NEW YORK — Kyrie Irving scored 40 points to lead the Brooklyn Nets to a 121-109 victory over the Boston Celtics on Thursday night.
James Harden had 22 points and 10 rebounds for Brooklyn, which improved to 25-13 with its 12th win in 13 games. Landry Shamet added 18 points and fellow reserve Jeff Green finished with 11. Joe Harris added 12 as the Nets won without Kevin Durant and newcomer Blake Griffin.
Jayson Tatum scored 31 points but Boston had its four-game winning streak snapped. Marcus Smart added 19 in his return from injury, Daniel Theis had 17 and Jaylen Brown chipped in with 13.
BUCKS 134, KNICKS 101
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo followed up his MVP performance in the All-Star Game with his fifth triple-double of the season to help Milwaukee rout New York.
Antetokounmpo had 24 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in 29 minutes, and Milwaukee shot 57.5% in handing the Knicks their most one-sided loss of the season. The Bucks have won seven of their last eight.
Antetokounmpo was playing for the first time since earning MVP honours Sunday night in the All-Star Game by shooting 16 of 16 from the floor and scoring 35 points.
Bryn Forbes added 21 points for the Bucks. RJ Barrett had 22 points for New York.
76ERS 127, BULLS 105
CHICAGO (AP) — Tobias Harris scored 24 points and Philadelphia beat Chicago even though they were missing stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons for contact tracing.
Dwight Howard scored a season-high 18 points and had 12 rebounds. Furkan Korkmaz added 16 points, and Tony Bradley scored a season-high 14 points on 7-for-7 shooting.
Embiid and Simmons both travelled to Atlanta for the All-Star game, only to learn the night before they were flagged for contact tracing. Though neither player tested positive for COVID-19, the barber they visited before leaving did.
Lauri Markkanen, back from a sprained right shoulder, led Chicago with 23 points.
HEAT 111, MAGIC 103
MIAMI (AP) — Jimmy Butler had 27 points and 11 assists, Kelly Olynyk scored 20 points and Miami beat Orlando to move over the .500 mark for the first time this season.
Tyler Herro scored 17 points, Kendrick Nunn had 13 and Goran Dragic added 11 for the Heat (19-18).
All-Star Nikola Vucevic had 24 points and 17 rebounds for the Magic. They have dropped six straight.
HORNETS 105, PISTONS 102
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — P.J Washington had 20 points and nine rebounds, Terry Rozier hit some big shots down the stretch and Charlotte beat Detroit to get back to .500 for the first time since Jan. 13.
Rozier and Gordon Hayward each scored 17 points, and Cody Zeller had 15 points and a key rebound for Charlotte (18-18).
Jerami Grant had 32 points on 11-of-24 shooting for the Pistons.
HAWKS 121, RAPTORS 120
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Tony Snell hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer and Atlanta came back from a 15-point deficit in the final six minutes to beat Toronto.
Trae Young scored 37 points for the Hawks. They won their third straight.
Norman Powell scored 33 points for Toronto. The Raptors played again without Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby because of the NBA’s coronavirus safety protocols. Coach Nick Nurse was back on the bench Thursday night.
TIMBERWOLVES 135, PELICANS 105
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Jaylen Nowell hit six 3-pointers on his way to a career-best 28 points, top overall draft choice Anthony Edwards scored 27 points and Minnesota overcame an early 16-point deficit to rout New Orleans.
Minnesota won for just the eighth time this season — and second time against New Orleans. Zion Williamson scored 24 points for the Pelicans.
The Associated Press