Missouri, New Orleans – Rookie Zion Williamson had a career-high 31 points, and Josh Hart scored 12 of his 17 points in a pivotal third quarter as the host New Orleans Pelicans defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 138-117 on Tuesday night.
Williamson, returning from a one-game absence caused by a sprained ankle, added nine rebounds and five assists. Hart started in place of All-Star forward Brandon Ingram, who missed his second consecutive game because of a sprained ankle.
The Pelicans trailed by as many as 16 points in the first half, pulled within two at halftime and outscored the Blazers 41-21 in the third quarter.
Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum scored 20 points apiece for the Trail Blazers.
Ben Simmons had 26 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists to lead host Philadelphia past Los Angeles. Simmons’ sixth triple-double of the season helped the Sixers win their third game in a row.
Philadelphia center Joel Embiid, criticized by some fans for social media tweets and posts, added 26 points and nine rebounds. Josh Richardson scored 21 points and Tobias Harris added 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Sixers, who improved to a league-best 25-2 at home.
Kawhi Leonard scored 30 points and handed out nine assists for the Clippers, who fell to 1-2 on their four-game road trip.
Final scores Philadelphia 76ers 110 – Los Angeles Clippers 103.
James Harden and Russell Westbrook combined for 78 points, and host Houston snapped Boston’s seven-game win streak.
Harden produced 42 points, eight rebounds and seven assists while Westbrook chipped in 36 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.
Harden scored 31 points in the second half, including 19 in succession for Houston in the third quarter en route to his 19th 40-point game on the season.
Gordon Hayward led Boston with 20 points and six assists, and he added eight rebounds. Jaylen Brown chipped in 19 points despite battling bothersome ankles. Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum combined for 29 points on 10-of-32 shooting.