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Kyrie Irving pours in 40 as Brooklyn Nets beat Boston Celtics

Jimmy Butler leads Heat past Magic; Snell hits buzzer-beater as Hawks overcome Raptors; Giannis notches triple-double as Bucks rout Knicks

Kyrie Irving during a 40-point performance against the Boston Celtics

Kyrie Irving tied a season high with 40 points and the Brooklyn Nets overcame a sluggish start to beat the Boston Celtics 121-109 on Thursday night in New York.

Thursday night's NBA results

Boston Celtics 109 - 121 Brooklyn Nets
Orlando Magic 103 - 111 Miami Heat
Atlanta Hawks 121 - 120 Toronto Raptors
New York Knicks 101 - 134 Milwaukee Bucks
Philadelphia 76ers 105 - 127 Chicago Bulls
Detroit Pistons 102 - 105 Charlotte Hornets
Phoenix Suns 127 - 121 Portland Trail Blazers
Golden State Warriors 104 - 130 Los Angeles Clippers
Houston Rockets 105 - 125 Sacramento Kings
Dallas Mavericks 108 - 116 Oklahoma City Thunder
Minnesota Timberwolves 135 - 105 New Orleans Pelicans

Boston Celtics 109 - 121 Brooklyn Nets

Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) looks to pass the ball against the Boston Celtics 1:32
Highlights of the Boston Celtics against the Brooklyn Nets in Week 12 of the NBA

The Nets won their third straight and prevailed for the 11th time in 12 games.

The latest victory came in front of 1,374 fans on the one-year anniversary of the NBA shutting down for four-plus months following a positive COVID-19 test for Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert.

Irving shot 15 of 23 from the floor and hit two clutch 3-pointers in the final 3:14. His uncontested trey from the left side with 2:04 remaining gave the Nets a 116-109 lead after Joe Harris stole the ball from Jayson Tatum.

Irving reached 40 points by sinking two free throws with 1:42 left to make it 118-109. It was his fifth 40-point game as a Net, and he added eight rebounds and three assists.

James Harden added 22 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists for the Nets, who shot 47.7 percent from the floor and hit 19 3-pointers. Brooklyn's Kevin Durant missed his 10th straight game with a hamstring injury, and newly acquired Blake Griffin sat out.

Tatum scored 31 points but Boston saw its four-game winning streak end. Marcus Smart added 19 after missing the previous 18 games due to a calf injury, and Daniel Theis contributed 17 and eight rebounds.

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While Tatum shot 13 of 22 from the field, teammate Jaylen Brown endured a difficult night, getting held to 13 points on 5-of-23 shooting.

Orlando Magic 103 - 111 Miami Heat

Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler passes under the basket as he is guarded by Orlando Magic centers Nikola Vucevic, Khem Birch and guard Michael Carter-Williams 1:11
NBA Wk12: Magic 103-111 Heat

Jimmy Butler had 27 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds, leading the host Miami Heat past the Orlando Magic, 111-103.

Kelly Olynyk had 20 points and seven rebounds for the Heat, who have won eight of their past nine games. Miami also got 17 points from Tyler Herro, including eight in the fourth quarter. Kendrick Nunn added 13 points, and Goran Dragic had 11 as the Heat pushed over .500 for the first time this season (19-18).

Orlando, which has lost six straight games, was led by All-Star Nikola Vucevic's 24 points and 17 rebounds. Dwayne Bacon added 21 points, and Michael Carter-Williams added 17 points and seven assists for the Magic.

Aaron Gordon, Orlando's fourth-leading scorer, returned and scored nine points. He had missed 15 straight games due to an injured left ankle.

Orlando is still without second-leading scorer Evan Fournier, who missed his second straight game due to a groin injury. He joined several Magic players on the injured list, including Markelle Fultz, Jonathan Isaac and Cole Anthony. Miami was without 2020 All-Star center Bam Adebayo, who missed his second straight game due to tendinitis in his left knee. He leads the team in rebounds and blocks and is second in scoring.

Atlanta Hawks 121 - 120 Toronto Raptors

Atlanta Hawks' Trae Young drives past Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors 1:31
NBA Wk12: Hawks 121-120 Raptors

Tony Snell hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to help the visiting Atlanta Hawks overcome a 15-point, fourth-quarter deficit and beat the Toronto Raptors 121-120 in Tampa.

The Hawks inbounded the ball to Trae Young with 7.1 seconds remaining. He drove to the basket and kicked it out to Snell, who buried a 25-footer for the game-winner.

The Raptors led 112-97 with 6:13 left when the Hawks went on a 12-0 run to cut the lead to three.

It was the third straight win for the Hawks, all on the road. They got 37 points from Young, 20 points from reserve Danilo Gallinari and 19 points from Kevin Huerter. John Collins also chipped in 13 points.

Toronto was led by 33 points from Norman Powell, who has scored at least 24 points in seven of his last nine games. Reserve Chris Boucher followed with 29 points and added nine rebounds. Kyle Lowry chipped in 17 points and 12 assists, but the Raptors lost their third straight game.

The Raptors were playing without Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet and OG Anunoby, three of their top five scorers, and reserves Malachi Flynn and Patrick McCaw for the third straight game because of health and safety protocols. Coach Nick Nurse was cleared to return to the bench.

New York Knicks 101 - 134 Milwaukee Bucks

New York Knicks' RJ Barrett dunks past Milwaukee Bucks' Brook Lopez 1:01
NBA Wk12: Knicks 101-134 Bucks

Giannis Antetokounmpo recorded 24 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists to fuel the host Milwaukee Bucks to a 134-101 victory over the New York Knicks.

Antetokounmpo made 8 of 12 shots from the floor and all seven attempts from the free-throw line in his first contest since being named the All-Star Game's Most Valuable Player on Sunday.

Bryn Forbes drained all seven of his 3-point attempts to finish with 21 points for the Bucks, who shot 57.5 percent from the floor to notch their seventh win in the past eight games.

Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez each added 14 points as Milwaukee avenged a 130-110 loss at New York on December 27.

RJ Barrett scored 22 points and Alec Burks added 17 off the bench for the Knicks, who opened a four-game road trip with a thud. New York has lost eight of its past 11 contests away from Madison Square Garden.

New York's Julius Randle struggled in his first appearance since participating in the All-Star Game. He shot just 3 of 12 from the floor and finished with seven points, though he added eight rebounds and six assists.

Philadelphia 76ers 105 - 127 Chicago Bulls

Philadelphia 76ers center Dwight Howard looks to pass the ball as Chicago Bulls forward Thaddeus Young defends 1:15
NBA Wk12: 76ers 127-105 Bulls

Tobias Harris scored 24 points and Dwight Howard notched a double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds as the visiting Philadelphia 76ers earned their third straight victory with a 127-105 rout of the Chicago Bulls in both teams' first game after the All-Star break.

Philadelphia shined without All-Stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, who remain out due to issues related to COVID-19 contact tracing. The 76ers led by seven points at halftime and swelled the advantage to as many as 26 in the second half while improving to 2-5 without Embiid and 3-3 without Simmons.

Returning from a 13-game absence with a sprained shoulder, Lauri Markkanen led the Bulls with 23 points on 8-for-11 shooting - including a season-high seven 3-pointers on seven attempts. Zach LaVine (19 points), Coby White (18) and Thaddeus Young (14) followed, while Wendell Carter Jr. grabbed a team-high nine rebounds.

Furkan Korkmaz added 16 points for Philadelphia, while Tony Bradley (7-for-7 from the field) scored 14 and Matisse Thybulle chipped in 13 while contributing five steals.

Seth Curry (12 points, seven assists) and Shake Milton (10 points, eight rebounds) also finished in double figures.

Detroit Pistons 102 - 105 Charlotte Hornets

Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball shoots the ball over Detroit Pistons center Isaiah Stewart and guard Delon Wright 1:19
NBA Wk12: Pistons 102-105 Hornets

P.J. Washington had 20 points and nine rebounds and the host Charlotte Hornets held off the Detroit Pistons 105-102 in the first game after the All-Star break for both teams.

Terry Rozier contributed 17 points, including several clutch baskets, as the Hornets extended their winning streak against the Pistons to 11 games. Gordon Hayward also had 17 points while Cody Zeller supplied 15 points and seven rebounds. LaMelo Ball added seven points and nine assists. Charlotte scored 19 points off 14 Pistons turnovers.

Jerami Grant carried Detroit with 32 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Saddiq Bey tossed in 14 points, Svi Mykhailiuk chipped in 11 points and a career-high eight assists and Mason Plumlee added nine points and eight rebounds.

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