Brunson returns, powers Knicks past the West-leading Nuggets
NEW YORK — Jalen Brunson scored 24 points in his return from a left foot injury, leading the New York Knicks to a 116-110 victory over the Western Conference-leading Denver Nuggets on Saturday.
Brunson had 16 points in the first quarter to get the Knicks off to a quick start, then finished strong to help them come back after trailing by 13 in the second half. Brunson had missed five of the last six games and made it through only half the one game he did play because of soreness.
RJ Barrett added 21 points and Julius Randle had 20 for the Knicks, who won their third straight and improved to 42-30, guaranteeing just their second winning record in the last 10 seasons. Robinson grabbed nine rebounds.
Nikola Jokic had 24 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists for the Nuggets, who lost for the fifth time in six games. Jamal Murray scored 25 points.
76ERS 141, PACERS 121
INDIANAPOLIS — Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey each scored 31 points and Tobias Harris added 24 as Philadelphia routed Indiana to match its season high with an eighth consecutive victory.
In a matchup of teams missing All-stars — Philadelphia’s James Harden and Indiana’s Tyrese Haliburton — the 76ers shot 61% from the field, led by as many as 24 points and never looked back after overcoming an early eightpoint deficit. De’anthony Melton started in Harden’s place and finished with 14 points, five assists, five rebounds and six steals. Embiid chipped in seven assists and seven rebounds, while Maxey had seven assists.
Aaron Nesmith led the Pacers with 25 points and six rebounds, Andrew Nembhard scored 20 points, and Myles Turner finished with 20 points.
MAGIC 113, CLIPPERS 108
LOS ANGELES — Markelle Fultz scored 12 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter, Wendell Carter Jr. had 27 points and 12 rebounds, and Orlando snapped its two-game skid with a victory over Los Angeles.
Franz Wagner scored 20 points and hit a gutsy 3-pointer with 40 seconds to play for the Magic, who had lost five of six before taking the lead in the fourth quarter and holding on.
Paul George scored 30 points for the Clippers, whose four-game winning streak ended on the last contest of a five-game homestand. Ivica Zubac had 16 points and 16 rebounds for LA on his 26th birthday, grabbing his 3,000th career rebound in the first half. Kawhi Leonard skipped the game to rest his right knee, sitting out for the 29th time in the Clippers’ 71 contests this season.
RAPTORS 122, TIMBERWOLVES 107
TORONTO — Pascal Siakam had 27 points and 10 rebounds and Toronto extended its season-high home winning streak to seven by beating Minnesota.
Jakob Poeltl had 14 points and 11 rebounds, matching his career high with his fourth straight double-double, to help the Raptors improve to 24-4 all-time in home meetings with Minnesota. Fred Vanvleet scored 28 points for Toronto, while Gary Trent Jr. added 19, O.G. Aunoby 15 and Scottie Barnes 10.
Rudy Gobert had 14 points and 12 rebounds and Naz Reid scored 22 points for the Timberwolves, who were playing the second game of a back-to-back. Minnesota lost in double overtime at Chicago on Friday.