Thunder Hornets Basketball

Hornets guard Terry Rozier drives to the basket between hunder guards Ty Jerome, left, and Tre Mann on Friday in Charlotte, North Carolina. Rusty Jones/Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Terry Rozier scored 24 points, Miles Bridges added 22 points and 14 rebounds, and the Charlotte Hornets defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 121-98 on Friday night.

P.J. Washington scored 20 and Gordon Hayward 16 for Charlotte, which has won seven of eight. LaMelo Ball finished with 10 points for the Hornets.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the Thunder with 29 points, but was held to four in the second half. Josh Giddey added 21 and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl notched a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds.

After Oklahoma City cut Charlotte’s lead to 82-73 on Robinson-Earl’s 3-pointer with 4:06 to play in the third, Charlotte pushed its lead to a game-high 25 on a 3-pointer by Bridges.

Charlotte’s only loss in the past eight games has been to Orlando, last in the Eastern Conference. Facing another team out of playoff contention, the Hornets trailed 2-0 but didn’t relinquish the lead after taking it back early.

CLIPPERS 102, 76ERS 101: Reggie Jackson scored 19 points, including two free throws with 18.2 seconds remaining, and Los Angeles rallied from a 24-point second-half deficit to beat Joel Embiid and the 76ers in Philadelphia.

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Nicolas Batum had 15 points, seven rebounds and a key steal late in the game for the Clippers. Los Angeles, playing the second of an eight-game, 13-day trip, won for the second time in its last five games.

Embiid, who tied his career high with 50 points on Monday night, had 40 points, 13 rebounds and six assists. Tobias Harris added 20 points and Tyrese Maxey had 19 points and eight assists for Philadelphia, which lost for the third time in its last 12.

LAKERS 116, MAGIC 105: LeBron James scored 29 points and played exclusively at center in the second half as Los Angeles rallied from an eight-point halftime deficit to win in Orlando, Florida

Los Angeles Coach Frank Vogel replaced starting center Dwight Howard with James to start the second half, and the Lakers opened the third quarter on a 20-2 run. They outscored Orlando 31-16 in the third, making 13 of 23 shots and 5 of 8 3-pointers in the frame.

Carmelo Anthony scored 19 of his 23 points in the second half and hit four 3-pointers, while Stanley Johnson added 11 points and five rebounds off the bench. It was the eighth time the 37-year-old Anthony scored at least 20 points this season.

One game after being benched in the fourth quarter of Wednesday’s loss to Indiana, point guard Russell Westbrook had 18 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. When Westbrook fed James for an alley-oop in the fourth quarter, chants of “M-V-P” broke out for James among the pro-Lakers crowd.

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HAWKS 110, HEAT 108: Trae Young scored 28 points, Kevin Huerter added 21 and Atlanta won their its straight game after nearly blowing an 18-point lead in a win over Miami in Atlanta.

The Heat again were without star guard Kyle Lowry, who missed his third straight game for personal reasons, and Tyler Herro, the sixth man who’s averaging 20.7 points per game and was sidelined in health and safety protocols for the second game in a row. Neither made the trip.

Bam Adebayo finished with 21 points and Duncan Robinson had 19 for Miami (29-17), which had won six of seven and was 15-5 since beating Milwaukee on Dec. 8. The Heat, who didn’t lead after the 30-second mark of the first quarter, began the night six percentage points out of the Eastern Conference lead.

RAPTORS 109, WIZARDS 105: Fred VanVleet hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 59 seconds to play, and Toronto hung on after blowing an 18-point fourth-quarter lead to win in Washington.

Rookie Scottie Barnes scored a career-high 27 points, VanVleet scored 21 and had 12 assists, Pascal Siakam also scored 21 points for Toronto, which went 2-3 on a five-game trip.

Bradley Beal led Washington with 25 points. He also had eight assists, but committed nine turnovers, equaling his career high. The Wizards, who began the season 10-3, are 13-20 since.

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NOTES

NUGGETS: Denver signed four-time All-Star DeMarcus Cousins to a 10-day contract on Friday to back up Nikola Jokic.

The 6-foot-10 Cousins will be eligible to play in six games for the Nuggets, starting Friday night game against Memphis.

Cousins averaged 9.1 points and 5.8 rebounds in 17 games for Milwaukee, but was released this month as the Bucks wanted to open a roster spot.

The Nuggets have limited big-man depth behind the reigning MVP Jokic. Michael Porter Jr. (back surgery) is out and JaMychal Green is in COVID-19 protocols.

The Nuggets are the seventh team for the 31-year-old Cousins, who has been slowed in recent years by a torn Achilles’ tendon and torn ACL. He holds career averages of 20.1 points and 10.4 rebounds.


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