CHICAGO (AP) - Jimmy Butler scored 52 points and outdueled Kemba Walker, carrying the Chicago Bulls in a 118-111 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Monday night.
Butler was a point shy of his career high, which he got Jan. 14, 2016 at Philadelphia. He scored 20 points in the first half and 17 in the game’s final four minutes.
Butler also had 12 rebounds and six assists while shooting 21 of 22 from the free-throw line. He has scored at least 25 points in four straight games, and his performance Monday surpassed his previous season high of 40 points, which he tallied Wednesday against Brooklyn.
Walker boosted his All-Star candidacy with 34 points and a season-high 11 rebounds. Walker, who scored 37 points against Cleveland on Saturday, tallied consecutive 30-point games for the first time since March 7-9, 2016.
CLIPPERS 109, SUNS 98
LOS ANGELES (AP) - J.J. Redick scored 22 points and Los Angeles beat Phoenix, opening the new year by snapping a six-game skid.
Jamal Crawford added 18 points and DeAndre Jordan had 20 rebounds for the Clippers, who remain without Blake Griffin and Chris Paul. Griffin has missed nine games while recovering from right knee surgery, while Paul has missed six with a sore left hamstring.
Los Angeles improved to 3-9 without both of them in the lineup since Paul was acquired before the 2011-12 season.
T.J. Warren led the Suns with 24 points and former Clipper Eric Bledsoe added 22.
CAVALIERS 90, PELICANS 82
CLEVELAND (AP) - LeBron James scored 26 points and short-handed Cleveland rallied for a win over New Orleans.
Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving missed his second straight game because of tightness in his right hamstring. Cleveland dressed only 10 players thanks to a rash of recent injuries.
After Buddy Hield hit two free throws to pull the Pelicans to 84-82 with 2:56 remaining, James scored six straight points and blocked a shot over a 1:47 stretch to seal the Cavaliers’ eight win in nine games.
Cleveland’s Kevin Love had 12 points and 11 rebounds despite playing only 24 minutes. Channing Frye added 14 points for the defending NBA champions, who have won 13 of 15.
Anthony Davis scored 20 points with 17 rebounds for the Pelicans, whose four-game winning streak came to an end.
WARRIORS 127, NUGGETS 119
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Draymond Green’s putback with 28.9 seconds left gave him the final rebound for his second triple-double of the season, and he finished with 15 points, 13 assists and 10 boards to lead balanced Golden State past Denver.
Klay Thompson had 25 points to lead six Warriors in double figures, while Stephen Curry scored 22 points in Golden State’s eighth straight home victory.
Kevin Durant scored 21 points, Zaza Pachulia reached double digits for the third time with 11 points and nine rebounds, while Ian Clark came off the bench to score 12 points.
The Warriors reached 30 assists for the third straight game and NBA-best 24th time total.
BUCKS 98, THUNDER 94
MILWAUKEE (AP) - Giannis Antetokounmpo had 26 points and 10 rebounds and rookie Malcolm Brogdon hit two free throws with 8.8 seconds left, lifting Milwaukee over Oklahoma City.
With Milwaukee leading 96-94, Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook drove the lane, but Tony Snell deflected the ball off the Thunder guard’s leg and the ball went out of bounds. The referees initially signaled the ball went off Snell, but after a video review, they reversed the call and gave Milwaukee possession.
Brogdon then was fouled and made both free throws to seal the victory.
Westbrook led Oklahoma City with 30 points and six assists but made only 3 of 17 shots in the second half.
Antetokounmpo had five assists, including when he drove the lane and passed to John Henson for a layup, giving Milwaukee a 96-94 lead with 54 seconds to go.
JAZZ 101, NETS 89
NEW YORK (AP) - Gordon Hayward scored 30 points, Rudy Gobert had 15 points and 16 rebounds and Utah pulled away in the final quarter to beat Brooklyn.
Rodney Hood and Shelvin Mack also scored 15 points each for the Jazz.
Trevor Booker led the Nets with 17 points and 15 rebounds. Brook Lopez scored 14 points.
The game was tied 70-70 after three quarters, but Utah’s Joe Ingles and Raul Neto opened the fourth with consecutive buckets and the Jazz never trailed again. They extended their lead to 89-78 on Hood’s layup with 6:11 left, but the Nets pulled to 91-86 on Lopez’s dunk with 3:11 remaining.
Utah countered with a 9-1 run and took a game-high 13 point lead on Mack’s jumper with 1:09 left.
ROCKETS 101, WIZARDS 91
HOUSTON (AP) - Eric Gordon scored 31 points and James Harden had 23 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds to lead Houston over Washington.
Harden’s ninth triple-double of the season was a rocky encore to his brilliant New Year’s Eve performance where he had 53 points, 17 assists and 16 rebounds against the Knicks and became the first player in NBA history with a 50-15-15 game.
Harden committed six turnovers and was just 2 for 11 on 3-pointers after going 9 for 16 against New York.
John Wall had 18 points and 11 assists for Washington, which snapped a three-game winning streak and failed to move over .500. The Wizards haven’t had a winning record since starting 6-5 last season.
MAGIC 115, KNICKS 103
NEW YORK (AP) - Jodie Meeks scored a season-high 23 points, Serge Ibaka and Aaron Gordon each had 22 and Orlando rolled over New York, which lost its fifth straight game.
Nikola Vucevic had 14 points and 13 rebounds and fellow reserve Elfrid Payton added 13 points and 14 assists for the Magic, who were routed in their previous two games but totally turned things around against a Knicks team that played without Kristaps Porzingis or much defensive intensity.
Carmelo Anthony scored 19 points for the Knicks, who have dropped eight of 10 to fall to 16-18.
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