Kyrie Irving leads Brooklyn Nets to victory over Atlanta Hawks in return from injury | NBA News

Kyrie Irving scored 21 points in his first game in nearly two months as the Brooklyn Nets never trailed and cruised to a 108-86 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday night in New York.

Sunday night’s NBA scores

  • Atlanta Hawks 86-108 Brooklyn Nets
  • LA Clippers 104-114 Denver Nuggets
  • Utah Jazz 127-116 Washington Wizards
  • Miami Heat 121-124 New York Knicks
  • San Antonio Spurs 105-104 Toronto Raptors
  • Golden State Warriors 102-122 Memphis Grizzlies
  • Charlotte Hornets 92-100 Phoenix Suns

Atlanta Hawks 86-108 Brooklyn Nets

Kyrie Irving scored 21 points in his first game in nearly two months as the Brooklyn Nets never trailed and cruised to a 108-86 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday night in New York.

Irving returned from missing 26 games with right shoulder impingement and in his first game since November 14 at Denver, the All-Star guard made 10-of-11 shots, hit his one three-point try and had three assists in 20 minutes.

After getting 11 points by half-time, Irving went 5-for-5 from the floor in the third before checking out for the rest of the game. He rested over the final 17:54, exiting after the Nets took an 87-50 lead and the outcome was never in doubt.

The Nets, who were 13-13 in Irving’s absence, led by as many as 39 and won their second straight game following a seven-game losing streak. Taurean Prince added 14 for the Nets, who shot 53.2 per cent and beat the Hawks for the eighth straight time.

Kyrie Irving keeps his footing while dribbling against the Atlanta Hawks
Irving keeps his footing while dribbling against the Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks saw their league-worst record drop to 8-32 as they shot 33 per cent as Trae Young sat out with left hamstring pain. Rookie Cam Reddish led the Hawks with 20 points and was Atlanta’s only double-figure scorer until the final seconds of the third quarter.

Former Net Vince Carter played 14 minutes in his final road game against Brooklyn and scored eight points. He exited to a standing ovation, waved to the crowd when he checked out with 89 seconds remaining and hugged Irving immediately after the final horn.

LA Clippers 104-114 Denver Nuggets

Nikola Jokic had 20 points and 15 rebounds for his 21st double-double of the season and Jamal Murray scored 10 of his 19 points from the foul line as the host Denver Nuggets beat the LA Clippers 114-104.

Gary Harris scored 15 points, Michael Porter Jr 13 and Monte Morris 12 for Denver, who had seven players score in double figures. Kawhi Leonard had 30 points, Lou Williams 26 and Montrezl Harrell 25 for the Clippers, who played without Paul George (hamstring injury).

Denver led by 17 after Jokic hit a three-pointer early in the third quarter, and the Clippers started to chip away. Leonard hit a jumper and Williams scored off a turnover to force a Nuggets timeout, and Jerami Grant, who finished with 11 points, hit a shot and Jokic his third three-pointer to make the score 76-58.

Nikola Jokic looks to pass against the LA Clippers
Nikola Jokic looks to pass against the LA Clippers

Denver took an 89-74 lead into the fourth quarter, but LA did not go away. After Jokic hit a short jumper to make it 105-87 midway through the final period, the Clippers made a run. Patrick Beverley hit a three-pointer, and then Leonard and Harrell scored off consecutive Nuggets turnovers to make it 105-94.

Denver called a timeout, but JaMychal Green blocked a Grant shot and Leonard drained a three-pointer to cut it to eight. Harrell split two free throws to pull to 106-100, but a foul by Beverley, along with Clippers coach Doc Rivers getting ejected, sealed the win for Denver.

Utah Jazz 127-116 Washington Wizards

Bojan Bogdanovic scored 31 points and Rudy Gobert added 21 points and 14 rebounds to help the Utah Jazz rally for a 127-116 victory over the host Washington Wizards.

Jordan Clarkson added 23 points off the bench and Joe Ingles chipped in 20. Six Utah players scored in double figures to help the Jazz win their ninth straight game and improve to 14-1 in their last 15 games.

Gobert clamped down defensively after half-time to throw the Wizards out of rhythm offensively. He also scored 19 points over the final two quarters and helped the Jazz pull away late in the fourth quarter.

Gobert made three dunks over a two-minute stretch after Washington cut the deficit to 111-108 on a driving layup from Bradley Beal with 3:32 left.

Beal scored 25 points to lead the Wizards. Davis Bertans scored 18 points, Jordan McRae added 16 and Ian Mahinmi chipped in 15. Washington lost for the second time in five games.

Beal and Thomas Bryant both returned to the lineup after missing several games with injuries.

Bojan Bogdanovic scores at the basket against Washington
Bojan Bogdanovic scores at the basket against Washington

Bogdanovic scored several critical baskets to keep Utah within striking distance, pouring in 22 points on 9-of-14 shooting in the first half.

In the third quarter, Utah scored 15 unanswered points, culminating in a second-chance dunk from Gobert, to tie it at 77. The spurt formed part of a larger 21-3 run that culminated in back-to-back baskets from Clarkson that put the Jazz up 83-80.

Miami Heat 121-124 New York Knicks

Taj Gibson’s free throw with 1:38 remaining put New York ahead for good on Sunday night as the Knicks rallied from a 14-point second-half deficit to post a 124-121 win over the visiting Miami Heat.

Julius Randle scored a game-high 26 points to lead seven players in double figures for the Knicks, who snapped a five-game skid after outscoring the Heat 40-27 in the fourth quarter.

Rookie RJ Barrett scored 23 points and Kevin Knox II added 17 points off the bench for New York, who received strong contributions from Reggie Bullock (16 points), Gibson (14) and Elfrid Payton (10) and Kadeem Allen (10).

Jimmy Butler had 25 points and 10 rebounds for the Heat, who have dropped two in a row for their first losing streak of the season. Kendrick Nunn scored 20 points, James Johnson had 19 and Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro added 15 points apiece for the Heat.

Julius Randle elevates to score in the Knicks' win over the Heat
Julius Randle elevates to score in the Knicks’ win over the Heat

The Knicks trailed 94-84 entering the fourth quarter but began their comeback by scoring six unanswered points in the first 34 seconds. New York pulled within one point twice in the fourth before Randle’s three-pointer with 2:11 left gave them a 116-114 lead, the first for the hosts since the second quarter.

Johnson responded with a three-pointer for the Heat before Gibson was fouled on a putback attempt. His second free throw provided the last of the game’s 14 lead changes.

Butler was fouled on a three-point attempt with 21 seconds left and hit the first two before missing the third. Barrett was fouled and drained his first attempt before missing the second, the Knicks’ first missed free throw in 14 fourth-quarter attempts.

The Heat had a chance to tie or take the lead on the next possession. Butler, tripled-teamed as he drove the lane, tried a no-look pass to Adebayo, but the ball bounced off Adebayo’s hands and to Barrett.

The rookie hit his first free throw and missed the second. The ball bounced out of bounds with a half-second left and the Heat called their final timeout to advance the ball. Adebayo actually hit a three-pointer off the inbounds pass, but it came well after the buzzer.

San Antonio Spurs 105-104 Toronto Raptors

DeMar DeRozan scored 25 points – 22 in the second half – as the visiting San Antonio Spurs overcame an 18-point deficit to defeat the Toronto Raptors 105-104.

DeRozan, who has scored 20 points in 11 straight games, sank two free throws with nine seconds remaining for what proved to be the game-winning points after Marco Belinelli’s three-pointer had given the Spurs the lead.

Kyle Lowry sank a triple with five seconds left to pull Toronto within a point. After San Antonio’s LaMarcus Aldridge missed two free throws with four seconds showing, Toronto’s Pascal Siakam missed a three-point attempt at the buzzer.

Rudy Gay added 15 points, Derrick White had 13, Aldridge 11 and Dejounte Murray had 10 for the Spurs. Jakob Poeltl had four points and 10 rebounds.

DeMar DeRozan rises to the rim against the Raptors
DeMar DeRozan rises to the rim against the Raptors

Serge Ibaka had his eighth straight double-double with 21 points and 14 rebounds for Toronto. Norman Powell had 20 points, Lowry had 16 and Siakam 15. Siakam (groin) and Powell (shoulder) returned to the Raptors lineup after each had missed 11 games.

The Raptors led by as many as 18 points during the third quarter and took a 13-point lead into the fourth quarter. The Spurs went on a 17-0 run to lead by three points with 5:31 to play. A lay-up by Patty Mills and White’s jumper increased the lead to nine points.

The Raptors responded with 10-0 run completed by Ibaka’s three-pointer. Toronto took a one-point lead on Siakam’s free throw but Belinellii hit a three-pointer with 28.8 seconds to play for the Spurs.

Golden State Warriors 102-122 Memphis Grizzlies

Jonas Valanciunas scored 15 of his team-high 31 points in the third quarter as the Memphis Grizzlies broke open a tight game en route to their fifth straight win, a 122-102 victory over the Golden State Warriors.

Jaren Jackson Jr added 21 points for the Grizzlies, who captured the season series 2-1 from the Warriors with consecutive wins after Golden State had won 114-95 at Memphis in November.

The Warriors led by as many as seven points in the first half, and were within 63-62 in the second minute of the third period after a three-pointer by Glenn Robinson III, before the Grizzlies gradually pulled away.

Valanciunas led the surge with six hoops, including a three-pointer, as Memphis outscored Golden State 35-17 in the quarter to go up 95-76. The closest the Warriors could get in the fourth quarter was 15.

Jonas Valanciunas salutes the crowd during the Grizzlies' home win against the Warriors
Jonas Valanciunas salutes the crowd during the Grizzlies’ home win against the Warriors

Valanciunas hit 13 of his 17 shots and also found time for a season-high 19 rebounds for Memphis. His 31 points were one off a season-high, set in December at Chicago. The 19 rebounds were his most since pulling 20 at Phoenix last March.

Ja Morant also recorded a double-double for the Grizzlies with 11 points and a game-high 10 assists, while Tyus Jones and Grayson Allen each added 11 points.

D’Angelo Russell returned from a six-game absence with a sore shoulder to pour in a game-high 34 points for the Warriors, who lost their season-high eighth straight. It was Russell’s ninth time scoring 30-plus points this season.

Charlotte Hornets 92-100 Phoenix Suns

Kelly Oubre Jr recorded 25 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Phoenix Suns to a 100-92 victory over the Charlotte Hornets.

Deandre Ayton contributed 18 points and nine rebounds off the bench for the Suns, who are 5-3 since a season-worst eight-game slide. Devin Booker added 12 points and nine assists, Ricky Rubio added 10 points and nine assists and Mikal Bridges had 10 points.

Dwayne Bacon scored 24 points off the bench, and Devonte’ Graham added 22 for the Hornets, who have lost four straight games and 10 of their past 12. Reserve Cody Zeller recorded 15 points, eight rebounds and five assists, and Miles Bridges scored 14 points.

Booker was en route to a season-low point total – it stands at 11 against the Denver Nuggets on December 23 – before making 5 of 6 free throws in the final 27.1 seconds to help Phoenix seal it.

Kelly Oubre throws down a dunk during Phoenix's win Charlotte
Kelly Oubre throws down a dunk during Phoenix’s win Charlotte

The Suns led by eight after Aron Baynes’ basket with 6:46 left before going scoreless for more than four minutes, as Charlotte moved within 85-84 on Bacon’s short floater with 2:52 remaining.

Ayton ended the Phoenix drought with a dunk 12 seconds later and Booker added a three-pointer with 2:17 left to give the Suns an 89-84 lead.

A short time later, Bacon turned the ball over, and Oubre picked it up and slammed home a dunk to give Phoenix a 93-87 advantage with 45.2 seconds left. Mikal Bridges added a dunk with 34.3 seconds remaining to make it an eight-point margin before Booker closed it out.

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