NBA: Karl-Anthony Towns scores 22 points in successful Timberwolves return

Karl-Anthony Towns scored 22 points in his long-awaited return from a strained right calf as the Minnesota Timberwolves rallied to beat the Atlanta Hawks 125-124 on Wednesday night.

Naz Reid added 26 points off the bench and Jaden McDaniels had 25 for Minnesota, which trailed by 10 points with 7:18 remaining but used a 19-5 run to get back in the game. Atlanta led 124-123 with 50.5 seconds left after a pair of free throws by Trae Young.

Towns then hit two free throws with 3.6 seconds left to seal the win. He was back after missing 51 games for Minnesota, which had lost three of four and slid to ninth in the Western Conference beginning the night.

Rudy Gobert added 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Timberwolves.

Young scored 29 points and De’Andre Hunter added 16 for Atlanta, which was playing the second game of a back-to-back after beating Detroit 129-107 Tuesday night with second-leading scorer Dejounte Murray missing both games with a non-COVID-19 illness.

Minnesota Timberwolves Karl-Anthony Towns (32) works past Atlanta Hawks De'Andre Hunter

Minnesota Timberwolves Karl-Anthony Towns (32) works past Atlanta Hawks De’Andre Hunter 

Saddiq Bey had 16 points off the bench for the Hawks.

Atlanta, who shot 54.2 percent from the field and hit 12 of 26 3-pointers, started the day eighth in the Eastern Conference.

They were 2 1/2 games behind Miami and one game ahead of Toronto.

Towns had been out since November 28 with the injury. Minnesota had a 10-11 record when he went out as the team struggled at times to adapt to having two big men on the court together in Towns and newcomer Gobert.

Towns, a three-time All-Star, received a special pregame introduction and was welcomed back by big applause from the home crowd.

He returned to a team that found its rhythm with Anthony Edwards carrying the scoring load with a host of veterans filling complementary roles.

The Timberwolves also traded Towns’ good friend D’Angelo Russell and acquired Mike Conley at the trade deadline.

With Edwards missing time due to a right ankle sprain, Minnesota had dropped a bit in the packed West.

Towns celebrates his team taking the lead over Atlanta with seconds left in the fourth quarter

Towns celebrates his team taking the lead over Atlanta with seconds left in the fourth quarter

HEAT 127, KNICKS 120

Jimmy Butler had 35 points, Tyler Herro scored 14 of his 22 in the fourth quarter as Miami moved closer to avoiding the play-in tournament by beating New York.

Herro made four 3-pointers in the fourth for the Heat, who led by 11 in the third, lost the lead briefly, then took it back for good with a 16-2 run midway through the final quarter.

Herro and Max Strus each had a pair of 3s during the clinching run for Miami (40-34), which is just percentage points behind Brooklyn (39-33) in the race for the sixth and final guaranteed playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Nets visit the Heat on Saturday.

It was the 700th career win for Miami coach Erik Spoelstra.

New York’s Julius Randle, coming off a 57-point effort Monday against Minnesota, was held to 15. RJ Barrett scored 26 for the Knicks, who also got 25 from Jalen Brunson.

mi Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) drives to the basket against New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson

Miami Heat Jimmy Butler drives to the basket against New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson

LAKERS 122, SUNS 111

Anthony Davis had 27 points and nine rebounds, D’Angelo Russell added 26 points as the Los Angeles Lakers snapped a six-game losing streak against Phoenix with a 122-111 victory over the depleted Suns on Wednesday night.

Austin Reaves had 25 points and a career-high 11 assists after moving into the starting lineup for the Lakers, who improved to 7-5 in LeBron James’ latest injury absence with an impressive second half against the powerhouse Suns.

Devin Booker scored 25 of his 33 points in the second half for Phoenix, which has lost five of six. Chris Paul had 18 points for the Suns, who hadn’t lost to the Lakers since May 2021.

Austin Reaves #15 of the Los Angeles Lakers dribbles the ball during the game against the Suns

Austin Reaves #15 of the Los Angeles Lakers dribbles the ball during the game against the Suns

BUCKS 130, SPURS 94

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 31 points and 14 rebounds in just 24 minutes as NBA-leading Milwaukee rolled against San Antonio.

The Bucks extended their Eastern Conference advantage to 2½ games over Boston as they prepare for a four-game road swing that includes a matchup Saturday with the Western Conference-leading Denver Nuggets.

Antetokounmpo rested the entire fourth quarter and watched the Bucks put the finishing touches on their most lopsided win of the season

Bobby Portis and Khris Middleton added 19 points each for the Bucks, who never trailed. Middleton also had 10 assists, while Portis had 10 rebounds.

Devin Vassell scored 16 to lead the Spurs.

Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo drives past San Antonio Spurs' Jeremy Sochan

Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo drives past San Antonio Spurs’ Jeremy Sochan

76ERS 116, BULLS 91

Tyrese Maxey scored 16 of his 21 points during Philadelphia’s dominant first half against Chicago.

De’Anthony Melton had 25 points and Tobias Harris finished with 20 as the 76ers earned a split of the four-game season series. Joel Embiid added 12 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in just more than 16 minutes of playing time.

The Sixers (49-23) pulled within a half-game of idle Boston for second in the Eastern Conference behind Milwaukee (52-20).

Philadelphia had won eight in a row before Monday night’s double-overtime loss to Chicago. But the 76ers jumped all over the Bulls in the rematch, opening a four-game road trip with an efficient offensive performance.

Playing without James Harden and Jalen McDaniels because of injuries, the Sixers started the game with a 23-1 run.

Coby White scored 19 points for the Bulls. DeMar DeRozan had just four on 0-for-7 shooting.

76ers' Tyrese Maxey drives to the basket past Bulls' DeMar DeRozan, left, and Ayo Dosunmu

76ers’ Tyrese Maxey drives to the basket past Bulls’ DeMar DeRozan, left, and Ayo Dosunmu

NUGGETS 118, WIZARDS 104

Nikola Jokic had 31 points and 12 rebounds as Denver shook off a slow start and beat short-handed Washington.

Michael Porter Jr. added 21 points and Jamal Murray had 17 for the Western Conference leaders.

The Nuggets went 15 for 32 from 3-point range and finished 3-2 on their longest road trip of the season.

Kristaps Porzingis scored 25 points for the Wizards, who were without three-time All-Star guard Bradley Beal due to left knee soreness. Washington lost its fourth straight.

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) goes up for a shot against the Washington Wizards

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) goes up for a shot against the Washington Wizards

PACERS 118, RAPTORS 114

Rookie guard Andrew Nembhard had 25 points and 10 assists in his first NBA game back home in Canada, as Indiana beat Toronto to snap its home winning streak at seven.

Myles Turner scored 16 points, Bennedict Mathurin added 15 and Buddy Hield had 13 for the Pacers, who swept the three-game season series between the teams.

Canadian-born players Mathurin, Nembhard and Oshae Brissett all started for Indiana as the Raptors celebrated Canada Basketball Night. It was the first time since the NBA began tracking starters in 1970-71 that three Canadians started for the same team.

Pascal Siakam scored 18 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter but the short-handed Raptors lost their second straight. Siakam also had 10 rebounds and seven assists.

Fred VanVleet had 28 points and 11 assists for Toronto.

Andrew Nembhard drives between Raptors' Chris Boucher, Malachi Flynn and Jakob Poeltl

Andrew Nembhard drives between Raptors’ Chris Boucher, Malachi Flynn and Jakob Poeltl 

GRIZZLIES 130, ROCKETS 125 

Ja Morant had 17 points and five assists in his return from an NBA suspension, and Jaren Jackson Jr. finished with a season-high 37 points and 10 rebounds as the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Houston Rockets 130-125 on Wednesday night.

Desmond Bane had 20 points and Tyus Jones scored 14 for Memphis, with each adding seven assists.

Jalen Green had 32 points to lead the Rockets, while Kenyon Martin Jr. scored 31. Kevin Porter had his second career triple-double and first of the season with 14 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Alperen Sengun scored 25 for Houston.

Morant, who did not start, was back in action after missing nine games – eight because of a league-imposed suspension after a live stream from a Denver-area strip club earlier this month showed Morant briefly waving a firearm. Morant underwent counseling at a Florida facility for stress relief during the ban.

The two-time All-Star guard, who entered with 3:05 left in the first quarter, ended up playing 24 minutes and shot 6 for 13 overall. He also had four rebounds.

Memphis Grizzlies Ja Morant handles the ball against Houston Rockets guard Kevin Porter Jr.

Memphis Grizzlies Ja Morant handles the ball against Houston Rockets guard Kevin Porter Jr. 

WARRIORS 127, MAVERICKS 125

Stephen Curry scored 20 points and assisted on Draymond Green’s tiebreaking three-point play late, as Golden State beat Dallas in a game with considerable playoff implications.

Luka Doncic had 30 points after missing five games with a left thigh strain, but the Mavericks dropped below .500 as they try to stay out of the Western Conference play-in tournament a year after losing to the Warriors in the West finals.

The Mavericks were without All-Star guard Kyrie Irving because of right foot soreness and fell 1 1/2 games behind the Warriors, who clinched the tiebreaker by winning the season series 2-1.

Jonathan Kuminga scored 22 points on 9-of-11 shooting off the bench for Golden State, including a soaring, one-handed dunk during a tense fourth quarter.

Warriors Stephen Curry (30) works to the basket against Dallas Mavericks Justin Holiday, rear, in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, March 22, 2023, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Warriors guard Stephen Curry works to the basket against Dallas Mavericks Justin Holiday

TRAIL BLAZERS 127, JAZZ 115 

Damian Lillard scored 30 points, rookie Shaedon Sharpe had a career-high 24 as the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Utah Jazz 127-115 on Wednesday night to stop a six-game losing streak.

Trendon Watford added a season-best 21 points for the Blazers. Portland used a 9-0 run, sparked by Kevin Knox III’s alley-oop layup midway through the fourth quarter, to pull away.

Lillard capped the spurt with a layup to make it 113-100 with 5:51 to play, and the Jazz never got it back under single digits.

Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers shoots the ball during the game against the Jazz

Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers shoots the ball during the game against the Jazz

sports lottery

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Sports Event Casino Handicap Description

PK0It means not giving in to each other, and winning 1 point wins all.
0-500/0.5Indicates that when the handicap team is tied with the transferee team, the team betting on the handicap loses 50%.
0 loss0.5Indicates that when the handicap team is tied with the transferee team, the team betting on the handicap loses.
1+500.5/1When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 1 point, the team betting on the handicap wins 50% and wins all 2 points.
1 level1Indicates that when the handicap team wins the handicap team by 1 point, the two teams will tie and win by 2 points.
1-501/1.5When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 1 point, the team betting on the handicap loses 50% and wins all 2 points.
1 loss1.5When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 1 point, the team betting on the handicap loses all and wins by 2 points.
2+501.5/2When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 2 points, the team betting on the handicap wins 50% and wins all 3 points.
2 flat2Indicates that when the handicap team wins the handicap team by 2 points, the two teams will tie and win all 3 points.
2 losses2/2.5When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 2 points, the team betting on the handicap loses 50% and wins all 3 points.
3+502.5When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 2 points, the team betting on the handicap loses all and wins all 3 points.
3 losses2.5/3When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 3 points, the team betting on the handicap wins 50%, and all 4 points win.
3 levels3Indicates that when the handicap team wins the handicap team by 3 points, the two teams will tie and win all 4 points.
3-503/3.5When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 3 points, the team betting on the handicap loses 50% and wins all 4 points.
3 losses3.5When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 3 points, the team betting on the handicap loses all and wins all 4 points.
Sports Event Casino Handicap Description

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Online gaming refers to games played with other players over the Internet. Common online games include role-playing games, strategy games, shooting games, racing games, board games, etc. Players can fight or compete with other players or computers via the Internet, and can communicate and cooperate with other players.

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Entertainment: Can bring entertainment and relaxation to players.

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Here are some common sports betting plays:

Winning the Game: This is one of the most common sports betting variants where players bet on which team or athlete will win the game before it starts.

Handicap Market: This bet is based on point difference, and punters must predict whether the winner's point difference is greater or less than a preset point difference.

Over/Under: This bet is based on the total points scored in the game, and punters must predict whether the total points in the game will be greater or less than the preset score.

Specific Event Markets: This type of betting usually involves specific events in the game, such as first score, player scoring, free throw percentage, etc., and the punter must predict whether the specific event will occur or be achieved.

Online betting: This type of play refers to betting while the game is in progress, and the punter can change the bet at any time and make a decision based on the real-time situation of the game.

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