Jaren Jackson Jr. scored a season-high 37 points while Ja Morant added 17 off the bench in his return from an eight-game suspension as the Memphis Grizzlies secured the Southwest Division title with a 130-125 victory over the visiting Houston Rockets on Wednesday.
Jackson gave the Grizzlies a 120-116 lead by making three free throws and Memphis won a critical replay reversal when a foul against Morant was overturned and given to Rockets center Alperen Sengun, who fouled out with 1:26 left after pairing 25 points with eight rebounds. Desmond Bane (20 points, seven assists) scored on the ensuing Memphis possession.
Jackson made 14 of 20 shots from the field in the win. Morant played as a reserve for the first time in his career as Memphis extended its winning streak to four games. Jackson added 10 rebounds and two blocks.
Jalen Green scored 32 points while Kenyon Martin Jr. added a career-high 31 for the Rockets. Kevin Porter Jr. (14 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists) posted his second career triple-double for Houston, which received 16 points and four 3-pointers from rookie Jabari Smith Jr.
Warriors 127, Mavericks 125
Jonathan Kuminga had a team-high 22 points off the bench, Draymond Green and Stephen Curry hit key hoops down the stretch, and Golden State scored a big win over host Dallas.
The result had major short-term ramifications in the Western Conference playoff race, with Golden State not only moving 1 1/2 games up on Dallas but also gaining a tiebreaker advantage by claiming the season series 2-1. The game also featured a controversial play late in the third quarter, with the Mavericks vowing to file a formal protest to the NBA, alleging a mistake by referees led to two uncontested points by the Warriors.
Curry finished with 20 points and a team-high 13 assists for the Warriors, and Kevon Looney added 12 points and 12 rebounds. In his return from a five-game absence due to a strained thigh, Luka Doncic paced the Mavericks with 30 points, 17 assists and seven rebounds.
76ers 116, Bulls 91
De'Anthony Melton scored 25 points and Tyrese Maxey chipped in 21 as visiting Philadelphia routed Chicago for its ninth victory in 10 games.
Tobias Harris had 20 points, nine rebounds and eight assists for Philadelphia. Joel Embiid added 12 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in 16-plus minutes for Philadelphia. Embiid did not return to the team bench for the second half (mild calf tightness).
Chicago leading scorer DeMar DeRozan sustained a right quad strain and did not return after leaving the game in the third quarter. He scored four points, all on free throws. Coby White paced the Bulls with 19 points, while Zach LaVine followed with 16. Andre Drummond notched a double-double of 13 points and 12 rebounds.
Nuggets 118, Wizards 104
Nikola Jokic scored 31 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and passed for seven assists, and Denver held off a fourth-quarter rally to hand host Washington its fourth consecutive loss.
Denver concluded its five-game road trip at 3-2 and maintained its pace atop the Western Conference. Jamal Murray finished with 17 points, a game-high eight assists, and six rebounds. Michael Porter Jr. added 21 points -- 18 of which came on 6-of-9 shooting from 3-point range -- and grabbed seven rebounds.
Kristaps Porzingis led Washington with 25 points on 11-of-17 shooting from the floor. Deni Avdija added 16 points and a team-high eight rebounds.
Lakers 122, Suns 111
Anthony Davis recorded 27 points, nine rebounds and five assists to help Los Angeles notch a solid victory over visiting Phoenix.
D'Angelo Russell added 26 points and six assists and Austin Reaves had 25 points and a career-high 11 assists as the Lakers won their second straight game.
Devin Booker scored 33 points and Chris Paul added 18 for the Suns, who have dropped five of their past six games. Landry Shamet added 15 points and Torrey Craig had 14 for the Suns.
Pacers 118, Raptors 114
Andrew Nembhard scored 25 points, including a key 3-pointer in the final minute, and had 10 assists as visiting Indiana defeated Toronto.
Myles Turner added 16 points before fouling out in the final minutes for the Pacers. Bennedict Mathurin scored 15 points for Indiana, Buddy Hield scored 13 points, T.J. McConnell 14 and Jordan Nwora 10.
Pascal Siakam had 31 points and 10 rebounds for the Raptors. Fred VanVleet scored 28 points to go along with 11 assists, Jakob Poeltl had 23 points and Chris Boucher scored 11.
Heat 127, Knicks 120
Jimmy Butler scored a game-high 35 points and dished nine assists, leading host Miami to a win over New York.
Miami was trailing by two early in the fourth quarter before the Heat responded with a crucial 16-2 run. New York never recovered, and Miami beat the Knicks for the first time in three tries this season.
Miami, which won its fourth straight home game, also got 22 points from Tyler Herro and 19 from Gabe Vincent. New York was led by RJ Barrett (26 points), Jalen Brunson (25) and Quentin Grimes (22). Knicks All-Star Julius Randle was held to 15 points on a frustrating night that included a technical foul.
Bucks 130, Spurs 94
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 31 points and 14 rebounds before resting for the entire fourth quarter as host Milwaukee never trailed in blowing out San Antonio.
Khris Middleton added 19 points and 10 assists for Milwaukee, which improved to an NBA-best 52-20 after winning for the 23rd time in its last 26 games. Bobby Portis added 19 points and 10 rebounds.
Devin Vassell led San Antonio with 16 points, and Keita Bates-Diop added 14 points. San Antonio trailed by double digits for the entire second half and lost for the fourth time in its last five games.
Trail Blazers 127, Jazz 115
Damian Lillard scored 30 points to lead a quartet of Portland players with at least 20 in beating Utah in Salt Lake City.
Lillard struggled from 3-point range, hitting just 2 of 10, but made 6 of 9 inside the arc and nailed 12 of 14 free throws while adding 12 assists to help the Blazers snap their six-game losing streak. Shaedon Sharpe contributed 24 points and nine rebounds, Trenton Watford scored 21 with nine boards, and Jusuf Turkic had 20 points.
Utah's Lauri Markkanen, who missed Monday's game with back soreness, topped all scorers with 40 points while also grabbing 12 rebounds.
Timberwolves 125, Hawks 124
Karl-Anthony Towns returned from a lengthy absence to score 22 points, including the two game-winning free throws with 3.6 seconds left, to lead Minnesota past Atlanta in Minneapolis.
Towns had not played since Nov. 28, missing 51 games with a Grade 3 calf strain. Minnesota got 26 points off the bench from Naz Reid on 11-for-15 shooting, and 25 points and six rebounds from Jaden McDaniels. The Timberwolves were without leading scorer Anthony Edwards for the third straight game because of a sprained right ankle.
Atlanta was led by Trae Young, who went 14-for-16 from the line and scored 29 points with eight assists. De'Andre Hunter, John Collins and Saddiq Bey each scored 16 points.
--Field Level Media