Damian Lillard poured in 51 points and added seven assists to lead the Portland Trail Blazers to a 124-121 victory over a Philadelphia 76ers’ squad that lost Joel Embiid to injury on Sunday night near Orlando.
Carmelo Anthony recorded 20 points and seven rebounds as Portland (33-39) moved within a half-game of the eighth-place Memphis Grizzlies in the Western Conference race. The Trail Blazers are a half-game ahead of the San Antonio Spurs and one game in front of the Phoenix Suns for the play-in berth.
Josh Richardson scored a season-best 34 points and matched a season high of six 3-pointers for the 76ers (42-28). Embiid exited with a left ankle injury with 6:18 left in the first quarter and had two points on 1-of-6 shooting and collected four rebounds.
Anthony moved into 15th place in NBA history with 26,411 career points. He passed Paul Pierce (26,397) and John Havlicek (26,395).
Houston Rockets 129 – Sacramento Kings 112
Austin Rivers scored 41 points off the bench, James Harden tallied 32 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, and Houston roared back from a sluggish start to top Sacramento.
The Rockets (44-25) improved to 4-1 in the restart while the Kings (29-41) were eliminated from playoff contention when the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Philadelphia 76ers earlier Sunday.
Houston played a second consecutive game without guard Russell Westbrook (right quad contusion), although Westbrook and guard Eric Gordon (left ankle sprain) are nearing a return. Rivers helped compensate for their absences with his career high scoring, including 19 points on 7-of-8 shooting prior to the intermission to help the Rockets erase an early 13-point deficit.
San Antonio Spurs 122 – New Orleans Pelicans 113
DeMar DeRozan scored 27 points and San Antonio kept its playoff hopes while helping to end those of New Orleans.
The Spurs (31-38) improved to 4-2 during the restart and stayed in the thick of the tight battle for the eighth and ninth positions in the Western Conference. The Pelicans (30-40) fell to 2-4 in the restart and, following Portland’s win later in the day, were eliminated from the playoffs.
Rudy Gay added 19 points, Derrick White scored 16 despite missing most of the second half because of a bruised left knee, Dejounte Murray had 18 and Marco Belinelli tallied 14. JJ Redick led New Orleans with 31 points, Zion Williamson scored 25, Brandon Ingram had 17 and Derrick Favors had 10 points and 12 rebounds.
Toronto Raptors 108 – Memphis Grizzlies 99
Marc Gasol capped a key third-quarter run with a 3-pointer in his first game against his longtime employer and Toronto clinched the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference with a win over slumping Memphis.
Gasol was dealt from Memphis to Toronto last February and was a member of the Raptors’ championship team in 2019. He contributed 10 points and six rebounds in 22 minutes to lift the Raptors to a fourth win in five games since the restart.
The loss was a costly one for Memphis (33-38), which began the day in eighth place in the West but is locked into a tight battle with Portland, Phoenix, San Antonio and New Orleans. The loss prevented the Grizzlies from clinching a spot in the play-in game for the No. 8 seed.
Boston Celtics 122 – Orlando Magic 119 (OT)
Gordon Hayward scored 31 points and Jayson Tatum added 29 to lift Boston past Orlando in overtime.
Jaylen Brown collected 19 points and 12 rebounds for the third-place Celtics (47-23), who saw their slim chances to secure the second seed in the Eastern Conference go by the boards earlier on Sunday when Toronto wrapped up the No. 2 seed with a win over Memphis.
Nikola Vucevic had 26 points and 11 rebounds and Terrence Ross added 18 points off the bench for the reeling Magic (32-39), who have dropped four in a row.
Oklahoma City Thunder 121 – Washington Wizards 103
Darius Bazley scored a career-high 23 points to lead Oklahoma City past Washington, pulling ahead of Utah for fifth in the Western Conference in the process.
For the second consecutive game, the Thunder jumped out to a big lead early. But unlike Friday’s game against Memphis, where an 18-point first-quarter lead turned into a 29-point blowout loss, this time Oklahoma City was able to keep control to remain in the thick of the race for a top-four spot in the Western Conference.
The Wizards (24-46) remain winless in the NBA bubble, having dropped six consecutive games. Washington has two games remaining at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
Brooklyn Nets 129 – Los Angeles Clippers 120
Caris LeVert had 27 points and 13 assists, leading Brooklyn past Los Angeles despite Kawhi Leonard’s 39 points.
Joe Harris scored 23 of his 25 points in the first half before fouling out late in the contest. Tyler Johnson scored 21 points, Garrett Temple added 19, and Jarrett Allen finished with 16 points and 16 rebounds for the Nets (34-36).
Leonard also had six assists and four steals for the Clippers. Lou Williams scored 18 points, while Marcus Morris Sr. contributed 15. Terance Mann chipped in 14. The Clippers (47-23), playing the second game of back-to-back contests, rested All-Star forward Paul George. Clippers guard Patrick Beverley (calf) missed his third straight contest.
–Field Level Media