Mitchell leads NBA-best Jazz over Pacers, Kings edge Clips
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – FEBRUARY 07: The Utah Jazz celebrate after their win over the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on February 7, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Lauren Bacho/Getty Images/AFP)
WASHINGTON – Donovan Mitchell scored 27 points, passed off 11 assists and grabbed nine rebounds to spark the NBA-best Utah Jazz to their fourth straight victory on Sunday, beating Indiana 103-95.
Mitchell matched a career high in assists but just missed a triple double as Utah won for the 15th time in 16 games while the Pacers lost for the fifth time in six starts.
“My mind wasn’t really on that at the end of the day,” Mitchell said of a triple double. “I’m just trying to go out there and find ways to impact the game.”
The Jazz, who improved to 19-5 with the road triumph, also had 18 points from Croatian forward Bojan Bogdanovic, 16 points and 16 rebounds from French center Rudy Gobert and 17 points off the bench by guard Jordan Clarkson.
“There were times we were tired, there were times we had to dig deep but we did it collectively and I think that’s the biggest thing,” Mitchell said.
Indiana fell to 12-12 with a third consecutive loss despite 20 points by Lithuanian forward Domantas Sabonis, who fouled out in the fourth quarter after hitting only 7-of-19 from the floor thanks to Gobert’s good defense.
“My goal is to make sure they don’t score,” Gobert said. “It’s on me to make sure they take the toughest shot possible and if they make it, they make it.”
De’Aaron Fox scored 36 points on 15-of-25 shooting to spark the Sacramento Kings to their fourth consecutive triumph, a 113-110 road victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.
Buddy Hield (#24) and De’Aaron Fox (#5) of the Sacramento Kings (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images/AFP file photo)
Lou Williams and Nicolas Batum missed tying 3-point attempts in the dying seconds and Kings guard Buddy Hield added the last of his 22 points on two free throws with 8.3 seconds remaining to seal the win by Sacramento (12-11).
Williams had 23 points off the bench to lead the Clippers (17-8) while Kawhi Leonard had 20 and 10 rebounds.
Miami center Bam Adebayo scored 24 points and pulled down 11 rebounds to lead six double-digit scorers for the Heat in a 109-103 triumph at New York.
Jimmy Butler added 17 points for Miami (9-14) despite 3-of-11 shooting, going 11-of-12 at the free throw line.
Alec Burks #18 of the New York Knicks defends against Tyler Herro #14 of the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden on February 07, 2021 in New York City. (Mike Stobe/Getty Images/AFP)
Julius Randle had game highs of 26 points and 13 rebounds in a losing cause for the Knicks (11-14).
Multiple media reports Sunday said the Detroit Pistons traded veteran guard Derrick Rose — second in scoring among NBA reserves — to the Knicks, where he will reunite with coach Tom Thibodeau after the two were paired previously in Chicago and Minnesota.
The Pistons would land guard Dennis Smith Jr and a second-round pick in this year’s NBA Draft in return for Rose, who is averaging 14.2 points, 4.2 assists and 1.9 rebounds a game.
Suns win as fans cheer
Phoenix swingman Mikal Bridges led a balanced attack with 19 points and nine rebounds to power the host Suns over Boston 100-91 for a fifth win in six games.
Devin Booker added 18 points and 11 assists while Bahamas center DeAndre Ayton netted 16 points and pulled down 11 rebounds for the Suns (13-9).
Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns (Christian Petersen/Getty Images/AFP file photo)
Jayson Tatum scored 23 points on 8-of-22 shooting to lead the Celtics (12-10).
The Suns welcomed spectators to their game for the first time this season as 1,500 healthcare workers were invited to attend under health and safety guidelines that included social distancing and face masks.
“That’s the one thing that everybody has missed is the fans in the building,” Suns coach Monty Williams said. “It’s just not the same.”
Charlotte’s Terry Rozier poured in 26 points, hitting five from 3-point range, and Gordon Hayward contributed 25 as the Hornets beat visiting Washington 119-97 — the team’s largest victory margin since 2017.
LaMelo Ball added 19 for Charlotte, seventh in the Eastern Conference at 11-13.
NBA scoring leader Bradley Beal had 31 points for the Wizards (5-15).
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