Best of NBA: Bradley Beal's career-high 51 points ignite Wizards' win

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Best of NBA: Bradley Beal's career-high 51 points ignite Wizards' win

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Bradley Beal scored a career-high 51 points, and the Washington Wizards bounced back from a demoralizing loss the night before to beat the Portland Trail Blazers 106-92 on Tuesday night.

Beal made 21 field goals, also a career high, and the Wizards led by as many as 23 points. He hit five 3-pointers.

Damian Lillard finished with 30 points, eight rebounds and nine assists for the Blazers, who have lost three straight at home after returning from a 4-1 trip.

Portland was hurt midway through the final quarter when center Jusuf Nurkic limped off the court and to the locker room after appearing to injure his right ankle. He had 15 points and nine rebounds before leaving.

The Wizards were coming off a 116-69 loss Monday night at Utah, the second-largest losing margin in franchise history (see full recap).

Westbrook's triple-double sparks Thunder comeback
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Russell Westbrook scored 34 points in his seventh triple-double of the season, and the Oklahoma City Thunder rallied from 17 points down in the second half to defeat the Utah Jazz 100-94 on Tuesday night.

Westbrook finished with 14 assists and 13 rebounds. Paul George scored 21 points, Steven Adams had 20 points and nine rebounds and Carmelo Anthony added 14 points and eight rebounds for the Thunder, who won their third straight.

Rookie Donovan Mitchell scored 31 points and Joe Ingles added 16 for the Jazz, who had won six straight and scored at least 106 points in each game.

The Jazz led 47-39 at halftime, and they opened things up even more early in the third quarter. A driving layup by Alec Burks put the Jazz up 72-55 as the Thunder continued to misfire on open shots.

Westbrook closed out the third quarter strong and helped the Thunder cut Utah's lead to 80-68 by the end of the period. He scored 11 points in the quarter.

Oklahoma City cut the deficit to six points early in the fourth quarter before Westbrook re-entered the game after a brief rest. The Thunder finally took the lead on a layup by Westbrook with about four minutes remaining. A tip-in by Adams with 43.2 seconds left put the Thunder up five (see full recap).

Lowry, DeRozan lead Raptors past Suns
TORONTO -- Kyle Lowry had 20 points and 10 assists, DeMar DeRozan scored 20 points and the Toronto Raptors beat the Phoenix Suns 126-113 on Tuesday night, improving their NBA-best home record to 9-1.

Suns guard Devin Booker had to be carried off the floor by two teammates after suffering an apparent leg injury with 2:40 remaining and Phoenix trailing by 11. Booker froze in pain while playing defense and did not move as trainers came out to examine him.

Booker, who shook off a 2-for-11 start to score a season-high 46 points Monday in a win at Philadelphia, shot 0 for 7 in the first half Tuesday. He finished 4 for 15 with 19 points, including 10 of 12 from the foul line.

Serge Ibaka scored 19 points and OG Anunoby matched his career high with 16 as Toronto won its fourth straight.

The Raptors, who have scored 100 or more points in 10 consecutive games, almost reached triple digits in three quarters Tuesday. Toronto led 97-79 heading to the fourth and weren't seriously challenged in the final frame.

Greg Monroe had 11 points and 10 rebounds as the weary Suns wrapped up a six-game, 10-day road trip with their seventh of 15 back-to-backs this season. Phoenix is 3-4 in the second game of back-to-backs.

Alex Len scored 13 points and Troy Daniels and Josh Jackson each had 13 for Phoenix, which went 2-4 on its trip (see full recap).

Best of NBA: Trail Blazers storm back from 17-point 4th quarter deficit

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Best of NBA: Trail Blazers storm back from 17-point 4th quarter deficit

WASHINGTON — C.J. McCollum scored 26 points, including seven straight during a 10-0 game-closing run, and the Portland Trail Blazers overcame a 17-point fourth-quarter deficit to defeat the short-handed Washington Wizards 108-105 on Saturday night.

Damian Lillard scored 29 points for Portland, which won for a second consecutive night on the East Coast in dramatic fashion after a 127-125 victory at Brooklyn on Friday.

Jusuf Nurkick had 17 points and Noah Vonleh grabbed 10 rebounds for the Blazers.

Bradley Beal scored 26 points and Otto Porter added 24 points and 10 rebounds for Washington in the first game of what the team expects to be a two-week stretch without All-Star point guard John Wall (see full recap).

Harden scores 37 for Rockets in win over Knicks
HOUSTON — James Harden had 37 points and 10 assists as the Houston Rockets rallied from an early deficit to beat the New York Knicks 117-102 on Saturday night.

The Rockets erased New York's early 22-point lead by making 18 3-pointers and getting 44 points from their bench, led by 17 from Ryan Anderson.

The Knicks rode hot shooting to build a 29-7 lead midway through the first quarter. The shots eventually stopped falling, turnovers mounted, and the Rockets shot their way back into the game, mostly from long range.

The Knicks led 39-29 at the end of the first quarter, and Houston finally tied the game at 51 on a free throw by Chris Paul in the second quarter. The Knicks led 61-58 at halftime (see full recap).

Irving, Horford lead Celtics to win at Indiana
INDIANAPOLIS — Kyrie Irving scored 25 points and Al Horford added 21 to lead the Boston Celtics to a 108-98 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night.

Boston (18-3) outscored Indiana 37-16 in the third quarter to turn a nine-point deficit into an 82-70 lead entering the final quarter. Horford had 12 points during a period that saw Indiana record two three-minute scoring droughts.

Marcus Smart had 15 points and six rebounds for the Celtics. Terry Rozier scored 17 points off the bench.

The Pacers (11-9) were led by Myles Turner, who had 19 points but spent much of the night in foul trouble. Lance Stephenson had 16 points and eight rebounds, and Damontas Sabonis had 17 points and eight boards.

Victor Oladipo, leading Indiana with 22.9 points per game, did not play for the first time this season. He sat with a bruised right knee sustained in Friday's 107-104 win over Toronto (see full recap).

Gasol, Aldridge lead Spurs past cold-shooting Hornets​
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Pau Gasol and LaMarcus Aldridge each had 17 points and seven rebounds, and the San Antonio Spurs held the Charlotte Hornets to 37 percent shooting in a 106-86 victory on Saturday night.

Rudy Gay added 15 points for the Spurs, who snapped Charlotte's three-game home win streak.

The Hornets entered the game 7-2 at the Spectrum Center, but shot just 22 percent from the field in the first half, fell behind by 11 at halftime and could never make a serious run at the Spurs.

Kemba Walker, who left the game briefly in the third quarter with a left shoulder injury, returned to finish with 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting. He didn't get much help as Charlotte's four other starters - Nic Batum, Dwight Howard, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marvin Williams - were a combined 6 of 29 from the field (see full recap).

Joel Embiid has plenty of reasons to be thankful

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Joel Embiid has plenty of reasons to be thankful

Joel Embiid is very appreciative. He is healthy, signed a mega-contract and has become the face of a franchise on the rise. 

The night before Thanksgiving, following a 20-point win over the Trail Blazers, Embiid reflected on why he is thankful.

“I’m thankful for my family,” Embiid, who grew up in Cameroon, said. “I live by myself, they don’t live here. But my mom is actually here.”

Embiid’s mother took in Wednesday’s action from courtside at the Wells Fargo Center and was all smiles as her son put up 28 points (11 for 19 shooting), 12 rebounds and two blocks in the 101-81 victory (see game recap).

Embiid also recognized the Sixers’ faithful, who have pulled for him during injury after injury and never wavered from their trust in the process.

“I’m thankful for the city of Philadelphia,” Embiid said. “This has become my home and I hope to be here for the rest of my career. I’m just thankful for the fans and just everybody around me, people that have been supporting me.” 

Embiid even gave a shoutout to the media, which doesn’t always happen, especially after a team struggled for so long.

“You guys hype me up so much,” he said. “So thank you.”

And last but not least, the player with 1.02 million followers on Twitter and another 1.4 million on Instagram, Embiid is grateful for every like and retweet. 

“I’m thankful for social media,” he said. 

#Fitting. #Thankful. #HappyThanksgiving