Devin Booker had 35 points and Chris Paul added 19 as the Phoenix Suns rallied for a 127-121 victory over the host Portland Trail Blazers, opening the season’s second half by extending their winning streak to five games.
Mikal Bridges had 18 points while Jae Crowder and Cameron Payne added 13 points each as the Suns first erased a 13-point deficit in the second quarter, then overcame multiple 11-point deficits in the third.
Forced to miss Sunday’s All-Star Game at Atlanta because of a left knee sprain, Booker looked fit Thursday, going 12 of 21 from the field and 3 of 5 from 3-point range.
All-Star Damian Lillard had 30 points for the Trail Blazers while Enes Kanter had 16 points and 11 rebounds.
The Suns improved to 13-5 away from home, matching the Los Angeles Lakers for best road record in the NBA.
Milwaukee Bucks 134 – New York Knicks 101
Giannis Antetokounmpo recorded 24 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists to fuel host Milwaukee’s victory over New York, avenging a 20-point loss on Dec. 27.
Antetokounmpo made 8 of 12 shots from the floor and all seven attempts from the free-throw line in his first contest since being named the All-Star Game’s Most Valuable Player on Sunday. Bryn Forbes drained all seven of his 3-point attempts to finish with 21 points for the Bucks, who shot 57.5 percent from the floor to notch their seventh win in the past eight games.
RJ Barrett scored 22 points and Alec Burks added 17 off the bench for the Knicks, who opened a four-game road trip with a thud.
Brooklyn Nets 121 – Boston Celtics 109
Kyrie Irving tied a season high with 40 points and host Brooklyn overcame a sluggish start to beat Boston in New York.
The Nets won their third straight and prevailed for the 11th time in 12 games. James Harden added 22 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists for the Nets, who shot 47.7 percent from the floor and hit 19 3-pointers. Brooklyn’s Kevin Durant missed his 10th straight game with a hamstring injury, and newly acquired Blake Griffin sat out.
Jayson Tatum scored 31 points but Boston saw its four-game winning streak end. Marcus Smart added 19 after missing the previous 18 games due to a calf injury, and Daniel Theis contributed 17 and eight rebounds.
Oklahoma City Thunder 116 – Dallas Mavericks 108
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 32 points on 11-for-22 shooting and added six assists to lead host Oklahoma City past Dallas.
Gilgeous-Alexander registered his second consecutive 30-point game and his eighth of the season. Al Horford scored 21 points and grabbed nine rebounds to help the Thunder begin their second-half schedule with a second consecutive victory.
Dallas had its four-game winning streak snapped, but played without Luka Doncic (right ankle) and Kristaps Porzingis (right knee) as both rested on the second night of back-to-back games. Josh Richardson led the Mavericks with 27 points and six assists.
Atlanta Hawks 121 – Toronto Raptors 120
Tony Snell hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to help visiting Atlanta overcome a 15-point, fourth-quarter deficit and beat Toronto in Tampa.
It was the third straight win for the Hawks, all on the road. They got 37 points from Young, 20 points from reserve Danilo Gallinari and 19 points from Kevin Huerter.
Toronto was led by 33 points from Norman Powell, who has scored at least 24 points in seven of his last nine games. Reserve Chris Boucher followed with 29 points and added nine rebounds. Kyle Lowry chipped in 17 points and 12 assists, but the Raptors lost their third straight game.
Miami Heat 111 – Orlando Magic 103
Jimmy Butler had 27 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds, leading host Miami past Orlando to move over .500 for the first time this season.
Kelly Olynyk had 20 points and seven rebounds for the Heat, who have won eight of their past nine games. Miami also got 17 points from Tyler Herro, including eight in the fourth quarter.
Orlando, which has lost six straight games, was led by All-Star Nikola Vucevic’s 24 points and 17 rebounds. Dwayne Bacon added 21 points, and Michael Carter-Williams added 17 points and seven assists.
Charlotte Hornets 105 – Detroit Pistons 102
P.J. Washington had 20 points and nine rebounds and host Charlotte held off Detroit in the first game after the All-Star break for both teams.
Terry Rozier contributed 17 points, including several clutch baskets, as the Hornets extended their winning streak against the Pistons to 11 games. Gordon Hayward also had 17 points while Cody Zeller supplied 15 points and seven rebounds.
Jerami Grant carried Detroit with 32 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Saddiq Bey tossed in 14 points and Svi Mykhailiuk chipped in 11 points and a career-high eight assists.
Los Angeles Clippers 130 – Golden State Warriors 104
Kawhi Leonard scored 28 points on 10-for-17 shooting, and Los Angeles cruised to a win over visiting Golden State.
Paul George finished with 17 points for Los Angeles, which snapped a three-game losing streak in its return from the NBA All-Star break.
Andrew Wiggins and Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 15 points apiece for Golden State, which looked rusty following a weeklong layoff. Stephen Curry had 14 points on 6-for-16 shooting, as the Warriors dropped their season-high fourth game in a row.
Philadelphia 76ers 127 – Chicago Bulls 105
Tobias Harris scored 24 points and Dwight Howard notched 18 points and 12 rebounds as Philadelphia earned its third straight victory, routing host Chicago in both teams’ first game after the All-Star break.
Philadelphia shined without All-Stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, who remain out due to issues related to COVID-19 contact tracing. Seven players finished in double figures for Philadelphia, which led by seven points at halftime and swelled the advantage to as many as 26 in the second half.
Returning from a 13-game absence with a sprained shoulder, Lauri Markkanen led the Bulls with 23 points on 8-for-11 shooting.
Minnesota Timberwolves 135 – New Orleans Pelicans 105
Jaylen Nowell scored 28 points and Anthony Edwards added 27 points as visiting Minnesota ended a nine-game losing streak by routing New Orleans.
The Timberwolves won their first game in six tries under new coach Chris Finch, a one-time New Orleans assistant who was hired from Toronto’s staff when Ryan Saunders was fired last month.
Zion Williamson scored 24 points, and Steven Adams had 13 points and 12 rebounds for the Pelicans.
Sacramento Kings 125 – Houston Rockets 105
De’Aaron Fox scored a game-high 30 points and played a critical role in a decisive second-quarter run that spurred Sacramento to a blowout victory over visiting Houston.
The Rockets dropped their 14th consecutive game while the Kings improved to 3-2 in their past five immediately following a nine-game losing streak. Fox added seven rebounds and nine assists to his ledger and served as the linchpin of a balanced attack for Sacramento.
All five starters scored in double figures for the Kings, with Harrison Barnes and Richaun Holmes chipping in 20 points and 11 rebounds apiece. Eric Gordon added 17 points before departing in the third quarter with a groin injury.
–Field Level Media