PHOENIX (AP)Cameron Payne scored a career-high 29 points, Devin Booker added 27 and the Phoenix Suns easily overcame Stephen Curry’s 50-point night to beat the Golden State Warriors 130-119 on Wednesday.
The Suns controlled most of the game despite Curry’s scoring. The eight-time All-Star made 17 of 28 shots, going 7 of 11 from 3-point range.
The problem for the Warriors was nobody else was helping. Klay Thompson finished with 19 points but shot just 6 of 17. The Warriors – defending NBA champs – fell to 6-9.
Curry’s scoring prowess is expected, but it was countered by one of the best games of Payne’s career. Starting in place of the injured Chris Paul, the 6-foot-3 guard made 9 of 17 shots, including 6 of 10 from beyond the arc.
The Suns led 103-89 going into the fourth quarter. The Warriors quickly cut into that margin but couldn’t get closer than eight points. Damion Lee hit back-to-back 3-pointers against his former team to keep the Suns comfortably ahead.
The Suns shot 21 of 40 (52.5%) from 3-point range. Mikal Bridges had 23 points, making 5 of 8 3-pointers.
CELTICS 126. HAWKS 101
ATLANTA (AP) – Jaylen Brown scored 22 points to lead a balanced attack and East-leading Boston beat Atlanta for its eighth straight victory.
The Celtics were missing injured guards Marcus Smart and Malcolm Brogdon. It hardly mattered.
There were plenty of players to fill the void against the Hawks, who were coming off a big win at Milwaukee and eager to show they could challenge the best in the conference. Not on this night.
Boston took control in the first quarter against the cold-shooting Hawks, whose occasional spurts were quickly snuffed out by the Celtics’ stifling defense.
Trae Young led the Hawks with 27 points, but was held to 10-of-23 shooting, including a mere 2 of 7 from beyond the arc.
PACERS 125, HORNETS 113
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Tyrese Haliburton had 22 points and 11 assists, Myles Turner added 20 points and 10 rebounds and Indiana beat Charlotte in a game in which Hornets guard LaMelo Ball re-injured his left ankle after stepping on a fan’s foot
Bennedict Mathurin had 20 points off the bench, including Indiana’s first 10 points of the fourth quarter, and the Pacers won for the sixth time in eight games. Buddy Heidl added 19 points.
Ball finished with 26 points for the Hornets, but left with 1:34 left when he re-injured his left ankle – the same one that kept him out of the first 13 games of the season.
Ball was hurt attempting to save a ball from going out of bounds near where coach Steve Clifford was standing, but stepped on a fan’s foot and rolled his ankle as he attempted to brace himself from going out of bounds. He immediately limped toward the bench and then headed straight to the locker room. There was no immediate word on the extent of the injury.
BUCKS 113, CAVALIERS 98
MILWAUKEE (AP) – Brook Lopez shot 7 for 9 from 3-point range and scored 29 points and Milwaukee beat skidding Cleveland.
The Cavaliers have lost five straight games since racing to an 8-1 start.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 16 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists for the Bucks. Jordan Nwora had a season-high 21 points to help the Bucks outscore the Cavaliers 45-20 in bench points.
Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland each had 23 points for the Cavaliers.
PELICANS 124, BULLS 110
NEW ORLEANS (AP) – CJ McCollum scored 23 points, Jonas Valanciunas added 22 points and New Orleans its second straight game without Zion Williamson in the lineup, beating Chicago.
Trey Murphy III hit five 3s and finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds for his first career double-double, and the Pelicans combined to make 17 3-pointers en route to their third straight win overall, and fourth in five games.
DeMar DeRozan scored 28 points and Zach LaVine had 25 for Chicago. The Bulls have dropped three straight, starting with their home loss to New Orleans on Nov. 9.
With Williamson watching from the bench with a bruised right foot, New Orleans opened a lead as large as 26 points when Naji Marshall’s 3 made it 108-82 with 8:10 left in the fourth quarter.
ROCKETS 101, MAVERICKS 92
DALLAS (AP) – Kevin Porter Jr. had 17 points and 11 rebounds and eight assists, and last-place Houston took advantage of Luka Doncic’s absence in a victory over Dallas.
Doncic was out for rest a night after he played 40 minutes to help prevent the Mavericks from blowing a 25-point lead in a two-point victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.
Christian Wood, traded to Dallas in the offseason after blossoming from a journeyman into a 20-point scorer for the Rockets, scored 26 points in his first game against his former team.
TIMBERWOLVES 126, MAGIC 108
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – Anthony Edwards scored 35 points, Karl-Anthony Towns added 30 and Minnesota beat Orlando after taking a 27-point lead in the first half.
Edwards and Towns had scoring season highs and the Timberwolves shot 52.3% in their biggest victory margin of the season.
Rudy Gobert, the NBA’s leading rebounder, had 16 points and eight rebounds to help Minnesota win back-to-back road games for the first time this season.
Bol Bol led the Magic with a career-high 26 points and added 12 rebounds.
THUNDER 121, WIZARDS 120
WASHINGTON (AP) – Shai Gilgeous-Alexander hit a 3-pointer with 1.1 seconds remaining and matched a career high with 42 points in Oklahoma City’s victory over Washington.
Alexander scored 30 points in the second half, making nine of 10 field goals.
Kristips Porzingis scored 27 points for Washington, which had its four-game winning streak halted.
RAPTORS 112, HEAT 104
TORONTO (AP) – O.G. Anunoby scored a season-high 32 points and matched his season high with 10 rebounds and Toronto used a 21-0 run in the third quarter to beat Miami, ending the Heat’s winning streak at three.
Fred VanVleet returned from illness to score 23 points to help Toronto extend its home winning streak to four. The Raptors are 6-1 at home this season.
Scottie Barnes added 19 points, Chris Boucher had 15 and Thad Young 12. Anunoby shot 13 for 18, matching his career high for field goals.
Miami’s Max Strus scored 20 points and Kyle Lowry had 19 against his former team.
KNICKS 106, NUGGETS 103
DENVER (AP) – Julius Randle scored a season-high 34 points and New York took advantage of Nikola Jokic’s absence to win in Denver for the first time in 16 years, rallying past the Nuggets.
Jokic, the two-time reigning league MVP, was placed in COVID-19 protocols on Tuesday.
The Knicks handed a team its first home loss for the second straight night after winning in Utah on Tuesday.
Jamal Murray scored 21 points for Denver.
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