BOSTON (AP) — Kyrie Irving scored 24 points in three quarters and the Boston Celtics beat the Atlanta Hawks 129-108 on Friday night for their eighth straight victory.
Irving also had five assists, five rebounds and four steals. He scored 12 points in the first quarter and helped Boston race to a 23-5 lead. The Celtics topped 100 points with 2 minutes left in the third.
Jayson Tatum had 22 points for Boston, Marcus Morris added 20, Gordon Hayward had 19 points and five assists, Daniel Theis scored 18 points and rookie Robert Williams III blocked five shots.
NUGGETS 109, THUNDER 98
DENVER (AP) — Nikola Jokic scored 24 points, Jamal Murray had 19 and Denver defeated Oklahoma City after Murray and Russell Westbrook had a heated exchange.
Westbrook and Murray pushed each other and argued after lining up next to each other for a jump ball in the final seconds. Jokic tried to get between them, and Westbrook threatened to beat up Jokic while being restrained. No blows were exchanged, but the final moments played out amid heightened tensions.
TRAIL BLAZERS 128, RAPTORS 122
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Damian Lillard had 24 points and Portland stopped a two-game slide with a confidence-boosting victory over NBA-leading Toronto.
Zach Collins scored 16 points and Seth Curry added a season-high 13, including three key 3-pointers early in the fourth quarter. Both were part of a Trail Blazers bench that outscored Toronto’s reserves 58-26.
Kawhi Leonard returned after missing two games and had 28 points for the Raptors (23-8), who played without All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry. He sat out with a left thigh bruise.
BUCKS 114, CAVALIERS 102
CLEVELAND (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo matched his career high with 44 points and Milwaukee beat Cleveland despite missing two starters.
Antetokounmpo’s big night came after being held to a season-low 12 points Wednesday night in a loss to Indiana. He was 14 of 19 from the field, made 16 of 21 foul shots, and had 14 rebounds and eight assists.
Khris Middleton, the Bucks’ second leading scorer, was out with a sprained right finger. Malcolm Brogdon, fourth on the team in scoring, didn’t play because of a sore left hamstring.
PACERS 113, 76ERS 101
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Thaddeus Young had 26 points and 10 rebounds against his former team, and the Indiana Pacers overcame Joel Embiid’s 40-point night to beat Philadelphia.
Bojan Bogdanovic had 18 points, and the Pacers won their sixth straight to pass the Sixers in the standings. Victor Oladipo played in his second consecutive game after missing 11 in a row with a knee injury and had 14 points and nine assists.
KNICKS 126, HORNETS 124, OT
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Emmanuel Mudiay had 34 points and eight assists and short-handed New York overcame a 21-point deficit to snap a five-game skid.
Mudiay scored 14 points in the fourth quarter, including a fadeaway jumper with 27.2 seconds left to tie it at 113. Charlotte’s Kemba Walker missed a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 8.2 seconds left and the game went to overtime.
Charlotte got 21 points each from Nicolas Batum and Cody Zeller, and Marvin Williams added 20. Walker finished with 16 points and 10 assists.
NETS 125, WIZARDS 118
NEW YORK (AP) — Spencer Dinwiddie scored 27 points in his first game since signing a three-year contract extension, and Brooklyn beat Washington for its season-best fourth straight victory.
Joe Harris added 19 points for the Nets. They put up a season-high 70 points in the first half but had a 16-point lead trimmed to four in the fourth quarter.
HEAT 100, GRIZZLIES 97
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Josh Richardson and Kelly Olynyk each scored 18 points each and Miami beat Memphis to snapped a two-game losing streak.
Tyler Johnson finished with 17 points, and Derrick Jones Jr. added 13 points. Mike Conley led Memphis with 22 points.