Anthony Davis came back to haunt his former team as the streaking Los Angeles Lakers prevailed 114-110 over the New Orleans Pelicans.

Back in New Orleans for the first time since his blockbuster trade to the Lakers ahead of the 2019-20 NBA campaign, Davis posted a season-high 41 points on Wednesday.

Davis – who was selected by the Pelicans with pick one in the 2012 Draft – overcame an elbow problem in the final quarter to lead the Lakers (16-2) to their ninth successive win.

LeBron James finished with 29 points and 11 assists, while Jrue Holiday (29 points, 12 assists) top scored for the Pelicans (6-12).

Kemba Walker returned from a neck sprain to help the Boston Celtics top the Brooklyn Nets 121-110.

In Walker's first game back after leaving last week's loss to the Denver Nuggets with his neck in a brace, Walker posted a season-high 39 points in Boston.

"I've been over it. I could have played last game, honestly," Walker said. "If I'm on the court, I'm on the court. I wasn't thinking about anything [but] wanting to win."

The Nets were without former Celtics guard Kyrie Irving for the seventh consecutive game due to shoulder soreness.

 

Embiid bounces back from horror show

After finishing scoreless against the Toronto Raptors last time out, Joel Embiid put up 33 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Philadelphia 76ers past the Sacramento Kings 97-91. The result preserved Philadelphia's perfect home record at 8-0.

Giannis Antetokounmpo posted his 18th consecutive double-double as the Milwaukee Bucks extended their winning streak to nine games with a 111-102 victory over the Atlanta Hawks. The reigning MVP posted 30 points and 10 rebounds.

James Harden and Russell Westbrook combined for 61 points in the Houston Rockets' 117-108 win against the Miami Heat. Harden scored 34 and Westbrook contributed 27 as the Rockets snapped a three-game skid.

It was a franchise-record night for the Toronto Raptors. The defending champions eased past the lowly New York Knicks 126-98 for their eighth straight home win to begin the season.

 

Oh no for O'Neale

It was a tough 27 minutes for Royce O'Neale. The 26-year-old did not score a point, going 0 for four from the floor and 0 of three from beyond the arc. His Utah Jazz lost 121-102 to the Indiana Pacers.

Coby White managed just two points in the Chicago Bulls' 104-90 defeat to the Golden State Warriors. White was 0 of seven from the field, while he missed all four of his three-point attempts.

 

Harrell ensures Clippers stay hot

Montrezl Harrell's tip-in with 2.3 seconds remaining gave the Los Angeles Clippers a 121-119 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies and a seventh straight win.

Wednesday's results

Orlando Magic 116-104 Cleveland Cavaliers
Indiana Pacers 121-102 Utah Jazz
Boston Celtics 121-110 Brooklyn Nets
Philadelphia 76ers 97-91 Sacramento Kings
Charlotte Hornets 102-101 Detroit Pistons
Toronto Raptors 126-98 New York Knicks
Milwaukee Bucks 111-102 Atlanta Hawks
Los Angeles Clippers 121-119 Memphis Grizzlies
Houston Rockets 117-108 Miami Heat
Portland Trail Blazers 136-119 Oklahoma City Thunder
Los Angeles Lakers 114-110 New Orleans Pelicans
Golden State Warriors 104-90 Chicago Bulls
Washington Wizards 140-132 Phoenix Suns
Minnesota Timberwolves 113-101 San Antonio Spurs

 

Clippers at Spurs

After the Thanksgiving break, the in-form Clippers will head to San Antonio to face the Spurs on Friday. It will be another Spurs reunion for Leonard, who left Gregg Popovich's team for the Raptors ahead of the 2018-19 season before landing in Los Angeles. San Antonio have only won one of their past 11 games.

LeBron James became just the fourth player in NBA history to surpass 33,000 career points on Wednesday.

James reached the milestone in the Los Angeles Lakers' clash away to the New Orleans Pelicans.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar tops the all-time list with 38,387 points, ahead of Karl Malone (36,928) and Kobe Bryant (33,643).

Prior to the game against the Pelicans, Lakers superstar and three-time NBA champion James had been averaging 25.6 points, 11.0 assists and 7.4 rebounds this season.

Paul George described the Los Angeles Clippers defense as "scary" as they stifled Luka Doncic in a 114-99 defeat of the Dallas Mavericks.

The Mavs saw their five-game winning streak snapped at American Airlines Center on Tuesday as George and Kawhi Leonard combined for 54 points in a ruthless display.

The Clippers produced a masterful defensive plan to curtail the impact of Doncic, who came into the match off a franchise-record streak of four games with at least 30 points and 10 assists.

The 20-year-old was restricted to 22 points, eight rebounds and six assists and was 0-8 from three-point attempts, while he committed seven of his side's 20 turnovers.

George and Leonard have each seen their seasons curtailed by injury and this was the first game in which they have scored at least 20 points each as team-mates.

While he admits their offensive work still needs improvement, George believes the Clippers defense is a force to be reckoned with.

"Offensively, we're still figuring it out," he said. "We're still a work in progress, but I think defensively is where each game we're getting better and better. Not even from just me and him, but from the team overall. We're doing stuff instinctively now where we're not even thinking.

"It's just happening. It's a natural habit that we're creating. That's what's most scary because everybody is kind of thinking the same thing when we're on the defensive end, and we're just scrambling."

Leonard added: "We came out with a defensive mindset on the road. [We] wanted to do the best job we could on Luka. He's been killing it lately, playing at a very, very high level.

"We just wanted to make it difficult for him tonight, get some deflections, and I think we were able to do that."

Dallas coach Rick Carlisle credited Doncic for now allowing frustrations to get the better of him during a bruising encounter.

"It was frustrating because he got hit and knocked on the floor a couple of times early," Carlisle said. "Teams are physical with him. They want to make him feel contact. They want him to hit the floor as often as possible.

"It wears down great players, but he stayed in the game. He didn't let frustrations with the officials get to him."

The Los Angeles Clippers made it six straight wins after Kawhi Leonard and Paul George helped see off Luka Doncic and the red-hot Dallas Mavericks.

Leonard had a game-high 28 points and George added 26 of his own as the streaking Clippers beat the Mavericks 114-99 in the NBA on Tuesday.

George scored 17 of his points in the opening quarter to help the Clippers improve to 13-5, while Lou Williams contributed 21 points from the bench.

The Mavs (11-6), who were also riding a five-game winning streak prior to the clash, were led by Doncic's 22 points in Dallas.

Doncic was coming off a franchise-record streak of four games with at least 30 points and 10 assists, following in the footsteps of Michael Jordan, Russell Westbrook and James Harden.

However, the reigning Rookie of the Year was stopped by the Clippers on home court – Doncic finishing four of 14 from the field and 0 of eight from three-point range.

Meanwhile, the Denver Nuggets were too good for the Washington Wizards 117-104 in the day's only other game.

Nikola Jokic put up eight points and 20 rebounds, and Jerami Grant had a team-high 20 points for the Nuggets in Denver.

 

Lakers at Pelicans

All eyes will be on Smoothie King Center on Wednesday. Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis will return to New Orleans to face the Pelicans for the first time since his blockbuster trade to LA. The Lakers (15-2) have won eight games in a row to boast the league's best record, while the Pelicans (6-11) have dropped back-to-back games.

Steve Kerr said he has never seen anything like the Golden State Warriors' injury crisis after the embattled NBA franchise only had eight players available against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Warriors – who own the NBA's worst record at 3-15 – lost 100-97 to the Thunder on Monday in the absence of the likes of stars Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and D'Angelo Russell.

It has been a merciless start to the season following Kevin Durant's departure to the Brooklyn Nets, with Damion Lee and Alen Smailagic also on the sidelines.

"We could have used Draymond Green and D'Angelo Russell for sure," Warriors head coach Kerr, who led Golden State to last season's NBA Finals, told reporters on Tuesday.

"And Kevon Looney would have been very helpful. Jacob Evans would have helped. You need bodies in the NBA, especially to get through the long haul. And playing eight guys, as long as I've been doing this, 30, 31 years in the league, it seems like maybe once or twice a year you have eight guys. Maybe, because of crazy circumstances.

"So for us to be doing this almost routinely now is, I've never seen it. So it's a testament to the group, the Elite Eight, that I like to call them. The Elite Eight's doing a hell of a job hanging in there."

Kerr added: "We're literally unable to add an extra guy because we're hard-capped by the [Russell] sign-and-trade. So right now there's actually nothing we can do about it.

"We want to maintain our flexibility because remember, one of our eight guys, our starting point guard, is on a two-way and he's quickly using up his days, and one of our injured players is another, and so it doesn't make sense to burn through the final few hundred thousand dollars we can spend with that."

"I think it's important to keep accentuating the positives," Kerr said. "We've gotten a lot better the last few weeks. And [it's] not easy playing with eight guys. The effort was there and the defensive consistency has improved dramatically.

"The offensive execution for the most part during the game was purposeful. We took care of the ball, we moved the ball. Fourth quarter when the pressure came we didn't execute, but that's kind of the next step for this young group. So that's what we're aiming to improve upon as a group. The players, but also the coaches. We have to do our part to put them in the best position to succeed.

"So it's kind of one step at a time, and having said all that, I've been doing this for a long time in one capacity or another, and I see a lot of really positive things from this team.

"We're going to get some people back, we've been hampered by a lot of injuries, but we get [Russell] back, we get [Looney] back, we get [Green] back, what the young guys have done, what they've helped to build in the early part of the season foundationally – we're going to start winning some games. We just got to keep doing what we're doing."

Boston Celtics star Kemba Walker is listed as "probable" for Wednesday's NBA clash with the Brooklyn Nets.

Celtics guard Walker missed Monday's 103-102 win over the Sacramento Kings due to a neck sprain.

Walker was hospitalised following a scary collision against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on Friday.

The three-time All-Star – with his head down – bumped into team-mate Semi Ojeleye during the second quarter of Boston's 96-92 loss.

Walker had been averaging 22.6 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game heading into the clash against the Nuggets.

Brett Brown has been appointed head coach of Australia for their Olympic Games campaign in Tokyo next year.

The Boomers turned to a familiar face after the departure of Andrej Lemanis, who led Australia to the semi-finals of the 2016 Rio Olympics and 2019 FIBA World Cup.

Philadelphia 76ers boss Brown coached Australia between 2009 and 2012, overseeing a run to the quarter-finals of the 2012 London Games.

Brown, who works with Australia and 76ers All-Star Ben Simmons in the NBA as well as Jonah Bolden, is eyeing gold at the 2020 Olympics.

"When the opportunity to coach the Boomers next summer in Tokyo came up, I was reminded of my deep history with Australia and Australian basketball," Brown said in a statement on Wednesday.

"I felt a duty to try and help in any way that I could. The spirit of the country and the athletes of the country exemplify on a day-to-day basis the passion that is Australian sport. That passion is respected and recognised throughout the world and I'm very excited to be a part of that again.

"This is our mission and my message to our team: We're going into the 2020 Olympics to win a gold medal. I understand the magnitude of this statement. I would feel irresponsible having any other goal but this."

After 11 years as an assistant to Gregg Popovich at the San Antonio Spurs, Brown took the reins of the 76ers in 2013.

Since moving to Philadelphia, Brown has led the 76ers to back-to-back Eastern Conference semi-finals.

"Given their shared history from the London Olympics, Brett is perfectly positioned to continue in Andrej's footsteps," Basketball Australia (BA) CEO Jerril Rechter said. "Brett is a proven, elite international coach who will bring significant experience and understanding of the Boomers environment and we're delighted to welcome him aboard."

BA president and chairman of the board Ned Coten added: "Next year represents another significant opportunity for Australian basketball on the world stage. We've been fortunate to have Andrej establish the Boomers as one of the world’s strongest basketball teams, which is a testament to his dedication to the role.

"Heading into an Olympic year, we're excited to see what this group of players can achieve and wish Brett all the very best in guiding the Boomers forward."

Anthony Davis may have had a bitter divorce from the New Orleans Pelicans, but he will still have "mixed emotions" when he returns with the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday.

Six-time All-Star Davis moved to Los Angeles to link up with LeBron James in a blockbuster trade during the offseason, having made no secret of his desire to depart New Orleans.

Davis, the number one overall draft pick in 2012, revealed he spoke to James about his own initial exit from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Miami Heat and said he is still fond of the Louisiana city.

"I talked to LeBron," Davis told Stadium. "I said, 'When you went to Miami, first off, how were you when you left Cleveland? Obviously you left willingly, I had to ask for a trade, but what were your emotions?'

"He was like, 'Man, I was scared'. And that was the same thing with me. I'd been so accustomed to being in New Orleans.

"I love that city, I have so many friends there, family. New Orleans is a part of me.

"It was tough for me to walk away from that. So when I go back, I'm going to have mixed emotions because a great six and a half years and then that last half [a year]...

"I know the fans are going to boo me, I got booed when I was still playing there."

Davis said he had no regrets about the way he handled his departure from New Orleans.

However, he wishes he had not sworn at a Pelicans fan who shouted abuse in his direction during a loss to the Charlotte Hornets in April.

"The fan just hit me with something [verbally]," Davis added.

"It was all that emotion boiled up into one. It just happened. That's one thing I do regret about flipping the fan off.

"But the way I handled the process... no [regrets]."

Joel Embiid never imagined he would be held scoreless in an NBA game as the Philadelphia 76ers center endured a night to forget in the loss to the Toronto Raptors.

Two-time All-Star Embiid went 0-for-11 and had four turnovers in Philadelphia's 101-96 loss to the Raptors, who won a Game 7 against the Sixers in the playoffs last year en route to winning their first championship.

Philadelphia went 2-1 up in that series and Embiid celebrated with an airplane celebration, which Raptors fans mimicked during his rough game on Monday.

Furthermore, Raptors fan and Grammy-winning rapper Drake appeared to mock Embiid too by clapping at him from courtside.

"I was definitely not fatigued," Embiid, who had been averaging 22.8 points a game prior to Monday, told reporters.

"Obviously the defensive scheme, they wanted to try and make sure I didn't touch the ball. That forced me into a lot of tough shots.

"I never thought I would be here talking about zero points in an NBA game, but it is what it is.

"Some nights you make shots, some nights you don't. Some nights you're hot, some nights you're cold.

"Different defensive schemes, you've got to learn from it. Try to keep learning and working on your game."

Giannis Antetokounmpo was pleased with his decisiveness in a 50-point display on Monday that saw the NBA's reigning MVP emulate numbers last produced by Michael Jordan.

The Milwaukee Bucks beat the Utah Jazz 122-118 to win an eighth straight game, improving to 14-3 as Antetokounmpo produced the second 50-point game of his career.

Antetokounmpo, who now has 17 successive double-doubles, also had 14 rebounds and six assists while not turning the ball over once.

The last player to score at least 50 points, have 10-plus rebounds, at least five assists and zero turnovers was five-time MVP Jordan 30 years ago.

"It's a great compliment being next to a guy like Michael Jordan," Antetokounmpo told reporters.

"Obviously, one of the best players to ever play the game. But what I care about is that I was decisive.

"When you're decisive, you don't turn the ball over.

"I was able to get better, find my angles, try to be low and not try to play as much upright as I've been playing all season and just make the right play.

"It's a great compliment to be there, but all I care about is being better and helping my team win."

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored a season-high 50 points and collected 14 rebounds as the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Utah Jazz 122-118 in NBA action on Monday.

It was Antetokounmpo's second 50-point game of his career, which helped extend Milwaukee's (14-3) winning streak to eight games.

Reigning MVP Antetokounmpo also recorded his 17th consecutive double-double – the longest streak to start a season since 1976-77.

Bojan Bogdanovic (24 points) and Donovan Mitchell (20 points) led the Jazz (11-6) on the road.

LeBron James, meanwhile, put up 33 points and 14 assists to see the Los Angeles Lakers to a 114-104 victory at the San Antonio Spurs.

Anthony Davis added 19 points and 12 rebounds for the 15-2 Lakers, who own the best record in the league.

 

Hield has big game

Buddy Hield had a career-high 41 points but the Sacramento Kings still lost 103-102 to the Boston Celtics, who were without Kemba Walker due to a neck sprain.

Bam Adebayo had his ninth double-double of the season courtesy of 21 points and 13 rebounds as the Miami Heat defeated the Charlotte Hornets 117-100 to remain undefeated at home.

Carmelo Anthony moved into 18th place on the NBA's career scoring list. The veteran finished with 25 points in the Portland Trail Blazers' 117-94 win against the Chicago Bulls.

The Minnesota Timberwolves triumphed 125-113 over the Atlanta Hawks thanks to Karl-Anthony Towns' 28 points and 13 rebounds.

 

Horror night for Embiid

Joel Embiid was held scoreless for the first time in his career after the Philadelphia 76ers went down 101-96 to the Toronto Raptors. All-Star Embiid shot 0-for-11, missing all four of his shots from three-point range and going 0 of three from the free-throw line. He did, however, manage a game-high 13 rebounds.

 

Dinwiddie sinks Cavs

Playing in the absence of Kyrie Irving, Spencer Dinwiddie hit a fadeaway jumper with 1.9 seconds remaining to lift the Brooklyn Nets past the Cleveland Cavaliers 108-106.

 

Monday's results

Brooklyn Nets 108-106 Cleveland Cavaliers
Detroit Pistons 103-88 Orlando Magic
Indiana Pacers 126-114 Memphis Grizzlies
Miami Heat 117-100 Charlotte Hornets
Boston Celtics 103-102 Sacramento Kings
Minnesota Timberwolves 125-113 Atlanta Hawks
Toronto Raptors 101-96 Philadelphia 76ers
Portland Trail Blazers 117-94 Chicago Bulls
Milwaukee Bucks 122-118 Utah Jazz
Los Angeles Lakers 114-104 San Antonio Spurs
Oklahoma City Thunder 100-97 Golden State Warriors

 

Clippers at Mavericks

There will be plenty of star quality on show when the Los Angeles Clippers visit the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George travel to Dallas riding a five-game winning streak. Led by the red-hot Luka Doncic, the Mavs have also won five straight.

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James became the fifth player in NBA history with 12,000 career field goals made.

James, 34, reached the milestone in the Lakers' clash against the San Antonio Spurs on Monday.

The three-time champion closed in on Chicago Bulls great and NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan (12,192), who is fourth for FGM.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (15,837) tops the list ahead of Karl Malone (13,528) and Wilt Chamberlain (12,681).

Prior to Monday's game, James had been averaging 25.2 points, 10.8 assists and 7.6 rebounds for the high-flying Lakers.

Luka Doncic is adamant the Dallas Mavericks will not get carried away with their fantastic start to the NBA season, insisting a playoff place is their only goal as it stands.

Doncic was in sensational form as the Mavericks made it five wins in a row with a 137-123 victory over the Houston Rockets on Sunday.

The 20-year-old, who is in his second year in the NBA, posted 41 points and 10 assists for the Mavericks, joining Russell Westbrook, Michael Jordan and the Rockets' James Harden as the only players since the 1983-84 season with at least four consecutive games of 30 or more points and 10-plus assists.

Sunday's triumph leaves the Mavericks - who have not featured in the postseason since 2016 - sitting fourth in the Western Conference with an 11-5 record for the season so far, but Doncic insists Dallas are not yet setting their sights on anything more than securing a playoff spot.

"For me, it's making the playoffs, still. It's a long season, it's only been one month. We didn’t make the playoffs yet, we've just got to keep going," the Slovenian told reporters.

"The confidence we had before the season, same as then. We all wanted to go to the playoffs, we've got to keep going like that and just approach the games like we did today.

"We are much more confident last year. Everybody covers for each other, plays the game the right way, that's it. We have amazing players on our team."

Doncic – who drew chants of 'MVP' from the fans – outsmarted Rockets star Harden for a sensational three-pointer during Sunday's meeting, and the Houston star conceded the home team left themselves with too much to do after falling behind early on.

"When you give a team like that comfort and the ability to do whatever they want, they'll gain confidence and that's what they did," seven-time All-Star Harden told reporters.

"We tried to come back twice, but that’s tough for any team. We can't put ourselves in that position. We were just a little sluggish."

The Los Angeles Clippers extended their winning streak to five games after Kawhi Leonard and Paul George helped inspire a 134-109 win over the New Orleans Pelicans.

Leonard had 26 points, six assists and four rebounds, while George put up 18 points and five rebounds for the in-form Clippers (12-5) in the NBA on Sunday.

While all eyes were on the star Clippers recruits, Montrezl Harrell led the way with 34 points and 12 rebounds off the bench in Los Angeles.

Brandon Ingram had 24 points and eight rebounds for the visiting Pelicans (6-11).

 

Doncic joins illustrious company

Luka Doncic enjoyed a mammoth performance against the Houston Rockets, posting 41 points and 10 assists for the Dallas Mavericks in a 137-123 win. It saw Doncic join Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Michael Jordan as the only players since the 1983-84 season with at least four consecutive games of 30 or more points and 10-plus assists.

Spencer Dinwiddie had 30 points in the absence of Kyrie Irving as the Brooklyn Nets held on to beat the New York Knicks 103-101.

Rockets big man Clint Capela joined Dennis Rodman (1992-93 and 1994-95) as the only players since 1976 to record 19-plus rebounds in seven consecutive games. Capela put up 21 points and 22 rebounds in Houston.

 

Rockets fall… again

After winning eight in a row, the Rockets are in a slump. Houston have dropped three consecutive games. While Harden had 32 points and 11 assists, he was two of 15 from three-point range. As a team, the Rockets managed just 10 of 44 from beyond the arc.

 

Doncic dazzles

The second-year star was almost unstoppable in Houston, where he left Harden in his wake.

Sunday's results

Dallas Mavericks 137-123 Houston Rockets
Brooklyn Nets 103-101 New York Knicks
Sacramento Kings 113-106 Washington Wizards
Denver Nuggets 116-104 Phoenix Suns
Los Angeles Clippers 134-109 New Orleans Pelicans

 

76ers at Raptors

It is a rematch of last season's Eastern Conference semi-final, which saw the Toronto Raptors (11-4) benefit from Leonard's buzzer-beater on route to their maiden championship. The Philadelphia 76ers (11-5) are riding a four-game winning streak as they head to Toronto on Monday.

Boston Celtics star Kemba Walker is "doubtful" for Monday's NBA game against the Sacramento Kings due to a neck sprain.

Celtics guard Walker was hospitalised following a scary collision against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on Friday.

The three-time All-Star – with his head down – bumped into team-mate Semi Ojeleye during the second quarter of Boston's 96-92 loss.

After the Celtics provided an update on Walker earlier on Sunday, head coach Brad Stevens told reporters: "Obviously they went through a series of things with the Denver doctors, and a series of things when he got back yesterday with our doctors.

"So he is continuing to be monitored in case any of that stuff shows up.

"But he's been good, and he feels good. It's kind of a minor miracle based on what we saw the other day. But the strain is real, and he's got some soreness in his back and neck. That's it."

Walker, who did not practice on Sunday, had been averaging 22.6 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game heading into the clash against the Nuggets.

"It's always scary. And that's the reason he's doubtful [for Monday], to be honest," Stevens added. "I think he could probably play with the strain part, but we want to make sure [that] with the way he hit, and certainly because of the sensitivity to head injuries."

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