NBA: Celtics eye season sweeps Magic; James returns as Lakers join Knicks in OT

(REUTERS, AFP) – The Boston Celtics continue their momentum as they enter Sunday’s (February 6) NBA Eastern Conference game against the hosts Orlando Magic.

The Celtics have a season-high four-game winning streak and have won eight in a row against Orlando. Two of them have come this season – including the Magic’s only overtime game.

Sunday marks the last of three games the teams will play this season.

The Celtics (29-25) are in the middle of a three-game road trip that began with a 102-93 wire-to-wire win over the Detroit Pistons on Friday.

Meanwhile, the Magic will play the second straight game after Saturday’s 135-115 home thrashing at the hands of the Memphis Grizzlies.

Memphis star Ja Morant scored 33 points and the Grizzlies led up to 31 points. He scored 22 points in the first half and missed the fourth quarter with the Grizzlies (37-18) en route to a fifth National Basketball Association win in six games.

Jaren Jackson Jr scored 21 points and Steven Adams contributed 12 points and 11 rebounds for Memphis, which connected 50.5 percent of its shots from the field and outscored the Magic 68-34 in the paint.

Morant dished out seven assists, and his many highlights of the night included a third-quarter backspin pass to Ziaire Williams, who found De’Anthony Melton for a dunk that gave the Grizzlies 31 points.

Cole Anthony scored 17 of 22 points in the first half for the Magic, who at 12-42 hold the league’s worst record but have beaten four of the top eight seeds in the Western Conference.

Wendell Carter had a 12-point, 10-rebound double-double for the hosts, whose two-game winning streak at home was snapped.

In another game, LeBron James scored 29 points in his return from a knee injury and the Los Angeles Lakers rallied from a 21-point first-half deficit before beating the New York Knicks 122- 115 in overtime.

Malik Monk also had 29 points and Anthony Davis added 28 as the Lakers won only the second time in their last six games. James added 13 rebounds and 10 assists after missing five games with a swollen left knee. Los Angeles (26-28) went 1-4 in those games.

Meanwhile, Bobby Portis scored a season-high 30 points and tied a career-high six three-pointers as champions Milwaukee beat host Portland 137-108.

Giannis Antetokounmpo added 29 points, nine rebounds and six assists as the Bucks won for the sixth time in their last eight games. Khris Middleton added 14 points, seven assists and five steals as Milwaukee (33-21) opened a four-game road trip with an easy win.

Elsewhere, Deandre Ayton had 20 points and 16 rebounds to lead a balanced offense as visiting Phoenix routed Washington 95-80.

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