|Sunday, November 19, 2017|
|National Basketball Assoc.|
|Pistons||vs.||Timberwolves||7:00 (EST) Preview|
Timberwolves developing into winners, get Pistons next
Saturday, November 18 at 2:14 PM (EST)
MINNEAPOLIS -- In recent seasons, the Minnesota Timberwolves would not have won games like they did on Friday against Dallas.
The Wolves fell behind big to the Mavericks before mounting a comeback to run away with a 111-87 win. Minnesota scored 68 points in the second half and erased a 13-point third-quarter deficit. The 3-pointer was big for the Timberwolves as they hit a season-high 13 shots from downtown.
Minnesota teams of old seemed to be on the opposite end of that in past years, building big leads before watching them disappear. Friday's win was another sign that this is a different Timberwolves squad, one that now sits at 10-5 heading into Sunday's matchup with Detroit.
"We knew we played poorly in the first half," Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau told the Minneapolis Star Tribune after Friday's comeback. "The second half, the biggest adjustment wasn't schematic. It was intensity, us bringing the right intensity to the game. And once we did that, it changed."
The Pistons, meanwhile, come into Sunday's game in Minneapolis having just experienced the exact opposite of what the Timberwolves did. Detroit led by as many as 22 points in Friday's game against the Indiana Pacers before falling 107-100.
That loss dropped the Pistons to the same 10-5 mark as Minnesota. Detroit now tries to bounce back from blowing a double-digit lead on Friday, which also marked the first time this season the Pistons have lost back-to-back games.
"That's a game we should've won," Pistons forward Tobias Harris told the Detroit Free Press. "It's disappointing. In the locker room, everyone's upset."
Minnesota's early success has been a result of balanced scoring, as was evident again Friday. All five starters scored at least 10 points -- and all are averaging double-digit points per game this season -- while veteran Jamal Crawford scored a dozen off the bench.
Harris has been Detroit's top scorer through 15 games, averaging 19.3 points per contest. The Pistons have been stingier defensively than Minnesota, though, allowing 101.5 points per game to the Wolves' 107.5 points per game.
These same two teams already played once this season Oct. 25. Minnesota dropped that road game by a 122-101 margin. Harris led the way with a career-high 34-point effort for Detroit, which dominated Minnesota in fast break points in that game (24-0).
That was one of two games that Wolves veteran guard Jimmy Butler missed due to an upper respiratory infection. Minnesota was 0-2 without Butler in the lineup but is 10-3 this year with Butler active.
"When we're playing defense, we're going to score enough points," Butler told the Star Tribune after Friday's win. "When we guard, get stops and stop taking ball out of the net every possession down, we're a much better team."
Minnesota's 10-5 record is tied for the best 15-game start in franchise history. The last time the Wolves got off to a start that good was 2004-05. That year's Minnesota club missed out on the playoffs, though, starting a 13-year postseason drought. The current Timberwolves are on the right track to ending that playoff skid.
|Bulls||vs.||Suns||8:00 (EST) Preview|
Suns, Bulls meet after feel-good victories
Saturday, November 18 at 3:18 PM (EST)
PHOENIX -- It has been a challenging season for the building programs in Chicago and Phoenix, but they will meet Sunday on a high.
For the first time this year, the two had victories on the same day Friday -- the Suns beat the Lakers for the first time in three meetings and the Bulls held off Charlotte to break a five-game losing streak.
The Suns (6-11) will play host to the Bulls (3-10) in the first of two meetings between the teams in 10 days. The Bulls will host the rematch Nov. 28.
One game after scoring only seven points in the first quarter of a 92-79 loss to Oklahoma City, the Bulls scored 40 points in the fourth period to overtake the Hornets 123-120. New dad Justin Holiday had 27 points, two short of a career high, and Kris Dunn had a career-high 22.
"I'm just thankful and blessed to be able to have a child that's healthy and still have this job at the end of the day," Holiday told reporters. "I'm good."
Bulls rookie forward Lauri Markkanen, who declared for the NBA Draft after one year at the University of Arizona, is averaging 14.8 points and 7.6 rebounds a game. He is fifth among rookies in scoring and second in rebounding.
Markkanen had 16 points against the Hornets, and his two free throws with 2.6 seconds remaining were the final points.
"If we keep going out there playing hard together, keep building that chemistry ... I think we're going to carry it on to the next game," Dunn told reporters.
The Suns beat new/old nemesis the Lakers 122-113 at the Staples Center on Friday after losing twice at home to Lonzo Ball and company earlier, losses that appeared to have left a mark.
"After dropping the first two games, we knew we were going in with a must-win mentality, that we want to punch first and win," Suns guard Devin Booker told reporters. "I think we did that."
Booker scored 33 points and make six 3-pointers, and point guard Tyler Ulis had a season-high 16 points with seven assists in his fourth start of the season. That came a day after a 142-116 loss to Houston in which the Suns gave up 90 points in the first half, tied for the second-most points given up in one half in NBA history.
"With Devin playing the way he is, getting another 30, you have to pay attention to him, and it creates space for everyone else," Phoenix interim coach Jay Triano told reporters. "Some of our guys really stepped up and made tough shots when they had to, or got to the free throw line."
The Suns' previous losses to the Lakers were by two and seven points. In the second one, Booker had words with the Lakers' bench when he fell to the floor in front of the bench after missing a 3-point attempt in the final minute. This time, Ulis and Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope engaged in a serious shoving match with about three minutes remaining.
"We understand that those were two games that we definitely should have won," Ulis said. "You know we wanted to come out and prove that we should have won both of those games and win the next matchup as well."
Newcomer Greg Monroe has started the last two games at center for the Suns in place of Tyson Chandler, who was sidelined by an infectious respiratory illness. Monroe had 20 points and 11 rebounds in his first start against Houston but had only six points while playing 16 minutes against the Lakers.
There is speculation that the Suns are attempting to trade him to relieve a logjam at center that includes Chandler and Alex Len. Len had 17 points and 18 rebounds against the Lakers.
|Nuggets||vs.||Lakers||9:30 (EST) Preview|
Lakers look to slow down Nuggets offense
Sunday, November 19 at 2:33 AM (EST)
LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Lakers will try to slow a team coming off a high-scoring performance when they host the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center on Sunday evening.
The Nuggets defeated the visiting New Orleans Pelicans 146-114 on Friday night, the most points scored by an NBA team this season.
The Lakers are coming off a 122-113 home loss to the Phoenix Suns on Friday, a day after the Houston Rockets scored a 142-116 victory over the Sun.
The Lakers have allowed at least 115 points in each of their past two games.
"As a team, the past two games, we haven't done well defensively," said Lakers rookie forward Kyle Kuzma, who scored a season-high 30 points against the Suns, including 28 in the second half. "It's an area that we need to address. Our identity is to be a defensive team, and the past two games are unacceptable to us."
Denver's scoring output against the Pelicans was its most in a regulation game in nearly 10 years, and lifted its season-scoring average to 108.5, tied for eighth in the league with the Philadelphia 76ers, who beat the Lakers 115-109 on Wednesday night at Staples Center.
"When everybody touches the ball and we get a lot of open looks, we're really hard to guard," said Denver point guard Jamal Murray, who scored 31 points against New Orleans. "It's great team basketball."
The key for the Nuggets seems to be finding consistency in their offense. The game before their scoring explosion, they were held to 82 points in a 17-point loss at the Portland Trail Blazers, the same number of points they put up in the second half against the Pelicans.
Having shooting guard Gary Harris back in the lineup should help with consistency. He missed two games with a shoulder injury before returning against the Pelicans and scoring 22 points on 9-for-11 shooting.
A key matchup Sunday will be in the middle between Nikola Jokic of the Nuggets and Brook Lopez of the Lakers.
Jokic showed his value in the two games at Staples Center last season. He had 29 points and 15 rebounds in a 127-121 victory on Jan. 17, then missed the next game two weeks later with a hip flexor injury and the Nuggets lost 120-116.
The Lakers had Timofey Mozgov at center during that stretch, but have upgraded to Lopez this season, and he's made a big difference.
Lopez is tied for second on the team in scoring at 15.1 points, and his 3-point shooting ability has helped spread the floor and open space in the lanes for the athletic guards and forwards on the Lakers.
Lopez is averaging just 4.9 rebounds, but has reached double figures in that category in two of the past three games.
Lakers coach Luke Walton has seen similar improvement across the board on his roster.
"The important thing for us is that we learn from our mistakes," he said. "We keep our head up, we keep working and grinding away to get where we all want to be."
|Wizards||vs.||Raptors||3:30 (EST) Preview|
Wizards may be without Wall (knee) vs. Raptors
Sunday, November 19 at 2:04 AM (EST)
TORONTO -- The Washington Wizards defeated the Toronto Raptors once already this season without All-Star guard John Wall.
There is a chance on Sunday that the Wizards will have to try to do it again at the Air Canada Centre.
Wall, who scored only eight points in the 91-88 loss to the Miami Heat on Friday when he played with a swollen left knee, is listed as day to day.
When he was asked after the loss to the Heat about his status for the game Sunday, Wall said: "I don?t know. Depends on how I feel tonight and how I feel (Saturday)."
Wall missed the first meeting between the teams Nov. 5, also in Toronto, with a sprained left shoulder and the Wizards won 107-96 with Bradley Beal scoring 38 points.
The Raptors lost guard Kyle Lowry in that game with 8:08 to play in the first half when he was ejected for being assessed two quick technical fouls.
Wall said he does not know when the fluid buildup on the knee that he has experienced for nearly a week will subside.
"I mean, it just came up out of nowhere," Wall said. "It was feeling good and then it just popped up. I trust my training staff and those guys and our doctors to do what's best for me and they'll tell me if I need to sit and what I need to do to get it back right. I've been preparing myself by doing all of the exercises and corrective work they want me to do, so I'm just going to stick with the plan I've been doing."
The Raptors (10-5) are dealing with their own injuries.
Delon Wright is out with a dislocated right shoulder sustained in the win over the New Orleans Pelicans Wednesday and will be examined by a specialist next week, Norman Powell has missed three games with a right hip pointer and Serge Ibaka missed the 107-84 win over the New York Knicks Friday because of a swollen left knee.
Powell is listed as doubtful and Ibaka is listed as questionable.
Players like Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, rookie OG Anunoby, Jakob Poeltl and Lucas Nogueira have picked up the slack.
They were factors in the Raptors holding the Knicks to 33 percent in shooting from the field on Friday.
Raptors coach Dwane Casey said he is not reluctant to give younger players significant minutes, and is not prone to taking them out of a game after a mistake.
"If you know me, I don't coach that way," Casey said. "If a guy can play whether that is half a year of college basketball and he is able to produce, then he can play. I don't care if he's from Mars or the moon, if he is young or old; if a guy can produce he is going to play. Our young guys are playing and producing and, so they will continue to play."
The injuries have been a test of the Raptors depth. So far, it has proven to be a strength.
"It is great," Poeltl said. "We have three guys out right now who are usually a big part of our rotations, its hard coming in and not playing much and then having to step up. We have a lot of players who are ready to play, and I think we showed it (Friday)."
In their loss Friday, the Wizards (9-6) were behind 50-29 after the first half and came back in the second half when Beal scored 22 of his 26 points. Wall scored all his points in the fourth quarter.
"We didn't make shots," Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. "We got down on ourselves. When we got down on ourselves, we put our heads down instead of running back and making up for it on the other end. The stats basically tell you that. They had 19 fast-break points in the first half."
The Wizards shot only 28.6 percent from the field in the first half. It was their lowest scoring first half since March 23, 2015, when they scored 27 against the Golden State Warriors.
The Wizards, who have won four of their past five games overall, are 4-2 on the road this season.
The Raptors are 5-1 at home and have won three straight overall, including two on the road against New Orleans and the Houston Rockets.
Toronto guard DeMar DeRozan has scored at least 22 points in each of his last eight games.
|Pacers||vs.||Heat||5:00 (EST) Preview|
Heat, Pacers meet coming off wins
Sunday, November 19 at 1:45 AM (EST)
MIAMI -- They say timing is everything, and if that's true, Sunday's game between the Indiana Pacers and the Miami Heat just got more interesting.
Both the Heat (7-8) and Pacers (8-8) came up with impressive wins on Friday night, beating teams ahead of them in the Eastern Conference standings.
Miami, which has won six straight home games against Indiana, defeated the Washington Wizards, building a 25-point lead before holding on for a 91-88 victory.
Indiana won the opposite way, starting slowly but finishing strong, overcoming a 22-point deficit in a 107-100 win over the red-hot Detroit Pistons.
"Tonight you saw a team that didn't give up," Pacers coach Nate McMillan told the Indianapolis Star after Indiana's comeback win. "(We) battled and flipped the switch on Detroit."
The Heat looked bad down the stretch, but they were not about to give this win back, especially when they held Washington Wizards star point guard John Wall to just eight points.
"Our defense is tighter, and our penetrators are getting in the paint," said Heat center Hassan Whiteside when asked by Sun Sports for the key to the victory that snapped a two-game losing streak. "We are not settling for jump shots."
Whiteside was huge for Miami, posting his seventh double-double in just 10 games this season. He had 22 points, 16 rebounds and two blocks, making 10 of 12 shots from the floor.
"Hassan came to play, and that started with film study and practice," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra told the media. "He's getting better every week, and he is proving it with his play."
While the Heat were beating Washington, Indiana was relying on reserve guard Lance Stephenson, who scored all 13 points of his points in the fourth quarter against Detroit.
"I just wanted to win so bad," Stephenson said after his big finish.
The Pacers outscored Detroit 36-19 in the fourth quarter, making 6 of 7 3-pointers.
Shooting guard Victor Oladipo, new to the Pacers this season, was another key against the Pistons, posting 21 points, 15 rebounds, four assists, one steal and one block in a stellar 39-minute, all-around effort.
Oladipo leads Indiana in scoring (23.1), and he now prepares for his matchup against Heat shooting guard Dion Waiters (16.3). Both are 6-foot-4, and both are 25 years old. Oladipo is having the better season so far, but Waiters is a very proud player who won't back down from a challenge.
Whiteside (16.3 points, 14.1 rebounds) against Pacers center Myles Turner (13.0 points, 8.0 rebounds) could be a featured matchup as well. Turner has scored in double figures in six of the seven games he has played since returning from a concussion.
At point guard, Miami's Goran Dragic is the better scorer (19.0). But Indiana's Darren Collison (13.0 scoring average) ranks fourth in the NBA in assist-to-turnover ratio (4.5).
Bench play will likely be a major factor, too.
Miami's James Johnson, one of the key players in that Heat bench brigade, snapped out of a recent slump by scoring 20 points against Washington on Friday. He also had five rebounds and four assists in 31 minutes.
"That wasn't my character the past few games," Johnson told the media when asked about his recent slump.
Spoelstra said he was impressed that Johnson "stepped in front of all of you (the media) and took responsibility (for Miami's uneven play of late). He didn't need to do that, but that's a great sign of leadership."
Both teams are relatively healthy.
Indiana is without 6-7 depth forward Glenn Robinson III, who is a good 3-point shooter but is out until at least until mid-February due to surgery on his left ankle.
Miami is without depth forwards Rodney McGruder and Okaro White.
|Warriors||vs.||Nets||6:00 (EST) Preview|
Nets may lose home-court edge vs. Warriors
Sunday, November 19 at 3:15 AM (EST)
NEW YORK -- DeMarre Carroll knows the stands at Barclays Center will be filled even if a significant portion of the crowd is rooting for the visiting team.
Still, Carroll believes the Brooklyn Nets will be ready for the challenge of facing the Golden State Warriors on Sunday.
"Love it," Carroll said. "Like I tell all these guys, this is what you live for. It's going to be a packed house. We don't know how many of them -- Brooklyn Nets fans -- we'll have. But at the end of the day, this is where you show and improve. Just like we did against Cleveland, everybody doubted us and counted us out, but we gotta go out and show who we are."
Those were Carroll's comments after the Nets played arguably their most complete game of the season in a 118-107 win over the Utah Jazz. The Nets shot a season-high 50.8 percent, led for the final 41-plus minutes and by as much as 22, setting up the excitement of facing the defending champions.
Those words were spoken about 24 hours before the Warriors pulled off the largest comeback in the NBA this season by rallying from 24 points down to get a 124-116 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers. The Warriors are heading to Brooklyn after allowing 47 points in the first quarter and, also producing a 47-point third quarter.
"We just didn't compete, I think our guys just felt like they had to get out there and start playing and they did," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "And obviously, it was an incredible third quarter."
Kerr made similar comments the last time the Warriors were in Brooklyn on Dec. 22. They trailed by 16 at halftime but dominated the third quarter and handed the Nets a 117-101 loss.
The differences between Golden State's last visit to Brooklyn were two drastically different performances by Stephen Curry. In the last meeting at Brooklyn, Curry was 6 of 19 but Saturday, he scored 20 of 35 points in the third quarter.
"It took us 24 minutes to get there," Curry said, "But we found a way to give ourselves some life -- and off to the races from there."
Golden State's impressive comeback was its seventh win in eight games. It also was the Warriors' fourth when trailing by at least 15 points, two shy of last season's total.
"The communication was on a different level coming into that third quarter," Warriors forward Kevin Durant said. "It was just like a perfect storm. We don't want to have to do that every night, but it was good that we came out and played with a different level of energy and intensity."
While hoping not to experience the same fate as Philadelphia, the Nets will be attempting to get consecutive wins for the second time this season. They also will be curious to see if Spencer Dinwiddie can come close to replicating the best game of his career.
Dinwiddie is the starting point guard until D'Angelo Russell returns from arthroscopic knee surgery.
On Friday, Dinwiddie totaled 25 points, eight assists while hitting six 3-pointers and not committing a turnover. He was the first player in franchise history to produce such a game and Dinwiddie shot 9 of 14, including 6 of 10 from 3 to set career highs in field goals and 3-pointers.
The 24-year-old, whom the Nets signed Dec. 8, is averaging 16 points in four starts on 46.8 percent shooting. Overall, Dinwiddie is averaging 11 points, 5.6 assists and shooting 44.6 percent from 3-point range.
Before Friday, Dinwiddie's previous career high was 22 in a 112-107 win over Cleveland on Oct. 25. The Nets are 3-7 since beating the Cavaliers, whom like the Warriors will visit Brooklyn on the second night of a back-to-back.
Besides seeing if Dinwiddie can produce another steady offensive showing, the Nets will be curious to see how he fares defensively against Curry, who is averaging 23.2 points in 14 games against the Nets.
"With anybody, especially with great scorers, there has to be some level of help," Dinwiddie told reporters after practice Saturday. "Obviously you have to pick (Curry) up a lot further out than most people and be cognizant of him off the ball because he's a great mover off the ball. His gravity that he creates on offense is second to none, but you've got to stick to your principles. Boston got a win by doing that. That's what we're looking to try to do."
The last time the Nets hosted the Warriors, they struggled to contain Durant. Durant scored 17 of his 26 points after halftime with 11 of those points coming during a 39-point third quarter that resembled what unfolded in Philadelphia Saturday.
Durant is averaging 25.8 points in 15 games against the Nets and among those tasked with defending him is Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.
"He's a scoring champion, so it's our job to come out and make everything tough," Hollis-Jefferson said. "He makes tough shots all the time. That's his game. So, we'll live with those fadeaways and step-backs but make sure you make him work for every point."
The Warriors are 8-2 in the last 10 meetings against the Nets and 11-5 since Curry entered the league in 2009.
|Saturday, November 18, 2017|
|National Basketball Assoc.|
Hornets bust out of six-game skid with win over Clippers
Saturday, November 18 at 10:43 PM (EST)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Charlotte Hornets were desperate to snap a six-game losing streak, and their desperation showed on Saturday night.
The Hornets clearly outworked the reeling Los Angeles Clippers, and the result was a 102-87 victory at the Spectrum Center.
Kemba Walker scored 26 points, including all 10 in a 10-0 run in the final three minutes that allowed Charlotte to pull away for good.
This was an all-around team effort with more intensity than the Hornets have shown perhaps all season.
"We tried harder tonight," Hornets coach Steve Clifford said. "Tried harder. Everything starts with the right intensity, the right concentration. I mean, right from the very beginning, whether we won or lost tonight, it was totally different, for whatever reason. We have struggled to put 48 minutes together, but I would say tonight, other than the Denver game, was the most consistent our play has been."
The Hornets (6-9) had only won by double figures twice all season, with its last such victory coming in a 110-93 decision over Denver on Oct. 25.
"We stayed with the game," Walker said. "When they made their run we didn't panic, we put our heads down. We stayed together. We made plays that we were able to finish the game on. That was a big win for us. We really needed that win and hopefully we can keep pushing forward."
Walker, who erupted for 47 on Friday night in a loss at Chicago, was originally listed as questionable because of a left wrist sprain. But he played 36 minutes, and he was at his best with the game on the line.
He hit a 3-pointer to push a 90-85 lead to 93-85 with 2:48 remaining. Then he hit two free throws apiece on the Hornets' next two possessions to push the lead to 97-85. Then came the dagger, another 3-pointer to push the lead to 100-85 with 58.5 seconds remaining.
Walker finished the night 6 of 9 from 3-point range.
"I'm just playing the game," Walker said. "Whenever I get a chance to create space and get a good look, I try my best to knock it down. That's really it. I try to play the game the right way and I try to help my teammates play well."
The Hornets also got 16 points and 16 rebounds from Dwight Howard. Jeremy Lamb scored 17 off the bench, Nicolas Batum had 12 points and seven assists, and Marvin Williams scored 10.
The Clippers (5-10) lost their eighth straight.
Lou Williams came off the bench to lead the Clippers with 25 points. Blake Griffin scored 19, and DeAndre Jordan finished with 10 points and 14 rebounds. But the Clippers shot just 39.8 percent from the field, with Austin Rivers going 3 of 14.
"This was a bad one for us," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. "I don't think we played very well. Overall this is a tough stretch to go through and I think overall we have played pretty hard and pretty well. Tonight we were bad. I thought we allowed our individual play, if you're not playing well, to seep into the team play. I thought we were selfish as far as moving the ball and playing together. This is the first game that I am not happy as a coach. I can take even losing poorly if you play right, and I just don't think we played right tonight."
Austin Rivers said: "We are going to win games. We're too good to keep losing. We're going to get guys back. But even without guys, I'm tired of waiting on someone else to get back. We should be winning games anyway, but we're not. We've got to figure something out."
NOTES: Both teams were playing on the second night of back-to-backs. The Hornets lost at Chicago 123-120 on Friday and the Clippers fell at Cleveland 118-113 in overtime. ... Hornets G Kemba Walker's 47 points at Chicago were a franchise record for most points scored in a road game. ... The Hornets were without G Julyan Stone (strained left hamstring). ... The Clippers were without G Patrick Beverley (sore right knee), F Danilo Gallinari (strained left glute) and PG Milos Teodosic (strained left foot). ... The Clippers are now 0-5 this season against Eastern Conference opponents. ... The Hornets hadn't beaten the Clippers since 2014, losing six straight in that span. ... Hornets coach Steve Clifford changed his rotation, playing PG Michael Carter-Williams 14 minutes and giving G Malik Monk a DNP-CD. ... The Clippers were playing the second game on a five-game road trip. They will play at New York on Monday. ... The Hornets were opening a three-game home stand. They will host Minnesota on Monday.
Hood helps Jazz rout Magic
Saturday, November 18 at 11:19 PM (EST)
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Utah guard Rodney Hood does not want to be a starter. He just wants to be a star.
Hood played his reserve role to perfection Saturday night, scoring a season-high 31 points and hitting seven 3-pointers to lead his Jazz to a dominating, 125-85 victory over the Orlando Magic on Saturday night.
The Jazz (7-10) snapped a three-game losing streak while winning their first road game of the season, leaning heavily on the aggressiveness of Hood.
The Magic (8-8) lost their fourth consecutive game and scored a season low. The 40-point loss Saturday was tied for the worst home loss in franchise history, dating back to January 1991.
"We needed this one badly to get back the winning feeling," Hood said. "It felt good to be part of that tonight. I like taking control."
Hood, whose role this season has bounced back and forth from starter to reserve, scored 19 consecutive points for the Jazz, spanning late in the third and early in the fourth quarter when they smothered the Magic.
"It doesn't matter to me (whether I start or play in reserve). I just like playing. I like playing with the second unit, coming off the bench. I am the guy that they look for to take control when I'm in the game, being aggressive whether it is shooting the ball or making plays for others. The second unit kind of feeds off me."
The Jazz, who came into the game averaging 99 points, never trailed en route to a season-high point total.
Jazz center Derrick Favors scored 25 points, hitting 10 of 12 shots from the field, and grabbing 11 rebounds.
Donovan Mitchell had 12 points and hit three of his four 3-pointers. Jonas Jerebko scored 15 points.
Aaron Gordon led the Magic with 18 points and a team-high nine rebounds. Terrence Ross scored 12 points and Evan Fournier had 11. Reserve Marreese Speights hit 3 of 7 3-pointers for 11 points.
"We just played our worst game of the season tonight," Magic coach Frank Vogel said. "Credit the Jazz. They played a terrific game and we did not."
The Jazz outrebounded the Magic 54-46. They also had 31 assists to 13 for the Magic. The Jazz shot 48 percent (47 of 98) from the field.
"We just played really well tonight," Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. "Everybody was in the right mindset and very focused tonight. I thought we were very active defensively, and when we are, the offense becomes easier."
The Jazz led by 15 points at halftime and built their lead throughout the third and fourth quarters.
Hood, who hit 12 of 21 shots from the floor and 7 of 13 from 3-point range, closed the third quarter by hitting three consecutive 3-pointers, handing the Jazz a 97-67 lead.
Hood opened the fourth quarter with two 3-pointers. The Magic looked helpless trying to slow him.
He scored 30 points earlier in the week in a loss to the Knicks, also playing in a reserve role. He had 17 points as a starter Friday night against the Nets.
"Everybody just kept trying to find him (Hood) so he could keep hitting those shots," Favors said. "He played incredible for us. Those were big momentum plays for us. We are going to need that going forward."
The Jazz led 63-48 at intermission, riding a big first half from Favors, who hit all seven of his shots and led all scorers with 17 points.
The Jazz hit 24 of 42 shots (57 percent) in the first half when they led by as many as 16 points.
Utah led 29-26 after the first quarter but opened the second with an 18-5 run. Gordon had 10 points for Orlando in the first quarter, but he cooled quickly.
NOTES: The Jazz came into the night as the only team in the NBA without a victory on the road this season. Their season high in scoring was 114 points before Saturday night. ... PG Ricky Rubio and F Thabo Sefolosha returned to action for the Jazz after missing Friday night's loss in Brooklyn. Rubio had a sore right Achilles and Sefolosha a sore right knee. ... Magic reserve G D.J. Augustin returned to action after missing the previous seven games with a hamstring strain. ... Jazz C Rudy Gobert, who leads the NBA in blocked shots (2.5 per game), missed his fifth consecutive game with a right tibia contusion. ... Magic F Aaron Gordon received a technical foul in the first quarter after arguing an offensive foul call against him. ... The Jazz finish their four-game road trip Monday in Philadelphia. The Magic return to action Monday at home against Indiana.
Irving, Brown help Celtics beat Hawks for 15th straight win
Saturday, November 18 at 11:18 PM (EST)
ATLANTA -- Boston forward Jaylen Brown was able to put aside his personal heartbreak for another night and helped the Celtics extend their winning streak to 15 games.
It has been a rough week for the Atlanta-area native. He learned Wednesday night that his childhood best friend had died and responded with 22 points in a win over Golden State.
Brown flew home on Friday to be with his family and came out Saturday to score a career-high 27 points and lead the Celtics to a 110-99 win over the Atlanta Hawks.
"It's pretty remarkable when I think about it," Boston coach Brad Stevens said. "He has a great game Thursday, gets up and takes a 6 a.m. flight to Atlanta on Friday, came in and played great again tonight. It takes a special ability to compartmentalize and focus on the task at hand."
Brown, who played at Wheeler High School in suburban Atlanta, was 10 for 13 from the floor, including four 3-pointers, and had four rebounds. His previous best was 25 points against Cleveland on Oct. 17.
"He's a really bright guy and he also really cares about people," Stevens said. "You never know how people are going to go through that, everybody goes through it differently. This is his chance to do what he loves to do and provide a little bit of distraction."
Teammate Kyrie Irving scored a game-high 30 points. He went 10 of 12 from the field, making five 3-pointers, and added five assists and four rebounds.
The 15-game winning streak is the fifth longest in franchise history. The club record is 19 straight in 2008.
Brown converted a three-point play with 5:56 remaining to give Boston (15-2) a four-point lead and Irving made two free throws the next trip down the floor to make it 92-86.
Atlanta never got closer than four points the rest of the night as Irving scored Boston's last seven points.
Rookie Jayson Tatum and Marcus Morris added 14 points apiece as the Celtics shot 47.6 percent from the field and made 47.1 (16 of 34) of their 3-pointers.
Atlanta (3-13) was led by point guard Dennis Schroder with 23 points and nine assists. Kent Bazemore added 19 points and rookie center John Collins came off the bench to contribute 18 points and seven rebounds.
"Offensively, certainly we didn't have a lot of great possessions, but had several possessions where we'd finish or make a shot in the paint," Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer said. "Those are things you have to do from the start to the end."
The Hawks picked up where they left off from Wednesday's 46-point win over Sacramento, when they shot 63.3 percent. Atlanta shot 65 percent in the first quarter, led by as many as 16 points and had a 35-20 lead after one quarter. It was the second-most points allowed in a quarter by the Celtics this season.
Boston outscored Atlanta 12-2 to open the second quarter and trailed 37-32 after Marcus Smart made a 3-pointer with 9:17 left. The Celtics got as close as four points (41-37). Atlanta led 50-44 at the half.
The Celtics caught up when Brown drained a 3-pointer to tie the score at 65. The surge was led by Tatum, who was held scoreless in the first half and it gave Boston an 80-77 lead at the end of three quarters.
Tatum scored 14 points in the third quarter, including a coast-to-coast slam.
"I thought our transition defense in the third quarter was poor," Budenholzer said. "Jayson Tatum going the length of the floor and dunking on us was just unacceptable."
Boston outscored Atlanta 66-49 in the second half and shot 51 percent from the field.
"Once we got that second group going, then our first group became contagious," Stevens said.
Stevens credited Smart for playing good defense on Marco Belinelli, who scored only four points. Belinelli had 19 when the teams played on Nov. 6.
NOTE: Atlanta F Luke Babbitt was in the starting lineup. He left the game early on Wednesday with tightness in his back. Atlanta F DeAndre Bembry returned after missing 14 games with a fractured right wrist suffered in the season opener against Dallas. ... Atlanta G Isaiah Taylor suffered a retinal tear to his right eye in practice on Friday and will miss 1-2 weeks. Taylor scored 12 points against Sacramento on Wednesday. ... Boston G Kyrie Irving wore his protective face mask for the third straight game. ... Atlanta assigned F/G Nicolas Brussino and C Miles Plumlee to Erie of the G League. Brussino has appeared in four games for Atlanta. Plumlee, acquired from Charlotte in the Dwight Howard trade, has missed all 14 games with a strained right quad.
Curry, Warriors bounce back with victory over 76ers
Saturday, November 18 at 11:56 PM (EST)
PHILADELPHIA -- Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr's message at halftime was succinct and his team clearly listened.
The second half was a completely different story and so was the final result.
Steph Curry scored 35 points, Kevin Durant added 27 and the Warriors rallied from a 22-point halftime deficit for a 124-116 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Center.
"It was mainly, 'We're not used to being run off the floor," Kerr said. "We're the ones usually playing with pace and energy."
That they did for the final 24 minutes after falling behind by 24 in the opening moments of the second half. The Warriors completed the NBA's largest comeback of the season, recorded their fourth comeback from a double-digit deficit this season and fifth comeback of at least 20 points since the start of the 2014-15 season
Curry responded in a big way after a nine-point performance two nights earlier in 92-88 loss at Boston. Curry shot 11 of 22 and hit all nine of his free throws.
"Tonight we started terrible and finished amazing," Curry said. "We'll put it all together."
The Warriors won for the fifth straight time in Philadelphia and the 10th consecutive overall in the series, including a sweep this season.
Klay Thompson added 17 points and David West had 14 for the Warriors (12-4). Zaza Pachulia chipped in with 10.
"I thought we were poised in the third quarter," Kerr said after his team outscored Philadelphia 47-15 in the third.
Ben Simmons led the Sixers (8-7) with 23 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds while Joel Embiid added 21 points. Robert Covington and JJ Redick contributed 20 apiece, and Dario Saric had 13 points and 10 rebounds.
It wasn't enough offense to produce a win.
"They're as explosive an offensive team as there has ever been in this game," Redick said.
The sellout crowd of 20,848 was loud from the start and reached a fever pitch by halftime when the Sixers shot 60 percent and ran out to a 74-52 lead at halftime. The 74 points by the Sixers set a floor record for points in a half by any team since the arena opened for the 1996-97 season.
Covington hit his first four 3-pointers while Embiid (17) and Simmons (16) were 13 for 19.
"A basketball game is 48 minutes," Embiid said. "You've got to come out and play 48 minutes. You can't play 24 minutes."
Curry stayed hot throughout the third quarter with three huge treys and 20 total points and the Warriors, put on a show while jumping to a stunning 99-89 advantage.
"In the third quarter, I honestly didn't know how dominating it was," Curry said.
The Sixers began to come unraveled late in the third as they were whistled for a pair of technical fouls -- one on the bench and one on coach Brett Brown.
Golden State pulled ahead 107-97 on a vicious dunk by West with 7:52 remaining.
The lead then swelled to 115-97 on a jumper by Thompson and the crowd, which was once buzzing, began to file out with less than five minutes left.
"They were aggressive and physical with us," Embiid said. "They did what they had to do and got the win."
NOTES: The Sixers were short-handed without Gs Jerryd Bayless (left wrist contusion), Justin Anderson (shin splints), Markelle Fultz (right shoulder), Nik Stauskas (sprained right ankle) and C Jahlil Okafor (personal reasons). ... Warriors coach Steve Kerr, on the development of Sixers C Joel Embiid: "That Laker game was scary." Embiid had a career-high 46 points, 15 rebounds, seven assists and seven blocked shots against the Lakers?on Wednesday. ... The Sixers returned home at 8-6 after playing 10 of their first 14 games on the road. "We feel we could be in a better position," Sixers coach Brett Brown said. "We'll take where we're at." ... Warriors G Klay Thompson hit at least one 3-pointer for the 70th straight game. ... Sixers F Robert Covington played in his first game since agreeing to a four-year, $62 million extension on Friday.
Paul helps Rockets knock off Grizzlies
Sunday, November 19 at 12:13 AM (EST)
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The story of the Houston Rockets' 105-83 rout of the Memphis Grizzlies Saturday night before 17,266 at FedEx Forum was short and to the point.
Point guard, that is.
Chris Paul, playing in his second game after missing 14 games with a knee injury, used his 24 minutes efficiently with 17 points, four 3-pointers and six assists.
James Harden, meanwhile had 29 points and seven assists, shooting just 9 of 20 for the night, but 6 of 12 from beyond the arc for the Rockets, who won their seventh game in eight starts and are off to a Western Conference-best 13-4 start.
"We have everyone healthy now," Harden said. "We're more versatile, more active. We started playing harder and paying more attention to detail."
What impressed the Rockets' players more was the fact that, after the Grizzlies scored the first six points of the fourth quarter to close to 85-73 with 10:36 left to play, Houston held Memphis without a field goal for the next seven minutes, while blowing things open 100-78.
"We called a timeout and said 'This is enough', " Paul said. "but we've got to get to the point where that timeout doesn't have to happen."
The Grizzlies, meanwhile, will be without their point guard-lynchpin Mike Conley for at least two weeks as he tries to rest and rehab a sore Achilles that has hampered him most of the young season. His replacement, Mario Chalmers, only had six points to go with eight assists. Tyreke Evans, who has been averaging 18.5 points off the bench, came off a bout of flu and had just seven points backing up Chalmers, and the Grizzlies fell to 7-8 with their fourth straight loss.
"It's like I emphasize one thing really strong and something else goes sideways," said Grizzlies coach David Fizdale after his team shot just 26 percent from the field after the break. He said he has to take the lead and make sure "we're resilient, together and connected."
Clint Capela added 17 points and 13 rebounds as the Rockets got a split of their already-finished season series with division rival Memphis. Ryan Anderson also had 17 points while Eric Gordon chipped in 12.
Chandler Parsons, getting his first start of the season, led Memphis with 17 points, but only four came after the break. Marc Gasol, who scored 35 in a loss to Indiana Wednesday, had 15 points and nine rebounds while JaMychal Green added 15 in the for the Grizzlies.
On his team's problems, Gasol said, "There's a few of them. I don't think guys are being selfish intentionally, but definitely thinking too much ... We've got to get stops as a team. We've got to get good shots as a team. If we don't do that, it's a ripple effect that's hard to stop."
Paul had a dozen points in a dozen minutes, and was 3 of 4 on his three-pointers, while James Harden added 14 points as the Rockets built up a 51-34 lead midway through the second quarter.
The Grizzlies went on a 15-0 run, sparked by three of Parsons' points and a pair of Green threes to close to 51-49. But Houston scored eight of the final 10 points of the half, six by Gordon, to make it 59-50 at the half. Memphis never got closer than nine in the final 24 minutes.
"Because everybody is back and everybody is out of their normal rotation, it takes us awhile sometimes to get back in gear at the start of a quarter," Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said. "The Grizzlies are going to make some runs, but we held them to 33 in the second half. ... We all know that the only way we're going to go far in the playoffs is defensively, you've got to be a bear. Tonight we were. I think everybody knows the formula now if we can just continue with what we're doing."
NOTES: Rockets G Chris Paul had his minutes doled out in five-minute chunks by coach Mike D'Antoni. "It works out well," D'Antoni said, "because that's all the wind he's got right now." ... Grizzlies C Marc Gasol made franchise history in Wednesday's home loss to Indiana with 35 points, 13 rebounds, five assists and a season-best five blocks. It's the first 35-10-5-5 game in team history. "This is Marc's time and you're going to see him step up," said Grizzlies coach David Fizdale. .... Fizdale inserted F Chandler Parsons to spark a struggling starting five. "When you lose Mike (Conley) it's a huge void and it takes a few games to figure out how to patch that up," Fizdale said. "Chandler has been playing at a great level and I think he can help that (starting) group." ... Memphis backup C Brandan Wright left the game midway through the second quarter with a right groin injury and did not return.
Mavericks rise up to stop Bucks
Sunday, November 19 at 12:58 AM (EST)
DALLAS -- Wesley Matthews, feast or famine from the 3-point arc this season, burned the Milwaukee Bucks for six of them and a season-high 22 points to lead the Dallas Mavericks to a 111-79 victory on Saturday night.
J.J. Barea set his own season high for points with 20 as well a season-best four 3-pointers as the Mavs snapped a five-game home losing streak in winning for just the third time this season. Dallas made 19 of its 38 3-pointers to tie the franchise record for most made 3s in a game, and outscored the Bucks (6 of 25), who saw their four-game win streak end, by 39 points from beyond the arc.
"This was one of our worst games," Bucks coach Jason Kidd said. "But it happens and we've got to learn from it."
On top of all that, Dallas (3-14) put an end to its third-quarter demons, extending a 12-point halftime lead to 82-61.
With Milwaukee (8-7) on a 7-0 run early in the quarter to close the deficit, Barea and Matthews hit consecutive 3s before Matthews drained his sixth of the game on seven attempts, a step-back from the corner as the shot clock expired. He finished 6 of 8.
The Bucks were outscored 26-17 in the third quarter and the route was on from there.
Dallas will have the opportunity at home Monday night to snap the Boston Celtics' 15-game win streak.
"Hopefully that just carries the momentum into the off day where everybody's feeling good," Matthews, who also had eight assists, said. "We've got another tough battle Monday against Boston, who is the hottest team in the league right now, but it's another opportunity for us."
Bucks rising star Giannis Antetokounmpo put together a line that will look good in the box score with 24 points, 17 rebounds and three steals, but he was just 7 of 20 from the floor after starting 1 of 7.
Khris Middleton added 23 points, but no other Bucks player had more than Tony Snell's eight points as Milwaukee shot 37.8 percent.
"It was solid, I think the energy was there," Barea said of the Mavs' defensive effort. "We were containing guys and keeping them outside the paint, and that worked tonight."
The Bucks never could cut too deeply into the Mavs' lead and didn't help themselves by missing 11 of 22 free throws in the first half, 12 more than Dallas attempted.
Eight of those came from center John Henson, who made just two during Dallas' Hack-a-Henson tactic in the second quarter that helped extend the lead to 16.
"I thought our offense dictated our defense, so we didn't make shots and we didn't guard," Kidd said. "Coming into the game we had talked about how they are second in the league in attempts, they just hadn't made them. Tonight they made up for all their misses. They made a lot of 3s and we didn't do a very good job on either end."
Harrison Barnes contributed 18 points and seven rebounds to Dallas' victory and guard Yogi Ferrell came off the bench for 16 points that included three 3-pointers.
NOTES: Bucks G Matthew Dellavedova missed his first game of the season because of a hamstring injury sustained Wednesday against Detroit. ... Milwaukee F Mirza Teletovic missed his fifth consecutive game because of left knee stiffness. ... Mavs G Wesley Matthews, playing career game No. 609, became the sixth player in NBA history to make 1,300 3-pointers in 650 or fewer games. ... F Dirk Nowitzki became the 14th player in NBA history with at least 1,800 career 3-pointers. ... Coach Rick Carlisle moved into 18th place on the NBA's all-time wins list with 697.
Trail Blazers rebound quickly, avenge loss to Kings
Sunday, November 19 at 1:49 AM (EST)
PORTLAND, Ore. -- For the Portland Trail Blazers, that was more like it.
After falling 86-82 at Sacramento on Friday, the Trail Blazers gained revenge with a steady 102-90 pounding of the Kings on Saturday night at Moda Center.
The Trail Blazers took the lead for good in the second quarter, put themselves in control early in the third quarter and finished off the Kings in the fourth quarter.
"A great win for us," said Portland point guard Damian Lillard, who had 22 points and a game-high six assists. "We felt like we had to have this one, especially after last night and with a big road trip coming up."
Backcourt made CJ McCollum all scorers with 25 points. Center Jusuf Nurkic had 14 points and seven rebounds for the Trail Blazers.
Willie Cauley-Stein had 18 points and Zach Randolph 17 to lead six Kings in double figures.
Portland (9-7) improved to 7-4 at home. Sacramento (4-12) is 1-9 on the road.
Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts was pleased with his team's play not only at both ends of the court but down the bench.
"I liked our demeanor," Stotts said. "After being disappointed last night and struggling with the offense, to come back and have that type of game was encouraging. ... I think our first five baskets were all assisted, and that set a tone. Defensively, we were solid till late in the fourth quarter. Our bench struggled last night, and they were the difference tonight."
Off the bench, Shabazz Napier and Meyers Leonard each scored 11 points for Portland.
Leonard, a big man who has played sparingly and was injured earlier this season, sparkled at times, making 3 of 5 shots from 3-point range and 4 of 8 overall. He added seven rebounds in 22 minutes, and his plus-minus rating of plus-10 was third on the team, behind Lillard (plus-20) and backup guard Pat Connaughton (plus-18).
Stotts said he chose to give Leonard a run because the Kings "packed it in" with two big men and Leonard's range might help Portland take advantage of that.
"I felt like I did my job, did what I was supposed to do," Leonard said. "Rebounded the ball, worked on defense, probably should have taken a few more shots."
Lillard was an efficient 8 of 18 from the floor, going 7 for 11 on 2-point shots.
"Damian did a really nice job of managing the game," Stotts said. "The third quarter, he showed a lot of leadership, even beyond his scoring."
On Friday, the Trail Blazers were listless and shot 37 percent from the field, going 7 of 25 on 3-pointers. On their home floor, they were much better marksmen while again defending solidly, especially around the basket. Portland shot a season-high 54.3 percent from the field (10 of 21 on 3-pointers) and limited Sacramento to 38.2 percent. It was the sixth time in the last seven games that Portland allowed fewer than 100 points.
"A decent offensive night. More importantly, it was another really good defensive night," Lillard said.
The Friday victory over Portland was "emotional for us," Kings coach Dave Joerger said before the rematch, noting that Sacramento had just lost by 46 points at Atlanta Wednesday. The Kings lacked much emotion on Saturday.
Still, Joerger said he was "really, really proud of our team" for the two-game split and the effort, particularly on Friday. And he praised the Trail Blazers. "We didn't miss left or right or long, we missed short, and those guys made some tough shots, hats off to them," he said.
Looking for positives, Joerger said his team went from shooting 6 for 23 in the paint in the first half to 13 for 21 the rest of the way, and he called the Kings' varying shot selection "a great learning tool."
The Kings seemed to take the loss in stride.
"It's always tough to play on a back-to-back," Cauley-Stein said. "I feel like we gave everything we had left over from last night.
"Turnovers played a big part for them getting ahead of us, and then us being tired. A lot of us shot short, but we had some really damn good looks. The ball just wasn't falling for us tonight.
"I like where we're headed. I like our energy levels, and our effort is high, so it's going to be fun moving on from here."
The Trail Blazers will launch a five-game trip Monday at Memphis. The Kings' next three games are at home, starting with Denver on Monday.
NOTES: The win was Portland's ninth in a row at home over the Kings. ... Trail Blazers PF Ed Davis returned as a reserve after missing a game with an injured left ankle. Portland started Noah Vonleh at the position. ... Kings G Buddy Hield, second on the team in scoring with 11.6 points per game, sprained his right ankle late in Friday's 86-82 victory at home over Portland and wasn't able to go in the rematch. ... Kings starting C Zach Randolph, once a standout PF for the Trail Blazers, had no points in the Friday game, going 0 of 4 from the field in 14 minutes. On Saturday, he went 6 of 11 from the field and scored 17 points in 22 minutes. ... Kings coach Dave Joerger called the Blazers "an offensive juggernaut when they're rolling. Multi-talented. We were fortunate (Friday) -- they missed some shots."