Trinity Rodman, the daughter of five-time NBA champion Dennis Rodman, was taken second in the NWSL draft and is now looking to make her own name.

Two-time Defensive Player of the Year Dennis Rodman was hugely successful in the NBA, winning two championships with the Detroit Pistons and three with Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls.

His sporting excellence is also evident in his children, son DJ and daughter Trinity, both born to third wife Michelle Moyer.

DJ Rodman is a forward for Washington State, averaging 5.2 points and 3.4 rebounds through five games this season, but Trinity Rodman has taken her talents to football.

The 18-year-old enrolled at the same college but never made her bow due to the coronavirus pandemic, although she was nominated for US Soccer's Young Female Player of the Year award after starring for the United States Under-20 team.

Trinity Rodman was taken second by Washington Spirit, behind USWNT defender Emily Fox in the draft on Wednesday.

But the forward is keen not to rely on her famous father to catch the eye as she makes her first steps in the professional game.

"[Dennis] was an amazing athlete, and I got those genes from him," she said. "But I'm excited to be known as Trinity Rodman and not just as Rodman's daughter.

"I'm excited to pave my own path and get better throughout this journey."

She added: "To even just be in the draft with my situation and my age is insane, but to be number two to an amazing team is out of this world, like I couldn't ask for anything more."

Dennis Rodman described Trinity as "the number one soccer player in the world right now" last year in a video message to Andrea Petagna.

He mistakenly believed the Napoli striker was a woman, a comical gaffe shared by the Serie A star on social media.

The Los Angeles Lakers set a franchise record after winning again on the road, while Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic made NBA history.

LeBron James posted 26 points and defending champions the Lakers defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 128-99 on Wednesday.

The streaking Lakers (10-3), who have won four successive games, improved to 7-0 away from home this season – surpassing the 1985-86 team for the best start on the road.

James has had at least 15 points, five rebounds and five assists in all 13 games this season. In the last 30 years, the only NBA player to have a longer streak of 15/five/five games to start a season was James himself in 2011-12 (22 straight), according to Stats Perform.

Lakers team-mate Montrezl Harrell had 21 points, while Anthony Davis put up 18 points and seven rebounds in Oklahoma City midweek.

Doncic became the first player in NBA history to post 34 points, 13 rebounds, nine assists, four blocks, two steals and five threes made, per Stats Perform.

The Mavericks went on to win 104-93 and snap the Charlotte Hornets' four-game winning streak.

Mavericks star Kristaps Porzingis returned from a knee injury and scored 16 points in his first appearance since undergoing surgery in October.

 

Red-hot Giannis fuels Bucks

Giannis Antetokounmpo's triple-double guided the Milwaukee Bucks past the Detroit Pistons 110-101. The two-time reigning MVP finished with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for his 20th career triple-double.

Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum put on a show as the Portland Trail Blazers prevailed 132-126 against the Sacramento Kings. Lillard (40 points and 13 assists) and McCollum (28 points and 10 assists) became the first team-mate duo in NBA history to have 25-plus points, 10-plus assists and five-plus three-pointers made in the same game, per Stats Perform. They are also the first duo in the NBA to have 25-plus points, 10-plus assists and one or fewer turnovers in the same game since 1987.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker starred with 37 points, but the New Orleans Pelicans still lost 111-106 to the Los Angeles Clippers. Kawhi Leonard (28) and Paul George (27) combined for 55 points in the Clippers' win.

The Memphis Grizzlies topped the Minnesota Timberwolves 118-107 behind Jonas Valanciunas' 24 points and 16 rebounds.

 

Knicks duo struggle

The New York Knicks did not get much support from their two starting point guards in a 116-109 loss to city rivals the Brooklyn Nets. Austin Rivers was three-of-10 shooting from the field and two-of-five from three-point range for eight points in 34 minutes. Elfrid Peyton was just three of 11 from the field, while making just one of three-point attempts as he finished with seven points in 33 minutes.

 

Nurkic says no!

There was no way past Jusuf Nurkic as the Trail Blazers big man denied Glenn Robinson III in the fourth quarter.

 

Wednesday's results

Dallas Mavericks 104-93 Charlotte Hornets
Milwaukee Bucks 110-101 Detroit Pistons
Brooklyn Nets 116-109 New York Knicks
Memphis Grizzlies 118-107 Minnesota Timberwolves
Los Angeles Lakers 128-99 Oklahoma City Thunder
Los Angeles Clippers 111-106 New Orleans Pelicans
Portland Trail Blazers 132-126 Sacramento Kings
Utah Jazz-Washington Wizards (postponed)
Orlando Magic-Boston Celtics (postponed)
Atlanta Hawks-Phoenix Suns (postponed)

 

Rockets at Spurs

As James Harden reportedly heads to the Nets, the Houston Rockets (3-6) will look to cast the chaos aside when they face the San Antonio Spurs (6-5) on the road on Thursday.

These are uncertain times for the NBA as it continues to navigate the coronavirus pandemic.

COVID-19 protocols have left rosters lighter in number and, with contract tracing having a major impact, it is far from surprising to see games being postponed.

The absences have offered some players greater opportunities to impress in the embryonic stages of a shortened season that will require adaptability from all involved.

After an eventful week, Stats Perform assesses those performers who have stood out - for good and bad reasons - in games from January 4-10.

 

RUNNING HOT...

Bradley Beal 

It has been a tough start for the Wizards, who are stuck in the basement of the Eastern Conference. Beal, however, has excelled amid the defeats. He is averaging 35 points per game for the season but has been particularly spectacular in recent outings, including dropping 60 against the Philadelphia 76ers. While it set a new career best for points - and tied a franchise record too - Beal made clear he is not interested in personal milestones: "I just want to win. Sometimes you might be able to score 40, 50, 60, whatever the case may be, but I just want to win".

Tyrese Maxey 

The 21st pick in the 2020 draft had scored a combined tally of 52 points through his first nine NBA appearances. Then, amid injuries, positive COVID tests and coronavirus-enforced isolations, Maxey was thrust into a leading role as one of just seven players available against the Denver Nuggets on Saturday. His response to the situation was to score 39 points in just under 44 minutes of action, having taken 33 shots but no free throw attempts. In doing so, he became the first 76ers rookie with at least 35 points in a game since franchise legend Allen Iverson in 1997. 

Jimmy Butler 

Butler has begun to heat up after a cold start to the new campaign for Miami. The five-time All-Star had been hampered by injury issues but has looked back to somewhere near his best of late, managing 18, 26 and 26 points in his past three games. Surprisingly, though, Butler is still yet to manage a successful three-point attempt, missing on his seven shots from deep so far. It is a different story from the free-throw line, though, going 28 of 29 from the charity stripe.

LaMelo Ball 

The rise and rise of the youngest Ball brother continues. The point guard became the youngest player in NBA history to score a triple-double as Charlotte Hornets beat the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday. At 19 years and 140 days old, Ball had 22 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists. He had narrowly missed out on achieving the feat in his team's previous outing, against a New Orleans Pelicans team that included older sibling Lonzo. His rebounding average has gone from 4.33 a game to 9.25 across the past week. 

GOING COLD...

James Harden  

The NBA's scoring champion for the previous three seasons, Harden is still averaging 26 points per game despite continued doubts over his long-term future in Houston. However, it has not been a particularly productive week for the guard, who has not reached double digits in terms of field goals made in four straight outings. There were 15-point displays against both the Pacers and the Magic, then 20 points in a defeat to the Lakers. Across that stretch, Harden was six for 22 from three-point range. Astonishingly, he did not attempt a solitary free throw against Orlando. 

Trae Young 

To say Young has gone cold from deep recently is an understatement. The Atlanta Hawk landed five of six attempts in the season-opener against the Bulls, but since then has managed just nine successful long-range shots, including going a combined one for 14 in his most recent three appearances. Understandably, then, his average for points per game has dipped from 28.17 on January 3 to 17.67 for the past week.

Russell Westbrook 

A quadriceps injury will keep Westbrook sidelined for at least a week. His early form with the Wizards has been steady, including reaching double digits for points in all of his seven games for the franchise. Where there has been a dip for the former NBA MVP is in rebounding. He was up at 11.20 per game for the season by January 3, but he has averaged 6.00 for the past week following reduced contributions in defeats to the 76ers and the Celtics.

Blake Griffin  

Griffin hit with eight of 16 three-point shots for Detroit against the Cavaliers on December 26, but his output from long range since suggests that number could prove to be a post-Christmas outlier when compared to the rest of the season. In the past week, the 31-year-old has landed two from deep out of 18 tries for the struggling Pistons. His overall field goal percentage is down on his career mark too (37.6 per cent from 49.7 per cent), explaining why he is averaging 13.9 points per game. 

Anthony Davis led the way as defending NBA champions the Los Angeles Lakers continued their fine form with a 120-102 win over James Harden's Houston Rockets.

Davis, who sat out on Friday due to a groin strain, returned to score 27 points in Sunday's victory against the Rockets in Houston.

LeBron James posted 18 points, seven assists and seven rebounds as the Lakers won for the sixth time in seven games.

"[Tonight] was just A.D. being A.D. and just having him back in the line-up gives us a whole other dynamic both offensively and defensively," James said after the Lakers led by as many as 27 points.

Former MVP Harden finished with 20 points, while Rockets team-mate Christian Wood had 23 of his own.

It was a feisty game in Houston, where the Lakers' Markieff Morris and Rockets big man DeMarcus Cousins were both ejected in the opening half, while there were also five technical fouls and two flagrant fouls.

Kawhi Leonard reached a milestone after the Los Angeles Clippers held on to beat the Chicago Bulls 130-127.

Clippers star Leonard put up a season-high 35 points, including seven three-pointers, four assists and three steals to reach 10,000 career points.

Paul George contributed 28 points, seven rebounds and nine assists for the Clippers, who snapped a run of back-to-back losses.

The Bulls were led by Zach LaVine's season-high 45 points away to the Clippers in Los Angeles.

 

Durant stars on return

Back on the court following a three-game absence, Kevin Durant scored 36 points and collected 11 rebounds, but the slumping Brooklyn Nets still lost 129-116 at home to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander inspired the Thunder with 31 points.

Julius Randle's double-double of 29 points and 10 rebounds was not enough to lift the New York Knicks, who went down 114-89 to the Denver Nuggets. Nikola Jokic (22 points and 10 rebounds) propelled the Nuggets with a double-double of his own.

 

Curry struggles

While the Golden State Warriors trumped the struggling Toronto Raptors 106-105, Stephen Curry was uncharacteristically poor. Curry was just two-of-16 from the field, while he made only one of his 10 three-point attempts for 11 points in 38 minutes.

 

LeBron, the sniper!

James produced a moment of magic to unleash Kentavious Caldwell-Pope with a stunning left-handed pass from deep.

Sunday's results

Utah Jazz 96-86 Detroit Pistons
Los Angeles Clippers 130-127 Chicago Bulls
Oklahoma City Thunder 129-116 Brooklyn Nets
Denver Nuggets 114-89 New York Knicks
Los Angeles Lakers 120-102 Houston Rockets
Minnesota Timberwolves 96-88 San Antonio Spurs
Golden State Warriors 106-105 Toronto Raptors
Miami Heat-Boston Celtics (postponed)

 

76ers at Hawks

The high-flying Philadelphia 76ers (7-3) visit the Atlanta Hawks (4-5) on Monday. Doc Rivers and the 76ers are set to welcome back All-Star Joel Embiid, but Ben Simmons is expected to miss out after a depleted Philadelphia side – ravaged by coronavirus and injuries – lost to the Nuggets.

Stephen Curry led the Golden State Warriors past the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday, while the Los Angeles Lakers bounced back.

Curry's fine start to the NBA season continued in the Warriors' 115-105 win over the Clippers.

The guard had a double-double of 38 points and 11 assists as the Warriors (5-4) responded to their loss to the Clippers on Wednesday.

Curry was 13-of-24 from the field and nine-of-14 from three-point range in the win.

Paul George (25) and Kawhi Leonard (24) combined for 49 points for the Clippers, but they slipped to 6-4.

The Lakers bounced back from their loss to the San Antonio Spurs by overcoming the Chicago Bulls 117-115.

LeBron James' 28 points, seven rebounds and seven assists led the Lakers, who were without Anthony Davis (strained adductor).

Zach LaVine finished with 38 points for the Bulls.

 

Bucks fall despite Giannis' display, Celtics win

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 35 points, eight rebounds and four assists, but the Milwaukee Bucks went down to the Utah Jazz 131-118.

Donovan Mitchell led the Jazz, posting 32 points, seven assists and five rebounds.

Jaylen Brown continued his good form with a double-double of 27 points and 13 rebounds in the Boston Celtics' 116-107 win over the Washington Wizards. Brown and Jayson Tatum (32 points) became the third pair of team-mates in the past 20 seasons to each record 250-plus points in their team's first 10 games, joining Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant (2001-02) and Curry and Kevin Durant (three times).

The Wizards slumped to 2-7 despite Bradley Beal's 41 points.

Caris LeVert exploded for 43 points, but the Brooklyn Nets – without Durant and Kyrie Irving – were edged by the Memphis Grizzlies 115-110.

 

Magic misery

The Orlando Magic have made a good start to the season, but they shot at just 38.2 per cent in a 132-90 loss to the Houston Rockets. Orlando are now 6-3.

 

Brotherly battle

LaMelo and Lonzo Ball did battle on Friday. LaMelo had 12 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists in the Charlotte Hornets' 118-110 win over the New Orleans Pelicans.

Friday's results

Detroit Pistons 110-105 Phoenix Suns
Boston Celtics 116-107 Washington Wizards
Charlotte Hornets 118-110 New Orleans Pelicans
Oklahoma City Thunder 101-89 New York Knicks
Houston Rockets 132-90 Orlando Magic
Memphis Grizzlies 115-110 Brooklyn Nets
Utah Jazz 131-118 Milwaukee Bucks
Toronto Raptors 144-123 Sacramento Kings
Golden State Warriors 115-105 Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles Lakers 117-115 Chicago Bulls

 

Cavaliers at Bucks

The Bucks (5-4) will look to bounce back when they take on the Cleveland Cavaliers (5-4) on Saturday.

The Boston Celtics edged the Miami Heat in the NBA on Wednesday, while the Milwaukee Bucks claimed their third straight win.

In a rematch of last season's Eastern Conference finals, the Celtics overcame the Heat 107-105 in Miami.

Jayson Tatum (27 points) and Jaylen Brown (21 points and 12 rebounds) led the Celtics (6-3) to their win.

But Payton Pritchard (six points) made the decisive lay-up with 0.2 seconds remaining to secure the win.

The teams kneeled in protest ahead of the clash, in response to a riot on Capitol Hill and after no charges were brought against the police officer who shot and seriously injured Jacob Blake, a black man, in Kenosha in August last year.

Meanwhile, the Bucks made it three straight wins by easing past the Detroit Pistons 130-115.

Giannis Antetokounmpo guided Milwaukee into a 5-3 record with 25 points, eight rebounds and four assists.

 

Hayward heroic, Beal brilliance not enough for Wizards

Gordon Hayward scored a career-high 44 points to see the Charlotte Hornets past the Atlanta Hawks 102-94.

Bradley Beal equalled a Washington Wizards record, but it was not enough. Beal tied the franchise record with 60 points in a 141-136 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.

Joel Embiid once again inspired the 76ers, scoring 38 points to go with eight rebounds and five assists as they improved to 7-1.

A 35-point haul from Malcolm Brogdon helped the Indiana Pacers beat the Houston Rockets 114-107.

 

Curry cools off

After 92 points in the previous two games, Stephen Curry cooled off. He went five-of-17 from the field for 13 points in 35 minutes as the Golden State Warriors fell to the Los Angeles Clippers 108-101.

 

Beal ties record

Beal was in spectacular form for the Wizards. He equalled Gilbert Arenas' record of 60 points for the Wizards against the Los Angeles Lakers in 2006.

Wednesday's results

Indiana Pacers 114-107 Houston Rockets
Orlando Magic 105-94 Cleveland Cavaliers
Philadelphia 76ers 141-136 Washington Wizards
Charlotte Hornets 102-94 Atlanta Hawks
Boston Celtics 107-105 Miami Heat
New York Knicks 112-100 Utah Jazz
Milwaukee Bucks 130-115 Detroit Pistons
Oklahoma City Thunder 111-110 New Orleans Pelicans
Phoenix Suns 123-115 Toronto Raptors
Los Angeles Clippers 108-101 Golden State Warriors
Sacramento Kings 128-124 Chicago Bulls

 

76ers at Nets

The 76ers will look to continue their good start to the season when they take on the Brooklyn Nets (4-4). The Nets will again be without star Kevin Durant, who is in quarantine.

Seven players hit double figures as the Philadelphia 76ers surged to 6-1 while Malcolm Brogdon landed an overtime winner as the Indiana Pacers take up chase in the East.

Eastern Conference leaders Philadelphia remain ahead of the pack after a second-quarter flurry helped to sink the Charlotte Hornets, 118-101, with Tobias Harris leading the scoring on 22 points.

Joel Embiid (14 points and 11 rebounds) and Ben Simmons (12 points and 10 rebounds) played key supporting roles with double-doubles as the 76ers continue to fly high.

Indiana improved to 5-2 in a 118-116 thriller against the New Orleans Pelicans after Brogdon capped his double-double with the clutch OT winner, while Victor Oladipo top scored for the Pacers with 25 points.

In-form Pelicans duo Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson combined for 55 points in the loss, as Ingram scored 31 and Williamson recorded a double-double with 24 points and 10 rebounds.

Orlando also stayed in the hunt for top spot as Aaron Gordon (24 points, 11 rebounds) and Nikola Vucevic (23 points) inspired the Magic to move to 5-3 with a 103-83 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Malcolm Brogdon hits the game-winning floater in OT as the @Pacers pick up their 5th W of the season!

Brogdon: 21 PTS, 7 REB, 11 AST
Victor Oladipo: 25 PTS, 6 AST
Brandon Ingram: 31 PTS, 8 AST
Zion Williamson: 24 PTS, 10 REB pic.twitter.com/XfWbcMXemJ

— NBA (@NBA) January 5, 2021


Doncic, Giannis go off as Mavs and Bucks win

Luka Doncic dominated with 33 points and a triple-double as the Dallas Mavericks ended the Houston Rockets’ winning streak with a 113-100 win.

Doncic added 16 rebounds and 11 assists, while Tim Hardaway Jr shot for 30 points to boost the Mavs. Houston's Christian Wood, Eric Gordon and a returning James Harden all put up more than 20 points.

Stephen Curry exploded to lift the Golden State Warriors to victory in the NBA on Sunday, while the Los Angeles Lakers won again.

Curry produced a career-high 62 points as the Warriors beat the Portland Trail Blazers 137-122.

The two-time NBA MVP was in spectacular form, shooting 18-of-31 from the field and eight-of-16 from three-point range.

Damian Lillard (32) and CJ McCollum (28) combined for 60 points for the Trail Blazers.

The Lakers made it three straight wins by beating the Memphis Grizzlies 108-94.

LeBron James' 22 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists led the Lakers, who had six players in double-digits for points.

 

Durant dominance not enough for Nets, George shines

Kevin Durant had 28 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists, but the Brooklyn Nets fell to the Washington Wizards 123-122.

Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 27 points and 10 rebounds.

Paul George posted 39 points to guide the Los Angeles Clippers past the Phoenix Suns 112-107.

Jayson Tatum's double-double of 24 points and 12 assists helped the Boston Celtics edge the Detroit Pistons 122-120.

Bad Brooks

Dillon Brooks had a difficult outing for the Grizzlies. The guard went three-of-15 from the field for just nine points in 29 minutes.

 

Amazing Curry

Curry hit a brilliant eighth three-pointer to reach 62 points in the Warriors' win.

Sunday's results

Boston Celtics 122-120 Detroit Pistons
Los Angeles Lakers 108-94 Memphis Grizzlies
Washington Wizards 123-122 Brooklyn Nets
Denver Nuggets 124-109 Minnesota Timberwolves
Utah Jazz 130-109 San Antonio Spurs
Chicago Bulls 118-108 Dallas Mavericks
Los Angeles Clippers 112-107 Phoenix Suns
Golden State Warriors 137-122 Portland Trail Blazers

 

Pistons at Bucks

The Milwaukee Bucks (3-3) take on the Detroit Pistons (1-5) on Monday. Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo is averaging 23.5 points, 11.7 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game this season.

The Los Angeles Lakers made it back-to-back wins in the NBA, while the Milwaukee Bucks thrashed the Chicago Bulls on Friday.

LeBron James posted a triple-double of 26 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists as the Lakers beat the San Antonio Spurs 109-103.

Anthony Davis had a game-high 34 points, to go with 11 rebounds, as the Lakers enjoyed a second win in three days over San Antonio.

Keldon Johnson (26) and DeMar DeRozan (23) combined for 49 points for Spurs.

Giannis Antetokounmpo (29 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists) helped the Bucks crush the Bulls 126-96.

Milwaukee had seven players in double-digits and the Bucks hit 22 three-pointers.

No team has hit more threes through the first six games of a season than the Bucks' 108 to begin 2020-21.

 

Doncic lifts Mavericks, Leonard's Clippers lose

Luka Doncic finished with 27 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists in the Dallas Mavericks' 93-83 win over the Miami Heat.

Kawhi Leonard fell just short of a triple-double as he posted 20 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists, but the Los Angeles Clippers went down to the Utah Jazz 106-100.

The Portland Trail Blazers eased past the Golden State Warriors 123-98 thanks largely to 34 points from Damian Lillard. Lillard joined Clyde Drexler as the only players to score 15,000 points with the Trail Blazers.

Deandre Ayton's double-double of 22 points and 11 rebounds helped the Phoenix Suns improve to 5-1 with a 106-103 victory against the Denver Nuggets.

 

Nets slip to 3-3

Kyrie Irving struggled from the field, shooting six-of-21 for 18 points, as the Brooklyn Nets were beaten by the Atlanta Hawks 114-96. Kevin Durant finished with 28 points.

 

Grant delivers huge dunk

Jerami Grant produced a huge dunk as part of his 24 points in the Detroit Pistons' first win of the season – a 96-93 victory over the Boston Celtics.

Friday's results

Memphis Grizzlies 108-93 Charlotte Hornets
Detroit Pistons 96-93 Boston Celtics
Dallas Mavericks 93-83 Miami Heat
Atlanta Hawks 114-96 Brooklyn Nets
Milwaukee Bucks 126-96 Chicago Bulls
Washington Wizards 130-109 Minnesota Timberwolves
Los Angeles Lakers 109-103 San Antonio Spurs
Phoenix Suns 106-103 Denver Nuggets
Utah Jazz 106-100 Los Angeles Clippers
Portland Trail Blazers 123-98 Golden State Warriors

 

Kings at Rockets

The Sacramento Kings (3-2) take on James Harden and the Houston Rockets (1-2) on Saturday.

The Milwaukee Bucks produced a record-breaking performance to gain some revenge against the Miami Heat, humbling last season's NBA Finals runners-up 144-97.

Milwaukee set the NBA record for three-pointers made in a game with 29 as they crushed the Jimmy Butler-less Heat in Miami on Tuesday.

The Bucks and Miami met for the first time since last season's playoffs, which saw the Heat surprisingly eliminate Milwaukee in five games in the Eastern Conference semi-finals at Walt Disney World Resort.

But the Heat were no match for the Bucks, who were 29 of 51 from beyond the arc to surpass the record set by the Houston Rockets (27) in 2019.

Khris Middleton posted 25 points on 10-of-13 shooting from the field, while he was four of five from three-point range in Milwaukee's largest road win in franchise history.

Bucks star and two-time reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo had a quiet outing, finishing with nine points, six rebounds and six assists away to the Heat.

Milwaukee tied the record for the second-largest road win (47) in league history against a team that made the NBA Finals the previous season, behind the 1986 Seattle SuperSonics (56), per Stats Perform

According to Stats Perform, the Bucks (2-2) also became the first team in NBA history to have two 35-plus point victories from their first four games of a season, having previously crushed the Golden State Warriors 138-99.

Meanwhile, the Orlando Magic also made history after improving to 4-0 with a 118-107 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Orlando – two-time NBA Finals participants – reached 4-0 to start a season for the first time in their history thanks to some help from Nikola Vucevic, who had a game-high 28 points and 10 rebounds.

 

Embiid matches Barkley

Joel Embiid was the hero again for the Philadelphia 76ers in their hard-fought 100-93 win against the Toronto Raptors.

Embiid became the first 76ers player to score at least 25 points and 10 rebounds in each of his first three games in a season since Charles Barkley in 1986-87.

Returning from a stiff back that ruled him out of the loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Embiid had 29 points and 16 rebounds. Tobias Harris contributed 26 points and 11 rebounds.

Stephen Curry put up 31 points and Andrew Wiggins posted 27 of his own to fuel the Golden State Warriors' 116-106 triumph at the winless Detroit Pistons.

The Boston Celtics topped the Indiana Pacers 116-111 courtesy of a Jayson Tatum double-double of 27 points and 11 rebounds on the road.

Julius Randle's 28-points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists guided the New York Knicks past the previously undefeated Cavaliers 95-86.

Russell Westbrook (21 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists) posted a triple-double but the winless Washington Wizards still crashed to a fourth straight defeat, beaten 115-107 by the Chicago Bulls.

Nikola Jokic (26 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds) had a triple-double and Michael Porter Jr. (30 points and 10 rebounds) recorded a double-double but the Denver Nuggets went down 125-115 on the road to the Sacramento Kings.

 

Forget the threes

While the Bucks were red-hot against the Heat, the same could not be said about the New Orleans Pelicans – who were three-of-24 from beyond the arc in a 111-86 defeat against the Phoenix Suns.

Mason Plumlee missed all five of his attempts from the field, while he was unsuccessful with his only shot from three-point range for two points as Detroit fell to 0-4.

 

Wiseman with the Euro step

James Wiseman is already making a name for himself in the NBA. The second pick in this year's draft, the Warriors rookie went coast-to-coast before finishing with the Euro step and dunk after making a block.

 

Tuesday's results

New York Knicks 95-86 Cleveland Cavaliers
Philadelphia 76ers 100-93 Toronto Raptors
Golden State Warriors 116-106 Detroit Pistons
Boston Celtics 116-111 Indiana Pacers
Milwaukee Bucks 144-97 Miami Heat
Chicago Bulls 115-107 Washington Wizards
Orlando Magic 118-107 Oklahoma City Thunder
Phoenix Suns 111-86 New Orleans Pelicans
Sacramento Kings 125-115 Denver Nuggets
Los Angeles Clippers 124-101 Minnesota Timberwolves

 

Lakers at Spurs

LeBron James and defending champions the Los Angeles Lakers (2-2) will look to bounce back against the San Antonio Spurs (2-1) on Wednesday.

The Los Angeles Lakers fell to the Portland Trail Blazers in the NBA on Monday, while James Harden was unable to lift the Houston Rockets.

Damian Lillard (31 points) and Gary Trent Jr. (28) inspired the Trail Blazers in a 115-107 victory over the Lakers.

Lillard and Trent combined to go 20-of-30 from the field and 12-of-21 from three-point range in the Trail Blazers' win.

LeBron James posted 29 points, nine rebounds and six assists, but the Lakers fell to a second loss in four games to begin the season.

Harden produced another big performance, but the Rockets slipped to 0-2 after a 124-111 loss to the Denver Nuggets.

After a 44-point opening game, Harden had 34 points, eight assists and six rebounds, but the Rockets fell as Nikola Jokic starred for Denver.

 

Jokic shines as Young inspires perfect Hawks

Jokic posted a triple-double of 19 points, 18 assists and 12 rebounds in the Nuggets' win.

Trae Young helped the Atlanta Hawks improve to 3-0 with a 128-120 win over the Detroit Pistons. Young had 29 points, six assists and three rebounds.

With Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving rested, Caris LeVert stepped up with a double-double of 28 points and 11 assists, but the Brooklyn Nets lost to the Memphis Grizzlies 116-111 after overtime. Grizzlies guard Ja Morant suffered an ankle injury in the loss.

Horrible House

Rockets forward Danuel House Jr. struggled badly, going one-of-nine from the field. He finished with just three points in 29 minutes in the loss to the Nuggets.

 

Terrific Trent

Trent was in fine form for Portland, his three-point shooting lifting them to a win over the Lakers.

Monday's results

Atlanta Hawks 128-120 Detroit Pistons
Memphis Grizzlies 116-111 Brooklyn Nets
Utah Jazz 110-109 Oklahoma City Thunder
Denver Nuggets 124-111 Houston Rockets
Portland Trail Blazers 115-107 Los Angeles Lakers

 

Bucks at Heat

The Milwaukee Bucks (1-2) are out to bounce back from an embarrassing loss to the New York Knicks when they take on the Miami Heat (1-1) on Tuesday. Miami stunned the Bucks in the Eastern Conference semi-finals last season.

The Philadelphia 76ers made it two wins from two games under Doc Rivers, while Washington Wizards star Russell Westbrook recorded his second straight triple-double.

Joel Embiid fuelled the 76ers with a double-double of 27 points and 10 rebounds away to the Knicks in New York on Saturday.

Ben Simmons recorded 15 points, nine rebounds and six assists as he nullified Knicks star RJ Barrett, while Tobias Harris and Seth Curry each had 17 points apiece for the championship-chasing 76ers.

76ers head coach Rivers – who replaced Brett Brown in the offseason – also earned his 945th regular-season victory to move 10th all time, surpassing Bill Fitch.

The 76ers have won 13 consecutive games against the lowly Knicks (0-2).

James Harden registered 44 points and 17 assists, but the Houston Rockets still lost 128-126 to the Portland Trail Blazers in overtime.

Houston were playing for the first time after their season opener was postponed due to coronavirus, and Harden – reportedly eyeing a trade to the 76ers or Brooklyn Nets – almost guided the Rockets to victory in Portland.

The Trail Blazers (1-1) were spearheaded by CJ McCollum (44 points) and Damian Lillard (32 points).

 

Westbrook follows in Magic's footsteps

Former MVP Westbrook became the first player since Magic Johnson in 1982 to post triple-doubles in his team's first two games of the season. Westbrook put up 15 points, 15 rebounds and 12 assists in Washington's 130-120 loss to the unbeaten Orlando Magic. Acquired from the Rockets, Westbrook became the fourth player in NBA history to achieve the feat, along with Johnson (twice), Jerry Lucas and Oscar Robertson, though the nine-time All-Star is the first player to do it with a new team.

The San Antonio Spurs rallied past the Toronto Raptors 119-114 thanks to DeMar DeRozan, Dejounte Murray and Patty Mills. DeRozan scored 27 points and Murray added 11 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds for his first ever triple-double – becoming just the 14th player in franchise history to accomplish the feat. Mills was eight of nine from the field and five of six from three-point range for 21 points off the bench.

Trae Young posted 36 points to lead the Atlanta Hawks past the Memphis Grizzlies 122-112. Kevin Huerter added 21 points off the bench, while Deandre Hunter had a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds. Grizzlies star Ja Morant finished with 28 points as team-mate Kyle Anderson (20 points and 14 rebounds) also impressed.

The Indiana Pacers took down the Chicago Bulls thanks to Domantas Sabonis' triple-double (22 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists), Victor Oladipo (22 points) and TJ Warren (23 points).

Collin Sexton (32 points), Andre Drummond (23 points and 16 rebounds) and Darius Garland (21 points and 12 assists) combined to inspire the Cleveland Cavaliers' 128-119 overtime victory at the Detroit Pistons.

 

Rough night for Barrett

Barrett struggled to get going under the watchful eye of Simmons. The Knicks star was just two-of-15 shooting from the field, while he missed all six of his three-point attempts. Barrett finished with 10 points, six rebounds and four assists in a team-high 37 minutes.

 

Gilgeous-Alexander calls game!

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander nailed a clutch jumper with 1.4 seconds remaining to lift the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 109-107 win against the Charlotte Hornets.

 

Saturday's results

Atlanta Hawks 122-112 Memphis Grizzlies
Oklahoma City Thunder 109-107 Charlotte Hornets
Cleveland Cavaliers 128-119 Detroit Pistons (OT)
Orlando Magic 130-120 Washington Wizards
Philadelphia 76ers 109-89 New York Knicks
Indiana Pacers 125-106 Chicago Bulls
San Antonio Spurs 119-114 Toronto Raptors
Minnesota Timberwolves 116-111 Utah Jazz
Sacramento Kings 106-103 Phoenix Suns
Portland Trail Blazers 128-126 Houston Rockets (OT)

 

Timberwolves at Lakers

The Timberwolves (2-0) will face defending champions the Los Angeles Lakers (1-1) on the road on Sunday. LeBron James and the Lakers will look to claim back-to-back wins after their Christmas Day success.

The Boston Celtics edged the Milwaukee Bucks in an NBA thriller, while Joel Embiid starred for the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday.

Jayson Tatum (30 points) hit a three-pointer with 1.5 seconds remaining as the Celtics overcame the Bucks 122-121.

Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo, who scored a game-high 35 points, missed the second of two free-throws with 0.4 seconds remaining.

Embiid led the 76ers to a 113-107 victory over Russell Westbrook's Washington Wizards.

The center posted a double-double of 29 points and 14 rebounds for the 76ers, while Ben Simmons had 16 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.

Westbrook, traded to Washington by the Houston Rockets earlier this month, saw his debut spoiled despite a triple-double of 21 points, 15 assists and 11 rebounds.

 

Brown brilliant, Jokic dominates in defeat

Jaylen Brown was the star of the show for the Celtics, scoring 33 points on 13-of-24 shooting.

Nikola Jokic dominated for the Denver Nuggets. He became the first player since Larry Bird in 1987 to reach 29 points, 15 rebounds, 14 assists and three blocks in a single game, as per Stats Perform. Denver lost to the Sacramento Kings 124-122.

Ja Morant had 44 points for the Memphis Grizzlies, who fell to the San Antonio Spurs 131-119.

Meanwhile, Terry Rozier posted 42 points but his Charlotte Hornets also lost, going down to the Cleveland Cavaliers 121-114.

It was the first time in NBA history that two different players scored 40-plus points in a season opener but lost the game in the same year, according to Stats Perform.

Wayward VanVleet

Fred VanVleet made a slow start to the season, going three-of-12 from the field in the Toronto Raptors' 113-99 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans.

 

Hield heroics

Buddy Hield (22 points) tipped in the game-winner in overtime for the Kings against the Nuggets.

Wednesday's results

Philadelphia 76ers 113-107 Washington Wizards
Orlando Magic 113-107 Miami Heat
Cleveland Cavaliers 121-114 Charlotte Hornets
Indiana Pacers 121-107 New York Knicks
Boston Celtics 122-121 Milwaukee Bucks
New Orleans Pelicans 113-99 Toronto Raptors
San Antonio Spurs 131-119 Memphis Grizzlies
Atlanta Hawks 124-104 Chicago Bulls
Minnesota Timberwolves 111-101 Detroit Pistons
Sacramento Kings 124-122 Denver Nuggets
Utah Jazz 120-100 Portland Trail Blazers
Phoenix Suns 106-102 Dallas Mavericks

 

Mavericks at Lakers

Christmas Day will see five blockbusters, headlined by the Los Angeles Lakers (0-1) taking on the Mavericks (0-1) at the Staples Center.

The 75th NBA season will be different, that is for sure.

Having completed the previous campaign in a Florida bubble due to the coronavirus pandemic, the league starts a reduced 72-game schedule on Tuesday. That is not the only change, though, as a play-in tournament will decide the final two qualification spots in each conference for the playoffs.

So, with free agency long over, trades made and the 2020 draft done and dusted, every franchise starts with a fresh sense of hope and a clean slate.

Ahead of the opening games, here are six players to keep an eye on during the coming weeks and months, including some intriguing rookies and a familiar face now in a new home.

 

LAMELO BALL (CHARLOTTE HORNETS)

Ball will garner plenty of attention in his rookie campaign, even if the guard may have to go through some growing pains with the Charlotte Hornets. 

Selected third in the draft, the brother of Lonzo and LiAngelo has the passing skills and court vision to produce highlight plays. While only 19, it should be remembered he has already played professionally in both Lithuania and Australia. 

His three preseason outings for the Hornets produced averages of 10 points, 5.0 assists and 3.7 rebounds. Dwyane Wade was suitably impressed by what he saw, tweeting: "So breaking news: LaMelo Ball is a problem!"

SADDIQ BEY (DETROIT PISTONS)

Have the Pistons found a gem in Bey, the 19th pick in the draft? The shooting guard went to DeMatha Catholic High School – the same establishment as Victor Oladipo and Markelle Fultz, as well as Jerai, Jerian and Jerami Grant – before moving on to Villanova. 

His final year in college saw Bey shoot 45.1 per cent from three-point range, placing him fifth in the category for Division I players with a minimum of 150 attempts from deep. 

Those numbers offer promise for a Detroit team that averaged 107.2 points per game in the 2019-20 season, ranking them a lowly 25th in the league. 

CARIS LEVERT (BROOKLYN NETS)

The focus in Brooklyn will be on Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, as the Nets finally get to put their two big-name free agency recruits from July 2019 in tandem together. 

Still, the dynamic duo will need help. LeVert averaged 27.4 points in five games during March, including shooting 44.1 per cent from three. He can expect to get open looks this season too, with opposing teams more concerned with his superstar team-mates.

While that is a small sample size, the shooting guard's presence has made a clear difference for the Nets in the past. In the 45 games he played last season, the team averaged 114.7 points. That number dipped to 107 when he did not feature. 

CHRIS PAUL (PHOENIX SUNS)

Paul is preparing to start a third straight season on a different team and, while far from a new name, considering he was drafted back in 2005 and is a 10-time All-Star, it will be fascinating to see what difference the veteran point guard can make to the Suns. 

His solitary year with the Oklahoma City Thunder saw him become just the third player to average at least 17 points and 6.0 assists when aged 34 or older. The others to manage that? LeBron James (also last season) and Kobe Bryant (2012-13). 

Now he joins a Phoenix roster that dazzled during their stay in the NBA bubble, despite eventually missing out on the playoffs. Devin Booker should certainly relish having Paul alongside him in the backcourt, while center and former No.1 overall pick Deandre Ayton should also benefit. 

OBI TOPPIN (NEW YORK KNICKS)

Toppin should feel right at home in the NBA; the Brooklyn-born power forward was drafted in the first round by the Knicks. 

The 22-year-old averaged 20 points, 7.5 rebounds and shot 63.3 per cent from the field for Dayton in college basketball last season, numbers good enough to see him named national player of the year. 

Denied the opportunity to have a deep run in the NCAA Tournament, Toppin will hope to make an instant impact in the Big Apple. The opportunity to play regular minutes – whether it be off the bench or as a starter – makes him a real contender to be this season's top rookie performer. 

COBY WHITE (CHICAGO BULLS)

Coby White was a much-needed positive for the Bulls in an otherwise dismal season. They will at least be well rested having not been involved in the Orlando bubble, while Billy Donovan is now in as coach to try and improve results.  

Selected with the seventh overall pick in the 2019 draft, White averaged 13.2 points in his debut season. That is the fourth most by a Bulls rookie since 2000-01, behind only Derrick Rose, Lauri Markkanen and Ben Gordon. 

However, that number rose to 20.9 points (as well as 4.0 rebounds and 4.8 assists) from February 1 onwards – and there have been positive signs from the guard during a shortened preseason, too. 

John Wall ended his two-year NBA absence as the five-time All-Star made his Houston Rockets bow in preseason.

Not since December 2018 had Wall played a game in the NBA – the star guard missing the last two seasons with injuries to his left Achilles tendon, left knee and left heel.

But Wall returned to the court on Friday after being dealt to the Rockets by the Washington Wizards.

Wall, who was traded by the Wizards along with a protected first-round pick for Russell Westbrook last week, posted 13 points in a 125-104 win over the Chicago Bulls.

"Tonight was just great to be back in an NBA game, period," said Wall, who was six-of-10 shooting against the Bulls in the absence of James Harden as the Rockets superstar reportedly seeks a trade to the Philadelphia 76ers or Brooklyn Nets.

Wall also had five rebounds, nine assists and two steals in 19 minutes of action away to the Bulls, after opening the game with an impressive layup.

"I just knew I was back," Wall said. "I know how much hard work I've been through the last two years. It was a surreal moment for me even though it was preseason."

DeMarcus Cousins, who signed a one-year deal with the Rockets in the offseason, had 14 points, five rebounds, two steals and two blocks during his 15 minutes.

"It's step by step with those guys," said first-year Rockets head coach Stephen Silas. "We really didn't know what to expect when those guys walked through the door, both of them coming off of injuries.

"They both played very well tonight. They both looked really good. They were fun. Hopefully, this is something we can build off of, but it's a day-by-day thing."

Elsewhere, the Los Angeles Clippers topped city rivals the Los Angeles Lakers 87-81 – a warmup for their opening-night showdown on December 22.

NBA champions the Lakers were without star duo LeBron James and Anthony Davis for their preseason curtain raiser, while Montrezl Harrell had a double-double of 13 points and 12 rebounds against former team the Clippers.

Paul George had 10 points in 14 minutes after signing a new max deal with the Clippers, and team-mate Kawhi Leonard finished with just three points.

The Orlando Magic beat the Atlanta Hawks 116-112, the New York Knicks defeated the Detroit Pistons 90-84 and the Sacramento Kings fell to the Portland Trail Blazers 127-102.

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