Nowitzki’s late cameo helps Mavs edge winless 76ers
PHILADELPHIA: Dirk Nowitzki scored 21 points, including seven during a pivotal stretch late in the fourth quarter, to lead the Dallas Mavericks to a 92-86 victory over the winless Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night.
Jahlil Okafor had 19 points and 11 rebounds for the 76ers, who have lost all 11 games this season and 21 in a row dating back to last season. Philadelphia’s last win was March 25 at Denver, and the 76ers are within five defeats of matching the franchise’s all-time record for consecutive losses. Chandler Parsons added 20 points for the Mavericks, who needed a late push to hold off Philadelphia. The 76ers trailed by as many as 19 points in the first half but battled back to take an 82-81 lead with 4 minutes, 23 seconds remaining on a free throw by Nerlens Noel before Nowitzki took over.
Newcomer Mario Chalmers scored 16 of his season-high 29 points in the fourth quarter and the Grizzlies held on for a victory over the Thunder.
Chalmers, picked up in a trade with the Miami Heat last week, converted 6 of 13 shots, including 4 of 7 from outside the arc, as five Grizzlies reached double figures. Mike Conley had 22, Jeff Green scored 20, while Marc Gasol added 17. Zach Randolph finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Russell Westbrook led the Thunder with 40 points, 12 in the fourth quarter trying to bring Oklahoma City back from an 11-point deficit in the frame. Serge Ibaka had 18 and Enes Kanter scored 16. Steven Adams and Dion Waiters finished with 14 apiece. Oklahoma City shot 51 percent, including 10 of 24 from outside the arc. But Memphis converted 12 of 17 3-pointers.
SPURS 93, TRAIL BLAZERS 80
Kawhi Leonard had 19 points and Manu Ginobili added 17 points and the Spurs overcame a listless start to beat the Trail Blazers for their fifth straight victory. Danny Green and Boris Diaw each had 12 points and Tony Parker and Tim Duncan both added 10. Damian Lillard scored 27 points and AlFarouq Aminu added 17 points for Portland. Leonard and Ginobili both missed the previous game with minor ailments and their returns
were needed. San Antonio and Portland both set season lows for points in the first half with the Trail Blazers’ 28 points falling just four points of matching a franchise low.
BULLS 96, PACERS 95
Jimmy Butler scored 17 points for Chicago and played tough defense on Paul George on Indiana’s final possession, helping the Bulls hold on for a victory over the Pacers. Butler stayed right with George in the final seconds and contested his difficult fadeaway shot that was well short as time expired, giving the Bulls their third straight win and fourth in five games. Derrick Rose had 23 points on 9-for-18 shooting for Chicago, but departed with about six minutes remaining after he sprained his left ankle. Doug McDermott scored 11 points. George had 26 points for Indiana, and Monta Ellis finished with 20 points. C.J. Miles made five 3-pointers on his way to 19 points, and Jordan Hill and Ian Mahinmi each grabbed 12 rebounds.
CELTICS 111, ROCKETS 95
Isaiah Thomas scored 23 points and the Celtics used a 32-point third quarter to pull away and cruise to a win over the slumping Rockets.
It is the third straight win for the Celtics and gives Houston a fourgame losing streak for the first time since the team dropped seven straight in January 2013. Boston led by 4 after a 3-pointer by James Harden with 3 1/3 minutes left in the third quarter. The Celtics closed out the quarter by scoring 15 straight points to take a 87-68 lead into the fourth quarter. The Celtics rode the momentum from their strong third quarter into the early part of the fourth quarter and used a 13-4 run to open the period and extend the lead to 100-72. Avery Bradley scored seven points with a dunk and a 3-pointer to lead the team in that stretch. Coach Kevin McHale pulled most of Houston’s
starters after that.
SUNS 120, LAKERS 101
Brandon Knight had 30 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds for his first career triple-double and the Suns ran past the Lakers. Eric Bledsoe added 21 points and T.J. Warren had 19 for the Suns, who gradually pulled away after taking a five-point lead into the fourth quarter. Jordan Clarkson scored 20 points to lead the weary Lakers, who were playing on consecutive days for the second time in a week. The Lakers were without All-Star guard Kobe Bryant, who was kept back in Los Angeles to rest rather than having to play on back-toback nights. — AP
GRIZZLIES 122, THUNDER 114 PHILADELPHIA: Dallas Mavericks’ Chandler Parsons, left, goes up for a dunk as Philadelphia 76ers’ Jerami Grant trails during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, in Philadelphia. — AP