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NBA scores, highlights and updates: Raptors knock off Jazz in shootout; Sixers hold off Clippers in Los Angeles

The first night of NBA action in 2019 is upon us and there’s a five-game slate that highlights the schedule as we begin a new year.

To start the night off, the Toronto Raptors defeated the pesky Utah Jazz. Kawhi Leonard scored a career-high 45 points to offset Jae Crowder’s career-high 30 points.

Meanwhile, the Milwaukee Bucks held off the Detroit Pistons to maintain their slim advantage over the Raptors for the conference lead in the Eastern Conference. Brook Lopez scored a season-high 25 points to lead all Bucks players in the win.

In the night’s later action, Nikola Jokic posted his third triple-double of the season as the Denver Nuggets held off the New York Knicks while the Portland Trail Blazers went on an 11-2 run late in the fourth quarter to come back and eventually defeat the Sacramento Kings in overtime.

To cap off the night, the Sixers road Joel Embiid’s 28-point, 19-rebound effort to a victory in Los Angeles over the Clippers.

Here’s everything you need to know about tonight’s action.

NBA scores for Tuesday, Jan. 1

  • Toronto Raptors 122, Utah Jazz 116 (Box Score)
  • Milwaukee Bucks 121, Detroit Pistons 98 (Box Score)
  • Denver Nuggets 115, New York Knicks 108 (Box Score)
  • Portland Trail Blazers 113, Sacramento Kings 108 (OT) (Box Score)
  • Philadelphia 76ers 119, Los Angeles Clippers 113 (Box Score)

NBA schedule for Wednesday, Jan. 3

Embiid outduels Sweet Lou in Sixers win

The Clippers made a comeback from an 18-point deficit at halftime, but it was too little, too late. Joel Embiid’s 28-point, 19-rebound effort led to a narrow Sixers win in Los Angeles. To cap off the victory, Ben Simmons made sure to throw a pass off of a defender’s back on his way to this dunk.

Gallinari scores 17 points by halftime, but Clippers trail

Danilo Gallinari had himself one heck of a game with a huge first half, but the Clippers still trailed 76-58 at halftime as Joel Embiid matched Gallinari with 19 points and eight boards himself.

Jokic posts third triple-double of season in win

Nikola Jokic posted his third triple-double of the season with his stat line of 19 points, 15 assists and 14 rebounds as the Nuggets held off the Knicks.

Blazers outlast Kings in OT

Jusuf Nurkic had a monster game on Tuesday night, becoming the first player since 1983-84 to record a stat line of 24 points, 23 rebounds, seven assists, five steals and five blocks as the Blazers came back late in the fourth quarter to defeat the Kings in overtime.

Giles spins around and dunks it

Harry Giles deserves more playing time if he can pull off more spin-around dunks like this one.

Millsap follows his own miss and then dunks it

This is the definition of stat-stuffing, but Paul Millsap made it look pretty by ending it with a dunk over the Knicks.

Kawhi reaches career high in points on lefty reverse layup

Kawhi Leonard was simply on tonight. The Raptors forward has a reached a career-high 42 points as a result of this nifty lefty reverse layup past the 7-foot-2 Rudy Gobert. Leonard finished with 45 points.

Crowder with a career-high 30 points

Jae Crowder had a career-high 30 points and five treys as the Jazz came up short in their upset bid against the Raptors.

Murray with a massive slam past two Knicks defenders

Jamal Murray might only be 6-foot-4, but he looked a whole lot bigger than his listed height on this dunk past two Knicks defenders.

Giannis dunks it over Pistons defender

Somebody needs to tell defenders to stop trying to guard Giannis Antetokounmpo when he takes it to the rim. This is an example of where players need to learn when to make business decisions when defending Giannis.

Kawhi scores 19 points on 7-of-7 shooting in 3rd quarter

Kawhi Leonard knows how to lead a team without one of his All-Star teammates. Despite Kyle Lowry being absent against the Jazz, Leonard scored 19 points on a perfect 7-of-7 shooting from the field in the third quarter to give the Raptors an eight-point lead entering the fourth quarter.

Siakam slam dunk

Pascal Siakam sure knows how to finish off a fastbreak as the Jazz found out first hand on this sequence.

VanVleet jukes out Rubio, then lays it up past Gobert

We all know Fred VanVleet is not even 6 feet tall, but heck, he just converted a layup over a legit 7-foot-2 center. After juking out Jazz point guard Ricky Rubio, the Raptors point guard then proceeded to get a layup past Rudy Gobert.

Lowry still sidelined, Nurse believes he’s almost back

Kyle Lowry sat out of the Raptors’ game against the Jazz. The All-Star point guard has played in only one of the team’s past eight games because of a lower back injury and the team has gone just 4-4 during that stretch. The Raptors have fallen behind the Bucks, who now own the East’s best record.

Despite the announcement that Lowry had received pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory shots over the weekend, coach Nick Nurse still believes Lowry is almost on his way back.

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