CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP)Kemba Walker had an emotional return to Charlotte, Jayson Tatum scored 23 points and the Boston Celtics beat the Hornets 108-87 on Thursday night.
Walker had an off-night shooting and finished with 14 points and six assists, but the Celtics won their sixth straight game handily. Walker missed his first six shots.
Walker received a rousing minute standing ovation after the Hornets showed a highlight tribute on the videoboard that left the point guard in tears. The three-time All-Star played eight NBA seasons in Charlotte and is the franchise’s scoring leader. He signed with the Celtics this past offseason after Hornets owner Michael Jordan elected not to pay Walker a five-year, $221 million supermax contract.
Gordon Hayward added 20 points and 10 rebounds, and the Celtics scored 17 points off 21 Charlotte turnovers. Miles Bridges had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Hornets.
CLIPPERS 107, TRAIL BLAZERS 101
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Lou Williams made a go-ahead jumper with 58 seconds left, then added a 3-pointer and finished with 26 points to lift Los Angeles over Portland for coach Doc Rivers’ 900th career victory.
Kawhi Leonard had 27 points, 13 rebounds and six turnovers after missing a nationally televised loss to Milwaukee the previous night as part of load management for his knee.
Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum led Portland with 22 points apiece, but both got blanked in the fourth quarter of the Trail Blazers’ third straight loss. That’s when Anfernee Simons scored 16 of his 17 points, including Portland’s first 12.
Leonard sealed the win with four straight free throws as fans chanted ”MVP! MVP!”
The Clippers rallied from eight points down early in the fourth, taking their first lead on Leonard’s basket.
Rivers became the 13th coach in NBA history to reach 900 wins.
Los Angeles improved to 5-1 at home.
SPURS 121, THUNDER 112
SAN ANTONIO (AP) – LaMarcus Aldridge scored a season-high 39 points and San Antonio rolled past Oklahoma City.
Point guard Dejounte Murray had a career-high 10 assists along with 17 points and eight rebounds. DeMar DeRozan added 16 points and nine assists.
Danilo Gallinari scored 27 points for the Thunder. Chris Paul had 19 points and five assists in 31 minutes.
HEAT 124, SUNS 108
PHOENIX (AP) – Jimmy Butler scored 30 of his 34 points in the first half, Goran Dragic added 25 and Miami rolled past Phoenix.
Miami bounced back from a 20-point loss to Denver win for the fourth time in five games. The Heat improved to 6-2 for the first time since 2012 when they had LeBron James and eventually won the NBA title.
Dragic, who played six seasons in his 12-year career with the Suns, scored 20 points in the second half.
Aron Baynes had 23 points for Phoenix, and Devin Booker added 22.
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