Sunday, February 25, 2018
Sports

Balanced Magic blasts Bulls

ORLANDO — Nikola Vucevic had 24 points, rookie Mario Hezonja added a career-high 21 and the Magic beat the Bulls 102-89 Wednesday night.

Victor Oladipo scored 17 and Aaron Gordon had 13 points and 15 rebounds for Orlando. Elfrid Payton had nine points and 12 assists.

Derrick Rose led Chicago with 16 points, all in the first half. Pau Gasol had 12 points, and Doug McDermott was the only other Chicago player in double figures with 11.

Both teams were on the second game of back-to-backs, and it looked it. Orlando shot only 40.2 percent and Chicago 38.4 percent from the field.

The Magic took a 17-point lead into the fourth quarter and was never seriously challenged. Rose and Gasol didn't play in the fourth, and the closest the Bulls' reserves could get was 90-74 with 8:14 left in the game.

The Magic hit 5 of 6 shots to start the third quarter, including a 3-pointer by Hezonja that helped it take a 74-54 lead. Payton and Oladipo pushed the pace against the Bulls' sluggish defense, and the quick tempo provided plenty of open shots in the 15- to 18-foot range.

Vucevic, Hezonja and Oladipo made enough of them to keep Orlando comfortably ahead for the entire second half.

The Bulls' offense also stayed on the perimeter but without much success. Rose was 0-of-4 in the third, and Chicago hit only 7 of 24 shots (29.1 percent) in the quarter. The Bulls had only one basket the final three minutes of the third and trailed 84-67 going into the fourth.

Oladipo and Hezonja had 12 points each in the first half when Orlando led by as many as 15 before settling for a 60-50 halftime edge. The Magic exploited the Bulls' perimeter defense, hitting 6 of 12 3-pointers.

GAME HIGHLIGHTS: Isaiah Thomas had 30 points to lead the Celtics to their fourth straight win and 12th straight at home, 116-93 over the Trail Blazers. … Kemba Walker scored 30 and Cody Zeller had 15 to lead the visiting Hornets to a 119-99 victory over the 76ers, Charlotte's 10th win in 13 games.

LATE TUESDAY: Draymond Green somehow caught Andrew Bogut's baseline save pass at his knees, avoided a diving Kent Bazemore, then let the ball fly as his legs split in the air.

Green hit an off-balance 3-pointer as the shot clock expired with 40.2 seconds left in overtime, and the host Warriors escaped with a 109-105 win against the Hawks while Stephen Curry watched in street clothes with an injured ankle.

"It's just a desperation heave," Green said. "It's just one of those things, sometimes the ball just bounces your way. and that one fell for me, unlike a lot of the other ones."

Klay Thompson made a go-ahead 3-pointer with 2:54 left and another big basket with 11.4 seconds left on the way to 26 points. The Warriors won their second straight overtime game to earn a franchise-best 43rd straight regular-season home victory and 25th in a row this season.

Golden State can tie the Bulls' 44-game home streak from March 30, 1995, to April 4, 1996, when it hosts the Thunder tonight. The Warriors still don't know if they'll have Curry or forward Andre Iguodala for what should be a thrilling rematch.

The Thunder appeared to have the Warriors beaten Saturday night in Oklahoma City only to lose in overtime on Curry's 46-point explosion and his 37-foot 3-pointer with 0.6 seconds left.

Claiming a share of the NBA record for consecutive home wins will be tough enough full strength against a Thunder team stoked for revenge. To do so without Curry (left ankle sprain) and Iguodala (left hamstring tightness) would make it significantly more problematic.

Curry went through a light practice and his usual shooting drills Wednesday, but the club wasn't committed to his return. Coach Steve Kerr would only say that both players remain questionable and that Curry is "further along than Andre." Later, on his weekly radio segment, general manager Bob Myers said no determination on Curry's status would likely be made before game day.

"We have to be cautious," Myers said. "We have great trainers and doctors. The plan will be to evaluate him more (today). We're encouraged. He's recovering well. But I can't sit here and say anything definitive as far as playing or not playing."

THUNDER OWNER KILLED: Thunder part-owner Aubrey McClendon, a founder and former chief executive of Chesapeake Energy who was indicted Tuesday, died in a single-car crash in Oklahoma City on Wednesday, police confirmed. He was 56. Less than 24 hours earlier, the Department of Justice announced that he had been charged with conspiring to rig bids for the purchase of oil and natural gas leases in northwest Oklahoma. According to Oklahoma City Police Capt. Paco Balderrama, McClendon's vehicle was traveling well over the speed limit when he slammed into a concrete bridge pillar shortly after 9 a.m. His 2013 Chevy Tahoe caught fire. According to an Oklahoma City Police Department incident report, McClendon was not wearing a seat belt.

AROUND THE LEAGUE: Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony apologized for his interaction with a fan during Tuesday's loss, saying he was frustrated but shouldn't have responded the way he did. Anthony said the fan yelled at him and vowed to never go to another Knicks game. Anthony pointed to Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan and told the fan: "Look, the owner's right there. Ask for your money back." … The Knicks won't sign Jimmer Fredette to a second 10-day contract. The guard played in two games, scoring seven in five minutes. … Forward Michael Beasley, recently named MVP of the Chinese Basketball Association, agreed to a contract with the Rockets for the rest of the season, espn.com reported. … Guard Manu Ginobili said he is pain free and will return to the Spurs next week after missing a month following testicle surgery. … Former NBA All-Star guard Baron Davis is attempting a comeback, starting with the 76ers' developmental league team, the Delaware 87ers. Davis, 36, hasn't played since the 2011-12 season because of injuries.

Magic 102, Bulls 89

CHICAGO (89): Dunleavy 3-9 0-0 8, Bairstow 4-5 0-0 8, Gasol 5-13 2-2 12, Rose 7-14 2-2 16, Moore 4-9 1-1 9, Portis 4-11 1-2 9, Brooks 3-10 0-0 7, McDermott 5-15 0-2 11, Holiday 2-10 1-2 6, Snell 1-3 0-0 3, Felicio 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 38-99 7-11 89.

ORLANDO (102): Hezonja 9-17 0-0 21, Gordon 2-6 8-10 13, Vucevic 10-24 3-3 24, Payton 4-9 0-0 9, Oladipo 6-12 5-6 17, Ilyasova 3-8 1-3 8, Smith 4-7 0-0 8, Watson 0-6 0-0 0, Jennings 1-5 0-0 2, Marble 0-1 0-0 0, Dedmon 0-0 0-0 0, Napier 0-1 0-0 0, Nicholson 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 39-97 17-22 102.

Chicago 23 27 17 22— 89

Orlando 33 27 24 18— 102

3-Point GoalsChicago 6-19 (Dunleavy 2-3, Snell 1-2, Holiday 1-3, Brooks 1-4, McDermott 1-5, Moore 0-1, Gasol 0-1), Orlando 7-21 (Hezonja 3-7, Payton 1-1, Ilyasova 1-1, Vucevic 1-1, Gordon 1-4, Marble 0-1, Jennings 0-1, Nicholson 0-1, Watson 0-1, Napier 0-1, Oladipo 0-2). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsChicago 60 (Dunleavy, Portis 6), Orlando 68 (Gordon 15). AssistsChicago 24 (Rose 6), Orlando 25 (Payton 12). Total FoulsChicago 17, Orlando 14. TechnicalsBrooks 2. Ejected—Brooks. A16,072 (18,500).

Celtics 116, Trail Blazers 93

PORTLAND (93): Aminu 1-4 0-0 2, Vonleh 3-10 0-2 6, Plumlee 4-5 1-2 9, Lillard 8-17 1-2 20, McCollum 5-13 4-4 17, Crabbe 4-8 0-0 10, Harkless 2-6 0-0 5, Henderson 1-6 3-4 5, Davis 0-2 3-4 3, Leonard 2-6 0-0 5, Roberts 2-2 0-0 4, Connaughton 2-5 2-2 7. Totals 34-84 14-20 93.

BOSTON (116): Crowder 4-12 2-2 12, Johnson 3-7 0-0 6, Sullinger 6-10 3-3 15, Thomas 11-20 5-5 30, Bradley 7-14 2-2 17, Smart 5-12 4-5 15, Turner 1-8 0-0 2, Zeller 2-6 3-3 7, Jerebko 3-8 4-4 10, Rozier 1-7 0-0 2, Hunter 0-3 0-0 0, Mickey 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 43-107 23-24 116.

Portland 33 22 12 26— 93

Boston 30 31 30 25— 116

3-Point GoalsPortland 11-29 (McCollum 3-5, Lillard 3-8, Crabbe 2-5, Leonard 1-2, Connaughton 1-2, Harkless 1-3, Henderson 0-1, Vonleh 0-1, Aminu 0-2), Boston 7-26 (Thomas 3-6, Crowder 2-7, Bradley 1-4, Smart 1-6, Rozier 0-1, Jerebko 0-2). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsPortland 55 (Plumlee, Harkless, Leonard 7), Boston 66 (Smart, Sullinger 11). AssistsPortland 15 (Plumlee, Aminu 3), Boston 20 (Turner 5). Total FoulsPortland 21, Boston 16. TechnicalsVonleh. A18,624 (18,624).

Raptors 104, Jazz 94

UTAH (94): Hayward 9-22 5-6 26, Favors 7-13 1-1 15, Gobert 4-6 2-7 10, Mack 0-6 2-2 2, Hood 1-2 0-0 3, Lyles 2-7 0-0 6, C.Johnson 1-4 0-0 2, Neto 4-6 0-0 10, Withey 1-1 0-0 2, Ingles 1-3 0-0 3, Booker 2-3 0-0 4, Burke 5-10 0-0 11. Totals 37-83 10-16 94.

TORONTO (104): J.Johnson 1-1 0-0 2, Scola 2-5 0-0 4, Valanciunas 4-8 2-2 10, Lowry 13-20 3-3 32, DeRozan 11-15 9-11 31, Ross 4-13 0-0 11, Joseph 3-6 1-1 7, Patterson 1-9 2-2 4, Biyombo 0-2 1-2 1, Nogueira 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 40-80 18-21 104.

Utah 26 23 25 20— 94

Toronto 24 28 33 19— 104

3-Point GoalsUtah 10-26 (Hayward 3-9, Lyles 2-3, Neto 2-4, Ingles 1-1, Hood 1-1, Burke 1-3, C.Johnson 0-2, Mack 0-3), Toronto 6-22 (Ross 3-7, Lowry 3-8, Scola 0-1, DeRozan 0-1, Patterson 0-5). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsUtah 43 (Gobert 8), Toronto 52 (Valanciunas 8). AssistsUtah 21 (Hayward 6), Toronto 12 (Lowry 5). Total FoulsUtah 21, Toronto 18. TechnicalsUtah defensive three second, Toronto defensive three second. A19,800 (19,800).

Hornets 119, 76ers 99

CHARLOTTE (119): Batum 5-14 0-0 12, Williams 6-11 0-0 14, Zeller 3-6 9-10 15, Walker 10-21 8-12 30, Lee 2-5 4-4 9, Jefferson 2-4 2-3 6, Lin 4-6 6-6 14, Lamb 3-6 0-0 6, Kaminsky 3-5 0-0 7, Harrison 1-1 0-0 3, Daniels 1-2 0-0 3, Hansbrough 0-0 0-0 0, Gutierrez 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 40-81 29-35 119.

PHILADELPHIA (99): Covington 6-13 1-2 17, Grant 3-6 0-0 7, Noel 6-11 5-6 17, Smith 5-13 1-3 12, Canaan 5-15 3-3 17, Holmes 0-5 0-0 0, Stauskas 2-6 1-1 6, McConnell 1-2 2-2 4, Thompson 3-8 2-5 10, Landry 3-6 3-4 9. Totals 34-85 18-26 99.

Charlotte 32 26 25 36— 119

Philadelphia 29 21 24 25— 99

3-Point GoalsCharlotte 10-25 (Williams 2-4, Walker 2-5, Batum 2-6, Harrison 1-1, Daniels 1-2, Lee 1-2, Kaminsky 1-3, Lin 0-1, Lamb 0-1), Philadelphia 13-33 (Covington 4-8, Canaan 4-10, Thompson 2-6, Smith 1-1, Grant 1-2, Stauskas 1-4, Holmes 0-2). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsCharlotte 57 (Williams 9), Philadelphia 49 (Covington 9). AssistsCharlotte 20 (Batum 7), Philadelphia 23 (Smith 8). Total FoulsCharlotte 21, Philadelphia 24. TechnicalsCharlotte defensive three second. A11,143 (20,318).

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