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Leonard’s 45-point night lifts Raptors past Jazz; Blazers beat Kings

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Kawhi Leonard
Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (2) drives to the basket past Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert and forward Joe Ingles (2) in the first half at Scotiabank Arena. -- DAN HAMILTON-USA TODAY SPORTS

LOS ANGELES — Kawhi Leonard scored a career-best 45 points — including 19 in the third quarter — and gathered six rebounds to help the Toronto Raptors defeat the visiting Utah Jazz 122-116 Tuesday night.

It was a career-best 14th straight game in which Leonard has scored at least 20 points.

Pascal Siakam scored a career-best 28 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Raptors, who won their second game in a row.

Norman Powell added 14 points off the bench for Toronto.

Reserve Jae Crowder scored a season-best 30 points for the Jazz in the opener of a four-game road trip. Utah lost for the third time in five games.

Derrick Favors added 21 points and nine rebounds for Utah. Donovan Mitchell notched 19 points, Rudy Gobert had 16 points and nine rebounds and Ricky Rubio contributed 14 points and eight assists.




The Raptors led by as many as 12 points in the third quarter and took a 10-point margin into the fourth.

They extended the lead to 12 on consecutive layups by Delon Wright earlier in the final period.

Rubio’s 7-footer reduced the lead to seven with 6:38 to play. Siakam’s layup and free throw with 4:44 to go had the Raptors back up by nine, but Crowder nailed consecutive 3-pointers to pull Utah within four with 4:06 left.

Leonard sank two free throws and then a layup to push the lead to 113-105.

Rubio’s free throw got Utah within four with 56 seconds to play. Siakam made two free throws to increase the margin to six with 23.5 seconds remaining.

Mitchell missed a 3-point attempt, and Fred VanVleet sealed the outcome with a free throw.

The Raptors were ahead 26-24 at the end of the first quarter after leading by eight.

Favors, on a layup, and Mitchell, on a 14-foot jumper, concluded the first-half scoring and gave the Jazz a 53-51 lead. Toronto’s largest lead in a closely contested second quarter was four points, and Utah’s biggest margin was three.

The Raptors started the second half with three 3-pointers — two by Siakam and another by VanVleet — to take a 60-53 edge. The advantage reached 67-57 after Siakam hit another 3-pointer with 8:07 to play in the third quarter.

Powell completed the third-quarter scoring with a 3-point shot, and the Raptors led 95-85.

NURKIC, BLAZERS BEAT KINGS IN OT
Jusuf Nurkic had a monster game, and the visiting Portland Trail Blazers rallied from a nine-point deficit with three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter to pull out a 113-108 overtime victory over the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night.

Nurkic scored 24 points, grabbed a career-high 23 rebounds and also had seven assists, five steals and five blocked shots for the Blazers, who closed the fourth quarter on an 11-2 run.

Damian Lillard collected 25 points, six rebounds and six assists, and Seth Curry came off the bench to produce a season-high 18 points for Portland.

Buddy Hield scored 27 points and Nemanja Bjelica contributed 14 points and 16 rebounds for the Kings, who trailed by 14 points at halftime but stormed back to lead 101-92 with 3:10 remaining in regulation.

Lillard hit three free throws and a jumper to give Portland a 108-105 lead in the extra session. CJ McCollum’s jumper made it 110-105, and he followed with a layup to up the lead to 112-105 with 1:04 left.

The Kings missed 15 consecutive field-goal attempts before Bogdan Bogdanovic (19 points) made a 3-pointer with 23.4 seconds remaining to cut the gap to 112-108. Nurkic split a pair at the line for a 113-108 lead with 13.6 seconds on the clock.

Nurkic (15 points, 11 rebounds) and Curry (15 points) led the way as Portland raced to a 64-50 lead at the half. Hield had 19 first-half points for Sacramento.

JOKIC’S TRIPLE-DOUBLE HELPS NUGGETS SINK KNICKS
Nikola Jokic had 19 points, 15 assists and 14 rebounds, Malik Beasley scored a career-high 23 points off the bench, and the host Denver Nuggets beat the New York Knicks 115-108 on Tuesday night.

Jokic notched his third triple-double this season and the 19th in his career.

Paul Millsap scored 16 points in his second game back from a broken toe to help the Nuggets win their third straight.

Luke Kornet had 19 points, Kevin Knox scored 18 and Enes Kanter had 17 for the Knicks, who have lost eight in a row.

Emmanuel Mudiay finished with 15 points in his first game in Denver since the Nuggets traded him to New York last season.

Millsap and Beasley helped turn a two-point deficit into a win with an early surge in the fourth quarter. Mason Plumlee tied it at 84 with a dunk. Millsap hit a short jumper, Beasley hit two of his five 3-pointers and Millsap hit another step-back shot to give the Nuggets a 94-87 lead.

The game stayed close throughout the third quarter. Denver tried to take control with six straight points to lead 72-69 midway through but New York responded with a 9-1 run. It was tied late when Kanter hit a layup to give the Knicks an 84-82 lead heading into the fourth quarter. — Reuters