Mikal Bridges scored 25 points and the Brooklyn Nets withstood a late rally and another triple-double by Nikola Jokic to beat the Denver Nuggets 122-120 on Sunday.
Nic Claxton had 20 points and Dorian Finney-Smith and Spencer Dinwiddie added 15 points each for Brooklyn, which has won five of its last six games.
Bridges and Dinwiddie, acquired in trades last month that sent Kevin Durant to Phoenix and Kyrie Irving to Dallas, have played a key part in Brooklyn’s resurgence even as they’re still adjusting to their new team and teammates.
‘Even if we don’t know what we’re doing sometimes, just scrambling, all five guys help each other,’ Bridges said. ‘Sometimes, it’s not going to be perfect, but I think just the next guy stepping up is the biggest thing.’
Jokic had 35 points, 20 rebounds and 11 assists for his league-leading 27th triple-double of the season but missed a contested 14-foot jumper with 5 seconds left that would have given the Nuggets the lead.
Mikal Bridges scored 25 points as the Brooklyn Nets beat the West-leading Nuggets in Denver
Nikola Jokic (left) missed a three-point attempt at the end of the game that would have won it
Michael Porter Jr. added 23 points for Denver, which matched a season high with its third consecutive loss.
‘Tough loss,’ Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. ‘Our guys fought back, gave ourselves a chance at the end.’
Nets coach Jacque Vaughn described his team’s third quarter, in which it outscored the Nuggets 37-18 and shot 63%, as one of the most impressive quarters he´s seen in his time with the team.
‘We started to fly around, 15 turnovers we produced tonight, our ability to be disruptive,’ Vaughn said. ‘We stayed together for an impressive win on the road.’
Cleveland Cavaliers 114, Charlotte Hornets 108
Darius Garland had 28 points, Donovan Mitchell added 23 and the Cleveland Cavaliers overcame a 16-point second-half deficit to beat the Charlotte Hornets 114-108 on Sunday for their fourth win in the last five games.
Evan Mobley added 18 points and nine rebounds for the Cavaliers (43-27), who trailed most of the game.
Garland, who sat out Friday night´s loss to Miami with a quad injury, shot 8 of 20 from the field and was 10 of 13 from the foul line, including a free throw with 10.7 seconds left to seal the win.
Terry Rozier had 27 points to lead the Hornets, who were playing their second game in less than 24 hours. P.J. Washington added 19 points and Nick Richards had 15 points and 12 rebounds for Charlotte (22-48).
The Hornets led 89-81 heading into the fourth quarter and appeared in control following a strong third quarter from Rozier, who had 13 points on 5 of 6 shooting including three 3s.
Darius Garland (left) had a team-leading 28 points as the Cavs overcame a 16-point deficit
Donovan Mitchell was also on form, helping his side to a win in Charlotte on Sunday afternoon
But the Cavaliers would come back to take the lead with 5:42 remaining on Mobley’s rolling two-handed dunk off a feed from Garland. The Cavaliers would extend the lead to seven after two Charlotte turnovers led to layups for Mobley and Mitchell in transition.
Charlotte had 19 turnovers leading to 29 Cavaliers points.
Charlotte made one last burst and had a chance to tie the game after Richards scored on a dunk and was fouled. But the 7-foot center missed the free throw.
Mitchell scored on a jumper to put the Cavaliers up by three with 44 seconds left and Rozier missed a tying 3 at the other end. Garland made 1 of 2 free throws to make it a two-possession game and Rozier’s airball on the other assured the Cavaliers the win.
Despite playing a game 22 hours earlier, the Hornets came out looking sharp shooting 74% in the first quarter. Charlotte led by 14 after a 15-2 run run sparked by Dennis Smith Jr., who got the start over the injured Kelly Oubre Jr., and had eight points during the stretch.
Washington Wizards 93, Philadelphia 76ers 112
Joel Embiid had 34 points, eight rebounds, four assists and four blocked shots to lift the host Philadelphia 76ers past the Washington Wizards 112-93 on Sunday.
It was Embiid’s sixth straight game with at least 30 points. James Harden added 18 points and 14 assists and Tobias Harris contributed 11 points for the Sixers, who won their fifth in a row. De’Anthony Melton had 10 points off the bench.
Corey Kispert led the Wizards with 25 points and Bradley Beal added 13 for the Wizards, who lost their third straight. Kyle Kuzma contributed 12 points and 11 rebounds and Monte Morris scored 11 points.
The Wizards struggled from 3-point territory, going 6-for-26.
The Sixers surged ahead in the fourth quarter mostly with their second unit thriving. They extended their lead to 88-71 with 9:27 left following a dunk by Paul Reed.
Philadelphia kept attacking and went ahead 98-75 with 7:27 remaining after Melton’s trey. The Wizards weren’t able to pose a threat the rest of the way.
Joel Embiid is on a fine run of form and scored over 30 points for a sixth game in a row
Oklahoma City Thunder 102, San Antonio Spurs 90
Jalen Williams racked up 21 points and 10 assists and Josh Giddey added 15 points and 11 rebounds as the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the San Antonio Spurs 102-90 on Sunday to stay in the hunt for a spot in the postseason.
The Thunder swept a road back-to-back that started Saturday night with a win in New Orleans. They played without leading scorer Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who is managing an abdominal injury.
Oklahoma City led by as many as 17 points in the second period, by five at the half and, after the Spurs tied the score early in the third quarter, by seven heading into the fourth. The Thunder were never seriously challenged down the stretch, winning for the fifth time in six games.
Ousmane Dieng scored a career-high 17 points for Oklahoma City, with Luguentz Dort scoring 12 and Dario Saric adding 10.
Zach Collins led San Antonio with 23 points and 11 rebounds while Devonte’ Graham hit for 20 points, Keita Bates-Diop tallied 12 and Doug McDermott had 11. The Spurs, fresh off a win over West-leading Denver on Friday, played without starters Keldon Johnson (left foot soreness), Jeremy Sochan (right knee soreness) and Tre Jones (non-COVID illness).
Jalen Williams (right) had 21 points and 10 assists as his Thunder beat the San Antonio Spurs
Still to come:
Portland Trail Blazers vs New Orleans Pelicans
New York Knicks vs Los Angeles Lakers
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