NBA roundup: Paul lifts Thunder past Mavs down stretch


Chris Paul scored 17 points — including 13 in the final 4:31 — to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a come-from-behind, 106-101 home win over the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night.

Dec 31, 2019; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul (3) drives to the basket around Dallas Mavericks forward Dorian Finney-Smith (10) during the second half at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

With less than three minutes remaining, the Thunder trailed by seven. But then Oklahoma City reeled off a 14-2 run — fueled in large part by Paul — to end the game. The win was the third in a row and seventh in the last eight games for the Thunder.

Two players who were questionable going into the day due to ankle injuries, Danilo Gallinari and Dennis Schroder, led the Thunder with 20 points each.

Dallas’ Luka Doncic scored 35 points to lead all scorers but struggled from behind the arc, going just 3 of 16 on 3-point attempts.

Boston Celtics 109 – Charlotte Hornets 92

Jayson Tatum scored 24 points, Kemba Walker added 22 points and seven assists, and visiting Boston handed Charlotte its sixth consecutive loss.

Coming in off a lopsided loss to reigning NBA champion Toronto, Boston ratcheted up its defensive intensity early. The Celtics limited the Hornets to just 18 first-quarter points and 43 for the first half.

Gordon Hayward had 21 points and 10 rebounds for Boston, and Enes Kanter registered 13 points, a game-high 14 rebounds and six blocked shots. P.J. Washington led the Hornets with 15 points while Miles Bridges posted 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Houston Rockets 130 – Denver Nuggets 104

James Harden and Russell Westbrook combined for 63 points, and host Houston avenged a loss earlier this season to Denver.

Harden paired 35 points with six assists while Westbrook added 28 points and seven assists to carry Houston to its seventh consecutive home win over the Nuggets, who had won nine of their past 10 games overall. Denver defeated the visiting Rockets 105-95 on Nov. 20 by trapping Harden repeatedly.

Nikola Jokic led Denver with 21 points, including 13 to pace the Nuggets’ 37-point third period. He added eight rebounds and four assists. Monte Morris scored 18 points off the bench.

Indiana Pacers 115 – Philadelphia 76ers 97

Domantas Sabonis had 23 points, 10 rebounds and five assists to carry Indiana past Philadelphia in Indianapolis.

T.J. Warren added 21 points, Myles Turner contributed 14 and Jeremy Lamb had 13 for the Pacers, who improved to 15-3 at home and snapped a two-game losing streak. Doug McDermott also had 12 points for Indiana while former 76er T.J. McConnell added 11 points and 10 assists.

Ben Simmons logged 18 points and 10 rebounds, but also had three assists against six turnovers for the Sixers. Josh Richardson led Philadelphia with 20 points, but the 76ers looked out of sync from start to finish without All-Star center Joel Embiid (sore left knee).

San Antonio Spurs 117 – Golden State Warriors 113 (OT)

DeMar DeRozan scored 24 points, and Dejounte Murray contributed seven of his 15 points in overtime as host San Antonio posted a victory over Golden State. Patty Mills highlighted his 18-point performance with five 3-pointers as San Antonio improved to 4-1 in overtime this season.

LaMarcus Aldridge collected 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Spurs, who have won seven of their past 11 overall and five of their past six meetings with Golden State. San Antonio defeated the Warriors for the second time this season, as it posted a 127-110 victory on Nov. 1 in San Francisco.

Alec Burks erupted for 28 points and Glenn Robinson III matched his career high with 25 as the Warriors dropped their second straight following a season-high four-game winning streak.

Los Angeles Clippers 105 – Sacramento Kings 87

Kawhi Leonard scored 24 points, and visiting Los Angeles defeated Sacramento for the 10th straight time.

Leonard missed his first four shots before finishing 8 of 21 from the floor with seven assists. Paul George also overcame a slow start to finish with 21 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists for the Clippers, who have won 14 straight in Sacramento.

Richaun Holmes had 22 points and 10 rebounds, and Buddy Hield contributed 20 points for the Kings, who have lost eight in a row overall and haven’t defeated the Clippers in Sacramento since March 19, 2013.

Toronto Raptors 117 – Cleveland Cavaliers 97

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Kyle Lowry scored 24 points and added eight assists as host Toronto defeated Cleveland. It was the second win in 15 days for the Raptors over the Cavaliers, who have lost five straight in Toronto.

Serge Ibaka added 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Raptors, Terence Davis had a season-high-tying 19 points, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson had 14 points and OG Anunoby and Fred VanVleet each scored 12.

Collin Sexton had 22 points for the Cavaliers, who completed a three-game road trip at 1-2. Tristan Thompson had 14 points and 11 rebounds for his team-best 17th double-double of the season.

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