Ja Morant scores the latest second winner to lead the Memphis Grizzlies to victory over the Phoenix Suns, James Harden equals his best of the season to help the Brooklyn Nets beat the Los Angeles Clippers and Kristaps Porzingis stars for the Dallas Mavericks in the absence of Luka Doncic.
Your recap of Monday’s NBA action …
Memphis Grizzlies 114-113 Phoenix Suns
Ja Morant scored 33 points, including a layup with 0.5 seconds remaining, and Desmond Bane scored 32 points, the career record, while the Grizzlies withstood a Suns fourth-quarter rally for a 114-113 win. .
Steven Adams scored 13 points and 16 rebounds, and Jaren Jackson Jr. added 11 points for the Grizzlies, who were leading by an impressive 18 points at the end of the third quarter before recording their second straight win.
Devin Booker scored 30 points and struck a triple to put the Suns up 113-112 with 5.1 seconds left. After Morant scored on a driving layup, Mikal Bridges missed a baseline jumper at the buzzer.
Cameron Johnson scored 19 points for the Suns, who were starless Deandre Ayton and Jae Crowder, both in the league’s health and safety protocols.
Brooklyn Nets 124-108 Los Angeles Clippers
James Harden equaled his season record of 39 points and added a season record of 15 assists to lead Brooklyn to victory in Los Angeles.
Patty Mills scored 18 points out of six from three while the Nets, who played without Kevin Durant (COVID protocols), won for the sixth time in seven games. Nic Claxton also scored 18 points while Brooklyn improved to 13-3 away.
Marcus Morris Sr. scored 24 points for the Clippers after missing their previous four games, three of them due to COVID protocols.
Eric Bledsoe and rookie Keon Johnson added 15 points each for Los Angeles, who have lost five of their last six races.
Houston Rockets 99-123 Charlotte Hornets
Terry Rozier scored 27 points as part of a big outing for Charlotte’s backcourt in an easy win over visiting Houston.
Rozier made seven of 12 three-point distance attempts and defensive mate LaMelo Ball bagged four three-pointers and finished with 16 points and seven assists.
Kelly Oubre Jr. collected 18 points despite shooting 1 for 7 on three-point attempts.
Trevelin Queen, who had never hit two points in his previous three NBA games, led the Rockets with 17 points off the bench. Christian Wood and Eric Gordon each scored 16 points.
Chicago Bulls 130-118 Atlanta Hawks
DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic all scored 89 points as they beat Atlanta for a fourth straight win on a visit to Chicago.
DeRozan scored 35 points with 10 assists, LaVine scored 30 points and nine assists and Vucevic accumulated 24 points and 17 rebounds. The Bulls also made a seasonal record of 18 triples.
Atlanta received good news minutes before the announcement when top scorer Trae Young was cleared to play after missing three games while on COVID-19 protocols. He scored 29 points and delivered nine assists.
Cam Reddish of the Hawks scored 33 points and scored eight three-pointers, a career high.
Boston Celtics 103-108 Minnesota Timberwolves
Jaylen Nowell scored a career-high 29 points off the bench to lead Minnesota to victory over Boston in Minneapolis.
Nathan Knight added best career records with 20 points and 11 rebounds while Jaden McDaniels scored 17 for the Timberwolves, who have lost two games.
Jaylen Brown led Boston with 26 points and dropped 10 rebounds, Payton Pritchard finished with 24 points, Al Horford scored 16 and Grant Williams scored 15 for the Celtics, who lost their second straight game.
Dallas Mavericks 132-117 Portland Trail Blazers
Kristaps Porzingis exploded for 34 best points of the season and Dallas, playing without Luka Doncic (COVID protocols), gradually drifted away from host Portland.
Dwight Powell scored 22 points for the Mavericks, who ended a two-game losing streak by taking only their seventh win in their last 20 games.
Damian Lillard scored 26 points, but the Trail Blazers lost for the ninth time in 11 games.
Utah Jazz 110-104 San Antonio Spurs
Jordan Clarkson scored 23 points off the bench to spur a balanced attack as the visiting Utah defeated San Antonio for their fourth straight win.
Utah took the lead at the end of the first quarter and never allowed the Spurs to see the front again, creating a 10 point lead in the middle, expanding it to 12 after three quarters and a whopping 18 points in the quarter. The Jazz have won for the twelfth time in their last 14 games.
Bojan Bogdanovic added 19 points for Utah, followed by Joe Ingles with 17. San Antonio saw six scorers reach double digits, led by Derrick White’s 21 points.