Mirotic comes off the bench to power Bulls over Bucks
By Agence France-Presse
Chicago forward Nikola Mirotic came off the bench to score 24 points and spark the visiting Bulls over Milwaukee 115-106 in an NBA matchup Tuesday.
The 26-year-old Montenegro-born Spaniard made 9-of-18 from the floor, including 4-of-8 from 3-point range, and grabbed eight rebounds to spark the Bulls to their 11th win in 33 games.
“Great game by us. We really stepped up,” Mirotic said. “We’re moving in the right direction.”
Greek star Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks (17-15) with 28 points.
“We executed really good against Giannis,” Mirotic said. “Offensively they really found me. We were pumped up. Defensively we rebounded really well. Offensively we need to keep improving.”
J.J. Barea led Dallas with 20 points and Dirk Nowitzki added 18 as the Mavericks upset visiting Toronto 98-93.
The Mavericks took only their third win in 11 games to stand 10-25, still the worst record in the Western Conference.
The Raptors, led by Kirk Lowry’s 23 points, saw their six-game win streak snapped and fell to 23-9 with just their second loss in 14 games.
Raptors coach Dwane Casey lamented his club shooting only 33.7 percent from the floor.
“None of us came out in the right disposition, ready to compete,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. “Any time you shoot 33 percent you’re not going to beat too many people in the league.
“Defensively, I thought we tried to lock it down the stretch. But again, the way they started the game going coast-to-coast, we were still on Christmas break.”
Tobias Harris scored 30 points, 26 of them in the first half, and the Detroit Pistons routed visiting Indiana 107-83. Andre Drummond added 21 points and 18 rebounds for the Pistons, who won for the fifth time in six games.
Pistons point guard Reggie Jackson sprained his right ankle during the third quarter and had to be helped to the locker room by team medical staff. Jackson had eight points and a season-high 13 assists.
Indiana’s Victor Oladipo, who averaged 25.3 points, scored a season-low 13.
Miami’s Josh Richardson scored 20 points while Kelly Olynyk added 15 points and 12 rebounds to power the Heat over visiting Orlando 107-89. Elfrid Payton led the Magic with 19 points.
Kawhi Leonard scored 21 points and LaMarcus Aldridge added 20 to lead six double-figure scorers as the San Antonio Spurs ripped visiting Brooklyn 109-97.
Spanish big man Pau Gasol added 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Spurs while reserve Caris LeVert led the Nets with 18 points.
Jamal Murray had team highs of 22 points and eight rebounds to spark the Denver Nuggets over visiting Utah 107-83. Derrick Favors had 20 points for the Jazz in a losing cause.
– Chandler dunk wins for Suns –
Tyson Chandler made an alley oop dunk shot at the final buzzer off a pass from Dragan Bender to give the Phoenix Suns a 99-97 victory over visiting Memphis.
A James Ennis 3-point play pulled the Grizzlies within 94-93 with 56 seconds remaining. After an exchange of turnovers, Phoenix’s Isaiah Canaan sank two free throws to stretch the Suns’ lead but Tyreke Evans made a layup to pull Memphis within 96-95 with six seconds to play.
T.J. Warren made 1-of-2 free throws to give the Suns a 97-95 edge but the Grizzlies had four seconds to set up a final shot. Evans missed a layup but Jarell Martin dunked in the rebound to level the score at 97-97.
Devin Booker scored 32 points to lead Phoenix while Warren finished with 17. Evans led the Grizzlies with 25 points. (AFP)