Los Angeles Clippers star Kawhi Leonard is "healthy" and has arrived at Disney World for the NBA season restart, coach Doc Rivers has confirmed.

Leonard did not fly to Orlando with his Clippers team-mates on Wednesday after being excused due to a family matter.

Speaking on Saturday, Rivers said the All-Star forward was going through the quarantine procedure put in place as part of the protocols to combat the risk of coronavirus.

"Kawhi, he is here, he is going through the protocol," Rivers said, with Leonard now expected to quarantine for two days.

ESPN reported on July 2 that the Clippers had to close their team facility following a positive test for COVID-19, but Rivers says all the players in Orlando are fit, including Paul George, who had been recovering from shoulder surgery.

"I think everybody's healthy, that is a great thing," he said. "Guys were not as healthy in training camp at the beginning of this year.

"Now we got Paul George healthy, we have Kawhi healthy, we don't have a guy that's injured right now, knock on wood. Hope that continues."

Rivers also addressed controversy around Missouri senator Josh Hawley, who wrote to NBA commissioner Adam Silver to question why players will be allowed to wear jerseys with social justice messaging rather than slogans "Support our Troops", "Back the Blue" or "free Hong Kong".

"They always try to turn it into the military or the police," Rivers said. "There's no league that does more for the military than the NBA. But how about that senator? I'll make up a challenge. We will do things for the troops as long as he acknowledges Black Lives Matter. I think that would be really cool for him to do.

"It's funny, whenever we talk about justice, people try to change the message. Colin Kaepernick kneels, it had nothing to do with the troops. It had to do with social injustice. And everyone tries to change the narrative. How about staying on what we're talking about and dealing with that instead of trying to trick us or change or trick your constituents? How about being real?

"I guarantee you that we have done more for the military than probably that senator. And I guarantee you this, we are going to do things for Black Lives Matter, how about him? Maybe he should join into that."

Los Angeles Clippers star Kawhi Leonard reportedly did not travel with his team-mates to Orlando for the NBA's season restart but is expected to arrive in a few days. 

Leonard was reportedly not on the team flight to the Orlando area in Florida, where the 2019-20 campaign will resume at the Disney World complex after the season was halted in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A two-time NBA Finals MVP, Leonard is believed to have an excused absence from the Clippers as he tends to a family matter. 

The Clippers are scheduled to spend Thursday and Friday satisfying quarantine requirements and will play their first game on July 30 against rivals the Los Angeles Lakers in the second game of a re-opening doubleheader. 

Leonard led the Clippers with 26.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and ranked second with 5.0 assists per game when the NBA season was put on hold amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The Clippers are second in the Western Conference with a 44-20 record, five and a half games behind the Lakers.    

Kawhi Leonard would be in "phenomenal shape" if the NBA season resumes, according to Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers.

The NBA was suspended on March 11 amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed at least 88,200 lives globally.

It remains to be seen when and if the 2019-20 season will restart amid the coronavirus crisis, with commissioner Adam Silver saying the league will not be able to make any decisions regarding the campaign until at least May.

Clippers superstar Leonard – who moved to Los Angeles in the offseason after leading the Toronto Raptors to the title last season – has been the subject of load management this term to deal with a knee problem.

But Rivers told reporters on Wednesday: "I know Kawhi's overworking, I can guarantee you that. And the difference is, during the summer, Kawhi couldn't work, you know, so now he's got this break and he's able to train.

"So the Kawhi we'll see will be in phenomenal shape. PG [Paul George] is another guy that's gonna be in phenomenal shape."

"If this gets started, you can tell our players are invested in the season," Rivers said. "And they don't want this season to go away. And they're working like it is not going to go away."

The Clippers (44-20) had won seven of their last eight games to be second in the Western Conference, behind city rivals the Los Angeles Lakers (49-14), before the NBA was shut down.

Various options are being discussed, including playing behind closed doors and the season heading straight into the playoffs if the campaign resumes.

"If it means we get to play and continue our pursuit for the goal that we want, I feel like Dr. Seuss: 'I will play anywhere. I will play in a house, I will play in a mouse,'" Rivers said. "I think that's how our team feels. We don't care where, when, why, what. We just want to go after our goal. I'm speaking by myself on that."

On the Clippers' season up until the postponement, Rivers added: "We're really good. What I know for real was the last 10 games, we were turning into the Clippers. You could literally feel it... We started understanding each other... we were playing seamlessly through Kawhi and PG -- it wasn't forced anymore. Guys weren't trying to stay out of each other's way.

"You could feel the rhythm. Even the Lakers loss [on March 8] where we, in my opinion, played horrendous in that game, and that was one of our step-back games... we still had a chance and it was our D game, you know?"

"I really thought we were about to make a crazy run down the stretch. And unfortunately, bam, it stopped. ... I love where we were at. And seeing the way we play and how we were coming together, this team's good, I think we could beat anybody."

The Brooklyn Nets held on to beat LeBron James and the Western Conference-leading Los Angeles Lakers 104-102 in the NBA.

Spencer Dinwiddie (23 points) hit the tie-breaking jumper with 28.3 seconds remaining as the Nets upstaged the streaking Lakers at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

The Lakers' four-game winning streak came to an end after Anthony Davis (26 points) missed a three-pointer at the buzzer.

James had 29 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists for the Lakers (49-14), who were unable to close the gap on the slumping Milwaukee Bucks (53-12) for the league's best record.

The Los Angeles Clippers bounced back from Sunday's loss to the Lakers by routing the Golden State Warriors 131-107 away from home.

Kawhi Leonard posted 23 points before sitting out the entire fourth quarter, along with the rest of the Clippers' starters.

 

Tatum stars as Celtics secure playoff berth

Jayson Tatum put up 30 points for the Boston Celtics, who reached the postseason for the sixth consecutive year. Gordon Hayward added 27 points and 10 rebounds in the 114-111 triumph at the Indiana Pacers.

James Harden scored 37 points and Russell Westbrook finished with 27 as the Houston Rockets topped the Minnesota Timberwolves 117-111, snapping a four-game skid.

Luka Doncic registered 38 points, but it was not enough for the Dallas Mavericks, who lost 119-109 at the San Antonio Spurs.

The Washington Wizards benefited from another big Bradley Beal performance in their 122-115 victory over the New York Knicks. Beal had 40 points, surpassing 25-plus points for the 22nd time in 23 games.

All the Portland Trail Blazers' starters posted double-digit points in a 121-105 win against the Phoenix Suns – Damian Lillard (25), CJ McCollum (22), Trevor Ariza (22), Carmelo Anthony (21) and Hassan Whiteside (16, 14 rebounds).

 

Mulder headlines Warriors woes

With Stephen Curry sidelined by the flu, Mychal Mulder played guard and the 25-year-old struggled for the Warriors. Mulder was one-of-nine from the field and 0 of seven from three-point range for three points in 26 minutes.

Aron Baynes made history on Friday. The Australian joined Harden as the only players in NBA history with 30-plus points, 15-plus rebounds and eight or more three-pointers in a game following his career-high 37 points, 16 rebounds and nine three-pointers for the Suns. However, Baynes was just three-of-14 from the field and one-of-seven from beyond the arc for just seven points against the Trail Blazers on Tuesday. He tallied two rebounds in 34 minutes.

 

Russell takes flight

Westbrook hit the runway and soared to the rim for the slam.

 

Tuesday's results

Boston Celtics 114-111 Indiana Pacers
Washington Wizards 122-115 New York Knicks
Chicago Bulls 108-103 Cleveland Cavaliers
Houston Rockets 117-111 Minnesota Timberwolves
Orlando Magic 120-115 Memphis Grizzlies
San Antonio Spurs 119-109 Dallas Mavericks
Portland Trail Blazers 121-105 Phoenix Suns
Los Angeles Clippers 131-107 Golden State Warriors
Brooklyn Nets 104-102 Los Angeles Lakers

 

Pistons at 76ers

After an embarrassing loss away to the lowly Warriors, the Philadelphia 76ers (38-26) are back on home court against the Detroit Pistons (20-45) on Wednesday. The 76ers are 28-2 in Philadelphia, compared to 10-24 on the road.

Paul George challenged a full-strength Los Angeles Clippers to show they are serious contenders after ending a three-game losing streak with a 124-97 beating of the Memphis Grizzlies.

The Clippers welcomed George and Patrick Beverley back from injuries for Monday's contest and it was only the fifth time this season the team had their entire roster fit for selection.

Kawhi Leonard put up 25 points and Montrezl Harrell had 22 off the bench as the Clippers, who were 35-9 ahead late in the first quarter, returned to winning ways.

George, in his first season with the franchise after joining from the Oklahoma City Thunder, says the Clippers must now prove their championship credentials.

"This is what we talked about, this is what we dreamed of when this all came together," George said after scoring seven points in his 21 minutes on court.

"This is the squad and the team that we thought we would be. We have a great mindset, we have a great approach [but] if we're serious about this, we gotta show it. 

"We gotta show it and start to work toward this now. And coach made a great comment of turning it on and thinking we can late in the season, we gotta do it now. 

"There's gotta be some steps that we take if we're serious about our journey down the end of this year."

Leonard said the Clippers have to build on this success, adding: "I'm hoping we can keep moving forward. It's important for everyone to be able to play, know their roles and keep being consistent."

Head coach Doc Rivers felt it was important to have the Clippers' strongest starting line-up get some game time together.

"I didn't like how we were playing before the [All-Star] break and didn't like the [Sacramento Kings] game the other night but I'm not concerned by it, if you wanted me to be honest about it," he said. 

"We just gotta get guys on the floor. We need more minutes together."

The Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers will go head-to-head on April 9 after the NBA clash was rescheduled following the tragic death of Kobe Bryant last month.

City rivals the Lakers and Clippers were meant to meet on January 28, however, the showdown was postponed after NBA great Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were killed in a helicopter crash, along with seven others in Calabasas, California.

The Lakers and Clippers now have a new date for the Western Conference blockbuster at Staples Center in April.

As a result, three other games have been rescheduled to accommodate the Lakers-Clippers fixture.

The Clippers will play the Chicago Bulls on April 6 instead of April 8, the Lakers' clash with the Golden State Warriors has been brought forward from April 9 to April 7 and their game against the Bulls will take place on April 8.

LeBron James and the Lakers top the Western Conference with a 41-12 record, while Kawhi Leonard's Clippers (37-18) are third.

Kawhi Leonard dedicated his NBA All-Star Game Kobe Bryant MVP Award to the Los Angeles Lakers great on Sunday.

Leonard's 30 points helped Team LeBron beat Team Giannis 157-155 in Chicago and the Clippers star was named MVP.

The award was renamed in honour of the Lakers great, who died in a helicopter crash alongside his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others last month.

Leonard thanked Bryant, telling NBA on TNT: "It means a lot to me.

"Words can't even explain, just making this the first Kobe Bryant MVP trophy. I want to thank Kobe for everything he done for me, all the long talks, the workouts, thank you.

"This one is for him."

Leonard added: "They did a great job with the format this year. They had us come out playing hard in the fourth quarter and competing for a total points score.

"That's pretty much how we got to competing out there."

Team LeBron defeated Team Giannis 157-155 in the revamped NBA All-Star Game in Chicago on Sunday.

Unlike previous years, every quarter counted in the name of charity at the United Center, where the new format was unveiled for the showpiece event.

Each of the first three quarters started with the score at 0-0 and lasted the standard 12 minutes, with the game clock turned off for the final period and a final target score set.

The cumulative score of the first three quarters was 133-124 in favour of Team Giannis. The final target score was set by taking the leading team's cumulative score and adding 24 – the 24 representing Kobe Bryant's jersey number.

LeBron James and his team earned bragging rights in the 69th edition of the All-Star Game – hometown hero and Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis (20 points) making one of two free throws to beat Giannis Antetokounmpo's side.

While Davis scored the winning point, Kawhi Leonard (30 points) received the All-Star Game Kobe Bryant MVP Award, renamed in honour of the five-time NBA champion.

Bryant, who tragically died in a helicopter crash along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others last month, was honoured prior to tip-off.

Magic Johnson led an eight-second moment of silence for Lakers legend Bryant and former commissioner David Stern as both All-Star teams came together to hold hands, before delivering a heartfelt speech.

Team LeBron made a fast start, outscoring Team Giannis 53-41 in the first period before the latter won the second period 51-30.

Neither team could be split in the third, though Team Giannis went into the fourth quarter leading Team LeBron – who rallied to win for the third successive year.

James and Chris Paul finished with 23 points each, while Ben Simmons (17) and James Harden (11) were also in double-digits for Team LeBron.

Team Giannis were led by Antetokounmpo (25 points, 11 rebounds), Joel Embiid (22 points, 10 rebounds), Kemba Walker (23 points) and Rudy Gobert (21 points, 11 rebounds).

Lionel Messi and Liverpool are among the front-runners for prizes at the prestigious Laureus World Sports Awards in Berlin on Monday.

Liverpool are up for two gongs after a wonderful year, as they won the 2018-19 Champions League and took a massive leap towards a first top-flight title in 30 years.

Jurgen Klopp's side look set to break a host of records this season, as they have dropped points in just one of their 25 matches and hold a remarkable 22-point lead over defending champions Manchester City in second.

The Reds are in the running for two prizes in the Laureus Sports Awards' 20th anniversary gala – World Team of the Year and Comeback of the Year, the latter on account of their astonishing Champions League semi-final turnaround at the expense of Barcelona.

Among those challenging Liverpool for the former are the United States' Women's football team and the Toronto Raptors, who became the first Canadian franchise win an NBA championship.

A selection of sporting superstars are up for the Sportsman of the Year award, with Barcelona and Argentina icon Lionel Messi among them following his record-breaking sixth Ballon d'Or.

Also in the running is Eliud Kipchoge after the Kenyan became the first athlete to run a marathon in under two hours last October, covering the 26.2 miles in one hour, 59 minutes and 40.2 seconds in Vienna.

Ballon d'Or Feminin winner Megan Rapinoe is among those in the hunt for the Sportswoman of the Year gong, although gymnast Simone Biles also has a compelling case.

The 22-year-old last year won five gold medals at the World Championships to become the most decorated gymnast in the event's history, and has won this award twice before, in 2019 and 2017.

The event will take place at the Verti Music Hall in Berlin on Monday. Below is a complete list of the awards up for grabs and the athletes nominated.

Sportsman of the Year

Eliud Kipchoge – Athletics
Lewis Hamilton – Formula One
Lionel Messi – Football
Marc Marquez – MotoGP
Rafael Nadal – Tennis
Tiger Woods – Golf

Sportswoman of the Year

Allyson Felix – Athletics
Megan Rapinoe – Football
Mikaela Shiffrin – Skiing
Naomi Osaka – Tennis
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce – Athletics
Simone Biles – Gymnastics

 

Team of the Year

Liverpool – Football
Mercedes-AMG – Formula One
South Africa – Rugby Union
Spain – Basketball
Toronto Raptors – Basketball
United States Women – Football

Breakthrough of the Year

Andy Ruiz – Boxing
Bianca Andreescu – Tennis
Coco Gauff – Tennis
Egan Bernal – Cycling
Japan – Rugby Union
Regan Smith – Swimming

 

Comeback of the Year

Andy Murray – Tennis
Christian Lealiifano – Rugby Union
Kawhi Leonard – Basketball
Liverpool – Football
Nathan Adrian – Swimming
Sophia Florsch – Formula Three

Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability

Alice Tai – Swimming
Diede de Groot – Wheelchair Tennis
Jetze Plat – Triathlon
Manuela Schar – Wheelchair Racing
Oksana Masters – Cross Country Skiing
Omara Durand – Athletics

 

Action Sportsperson of the year

Carissa Moore – Surfing
Chloe Kim – Snowboarding
Italo Ferreira – Surfing
Mark McMorris – Snowboarding
Nyjah Huston – Skateboarding
Rayssa Leal – Skateboarding

The Boston Celtics prevailed 141-133 against the Los Angeles Clippers after double overtime prior to the NBA All-Star break, while the Oklahoma City Thunder also won.

In the final two games before the All-Star Weekend in Chicago, the Celtics and Thunder both celebrated victories on Thursday.

Jayson Tatum, who will play for Team Giannis in Sunday's All-Star Game, led the Celtics with a game-high 39 points and nine rebounds against the Clippers in Boston.

Trailing the Celtics 114-111, Clippers recruit Marcus Morris Sr. made a three-pointer with 46.8 seconds remaining in regulation to send the game to overtime.

Clippers guard Landry Shamet then nailed a shot from beyond the arc to level proceedings at 127-apiece as double OT beckoned at TD Garden.

But led by Tatum, Gordon Hayward (21 points, 13 rebounds), Marcus Smart (31 points) and Kemba Walker (19 points), the Celtics finished strong to outscore the Clippers 14-6.

Lou Williams had 35 points for the Clippers, while Kawhi Leonard finished with 28 points and 11 rebounds on the road.

It was a tough night for the Clippers, who lost star Paul George to a strained left hamstring in the first half – the same injury that forced him to miss 10 games in January.

Meanwhile, the Thunder overcame Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans 123-118.

Williamson posted 32 points, but the Thunder still won courtesy of Danilo Gallinari's 29 points and Chris Paul's double-double of 14 points and 12 assists.

 

Anthony Davis and Kawhi Leonard headline Team LeBron, while Team Giannis includes Joel Embiid and Pascal Siakam for the NBA All-Star Game.

LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo finalised their teams for the showcase event, which will take place at the United Center in Chicago on February 16.

James used the number one pick to draft Los Angeles Lakers team-mate Anthony Davis to Team LeBron, while reigning MVP Antetokounmpo countered by selecting Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Team LeBron's starting five consists of James, Davis, Los Angeles Clippers superstar Kawhi Leonard, Dallas Mavericks sensation Luka Doncic and Houston Rockets star James Harden.

Antetokounmpo, Embiid, Toronto Raptors star Siakam, Boston Celtics guard Kemba Walker and the Atlanta Hawks' Trae Young are the starters for Team Giannis.

Team LeBron reigned supreme last year – James' squad winning 178-164 over Team Giannis in Charlotte.

 

Team LeBron

Starters: LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers), Anthony Davis (Los Angeles Lakers), Kawhi Leonard (Los Angeles Clippers), Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks), James Harden (Houston Rockets)
Reserves: Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers), Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers), Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets), Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics), Chris Paul (Oklahoma City Thunder), Russell Westbrook (Houston Rockets), Domantas Sabonis (Indiana Pacers)

Team Giannis

Starters: Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks), Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers), Pascal Siakam (Toronto Raptors), Kemba Walker (Boston Celtics), Trae Young (Atlanta Hawks)
Reserves: Khris Middleton (Milwaukee Bucks), Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat), Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz), Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors), Brandon Ingram (New Orleans Pelicans), Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz)

The NBA showdown between city rivals the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers has been postponed after the tragic death of Kobe Bryant.

Lakers legend Bryant, 41, and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday, along with seven others in Calabasas, California.

Sunday and Monday's games have gone ahead as tributes continue to pour in for the five-time champion and 2008 MVP, who spent his entire 20-year career with the Lakers.

However, Tuesday's blockbuster clash at Staples Center will be rescheduled at a later date, with Los Angeles reeling following Bryant's sudden death.

"The decision was made out of respect for the Lakers organisation, which is deeply grieving the tragic loss of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven other people in a helicopter crash on Sunday," the NBA said in a statement.

Bryant, who entered the league with the Lakers in 1996, is regarded as one of the all-time greats following a career spanning two decades at Staples Center.

An 18-time All-Star and two-time Finals MVP, Bryant won a pair of Olympic gold medals, helping United States to glory in 2008 and 2012.

LeBron James and the Lakers (36-10) top the Western Conference, ahead of the Utah Jazz and Kawhi Leonard's third-placed Clippers (33-14).

LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo will return as NBA All-Star team captains after leading the vote for February's showpiece contest in Chicago.

Three newcomers – Luka Doncic, Trae Young and Pascal Siakam – will also take the floor for the 69th edition of the annual exhibition game.

Los Angeles Lakers superstar James captained Team LeBron to victory over Team Giannis in 2019 and the pair will renew their rivalry at United Center on February 16.

James, an All-Star for the 16th year of his illustrious career, will have the chance to draft Dallas Mavericks sensation Doncic onto his team for the first time, the MVP contender a walk-up selection amid a brilliant sophomore season in the NBA.

All-Star regulars James Harden, Anthony Davis and Kawhi Leonard round out the Western Conference starter pool.

Atlanta Hawks guard Young topped the count among Eastern Conference backcourt options to secure a start alongside the Boston Celtics' Kemba Walker.

The pair gained selection ahead of four-time All Star Jimmy Butler and the Philadelphia 76ers' Ben Simmons, who scored poorly in the fan portion of the vote.

Siakam's selection comes after averaging a career-best 23.5 points per game for the Toronto Raptors this season, while injury troubles failed to prevent Joel Embiid from sealing a frontcourt berth.

Fan ballots were weighted at 50 per cent, while current players and the media contributed 25 per cent of the starter vote.

Captains James and Antetokounmpo will select their teams from the eight other starters, while NBA head coaches will be responsible for choosing the 14 reserves that will be announced on January 30.

 

Eastern Conference starters:

Trae Young (Atlanta Hawks), Kemba Walker (Boston Celtics), Pascal Siakam (Toronto Raptors), Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks), Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers)

Western Conference starters:

James Harden (Houston Rockets), Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks), Kawhi Leonard (Los Angeles Clippers), LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers), Anthony Davis (Los Angeles Lakers)

Kawhi Leonard admitted the Los Angeles Clippers had to focus on slowing down the red-hot Luka Doncic in their 110-107 victory over the Dallas Mavericks.

The Clippers won their fourth straight game on Tuesday as they overcame the Mavs to improve to 31-13, the second-best record in the Western Conference.

Leonard, the NBA Finals MVP last season with the Toronto Raptors, had 36 points and 11 rebounds but it was his and the Clippers' defensive effort against Doncic that was a key part of their gameplan.

Although Doncic flirted with a triple-double as he finished with 36 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, the Clippers were able to prevail.

"Obviously it starts with Luka," Leonard told reporters.

"He's been playing amazing, getting everyone involved, getting to his spots, making shots and we just wanted to make it hard for him, show hands.

"He's great. We just kept pushing. That's pretty much the key. Just make sure [Kristaps] Porzingis doesn't get any easy looks. Tim Hardaway Jr., he's playing well too, shooting the ball very well.


"Just playing hard, putting a hand up and not giving them any easy looks."

Two-time Defensive Player of the Year Leonard acknowledged that the presence of Doncic on the court meant he and the rest of the Clippers had to remain focused throughout.

"Any time you play a great player, it's always fun," Leonard added.

"It pushes you to play harder or just be locked in the whole game.

"I just wanted to win. Luka playing or not, I wanted to win the basketball game."

Kawhi Leonard and Luka Doncic shared 72 points between them as the Los Angeles Clippers outgunned the Dallas Mavericks 110-107 on Tuesday.

Two-time NBA champion Leonard (36 points, 11 rebounds, two assists) and Dallas' MVP candidate Doncic (36 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists) both recorded double-doubles in an entertaining encounter before the Clippers prevailed for a gritty road victory.

Landry Shamet's two late three-pointers proved the end for Dallas, who welcomed back Kristaps Porzingis and threatened to overturn an 11-point half-time deficit at American Airlines Center.

Mavs sensation Doncic led the comeback after being dunked on by Leonard in the second quarter, the former Toronto Raptors star blocking a shot at one end and then completing the breakaway slam.

The Mavs' first loss in five games was compounded by an Achilles injury that forced Dwight Powell out of the game in the opening quarter.

The Clippers have now won four successive games to sit second behind neighbours the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference.

Spurs at Pelicans

Zion Williamson will be the centre of attention in Wednesday's action. The number one draft pick has been cleared to make his long-awaited NBA debut when the struggling New Orleans Pelicans take on the San Antonio Spurs.

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