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Lakers bounce with an emphatic 136-105 win over Atlanta Hawks

LOS ANGELES: Jalen Brunson scored 34 points as the New York Knicks completed a wire-to-wire 119-112 road victory over the Golden State Warriors in San Francisco on Monday. The Warriors, fresh from Saturday’s high-scoring win over the Los Angeles Lakers, were always on the back foot after New York sprinted into an early 20-6 first quarter lead at the Chase Center.

Point guard Brunson pulled the strings superbly to guide an injury-hit Knicks line-up to an impressive win that keeps them firmly on course for the playoffs. Brunson received scoring support from Miles McBride, who finished with a career-high 29 points in just his sixth NBA start. “We keep finding ways to win,” Brunson said afterwards. “Staying poised, staying confident—just sticking together.”

But the loss was another body blow for the erratic Warriors, who are 17-18 at home this season. Golden State occupy 10th place in the Western Conference—the last of the four play-in berths. Stephen Curry led Golden State’s scorers with 27 points.

In Los Angeles, the Lakers bounced back from Saturday’s defeat to the Warriors with an emphatic 136-105 win over the Atlanta Hawks. D’Angelo Russell drained six-of-10 from three-point distance to finish with 27 points, while LeBron James finished with 25 points and Anthony Davis 22. The Lakers are ninth in the West on 37-32.

In other games on Monday, the Cleveland Cavaliers fought back from a 15-point deficit to grind out a 108-103 victory over the Indiana Pacers in Indianapolis. Jarrett Allen and Caris LeVert led the Cavaliers with 23 points apiece while the Cleveland defense restricted Tyrese Haliburton to just 14 points. Cleveland improved to 43-25 with the win to remain in third place in the Eastern Conference behind the first-placed Boston Celtics and second-placed Milwaukee Bucks.

The Celtics, runaway leaders of the Eastern Conference with a 54-14 record, strolled to another routine victory with a 119-94 defeat of the Detroit Pistons at Boston’s TD Garden.

Monster dunk

Jaylen Brown led the Boston scoring with 31 points in just three quarters, while Derrick White bagged the first triple double of his career to finish with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

“I’m not usually one to try and chase stats and what not,” White said after the win. “I’ve been close a lot of times so I was like, ‘I’m going to try and get it this time’. So shout-out to my team-mates for real.”

In Salt Lake City, Anthony Edwards produced a monstrous dunk-of-the season contender as the Minnesota Timberwolves rallied to beat the Utah Jazz 114-104 on the road. Edwards, who finished with 32 points, took flight in the third quarter, soaring over the 6ft 9in (2.06m) John Collins for a spectacular career highlight reel moment.

“That’s the best dunk of my career, I’m not gonna lie,” Edwards said after the win, which left Minnesota in second place in the Western Conference on 47-21, one game adrift of leaders Oklahoma City (47-20).

In Philadelphia, Tyrese Maxey finished with 30 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds as the 76ers defeated the Miami Heat 98-91. The Sixers, without the injured Joel Embiid, took control of a tight game in the third quarter, outscoring Miami 28-16 to surge 17 points clear.

Although the Heat fought back to tie it in the fourth quarter, the Sixers held on to close out a win that left them level with Miami on 37-30. Sixers coach Nick Nurse said Philadelphia’s former Heat stalwart Kyle Lowry had warned his team-mates to expect a Miami fightback.

“Kyle kept reminding everybody on the bench that they weren’t gonna quit even when we had a 17-point lead or whatever it was,” Nurse said. “They had a great run and we responded pretty good there at the end.” — AFP

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