Sunday, January 21, 2018
Sports

Magic extends Nets' home skid

NEW YORK — Victor Oladipo and Nikola Vucevic each scored 20 Friday night to lead the Magic to an 83-77 victory over the Nets, who have lost nine straight home games.

Aaron Gordon added 14 points and Evan Fournier had 13 for the Magic, which snapped a four-game losing streak.

Brook Lopez led the Nets with 17 points. Joe Johnson finished with 13.

Gordon's layup with 6:20 left snapped a 68-all tie and gave the Magic the lead for good. Orlando extended its lead to 81-72 on Oladipo's 3-pointer with 2:42 left and the Nets never got closer than six the rest of the way.

Brooklyn hasn't won at home since a 100-91 victory over the 76ers on Dec. 10. The Nets' team record is 14 straight home losses set in 2009-10, when they finished 12-70 while playing in New Jersey.

Vucevic also had 10 rebounds, while Tobias Harris contributed nine points, 11 rebounds and eight assists.

Shane Larkin had 12 points for Brooklyn.

PELICANS' DAVIS INJURED: Pelicans forward Anthony Davis bruised his lower back diving into the stands during a 91-86 home loss to the Pacers.

Davis dove into the stands early in the first quarter while pursuing a rebound that had been deflected toward the sideline. Davis saved the ball to the Pacers, who wound up with free throws on the play.

Davis remained in the game for a few seconds before checking out and heading to the locker room.

Davis came in with team-leading averages of 23.5 points, 11.2 rebounds and 2.6 blocks.

GAME HIGHLIGHTS: DeMar DeRozan scored 21 of his season-high 35 in the second half, Kyle Lowry had 21 points and 10 assists, and the visiting Raptors beat the Wizards 97-88. The Raptors overcame a season-high 23 turnovers, taking control with an 18-4 run that gave them a 69-59 lead with 2:40 to play in the third quarter. John Wall scored 21 points as Washington lost for the fifth time in six games and matched a season worst at four games under .500. The Wizards drew within 89-83 with 2:50 to play, but got no closer. Washington, which swept a four-game playoff series between the teams last spring, has lost six consecutive regular-season meetings to the Raptors.

OBITUARY: John Johnson, a two-time All-Star forward who played 12 NBA seasons and helped the Seattle SuperSonics win their only NBA title in 1979, died this week of unknown causes in the San Francisco Bay Area. He was 68. "When I coached him I would tell Gus (Johnson), Dennis (Johnson) and Fred (Brown) if JJ got the ball on a rebound you guys take off because he will find you," said Lenny Wilkens, a Hall of Famer and Johnson's Sonics coach. "He could do that, and he did it very well. Before they coined the phrase point-forward, he was like that. I have great memories." Mr. Johnson starred at Iowa with Brown, his future Sonics teammate. He had a school-record 49 points against Northwestern in 1970, the year he was drafted No. 7 overall by the Cavaliers.

BULLS ON A ROLL: The Bulls had just suffered an ugly loss to the Knicks at Madison Square Garden and Jimmy Butler took aim.

He called out first-year coach Fred Hoiberg in his postgame interview with reporters, saying players needed to be held more accountable and "coached a lot harder at times."

It was an eye-opening comment that raised questions about the chemistry in the locker room, whether management made the right move by giving Butler a maximum contract in the offseason and whether a shakeup was coming.

"That's way back in the past," Butler said.

That loss three weeks ago sure does seem like a long time ago: The Bulls enter today's game at Atlanta in second place in the Eastern Conference, having won a season-high six in a row and seven of eight.

They lost to Brooklyn after that loss to the Knicks on Dec. 19, but since then, they've been rolling. The turnaround started with a victory at Oklahoma City on Dec. 25, and after losing to Dallas the following night, it's been nothing but wins.

Butler is on a tear, averaging 28.8 points the past five games.

Point guard Derrick Rose is averaging just under 20 points in his past five games.

Pau Gasol is contributing in a big way. Rookie Bobby Portis is emerging and the offense is starting to hum.

"We'll always keep working at it," Hoiberg said. "That's the big thing. We've got to go out and stress everything, all the things that are important. It's continuing to get the ball moving. When we have our struggles, it's when we hold the ball. It's when we have too much isolation."

This more like what Chicago envisioned. The Bulls hired Hoiberg away from Iowa State after a falling out with former coach Tom Thibodeau. They wanted a faster pace, a more freewheeling style, and while it hasn't been the easiest transition, the ride has been smoother of late.

Chicago has gone from 21st to 11th in the NBA in points per game since Dec. 15. And while the Bulls rank near the bottom of the league in fastbreak points, they have been among the most efficient teams on offense the past three weeks.

AROUND THE LEAGUE: Grizzlies guard Jordan Adams is scheduled to have right knee surgery Tuesday. There is no timetable for his return. The 2014 first-round pick from UCLA, has appeared in two games this season.

Magic 83, Nets 77

ORLANDO (83): Harris 3-15 2-4 9, Frye 1-4 0-0 2, Vucevic 9-23 2-2 20, Oladipo 7-11 0-0 20, Fournier 5-8 0-0 13, Nicholson 0-3 0-0 0, Gordon 6-9 0-0 14, Hezonja 1-2 0-0 3, Napier 0-2 0-0 0, Smith 1-6 0-0 2. Totals 33-83 4-6 83.

BROOKLYN (77): Johnson 5-12 0-0 13, Young 5-7 1-2 11, Lopez 6-15 5-8 17, Larkin 5-8 1-2 12, Bogdanovic 0-6 2-2 2, Ellington 3-7 0-0 8, Reed 1-2 0-0 2, Sloan 1-4 0-2 3, Robinson 3-8 0-0 6, Brown 0-4 3-4 3. Totals 29-73 12-20 77.

Orlando 26 11 23 23— 83

Brooklyn 17 21 24 15— 77

3-Point GoalsOrlando 13-27 (Oladipo 6-8, Fournier 3-6, Gordon 2-3, Hezonja 1-1, Harris 1-4, Nicholson 0-2, Frye 0-3), Brooklyn 7-22 (Johnson 3-7, Ellington 2-4, Sloan 1-2, Larkin 1-4, Brown 0-2, Bogdanovic 0-3). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsOrlando 53 (Harris 12), Brooklyn 51 (Young 9). AssistsOrlando 25 (Harris 8), Brooklyn 17 (Sloan 5). Total FoulsOrlando 22, Brooklyn 14. A13,907 (17,732).

Raptors 97, Wizards 88

TORONTO (97): Johnson 4-6 0-0 8, Scola 4-10 3-3 11, Valanciunas 1-4 5-6 7, Lowry 8-18 2-2 21, DeRozan 11-24 12-13 35, Patterson 0-2 0-0 0, Ross 3-4 0-0 7, Biyombo 0-1 0-0 0, Joseph 3-6 2-2 8. Totals 34-75 24-26 97.

WASHINGTON (88): Porter 6-10 3-3 16, Dudley 1-4 2-2 5, Gortat 5-11 2-2 12, Wall 8-20 3-3 21, Temple 3-9 0-0 7, Neal 1-9 0-0 2, Gooden 1-3 0-0 3, Sessions 5-11 3-3 14, Nene 2-5 0-0 4, Oubre Jr. 1-2 1-2 4. Totals 33-84 14-15 88.

Toronto 18 29 26 24— 97

Washington 26 21 14 27— 88

3-Point GoalsToronto 5-14 (Lowry 3-6, Ross 1-2, DeRozan 1-4, Scola 0-1, Joseph 0-1), Washington 8-25 (Wall 2-5, Temple 1-2, Oubre Jr. 1-2, Porter 1-3, Sessions 1-3, Gooden 1-3, Dudley 1-3, Neal 0-4). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsToronto 59 (Lowry 10), Washington 36 (Gortat 10). AssistsToronto 11 (Lowry 4), Washington 18 (Dudley, Wall 4). Total FoulsToronto 18, Washington 22. TechnicalsToronto defensive three second 3, Washington defensive three second. Flagrant Fouls—Patterson. A17,064 (20,308).

Pacers 91, Pelicans 86

INDIANA (91): George 3-13 6-7 13, Allen 3-3 1-2 7, Mahinmi 7-12 3-4 17, G.Hill 2-9 2-2 7, Ellis 5-11 0-0 10, Miles 6-12 0-0 15, Turner 2-3 1-2 5, Stuckey 4-9 0-0 8, Robinson III 2-6 1-2 5, J.Hill 2-3 0-0 4. Totals 36-81 14-19 91.

NEW ORLEANS (86): Cunningham 2-5 0-0 4, Davis 1-2 0-0 2, Asik 0-1 1-2 1, Evans 10-19 4-4 27, Gordon 3-11 1-2 8, Anderson 7-17 3-4 21, Ajinca 2-7 0-0 4, Holiday 5-12 4-6 15, Cole 1-9 2-2 4, Gee 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 31-83 15-20 86.

Indiana 16 22 30 23— 91

New Orleans 30 13 27 16— 86

3-Point GoalsIndiana 5-21 (Miles 3-8, G.Hill 1-2, George 1-7, Robinson III 0-1, Ellis 0-1, Stuckey 0-2), New Orleans 9-29 (Anderson 4-10, Evans 3-5, Holiday 1-2, Gordon 1-6, Ajinca 0-1, Cole 0-2, Cunningham 0-3). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsIndiana 61 (Mahinmi 10), New Orleans 46 (Ajinca 12). AssistsIndiana 21 (Ellis 8), New Orleans 21 (Evans 5). Total FoulsIndiana 17, New Orleans 18. TechnicalsNew Orleans defensive three second. A16,895 (16,867).

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