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.

James Harden will not feature in Tuesday's clash with the Toronto Raptors after becoming the latest Brooklyn Nets player to enter the NBA's health and safety protocols.

Harden entered COVID-19 protocols alongside team-mate Bruce Brown prior to the game against the Raptors, the Eastern Conference-leading Nets announced.

Brooklyn now have seven players sidelined due to those protocols, including LaMarcus Aldridge, DeAndre' Bembry, James Johnson, Jevon Carter and Paul Millsap.

Kevin Durant was in doubt for the matchup because of right ankle soreness, however, the superstar has been cleared to face the Raptors.

The Nets have scored 100 or more points in 12 straight games, only the Minnesota Timberwolves have a longer active streak in the NBA (14), according to Stats Perform.

Brooklyn are 18-4 this season when hitting the century mark and 1-4 when they do not reach 100 points.

Durant scored a season-high 51 points against the Detroit Pistons on Sunday, which is the most by any player this season.

The former MVP has seven career 50-point games with the haul in the win over the Pistons being his first for Brooklyn. Kyrie Irving is the only Nets player with multiple 50-point games all-time (two).

The Brooklyn Nets listed Kevin Durant as questionable for Tuesday's game against the Toronto Raptors – and COVID-19 protocols have seen five others ruled out.

Durant has 'right ankle soreness', the Nets said, and that comes two days after he scored a season-high 51 points in the Nets' 116-104 win over the Detroit Pistons.

Kyrie Irving remains away from the team and unavailable having refused to be vaccinated, and Joe Harris is another confirmed absentee after undergoing ankle surgery.

The NBA's strict protocols in pandemic times mean the Nets also must cope without five more members of Steve Nash's squad.

It had been previously announced that Paul Millsap was on that list, before the Nets added LaMarcus Aldridge, DeAndre' Bembry, James Johnson and Jevon Carter on Tuesday.

Aldridge, Johnson and Bembry were starters, alongside Durant, in Sunday's clash with Detroit.

The clash with Toronto is due to be the first of five games in eight days at Barclays Center for the Nets, whose 19-8 record sees them lead the way in the Eastern Conference.

Stephen Curry moved within two three-pointers of breaking Ray Allen's all-time NBA record as the Golden State Warriors edged the Indiana Pacers 102-100 on Monday.

Curry finished the game with 26 points including five triples to close in on Allen's record of 2,973 three-point attempts made. The two-time MVP will look to break the mark on Tuesday against the New York Knicks.

Domantas Sabonis scored 30 points with 11 rebounds for the Pacers, who led late before Curry, who shot at 33 percent from beyond the arc, hit his fifth three-point attempt to narrow the margin.

Curry had another attempt from beyond the arc rim out, with Kevin Looney's putback giving Golden State the lead with 13.4 seconds left.

Gary Payton II's defense on Caris LeVert forced a late turnover to seal the win for the Warriors who improve to 22-5, ahead of Curry's next attempt at breaking the record in New York.

 

Tatum downs depleted Bucks

Jayson Tatum hit seven three-pointers as he finished with 42 points in the Boston Celtics' 117-103 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks. The reigning champions lost Khris Middleton to a left knee hyper-extension in the third quarter, while Giannis Antetokounmpo was kept relatively quiet with 20 points, eight rebounds and three assists.

The Philadelphia 76ers missed Joel Embiid who was out with rib soreness, going down 126-91 to the Memphis Grizzlies, while reigning MVP Nikola Jokic led the Denver Nuggets past the Washington Wizards 113-107 with 28 points, 19 rebounds and nine assists.

Trae Young scored 41 points with nine assists but it could not prevent the Atlanta Hawks from losing 132-126 to the resurgent Houston Rockets. Eric Gordon netted 32 points for Houston who came from 19 points down with a 38-21 fourth quarter.

 

CP3 struggles as Suns stumble

Chris Paul could not find his stride against his former franchise, struggling for nine points shooting at under 30 percent with eight assists in the Phoenix Suns' 111-95 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. The Suns, who are 21-5, were without Deandre Ayton and Devin Booker.

Khris Middleton suffered a hyperextended left knee in Monday's 117-103 loss to the Boston Celtics which the Milwaukee Bucks are praying is not a serious injury.

Middleton landed awkwardly upon contact with team-mate Rodney Hood attempting to rebound late in the third quarter, before limping off the court moments later after trying to play on.

Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer said they would wait until Tuesday to make a determination on the severity of the injury to the 2020-21 NBA champion.

"I think we're terming it a left knee hyper-extension," Budenholzer said at the post-game news conference.

"We'll know more tomorrow but I think there's some hope it's not serious, but you've got to wait and give it time."

Middleton had four points with eight rebounds and three assists on the night, succumbing to injury after 24 minutes on court.

The 30-year-old small forward is averaging 18.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game this season. Middleton averaged 20.4 points in the Bucks' title-winning season.

The defeat to the Celtics leaves the reigning champions with an 18-11 record and third spot in the Eastern Conference.

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 41 points on Friday and had a triple-double on Sunday but managed only 20 points with eight rebounds and three assists.

"I think we've got to space around him a little bit better," Budenholzer said. "Move him a little bit more. It was a tough night for us, sometimes that happens."

Budenholzer also refused to blame the Bucks' recent heavy schedule with three games in four days.

"Credit to Boston, they played well tonight," he said. "I think we weren’t at our best. Whatever the reasons are, we've got to be better."

Stephen Curry and his Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr both admit they regret fueling the focus around the two-time MVP breaking Ray Allen's all-time three-point record.

Curry drained five three-pointers as the Warriors defeated the Indiana Pacers 102-100 on Monday to move within two triples of breaking Allen's all-time record of 2,973 for three-point attempts made.

The Warriors guard shot at 40 percent from the field against the Pacers, including five of 15 from three-point range to finish with 26 points.

Curry has gradually closed in on the record, although Curry and Kerr both fueled the hype last week when he was 16 three-pointers off the record, when they said it was possible he could do it in one game.

The 33-year-old came out and shot six of 17 from beyond the arc against the Portland Trail Blazers in the next game, followed by three of 14 from three-point range against the Philadelphia 76ers, and admitted regret at the "extra tension" those comments created.

"Those shots I took, those first four [against Portland] I missed all four, I would shoot those whether it was Game 1, Game 82, the playoffs," Curry told reporters after Monday's shootaround prior to the Pacers game.

"That's how you approach the game. It just had a different context to it. It feels a little bit different now knowing we're right there. It will happen when it happens and I'll enjoy it when it does."

Curry added: "I realise how much work's gone into it, but there is a lot of tension and emotion. "Even from the last home game, the schedule's kind of provided a little extra emphasis, seeing if I could do it before we came on this road trip.

"But after that when I get on the floor I'm just playing basketball having a good time, trying to win games in the process. Obviously, I'd like to shoot the ball better, play better. I know that's going to happen and the record will come as a part of that, but just enjoying the process."

Kerr admitted his own regrets after flippantly feeding into the narrative when asked if Curry could break Klay Thompson's record of 14 triples in one game to go past Allen's all-time record.

"There hasn't been stress for our team," Kerr said at the pre-game news conference on Monday. "I would say it's been a slight distraction.

"I told the media in Philadelphia the other night, I fed into it because somebody asked me if Steph could break it at home against Portland with 16 threes and I said, 'Sure,' because nothing Steph does surprises me. But that fed into the narrative - he came out and took 17 threes that night, our crowd was going crazy from the very beginning. And I'm shaking my head thinking, what the hell did I just do?

"I think the most important thing is we just have to settle in and it's going to happen obviously pretty soon. We just have to get into a rhythm.

"We haven't been great offensively over the last five or six games… it's more likely that he'll make more threes if our team's in a good rhythm and we're just playing."

The Chicago Bulls' next two NBA games have been postponed due to a coronavirus outbreak.

It was announced by the Bulls on Monday that 10 of their players and additional members of staff are in the league's health and safety protocols.

The NBA confirmed Chicago will not face the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday or the Toronto Raptors two days later.

Ayo Dosunmu and Stanley Johnson took the list of Bulls players unavailable due to entering the protocols to seven for a 118-9 defeat to the Miami Heat on Saturday.

The games against the Pistons and the Raptors will be rearranged.

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James believes he is "getting better and better" after he set yet another NBA record.

James became the oldest player in league history, at the age of 36 years and 346 days, to register a 30-point triple-double as the Lakers beat the Orlando Magic 106-94.

According to ESPN, James overtook the late Kobe Bryant, another Lakers great, who was aged 36 years and 99 days when he accumulated 31 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists in a win over the Toronto Raptors in 2014.

James had 30 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists on Sunday. He missed a chunk of games through injury at the start of the season, but still ranks third in the Lakers' roster for points (420), behind Russell Westbrook (546) and Anthony Davis (600).

"Who me? How do I continue how I'm playing? Been doing it for 19 years," James told reporters when asked how long he can maintain his recent form.

"Just do what I've been doing. I feel like I'm getting better and better each and every day. I'm getting healthier and healthier.

"That's just my mindset. Don't get involved in how many minutes I played, how many days off.

"I don't confine to that. I think you think negative thoughts or negative energy, it just creeps into your mind. So, I'm as young as I've ever been."

James played both road games in a double-header against the Memphis Grizzlies and Oklahoma City Thunder last week, collecting 53 points, 15 rebounds and 17 assists across those appearances.

His performance on Sunday was put down to getting plenty of rest upon his return to Los Angeles, though that only came after a trip to Phoenix to see his son in action.

"I slept last night from 12 [a.m.] to 8 [a.m.], I got up, ate breakfast and went back to sleep from 8:30 [a.m.] to 12:30 [p.m.]," James explained.

"Sleep. Sleep and inspiration from my son and his team."

Westbrook, who scored 19 points and had seven rebounds against the Magic, added of James: "When he's just being aggressive, he's aggressive in making the right plays and reads, our team's different.

"Tonight was another night where he imposed his will."

Kevin Durant edged Stephen Curry's season-best mark with 51 points as the Brooklyn Nets defeated the Detroit Pistons 116-104 in the NBA on Sunday.

Durant was dominant after the Nets opted to rest fellow superstar James Harden for the first time this season, with the former MVP shooting 16 of 31 from the field, including five three-pointers.

The two-time champion and Finals MVP also had seven rebounds, nine assists, two block and one steal in a remarkable all-round display for the Eastern Conference-leading Nets.

The haul was Durant's eighth 50-point game of his NBA career, while it bettered Stephen Curry's season-best 50 points against the Atlanta Hawks on November 8.

Struggling Detroit challenged the Nets, leading by five points at the final change before a 30-13 fourth quarter for the Nets.

Number one draft pick Cade Cunningham had 26 points, eight rebounds, six assists and three steals for the Pistons.

 

Triple-doubles for Giannis and LeBron

Giannis Antetokounmpo recorded his first triple-double for the season with 20 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists in the Milwaukee Bucks' 112-97 victory over the New York Knicks. Khris Middleton added 24 points with four triples, while Bobby Portis grabbed a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds for the defending champions.

LeBron James also had a triple-double, the 101st of his illustrious NBA career. James scored 30 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for the Los Angeles Lakers as they trumped the Orlando Magic 106-94. The Lakers enjoyed a 23-0 third-quarter run on their way to victory.

The Dallas Mavericks won for the first time this season without star Luka Doncic, easing past the Oklahoma City Thunder 103-84, while Karl-Anthony Towns had 23 points with 10 rebounds as the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Portland Trail Blazers 116-111.

 

Randle silenced as Knicks beaten

Julius Randle's struggles this season continued against the Bucks, managing only eight points with seven turnovers. Randle shot two of nine from the field.

Brooklyn Nets head coach Steve Nash labelled Kevin Durant "incredible" after scoring an NBA season-high 51 points in the team's 116-104 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday.

The Eastern Conference-leading Nets took down the lowly Pistons thanks to Durant, who shot 16 of 31 from the field, including five three-pointers in a dominant offensive display in the absence of rested team-mate James Harden.

Durant's 51 points usurped Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry's 50-point mark for the previous top individual score this season, while the former also had nine assists and seven rebounds.

"Kevin was incredible," Nash said at the post-game news conference. "Not an easy night. They played extremely hard. Tonnes of energy.

"We were playing different line-ups. I think there were different guys out there at different times trying to find the spacing and the spots, where to be, so there are some challenges there for us.

"For him to be able to score 51, nine assists, seven rebounds, two blocks and a steal, it's incredible."

The haul was Durant's eighth 50-point game of his NBA career, while it was the 10th 50-point game in Brooklyn's franchise history.

Durant dominated the second and third quarters for the Nets, scoring 35 of his team's 55 points during that stretch, as the struggling Pistons challenged.

"I felt like we started the game with a nice energy and then the second quarter they upped the pressure a bit," Durant told reporters.

"I felt like we turned it over a lot in the second and third quarter. I just tried to keep the ball in our hands and take a shot every time as I was turning it over too. I was able to make some."

Nash added that he could not remember such a dominant period by one individual.

"I'm sure it's happened but I can't remember it. He was just outstanding," Nash said.

"I thought his leadership and a willingness to keep us in it, also his defense, was unbelievable."

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