Zach LaVine scored 29 points to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 117-96 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday in Colorado, snapping the Nuggets’ undefeated home streak at eight games.
The Bulls, who are in last place in the Eastern Conference at number 11, took charge in the third quarter and scored 36 points to defeat the Western Conference’s unstoppable leaders.
With a league-best 30-4 home record and an eight-game winning streak at their fortress Ball Arena prior to Wednesday, the Nuggets have been nearly unbeatable in Denver this season.
However, Denver was on the losing end of a rare blowout as Nikola Vucevic scored 25 points and grabbed 14 boards, and Zach Lavine scored 29 points on 12-of-18 shooting.
Nikola Jokic, the reigning NBA Most Valuable Player for the Denver Nuggets, was limited to just 18 points.
After Kevin Durant was injured just before his scheduled home debut, the Phoenix Suns still managed to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder by a score of 132-101.
Since his historic trade from Brooklyn last month, Suns fans had been itching to see Durant in action at their home arena.
The 34-year-old star was expected to play, but he rolled his ankle while going for a layup in pregame warmups and was ruled out shortly before tipoff.
Without Durant, the Suns rode Devin Booker’s 44-point explosion, with Terrence Ross contributing 24 off the bench and Chris Paul adding 18.
Per Durant’s coach in Phoenix, Monty Williams, the player sprained his ankle.
We need to see how he responds to treatment, and we may get additional imaging to make sure everyone is on the same page,” Williams said.
What can you say? “He was out there busting his chops getting ready for the game and he twisted his ankle — that’s life.”
With 30 points from Jayson Tatum, the Boston Celtics defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 115-93 to end a three-game losing streak.
Tatum led the Celtics to an excellent offensive performance as a whole after they had lost to Cleveland, the New York Knicks, and the Brooklyn Nets in a row
It didn’t take long for the Celtics to get back into their winning groove against Portland, and they made quick work of the Trail Blazers.
After losing their Eastern Conference lead to Toronto last week, Boston jumped out to an early lead and never looked back, eventually winning by a comfortable margin of 27 points.
Tatum led Boston with 30 points, and Derrick White added 21 more, as all five starters scored in double figures.
The final scores were 17 for Al Horford, 11 for Jaylen Brown, and 10 for Marcus Smart.
Only two starters for Portland scored in double figures, as Boston’s defense held Damian Lillard to 27 points.
After losing their last two games after blowing double-digit leads, Tatum was pleased that Boston had kept Portland at bay.
Tatum remarked that the team had not been able to maintain a lead of more than 10 points in recent games.
“We were able to put the game away in the third quarter and not allow them to get any closer,” the coach said.
Starting today, Boston will embark on a six-game road trip, during which they’ll look to build on their victory on Wednesday. Tatum emphasized the importance of getting back on course.
We’ve lost three in a row, and we need to get back to playing our best if we want to win.
The Cleveland Indians have won three straight games after holding off a furious comeback by the Miami Marlins in Florida.
With 25 points from Darius Garland and 18 from Donovan Mitchell, the Cavaliers cruised to a 104-100 victory and moved into fourth place in the Eastern Conference.
Jimmy Butler scored 28 points to lead Miami, and Tyler Herro added 22 points as the Heat finished in seventh place in the Eastern Conference.
C.J. McCollum’s late scoring helped the Pelicans beat the Mavericks 113-106 in New Orleans, despite Luka Doncic scoring just 15 points.
McCollum scored 32 points overall, including 13 in the final four minutes to help the Pels earn the victory.