NBA Eastern Conference contenders Boston, Toronto, Miami and Indiana moved closer to pace-setting Milwaukee with triumphs Friday while injury-hit Dallas, powered by Kristaps Porzingis, routed the Philadelphia 76ers.
Latvian forward Porzingis scored 22 points and grabbed a career-high 18 rebounds while Tim Hardaway Jr. added 27 points, 19 in the first quarter, as a Mavericks squad – lacking injured Slovenian star guard Luka Doncic – ripped host Philadelphia 117-98.
Doncic, sidelined by a sprained ankle, was also absent when the Mavs won Monday at Milwaukee.
Dallas, coming off a home loss to Boston on Wednesday, improved to 19-9 by delivering the 76ers a second consecutive home defeat.
“We do a pretty good job of bouncing back after a loss,” Porzingis said. “Playing well on the road, that’s a very important part of having a great record at the end of the season.”
Despite 33 points and 17 rebounds by Cameroonian center Joel Embiid, the 76ers slid to 20-10 with a second consecutive home loss after 14 straight wins.
It was the seventh consecutive road victory for the Mavericks, who are 11-2 overall away from Dallas.
“If you’re going to win in this building against this kind of team and these kind of athletes, you got to come in and fight for it, and our guys did,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said.
The other East teams gained ground on idle Milwaukee, the Bucks (25-4) coming off a victory over the Western Conference-leading Los Angeles Lakers.
Indiana blasted visiting Sacramento 119-105 as T.J. Warren scored 23 points on 10-of-16 shooting to lead seven double-figure scorers for the Pacers (20-9), who collected their fifth consecutive victory.
Bam Adebayo led seven Miami double-digit scorers while Duncan Robinson and Slovenian reserve Goran Dragic each added 18 to power the Heat (21-8) over visiting New York 129-114. Bobby Portis had 30 points off the bench for the Knicks.
Kyle Lowry scored 26 points and passed out nine assists to lead defending champion Toronto over visiting Washington 122-118.
Serge Ibaka added 23 points and 10 rebounds for the Raptors (20-8) while Fred VanVleet contributed 18 points and eight assists for a Toronto team that has lost top scorer and rebounder Pascal Siakam and Spanish big man Marc Gasol to injury.
Bradley Beal had 37 points for the Wizards in a losing cause.
Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown each scored 26 points to spark host Boston over Detroit 114-93. Turkish center Enes Kanter grabbed 18 rebounds for the Celtics (19-7).
Trail Blazers roll
Damian Lillard scored 36 points and CJ McCollum added 31 to power the Portland Trail Blazers over visiting Orlando 118-103, giving the hosts their season-high third win in a row.
Cleveland reserve Jordan Clarkson scored 33 points while Kevin Love added 21 points and 13 rebounds as the host Cavaliers beat Memphis 114-107 for their eighth win in 29 games.
Canadian guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored a career-high 32 points to lead the host Oklahoma City Thunder over Phoenix 126-108.
Nikola Jokic had a triple double with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists while Jamal Murray had a game-high 28 points to power the Denver Nuggets over visiting Minnesota 109-100.
D’Angelo Russell scored 25 points to power the NBA-worst Golden State Warriors over visiting New Orleans 106-102. Jrue Holiday and Brandon Ingram each scored 25 points for the Pelicans.
Russell, who scored 10 points in the fourth quarter, hit his last basket with 32 seconds remaining to put the Warriors ahead to stay.