Tatum leads Celtics past 76ers in thriller, Morant's Grizzlies down Nuggets in top-two clash
Jayson Tatum scored a clutch three-pointer before Joel Embiid's full-court buzzer-beater was wiped off as the Boston Celtics clung on for a 110-107 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday.
Tatum drained the go-ahead triple with 2.0 seconds left from Marcus Smart's clever assist after Derrick White's inbound.
Embiid launched a desperate long-range shot which he hit but replays showed he released the ball after time had elapsed meaning the Celtics secured the win.
Tatum did not shoot the ball well throughout the game, finishing with 18 points on seven-of-17 shooting, but came up big when it mattered. The MVP candidate also pulled down 13 rebounds with six assists.
Al Horford turned the game with four three-pointers in the third quarter as the Celtics rallied from a 15-point deficit to lead at the final change.
Horford finished with 15 points, while Jaylen Brown top scored for Boston with 26 points with three steals.
Embiid had 41 points for the game with 12 rebounds and five assists, while James Harden added21 points with eight assists.
The Eastern Conference-leading Celtics have won three straight, improving their record to 44-17, while the 76ers, third in the east, are 39-20.
Grizzlies rout Nuggets in best in the west battle
The Memphis Grizzlies blew away the Denver Nuggets 112-94 in a match-up between the Western Conference's top two as Ja Morant scored 23 points with seven rebounds.
The Grizzlies led by as many as 35 points, opening up a 66-42 half-time lead and keeping the Nuggets to a season-low team score. Denver are 42-19 while Memphis are 36-23.
Nikola Jokic scored 15 points with 13 rebounds and three assists, while Jamal Murray only managed eight points on three-of-13 shooting from the field.
Knicks rout Pelicans in front of championship team
The New York Knicks honoured their onlooking 1972-93 NBA championship team in style, with a 128-106 rout of the New Orleans Pelicans making it five straight wins.
Julius Randle top scored with 28 points making five-of-10 three-point attempts along with seven rebounds and five assists, as five Knicks players reached double figures.
R.J. Barrett added 25 points with a season-high seven assists while Jalen Brunson scored 20 points. Zion Williamson was absent again for the Pels, for whom Brandon Ingram top scored with 19.