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NBA roundup: D’Angelo Russell, Nets hold off Pelicans in Anthony Davis’ return

Nets’ Jared Dudley, right, and D’Angelo Russell, left, wrap up New Orleans’ Julius Randle during first-half action on Wednesday in New York. (Frank Franklin II / AP)
Nets’ Jared Dudley, right, and D’Angelo Russell, left, wrap up New Orleans’ Julius Randle during first-half action on Wednesday in New York. (Frank Franklin II / AP)

D’Angelo Russell had 22 points and 13 assists, and the Brooklyn Nets built up a big enough lead with a 73-point first half to withstand Anthony Davis’ monstrous return to the lineup, beating the New Orleans Pelicans 126-121 on Wednesday night in New York.

Davis finished with 34 points and a career-high 26 rebounds after a one-game absence, but there weren’t enough rebounds to get in the first half, when the Nets opened a 24-point lead during their highest-scoring first half at home in 17 years.

Joe Harris added 21 points for the Nets, who had 105 points through three quarters, then got consecutive baskets by Harris when New Orleans trimmed the lead to seven with under 5 minutes remaining.

The Nets made nine of their first 15 3-point attempts during their highest-scoring first half at home since getting 75 against Golden State on Feb. 19, 2002. They finished with seven players in double figures, with DeMarre Carroll (19) and Spencer Dinwiddie (18) leading strong efforts off the bench.

Elfrid Payton scored 25 points for New Orleans in his second game back after missing more than a month with a broken finger. Julius Randle had 21, and Jrue Holiday 20.

Thunder 107, Lakers 100: In Los Angeles, Paul George scored 37 points while getting booed whenever he touched the ball by Lakers fans still angry he didn’t choose their team in free agency, leading Oklahoma City over Los Angeles.

Russell Westbrook had 14 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists despite 3-for-20 shooting, but his fellow Southern California native was the center of attention in the Thunder’s only visit to the Lakers this season.

George scored nine points in the fourth quarter while the Thunder rallied from a five-point deficit and easily held on for their seventh win in 10 games.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 18 of his 25 points in the first half for the Lakers, who dropped to 1-3 during LeBron James’ absence with a groin injury. Los Angeles has lost six of nine overall after its offense managed just six field goals in the fourth quarter, along with the Lakers’ usual awful free-throw shooting.

Celtics 115, Timberwolves 102: In Boston, Gordon Hayward came off the bench to score a season-high 35 points and the Celtics topped Minnesota.

Terry Rozier scored 11 of his 16 points in the first quarter while making his third start of the season because Kyrie Irving scratched both of his eyes in Monday’s game against San Antonio. Hayward took over from there, with 13 in the second quarter and 15 in the third to finish with his highest-scoring game with the Celtics.

Andrew Wiggins scored 31 points, and Karl-Anthony Towns had 20 of his 28 points – and grabbed five of his 12 rebounds – in the third quarter, when Minnesota trimmed a 22-point deficit to six points.

Mavericks 122, Hornets 84: In Charlotte, North Carolina, Luka Doncic and Dennis Smith Jr. fueled an early long-range shooting spree and Dallas beat Charlotte to end a nine-game road skid.

Doncic and Smith each had 18 points, and Harrison Barnes added 17. The Mavericks hit 10 first-quarter 3-pointers – three from Doncic and two from Smith – and finished with 18.

Dallas won for the first time on the road since Nov. 28. It entered the game with a NBA-worst 2-16 road record, compared to 15-3 at home.

Dwight Powell scored 15 points, Wesley Matthews had 11, and DeAndre Jordan had eight points and 13 rebounds. Doncic added 10 rebounds and Smith seven assists.

Kemba Walker led Charlotte with 11 points.

76ers 132, Suns 127: In Phoenix, Joel Embiid, playing despite a sore left knee, matched his season high with 42 points, 30 in the first half, and grabbed 18 rebounds and Philadelphia held off Phoenix.

Ben Simmons added 29 points and J.J. Redick 27 for the 76ers, who were without Jimmy Butler and Wilson Chandler, both due to an upper respiratory infection. Devin Booker scored 37 points for the Suns. Deandre Ayton added 18 points and 11 boards and Josh Jackson scored 16 points.

Philadelphia led by 23 at halftime and as many as 30 in the third quarter. The Suns cut it to three points before Redick finally sealed the victory with a pair of free throws with 4.3 seconds to play.

Heat 117, Cavaliers 92: In Cleveland, Josh Richardson scored 24 points and Miami – playing with Dwyane Wade sidelined by an illness – rolled past Cleveland.

Miami hit 16 of 31 3-pointers. Tyler Johnson added 16 points, and Derrick Jones Jr. had 13. The Heat have won seven of nine to reach the .500 mark at 18-18.

Cleveland dropped to 8-30 – the worst record in the NBA – with its seventh straight loss.

Tristan Thompson and Rodney Hood returned from injuries and started for the Cavaliers, but it mattered little in their ninth loss in 10 games. Thompson had 14 points, and Hood added 13.

Wizards 114, Hawks 98: In Washington, Bradley Beal had 24 points, Jeff Green added 22 and Thomas Bryant had 16 points and a career-high 15 rebounds in Washington’s victory over Atlanta.

Tomas Satoransky had 14 points and a career-best 11 rebounds for the Wizards. Alex Len led Atlanta with a season-high 24 points and 11 rebounds. John Collins scored 21 points.

Pistons 101, Grizzlies 94: In Memphis, Tennessee, Blake Griffin had 26 points, eight rebounds and seven assists and Detroit beat Memphis to snap a three-game skid.

Griffin closed out a 13-0 Detroit run in the fourth quarter to put it out of reach, Reggie Jackson added 16 points, and Reggie Bullock and Luke Kennard had 13 each.

Jaren Jackson Jr. led Memphis with 26 points and 10 rebounds, and Kyle Anderson scored 15 points. Dillon Brooks finished with 14 points off the bench as the Grizzlies dropped their third straight.

Magic 112, Bulls 84: In Chicago, Nikola Vucevic had 22 points and 12 rebounds before sitting out the fourth quarter, Aaron Gordon added 18 points and a career-high nine assists, and Orlando routed Chicago.

Terrence Ross scored 15 off the bench and Evan Fournier had 13 points and seven assists for Orlando. The Magic shot 58 percent from the field.

Zach LaVine had 16 points, and Lauri Markkanen and Kris Dunn added 14 apiece for Chicago.

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