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Walker scores 43 as Hornets beat Celtics

(Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) The NBA's new scoring leader was determined his latest big night wouldn't go to waste.

Kemba Walker scored 43 points, giving him 103 in his last two games, and the Charlotte Hornets battled back to beat the Boston Celtics 117-112 on Monday night.

Walker followed up his NBA season-best, 60-point effort in an overtime loss to the 76ers on Saturday night with another spectacular performance. He scored 21 points in the fourth quarter and made 14 of 25 shots overall, including seven more 3-pointers.

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Westbrook returns but Kings hold off OKC

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) The Kings sprinted out to a big lead and used their up-and-down style to put Oklahoma City on its heels. Then they got a big lift from Buddy Hield's perimeter shooting to finish off the Thunder.

Dave Joerger also got a bit of love from the Golden1 Center crowd after reports surfaced over the weekend that the Sacramento coach was at odds with management over the direction of the team.

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Embiid's 33 and 17 lift 76ers over Suns

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Joel Embiid gave another lesson in dominance. Only this time, Suns rookie Deandre Ayton actually was grateful for it.

Embiid scored 19 of his 33 points after halftime and added 17 rebounds to help the Philadelphia 76ers beat Phoenix 119-114 on Monday night.

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Randle's 21-14-10 help NO topple Spurs

NEW ORLEANS (AP) As a contested layup by Pelicans guard Ian Clark caromed off the rim, Julius Randle barreled into the paint, grabbed the offensive rebound and quickly fired it to the perimeter, where Darius Miller caught it in rhythm and nailed a 3-pointer.

It was the kind of effective hustle play that Randle has been providing in bunches lately, just as the Pelicans hoped he would when they acquired him to help fill the void left by DeMarcus Cousins' departure in free agency.

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Clippers rally by Hawks, extend run to 5

ATLANTA (AP) Montrezl Harrell doesn't mind trailing on the road when the Los Angeles Clippers still have a chance in the fourth quarter.

"It definitely builds your character," he said. "We got the ball to the guys we wanted to get the ball to. We keep playing. We keep fighting."

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Giannis, Bledsoe lift Bucks over Nuggets

MILWAUKEE (AP) The Milwaukee Bucks have been plagued lately by sluggish first-half performances.

They got away with it again Monday night.

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With Oladipo sidelined, Pacers rout Jazz

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Pacers coach Nate McMillan saw exactly what he wanted Monday night.

Big men Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner showed off their strength. Bojan Bogdanovic knocked down shots from the perimeter. Indiana shared the ball and played defense.

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Conley, Gasol carry Grizzlies over Mavs

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) While the rest of the NBA trends toward high-scoring, fast-paced offenses, the Memphis Grizzlies are relying on defense.

And the longtime partnership of Mike Conley and Marc Gasol.

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Drummond, Pistons cruise past Cavaliers

DETROIT (AP) Before Detroit's matchup with Cleveland, Pistons coach Dwane Casey stressed the importance of a good start.

"When the bell rings, we've got to be ready to run and play fast, and play together," Casey said. "I've had it before and somehow, there's some reason we get off to that slow start, and we can't afford that."

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Shoe toss costs Heat G Richardson $25K

MIAMI (AP) Josh Richardson's shoe toss was predictably costly.

The NBA fined the Miami Heat guard $25,000 on Monday, one day after he threw one of his sneakers several rows into the stands midway through the fourth quarter of a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.

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