The Celtics and Timberwolves both hovered under 40 percent shooting for most of the night before Boston pulled away in the fourth quarter to capture a 91-84 victory over visiting Minnesota.

Marcus Smart had 18 points off the bench to pace the Celtics. Kyrie Irving finished with 16 points (on 6-of-16 shooting) and eight assists and Aron Baynes doubled up with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Boston (32-10) followed up its 102-88 thumping of the defending Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers at home on Wednesday with its fifth straight victory. The Celtics won despite shooting 40.4 percent.

Karl-Anthony Towns had 25 points and 23 rebounds, Jimmy Butler scored 14 and Jamal Crawford had 13 off the bench for the Timberwolves. Minnesota, which shot 36.8 percent, lost its 12th consecutive game in Boston.

Wizards 102, Grizzlies 100

John Wall and Bradley Beal took turns torching Memphis, combining for 59 points as Washington won at Memphis, Tenn.

Beal tallied 34 points on just 18 shot attempts, hitting the 30-point mark for the seventh time this year. He also chipped in five assists. Wall needed only 16 shot attempts to score 25 points, and he added nine assists.

Tyreke Evans scored 26 points and dished out seven assists to pace the Grizzlies. Marc Gasol contributed 17 points, 11 rebounds, five blocks and five assists.

Heat 107, Knicks 103 (OT)

Josh Richardson hit two free throws with 25.7 seconds left in overtime, and James Johnson added two more with 7.2 remaining to give Miami a victory over visiting New York.

Wayne Ellington led six Miami players in double figures with a game-high 24 points, including a 3-pointer that gave the Heat a 100-99 lead in overtime. The win was the Heat's third in a row and put Miami four games over .500 for the first time in two years.

Courtney Lee scored 24 points to lead the Knicks, who lost for the seventh time in eight games. They fell to 3-14 on the road. Former Heat draft pick Michael Beasley added 20 points, 11 of them in the fourth quarter.

Nuggets 99, Jazz 91

Denver took control of a back-and-forth affair against visiting Utah in the third quarter. The game featured seven ties and 13 lead changes prior to the Nuggets outscoring the Jazz 38-16 in the third.

Facing his former team, Trey Lyles sparked the Nuggets with a career-high 26 points in 28 minutes off the bench. He added seven rebounds. Denver's Jamal Murray also scored 26 points while hitting 6 of 7 3-point attempts.

Derrick Favors finished with 14 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks for Utah. Rookie Donovan Mitchell, who was initially drafted by the Nuggets before his rights were traded to the Jazz, had 15 points, seven rebounds and five assists, and Ricky Rubio also scored 15 points.

Raptors 129, Bucks 110

Serge Ibaka scored 21 points while DeMar DeRozan and Jonas Valanciunas finished with 20 points each as Toronto extended its winning streak to four games with a rout of host Milwaukee.

DeRozan was held to five points on 1-of-5 shooting in the opening half but exploded for 14 in the third quarter. The Raptors outscored the Bucks 43-19 in the third, turning a two-point halftime lead into a comfortable, 26-point cushion heading into the fourth.

Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo had 17 of his team-leading 24 in the first half. Malcolm Brogdon added 19 off the bench, and Eric Bledsoe finished with 17 for Bucks.

Spurs 103, Suns 89

Manu Ginobili scored a season-high 21 points and Kawhi Leonard also hit for 21 as San Antonio blew past visiting Phoenix. The Spurs topped the Suns for the third time in three meetings this season.

A 17-8 Spurs run over the first six minutes of the fourth quarter expanded an eight-point lead to 97-78 and turned a game that had been very competitive through 36 minutes into a runaway.

Bryn Forbes added 16 points for San Antonio. Devin Booker paced the Suns with 21 points.

Bulls 127, Mavericks 124

Kris Dunn had a career-high 32 points and Justin Holiday added 23 points and made five 3-pointers as Chicago beat visiting Dallas.

Lauri Markkanen had 16 points and David Nwaba had 13 for the Bulls, who held on despite a late scare to break a three-game losing streak. They have won 11 of their past 16 games.

Wesley Matthews had 24 points and made five 3-pointers and Harrison Barnes had 23 points for the Mavericks, who have lost their past two after a four-game winning streak.

Trail Blazers 110, Hawks 89

Using balanced scoring and solid defense, Portland pulled away from the visiting Atlanta in the second half.

CJ McCollum led seven double-figure scorers for the Blazers with 20 points, adding six assists and four rebounds.

Dennis Schroder scored 14 points but made just 5 of 14 field-goal tries for Atlanta, while Taurean Price added 11 points and eight rebounds.

76ers 114, Pistons 78

Joel Embiid scored 23 points and collected nine rebounds, JJ Redick added 21 points, and Philadelphia routed visiting Detroit.

Ben Simmons contributed 19 points and nine assists, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot scored 13 points while Dario Saric and Robert Covington had 11 each for the 76ers, who won their fourth straight game.

The Pistons played without guard Reggie Jackson (sprained right ankle), and it was obvious how much they missed him. Tobias Harris led Detroit with 14 points.

Hornets 108, Lakers 94

Kemba Walker had 19 points, seven assists and four steals as one of six Hornets to score in double digits, helping Charlotte roll past host Los Angeles.

Jeremy Lamb scored 17 points and Marvin Williams added 16 for the Hornets, who went 3-1 on a four-game road swing through California. Dwight Howard recorded 15 points and 10 rebounds for his 21st double-double of the season.

Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball returned from a six-game absence caused by a left shoulder injury but couldn't prevent his team from taking its ninth consecutive loss. Ball had 11 points, five assists, four rebounds and just one turnover in 27 minutes. Brandon Ingram posted 22 points and 14 rebounds for Los Angeles.

Lithuanian team revamps games for Ball brothers

The Lithuanian team that signed LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball has withdrawn from the Baltic Basketball League and will play in a series of "friendly" games to get the brothers extensive playing time.

Prienu Vytautas now will play in the "Big Baller Brand Challenge" and the team announced it will show each of the games on Facebook, according to ESPN's Jeff Goodman.

"When you come out and they change it just for the Balls, you know it's real," LaVar Ball, the creator of Big Baller Brand, told ESPN.

Prienu Vytautas will continue to play in the Lithuanian domestic league. The Baltic league is considered lower-level than the Lithuanian league, which features squads from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

"This is a great thing for everybody," Ball told ESPN. "I'm excited for the fact they named something after the Big Baller Brand. Brings exposure to our brand and also gives us quality basketball. People back home get to watch it."

The Ball brothers' first game with Prienu Vytautas will take place Tuesday as part of the Big Baller Brand Challenge, and the opponent now will be Zalgiris 2, the younger team of Lithuania's premier program.

LiAngelo, 19, and LaMelo, 16, and their family were slated to accompany the Lithuanian team to its game in Vilnius on Saturday, but LaVar Ball told ESPN that they did not make the trip after the opposing team did not initially allow the cameras from their reality show in the gym.

LaVar Ball previously said the goal was to find a league overseas where both of his younger sons could play on the court together. His oldest son, 20-year-old Lonzo Ball, was the No. 2 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft and is the starting point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers.


Comments not loading?

We recommend using Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

Comments powered by Disqus