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NBA Scores: Donovan Mitchell put on a show in Utah, but the Jazz stole the W

Here’s the best and worst of last night in the NBA.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Utah Jazz Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

Steph Curry returned to action, Donovan Mitchell returned to Utah, and the Los Angeles Clippers returned to their winning ways. Maybe. Let’s see if they can win more than one in a row after losing half a dozen straight.

All of that and more, coming right up in today’s NBA scores recap.

Mitchell dominates, but Cavs fall in Utah, 116-114

Donovan Mitchell got the first laugh against his former team when he scored 23 points in a 122-99 drubbing of the Jazz in Cleveland back in December. But the date everyone had circled on their calendars was Tuesday’s matchup, his first game back in Utah since being traded to the Cavaliers over the offseason. He was up to the task, putting on a show to the tune of 46 points, six assists, five rebounds, and three steals. The Jazz, however, had something the Cavs did not... and ironically, used to have: Jordan Clarkson.

Yes, it was Clarkson’s heroics that ultimately delivered Utah the victory. His 32 points, including five 3-pointers, helped to lead Utah’s decisive 13-0 run down the stretch. Lauri Markkanen had 25 points and 16 rebounds against his old squad. The Jazz had previously lost seven of their last eight. Safe to say, this win — against Mitchell or not — was much needed.

Magic eke out close one over Blazers, 109-106, behind 29 from Franz Wagner

Heat sneak past Thunder behind historic night at free throw line, 112-111

Miami set an NBA record on Tuesday, making all 40 of its free throws, the most important being the one Jimmy Butler drained to complete a three-point play with 12.9 seconds left. That was how the game ended. But the real story? EVERYTHING ELSE.

The Heat played without six injured players, four of which — Nikola Jovic, Kyle Lowry, Caleb Martin, and Duncan Robinson — are regular rotation players. Dewayne Dedmon was ejected after he threw a massage gun from the bench onto the court in the middle of play. For the Thunder, Josh Giddey had a triple-double and SGA did SGA things.

All in all, just another “normal Tuesday night for the Miami Heat,” per head coach Erik Spoelstra.

Phoenix Suns v Golden State Warriors Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/NBAE via Getty Images

Undermanned Suns spoil Curry’s return to play with 125-113 win

Phoenix went into Golden State without Deandre Ayton, Devin Booker, Chris Paul, and Cameron Payne, but it didn’t matter. Mikal Bridges did everything in his power to snap Phoenix’s six-game losing streak on Tuesday night, scoring 26 points, pulling down nine rebounds, and dishing out five assists to lead the Suns. Duane Washington Jr. added 21 points; Dario Saric finished with 19, nine rebounds, and seven assists; and Torrey Craig had 12 points and 14 rebounds.

Curry, meanwhile, went 8-of-22 from the field, good for 24 points in his return.

Sixers clobber Pistons, 147-116

Raptors ease past Hornets, 132-120

Pascal Siakam led the way for the Raptors on Tuesday with 28 points, while Gary Trent Jr. had 24, and O.G. Anunoby finished with 22 of his own. Terry Rozier led all scorers with 33.

Behind a team total of 20 made threes out of 44 tries, Toronto won two in a row for the sixth time this season. Despite having yet to win three in a row, I suppose that’s a solid start. The Hornets, meanwhile, have lost two in a row and are 3-7 in their last 10.

Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Clippers Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

Clippers snap six-game skid despite 43 from Luka, beat Mavs, 113-101

I had a feeling about this one. On Monday, I ripped into the Clippers for playing “lazy, passive, and hopeless” basketball over the course of their then-six-game losing streak. So, of course, they’d take the opportunity to handle Luka Doncic and the Mavericks on Tuesday. And can I just say: It’s about time. The Clippers somehow remain in the contender conversation despite their obvious shortcomings, and it’ll take a long run of wins like this one to convince me that they belong there. Alas, credit must be given where it is due. Kawhi Leonard (a season-high 33 points) deserves it for this one.

Now, let’s see it again. And again. And again.