LOS ANGELES (AP) – Kendrick Nunn scored 27 points, Jimmy Butler had 24 points and eight rebounds, and the Miami Heat held off the Los Angeles Lakers 96-94 on Saturday night in an NBA Finals rematch.
Bam Adebayo had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Heat in the teams’ first meeting since the Lakers won their 17th championship with a six-game victory over Miami in the Florida bubble four months ago.
LeBron James had 19 points, nine assists and nine rebounds for the Lakers. The defending NBA champions lost their second straight game without starters Anthony Davis and Dennis Schroder.
James stole the Heat’s inbounds pass with 8.4 seconds left to create one last chance for the Lakers, but the 17-time All-Star passed off to Alex Caruso, who missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
The Heat scored only 15 points in the fourth quarter and barely held off Los Angeles down the stretch for their second straight win after a three-game skid during their seven-game trip.
Los Angeles also lost back-to-back games for the first time since Jan. 27-28, falling to East contenders Brooklyn and Miami at Staples Center.
Davis missed his third straight game after aggravating his strained right calf last weekend, and Schroder missed his second straight under the NBA’s health and safety protocols.
HORNETS 102, WARRIORS 100
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Seconds after Golden State’s Draymond Green was ejected, Terry Rozier hit an off-balance jumper from the left corner as time expired to give Charlotte a wild victory.
Rozier – who had 36 points – made the winner after Green received two technical fouls and was ejected with 9.3 seconds for arguing the outcome of a jump ball.
The Warriors were leading by two when officials ruled Hornets coach James Borrego had called a timeout as Gordon Hayward came down the jump ball. Green immediately began jumping around the court, screaming at officials that the Warriors had tied up Hayward as he was falling to the floor and it should have been another jump ball.
Rozier sank two free throws for the technical fouls to tie it. Then, he took the inbounds pass from midcourt and drove to the corner where he made the winning jumper.
Warriors star Stephen Curry went through warmups but was a late scratch after he became ill during warmups. The team said the illness is not COVID-19 related and that Curry was “just not feeling well.”
Kelly Oubre Jr. led Golden State with 25 points.
SUNS 128, GRIZZLIES 97
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – Devin Booker scored 23 points, hitting five of Phoenix’s franchise-record 24 3-pointers in a romp over short-handed Memphis.
Mikal Bridges added 19 points, making 6 of 7 shots overall and 4 of 5 from long range. Cam Payne also had 19 points, a season high, and Chris Paul added 16 points and six assists.
Phoenix won for the eighth time in nine games. The Suns made 22 3-pointers Friday night in New Orleans in a game where they outscored the Pelicans 41-12 in the fourth quarter in a 132-114 victory.
Gorgui Dieng led Memphis with 15 points, most of them in a mop-up fourth quarter.
BULLS 122, KINGS 114
CHICAGO (AP) – Zach LaVine scored 38 points and Chicago beat Sacramento.
The Bulls bounced back after getting dominated by Joel Embiid in a tight loss at Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia on Friday night.
Sacramento’s Marvin Bagley III tied a season high with 26 points and had 11 rebounds.
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