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Boston Celtics hold off the Sacramento Kings

By AP - Feb 08,2016 - Last updated at Feb 08,2016

BOSTON — Avery Bradley scored 25 points, Isiah Thomas had 22 and the Boston Celtics held off the Sacramento Kings 128-119 on Sunday for their ninth win in 10 games.

Jared Sullinger matched his season high with 21 points and reserve Tyler Zeller had a season high 17 with seven rebounds for Boston, which committed a season high 24 turnovers but shot 56 per cent.

DeMarcus Cousins led Sacramento with 31 points. Marco Belinelli and Darren Collison each had 16 points. The Kings have lost seven of eight.

Nuggets 101, Knicks 96

Rookie Emmanuel Mudiay scored nine of his 15 points during a decisive fourth-quarter run, and Denver beat the fading Knicks.

Former Knicks forward Danilo Gallinari and Will Barton each had 19 points to lead the Nuggets, who won for the third time in four games. But it was Mudiay, who was just 2 for 12 through three quarters, who delivered nearly all the points during an 11-2 spurt that put the Nuggets in control after the game was tied at 86-all.

Kristaps Porzingis had 21 points and 13 rebounds for the Knicks, who have lost five in a row and nine of 10 since they were 22-22 and looking like a realistic play-off team.

Carmelo Anthony returned to face his former team after missing a game to rest his sore left knee, finishing with 21 points, seven assists and six rebounds.

Clippers 100, Heat 93

Chris Paul had a game-high 22 points, Jamal Crawford added 20 off the bench and the Clippers beat the Heat.

J.J. Redick scored 14 points, Wesley Johnson had 10 and DeAndre Jordan and Cole Aldrich grabbed 11 rebounds each for the Clippers, who won despite missing 14 consecutive shots in the first quarter and swept the two-game season series with Miami.

Paul started 0 for 9, but made two three-pointers late to help seal it for the Clippers.

Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and Goran Dragic all scored 17 points for Miami, which missed a chance to finish the day fourth in the Eastern Conference standings.

Magic 96, Hawks 94

Nik Vucevic hit a shot from 5.4m at the buzzer and the Magic beat the Hawks.

Elfrid Payton, who set up Vucevic’s winning shot with an inbounds pass, scored or assisted the Magic’s final six baskets as they won for only the third time in 18 games in 2016.

The Magic had gone scoreless since Payton’s jump shot with 3:41 left, squandering a 94-86 lead.

Vucevic led Orlando with 22 points and nine rebounds and Evan Fournier, starting in place of the injured Tobias Harris, added 21 points. Payton had 12 points and 12 assists.

Jeff Teague scored 24 for the Hawks.

Meanwhile, when the NBA convenes All-Star weekend in Toronto beginning on Friday, the league’s annual “midseason” showcase will be as strong top to bottom as it has been in some time. But that doesn’t mean there couldn’t be ways to add more flavour and different twists to keep things fresh.

With that in mind, TNT analysts Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith were asked if there were any changes they would like to see the league make to one of its most popular events of the season. And like most other matters concerning the game, the trio didn’t hesitate to offer some suggestions.

“I would love to see an outdoor game,” Barkley said. “That would be my suggestion.”

That wouldn’t work in Toronto next weekend, obviously. But why not give it a shot when the All-Star Game next goes to Miami or Phoenix or Los Angeles?

Barkley also would like to see the league try a United States versus the world format to get away from the Eastern Conference versus the Western Conference matchup used ever since the game was first played in 1951. With the influx of international talent to the league and the NBA’s global reach, it’s an intriguing thought. This year the Rising Stars Challenge featuring the best rookies and sophomores will be played that way.

“We’ve got enough international players now to make it competitive,” Barkley said. “I think that would be exciting.”

Smith would like to see a non-NBA player get a chance to compete against LaVine and the league’s other high flyers in the dunk contest and also wouldn’t mind seeing past three-point champions get to come back and face the winners of today.


Shaq proposed a tournament of 1-on-1 games featuring the All-Stars, with the winner taking home $1 million to ratchet up the competition.

59 users have voted.


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