Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul (3) moves to the basket against the Philadelphia 76ers during the second half at Staples Center. Photo by Gary A. Vasquez, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters.
Clippers 123, 76ers 78
Point guard Chris Paul returned from injury and the Los Angeles Clippers crushed the Philadelphia 76ers.
Paul, who missed the previous 18 games with a separated right shoulder, scored seven points, handed out eight assists and recorded four steals in 23 minutes.
Blake Griffin, who played 25 minutes and was not needed in the fourth quarter, led Los Angeles with 26 points and added 11 rebounds and six assists as the Pacific Division-leading Clippers (36-18) beat the 76ers for the fifth consecutive time.
Nets 93, Pelicans 81
Mason Plumlee scored a career-high 22 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to help spark the Brooklyn Nets to victory over the New Orleans Pelicans.
The 6-foot-11 forward/center wound up recording his second career double-double in just 28 minutes of action for the Nets (23-26).
Pelicans forward Anthony Davis had a game-high 24 points on 11-of-19 shooting, and he grabbed nine rebounds for New Orleans (22-28).
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Mavericks 102, Celtics 91
Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavs cruised to their fifth straight victory as they knocked off the Boston Celtics.
Dallas (31-21) moved into a virtual sixth-place tie with the idle Phoenix Suns, a half-game ahead of the also-idle Golden State Warriors.
Nowitzki scored 20 points and added five rebounds and four assists.
Boston fell to 18-34.