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NBA roundup: Pacers sink Hornets

By Steve Reed

AP Sports Writer

CHARLOTTE — When his MRI came back negative after taking a shot to the knee earlier this week, Domantas Sabonis told Pacers coach Nate Bjorkgren there was no way he was going to rest and let his teammates down.

“I don’t like sitting out,” Sabonis said. “I woke up today and I felt good. I did my shooting time and I was like, ‘I can play.’ I would have felt worse if I didn’t play.”

Sabonis powered through with a bruised knee, getting 22 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists to lead Indiana past the Charlotte Hornets 116-106 on Wednesday night. He came into the game listed as questionable but finished 9 of 10 from the field.

“The toughness that he showed to step foot in that game after taking that knee-to-knee (on Monday), that toughness goes a long way,” Bjorkgren said.

Doug McDermott scored a season-high 28 points — three shy of his career-high — Malcom Brogdon had 25 points and Justin Holiday chipped in with 19 points for the Pacers, who have won three of four.

Terry Rozier had 20 points for the Hornets, who have dropped six of seven.

“We’re trying different lineups now,” Hornets coach James Borrego said. “That was a new group out there tonight. It was a poor first quarter. It wasn’t just the first group, it was the second group as well.”

Cody Zeller returned to the starting lineup and had 10 points and 14 rebounds. Zeller missed four weeks with a broken hand and had come off the bench the last three games.

This opens a stretch with 12 of 14 games at home. With the Hornets struggling to win there is growing pressure for Borrego to start rookie LaMelo Ball, who had eight points and five assists in 22 minutes.

Indiana limited the red-hot Gordon Hayward to 16 points on 6-of-14 shooting from the floor.

The Pacers (11-7) pushed their coverage to Hayward, who came in averaging 30.5 points over his past four contests and having made 58.1% of his shots from the floor, including 61.5% from 3-point range.

Schedules adjusted for virus-affected teams

Washington’s second-half schedule might not be as jam-packed as first thought, after the NBA said Wednesday it was rescheduling some Wizards games after a half-dozen of their contests were postponed in recent weeks for virus-related reasons.

Portland will now visit Washington on Tuesday, a game that was originally set for the second half. Washington will play at Charlotte on Feb. 7, a game that was rescheduled from Jan. 20. And that means the Blazers, who were scheduled to visit the Hornets that day, will now go to Charlotte in the second half of the schedule.

The league has postponed 22 games so far.

 

Tobias Harris lifts 76ers past Lakers, 107-106
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Tobias Harris made a jumper with 3 seconds left, ending the Lakers’ 13-0 run and sending the Philadelphia 76ers to a 107-106 victory over Los Angeles on Wednesday night.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope hit a 3-pointer with 1:05 left that pulled the Lakers to 105-104. LeBron James hit Anthony Davis for the go-ahead basket with 11.2 seconds to go for a 106-105 lead and cap that run.

Harris scored 24 points. Joel Embiid had 28 and Ben Simmons had 17 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.

James scored 34 points, and Davis had 23.

Embiid appeared to have hurt his back when he was knocked down by James.
Embiid, the All-Star center off to the best start of his career, drove down the baseline for an attempted right-handed dunk when James pushed him in flight. Embiid crashed hard on his tailbone, immediately grabbed his back and writhed on the court in pain as James simply looked down and walked past him. After a short video review, James was hit with a flagrant 1 — “unnecessary contact committed by a player against an opponent” — and Embiid sank both free throws. Embiid was quickly hit with his own flagrant when his elbow connected with Davis’ face on a drive to bucket.

The Lakers suffered their first road loss of the season in 11 games.

NUGGETS 109, HEAT 82

MIAMI (AP) — Nikola Jokic had 21 points and 11 rebounds and Denver won its fifth straight, building a 25-point halftime lead and beating Miami.

Michael Porter Jr. scored 17 points, JaMychal Green added 15 and Jamal Murray had 14 for Denver. The Nuggets are 4-0 on a five-game trip — the first time they Nuggets have won four games on a trip of any length since December 2013.

Kendrick Nunn led Miami with 17 points.

CAVALIERS 122, PISTONS 107

CLEVELAND (AP) — Collin Sexton scored 29 points and Andre Drummond had 23 points, 16 rebounds and five steals against his former team, powering Cleveland past Detroit.

Taurean Prince added 16 points and rookie Isaac Okoro had 10 points and a season-high six assists to help the Cavaliers snap a two-game losing streak and improve to 9-9.

Jerami Grant scored 26 points and Mason Plumlee had 15 points, 12 rebounds and a career-high eight turnovers for Detroit. The Pistons are 1-7 on the road.

BUCKS 115, RAPTORS 108

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo had 24 points, 18 rebounds and nine assists, and Donte DeVincenzo sparked a five-point sequence in the fourth quarter that helped Milwaukee beat Toronto.

The Bucks (11-6) were leading by just three points after a dunk by DeVincenzo, who followed with a steal and drew a flagrant foul on Kyle Lowry. After DeVincenzo made the two free throws, the Bucks took the ball out of bounds and Bryn Forbes made a 3-pointer for a 92-84 lead with 9:54 left.

Norman Powell led the Raptors with 26 points. Lowry had 21 points and six rebounds.

NETS 132, HAWKS 128, OT

ATLANTA (AP) — Kevin Durant scored 32 points and James Harden had 31 to lead a productive night for Brooklyn’s big three scorers and the Nets beat Atlanta in overtime.

Harden added 15 assists and eight rebounds. Kyrie Irving scored 26 point.

Trae Young had 28 points and 14 assists for Atlanta. Cam Reddish scored a season-high 24 points while John Collins and De’Andre Hunter each had 21 points.

SPURS 110, CELTICS 106

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — DeMar DeRozan scored 21 points, Keldon Johnson had 18 points and 10 rebounds, and San Antonio held on to beat Boston.

LaMarcus Aldridge added 20 points, and Dejounte Murray had 11 points and 11 rebounds.

The Celtics’ projected starting five of Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart and Daniel Theis played together for the first time this season. Tatum had 25 points, Brown added 24, and Smart and Walker had 14 apiece.

KINGS 121, MAGIC 107

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Buddy Hield scored a season-best 29 points, hitting hit seven 3-pointers, and well-rested Sacramento beat Orlando.

Sacramento was playing for the first time since Friday after two games were canceled because of COVID-19 protocols with the Memphis Grizzlies. Richaun Holmes added 20 points and 12 rebounds.

Magic center Nikola Vucevic made 11 of 18 shots and scored 26 points. Evan Fournier added 25 points.

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