LeBron James put on a show as the four-time MVP scored 46 points to overcome the Cleveland Cavaliers as the Los Angeles Lakers moved to 14-4 for the season.
Elsewhere, Steph Curry inspired a Golden State Warriors triumph over the Minnesota Timberwolves, while the Brooklyn Nets, Boston Celtics, and Oklahoma City Thunder all picked up wins on Monday night.
Monday night’s NBA results
|Los Angeles Lakers 115-108 Cleveland Cavaliers|
|Minnesota Timberwolves 108-130 Golden State Warriors|
|Miami Heat 85-98 Brooklyn Nets|
|Boston Celtics 119-103 Chicago Bulls|
|Philadelphia 76ers 104-119 Detroit Pistons|
|Toronto Raptors 114-129 Indiana Pacers|
|Charlotte Hornets 108-117 Orlando Magic|
|Denver Nuggets 117-113 Dallas Mavericks|
|Oklahoma City Thunder 125-122 Portland Trail Blazers|
Los Angeles Lakers 115-108 Cleveland Cavaliers
LeBron James scored a season-high 46 points, including 21 in the fourth quarter, to lift the visiting Los Angeles Lakers to a 115-108 win against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
James scored 13 points in the final 4:41 to help the Lakers pull away and improve to 10-0 on the road this season.
Anthony Davis had 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Lakers, and Montrezl Harrell scored 15 off the bench.
Andre Drummond had 25 points and 17 rebounds, Cedi Osman scored 20 points and Collin Sexton finished with 17 for the Cavaliers.
The Lakers led 100-98 when James began his late surge with a 3-pointer from the edge of the mid-court logo. He sank another trey to make it 108-100 with 3:36 left, and yet another for a six-point edge with 1:34 to go. His 17-footer with 58.9 seconds remaining stretched the lead to 115-107.
James shot 19 of 26 from the field, including 7 of 11 from 3-point distance, and added eight rebounds and six assists.
Minnesota Timberwolves 108-130 Golden State Warriors
Stephen Curry overshadowed Andrew Wiggins’ reunion with his former team, scoring 36 points as the Golden State Warriors thrashed the Minnesota Timberwolves 130-108 in San Francisco.
The game was billed as the first for Wiggins and D’Angelo Russell since they were dealt for one another last February. However, Russell, who was the Warriors’ leader in 3-pointers last season, was given the night off because of a bruised thigh, relegated to watching Wiggins contribute 23 points to the Golden State win.
With the Wiggins-Russell intrigue eliminated, the night’s focus turned to a head-to-head between two of the top picks in the 2009 draft, when the Timberwolves took Ricky Rubio fifth overall while Curry was available. Two picks later, Golden State snatched Curry, now a two-time NBA Most Valuable Player and three-time league champion.
Starting in Russell’s place, Rubio recorded a game-high 11 assists to go with six points.
The Warriors never trailed while snapping a two-game losing streak. Curry hit two 3-pointers and Wiggins matched his six points in a 19-4 game-opening burst from which the Timberwolves never fully recovered.
Miami Heat 85-98 Brooklyn Nets
James Harden scored 10 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter as the Brooklyn Nets pulled away in the final minutes for a 98-85 victory over the visiting Miami Heat in New York.
The Nets won for the sixth time in eight games on a night in which they shot a season-low 40 percent, but they outscored Miami 20-7 in the final seven-plus minutes.
Kevin Durant scored 20 points while shooting 6 of 21, but his 3-pointer from the right side snapped a 78-78 tie with 6:47 remaining and shortly thereafter the Nets seized control.
Harden scored 10 points as the Nets ripped off 15 straight. His first 3-pointer made it 84-80 with 4:59 remaining. His 3-pointer as the shot clock expired upped the lead to 91-80 with 3:14 left and his 17-footer capped the run and gave Brooklyn a 96-80 lead with 88 seconds remaining.
Kyrie Irving added 16 points while shooting 6 of 17 as Brooklyn won despite shooting 28.9 percent (11 of 38) from 3-point range.
Boston Celtics 119-103 Chicago Bulls
Jaylen Brown scored 26 points and Jayson Tatum added 24 points in his return to the line-up from the NBA’s Covid-19 protocol as the visiting Boston Celtics opened a stretch of playing seven of eight on the road with a 119-103 victory against the Chicago Bulls.
Marcus Smart registered a double-double of 13 points and 11 assists and Daniel Theis added 19 points for Boston, which has won successive games following a three-game losing streak.
After leading by 10 at the break, the Celtics seized control after half-time, opening the third quarter on a 14-2 run en route to a night of 50.6 percent shooting.
Chicago’s Zach LaVine had a game-high 30 points on 11-for-19 shooting as the Bulls fell to 0-2 on their five-game homestand. Limited to a season-low 90 points Saturday in a loss to the reigning NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers, the Bulls eclipsed that total while committing 19 turnovers that led to 35 Boston points.
Philadelphia 76ers 104-119 Detroit Pistons
Delon Wright poured in a career-high 28 points and the host Detroit Pistons snapped a four-game losing streak with a 119-104 win over the Philadelphia 76ers.
Wright, whose previous career best was 26 points in 2019, added nine assists and seven rebounds. Jerami Grant supplied 25 points, eight rebounds and five assists, while Wayne Ellington tossed in 20 points as Detroit avenged a loss to Philadelphia two nights earlier.
Josh Jackson added 12 points and Mason Plumlee chipped in 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Tobias Harris’ 25 points and seven rebounds led the Sixers. Tyrese Maxey had 17 points and three steals and Tony Bradley added 12 points with nine rebounds.
Sixers star Joel Embiid did not play due to back soreness, while Derricks Rose was missing for the Pistons.
Toronto Raptors 114-129 Indiana Pacers
Malcolm Brogdon scored 19 of his career-high 36 points in the second half and added nine assists as the Indiana Pacers defeated the visiting Toronto Raptors 129-114.
The teams split the two-game set after Toronto won on Sunday. The Pacers had lost their four previous games against the Raptors.
Indiana’s Domantas Sabonis scored 11 points before leaving with a knee contusion at the end of the first quarter after going knee-on-knee with Toronto’s Kyle Lowry. He did not return.
Jeremy Lamb added 22 points off the bench for the Pacers. Myles Turner had 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and Aaron Holiday and Goga Bitadze each scored 10.
Charlotte Hornets 108-117 Orlando Magic
Nikola Vucevic scored 28 points as the Orlando Magic won for just the second time in their last 10 games, defeating the visiting Charlotte Hornets 117-108.
Vucevic, who reached the 10,000-point career mark a night earlier, shot 11 of 23 from the field, including four of his seven 3-point shots. He also hauled in 12 rebounds.
Cole Anthony added 21 points with four 3-point baskets, Evan Fournier had 19 points and Dwayne Bacon had 15 points for Orlando. It was the first time in the last four outings for the Magic that their game didn’t go down to the final second.
Gordon Hayward and Terry Rozier had 24 points each for the Hornets, while Devont Graham added 21 points as Charlotte lost for the fifth time in its last six games.
The game marked the first regular-season NBA contest in history with two female officials as Natalie Sago and Jenna Schroeder worked with Sean Wright.
Denver Nuggets 117-113 Dallas Mavericks
Michael Porter Jr. scored 30 points, Nikola Jokic had 20 points and 10 rebounds and the visiting Denver Nuggets beat the Dallas Mavericks 117-113.
JaMychal Green had 17 points and eight rebounds, Jamal Murray scored 16 before being ejected and Gary Harris scored 10 for Denver, which has won the first three games of a five-game road trip.
Murray was hit with a flagrant-2 foul with 4:51 left in the third quarter for excessive contact to Tim Hardaway Jr.’s groin.
Luka Doncic amassed 35 points, 16 assists and 11 rebounds, Hardaway scored 19 points, Kristaps Porzingis and James Johnson had 16 apiece and Jalen Brunson scored 12 for the Mavericks.
Oklahoma City Thunder 125-122 Portland Trail Blazers
Mike Muscala made a career-best six 3-pointers and scored a season-high 23 points to help the Oklahoma City Thunder post a 125-122 victory over the host Portland Trail Blazers.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored a team-high 24 points and added nine rebounds and six assists as the Thunder improved to 1-3 on a five-game road trip.
Portland used a frantic 9-1 run to pull within 123-120 on Lillard’s 3-pointer with 5.5 seconds left. Gilgeous-Alexander split two free throws with 3.7 seconds to play and Lillard drained a 22-footer with 1.6 seconds remaining to make it a two-point margin.
Gilgeous-Alexander split two free throws with 0.9 seconds left, missing the second and the Trail Blazers had no opportunity for a legitimate tying attempt.
Two games postponed due to Covid-19
The NBA postponed two games which were scheduled for Monday.
The Memphis Grizzlies were unable to face the Sacramento Kings, due to Covid-19 issues within the Grizzlies’ organisation which has seen three of their games postponed in recent days.
Meanwhile, there were also Covid-19 contact-tracing within both programmes in the San Antonio Spurs and New Orleans Pelicans, which resulted in their game being called off two hours before it was due to start.