Damian Lillard leads Portland Trail Blazers to victory against LA Lakers; Denver Nuggets' Nikola Jokic scores triple-double in win over Houston Rockets; Ja Morant injured as Memphis Grizzlies beat Brooklyn Nets; Atlanta Hawks beat Detroit Pistons; Utah Jazz edge past Oklahoma City Thunder
Tuesday 29 December 2020 10:19, UK
Damian Lillard scored 31 points to lead the visiting Portland Trail Blazers to a 115-107 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.
Lillard hit half of his 10 three-point attempts, while Gary Trent Jr came off the bench to score 28 - converting 10 of 14 shots, including seven of 11 from three-point range.
LeBron James had 29 points, nine rebounds and six assists for the Lakers, who were playing for the second time in as many nights.
Dennis Schroder had 24 points, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 14 and Anthony Davis, who returned from a one-game absence caused by a calf injury, finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Montrezl Harrell's short jumper gave the Lakers a 99-98 lead with 5:34 remaining, but the Blazers took over down the stretch.
A 15-6 run allowed them to go up 113-105 after Jusuf Nurkic scored on a drive with 1:36 left. After two free throws by James sliced the margin to six, Nurkic sank a mid-range jumper to seal the win with 20 seconds left.
|Detroit Pistons 120-128 Atlanta Hawks|
|Memphis Grizzlies 116-111 Brooklyn Nets|
|Utah Jazz 110-109 Oklahoma City Thunder|
|Houston Rockets 111-124 Denver Nuggets|
|Portland Trail Blazers 115-107 Los Angeles Lakers|
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Nikola Jokic scored a triple-double to help the Denver Nuggets beat the Houston Rockets 124-111.
Jokic had 19 points, 18 assists and 12 rebounds - eclipsing his previous career high of 17 assists set against Milwaukee in 2018.
He finished with his 43rd career triple-double to tie Fat Lever for the franchise record.
James Harden had 34 points, eight assists and six rebounds for Houston, who have now lost their first two games after having their opener postponed due to Covid-19 issues.
The Rockets played with just nine players available due to coronavirus issues.
Ben McLemore and Kenyon Martin Jr. are self-isolating after testing positive for Covid-19, while DeMarcus Cousins, John Wall, Eric Gordon and Mason Jones are in quarantine until Wednesday.
The Memphis Grizzlies recorded their first win of the season with a 116-111 overtime victory over the Brooklyn Nets.
Brandon Clarke converted the go-ahead tip-in with 38.6 seconds left to help seal the win, while Kyle Anderson capped a career-high, 28-point night by hitting three free throws in the final 3.9 seconds.
However, the win was soured by an injury to Rookie of the Year, Ja Morant, who sprained his left ankle late in the second quarter.
Morant scored seven points before getting hurt and watched his team-mates from the bench while wearing a walking boot.
Dillon Brooks added 24 points and seven rebounds as he and Anderson were a combined 18 of 36 from the floor. Clarke finished with 16 points while Jonas Valanciunas collected 14 points and 14 rebounds for the Grizzlies.
Caris LeVert had 28 points and 11 assists for the Nets, who rested stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant.
Trae Young scored 29 points and shot 15-for-15 at the foul line to help the Atlanta Hawks beat the Detroit Pistons 128-120.
Atlanta led 115-91 with 7:43 left before Detroit scored 15 consecutive points. The Pistons got as close as five when Jerami Grant made a three-pointer with 1:05 left.
However, the Hawks finished the game perfectly from the free-throw line, with Young going four-for-four and John Collins going two-for-two to prevent the Pistons from getting any closer.
Bogdan Bogdanovic rediscovered his outside shooting touch to score 17 points for the Hawks, while Detroit was led by Grant and Josh Jackson with 27 points apiece.
Atlanta have made their first 3-0 start since the 2016-17 season, while Detroit are 0-3 for the first time since 2014-15.
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Donovan Mitchell scored with seven seconds left to lead the Utah Jazz to a narrow 110-109 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Mitchell scored the Jazz's final 12 points, including the decisive floater over Oklahoma City's Luguentz Dort.
Bojan Bogdanovic scored 23 points, while Mitchell and Mike Conley finished with 20 points each, with Conley adding 10 rebounds and nine assists.
Dort finished with 26 points, his career high for a regular-season game, while Shai Gilgeous-Alexander also added 23 points for Oklahoma.
However, the Thunder couldn't pull off their second consecutive last-possession win. On Saturday at Charlotte, Gilgeous-Alexander sank a game-winner with 1.4 seconds left.
First-year Thunder coach Mark Daigneault once again put the ball in Gilgeous-Alexander's hands, but the Canadian's driving layup at the buzzer bounced off the front of the rim, giving the Jazz the win.