Los Angeles (AFP)
Utah’s Donovan Mitchell scored 35 points and distributed seven assists as the Jazz bolstered their NBA-leading record on Saturday with a 126-110 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies.
As Mike Conley took the night to rest from a hamstring injury, Mitchell took control early. He had his first five shots en route to score 28 points in the first half – his record in a half.
He erased an early 8-2 deficit with a three-run and a basket practice for a three-point play, and his three-point buzzer to end the half put the Jazz ahead 70-53.
Jordan Clarkson came off the bench to add 28 points and Rudy Gobert added 16 points and 14 rebounds for Utah, which pushed the lead to 30 in the third quarter.
Joe Ingles added 15 points and seven assists and the Jazz clinched their fifth straight win and 33rd of the season.
The Los Angeles Clippers, chasing Utah and the Phoenix Suns in the West, won their fifth straight game, 122-112 against the Philadelphia 76ers at the top of the Eastern Conference.
Kawhi Leonard led the Clippers with 28 points, Paul George added 24 and Terrence Mann had 23 off the bench.
“Just be aggressive,” Mann said of the key to the Clippers’ victory over the Sixers, which star big man Joel Embiid missed as he continues to recover from a bruised knee.
“The guys who come down set the tempo from the jump. That’s what we’ve been doing for the past five games. ”
In New Orleans, Zion Williamson scored 38 points and the Pelicans rallied to beat the Dallas Mavericks 112-103.
The Mavericks, missing ailing forward Luka Doncic and center Kristaps Porzingis who rested on the second night in a row, led 95-94 with less than four minutes to go.
But the Pelicans roared home on an 18-8 run that included 10 points from Williamson.
Two days after being traded by Orlando, center Nikola Vucevic made his Chicago debut in the Bulls’ 120-104 loss to the San Antonio Spurs.
Vucevic scored 21 points with nine rebounds and four assists, battling defensively against Jakob Poeltl who led Spurs with 20 points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots.
DeMar DeRozan added 17 points for the Spurs, who ended a four-game losing streak and made coach Gregg Popovich the third NBA coach to reach 1,300 regular season wins after Don Nelson (1,335) and Lenny Wilkens (1332).
New Yorkers Alec Burks and RJ Barrett scored 21 points to lead the Knicks to a 102-96 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks, who were without the two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Antetokounmpo, treating a sprained left knee, was joined on starters Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday and Donte DiVincenzo.
The Knicks, without Julius Randle due to a thigh injury, also lost center Mitchell Robinson to a broken right foot in the first quarter.
Robinson, who recently returned with a broken hand, was injured when he awkwardly descended while trying to defend Brook Lopez.
He stayed in the game for a few more minutes before limping, with the Knicks announcing the x-ray results shortly after.
“Mitchell has been great for us,” said coach Tom Thibodeau. “You hate to see it. You feel for Mitchell because all the work he’s done. ”
– Beal goes out, the wizards win –
The Washington Wizards, fueled by a triple-double from Russell Westbrook, beat the Detroit Pistons 106-92, but also saw league leader Bradley Beal leave early with a right hip injury.
Westbrook scored 19 points with 19 rebounds and 10 assists, his 15th triple-double of the season tying the franchise record set by Darrell Walker.
Beal finished with 17 points and six assists, before coming away after a steep fall in the third quarter.
A day after blowing a 19-point third-quarter lead in a loss to Minnesota, the Houston Rockets rebounded with a resounding 129-107 victory over the Timberwolves.
Kevin Porter scored 25 points for the Rockets and Kelly Olynyk added 16 in his first game for Houston since joining Miami to trade for Victor Oladipo.
© 2021 AFP