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NBA Recap: Kyle Lowry returns to Toronto, Suns fall to OKC, Lakers lose 6th straight

Each NBA team has less than a handful of games left to play in the regular season and this Sunday, April 3, 12 games painted a clearer picture of how the postseason will look.

The day started with a blowout victory by the Boston Celtics over the Washington Wizards and finished with the Los Angeles Clippers easily pushing past the New Orleans Pelicans in Paul George's third game since returning from injury. In between, the Los Angeles Lakers lost its sixth consecutive match, this time to Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets.

Wizards 102-144 Celtics

Celtics pushed past Wizards with Jaylen Brown scoring 32 points, Jayson Tatum adding 22 and five other Boston players reaching double-figures in scoring. Wizards' Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Kristaps Porzingis each added 17 points as Ish Smith put up 16, and both Corey Kispert and Dani Avdija scored 10.

Boston led by 13 points after one quarter and went into halftime up by 11. Celtics outscored Washington by 14 in the third period and 17 in the final frame to secure the win.

Mavericks 118-112 Bucks

Luka Doncic outplayed Giannis Antetokounmpo as the Dallas Mavericks held off the Milwaukee Bucks. After the first quarter, Milwaukee led by eight points, but went into the break trailing by a couple.

Doncic took over the game to finish with 32 points and 15 assists, two boards shy of a triple-double. Antetokounmpo got 28 point and 10 rebounds, but it was not enough to overcome Doncic and the Mavs.

Nuggets 129-118 Lakers

With LeBron James sidelined due to an ankle issue, Anthony Davis scored 28 points and Russell Westbrook added 27. Carmelo Anthony was a huge boost off the bench with 17 points, while Malik Monk and Avery Bradley scored a respective 11 and 10 points.

Despite a great showing by Davis and Westbrook, Jokic was on the floor, as well, with the Serbian scoring 38 points and grabbing 18 boards. Five other Nuggets reached double-digit scoring, including 25 points from Will Barton and 24 courtesy of Aaron Gordon.

Pistons 121-117 Pacers

One of the closest duels of the day was between the Indiana Pacers and the Detroit Pistons, who traded punches all game until the home side closed out the game down the stretch. Saddiq Bey led all scorers with 31 points to lead the Cade Cunningham-less Pistons past the Pacers.

Indiana shared the scoring wealth among all its players, with six Pistons reaching double-figures in scoring, five of them with at least 15 points. The leading scorer for Indiana was Oshae Brissett with 20 points, one more than Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield and Isaiah Jackson.

Sixers 112-108 Cavaliers

Joel Embiid scored 44 points to help the Philadelphia 76ers overcome the Cleveland Cavaliers as James Harden went 4-of-13 from the field for 21 points. Harden, however, added 10 rebounds and 10 assists for a quiet triple-double.

Sixers trailed by six points at the half, but were able to take a one-point lead after the third quarter to close out the game down the stretch. Darius Garland led Cleveland in scoring with 23 points as both Caris LeVert and Lamar Stevens each added 18.

Heat 114-109 Raptors

Kyle Lowry embraced Fred VanVleet as he returned to Canada for the first time since leaving the Toronto Raptors to sign with the Miami Heat. Lowry scored 16 points to go with 10 assists, but the Heat got bailed out by its bench.

After trailing by 10 at the half, Miami took a one-point lead into the final frame and was able to close out the game. Tyler Herro and Victor Oladipo scored a respective 18 and 21 points off the bench as Max Strus led the Heat in scoring with 23.

Pascal Siakam and VanVleet tied for the game-high 29 points and both Scottie Barnes and Gary Trent Jr. put up 19 a piece. With Jimmy Butler unavailable for Miami, Bam Adebayo had a quiet night on the offensive end with just 16 points.

Suns 96-117 Thunder

The upset of the day was by the Oklahoma City Thunder over the Phoenix Suns, who were without Devin Booker. Suns won the first quarter, but took its foot off the gas and OKC took advantage.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is still not available for the Thunder, but they got seven players in double-digit scoring to easily push past the league-leading Suns. Olivier Sarr led all scorers with 24 points in 22 minutes off the bench.

Clippers 119-100 Pelicans

Clippers defeated the Pelicans to virtually secure the No. 8 seed for the play-in tournament. New Orleans only scored 13 points in the second quarter and were never able to dig out of the hole.

Marcus Morris Sr. led all scorers with 22 points, Ivica Zubac added 16 to go with 14 rebounds, George and Terance Mann each scored 15, and three more Clippers ended the night with double-figures in scoring. CJ McCollum led the Pels in scoring with 19 points and Brandon Ingram put up 15.

Other NBA scores

Knicks 118-88 Magic

Trail Blazers 92-113 Spurs

Timberwolves 139-132 Rockets

Warriors 109-90 Kings

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