NBA: NBA roundup: Nikola Jokic, Nuggets edge Pelicans in final seconds


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Nikola Jokic had a triple-double and scored the winning basket with 16 seconds left as the visiting Denver Nuggets defeated the New Orleans Pelicans 99-98 on Tuesday night.

Jokic, returning from a two-game absence due to hamstring tightness, finished with 25 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. Jamal Murray also scored 25 points and Bruce Brown and Aaron Gordon scored 11 apiece for the Nuggets, who won for the 10th time in 11 games.

CJ McCollum scored 20 points, Jose Alvarado had 17, Jonas Valanciunas had 14, Willy Hernangomez added 12 and Trey Murphy III and Larry Nance Jr. each had 10 for the Pelicans, who lost their season-worst fifth straight game.

Hernangomez made two free throws with 36 seconds left to give the Pelicans a 98-97 lead, but Jokic answered with a jump hook from the lane. The Pelicans missed three shots in the final six seconds.

Heat 98, Celtics 95

Bam Adebayo had 30 points — including the go-ahead jumper in the lane with 20.4 seconds left — to lead host Miami over Boston.

Adebayo also grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds as Miami won without its leading scorer, Jimmy Butler, who sat due to back stiffness. The Heat have won five straight home games, including the victory over the Celtics, who entered the game with the best record in the NBA.

Jayson Tatum led Boston with 31 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists. Derrick White added 23 points for the Celtics, who blew a 14-point third-quarter lead.

Clippers 133, Lakers 115

Paul George scored 27 points and Kawhi Leonard added 25 points and nine rebounds as the visiting Los Angeles Clippers continued their dominance over the rival Los Angeles Lakers.

The Clippers won despite Lakers star LeBron James putting up 46 points, two off his season high, as well as eight rebounds and seven assists. James became the first player in NBA history to have a 40-point game against every NBA franchise. James now has 38,210 career points, leaving him 177 behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s all-time NBA-leading point total.

The Clippers led 111-93 with 8:23 remaining before the Lakers went on a 10-2 run to pull within 113-103 with 6:46 left. However, an 8-0 run, with five points from Leonard, had the Clippers back up 121-103 with 5:07 remaining, and the Lakers then went to their reserves on the first night of a back-to-back.

Wizards 127, Mavericks 126

Kyle Kuzma made one of two free throws with five seconds left and finished with 30 points as visiting Washington edged Dallas.

Bradley Beal scored 22 points, Deni Avdija added 15 points and 10 rebounds and Corey Kispert had 14 points for Washington, which sealed the victory on a Delon Wright steal of Luka Doncic’s pass with 1.2 seconds left.

Doncic led the Mavericks with 41 points and 15 rebounds, while Dwight Powell scored a season-high 22 points. Spencer Dinwiddie contributed 20 points, Josh Green scored 16 and Dorian Finney-Smith added 12.

Knicks 105, Cavaliers 103

Julius Randle collected 36 points and 13 rebounds and hit the tiebreaking 3-pointer with 2:07 remaining as host New York avoided another late collapse in a victory over Cleveland.

After a layup by Evan Mobley with 2:29 left forged a 100-100 tie, Randle made an open look from beyond the top of the key as Jalen Brunson screened off Cleveland center Jarrett Allen. That made it 103-100, and then the Knicks sweated out the finish. RJ Barrett added 16 points while Brunson was held to 14 on 5-of-13 shooting, but the Knicks shot 49.3 percent despite that and snapped a four-game losing streak.

Allen tied a season high with 24 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, while Darius Garland added 22 points as Cleveland lost for the third time in four games. Donovan Mitchell nearly willed the Cavs to the comeback win by scoring nine of his 24 points in the fourth. After sitting out three games with a groin injury, he shot 9 of 24 and added eight rebounds, eight assists and four steals.

Pacers 116, Bulls 110

Bennedict Mathurin and Myles Turner both scored 26 points, T.J. McConnell went for 20 points and 10 assists and Indiana rallied past Chicago in the fourth quarter in Indianapolis to snap a seven-game losing streak.

The Pacers came into Tuesday’s tilt having last won on Jan. 8, with six of their seven straight losses coming with Tyrese Haliburton sidelined by injury. Chicago appeared poised to send Indiana to its eighth consecutive defeat, never trailing for the first three-plus quarters and building an advantage of as many as 21 points.

DeMar DeRozan paced the Bulls with a game-high 33 points. But after leading most of the way, Chicago saw its advantage slip away during a 36-23 fourth quarter. Indiana held the Bulls to 10-of-21 shooting from the floor in the final period, including 0-for-5 from 3-point range.

Suns 128, Hornets 97

Cameron Johnson poured in 24 points as Phoenix blew out visiting Charlotte in a matchup of teams missing key players because of injuries.

Johnson, who didn’t score in the fourth quarter, was 9-for-11 from the field, going 6-for-7 on 3-pointers. The Suns drained 22 shots and shot 55 percent from 3-point range. Dario Saric had 19 points off the Phoenix bench, while Mikal Bridges supplied 18.

Terry Rozier, who made four of his team’s 3-point shots, scored 19 points to lead Charlotte in scoring for the fourth game in a row. Mason Plumlee notched 17 points and Jalen McDaniels provided 15 points and 10 rebounds. The Hornets were again without guards LaMelo Ball (ankle, wrist) and Cody Martin (hamstring), while Gordon Hayward (left hamstring) was a late scratch. Rookie guard Bryce McGowens scored five points in his first career start.

–Field Level Media


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