Celtics spoil Turner's career night in overtime, Jokic delivers another masterclass
Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner had a career night, but his side ultimately went down 142-138 in an overtime shootout against the Boston Celtics on Thursday.
Playing in front of his home fans after recently signing a contract extension, Turner tied his career-high with 40 points while shooting a spectacular 13-of-15 from the field. He also hit a career-high eight three-pointers from 10 attempts.
Among all centers this season, Turner's 78 made threes trail only Milwaukee's Brook Lopez (104), Washington's Kristaps Porzingis (100), Chicago's Nikola Vucevic (98) and Boston's Al Horford (92).
His All-Star point guard Tyrese Haliburton was terrific in support, scoring 22 points (seven-of-14 shooting) with 14 assists, three steals and two blocks, but the Celtics duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown proved overwhelming down the stretch.
It was a rough shooting night for Tatum, finishing nine-of-25 from the field, but he worked his way to the free throw line to finish with 31 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists, two steals and a block. Meanwhile, Brown – wearing a protective face mask in his first game returning from a facial fracture – had 30 points (11-of-24), 11 rebounds and three assists.
Reigning Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart chipped in 15 points and two steals, but he came through when it mattered, scoring seven of the Celtics' first eight points in the overtime period.
With the win, Boston remain alone atop the standings with a 43-17 record, while the Pacers sit 12th in the East at 26-35.
Jokic cruises to another big triple-double
Reigning back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic was dominant in the Denver Nuggets' 115-109 road win against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Cavaliers came into the contest boasting one of the best home records in the NBA at 25-6, and they led at three-quarter time, but Jokic defied his unusual seven turnovers to produce another monster showing.
His 24 points on eight-of-13 shooting trailed only team-mate Michael Porter Jr (25) for the Nuggets' most, while Jokic also led both teams with 18 rebounds and 13 assists for his league-leading 22nd triple-double this season. The Nuggets are 22-0 in the games he has posted a triple-double.
Their win, combined with the Memphis Grizzlies' loss, leaves Denver (42-18) six games clear in the race for the Western Conference one seed.
Harden ignites late 76ers comeback
The Philadelphia 76ers overcame a rare poor shooting night from Joel Embiid to produce a fourth-quarter comeback, beating the Grizzlies 110-105 at home.
Embiid ended up with a gaudy stat line of 27 points, 19 rebounds, six assists and six blocks, but he shot just seven-of-25 from the field for his worst field goal percentage of the season.
The 76ers trailed by 12 with eight minutes remaining, but James Harden was in full control from that point, scoring nine of his game-high 31 points and dishing five of his seven assists, igniting a 31-14 run to close the show.
At 39-19, the 76ers own the fourth-best record in the league, and sit third in the East.