Kawhi Leonard scored 27 points – including 18 in the fourth quarter – as the LA Clippers rallied by beat the Portland Trail Blazers 107-101 to earn coach Doc Rivers his 900th career win.
Thursday night’s NBA scores
- Portland Trail Blazers 101-107 LA Clippers
- Boston Celtics 108-87 Charlotte Hornets
- Miami Heat 124-108 Phoenix Suns
- Oklahoma City Thunder 112-121 San Antonio Spurs
Portland Trail Blazers 101-107 LA Clippers
Kawhi Leonard scored 27 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as the Los Angeles Clippers rallied from a eight-point, fourth-quarter deficit to defeat the visiting Portland Trail Blazers 107-101 on Thursday night.
Lou Williams scored 26 points and recorded eight assists while Montrezl Harrell and Ivica Zubac each scored 15 points for the Clippers. Zubac also had 13 rebounds, nine on the offensive end.
Leonard contributed 18 points to the fourth-quarter comeback. The victory was the 900th of Clippers coach Doc Rivers’ career. He is the 13th coach to reach the milestone.
Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum scored 22 points apiece to lead Portland, but both shot 9-for-23 from the field. Hassan Whiteside added 17 points and 19 rebounds. Anfernee Simons scored 16 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter.
A three-point play by Whiteside with 1:16 left knotted the score at 98. Williams’ jumper gave the Clippers a two-point edge with 58.9 seconds remaining.
A free throw by Simons pulled Portland with 100-99, but Williams nailed a three-pointer with 32.5 seconds left to increase the margin to four before Rodney Hood sliced the Clippers’ lead to 103-101 with 17.5 seconds remaining.
Leonard’s two free throws with 13.1 seconds left sealed the win for Los Angeles.
Earlier Thursday, the NBA fined the Clippers $50,000 regarding pregame comments coach Doc Rivers made regarding Leonard sitting out of Wednesday’s loss to the Milwaukee Bucks due to “load management.”
The NBA determined Rivers’ statements were “inconsistent” with Leonard’s health.
Boston Celtics 108-87 Charlotte Hornets
Jayson Tatum scored 23 points and Kemba Walker added 14 in his return to Charlotte as the Boston Celtics cruised past the host Hornets 108-87.
Gordon Hayward added 20 points and 10 rebounds as the Celtics won their sixth straight. Jaylen Brown chipped in 12 points after missing the team’s previous three games due to an illness.
Miles Bridges had 18 points, and Devonte’ Graham added 15 for the Hornets, who had a three-game winning streak snapped. Terry Rozier, playing against Boston for the first time after four seasons with the Celtics, was held to three points on 1-of-11 shooting.
Walker, drafted ninth overall by the then-Charlotte Bobcats in 2011, played his first eight seasons with the club before signing with the Celtics as a free agent over the offseason. The Charlotte franchise’s all-time scoring leader, Walker was honoured with a video tribute before the game.
Despite the Celtics holding a nine-point lead at the half, Walker was 0-for-6 from the field to that point. He got his first basket, a lay-up, with 9:08 on the clock in the third quarter.
Walker added a three-pointer with 7:15 left as Boston began the third on a 14-5 run. He nailed another pair of treys later in the quarter, the second giving the Celtics a 75-59 advantage with 2:51 to go.
Boston took their first 20-point lead on a Tatum three-pointer with 4.2 ticks left in the third quarter and extended their lead to 24 in the fourth.
Miami Heat 124-108 Phoenix Suns
Jimmy Butler scored 34 points and Goran Dragic added 25 points as the Miami Heat won 124-108 in Phoenix to snap the Suns’ three-game winning streak.
Bam Adebayo had 15 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and five steals, Tyler Herro scored 15 points off the bench, and Kendrick Nunn added 11 for the Heat, who at 6-2 are off to their best start since 2012-13.
Aron Baynes had 23 points, Devin Booker had 22 and Ricky Rubio had 11 points, 11 rebounds and six assists for the Suns, who have won five of their first eight.
Dragic tied his season-high in points and made three-pointers (five) as the Heat became the first team to outshoot the Suns this season.
Butler scored 30 points and missed only one shot in the first half, passing his previous season-high of 21 on a pair of free throws with 2:29 remaining. He made 9-of-10 field goals, both of his three-pointers and all 10 of his foul shots in the first half.
Dragic had 10 points in the final two minutes of the third quarter, and his three-pointer early in the fourth quarter gave the Heat a 96-86 lead after the Suns had closed to within two points four times in the third.
Oklahoma City Thunder 112-121 San Antonio Spurs
LaMarcus Aldridge scored a season-high 39 points on 19-for-23 shooting as the San Antonio Spurs snapped a two-game losing streak with a 121-112 win over the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Spurs led by eight heading into the fourth quarter and never allowed Oklahoma City to get closer than five points the rest of the way.
When Aldridge is on his game, the Spurs win. In San Antonio’s five victories this season, he has averaged 25 points per game; in their three losses, he has managed just nine points per contest.
Dejounte Murray added 17 points, eight rebounds and a career-best 10 assists for San Antonio in the win. DeMar DeRozan hit for 16, Bryn Forbes scored 14 and Patty Mills racked up 10 points for the Spurs.
Danilo Gallinari led the Thunder with 27 points on 7-for-10 shooting (5-of-6 from beyond the arc), with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander adding 21 points, Chris Paul contributing 19, Hamidou Diallo and Dennis Schroder scoring 11 each, and Steven Adams totaling 10 points.
The Spurs took the lead early in the third quarter and were up just 87-84 with 1:01 to play in the period before a three-pointer by Patty Mills and two free throws from Gay allowed San Antonio to grab an eight-point lead heading into the final 12 minutes.