Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns revealed he had tested positive for coronavirus, continuing his "nightmare" due to COVID-19.

Towns, 25, said late last year he had lost seven family members, including his mother, to coronavirus.

The two-time All-Star confirmed on Friday he too had contracted COVID-19, which has led to more than two million deaths worldwide.

"Prior to tonight's game, I received yet another awful call that I tested positive for COVID. I will immediately isolate and follow every protocol," Towns wrote on social media.

"I pray every day that this nightmare of a virus will subside and I beg everyone to continue to take it seriously by taking all of the necessary precautions.

"We cannot stop the spread of this virus alone, it must be a group effort by all of us.

"It breaks my heart that my family, and particularly my father and sister, continue to suffer from the anxiety that comes along with this diagnosis as we know all too well what the end result could be.

"To my niece and nephew, Jolani and Max, I promise you I will not end up in a box next to grandma and I will beat this."

The Timberwolves' clash against the Memphis Grizzlies scheduled for Friday was postponed.

Towns is averaging 22 points, 12.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists for Minnesota (3-8) this season, having played just four games.

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.

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.

LaMelo Ball created history in the Charlotte Hornets’ 113-105 win against the Atlanta Hawks by becoming the youngster player of all time to score a triple-double.

The first round rookie announced his arrival in the NBA after coming off the bench to post 22 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists in a dazzling 31 minutes on court.

Terry Rozier added 23 points and PJ Washington posted 22 points to help Charlotte improve to 5-5 as the Hawks rallied with De'Andre Hunter scoring 20 points but fall to to 4-5.

Mikal Bridges starred and six players hit double figures as the Phoenix Suns advanced to 7-3 in the Western Conference with a 125-117 win over the Indiana Pacers.

Bridges led the scoring with a career-high 34 points as the Pacers fell to 6-3 in the Eastern Conference despite Domantas Sabonis' 28 points and 22 rebounds.

Earlier in the day, a threadbare Philadelphia 76ers fell to 7-3 after losing 115-113 to the Denver Nuggets as coach Doc Rivers had only seven players available due injury and COVID-19 protocols.

The Los Angeles Lakers' four-game winning streak was snapped in the NBA on Thursday, while the Philadelphia 76ers also fell.

Despite a double-double of 27 points and 12 assists from LeBron James, the Lakers were beaten by the San Antonio Spurs 118-109.

Anthony Davis also had 23 points and 10 rebounds, but the Lakers slipped to 6-3.

LaMarcus Aldridge posted a game-high 28 points for the Spurs.

After five straight wins, the 76ers fell to a 122-109 loss to the Brooklyn Nets.

Joel Embiid had a double-double of 20 points and 12 rebounds for the 76ers (7-2).

The Nets were without Kevin Durant (quarantine) and Kyrie Irving (personal reasons), but Caris LeVert posted 22 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds as they improved to 5-4.

 

Lillard lifts Trail Blazers, Doncic dominates

Damian Lillard's 39 points, seven rebounds and seven assists saw the Portland Trail Blazers past the Minnesota Timberwolves 135-117.

Luka Doncic dominated with 38 points, 13 assists and nine rebounds as the Dallas Mavericks overcame the Denver Nuggets 124-117 after overtime.

Andre Drummond had a double-double of 22 points and 15 rebounds as the Cleveland Cavaliers edged the Memphis Grizzlies 94-90.

 

Terrible Timberwolves

After back-to-back wins to start the season, the Timberwolves have suffered six straight losses. Malik Beasley struggled against the Trail Blazers, going three-of-13 from the field for 12 points in 28 minutes.

 

Cool Jokic

Nikola Jokic forced overtime for the Nuggets against the Mavericks with a long two. He finished with 38 points and 11 rebounds in the overtime loss.

Thursday's results

Brooklyn Nets 122-109 Philadelphia 76ers
Cleveland Cavaliers 94-90 Memphis Grizzlies
Portland Trail Blazers 135-117 Minnesota Timberwolves
San Antonio Spurs 118-109 Los Angeles Lakers
Dallas Mavericks 124-117 Denver Nuggets

 

Clippers at Warriors

The Los Angeles Clippers (6-3) and Golden State Warriors (4-4) meet for the second time in three days on Friday. The Clippers claimed a 108-101 victory on Wednesday.

LeBron James and Anthony Davis saw the Los Angeles Lakers to another win in the NBA, while the Clippers fell on Tuesday.

James (26 points and 11 rebounds) and Davis (26 points and 10 rebounds) both had double-doubles in a 94-92 win over the Memphis Grizzlies.

The Lakers stars became the third pair of team-mates in the past 10 years to have 25-plus points and 10-plus rebounds in the same game with neither committing a personal foul, according to Stats Perform.

The previous two occasions also featured James – alongside Dwyane Wade in 2013 and Kevin Love three years later.

While the Lakers are 6-2, the Clippers slipped to 5-3 following a 116-113 loss to the San Antonio Spurs.

Kawhi Leonard posted 30 points and 10 assists, but the Clippers were beaten by a Patty Mills-inspired Spurs.

Mills was eight-of-12 from three-point range for 27 points in 28 minutes off the bench.

Irving lifts Nets as Jokic dominates

Kyrie Irving had 29 points, six rebounds and five assists as the Brooklyn Nets thrashed the Utah Jazz 130-96.

Nikola Jokic posted 35 points and 15 rebounds to help the Denver Nuggets past the Minnesota Timberwolves 123-116.

The Timberwolves slumped to 2-5 despite 33 points and 11 assists from D'Angelo Russell.

Otto Porter Jr. (19 points and 13 rebounds) and Coby White (21 points and 10 rebounds) had double-doubles in the Chicago Bulls' 111-108 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers. The Bulls came from 18 points down after the first quarter. It marked the second time in franchise history they have trailed by 18-plus points at the end of the first quarter and come back to win, as per Stats Perform.

 

Valanciunas struggles

Jonas Valanciunas went four-of-13 from the field in the Grizzlies' loss. The center had 13 points to go with 11 rebounds.

 

Irving in form

Without Kevin Durant, Irving stepped up for the Nets. He was seven-of-seven from the field and four-of-four from three-point range for 18 points in the first quarter.

Tuesday's results

Brooklyn Nets 130-96 Utah Jazz
Los Angeles Lakers 94-92 Memphis Grizzlies
Denver Nuggets 123-116 Minnesota Timberwolves
San Antonio Spurs 116-113 Los Angeles Clippers
Chicago Bulls 111-108 Portland Trail Blazers

 

Clippers at Warriors

The Golden State Warriors (4-3) will host the Clippers on Wednesday. Stephen Curry has made an impressive start to the season for the Warriors, averaging 32 points, 6.4 assists and 5.3 rebounds.

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.

Paul George puts the strange scores in the early stages of the new NBA campaign down to the "crazy turnaround" between seasons.

The Los Angeles Clippers were embarrassed in a 51-point, 124-73 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday, only to rebound with an impressive 124-101 defeat of the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday.

In total, there were seven Clippers players to reach double figures for points – Lou Williams leading the way with 20, while George contributed 18 alongside six rebounds and five assists.

The NBA, like most professional sports leagues, was heavily impacted by the coronavirus pandemic last season, leading to the completion of the competition in the bubble in Orlando and meaning 2020-21 was shortened to a 72-game regular season.

George believes the truncated close season means teams across the league are still finding their groove.

"It's still early in the season, I think it's a crazy turnaround coming into this season," George said. 

"It's like game four, this would primarily be like pre-season a little bit with this being only game four but we only have seven games under our belt including pre-season. 

"So, it's still different, teams working through stuff, still kinks to iron out, no team is in perfect form or close to it right now. I think that's why there's been games with big blowouts."

The Clippers had well-documented injury issues last season and were without Kawhi Leonard for the second straight game due to a mouth laceration.

George, though, thinks the roster as a whole is better equipped to cope with such situations.

"I think it's just having a better understanding of one another, being with each other going into year two now it's more of an understanding and knowing guys' tendencies," he added. 

"We've kind of picked it up, it's just a familiar group that's out there now, we have to be a man-up team."

Williams' points came from the bench, while Ivica Zubac also contributed 12 as the Clippers' replacements outscored their Timberwolves counterparts 56-32.

Reggie Jackson, who put up 11 for his team, said: "It feels good to get a win after that atrocious loss, we knew that wasn't necessarily who we are.

"Zubac was making their team kind of pay for being a smaller team. He made it easy on us."

Zubac added: "Our coaching staff made a point that in the game against Dallas we had the least paint drives. Our focus was to put the ball on the floor and get into the paint."

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.

Kawhi Leonard has been ruled out of the Los Angeles Clippers' matchup against the Minnesota Timberwolves as he continues to recover from a mouth laceration.

Leonard was involved in an accidental collision with Serge Ibaka when his team-mate went for a defensive rebound and caught the two-time NBA champion with his elbow in the Christmas Day win over the Denver Nuggets.

Clippers star Leonard sat out the humiliating defeat to the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday, and the four-time All-Star will again be sidelined for Tuesday's clash with the Timberwolves.

"I am not sure when he's getting the stitches out," Clippers head coach Ty Lue said before tip-off against Minnesota. "But he's right now just day-to-day and recovery."

Leonard is averaging 23.5 points, 5.0 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game for the Clippers (2-1) this season.

The Clippers are looking to bounce back against the Timberwolves, following their 124-73 humbling at the hands of Luka Doncic's Mavericks.

Dallas produced a record-breaking first half as they earned a 77-27 lead at the interval – the Mavericks' 50-point advantage the largest through two quarters since the shot-clock era began in 1954-55.

It was also the first time in NBA regular-season history that a team won a road game by 50-plus points against a franchise that had a .650 or better winning percentage the season before, per Stats Perform.

Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns is expected to be out for several games after he dislocated his left wrist.

The Timberwolves struggled in Towns' absence on Sunday, going down to the Los Angeles Lakers, with the reigning NBA champions cruising to a 127-91 victory.

The center underwent season-ending surgery on his left wrist in 2019, though ESPN have reported this problem is in a different spot, and the Timberwolves have confirmed the 25-year-old will not need to go under the knife.

Towns sustained the injury late on in the win over the Utah Jazz. 

"[Towns] has been really good for us," coach Ryan Saunders told reporters before Sunday's defeat in Los Angeles. 

"So we need other guys to fill those roles and replacing Karl-Anthony Towns with one individual, you do that with a team effort and same thing we always say when it comes to guarding great players, do everything as a team and that's what this group has been doing."

Towns had been key to a 2-0 start for the Timberwolves, registering a total of 38 points, 23 rebounds and 10 assists.

Reigning champions the Los Angeles Lakers made light work of the Minnesota Timberwolves on an eventful day in the NBA.

The Lakers – without Anthony Davis due to a calf contusion – eased past the Karl-Anthony Towns-less Timberwolves 127-91 on Sunday.

Timberwolves star Towns sat out with a dislocated left wrist and the Lakers took full advantage at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Kyle Kuzma posted a game-high 20 points, James had 18 points, nine rebounds and five assists, while Marc Gasol (12), Montrezl Harrell (12), Talen Horton-Tucker (12) and Dennis Schroder (11) also had double-digit points.

Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks were sensationally routed 130-110 by the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

Julius Randle inspired the Knicks with 29 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists as Elfrid Payton added 27 points to give head coach Tom Thibodeau his first victory.

Two-time reigning MVP Antetokounmpo had 27 points and 13 rebounds for the Bucks, who fell to 1-2 this season.

 

Mavs make history

The Mavericks showed no mercy in their record-breaking 124-73 humbling of the Kawhi Leonard-less Los Angeles Clippers. Dallas earned a 77-27 half-time lead – the Mavericks' 50-point advantage the largest through two quarters since the shot-clock era began in 1954-55. It is the first time in NBA regular-season history that a team won a road game by 50-plus points against a franchise that had a .650 or better winning percentage the season before, per Stats Perform.

The Mavericks beat the Clippers by 51 points and the Lakers topped the Timberwolves by 36. According to Stats Perform, it is the first time in NBA history there were two games decided by 35-plus points in the same arena on the same day.

Gordon Hayward scored 28 points to help the Charlotte Hornets upstage the Brooklyn Nets 106-104. Kevin Durant had 29 points for the visiting Nets, who lost for the first time, while team-mate Kyrie Irving finished with 25.

The New Orleans Pelicans trumped the San Antonio Spurs 98-95 thanks to double-doubles from Brandon Ingram (28 points and 11 rebounds) and Zion Williamson (18 points and 11 rebounds).

Stephen Curry put up 36 points as the Golden State Warriors claimed their first win of the season thanks to a nail-biting 129-128 success against the Chicago Bulls. Zach Lavine's 33 points were not enough for the Bulls. Curry also became only the third player in NBA history to reach 2,500 career made three-pointers.

 

Bucks struggle from beyond the arc

On a miserable day for the Bucks, the Eastern Conference contenders were just 18.4 per cent from three-point range. Star recruit Jrue Holiday was only four-of-10 from the field, while he missed all four of his three-point attempts in an eight-point performance.

The Philadelphia 76ers were back to their old ways, committing 21 turnovers in a 118-94 blowout against the Cleveland Cavaliers – the team's first loss of the season.

 

Lee calls game!

Damion Lee was the hero for the Warriors after nailing a game-winning three with 1.7 seconds remaining.

 

Sunday's results

Dallas Mavericks 124-73 Los Angeles Clippers
Cleveland Cavaliers 118-94 Philadelphia 76ers
Los Angeles Lakers 127-91 Minnesota Timberwolves
New York Knicks 130-110 Milwaukee Bucks
Indiana Pacers 108-107 Boston Celtics
Golden State Warriors 129-128 Chicago Bulls
Phoenix Suns 116-100 Sacramento Kings
Charlotte Hornets 106-104 Brooklyn Nets
Orlando Magic 120-113 Washington Wizards
New Orleans Pelicans 98-95 San Antonio Spurs

 

Rockets at Nuggets

James Harden and the Houston Rockets (0-1) will look to bounce back from their overtime loss to the Portland Trail Blazers when they visit the winless Denver Nuggets (0-2) on Monday.

Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis will sit out Sunday's NBA showdown with the Minnesota Timberwolves due to a right calf contusion.

Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said Davis suffered the injury in the opening-night loss to city rivals the Los Angeles Clippers before re-aggravating the problem in the Christmas Day triumph over the Dallas Mavericks.

"Well, we just want to be responsible with it," Vogel told reporters after the Lakers' morning shootaround on Sunday. "We want to keep an eye on it."

Davis has been averaging 23.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists through the first two games of the season for defending champions the Lakers (1-1).

"We want to take advantage of our depth and be intelligent with this injury," Vogel said of Davis.

Following a brief offseason after the Lakers clinched their first title in 10 years in October, Vogel said the team have no set policy regarding Davis and LeBron James in back-to-back games this term.

"We're going to approach each one throughout the whole year on a case-by-case basis," Vogel said. "And with the expectation that our guys will play both games, unless there is a reason otherwise.

"In this case, there is a reason otherwise with Anthony's calf. We'll just continue to evaluate that throughout the year."

Lakers superstar James is averaging 22.0 points, 7.5 assists and 6.0 rebounds per game.

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.

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