Suns beat Cavaliers 134-118 in OT; stay in step with Utah

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CLEVELAND (AP)Devin Booker scored 31 points, Chris Paul had 23 and 16 assists and the Phoenix Suns stayed in step with Utah atop the Western Conference by outlasting the under-manned Cleveland Cavaliers 134-118 in overtime on Tuesday night for their fifth straight win.

Mikal Bridges made two 3-pointers, dunked and had a block as Phoenix scored the first 15 points in OT to finally put away the Cavs.

Phoenix outscored Cleveland 20-4 in the extra five minutes.

The Suns let a late lead in regulation slip away to Cleveland, which was missing six players with injuries but battled one of the NBA’s teams for 50 minutes before running out of gas.

Cavs rookie Isaac Okoro scored a season-high 32 points and Collin Sexton 29 for Cleveland, which dropped its seventh straight.

BUCKS 124, NETS 118

MILWAUKEE (AP) – Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 36 points and the Bucks used a fourth-quarter rally to beat the Nets for the second time in three days.

Milwaukee blew a 10-point lead in the second half and trailed 103-97 with 10 minutes left, but it responded with an 18-1 run to clinch a fifth straight playoff appearance.

Brooklyn cut the margin to four with 1:02 left, but Antetokounmpo sank a pair of free throws and Jrue Holiday made a steal in the final minute to seal the victory.

Kyrie Irving scored 38 points for the Nets, and Kevin Durant had 32.

Khris Middleton and Holiday each had 23 points for Milwaukee. Antetokounmpo also grabbed 12 rebounds, and Donte DiVincenzo finished with 10 points and 15 boards.

HORNETS 102, PISTONS 99

DETROIT (AP) – LaMelo Ball scored 23 points, including two free throws with 5.8 seconds left, and the Hornets took another step toward the postseason with a victory over the Pistons.

Detroit trailed by two when rookie Killian Hayes was fouled with 9.4 seconds remaining, but he made just one of two free throws. Ball made his free throws at the other end, and Hayes missed a last-second 3-pointer.

Hamidou Diallo scored a career-high 35 points for Detroit.

The Hornets are in eighth place in the Eastern Conference and are in solid shape to make it at least to the play-in round. They are two games behind seventh-place Boston.

Charlotte was without Miles Bridges, who was out because of health and safety protocols.

CLIPPERS 105, RAPTORS 100

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Paul George and Marcus Morris scored 22 points each, and the Clippers rallied for a victory over the Raptors to snap a three-game skid.

Reggie Jackson added 18 points and Kawhi Leonard had 13 to help the Clippers avoid their first four-game losing streak of the season.

George and Jackson hit 3-pointers in the final two minutes, snapping a 99-all tie and putting the Clippers in control.

Fred VanVleet had 27 points and 13 assists to lead Toronto in his return after missing eight games with a sore hip. Pascal Siakam added 24 points and Khem Birch added 13 points and eight rebounds.

Los Angeles led 88-84 early in the fourth when the Raptors ran off 10 in a row to go ahead 94-88. Jalen Harris and VanVleet sandwiched 3-pointers around baskets by Birch.

MAVERICKS 127, HEAT 113

MIAMI (AP) – Tim Hardaway Jr. made 10 3-pointers and scored 36 points, Luka Doncic added 23 points and the Mavericks moved up to the No. 5 spot in the Western Conference by topping the short-handed Heat.

Duncan Robinson and Goran Dragic each scored 19 for Miami, which remained No. 6 in the Eastern Conference. The Heat played without Jimmy Butler, ruled out about two hours before the game with flu-like symptoms – not anything related to the coronavirus, the team said.

Trevor Ariza scored 16 of his 18 points in the first quarter for Miami. Gabe Vincent and Kendrick Nunn each scored 14 and Bam Adebayo finished with 11 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds for the Heat.

PELICANS 108, WARRIORS 103

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Lonzo Ball hit seven 3-pointers and capped a 33-point performance with a step-back jumper with 25.3 seconds left, followed by four free throws in the final 15 seconds, and the Pelicans pulled out a crucial victory over the Warriors.

Stephen Curry, who had 37 points and hit eight 3s, missed a deep jumper that could have given Golden State the lead in the final 20 seconds. Mychal Mulder briefly appeared to have a long offensive rebound in his grasp when Zion Williamson stole it and drew a clear path foul from Draymond Green.

Williamson, who had 23 points and 12 rebounds, hit his free throws. The Warriors then fouled Ball twice more after that, but Ball didn’t miss and New Orleans pulled within three games of a Western Conference play-in position with six contests remaining.

KINGS 103, THUNDER 99

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Buddy Hield had 18 points and 11 rebounds to help the Kings beat the Thunder for their third straight win.

It was the seventh double-double of Hield’s five-year career. He made just 5 of 16 shots, but he fell one rebound short of his career high.

Terence Davis scored 18 points and Delon Wright had 13 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists for the Kings, who have won six of nine and still hope to qualify for the play-in tournament by reaching the No. 10 spot in the Western Conference standings. Sacramento began the night four games behind San Antonio for 10th place. The Kings have seven games remaining.

Darius Bazley had 24 points and 11 rebounds for the Thunder, who have lost four straight and 21 of 23. Gabriel Deck scored 16 points and Moses Brown had 17 rebounds.

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