Best of NBA: Kyle Lowry caps big night with game-winner in final seconds

Best of NBA: Kyle Lowry caps big night with game-winner in final seconds

TORONTO -- Kyle Lowry had 33 points and 10 assists, and made the tiebreaking jumper with 4.3 seconds left in overtime as the Toronto Raptors outlasted the New Orleans Pelicans 108-106 on Tuesday night.

Jonas Valanciunas added 20 points and 12 rebounds, while Lowry matched his season high from 3-point range, going 6 of 14. It was the Raptors' third straight win over the Pelicans, and their ninth in the last 11 meetings.

Jrue Holiday scored 30 points and Anthony Davis had 18 points and 17 rebounds for his 30th double-double as the Pelicans lost their second straight.

Down 106-102 with just over a minute to play in OT, New Orleans tied the game on Davis' floating jump shot with 29 seconds to go.

But Lowry worked the shot clock at the other end, finally putting the Raptors in front for good on his step-back jumper (see full recap).

Wizards win, move into tie atop Southeast Division
WASHINGTON -- Bradley Beal went shot for shot with Carmelo Anthony and then some as the Washington Wizards blew out the New York Knicks 117-101 Tuesday night to move into a tie for first place in the Southeast Division.

Beal scored 28 points, Markieff Morris had 24 and John Wall added 15 points and 13 assists as the Wizards rolled to their fifth victory in a row and won for the 11th time in 13 games. Beal was 12 of 18 from the floor, while Anthony was 10 of 17 for 26 points.

Washington improved to 28-20 and tied the Atlanta Hawks for first place. The Wizards are the second-hottest team in the NBA behind only the Golden State Warriors, who also won 12 games in January.

With New York big man Kristaps Porzingis out with illness, Washington's Marcin Gortat was unchallenged inside and scored 15 points on 7-of-7 shooting (see full recap).

Rockets not convincing win over Kings
HOUSTON -- Ryan Anderson had 25 points and 11 rebounds, Eric Gordon added 17 points and the Houston Rockets used a big second-quarter run to beat the Sacramento Kings 105-83 on Tuesday night.

Anderson shot 6 of 12 from 3-point range and Houston went 14 of 45 from behind the arc as a team.

James Harden finished with 10 points, seven rebounds and eight assists, and Clint Capella had 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Rockets, who shot 45 percent.

DeMarcus Cousins had 16 points and seven rebounds for the Kings, who shot 35 percent. Kosta Koufos added 12 points.

Houston used an 18-3 run over the first nine minutes of the second quarter to extend its lead to 47-27 on Nene's dunk. Gordon had eight points in the run, and Nene added six (see full recap).

Ben Simmons shrugs off mental fatigue with another triple-double

Ben Simmons shrugs off mental fatigue with another triple-double


Around 6 p.m., Ben Simmons spoke about mental fatigue and the frustrations it can cause. 

An hour later, he hit the court and posted an 11-point, 12-rebound, 15-assist triple-double … with zero turnovers.

“I wish he was more mentally fatigued in the future,” Brett Brown said with a laugh. 

The 21-year-old rookie may be feeling the weight of his first NBA season, but he certainly didn’t show it Monday in the Sixers’ 108-94 win over the Hornets (see observations)

Simmons recorded his third triple-double in the last four games. He exhibited disciplined court vision by finding his teammates with a high level of ease and chemistry that’s been developing over the season (see highlights).

“I was trusting them to knock down shots,” Simmons simply put it. “They make it easy for me.”

Simmons became the first rookie in the NBA to record a triple-double with 15 assists and no turnovers. Only David Robinson and Andre Iguodala had reached a triple-double without an error as rookies. 

Simmons considers his assists and turnovers to be the most meaningful stats of the triple-double, noting his turnovers usually are caused by mental errors. 

"That’s amazing," Joel Embiid said. "To be able to make the right reads and not turn the ball over, there’s a few guys in the league that can do that ... that just shows you that he can be a great point guard."

The 6-foot-10 point guard is averaging 16.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 7.9 assists and 1.7 steals per game over 34 minutes. With each game that passes, Simmons continues to be linked with the feats of Hall of Famers. From joining in the same company as Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson to moving ahead of Allen Iverson for most 10-assist games by a Sixers rookie, his performances are often tied back to historical markers. 

“I think people get caught up in how many points I score every game,” Simmons said. “It’s not about that. It’s a matter of points that we’re getting as a team and how many stops we get … 

"People are always going to say I need to do certain things but I know what I’m capable of and I know what I’m really good at.”

LeBron continues triple-double tour

USA Today Images

LeBron continues triple-double tour

CLEVELAND -- LeBron James scored 40 points as part of his third triple-double in four games and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Milwaukee Bucks 124-117 on Monday night as coach Tyronn Lue began his leave of absence to address health issues.

Lue said Monday in a statement he been dealing with chest pains and loss of sleep, and that tests have offered no conclusion about what the issue is. Associate head coach Larry Drew will run the team in Lue's absence.

James scored 17 points in the third quarter and finished with 12 rebounds and 10 assists for his 16th triple-double this season and 71st of his career.

The four-time MVP took over in the third beginning with back-to-back 3-pointers. After not getting a foul called on a third attempt, he finished Cleveland's next possession with a massive dunk. He was fouled attempting another dunk and made both free throws the following time down.

Milwaukee cut a 17-point lead to 117-109, but James drove the length of the floor for a dunk with just over a minute left.

Cavaliers All-Star forward Kevin Love returned after missing six weeks because of a broken left hand and scored 18 points in 25 minutes. He sparked a 10-0 run in the second quarter with two 3-pointers

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 37 points and went 11 for 11 at the foul line for Milwaukee, which is seventh in the Eastern Conference. Khris Middleton had 30 points, making 11 of 16 from the field (see full recap).

Heat set franchise scoring mark in 2OT win
MIAMI -- James Johnson scored a career-high 31 points, Kelly Olynyk added 30 off the bench and the Miami Heat set a franchise single-game scoring record by beating the Denver Nuggets 149-141 in double overtime Monday night.

Miami's total was also an NBA season-high and helped the Heat get back to the No. 7 spot in the Eastern Conference standings. Houston and Oklahoma City each scored 148 in games earlier this season.

Wayne Ellington scored 29 points for the Heat. Nikola Jokic had 34 for Denver, while Wilson Chandler added 26 for the Nuggets.

"That was as playoffs as it comes right there," Olynyk said.

The NBA's stat system crashed late in the first overtime, and crews were scrambling to determine the final numbers long after the buzzer. All that ultimately mattered was the score -- one that moved the Heat closer to a playoff berth and left the Nuggets two games back in the Western Conference race.

Neither team was at full strength. For Miami, Dwyane Wade (left hamstring strain) missed his fourth consecutive game, and Hassan Whiteside (left hip pain) sat out his fifth straight contest. Denver was without leading scorer Gary Harris, sidelined again by a strained right knee that could keep him out several more days (see full recap).

Oladipo, Pacers rally past Lakers
INDIANAPOLIS -- Victor Oladipo sparked a decisive run and finished with 20 points, Myles Turner had 21 points and the Indiana Pacers recovered from a poor start for a 110-100 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday night.

The victory snapped Indiana's two-game losing streak.

Los Angeles was led by Kyle Kuzma with 27 points and Brook Lopez with 23, but the Lakers still lost their third straight.

Oladipo and Darren Collison got Indiana going with back-to-back 3-pointers midway through the third quarter for a 77-70 lead. After a layup from Julius Randle, Collison made a 20-footer and Lance Stephenson hit a 10-footer. When the 14-4 flurry ended, Indiana led 85-74 with 3:04 left in the third.

The Lakers never seriously challenged after that.

It was a stark contrast to the Lakers' fast start. Efficient shooting helped them take a 28-19 lead in the first quarter, but when the shooters cooled off, the Pacers charged back and used a 15-6 second-quarter run to make it 51-50 late in the period.

The Pacers still trailed 59-57 at the half -- before Oladipo helped flip things in the second half (see full recap).