A last-second putback dunk by rookie guard Payton Pritchard helped the Boston Celtics squeeze past the Miami Heat 107-105.
Miami looked sluggish out of the gates, giving up an eight-point deficit in the first quarter, before rallying in the third to keep the heat on their opponents down the stretch.
The see-sawing momentum shifts continued in the fourth, with both teams stringing together late runs, however Pritchard’s effort to save a missed lay-up from Marcus Smart was ultimately enough for Boston to clinch the narrow victory.
Jayson Tatum led the way for the Celtics with 27 points, while Jimmy Butler posted 26 points and eight rebounds in a losing effort.
It was also a close battle in New Orleans, with the Oklahoma City Thunder downing the Pelicans 111-110.
The hosts got off to a hot start but faded in the third quarter to allow the Thunder back into the game.
Although New Orleans steadied the ship in the fourth, they were unable to get the basket they needed the most as George Hill drained two late free throws to secure the Thunder’s third win of the season.
Three 3's in a row for Mike Muscala.
— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) January 7, 2021
Darius Bazley finished with a double-double for Oklahoma City and Zion Williamson top-scored for the Pelicans with 29.
The 76ers got the best of the Washington Wizards 141-136 in a high-scoring affair in Philadelphia.
A career-high 60 points from Bradley Beal were not enough for the Wizards to overcome the duo of Joel Embiid and Seth Curry, who combined for 66.
It was Philadelphia’s fifth consecutive victory, while the Wizards fell to a 2-6 win-loss record on the season.
Steph Curry’s high-scoring run came to an end in the Golden State Warriors’ 108-101 defeat to the Los Angeles Clippers.
— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) January 7, 2021
Curry made just one of his six three point attempts on the way to 13 points- a far cry from his 62-point effort against the Portland Trail Blazers earlier this week.
Meanwhile Kawhi Leonard and Paul George each posted 21 points in the Clippers’ seven-point win.
Malcolm Brogdon scored 35 points to lead the Indiana Pacers over the Houston Rockets 114-107.
The New York Knicks’ impressive early-season form continued against the Utah Jazz, with Julius Randle posting 30 points and 16 rebounds in the 112-100 victory.
In the rest of the day’s games: the Orlando Magic beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 105-94, the Charlotte Hornets defeated the Atlanta Hawks 102-94, the Milwaukee Bucks pulled out a 15-point win over the Detroit Pistons, the Phoenix Suns claimed their sixth win of the season 123-115 over the Toronto Raptors and the Sacramento Kings overcame a 36-point effort from Coby White to sink the Chicago Bulls 128-124.