(The Sports Xchange) – – – – –
Bulls 103, Knicks 97
Jimmy Butler scored a career-high 35 points and added seven assists to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 103-97 points win over the New York Knicks.
Chicago (16-9) played without guard Derrick Rose, who was sick, while the Knicks (5-23) were without forward Carmelo Anthony because of a sore left knee.
Pau Gasol added 20 points for the Bulls while Tim Hardaway Jr. led the Knicks with 23 points.
Pelicans 99, Rockets 90
Anthony Davis delivered an exceptional two-way performance as the New Orleans Pelicans fought off the Houston Rockets.
Davis paired 30 points with 14 rebounds while adding five blocks and two steals in carrying the Pelicans (13-12).
Rockets guard James Harden scored 21 points but made just 8-of-23 shots from the floor after performing brilliantly during a recent run of wins for Houston (19-6).
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Warriors 114, Thunder 109
Stephen Curry scored six of his game-high 34 points after Oklahoma City took a one-point lead with 2:59 to play, lifting the Golden State Warriors to victory in a game in which Thunder star Kevin Durant missed the second half with an ankle injury.
The Thunder (12-14) had their seven-game winning streak snapped despite getting 33 points and eight assists from point guard Russell Westbrook.
Durant scored 30 points before he charged into Warriors backup center Marreese Speights on a drive to the hoop with 2.4 seconds remaining in the second quarter and did not return.
Golden State improved to 22-3.
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Bucks 108, Kings 107
Zaza Pachulia knocked down one of two free throws with 6.5 seconds left, lifting the Milwaukee Bucks to a victory over Sacramento and spoiling the return of center DeMarcus Cousins to the Kings’ lineup.
Pachulia grabbed the offensive rebound on guard Jerryd Bayless’ missed three-pointer, and he was fouled by Cousins. He hit the first of his free throws.
Cousins finished with a game-high 27 points in his first action since Nov. 26 at Houston.