NBA scores: Spurs beat Bucks for fifth straight victory
San Antonio Spurs' Kawhi Leonard dunks over Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Milwaukee on Monday, Jan. 4, 2016. (AP / Morry Gash)
The Associated Press
Published Tuesday, January 5, 2016 1:08AM EST
MILWAUKEE - Kawhi Leonard scored 10 of his 24 points in the decisive third quarter and the San Antonio Spurs beat the Milwaukee Bucks 123-98 on Monday night for their fifth straight victory.
The Spurs improved to 30-6 and joined defending champion Golden State as the only teams to reach 30 wins already this season.
Rookie swingman Jonathon Simmons scored a career-high 18 for the Spurs, who set a season high for points two days after posting 121 against Houston. LaMarcus Aldridge had 16 points and 11 rebounds.
Tim Duncan finished with 14 points and 10 boards for the Spurs, one game after going scoreless for the first time in his 19-year career.
San Antonio played without starting point guard Tony Parker due to right hip soreness, but still won its 27th game in the last 31.
76ERS 109, TIMBERWOLVES 99
PHILADELPHIA - Ish Smith had 21 points and 11 assists, and Richaun Holmes scored 17 to lead Philadelphia over Minnesota.
Still the worst team in the NBA at 4-33, the 76ers have won three of six games and have a new confidence since they hired Jerry Colangelo as chairman of basketball operations last month.
Colangelo's first big move was acquiring Smith from New Orleans in a Dec. 24 trade that cost them nothing but second-round draft picks. Smith averaged 13.4 points and 7.6 assists since the deal and has made his teammates better.
Shabazz Muhammad led the Timberwolves with 20 points.
CAVALIERS 122, RAPTORS 100
CLEVELAND - Kyrie Irving scored a season-high 25 points, J.R. Smith had 24 on eight 3-pointers and Cleveland defeated Toronto.
Irving, playing his sixth game since returning from a broken left kneecap, was 10 of 16 from the field. The three-time All-Star, injured in Game 1 of last season's NBA Finals, added eight assists and six rebounds.
LeBron James, who didn't play in the fourth quarter, had 20 points and seven assists in 31 minutes. All five Cavaliers starters finished in double figures.
Tristan Thompson added 14 points with 11 rebounds, and Kevin Love scored 14 as Cleveland improved to 15-1 at home.
The Raptors were led by Kyle Lowry's 23 points.
CELTICS 103, NETS 94
NEW YORK - Jae Crowder scored a career-high 25 points with a strong start and a clutch finish, and Boston beat Brooklyn to split a home-and-home series.
Crowder had 14 points in the first quarter, then was largely quiet until hitting a 3-pointer and adding a three-point play after Brooklyn got close in the final minutes. He surpassed his previous best of 24 points by making a pair of free throws with 16 seconds remaining.
Isaiah Thomas added 19 points for the Celtics, who rebounded from consecutive losses at home. Evan Turner, starting for injured Avery Bradley, had 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Thaddeus Young had 23 points and a season-high 15 rebounds for the Nets, who have lost seven straight at home. Joe Johnson scored 21 and Brook Lopez, the Eastern Conference player of the week, finished with 19.
PISTONS 115, MAGIC 89
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - Andre Drummond had 17 points and 12 rebounds, and Detroit rolled to its most lopsided victory of the season.
Detroit led 57-47 at halftime, and although Orlando scored the first seven points of the third quarter, a 16-4 run later in the period gave the Pistons a comfortable advantage again. Detroit then poured it on at the start of the fourth.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 21 points for the Pistons, and Brandon Jennings added 17. Reggie Jackson scored 14 points with seven assists.
Victor Oladipo, starting in place of injured guard Elfrid Payton, led Orlando with 18 points.
HEAT 103, PACERS 100, OT
MIAMI - Chris Bosh scored 31 points, Dwyane Wade had 27 including a layup that beat the buzzer and forced overtime, and Miami erased an 18-point third-quarter deficit to beat Indiana.
Goran Dragic added 13 points for the Heat, who matched a season best with their third straight win.
Paul George scored 32 points on 12-for-29 shooting for Indiana, but his 3-pointer from the right corner bounced off the rim on the game's final play. Monta Ellis had 17 points.
Before the opening tip, a malfunction kept the lights that illuminate the floor from coming back on after Miami's starting lineup was announced, leading to a delay of nearly half an hour and briefly sending both teams back to their locker rooms.
THUNDER 116, KINGS 104
OKLAHOMA CITY - DeMarcus Cousins had 33 points and a season-high 19 rebounds, and Sacramento took advantage of Kevin Durant's absence to beat Oklahoma City.
Durant missed the game with a sprained right big toe. His status is day to day, but coach Billy Donovan said before the game that he didn't consider it serious.
Rajon Rondo had 13 points, 19 assists and nine rebounds. Marco Belinelli scored 21 points and Rudy Gay added 16 for the Kings.
Russell Westbrook had 17 points, 15 assists and eight rebounds for the Thunder, but he shot 2 of 15 in the second half. Serge Ibaka scored a season-high 25.
ROCKETS 93, JAZZ 91
SALT LAKE CITY - James Harden scored 30 points and Houston rallied in the second half to beat Utah, ending its longest losing streak of the season at four games.
The Jazz led by 15 midway through the third quarter before Harden began to heat up. He scored seven straight points to get the margin down to single digits.
Harden's layup with 1:55 remaining gave the Rockets an 89-87 lead they never relinquished. Rodney Hood had a chance to tie it for the Jazz with 6 seconds remaining but missed the third of three free throws to leave Utah down by one.
Harden finished with seven assists and five rebounds. Dwight Howard had 16 points and 13 rebounds for Houston.
Hood led the Jazz with 23 points and matched a career high with five 3-pointers. Gordon Hayward added 20 points and seven rebounds.