MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Luke Kennard made a franchise-record 10 3-pointers to match his career high with 30 points, Desmond Bane added 25 points and the Memphis Grizzlies clinched a playoff spot after building a 31-point halftime lead and coasting to a 151-114 victory over the Houston Rockets on Friday night.
Ja Morant scored 18 points and had eight assists in his second game after serving an eight-game league-imposed suspension after he posted a video in which he is shown waving a gun at a Denver-area strip club. Morant, as he did in his first game back Wednesday also against the Rockets, again came off the bench. He entered with 5:08 left in the first quarter.
Jaren Jackson Jr. also scored 18 points and had seven rebounds and two blocks for Memphis, which made a franchise-best 25 3-pointers and had the second-most points in team history. The Grizzlies won their 11th straight at home and moved within three games of idle Denver, which holds the top spot in the Western Conference.
Tari Eason had 21 points to lead Houston, while Kevin Porter Jr. and Jabari Smith Jr. each had 20.
CELTICS 120, PACERS 95
BOSTON (AP) — Jayson Tatum scored 34 points, setting a franchise record with his 40th 30-point game this season, and Boston rolled past Indiana.
Tatum passed Hall of Famer Larry Bird, who had 39 30-point games during the 1987-88 season.
Jaylen Brown added 27 points and seven rebounds, and Derrick White finished with 22 points and nine assists for the Celtics, who have won four of five and improved to 27-9 at home this season.
Pacers All-Star point guard Tyrese Haliburton had 20 points, nine assists and six rebounds in his first game back from a six-game absence with a combination of a bruised left knee and sprained right ankle. Myles Turner added 20 points and six rebounds.
LAKERS 116, THUNDER 111
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Anthony Davis had 37 points and 14 rebounds, Dennis Schröder added 13 of his 21 points in the second half and the Los Angeles Lakers got a vital victory for their playoff hopes.
Lonnie Walker scored 20 points in an impressive return to the rotation for the Lakers, who have won three straight to move even with Minnesota in seventh place in the Western Conference standings. With Davis leading the way on both ends of the court, Los Angeles (37-37) also reached .500 for the first time this season after holding off the Thunder despite the injury absences of LeBron James and D’Angelo Russell.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey scored 27 points apiece for Oklahoma City, which lost for only the fourth time in 12 games down the stretch. The Thunder (36-38) dropped into a tie with Dallas for 10th in the West.
WARRIORS 120, 76ERS 112
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Jordan Poole scored 33 points and swished a key 3-pointer with 1:18 to play off a pretty pass by Draymond Green, Stephen Curry added 29 points and eight rebounds and Golden State rallied past Joel Embiid and Philadelphia.
Embiid checked back into the game with 8:26 left and scored 13 straight on the way to 46 points, but the Warriors came back from 11 down for their ninth straight home win — and one of the most important yet as they fight for playoff positioning.
Embiid shot 13 for 23, made 19 of 22 free throws and had nine rebounds, eight assists and two steals. He helped Philadelphia take an 88-79 lead going into the fourth. He had his streak of scoring 30 or more points in a franchise-record 10 straight games snapped in Wednesday’s 116-91 win at Chicago but made up for it.
WIZARDS 136, SPURS 124
WASHINGTON (AP) — Corey Kispert scored 26 points and sank six 3-pointers. Deni Avdija added 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Washington pulled away for a win over San Antonio.
Delon Wright added 24 points and Kristaps Porzingis 23 for the Wizards, who missed three-time All-Star Bradley Beal (left knee sprain) for a second game but snapped a four-game skid.
Washington sank 15 of 30 attempts beyond the arc one game after setting season lows for number and percentage of 3s made in Wednesday’s loss to West-leading Denver.
Keldon Johnson scored 30 points for San Antonio, which played without 2022 ninth-overall draft pick Jeremy Sochan (sore right knee) for the third time in four games.
RAPTORS 118, PISTONS 97
TORONTO (AP) — Pascal Siakam scored 32 points, Chris Boucher had 19 points and 13 rebounds and Toronto routed Detroit for its eighth win in nine home games.
Fred VanVleet added 18 points and O.G. Anunoby 17 as Toronto completed its first four-game sweep of Detroit since the 2017-18 season. The Raptors also improved to 7-0 when holding opponents below 100 points
Jaden Ivey scored 20 points and Marvin Bagley III and James Wiseman each had 14 for Detroit, but the Pistons lost for the 16th time in 17 games.
HORNETS 117, MAVERICKS 109
DALLAS (AP) — P.J. Washington Jr. scored 28 points and Gordon Hayward added 25 as undermanned Charlotte built a 21-point lead and held on to beat Dallas.
The Hornets, who were eliminated from the Eastern Conference playoff race last week, earned a split of a back-to-back after losing by 19 points on Thursday night at New Orleans and finishing with only seven healthy players.
Luka Doncic had 34 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Mavericks, who lost their third straight and for the sixth time in eight games. Kyrie Irving scored 18 points after missing one game with a toe injury. He and Doncic played together for the first time since March 8. The Mavericks are 3-7 with both in the lineup.
BUCKS 144, JAZZ 116
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Grayson Allen scored a season-high 25 points to lead Milwaukee past Utah.
Allen made five 3-pointers and shot 57% from the field to help the Bucks lead wire-to-wire. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 24 points and 11 assists, and Pat Connaughton scored 22 points while making six 3-pointers. Jrue Holiday added 18 points and seven assists, and Brook Lopez had 17 points, 14 rebounds and seven blocks.
Milwaukee made 22 3-pointers and shot 56% from the field to fuel its third straight victory.
Simone Fontecchio scored a career-high 26 points in his third career start to lead the Jazz.
BULLS 124, TRAIL BLAZERS 96
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Zach LaVine scored 33 points and Chicago dominated short-handed Portland.
Nikola Vucevic added 23 points and 15 rebounds for the Bulls. They have won six of their last eight games and sit in 10th place in the Eastern Conference standings.
Portland, which has lost seven of its last eight games, was led by rookie Shaedon Sharpe. He matched his career high with 24 points. The Blazers’ lone win during the recent stretch came against the Utah Jazz 127-115 on Wednesday. Portland was at 13th in the Western Conference standings, well out of the playoff picture.
Regular Portland starters Damian Lillard (calf tightness), Jusuf Nurkic (sore right knee), Jerami Grant (quad contusion) and Anfernee Simons (sore right foot) did not play against the Bulls.
KINGS 135, SUNS 127
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Kevin Huerter led all scorers with 29 points and Sacramento beat Phoenix.
Huerter added nine rebounds and five assists for the Kings (44-29). They are in third place in the Western Conference behind Denver and Memphis. Domantas Sabonis finished with 27 points, nine rebounds and nine assists for the Kings.
Sacramento’s De’Aaron Fox exited the game with 7:16 left in the third quarter with right hamstring soreness. Fox finished with 19 points in 21 minutes.
Devin Booker finished with 32 points for the Suns (38-36). Terrence Ross scored a season-high 30 points off the bench and hit six 3-pointers.
By The Associated Press – March 25, 2023
Featured Image Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
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