Paul George was booed every time he touched the ball in his first return to Indianapolis since being traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder but he had the last laugh in a 100-95 victory against the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday.
NBA All-Star George – traded for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis – expected the rough welcome but did not think he would struggle to the tune of 12 points on three-of-14 shooting.
Luckily for George, reigning MVP Russell Westbrook and his Thunder team-mates were there to pick up the slack to salvage his return at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
With 10 points, 17 rebounds and 12 assists, Westbrook (2017) tied Oscar Robertson (1961) for the most triple-doubles in a calendar year with 34.
Carmelo Anthony also has a rough night with 12 points on four-of-14 shooting but Thunder big man Steven Adams had 23 points and 13 rebounds to lead Oklahoma City.
Oladipo scored 19 points for the Pacers, whose four-game winning streak came to an end.
Meanwhile, Eastern Conference pacesetters the Boston Celtics overcame the Denver Nuggets 124-118.
Kyrie Irving's return, having missed the loss to the Chicago Bulls – inspired the Celtics following his 33 points.
DAVIS AND COUSINS STAR
The New Orleans Pelicans' frontcourt once again led the way in a 115-108 win over the Milwaukee Bucks. All-Star Anthony Davis scored 25 points with 10 rebounds, and four blocks while DeMarcus Cousins poured in 26 points with 13 boards, and seven assists.
HEAT FAIL TO FIRE
The Miami Heat dropped to 5-7 at home after being doubled up 32-16 in the fourth quarter of a 102-95 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. Dion Waiters was a team-worst minus-15 and missed 12 shots on the night.
WALL INSPIRES WIZARDS
John Wall returned from a knee injury against the Memphis Grizzlies and made up for lost time with some sweet moves in the Washington Wizards' 93-87 win.
Los Angeles Clippers 106-95 Orlando Magic
Oklahoma City Thunder 100-95 Indiana Pacers
Boston Celtics 124-118 Denver Nuggets
Chicago Bulls 103-100 Utah Jazz
Houston Rockets 108-96 Charlotte Hornets
Washington Wizards 93-87 Memphis Grizzlies
Portland Trail Blazers 102-95 Miami Heat
New Orleans Pelicans 115-108 Milwaukee Bucks
Toronto Raptors 115-109 Phoenix Suns
LAKERS AT CAVALIERS
Dating back to November 9, the Cleveland Cavaliers are 15-1 and have made at least 10 three-pointers in a franchise-record 17 straight contests. Cleveland have scored at least 119 points and shot at least .500 from the field in each of the last five contests against the Los Angeles Lakers (5-0). Expect another high-scoring affair against the Lakers' young squad on Thursday.
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