(REUTERS) – The Boston Celtics nearly blew a 15-point fourth-quarter lead on Thursday night (Nov 1), but they took advantage of a missed free throw by Eric Bledsoe with 12.8 seconds left to hand the visiting Milwaukee Bucks their first loss of the season 117-113.
The Celtics used their three-point shooting to begin each half with dominant runs, allowing them to lead most of the way en route to a fourth straight win.
Kyrie Irving led the way with a season-high 28 points and six three-pointers, while Al Horford and Gordon Hayward added 18 points apiece for the Celtics, who swept a two-game home-stand that began with a win over Detroit on Tuesday.
Giannis Antetokounmpo was the game’s leading scorer with 33 points and also grabbed 11 rebounds for the Bucks, who were playing just their third road game of the season.
Trail Blazers 132, Pelicans 119
Damian Lillard scored 26 points as Portland beat visiting New Orleans, who were without big man Anthony Davis for the third time in four games.
Jusuf Nurkic scored 20 points and collected nine rebounds on an efficient seven-of-nine from field while Al-Farouq Aminu contributed a season-high 17 points and 10 boards for the Trail Blazers, who won their third straight game. Evan Turner added a season-high 14 points, seven rebounds and seven assists off the Portland bench.
Julius Randle scored a season-high 29 points off the bench to lead the Pelicans, who lost for the fourth straight time after a 4-0 start to the season. Starters Nikola Mirotic (six-of-20, 18 points) and Jrue Holiday (five-of-14, 17 points) both struggled from the floor.
Davis missed back-to-back games with a sprained right elbow before playing 41 minutes against Golden State on Wednesday.
76ers 122, Clippers 113
Joel Embiid had a season-high 41 points to go along with 13 rebounds and four blocked shots to lift Philadelphia past visiting Los Angeles.
It was Embiid’s sixth game this season with at least 30 points and 10 rebounds. JJ Redick added 18 points, Ben Simmons had 14 points and 11 assists, and Landry Shamet scored 13 points for the Sixers.
The Clippers were led by reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year Lou Williams, who scored 26 points. Forwards Danilo Gallinari and Tobias Harris added 25 and 24 points respectively.
But the Clippers’ big men Marcin Gortat (scoreless, four fouls in nine minutes) and Montrezl Harrell (seven points, five fouls in 14 minutes) were helpless against a dominant Embiid, with Los Angeles only managing to rally in the third quarter after Clippers coach Doc Rivers went with third-choice center Boban Marjanovic (15 points, 11 rebounds) to start the second half.
The Sixers have won 15 straight home games, the longest active streak in the league and their longest since they won 24 straight in the 1982-83 season.
Nuggets 110, Cavaliers 91
Juancho Hernangomez came off the bench to score 23 points and Paul Millsap had 16 points and six rebounds as Denver overcame a sluggish first quarter to beat hosts Cleveland.
Gary Harris scored 14 as the Nuggets won their third in a row and second in as many nights. Denver’s star center, Nikola Jokic, had only four points on two-of-five shooting, but his production was not needed with the game virtually over after three quarters.
Jordan Clarkson scored 17 points and Cedi Osman had 13 for Cleveland. After winning on Tuesday in the first game since Tyronn Lue was fired, the Cavaliers could not make it two straight with acting head coach Larry Drew on the bench.
Thunder 111, Hornets 107
Russell Westbrook narrowly missed his first triple-double of the season with 29 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds, as Oklahoma City rallied from a 19-point second-half deficit to beat hosts Charlotte.
Westbrook scored 13 of his points in the fourth quarter as the Thunder stormed back after trailing 66-47 midway through the third quarter. Westbrook’s drive with 35.1 seconds remaining gave the Thunder a 108-102 lead, and the Hornets never got closer than three from there.
Alex Abrines added a season-high 25 points for the Thunder, Dennis Schroder scored 21, Paul George finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds, and Jerami Grant scored 10.
Charlotte were led by guards Kemba Walker and Malik Monk with 21 apiece. The Thunder have won three straight.
Kings 146, Hawks 115
Behind a triple-double from De’Aaron Fox and 27 points from Buddy Hield, Sacramento coasted past host Atlanta to increase its winning streak to five games.
Fox became the youngest player to post at least 30-10-15 in a game with 31 points, 10 rebounds and 15 assists as the Kings won in Atlanta for the first time since 2006, breaking an 11-game road losing streak.
Sacramento also got 19 points from Nemanja Bjelica and 18 points and five rebounds from first-round draft pick Marvin Bagley III.
The Hawks lost their fourth straight game. Atlanta got a season-high 23 points from Jeremy Lin, who was 8-for-13 from the field. Rookie Trae Young and Kent Bazemore each scored 14 for the Hawks. Young had 10 assists, but committed eight of the team’s 22 turnovers.
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