Andrew Wiggins and Stephen Curry piled on the points as the Golden State Warriors improved to a 12-11 record with a 120-101 victory over the Houston Rockets on Saturday.

Wiggins scored a season-high 36 points on 14-of-19 field shooting with a joint career-high eight three-pointers, including three in a row in the third quarter at the Chase Center.

Curry added 30 points, including eight triples, as well as providing 10 assists for Golden State, who have won five of their past six games.

Jordan Poole, who came into the starting line-up for Klay Thompson who was rested, also had 21 points with five three-pointers. Center Kevon Looney had 12 rebounds with nine points.

The Warriors shot 25-of-52 from three-point range as a team, compared to the Rockets who went at 10.7 per cent from beyond the arc, making three-of-28 attempts.

Golden State became the second team in NBA history to make 20 three-pointers in four of five games.

Gobert ejected in Timberwolves defeat

Rudy Gobert was ejected for deliberately tripping Kenrich Williams as the Minnesota Timberwolves were beaten 135-128 by the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The French center was given a flagrant 2 foul and ejected in the second quarter when he tangled with Williams, appearing to sweep a leg out while on the ground, seeing his unbalanced opponent tumble.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander top scored for OKC with 33 points and six assists, while for the Timberwolves, who were already without Karl-Anthony Towns (calf), D'Angelo Russell and Anthony Edwards scored 27 and 26 points respectively.

Short-handed Bucks down Hornets

The Milwaukee Bucks overcame the absence of Giannis Antetokounmpo due to left knee soreness as they moved to 16-6 with a 105-96 victory over the Charlotte Hornets.

The Bucks, who are second in the Eastern Conference, were also without Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday but Bobby Portis (20 points, eight rebounds and seven assists) stepped up.

Jordan Nwora added 17 points, while Brook Lopez (14 points including three three-pointers and six rebounds) and Jevon Carter (14 points and six assists) were strong contributors.

Injury-plagued Charlotte Hornets wing Gordon Hayward is set for another extended stint on the sidelines after it was revealed on Friday he has a fracture in his left shoulder.

Hayward, 32, has only played more than 52 games in one of the past five seasons since his shocking broken leg in his first game as a member of the Boston Celtics back in 2017.

Averaging 16.3 points, 4.4 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game in his 11 games this season, Hayward allegedly suffered the injury in Sunday's loss to the Washington Wizards.

However, according to his wife Robyn Hayward, Gordon went on to play 29 minutes in Wednesday's win against the Philadelphia 76ers, scoring just seven points with four turnovers as he battled pain throughout.

In a comment on Instagram, she said: "He actually has a fractured scapula... that they had him play with last game.

Darius Garland was the game's top scorer as his Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Charlotte Hornets 132-122 in double-overtime, but he was more impressed with the work of his young teammate Evan Mobley.

Mobley, 21, was the third overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, entering the league as one of the best defensive prospects in the history of college basketball.

Standing at seven-feet tall, the USC product has shown the ability to guard all five positions, showing at a young age that he can switch onto shifty point guards and hold up stoutly, putting him in rare company with the likes of all-time great defenders Kevin Garnett and Anthony Davis.

In an action-packed game, the Hornets incredibly came back from a 10-point deficit with only 45 seconds remaining in regulation, with three-pointers from P.J. Washington, Kelly Oubre Jr and two from Terry Rozier, including a game-tying bomb with one second on the clock.

That forced overtime, where it was the Cavs' turn to save the game. A potential game-tying three from Donovan Mitchell clanked off the rim, but Mobley was there for the offensive rebound, kicking it out for Garland to tie it.

The Hornets then had a chance to win it with the last shot of the extra period, getting Rozier one-on-one with Mobley, but the young Cavs star held firm and forced double-overtime.

Their defense would lift in the second extra period, holding Charlotte to just two points to seal the win.

Garland top-scored with 41 points on 16-of-26 shooting, adding five steals, but the post-game press conference centered on the brilliance of Mobley, who finished with 21 points (nine-of-14), 18 rebounds, five assists, two blocks and a steal.

"Evan was kind of angry tonight – I loved it," Garland said. "We always tell Evan he's the man, he's him. So I want him to start acting like it, keeping that same fire and same energy.

"He had a huge game tonight, he helped us offensively and defensively, came up with some big rebounds, and he switched onto [Terry] Rozier on that big possession in overtime.

"You don't usually see a seven-footer out there guarding a guard like that, either. He's special, we really need him, and we're happy to have him.

"I feel comfortable with Evan guarding anybody, literally. He moves his feet really well, and he keeps his distance because he's so long.

"I think Evan can guard anybody in this league if he puts his mind to it, and that's what we do. We switch three-through-five, and he guards some threes, some fives. That's what he's here for."

While he is currently a supporting piece on the offensive end, Mobley was urged by his All-Star point guard to try to dominate on that end the same way he does defensively.

"I want him to take more shots," he said. "His one-on-one game is really, really good for his size, and he can get to any shot that he wants to. 

"I mean 14 [shot attempts] is a good number, but I think he should take a lot more, in my opinion. I want him to be more aggressive, I want him to really ask for the ball – tell me to give him the ball.

"He's going to get there, he's building his confidence every day."

When asked about his comfort level when getting pulled away from the basket in isolation situations, Mobley said he thrives in it.

"I'm real comfortable [against smaller guards], honestly," he said. "I feel like I have good enough size, and I'm also quick enough to stay in front, so any shot they really take, I'm going to be there.

"I knew [Rozier] likes step-backs, so I was just giving him a good amount of space, using my length. I knew I could slide my feet – I'm pretty fast – so I was just using my length, and when he shot it, just get a good contest."

The win snaps a five-game losing streak for the Cavs, bringing their record to 9-6, and 5-1 at home.

Kevin Durant says it has been "camaraderie" within the Brooklyn Nets that helped put a difficult week behind them with a 98-94 comeback win over the Charlotte Hornets.

The small forward posted 27 points and helped his side erase a double-digit gap to earn back-to-back triumphs after victory over the Washington Wizards on Friday.

Amid a seven-day stretch that saw Kyrie Irving suspended after initially refusing to apologise for promoting a movie and book with anti-Semitic overtones, and with head coach Steve Nash also dismissed, the going has been tough for the Nets.

Speaking after his side moved their record to 4-6 for the season, Durant reflected on what has been a strange period, but credited the team's resolve to keep the focus on their game as key to their revival.

"It was a unique experience for sure," he stated. "But a lot of guys been through different things in this league before, and a lot of guys have been through some adversity in this league off the court

"Having to lock back in and focus solely on the game, I think that we all get a little bit of solace in doing that.

"[It's] just playing the game of basketball, getting that camaraderie, that fellowship with your teammates, I think that was able to get us through.

"I just think we rallied around each other. It was a tough week for us. And it's always good to just get back to the game. Once the ball is tipped, [it all] goes out the window.

"I think everybody was just waiting to get back to playing. It's good for our character, it's good for the energy of the team and to fight through adversity."

The Milwaukee Bucks overcame the absence of Giannis Antetokounmpo to reach a franchise-record ninth straight win to open the season with a 108-94 triumph over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday.

Antetokounmpo was absent due to left knee soreness, but Brook Lopez delivered with 25 points on 10-of-16 shooting including four three-pointers for the Bucks who are 9-0.

Jrue Holiday provided 13 assists with 10 points, while forward Bobby Portis pulled down 21 rebounds with 12 points.

Guards Jevon Carter and Grayson Allen scored five three-pointers each, contributing 18 and 19 points respectively for Milwaukee.

The Bucks shot 17-of-47 (36.2 per cent) from three-point range, while Portis' dominance in the paint helped them to 55-38 rebounds. Four of Portis' 21 rebounds were offensive.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander top scored for OKC with 18 points, while second-year guard Josh Giddey had 15 points with six rebounds.

Nets rally for back-to-back wins

Amid their off-court tumult, Kevin Durant led the Brooklyn Nets to back-to-back wins with a 98-94 victory over the Charlotte Hornets rallying back after trailing by 11 points in the fourth quarter.

Durant scored a game-high 27 points, including a clutch jump shot to open up a four-point lead with 32 seconds remaining, along with seven rebounds. The win improved the Nets to 3-6.

Cam Thomas stepped up off the bench with 21 points for the Nets who were without Kyrie Irving (suspension) and Ben Simmons (knee soreness).

Celtics hit franchise-record, Suns move to 7-2

The Boston Celtics scored a franchise-record 27 three-pointers with six each from Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown as they got past the New York Knicks 133-118.

Tatum scored 26 points while Brown had a game-high 30 points, while Sam Hauser came off the bench to add five triples in his 17-point haul, with all nine of the Celtics used making a three-pointer.

Meanwhile, the Phoenix Suns improved to 7-2 with a comfortable 102-82 win over the Portland Trail Blazers, with Devin Booker scoring 24 points.

Stephen Curry scored 31 points with 11 rebounds in his annual homecoming that ended in an overtime defeat for the Golden State Warriors, losing 120-113 to the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday.

Golden State had led by four points in the final minute of regulation, before P.J. Washington hit a jumper, followed by a Dennis Smith Jr layup to tie the game.

Curry missed a tough three-point attempt to win the game at the end of regulation time, and airballed another shot in overtime. The Warriors point guard finished with three-of-13 from beyond the arc, making 10-of-22 from the field.

The Hornets, who were without LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier, were rampant in overtime, with Washington finishing the game with 31 points and Jalen McDaniels draining a crucial triple. Gordon Hayward made a strong contribution with 23 points and four assists.

Golden State shot at 29.5 per cent from three-point range, with Klay Thompson battling on one-of-seven shooting from beyond the arc in his 11 points.

Jordan Poole made four-of-11 attempts in his 24 points off the bench for the Warriors, who are 0-2 on the road this season and 3-3 overall.

Clutch Embiid lifts 76ers to back-to-back wins

Joel Embiid scored 25 points but none were better than his tiebreaking three-point shot as the Philadelphia 76ers made it back-to-back wins with a 114-109 victory over the Chicago Bulls.

Embiid drained his wide-open three-point shot to put the 76ers up 112-109 with 18.1 seconds remaining in the game as Philadelphia improved to 3-4 after their 1-4 start to the season.

The 76ers center had seven rebounds and four assists, while James Harden contributed 15 points on two-of-13 field shooting with 11 assists, while Tyrese Maxey scored 14 points after posting a career-high 44 on Friday.

Nets woes worsen with Pacers shock

The Brooklyn Nets' defensive woes continued as they fell to a fourth straight loss, going down 125-116 to the Indiana Pacers for whom rookie Bennedict Mathurin scored a career-high 32 points.

The Nets conceded another big score, averaging 124.5 points against during their four-game losing skid, with Kevin Durant contributing 26 points with five rebounds and four blocks.

Kyrie Irving, who has come under fire for appearing to show support to an antisemitic film this week, responded on the court with 35 points including five triples with six assists.

Paolo Banchero showed exactly why the Orlando Magic took him with the first overall pick in this year's NBA Draft, nearly posting his first career triple-double as his side defeated the Charlotte Hornets 113-93 on Friday.

With last year's fifth overall pick Jalen Suggs and starting point guard Cole Anthony both missing through injuries, Orlando opted to not start a traditional point guard and instead let their new star run the show.

He looked right at home as the focal point of the Magic's offense, scoring 21 points on eight-of-14 shooting while adding 12 rebounds and seven assists to deliver their first win of the season.

Even more impressive was the fact that almost all of that production came in the first three quarters, as Orlando built an 82-53 lead heading into the fourth and Banchero sat out the final nine minutes.

Through six career games, Banchero is averaging 24 points, 7.6 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game, and is yet to score less than 20 points in a contest.

Lakers lose again despite James' best efforts

LeBron James' 28 points, seven rebounds, five assists and four steals were not enough to bring an end to the Los Angeles Lakers' winless start to the season, falling to 0-5 after a 111-102 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

James shot 10-of-24 from the field and one-of-six from deep, and in his first game off the bench since his rookie season, Russell Westbrook was plagued by similar issues.

Westbrook shot six-of-17 for his 18 points, while also missing half of his 10 free throws and committing five turnovers.

For the Wolves, Anthony Edwards led the scoring with 29 points on 11-of-22 shooting, while Rudy Gobert was seven-of-11 for 22 points and 21 rebounds to lift their record to 4-2.

Antetokounmpo mounts case for third MVP

With two MVP trophies already in his display case, Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo made it clear why he is one of the favourites yet again this season with a powerhouse performance in a 119-108 win against the New York Knicks.

Antetokounmpo led the Bucks in made field goals (11), made free throws (seven), points (30), rebounds (14) and assists (nine) in a true virtuoso showing. He was supported well, with six teammates making their way into double figures, including 12 points and 12 rebounds off the bench from Bobby Portis.

With the win, the Bucks are now 4-0, and the only remaining unbeaten team.

LeVert and Mitchell drop 41 each in overtime Cavaliers win

Caris LeVert and Donovan Mitchell of the Cleveland Cavaliers went head-to-head with star Boston Celtics duo Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown and emerged 132-123 winners in overtime.

While Brown and Tatum had 32 each at a combined 22-of-41 from the field (54 per cent), the Cavs pairing played even better, scoring 41 each off a combined 27-of-47 (57 per cent).

Second-year phenom Evan Mobley also had a big hand in the win, chipping in 19 points (seven-of-12 shooting) with 10 rebounds, three assists and two blocks.

The Los Angeles County district attorney has confirmed Charlotte Hornets free agent Miles Bridges will face three felony domestic violence charges.

Bridges was arrested last month by the Los Angeles Police Department after being accused of assaulting his girlfriend in front of their two children. He has been charged on one felony county of injuring a child's parent and two felony counts of child abuse.

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon said: "Domestic violence creates physical, mental and emotional trauma that has a lasting impact on survivors.

"Children who witness family violence are especially vulnerable and the impact on them is immeasurable.

"Mr. Bridges will be held accountable for his actions and our Bureau of Victim Services will support the survivors through this difficult process."

The Hornets forward, who was released on $130,000 bond, is scheduled to be arraigned in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Wednesday.

The 24-year-old was the leading scorer for the Hornets last season and is set to become a restricted free agent on Thursday. Bridges averaged career highs of 20.4 points and 7.0 rebounds last season.

Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges was arrested in Los Angeles on the eve of NBA free agency.

A Los Angeles Police Department spokeswoman confirmed to Stats Perform that Bridges had been arrested on felony domestic violence charges.

The 24-year-old was the leading scorer for the Hornets last season and is set to become a restricted free agent on Thursday. He could command a max contract.

A team statement from the Hornets read: "The Charlotte Hornets are aware of the situation involving Miles Bridges.

"We are in the process of gathering additional information. We will have no further comment at this time."

Bridges averaged career highs of 20.4 points and 7.0 rebounds last season, and the Hornets extended a qualifying offer to the player on Tuesday, allowing the team to match any offer sheet presented by a rival.

A first-round pick in 2018, Bridges had previously expressed his desire to remain with the Hornets but has since removed a reference to the team in his social media bio.

The Who famously sang "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss" – and the Charlotte Hornets are taking that to heart. 

In one of the more surprising coaching hirings in recent memory, the Hornets are bringing back Steve Clifford for a second stint as head coach of the team.  

Clifford was Charlotte’s bench boss for five seasons and guided the team to two playoff appearances before he was fired following the 2017-18 season, and then hired a few weeks later by the Orlando Magic. He compiled a 196-214 record with the Hornets and is 292-345 in eight seasons as an NBA coach.

His best season in Charlotte came in 2015-16 when the Hornets went 48-34 and lost in seven games to the Miami Heat in the first round the playoffs. 

The Hornets initially offered the job to Golden State Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson, but he later told the team he was backing out due to family reasons. 

"I think [Atkinsons] would have been a good pick, but if he’s not comfortable here I would rather find out now then a year from now," Hornets general manager Mitch Kupchak said Thursday night at the NBA Draft.  

This time, Clifford inherits a team that is more talented than any of his previous Charlotte squads with All-Star point guard LaMelo Ball, Gordon Hayward and Miles Bridges.  

The Hornets finished last season with the league’s eighth-ranked offense, but were weak defensively, and allowed 132 points in a 29-point loss to the Atlanta Hawks in the play-in elimination game last season. Outgoing head coach James Borrego was also criticised for failing to play young, emerging talent, instead opting to give minutes to established veterans who lacked upside.

Defense has been the organisation’s priority in seeking a new leader, and Clifford has long been considered one of the NBA’s top defensive coaches. The Hornets finished sixth, 10th, ninth, 17th and 17th in defensive rating during his five seasons. They were 22nd this past season under Borrego, who was fired in April.  

 

Kenny Atkinson is no longer accepting the head coaching job with the Charlotte Hornets, choosing instead to remain an assistant with the Golden State Warriors, ESPN reported on Saturday.

It had been reported earlier in June that Atkinson and the Hornets had agreed in principle to a four-year contract, but the deal was never signed.

After further talks with Charlotte, Atkinson opted to stay with the new NBA champions, becoming Steve Kerr's top assistant after Mike Brown left to become the head coach of the Sacramento Kings.

Atkinson compiled a 118-190 record leading the Brooklyn Nets from 2016-20 before he took assistant jobs in consecutive years with the Los Angeles Clippers and the Warriors.

The Hornets fired James Borrego in April following a 43-win season with two years remaining on his contract. He went 138-163 during his four seasons as head coach, and Charlotte were routed in the play-in tournament in each of the last two.

Atkinson was chosen to replace Borrego after a seven-week search. The other candidates from that process were longtime NBA coach Mike D'Antoni and former Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts, ESPN reported.

Former Brooklyn Nets head coach and current Golden State Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson will be hired as the next head coach of the Charlotte Hornets, with ESPN reporting that he will receive a four-year contract. 

Aktinson's head coaching experience with the Brooklyn Nets spanned from 2016-20. He compiled a 118-190 record during his time with the rebuilding Nets, but helped guide the team from 20 wins in his initial season to a 42-40 record in 2018-19 and a playoff berth. 

He was chosen to replace outgoing head coach James Borrego after a seven-week search during which the Hornets interviewed veteran coach Mike D’Antoni, former Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts, and assistant coaches Sean Sweeney of Dallas, Charles Lee of Milwaukee and David Vanterpool of Brooklyn. They also interviewed Darvin Ham, who was hired by the Los Angeles Lakers.  

Borrego was fired on April 22 following a 43-win season with two years remaining on his contract. He went 138-163 during his four seasons at the helm of the Hornets and they were routed in the play-in tournament for the second straight season. 

Atkinson has a reputation as a talent developer and helped turn Caris LeVert, Joe Harris, Jarrett Allen and Spencer Dinwiddie into key players for the Nets, as well as elevating D'Angelo Russell to his lone All-Star appearance in 2019.  

The Hornets have key pieces in place with guard LaMelo Ball and much-improved forward Miles Bridges, as well as veteran Gordon Hayward, but they have a glaring need at center, which could be addressed in a number of creative ways with the NBA Draft and free agency approaching.  

Atkinson is the second Golden State assistant to accept a new job during the Warriors' playoff this season after fellow assistant Mike Brown accepted the role of head coach of the Sacramento Kings, though both are remaining with the Warriors through the end of the NBA Finals. 

James Borrego will be dismissed as coach of the Charlotte Hornets, according to reports.

The 44-year-old took up the role in 2018 and reached the play-in tournament in each of the last two seasons in Charlotte.

However, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Hornets will relieve Borrego of his duties after failing to reach this year's NBA playoffs.

Despite winning 11 of their last 15 games in the regular season to earn a spot in the play-in tournament, they fell at the first hurdle as they were beaten 132-103 by the Atlanta Hawks. 

Borrego finished the 2021-22 season with a record of 43-39, and an overall record of 138-163 in his time with the Hornets.

Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving has been fined $50,000 for flipping off Boston Celtics fans twice during Sunday's Game 1.

Irving, who was with the Celtics from 2017 and 2019, scored 39 points as the Brooklyn Nets lost 115-114 to the Celtics after Jayson Tatum's buzzer-beating game-winner.

The NBA announced the sanction on Tuesday in a release, where president of league operations Byron Spruell said Irving was fined for "making obscene gestures on the playing court and directing profane language toward the spectator stands."

The 30-year-old was open after Sunday's defeat about his response to the Boston fans.

"When people start yelling 'p---y' or 'b----' and 'f--- you' and all this stuff, there's only but so much you take as a competitor," Irving said.

"We're the ones expected to be docile and be humble, take a humble approach, f--- that, it's the playoffs. This is what it is."

Miles Bridges has been fined $50,000 for aggressively throwing his mouthguard into the crowd, hitting a teenage girl.

The incident took place when Bridges was ejected from the Charlotte Hornets' play-in game loss against the Atlanta Hawks after receiving two quick technical fouls in the fourth quarter.

While being escorted back to the locker room, Bridges appeared to react to a fan taunting him over the barricade, turning and throwing his mouthguard in that direction, but it missed and hit a 16-year-old girl.

He apologised for his actions when speaking with post-game media, calling it "unacceptable" and asked to be put in touch with the teenage girl to make amends.

The $50,000 fine matches the largest league-issued fine this season, equalling the figure Markieff Morris was slugged with after his flagrant foul on Nikola Jokic sparked a mini-skirmish.

Other big fines this season include $40,000 for Jusuf Nurkic for grabbing a fan's cell phone and throwing it into the stands, and $35,000 for Malik Beasley for striking Portland Trail Blazer Drew Eubanks.

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