NBA roundup: Celtics finish strongly to beat Timberwolves

A strong finish from the Boston Celtics saw them pull away in the fourth quarter to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 91-84.

Marcus Smart scored 16 of his 18 points during the second half, while Kyrie Irving finished with 16 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.

It was a fifth successive win for the Celtics, as the Timberwolves lost back-to-back games for the first time since November.

The Philadelphia 76ers grabbed a big win over the Detroit Pistons after Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid ran riot in the first half to virtually secure the result by the interval.

Embiid finished with 23 points and nine rebounds, while Simmons chipped in with 19, as the 76ers sealed a fourth successive win.

The Miami Heat prevailed in a back-and-forth encounter against the New York Knicks after triumphing 107-103 in overtime.

The Knicks held the lead on two occasions during overtime, but the Heat finished with a 7-2 spurt.

Jonas Valanciunas scored all 20 of his points in a decisive third quarter to help the Toronto Raptors to a 129-110 win over the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Raptors had led by just two points at half-time, but outscored the Bucks 43-19 in the third quarter.

A career-high 32 points from Chicago Bulls guard Kris Dunn saw them beat the Dallas Mavericks 127-124.

A 17-8 run at the start of the fourth quarter proved crucial in the San Antonio Spurs’ 103-89 win over the Phoenix Suns.

Manu Ginobili scored a season-high 21 points for the Spurs, while Kawhi Leonard also hit 21.

Trey Lyles and Jamal Murray grabbed a combined 52 points as the Denver Nuggets inflicted an eighth straight loss on the Utah Jazz, by a 99-91 margin.

The Washington Wizards survived a late rally from the Memphies Grizzlies and held on for a narrow 102-100 win.

A dominant second half saw the Portland Trail Blazers cruise to a 110-89 win over the Atlanta Hawks, with CJ McCollum grabbing 20 points and six assists.

Despite the return of Lonzo Ball, the Los Angeles Lakers suffered a ninth successive defeat – going down 108-94 against the Charlotte Hornets.