PORTLAND, Ore. -- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 31 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the depleted Portland Trail Blazers 118-112 on Sunday.
Jalen Williams had 23 points and Isaiah Joe added 20 off the bench for Oklahoma City. It was a crucial win for the Thunder in the Western Conference play-in race. They improved to 37-38 and moved into a tie for ninth place with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Shaedon Sharpe led the Trail Blazers with a career-high 29 points, and Nassir Little scored a season-high 28 off the bench. The loss was Portland's eighth in 10 games, dropping the team to 32-42 this season. The Blazers are four games back of 10th place in the West and the final spot in the play-in tournament.
Portland was playing without four of its five regular starters as guards Damian Lillard (right calf) and Anfernee Simons (right foot), forward Jerami Grant (left calf) and center Jusuf Nurkic (right knee) all sat out.
The Blazers started off hot and built a 37-25 lead at the end of the first quarter, but squandered it with a 7-for-21 shooting performance in the second, allowing Oklahoma City to take a 68-62 lead into halftime.
The second half began in much the same way: Portland retook the lead with an 11-0 run powered by Sharpe and Little. That led to a back-and-forth third quarter before Oklahoma City pulled away midway through the fourth.
Magic 119, Nets 106
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Cole Anthony had 21 points to lead eight Orlando scorers in double figures, and the Magic overcame Mikal Bridges' 44 points for a 119-106 win over the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday night.
Franz Wagner added 19 points and 10 rebounds, Wendell Carter Jr. had 18 points and six rebounds and Jalen Suggs returned from an injury with 16 points to help the Magic win their third straight.
In a game pitting a sixth-place team trying to stay out of a play-in situation (the Nets) and another trying to get in, the Brooklyn ran out of steam in the second half. The game was played only 22 hours after their Saturday night rout of the Heat in Miami.
"First quarter, we were able to hang around a little bit. We were OK," Brooklyn coach Jacque Vaughn said. "But to sustain it over the course of the night, to play the way we wanted to play, to defend the way we wanted to play ... we just didn't have it tonight. It's part of the NBA. We'll have another back to back and we'll have to deal with it better than we did this time, for sure."
Bridges made 6 of 9 3-point shots (the rest of the Nets shot 2 for 26) and came up one point short of his career high of 45 points.
Grizzlies 123, Hawks 119
ATLANTA -- Hidden in the Memphis Grizzlies' six-game winning streak is a potentially more important number for the team's postseason hopes -- two straight road wins.
Ja Morant scored 27 points in his return to the Memphis starting lineup and the Grizzlies held off the Atlanta Hawks 123-119 on Sunday night to extend the NBA's longest active winning streak.
Desmond Bane added 25 points for Memphis, twice delivering fourth-quarter baskets after Atlanta pulled within one.
Memphis (47-27) is second in the Western Conference despite a 15-22 road record. Back-to-back wins away from Memphis provide hope the Grizzlies are gaining crucial late-season momentum in road games.
The six-game winning streak began with a 126-120 overtime victory at San Antonio on March 17. A win at Atlanta (37-38) was "huge," according to Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr.
"We haven't really been getting it going on the road," Jackson said.
Morant received a big cheer from the Atlanta sellout crowd during pregame introductions. He came off the bench in his first two games after serving an eight-game NBA suspension for posting a video in which he was shown waving a gun at a Denver-area strip club.
Celtics 137, Spurs 93
BOSTON -- Jaylen Brown scored 41 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead the Boston Celtics to a 137-93 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday night.
The Celtics were without star forward and leading scorer Jayson Tatum, who was sidelined with a left hip contusion. But Boston still moved to 1½ games behind Milwaukee for the Eastern Conference's best record with its seventh victory in nine games.
"When you get the opportunity to be the guy that everybody's kind of leaning on, it's a privilege, it's an honor," Brown said. "I don't take those moments for granted. Every night, I strap my shoes up and I get my guys ready to go."
Malcolm Brogdon added 20 points and nine assists for Boston, and Derrick White had 19 points with eight rebounds.
Zach Collins scored 21 points with seven rebounds for San Antonio, which was without 2022 ninth-overall draft pick Jeremy Sochan (sore right knee) for the fourth time in five games. Keldon Johnson, who scored 30 in a loss Friday at Washington, was also out.
Cavs 108, Rockets 91
CLEVELAND -- For the first time since LeBron James left them a second time, the Cavaliers are a playoff team again.
Jarrett Allen scored 24 points and had 14 rebounds, Donovan Mitchell added 22 points and the Cavs clinched a postseason spot for the first time since 2018, beating the Houston Rockets 108-91 on Sunday night.
After James left five years ago, the Cavs went through a massive rebuild while enduring coaching changes, a pair of 19-win seasons and just missing the postseason last year before finally getting back.
"It was a winding road to get here," said Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff.
Along with ending the five-year drought, Cleveland has also returned to the playoffs without James on its roster for the first time since 1998.
Raptors 114, Wizards 104
TORONTO -- O.G. Anunoby scored 29 points, Fred VanVleet had 28 and the Toronto Raptors never trailed in a 114-104 win over Washington Wizards on Sunday.
Pascal Siakam had 19 points and 11 rebounds and Jakob Poeltl had 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Anunoby had 11 made baskets, two shy of his career-high. All four of his 3-pointers came in the first quarter.
"O.G. obviously had it going tonight," Raptors coach Nick Nurse said.