Lillard rebounds with 51, Blazers top Sixers as Embiid hurt
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Damian Lillard scored 51 points after a frustrating finish a night earlier, and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Philadelphia 76ers 124-121 on Sunday.
It was a day of redemption for the star point guard. On Saturday, he missed a pair of free throws with 18.6 seconds to go and a 3-pointer with 9.5 seconds left in a 122-117 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.
Portland bounced back and pulled within a half-game of Memphis for eighth place in the Western Conference. The Trail Blazers increased their chances of qualifying for the play-in series, which will start Saturday.
The 76ers lost much more than the game. All-Star center Joel Embiid left in the first quarter with what the team called a left ankle injury, and he did not return. He contested a shot, then backed up and stepped awkwardly into the stanchion. He had been averaging 30 points per game since the restart.
Josh Richardson scored a season-high 34 points and Alec Burks added 20 for Philadelphia. The 76ers would have moved into a tie with the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat for fourth place in the Eastern Conference standings with a win.
SPURS 122, PELICANS 113
DeMar DeRozan scored 27 points, Rudy Gay added 19 off the bench and San Antonio wasted much of a 20-point, second-half lead before hanging on to beat New Orleans.
The loss, combined with Portland’s win over Philadelphia later Sunday, eliminated New Orleans from playoff contention.
Dejounte Murray scored 18 for the Spurs. Derrick White added 16 before leaving early in the third quarter with a bruised knee.
JJ Redick scored 31 points with a season-high eight 3-pointers for New Orleans, which got 25 from Williamson and 17 from Brandon Ingram.
The Spurs — bidding to become the first team in NBA history to make 23 consecutive playoff appearances — moved past idle Phoenix into 10th place in the West, percentage points behind Portland for the No. 9 spot that comes with a berth in the play-in series next weekend.
RAPTORS 108, GRIZZLIES 99
Pascal Siakam scored 26 points to help Toronto prevent Memphis from clinching a spot in the Western Conference play-in series.
Norman Powell scored 16 points and Kyle Lowry added 15 for the Raptors, who clinched the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference and their fifth consecutive season with at least 50 wins.
Dillon Brooks scored 25 points, Grayson Allen matched a season high with 20 and Ja Morant had 17 points and 10 assists for the Grizzlies.
The Grizzlies dropped to 1-5 in the restart and are barely hanging on to eighth place in the West, with Portland, Phoenix and San Antonio close behind. There will be a play-in series in the West, starting Saturday.
NETS 129, CLIPPERS 120
Caris LeVert had 27 points and 13 assists, and Brooklyn used the best-shooting quarter in the NBA this season on its way to a victory over Los Angeles.
Joe Harris added 25 points — 23 in the first half — for the Nets, who clinched seventh place in the Eastern Conference and a first-round playoff matchup with the defending NBA champion Toronto Raptors. Tyler Johnson scored 21 and Jarrett Allen had 16 points and 16 rebounds as Brooklyn improved to 4-2 in the restart.
The Nets shot 85.7% (18 of 21) from the field in the first quarter, racing to a 21-point lead. The Clippers battled back to tie it in the third quarter, but the Nets broke it open again early in the fourth.
Kawhi Leonard scored 39 points for the Clippers, who rested Paul George and had their lead over Denver for the No. 2 seed in the West trimmed to one game. They play the Nuggets on Wednesday in their next game.
CELTICS 122, MAGIC 119, OT
Gordon Hayward hit three free throws with 2:29 left in overtime, and Boston beat Orlando for its third straight victory.
The Celtics hadn’t scored in overtime until Hayward went to the line after being fouled by Nikola Vučević. His free throws put Boston up 115-114 as the Celtics scored 10 of the first 15 points in overtime.
Hayward finished with 31 points and Jayson Tatum scored 29, including the tying basket with 4.2 seconds left in regulation. Jaylen Brown had 19 points and 12 rebounds, and Brad Wanamaker had 10 points.
Vučević led Orlando with 26 points and 11 rebounds. Terrence Ross had 18 points and Markelle Fultz 16 off the bench. Gary Clark added 15 points, D.J. Augustin 12 and James Ennis III 10.
ROCKETS 129, KINGS 112
Austin Rivers scored a career-high 41 points off the bench and Houston used a big third quarter to pull away and cruise to a victory over Sacramento.
Rivers made six 3-pointers as Houston improved to 4-1 at Disney on a night the Rockets played a second straight game without Russell Westbrook, who has a bruised right quadriceps.
James Harden added 32 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for Houston.
The Kings fell to 1-5 in the bubble after being eliminated from playoff contention earlier Sunday when Portland beat the 76ers. Sacramento’s playoff drought is now 14 years, which is the longest active streak in the NBA.
De’Aaron Fox had 26 points for the Kings.
THUNDER 121, WIZARDS 103
Rookie Darius Bazley scored a career-high 23 points off the bench, and Oklahoma City kept Washington the only winless team inside the NBA bubble.
Bazley was 5 of 8 from 3-point range. Danilo Gallinari scored 20 points, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander added 18 as Oklahoma City led from the opening bucket and improved to 3-2 in the seeding games.
Mike Muscala also scored 18 points. Chris Paul had 13 points and nine assists, and Hamidou Diallo finished with 13 points for the Thunder.
Jerome Robinson scored 19 points off the bench for the Wizards, who came into this game already eliminated from playoff contention and dropped to 0-6 since the NBA restarted the season.
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