Clippers Hornets Basketball

Clippers forward Marcus Morris Sr. knocks the ball away from Hornets forward P.J. Washington during their game Monday in Charlotte, N.C. Scott Kinser/Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Kawhi Leonard had 16 points, including an 18-foot jumper with 1.4 seconds to lift the Los Angeles Clippers to a 119-117 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Monday night in his return from a right ankle sprain.

Paul George also came back from a strained hamstring to score 19 points along with seven assists for the Clippers, who snapped a two-game losing streak. Reggie Jackson and Nic Batum each had 13 points, and John Wall added 12 points and 12 assists off the bench.

Luke Kennard added nine points off the bench in his first game back from an injury as well.

Kelly Oubre had 28 points and P.J. Washington bounced back from an 0-for-13 shooting night on Saturday night to add 26 for the Hornets. Washington missed a fadeaway jumper as time expired that would have tied the game.

Getting Leonard, George and Kennard back should provide a huge boost for the Clippers (14-11) moving forward. Leonard has been out since Nov. 21, George since Nov. 19 and Kennard since Nov. 15 with a calf strain.

BUCKS 109, MAGIC 102: Giannis Antetokounmpo scored five of his 34 points in the final two minutes to help Milwaukee Bucks hold off a late rally in Orlando, Florida.


Bobby Portis added 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Bucks, and Jrue Holiday added 17 points, eight rebounds and 10 assists.

Franz Wagner led Orlando with 25 points. Markelle Fultz and Paolo Banchero added 20 points each. Banchero also had 12 rebounds for the Magic, who lost their ninth straight.

Antetokounmpo, Sandro Mamukelashvili and Holiday hit 3-pointers on a 16-0 Milwaukee run midway through the first half while Orlando went scoreless for 5 1/2 minutes. The spurt left the Bucks with an 11-point lead that they stretched to 15 midway through the period.

Fultz and Banchero led a third-quarter charge to get the Magic back in it. A 3-pointer by Franz Wagner made it 69-62, and a layup by Wagner late in the fourth quarter trimmed Milwaukee’s lead to 98-92.

A 3-pointer by Terrence Ross got Orlando within four points with 2:20 left, but a charge call on Antetokounmpo was overturned with two minutes left, putting the Bucks star at the line and fouling Orlando’s Moritz Wagner out of the game. Wagner finished with 19 points and 12 rebounds.

Antetokounmpo made both free throws and scored on a subsequent layup, putting the Bucs up 104-97 with 1:22 remaining.


THUNDER 121, HAWKS 114: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 35 points, Josh Giddey had 12 of his 17 points in the final period, and Oklahoma City overcame a 14-point deficit in the third quarter to win in Atlanta.

Dejounte Murray finished with 24 points and Trae Young had 23 points and 10 assists for the Hawks (13-11), who have squandered six double-digit leads this season. They began the night tied for second-most in the NBA in that category.

In winning its third straight, Oklahoma City (11-13) has outscored its last three opponents 106-68 in the fourth. The Thunder trailed 88-84 entering the final period.

GRIZZLIES 101, HEAT 93: Tyus Jones had a career-high 28 points and 10 assists to lead short-handed Memphis a victory over Miami in Memphis, Tennessee.

Santi Aldama added 18 points and Dillon Brooks finished with 17 for Memphis, which played without leading scorer Ja Morant and several other key players.

Tyler Herro led the Heat with 23 points and 13 rebounds. Jimmy Butler, who had only one field goal in the first half, scored 18, and Caleb Martin finished with 16 for the Heat.



LAKERS: Anthony Davis is healthy. His numbers have never been healthier.

And, not coincidentally, the Los Angeles Lakers are playing like the team they expected to be.

With 99 points in his last two games – his most ever in a span of two regular-season contests – Davis is doing something that few in the league’s history have done before. He shot 40 for 57 from the floor in those games, his 44-point performance at Milwaukee on Friday was followed by a 55-point outburst at Washington on Sunday.

“Body feels great, in the gym working on my game, we’re coming together collectively as a unit, so everything is going well for us right now,” Davis said.

The Lakers are 8-2 in their last 10 games, 7-2 when Davis plays in that span. For some perspective, before this stretch, they were only 7-20 in Davis’ last 27 appearances – much of that because either he, or LeBron James, or both were either sidelined by injuries or trying to play through them.


But, finally, Davis – who was limited to 60 games over the last two seasons – has his health and his game back. He’s averaging 28.6 points, a league-best 12.8 rebounds, and doing it all on 59% shooting. All three of those numbers are on pace to be career-bests for the eight-time All-Star who is making a run at getting into the MVP conversation.

76ERS: James Harden will return for the Philadelphia 76ers against the Houston Rockets after missing 14 games with a foot injury.

Harden, who spent just more than eight seasons with the Rockets before being traded to Brooklyn in January 2021, last played Nov. 2. He had a tendon strain in his right foot.

Harden won the MVP award with the Rockets in 2018 and was a three-time scoring champion in his time in Houston.

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