Zion Williamson had his first double-double as an NBA player, and the New Orleans Pelicans won for the first time with him in the lineup, 123-108 over the visiting Boston Celtics on Sunday.
Williams, the top pick in the 2019 NBA draft, had 21 points and 11 rebounds in his third game after preseason knee surgery. Jrue Holiday scored a team-high 25 points, and Derrick Favors added 15 points and 10 rebounds. Lonzo Ball added a career-high 15 assists to go with eight points.
All-Star guard Kemba Walker led the Celtics with 35 points, Gordon Hayward scored 23, and Jaylen Brown, returning from a two-game absence due to an ankle injury, added 20.
Before the singing of the national anthem, the Pelicans held a 24-second moment of silence in honor of former Lakers star Kobe Bryant, who died along with one of his daughters, Gianna, and seven others in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles on Sunday morning. When the game began, the teams followed the lead of the Spurs and Raptors earlier in the day by dribbling out the shot clock in Bryant’s honor on their first possessions.
Portland Trail Blazers 139 – Indiana Pacers 129
Damian Lillard continued his scoring spree with 50 points, matched his season high of 13 assists and grabbed six rebounds to lead Portland past visiting Indiana.
Lillard made 14 of 23 shots from the field — including 8 of 12 from 3-point range — to become the first player in franchise history to record three straight efforts of 40 points or more. CJ McCollum scored 28 points and made six 3-pointers for the Trail Blazers after missing the previous three games because of an ankle injury.
Jeremy Lamb scored 28 points and Domantas Sabonis had 27 points, 14 rebounds and a career-best 11 assists for the Pacers, who lost for just the second time in their past nine games. Indiana dropped its 11th straight game at Portland.
Atlanta Hawks 152 – Washington Wizards 133
Trae Young responded in an emotional way to the reported death of Kobe Bryant by producing 45 points and 14 assists to help Atlanta defeat visiting Washington Sunday. Young began the game wearing No. 8, Bryant’s original jersey number, before changing into his usual No. 11. Young wore Bryant’s No. 24 on the back of his shoes.
It was the eighth time this season Young has scored 40-plus points. He was 13 of 24 from the floor, 13 of 16 from the line and had six rebounds. Five other players scored in double figures: De’Andre Hunter with 25, Kevin Huerter with 18, John Collins with 16, Bruno Fernando with 14 and Cam Reddish with 13. Fernando had 12 rebounds.
Bradley Beal had 40 points and six assists for Washington, which had six other players score in double figures. Troy Brown Jr. finished with 19 points.
Los Angeles Clippers 112 – Orlando Magic 97
Kawhi Leonard scored 31 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, and Landry Shamet and Montrezl Harrell added 19 points each as Los Angeles used a third-quarter charge to notch the road victory.
Lou Williams scored 15 points as the Clippers improved to 4-1 on their season-long six game road trip. Leonard extended his career-long streak of 30-point games to eight.
Michael Carter-Williams scored 15 points as the Magic lost their third consecutive game and fell for the fifth time in their past six games. Orlando lost twice to the Clippers during that stretch, falling 122-95 at Los Angeles on Dec. 16.
New York Knicks 110 – Brooklyn Nets 97
Reggie Bullock fueled a decisive third-quarter run by hitting back-to-back 3-pointers — including the basket that gave New York the lead for good — in its victory against visiting Brooklyn.
Julius Randle had 22 points and 15 rebounds as the Knicks won for just the third time in 13 games. Marcus Morris Sr. scored 21 points, Taj Gibson scored 11 points and Bullock added 10 points. Mitchell Robinson (12 points) and Frank Ntilikina (11 points) each scored double digits off the bench.
Spencer Dinwiddle scored 23 points for the Nets, who have lost six of seven and are 3-14 since Christmas. Taurean Prince had 14 points while Rodions Kurucs scored 12 points. Joe Harris and Garrett Temple added 11 points apiece.
Denver Nuggets 117 – Houston Rockets 110
Nikola Jokic had 24 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists, Jerami Grant scored a season-high 25 points and host Denver beat short-handed Houston.
Michael Porter Jr. and Monte Morris scored 17 points each, Will Barton had 11 and Malik Beasley 10 for Denver.
The Rockets played without NBA leading scorer James Harden due to a left thigh contusion that head coach Mike D’Antoni said might keep him out of Monday’s game at Utah.
Toronto Raptors 110 – San Antonio Spurs 106
Pascal Siakam scored 35 points, 30 of them in a dominating first half, and Fred VanVleet hit the decisive 3-pointer in the final minute as visiting Toronto earned a victory over San Antonio.
It was Toronto’s seventh straight win, tying its season best. The last team to beat the Raptors was San Antonio, which defeated the Raptors 105-104 in Toronto on Jan. 12.
Toronto led by 19 points in the first quarter, by a dozen at halftime but by just a point heading into the final period. The Spurs then scored 12 of the first 15 points of the period to take an eight-point advantage before the Raptors answered with a 14-0 run.
Memphis Grizzlies 114 – Phoenix Suns 109
Ja Morant scored 23 points to lead three Memphis players scoring 20-plus and the host Grizzlies held off Phoenix.
On a day with news of NBA legend Kobe Bryant’s death, Sunday’s game opened with Memphis taking a 24-second shot-clock violation. Phoenix reciprocated with an eight-second backcourt violation. The gestures recognized Bryant’s two professional jersey numbers, 8 and 24.
Following the somber tribute, Memphis jumped ahead 30-18 after the first quarter. Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Dillon Brooks carried much of the scoring load from the outset, and both Jackson and Brooks finished with 20 points.
–Field Level Media