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Wiggins, Wolves outlast Warriors; Rockets drub Bulls
Timberwolves' Andrew Wiggins (L) and Rockets' James Harden. | Composite Image/AP Photos
MINNEAPOLIS — Andrew Wiggins scored 20 of his 24 points in the second half and hit the go-ahead free throws with 12.8 seconds left to lift the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 103-102 victory over the scuffling Golden State Warriors on Friday night.
Ricky Rubio had 17 points and 13 assists, and Karl-Anthony Towns scored 23 points to give the Timberwolves their sixth win in eight games as they try to chase down the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoff race. They entered the night 2 1/2 games behind Denver, with Portland and Dallas also ahead of them in the standings.
Klay Thompson scored 30 points for Golden State, but Stephen Curry's remarkable shooting slump continued in the Warriors' second straight loss and fourth in six games without injured star Kevin Durant. Curry scored 26 points, but was just 10 for 27 from the field and 1 for 8 from 3-point range. And he missed an 18-footer in the closing seconds that would have won the game.
ROCKETS 115, BULLS 94
CHICAGO — James Harden had 19 points, 13 assists and seven rebounds, and Houston used a dominant third quarter for a victory over Chicago.
Ryan Anderson added 21 points as the Rockets avoided their first three-game losing streak of the season.
Houston outscored Chicago 36-14 in the third quarter — after scoring the last nine points of the first half — on 13-of-22 shooting, including 7 of 12 on 3-pointers. Harden had six points, six assists and five rebounds in the period.
Dwyane Wade had 21 points in 25 minutes for the Bulls after missing the previous two games with a left quad strain. Chicago has dropped four straight.
HAWKS 105, RAPTORS 99
ATLANTA — Dennis Schroder scored 26 points, including 13 in the final period, and Atlanta beat Toronto to pull closer in the race for the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference.
DeMar DeRozan led Toronto with 28 points. He became the first player to score 11,000 points with the Raptors.
Atlanta won the season series 2-1 and would win a head-to-head tiebreaker if needed to determine a playoff position. Toronto is fourth in the East, two games ahead of the Hawks.
Paul Millsap had 21 points and Tim Hardaway Jr. added 20 for Atlanta.
BUCKS 99, PACERS 85
MILWAUKEE — Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton each scored 21 points, and Milwaukee won its season-high fifth straight game by beating Indiana.
John Henson added eight points, seven rebounds and four blocks for Milwaukee, which clinched the season series against Indiana. They are two of five teams competing for the final three spots in the Eastern Conference playoff race, so the Bucks secured an important tiebreaker over the Pacers.
Paul George had 18 points and 11 rebounds for Indiana, which trailed for most of the second half. The Pacers cut it to 79-76 with 8:23 left before the Bucks asserted control with an 8-2 run highlighted by a 3-pointer and floater for Jason Terry.
NUGGETS 119, CELTICS 99
DENVER — Nikola Jokic had 21 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in his return to the lineup, and Denver beat Boston.
Jokic played 27 minutes after missing two games because of illness. Wilson Chandler had 23 points and eight rebounds for the Nuggets, and Danilo Gallinari returned from sitting out Wednesday's game with vertigo to score 20 points.
Denver increased its lead for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference to a full game over idle Portland.
Isaiah Thomas had 19 points, Avery Bradley 16 and Al Horford 15 for the Celtics, who finished their road trip 2-3. Boston held Golden State to 86 points in Wednesday's win but couldn't contain the Nuggets, who never trailed.
WIZARDS 130, KINGS 122, OT
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Bradley Beal scored 21 of his 38 points in the fourth quarter and overtime to lead Washington to its fourth straight victory.
The Wizards rallied from a 15-point deficit in the fourth quarter to win for the sixth time in seven games. The victory, combined with a loss by Boston, gave the Wizards the second-best record in the Eastern Conference.
John Wall had 25 points and 12 assists for the Wizards. Otto Porter scored 18 points and Bojan Bogdanovic had 17. The Wizards are 25-8 since Jan. 1, the NBA's second-best mark. They have won nine of 10 on the road after struggling early on away from home.
Willie Cauley-Stein had 20 points and 13 rebounds for the Kings.
HORNETS 121, MAGIC 81
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Kemba Walker scored 23 points, Nic Batum and Marvin Williams had double-doubles and Charlotte beat Orlando for its third win in the last four games.
Walker, who earned NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week earlier this week, was 9 of 13 from the field and knocked down five of his first seven 3-point attempts in only 24 minutes of action.
Walker now has a career-high 187 3-pointers this season.
Batum was smooth, finishing with 25 points and 10 assists, while Williams had 12 points and was a force on the glass with a career-high 18 rebounds. Williams also provided the highlight of the night with a monster jam over Bismack Biyombo on a three-point play.
Charlotte shot 59.5 per cent from the field and made 10 of 21 3-pointers.
MAVERICKS 105, NETS 96
DALLAS — Harrison Barnes scored 21 points, Dirk Nowitzki had 13 after a slow start in his first game since reaching 30,000 points and sluggish Dallas beat lowly Brooklyn.
The Mavericks, appearing flat three nights after a raucous celebration of Nowitzki's milestone, trailed in the fourth quarter with the NBA's worst team missing leading scorer Brook Lopez because of an ankle injury. But they pulled away and matched a season best with a fourth straight win.
Nowitzki, who missed his first four shots after making the first six on his historic night, had a pair of 3-pointers early in the fourth to help get Dallas going.
Isaiah Whitehead scored 24 points for the Nets (11-53), who have dropped 36 of their past 40 games.