NBA

NBA: Boston Celtics push win streak to six

By Sports Desk December 31, 2023

Jayson Tatum scored 25 points to lead six Boston players in double figures as the Celtics stretched their winning streak to six games with Sunday's 134-101 blowout of the struggling San Antonio Spurs.

Jaylen Brown added 24 points on 9-of-13 shooting in a game the NBA-leading Celtics never trailed, while former Spur Derrick White went 7 of 11 from the field while recording 17 points and five assists against his ex-team.

Tatum had 15 first-half points and White 13 as Boston built a 65-53 lead at the break. Brown then tallied 16 of the Celtics' 40 third-quarter points as Boston increased the margin to 105-76 entering the fourth.

The Celtics led by as many as 37 points in the final period.

San Antonio got 22 points from Devin Vassell and 21 out of heralded rookie Victor Wembanyama, but lost for the seventh time in eight games to fall to 5-27 on the season.

 

Williamson, Ingram help Pelicans cruise past Lakers

ZIon Williamson and Brandon Ingram each had 26 points to lead a dominant performance by the New Orleans Pelicans, who dealt the Los Angeles Lakers a second straight loss with Sunday's 129-109 rout.

CJ McCollum added 22 points and nine assists for New Orleans, which lead nearly start-to-finish en route to a second straight victory.

Excellent perimeter shooting keyed this win, as the Pelicans shot 50 per cent (17 of 34) from 3-point range. McCollum hit 6 of 11 shots from beyond the arc and Ingram was 4 of 7.

The scuffling Lakers lost for the seventh time in nine games despite 34 points and eight assists from LeBron James and Anthony Davis' 20 points and 10 rebounds.

Los Angeles owned a slight lead just past the midway point of the first quarter, but McCollum made four 3-pointers during a 14-1 run that gave New Orleans a 35-23 lead with three minutes left in the opening period.

The Pelicans didn't let up from there. They built a lead as large as 19 points in the second quarter before going into the half holding a comfortable 74-57 advantage, then maintained a double-digit lead throughout the second half.

 

Durant, Beal lift surging Suns over Magic

Kevin Durant scored 31 points, Bradley Beal added 25 and the Phoenix Suns fought off a late charge from the Orlando Magic to earn a 112-107 victory for their third straight win.

Beal, playing for just the second time since missing two weeks with a sprained ankle, made 10 of 13 field goal attempts while registering a season-high point total. Durant went 12 of 21 from the field for Phoenix, which also received 21 points from Devin Booker and 19 points and 13 rebounds from Jusuf Nurkic.

Phoenix built a 37-24 lead after one quarter and was up by 11 late in the third, but the Magic fought back with a 13-2 run to tie the game at 87-87 before Beal's jumper to close out the period put the Suns back ahead.

Orlando stayed close and got within 103-102 when Paolo Banchero converted a three-point play with 6:05 remaining, but Durant had five points during a 9-0 run that got the Suns back up by double digits with under two minutes to go.

 

Banchero compiled 28 points, nine rebounds and seven assists for the Magic, who had won three of four coming in. Franz Wagner finished with 27 points, seven rebounds and six assists in the loss.

 

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