NBA Wrap

A real fight (not an NBA one) breaks out in Magic win

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A real fight (not an NBA one) breaks out in Magic win

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Evan Fournier scored a season-high 32 points to help the Orlando Magic break a seven-game losing streak with a 108-102 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night.

D.J. Augustin added 11 points and three assists in the fourth quarter, when the Magic scored 35 points after trailing by two through three.

Jimmy Butler had 28 points and seven rebounds for the Timberwolves, who had won five straight games by an average of 18.8 points.

Bismack Biyombo had 16 rebounds for the Magic, leading the team with the NBA's worst rebound percentage to a 51-37 advantage.

Fournier and Augustin hit 3-pointers during a 14-4 fourth-quarter run that put Orlando ahead to stay, and Augustin's three free throws with 2:10 left gave the Magic a nine-point lead, the biggest of the game for either team.

Jeff Teague and Karl-Anthony Towns answered with 3-pointers to keep the Timberwolves (29-17) in it, but Biyombo scored five straight Magic points to regain an eight-point lead with 50 seconds left.

A loss would have dropped Orlando (13-31) to the worst record in the NBA.

Magic guard Arron Afflalo and Timberwolves forward Nemanja Bjelica were ejected with 7:58 left in the second quarter when they got into a fight while the game was being played.

Afflalo threw at least one punch in the fight, which came four minutes after both players had been assessed technical fouls (see full recap).

Davis scores 45 as Pelicans top C’s in overtime
BOSTON -- Anthony Davis had 45 points and 16 rebounds to lead the New Orleans Pelicans to a 116-113 overtime victory over Boston on Tuesday night, ending the Celtics' seven-game winning streak.

Davis, who scored 48 on Sunday in an overtime win in New York, had four points in overtime and blocked two shots for the Pelicans, who overcame a sluggish start to the fourth quarter and erased a five-point deficit in the final few minutes of regulation.

DeMarcus Cousins had 19 points and 15 rebounds, and Jrue Holiday added 23 points and seven assists. Ian Clark added 15 points for the Pelicans, whose size inside ended up prevailing in overtime when Boston's barrage of 3-pointers stopped falling.

Kyrie Irving led Boston with 27 points and Al Horford had 14 points and nine rebounds. Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown added 16 points apiece for the Celtics, who attempted a season-high 50 3-pointers.

Rather than challenge Davis and Cousins inside, the Celtics lived outside and it cost them in overtime when they went just 1 for 4. Horford's 3-pointer early in OT gave Boston a 107-106 lead and Boston went up 113-110 before the Pelicans away put the game.

A jumper by Cousins cut the lead to 113-112, then Holiday added two more field goals and Boston couldn't catch up from there (see full recap).

Jokic’s big night helps Nuggets slip past Mavs
DENVER -- Nikola Jokic scored 29 points and grabbed a season-high 18 rebounds, Gary Harris hit two late free throws and the Denver Nuggets led by as many as 23 points before holding on for a 105-102 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night.

Harris finished with 25 points and Will Barton added 22 for the Nuggets, who won for just the second time in six games.

The Nuggets led 82-59 with 4:04 left in the third before Dallas staged a massive comeback. The Mavericks cut the deficit to one on a three-point play by Dennis Smith Jr. with 10.4 seconds remaining. After Harris made two free throws, the Mavericks had a chance for a last-second shot, but Dwight Powell couldn't corral a long pass as the buzzer sounded.

Smith had 25 points for the Mavericks, while Harrison Barnes contributed 17.

Trying to address the issue of slow starts, Nuggets coach Michael Malone tweaked the starting lineup by inserting Barton and sending Mason Plumlee to the bench. The change worked as Denver led at halftime. That's significant because it halted a streak of seven straight games in which the Nuggets trailed at intermission (see full recap).

It's 7th heaven for Heat, who beat Bucks

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It's 7th heaven for Heat, who beat Bucks

MIAMI -- Goran Dragic scored 11 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, and the Miami Heat ran their winning streak to seven games by topping the Milwaukee Bucks 97-79 Sunday.

Josh Richardson scored 16 and Hassan Whiteside finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds for Miami. The Heat trailed 43-41 at the half, then took control by outscoring the Bucks 41-21 in the first 16 minutes of the second half.

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 22 for Milwaukee, which started 1 for 14 from the floor in the second half and shot 32 percent for the game. Khris Middleton added 16 for the Bucks but shot only 3 for 16.

It was a rare easy win for Miami. The first six Heat wins in this streak were all by single digits.

The Bucks were making a run in the fourth when Dragic took over. His 3-pointer with the shot clock expiring with 5:19 left put the Heat up by 14, part of a run in which he scored 11 consecutive Miami points.

The Heat turned the ball over 15 times, but Milwaukee converted those into only two points (see full recap).

Davis (48 points, 17 rebounds), Pelicans beat Knicks in OT
NEW YORK -- Anthony Davis scored a season-high 48 points and grabbed 17 rebounds, leading the New Orleans Pelicans back from 19 points down late in the third quarter to a 123-118 overtime victory over the New York Knicks on Sunday.

Jrue Holiday added 31 points, and DeMarcus Cousins had 15 points, 15 rebounds, seven steals and five assists and for the Pelicans. They were down 16 after one, even further back late in the third and still down nine with 4 1/2 minutes left in regulation.

But they kept coming and Holiday had three baskets and a couple free throws in OT to help them finish it off.

Kristaps Porzingis and Tim Hardaway Jr. each scored 25 points for the Knicks, who lost their third straight and 10th in their last 12 games. Jarrett Jack had a season-high 22 points, and Enes Kanter finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds.

It was a miserable way to finish a rare January home game for the Knicks, who begin a seven-game, coast-to-coast trip Monday in Brooklyn that has them away for two weeks (see full recap).

Collison, Oladipo lead balanced Pacers to rout of Phoenix
PHOENIX -- Darren Collison scored 19 points to lead seven Indiana players in double figures and the Pacers routed the Phoenix Suns 120-97 on Sunday night.

Victor Oladipo scored 13 of his 17 points in the first half for the Pacers, who were coming off a home victory over Cleveland and have won four of five after a five-game losing streak. Cory Joseph added 16 points, and Bojan Bogdanovic had 14 for Indiana.

Rookie Josh Jackson scored a career-best 21 points for Phoenix, which has lost four of five. Devin Booker added 15, but on 5-of-16 shooting, 1-of-6 from 3-point range.

In an otherwise bad night for Phoenix, 17-year NBA veteran Tyson Chandler grabbed 14 rebounds to become the 40th player in league history to top 10,000 for his career (10,003).

The Suns, playing without second-leading scorer T.J. Warren, led only briefly early. Indiana went on a 15-4 run to go up 23-11 and led 30-16 after one quarter (see full recap).

Pacers add to Cavs' misery with monster comeback

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Pacers add to Cavs' misery with monster comeback

INDIANAPOLIS -- Lance Stephenson had 16 points and 11 rebounds, Darren Collison scored 22 points and the Indiana Pacers rallied from a 22-point, first-half deficit to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 97-95 on Friday night.

The Pacers have won three of four and improved to 3-0 against the three-time defending Eastern Conference champs.

LeBron James did everything he could to prevent the Cavs from losing a third straight game. He finished with 27 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds, while Kevin Love had 21 points and 10 rebounds.

But James had two chances in the final two seconds to win it and missed both opportunities -- after Victor Oladipo gave Indiana the lead for good on a 3-pointer with 2:09 left in the game.

First, the four-time MVP stepped out of bounds with 1.7 seconds to go, a play that was confirmed on replay review. Then, after Collison made a free throw to give the Pacers a 97-95 lead, James' desperation 3 bounced high off the rim as the buzzer sounded (see full recap).

Warriors pull away from Bucks in 4th quarter
MILWAUKEE -- Kevin Durant scored 26 points, Draymond Green added 21 and the Golden State Warriors used a 13-4 run in the fourth quarter to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 108-94 on Friday night.

With sharpshooting star Stephen Curry still sidelined by a right ankle injury, the Warriors clamped down on defense and did most of their damage on the other end in the lane.

Durant's mid-range jumper gave Golden State a 96-90 lead before the All-Star forward hit an open 3 with 2:15 left to cap the run with a three-possession lead. The Warriors were just 3 of 13 from 3-point range until Durant and Green hit back-to-back 3s in the final 3 minutes to seal their 11th straight road win.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 23 points to lead the Bucks. They were outscored 28-12 in the fourth after hitting just 5 of 20 from the field (see full recap).

Towns nearly notches triple-double in T-Wolves’ win
MINNEAPOLIS -- Karl-Anthony Towns fell one assist shy of his second career triple-double, scoring 23 points and grabbing 15 rebounds in the Minnesota Timberwolves' 118-108 victory over the New York Knicks on Friday night.

Taj Gibson added 17 points and Andrew Wiggins had 16 for Minnesota. The Timberwolves shot 56.7 percent (38 of 67) over the final three quarters to come from behind and win their fourth game in a row and 11th of 14 overall.

Kristaps Porzingis scored 17 points for New York. Porzingis was 3 of 5 from 3-point territory but 3 of 14 from inside the arc. Enes Kanter had his 18th double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds, but the Knicks lost for the ninth time in 11 games.

After impressive wins against New Orleans, Cleveland and Oklahoma City to start a five-game homestand, the Timberwolves had to work against the struggling Knicks. New York led much of the second half and entered the fourth with the lead before Minnesota went on an 18-4 run to seize control (see full recap).