NBA roundup: Wizards defeat Hornets to end 16-game skid

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Kyle Kuzma poured in 28 points and Deni Avdija had a big fourth quarter to finish with 18 points as the Washington Wizards ended a 16-game losing streak by defeating the visiting Charlotte Hornets 112-100 on Friday night. The Wizards trailed 76-68 going to the fourth quarter, but they gave their fans a rare homecourt treat. They scored 44 points in the final quarter, more than twice their total in the third quarter. Jordan Poole finished with 15 points off the bench, Richaun Holmes provided 14 points and 11 rebounds, reserve Corey Kispert produced 13 points and Bilal Coulibaly had 11 points. Avdija added 14 rebounds. Washington hadn’t won since Jan. 29 at San Antonio. Its previous home victory came Dec. 29 against Brooklyn. Miles Bridges did his part with 32 points and 12 rebounds for the Hornets, who have lost six in a row. They shot 40 percent from the floor, making 9 of 42 shots from 3-point range. Bridges was 1-for-10 on 3s and 12-for-17 from inside the arc.

Knicks 98, Magic 74

Jalen Brunson returned to the New York lineup and scored a game-high 26 points to lead the Knicks to a wire-to-wire win over visiting in a clash with pivotal Eastern Conference playoff implications.

With their fourth win in the last 12 games, the Knicks moved a half-game ahead of the Magic — who had their five-game winning streak snapped — into fourth place in the East. The top four teams in each conference have home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

Brunson missed Tuesday’s 116-100 loss to the Atlanta Hawks with a left knee bruise suffered in the opening minute of Sunday’s 107-98 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Pelicans 103, 76ers 95 Zion Williamson had 23 points, 12 rebounds and three blocked shots, Naji Marshall added 19 points and New Orleans built a 35-point lead before holding on for a victory over host Philadelphia. Brandon Ingram scored 17 points while CJ McCollum and Trey Murphy III chipped in with 10 apiece for the Pelicans, who won their third game in a row. Tobias Harris led the Sixers with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Kelly Oubre Jr. added 20 points and Paul Reed had 17 points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots. Cameron Payne scored 13 points for the Sixers, who have dropped three straight and seven of 10.

Cavaliers 113, Timberwolves 104 (OT)

Darius Garland scored 34 points and dished eight assists, and Cleveland outlasted visiting Minnesota.

Jarrett Allen added 33 points and 18 rebounds for the Cavaliers. Georges Niang contributed 16 points and shot 4 for 7 from beyond the arc.

Naz Reid finished with 34 points on 10-for-18 shooting, including 7 for 11 on 3-pointers, to lead Minnesota. Anthony Edwards scored 19 points but shot only 7 for 27 from the field and 0 for 7 from deep.

Thunder 107, Heat 100

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 37 points to help host Oklahoma City top Miami.

The win was the ninth in 11 games for the Thunder, who swept the two-game season series with the Heat. Jaime Jaquez Jr. led Miami with 25 points on 10-of-13 shooting while Jimmy Butler added 20 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.

Lakers 123, Bucks 122

D’Angelo Russell scored a season-high 44 points with nine assists, including a go-ahead floater with 5.9 seconds remaining, and Los Angeles beat visiting Milwaukee.

The Lakers won without LeBron James after he aggravated a left ankle injury during a loss Wednesday against the Sacramento Kings. Los Angeles is 5-4 in games that James has missed this season.

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 34 points with 14 rebounds and 12 assists for his eighth triple-double of the season but the Bucks lost their second consecutive game after a six-game winning streak.

Hawks 99, Grizzlies 92 Dejounte Murray scored a game-high 41 points to help lead visiting Atlanta to a win over Memphis. Bogdan Bogdanovic added 16 points for the Hawks, who won their third straight game. Clint Capela collected 15 points and 11 rebounds, while De’Andre Hunter scored 12. Jaren Jackson Jr. led Memphis with 21 points, followed by Vince Williams Jr. and Jake LaRavia, who each finished with 14 points. Santi Aldama and Lamar Stevens each scored 13 for the Grizzlies, who saw their two-game winning streak snapped.

Rockets 123, Blazers 107 Jalen Green scored 27 points and Alperen Sengun added 19 points, nine rebounds and six assists to help Houston beat host Portland.

Fred VanVleet had 18 points and 10 assists for the Rockets, who outscored the Trail Blazers 68-44 in the second half. Houston has won three of its last four games.

Dalano Banton scored a career-high 30 points and Anfernee Simons added 23 for the Trail Blazers, who lost for the 12th time in 14 games. Duop Reath added 16 points and Kris Murray registered 12 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists for Portland.