Kevin Durant scored 20 of his 26 points in the second half and the host Brooklyn Nets pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 127-115 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday night in Kyrie Irving’s return from a team-imposed suspension.
Irving was the focal point of controversy for posting a link to an anti-Semitic film on Oct. 27 and was handed at least a five-game suspension when he did not apologise following a contentious media session at practice on Nov. 3. He finished with 14 points while logging 26 minutes after sitting out the past eight games.
The Grizzlies lost for the third time in four games and struggled without Ja Morant (sprained left ankle), who was injured in the fourth quarter Friday. Dillon Brooks led all scorers with 31 points but shot 13 of 30 as the Grizzlies saw their seven-game winning streak over Brooklyn halted. John Konchar added 16 while Steven Adams contributed 15 and 10 rebounds as the Grizzlies shot 43.4 percent.
Brooklyn took a 96-93 lead into the fourth after Durant found Yuta Watanabe for a layup right before the horn. Watanabe’s 3 pushed the lead to 101-93 less than a minute into the fourth and two more 3s by Watanabe in a span of 37 seconds gave the Nets a 112-98 edge with 7:15 remaining.
Nuggets 98, Mavericks 97
Bones Hyland scored a career-high 29 points, Michael Porter Jr. had 14, including a go-ahead 3-pointer in the final minute, and visiting Denver beat Dallas.
Bruce Brown scored 12 points and DeAndre Jordan had 17 rebounds for the short-handed Nuggets. Denver was without Nikola Jokic and Aaron Gordon for the third straight game, and Jamal Murray has missed the last two. Jokic and Murray are in health and safety protocols and Gordon is out with a non-COVID illness.
Josh Green scored 23 points, Luka Doncic had 22 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, Davis Bertans added 15 points and Spencer Dinwiddie and Dwight Powell finished with 11 points apiece for the Mavericks.
Suns 116, Knicks 95
Cameron Payne scored a team-high 21 points and flirted with a triple-double for Phoenix, which nearly led wire-to-wire in a win over visiting New York.
Payne, playing in place of injured All-Star point guard Chris Paul, added nine assists and seven rebounds, while Deandre Ayton (13 points, 11 rebounds) had a double-double and scored the basket that put the Suns ahead for good with 8:28 left in the third quarter. Jalen Brunson scored 27 points for the Knicks, who lost their second straight.
The Suns led 90-75 at the end of the third and removed any doubt when Damion Lee and Payne combined to score all the points in an 11-0 run that put the hosts ahead 105-79 with 6:29 left.
Wizards 106, Hornets 102
Kyle Kuzma’s 28 points and Bradley Beal’s 26 carried host Washington to a victory over Charlotte.
Kuzma, who also had 10 rebounds, shot 10-for-18 from the field, making four 3-pointers. His offense early in the fourth quarter set the tone for the rest of the game as the Wizards won for the sixth time in their last seven games.
The Hornets have lost 11 of their last 12. Kelly Oubre Jr. pumped in 23 points, Gordon Hayward added 20, P.J. Washington had 13 and Nick Richards provided 11 off the bench.
Kings 137, Pistons 129
De’Aaron Fox put up a game-high 33 points, Kevin Huerter contributed a pair of 3-pointers to a late rally and Sacramento won its sixth straight game, outlasting visiting Detroit.
Huerter finished with 24 points and Harrison Barnes 27 for the Kings, who completed a four-game sweep at home against Golden State, Brooklyn, San Antonio and Detroit. Fox complemented his 33 points with a game-high-tying seven assists, while Domantas Sabonis matched that assist total while recording a 15-point, 13-rebound double-double.
Rookie Jaden Ivey had 24 points to pace the Pistons, who lost their seventh straight. Six other Pistons scored in double figures, with Bojan Bogdanovic going for 21 points, Alec Burks 16, Marvin Bagley III 15, Jalen Duren 12 with a team-high eight rebounds, Cory Joseph 12 and Kevin Knox II 11.
Cavaliers 113, Heat 87
Darius Garland scored 25 points, Cedi Osman came off the bench to add 20 and host Cleveland rolled past Miami.
The Cavaliers took control with dominant middle quarters, outscoring the Heat 31-15 in the second and 36-22 in the third. The offense clicked both attacking the interior, and on the strength of balanced scoring. Six Cavs scored at least 11 points with Lamar Stevens posting 11 and Evan Mobley recording a double-double of 15 and 10 rebounds.
Bam Adebayo returned to the Miami lineup for team highs of 21 points and six rebounds. Caleb Martin scored 17 points and reserve Dewayne Dedmon added 10 in the loss.
Warriors 127, Rockets 120
Klay Thompson scored a season-high 41 points, Stephen Curry posted a season-best 15 assists and Golden State recorded its first road victory of the season with a hard-fought decision over Houston.
Curry added 33 points and seven rebounds. He and Thompson were a combined 17 of 27 from deep. Andrew Wiggins added 22 points for the Warriors, who shot 53.5 percent and were 24 of 47 on 3-pointers.
The Rockets gave a spirited effort, led by Kevin Porter Jr. (30 points, six assists) and Jabari Smith Jr., who scored a career-high 22 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Fellow rookie Tari Eason added a career-high 19 points with eight rebounds and three steals. KJ Martin scored 12 points off the bench.
Lakers 123, Spurs 92
Anthony Davis recorded 30 points and 18 rebounds as Los Angeles dominated visiting San Antonio to win its season-best third straight game.
Los Angeles led 95-67 after three quarters and cruised to the finish. Austin Reeves added 21 points for the Lakers while Lonnie Walker IV scored 14, Thomas Bryant hit for 15, Kendrick Dunn and Dennis Schroder contributed 13 points each and Russell Westbrook had 10 points and 10 assists off the bench.
Devin Vassell led San Antonio’s anemic attack with 17 points, with Keldon Johnson and Jeremy Sochan scoring 12 each and Tre Jones and Josh Richardson adding 10 apiece. The Lakers led for all but the first three minutes of the game.