With Christmas now in the rearview, NBA action is kicking into high gear, and the league’s slate certainly delivered some stellar action on Sunday. 

First, the Orlando Magic picked up an important win over the Detroit Pistons in exciting fashion thanks to an Evan Fournier buzzer beater. Then, the Toronto Raptors won an ugly one over the Chicago Bulls, and the Minnesota Timberwolves took down the Miami Heat thanks to a big night from Karl-Anthony Towns

Later on, the Dallas Mavericks earned an impressive win over the Oklahoma City Thunder

The Portland Trail Blazers hosted the Philadelphia 76ers, who found themselves without star center Joel Embiid. It certainly showed as the Blazers came away with a dominant win. On the other hand, the Los Angeles Lakers recorded their first win without LeBron James as they topped the Sacramento Kings thanks to a stellar fourth quarter.

NBA schedule for Sunday, Dec. 30

  • Orlando Magic 109, Detroit Pistons 107 (Box Score)
  • Toronto Raptors 95, Chicago Bulls 89 (Box Score)
  • Minnesota Timberwolves 113, Miami Heat 104 (Box Score)
  • Dallas Mavericks 105, Oklahoma City Thunder 103 (Box Score)
  • Portland Trail Blazers 129, Philadelphia 76ers 95 (Box Score)
  • Los Angeles Lakers 121, Sacramento Kings 114 (Box Score

NBA schedule for Monday, Dec. 31

All times Eastern

Caldwell-Pope paces Lakers in win

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 26 points off the bench in the Lakers’ 121-114 win over the Kings on Sunday. The veteran guard connected on five 3-pointers to lead the comeback charge.

Towns goes off against the Heat

Karl-Anthony Towns put the Timberwolves on his back to get them into the win column against the Heat. The big man went for 34 points, 18 rebounds, seven assists, six blocks and three steals in a masterful performance. The only other player to have a game with those kind of numbers? Kareem-Abdul Jabbar.

Doncic and George duel in Dallas

The Mavericks won an exciting game over the Thunder on Sunday night, but the in-game duel between Luka Doncic and Paul George was just as exciting. George finished with 36 points and five rebounds, and Doncic went for 25 points and seven assists. 

Fournier wins it at the buzzer for the Magic

It’s strange to hear that a late December matchup between the Pistons and Magic would be important for the playoff race, but such is the case this season, with the two battling for one of the last spots in the East. Which made the Magic’s buzzer-beating victory on Sunday quite important. With the score tied in the closing seconds, Fournier flipped in a floater for the win. 

Doncic shows off his vision, then drops George

Luka Doncic is a crafty playmaker, as he showed early against the Thunder. Somehow, he sneaked a bounce pass along the baseline to DeAndre Jordan for an easy two. Later on, he made one of the best defensive players in the league, Paul George, look like a fool. 

George answers with windmill

After getting embarrassed by Doncic, Paul George was determined to get on the good side of the highlight reel against the Mavericks. And he did so with a sweet windmill slam out on the fastbreak. 

Dunn puts Ibaka on a poster

The Bulls might have lost on Sunday, but Kris Dunn had a memorable moment. Driving inside, he threw one down over Serge Ibaka for a nasty poster slam. 

Jones Jr. goes into Airplane Mode

Derrick Jones Jr. is one of the best athletes in the NBA, and he showed that again on Sunday. Check out this high-flying slam against the Timberwolves. 

Boucher protects the rim

Chris Boucher is taking advantage of his recent call-up from the G-League. Against the Bulls on Sunday evening he soared for an impressive swat on the fastbreak. 

Whiteside spins and slams

Hassan Whiteside got himself on Sunday’s highlight reel with a nice spin and slam over Timberwolves big man Gorgui Dieng

Gordon puts on a dunking display

Aaron Gordon had his dunking shoes on against the Pistons, throwing down a couple of pretty slams on Sunday afternoon. First, an impressive reverse in traffic, then a high-flying alley-oop.

Raptors mascot pranks Lopez

Robin Lopez has a long-running feud with NBA mascots, and it continued on Sunday when the Bulls played the Raptors. The Raptors’ mascot played a little prank on the Bulls big man, and paid a price. 

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