Celts, Rockets go hot

James Harden

The results:

Oklahoma City Thunder 102,  Philadelphia 76ers 97; Boston Celtics 117, Phoenix Suns 103; Indiana Pacers 118, Dallas Mavericks 111; Toronto Raptors 110, Portland Trail Blazers 104; Houston Rockets 119, Memphis Grizzlies 104.

Thunder 102, Sixers 97

Andre Roberson hit two 3-pointers with less than a minute to play to rally the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 102-97 victory against the Philadelphia 76ers in an NBA restart scrimmage at Orlando on Sunday.

The Thunder trailed by as many as 24 in the third quarter and were down 86-72 with 10 minutes to play in the fourth quarter before waking up. Oklahoma City went on an 8-0 run to tie the game at 92 with 3:20 remaining and took its first lead since the opening quarter with less than a minute remaining when Roberson drilled his first 3-pointer for a 98-97 lead. A few moments later, Roberson sank another trey to ice the game with 12.9 seconds to go. Those were his only points of the game.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the way for the Thunder with 16 points, seven rebounds, two steals and five assists, while Steven Adams totaled 11 points and nine rebounds. Luguentz Dort chipped in with 13 points in a surprise start at shooting guard.

The 76ers were without Joel Embiid, who injured his right calf Friday, but Ben Simmons flirted with a triple-double, finishing with 14 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists. Al Horford had 13 points, nine boards and three assists, while Josh Richardson (10 points, four steals, three assists, two rebounds and two blocks) and Shake Milton (11 points, four boards, two assists) formed a productive backcourt tandem.

Celtics 117, Suns 103

The Boston Celtics gained some key separation in the third quarter after a back-and-forth first half to notch a 117-103 victory over the Phoenix Suns in an NBA restart scrimmage in Orlando on Sunday afternoon.

The Celtics (43-21 regular-season record) were outplayed on both ends of the floor over the first 12 minutes by the Suns (26-39 regular-season record), who rang up 32 points while limiting Boston to 29. However, coach Brad Stevens’ squad turned the game around during the middle periods, when they outscored Phoenix by a 65-49 margin. The expansion of a four-point halftime advantage to 13 points by the end of the third quarter gave the Celtics the breathing room they needed to notch the double-digit win, one in which they outshot their opponent by a 48.8 percent-38.9 percent margin.

Devin Booker led the way for the Suns with 17 points, adding nine assists and four rebounds. Mikal Bridges followed with 16 points and also furnished five boards and three blocks. Cameron Johnson supplied 13 points, while Dario Saric turned in 12 points and eight boards. Deandre Ayton registered 11 points, seven rebounds and two steals. Ricky Rubio made his scrimmage debut and totaled six points, four assists and two rebounds.

Pacers 118, Mavericks 111

Dallas got out to a 37-26 lead after the first quarter and held the lead for the entirety of the first half. Indiana then responded with a 35-27 second quarter and a followed up with a 31-22 third quarter, holding the lead for the final 22 minutes of play. In fact, that swing ended up being the only lead change in the game.

Indiana out-rebounded Dallas by a 52 to 44 tally. The Pacers also shot 48 percent from the field and 86 percent from the free-throw line, while the Mavs hit 43 percent from the field and 69 percent from the charity stripe. 

T.J. Warren led the Pacers with 20 points and six rebounds. Malcolm Brogdon tallied 17 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Myles Turner totaled 15 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two blocks. Victor Oladipo finished with 16 points, seven rebounds and three assists, while Edmond Sumner paced the bench with 12 points. Indiana was without Domantas Sabonis, who departed Orlando on Friday to seek treatment for a foot injury.

Raptors 110, Trail Blazers 104

While there were 11 ties and 11 lead changes in the first 36 minutes of the game, Toronto never trailed after that. In fact, a 38-21 third quarter gave the Raptors a game-high 15-point lead, with Portland never getting it within a four-point margin for the final 18 minutes of play. The Raptors ended up recording nine blocks to the Trail Blazers' four. In addition, Toronto held Portland to just 39 percent shooting from the field.

The Trail Blazers were led by Jusuf Nurkic, who tallied 17 points, 13 rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks. Carmelo Anthony totaled 14 points, five rebounds and two assists. C.J. McCollum finished with 21 points, two rebounds, five assists and two steals. After missing the first scrimmage with an Achilles injury, Hassan Whiteside returned to action and posted six points, five rebounds, and two blocks in 18 minutes.

Serge Ibaka led Toronto with 19 points and six boards. Pascal Siakam generated 18 points and six rebounds. Kyle Lowry provided 13 points, six rebounds and four assists. Matt Thomas led the bench with 16 points and two rebounds. 

Rockets 119, Grizzlies 104

The contest got out to a competitive start, as the Rockets hit a last-second three-pointer to end the first quarter and take a three-point lead into the second. The Grizzlies kept it close in the second and held a two-point lead late in the quarter. But the Rockets closed the half on a 15-4 run to take a nine-point lead into halftime.

The Grizzlies came out on fire in the second half, as they outscored the Rockets 37-20 in the third quarter, taking an 87-79 lead into the final frame. However, the excitement was far from over, as the Rockets rallied in the fourth, outscoring the Grizzlies 40-17 in the period to earn the victory.

James Harden led the Rockets with 31 points on 7-of-15 shooting, in 36 minutes of action. Russell Westbrook tallied eight points, six rebounds and five assists, while shooting 3-of-14 from the field.

Meanwhile, seven players scored in double digits for the Grizzlies, including all five starters. Ja Morant led the way with 17 points in 31 minutes. Brandon Clarke tallied 16 points and eight rebounds, while Kyle Anderson added 15 points to go with three blocks. Jonas Valanciunas fell just short of a double-double in 26 minutes, finishing with 12 points and nine boards. (NBA.Com/Rotowire)