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  • NBA roundup: LeBron James nets season-high 46 at Cleveland
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, January 26, 2021

    LeBron James scored a season-high 46 points, including 21 in the fourth quarter, to lift the visiting Los Angeles Lakers to a 115-108 win against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night.

    • James scored 13 points in the final 4:41 to help the Lakers pull away and improve to 10-0 on the road this season. Anthony Davis had 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Lakers, and Montrezl Harrell scored 15 off the bench.

      Andre Drummond had 25 points and 17 rebounds, Cedi Osman scored 20 points and Collin Sexton finished with 17 for the Cavaliers.

      James shot 19 of 26 from the field, including 7 of 11 from 3-point distance, and added eight rebounds and six assists. It was his second game back in Cleveland since leaving the Cavaliers for the second time.

      Denver Nuggets 117 - Dallas Mavericks 113

      Michael Porter Jr. scored a season-high-tying 30 points, Nikola Jokic had 20 points and 10 rebounds and visiting Denver beat Dallas.

      JaMychal Green had 17 points and eight rebounds while Jamal Murray scored 16 before being ejected for Denver, which has won the first three games of a five-game road trip.

      Luka Doncic amassed 35 points, 16 assists and 11 rebounds, Hardaway scored 19 points, and Kristaps Porzingis and James Johnson had 16 apiece for the Mavericks.

      Golden State Warriors 130 - Minnesota Timberwolves 108

      Stephen Curry overshadowed Andrew Wiggins' reunion with his former team, scoring a game-high 36 points as Golden State thrashed visiting Minnesota in San Francisco.

      Curry shot 11-for-21 overall and 7-for-12 on 3-point attempts en route to his fifth game this season with 35 or more points. Wiggins complemented his 23 points with six rebounds, three steals and three blocks for the Warriors.

      The game pitted the top picks of last year's draft, with No. 1 selection Anthony Edwards of the Timberwolves and No. 2 pick James Wiseman of the Warriors playing on near-even terms. Edwards finished with 15 points while Wiseman, demoted from the starting lineup Monday, had 13.

      Indiana Pacers 129 - Toronto Raptors 114

      Malcolm Brogdon scored 19 of his career-high 36 points in the second half and added nine assists as Indiana defeated Toronto at Indianapolis.

      Indiana's Domantas Sabonis scored 11 points before leaving with a knee contusion at the end of the first quarter after going knee-on-knee with Toronto's Kyle Lowry. He did not return. Jeremy Lamb added 22 points off the bench for the Pacers. Myles Turner had 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.

      Fred VanVleet led the Raptors with 25 points. Norman Powell, starting with Pascal Siakam (left knee swelling) out for the second straight game, added 24 points for Toronto. Lowry, returning after missing two games with an infected toe, scored 12 points before being ejected in the final minute.

      Oklahoma City Thunder 125 - Portland Trail Blazers 122

      Mike Muscala made a career-best six 3-pointers and scored a season-high 23 points to help Oklahoma City post a victory at Portland.

      Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored a team-high 24 points and added nine rebounds and six assists as the Thunder improved to 1-3 on a five-game road trip. Darius Bazley had 19 points and seven rebounds and Isaiah Roby scored 16 points for Oklahoma City.

      Anfernee Simons established season highs of 26 points and six 3-pointers for Portland. Damian Lillard notched 26 points and 10 assists, Carmelo Anthony scored a season-best 22 points and Gary Trent Jr. also had 22 points. Enes Kanter had 13 points and a season-best 22 rebounds.

      Orlando Magic 117 - Charlotte Hornets 108

      Nikola Vucevic scored 28 points as Orlando won for just the second time in its last 10 games, defeating visiting Charlotte.

      Vucevic, who reached the 10,000-point career mark a night earlier, shot 11 of 23 from the field, including four of his seven 3-point shots. He also hauled in 12 rebounds. Cole Anthony added 21 points with four 3-point baskets, Evan Fournier had 19 points and Dwayne Bacon had 15 points for Orlando.

      Gordon Hayward and Terry Rozier had 24 points each for the Hornets. Devonte' Graham added 21 points as Charlotte lost for the fifth time in its past six games.

      Brooklyn Nets 98 - Miami Heat 85

      James Harden scored 10 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter as Brooklyn pulled away in the final minutes for a victory over Miami in New York.

      The Nets won for the sixth time in eight games on a night in which they shot a season-low 40 percent, but they outscored Miami 20-7 in the final seven-plus minutes. Kevin Durant scored 20 points while shooting 6 of 21 and Kyrie Irving added 16 points while shooting 6 of 17. Brooklyn won despite hitting just 28.9 percent (11 of 38) from 3-point range.

      Miami's Bam Adebayo followed up a career-high 41-point night by leading all scorers with 26 points and 10 rebounds. Goran Dragic added 21, but Miami lost for the sixth time in eight games while continuing to play without Jimmy Butler (health and safety protocols), Avery Bradley (health and safety protocols) and Tyler Herro (neck).

      Boston Celtics 119 - Chicago Bulls 103

      Jaylen Brown scored 26 points and Jayson Tatum added 24 points in his return to the lineup from the NBA's COVID-19 protocol as Boston opened a stretch of playing seven of eight on the road with a win at Chicago.

      Daniel Theis added 19 points while Marcus Smart registered 13 points and 11 assists for Boston, which has won successive games following a three-game losing streak.

      Zach LaVine had a game-high 30 points on 11-for-19 shooting as the Bulls fell to 0-2 on their five-game homestand. Chicago committed 19 turnovers that led to 35 Boston points.

      Detroit Pistons 119 - Philadelphia 76ers 104

      Delon Wright poured in a career-high 28 points and host Detroit snapped a four-game losing streak with a win over Philadelphia. Wright, whose previous career best was 26 points in 2019, added nine assists and seven rebounds.

      Jerami Grant supplied 25 points, eight rebounds and five assists while Wayne Ellington tossed in 20 points as Detroit avenged a loss to Philadelphia two nights earlier.

      Tobias Harris' 25 points and seven rebounds led the Sixers, and Tyrese Maxey had 17 points. Philadelphia star Joel Embiid did not play due to back soreness. He had 33 points and 14 rebounds in his team's 114-110 win over the Pistons on Saturday.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: Pacers F Domantas Sabonis scheduled for MRI on knee
    By Field Level Media / Monday, January 25, 2021

    Indiana Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis is scheduled to undergo an MRI on his left knee after leaving Monday's game against the Toronto Raptors after one quarter, ESPN reported.

    • The Raptors' Kyle Lowry was driving to the basket when he bumped knees with Sabonis near the free-throw line. Lowry remained in the game, but Sabonis was ruled out for the remainder of the contest.

      Sabonis underwent X-rays immediately after the injury with no structural damage revealed, according to the report. The MRI is scheduled for Tuesday.

      Sabonis had 11 points in 11 minutes on 3-of-5 shooting Monday, including baskets on each of his two 3-point attempts.

      In his fifth season, Sabonis, 24, is averaging career bests across the board with 20.9 points per game, 12.9 rebounds and 5.8 assists in 16 previous games this season before Monday's contest.

      The former first-round pick in 2016 out of Gonzaga has averaged 12.6 points and 8.2 rebounds in his career.

      --Field Level Media

  • Warriors bench No. 2 pick James Wiseman
    By Field Level Media / Monday, January 25, 2021

    Rookie center James Wiseman is headed to the bench with Kevon Looney replacing him in the starting lineup for the Golden State Warriors.

    • "Basically, you've heard me all year talk about trying to establish ourselves as a defensive team, and the last two games have been disappointing," Golden State coach Steve Kerr said Monday. "The hope is we can get off to a better start."

      Kerr said he talked to the 19-year-old Wiseman, the No. 2 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, before informing the rest of the team of the change.

      "He understands this is not a demotion by any means ... I'm very confident this will be a good part of his development," Kerr said on Monday before the Warriors hosted the Minnesota Timberwolves.

      Wiseman entered Monday's game averaging 11.8 points and 6.1 rebounds per game.

      Golden State plans to use varied lineups with Wiseman expected to enter games midway through the first quarter, Kerr said. The change will allow the talented rookie to get a feel for opponents before entering live action.

      Kerr added he plans to play Eric Paschall at "small ball 5" in the middle of games.

      In the second half and especially late in games, he plans to ride the hot hand among those three options.

      --Field Level Media

  • NBA postpones Spurs at Pelicans game due to COVID-19
    By Field Level Media / Monday, January 25, 2021

    Monday's game between the San Antonio Spurs and the host New Orleans Pelicans was postponed because each team's contact COVID-19 tracing left them both without the league-required eight players, the NBA announced about two hours before the game was scheduled to start.

    • The game is the 22nd postponed by the league already this season, with all but one occurring this month.

      The Spurs beat the visiting Washington Wizards 121-101 on Sunday night in the Wizards' first game since Jan. 11. The Wizards had their previous six games postponed because they did not have enough eligible players due to the league's COVID-19 protocols.

      The Pelicans ended a six-game road swing with a 120-110 loss at the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday.

      The Pelicans have not had any COVID-19 issues this season within their team. The Pelicans-Mavericks game on Jan. 11 was postponed due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols for Dallas.

      --Field Level Media

  • NBA, players' union reportedly discuss All-Star Game
    By Field Level Media / Monday, January 25, 2021

    The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association are engaged in discussions about possibility holding an All-Star Game in early March, with Atlanta targeted as the host city, ESPN reported on Monday.

    • The NBA canceled its traditional All-Star Weekend, which had been scheduled for Indianapolis in February, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But the sides are discussing moving the game, along with scaled down All-Star Weekend events, to Atlanta on March 7.

      The NBA's midseason break is March 5-10.

      The game could be held at the Hawks' State Farm Arena or at one of the city's historically black colleges and universities' (HBCU) campus gyms.

      NBPA president Chris Paul of the Phoenix Suns supports the idea, which would feature HBCUs and provide COVID-19 relief funding.

      Holding an All-Star Game would be a massive undertaking. Atlanta-based Turner Sports could televise the game. But the game would still require a significant effort to coordinate travel arrangements for players, staff and officials during a time of uncertainty. The game also wouldn't include hosting any sponsors and attendance would be extremely limited, if fans are permitted to attend at all.

      The NBA awarded Indianapolis the 2024 All-Star Weekend after it was canceled this year.

      --Field Level Media

  • Clippers' Kawhi Leonard, Paul George out due to COVID-19 protocols
    By Field Level Media / Monday, January 25, 2021

    Kawhi Leonard and Paul George have been ruled out for the Los Angeles Clippers' game against the host Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday due to the NBA's health and safety COVID-19 protocols, while point guard Patrick Beverley will miss the game due to a sore right knee, according to ESPN.

    • The trio played in a 108-100 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday, though George was pulled from the game with 4:31 remaining due to hamstring tightness, while Beverley sat out the second half to rest his knee.

      Leonard nearly posted a triple-double with 34 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, while George had 11 points, five rebounds and four assists. Beverley had seven points and three assists for the Clippers, who improved to 13-4, tied for the league's best record with the Lakers.

      The Clippers headed to Atlanta to start a six-game road trip on a seven-game winning streak without Leonard or George, who were not on the team flight on Monday, according to ESPN.

      However, it's possible Leonard and George could join the trip for other games during the road trip, depending on the extent of protocol.

      Leonard is averaging 25.9 points, 5.7 assists and 5.4 rebounds this season, while George is averaging 23.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.4 assists. Beverley averages 8.1 points and 2.1 assists per game.

      Lou Williams (8.8 points per game) and Luke Kennard (8.5) are expected to receive more playing time.

      --Field Level Media

  • Heat's Jimmy Butler cleared, Avery Bradley eyes return
    By Field Level Media / Monday, January 25, 2021

    Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler reportedly has been cleared from health and safety protocols, and guard Avery Bradley is poised to return to game action when the team returns home on Wednesday.

    • Butler can resume practicing, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported. Bradley, who is two days ahead of Butler in the COVID-19 protocols, said he's hopeful to play Wednesday night against the Denver Nuggets in Miami.

      Both players have been sidelined since Jan. 9.

      Bradley confirmed he tested positive for the virus, telling a Yahoo Sports podcast that he's feeling better.

      "The first few days were a little rough for me," Bradley said on the Yahoo podcast, "but I started feeling a lot better. The taste and smell, thank God, I never had an issue with that. But I'm feeling a lot better."

      Butler has played in just six games between injury and being away due to health and safety protocols. It's not clear how long Butler will need for conditioning work before returning to game action.

      Butler is averaging 15.8 points per game and 5.5 rebounds. Bradley, who's played in just seven games, is averaging 10.0 points per game in his first season with the Heat.

      The Heat close out a four-game road trip Monday at Brooklyn. The Heat have had just one game postponed due to contact tracing and pandemic protocols.

      --Field Level Media

  • NBA roundup: Clippers roll on to 7th straight win
    By Field Level Media / Monday, January 25, 2021

    Kawhi Leonard had 34 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, and the Los Angeles Clippers earned their seventh consecutive victory with a 108-100 win over the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday.

    • Serge Ibaka contributed 17 points and six rebounds for the Clippers, who defeated the Thunder for the second time in three days.

      Reggie Jackson scored 14 points, Paul George chipped in 11 and Ivica Zubac added 10 points and 11 rebounds.

      Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 23 points, seven assists and six rebounds for the Thunder, who lost their third in a row. George Hill scored 22 points and Hamidou Diallo had 14 points. Isaiah Roby collected 10 points and 10 boards.

      Portland Trail Blazers 116 - New York Knicks 113

      Damian Lillard recorded 39 points and eight assists to lead Portland to a victory over visiting New York.

      Lillard made six 3-pointers and was 11 of 17 from the field as he scored at least 35 points for the fourth time in the past five games. He also made all 11 free-throw attempts to raise his consecutive streak to 66, breaking his own franchise mark of 64 set in March of 2018.

      Rookie Immanuel Quickley established season highs of 31 points and five 3-pointers for the Knicks. Julius Randle scored 25 points and Alec Burks added 18 for New York, which shot 45.3 percent from the field and made 12 of 29 from behind the arc while losing its second straight contest.

      Milwaukee Bucks 129 - Atlanta Hawks 115

      Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 27 points, becoming the sixth player in franchise history to reach 11,000 points, to lead Milwaukee to a win over visiting Atlanta and end its two-game losing streak.

      Antetokounmpo was 9-for-13 from the floor and had 14 rebounds and eight assists. He entered the game tied with Marques Johnson in career scoring with 10,980 points. The Bucks also got a season-high 21 points off the bench from Bobby Portis and 19 points, eight rebounds and seven assists from Khris Middleton.

      Atlanta got a career-high 33 points from De'Andre Hunter and 30 points from John Collins, including a career-high six 3-pointers. Danilo Gallinari came off the bench to score 17.

      Boston Celtics 141 - Cleveland Cavaliers 103

      Jaylen Brown scored 33 points in 19 minutes, Kemba Walker added a season-high 21 points and Boston crushed visiting Cleveland.

      Carsen Edwards scored 18 points, Daniel Theis added 17 and Marcus Smart had 12 with five steals as the Celtics snapped a three-game losing streak. Tristan Thompson had a game-high 12 rebounds.

      Collin Sexton had 13 points to lead the Cavaliers, whose three-game winning streak came to an end. Cleveland turned the ball over 17 times, Sexton responsible for six.

      San Antonio Spurs 121 - Washington Wizards 101

      Patty Mills scored 21 points, and Dejounte Murray racked up 11 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists for a triple-double as San Antonio halted a two-game losing streak with a win over visiting, short-handed Washington.

      The game was the first for Washington since Jan. 11 as six players were quarantined because of COVID-19.

      Seven San Antonio players scored in double figures as Lonnie Walker IV added 16 points, LaMarcus Aldridge hit for 15, Devin Vassell tallied 14 points, and Rudy Gay and Keldon Johnson had 13 each. Bradley Beal, the NBA's leading scorer, had 31 points, four below his season average, for the Wizards. Jerome Robinson added 16, and newly signed Alex Len finished with 11 points.

      Toronto Raptors 107 - Indiana Pacers 102

      OG Anunoby had a season-best 30 points and five steals as Toronto posted a win over Indiana at Indianapolis.

      Fred VanVleet added 21 points for the Raptors, who have won five of their past six games. Norman Powell had 20 points and Aron Baynes and Chris Boucher each added 12.

      Myles Turner collected 25 points and six blocks and Domantas Sabonis had 10 points and 19 rebounds for the Pacers. Justin Holiday added 16 points, Doug McDermott and Jeremy Lamb each had 13 and Malcolm Brogdon had 12.

      Charlotte Hornets 107 - Orlando Magic 104

      Gordon Hayward scored a tiebreaking basket on a drive into the lane with 0.7 seconds left to give Charlotte a win over host Orlando and snap a season-worst four-game losing streak.

      Hayward finished with 39 points, 13 of them in the fourth quarter, helping Charlotte. His drive came after Terrence Ross hit a 3-pointer with 8.7 seconds left for Orlando to tie the game at 104-104, capping an 11-2 run.

      Nikola Vucevic poured in 22 points and Evan Fournier had 21 for the Magic.

      --Field Level Media

  • Russell Westbrook returns to Wizards' lineup
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, January 24, 2021

    Washington Wizards point guard Russell Westbrook returned from a quadriceps injury to start Sunday night's game against the San Antonio Spurs.

    • It marked Westbrook's first appearance since being injured on Jan. 8. He only missed two games because Washington had to postpone six contests due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

      "Every day he's been making progress, you just never know until the next morning how you feel," coach Scott Brooks told reporters of Westbrook. "He felt great. We wouldn't put him out there until he felt great."

      Westbrook is averaging 19.3 points, 11.3 assists and 9.7 rebounds in seven games. He is shooting just 37.8 percent from the field.

      Washington acquired Westbrook from Houston in an offseason deal that included John Wall being traded to the Rockets.

      --Field Level Media

  • NBA postpones Wednesday's Bulls-Grizzlies game
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, January 24, 2021

    The NBA has postponed this week's game between the Chicago Bulls and Memphis Grizzlies, which initially had been scheduled for Wednesday.

    • The league announced the decision because of COVID-19 issues within the Grizzlies' organization. Memphis will not have the minimum eight players available because of contract tracing as the team follows league health and safety protocols.

      Memphis has not played since Jan. 18, when it notched its fifth win in a row with a 108-104 victory over the Phoenix Suns.

      --Field Level Media

  • Raptors' Kyle Lowry, Pascal Siakam out vs. Pacers
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, January 24, 2021

    Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry and forward Pascal Siakam have been ruled out for Sunday afternoon's game against the Indiana Pacers in Indianapolis, the team announced.

    • Lowry, 34, also sat out Toronto's 101-81 victory over the Miami Heat on Friday with a right toe infection.

      Siakam, 26, will miss Sunday's contest with swelling around his left knee, the team announced.

      Norman Powell started in place of Lowry and scored 14 of his game-high 23 points in the first quarter. The offensive production helped the Raptors record their fourth win in their last five games.

      Lowry has averaged 18.2 points and a team-high 7.1 assists in 13 games this season.

      Siakam had 15 points and 14 rebounds on Friday. He is averaging 18.6 points and a club-best 8.1 boards in 14 games.

      --Field Level Media

  • NBA roundup: Nuggets overcome Suns in double OT
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, January 24, 2021

    Nikola Jokic had 29 points and 22 rebounds, Jamal Murray scored 26, and the visiting Denver Nuggets beat the Phoenix Suns 120-112 in double overtime on Saturday night.

    • Michael Porter Jr. had 14 points and 11 rebounds, JaMychal Green scored 16, Monte Morris added 13 and Gary Harris finished with 10 for the Nuggets, who swept the two overtime games in Phoenix on successive nights.

      Chris Paul had 21 points, 13 assists and nine rebounds, Jae Crowder also scored 21 points and Deandre Ayton had 17 points and 13 rebounds for the Suns before fouling out in the first overtime.

      Cameron Johnson scored 19 points and Mikal Bridges had 11 for Phoenix, which played without leading scorer Devin Booker, who suffered a left hamstring strain in the Suns' overtime loss on Friday night.

      Philadelphia 76ers 114 - Detroit Pistons 110

      Joel Embiid had 33 points and 14 rebounds to lead Philadelphia past host Detroit, which was without Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose on the second night of a back-to-back.

      Ben Simmons supplied 20 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and three steals, while Tobias Harris tossed in 17 points for the Sixers. Seth Curry added 14 points as Philadelphia won its third straight game.

      Wayne Ellington led seven Pistons in double figures with 17 points. Svi Mykhailiuk contributed 15 points and Sekou Doumbouya had 13. Jerami Grant was limited to 11 points on 3-for-19 shooting. Grant had scored 20 or more points for 14 consecutive games.

      Brooklyn Nets 128 - Miami Heat 124

      Kevin Durant scored 31 points as Brooklyn never trailed and survived multiple fourth-quarter comeback attempts by Miami and a career-high 41-point night by Bam Adebayo in a victory at New York.

      Kyrie Irving added 18 of his 28 points in the fourth, including 10 in the final 2:41. Joe Harris added 23 and tied a career-high with seven 3-pointers. James Harden did not make a field goal until the fourth quarter and finished with 12 points and 11 assists as Brooklyn shot 53.7 percent, tied a season best with 19 3-pointers, and collected a season-high 34 assists.

      Adebayo surpassed his previous career-high of 30 points on Dec. 10, 2019 and made 14 of 20 shots but did not hit a field goal in the final 5 1/2 minutes. Goran Dragic added 19 while Duncan Robinson and Kendrick Nunn finished with 18 apiece as the Heat shot 70 percent in the fourth and 47.2 percent overall.

      Los Angeles Lakers 101 - Chicago Bulls 90

      Anthony Davis scored a game-high 37 points, and Los Angeles rolled to a win over host Chicago.

      The Lakers improved to a perfect 9-0 on the road to start the season. LeBron James notched a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds for Los Angeles, which won for the seventh time in their past eight games.

      Zach LaVine finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Bulls, whose three-game winning streak came to an end. Coby White had 14 points, while Patrick Williams (13) and Lauri Markkanen (12) also scored in double digits.

      Minnesota Timberwolves 120 - New Orleans Pelicans 110

      Naz Reid scored 20 points to lead six players in double-figures as short-handed Minnesota defeated New Orleans in Minneapolis.

      Anthony Edwards added 18 points, Jarred Vanderbilt had 16 points and 11 rebounds, Jarrett Culver and Malik Beasley scored 16 each and Jordan McLaughlin had 11 as the Timberwolves won for just the second time in 13 games.

      The Timberwolves played Saturday without Karl-Anthony Towns and Juancho Hernangomez, who are sidelined because of COVID protocols, and D'Angelo Russell, who was resting. Brandon Ingram scored 30 points, Eric Bledsoe added 28 and Zion Williamson had 19 points and 11 rebounds to lead New Orleans.

      Utah Jazz 127 - Golden State Warriors 108

      Steph Curry moved up to No. 2 on the NBA's all-time 3-pointers list, but that was about the only thing that went Golden State's way in a blowout loss against Utah in Salt Lake City.

      Donovan Mitchell led a balanced and explosive offensive performance for the red-hot Jazz -- who led the whole game and by as many as 40 -- with 23 points, seven rebounds and six assists in just 27 minutes.

      Five other players scored in double-figures for Utah, who won their league-leading eighth consecutive game.

      Houston Rockets 133 - Dallas Mavericks 108

      Eric Gordon and DeMarcus Cousins delivered their best performances of the season as Houston claimed a wire-to-wire victory over host Dallas.

      Gordon scored a season-high 33 points on 6-for-9 3-point shooting while Cousins posted his second double-double with season bests in points (28) and rebounds (17).

      The Rockets, who led by as many as 26 points prior to extended garbage time, won both ends of a road back-to-back by following up a one-point win at Detroit on Friday with exceptional shooting Saturday, including 16 3-pointers.

      --Field Level Media

  • Celtics' Payton Pritchard (knee) to miss two weeks
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, January 24, 2021

    Boston Celtics rookie point guard Payton Pritchard will miss around two weeks after sustaining a Grade 1 MCL strain of his right knee, the team announced Saturday.

    • Teammate Jaylen Brown fell on Pritchard's leg in the loss at Philadelphia on Friday night, causing Pritchard to need assistance leaving the court.

      Pritchard has been impressive thus far in his rookie season out of Oregon. He is averaging 7.7 points per game on nearly 43 percent shooting from downtown while seeing a ton of action during Kemba Walker's absence to start the season.

      Walker has since returned to the lineup, and Boston will now look to veteran Jeff Teague to play the majority of the backup minutes at point guard while Pritchard recovers. Pritchard is expected to return to on-court activities in approximately two weeks.

      --Field Level Media

  • Reports: Ex-NBA guard J.J. Barea to play in Spain
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, January 23, 2021

    Former Dallas Mavericks guard J.J. Barea will continue his career with Estudiantes of the Spanish Liga Endesa, multiple outlets reported Saturday.

    • The Mavericks released the fan favorite before the start of the 2020-21 season.

      Barea, 36, played 14 seasons in the NBA -- 11 of them in Dallas from 2006-11 and 2014-20. He spent the three seasons in between with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

      In 831 regular-season games (107 starts), Barea averaged 8.9 points, 3.9 assists and 2.1 rebounds. He knocked down 819 3-pointers.

      Barea won an NBA title with the Mavericks in 2011.

      --Field Level Media

  • Wizards sign centers Alex Len, Jordan Bell
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, January 23, 2021

    The Washington Wizards announced the signings Saturday of free agent centers Alex Len and Jordan Bell. Terms were not disclosed.

    • The Wizards lost starting big man Thomas Bryant to a season-ending knee injury earlier this month.

      Len, 27, was the No. 5 overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. He was waived by the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday after averaging 2.3 points, 1.6 rebounds and 10.9 minutes in seven games (two starts) this season.

      The 7-footer has career averages of 7.9 points and 6.2 rebounds in 474 career games (185 starts) with the Phoenix Suns (2013-18), Atlanta Hawks (2018-20), Sacramento Kings (2020) and Raptors.

      Bell, 26, last played in an NBA game on Feb. 26, 2020 with the Memphis Grizzlies.

      A second-round pick in 2017 and an NBA champion with Golden State in 2017-18, Bell boasts career averages of 3.8 points and 3.1 rebounds in 154 games (16 starts) with the Warriors (2017-19), Minnesota Timberwolves (2019-20) and Grizzlies (2020).

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: NBA approves $5.7M exception for Nets
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, January 23, 2021

    The Brooklyn Nets have been granted a $5.7 million Disabled Player Exception due to the loss of guard Spencer Dinwiddie to a partial ACL tear, The Athletic reported.

    • Dinwiddie, 27, played in just three games and is not expected to return this season.

      The Nets can use the exception in a trade or signing to add depth to complement their big three of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and the recently acquired James Harden.

      Dinwiddie has averaged 14.3 points and 5.3 assists in five seasons with the Nets. He spent his first two seasons in Detroit after the Pistons took him in the second round of the 2014 NBA Draft.

      The Nets (9-8) could use the exception to add defensive help. Through 17 games, they are giving up 116.4 points per game, fourth worst in the NBA.

      The Nets have until April 19 to use the exception. The trade deadline is March 25.

      --Field Level Media

  • NBA roundup: Clint Capela's triple-double leads Hawks past Wolves
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, January 23, 2021

    Clint Capela recorded his first career triple-double and Trae Young scored a season-high 43 points to pace the Atlanta Hawks to a 116-98 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves in Minneapolis on Friday and extend their winning streak to three games.

    • Capela had 13 points, 19 rebounds and a career-high 10 blocked shots, becoming the first NBA player to have a triple-double with blocks since 2018. Capela joined Dikembe Mutombo (2000) and Tree Rollins (1979, two in 1982 and 1983) as Atlanta Hawks to record a triple-double including blocked shots. Capela also became the third Hawks player ever to post 10 or more blocks in a single game.

      The Hawks got three key pieces back from injuries, and their presence made a difference. De'Andre Hunter returned after missing one game with right knee soreness and scored 11. Cam Reddish was back after missing three games with a left knee contusion and had 15 points and five rebounds. Danilo Gallinari, back after missing 11 games with a right ankle sprain, scored 10.

      Malik Beasley led the Timberwolves with 17 points. Jarrett Culver scored 15, Naz Reid had 13 and Jarred Vanderbilt finished with 10.

      Denver Nuggets 130 -- Phoenix Suns 126 (OT)

      Nikola Jokic had 31 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, Gary Harris scored 19 points and Denver Nuggets beat host Phoenix for its fifth win in seven games.

      Jamal Murray had 18 points and nine assists for Denver, and Will Barton scored eight of his 17 points in overtime. Michael Porter Jr. scored seven off the bench in his first game since Dec. 29, having been sidelined due to COVID-19 protocols.

      Devin Booker scored 31 points, Deandre Ayton had 27 points and 13 rebounds, Mikal Bridges contributed 24 points and 10 rebounds and Chris Paul totaled 11 points and 15 assists for the Suns, who lost for the third time in four games.

      Los Angeles Clippers 120 -- Oklahoma City Thunder 106

      Kawhi Leonard scored 31 points and Paul George added 29 as host Los Angeles won its sixth straight contest, knocking off Oklahoma City.

      Leonard also had eight rebounds and three steals while George collected seven rebounds and five assists. Serge Ibaka finished with 17 points, making seven of his eight field-goal attempts, and grabbed 11 rebounds, and Nicolas Batum scored 14 points on 5-of-6 shooting for the Clippers.

      Former Clipper Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 30 points and eight assists for Oklahoma City, which lost for the fourth time in five games. Luguentz Dort scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half.

      Chicago Bulls 123 -- Charlotte Hornets 110

      Zach LaVine scored 25 points and Chicago posted its first three-game winning streak of the season by defeating host Charlotte.

      Lauri Markkanen poured in 23 points for the Bulls, who shot 51.6 percent from the field. Markkanen was 10-for-17 and LaVine 8-for-12.

      Gordon Hayward posted 34 points and Devonte' Graham scored a season-high 24 points for the Hornets, who hadn't played since Saturday. Charlotte lost its fourth game in a row.

      Indiana Pacers 120 -- Orlando Magic 118 (OT)

      Malcolm Brogdon made a go-ahead 3-pointer with 3.6 seconds remaining in overtime to give Indiana a victory over Orlando in Indianapolis.

      Brogdon finished with 23 points, Jeremy Lamb had 22 off the bench and Myles Turner tied a season high with 22 in his return from a two-game absence.

      Nikola Vucevic collected 24 points and 12 rebounds, and Aaron Gordon finished with 17 for the Magic, who have lost seven of their past eight games.

      Toronto Raptors 101 -- Miami Heat 81

      Norman Powell scored 14 of his game-high 23 points in the first quarter and Toronto went on to defeat visiting Miami. The teams split two games at Toronto's temporary home in Tampa, with the Heat winning 111-102 on Wednesday.

      Pascal Siakam, who was listed as questionable for the game because of a groin injury, scored 15 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for Toronto. OG Anunoby added 21 points for the Raptors, who completed a five-game homestand with a 4-1 record.

      Kendrick Nunn scored 22 points off the bench for Miami. Bam Adebayo had 14 points and eight rebounds.

      Philadelphia 76ers 122 -- Boston Celtics 110

      Joel Embiid scored 38 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as host Philadelphia beat rival Boston for the second game in a row.

      Tobias Harris scored 23 points on 10-of-12 shooting and Seth Curry added 15 after missing the previous seven games due to health and safety protocols. Ben Simmons had 15 points and 11 assists as the Sixers improved to 9-1 at home.

      Jaylen Brown led the Celtics with a career-high-tying 42 points to go along with nine rebounds, while Marcus Smart added 20 points and seven assists. Kemba Walker chipped in with 19 points.

      Cleveland Cavaliers 125 -- Brooklyn Nets 113

      Collin Sexton amassed 25 points and a season-high nine assists as Cleveland took control in the third quarter and beat visiting Brooklyn.

      Two nights after scoring a career-high 42 points in Cleveland's wild 147-135 double-overtime win over the Nets, Sexton helped the Cavaliers get their third straight win. Jarrett Allen added 19 points while Andre Drummond collected 19 points and 16 rebounds.

      Kyrie Irving scored 38 points in his second game back from a two-week absence, but it was not enough for the Nets, who rested Kevin Durant. James Harden added 19 points and 11 assists.

      Dallas Mavericks 122 -- San Antonio Spurs 117

      Luka Doncic scored 36 points, dished out 11 assists and grabbed nine rebounds to pace a balanced attack as visiting Dallas held off San Antonio.

      After the Mavericks' 10-point lead was chopped to one with 1:03 to play, Doncic got Dallas back on track with a clutch jumper with 49.4 seconds left. Jalen Brunson hit a 3-pointer with 18.9 seconds left to help the Mavericks hold on down the stretch.

      Kristaps Porzingis and Tim Hardaway Jr. added 21 points apiece for Dallas while Brunson scored 16. DeMar DeRozan led the Spurs with 29 points and LaMarcus Aldridge hit for 26. San Antonio played without Dejounte Murray for all but the first 1:02 of the game after he sprained his left ankle.

      Houston Rockets 103 -- Detroit Pistons 102

      Eric Gordon led seven Houston players in double figures with 20 points as the Rockets held off host Detroit.

      P.J. Tucker had 15 points and seven rebounds, and Jae'Sean Tate, David Nwaba and Victor Oladipo supplied 13 points apiece for Houston, which snapped a three-game losing streak.

      Jerami Grant led the Pistons with 21 points and eight rebounds. Grant has scored 20 or more points in 14 consecutive games. Delon Wright and Wayne Ellington contributed 18 points apiece.

      Sacramento Kings 103 -- New York Knicks 94

      Tyrese Haliburton highlighted a late flurry with a 3-pointer as Sacramento outlasted visiting New York.

      De'Aaron Fox led the Kings with 22 points, including a dunk and two free throws that helped Sacramento pull away late. Harrison Barnes scored 21 and Haliburton added 16 as the Kings snapped a four-game losing streak.

      Julius Randle paced the Knicks, who were playing the second night of a back-to-back, with game highs of 26 points and 15 rebounds. New York had won three in a row, including a 119-104 decision over the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night.

      --Field Level Media

  • Celtics rookie Payton Pritchard (knee) injured vs. 76ers
    By Field Level Media / Friday, January 22, 2021

    Boston Celtics guard Payton Pritchard had to be helped off the floor after suffering a sprained right knee in the first quarter of their road game Friday night against the Philadelphia 76ers.

    • The Celtics later announced the injury and that Pritchard, the No. 26 overall pick in the 2020 draft, would not return.

      With 3:23 remaining in the first quarter, Pritchard was positioned in the lane as guard Shake Milton sank a short runner to give the 76ers a 23-21 lead. As the shot fell through, Pritchard's teammate Jaylen Brown fell into Pritchard's right leg after battling Dwight Howard for position on the play.

      Pritchard was down for several minutes and had to eventually be helped from the floor and assisted to the locker room by teammates. Pritchard was scoreless in two minutes off the bench before departing.

      --Field Level Media

  • Reports: NBA rescinds technical foul on Draymond Green
    By Field Level Media / Friday, January 22, 2021

    Admitting a refereeing error, the NBA rescinded a technical foul that led to Golden State veteran Draymond Green getting ejected from the Warriors' game Thursday night against the New York Knicks, The Athletic and ESPN reported Friday.

    • With just over one minute remaining in the second quarter at San Francisco, Green committed a turnover on a pass intended for rookie teammate James Wiseman. As the Warriors were headed back on defense, Green appeared to yell at Wiseman, but ref John Butler thought the shouting was directed at him, so he charged Green with a technical foul.

      Since Green previously received a T for arguing with the officials in the first quarter, he was kicked out of the game. The Warriors went on to lose 119-104.

      Green, teammate Stephen Curry and Golden State coach Steve Kerr attempted to convince the refs they had made a mistake at the time of Green's second technical, but the call was not reversed.

      Kerr said after the game, "At halftime (refereeing crew chief) Ben Taylor came out and told me that it was a mistake, that John Butler didn't realize that Draymond was yelling at his teammate. He thought he was yelling at him."

      Taylor spoke to a pool reporter postgame, saying that Butler gave Green his second technical due to "profanity that was deemed to be directed at the official."

      Green told The Undefeated's Marc J. Spears, "I'm just a bit confused. Officials can meet and make a decision on any call throughout the game, but when it comes to a technical that was clearly the wrong call, due to an official assuming I was talking to him when in fact I wasn't, that can't be overturned? Maybe it's time to take a look at that rule. I would love clarity on why that's the rule, if in fact it is a rule."

      Wiseman said, "Just one of those moments (Green) was like, 'Catch the ball' or something like that. I don't understand why the ref did that. I was confused myself."

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: Wizards sign C Alex Len to one-year deal
    By Field Level Media / Friday, January 22, 2021

    Former No. 5 overall pick Alex Len agreed to a one-year deal with the Washington Wizards, The Athletic reported Friday.

    • The Toronto Raptors waived the 7-foot center on Tuesday. He had multiple suitors after clearing waivers and chose the Wizards due to their frontcourt needs, per the report.

      Len, 27, signed with Toronto in late November and appeared in seven games (two starts) this season, averaging 2.3 points and 1.6 rebounds in 10.9 minutes per game.

      A first-round pick out of Maryland by the Phoenix Suns in the 2013 NBA draft, Len has averaged 7.9 points and 6.2 rebounds in 474 career games (185 starts) with the Suns (2013-18), Atlanta Hawks (2018-20), Sacramento Kings (2020) and Raptors.

      The Wizards lost starting big man Thomas Bryant to a season-ending ACL injury earlier this month.

      --Field Level Media

  • NBA roundup: Jazz push win streak to seven
    By Field Level Media / Friday, January 22, 2021

    Donovan Mitchell scored a season-high 36 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead the Utah Jazz past the New Orleans Pelicans 129-118 Thursday night in Salt Lake City for their seventh consecutive victory.

    • Mitchell made 11 of 19 field-goal attempts and drained 6 of 8 from 3-point range. He displayed a form reminiscent to his explosive first-round playoff series last year, when he averaged 36.3 points vs. the Denver Nuggets. With his fifth 3-pointer of the night, the All-Star guard became the fastest player in NBA history to reach 600 treys, getting there in 240 games.

      Mike Conley amassed 20 points and six assists for Utah. Rudy Gobert contributed 12 points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots, reserve Jordan Clarkson added 19 points, and Bojan Bogdanovic threw in 16 points for a Jazz team that shot 50 percent from the floor.

      Zion Williamson had 27 points for the Pelicans, who lost for the seventh time in eight outings. Brandon Ingram scored 20 of his 23 points in the first half.

      Los Angeles Lakers 113 - Milwaukee Bucks 106

      LeBron James scored a season-high 34 points to help keep Los Angeles undefeated on the road this season with a win against Milwaukee. The Lakers extended their franchise-best road start to 8-0.

      Kentavious Caldwell-Pope made a season-high seven 3-pointers on 10 attempts in a 23-point night, and Anthony Davis had 18 points and nine rebounds. James shot 6-for-10 from 3-point range and added eight assists for the Lakers in the opener of a seven-game road trip.

      Giannis Antetokounmpo had 25 points and 12 rebounds, Jrue Holiday added 22 points and seven assists and Khris Middleton scored 20 for Milwaukee, which lost its second straight. Antetokounmpo committed a career-high nine turnovers.

      New York Knicks 119 - Golden State Warriors 104

      RJ Barrett recorded a career-best with 28 points and New York used a 40-point first quarter to build a lead it relinquished only momentarily in a victory over Golden State at San Francisco.

      All five Knicks starters scored in double figures, including Mitchell Robinson with 18 points and Julius Randle with 16 points, as New York opened a four-game Western swing with an impressive win. The Knicks earned their third consecutive win.

      Stephen Curry had a game-high 30 points but shot just 5-for-14 on 3-point attempts for the Warriors. Draymond Green was ejected in the second quarter after receiving his second technical foul of the game.

      --Field Level Media

  • Reports: Rockets acquire Kevin Porter Jr. from Cavs
    By Field Level Media / Friday, January 22, 2021

    The Houston Rockets acquired guard Kevin Porter Jr. for a protected second-round pick, multiple media outlets reported Thursday night.

    • The deal provides the rebuilding Rockets with a talented but temperamental 20-year-old who could have a bright future in the league if he is able to move past his off-the-court issues.

      Porter averaged 10 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 50 games (three starts) as a rookie last season, but he did not play for Cleveland this season because of personal reasons.

      The Cavaliers recently sought to trade Porter after his angry outburst in the team's locker room, according to multiple media reports. Porter allegedly threw food and screamed because his locker was moved to make way for recent acquisition Taurean Prince, who arrived as part of a four-team blockbuster trade that sent James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets.

      Cleveland general manager Koby Altman tried to intervene during the blowup but Porter "remained combative," according to a report from The Athletic.

      Porter, 20, attended the University of Southern California and was the No. 30 overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft.

      --Field Level Media

  • Grizzlies' next three games postponed
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, January 21, 2021

    The Memphis Grizzlies' next three games have been postponed in accordance with the league's health and safety protocols, the NBA announced Thursday.

    • "The games are being postponed due to unavailable players for the Grizzlies and contact tracing for other players on their roster, and in order to ensure the health and safety of players on both teams," the league said in a news release.

      The postponed games are Friday's contest at the Portland Trail Blazers and home dates on Sunday and Monday with the Sacramento Kings.

      The Grizzlies' game Wednesday night in Portland was previously postponed.

      Memphis (7-6) has won five consecutive games, most recently a 108-104 decision against the Phoenix Suns on Monday.

      --Field Level Media

  • NBA viewership up 34 percent across TNT, ESPN, ABC
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, January 21, 2021

    NBA viewership was up 34 percent this season across TNT, ESPN and ABC through Monday's games, the league announced Thursday.

    • There were 2.0 million average viewers through 27 games, compared to 1.49 million during a comparable number of games in 2019-20, according to Nielsen Media Research.

      Monday's Martin Luther King Jr. Day tripleheader -- Phoenix Suns at Memphis Grizzlies, Milwaukee Bucks at Brooklyn Nets and Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Lakers -- averaged 1.73 million viewers, up 32 percent from the previous season.

      Viewership on NBA League Pass, the league's live-game subscription package, was up 46 percent on MLK Day.

      The NBA's social media platforms have also generated record engagement this season, with a 201 percent boost in minutes watched over last season.

      --Field Level Media

  • NBA roundup: Cavs ruin debut of Nets' Big Three
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, January 21, 2021

    Collin Sexton hit the game-tying 3-pointer with 1.2 seconds left in the first overtime and scored 15 of his career-high 42 points in the second overtime as the host Cleveland Cavaliers outlasted the Brooklyn Nets for a 147-135 victory on Wednesday night.

    • Sexton surpassed his previous career high of 41 set March 4, 2020, against Boston by scoring 31 points after halftime. He shot 16 of 29 from the field overall after missing the previous five games with an ankle injury.

      Thanks largely to Sexton's efforts, Cleveland overcame big nights in the debut of Brooklyn's star trio of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden, who each played the final 18-plus minutes.

      Durant led the Nets with 38 points but missed a potential game-winning shot at the buzzer in the first overtime. He also put up 12 rebounds and eight assists. Irving added 37 points in his first game back from a two-week absence due to personal reasons along with health and safety protocols. Harden posted his second triple-double in three games as a Net with 21 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.

      Atlanta Hawks 123 - Detroit Pistons 115 (OT)

      Clint Capela scored a season-high 27 points and grabbed a career-high 26 rebounds to help Atlanta erase a 17-point, fourth-quarter deficit and beat visiting Detroit in overtime.

      Capela became the first Atlanta player with at least 25 points and 25 rebounds since Dikembe Mutombo in 1999. Atlanta got 38 points and 10 assists from Trae Young and 31 points and 11 rebounds from John Collins and defeated the Pistons for the second time.

      Detroit's Jerami Grant had a career-high 32 points and posted his 13th straight game with at least 20 points. Blake Griffin scored 17 and Wayne Ellington added 16.

      Philadelphia 76ers 117 - Boston Celtics 109

      Joel Embiid scored 42 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lift host Philadelphia past rival Boston, who played without Jayson Tatum, who is recovering from COVID-19.

      Embiid shot 12 of 19 from the field and 17 of 21 from the free-throw line for his second 40-point effort this season -- both in the past three games. Tobias Harris added 22 points for the Sixers, who have won eight of nine at home.

      Jaylen Brown led the Celtics with 26 points while Marcus Smart added a season-high 25. Daniel Theis had 23 points and 10 rebounds, and Kemba Walker contributed 19 points in just 22 minutes in his second game back from a knee injury.

      Dallas Mavericks 124 - Indiana Pacers 112

      Kristaps Porzingis collected 27 points and 13 rebounds while Trey Burke added 22 points off the bench to lift Dallas over Indiana in Indianapolis.

      Porzingis made 12 of 15 attempts from the floor and Burke sank 9 of 16 shots, including four from 3-point range. Tim Hardaway Jr. finished with 19 points, two days after misfiring on all 12 attempts during a scoreless performance in Dallas' 116-93 loss to the Toronto Raptors.

      Luka Doncic recorded his 30th career triple-double with 13 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists for the Mavericks, who snapped a season-high, three-game losing streak. Malcolm Brogdon scored 26 points while Domantas Sabonis had 25 points and 10 rebounds for the Pacers.

      Miami Heat 111 - Toronto Raptors 102

      Kendrick Nunn scored a season-best 28 points off the bench and grabbed eight rebounds and Miami defeated Toronto at the Raptors' temporary home in Tampa.

      It was the first time the Heat have won two in a row this season, and it ended the Raptors' winning streak at three games. The teams play again on Friday at Tampa.

      Goran Dragic added 17 points for the Heat while Kelly Olynyk had 15 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. Fred VanVleet had 24 points and nine assists for the Raptors while OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam each added 18 points.

      Orlando Magic 97 - Minnesota Timberwolves 96

      Cole Anthony's 3-pointer at the buzzer capped Orlando's rally in a win over Minnesota at Minneapolis.

      The Magic came in losers of six straight and appeared headed for a seventh consecutive loss as their field-goal percentage languished in the 30s for much of the night.

      Nikola Vucevic scored a game-high 28 points for the Magic, Evan Fournier added 24 points and Aaron Gordon and Anthony had 13 apiece. D'Angelo Russell paced the Timberwolves with 19 points, and Naz Reid scored 14.

      Golden State Warriors 121 - San Antonio Spurs 99

      Rookie James Wiseman used seven dunks as a foundation for a season-best 20 points and Stephen Curry added a game-high 26 as Golden State ran away from San Antonio in San Francisco.

      Riding the momentum of a win in Los Angeles over the defending champion Lakers on Monday, the Warriors led by as many as 22 points in the first half before ending a three-game losing streak against the Spurs.

      Dejounte Murray had 22 points to pace San Antonio, which was completing a two-game trip that began with a win at Portland.

      Los Angeles Clippers 115 - Sacramento Kings 96

      Kawhi Leonard had 32 points, six steals and five assists as Los Angeles defeated visiting Sacramento for its fifth consecutive win.

      Paul George contributed 19 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds while Nicolas Batum and Ivica Zubac added 11 points apiece for Los Angeles. Zubac grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds.

      De'Aaron Fox scored 25 points and added seven assists for the Kings, who lost their fourth straight. Glenn Robinson III had 14 points.

      Phoenix Suns 109 - Houston Rockets 103

      Deandre Ayton posted a double-double while Devin Booker added 24 points as visiting Phoenix staved off a late rally from Houston.

      The Suns led by as many as 20 points in the third quarter before the Rockets rallied, eventually cutting the deficit to 103-101 with 1:38 remaining before Phoenix held on.

      Ayton led Phoenix with 26 points, 17 rebounds and five blocks while Booker shot 10 of 18 from the floor. Victor Oladipo and Eric Gordon scored 22 points apiece for the Rockets, who have lost five of six.

      --Field Level Media