NBA roundup: Kings rout Pelicans for first bubble win
New Orleans Pelicans vs. Sacramento Kings highlights.
Bogdan Bogdanovic scored a career-high 35 points to help the Sacramento Kings beat the New Orleans Pelicans 140-125 on Thursday.
De’Aaron Fox had 30 points and 10 assists and Harrison Barnes added 22 points for the Kings, who got their first win in four tries since the restart. The Kings shot 54%.
Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram each scored 24 points for the Pelicans. Williamson made his first eight shots and ended up making 10 of 12 overall in just under 22 minutes.
JJ Redick scored 18 points and Jrue Holiday added 17 for the Pelicans, who shot 57%. New Orleans fell to 1-3 in the restart.
Oklahoma City has been a longshot to win an NBA title this season after trading its two best players last summer. But expectations are shifting.
Both teams are chasing a spot in the Western Conference playoffs. The Kings pulled even with the Pelicans in the standings and now are 2 1/2 games behind eighth-place Memphis with four games remaining. A team needs to be in ninth place and within four games of the eighth-place team to force a playoff.
Sacramento led 49-39 after one quarter, the most points the Kings have scored in any period since moving to Sacramento for the 1985-86 season. Bodganovic scored 19 points in the quarter and made 5 of 6 3-pointers.
The Kings led 77-70 at halftime and extended the lead to 117-103 at the end of the third quarter.
Suns 114, Pacers 99
Indiana Pacers vs. Phoenix Suns highlights.
Deandre Ayton had 23 points and 10 rebounds, and Phoenix continued its improbable run in the NBA bubble, beating Indiana its fourth straight win.
Devin Booker added 20 points and 10 assists and Cameron Johnson had 14 points and 12 rebounds as the Suns pulled away with a 21-0 run that bridged the end of the the third quarter and the start of the fourth.
Malcolm Brogdon had 25 points, six assists and six rebounds to lead the Pacers, who fell to 3-1 in Orlando.
Trailing 75-72 with 2:10 left in the third quarter, Dario Saric scored nine of Phoenix’s 14 points and Cameron Payne added the other five as the Suns finished the quarter on a 14-0 tear. Saric also had four rebounds during the stretch.
The Suns did most of their damage with Booker on the bench with five fouls.
Saric finished with 16 points and eight rebounds, while Payne chipped in with 15 points.
Bucks 130, Heat 116
Miami Heat vs. Milwaukee Bucks highlights.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton scored 33 points each, and Milwaukee overcame a huge early deficit to get a win over Miami and clinch the top seed in the Eastern Conference.
The Heat led by as many as 23 points in a first half where the team piled up 73 points despite playing without Jimmy Butler and Goran Dragic. Miami cooled off after the break and the Bucks took the lead in the third quarter but were down by 6 to start the fourth.
Antetokounmpo sat out about five minutes of the fourth quarter after collecting his fifth foul with 11 minutes to go. Milwaukee trailed by 1 with about five minutes remaining before using a 20-0 run, with three dunks from Antetokounmpo, to make it 130-111 with less than a minute to go and cruise to the victory.
Antetokounmpo and Middleton played 30 and 34 minutes respectively after the stars both sat out the entire second half of their last game on Tuesday.
Duncan Robinson had 21 points for the Heat, who lost to Milwaukee for the first time this season after winning the first two meetings.
Trail Blazers 125, Nuggets 115
Portland Trail Blazers vs. Denver Nuggets highlights.
Damian Lillard tied his franchise record with 11 3-pointers and scored 45 points, and Portland moved closer to the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference by beating Denver.
Lillard was 11 for 18 from 3-point range, plus had 12 assists for Portland. The Blazers (32-38) closed to within a half-game of Memphis in the race for eighth in the West, where a play-in series for the last playoff berth — and the right to face the Lakers in the opening round — now seems almost certain.
Gary Trent Jr. had 27 off the bench and Jusuf Nurkic scored 22 for Portland.
Michael Porter Jr. scored 27 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for Denver (45-24), which remained in the West’s No. 3 spot. The Nuggets played most of the fourth quarter with reserves on the floor, limiting Nikola Jokic to 24 minutes.
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