CHICAGO (AP) Pau Gasol had a career-high 46 points to go along with 18 rebounds and the Chicago Bulls bounced back from two ugly losses with a 95-87 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night.
Gasol was 17 for 30 from the field and 12 for 13 at the line. Kirk Hinrich added 16 points for Chicago, and Jimmy Butler had nine points, 10 assists and eight rebounds in the opener of a three-game homestand.
The Bulls were coming off a pair of bad losses to Utah and Washington, when they shot a combined 36 percent from the field. They weren’t much better against Milwaukee, finishing at 40 percent (35 for 88), but Gasol’s big performance was enough to hold off the Bucks.
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Gasol helped the Bulls close it out in the final period. He had a driving layup that made it 87-75 with 4:01 remaining. He finished with four straight free throws, surpassing his previous career best of 44 points for Memphis against Seattle on March 28, 2006.
The Bulls played without starters Derrick Rose and Mike Dunleavy. Rose, who missed much of the last 2 1/2 seasons due to a series of injuries, was sidelined by left knee soreness, and Dunleavy missed his fifth straight game with a right ankle injury.
Brandon Knight scored 20 points for Milwaukee, which had won its last five road games. Jared Dudley had 15 points, and fellow reserve O.J. Mayo finished with 12.
HORNETS 110, KNICKS 82
NEW YORK (AP) – Kemba Walker scored 28 points and streaky Charlotte extended New York’s losing streak to 15 games.
Charlotte won its fifth in a row and did it so easily that Walker played only three quarters.
Walker has played a big role in the five-game winning streak. He had 30 points in a victory over Orlando, 33 against Boston, 31 against New Orleans – when he made the go-ahead basket with 1.4 seconds left – and 29 against Toronto on Thursday night.
Bismack Biyombo added 14 points, tying a career high, and 12 rebounds for the Hornets, the latest team to enjoy a laugher at the expense of the NBA’s worst team – and maybe the worst Knicks team ever.
The Knicks fell to 5-35 with their 25th loss in 26 games. Quincy Acy led them with 18 points.
New York reaches the midway point of its schedule Thursday when it plays Milwaukee in London. The Knicks are on their longest single-season skid ever and free-falling toward their worst finish, which is 23-59 in the 82-game schedule.
CLIPPERS 120, MAVERICKS 100
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Blake Griffin scored 22 points, Chris Paul had 17 points and 13 assists and Los Angeles beat Dallas for its sixth win in eight games and second in a row.
Jamal Crawford added 19 points, Matt Barnes had 18 points, J.J. Redick 16, and DeAndre Jordan had 13 points and 15 rebounds in the Clippers’ eighth win in their last 11 games against the Mavericks.
Dirk Nowitzki scored 25 points and Monta Ellis had 15 of his 23 in the first half for Dallas, which had its three-game road winning streak snapped. Rajon Rondo was held to two points and eight assists in 27 minutes after going scoreless in the first half.
Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle was ejected midway through the third after picking up his second technical for arguing a foul on Tyson Chandler.
SPURS 108, TIMBERWOLVES 93
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Austin Daye scored a season-high 22 points and had 10 rebounds to help San Antonio hand Minnesota its 15th straight loss.
Patty Mills scored 19 points and Tim Duncan added 13 points and six rebounds in 20 minutes for the Spurs (23-15), who were missing Manu Ginobili and Marco Belinelli with injuries.
Minnesota (5-31) hasn’t won since Dec. 10 and is tied with New York for the longest active losing streak in the NBA.
Gorgui Dieng had 18 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks for the Timberwolves. Andrew Wiggins also finished with 18 points. That snapped a streak of six 20-point games for the No. 1 overall pick.
TRAIL BLAZERS 103, MAGIC 92
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – LaMarcus Aldridge scored 25 points and Portland handed Orlando its sixth consecutive loss.
Aldridge hit 10 of 22 shots to help the Blazers (29-8) tie Golden State for most wins in the NBA this season. Wesley Matthews added 18 points.
Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic scored a career-high 34 points and grabbed 16 rebounds. Victor Oladipo had 18 points and eight rebounds.
76ERS 93, PACERS 92
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Michael Carter-Williams hit a running layup with 9.2 seconds left to lift Philadelphia past Indiana.
Tony Wroten had 20 points to lead Philadelphia, which won consecutive games for just the second time this season and earned its third victory in the last four. The 76ers are 7-13 since opening 0-17.
David West had 28 points for the Pacers, but came up short on a 13-footer at the buzzer that would’ve won it for Indiana. West had put the Pacers in front with a fadeaway 12-footer with 17.6 seconds left.
PISTONS 98, NETS 93
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) – Brandon Jennings scored all 20 of his points in the second half to help Detroit beat Brooklyn.
Greg Monroe added 16 points and 17 rebounds for Detroit. The Pistons have won eight of nine since releasing Josh Smith.
Joe Johnson led Brooklyn with 17 points. Brook Lopez had 11 points and 15 rebounds.
RAPTORS 109, CELTICS 96
TORONTO (AP) – Kyle Lowry scored 10 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter, James Johnson had 15 points and 10 rebounds and Toronto beat Boston to end a four-game losing streak.
Lou Williams scored 19 points and Jonas Valanciunas and Amir Johnson each had 15 to help the Raptors improve to 6-0 against Atlantic Division opponents and avoid losing consecutive home games for the first time since March 2014. Toronto is 15-4 at home this season.
Kelly Olynyk scored 23 points for Boston.
Celtics forward Jeff Green was inactive for the second straight night and a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Saturday night that Boston, Memphis and New Orleans have agreed on a five-player trade that would send him to Memphis. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the trade hasn’t been announced and formal approval by the NBA is not expected until Monday morning.
ROCKETS 97, JAZZ 82
HOUSTON (AP) – James Harden had 30 points and five assists and Houston beat Utag for its third straight victory.
Harden made four of Houston’s 13 3-pointers, including two in the fourth quarter. Houston used 16 steals and forced 31 turnovers to overcome poor first-half shooting.
Trey Burke and Enes Kanter each scored 16 points for Utah.