The Golden State Warriors played an inspired second half to recover from a 20-point deficit and defeat the visiting New Orleans Pelicans 120-109 on Tuesday.

As usual, the Warriors were led by reigning NBA Finals MVP Stephen Curry with a game-high 39 points on 14-of-25 shooting, hitting eight-of-15 three-point attempts while adding eight rebounds, eight assists and three steals.

It was a rough start for Golden State as they found themselves trailing 63-43 late in the second quarter, but some early shenanigans between Draymond Green and the entire Pelicans team seemed to spur some life into the Warriors defense after the break.

In typical Warriors fashion, they exploded in the third quarter in front of their home fans, putting together a 39-26 period to cut the lead to four going into the last.

They ratcheted up the defense even further down the stretch, holding the visitors to just 20 points while piling on 35 of their own as Curry, Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole all drained deep triples to blow the roof off Chase Center.

Despite the loss, it was another strong showing from Pelicans centrepiece Brandon Ingram. After his first career triple-double on Thursday and a career-high 13 assists on Saturday, Ingram again looked every bit of an All-NBA initiator with a team-high 26 points (nine-of-22), eight rebounds and seven assists.

A loss for the Warriors would have seen them drop to 39-38 and potentially swap spots with the eighth-seeded Pelicans, but they instead improved to 40-37 and leapfrogged the sixth-seeded Minnesota Timberwolves (39-37) in the process.

Mitchell's 44 not enough for Cleveland

Donovan Mitchell dropped 44 points on the road but it was not enough as the Cleveland Cavaliers fell 120-118 to the Atlanta Hawks.

Mitchell shot 15-of-33 with five rebounds and five assists, while Darius Garland added 27 points (10-of-22) and Evan Mobley chipped in 20 points (10-of-13), 15 rebounds, four assists and four blocks – but the Hawks had all the answers.

Atlanta had seven players score double figures, led by Dejounte Murray's 29 (11-of-22). Trae Young ran the show with 10 assists on an off-shooting night (four-of-15 for 16 points), and the Hawks' bench delivered in a big way.

Backup center Onyeka Okongwu had a wildly efficient 20 minutes with 21 points (five-of-five from the field and 11-of-12 free throws), nine rebounds and three blocks, and trade deadline acquisition Saddiq Bey had 11 points, 10 rebounds and three assists.

Hornets win a shootout in Oklahoma City

The Oklahoma City Thunder received 30-point efforts from Josh Giddey, Jalen Williams and Isaiah Joe – but still lost 137-134 to the surprisingly in-form Charlotte Hornets.

Giddey had one of the best statistical games of his career with 31 points (14-of-22), 10 rebounds and nine assists; rookie Williams had 31 points (11-of-16), four assists and four steals; and Joe hit six-of-11 threes and 11-of-18 overall for his 33 points.

But P.J. Washington was not going to let the Hornets lose, scoring a career-high 43 points on 16-of-24 shooting as he added six rebounds and five assists in an eye-opening performance from the well-rounded six-foot-seven 24-year-old.

It was a standout showing off the bench for the spectacularly bouncy 22-year-old second-year center Kai Jones, collecting the first double-double of his career with 12 points (five-of-five) and 14 rebounds in 22 minutes.

The loss for the Thunder means they slipped to 37-39, still inside the play-in tournament placings, but now tied with the 11th-ranked Dallas Mavericks.

LeBron James returned from a month-long absence with a team-high 19 points and eight rebounds but the Los Angeles Lakers' three-game winning streak was halted by a 118-108 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Sunday.

James had missed 13 games, having not played since February 26 due to what he called a torn tendon in his foot, and started on the bench for the second time in his 20-year NBA career, entering the game midway through the first quarter.

But the four-time NBA MVP's return could not inspire the Lakers past the Bulls at Crypto.com Arena, with Zach LaVine scoring a game-high 32 points for the road team. The Lakers went 8-5 during James' absence.

The Bulls led 91-78 at three-quarter time and kept the Lakers at arm's length throughout the final period, with James only managing five points in the final quarter.

James shot six-of-11 from the field, missing both of his three-point attempts, with three assists along and five turnovers.

Lakers' power forward Anthony Davis scored 15 points with nine rebounds and five assists, while Bulls All-Star DeMar DeRozan had 17 points with 10 assists.

James was on the wrong end of a taunt from ex-Laker Patrick Beverley, who slapped the floor with the "too small" gesture, after making a two-point attempt with 1:12 left.

The loss drops the Lakers below .500 with a 37-38 record to sit ninth in the Western Conference, while the Bulls have won seven of their past nine games to shoot into playoff contention in the East, placed 10th with a 36-38 record.

Doncic faces ban as Mavs lose again

Luka Doncic dropped 40 points with 14 rebounds but the Dallas Mavericks' playoff hopes suffered another blow with their fourth successive defeat, going down 110-104 to the lowly Charlotte Hornets.

To make matters worse for Dallas, Doncic faces a one-game ban after he received his 16th technical foul of the season after using a profanity directed at an official following a correct no-call.

Doncic will miss Dallas' game against the Indiana Pacers on Monday if the decision is not rescinded, which seems unlikely.

Kyrie Irving only managed 18 points on five-of-15 shooting for the Mavs, who are 11th in the Western Conference with a 36-39 record, having lost seven of their past nine games.

Morant leads Grizzlies to sixth straight win

Ja Morant started for the first time since returning from suspension and scored 27 points to help the streaking Memphis Grizzlies beat the Atlanta Hawks 123-119 for their sixth straight win.

Morant scored a team-high 27 points on nine-of-17 shooting, with Desmond Bane adding 25 points, including three triples, and Jaren Jackson Jr built on his Defensive Player of the Year case as he racked up five blocks and three steals to go with 15 points and eight rebounds.

After being ejected on Saturday, Hawks guard Trae Young had 28 points on seven-of-14 shooting with 10 assists.

Memphis' sixth straight win, and second in a row on the road, improved their record to 47-27 to sit second in the West.

In a highly anticipated clash between winners of the past four MVPs it was Nikola Jokic's Denver Nuggets comfortably handling Giannis Antetokounmpo's Milwaukee Bucks 129-106.

Played in Denver, the reigning back-to-back MVP winner put on a show for his home fans with 31 points (10-of-20 shooting), 11 assists and six rebounds. 

Jokic was supported in style by Jamal Murray, who chipped in 26 points (nine-of-19), nine assists and six rebounds, and kick-started the Nuggets with four triples in the first quarter.

Antetokounmpo, winner of the 2019 and 2020 MVP trophies, was far from the reason his side went down, posting a strong 31 points (13-of-22), nine rebounds, four assists and four steals. He led Milwaukee to a 66-63 half-time lead, before they put up just 40 points as a team in the second half.

After a mini-slump with four losses from of five games, the Nuggets have now rattled off three wins in a row, improving their home record to 31-6 in the process, which trails only the Memphis Grizzlies (32-5) for the league's best mark.

Despite the loss, Milwaukee (53-21) are still two games clear in the race for the league's best record, while the Nuggets are 3.5 games clear atop the West.

Hawks prevail despite Trae ejection

Atlanta Hawks franchise player Trae Young was ejected for throwing the ball at an official, but his side still came away with a 143-130 home win against the visiting Indiana Pacers.

Young was kicked out in the second quarter after the incident, but eight Hawks players ended up scoring double-figures to pick up the slack.

John Collins led the way with 21 points (nine-of-12 shooting), Dejounte Murray added 20 points (eight-of-20) and 12 assists, and Clint Capela snatched down 17 rebounds to go with his 17 points (five-of-five).

The win pulled the Hawks' record even at 37-37, now a game clear of the ninth-seeded Toronto Raptors (36-38) as they battle for play-in tournament positioning.

Pelicans muddy the waters in the West

The New Orleans Pelicans kept their season alive with a 131-110 road win over the Los Angeles Clippers, creating a logjam in the Western Conference's play-in placings.

Second-year Pelicans wing Trey Murphy was spectacular as he hit 10-of-12 three-pointers for an equal team-high 32 points. He was joined on 32 points by Brandon Ingram, and after Ingram's first career triple-double on Thursday, he followed it with a career-high 13 assists against the Clippers.

The win means the Pelicans are in a three-way tie for the seventh-best record in the West, joining the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Los Angeles Lakers at 37-37 with eight games to play.

Karl-Anthony Towns marked his return to action with a Hollywood ending as a pair of last-gasp free throws handed the Minnesota Timberwolves a 125-124 win against the Atlanta Hawks.

With 3.6 seconds left on the clock, Towns had ice in his veins as he made both his shots to put Minnesota decisively ahead.

There was still time left for Atlanta's Saddiq Ben to be impeded by Taurean Prince, but a foul was not given, with a game official reportedly later saying that was an error.

That could have seen Towns denied his returning glory, having featured for the first time since November 28.

Sidelined by a calf strain for almost four months, the first pick in the 2015 NBA Draft scored 22 points in his comeback game on 8-of-18 shooting.

"This is what movies is made of," Towns said in an on-court interview with Bally Sports. "Four months away, two free throws, don't worry about it, I got that!"

In a later press conference, the 27-year-old thanked coach Chris Finch for backing him.

Towns was the player fouled to set up the game-winning chance, trusting himself to get the job done.

"I was smiling a lot just in my mind," Towns said. "On the court I probably didn't show it, but even before I got the ball with seven seconds left I was smiling.

"I just had a good feeling that the game was going to go the way I wanted it to, so the play was immediately drawn up for me.

"Finch looked at me with everyone around and said, 'You're going to get the ball, and it's yours to take home'.

"So shout out to Finch having that confidence in me after 51 games [out of action] and all the things I've had to deal with."

Towns added: "When I went up there for two free throws I looked back and he was telling people, 'He ain't missing, I'm telling you that right now', and I just knew in my bones I wasn't going to miss.

"I've worked too hard on my game. I've been in those moments too many times.

"I got told I didn't have one fast heartbeat at all. I felt pretty confident, I felt pretty calm. I feel like I had that Jaden McDaniels demeanour up there, and I was just going up and making those shots."

The Golden State Warriors claimed rare back-to-back wins with Wednesday's 127-125 victory at the Dallas Mavericks but the game was marred by controversy after Kevon Looney's third-quarter uncontested dunk.

Stephen Curry scored 20 points with 13 assists as the reigning NBA champions secured consecutive wins on a road trip for the first time this season at American Airlines Center.

But the Mavs were left raging after Looney's uncontested dunk with 1:54 left in the third quarter from a Warriors inbound after a timeout, which Dallas had thought was their ball, meaning they subsequently lined up on the other half of the court.

Mavs owner Mark Cuban said they would contest the result of the game due to the incident which he labelled the "worst officiating non call mistake possibly in the history of the NBA" on Twitter.

Despite that, the Mavs could have won the game on merit, with Luka Doncic missing a two-point attempt under pressure from Draymond Green with 3.2 seconds left at 125-122.

That came after Curry's bounce-pass set up Green's three-point play, before the reigning NBA Finals MVP glided in for a two-point shot to open up the three-point buffer with 8.1 seconds to play.

Doncic, in his return after missing five games with a thigh injury, scored 30 points with seven rebounds and 17 assists. Doncic shot 11-of-27 from the field and six-of-10 from the stripe.

In Kyrie Irving's absence, 20-year-old guard Jaden Hardy was outstanding with six three-pointers in his 27 points.

The win is a major boost for Golden State's playoff hopes, moving to sixth in the West with a 38-36 record, while the Mavs drop to ninth with a 36-37 record, having lost five of their past seven games.

It was Golden State's first road win when trailing after the first quarter, having entered the game with a 0-20 record.

Morant and KAT make successful returns

Ja Morant made his successful return for the Memphis Grizzlies off the bench for the first time in his career as they won their fourth straight game, beating the Houston Rockets 130-125.

Morant returned after his NBA-imposed eight-game suspension with 17 points and five assists, receiving a standing ovation from the home fans upon his injection into the game.

Jaren Jackson Jr scored a season-high 37 points with 10 rebounds and Desmond Bane added 20 points as the Grizzlies clinched the Southwest division.

It was a night of returns as Karl-Anthony Towns was back for the first time since November due to a calf strain, scoring two game-winning free-throws with 3.6 seconds left as the Minnesota Timberwolves won 125-124 over the Atlanta Hawks.

Lakers stay right in playoff hunt

The Los Angeles Lakers ensured they remained firmly in the congested race for Western Conference playoff and play-in tournament spots with a 122-111 victory over the Phoenix Suns.

Anthony Davis scored a team-high 27 points including 20 in the second half, with nine rebounds, while Austin Reaves backed up Sunday's 35-point game with 25 points and a career-high 11 assists.

Devin Booker scored 33 points on 11-of-16 field shooting with six rebounds but seven turnovers for the Suns, who remain fourth in the West but with a 38-34 record.

The Lakers move up to 10th, just behind the Mavs in ninth, with a 36-37 record and LeBron James not far from a return from injury.

The Atlanta Hawks and swingman Bogdan Bogdanovic have agreed to a four-year, $68million contract extension.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Thursday that Bogdanovic declined his $18m player option for next season and replaced it with the long-term deal that pays him through the 2026-27 season.

Playing primarily as a sixth man, Bogdanovic is averaging 14.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 43 games this season while shooting 40.1 per cent from three-point range.

Bogdanovic missed the first 22 games of this season while recovering from a right knee injury but has since resumed his role as the top scoring option off the bench for the 34-35 Hawks.

The 30-year-old Serbia native played his first three NBA seasons with the Sacramento Kings before joining the Hawks as a restricted free agent in 2020.

Over 359 career NBA games (156 starts), Bogdanovic has scored 14.2 points per game while shooting 43.9 per cent from the field and 38.6 per cent from beyond the arc.

The Milwaukee Bucks underlined their NBA title favouritism as they reached 50 wins for the season with a commanding 116-104 road victory over the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday.

Giannis Antetokounmpo backed up Monday's 40-point return against the Sacramento Kings with 36 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists at the Footprint Center.

The Bucks have won 20 of their past 22 games, including a 15-game winning streak during that stretch, while the Suns have now lost three consecutive games.

Milwaukee's record is 50-19, pulling clear of the Boston Celtics (47-22) in second in the Eastern Conference, while the 37-31 Suns remain among the mayhem in the tight Western Conference playoffs race.

The Suns had rallied from a 57-48 half-time deficit to take the lead in the fourth quarter but the Bucks steadied, with Antetokounmpo's block on Devin Booker's two-point attempt among the highlights.

Bucks center Brook Lopez added 21 points with 10 rebounds, while Jrue Holiday chipped in with 12 points, six rebounds and five assists.

Booker top scored for the Suns, still missing Kevin Durant due to an ankle injury, with 30 points on 13-of-27 shooting, while Chris Paul added 11 points with eight assists. Phoenix only made eight three-pointers for the game.

Nuggets fall to fourth straight defeat

The Western Conference-leading Denver Nuggets slumped to their fourth straight defeat despite a third-quarter rally, going down 125-110 to the Toronto Raptors.

Fred VanVleet scored 36 points on 13-of-22 shooting including eight triples as the Raptors flew out of the blocks with a franchise-record 49-point first quarter, improving their record to 33-26.

The Nuggets fall to 46-23 amid their slump, with Nikola Jokic scoring 28 points with eight rebounds and seven assists, while Michael Porter Jr added 23 points with five three-pointers.

Lakers hit franchise record in key win over Pels

Anthony Davis produced a bounce-back display after his "terrible" showing two nights ago with 35 points and 17 rebounds as the Los Angeles Lakers won 123-108 over the New Orleans Pelicans.

Malik Beasley added 24 points, shooting seven-of-12 from beyond the arc, as the Lakers moved closer to .500 with a 34-35 record to boost their playoffs hopes.

Beasley's three-point shooting helped the Lakers achieve a franchise record for threes made in a half, with 15 as a team before half-time.

Giannis Antetokounmpo refused to let his Milwaukee Bucks lose to the Sacramento Kings on Monday, dragging them back from an early deficit and carrying them to a 133-124 road win.

After missing the past three games while nursing a hand injury, Antetokounmpo started like a house on fire, scoring 15 points in the first quarter.

Despite his early heroics, the Kings led by five at quarter-time, and they jumped out to a 49-33 advantage after a 17-6 start to the second period.

From that point on, the Bucks responded with a 50-29 run, taking the lead as Antetokounmpo racked up a gaudy stat-line of 40 points, 10 rebounds and three assists by the end of the third quarter.

A wildly entertaining fourth period saw the teams combine for 80 points, with Khris Middleton scoring 14 of his 31 in what was his best game of the season.

The three-time All-Star's 31 points were a season-high, shooting nine-of-15 from the field and adding nine assists.

He was the perfect sidekick for Antetokounmpo, who ended up scoring 46 points on 19-of-28 shooting, with 12 rebounds and four assists. It was his sixth game this season with at least 45 points, while no other player has more than Luka Doncic and Joel Embiid's four.

The win is the Bucks' 20th from their past 22 outings, improving their league-leading record to 49-19, while the 40-27 Kings fell to third in the West, overtaken by the 41-26 Memphis Grizzlies.

Warriors ride Klay's 30-point half

Golden State Warriors sharpshooter Klay Thompson delivered another memorable performance as he shot his side to a 123-112 home victory against the Phoenix Suns.

Thompson had 18 points in the first quarter, and reached half-time with 33 on 12-of-18 shooting, hitting eight of his 12 three-point attempts.

He would score only five more points in the second half, as Jordan Poole picked up the slack down the stretch with 20 points (eight-of-16) and six assists off the bench.

Devin Booker was strong for the Suns with 32 points on 12-of-20 shooting, while Deandre Ayton piled up 27 points (13-of-19) and 12 rebounds in the losing effort.

The result pulls the Warriors (36-33) to within 1.5 games of the fourth-seeded Suns (37-31).

Edwards and 'Slow-Mo' put on a show

Anthony Edwards looked every bit of a franchise superstar as his Minnesota Timberwolves overcame a 41-point performance from Trae Young to defeat the Atlanta Hawks 136-115.

The former top overall draft pick shot 12-of-25 from the field for a team-high 32 points, eight rebounds, five assists, two blocks and a steal. He was supported in spectacular fashion by Kyle 'Slow-Mo' Anderson, with 14 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds for his second triple-double of the season.

Young was terrific for the Hawks, shooting 15-of-25 from the field and adding seven assists, but supporting pieces De'Andre Hunter and Dejounte Murray shot a combined 11-of-32.

Minnesota (35-34) are now just one game behind the sixth-seeded Los Angeles Clippers (36-33).

Stephen Curry came alight down the stretch with 22 of his 36 points in the fourth quarter and overtime as the Golden State Warriors showed they are not a spent force beating the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Warriors won 125-116 in overtime after Draymond Green's three-point attempt in the final seconds of regulation rimmed out, before Golden State went on a 9-0 run led by Curry at the Chase Center on Saturday.

Curry shot poorly in the first three quarters but knocked down several crucial three-pointers in the latter periods, finishing with 13-of-27 shooting from the field including six-of-15 from beyond the arc in his first home game since returning from a leg injury.

The result meant the Warriors have won seven straight at home, while it ended the Bucks' nine-game road streak. Golden State are 11-1 in their last 12 games at the Chase Center.

NBA-leading Milwaukee were without Giannis Antetokounmpo (sore hand) but could have won it in regulation with Jrue Holiday driving to the basket with scores locked, only to be blocked by Curry with 1.9 seconds left.

That was Curry's 16th block of the season and came after the reigning NBA Finals MVP landed a tying three-pointer.

Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez top scored for the Bucks with 19 points, with the latter having seven rebounds and five blocks. Holiday scored 18 points with nine rebounds and eight assists.

Klay Thompson and Donte DiVincenzo supported Curry with 22 and 20 points respectively, with the latter adding 10 rebounds.

Kawhi shines as Clippers keep winning

Kawhi Leonard continued his resurgent form with 38 points as the Los Angeles Clippers downed the New York Knicks 106-95.

Leonard shot 14-of-22 from the field and is now averaging 31 points across his past seven games, including four 30-point games during that span.

Paul George contributed 22 points for the Clippers, who have won three in a row, while the Knicks have now lost three straight after a nine-game winning run.

Smart ejected as Celtics clip Hawks

Jayson Tatum led the way with 34 points and 15 rebounds after Marcus Smart was ejected for a tussle with Trae Young as the Boston Celtics won 134-125 over the Atlanta Hawks.

Tatum added 11 of his 34 points in the fourth quarter as the Hawks tried to launch a comeback, while Jaylen Brown had 24 points with five rebounds and seven assists.

Hawks guard Young scored a game-high 35 points with 13 assists, but had to be separated from Smart with 1:25 remaining, with the latter ejected for his part in their confrontation.

Devin Booker made Phoenix Suns history with 44 points in the Phoenix Suns' 132-101 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, where Kevin Durant's anticipated home debut was delayed due to an ankle injury.

Durant had been named in the Suns' starting line-up but suffered an ankle sprain during the warm-ups and was ruled out of the game on Wednesday at the Footprint Center.

In Durant's absence, Booker put on a show, becoming the first player in franchise history with four straight 35-point games.

Booker finished with 44 points on 17-of-23 shooting from the field, making six-of-10 from beyond the arc in a masterful display from only 28 minutes on court, checking out in the fourth quarter.

The Suns guard had 30 points by half-time in the blowout win which gave fourth-placed Phoenix a cushion on the chasing pack for the Western Conference playoffs spots.

Veteran guard Chris Paul added 18 points with nine assists and four steals, while Terrence Ross scored 24 points in 23 minutes off the bench.

For the Thunder, Lindy Waters III top scored off the bench with 23 points including six three-pointers, while Josh Giddey had 10 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

Doncic injured as Mavs lose to Pels

The Dallas Mavericks lost Luka Doncic to injury as their defensive struggles continued with a 113-106 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, who are still without star center Zion Williamson.

The Mavs slipped to eighth in the west with the defeat and will be sweating on Doncic's fitness, exiting in the third quarter with a strained left thigh after 15 points and eight assists.

C.J. McCollum landed six-of-eight three-point attempts in his 32 points for the Pels, who made 13-of-27 from beyond the arc, compared to Dallas' 16-of-46.

Hawks triumph despite Porzingis career-high

Kristaps Porzingis scored a career-high 43 points, but it was not enough as the Washington Wizards lost 122-120 to the Atlanta Hawks.

De'Andre Hunter's go-ahead three-point play with 1:07 left in the fourth quarter settled the tight win, as new Hawks head coach Quin Snyder saw his side improve to 33-33.

Atlanta guard Trae Young scored 28 points with 10 assists and three steals, while Porzingis was outstanding, shooting 17-of-22 from the field including seven-of-10 from three-point range.

The longest winning streak of the season was snapped at 16 games after the Philadelphia 76ers came from behind on the road to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks 133-130.

Milwaukee came into the contest boasting the best record in the NBA, and they appeared well on their way to making it 17 in a row after building a 99-85 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

But the 76ers started the last period on a 16-2 run, and ended up scoring 48 in the quarter, finally taking a 127-125 lead with 42 seconds remaining following a Joel Embiid three-pointer.

It was a spectacular showing from Philadelphia's top three offensive options, and it was James Harden leading the way with 38 points on 11-of-26 shooting, adding 10 assists and nine rebounds.

Embiid was terrific with 31 points (11-of-22 shooting) and an equal season-high 10 assists, and Tyrese Maxey continued to thrive since being reintroduced to the starting line-up, scoring 26 points on eight-of-12 shooting.

Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 34 points (nine-of-21 shooting) and 13 rebounds, but his seven turnovers were two more than the 76ers committed as an entire team.

With the win, the 76ers (41-22) pulled to within four games of the Bucks (45-18) in the race for the top seed in the Eastern Conference.

Bam bullies the Hawks

Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo was a destructive force on both ends as his side defeated the Atlanta Hawks 117-109 in front of a sold-out home crowd.

The two-time All-Star shot 10-of-12 from the field and the same from the free throw line for 30 points, 11 rebounds and five assists, while also blocking two shots and snatching a steal.

Jimmy Butler continued to operate as the de facto point guard, dishing seven assists while only attempting eight field goals for his 15 points, 11 rebounds and two steals, while Tyler Herro poured in 20 points (eight-of-21 shooting) with five assists.

Miami are now just two games behind the flailing sixth-seeded Brooklyn Nets as they seek to rise out of the Play-In Tournament placings.

VanVleet lifts the Raptors in overtime

Fred VanVleet hit big shots late as his Toronto Raptors emerged victorious 116-109 in overtime against the Washington Wizards.

VanVleet ended up with an equal game-high 10 assists to go with his 25 points (nine-of-16 shooting), and he hit a pair of three-pointers in the overtime period, while the Wizards could only muster four points as a team after regulation.

It was a game-winning showing off the bench for Gary Trent Jr, with 26 points (11-of-18 shooting), five rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Delon Wright was a standout for Washington, tallying six steals to go with 18 points (six-of-10), seven assists and six rebounds.

The duo of head coach Quin Snyder and general manager Landry Fields can bring the Atlanta Hawks success.

That is according to owner Tony Ressler, who also acknowledged the team has been underperforming, sitting eighth in the Eastern Conference on a record of 31-31.

Speaking to ESPN, Ressler was not shy in saying he expects better from the Hawks, and believes that will happen with Snyder on board and Fields making decisions.

"We have a relatively young team that I think is very talented... that I do not think long term is a mediocre team," he said. "Right now, we're at .500. I think we should be better than that. I hope we will be better than that.

"And I can tell you this: Landry and [assistant GM] Kyle [Korver] are running a much better, much more collaborative front office. That's of huge importance to me because I think that's how you get better.

"Having ownership, a front office, a coaching staff and the right roster – when all of those folks work well together, I think results improve. That was the objective, and that's why I made the change that I did."

The Hawks dismissed previous coach Nate McMillan in February, and quickly moved for Snyder, signing the former Utah Jazz coach to a five-year deal.

Snyder lost his debut game to the Washington Wizards, but has a chance to get his first win against the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday.

"What I've always done is rely on people who know more than I do to run a business better than I could," Ressler added.

"Who makes the decisions [now], it's undoubtedly Landry with Kyle, with Quin. [They] are going to work beautifully together from what I can tell. I do believe we will make better decisions going forward than we have done in the past."

New Atlanta Hawks head coach Quin Snyder is hopeful of going on a run this season while also building a culture within the franchise.

The Hawks confirmed the appointment of Snyder on Sunday, replacing Nate McMillan, who was fired last week.

Snyder has been out of a job since leaving the Jazz at the end of last season, having led them to six straight playoff appearances.

Atlanta are eighth in the Eastern Conference with a 31-30 record but the appointment of ex-Utah Jazz head coach Snyder offers instant hope, although he said the decision to take over now rather than at the end of the season was not simple given the expectation of immediate results.

"As I thought about it, I think the opportunity to come in now, although maybe challenging, is also an opportunity to hopefully go on a run," Snyder told reporters.

"Also, and I think these things are not mutually exclusive, to begin to build a foundation, a culture. It's always a challenge, but those challenges are often most rewarding and the best opportunity."

The Hawks boast a strong roster featuring All-Stars Trae Young and Dejounte Murray and Snyder was bullish about getting the best out of them.

"I think players want to get better, and they want to be coached," Snyder said. "I think the relationships are what allows you to coach them effectively.

"In those things again, it's part of the reason I wanted to start now, and I think that our group here needs to just decide to trust each other. it's incumbent upon all of us – myself, first and foremost – to not violate that trust."

Hawks general manager Landry Fields said Snyder was their first choice and that he ticked all the boxes.

"Everything we were looking for, it was check, check, check," he said.

Former Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder is nearing an agreement to fill the Atlanta Hawks' head coaching vacancy. 

According to a report from The Athletic's Shams Charania, Snyder is expected to command a salary in the range of $8million per year to replace Nate McMillan, whom the Hawks fired Tuesday with the team sitting in eighth place in the Eastern Conference at the All-Star break.

The 56-year-old Snyder is arguably the top available coach on the market after leading the Jazz to six consecutive postseason appearances before resigning in June. Utah compiled a 294-178 regular-season record over that six-year stretch, the highest winning percentage among Western Conference teams and the third highest in the NBA.

Utah was not able to achieve the same success during the postseason, however, as the Jazz failed to advance past the conference semifinals in each of those six playoff trips.

Atlanta's interest in Snyder, a Hawks assistant under current Milwaukee Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer in 2013-14, was already known after general manager Landry Fields told reporters Wednesday the former Duke player and assistant coach was among those the team was considering to replace McMillan.

McMillan took over as Atlanta’s interim head coach after the team fired Lloyd Pierce during the 2020-21 season and went 27-11 to lead the Hawks to the East’s fifth seed. Atlanta later upset top-seeded Philadelphia in the second round to reach the conference finals before losing to Milwaukee in six games.

The Hawks removed the interim tag from McMillan shortly after that strong run, but Atlanta was knocked out of the playoffs in the first round in 2021-22 and struggled to find consistency this season. Atlanta took a 29-30 record into the All-Star break after entering the campaign with high expectations, fuelled by the offseason acquisition of guard Dejounte Murray to pair with All-Star Trae Young.

McMillan amassed a 98-80 regular-season record with Atlanta, who tabbed assistant Joe Prunty to serve as interim coach for Friday's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Former Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder is among the candidates to take over at the Atlanta Hawks following Nate McMillan's firing.

Snyder has been linked with the vacant job since McMillan was fired on Tuesday and Hawks general manager Landry Fields confirmed he was being considered among a pool of options.

The 56-year-old led the Jazz from 2014 to 2022, guiding the side to six straight playoffs appearances, before parting ways at the end of last season with an overall 372-264 regular-season record.

"Quin is a part of that pool," Fields told reporters on Wednesday. "That's something that we will consider, for sure."

Snyder has an association with the Hawks, having worked there as an assistant coach in the 2013-14 season before taking up the Jazz gig.

The Hawks are hoping for a playoffs push, sitting eighth in the west with a 29-30 record at the All-Star break.

Fields said he could make a hire this season, with Snyder available having been out of a job since exiting the Jazz.

"It's a factor in the sense that I feel comfortable mentioning his name," Fields said when asked about Snyder's availability.

"But there are other candidates I don't want to mention because they are a part of other teams. I want to make sure I'm respectful of other teams."

The Hawks have confirmed assistant coach Joe Prunty will serve as interim coach at practice this week before their season resumes on Friday against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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