Atlanta Hawks

A memorable milestone for the reigning MVP

USA Today Images

A memorable milestone for the reigning MVP

ATLANTA -- Russell Westbrook picked up the 100th triple-double of his career and the Oklahoma City Thunder used a 16-0 run late in the fourth quarter to pull away from the Atlanta Hawks for a 119-107 victory Tuesday night.

Westbrook scored 32 points, dished out 12 assists and grabbed 12 rebounds to become the third-fastest player to reach the milestone. Only Oscar Robertson (277 games) and Magic Johnson (656) got to No. 100 quicker than Westbrook, who accomplished the feat in his 736th contest.

Westbrook trails only Robertson (181), Johnson (138) and Jason Kidd (107) on the career triple-double list.

Taurean Prince knocked down a 3-pointer to tie it at 103 with 5:15 remaining. Led by Westbrook and Jerami Grant, the Thunder dominated the rest of the way.

Westbrook scored seven points, while Grant knocked down a 3 and converted a three-point play -- both off assists by Westbrook. Carmelo Anthony capped the game-deciding run with his sixth 3-pointer of the game.

Prince led the Hawks with 25 points (see full recap).

Valanciunas, win 9th game in a row
NEW YORK -- Jonas Valanciunas had 26 points and 14 rebounds, and the Toronto Raptors won their ninth straight and 16th of 17, 116-102 over the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night.

DeMar DeRozan and reserve Fred VanVleet scored 15 points apiece, and Kyle Lowry added 11 points and 11 assists for the Eastern Conference-leading Raptors, who held Brooklyn to 35 points after halftime and won a franchise record-tying seventh straight road game.

D'Angelo Russell hit his first seven shots -- all 3-pointers -- and scored 24 points in the first quarter for the Nets, who have lost 11 straight to the Raptors. Russell finished with 32 points, and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson scored 19.

Toronto trailed 74-59 after Dante Cunningham's tip-in layup in the opening minutes of the second half.

But the Raptors, who own the NBA's best road record, went on a 15-0 run, capped by VanVleet's 3-pointer that made it 74-all with 6:04 left in the third quarter.

Both teams traded baskets the rest of the period. In the fourth, CJ Miles got hot and led a 14-4 run with three 3-pointers, his last one extending Toronto's lead 103-95 with 7:15 left in the game. Miles finished with 12 points.

Brooklyn got within 103-100 with 5:48 remaining. The Raptors' defense shut the Nets down the rest of the way, setting up DeRozan's streak of seven straight points that increased the lead to 110-100 with 2:27 left (see full recap).

KAT powers Timberwolves past Wizards
WASHINGTON -- Karl-Anthony Towns recovered from a shot to the mouth that left him down on the court and finished with a season-high 37 points and 10 rebounds, leading the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 116-111 victory over the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night.

Towns shot 13 for 17, including making all three of his 3-point attempts, and showed no ill effects after getting knocked in the face with about a minute left in the first half.

Entering the fourth quarter in this defense-optional contest, the Wizards were ahead 90-82. The hosts stretched that to a game-high edge of 10 points, at 95-85 with 10 minutes left.

But a 20-3 run capped by an inside basket from Andrew Wiggins off Towns' assist put Minnesota up 105-98 with less than 5 minutes to go. After the Wizards got within 111-109, Towns sank a corner 3 with 29 seconds left to push the visitors' lead back up to five.

Every starter scored at least 10 points for the Timberwolves, who were coming off a victory over the Golden State Warriors in their previous game. Wiggins scored 16, and Nemanja Bjelica had 17, plus eight rebounds and seven assists.

Markieff Morris led Washington with a season-high 27 points, and Bradley Beal added 19. But when Washington had a chance to try to get a tying 3-pointer, down 114-111 and inbounding the ball with 15.8 seconds remaining, Beal -- guarded by Towns out on the perimeter -- threw a bad pass that was intercepted by Teague (see full recap).

Sixers officially sign Marco Belinelli

Sixers officially sign Marco Belinelli

Brett Brown has watched 107 different players check into a game for him as head coach of the Sixers.

One more newcomer can’t hurt.

The Sixers are hoping for a boost to their bench after officially signing veteran guard Marco Belinelli on Monday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Belinelli cleared waivers after reaching a buyout agreement with the Atlanta Hawks on Friday over the $6.6 million he was owed in the final year of his contract. He will wear No. 18 and be available for tonight's game against the Knicks, but Brown said pregame that he does not plan to use him.

So, why the Sixers for Belinelli?

"Because I trust the process," he said Monday. "I think I was lucky to watch a couple games of other teams, Philly, too. I think [the Sixers] play really well, play together on offense and defense. I really trust this kind of thing. Opportunity to help this team make a run for the playoffs. It’s going to be good for me, so I’m really happy."

The 11th-year veteran averaged 11.4 points per game on 41.1 percent shooting from the field and 37.2 percent from three-point range with the Hawks this season. For his career, Belinelli has averaged 9.8 points a night.

Those numbers may not seem eye-popping, but they will be a welcomed sight for a Sixers team that didn’t make a move at last week’s trade deadline. That’s because the Sixers’ reserves rank near the bottom of the NBA in several offensive categories, including points per game (26th), field goals made (26th), three-pointers made (29th) and three-point percentage (29th).

"It can help a lot. We can have another shooter coming off of that unit to allow us to space the floor even more than what we already do," Robert Covington said Monday. "With the rotations, teams have got to sit up here and play us just as hard as they've got to play the first unit. Can't really sit back and kind of sag the way a lot of teams do at times. Now with Marco, he's going to space the floor and then it's just like another JJ (Redick). Teams are going to run him offline and then it's going to help put them in scramble mode."

Dewayne Dedmond, Hawks hand Pistons 2nd straight loss

USA Today Images

Dewayne Dedmond, Hawks hand Pistons 2nd straight loss

ATLANTA -- Dewayne Dedmon gave Atlanta the lead with a three-point play and then padded the margin with a 3-pointer, lifting the Hawks to a 118-115 win over Blake Griffin and Detroit Pistons on Sunday.

Dedmon matched his career high with 20 points and had 13 rebounds in his matchup with Andre Drummond, who had 25 points and 15 rebounds for Detroit.

Dennis Schroder had 23 points, including six free throws in the final 20 seconds, for Atlanta.

Dedmon's three-point play gave Atlanta a 109-107 lead with 1:34 remaining. Following a missed jumper by Jameer Nelson, Dedmon sank a 3-pointer from the corner to push the lead to five points.

Griffin, who had 23 points, answered with a 3-pointer for Detroit. Schroder made two free throws for a 114-110 lead. Griffin's layup cut the Atlanta lead to two points before Schroder added two more free throws with 9.2 seconds remaining for a 116-112 advantage.

Anthony Tolliver missed a 3-pointer for Detroit before Schroder iced the win with two more free throws. Griffin added a 3 as the final buzzer sounded.

The Pistons have lost two straight after winning five in a row, including four with the newly acquired Griffin (see full recap).

New-look Cavs roll Celtics on Pierce's day
BOSTON -- LeBron James quieted a Celtics crowd that came to celebrate Paul Pierce on Sunday, scoring 24 points with 10 assists and eight rebounds to give new-look Cleveland a 121-99 victory over Boston in an individual performance reminiscent of the rivalry's heyday.

And this time, Pierce was sitting courtside in street clothes, unable to do anything about it.

James shook off a first-quarter leg injury to score 13 in the second quarter -- eight of them during a 13-2 run that turned a one-point deficit into a double-digit lead. The Celtics made it 64-55 on the first basket of the third quarter but never got within 10 again.

As the Cavaliers opened a 27-point lead midway through the fourth, the crowd began chanting "We want Paul Pierce!" But he remained in his baseline seat, awaiting the postgame ceremony that would raise his No. 34 to the TD Garden rafters -- the 23rd person in the history of the NBA's most-decorated franchise to be so honored.

The current Celtics, who have spent much of the season in first place in the East, could have used him (see full recap).

Oladipo powers Pacers past Knicks
INDIANAPOLIS -- Victor Oladipo had 30 points, nine assists and eight rebounds, and the Indiana Pacers beat the New York Knicks 121-113 on Sunday.

Bojan Bogdanovic made four 3-pointers and finished with 20 points and Thaddeus Young added 18 points, 11 rebounds and five assists for the Pacers, who have won six of eight.

Enes Kanter and Tim Hardaway, Jr. each scored 17 points, and Michael Beasley had 16 points and 13 rebounds for the Knicks, whose losing streak reached six games.

The Pacers went on a 14-2 run in the second quarter and took a 53-45 lead on an alley-oop layup by Young with 5:45 remaining in the opening half.

Stephenson's 3-pointer with 3:44 to play in the second quarter put Indiana ahead 58-55, and the Pacers never trailed the rest of the way.

They led 68-62 at halftime and put together a 13-2 run in the third quarter to pull away. The Pacers led by as much as 20 when Domantas Sabonis scored to make it 90-70 with 4:10 left in the third (see full recap).