jimmy Butler, had to pull out all the stops today to handle a motivated Kings squad. Here’s the Sacramento Bee reporting:

Kendrick Nunn drained a big 3-pointer and two clutch free throws to help the Miami Heat beat the Kings 118-113 in an overtime thriller Monday night at American Airlines Arena.

Nunn scored 23 points for the Heat (30-13), which has lost only one game at home this season. James Johnson added 22 points. Bam Adebayo had 16 points and 11 rebounds.

Nemanja Bjelica scored 22 points to lead the Kings (15-28), who have lost five in a row. Buddy Hield had 20 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Marvin Bagley posted 15 points and 15 rebounds.

James Johnson shot 9 of 11 for those 22 points, adding six rebounds, three assists and two blocks.

The Kings had 25 second-chance points, compared to just eight for the Heat.

Sacramento was without talented role-playing big guy Richaun Holmes, who hasn’t played since January 6.

 

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Friday in San Antonio, the Atlanta Hawks squeezed out a 121-120 win against the Spurs.

In the win, Hawks star guard Trae Young shot 10 of 16, including 6 of 9 from three-point range, for 31 points, five rebounds and nine assists, center John Collins had 18 points and 10 rebounds, and shooting guard Kevin Huerter scored 18.

But for the Hawks, this victory also had some historical significance. Here’s the Journal-Constitution reporting:

Aside from this being the second time the Hawks have registered back-to-back wins this season (the first instance was the first two games of the season against Detroit and Orlando), this win was historic, if you count relatively recent history. The Hawks hadn’t won a game in San Antonio since Feb. 15, 1997, which is before many players on the team, including Reddish, Huerter and Young, were born. They had lost 21 straight away games to the Spurs until Friday’s win.

It’s no big deal when a team hasn’t won in a certain city for a season or two. Maybe three. But not since 1997? That’s a fun thing to keep track of.

 

 

 

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Friday in Toronto, the Raptors, who had three players score 20 or more points, beat the Wizards, 140-111. In looking at the box score, the most interesting statistical category was turnovers. Here’s NBC Sports Washington reporting:

Washington committed 28 turnovers on the way to a 29-point loss. Following the first seven minutes of play, the Wizards had seven turnovers and seven points.

The last time the Wizards turned the ball over that much was April 2, 1994, in a 104-96 win over the Bucks. The last time an NBA team turned it over 28 times? The 2010 Suns.

Nine Wizards players had multiple turnovers, while five players had at least three.

And here’s the Toronto Sun with more:

The only other time a Raptors squad scored 140 on an opponent was last season in a double-overtime win over this same Wizards franchise.

It was the type of game where you could make a case for just about any Raptor as player of the game as seven found their way to double-digit scoring totals.

Norm Powell had his third consecutive game of 20 or more points since returning from an 11-game injury absence. He had 28 in just less than 30 minutes for the game high.

The Wizards may not be winning this season, but they’ve been entertaining. Just not always in the manner they’d prefer.

 

 

 

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After being outscored by 10 points in the first quarter, an incredibly short-handed Washington Wizards stepped up at home, outscored the Miami Heat 42-29 in the second quarter, and controlled the 4th quarter for a 123-105 win.

Inactive for the Wizards today were John Wall, Bradley Beal, Rui Hachimura, Thomas Bryant, Moritz Wagner, CJ Miles and Davis Bertans. Their starting lineup was Isaiah Thomas and Gary Payton II at guard, Troy Brown Jr. and Johnathan Williams at forward, and Ian Mahinmi at center.

Here’s the Washington Post reporting:

Although seven players were inactive Monday night as one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference came to play, the Wizards rolled past the Miami Heat, 123-105. And the final score doesn’t begin to tell the story of a bizarre yet delightful night.

The Wizards’ trio of Ian Mahinmi, Jordan McRae and rookie Garrison Mathews — the least likely Big Three — played like stars. Mahinmi made his first seven shots and scored a career-high 25 points. Mathews poured in 28 points — including a remarkable 20 in the second quarter alone — on 6-for-9 shooting overall and 4-for-7 shooting from beyond the three-point arc, by far the best night of his young professional career. And McRae finished with a season-high 29 points and eight assists, the most he has ever had.

Although Miami (24-9) had a healthy team led by Jimmy Butler, who finished with 27 points, and a large contingent of fans who periodically started “Let’s Go Heat!” chants, the Wizards (10-22) closed the decade with one of their most shocking wins of the season.

Mahinmi shot 10 for 11. And McRae shot 9 for 14, including 6 of 8 three-pointers, for his 29 points in 35 minutes off the bench.

After the game, Mahinmi had this to say: “It’s huge, it’s huge. This is part of building character. When you’re down and you have a lot of injuries and stuff going on and not going your way… To have the toughness of a young player to come out and step up, make big plays, be aggressive, make the right read, play good defense and give everything you have is huge. All of our young guys are taking tremendous advantage of their opportunity, so it’s good. There’s a lot of stuff not going our way, but I’m very proud of what everyone is doing: Isaac Bonga, Scho [Admiral Schofield], Gary [Gary Payton II], obviously Garrison [Mathews] tonight, Johnathan [Williams] and Troy [Brown Jr.]. It’s great.”

It was a magical day for D.C. If you’re a Wizards fan and don’t have New Year’s Eve plans, staying home and watching a replay of this game isn’t the worst way to bring in the new year.

The Pelicans on Sunday faced a badly-injured Rockets team that was without James Harden, Russell Westbrook and Clint Capela. But no win is automatic in the NBA. Work must still be put in. But the Pelicans have a bit of a flow lately and handled business. Here’s the New Orleans Times Picayune reporting:

The Rockets were forced to insert Austin Rivers and Eric Gordon into the starting lineup and dust off other little-used pieces. Somehow, their skeleton crew still set off fireworks.

Houston hit 15 3-pointers, but New Orleans countered with 18 makes of its own from behind the arc to pull out a 127-112 win. A sizzling Lonzo Ball hit seven 3s, a new career high, and E’Twaun Moore scored 25 points off the bench as the Pelicans won their fourth game in a row.

New Orleans, which outscored Houston 41-19 in the fourth quarter, has ripped off five wins in six games. It is now just 3½ games back of the eighth seed in the Western Conference.

Ball played perhaps his best all-around game in a Pelicans uniform, finishing with 27 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.

For much of the season, the story of the Pelicans has just been wait-and-see until Zion Williamson is eventually healthy enough to make his NBA regular season career debut. And yes, that’s still the big season-long picture, but lately, New Orleans is playing solid basketball.

Heat beat Pacers, improve record to 23-8

Despite the Pacers missing point guard Malcolm Brogdon, while awaiting the eventual return of shooting guard Victor Oladipo, Friday’s matchup between the Pacers and Heat was still an anticipated battle worth watching. The game proved worthy of attention. Here’s the Miami Herald reporting:

In a game that included 20 lead changes and eight ties, the Heat (23-8) survived to defeat the Indiana Pacers 113-112 on Friday at AmericanAirlines Arena. Miami improved to 14-1 at home this season, and 23-8 marks its best 31-game start to a season since starting 24-7 in 2013-14.

With the Heat trailing by one with less than a minute to play, guard Goran Dragic made a 9-foot game-winning floater with 6.8 seconds remaining. Offensive rebounds from Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler kept Miami’s final offensive possession alive before Dragic hit the shot.

In the win, the Heat had six players put up double-digit points. They were led by Jimmy Butler’s 20 points, nine rebounds and six assists, Bam Adebayo’s 18 points, 15 rebounds and six assists, Duncan Robinson’s 18 points, and Kendrick Nunn’s 17 points.

The Pacers had seven players score double-digits, and put up a respectable effort.

LeBron James finally missed a game this season, as the Lakers fell to the Nuggets Sunday. Here’s the Denver Post reporting:

The Nuggets strode into the Staples Center and rocked the Lakers 128-104 on Sunday night, improving to 20-8 and stretching their winning streak to six. They’ll go for seven on Monday night in Phoenix against the Suns.

Though James was ruled out with a rib injury — the first game he has missed all season — the Nuggets put together a fantastic collective effort that might have won them the game had he been healthy.

Paul Millsap scored 21 points on 8-of-14 shooting, but his dogged effort on Lakers superstar Anthony Davis was arguably more valuable. Though Davis finished with 32 points, Millsap chased him around the court and hounded him as the Lakers fought fruitlessly to get back into the game.

And the OC Register:

Unlike his trademark unibrow, Anthony Davis does his best work in a pair.

That’s not to say that the 26-year-old’s 32-point, 11-rebound, four-block game on Sunday night didn’t make him look like a star. But the performance came without a win, which has become the ultimate bottom line in a Lakers (24-6) season with renewed championship aspirations.

It was telling that even as Davis checked back in to start the fourth quarter, the visiting Denver Nuggets (20-8) kept on pulling away. In a 128-104 loss — the Lakers’ third straight and the largest margin of defeat this season — it was clear that Davis sorely lacked his running mate, LeBron James.

The Lakers have gotten national attention all season — quite justifiably — but the Nuggets deserve big praise as well. They’re 20-8 this season and their win Sunday was their sixth straight victory.

They’re being led in scoring this season by Jamal Murray (17.5 ppg), Nikola Jokic (17.3 ppg), Will Barton (14.6 ppg), Paul Millsap (13.0 ppg) and Gary Harris (11.3 ppg). But defense is why the Nuggets are having an excellent year. They’re second best in the league in that department, only behind the Bucks.

 

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On Sunday, the Lakers beat the Timberwolves 142-125. The star of the night was big-man Anthony Davis, who is having as good a season as almost any players in the league.

Shooting 20 for 29, Davis put up 50 points, seven rebounds, six assists, four steals, one block and just one turnover in 39 minutes of action.

LeBron James also had himself a game: 32 points and 13 assists. And off the Lakers bench, Alex Caruso earned himself a mention: 6 of 11, 16 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals.

But Davis, who has gotten attention all season for his defense just as much as his offense, had as good a game as anyone has put up in the league so far this season.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported the following: “Davis became the third player to post 50 points on the Wolves this season while James was no slouch either with 32 points and 13 assists. Davis was an especially efficient 20 of 29 shooting and 10 of 10 from the free-throw line. He did a lot of work around the basket, and the Wolves had no answer for him defensively. ”

From the OC Register: “Davis’ prolific, proficient output — combined with James’ 32 points in 28 minutes — mitigated a productive night offensively by the Timberwolves, who shot 51.8 percent, had eight players score in double-digits and needed only until the start of the fourth quarter to exceed opponents’ 103.7 points-per-game scoring average against the Lakers.”

 

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Nets stay hot, beat Nuggets 105-102

We’ll be writing about this ourselves later tonight, but for right now, here’s the Denver Post reporting:

Brooklyn guard Spencer Dinwiddie bullied his way to the rack twice in the final minute as the Nets hung on to beat the Nuggets 105-102. The loss dropped Denver to 14-7 and 1-2 on this road trip with a matchup at Philadelphia on Tuesday.

“They dominated the paint 66-22,” said Nuggets coach Michael Malone. “That third quarter was a joke. … Seemed like it was layup lines out there. We took away the 3-point line, but there was no resistance at the rim.”

The loss spoiled a strong 3-point shooting night from Jerami Grant, who poured in five of Denver’s 18 makes. Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray combined for 45 points, but Brooklyn’s relentless inside attack undermined their productivity.

The Nets have looked like a blatantly better team with Spencer Dinwiddie running the show lately. Kyrie Irving isn’t set to return just yet, but once he does, Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson will have some interesting decisions to make.

 

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The Kings fell to the Trail Blazers 127-116 in Portland yesterday, but a bright spot for Sacramento was the play of big-man Richaun Holmes.

Here’s the Sacramento Bee:

The Kings (8-12) were playing without guard Bogdan Bogdanovic, who joined point guard De’Aaron Fox and forward Marvin Bagley III on the injured list. Bogdanovic was held out with a right knee contusion, but his left hamstring injury was improving, the team said. He is listed as day-to-day.

C.J. McCollum scored 33 points, Hassan Whiteside turned in a monster performance and Carmelo Anthony had another big game for the Blazers (9-13). Damian Lillard had 24 points and 10 assists. Whiteside put up 22 points, 16 rebounds, seven assists and three blocked shots. Anthony finished with 20 points.

Richaun Holmes had a career-high 28 points and 10 rebounds for the Kings, who have lost 12 in a row in Portland since posting their last win there on Dec. 8, 2012. Buddy Hield scored 23 points. Nemanja Bjelica had 17 points, seven rebounds and four assists.

Holmes shot 11 of 14 as the starting center in this game.

The Kings are now 8-12 for the season. They’ve only had Marvin Bagley in action for one game, and De’Aaron Fox for nine. Neither player is ready to return just yet.

In a must-watch game of upper Eastern conference teams Wednesday, the Boston Celtics handed the Miami Heat a loss.

The Boston Herald had this to say:

Miami came in with a homewrecking reputation. The Heat was the first road team to win in Milwaukee and Toronto this year — the latter on Tuesday night.

And when the Celtics fell behind by 11 points in the second quarter last night, the locals appeared headed down a familiar path. Ultimately, they remain undefeated at home.

By the time Jaylen Brown had hit his sixth 3-pointer with just under six minutes left last night, though, the threat was cleared away. The Celtics beat Miami, 112-93, with the wing forward scoring a season-high 31 points — one shy of tying his career high. Brown also spent most of his night chasing and being chased by Miami’s Jimmy Butler.

The latter, who has led the Heat’s hot start, led both sides with 37 points and six 3-pointers.

The best East teams early this season have been the Bucks, followed in no particular order by the Raptors, Celtics, Sixers and Heat. Anytime any of these teams play each other is must-watch. And once the Pacers have Victor Oladipo back in action, they’ll be in that mix as well. They’re almost there right now.

The Miami Heat (15-5) visit the Boston Celtics (14-5) tonight in a game that definitely has our interest. Each team’s most recent game results are below.

THE MOST RECENT HEAT GAME

MIAMI HEAT 121, TORONTO RAPTORS 110 [OT] (12/3/19)

The Miami HEAT became the first team to get a win in Toronto this season after defeating the Raptors, 121-110, in overtime. Miami shot 54.2 percent from the field in the first as they took a nine-point, 32-23, lead after one. Toronto was able to cut the HEAT lead by four in the second as Miami held a five-point, 58-53, lead at the half. The Raptors shot 58.8 percent from the field in the third, again cutting the HEAT lead, this time to two, 83-81, entering the fourth quarter. Miami held their lead throughout the fourth until Toronto took a one-point, 108-107, lead with 43.2 seconds remaining. Jimmy Butler would hit 1-of-2 free throws on the HEAT’s next possession as each team missed their final shots, sending the game into overtime. Butler began overtime quickly scoring the first eight points as Miami went on to outscore the Raptors 13-2 in the quarter to take the, 121-100, victory. Butler finished with a 22-point, 13-rebound, 12-assist triple-double as Duncan Robinson scored 22 and Justise Winslow added 17 off the bench. Norman Powell led Toronto with 23.

THE MOST RECENT CELTICS GAME

BOSTON 113, NEW YORK 104 – Madison Square Garden, New York, NY (12/1/19)

The Celtics turned up the defense in the fourth quarter as they came from behind to beat the Knicks 113-104 at MSG…Jayson Tatum scored a game-high 30 points to go along with a career-high seven assists while Jaylen Brown added 28 points and five boards…Kemba Walker picked up his first double-double with 16 points and 10 assists while Enes Kanter also added a double-double with 11 points and a game-high 11 rebounds…The Knicks were led by Julius Randle and his 26 points and five rebounds while Dennis Smith Jr. added 17 points and seven assists off the bench.

 

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James Harden had himself a game on Saturday.

Well, three quarters of a game.

Playing 30 minutes and 41 seconds and then sitting out the fourth quarter, the superstar Rockets guard shot 16 of 24, including 8 of 14 from three-point range, and hit 20 of 23 free throws for 60 points, eight assists and three steals.

The Rockets beat the Hawks easily, 158-111.

In the loss, Hawks guard Trae Young put up 37 points and seven assists.

According to ESPN.com, “it was Harden’s fourth career 60-point game, tying him with Michael Jordan for third most in NBA history, trailing only Kobe Bryant (six) and Wilt Chamberlain (32). Harden is the only active player who has scored 60 points more than once.”

The Rockets are now 13-6 for the season.

Timberwolves lose 3rd straight game

The Timberwolves, playing without Jimmy Butler, are struggling lately. Here’s the St Paul Pioneer Press reporting on what went down Thursday:

With five off days to prepare for a pivotal March contest played in front of their home crowd at Target Center and in front of the country on national television, the Timberwolves managed to come out flat.

The Wolves fell 117-109 to Boston on Thursday, marking their first three-game losing streak of the season — which unsurprisingly has come without Jimmy Butler. That streak is in serious danger of running to four with the Warriors coming to town Sunday.

Something needs to change between now and then. And that change is going to have to revolve around the Wolves’ effort. They were outclassed in that department on Thursday by Boston. Boston had 18 second chance points to Minnesota’s nine. The Celtics (46-20) had 14 fast break points to Minnesota’s two.

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Durant, Warriors beat Thunder 112-80

Here’s the SF Chronicle reporting the results of a matchup we’ll always pay attention to, Kevin Durant and the Warriors against Russell Westbrook and the Thunder. The latest:

Warriors forward Kevin Durant wants his fans and critics to believe that there is nothing special about his games against his former team. More than a year and a half after he last called Oklahoma City home, the nine-time All-Star is trying to silence chatter about his past.

Anyone who saw him revel in the Warriors’ 112-80 rout of the Thunder Saturday night at Oracle Arena, however, knows that the Thunder aren’t just another opponent to him. In helping exorcize the memory of Golden State’s two lopsided losses to Oklahoma City this season, Durant feasted on emotion, pouring in a game-high 28 points.

It was in stark contrast to the night of Russell Westbrook, who paired with sidekick Paul George to shoot a combined 5-for-29 from the field. Oklahoma City, for all its star power, ultimately had no answer for another one of the Warriors’ signature third-quarter blitzes.

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Nets beat Sixers in Brooklyn, 116-108

 

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InsideHoops.com

The Nets enjoyed an impressive home victory Wednesday night in Brooklyn, beating the Philadelphia 76ers 116-108.

In the win, the enjoyed continued fine play from Spencer Dinwiddie in his breaking season. The point guard, still currently starting as D’Angelo Russell, recently back from injury, is utilized off the bench, shot 6-13 and hit 13-15 free throws for 27 points and four assists.

Russell played just 17 minutes off the bench, but was huge: 8-15 FG for 22 points, five rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block.

And in another nice surprise for the Nets, talented rookie big-man Jarrett Allen, who got the start at center, was excellent, shooting 5-6 FG for 16 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and two blocks in 26 minutes.

In the loss for the Sixers, Joel Embiid shot 8-19 FG but did hit 12-14 free throws for 29 points and 14 rebounds, Ben Simmons shot 11-16 FG for 24 points and seven assists, and JJ Redick shot 4-10 plus 9-10 free throws for 20 points.

Nets Team Notes

The Nets improved to 19-33 this season and 10-14 at Barclays Center with tonight’s victory, while the 76ers fell to 24-24 overall and 12-14 on the road with the loss.

Tonight’s win snapped Brooklyn’s season-high-tying four-game losing streak.

It also gave the Nets consecutive home victories (Brooklyn defeated Miami 101-95 on 1/19 at Barclays Center).

Next up for Brooklyn: The Nets will host the Lakers on Friday, February 2, at 7:30 p.m. EST.

Next up for Philadelphia: The 76ers will return home to host Miami on Friday, February 2, at 8 p.m. EST.

Nets Player Notes

Spencer Dinwiddie scored 27 points (6-of-13 FG, 2-of-4 3FG, 13-of-15 FT) with two rebounds and four assists in 34 minutes tonight. Dinwiddie’s 27 points marked the second-highest scoring game of his career (behind a career-high 31 points on 1/8 vs. Toronto). He set career highs for free throws made (13) and attempted (15) tonight, both of which represented season highs for any Net. Dinwiddie registered his team-leading 13th 20-point game of the season tonight (and his 10th at Barclays Center).

D’Angelo Russell posted 22 points (8-of-15 FG, 2-of-5 3FG, 4-of-5 FT) with five rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block in 17 minutes off the bench vs. Washington. Russell eclipsed the 20-point mark for the seventh time this season and the first time since 11/11 at Utah (26 points). He became the 10th different Net to score 20+ points in a game off the bench this season, which marks both a single-season franchise record and a league high this season.

Jarrett Allen scored a career-high-tying 16 points with a career-high 12 rebounds, a career-high three assists and two blocks in 26 minutes in his second-career start for Brooklyn. He shot 5-of-6 from the field and 6-of-6 from the free-throw line, with his 6 FTM also marking a career high. Allen recorded his second career double-double tonight (previously done on 1/23 at OKC this season). Allen has now extended his career-best streak of games reaching double figures to five. Prior to this stretch, he hadn’t scored in double figures in more than two straight games.

In the month of January, Allen shot .722 (57-of-79) from the field, which marked the highest FG % for a Net in any month since 1983-84 (min. 70 field goal attempts).

Joel Embiid Quotes

Joel Embiid, on 76ers’ defense: “The past couple of games we’ve been getting down a lot in pick and rolls, in OKC. That’s how they win – basically a two-man game, and everybody’s got to help each other and all the things we’ve been doing so far. I guess we’ve gotta go back to the drawing board.”

Embiid on if the team can blame their performance on coming off of a road trip: “No, that’s a game we’ve got to win. They’re a pretty good team, but I feel like we’re better than them. They got a win tonight, but that’s the kind of win we’ve got to get if we want to be a playoff team. Defense every day. If we’re gonna lose these types of games, we don’t deserve to go to the playoffs.”

Embiid on the team’s struggles against supposed-subpar opponents: “I don’t know. Maybe we’re too cocky, going into the game thinking that it’s going to be easy. Got to give them a lot of credit, they play hard, they make a lot of threes, they shoot a lot of threes and we didn’t guard them well today. But we gotta do a better job next time.”

Celtics basketball is a beautiful thing this season. And the magic continued, err, against the Magic. Here’s ESPN.com reporting on the outcome of Friday’s matchup:

Before Friday’s visit to play the Boston Celtics, Orlando Magic coach Frank Vogel offered high praise for Boston big man Al Horford, calling him maybe the “most underrated guy in the league.” Then, his poor Magic team got a reminder of why Horford earned those plaudits.

Horford matched a career high by dishing out 10 assists, seven of which came in the first quarter, as the Celtics bucked their season-long trend of slow starts during a 118-103 triumph over the Magic at TD Garden.

Kyrie Irving scored a game-high 30 points over just 25 minutes, and Terry Rozier snapped out of a recent shooting funk to score a career-best 23 points off the bench. But it was Horford who set the tone after Celtics coach Brad Stevens subtly reminded his team that ball movement would be key to Boston’s avoiding the first-half lulls that plagued the Celtics even during their recent 16-game winning streak.

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Here’s the Sacramento Bee reporting on the Kings, who on national TV Wednesday beat the Lakers:

The much-hyped duel between rookie point guards did not serve as the main attraction.

Willie Cauley-Stein scored a season-high 26 points as the Kings ended a two-game skid with a 113-102 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night at Golden 1 Center.

Zach Randolph had a season-high 22 points to go with seven rebounds and seven assists for the Kings (5-13), who shot a season-high 55.3 percent.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led the Lakers (8-11) with 20 points. Kyle Kuzma scored 17 points.

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Cavs beat Pistons for 5th straight win

The Cavs got off to a rocky start this season. Not a big surprise, with new point guard Isaiah Thomas out, lots of new players, and many lineup changes. But lately they’re winning and looking proper and Monday won their 5th game in a row. Here’s Michigan Live reporting:

The hot-shooting Cavs basically ran the Pistons out of their own building in the first half Monday, racing out to a 27-point lead, and kept pouring it on the second half, on the way to a 116-88 victory at Little Caesars Arena.

The Pistons (11-6) had their six-game home winning streak snapped.

Cleveland didn’t even need a prolific output from LeBron James. He did his damage early and finished with 18 points and nine assists in 27 minutes. Kevin Love collected 19 points and 11 rebounds. Jae Crowder scored 18 points.

The Cavaliers shot 52.5 percent from the floor (42-of-50), including 48.5 percent from 3-point range (16-of-33).

These aren’t your early-season Cavaliers, that started 5-7.

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Nets put up good fight vs Celtics

The Celtics came to Brooklyn Tuesday and left town with their NBA-leading 13th win in a row. Boston looked great in the first quarter, but then the Nets stepped up and made a game out of it. Here’s the New York Post with more:

Facing the hottest team in the NBA was going to be an uphill climb for the Nets under the best circumstances. But doing it without their two point guards — and arguably two best players — proved too much to handle.

With D’Angelo Russell out indefinitely with a knee injury and Jeremy Lin already sidelined for the season, also with a knee injury, the Nets were game, but woefully shorthanded against the Celtics. And scalding-hot Boston predictably proved to be too much, with the Nets falling 109-102 in a tightly contested affair Tuesday.

Hearing Boston fans take over the Barclays Center was just salt in the Nets’ various wounds, and listening to them serenade New Jersey-bred Celtics star Kyrie Irving with chants of “MVP!” as he took free throws with two minutes left was an added insult. But to be fair, Irving looked the part, dominating in his return from a facial fracture and then giving his shoes to some troops seated courtside.

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And for more on the “relationship” between these two teams, here’s ESPN Boston:

In the aftermath of that late-game alley-oop, the remaining Nets fans were left to watch Brown and Tatum engage in a celebratory body-bump near midcourt. It was a painful reminder of what could have been.

Both Brown and Tatum, along with Irving, were delivered to Boston by direct result of the draft picks the Nets sent the Celtics as part of the 2013 blockbuster that sent Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Jason Terry to Brooklyn.

This was the first time since 2013 that Boston played a game against Brooklyn that didn’t have implications on a future pick, and Celtics fans had often utilized the hashtag #Netspick while basking in Brooklyn’s recent struggles. On Tuesday, Celtics fans simply enjoyed watching the exploits of their past picks.

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