From The Associated Press
Dillon Brooks scored 30 points and the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Phoenix Suns 122-114 in a matchup between the top two teams in the NBA on Friday night, extending their winning streak to seven.
Brooks turned a three-point game into an eight-point lead with 32 seconds remaining, and the losing Grizzlies held on to end the Suns’ nine-game winning streak. Ziaire Williams scored 19 points for Memphis and De’Anthony Melton added 17, including six straight free throws in the last 20 seconds.
Devin Booker led the Suns with 41 points while Mikal Bridges added 18. Cameron Payne finished with 11 for Phoenix.
The Suns have secured the top spot and the Grizzlies have secured second place in the Western Conference. Memphis secured their place with Wednesday’s win in San Antonio and took the opportunity on Friday to ease some players’ pain or treat previous injuries.
Joining top scorer Ja Morant, who has missed the last seven games with a sore right knee, are guard Desmond Bane (left ankle pain), center Steven Adams (left calf pain), Tyus Jones (left hand pain) and Forward Jaren Jackson Jr. (right thigh injury management) all took the night off.
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — CJ McCollum scored 32 points, Brandon Ingram added 29 against his former team and New Orleans spoiled Anthony Davis’ return from injury with another rally in the fourth quarter in a win over Los Angeles.
Jonas Valanciunas had 17 points and 12 rebounds for the ninth-place Pelicans, who won for the sixth time in eight games and dealt the second big blow in five days to the Lakers’ hopes of getting into the play-in tournament.
New Orleans defeated Los Angeles 116-108 at home last weekend after recovering from a 23-point deficit, and the Pelicans swept the season series with this comeback on the road.
LeBron James missed a 3-pointer on the buzzer and scored just two of his 38 points in the fourth quarter for the Lakers (31-46), who have lost five in a row and 15 of 19 to a game behind San Antonio in 10th place to lie (32-45), holding the tiebreak.
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Robert Covington posted a career-high 43 points and shot 11 of 18 from 3-point range to help hot-shooting Los Angeles beat Milwaukee while each team rested their top players.
Amir Coffey also had a career-high with 32 points for the Clippers and had a career-high with seven assists and six rebounds. The Clippers shot 60.9% from the floor and 23 of 43 from 3-point range in the highest-scoring game in franchise history.
Both teams had games going into overtime on Thursday night, with the Bucks winning 120-119 in Brooklyn and the Clippers losing 135-130 in Chicago. The only starter from those two games who played all Friday was Clippers center Ivica Zubac.
Among the players who sat out Friday were Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday, and the Clippers’ Paul George, Reggie Jackson and Marcus Morris.
BOSTON (AP) — Jaylen Brown had 32 points and Jayson Tatum had 31 to help Boston stop a rare late-season stumble and beat Indiana.
The Pacers lost their sixth straight game despite getting 30 points from Tyrese Haliburton before he fouled Indiana early in the fourth quarter from a 103-101 deficit. The Pacers were staying close, down 124-120, when Al Horford saw Tatum come down the lane for a dunk that all but sealed Boston’s win.
Horford scored 17 points with 10 rebounds for the Celtics, who won 24 of 28 games before losing to Toronto on Monday night without four of their starters. They followed that up with a loss to Miami on Wednesday – the first time they’ve lost back-to-back games in two months as they climbed from under .500 to the top of the Eastern Conference standings.
Oshae Brissett and Jalen Smith each scored 17 points for the Pacers.
WOODWOLVES 136, NUGGETS 130
DENVER (AP) — Karl-Anthony Towns scored 32 points and Minnesota overcame Nikola Jokic’s performance with 38 points and 19 rebounds in a win over Denver.
D’Angelo Russell added 24 points and Anthony Edwards scored half of his 18 points with a trio of clutch 3-pointers in the closing minutes to help Wolves stave off Denver’s comeback.
Jokic also had eight assists, two just short of a triple-double. Aaron Gordon hit 24, including a reverse alley oop dunk, and Monte Morris had 23.
The Timberwolves (44-34) are still long shots to avoid a play-in scenario, but they gave themselves a shot by winning three of four in the season series with Denver (46-32) playing a half game the Northwest Division fell behind Utah.
SPURS 130, TRAIL BLAZERS 111
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Devin Vassell had 22 points, Keldon Johnson added 21 points and San Antonio maintained its 10th-place finish in the Western Conference by beating Portland.
Dejounte Murray, San Antonio’s all-star point guard, suffered a late scratch due to an upper respiratory illness not caused by COVID-19.
The Spurs had eight players who scored in double digits, including Zach Collins with 15 points and career-best five assists against his former team.
Portland, which lost its sixth episode, was led by Keon Johnson by 20 points. Brandon Williams had 17 points for Portland.
WIZARDS 135, MAVERICKS 103
WASHINGTON (AP) — Kristaps Porzingis had 24 points and nine rebounds in his first game against his former team and helped Washington defeat Dallas.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had a season-high 35 points and Rui Hachimura added 21 for Washington, who won for the fourth time in five games despite being eliminated from the playoffs a day earlier.
Luka Doncic had 36 points, seven rebounds and six assists for Dallas, which was a half-game behind Golden State for third-place finish in the Western Conference. Jalen Brunson had 21 points for the Mavericks, who have already secured a playoff berth but haven’t gone over .500 in more than 20 games for the first time since their 2010-11 title season.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Fred VanVleet and Scottie Barnes each scored 19 points, Pascal Siakam added 16 points and 11 rebounds and Toronto beat Orlando for a fifth straight game.
Gary Trent Jr. finished with 17 points for Toronto, which utilized 21 Orlando turnovers.
Mo Bamba had 15 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks for the Magic, who lost their fifth straight game.
HOUSTON (AP) — Harrison Barnes scored 25 points and Sacramento beat Houston for the second time in three days.
For Sacramento, Damian Jones had 17 points, 17 rebounds and six blocks, Donte DiVincenzo had 19, and Chimezie Metu had 18. Barnes made 10 of 16 from the field, including 4 of 6 from 3-point range.
Houston rookie Jalen Green posted a career-high 33 points and had six 3-pointers. He came off a 32-point night on Wednesday and topped 20 points for a fifth straight game.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Killian Hayes posted a career-high 26 points and Frank Jackson also had 26 to lead Detroit in a matchup of teams at the bottom of NBA standings against Oklahoma City.
On the second night of a back-to-back, Pistons regulars Cade Cunningham, Isaiah Stewart and Saddiq Bey started the game but stopped playing midway through the first quarter.
Theo Maledon led the Thunder with 28 points. Jaylen Hoard, who was called up from the G-League on Friday, scored 11 points and 20 rebounds in his first NBA start of his career.
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