Jrue Holiday scored 36 points as the host New Orleans Pelicans spoiled Paul George’s Clippers debut with a 132-127 victory over Los Angeles on Thursday night.
Holiday broke out of a shooting slump to outduel George, who returned from offseason surgery on both shoulders to score 33 points in 24 minutes.
Frank Jackson added 23 points, Derrick Favors had 20 points and 20 rebounds, JJ Redick scored 19 and E’Twaun Moore had 15 as the Pelicans won just their third game of the season.
Lou Williams scored 31, Rodney McGruder had 20 and Montrezl Harrell added 18 for L.A. Kawhi Leonard, the other marquee offseason acquisition that helped make the Clippers championship contenders, did not suit up after playing 41 minutes in a 102-93 loss at Houston the night before.
The Pelicans led 72-59 at halftime but the Clippers cut the deficit to four as George scored seven of his team’s first 11 points in the third quarter.
Heat 108, Cavaliers 97
Rookie Kendrick Nunn had 23 points and eight assists as Miami enjoyed a fast start and then held on to defeat host Cleveland.
Nunn shot 10 of 16 from the floor on Thursday, including hitting one of Miami’s three straight 3-pointers to open the game, after going 21 of 60 from the floor in his previous five games. The Heat have won six of their past eight games and are 8-3, their best 11-game start since the Big Three era in 2013-14.
Miami’s Bam Adebayo collected 16 points and 15 rebounds, and rookie Tyler Herro scored 16 points in his return from a one-game absence caused by a sprained ankle. Kevin Love had 21 points and 10 rebounds, while Collin Sexton chipped in with 15 points for the Cavaliers.
Bucks 124, Bulls 115
Giannis Antetokounmpo matched his season high of 38 points and recorded 16 rebounds and three steals to lead Milwaukee past visiting Chicago.
Eric Bledsoe scored a season-best 31 points on 12-of-14 shooting for his fifth straight 20-point outing. Bledsoe added eight assists as Milwaukee defeated Chicago for the seventh straight time.
Wesley Matthews tallied 15 points and Brook Lopez added 13 for the Bucks, who have won six of their past seven games. Milwaukee played its first game without All-Star forward Khris Middleton, who is expected to miss three to four weeks with a left thigh injury.
Nuggets 101, Nets 93
Nikola Jokic had 18 points and 10 rebounds, Paul Millsap also scored 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds, and host Denver beat Brooklyn.
Will Barton scored 17 points and Jerami Grant had 12 points off the bench for Denver, which overcame a sluggish first half to win for the fifth time in six games. The Nuggets have trailed at halftime in eight of their 11 games and are 6-2 in those games.
Jarrett Allen had 17 points and 10 rebounds, Kyrie Irving scored 17 and dished out nine assists, and Spencer Dinwiddie also scored 17 points for the Nets, who were held to a season-low in points.
Knicks 106, Mavericks 103
Marcus Morris Sr. drained the tie-breaking 3-pointer with 13.4 seconds left as host New York outlasted Kristaps Porzingis and Dallas in a wild win.
The Knicks won for just the third time in 12 games this season, but two of those wins have come at the expense of the Mavericks and Porzingis, who played his first three seasons for the Knicks.
The Mavericks have lost three of four. Porzingis collected a double-double (20 points, 11 rebounds) but was scoreless in the fourth quarter. Luka Doncic recorded his fifth triple-double of the season.
Suns 128, Hawks 112
Kelly Oubre Jr. scored a season-high 30 points and grabbed seven rebounds, and host Phoenix pulled away from Atlanta.
Phoenix guard Devin Booker added 27 points and seven assists. Dario Saric had a season-high 23 points and pulled down six rebounds, and Frank Kaminsky tied a season high with 19 points and had six rebounds off the bench for the Suns, who made 15 3-pointers to extend their franchise-record streak to nine games with at least 11 threes.
Jabari Parker had 24 points and seven rebounds, and Trae Young contributed 21 points and 13 assists for Hawks, who played their first game without injured guard Kevin Huerter.
—Field Level Media