NBA Roundup: Porter Jr. scores 30, leads Nuggets over Heat in Finals rematch

Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr., left, looks to pass the ball as Miami Heat forward Caleb Martin defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024, in Denver. (David Zalubowski/AP)

DENVER (AP) — Michael Porter Jr. had 30 points to help pick up the scoring load after Jamal Murray left because of a sprained ankle, and Denver staved off Miami’s fourth-quarter rally.

Porter was 12 of 23 from the floor, including four 3-pointers, and had 11 rebounds to help the Nuggets improve to 5-0 since the All-Star break.

Up 16 in the fourth quarter, Denver saw Miami trim it 99-97 after a floating bank shot by Jimmy Butler with 11 seconds remaining. Nikola Jokic made two free throws to seal it in a game where the Nuggets never trailed. Jokic finished with 18 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists, ending a streak of four triple-doubles.

Bam Adebayo had 22 points for Miami. The Heat had won five in a row.


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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Anthony Davis had 40 points and scored the Lakers’ final basket in overtime, and Los Angeles extended Washington’s losing streak to 13.

LeBron James scored 31 points and hit a key 3-pointer in OT for the Lakers, who never managed to pull away from a struggling opponent during their ninth victory in 12 games. James is now nine points shy of becoming the first player in NBA history to score 40,000.

Jordan Poole scored a season-high 34 points and Marvin Bagley III added a season-high 23 for the Wizards, who are three losses shy of matching the longest skid in franchise history despite this encouraging effort against the Lakers.


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NEW YORK (AP) — Stephen Curry had 31 points and 11 rebounds, bouncing back from a scoreless first half in his last game with a double-double by the midpoint of this one, and the Golden State Warriors beat the New York Knicks 110-99 on Thursday night.

Jonathan Kuminga added 25 points for the Warriors, who extended their road winning streak to seven games, their longest since winning 11 in a row in the 2018-19 season.

The Warriors raced to a 14-0 lead and never trailed, though they were never in control for very long. They opened a series of sizable cushions, but the short-handed Knicks kept getting it back to a workable margin. Golden State wouldn’t let them come all the way back and won for the 10th time in 12 games overall.

Curry was 0 for 7 in the first half of a victory in Washington on Tuesday, the first time he’s been scoreless through two quarters since Nov. 23, 2012. This time he had a 3-pointer to open the scoring and had 17 points and 10 rebounds by the break, the second time in his career he’s had a double-double in the first half.

He finished with eight 3-pointers, while Klay Thompson added 16 points. Jalen Brunson scored 27 points for the Knicks, who finished 4-8 in February after going 14-2 in January.


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PHOENIX (AP) — Devin Booker scored 35 points, Kevin Durant added 24 and Phoenix held off Houston to open a two-game series.

The teams will meet again in Phoenix on Saturday night.

Booker scored 20 points in the first quarter to help give the Suns an 18-point lead they would never relinquish. He has scored at least 20 points in an NBA-high six quarters this season. Jalen Green led Houston with 34 points.

Phoenix has won seven of its past 10 — and nine in a row at home — as it tries to stay in the top six of the Western Conference playoff race and avoid the play-in tournament. The sliding Rockets have lost eight of 10.


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SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Victor Wembanyama had 28 points and 12 rebounds, Devin Vassell also scored 28 points and San Antonio beat Oklahoma City to snap a five-game skid.

Wembanyama punctuated back-to-back 3-pointers in the final 3 1/2 minutes with a blocked shot he captured in his hand on Chet Holmgren’s 3-point attempt.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 31 points for Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma City (41-18) dropped a game behind Minnesota (42-17) atop the Western Conference. The Spurs (12-48) are last in the West, but have victories over the Timberwolves and Thunder.


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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo had 24 points and 10 rebounds and Milwaukee beat Charlotte to finish a home-and-home set and sweep the season series.

Malik Beasley added 19 points — hitting five 3-pointers — and Bobby Portis had 14 points and 10 rebounds. The Bucks shot 16 of 39 from beyond the arc to give coach Doc Rivers his first four-game winning streak with the team.

Brandon Miller led the Hornets with 21 points.

On Tuesday night in Milwaukee, the Bucks beat Charlotte 123-85.

MAGIC 115, JAZZ 107

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Jalen Suggs hit three 3-pointers in the final three minutes and finished with 15 points in Orlando’s victory over Utah.

Paolo Banchero, back in the lineup after missing two games due to the flu, had 29 points and nine rebounds for the Magic. They won for the 10th time in 13 games.

John Collins, Keyonte George and Collin Sexton each scored 19 points for Utah. The Jazz have lost two straight and seven of eight.

NETS 124, HAWKS 97

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NEW YORK (AP) — Cam Johnson scored a season high 29 points, hitting a season-high seven 3-pointers in 11 attempts, to help Brooklyn beat Atlanta to open a two-game series.

Fighting for the last play-in spot in the Eastern Conference, the teams will meet again at Barclays Center on Saturday.

Brooklyn improved to 23-36, winning in interim coach Kevin Ollie’s first home game since replacing the fired Jacques Vaughn on Feb. 20. Dejounte Murray led Atlanta with 28 points.

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