NBA: Defending champion Nuggets hand Celtics 1st home loss of season

January 22, 2024 in Sports

BOSTON (AP) — Jamal Murray scored 35 points, Nikola Jokic had with 34 and the Denver Nuggets held on to hand the Boston Celtics their first home loss of the season, 102-100 on Friday night.

Jokic added 12 rebounds and nine assists to help the defending NBA champions end the Celtics’ streak at 20 home victories. It was the first of two regular-season meetings between teams with sights on representing their respective conferences in the NBA Finals. They play again in Denver on March 7.

Jayson Tatum had a chance to tie it in the closing seconds, but he missed a one-legged fadeaway off the rim. He finished with 22 points and eight rebounds. Derrick White had 24 points and Kristaps Porzingis added 21.

Jokic, the two-time NBA MVP, feasted on a Celtics defense that opted not to double-team him for most of the game. He was efficient, connecting on 14 of 22 field attempts. It also didn’t stop him from finding his teammates, as he had nine of his assists in the first three quarters.


NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Devin Booker scored a season-high 52 points in 37 minutes on the court — his second straight 50-point game against New Orleans Pelicans— and Phoenix Suns beat the Pelicans for their fourth straight victory.

The last time Booker — who had 25 points in the first quarter — was in the Suns’ lineup against New Orleans he scored 58 points in a victory in Phoenix on Dec. 17, 2022. On Friday, he was 18 of 30 from the field, 6 of 11 on 3s and made 10 free throws without a miss.

Booker reached 50 points for the sixth time in his career. He had a career-high 70 at Boston on March 24, 2017.

Kevin Durant added 26 points and Jusuf Nurkic grabbed 15 rebounds for Phoenix. Zion Williamson scored 24 points for the Pelicans.

NETS 130, LAKERS 112

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Cam Thomas scored 33 points and Brooklyn Nets beat Los Angeles Lakers, pulling away in a dominant second half to snap a four-game losing streak and win for the fourth time in 18 games.

Thomas had 20 points in the first half on 9-of-12 shooting. Nic Claxton had 22 points and 14 rebounds, and Spencer Dinwiddie scored 13 of his 19 points in the third quarter as the Nets took control, outscoring the Lakers 38-22.

Anthony Davis had 26 points and 12 rebounds, and LeBron James added 24 points and 10 rebounds for the Lakers. They dropped back below .500 at 21-22, and are 7-13 since winning the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament.

76ERS 124, MAGIC 109

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Joel Embiid scored 36 points, Tyrese Maxey had 32 and Philadelphia 76ers beat Orlando Magic for their fourth straight victory.

Embiid and Maxey both scored over 30 points for the eighth time this season to break a 58-year-old franchise record. Embiid and Maxey surpassed the mark for a 76ers duo set by Wilt Chamberlain and Hal Greer, who went over 30 together seven times during the 1965-66 season.

It was the franchise-record 19th straight game of 30 points or more for Embiid, the NBA’s leading scorer, who didn’t play in the fourth quarter.

Wendell Carter Jr. had 25 points and 11 rebounds for Orlando.


PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Jerami Grant scored 37 points and Portland Trail Blazers spoiled Pascal Siakam’s debut with Indiana Pacers.

Malcolm Brogdon added a season-high 30 points for Portland.

Siakam scored 21 points while starting for the Pacers after being traded from Toronto. Myles Turner had 29 points and 12 rebounds for Indiana, which held off Sacramento 126-121 on Thursday night.

Tyrese Haliburton returned to the Pacers after missing five games because of a hamstring injury. He had 21 points and 17 assists.

HAWKS 109, HEAT 108

MIAMI (AP) — Dejounte Murray hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with two seconds left and Atlanta Hawks spoiled Udonis Haslem’s jersey retirement night by beating Miami Heat.

Murray scored 22 points, finishing with his second straight late winner. On Wednesday night at home, he hit a 17-foot jumper as time expired to give Atlanta a 106-104 victory over Orlando.

Bogdan Bogdanovic added 17, Jalen Johnson had 15 and Saddiq Bey 14 for Atlanta, which trailed by four with 35 seconds left. Bogdanovic made a pair of free throws, the Hawks got a stop and then Murray connected.

Tyler Herro and Jimmy Butler each scored 25 points for Miami.


CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — LaMelo Ball scored 16 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter and Charlotte beat San Antonio Spurs to end a six-game losing streak.

San Antonio rookie star Victor Wembanyama sat out for the sixth time this season. The No. 1 overall pick sprained an ankle Dec. 23 at Dallas, and the Spurs have been cautious with him. Keldon Johnson led San Antonio with 25 points.

No. 2 overall pick Brandon Miller added 24 points for Charlotte.