Phoenix Suns 97, Houston Rockets 111
Head to Head: Houston Rockets, odds 2.85
Line: Houston Rockets (+6.5), odds 1.87 - winning pick
Total Points: Under (226.5), odds 1.93
After a short pre Christmas break Trent returns in fine form, picking Houston (+6.5) in our NBA Picks from Dec 12, and it transpired that the Rockets didn't even need the help of the handicap, running out 14 point winners against the free falling Suns.
HOUSTON (AP) — Jalen Green had 26 points and Kevin Porter Jr. added 18 Houston never trailed against slumping Phoenix.
The Rockets led by as many as 23 and held a comfortable lead for most of the night in the return of coach Stephen Silas, who was back after missing the previous game following the death of his father, longtime NBA player and coach Paul Silas.
The Suns dropped their fifth straight. Phoenix was playing without Devin Booker, and Deandre Ayton (left ankle) and Cameron Payne (right foot) were hurt in the first half.
Mikal Bridges led the Suns with 18 points but shot a horrific 4 of 24 from the field and 2 of 10 from 3-point range.
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Boston Celtics 122, LA Lakers 118 - OT
Head to Head: Boston Celtics, odds 1.60
Line: Boston Celtics (-3.5), odds 1.93 - you cannot get closer than that!
Total Points: Over (233.5), odds 1.90 - aided by overtime
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jayson Tatum scored 44 points, Jaylen Brown added five of his 25 in overtime, and the Boston Celtics blew a 20-point lead in the second half before rallying from a late 13-point deficit for a thrilling 122-118 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night.
Marcus Smart hit four 3-pointers and scored 18 points for the NBA-leading Celtics, who wrapped up their six-game trip by avoiding their first three-game losing streak of the season.
Anthony Davis had 37 points and 12 rebounds, but he also missed two free throws with 28 seconds left in regulation to allow the Celtics back into it. LeBron James scored 33 points.
The rivals played a wild second half in which the Lakers rallied from an 81-61 deficit midway through the third quarter with a 45-12 surge. Boston then erased Los Angeles’ 106-93 lead in the final 3:40 with a 17-4 run capped by Tatum’s tying jumper with 17.8 seconds left.
Russell Westbrook had 20 points and 14 assists for Los Angeles, but he also missed three open jumpers in overtime while the Celtics pulled away with 12 consecutive points.
Golden State Warriors 111, Milwaukee Bucks 128
Head to Head: Milwaukee Bucks, odds 1.55
Line: Milwaukee Bucks (-4.5), odds 1.93
Total Points: Over (227.5), odds 1.93
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 30 points while Bobby Portis finished with 25 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Milwaukee past Golden State in a matchup of the NBA’s last two champions.
Stephen Curry scored 20 points despite missing seven of 10 3-point attempts. Jordan Poole added 18 points and Klay Thompson 14 for Golden State.
The Warriors dropped their third straight road game and fell to 2-12 away from home this season. The defending NBA champions have allowed at least 114 points in every road game.
The Warriors trailed 64-52 at the break and the Bucks created some separation with an 8-2 run to open the second half. Golden State coach Steve Kerr cleared his bench early in the fourth quarter.
Sacramento Kings 103, Philadelphia 76ers 123
Head to Head: Philadelphia 76ers, odds 1.42
Line: Philadelphia 76ers (-5.5), odds 1.90
Total Points: Over (228.5), odds 1.90
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Joel Embiid scored 31 points, James Harden had 21 points and 15 assists, and Philadelphia scored 80 points in the first half and cruised past Sacramento.
Tobias Harris also scored 21 points for the Sixers, who have won three straight to start a seven-game homestand.
Domantas Sabonis led the Kings with 22 points. Sacramento has lost three of the first four games of its six-game East Coast swing.
Philadelphia led 80-55 at halftime.
New Orleans Pelicans 100, Utah Jazz 121
Head to Head: Utah Jazz, odds 2.05
Line: Utah Jazz (+2.5), odds 1.88
Total Points: Under (234.5), odds 1.88
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Malik Beasley made five 3-pointers and scored 21 points, and Utah cooled off Zion Williamson and New Orleans.
Williamson scored 26 points in 26 minutes and Jonas Valanciunas scored 15, but the Pelicans’ seven-game winning streak was snapped. Only one of those wins came on the road.
After missing three games with an illness, Utah’s Lauri Markkanen showed little rust in scoring 19 points, and Nickeil Alexander-Walker also scored 19 and had a season-high six assists for the Jazz.
Walker Kessler had 11 points, a career-high 16 rebounds and three blocked shots. Jarred Vanderbilt had season bests of 18 points and 14 rebounds.
Williamson played just 11 minutes in the first half because of foul trouble. The Pelicans never recovered the lead they lost when he left the game.
By The Associated Press and DJ Arthurs | 12/13/22
Follow DJ Arthurs on Twitter at @DJArthursJourno