NBA roundup: LeBron James returns, but LA Lakers loses at Boston

Jayson Tatum had 37 points and 11 rebounds as host Boston Celtics beat Los Angeles Lakers 130-108 on Friday.

LeBron James drives against Al Horford during the second half of the NBA contest between Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers. - AP

Jayson Tatum had 37 points and 11 rebounds as host Boston Celtics spoiled the much-anticipated return of LeBron James in a 130-108 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night.

James finished with 23 points on 10-of-16 shooting and six rebounds in 32 minutes after missing the Lakers’ previous eight games with an abdominal strain.

Marcus Smart totalled 22 points, eight rebounds and six assists for Boston. Celtics guard Dennis Schroder scored 21 against his former team. Al Horford added 18 points and Josh Richardson chipped in 15 for the Celtics, who earned their sixth win in nine games.

Anthony Davis scored 31 points, Carmelo Anthony added 13 and Russell Westbrook totalled just 12 points, six assists and four boards for Los Angeles, which went 3-5 without James.

Nets 115, Magic 113

James Harden scored 13 of his 36 points in the third quarter and Brooklyn survived some shaky moments in the fourth before eking out a win over Orlando in New York.

The Nets won for the 10th time in 12 games and also survived star Kevin Durant (sprained right shoulder) missing his first game of the season. Harden shot just 7 of 25 from the floor but added 10 rebounds and eight assists. Brooklyn’s Patty Mills scored 22 points while James Johnson contributed 17.

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Rookie Jalen Suggs scored 17 of his 21 points in Orlando’s 41-point first quarter. Chuma Okeke and rookie Franz Wagner added 17 apiece for Orlando.

Hornets 121, Pacers 118

LaMelo Ball produced a big first half on his way to 32 points as host Charlotte won its fifth game in a row, beating Indiana. Ball shot 12-for-22 from the field and also had 11 rebounds and eight assists. Gordon Hayward scored 25 points and Kelly Oubre Jr. contributed 16 for the Hornets.

Jeremy Lamb scored 23 points off the bench and Malcolm Brogdon netted 16 for the Pacers, who have lost three games in a row.

Warriors 105, Pistons 102

Jordan Poole scored a season-high 32 points and short-handed Golden State held off host Detroit despite missing several key players, including two-time Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry.

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Andrew Wiggins had 27 points and Nemanja Bjelica tossed in 14 off the bench for the Warriors. The league’s leading scorer at 29.5 points per game, Curry did not play due to a left hip contusion. Draymond Green (right thigh contusion), Andre Iguodala (right knee soreness) and Otto Porter Jr. (left foot injury management) also sat out.

Reserve Frank Jackson led the Pistons with a season-high 27 points. Jerami Grant and Cade Cunningham had 19 points apiece for Detroit.

Bucks 96, Thunder 89

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 21 points and 19 rebounds to help Milwaukee beat visiting Oklahoma City.

Giannis Antetokounmpo (centre, in black) drives to the basket during the NBA contest between Milwaukee Bucks and Oklahoma City Thunder. - AP

 

Antetokounmpo added seven assists and four blocks to help the Bucks earn their second consecutive win despite shooting a season-low 37.3 percent from the floor. Bobby Portis added 17 points and 13 rebounds.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the Thunder with 17 points but shot only 5 of 20 from the floor and 2 of 12 from beyond the arc. Josh Giddey and Mike Muscala had 14 points apiece.

Pelicans 94, Clippers 81

Jonas Valanciunas had 26 points and 13 rebounds and host New Orleans overcame a 20-point deficit to defeat Los Angeles, which lost for the third time in four games after a seven-game winning streak.

Josh Hart had 19 points and 10 rebounds, Brandon Ingram had 17 points and 12 rebounds and Kira Lewis Jr. scored 16 as the Pelicans won for just the third time this season. The victory was their second in four games.

Paul George scored 19 points, Nicolas Batum scored 12 and Isaiah Hartenstein and Terance Mann added 11 points each for the Clippers.

Bulls 114, Nuggets 108

Zach LaVine put up a season-high 36 points, DeMar DeRozan scored 26 points and Chicago beat short-handed host Denver.

Derrick Jones Jr. had 16 points and Ayo Dosunmu had 10 for the Bulls.

Aaron Gordon had 28 points and nine rebounds, Will Barton scored 23 and Facundo Campazzo recorded 16 for the Nuggets, who played without Nikola Jokic (sprained right wrist).

Suns 112, Mavericks 104

Mikal Bridges and Devin Booker scored 19 points apiece, and Chris Paul added 18 as host Phoenix extended its winning streak to 11 games, beating Dallas.

JaVale McGee had 14 points, and Cameron Johnson added 13 for the Suns, who outscored Dallas 33-20 in the fourth quarter.

Luka Doncic (left knee and ankle sprains) missed his second straight game for the Mavericks, who have lost their past eight meetings against the Suns. Kristaps Porzingis led Dallas with 23 points and 12 rebounds.

Raptors 108, Kings 89

Gary Trent Jr. splashed three 3-pointers in a second-quarter spurt that allowed Toronto to run away and hide from host Sacramento.

Pascal Siakam led all scorers with 32 points, and Trent finished with 23 for the Raptors, who were playing 24 hours after having been drubbed 119-103 at Utah. Chris Boucher chipped in with a game-high 12 rebounds and 10 points.

De'Aaron Fox had 17 points for the Kings, who lost for the sixth time in their past seven games.

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