NBA Daily Roundup
An NBA daily recap of 2014-15 NBA season games, all on one page. Bookmark this NBA game roundup page and hit it daily. Also read nba game previews and daily stat leaders, and watch daily NBA video highlights.
NBA DAILY FOR WEDNESDAY, DEC. 24
Recaps of NBA games played Tuesday
Love, Cavaliers roll over Timberwolves 125-104
The AP reports: CLEVELAND -- Kevin Love's first meeting with his former team wasn't packed with much emotion.
LeBron James expects a much different reunion on Christmas.
Love scored 20 points in his first game against Minnesota, Kyrie Irving added 29 and the Cleveland Cavaliers pulled away in the second half for a 125-104 victory over the Timberwolves on Tuesday night, sending them on to James' holiday visit in Miami to play the Heat... James added 24 points for the Cavs, now 12-3 since opening 5-7.
Minnesota rookie Andrew Wiggins scored 27 against the team that drafted him as the Timberwolves lost their sixth straight and 12th in 13 games.
Hill leads Packers over Pelicans 96-84
The AP reports: INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel had tried just about everything to find a viable fill-in for injured starting point guard George Hill.
But no one runs the Indiana offense quite like the Hill. And on Tuesday night, Hill provided an immeasurable impact for the Pacers in his season debut.
After missing the first 28 games with a left knee contusion, Hill had a team-high 15 points, four rebounds and three assists in 21 minutes to lead the Pacers to a 96-84 win over the New Orleans Pelicans... David West and Solomon Hill each finished with 13 points. Roy Hibbert scored 14 points and tied a season-high with seven blocks. CJ Miles added 11 points and six rebounds off the bench for the Pacers. C.J. Watson, who started at point guard for Indiana on Tuesday, scored 10 points.
Magic use big 1st half to hold off Celtics 100-95
The AP reports: ORLANDO, Fla. -- Last week, the Orlando Magic left the Boston Celtics' home court having just received one of their most demoralizing losses of the season.
The Magic returned the favor, but the Celtics made them work for it.
Tobias Harris scored 19 points and the Magic hung on to beat the Celtics 100-95 on Tuesday night. Nik Vucevic and Kyle O'Quinn each added 18 points as Orlando ended a four-game losing streak... Tyler Zeller led the Celtics with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Avery Bradley added 20 points, and Kelly Olynyk 14.
Derrick Rose, Bulls down John Wall, Wizards for 4th straight win
The AP reports: WASHINGTON -- After Derrick Rose ignited a late fourth-quarter rally that helped the Chicago Bulls stave off John Wall and the Washington Wizards, Rose exaggerated a strut as he went back to the bench.
Rose had just scored six of the Bulls' eight points in a rally that sent them on their way to their fourth straight win, 99-91 over the Wizards on Tuesday night.
In his first meeting with Wall since Jan. 30, 2012, Rose scored 25 points. The Bulls have won all five games when Wall faced Rose... Wall led the Wizards with 18 points.
Hawks overcome 13-point deficit to get past Clippers
The AP reports: ATLANTA -- Kyle Korver said the Atlanta Hawks' four- and nine-game winning streaks earlier in the season were met with some skepticism because they included few victories over respected opponents.
Now the Hawks have another streak that's not so easily dismissed.
DeMarre Carroll scored a career-high 25 points and the Hawks rallied from a 13-point deficit to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 107-104 on Tuesday night for their fifth straight victory. Al Horford had 20 points for Southeast Division-leading Atlanta, which has won 14 of 15. The five-game winning streak has come against Chicago, Cleveland, Houston, Dallas and the Clippers. Only the wins over the Bulls and Clippers came at home.
Johnson, Plumlee lead Nets past Nuggets, 102-96
The AP reports: NEW YORK -- Lionel Hollins had been trying to get a struggling Mason Plumlee to look like the player who won a gold medal with the U.S. national team in the Basketball World Cup.
With his coach counting on him more while starting center Brook Lopez recuperated from a lower back strain, Plumlee put everything aside and went to work.
Joe Johnson scored 27 points, Plumlee added 19 points and a career-high 13 rebounds, and the Brooklyn Nets rallied in the fourth quarter to beat the Denver Nuggets 102-96 on Tuesday night... Lopez played eight minutes and had six points and four rebounds in a reserve role. The Nets can afford to take it slow with him since Plumlee has played so well in his absence. The second-year center shot 9 of 14 from the field and also blocked three shots.
Sixers rally from 23-point second-half deficit, stun Heat
The AP reports: MIAMI -- All the Miami Heat had to do to secure their first home winning streak in more than a month was hold onto a 23-point second-half lead against a team with the NBA's worst record.
And even that proved too difficult.
Michael Carter-Williams scored 20 points, Luc Mbah a Moute added 19 and the Philadelphia 76ers went on an enormous run to turn the game around and stun the Heat 91-87 on Tuesday night -- winning consecutive games for the first time this season... K.J. McDaniels scored 13, while Jerami Grant and Robert Covington each had 11 for Philadelphia.
Wade scored 17 of his 23 points in the first half for Miami, which was outscored 49-30 after halftime and plays host to LeBron James and Cleveland on Thursday in a Christmas Day showdown.
Walker, Henderson lift Hornets over Bucks 108-101
The AP reports: MILWAUKEE -- The Charlotte Hornets may have found the formula for success -turning up the defensive pressure. It worked against the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night and led to their fourth straight victory.
Kemba Walker scored 27 points and Gerald Henderson added 16 as Charlotte took advantage of 20 turnovers to hold off the Bucks 108-101, extending the Hornets winning streak to a season-high of four games... Brandon Knight had a season-high 34 points for the Bucks, who were prevented from matching last season's victory total of 15, the lowest in franchise history.
Damian Lillard forces OT, scores 40 to key Blazers' win over OKC
The AP reports: OKLAHOMA CITY -- In a matchup of star Western Conference point guards, Portland's Damian Lillard made the big shots and Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook didn't.
Lillard scored 40 points, making a tying 3-pointer with three seconds left in regulation, and the Trail Blazers rallied from a 13-point, fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Thunder 115-111 on Tuesday night.
Lillard's 40-point outing was his second in Portland's past four games, following a 43-point outburst against San Antonio on Friday. Lillard, who also had 11 assists and six rebounds, went 8-of-12 from 3-point range. He had seven points in the extra period... Westbrook scored a season-high 40 points and added 10 rebounds and six assists but missed a potential game winner at the regulation buzzer before fouling out with 1:39 left in overtime. Oklahoma City played for a third straight game without NBA MVP Kevin Durant, who has a sprained right ankle.
Bledsoe gets triple-double, Suns beat Mavericks 124-115
The AP reports: PHOENIX -- Eric Bledsoe wasn't going to let anyone get in the way of his 10th rebound, not even teammate Goran Dragic.
Bledsoe grabbed the rebound, sending Dragic tumbling to the court, with 31 seconds to go to complete his second career triple-double and the Phoenix Suns beat the Dallas Mavericks 124-115 on Tuesday night... Bledsoe had 16 points and 11 assists, then took his 10th rebound away from Dragic with 31 seconds to play... Dragic scored 25 and Gerald Green 22 for the Suns, coming off a 3-0 trip to the East. Alex Len added 17, two shy of his career high.
Lakers hand Warriors fourth loss of season as Kobe Bryant rests
The AP reports: LOS ANGELES -- Kobe Bryant wasn't anywhere in sight when the Los Angeles Lakers pulled off one of the most stunning upsets of the NBA season so far.
Carlos Boozer scored 18 points in his new role off the bench, and the Lakers built a 24-point cushion against the league-leading Golden State Warriors and hung on for a 115-105 victory Tuesday night.
Bryant, the NBA's No. 3 career scorer, sat out for the first time this season to rest his tired legs. The decision was made by coach Byron Scott, who had been hinting at it for days... Stephen Curry had 22 points and six assists for the Warriors, who lost for only the fourth time in 27 games. Klay Thompson had 18 points on 6-for-15 shooting.
Curry was 10-for-14 from the field after averaging 30.3 points and 12.3 assists in his previous three games against the Lakers. Draymond Green made one of six shots in 24 minutes and finished with two points.
NBA DAILY FOR TUESDAY, DEC. 23
Recaps of NBA games played Monday
Hornets top Nuggets 110-82 for third straight win
The AP reports: CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Kemba Walker is beginning to emerge as the multifaceted point guard the Charlotte Hornets hoped he would become.
Walker is off to the best start of his four-year career, entering the week third in the NBA in assist-per-turnover ratio.
He did little to hurt those numbers on Monday night. Walker scored 18 points, handed out nine assists and committed just one turnover as the Hornets coasted to a 110-82 victory over the Denver Nuggets... Al Jefferson shook off some early tightness in his lower body and scored 22 points for the Hornets, who extended their winning streak to a season-high three games. Rookie P.J. Hairston recorded his first career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds... Ty Lawson had 18 points for Denver, which had its two-game winning streak snapped.
Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler lead Bulls' late surge to top Raptors
The AP reports: CHICAGO -- Even surrounded by an array of offensive talent, Derrick Rose proved he is still the go-to guy in Chicago.
Rose scored 29 points, Jimmy Butler added 27 points and 11 rebounds, and the Chicago Bulls snapped the Toronto Raptors' six-game winning streak with a 129-120 victory on Monday night.
Rose scored 15 of the Bulls' franchise-record 49 points in the fourth quarter... Chicago, which has won three straight, got Rose and Taj Gibson back after each missed two games. Rose was ill and Gibson was out with an ankle injury... Lowry scored 34 points and Jonas Valanciunas finished with 20 for Toronto, which led by 12 in the third quarter. Lowry scored 18 points in the fourth.
James Harden goes for 44 as Rockets run past Trail Blazers
The AP reports: HOUSTON -- James Harden wouldn't admit he was thinking about last season in Houston's first game against Portland since the Trail Blazers eliminated the Rockets from the playoffs in the first round.
Dwight Howard was certain he was.
"I know it's kind of like a weight off his back because of what happened in the playoffs against Portland," Howard said. "And (Monday) he just destroyed them."
Harden scored a season-high 44 points to help the Rockets cruise to a 110-95 victory and snap a two-game skid... The Trail Blazers were without leading scorer and rebounder LaMarcus Aldridge, who missed the game with an upper-respiratory illness, and had their five-game winning streak snapped... Damian Lillard led Portland with 18 points and C.J. McCollum added 17.
Alec Burks, Gordon Hayward lead Jazz past Grizzlies
The AP reports: MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Memphis Grizzlies limped into the Christmas break on a three-game losing streak and tired legs.
After losing to Eastern Conference foes Chicago and Cleveland over the weekend, Memphis showed signs of fatigue in not being able to counter Utah's youth, allowing the Jazz to beat the Grizzlies 97-91 on Monday night... Alec Burks scored 23 points and Gordon Hayward added 21 to lead the Jazz, who withstood a late push by hitting eight of 10 free throws down the stretch for their third win in the last four... Mike Conley led Memphis with 28 points and his two 3-pointers down the stretch kept the Grizzlies close. Marc Gasol finished with 24 points and 12 rebounds. Courtney Lee had 13 points and Vince Carter added 12 on 4 of 7 shooting.
Dennis Schroder nets career-high 22 as Hawks continue win streak
The AP reports: DALLAS -- Dennis Schroder wanted to do well Monday night when he played against his boyhood idols.
He did just that, scoring a career-high 22 points as his Atlanta Hawks beat the Dallas Mavericks, with Dirk Nowitzki and Rajon Rondo, 105-102... Schroder shot 9-of-15 from the field and added 6 assists, 3 rebounds and a steal... Monta Ellis led the Mavericks with 18 points, 11 in a fourth quarter when they outscored the Hawks 39-23. Nowitzki scored 16, Charlie Villanueva 14, Rondo 13, Devin Harris 11 and Richard Jefferson 10.
Rondo added 11 assists.
Tony Parker nets 26 after 5-game absence to lead Spurs past Clippers
The AP reports: SAN ANTONIO -- San Antonio point guard Tony Parker watched helplessly as the Spurs were drained emotionally and physically by four straight defeats, including a pair of crushing losses at home in triple overtime.
He saw the frustration and despair weigh on his teammates, especially longtime running mate Manu Ginobili, who was forced to play extended minutes as the team's lone playmaker.
Parker wanted to give San Antonio a lift, and he did so in a big way. He scored 26 points in his return from a five-game absence, igniting the Spurs to a season-high 37 assists and a 125-118 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night... Tim Duncan had 21 points and 12 rebounds, Boris Diaw scored 23 points and Ginobili added 19 for the Spurs (18-11), who had lost three straight home games in overtime.
Warriors dominate Kings in all facets as Klay Thompson leads way
The AP reports: OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Golden State Warriors too often let lesser competition keep games close -- and allowed a few of them to slip away -- on their home court last season.
That doesn't appear to be a problem anymore.
The Warriors eased past the struggling Sacramento Kings 128-108 on Monday night, the kind of all-around performance that has defined their strong start under new coach Steve Kerr.
All 13 active players scored, including six in double digits. The reserves had a season-high 62 points. And the team totaled 36 assists, the franchise's most in four years... Klay Thompson scored 25 points, reserve Justin Holiday had 18 and Festus Ezeli added a career-high 15 points to go with six rebounds in place of injured center Andrew Bogut, helping the Warriors hold a big lead most of the way.
Stephen Curry also had 12 points and 11 assists -- and got to rest most of the fourth quarter -- as Golden State stretched its NBA-best record to 23-3.
NBA DAILY FOR MONDAY, DEC. 22
Recaps of NBA games played Sunday
Williams, Lowry lead Raptors past Knicks
The AP reports: TORONTO -- The Raptors put a winning punctuation mark on a stretch of games against struggling opponents.
Their next six contests will provide a significantly greater challenge.
Lou Williams and Kyle Lowry each scored 22 points and Toronto beat the New York Knicks 118-108 on Sunday for their sixth consecutive win, all against Eastern Conference teams with losing records... Vasquez had 21 points and Terrence Ross scored 18 for the Raptors, who never trailed in matching their longest winning streak of the season. Toronto also won six straight from Nov. 15 to 26.
Carmelo Anthony scored 28 for the Knicks, who lost their fifth straight and have dropped 15 of 16 overall. Jason Smith had 16 points and Jose Calderon finished with 15 points and 10 assists.
Dion Waiters steps up in fourth as hot-shooting Cavaliers down Grizzlies
The AP reports: CLEVELAND -- LeBron James and Kyrie Irving stepped aside and let one of their teammates polish off an opponent.
On Sunday, Dion Waiters finished Memphis.
Waiters scored 13 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter as the Cleveland Cavaliers handled one of the Western Conference's best teams, beating the short-handed Grizzlies 105-91... "He's learning every day," said James, who had 25 points and 11 assists. James scored 16 in the second half and the Cavs shot a season-best 61 percent from the field to improve to just 3-6 against West teams. Anderson Varejao scored 18 and Irving had 17 points and 12 assists for the Cavs, who are 11-3 since their sluggish 5-7 start.
Marc Gasol scored 23 and added 11 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who played without forward Zach Randolph. He's nursing a sore and swollen right knee he injured in Friday's loss at Chicago.
Jon Leuer added 16 points for Memphis, which dropped to 21-6.
Kings pull away from Lakers late, snap five-game losing streak
The AP reports: SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The Sacramento Kings finally found the right remedy to end a monthlong bout of bad news: a healthy DeMarcus Cousins and a struggling Kobe Bryant.
Cousins had 29 points and 14 rebounds in his second start since returning from a serious illness, and the Kings snapped a five-game losing streak with a 108-101 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday... For at least one day, though, Sacramento shook off all the talk -- and a shaky first half -- for a much-needed win. Rudy Gay scored 24 points, and Ben McLemore added 23 points and eight rebounds to help the Kings pull away late... Nick Young scored 26 points, and Bryant had 25 for the Lakers, who have lost six of eight and are buried at the bottom of the Pacific Division.
Bryant shot just 8-of-30 and had nine of the Lakers' 17 turnovers. He also had five rebounds and three assists.
Plumlee, Nets hold off Pistons, 110-105
The AP reports: NEW YORK -- The Brooklyn Nets had an easy time in their first game this season without Deron Williams -- until the last few seconds.
Mason Plumlee scored 10 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter and Brooklyn held off a late rally for a 110-105 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday.
After Mirza Teletovic's layup with 5:31 remaining gave the Nets a seemingly comfortable 98-83 lead, the Pistons pulled to 106-105 on Kentavious Caldwell-Pope's 3-pointer with 9 seconds left.
Joe Johnson, who scored 16 points, followed with two free throws. Caldwell-Pope, who finished with 20 points, then missed on a long 3-pointer and Andre Drummond committed a loose ball foul on the rebound... Jarrett Jack, who replaced the injured Williams, finished with 15 points and contributed 10 assists as the Nets tied a season high with 29 assists.
Heat snap 5-game home slide, top Celtics 100-84
The AP reports: MIAMI -- Finding out shortly before the game that Dwyane Wade would be sitting out with a bruised right knee could have sent the reeling Miami Heat into an even bigger tailspin.
Instead, it proved inspiring.
And the team's five-game home slide is over.
Luol Deng scored 23 points, James Ennis scored 10 of his 16 in the fourth quarter and the Heat topped the Boston Celtics 100-84 on Sunday night.
"We needed a home win bad," said guard Mario Chalmers, who had 11 points and 10 assists... Tyler Zeller scored 22 for Boston, which had won three straight. Jeff Green and Kelly Olynyk added 13.
76ers claim 3rd win of season, 96-88 over Magic
The AP reports: ORLANDO, Fla. -- The limited success the Philadelphia 76ers have experienced this season has all been on the road.
That continues to be the case.
Michael Carter-Williams scored 21 points as the Sixers opened a seven-game road trip with a 96-88 victory over the Orlando Magic on Sunday night... The Sixers also got a lift from their bench, which outscored the Magic reserves 37-20.
Victor Oladipo had 23 points for the Magic. Nik Vucevic finished with 19 points and 17 rebounds, and Tobias Harris added 17 points.
Suns end Wizards' 6-game winning streak
The AP reports: WASHINGTON -- Phoenix Suns coach Jeff Hornacek got the killer instinct he was looking for.
The Suns scored nine straight points late in the game to beat Washington 104-92 on Sunday night, completing a perfect three-game trip and ending the Wizards' winning streak at six games... Eric Bledsoe and Markieff Morris each scored 17 points, Goran Dragic added 16 -- 12 in the third quarter when Phoenix took control of the game... Rasual Butler led the Wizards with 17 points, and Kevin Seraphin equaled a season-high with 16.
Miles scores 28 to help Pacers hold off Wolves
The AP reports: MINNEAPOLIS -- The Indiana Pacers walked into Target Center with heavy legs Sunday night, playing the second game of a tough back-to-back that started in Denver the night before.
The young Minnesota Timberwolves were the ones who really looked tired to start, and the Pacers took advantage of open shot after open shot to build a big lead and hold on for the win.
C.J. Miles scored 28 points and David West bulled his way to the basket for two big points with 34 seconds to play to help the Pacers to a 100-96 victory over the Timberwolves on Sunday night.
Miles hit 10 of 18 shots and Roy Hibbert had 15 points, eight rebounds and four blocks for the Pacers, who got 48 points from their bench. They shot a season-high 50 percent from the field and forced 16 turnovers to win for just the second time this month.
Anthony Davis scores 38 to leads Pelicans past Thunder
The AP reports: OKLAHOMA CITY -- Kevin Durant didn't play for the Thunder on Sunday, but it seemed like he showed up in a different uniform.
Anthony Davis put in a Durant-like effort, scoring 38 efficient points to lead the New Orleans Pelicans to a 101-99 victory over Oklahoma City.
It was the third-highest point total of Davis' career, and like Durant, his points piled up quickly and seemed effortless. He made 16 of 22 shots and had 12 rebounds while doing a little bit of everything... Jrue Holiday scored 11 points and matched a career high with 15 assists for the Pelicans, who said Durant's absence took nothing away from their victory. New Orleans was coming off a 26-point loss at home against Portland the previous night and simply wanted a win.
Russell Westbrook scored 29 points for the Thunder, but he missed a 3-pointer that could have given Oklahoma City the lead in the closing seconds. Reggie Jackson scored 19 points and Steven Adams added 12 points and 10 rebounds.
NBA DAILY FOR SUNDAY, DEC. 21
Recaps of NBA games played Saturday
Bledsoe, Thomas carry Suns past Knicks, 99-90
The AP reports: NEW YORK -- Isaiah Thomas thrust both arms in the air and started back down the court, his 3-pointer having just essentially clinched a victory.
A lot of players are celebrating at Madison Square Garden these days, and none of them are Knicks.
Eric Bledsoe had 25 points and 10 rebounds, Thomas scored 22 points, and the Phoenix Suns beat New York 99-90 on Saturday... Markieff Morris added 19 points for the Suns, who won their second straight after a six-game skid. They got 57 points from their point guard trio of Bledsoe, Thomas and Goran Dragic... Anthony had 25 points and 11 rebounds for the Knicks after missing a game with a sore left knee, but he was on the bench for a rest when the Suns surged into the lead in the 3:18 before he re-entered... Jose Calderon added 21 points for the Knicks, who rested Amare Stoudemire while already playing without the injured Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith.
Aldridge leads Trail Blazers over Pelicans 114-88
The AP reports: NEW ORLEANS -- One night after it took Portland three overtimes to get a win, the Trail Blazers needed only three quarters to get past the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday night.
Portland led by 32 points heading into the fourth quarter and coasted to a 114-88 win over the Pelicans, picking up their 10th victory in the last 12 games.
"We knew that they were probably going to talk a lot about us having a triple overtime game last night," Portland point guard Damian Lillard said... Forward LaMarcus Aldridge had 27 points and 12 rebounds, giving him a two-night total of 59 points and 28 rebounds. Lillard added 17 points and seven assists... After scoring 31 points in the two teams' first meeting this season, [Anthony] Davis went just 3 for 14, scoring only seven points while grabbing six rebounds and recording five blocked shots.
Hornets end winless streak vs. Jazz, 104-86
The AP reports: CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Al Jefferson said he could have returned from a strained groin late in the fourth quarter.
The Charlotte Hornets didn't need the big man for a change.
The Hornets (8-19) improved to 2-0 with Lance Stephenson out of the lineup and snapped a 10-game losing streak against the Utah Jazz with a 104-86 win on Saturday night.
Kemba Walker led the way with 20 points, Jefferson added 19 points and 10 rebounds and Charlotte beat Utah for the first time in six years... Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Hornets, who have won back-to-back games for only the third time this season.
Korver leads Hawks over Houston 104-97
The AP reports: HOUSTON -- The Atlanta Hawks won for the 12th time in 13 games on Saturday night, beating the Houston Rockets 104-97. The victory gave the Hawks 19 wins this season.
They're not quite ready to celebrate their success though.
"We've had a nice start to the season, but the season's only a couple of months old," Kyle Korver said... Korver scored 22 points, including seven points late, to help the Hawks win on Saturday night... Dwight Howard had 19 points and 11 rebounds and James Harden added 18 points with a season-high 14 assists for the Rockets who lost their second straight game... Jeff Teague missed his second straight game with a strained left hamstring.
Rajon Rondo collects 6 points, 9 assists as Mavs rally past Spurs
The AP reports: DALLAS -- The star of Rajon Rondo's debut with the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday night was Monta Ellis -- the teammate whom the Mavericks hope helps Rondo form a lethal backcourt combination that will make them championship contenders.
Ellis equaled his season high with 38 points, including 11 during the final four minutes, as the Mavericks rallied late to beat the depleted San Antonio Spurs 99-93. Ellis broke a 93-93 tie with a driving basket with 1:48 to play to give Dallas the lead for good. He hit 15-of-23 from the field and made four steals... Rondo, the four-time All-Star who played his first eight-plus seasons with the Boston Celtics, scored six points on 3-for-11 shooting. Acquired Thursday in a multi-player trade, he had nine assists and seven rebounds... Marco Belinelli led San Antonio with 21 points. Aron Baynes added a career-high 16 points.
Gallinari leads Nuggets past Pacers, 76-73
The AP reports: DENVER -- On a rough shooting night for both teams, one solid offensive stretch late in the game helped the Denver Nuggets come out on top.
Danilo Gallinari scored 19 points, including a 3-pointer to spark the critical fourth-quarter run, and the Nuggets hung on to beat the Indiana Pacers 76-73 on Saturday night... Ty Lawson added 15 points and 10 assists for the Nuggets, who won games on successive nights after losing six of seven coming into the back-to-back set... David West had 19 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Pacers, who lost for the 10th time in 11 games. Indiana also dropped its sixth straight game in Denver.
Paul, Griffin lift Clippers over Bucks 106-102
The AP reports: LOS ANGELES -- The schedule maker hasn't been kind to the Los Angeles Clippers in December. Still, they have found a way to win some narrow victories against tough opponents.
Chris Paul scored nine of his 27 points in the final 4:04 and Blake Griffin added 24 to lead the Los Angeles Clippers to a 106-102 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night... Giannis Antetokounmpo led Milwaukee with 18 points and nine rebounds. The Bucks got double-digit scoring from four of their reserves. Dudley and Jerryd Bayless each had 16 points as the Bucks' bench outscored the Clippers' bench 59-23.
NBA DAILY FOR SATURDAY, DEC. 20
Recaps of NBA games played Friday
Favors, Hayward lead Jazz over Magic 101-94
The AP reports: ORLANDO, Fla. -- It took nearly two months, but the Utah Jazz finally has a winning streak going -- modest as it might be.
The Jazz rode 23 points from Derrick Favors and 20 from Gordon Hayward to a 101-94 win over the Orlando Magic.
The win comes two nights after beating Miami, giving the Jazz back-to-back victories for the first time this season. Enes Kanter had 11 points and seven rebounds and Trey Burke added 11 points and five assists for Utah... Tobias Harris led Orlando with 24 points and Evan Fournier 21. Harris and Fournier combined for 7 of 11 shooting from 3-point territory and Nik Vucevic added 16 points and nine rebounds, but it was not enough to prevent their fifth loss in six games.
Rookie Elfrid Payton came off the bench to score 11 points and get 11 assists. It was his first double-double of the season. He also helped hold Burke to 5-of-15 shooting for the night.
Walker, Jefferson lead Hornets past 76ers 109-91
The AP reports: PHILADELPHIA -- What Kemba Walker started, Al Jefferson made sure to finish.
Walker scored a season-high 30 points, Jefferson added 16 of his 20 in the second half, and the Charlotte Hornets snapped a four-game losing streak with a 109-91 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night... Tony Wroten and Robert Covington scored 19 apiece for the Sixers, who dropped to 0-14 at home this season. They're closing in on the NBA record for the most home losses to start a season, which is held by the 1993-94 Dallas Mavericks at 19.
Philadelphia point guard Michael Carter-Williams had 14 points and 10 assists, but the Sixers committed 24 turnovers that led to 35 Charlotte points
Celtics start post-Rondo era with win over Wolves
The AP reports: BOSTON -- Celtics coach Brad Stevens was curious how his team would play in its first game without Rajon Rondo.
Boston did just fine.
Moving the ball crisply one day after the NBA assists leader was traded to the Dallas Mavericks, the Celtics beat the struggling Minnesota Timberwolves 114-98 on Friday night... Kelly Olynyk scored 21 points to lead six Celtics in double figures during their third straight victory, all against teams that have combined for just 17 wins this season.
Minnesota was led by Shabazz Muhammad with 26 points and Chase Budinger with a season-high 19 off the bench.. Jeff Green added 18 points for Boston and Jared Sullinger, Tyler Zeller and Avery Bradley had 14 each. Sullinger led all rebounders with 10.
LeBron James moves up scoring list as Cavaliers top Nets
The AP reports: CLEVELAND -- Mike Miller made his coach look like a genius Friday night.
Miller, showing little rust from missing seven games with a concussion, scored 21 points on seven 3-pointers in his first start of the season, and the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Brooklyn Nets 95-91.
Cavaliers coach David Blatt's decision to start Miller, who missed one 3-pointer in eight attempts and played 33 minutes, paid off in a major way... LeBron James scored a team-high 22 points and moved into 23rd place on the all-time scoring list, but the four-time MVP credited Miller for the victory... Joe Johnson led the Nets with 26 points. Brooklyn guard Deron Williams limped off the court in the second quarter with a strained right calf and didn't return. Williams will have an MRI on Saturday.
Raptors hand Pistons 12th straight home loss
The AP reports: AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- The Toronto Raptors felt right at home at the Palace of Auburn Hills on Friday night.
The Raptors overcame a slow start to pull away in the second half and beat Detroit 110-100 on a night the Pistons' home arena was dominated by Canadian flags and chants of "We The North" and "Let's Go Raptors."
"That was incredible by our fans," said Jonas Valanciunas, who led a balanced Raptors offense with 17 points... Brandon Jennings scored 22 points to lead Detroit, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 18 and Greg Monroe added 17.
Kyle Lowry and Lou Williams had 15 points each, James Johnson scored 12, and Patrick Patterson and Terrence Ross added 11 each for the Raptors.
Wizards rally down stretch, top Heat 105-103
The AP reports: MIAMI -- One of the biggest reasons why Paul Pierce decided to join the Washington Wizards was because he thought they could be a contender if they learned how to finish games.
He might have been on to something.
John Wall scored 20 points and added 10 assists, Nene scored 20 off the bench and the Wizards rallied to beat the Miami Heat 105-103 on Friday night for their sixth straight win and 11th in their last 12 games... Bradley Beal scored 16 points and made the defensive play of the night by stealing a pass from Miami's Dwyane Wade in the final seconds, denying the Heat -- who lost their fifth straight at home -- a chance to possibly tie the game. Pierce added 14 for the Wizards.
Wade scored 28 points for Miami, which is now 4-9 at home. Luol Deng scored 19 points, Mario Chalmers had 14 and Udonis Haslem 11 for the Heat.
Jimmy Butler's 31 points, Nikola Mirotic's 6 3s lead Bulls over Grizzlies
The AP reports: MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Chicago rookie Nikola Mirotic left the locker room before the media could hear about his perfect shooting night from outside the arc.
The rest of the Bulls were willing to speak up in praising the reserve forward.
Mirotic scored a career-best 27 points, converting all six of his 3-pointers on Friday night. That, coupled with 31 points from Jimmy Butler, helped the Bulls beat the Grizzlies 103-97 on Friday night, snapping Memphis' six-game winning streak... Aaron Brooks scored 17 points and Joakim Noah finished with 10 points and 13 rebounds as the Bulls outrebounded Memphis 51-45.
Mike Conley led Memphis with 21 points, while Beno Udrih added 15 points before leaving with a hand injury in the fourth quarter. Marc Gasol had 13 points, but was 5-of-15 from the field -- part of Memphis shooting 39 percent for the game. Vince Carter scored 10 points for Memphis.
Damian Lillard (43 points), Blazers send Spurs to 2nd straight 3OT loss
The AP reports: SAN ANTONIO -- The Portland Trail Blazers know firsthand how cold and methodical the veteran San Antonio Spurs can be when they have a team in trouble.
So when the defending champions failed to close out the Blazers in the first two overtimes, Portland point guard Damian Lillard had a simple message for his teammates.
"Step on them," Lillard said. Lillard provided the boot, scoring a career-high 43 points, including 16 after regulation, as the Trail Blazers handed the Spurs their second straight defeat in triple overtime by rallying for a 129-119 victory Friday night.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 32 points and 16 rebounds, and Wesley Matthews added 16 points as Portland (21-6) extended its winning streak to four games... Danny Green had 27 points and Tiago Splitter scored 14 for San Antonio (17-10).
Nuggets hang on to beat Clippers 109-106
The AP reports: DENVER -- After the Denver Nuggets blew a big lead, Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler were there to help bail them out.
Chandler and Gallinari hit successive 3-pointers late in the fourth quarter, and the Nuggets recovered after squandering a 16-point halftime lead to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 109-106 on Friday night... Nate Robinson scored 20 points off the bench to lead the Nuggets, who snapped a three-game losing streak... Blake Griffin had his second 30-point performance in a row, finishing with 32 for the Clippers, who have dropped their last three games on the road.
Jamal Crawford added 20 points and Chris Paul had 17 points and 15 assists.
Kevin Durant-less Thunder hold off Lakers as Kobe misses at buzzer
The AP reports: LOS ANGELES -- Although Russell Westbrook grew up watching Kobe Bryant sink innumerable enormous shots for the Lakers, the Los Angeles native didn't worry when No. 24 had the ball with the game on the line against his Oklahoma City Thunder... Westbrook scored 31 points and hit a key jumper with 38 seconds left, and Oklahoma City overcame the NBA MVP's absence for a 104-103 victory Friday night.
Bryant missed a 17-foot jumper right before the buzzer, the culmination of his 3-for-15 shooting night under the defense of Andre Roberson and his teammates.
Reggie Jackson scored 25 points and hit the go-ahead free throws with 1:05 left for the Thunder, who persevered down the stretch for their eighth victory in nine games... Ed Davis had a season-high 18 points and nine rebounds for the Lakers.