Leonard hits go-ahead shot in return, Clippers beat Hornets
Kawhi Leonard had 16 points, including an 18-foot jumper with 1.4 seconds to lift the Los Angeles Clippers to a 119-117 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Monday night in his return from a right ankle sprain.
Paul George also came back from a strained hamstring to score 19 points along with seven assists for the Clippers, who snapped a two-game losing streak. Reggie Jackson and Nic Batum each had 13 points, and John Wall added 12 points and 12 assists off the bench.
Luke Kennard added nine points off the bench in his first game back from an injury as well.
Kelly Oubre had 28 points and P.J. Washington bounced back from an 0-for-13 shooting night on Saturday night to add 26 for the Hornets. Washington missed a fadeaway jumper as time expired that would have tied the game.
ROCKETS 132, 76ERS 123, 2 OT
HOUSTON (AP) — Jalen Green scored 27 points and Kevin Porter Jr. added 24 to lead Houston over Philadelphia as James Harden struggled through his return from injury.
Harden had 21 points but shot 4 for 19 from the field in his first game since Nov. 2. Coach Doc Rivers said Harden, who spent just more than eight seasons with the Rockets before being traded to Brooklyn in January 2021, would be on a minutes restriction in his return. But Harden didn’t seem to be limited much, and played 39 minutes.
He had missed 14 games with a tendon strain in his right foot. He missed all eight attempts inside the 3-point arc but still got to the line like he always does and made 9 of 10 free throws.
Joel Embiid had 39 points before fouling out late in the first overtime and Tobias Harris added 27 as the Sixers dropped their third straight.
MAVERICKS 130, SUNS 111
DALLAS (AP) — Luka Doncic scored 33 points, Spencer Dinwiddie added 21 and Dallas preserved a big lead against Phoenix this time.
The Mavericks remained in control after a 28-8 run covering most of the last 10 minutes of the first quarter while ending a 10-game, regular-season losing streak against the Western Conference-leading Suns.
Dallas squandered a 22-point lead in the second half of a 107-105 loss at Phoenix in the season opener between teams that met in the West semifinals last season. Dallas won that series last spring with a Game 7 rout on the Suns’ home court.
Deandre Ayton scored 20 points for the Suns, who couldn’t recover from a 15-point first quarter, their lowest total in any quarter this season, as they finished a Texas back-to-back after a blowout victory in San Antonio.
CELTICS 116, RAPTORS 110
TORONTO (AP) — Jayson Tatum had 31 points and 12 rebounds, Jaylen Brown scored 22 points and Boston won for the seventh time in eight games, beating Toronto.
Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart scored 18 points for Boston after sitting out Sunday’s win at Brooklyn because of a bruised left hip.
Blake Griffin scored 13 points and Luke Kornet had 11 for the Celtics, who own the NBA’s best record at 20-5. Boston is 16-2 since starting the season 4-3.
Pascal Siakam scored 29 points, Scottie Barnes had 21 and Gary Trent Jr. 20, but Toronto lost for the first time in four home games. The Raptors are 9-3 north of the border this season.
PACERS 112, WARRIORS 104
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Rookie Andrew Nembhard scored a season-high 31 points and added 13 assists and eight rebounds to lead undermanned Indiana over Golden State.
A second-round draft pick, Nembhard made a key 3-pointer with 4:26 to go and another jumper less than two minutes later. Indiana played without starting point guard Tyrese Haliburton for a second straight game as he nurses soreness in his left groin.
Klay Thompson scored 28 points and made eight 3-pointers on the six-year anniversary of his 60-point masterpiece against the Pacers.
Thompson finished 9 of 23, but Stephen Curry was held to 12 points on 3-for-17 shooting. Jordan Poole scored 23 starting in place of Andrew Wiggins as he sat out with tightness of the adductor muscle in his right leg.
BUCKS 109, MAGIC 102
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo scored five of his 34 points in the final two minutes to help Milwaukee hold off a late Orlando rally.
Bobby Portis added 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Bucks, and Jrue Holiday added 17 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds.
Franz Wagner led Orlando with 25 points. Markelle Fultz and Paolo Banchero added 20 points apiece. Banchero also had 12 rebounds for the Magic, who lost their ninth straight.
Antetokounmpo, Sandro Mamukelashvili and Holiday hit 3-pointers on a 16-0 Milwaukee run midway through the first half while Orlando went scoreless for 5 1/2 minutes. The spurt left the Bucks with an 11-point lead that they stretched to 15 midway through the period.
GRIZZLIES 101, HEAT 93
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Tyus Jones had a career-high 28 points and 10 assists to lead short-handed Memphis over Miami.
Santi Aldama added 18 points and Dillon Brooks finished with 17 for Memphis, which played without leading scorer Ja Morant and several other key players.
Tyler Herro led the Heat with 23 points and 13 rebounds. Jimmy Butler, who had only one field goal in the first half, scored 18, and Caleb Martin finished with 16 for the Heat.
Both teams entered the game having won four of their previous five games, and that included a Memphis win over Detroit on Sunday. But playing the second night of a back-to-back meant several Grizzlies, in addition to Morant, were unavailable. Three of the five most recent starters — Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr. and John Konchar -- were out, leaving a load of minutes for reserves and two-way players.
THUNDER 121, HAWKS 114
ATLANTA (AP) — Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 35 points, Josh Giddey had 12 of his 17 points in the final period, and Oklahoma City overcame a 14-point deficit in the third quarter to beat Atlanta.
Dejounte Murray finished with 24 points and Trae Young had 23 points and 10 assists for the Hawks (13-11), who have squandered six double-digit leads this season. They began the night tied for second-most in the NBA in that category.
In winning its third straight, Oklahoma City (11-13) has outscored its last three opponents 106-68 in the fourth. The Thunder trailed 88-84 entering the final period.
Giddey’s three-point play early in the fourth made it 91-90 for the Thunder’s first lead since late in the first. They never trailed again as Gilgeous-Alexander, the league’s third-leading scorer, kept hitting free throws down the stretch. He scored 12 points in the fourth and finished 15 for 15 from the foul line.
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This story originally appeared in San Diego Union-Tribune .