Celtics left in the ‘Mud’
BOSTON – Emmanuel Mudiay scored 24 of his season-high 30 points in the opening quarter, helping the Denver Nuggets to a big first-half Sunday night on their way to a 123-107 win over the injury-depleted Boston Celtics.
Wilson Chandler added 22 points before leaving with a left hamstring injury. Danilo Gallinari scored 16, and Gary Harris and Jamal Murray each had 12 for the Nuggets, who lost 16 of the previous 18 meetings in Boston.
Isaiah Thomas led Boston, tying his season high with 30 points. Avery Bradley had 14.
The Celtics were missing starters Jae Crowder (sprained left ankle) and high-priced free agent acquisition Al Horford (concussion protocol).
Mudiay, who went 0 for 7 from the floor in Denver’s double-digit loss at Detroit on Saturday night, shot 9 of 10 in the first quarter and had a season high already as he outscored the Celtics.
The Nuggets led 42-23 after one.
Denver pushed its lead to 66-41 midway into the second and led 77-52 at halftime.
Boston left the floor to a loud chorus of boos.
The Celtics made a brief spurt in the third, closing to 84-69, but the Nuggets scored 14 of the next 19 points en route to a 103-83 edge after three.
There was a smattering of boos again when the game ended.
In Memphis, Tennessee, CJ McCollum matched his career high with 37 points, scoring 16 points in the fourth quarter to help Portland beat Memphis 100 -94.
McCollum also matched his career best with six 3-pointers. Damian Lillard added 19 points and seven assists, and Maurice Harkless finished with 18 points. Portland have won two straight.
Marc Gasol led Memphis with 21 points, and Mike Conley added 16 points and seven assists, They have lost two straight, both at home.
Zach Randolph had 15 points and seven rebounds, and Vince Carter and Tony Allen scored 11 points each.
The game was close with 13 lead changes and 12 ties before Portland pulled away late. McCollum had 10 straight Portland points during one stretch to put the game away.
In New York, Gordon Hayward scored 28 points in his season debut, George Hill had 23 points and nine assists, and Utah beat New York 114-109.
Hayward had been sidelined since breaking his right ring finger in training camp. He led the team in scoring last season, averaging nearly 20 points.
Rodney Hood added 18 points to help the Jazz win for the third time in four games. Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors each had 13.
Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis each had 28 for the Knicks, and Derrick Rose added 18. New York has lost three of four.
In Toronto DeMarcus Cousins had 22 points and 14 rebounds, Rudy Gay scored 23 against his former team and Sacramento Kings beat Toronto Raptors 96-91.
Gay had nine points in the fourth quarter as the Kings (3-5) snapped a four-game losing streak by winning the finale of their five-game road trip.
DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors (4-2) with 23 points, the first time this season he’s been held under 30. Kyle Lowry added 15 points for Toronto, which had a three-game winning streak snapped.
With center Jonas Valanciunas out with a sore knee, rookie Jakob Poeltl started for Toronto. But he was in foul trouble all night and eventually fouled out with six points and four rebounds in 19 minutes.
In Dallas, Harrison Barnes scored a career-high 34 points and Dallas Mavericks won for the first time this season, beating Milwaukee Bucks 86-75 in overtime.
Barnes, who left Golden State to sign a $94 million, four-year contract with Dallas in the offseason, has scored at least 30 points twice this season after hitting the mark only once in his four years with the Warriors.
His 20-foot jumper opened the scoring in overtime, and the Mavericks (1-5) never trailed in the extra period.
J.J. Barea added 21 points for Dallas, including five in overtime.
Jabari Parker led Milwaukee with 16 points, but only two after halftime. Greg Monroe had 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Bucks, who had won three straight.