Nikola Jokic starred as the Denver Nuggets snapped the Toronto Raptors' winning streak, while the Golden State Warriors ended their skid on the road.

The Memphis Grizzlies outlasted the struggling Brooklyn Nets in double-overtime for their first win in four games, defeating the Brooklyn Nets 131-125 on Friday.

Memphis forward Jaren Jackson Jr. powered the team with a career-high 36 points at the Barclays Center, including a late 3-pointer to force overtime. He became the third youngest player in NBA history with a 30-or-more point game, behind only LeBron James and Kevin Durant.

The Grizzlies (13-8) maintain first place in the Southwest Division, and will continue to try and keep pace with the Portland Trail Blazers and Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference standings. 

The loss drops the Nets to 8-15 and extends their losing streak to five games. Brooklyn matched its season high with 125 points against Memphis with fourth-year player D'Angelo Russell leading the efforts with 26 points, and three Nets — Spencer Dinwiddie, Jarrett Allen and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson — chipping in 15 apiece.

It was yet another thriller Brooklyn dropped. The Nets nearly caught up to the Philadelphia 76ers last Sunday but lost 127-125, and before that, fell to the Mavericks 119-113. 

 

Gordon throws flames from deep

Houston Rockets guard Eric Gordon was on fire, connecting on seven three-pointers to finish with 26 points in their 136-105 win over the San Antonio Spurs. He was second behind teammate Clint Capela, who had a game-high 27 points.

Andre Drummond finished with a double-double of 19 points and 20 rebounds in the Detroit Pistons' fourth consecutive win.

Meanwhile, the Philadelphia 76ers had double-double performances from both Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. The pair helped the Sixers to a 16-8 record with the 123-98 win over the Washington Wizards. Simmons scored 13 points and dished out 10 assists to go along with eight rebounds, while Embiid finished with 16 points and 15 boards.

Donovan Mitchell dropped 30 points in the Utah Jazz's 119-111 win over the Hornets. 

 

Dante's nadir with Spurs

Nothing seemed to go right for San Antonio Spurs small forward Dante Cunningham, who finished with no points in 18 minutes on the court. He attempted just two shots, a field goal and a three-pointer, but couldn't net either in their 31-point defeat.

The New Orleans Pelicans could have used a little more help from their bench against the Miami Heat. New Orleans went on to lose 106-101 to Miami with a combined 12 points from their reserves.

 

Nuggets and Blazers deliver on expectations

The Denver Nuggets-Portland Trail Blazers matchup gave us all the action we expected from two of the top teams in the Western Conference, including this early dunk from Blazers forward Meyers Leonard.

Dallas Mavericks rookie Luka Doncic wasn't afraid of the King on Friday. Doncic had back-to-back blocks against LeBron James.

 

Friday's results

Boston Celtics 128-95 Cleveland Cavaliers
Detroit Pistons 107-88 Chicago Bulls
Philadelphia 76ers 123-98 Washington Wizards
Utah Jazz 119-111 Charlotte Hornets
Memphis Grizzlies 131-125 (OT) Brooklyn Nets
Oklahoma City Thunder 124-109 Atlanta Hawks
Miami Heat 106-101 New Orleans Pelicans
Houston Rockets 136-105 San Antonio Spurs
Orlando Magic 99-85 Phoenix Suns
Denver Nuggets 113-112 Portland Trail Blazers
Los Angeles Lakers 114-103 Dallas Mavericks

 

Warriors at Pistons

The Detroit Pistons hope to continue their win streak, which was extended Friday with a 107-88 win over the Chicago Bulls, against a recently bruised Golden State Warriors squad. The Warriors weren't able to pull off a win Thursday despite Durant's 51-point night.

The overtime loss to the Toronto Raptors ended the Warriors' own streak of three consecutive wins. However, things haven't been easy for the defending champions, as they have been without Stephen Curry and Draymond Green. Curry is supposed to make his return in Detroit on Saturday, so they will likely get a much-needed boost.

There was no shortage of entertainment served up by the Toronto Raptors and Golden State Warriors on Thursday and a running, light-hearted battle between Kevin Durant and rap star Drake added to the drama.

Warriors star Durant and Raptors fan Drake have a history of trash talking built off the back of mutual respect and the thriller at Scotiabank Arena was no different.

The forward was unfortunate to be on the losing side of a 131-128 defeat having served up 51 points, including a clutch three-pointer to take the contest to overtime.

At one stage their war of words was momentarily silenced as Durant drained one from beyond the arc to leave the rapper open-mouthed in shock.

Other highlights included Durant playfully twisting Drake's nipples, but there was a somewhat classier exchange at the end of the game.

Drake asked for Durant's jersey and he was only too happy to accept.

"Yeah, yeah, he got it," Durant told reporters about Drake asking for his vest.

On his reaction to his wonder shot, Durant added: "Oh yeah [I saw it]. 

"He talks a lot of trash on that sideline so any time I can throw it back in his face is definitely a win for me."

Kevin Durant's heroics were unable to prevent the Golden State Warriors falling to defeat against the Toronto Raptors and he says the team is excited to soon have Stephen Curry back in the fold.

Durant put up 51 points, including a stunning clutch corner three-pointer to take the contest into overtime, but the Warriors were beaten 131-128 to slip to 15-8 for the season.

It marks the first time in his career that Durant has totalled more than 40 points in three consecutive NBA games and with Curry to come back following a groin strain sustained in a defeat to the Milwaukee Bucks on November 8 the Warriors will be looking to become more consistent.

And Durant, who feels the Warriors have learned different ways to play in Curry's absence, is confident they can do that when the two-time NBA MVP returns against the Detroit Pistons.

"There's going to be some games where we've got a great team game going, we can beat people with our offence from moving our bodies, moving the ball and there's going to be some games where I've got to go and get buckets," he said. 

"We were down early and down big and I just tried to be aggressive and go and get a bucket.

"I just can't describe it [what it means to have Curry back] to be honest. I know everybody's going to be excited, but nobody's going to be more excited than he is. 

"He wanted to play, you see him all on the bench and we talked and he's just chomping at the bit to get out there, especially having a match up like Kyle Lowry, someone he respects, and someone we all respect. 

"He believed that would have been a great test for him but Steph's one of those guys that trust the training staff. He trusts the organisation, they got his best interests and next game we're looking forward to having him back.

"Obviously we'd like to win more games but we got a lot of experience through this time, we learned a lot about ourselves. Each guy individually I think, we found a couple of line-ups that can work, even when Steph gets back off the bench."

Head coach Steve Kerr added that life in general, not just the Warriors' performances, is better with a fit Curry.

He said: "Everything gets better. Food tastes better. You guys' questions get better! 

"Obviously we've been looking forward to getting him back but again, I'm proud of the way the guys have fought without him and hopefully Draymond [Green] won't be too far behind him and we'll have a better flow and a better feel for who our team really is, but in the meantime we're doing a good job of holding down the fort."

Kevin Durant insisted he could still be "in a better groove" as he instead praised team-mate Klay Thompson for his role in the Golden State Warriors' comeback 116-110 win over the Orlando Magic.

Klay Thompson hailed Golden State Warriors team-mate Kevin Durant as the "best scorer in the world" after his 44-point showing against the Sacramento Kings.

Thompson put home a rebound to secure a 117-116 win over the Kings for the defending champions, who made it back-to-back victories in a nervy finish.

However, it was two-time NBA Finals MVP Durant who starred with a season-high points total, 17 of his 44 coming in the fourth quarter.

Durant was again forced to carry more of the burden as the Warriors continue to play without star point guard Stephen Curry, who they hope will return from a groin injury for their upcoming road trip.

Thompson, though, is thankful to have Durant as a very high-calibre insurance policy.

"Even when Steph is here," Thompson said. "You've seen in The Finals for a couple years now what KD is capable of.

"Anytime the offense gets stagnant and they're switching a lot, you can just throw him the ball and he's going to get a clean look every time.

"He's the best scorer in the world."

Warriors coach Steve Kerr said of Durant: "Phenomenal. He's taking on such a big responsibility, along with Klay.

"You see the shot distribution; those guys are really carrying the load offensively. Kevin was just amazing. There were so many possessions that were dead in the water and he bailed us out late."

 

Kevin Durant called on the Golden State Warriors to reproduce the passion and energy they displayed in Friday's win over the Portland Trail Blazers, which ended a four-game losing run.

The defending champions had lost five of their last six, a streak started by a defeat to the Los Angeles Clippers in which Durant and team-mate Draymond Green were involved in a well-publicised spat that continued into the locker room.

Minus injured star point guard Stephen Curry, the Warriors have endured a run Steve Kerr described as his "toughest stretch" as a coach, beating the Atlanta Hawks after the loss to the Clippers but then falling to the Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder.

However, they were back to something like their best against the Blazers, Durant scoring 32 points while Klay Thompson added 31 in a 125-97 success.

Asked if he flipped his mindset for the game, Durant said: “I don't believe in it's just going to be over when it's over. In the NBA, I don't believe in the fairy tales or the emotions that come into this. It's not going to just be over unless we go out there and impose our will on the basketball court like we did tonight.

"And it's not going to just happen for us tomorrow. We got to play with that same passion and energy that we played with tonight.

"So I never really believe that 'it's just going to happen. We're going to win a game eventually.' We got to go out there and play, and I think we've been trying obviously the last five games, but we haven't come out on top. 

"I think tonight we put together a full game and that's what we're going to need going forward. It's not going to just happen for us. We got to make it happen."

Kerr said: “We just looked like ourselves. The activity level on both ends. You tend to block more shots when you're actually helping and rotating and flying around to the ball. And you make more steals, we had 11 of those, so it was just a really good night. 

"And Portland's been on a tough schedule too coming back from Milwaukee on a long trip. Those are never easy games to play, so I thought we had the edge energy-wise, and we were obviously a little hungry after four straight losses."

Kevin Durant is trying to move on from his altercation with Draymond Green and the Golden State Warriors star said it would have no impact on his free agency.

Green and Durant were involved in a heated verbal exchange during the team's matchup with the Los Angeles Clippers earlier this month and their argument reportedly continued in the locker room after the loss. The team then suspended Green for one game.

Durant said he will not let the incident impact his impending free agency in an interview with Yahoo Sports on Tuesday.

"Nah, [it won't be a factor]," Durant said. "Because at the end of the day, I'm just a ballplayer that's just trying to be in a great environment to play basketball and groom my skills every day. And I want to compete on a level that once the game starts, I'm just totally comfortable with my surroundings, with just going out there and being me."

The 30-year-old said he "never really felt like" the argument with Green was a problem. But, he added he was initially "upset" after the incident.

"I know that I can't hold on to something like this," Durant said. "I know that I've got to make a choice with myself, like how long are you going to be upset about this to the point where you're going to let it affect what you do on the floor or how you approach the game? Once it gets there now, I've got to make a grown-man decision and tell myself, 'Look, man, no matter what, you've still got to come to work every single day. It's going to work out. It's going to figure itself out.'

"And I think everyone's been handling it the best way they could and we're just trying to move forward with it."

The Warriors have lost three straight games and have dropped four of their last five since the confrontation between Durant and Green.

Durant, however, said the altercation could end up bringing the team closer together.

"When you go through some adversity in your personal relationships and you kind of lay everything out on the table with that human, that person, you start to just really get an understanding for everything," Durant said. "I feel like we'll all do that at some point.

"Not just me and Draymond, but I feel like just being with these guys for so long that you start to get comfortable."

The Warriors will return to the court on Wednesday when they face the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant was fined $25,000 for using inappropriate language towards a fan during a loss to the Dallas Mavericks.

Steve Kerr thinks this has been his most challenging week as Golden State Warriors coach.

Golden State have dropped three straight games and two of their best players – Kevin Durant and Draymond Green – were involved in a heated on-court argument.

Kerr was asked about the team's recent issues following their 12-point loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday.

"I've had a dream run for four and a half years. We've had such a charmed existence the last four seasons," Kerr said (via The Athletic). "This is the toughest stretch we've been in. This is the real NBA. We haven't been in the real NBA the last few years.

"We've been in this dream. So now, we're faced with real adversity and we've got to get out of it ourselves."

Golden State shot 40.7 per cent from the field and knocked down just five of their 26 three-point attempts in the loss to San Antonio. Durant scored 26 points in the game while Klay Thompson added 25.

Green has been dealing with a toe sprain and he was suspended one game following his verbal altercation with Durant. The Warriors have also been without star Stephen Curry, who has not played since he suffered a groin injury on November 8.

The Warriors will return to the court against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday.

Stephen Curry is proud about the way the Golden State Warriors handled the altercation between Draymond Green and Kevin Durant.

Green was involved in a heated verbal exchange with team-mate Durant during the team's 121-116 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Clippers last week and their argument reportedly continued in the locker room after the game.

The team then suspended Green for their 110-103 win over the Atlanta Hawks one day later.

Curry, the Warriors star who has been out since November 8 with a groin injury, discussed the incident when he met with reporters on Saturday.

"I think the way we've handled it as a team, the way Draymond's handled it, the way KD's handled it, it's been nothing but professionalism and understanding that it's about the team," Curry said (via ESPN).

"We have the opportunity to do something extremely special this year. There's going to be ups and downs and bumps in the road, whether it's self-inflicted or whether it's from outside.

"I'm extremely proud of the way we've handled this last week. It's an opportunity to really implode and crumble, but that's not going to happen."

Curry also praised Warriors coach Steve Kerr's handling of the heated argument.

"Very authentic in terms of not sugarcoating anything," Curry said about Kerr. "Understanding the reality of the situation but also try to just keep us focused on how do we move forward as a team. That's really the most important thing.”

The Warriors head into their matchup against the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday with a 12-5 record.

Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob says the NBA champions did not takes sides by suspending Draymond Green following his altercation with Kevin Durant.

Green was given a one-match suspension following an on-court row with Durant, which is said to have continued in the locker room after the defeat to the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday.

Amid reports that Golden State have taken one side over the other, Lacob stated that the Warriors support both players.

"I’ve read and heard all the things people are talking about," Lacob said. "That we're choosing one person over another. We're not choosing anybody over anybody.”

When asked whether the problem was a management issue, Lacob replied: “I think that’s exactly right. It’s totally a management issue."

Lacob went on to say the decision to suspend one player over the other was because of Green's role in the heated exchange.

“The point is, whether it would be any employee, they'd have to act certain ways to be our employee. Draymond knows that he went beyond - won't say what he did, or what he said, or anything like that - he went beyond what we felt appropriate, so it didn't matter who it was.

"And he understands that, by the way. I've been texting with him, and he totally gets it. I do have a great relationship with him, and I still do."

Stephen Curry is optimistic his injury recovery is going well, but vowed to stay cautious and remains unable to pinpoint exactly when he will return to the court.

The Golden State Warriors star has missed the last five matches with a groin strain and will also be absent when the defending NBA champions take on the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday.

Curry is back doing individual drills and will be re-evaluated in around a week, the Warriors having lost three of their last four matches with the two-time league MVP absent.

"Progress is moving in the right direction," Curry told ESPN just before his side lost to the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday.

"[I] haven't had any setbacks or anything like that. But it's more so about getting full range of motion, doing so where it's pain-free and things like that. 

"I'm learning about this one. I can tell you everything you want to know about ankles. But this is obviously a new one for me, so trying to make sure I stay cautious, but knowing that we're moving in the right direction. 

"So I don't know how long it will be, but that's all I can pretty much ask for."

Curry, speaking for the first time since the injury he sustained against the Milwaukee Bucks, said he never enjoys being on the sidelines, especially at a time where his team could use his leadership given the recent clash between Draymond Green and Kevin Durant.

The 30-year-old added: "It's tough because I want to be there with my brothers in terms of when stuff goes down.

"Win, lose or draw, I want to be there to experience it all. Injuries are tough, and they're part of the game, I know that's obviously the reason I wasn't there, but at the end of the day, the way that we've responded and moved forward - [I] can't be more proud of how we handled that.

"It's been different, it's been tough. Obviously it sucks not being able to play. It sucks when you're not with the team when something like that happens.

"But I think the way we've handled it as a team, the way Draymond's handled it, the way KD's handled it, it's been nothing but professionalism and understanding that it's about the team. 

"We have the opportunity to do something extremely special this year. There's going to be ups and downs and bumps in the road, whether it's self-inflicted or whether it's from outside. And at the end of the day, nothing should distract us from what our goal is.

"Once we get over these injuries, we'll be able to show what we're about as a team. It's an opportunity to really implode and crumble, but that's not going to happen."

Kevin Durant is disinterested in discussing Monday's confrontation with Golden State Warriors team-mate Draymond Green.

The Warriors fell to the Houston Rockets 107-86 on Thursday while Green went scoreless in 24 minutes on the court.

When he was asked about the dynamic of playing with Green since getting into it on Monday, Durant was blunt.

"Don't ask me about that again," Durant told reporters, via ESPN.

Durant and Green got into an argument after regulation in Monday's overtime loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.

Green was suspended for the Warriors' game against the Atlanta Hawks for "conduct detrimental to the team".

Did Draymond Green go too far in heated argument with Kevin Durant?

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