Celtics roll to ninth straight NBA win, Mavs’ Doncic dazzles again

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Celtics roll to ninth straight NBA win, Mavs' Doncic dazzles again

The Boston Celtics rolled to a ninth straight NBA victory while Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic notched another milestone with his 50th career triple-double on Friday.

The Celtics improved their league-leading record to 13-3, their latest long-range barrage burying the Pelicans 117-109 in New Orleans.

Each of Boston’s five starters scored in double figures and each drained at least two of the Celtics’ 20 three-pointers — Derrick White connecting on six.

Jaylen Brown paced the Celtics with 27 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. White added 26 points and star forward Jayson Tatum scored 19 for the Celtics, with Al Horford adding 18 and Grant Williams 12.

New Orleans cut a 13-point deficit to six midway through the fourth quarter. But despite 17 turnovers, including nine in the third quarter, the Celtics were able to turn it up a notch and snap the Pelicans’ three-game winning streak.

Meanwhile in Dallas, Doncic delivered another gem in a 127-99 victory over the Denver Nuggets.

Doncic scored 33 points with 12 rebounds and 11 assists and at 23 years and 263 days old in his 279th game became the second-youngest and second-fastest NBA player to 50 triple-doubles.

Oscar Robertson was 23 years and 32 days old when he achieved the feat in his 111th career game.

It marked the 25th time that Doncic has scored at least 30 points in a triple-double. He’s got four 30-point triple-doubles in 14 games this season.

His Friday exploit came against a Nuggets team missing two-time Most Valuable Player Nikola Jokic, who missed a second straight game due to Covid protocols.

In Philadelphia, 76ers center Joel Embiid scored 32 points and out-dueled Milwaukee big man Giannis Antetokounmpo to lead the injury-depleted hosts to a 110-102 victory over the Bucks.

The Sixers, missing James Harden, Tobias Harris and Furkan Korkmaz going into the contest, lost Tyrese Maxey to a foot injury at halftime.

Maxey delivered 24 points before he limped out late in the second quarter.

Georges Niang came off the bench and scored 17 points, but it was Embiid’s 19 second-half points that propelled the 76ers past the Bucks, who led 62-55 at halftime.

Embiid — coming off 42-point and 59-point performances on Saturday and Sunday —  added 11 rebounds and eight assists as the Sixers notched a third straight win.

Antetokounmpo led Milwaukee with 25 points and 14 rebounds. But he connected on just four of 15 free-throw attempts and scored just two points in the fourth quarter as the Sixers pulled away late.

In Memphis, Jaren Jackson’s 25 points and 12 rebounds led the Grizzlies in a 121-110 victory over Oklahoma City, but it could prove a costly win after Grizzlies star point guard Ja Morant departed late in the contest with a left ankle injury.

Morant and John Konchar scored 19 points apiece for Memphis, who were up 106-100 with just over three minutes remaining when Morant was hurt and helped off the court.

– Cavs hold off Hornets –

The Cavaliers needed two overtimes to put away the Charlotte Hornets 132-122 in Cleveland.

Darius Garland scored 41 points and Donovan Mitchell added 34 for the Cavs, who saw their 10-point lead erased in the final 52.4 seconds of  regulation as Charlotte poured in four three-pointers — two of them from Terry Rozier.

After Charlotte failed to capitalize on a chance to win in the first overtime, Cleveland dominated the second extra session.

It went to overtime in Washington, where the Wizards edged the short-handed Miami Heat 107-106.

Bradley Beal scored 27 points, Kyle Kuzma added 21 and Kristaps Porzingis added 20 with 17 rebounds for the Wizards, who out-scored Miami 3-2 in the extra period to squeak out the win.

Kyle Lowry had a triple-double of 24 points, 10 rebounds and 15 assists and Max Strus added 22 points for Miami, who had just seven healthy players and had Gabe Vincent in uniform, despite a knee injury, to meet the eight-player roster minimum.

The absentees included Miami’s top three scorers in Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro and Bam Adebayo.

It was close in Chicago, where Jalen Suggs’s three pointer with five seconds remaining gave the Orlando Magic a 108-107 victory over the Bulls.

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