Damian Lillard scored 29 of his 48 points in the second half, and the visiting Portland Trail Blazers posted a 127-119 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday as the Lakers paid tribute to the life of Kobe Bryant.
Lillard, who just missed recording his second straight triple-double, also had 10 assists and nine rebounds. He connected on 7 of 12 3-point attempts and 17 of 30 shots from the floor. Hassan Whiteside had 30 points on 13-of-14 shooting while adding 12 rebounds and five blocks for Portland.
Anthony Davis led the Lakers with 37 points, 15 boards and five blocks. LeBron James finished with 22 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds, and Kyle Kuzma had 17 points and 15 rebounds.
There were a host of tributes and musical performances throughout the affair, including a moving pre-game speech by James, as the Lakers played their first game since the Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others perished in a helicopter crash Sunday in Calabasas, Calif.
Brooklyn Nets 133 – Chicago Bulls 118
Kyrie Irving delivered an electrifying, 54-point performance in Brooklyn’s victory over Chicago in New York. It was the third-highest point total for Irving, whose career high was 57 on March 12, 2015, with Cleveland at San Antonio.
The Nets beat the Bulls for the ninth time in the past 11 meetings thanks to Irving, who made his first 10 shots, shot 19 of 23 overall and helped finish off the win with one dynamic stretch in the fourth quarter. Irving also tied a season high by making seven 3-pointers (on nine attempts).
Spencer Dinwiddie added 20 points and seven assists for the Nets, who shot 62.5 percent and won for the third time in four games. Zach LaVine scored 22 points for the Bulls, who shot 48.8 percent.
Denver Nuggets 127 – Milwaukee Bucks 115
Will Barton had 24 points, eight assists and seven rebounds, Nikola Jokic was an assist shy of a triple-double, and visiting Denver beat Milwaukee. The Nuggets had all nine players who got into the game score in double figures.
Jokic finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists for the Nuggets, and Michael Porter Jr. had 15 points and 11 rebounds before leaving in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury. Malik Beasley added 16 points and Monte Morris had 14 for Denver, which made a season-best 22 3-pointers.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 31 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists, Khris Middleton added 24 points and Eric Bledsoe scored 15 for the Bucks, who had their nine-game winning streak snapped.
Houston Rockets 128 – Dallas Mavericks 121
James Harden and Russell Westbrook combined for 67 points, and undersized Houston squared its season series against visiting Dallas, which played without All-Star guard Luka Doncic (right ankle sprain).
Harden posted 35 points, a season-high 16 rebounds, six assists and four steals. Westbrook added 32 points, six rebounds, nine assists and three steals. Eric Gordon tallied 17 points for Houston, which made 21 of 45 3-point attempts (46.7 percent) and 45.9 percent from the floor overall.
Kristaps Porzingis led Dallas with 35 points and 12 rebounds. Seth Curry added 16 points and Tim Hardaway chipped in 15. The Mavericks shot 48.7 percent from the floor but only 38.9 percent from behind the arc.
Toronto Raptors 105 – Detroit Pistons 92
Pascal Siakam had 30 points, seven rebounds and four assists, and visiting Toronto extended its winning streak to 10 games by rolling past struggling Detroit.
Serge Ibaka contributed 21 points, six rebounds and three assists. Fred VanVleet supplied 16 points, eight rebounds and nine assists for the Raptors, who led most of the way. Center Marc Gasol missed the game with a hamstring injury, but Toronto outscored Detroit 66-28 in the paint.
Derrick Rose led the Pistons, who have lost five straight, with 21 points. Andre Drummond had 20 points and 20 rebounds.
New Orleans Pelicans 139 – Memphis Grizzlies 111
Zion Williamson scored 24 points to lead eight New Orleans players in double figures in a rout of visiting Memphis. The game featured the first matchup between Williamson, the No. 1 overall pick in last summer’s NBA draft, and No. 2 pick, the Grizzlies’ Ja Morant.
Brandon Ingram followed Williamson with 20 points and Lonzo Ball scored 19 for the Pelicans. New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry got his 500th career victory.
Jonas Valanciunas scored 18 to lead the Grizzlies, who saw their four-game winning streak end. Memphis lost for just the third time in 14 games. Morant scored 16 points, and Jae Crowder had 15.
Oklahoma City Thunder 111 – Phoenix Suns 107
Chris Paul had 20 points and 10 assists, and he scored six critical points in the final 1:03 to lift Oklahoma City to a victory at Phoenix.
The win was the seventh in eight games for the Thunder and the seventh consecutive on the road. The loss was the fourth in six games for the Suns.
Danilo Gallinari led the Thunder with 27 points while Dennis Schroder added 24 off the bench. Kelly Oubre and Devin Booker scored 27 each for Phoenix, though Booker was just 1 of 5 from behind the 3-point arc.
–Field Level Media