Basketball: Raptors cruise against Bulls, LeBron-less Lakers overcome Kings with late surge

(REUTERS) – Kawhi Leonard scored 27 points and grabbed nine rebounds and the Toronto Raptors defeated the visiting Chicago Bulls 95-89 on Sunday (Dec 30).

Pascal Siakam added 20 points and 12 rebounds for the Raptors while Fred VanVleet and Danny Green added 10 points each.

Lauri Markkanen had18 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulls. Wendell Carter Jr added 16 points and 11 rebounds, Kris Dunn had 14 points, Zach LaVine scored 13, and Justin Holiday and Chandler Hutchison had 11 each.

The Raptors, whose biggest lead of the game had been seven points, opened the fourth quarter on a 6-0 run to lead by nine points.

Trail Blazers 129, 76ers 95

CJ McCollum scored 35 points in just 28 minutes as Portland pounded visiting Philadelphia as Al-Farouq Aminu added 16 points, Damian Lillard 15 and Jusuf Nurkic 14.

The Trail Blazers posted season bests in field-goal percentage (.590) and three-point percentage (.545) in rolling up their largest margin of victory of the season. Portland beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 111-81 on Nov 4.

Ben Simmons scored 19 points for the 76ers, who shot only .354 from the field, including .185 (eight of 43) from beyond the arc. The Blazers won the rebound battle 59-36.

Lakers 121, Kings 114

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 26 points off the bench and Brandon Ingram was key down the stretch with 21 points as hosts Los Angeles rallied to beat Sacramento.

The Lakers won for the first time in three games without an injured LeBron James while also avenging their last-second defeat at Sacramento on Thursday when Bogdan Bogdanovic hit a three-pointer at the buzzer.

De’Aaron Fox scored 26 points while Bogdanovic and Buddy Hield added 21 each as the Kings lost for the second time in three games, with both of the defeats in Los Angeles. The Kings lost to the Clippers 127-118 on Wednesday.

Magic 109, Pistons 107

Evan Fournier scored 13 points and made his second game-winning shot of the season to lift Orlando over visiting Detroit.

Nikola Vucevic continued his hot streak with 22 points and 11 rebounds. He is averaging 24.7 points and 14.7 rebounds over the last three games.

Detroit tied the game at 107 when Reggie Bullock was fouled on a three-point attempt with 2.5 seconds remaining and made all three free throws. Orlando inbounded the ball at the other end to Fournier, who drove to his right and hit a floater from the free-throw line at the buzzer.

Mavericks 105, Thunder 103

Harrison Barnes turned a last-minute steal into a pair of free throws and Dennis Smith Jr hit a go-ahead shot with 24.8 seconds remaining to rally host Dallas over Oklahoma City.

Paul George saved 13 of his game-high 36 points for the final 3:54, but missed a potential go-ahead jumper with four seconds left as the Mavericks held on for just the second win in their last nine games.

Luka Doncic had 25 points to lead the Mavericks, who were coming off a home-and-home split with New Orleans on Wednesday and Friday. The Mavericks and Thunder will meet again Monday night at Oklahoma City.

Timberwolves 113, Heat 104

Karl-Anthony Towns produced 34 points, 18 rebounds, seven assists and a career-high-tying six blocks to lead Minnesota past host Miami, whose 20 turnovers led to 24 Timberwolves points.

Towns, who made 12 of 24 shots from the floor and half of his six three-point attempts, fouled out with 34 seconds left. It was his fourth foul-out of the season, but he had already done enough to lead Minnesota to victory.

The Heat, looking to go over .500 for the first time since their fifth game of the season, fell to 17-18. Even so, Miami is 6-2 in its past eight games.

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