Kevin Durant was the hero again for the Brooklyn Nets after lifting the shorthanded Eastern Conference leaders past the Philadelphia 76ers 114-105.

The Nets have been ravaged by COVID-19, with superstar James Harden among the absentees after entering the NBA's health and safety protocols.

But Durant carried the Nets on Thursday, scoring 34 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists to help see off the rallying 76ers in Brooklyn.

With the game tied less than two minutes from the end, Durant came up big via a four-point play, having been fouled on a three-point attempt.

Durant was coming off an NBA season-high 51 points, nine assists and seven rebounds, and 34 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists in his previous two games.

Joel Embiid put up 32 points, nine rebounds and six assists but the slumping 76ers still fell to their third consecutive defeat.

 

Suns do their thing

The Phoenix Suns capped a balanced performance with a 118-98 victory at home to the Washington Wizards. All five starters, and eight players in total, had double-digit points. Thanks to the win, the Suns moved level with the Golden State Warriors for the NBA lead at 23-5.

The New York Knicks snapped a four-game losing streak via a 116-103 triumph over the Houston Rockets, behind Immanuel Quickley (24 points), Evan Fournier (23 points) and Julius Randle (21 points).

 

Sorry Pistons lose… again

The less said about the Detroit Pistons right now, the better. Detroit were condemned to a 13th successive loss, the Pistons beaten 122-113 by the Indiana Pacers. Detroit (4-23) own the NBA's worst record.

Brooklyn Nets head coach Steve Nash admitted he is concerned with Kevin Durant's workload, describing it as "not safe or sustainable".

Before Thursday's 114-105 win over Eastern Conference rivals the Philadelphia 76ers, Durant ranked second in minutes per game (36.9) this NBA season.

The shorthanded Nets, who have been hit by a COVID-19 outbreak, have relied heavily on their superstar in 2021-22 – Durant played a season-high 48 minutes in Tuesday's overtime victory against the Toronto Raptors.

Not since 2013-14, during his time with the Oklahoma City Thunder (38.5), has former MVP Durant averaged more minutes per game in his illustrious career.

"It's a really important topic," Nash before the Eastern Conference-leading Nets outlasted the rallying 76ers in Brooklyn, with Durant playing a team-high 39 minutes.

"I don't know we can continue to lean on him the way we have. It doesn't feel right.

"I know he's enjoying it. I know he's enjoying playing at the rate he's playing at and trying to bring his team-mates along with him and all the responsibility that he's accepted and crushed, basically.

"It's just been incredible. But, at the same time, it's not safe or sustainable to lean on him like that. There's gonna be a lot of consideration and we'll have to figure out ways to give him breaks."

Durant was ice-cold against the 76ers, posting 34 points – including a pair of three-pointers, 11 rebounds and eight assists to lift the Nets.

The Nets are top of the Eastern Conference with a 21-8 record, two and a half games clear of defending champions the Milwaukee Bucks.

Los Angeles Lakers duo Russell Westbrook and Avery Bradley have entered the NBA's health and safety protocols.

The Lakers cancelled practice on Tuesday after guard Talen Horton-Tucker was put into the league's coronavirus protocols.

It was revealed two days later that Westbrook and Bradley have joined Horton-Tucker, Dwight Howard and Malik Monk in entering the protocols.

With Westbrook and Bradley unable to travel for Friday's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center, it has been reported the Lakers are set to sign Isaiah Thomas.

Two-time All-Star Thomas is to sign a 10-day contract to join a depleted Los Angeles roster under the hardship exemption, according to NBA insider Marc Stein and The Athletic's Shams Charania.

The 32-year-old point guard joined the New Orleans Pelicans on a 10-day contract last season, averaging 7.7 points in his three games.

Zion Williamson is no nearer to a return to NBA action after the New Orleans Pelicans confirmed he would require at least four to six weeks before his foot injury was assessed again.

Williamson has been dogged by fitness issues throughout his NBA career and is yet to feature in 2021-22 due to a foot fracture.

The former first overall pick returned to full team activities in late November, only to suffer further setbacks.

Williamson's training programme was reduced last week and now, in an update on Thursday, the Pelicans have detailed the anticipated minimum length of his lay-off.

"Following a consultation and further evaluation with Dr. Richard Ferkel of the Southern California Orthopedic Institute yesterday, Zion Williamson received a biologic injection into the fracture site to stimulate bone healing in his right foot," the team said.

"Williamson will be limited to low impact, partial weight-bearing activities for an extended period.

"Further updates will be given following further imaging which is anticipated to occur in 4-6 weeks."

The Pelicans, who are a miserable 9-21, could therefore play as many as 18 more games before Williamson is even considered again.

Although New Orleans are 40-45 with Williamson over the past three seasons – compared to 30-59 without him – they are 3.5 games back on the play-in round in the West and look a long shot to recover any sort of playoff push from this campaign.

The Brooklyn Nets might have problems just now, but they sit top of the Eastern Conference and continue their home run on Thursday as they host the Philadelphia 76ers at Barclays Center.

Kevin Durant starred with a triple-double in Brooklyn's overtime win over the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday, dragging the Nets to a 131-129 triumph.

The success came after a whirlwind day for the Nets, who had to place seven players, including James Harden, into the NBA's health and safety protocols due to a COVID-19 outbreak in the camp.

Brooklyn sit on 20 wins from 28 games for the season, with a divisional contest against the Sixers (15-14) next up on Thursday.

Philadelphia went down to the Miami Heat on Wednesday, with Gabe Vincent registering 26 points – including a vital fourth-quarter three-pointer – as Erik Spoelstra's side recorded a 101-96 triumph.

None of Miami's three leading average points-scorers – Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro or Bam Adebayo – were in the line-up, but the Sixers were also without Georges Niang due to the NBA’s COVID-19 protocols - the fifth 76ers star to miss time this season for that reason.

Defeat against the Heat made it consecutive losses for the Sixers, following a 126-91 reverse against the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday.

Philadelphia (15-14) sit seventh in the Eastern Conference, with a 5-5 record over the last 10 games in what has been a stop-start campaign thus far as they prepare to challenge the Nets.

PIVOTAL PERFORMERS

Philadelphia 76ers – Joel Embiid

Embiid has enjoyed a strong recent record against Brooklyn, winning three of his last five encounters with the Nets and personally scoring at least 33 points in each of those victories.

The four-time All-Star has 496 points, 225 rebounds and 62 assists against the Nets across his career, while only Tyrese Maxey (477) has accumulated more points this season for Philadelphia than Embiid (429).

Brooklyn Nets – Kevin Durant

Durant had a game-leading 34 points against the Raptors, as he completed that triple-double – his second of the season – with 13 rebounds and 11 assists.

The former Golden State Warriors star is averaging 29.6 points from 26 games so far in 2021-22, and if his form continues he seems destined to surpass, or come very close to surpassing, his previous best career average of 32.0 set across 81 games in the 2013-14 season with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

He has a 16-3 career record against the Sixers, averaging 27.3 points per game.

KEY BATTLE – High-scorers could settle the contest

With Durant in such strong form, the Sixers will just be thankful, due to Harden's absence, that they are not facing two players that account for six of the 35 triple-doubles so far this season.

The Los Angeles Lakers (Russell Westbrook – five, LeBron James – two) are the only team with more triple-doubles to their name in 2021-22, and Philadelphia must surely look to keep the Nets on six if they are to clinch victory in Brooklyn.

No Philadelphia player has achieved a triple-double this season, while Embiid has been responsible for eight of the team's 17 double-doubles. Brooklyn are already on 31.

HEAD-TO-HEAD

The 76ers certainly have the edge when it comes to recent meetings between the east coast rivals, having won five of the last seven clashes.

However, the Nets won 114-109 at Wells Fargo Center in October, and also won their last home game against Philadelphia back in January.

Austin Reaves admits he had always been the underdog on his way to the NBA, but for one night at least he was the hero for the Los Angeles Lakers.

The 23-year-old rookie earned a spot in the Lakers set-up after impressing in the Summer League, and now he is showing up as a big-league prospect, hitting the winning three-pointer against the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night with 0.9 seconds left in overtime.

Reaves posted an NBA career-best 15 points and seven rebounds, making five of six three-point shots, earning high praise from superstar team-mate Anthony Davis after the Lakers' 107-104 win.

Davis said: "It's testament to the hard work he's putting in. He's a sponge. He's soaking up all the information that we give him. He wants to learn, he wants to get better.

"He's not afraid of the moment. He's a hard worker. He plays hard, does the right things. Even when we get on him during a game, he's right here accepting the criticism, accepting the help, and applying it on the floor."

LeBron James scored a team-high 24 points, adding three rebounds and five assists, but missed a last-gasp three-point attempt in normal time. The Mavs fumbled the rebound and Wayne Ellington swooped to hit a triple to send the game overtime.

Russell Westbrook (23 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists) came up with a clutch three-pointer in overtime, while Davis had 20 points and 12 rebounds.

Both sides traded triples in overtime, but shooting guard Reaves stepped up for the game-winning basket after being found by Westbrook wide open, lifting the Lakers to a 16-13 record with their third straight win.

"Great pass by Russ, great shot by Austin," Davis said. "Didn't even hit the net, it was a huge, huge shot for him."

It was described as "a hell of a shot" by coach Frank Vogel.

Reaves, roared into the locker room by team-mates and drenched in water as a prank, reflected on a tough journey to this moment in his career.

He said: "It's been the story of my life, I've always been under-rated. But at the end of the day you've got to produce on the basketball court 

"For me to hit that shot and for my team-mates to have the trust in me to take that shot is very, very special."

The Lakers had players sidelined by COVID-19 protocols, in a sign of the times for the NBA.

James said the team were "kind of living in the moment right now" in that regard.

"There's been a lot going on," he said. "We have a lot of injuries, a lot of mixed line-ups, a lot of guys in protocols, false protocols, things of that nature, so we are what we are as a team right now, and we like where we’re at."

The Los Angeles Lakers claimed a remarkable 107-104 overtime win over the Dallas Mavericks with rookie Austin Reaves clinching the game with a late three-pointer.

LeBron James finished with 24 points, three rebounds and five assists but missed a last-gasp three-point attempt in normal time, but the Mavs fumbled the rebound and Wayne Ellington swooped to hit a triple to send the game overtime.

Russell Westbrook (23 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists) came up with a clutch three-pointer in overtime - his only of the game - while Anthony Davis had 20 points and 12 rebounds to lift the Lakers to a 16-13 record with their third straight win.

Both sides had traded triples in overtime but 23-year-old shooting guard Reaves stepped up with scores locked at 104-104 after being found by Westbrook wide open, draining his three-point attempt with 0.9 seconds on the clock.

The Lakers surrendered a good start with a poor second quarter, where the Mavs outscored them 27-14, but defensively were excellent keeping Dallas, who were without Luka Doncic, to 27.3 percent shooting from beyond the arc.

 

Good Holiday with others out

Jrue Holiday stepped up in the absence of Khris Middleton (knee) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (COVID protocols) with 26 points and 14 assists to lead the Milwaukee Bucks past the Indiana Pacers 114-99. Tyrese Maxey had a game-high 27 points for the 76ers.

Reigning MVP Nikola Jokic continued his hot run with another triple-double (27 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists) but the Denver Nuggets lost 124-107 to the Minnesota Timberwolves, as Anthony Edwards scored 10 triples in his 38 points.

The Utah Jazz stretched their winning streak to eight games, beating the Los Angeles Clippers 124-103 with Rudy Gobert (20 points and 17 rebounds) and Donovan Mitchell (27 points and six assists) starring.

Devonte' Graham drained a 65-foot game-winning buzzer beater as the New Orleans Pelicans defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 113-110, while Gordon Hayward scored 41 points from 29 minutes on court as the Charlotte Hornets beat the San Antonio Spurs 131-115.

 

Embiid loses his touch

Joel Embiid missed a late three-point chance to tie the game and shot five of 13 from the field for his 17 points as the Philadelphia 76ers lost 101-96 to the weakened Miami Heat, who were without Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro. Gabe Vincent landed seven three-pointers in his career-high 26-point haul for the Heat.

Milwaukee Bucks star Khris Middleton missed Wednesday's win over the Indiana Pacers, however the reigning NBA champions are hopeful his knee injury is a short-term problem after positive MRI results.

Middleton had warmed up prior to the 114-99 victory, but did not take his place in the side missing seven players, including superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo – who entered COVID-19 protocols on Tuesday.

Bucks small forward Middleton had hyperextended his left knee in Monday's 117-103 loss to the Boston Celtics and was forced out of the contest.

Milwaukee head coach Mike Budenholzer confirmed Middleton had undergone an MRI which offered reason for encouragement.

"I think we consider everything very fortunate," Budenholzer told reporters. "This should be very minimal and short. We'll see how he feels [Thursday] and going into the game Friday, I think we'll be hopeful."

Antetokounmpo joined Wes Matthews and Donte DiVincenzo in being unavailable due to entering league protocols.

To clear protocols, a player must be out for a minimum of 10 days or return two negative PCR tests at least 24 hours apart.

"We'll follow all the guidelines that the league has laid out," Budenholzer said. "Hope he's just healthy and taking care of himself."

As one of only two NBA teams that have never won a division title, the Memphis Grizzlies are in prime position to cut that number in half this season.

Since joining the NBA as the Vancouver Grizzlies in 1995-96, Memphis have finished second five times but have never captured a division crown. The Charlotte Hornets are the only other franchise never to win a division title, though they did finish in a three-way tie for first place in the Southeast in 2015-16 but lost the title to the Miami Heat on a tie-breaker.

Roughly two months into this season and Memphis sit atop a weak Southwest Division with the franchise's first division title a distinct possibility.

No division has a worse composite record than the Southwest with Memphis (17-11), the Dallas Mavericks (14-13), San Antonio Spurs (10-16), Houston Rockets (9-18) and New Orleans Pelicans (8-21) combining for a 58-79 record (42.3). Weaker division opponents certainly will not hurt the Grizzlies' cause, but they appear more than capable of beating just about any team, evidenced by their 13-6 record against the Western Conference.

While Ja Morant has established himself as one of the game's young superstars in his third season, what is most impressive about the Grizzlies is how they have performed without him.

Morant has not played since November 26 due to a sprained left knee and he then entered the NBA's health and safety protocols after testing positive for COVID-19 on December 8.

Somehow, Memphis have been even better with their leading scorer on the shelf, going an inspired 8-1. Prior to this stretch, Memphis were 6-9 in Morant's career when he missed a game.

It has been a dominant run for the Grizzlies, who have outscored opponents by 176 points in those nine games. Since November 28 in their first game without Morant, the Grizzlies rank fifth in the NBA in points per game (113.7), ninth in three-pointers made (112) and lead the league in total rebounds (449) and total steals (108).

Clearly, Memphis are much more than just Morant.

During a five-game winning streak – all without Morant – the Grizzlies led every game from wire-to-wire before the run ended with a 104-96 loss to visiting Dallas on December 8. Included in that five-game surge was a stunning 152-79 thrashing of the Oklahoma City Thunder for the largest margin of victory in league history.

Memphis only rank 20th this season in opponent points per game (109.2) but something has clicked with the defence allowing a league-best 94.1 points during this 8-1 stretch. In the first 19 games this season, Memphis held foes to 101 points or fewer just twice but have done that seven times in the past nine contests.

Memphis are 13-1 (92.9) this season when holding opponents under 110 points. Only the Phoenix Suns (18-0), Charlotte (7-0) and Brooklyn Nets (15-1) have a better winning percentage in such games.

Maybe it was Morant's absence that forced the rest of the team to turn up the defensive pressure, but whatever the reason Taylor Jenkins' team now know they can win either with offense as they rank sixth in the league in scoring (111.0) as well as at the opposite end of the court.

Perhaps no victory was more indicative of what the Grizzlies can do than last Thursday's 108-95 win over the Los Angeles Lakers. Despite missing Morant and starting guard Dillon Brooks (health and safety protocols), Memphis set a franchise record with nine steals in the second quarter en route to a season-high 18 and became just the second team in the past 13 games to hold star-laden Los Angeles under 100 points.

Several players have stepped up to fill the void left by Morant and none bigger than second-year guard Desmond Bane. A serious contender for the Most Improved Player award, Bane has taken a huge step forward in his sophomore season to become much more than a shooter with his usage rate going from 16.1 to 22.3 per cent.

In the nine games without Morant, Bane has averaged 17.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and shot 44.8 per cent from three-point range (26 for 58). He averaged 15.5 points and 3.8 rebounds while connecting on 37.4 per cent (46 for 123) from deep in the season's first 19 games. His points per game average has risen from 9.2 in 2020-21 to 16.0 this season – his plus-6.8 improvement only bettered by Reggie Jackson (+6.9), Miles Bridges (+7.1) and Tyrese Maxey (+8.7) among players to have played in 70 per cent of team games in both campaigns.

When a team's leading scorer misses time, the second-leading scorer is asked to pick up most of the slack and Jaren Jackson Jr. has answered that call.

During the 8-1 stretch, Jackson is scoring 21.1 per game on 50.4 per cent shooting, including 38.5 per cent (20 for 52) from beyond the arc. In 19 games played with Morant this term, Jackson averaged 14.8 points on 39.7 per cent from the field and 33.7 per cent from long range.

Jackson has scored 25 points or more in four of his last seven games after having only one such game through his first 20 this season.

With 25 points and five blocks in a win over the Toronto Raptors late last month, Jackson became just the third Grizzlies player to reach both those totals in a game since the team moved to Memphis. Pau Gasol (six games) and Marc Gasol (four games) are the only others.

Memphis' defensive improvement is clearly a team-wide concept, but Dillon Brooks may be the player most responsible. Brooks did not make his season debut until November 10 due to a broken left hand and the team clearly missed his intensity and leadership.

In 14 games this season with Brooks in the line-up, Memphis have surrendered 103.6 points per game and held opponents to 44.0 per cent shooting. In the 14 games he has missed, the Grizzlies have given up 114.9 points with opponents making 48.3 per cent of their shots.

Taking over at the point in Morant's place has been Tyus Jones, who had the best assist-to-turnover ratio in the league each of the last three seasons and is on his way to doing it again with 119 assists to 21 turnovers (5.67).

The biggest improvement in Jones' game has been his three-point shooting, making 40 percent of his first 65 attempts after he hit on just 32.1 per cent last season.

One area where Memphis have excelled all season is on the boards.

The Grizzlies rank third in the NBA in total rebounds (1,323) and tied for second in offensive rebounding (358). Steven Adams leads the way with 8.6 per game but gets plenty of help as Memphis are tied for second in the league with seven players averaging at least four boards per contest.

Those rebounds play a role in helping Memphis top the NBA in both second-chance points (479) and points in the paint (1,504).

With Phoenix and the Golden State Warriors looking like world beaters right now and the Utah Jazz not far behind, Memphis have been able to fly under the radar in the Western Conference.

While there is no telling how Morant's return will affect the Grizzlies, the team have done all the little things in his absence and that can only help them in their quest to finally hang a division championship banner at FedEx Forum.

Kevin Durant said it felt "amazing to be out there" as he inspired the short-handed Brooklyn Nets to victory over the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday.

There had been some doubt about whether the game would even go ahead after the Nets' list of players in the league's health and safety protocols grew to seven, James Harden and Bruce Brown ruled out within an hour of tip-off.

Durant had also been questionable due to an ankle problem but powered through a game-changing 48 minutes as the Nets won 131-129 in overtime.

Having mustered a season-high 51 points in the win over the Detroit Pistons last Sunday – the eighth 50-point game of his NBA career – Durant posted a triple-double of 34 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists.

He is the first forward or center to follow a 50-point game with a triple-double since Wilt Chamberlain back in 1968.

"We had to debate Kevin's situation," coach Steve Nash said. "Obviously, we're talking about a franchise player; we don't want to risk it. So we're probably more cautious than he is, but he really wanted to play, and so that was it."

Durant's inspirational impact came as part of a side featuring four rookies, his 14th career triple-double taking the Eastern Conference leaders to 20-8.

"Man, I can't even explain how I feel," he said. "It's December and we're down seven players and we easily could've punted this game.

"But we saw an opportunity for us to grow and get better, especially the younger guys who haven't played a lot of meaningful games in the NBA, especially against a championship organisation like Toronto. [It] was an amazing test for us.

"I'm so proud to just be a part of this group and play with these young dudes... man, it was amazing to be out there."

The Philadelphia 76ers are next up for the Nets at Barclays Center on Friday.

Stephen Curry broke the record for most three-pointers made in NBA history as the Golden State Warriors defeated the New York Knicks 105-96.

Curry eclipsed Hall of Famer Ray Allen with his 2,974th three in the opening quarter of Tuesday's contest at Madison Square Garden.

A three-time NBA champion and two-time MVP, Curry – who needed two three-pointers to make history – was congratulated by Allen on the sidelines amid a lengthy celebration in New York.

To put Curry's achievement into context, it took the Warriors 17 seasons to hit that many three pointers after the three-point line was implemented (1979-80 to 1995-96).

Curry finished with 22 points on five-of-14 shooting from three-point range as the NBA-leading Warriors improved to 23-5 for the season.

Julius Randle posted a season-high 31 points, but it was not enough for the Knicks.

 

Durant dazzles again

After his season-high 51 points on Sunday, Kevin Durant was the hero again for the shorthanded Brooklyn Nets, who outlasted the Toronto Raptors 131-129 after overtime. In the absence of James Harden after he entered the league's health and safety protocols as the Nets' list grew to seven players, Durant – questionable prior to tip-off due to an ankle issue – fuelled the Eastern Conference leaders with a triple-double (34 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists). It was Durant's 14th career triple-double. According to Stats Perform, he is the first forward or center to have a 50-point game followed by a triple-double since Wilt Chamberlain in 1968.

Damian Lillard put up 31 points and 11 assists, but the Portland Trail Blazers still lost 111-107 to the Phoenix Suns in overtime. Chris Paul (24 points, 14 assists) and Deandre Ayton (28 points, 13 rebounds) inspired the Suns.

 

New York's Kemba woes?

It has not been a smooth ride for the Knicks since they opted to remove All-Star Kemba Walker from their rotation. The Knicks are 2-7 after deciding not to play Walker, having been 10-9 with the star recruit.

Stephen Curry savoured his "special" outing after the Golden State Warriors superstar made history as the NBA's all-time leader for three-pointers.

Curry broke Ray Allen's three-point record with his 2,974th successful shot from beyond the arc in Tuesday's 105-96 victory over the New York Knicks.

A three-time NBA champion and two-time MVP, Curry needed a pair of three-pointers to surpass Hall of Famer Allen at Madison Square Garden, where he finished with five threes.

Curry was congratulated by Allen on the sidelines amid the celebrations after the Warriors guard achieved the feat in the opening quarter in New York.

"It's kind of crazy to think, growing up around the league, watching my dad play, my family going to old Hornets games and having big dreams about shooting the basketball hopefully playing on this level," Curry said after finishing with 22 points.

"To do it here at Madison Square Garden in front of this guy right here [Ray Allen] and Reggie and just all that basketball means to me, it's special.

"Had great support here, in this arena. I can't express how much of an honour that was to have that reaction here on the road and the appreciation for this milestone. And obviously it's great to get the win on top of that. A very, very, very special night."

Curry set the record in his 789th NBA game, 511 appearances fewer than Allen.

"I've been thinking about this number for a long time. I've even got it on my shoes," Curry said on TNT.

"Basketball history. This is pretty special. These two, legends. I watched them growing up and understood what it meant to shoot the ball because of them and my dad.

"Full-circle moment, man. I'm blessed. Blessed, for sure.''

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr added: "I thought the night was perfect. It just pretty much encapsulated who he is and his reaction to it was perfect."

"Steph is the best to ever shoot a basketball and we get the opportunity to go to work with him every day and it's a very special thing," said Warriors team-mate Draymond Green.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver also congratulated Curry in a statement which read: "It was thrilling to see Steph break the NBA's all-time record for three-pointers.

"He has revolutionised the way the game is played and continues to leave fans in awe with his amazing artistry and extraordinary shooting ability. We congratulate him on this historic achievement."

Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo has been ruled out of Wednesday's game against the Indiana Pacers after entering the NBA's health and safety protocols.

Antetokounmpo is the latest big-name player to be listed in the league's COVID-19 protocols after Brooklyn Nets star James Harden on Tuesday.

Finals MVP Antetokounmpo has been averaging 27.0 points, 11.6 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game for the defending champions this season.

Antetokounmpo is shooting 53.0 per cent from the field – his lowest number since the 2017-18 season, and 28.0 per cent from three-point range.

The Bucks (18-11) are third in the Eastern Conference, behind the Nets (19-8) and Chicago Bulls (17-10).

The Los Angeles Lakers cancelled practice on Tuesday after guard Talen Horton-Tucker entered the NBA's health and safety protocols.

Amid a growing list of cases in the league, the Lakers' Horton-Tucker tested positive for COVID-19.

The Lakers were due to practice prior to their flight ahead of Wednesday's clash with the Dallas Mavericks, however, a team spokesperson confirmed to ESPN and The Athletic that training did not take place.

The Brooklyn Nets, Chicago Bulls and Charlotte Hornets have all been struck down by coronavirus.

Anthony Davis is also questionable for the midweek game against the Mavericks due to left knee soreness.

The Lakers (15-13) are sixth in the Western Conference and riding a two-game winning streak.

Stephen Curry stands alone as the NBA's all-time leader in made threes after the Golden State Warriors sharpshooter eclipsed Ray Allen.

Curry needed a pair of three-pointers to surpass Allen's record of 2,973 and the Warriors superstar achieved the feat in the opening quarter of Tuesday's clash with the New York Knicks.

A three-time NBA champion and two-time MVP, Curry entered the history books with his 2,974th three at Madison Square Garden, where he was congratulated by Hall of Famer Allen on the sidelines.

To put Curry's achievement into context, it took the Warriors 17 seasons to hit that many three pointers after the three-point line was implemented (1979-80 to 1995-96).

Entering Tuesday's play, Curry had been averaging 27.0 points, 6.3 assists and a career-high 5.6 rebounds per game for the high-flying Warriors.

Curry has also been shooting 43.2 per cent from the field and 40.1 per cent from beyond the arc in 2021-22.

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