Kyrie Irving scores 38 points as Boston Celtics resist Memphis Grizzlies rally

19 January 2019, 05:05 | Updated: 19 January 2019, 07:37

Kyrie Irving scored 38 points, including three vital baskets down the stretch, as the Boston Celtics held off the Memphis Grizzlies.

Memphis Grizzlies 116-122 Boston Celtics

Kyrie Irving halted a Memphis Grizzlies rally with two consecutive jumpers and later added a game-clinching three-pointer to cap off a 38-point effort as the host Boston Celtics held on for a 122-116 victory on Friday night.

Marcus Smart and Al Horford also hit key late hoops to finish off high-scoring nights in helping the Celtics win their second straight and complete a two-game season-series sweep of the Grizzlies.

Mike Conley had 26 points to pace the Grizzlies, who lost their fourth straight game.

After a back-and-forth first half in which the Celtics built a 15-point lead before falling behind 62-58 by half-time, Boston led through much of the second half, but only by 106-104 after a Conley free throw with 4:53 remaining.

That's when Irving countered with his two lead-saving hoops, extending the Boston advantage to six, before his free throw and the baskets by Smart and Horford pushed the advantage to 115-108.

Irving's victory-clinching three-pointer came with 1:22 to go and gave Boston an eight-point lead. He shot 14-for-21 and completed a double-double with a team-high 11 assists for the Celtics.

Smart finished with 20 points and Horford 18 for Boston, while Jaylen Brown added 12.

Conley had four three-pointers among his game-high point total for the Grizzlies. Marc Gasol recorded an 11-rebound, 12-assist double-double for Memphis while scoring just four points, while Jaren Jackson Jr had 23 points.

San Antonio Spurs 116-113 Minnesota Timberwolves

LaMarcus Aldridge poured in 25 points and Marco Belinelli canned a pair of crucial free throws with 4.2 seconds left to play as the visiting San Antonio Spurs outlasted the Minnesota Timberwolves 116-113 in the Twin Cities.

The game was close throughout, with 27 lead changes and 17 ties through the middle of the fourth quarter. Still, the Spurs led just 108-105 after a stepback jumper by Minnesota's Andrew Wiggins with 3:06 to play.

Belinelli's driving dunk with 1:56 remaining pushed San Antonio's lead to five points but was immediately answered by a lay-up on the other end by Minnesota's Jeff Teague.

Aldridge's spinning jumper on the Spurs' ensuing possession again made it a two-possession game at 112-107 with 1:23 left. Derrick Rose cut the lead back to three points with a pair of free throws with 1:18 to play and added a lay-up 23 seconds later to bring the Timberwolves to within 112-111.

Rudy Gay and Rose then traded baskets before a miss by Belinelli with 7.7 seconds left, with the rebound deflecting out of bounds off of Minnesota's Dario Saric.

Rose fouled Belinelli with 4.2 seconds to play and Belinelli canned both free throws to push the Spurs' lead to three points. Rose then missed a three-pointer at the buzzer as the Timberwolves fell just short.

Gay scored 22 points for the Spurs, while Belinelli racked up 19 points and Derrick White added 15.

Karl-Anthony Towns and Rose led the Timberwolves with 23 points each. Wiggins tallied 17 points, while Teague pumped in 15.

Brooklyn Nets 117-115 Orlando Magic

D'Angelo Russell scored a season-high 40 points to lead the Brooklyn Nets to a 117-115 comeback win over the Orlando Magic on the road.

Spencer Dinwiddie added 20 points for the Nets, who have a winning record for the first time this season. Brooklyn was 10 games below .500 at one point, but have gone 16-5 since.

Aaron Gordon led the Magic with 23 points, but exited the game in the fourth quarter with lower back tightness and did not return. Nikola Vucevic had 16 points and 17 rebounds.

The Nets trailed by 21 points in the second quarter, and didn't regain the lead until Dinwiddie completed a four-point play with 54.9 seconds remaining.

That gave Brooklyn a 113-111 lead, its first lead since Jarrett Allen made the first basket of the game.

Vucevic tied the game on the Magic's ensuing possession, but Russell followed that up with another three-pointer to put the Nets back on top. Fournier's driving lay-up to tie the game in the final seconds came up just short.

Miami Heat 93-98 Detroit Pistons

Blake Griffin collected 32 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists as the Detroit Pistons overcame the early departure of Andre Drummond to edge the visiting Miami Heat 98-93.

Luke Kennard scored 22 points off the bench and Reggie Bullock had 19 for the Pistons. Dwyane Wade led the Heat with 20 points and eight assists off the bench. Tyler Johnson contributed 16 points and Justise Winslow added 15 with nine rebounds.

Detroit led 53-39 at half-time behind 16 points from Griffin and 12 from Kennard but were outscored 30-12 in the third quarter as Miami grabbed a 69-65 lead.

Late in the fourth quarter, Rodney McGruder made an offensive rebound then drifted out for a three to cut Detroit's lead to 90-89.

Griffin made two free throws with 52.4 seconds left but Wade came right back with a lay-up. Zaza Pachulia tapped in a Griffin miss with 26.7 seconds remaining to make it 94-91. Wade made another lay-up on Miami's next possession.

Jackson was fouled with 11 seconds left and made both free throws. Wade missed a three and Griffin iced the win with two free throws.

Cleveland Cavaliers 99-115 Utah Jazz

Donovan Mitchell scored 24 points as the Utah Jazz rolled to a 115-99 victory over the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers in Salt Lake City.

Rudy Gobert added 19 points on 8-of-10 shooting and collected 15 rebounds as Utah extended their season-long winning streak to six games. Royce O'Neale had 16 points and 11 rebounds, Derrick Favors had 12 points and 10 rebounds and Jae Crowder scored 11 points for the Jazz.

Ante Zizic recorded 15 points and 10 rebounds and Collin Sexton added 15 points for the Cavaliers, who have lost 14 of their past 15 games.

Mitchell has scored 20 or more points on 27 occasions this season.

The Jazz shot 51.8 per cent from the field and hit 13-of-37 three-point attempts. They have made at least 10 three-pointers in each of their past 11 games.

Utah led by as many as 38 points while routing the Cavaliers for the second time this month. The Jazz posted a 117-91 win in Cleveland on January 4.

New Orleans Pelicans 112-128 Portland Trail Blazers

Damian Lillard scored 24 points while CJ McCollum and Jake Layman added 20 apiece as the Portland Trail Blazers defeated the visiting New Orleans Pelicans 128-112.

Jusuf Nurkic contributed 15 points and 12 rebounds as six players scored in double figures for the Trail Blazers, who extended their home winning streak to six games.

Anthony Davis scored 27 points, Jrue Holiday chipped in 20 points and Julius Randle collected 19 points and nine rebounds for the Pelicans, who fell to 6-19 on the road this season.

The Blazers led 104-86 leading into the final period. The Pelicans trimmed the margin to 107-99 on a putback by E'Twaun Moore with eight minutes left. McCollum and Lillard answered with consecutive three-point plays to push Portland's lead to 113-99 with 6:39 remaining.

New Orleans got to within 119-109 on a three-pointer by Randle with 3:55 to play. Portland's Al-Farouq Aminu sank a pair at the line, but Randle followed with a three-point play to cut the difference to 121-112 with 3:05 left.

Lillard buried a three for a 124-112 Portland advantage with 2:32 remaining and the Pelicans went scoreless the rest of the way.

Golden State Warriors 112-94 Los Angeles Clippers

Stephen Curry scored 28 points and DeMarcus Cousins added 14 in his Golden State debut as the visiting Warriors extended their winning streak to seven games with a 112-94 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night.

Cousins, who missed nearly a year of action because of an Achilles injury, fouled out in just 15 minutes of action. He went 5-of-11 from the field, including 3-of-4 from three-point range, adding six rebounds.

Tobias Harris scored 28 points and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander added 24 as the Clippers dropped their fifth consecutive game.

Kevin Durant scored 24 points, while Klay Thompson added 12 as the Warriors overcame an uncharacteristically poor shooting night from three-point range. They were just 5-of-29 (17.2) per cent after three quarters and finished 9-of-37 for the game. Thompson was 0-for-4 from beyond the arc.

Golden State took command with an 11-0 run to open the fourth quarter. The Clippers were held to 43 points in the second half and were 15-for-45 from the field in the final two quarters.

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