AROUND THE NBA
76ers 114, Pistons 78
Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid almost outproduced Detroit in the first half and sparked the 76ers to a mammoth lead even they couldn’t blow in a romp over the Pistons. Embiid had 23 points and nine rebounds. Simmons had 19 points and nine assists to lead the Sixers to their fourth straight win, which moved them back to .500. Tobias Harris led the Pistons with 14 points.
Celtics 91, Timberwolves 84
Marcus Smart scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half, Kyrie Irving had 16 points, nine rebounds and eight assists and the Boston Celtics pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves. Terry Rozier had 14 points and nine rebounds, Aron Baynes had 11 points and 10 rebounds and Jaylen Brown also scored 11 for Boston, which has won five straight and six of seven. Karl-Anthony Towns led the Timberwolves with 25 points and a career-high 23 rebounds. Jimmy Butler scored 14, Jamal Crawford had 13 points and Andrew Wiggins scored 10 for Minnesota, which lost back-to-back games for the first time since November.
Raptors 129, Bucks 110
Jonas Valanciunas scored all of his 20 points in the decisive third quarter and the Toronto Raptors beat the Milwaukee Bucks for the second time this week. Toronto outscored Milwaukee 43-19 in the third quarter to win its fourth consecutive game. Serge Ibaka scored 17 of his team-high 21 points in the first half, and DeMar DeRozan, who scored 52 points in the Raptors’ win over Milwaukee on Monday, had 14 of his 20 in the third. DeRozan, Valanciunas and Kyle Lowry, who had 16 points, all rested in the fourth quarter. Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 24 points for the Bucks. Malcolm Brogdon had 19 and Eric Bledsoe added 17.
Spurs 103, Suns 89
Kawhi Leonard and Manu Ginobili each scored 21 points and the San Antonio Spurs beat Phoenix for their ninth straight win at home over the Suns. Ginobili joined Vince Carter as the only 40-year-old players to score 20 points off the bench. The Spurs were without starters LaMarcus Aldridge, who sat out for rest, and an injured Danny Green, but had 15 steals and six blocks against the Suns while shooting 47 percent. Devin Booker had 21 points and Marquese Chriss added 12 for Phoenix. Bryn Forbes finished with 16 points and Pau Gasol added 15.
Heat 107, Knicks 103, OT
Wayne Ellington scored 24 points, Goran Dragic added 19 and the Miami Heat survived a back-and-forth flurry in the final minutes to beat the New York Knicks in overtime. Josh Richardson scored 18 and Tyler Johnson added 16 for Miami, which went 19 for 20 from the foul line — 13 for 13 after halftime. The Heat set a franchise record by taking 42 3-pointers, and Ellington had another team all-time mark by attempting 16. Courtney Lee scored 24 for New York, which got 20 from Michael Beasley and 15 from Kristaps Porzingis.
Nuggets 99, Jazz 91
Trey Lyles scored a career-high 26 points, Jamal Murray also had 26 points and the Denver Nuggets beat the Utah Jazz. Lyles also grabbed seven rebounds. Denver outscored the Jazz 38-16 in the third quarter after trailing by three at halftime. Donovan Mitchell had 15 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, Ricky Rubio also scored 15 points and Derrick Favors had 14 points and 10 rebounds for Utah. The game was tied at 56 when Murray hit a 3-pointer, was fouled and made the free throw to start a 20-5 Denver run.
Bulls 127, Mavericks 124
Kris Dunn scored a career-high 32 points, Justin Holiday added 23 and the Chicago Bulls held off a frantic Dallas rally in a victory over the Mavericks. Rookie Lauri Markkanen had 16 with an emphatic follow-up dunk during a surge that put the Bulls up 10 with 1:08 to play. Dallas actually had a shot to tie, but Yogi Ferrell’s 3-pointer at the buzzer was short. Wesley Matthews led Dallas with 24 points and Harrison Barnes had 23 in a fitting matchup of teams having nearly identical seasons — miserable starts followed by respectable recoveries that pulled each out of last place in its conference. Dirk Nowitzki scored 19 points and was 3 of 3 from long range, including one to give the Mavericks their final lead at 100-98.