Thu, 30 Mar 2023

WASHINGTON, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- The Boston Celtics beat arch rivals the Los Angeles Lakers 125-121 in overtime to snap a three-game losing streak, while Joel Embiid outdueled Nikola Jokic in a battle between MVP candidates as the Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Denver Nuggets 126-119 on Saturday.

Jaylen Brown scored 37 points for the NBA-leading Celtics, including a three-point play with 4.1 seconds left in regulation to force an overtime. Jayson Tatum had 30 points and 11 rebounds, and Malcom Brogdon added 26 points.

Despite losing their previous three games, the Celtics have the best record in the league at 36-15.

LeBron James had 41 points, nine rebounds and eight assists for the Lakers. Anthony Davis scored 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds coming off the bench for the second game in a row.

Patrick Beverly, who had 15 points, hit a 3-pointer to give the Lakers the lead with 51.7 seconds left, and scored on a put-back dunk that made it 104-102 with 18.6 seconds to play. But Beverly missed one of two free throws after Brown missed a 3-pointer.

Then Al Horford missed a 3, and Brown scored on the put-back and picked up a foul call to complete a three-point play.

The Lakers had a chance to win in regulation, and James drove to the basket while missing the layup. Replay showed that the referees missed Tatum swiping his arm on the shot.

Beverly was called for a technical foul for arguing. Tatum hit the ensuing free throw as the Celtics started overtime with a one-point lead and they never trailed again.

Embiid, runner-up to Jokic in voting for MVP honors for the past two seasons, contributed 47 points and 18 rebounds. James Harden had 17 points and 13 assists, and Tobias Harris scored 14 points as the Sixers extended their winning-streak to seven games.

The Nuggets set up a 73-58 cushion at halftime. Embiid began to take over after the intermission, pouring in 16 points in the third quarter and the Sixers rode on a 14-0 run to close within 99-98 early in the fourth.

Jokic had 24 points, eight rebounds and nine assists for Denver, which has lost three of its last four games. Jamal Murray chipped in 22 points and Michael Porter added 20.

Kyrie Irving scored 21 of his 32 points in the final nine and a half minutes to carry the Brooklyn Nets past the New York Knicks 122-115.

The Houston Rockets squeezed past the Detroit Pistons 117-114 in a matchup of teams with the NBA's worst record.

DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine each scored 32 points, and the Chicago Bulls got past the Orlando Magic 128-109.

Also on Saturday, the Los Angeles Clippers won their fifth straight game with a 120-113 victory over the Atlanta Hawks, the Minnesota Timberwolves held on for a 117-110 win against the Sacramento Kings, the Washington Wizards beat the New Orleans Pelicans 113-103, the Phoenix Suns notched up a 128-118 overtime victory over the San Antonio Spurs, the Utah Jazz took advantage of Dallas star Luka Doncic's absence to beat the Mavericks 108-100, and the Toronto Raptors sailed past the Portland Trail Blazers 123-105.

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