There's a lot of money at stake in the NBA In-Season Tournament. For 2-way players, it's a whole lot

At stake over the next week in the NBA: a trip to Las Vegas for four teams, a chance to be the first team to hoist the league’s newest trophy, medals for each of the players on the champion team, along with bragging rights for winning the inaugural in-season tournament.

And money. A lot of money. In a few cases, what some guys win on Saturday will be about half of what they'll make all season.

There are cash prizes for reaching the knockout round in the tournament, and the prizes will keep growing as a team advances. Each player gets $500,000 for winning the title, $200,000 for making the final, $100,000 for reaching the semifinals and $50,000 for making the quarterfinals. There is one caveat: two-way players on those rosters only get half as much as those on standard contracts.

Boston two-way player Neemias Queta doesn’t mind. To him, whatever he gets will be appreciated.

“Obviously, it’s some extra money, something to help your family, whatever it is,” Queta said. “But at the end of the day, it’s not the money that makes us want to get to the tournament. It’s just the prestige of getting the first one.”

For the highest-paid players left in this tournament — LeBron James and Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers; Phoenix teammates Bradley Beal, Kevin Durant and Devin Booker; Milwaukee teammates Damian Lillard and Giannis Antetokounmpo — winning $500,000 would be like getting another game check.

But for players like Queta, one of 22 two-way players on the teams that made the knockout round, this tournament could bring a sizable bonus.

Two-way players make about $559,000 this season. If they’re on the title-winning team in Las Vegas, they’ll get $250,000 more. That’ll be a 45% raise over what those guys expected to make this season. At minimum, just for being on a team that made the quarterfinals, the two-way players are already assured of $25,000 each.

“It’s another good reason to be motivated,” Phoenix two-way player Saben Lee said. “But regardless, guys love to play basketball and compete at a high level.”

There's a trophy for the winning team and medals for the winning players, along with an In-Season Tournament MVP trophy and more trophies for those picked to the all-tournament team. The NBA will also distribute about $18 million in bonus money based on results of the tournament, with just under half of that going to the winning team. James has the highest salary of the players still in the field at around $47 million this season, so he basically makes about $500,000 per game anyway.

That doesn’t mean the cash hasn’t piqued the interest of some of the league’s top earners.

“I’m sure the richest guy in the world would be happy to get $500,000,” said Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton, who’s making just under $29 million this season. “We’re all excited about that opportunity to get some extra cash.”

The quarterfinal matchups: It's Boston at Indiana and New Orleans at Sacramento on Monday, then New York at Milwaukee and Phoenix at the Lakers on Tuesday. Pelicans forward Zion Williamson said his team was pleased to be in the running for the title — and the running for that $500,000-per-player prize.

“That’s something that you can give to family members or whatever you plan on doing with it. I think that’s good motivation,” Williamson said. “But also, for us, we haven’t won nothing. So, I think that would be like a starter step for us, trying to go and win that.”

The league’s playoff pool has a similar setup — the deeper a team goes in the postseason, the more money it gets to share among players, coaches and staff. The 16 playoff teams split about $27 million last season. It’s up to each team on how to distribute its share.

But this tournament has a clearly defined bonus structure. And the drama could be high.

Imagine this: It’s Saturday night in Las Vegas, the championship game is in the final seconds, a team has the ball down by one with a chance to win. A shot goes up as time is about to expire — and that shot might be worth about $5 million to that player’s team, based on the total difference between winning the tournament and finishing second.

“We talk about it all the time, the money that’s on the line,” Bucks forward Bobby Portis said. “It’ll mean a lot. … But the end award is what we’re all shooting for, getting to the Finals, getting back there, drilling it and being the best we can be. This is nice but all our minds are focused on what can happen in June.”


AP Sports Writers Jimmy Golen in Boston, David Brandt in Phoenix and Brett Martel in New Orleans contributed to this report.


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Hamby's heroics lift USA Basketball women's 3x3 team to AmeriCup gold medal

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Tournament MVP Dearica Hamby made an off-balance, falling-down shot off a lob from Kelsey Mitchell as time expired, lifting the U.S. to a 21-20 win over Brazil in the women's gold medal game at the FIBA 3x3 AmeriCup on Sunday.

Hamby's shot — a 1-pointer, since baskets in 3x3 are worth one inside the arc and two outside the arc — capped a huge rally from the Americans. They trailed 19-13 with 2:02 left in the game, which is decided when someone reaches 21 points or when the 10-minute game clock expires.

The Americans needed only 64 seconds to tie the game. Mitchell scored, Katie Lou Samuelson — playing in her first competitive event since becoming a mother four months ago — hit back-to-back 2-pointers just eight seconds apart to get the U.S. within one, and Hamby connected to tie it.

Brazil went back up 20-19, Samuelson made a free throw to tie the game again and then Hamby delivered at the buzzer for gold.

Samuelson finished with nine points in the final for the U.S., which went 5-0 in the two-day tournament. Hamby scored six, Mitchell had five and Camille Zimmerman had one for the Americans in the title game.

In the men's event, Puerto Rico beat Brazil 18-14 in the final to cap a 5-0 tournament run. The U.S. men finished sixth after a loss in the quarterfinals.

Indiana Pacers assistant Jim Boylen thankful for USA Basketball coach of year award

MIAMI (AP) — Jim Boylen wasn't at the World Cup this summer in the Philippines. He just made sure that USA Basketball got there.

And his efforts weren't unnoticed.

Boylen, an assistant coach with the Indiana Pacers, has been selected as USA Basketball's coach of the year for his work leading the men's World Cup qualifying teams — groups of primarily G League players who were selected to play in two-game windows. The Americans went 9-3 in those six qualifying windows, with Boylen coaching essentially six different teams between November 2021 and last February.

“I get this award, this recognition, but I wasn’t the only guy in the trenches, you know," Boylen said in an interview this weekend about the award. "And that’s what I thought about when I heard about this. It was an unbelievable honor. I’m so thankful, I'm so grateful, all those things. But it was a lot of people involved with this.”

Boylen had 52 different players and seven different assistant coaches over the span of the qualifying tournament. Those groups did their job; they got the U.S. into the World Cup where the Americans were fourth in Manila this summer, a high enough finish to ensure that USA Basketball had qualified for the upcoming Paris Olympics and the right to chase a fifth consecutive gold medal.

“What he accomplished with those groups of players was truly remarkable," Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. "It’s an honor that’s very, very well-deserved. He’s a trusted friend of USA Basketball and a valuable advisor. And we’re very fortunate to have him on our staff.”

The Pacers brought Boylen — the former head coach at the University of Utah and of the Chicago Bulls — into their organization last season as a consultant and allowed him to finish his USA Basketball commitment even though that meant he needed some time away from Indiana. He was promoted to an assistant coach before this season.

Boylen and Carlisle go back decades; Carlisle began his college playing career at Maine, where Boylen would later enroll. Carlisle finished his college career at Virginia.

“His passion for the game is legendary,” Carlisle said.


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The NBA's in-season tournament quarterfinals are here. Next stop: Las Vegas

It's four regular-season games in early December. Ordinarily, they'd be forgotten shortly after the final buzzer.

That likely won't happen this time.

The NBA's inaugural In-Season Tournament has reached the knockout stage — with quarterfinal games on Monday and Tuesday to decide which four teams go to Las Vegas later this week to play for the NBA Cup and the bulk of a prize pool that will total about $18 million.

Monday's games have Boston visiting Indiana and New Orleans going to Sacramento. On Tuesday, it'll be New York at Milwaukee and Phoenix at the Los Angeles Lakers. Winners go to the semifinals while losers are out and will play a regular-season game later this week against another team that lost in the quarterfinals.

“I just want to make every appeal I can to our fans that we need the loudest building possible,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. “To show you that no good deed goes unpunished, we draw the team with the best record in basketball. But we do get to play them at home. So, that’s something important. We need our building to be as loud and raucous as it possibly can and we need to throw a game out there that's exceptional.”

The Lakers, Kings, Pelicans, Bucks, Pacers and Celtics got to the quarterfinals by winning their groups in the tournament's opening round. The Knicks and Suns got in as wild cards, one from each conference.

“A lot on the line. Winner goes to Vegas, so I think everyone's looking forward to it," Suns guard Devin Booker said, looking ahead to Tuesday. “It'll be fun.”

The matchups:


Boston Celtics (15-4, 3-1) at Indiana Pacers (10-8, 4-0), Monday, 7:30 p.m. EST (TNT)

Line: Celtics by 5, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series this season: Celtics 1-0 (won 155-104 in Boston on Nov. 1).

Boston tournament stat leaders: Jaylen Brown (24.8 ppg, 47% shooting), Jayson Tatum (21.8 ppg, 7.3 rpg), Jrue Holiday (13.7 ppg, 9 rpg, 7.7 apg).

Indiana tournament stat leaders: Tyrese Haliburton (28.5 ppg, 13.5 apg), Myles Turner (19.5 ppg, 7.8 rpg), Obi Toppin (17.3 ppg, 67% shooting).

Outlook: Indiana scores (and allows) more points than any team in the NBA this season and earned the right to be home for the quarterfinals against the team with the best record in the league. The 51-point Celtics romp earlier this season was without Haliburton playing, and it certainly has been remembered by the Pacers.


New York Knicks (12-7, 3-1) at Milwaukee Bucks (14-6, 4-0), Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. EST (TNT)

Line: Bucks by 5.5, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series this season: Bucks 1-0 (won 110-105 in Milwaukee on Nov. 3 in a tournament game).

New York tournament stat leaders: Jalen Brunson (28.3 ppg, 54% shooting), Immanuel Quickley (21 ppg, 43% 3-point shooting), Julius Randle (19 ppg, 11.8 rpg).

Milwaukee tournament stat leaders: Damian Lillard (30 ppg, 7 apg), Giannis Antetokounmpo (25.5 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 5.8 apg, 62% shooting), Brook Lopez (19.8 ppg, 60% shooting).

Outlook: The Knicks have given up the fewest points per game in the league to this point, and Brunson had a tournament-high 45-point game against the Bucks. But the Bucks made 20 3-pointers in that game, and now Lillard and Antetokounmpo get to play for one title before continuing to rev up for the one they want most in June.


New Orleans Pelicans (11-10, 3-1) at Sacramento Kings (11-7, 4-0), Monday, 10 p.m. EST (TNT)

Line: Kings by 4, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series this season: Pelicans 2-0 (won 129-93 on Nov. 20 and 117-112 on Nov. 22, both in New Orleans).

New Orleans tournament stat leaders: Brandon Ingram (26.8 ppg, 6.3 apg), Zion Williamson (25.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg), Jonas Valanciunas (13.8 ppg, 7 rpg).

Sacramento tournament stat leaders: De’Aaron Fox (36 ppg, 8.7 apg, 8 rpg), Malik Monk (17.5 ppg off bench), Kevin Huerter (17 ppg, 5.3 rpg), Domantas Sabonis (17 ppg, 11.5 rpg, 8.8 apg).

Outlook: The Kings sure act like this matters to them, given that they’ve already pulled off comebacks from 18 and 24 points down to win games in this tournament. The Pelicans will be confident after beating the Kings twice, and a win here would send Williamson back to Las Vegas — where his Summer League debut in 2019 was groundshaking.


Phoenix Suns (12-8, 3-1) at Los Angeles Lakers (12-9, 4-0), Tuesday, 10 p.m. EST (TNT)

Line: Lakers by 2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series this season: Lakers 2-0 (won 100-95 in Los Angeles on Oct. 26, won 122-119 in Phoenix on Nov. 10 in a tournament game).

Phoenix tournament stat leaders: Kevin Durant (35.7 ppg, 7.7 apg, 7.3 rpg, 59% shooting), Devin Booker (30.7 ppg, 8.3 apg, 55% shooting), Jusuf Nurkic (13.3 ppg, 9.8 rpg).

LA Lakers tournament stat leaders: LeBron James (25 ppg, 8 rpg, 7.5 apg), Anthony Davis (19.8 ppg, 13 rpg, 3 bpg), D’Angelo Russell (19.3 ppg, 7 apg).

Outlook: The winner of this game will surely feel like the home team in Las Vegas, based on how well the Suns and Lakers typically draw for Summer League games there. James wants to own a team in Las Vegas when the NBA expands. The Suns are 7-2 this season when Booker and Durant are both playing. Booker didn't play in either of the Suns-Lakers games earlier this season.


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Davis has 27 points and 14 rebounds, Lakers keep Rockets winless on road with 107-97 victory

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Anthony Davis had 27 points and 14 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Lakers beat Houston 107-97 on Saturday night, keeping the Rockets winless on the road.

Austin Reaves added 18 points off the bench and LeBron James had 16 points and seven assists.

Fred VanVleet scored 22 points and Alperen Sengun had 21 points and 13 rebounds for the Rockets, who dropped their third in a row overall while falling to 0-8 away from home.

Houston coach Ime Udoka was ejected with 8:35 remaining in the game after picking up his second technical for jawing with James, who also got a tech.

“We had some conversation and they didn't like what they heard,” Udoka said, referring to the referees.

The Lakers dominated the paint, 54-34, and their bench outscored Houston's reserves 33-24.

Sengun scored 12 points in the third, when the Rockets outscored the Lakers 28-20 and trailed 86-72 going into the fourth.

After allowing Houston to shoot 60% from the floor in the first quarter, when Davis missed his first six shots, the Lakers took over in the second. Reaves scored 15 points — his career high in a quarter — and keyed a 29-4 run, with Davis adding eight points, that put the Lakers ahead 58-40. VanVleet scored six in a row to leave Houston trailing 60-44 at the break.

“That's probably one of the best quarters that we had this year, especially in the first half. We just haven't been a first-half team,” James said. “It came with defending, getting out, sharing the ball, moving the ball and A.R. was special in the second.”

Rui Hachimura was available for the Lakers, but didn't play a week after having nose surgery.

“Physically he's fine except for his nose,” coach Darvin Ham said.


James pulled off a slick 360-degree reverse layup at the end of the second.

“It was a crazy shot,” Davis said. “At this point in his career he's done everything that he literally just goes out and tries stuff and sees what works.”

Teammate Christian Wood got a tech for coming onto the floor as the Lakers bench erupted along with the crowd.

“We'll take that one,” James said of the tech. “Just trying to make plays and I felt like that was the best way to kind of finish that one.”

As James fell to the floor, he lost track of the ball. “The fans let me know that I made it and then my teammates, by them running on the floor or whatever they did down there, allowed me to see it on the Jumbrotron because it stopped the play because of the technical.”

Ham said, “The most impressive thing is at what stage in his career he's doing it in. He's breaking barriers it seems every day.”


Rockets: Host Oklahoma City on Wednesday.

Lakers: Host Phoenix on Tuesday night in a quarterfinal of the In-Season Tournament.


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Kings overcome Jokic's 8th triple-double of the season, beat Nuggets 123-117

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — De’Aaron Fox had 26 points and a career-high 16 assists, Malik Monk made a clutch 3-pointer late in the fourth quarter and the Sacramento Kings beat the Denver Nuggets 123-117 on Saturday night to spoil Nikola Jokic’s NBA-leading eighth triple-double.

The Kings led comfortably most of the might before Denver made its best run of the night to get to 112-110 with four minutes left on Jokic’s only 3-pointer of the game.

Fox then made a contested jumper in the key, before Monk’s corner 3-pointer with 1:11 helped seal it as chants of “Light the beam! Light the beam” broke out inside Golden 1 Center.

“Fantastic, fantastic night from our best player when we needed it the most,” Kings coach Mike Brown said about Fox. “He has to step up in games like this for us to win.”

Jokic finished with 36 points, 14 assists and 13 rebounds, the 114th career triple-double for Denver’s big man. The rest of the NBA had eight triple-doubles combined going into the night.

“You’re never going to stop (Jokic) with just one guy. A lot of times, even with the whole team, you probably won’t stop him,” Fox said. “You just want to make sure the other guys don’t really get it going. When they do, it’s pretty much pick your poison with that team.”

Monk scored 26 points. Domantas Sabonis added 17 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists.

Reggie Jackson scored 20 points for the Nuggets, who looked much crisper on offense with Aaron Gordon back in the lineup after missing four games with a right heel sprain. Gordon had 17 points and seven rebounds.

It wasn’t enough as the Kings ended the Nuggets’ hopes of winning a third consecutive road game for the first time since the playoffs last season.

“I think our fifth game in seven nights had a lot to do with it,” Nuggets coach Mike Malone said. “We lost the game in the second quarter. That’s where the game got away.”

Jokic gave the Nuggets an early boost with 16 points in the first quarter as Denver led 30-25.

When Jokic went to the bench in the second quarter, the Kings went on a 17-4 run punctuated by Monk’s drive and pass to JaVale McGee for an easy dunk.


Nuggets: At Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night.

Kings: Host New Orleans on Monday night in the NBA In-Season Tournament.


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Mavericks make NBA history with 30-0 run in fourth quarter against Thunder

DALLAS (AP) — The Dallas Mavericks' 30-0 run Saturday night was good enough for NBA history, just not for a victory.

The Mavericks' run in the fourth quarter against Oklahoma City was the l ongest without allowing a basket in the play-by-play era, which dates to 1996-97.

The run lasted from 11:09 remaining in the game until 4:18, carrying Dallas from a 111-87 deficit into a 117-111 lead. But the Thunder regained control and won 126-120.

The NBA said the previous record was a 29-0 run by Cleveland against Milwaukee on Dec. 6, 2009.


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Sexton has season-high 25 points, Jazz beat Trail Blazers 118-113 in OT

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Collin Sexton scored a season-high 25 points, Keyonte George had a career-high 21 points to go with six rebounds and six assists and the Utah Jazz beat the Portland Trail Blazers 118-113 in overtime Saturday night.

John Collins added 17 points, and Omer Yurtseven had a season-high 15 rebounds. Utah beat Portland at home for the second time this season.

Malcolm Brogdon and Shaedon Sharpe had 25 points each for Portland. Scoot Henderson added a career-high 17.

“Tonight, I felt like we had to buckle down and help one another, especially when Sharpe and Brogdon got it going in that overtime as well as before overtime,” Sexton said.

Brogdon bookended a 9-0 run with a layup and 3-pointer to cut Utah’s lead to 96-94 midway through the fourth quarter. Sexton stopped the spurt with three free throws.

Portland made another push and tied it at 106 on Brogdon’s 3-pointer with 41 seconds left in regulation.

“We gave ourselves so many chances to win the game,” Trail Blazers coach Chauncey Billups said. “Our defense and our toughness and grit allowed us to stay within striking distance and then to get over the hump when we started hitting shots.”

Toumani Camara blocked Sexton’s potential winning layup at the buzzer to force overtime.

“I’m trying to make as many winning plays as possible,” Camara said. “It obviously wasn’t enough to win us the game but it was what I could do in the moment.”

Yurtseven put Utah back ahead for good in overtime when he threw down a putback dunk with 1:14 remaining, giving the Jazz a 115-113 lead.

“I think Omer is vital for us,” George said. “He stepped up to the plate. We all see it in practice. We all see how hard he works. We all see how vocal he is at times and how physical he is. He goes about his work in the right way each and every day.”

Utah never trailed during the second half after using a 29-9 run to take a 56-40 lead in the second quarter. Sexton scored five of Utah’s first six baskets in the quarter to help spark the go-ahead run.

Portland had a five-minute stretch during the second quarter where it did not score a basket and totaled just six field goals in the quarter.

“I thought the second quarter was huge for us,” Jazz coach Will Hardy said. “Our defense allowed us to play relatively comfortably on the offensive end where you’re not feeling like you have to score on every possession, so the game doesn’t get away from you.”

Jerami Grant exited to the Portland locker room with 8:25 left in the fourth quarter after hitting heads with Yurtseven. Grant did not return. Billups said he will be reexamined in Portland on Sunday to determine if he had a concussion.


Trail Blazers: At Golden State on Wednesday night.

Jazz: At Dallas on Wednesday night.


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Thunder rally after allowing late 30-0 run and defeat Mavericks 126-120

DALLAS (AP) — Jalen Williams scored 23 points and Oklahoma City rallied after allowing Dallas’ NBA-record 30-0 run in the fourth quarter to beat the Mavericks 126-120 on Saturday night.

The spurt took the Mavericks from a 111-87 deficit to a 117-111 lead with 4:18 to play. The NBA said the previous record in the play-by-play era was a 29-0 run by Cleveland against Milwaukee on Dec. 6, 2009. Dallas led 120-118 before the Thunder scored the game’s final eight points.

The Thunder’s final rally began with a traveling call against Luka Doncic, who recorded his 59th career regular-season triple-double with 36 points, 18 assists and 15 assists in a season-high 46 minutes. A dunk by rookie Chet Holmgren tied the score, and Williams put the Thunder ahead for good with a reverse drive with 40 seconds left.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander then stole the ball from Doncic near midcourt and drove in for a four-point lead. Williams hit two free throws with eight seconds left for the final points.

The Mavericks’ run was the l ongest without allowing a basket in the play-by-play era, which dates to 1996-97. It lasted from 11:09 remaining in the game until 4:18.

Following such a wild fourth quarter in both directions, each coach praised his team’s fortitude.

“Obviously, it’s kind of a weird way to win,” Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said, “but I certainly don’t want to underestimate the mental toughness of the team.”

“The character of the team was on display there,” Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said.

And how does a team give up 30 straight points?

“A lot has to go wrong, offensively and defensively,” Daigneault said. “But, again, it’s hard to withstand a 30-0 and win a game. So, clearly a lot went right in the game as well.”

Gilgeous-Alexander, averaging 30.6 points coming in, scored 17 points after being limited to one in the first quarter. Cason Wallace and Davis Bertans each scored 15 points.

Bertans went 3 for 3 on 3-pointers plus six made free throws when fouled twice behind the arc.

Holmgren had 11 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks.

The Mavericks were swept in a home back-to-back, losing to Memphis 108-94 on Friday and dropped to 5-4 at home.

Dallas shot 51.9% in the final period including 8-of-16 from distance. OKC was 7-of-21, 20-of-9 behind the arc.

The Thunder, who came in averaging 12.9 treys made per game, hit 20-of-44.

Doncic returned to the lineup after missing Friday’s game while welcoming a newborn daughter on Thursday. Doncic’s 59th triple-doubles tie him with Larry Bird for ninth place all time.

The Mavericks played without their Nos. 2 and 3 scorers. Fellow All-Star guard Kyrie Irving (23.6 points per game) sat out after tweaking a foot on Friday. Sixth-man Tim Hardaway Jr. (16.8 points) missed his second consecutive game because of back spasms.

Mavericks rookie center Dereck Lively II had a career-best 20 points, 14 in the second half, and 16 rebounds.

“I told him at halftime: ‘Don’t look to pass. Go finish,’ ” Kidd said.

Doncic’s fiancée, Anamaria Goltes, gave birth to the couple’s daughter, Gabriela, on Thursday. Doncic’s white shoes featured pink accents and his daughter’s name written on the outside of each.

Oklahoma City’s bench outscored Dallas’ 55-23 — 33-12 in the first half when building a 72-56 lead.


Thunder: At Houston on Wednesday.

Mavericks: End three-game homestand against Utah on Wednesday.


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Booker returns with 34 points, Suns top Grizzlies 116-109

PHOENIX (AP) — Devin Booker returned after missing a game with a sprained right ankle and had 34 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists to lead the Phoenix Suns to a 116-109 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night.

Booker, who sat out Friday’s loss to Denver, hit a 3-pointer to start the fourth quarter and put the Suns up by 15, their biggest lead of the game to that point. He was also 13 for 13 from the free throw line.

Suns coach Frank Vogel said before the game that Booker was a game-time decision. The star guard ended up playing a game-high 37 minutes.

“He wanted to play yesterday,” Vogel said. “He played a great game. He is the leader of our offense in terms of organizing us. It's always tricky when he is out of the game, getting our guys in the right spot.”

Booker said his ankle, which forced him to miss action earlier in the season, caused problems again after the long flight from Toronto to Phoenix following a loss to the Raptors on Wednesday.

“When we landed after (the previous time) I could barely walk, but this one just kept getting better as time went by,” Booker said.

The Suns had a 35-22 advantage in made free throws. Grizzlies starters Jaren Jackson Jr., Desmond Bane, Jaylen Nowell and Bismack Biyombo all spent time on the bench with foul trouble.

“We tried to use our aggressiveness against them,” Booker said.

Kevin Durant had 27 points, though he missed his first free throw of the game to end his single-season team record streak at 67.

Phoenix’s Jusuf Nurkic, who had a season-high 31 on Friday, had 14 points and nine rebounds before fouling out with 5:34 to play.

Jackson led the Grizzlies with a season-high 37 points on 13-of-20 shooting.

“He’s being aggressive, making the right reads, understanding where his teammates are on the floor and where the double-teams are coming from. Really impressed with him,” Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said.

Jackson did it against tough defense inside, particularly from Nurkic.

“He’s strong as an ox,” Jackson said. “It’s always a battle.”

“It was all angles, figuring out how to score today. Just driving — that’s all I had going for me.”

Bane scored 27 points — 20 in the fourth quarter — and Vince Williams Jr. scored 12 before fouling out.

The Grizzlies trailed by as many as 16 points before closing within six, but Durant and Yuta Watanabe made foul shots to close out the game.

Memphis had won its previous two games, beating Dallas on the road on Friday. Phoenix lost its previous two after winning seven straight.

Neither team led by more than five points until the Suns opened up a 69-57 lead midway through the third quarter.

The Suns were without Eric Gordon, sidelined with a right knee contusion sustained in Friday’s game. Memphis played without Derrick Rose (left ankle sprain) and Ziaire Williams (illness).


Memphis: At Detroit Wednesday.

Phoenix: At Los Angeles Lakers Tuesday in the In-Season Tournament quarterfinals.


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Pacers put on historic shooting show, run away from Heat 144-129

MIAMI (AP) — Let's put what the Indiana Pacers did on Saturday night in perspective. They missed 15 shots in the first quarter, then 14 shots in the next three quarters combined.

Oh, and without their best player.

Add it all up, and the NBA's highest-scoring team just put on a dazzling offensive show — the best-shooting show ever against the Miami Heat. Bruce Brown scored 30 points, Obi Toppin added 22 and the Pacers shook off the absence of leading scorer Tyrese Haliburton to beat the Heat 144-129.

“The start wasn't awesome,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. “But the fight was there from start to finish.”

The Pacers missed their first shot of the second quarter and were shooting 36% — 9 for 25 — at that point.

They shot an absurd 78% — 47 for 60 — the rest of the way.

The Pacers finished at 66%, the second-best rate in franchise history. They shot 67% against Minnesota on Oct. 24, 2017. And it was the best percentage ever shot against a Heat team; the Los Angeles Lakers shot 64% against Miami on Nov. 23, 1988.

“You have to credit Indiana,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “You took out their best player, the guy that drives this offense, and they didn't slow down one bit.”

T.J. McConnell shot 10 for 11 and finished with 20 points and 11 assists off the bench for Indiana, and Aaron Nesmith also had 20 points for the Pacers.

Jimmy Butler scored 33 points for Miami, which got 18 from Caleb Martin. The 273 points in the two games against the Pacers — Miami won 142-132 on Thursday — were the most ever by Miami in a two-game span.

The Heat went 1-1 in those games, even with the Pacers playing without Haliburton — who had 44 points in Thursday's game.

Haliburton was dealing with right knee soreness and what the team said was an upper respiratory infection. Carlisle said it was the non-COVID illness, not the knee, that kept Haliburton out on Saturday. Haliburton missed one other game this season — and in that one, the Pacers lost 155-104 to Boston.

They get a second chance at Boston on Saturday in the In-Season Tournament quarterfinals.

“We were in this situation before in Boston when Ty was out and I only had two points,” Brown said. “That's unacceptable. So, I took a challenge mentally to be better tonight.”

Miami lost starting forward Haywood Highsmith after just three minutes because of back spasms — Martin started the second half in his place — and the Heat were again without All-Star center Bam Adebayo because of a bruised left hip.

Adebayo missed the second half of Thursday's win because of the hip issue, which has bothered him for a couple weeks, and already has been ruled out of Miami's next game Wednesday at Toronto. The earliest he might play again is Friday when the Heat play host to Cleveland.

“We just want to take care of it before it does take a turn for something else,” Spoelstra said. “He seems to continue to get hit in that exact same spot, which is almost impossible. But we’ll take care of it.”

Adebayo was clearly missed on the defensive end. The Pacers made 23 of 28 shots in the paint over the middle two quarters, fueling a stretch where they outscored Miami 81-67 over those 24 minutes.


Pacers: Host Boston in an In-Season Tournament quarterfinal game Monday.

Heat: Visit Toronto on Wednesday.


AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba

Antetokounmpo has 1st triple-double of season and 36th overall, helping Bucks beat Hawks 132-121

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo had 32 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for his first triple-double of the season and 36th overall, helping the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Atlanta Hawks 132-121 on Saturday night.

Damian Lillard added 25 points and nine assists, and Cameron Payne had 18 points in 20 minutes off the bench. Milwaukee won its seventh straight at home and avenged its only loss in 10 home games this season, a 127-110 setback to the Hawks in late October.

Trae Young led Atlanta with 32 points and 12 assists. Dejounte Murray added 30 points, and Clint Capela had 10 points and 17 rebounds.

Milwaukee outscored Atlanta 18-7 in the final five minutes.

“We took the ball away from Trae Young,” Antetokounmpo said. “He wanted to make plays down the stretch. ”We blitzed him. We made Capela make the plays. We put him in an uncomfortable situation. You don’t want Young or Murrary making those plays, so we blitzed them and got it out of their hands.”

Lillard hit a 15-foot jumper and Antetokounmpo drove for a left-handed layup for a 123-116 lead.

“I think sometimes we just have an understanding of how to win games,” Lillard said. “In those (late-game) moments, everything you need to do well, we start to do well.”

Milwaukee got a huge boost from Payne, who had nine of his points in the fourth quarter, and forward Bobby Portis, who broke out of a mini-slump with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

“I think Bobby in the first half and Cam in the second half, those guys were terrific,” Bucks coach Adrian Griffin said. “Cam is a veteran point guard and he showed it tonight. I thought he had great command of our offense and getting us in our sets.”

The Bucks played without reserves Pat Connaughton (right ankle sprain) and Andre Jackson (lower back spasms).


Bucks: Host New York on Tuesday night in the NBA In-season Tournament quarterfinals.

Hawks: Host Brooklyn on Wednesday night.


AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba

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