Klay Thompson hit out at Tari Eason's "lame" pre-game taunts after helping the Golden State Warriors to a huge win over the Houston Rockets, all but confirming their Play-In spot.

Ahead of Thursday's game at Toyota Center, second-year forward Eason – who is out for the season after undergoing surgery on a benign growth on his lower leg bone – was seen wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the slogan: 'Warriors, come out and play'.

Golden State did just that as Thompson joined Stephen Curry in scoring 29 points in a 133-110 win, their sixth in a row and one which has huge implications for both teams' playoff hopes.

The Warriors occupy the Western Conference's final Play-In spot and are now four games ahead of the Rockets with six regular-season games remaining, also holding the season tiebreaker. 

Thompson was delighted to get the last laugh over Eason, warning against players trash-talking when they are unable to contribute on the court.

"That's pretty lame, especially if you're not even playing," Thompson said of Eason's T-shirt, which he removed after the game.  

"It's one thing if you are out there playing, out there competing and you can back it up. 

"But if you're just going to be trolling from the sideline… what are you doing? The times we talk smack, we're out there competing. That's all I have to say about that."

Warriors team-mate Draymond Green echoed those sentiments, saying: "I love it but if you're going to say that, you've got to play. You can't come out and say that and not play. 

"I know what type of player he is. He welcomes all of that. He welcomes the challenge and welcomes the fight.

"Hopefully next year he'll say the same thing and we won't both be fighting for the Play-In, we'll be fighting for the seeding."

For the Rockets to pip the Warriors to the final Play-In spot, they will likely need to win all six of their remaining games and see in-form Golden State drop five.

But with the Warriors pulling to within 1.5 games of the ninth-placed Los Angeles Lakers, Green is looking up, rather than down.

"It allows you to now focus on what you can do to move up," Green said. "When you're just trying to solidify, you take everything step by step. 

"The first step is to solidify ourselves a chance, to give ourselves a chance. Once you get yourself a chance, it's like; 'What's next? What's the best chance we can give ourselves?'"

Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson each scored 29 points and the Golden State Warriors won their season-high sixth straight game, 133-110 over the Houston Rockets on Thursday.

Rookie Trayce Jackson-Davis had a career-high 20 points, five rebounds and four assists for the Warriors, who made it 13 straight wins against the Rockets since a loss on Feb. 20, 2020, and tightened its grip on 10th place in the Western Conference.

Thompson scored 21 points in the first half with five 3-pointers to help Golden State take a 65-50 lead into the break.

The Warriors held a 16-point lead after three quarters and were up 20 with just under four minutes left when coach Steve Kerr cleared his bench.

Jabari Smith Jr. scored 24 points for the Rockets, who dropped their third straight following an 11-game winning streak.

Knicks rally past Kings to end skid

D had 35 points and 11 assists and Josh Hart added a season-high 31 points as the New York Knicks overcame a 21-point deficit in a 120-109 win over the Sacramento Kings.

Hart shot 14 of 19 from the field, had nine rebounds and eight assists and Donte DiVincenzo scored 21 points to help New York snap a three-game skid and tie Orlando for the fourth-best record in the Eastern Conference.

De’Aaron Fox had 29 points, seven boards and seven assists for the Kings, who failed in a bid to tie New Orleans and Phoenix for sixth in the West.

Sacramento raced to a 46-25 lead while making 19 of its first 28 shots, but the Knicks responded with a 16-2 to get back in it.

Clippers hold off Nuggets

Paul George had 28 points and Ivica Zubac scored the final six points for the Los Angeles Clippers in a 102-100 win over the Denver Nuggets.

James Harden tallied 20 points, eight assists and six rebounds and Zubac finished with 14 points and 15 boards as the Clippers snapped a five-game home skid despite the absence of Kawhi Leonard, who sat out his second straight game with a sore right knee.  

Nikola Jokić notched his 24th triple-double of the season with 36 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists, but the Nuggets couldn’t come all the way back from an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter and dropped one-half game behind Minnesota for the Western Conference lead.

Luka Dončić delivered another sensational performance by tallying 47 points and 12 rebounds, and the Dallas Mavericks cruised to a 125-107 victory over the Houston Rockets on Sunday in a clash of the NBA's hottest teams.

Doncic added seven assists and Kyrie Irving contributed 24 points to the Mavericks' seventh consecutive win, tying a season high. Dallas also set a season best by making 24 3-pointers - with Doncic hitting nine in 16 attempts - while shooting 51.1 per cent from beyond the arc.

Houston entered the in-state matchup riding an 11-game winning streak, the franchise's longest in a single season since 2017-18. The Rockets received 28 points from Jabari Smith Jr. but two of their other core players, Jalen Green and Fred VanVleet, were held to 12 and 10 points, respectively.

Doncic accumulated 32 of his points in the first half on 12-of-18 shooting as the Mavericks built a 36-24 lead after one quarter and never trailed thereafter. The superstar guard closed out the second quarter with a three-point play that capped a 9-2 run which extended Dallas' advantage to 66-45 at half-time.

Houston never got its deficit under 15 points in the second half, and Dallas put the game completely out of reach with an 18-7 spurt that pushed its lead to 111-83 with eight minutes to go.


Thunder hit late shot to edge Knicks, clinch play-off spot

Shai GIlgeous-Alexander's go-ahead basket with 2.6 seconds remaining sent the Oklahoma City Thunder into the play-offs for the first time since 2020 with a thrilling 113-112 win over the New York Knicks. 

After Jalen Brunson's layup with 4.1 seconds left gave the Knicks a 112-111 lead, Gilgeous-Alexander answered by knocking down a contested turnaround jumper on the ensuing possession before Brunson misfired at the buzzer to allow Oklahoma City to secure a spot in this year's post-season.

The victory, the Thunder's seventh in their last nine games, also gave them sole possession of first place in the Western Conference. Oklahoma City entered the game tied with the Minnesota Timberwolves, who were dealt a 109-101 loss by the Chicago Bulls on Sunday, for the top spot. 

Gilgeous-Alexander finished with 19 points but wasn't the Thunder's lone star performer. Jalen Williams put up a game-high 33 points with eight rebounds while Josh Giddey compiled a triple-double with 16 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists.

Brunson paced New York with 30 points and Miles McBride added 19 in the second straight frustrating defeat for the Knicks, who lost in overtime at San Antonio on Friday.

New York appeared on the way to victory after holding an 85-75 lead after three quarters, but the Thunder opened the fourth on a 13-3 run to tie the game at 88-88 on back-to-back 3-pointers from Giddey and Kenrich Williams.

Giddey scored seven straight points later on to give Oklahoma City a 102-95 advantage with five minutes left, but the Knicks responded with a 9-2 spurt capped by Brunson's 3-pointer that knotted the score at 104-104 heading into the final three minutes.


Nuggets blow out Cavaliers to keep pace in West

The Thunder's lead atop the West is at a half-game over the Denver Nuggets, who came through with a 130-101 rout of the Cleveland Cavaliers behind a dominant 26-point, 18-rebound, 16-assist effort from Nikola Jokić.

Jokic notched his 22nd triple-double of the season to help the defending NBA champions lock up a play-off spot, and the Nuggets also got a season-high 22 points from Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to help halt a two-game losing streak.

Down by four points midway through the second quarter, Denver outscored Cleveland by a 24-11 margin over the remainder of the first half to take a 65-56 lead into the break. 

The Nuggets then shot 62.5 per cent from the field in the third quarter to extend the margin, with Jokic amassing 10 points, five rebounds and five assists while hitting 5 of 7 field goal attempts for the period.

Denver opened the second half on a 15-2 run to build a commanding 80–58 advantage four minutes into the third quarter, and maintained a lead of at least 17 points the rest of the way.

Evan Mobley finished with 23 points on 9-of-10 shooting to lead the slumping Cavaliers, who have now lost eight of 12. Jarrett Allen added 19 points for Cleveland, but All-Star Donovan Mitchell had just 13 while missing nine of 12 field-goal attempts in his second game back from a broken nose that sidelined him six consecutive contests. 


Jalen Green scored 30 of his 34 points in the second half, including a pair of late free throws, and the Houston Rockets edged the Utah Jazz for their 11th consecutive NBA win on Friday.

Fred VanVleet added 22 points and Amen Thompson had 18 points and 14 rebounds for the Rockets, who have won 12 of 13 games to remain one game behind the Golden State Warriors for the final play-in spot in the Western Conference.

Houston trailed the entire first half but swung momentum their way during a third-quarter scoring outburst from Green.

He had five of the Rockets' first six baskets of the second half to power a 20-7 run that put Houston up 61-54.

Green scored 20 of his team's 28 points in the quarter and Houston ultimately edged it 101-100.

Timberwolves win showdown with Nuggets

Anthony Edwards scored 25 points and Mike Conley added 23 with eight assists as the surging Minnesota Timberwolves moved atop the Western Conference with a 111-98 win over the Denver Nuggets.

Rudy Gobert had 21 points and 11 rebounds while Jaden McDaniels contributed 17 points as the Wolves won their fourth straight and seventh in eight games to tie Oklahoma City for first place in the West.

Nikola Jokic had 32 points and 10 rebounds for the Nuggets, who lost their second in a row and were without star point guard Jamal Murray for a fourth consecutive game.

Lakers' winning streak ends at five

Pascal Siakam and Tyrese Haliburton thrived as the Indiana Pacers beat the Los Angeles Lakers 109-90 in a game which had playoff implications for both teams.

The Lakers came into the game having won their last five, but Siakam finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds, while Haliburton added 21 points, eight assists and eight rebounds for the victorious hosts.

Indiana has won four of six to retain the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference, while the Lakers are trying to improve their playoff positioning from the No. 9 seed in the West.

All-Stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis both started despite being injury doubts.

Davis finished with 24 points and 15 rebounds, while James had 16 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. But the Lakers struggled from deep, going five of 29 on 3-pointers and committing 16 turnovers. five of which came from James.

The Pacers led for almost all the game and it was a sweet result for coach Rick Carlisle after his team had previously lost to the Lakers in the final of the NBA's inaugural In-Season Tournament and again been beaten 150-145 in Los Angeles five days before this contest.

Jalen Green scored 37 points and Dillon Brooks hit a pair of 3-pointers in overtime to lift the Houston Rockets to their 10th consecutive victory, 132-126 over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday.

Amen Thompson had 25 points and 15 rebounds and Brooks finished with 20 points for the Rockets, who remained one game behind Golden State in the race for the final play-in spot in the Western Conference.

Houston’s winning streak is its longest since an 11-game run late in the 2017-18 season.

Josh Giddey tied a career high with 31 points and Jalen Williams added 23 and 10 assists for the Thunder, who remained tied with Minnesota and one-half game behind Northwest Division-leading Denver.

Oklahoma City played without All-Star guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who sat out with a bruised right thigh.

Brooks got Houston going in overtime with consecutive 3-pointers and Green’s 3 with 64 seconds left extended the Rockets’ lead to 126-120. Isaiah Joe nailed a 3 for the Thunder five seconds later, but Green made a layup and Thompson dunked with 26 seconds to go.

Streaking Lakers ride LeBron’s triple-double

LeBron James had 23 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists and Rui Hachimura scored 32 points to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to their fifth straight win, 136-124 over the Memphis Grizzlies.

D’Angelo Russell had 23 points and Taurean Prince added 15 for the Lakers, who stayed hot without Anthony Davis (knee) and pulled within 2 ½ games of idle Dallas for sixth in the Western Conference.

James returned after sitting out Tuesday’s double-overtime win over Milwaukee with a troublesome ankle and notched his fourth triple-double this season and 111th of his career.

Clippers get disputed win over 76ers

Kawhi Leonard completed two 3-point plays late in the fourth quarter and made a block at the rim on the final possession to give the Los Angeles Clippers a controversial 108-107 win over the Philadelphia 76ers.

Leonard stuffed Kelly Oubre at the rim with five seconds left and the Clippers holding a one-point lead.

The officiating crew after the game said a foul should have been called on the play that would have sent Oubre to the line with a chance for the winning points.

Leonard bounced back from a 1-for-8 shooting first half to finish with 17 points and 10 rebounds and Paul George scored 22 points. James Harden had 16 points and 14 assists in his return to Philadelphia.

Tyrese Maxey scored 26 points for the 76ers, who dropped their fourth in five games.

De'Andre Hunter scored 24 points, including a game-sealing 3-pointer with 10.1 seconds left, and the Atlanta Hawks roared back from a 30-point deficit to hand the NBA-leading Boston Celtics a shocking 120-118 loss on Monday.

The Hawks trailed 68-38 with under 4 1/2 minutes left in the second quarter before Hunter, Bogdan Bogdanović and Dejounte Murray keyed an improbable second-half rally. Bogdanovic scored 10 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter, while Murray recorded 11 of his 19 points after half-time and ended the night with 15 assists.

In a back-and-forth fourth quarter that saw seven lead changes, Bogdanovic buried a 3-pointer with 1:34 remaining to give Atlanta a 115-114 edge. Jaylen Brown scored on the ensuing possession to put Boston back ahead, but Murray drove the lane and scored with one minute to go for a 117–116 Hawks' lead.

After Brown misfired on a 3-point try, Hunter knocked down a 26-foot jumper with time winding down to secure Atlanta's second consecutive victory and end the Celtics' nine-game winning streak.

Jayson Tatum racked up 37 points and eight rebounds for Boston, with 23 of those points coming in the first half as the Celtics built a 74-56 advantage at the intermission.

Atlanta outscored the Celtics by a 34-22 margin in the third quarter to cut its deficit to 96-90 entering the fourth, then opened the final period on a 7-0 run to move ahead.

Brown finished with 24 points and Kristaps Porzingis totalled 17 for Boston.

Red-hot Rockets pull away from Blazers to win ninth straight

Jalen Green scored 19 of his 27 points in the second half to help the resurgent Houston Rockets extend their winning streak to nine games with a 110-92 victory over the downtrodden Portland Trail Blazers.

Houston's run is the franchise's longest sequence of consecutive wins since a nine-game streak from Feb. 23-March 11, 2019. The hot stretch has moved the Rockets, a team which has missed the play-offs in each of the last three seasons, within a half-game of the Golden State Warriors for the final spot in the Western Conference's play-in tournament.

The Rockets prevailed despite forward Jabari Smith serving a one-game suspension for fighting with Utah Jazz guard Kris Dunn on Saturday. Jock Landale made his first start of the season in Smith's place and contributed 17 points and nine rebounds.

Rebuilding Portland was dealt a seventh straight loss but did own a 64-55 lead after Scoot Henderson hit a 3-pointer with 7:32 remaining in the third quarter. The Rockets then reversed momentum by scoring 25 of the game's next 29 points and never trailed thereafter.

Green tallied 12 points during the game-changing run, which Aaron Holiday capped with a 3-pointer that gave the Rockets an 80-68 advantage near the end of the third quarter.

Dalano Banton led the Blazers with 28 points and 11 assists off the bench, while Henderson finished with 15 points. 

Siakam helps Pacers extend Clippers' slump

Pascal Siakam scored 31 points and the Indiana Pacers dominated the early stages of the fourth quarter to hand the struggling Los Angeles Clippers a 133-116 loss.

Indiana also received 24 points from Myles Turner and 21 from Tyrese Haliburton, who added nine assists to help the Pacers move to 6-1 over their last seven road games.

Los Angeles, meanwhile, has now lost five straight at home and suffered its sixth defeat in its last nine overall outings despite Russell Westbrook's return from a 12-game absence caused by a broken hand.

Westbrook tallied 14 points and seven assists in just 18 minutes, while Kawhi Leonard and Paul George each had 26 points for the Clippers.

Haliburton's 3-pointer in the final minute of the first half staked Indiana to a 65-62 lead at the break, and the Pacers later extended their margin to double digits before Leonard's jumper near the end of the third quarter brought the Clippers within 97-89 entering the fourth.

The Pacers were on fire during the final period, however, as they shot 68.2 per cent from the field for the quarter. Indiana began the fourth with eight straight points to take a 105-89 lead, and Siakam had the final five points of a 15-5 run later on that stretched the Pacers' advantage to 122-99 with six minutes to play.

Jalen Green said the Houston Rockets' hot streak will be meaningless if they fail to make the NBA Playoffs, after pouring in 41 points in Saturday's 147-119 rout of the Utah Jazz.

The Rockets extended their winning streak to eight games – their longest since an identical run in 2019 – to improve to 35-35, going within 1.5 games of the Golden State Warriors, who currently occupy the Western Conference's final Play-In spot.

Green's second 40-point showing of the year was supported by Fred VanVleet, who scored 34 points with 10 3-pointers as Houston built a commanding first-quarter lead and never looked back.

Asked about the team's rise up the standings after the game, Green said: "It won't really mean anything if we don't make the playoffs.

"That's the goal everyone has right now. I'm just trying to go out there and be the best version of myself for my team-mates."

The start of the second quarter saw Houston forward Jabari Smith Jr. and Jazz guard Kris Dunn ejected for fighting, the duo throwing punches at one another after getting tangled up with just five seconds of the quarter played. 

Smith did not speak to the media after the game, though Dunn accepted responsibility for his actions as he told reporters: "We exchanged a couple of words, a couple of pushes and the next thing you know, we're ejected.

"For me, I take responsibility for my actions and whatever the league decides for me, I have to respect that."

Rockets coach Ime Udoka suggested the incident was a follow-up to an altercation between the pair on January 20, when both were issued technical fouls in a 127-126 overtime win for Houston.

"I think Dunn hit him with a shot, and then they got wrapped up and threw a few punches," Udoka said of Smith's role in the altercation. 

"Basically, nothing landed, but as soon as you throw a punch, you're going to be ejected."

Houston are back in action with another home game against the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday, before going to the Oklahoma City Thunder and Utah in a two-game road stretch.

The 29-42 Jazz, meanwhile, will look to snap their five-game losing streak against the Dallas Mavericks as they open a run of three straight home games on Monday. 

Jalen Green scored 26 points and Dillon Brooks added 23 before he was ejected as the Houston Rockets stretched their winning streak to seven games with a 127-117 win over the Chicago Bulls on Thursday.

Jock Landale had 17 points and Aaron Holiday added 14 off the bench for Houston, which has gone 9-1 in March to get within 2 ½ games of Golden State for the final play-in spot in the Western Conference.

Chicago’s DeMar DeRozan and Brooks were ejected for their part in an on-court scrum in the third quarter.

With 6:02 left in the third quarter, DeRozan committed a foul on Green that caused Brooks to become upset. DeRozan turned and subsequently elbowed Brooks in the chin, which prompted the melee.

Ayo Dosunmu scored 35 points on 13-of-18 shooting and DeRozan finished with 16 on 4-of-15 shooting as Chicago failed to win a third straight.


Jokic notches triple-double in Nuggets’ win

Nikola Jokić recorded his 22nd triple-double of the season with 30 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists as the surging Denver Nuggets topped the New York Knicks, 113-100.

Jokic’s triple-double was the 127th of his career, a total bettered only by Russell Westbrook (198), Oscar Robertson (181) and Magic Johnson (138).

Michael Porter Jr. had 31 points on 13-of-16 shooting with eight rebounds and Jamal Murray added 23 points to help Denver win for the 13th time in 15 games. The Nuggets are percentage points behind Oklahoma City for first place in the Western Conference.

Porter also had three 3-pointers to give him 193 on the season and break Dale Ellis’ single-season team mark set in 1996-97.

Jalen Brunson scored 26 points for the Knicks, who had a four-game winning streak stopped.


Streaking Magic handle Pelicans

Paolo Banchero had 20 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists for his second career triple-double and the Orlando Magic defeated the New Orleans Pelicans, 121-106, for their fifth straight win.

Banchero missed his first 10 shots, two of them free throws, but rallied to finish 9 of 18 from the field.

Jalen Suggs added 22 points and Franz Wagner had 18 for Orlando, which clinched its second winning season in 12 years by winning for the 18th time in 23 games.

Trey Murphy III scored 21 points and Zion Williamson tallied 20 points and seven rebounds but also had a season-high eight turnovers.

New Orleans, which had won seven of eight, lost forward Brandon Ingram early in the second half to an apparent left knee injury.

Nikola Jokić had 35 points and 16 rebounds and Michael Porter Jr. scored 13 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter to lift the Denver Nuggets to a 113-109 win over the undermanned Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday in a matchup of Western Conference heavyweights.

Jamal Murray had 18 points and 11 assists and Aaron Gordon added 14 with 11 rebounds as the Nuggets won for the sixth time in seven games to move within percentage points of idle Oklahoma City for the West lead.

Denver blew an 18-point lead in less than 12 minutes but Jokic hit a 3-pointer with 1:45 remaining and sank a floater with 44 seconds to go for a 109-103 lead.

Mike Conley’s 3 with 12 seconds made it a two-point game, but the Nuggets sank four free throws down the stretch and Anthony Edwards missed a potential tying 3 from the wing at the buzzer.

Edwards had 30 points, eight rebounds and eight assists and Jaden McDaniels contributed 26 points for the Wolves, who had won three straight.

Minnesota played at home for the first time in 15 days and was without its top three big men - Karl-Anthony Towns (knee), Rudy Gobert (ribs) and Naz Reid (head).

Green drops 42 for surging Rockets

Jalen Green matched a career high with 42 points and the Houston Rockets defeated the Washington Wizards, 137-114, for their sixth consecutive win.

Green scored 15 points in the third quarter and finished with 10 rebounds. He previously scored 42 points against Minnesota on Jan. 23, 2023.

Amen Thompson scored 25 points and Jabari Smith Jr. added 18 with 14 rebounds for Houston, which moved within 2 ½ games of Golden State for the final play-in spot in the Western Conference.

Justin Champagnie and Jules Bernard scored 16 points apiece for the league-worst Wizards, who lost their fifth straight.

Magic roll past Hornets

Cole Anthony scored 17 of his 21 points in the second quarter and Jalen Suggs added 19 points to lead the Orlando Magic to their fourth straight win, 112-92 over the Charlotte Hornets.

Paolo Banchero and Moritz Wagner each scored 13 points for the Magic, who led 67-32 at halftime and won their ninth in 11 games to extend their lead over second-place Miami in the Southeast Division.

Orlando clinched at least a play-in berth in the Eastern Conference and secured just its second non-losing season since 2011-12.

Brandon Miller had 21 points and fellow rookie Vasilije Micic added 20 as Charlotte lost its third straight and dropped to 2-10 in its past 12 games.

LeBron James scored his 40,000th point, but the Denver Nuggets closed strong and won their sixth straight game, 124-114 over the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday.

James finished with 26 points and nine assists while reaching his latest milestone on a layup with 10:39 left in the second quarter. He extended his lead as the league’s career scoring leader.

Nikola Jokić had 35 points and 10 rebounds, Michael Porter Jr. added 25 and 10 and Jamal Murray had 24 points, 11 assists and six boards to help Denver get within one-half game of Minnesota for the Northwest Division lead.

The Nuggets closed the game on a 16-6 run, with Aaron Gordon’s 3-pointer with 3:49 left putting them ahead for good.

Jokic made a turnaround hook before Murray hit a jumper and Justin Holiday converted a running layup for a 117-110 advantage. After Anthony Davis’s basket got the Lakers within 117-112 with 1:49 left, Murray made a layup and Jokic added a layup of his own.

Booker injures ankle in Suns’ loss

Jalen Green poured in 34 points with six 3-pointers to lead the Houston Rockets to a 118-109 win over the Phoenix Suns, who lost star guard Devin Booker to an ankle injury.

Booker left late in the game after he injured his right ankle when he stepped on teammate Royce O’Neale’s foot. Booker had 24 points in 38 minutes before departing.

Fred VanVleet scored 24 points and Alperen Sengun added 21 with 10 rebounds as the Rockets snapped a three-game skid and avenged Thursday’s loss at Phoenix.

Kevin Durant had 30 points for the Suns, who had a nine-game home winning streak snapped.

Butler leads Heat past Jazz

Jimmy Butler scored 18 of his season-high 37 points in the third quarter and the Miami Heat defeated the Utah Jazz 126-120 for their 10th win in 13 games.

Bam Adebayo added 23 points and Caleb Martin had 18 for the Heat, who beat the Jazz at home for the seventh straight time.

Butler hit all three of his 3-point attempts and had a steal, extending his streak of having at least one 3 and one steal to 13 consecutive games – the fourth-longest run in the NBA this season and tying Tim Hardaway for the second-longest such streak in Heat history.

Keyonte George scored 31 points and Lauri Markkanen added 25 as the Jazz lost their third straight and eighth in nine games.

Anthony Edwards claimed the Minnesota Timberwolves were "playing eight-on-five" due to the "terrible" officiating in their win over the Oklahoma City Thunder at the top of the West.

The T-Wolves opened up a lead to the Thunder at the top of the conference courtesy of a 107-101 victory in which Edwards scored 27 points.

But rather than revel in that win, Edwards focused on the referees after the game, furious with one particular call that saw a potential foul go unpunished after he drove to the basket inside the final two minutes.

The former first overall pick accepted he would be punished for his comments but did not appear to care.

"I'm going to take the fine, because the refs did not give us no calls tonight," he told the television broadcast, adding to ESPN: "The refs were bad tonight. Yeah, they were terrible. We were playing eight-on-five."

Edwards could at least take comfort in the result, saying: "The cat got their tongue tonight, so it's all good. It's not fair, but it's all good."

The 22-year-old was not alone in taking issue with the officiating in the NBA on Monday as Anthony Davis argued Dillon Brooks should have been ejected in the Los Angeles Lakers' loss to the Houston Rockets.

Houston were already well on their way to a 135-119 win when Brooks tussled with LeBron James and left the Lakers superstar on the floor holding his face, while the same Rockets player appeared to shove Jarred Vanderbilt in the air before the LA man was himself ejected following an altercation between the pair.

"You take a hard foul," said Davis. "It's part of basketball.

"But you're just not going to blatantly push someone in their back when they have no control of their body in the air. I think he should have got ejected for that.

"And then obviously you know that him and Bron have their whatever, and from what I saw, it was just a blatant hit on LeBron to the face."

Jayson Tatum had no regrets after being ejected for the second time in six weeks on Saturday, being pulled up for back-to-back technical fouls as the Boston Celtics crushed the Houston Rockets.

Tatum had 27 points and eight assists in support of Jaylen Brown's 32 points as the Celtics stayed perfect at home, claiming a 145-113 victory over their former coach Ime Udoka and the Rockets.

League-leading Boston are now up to 30-9 and are 19-0 at TD Garden, having never previously started a season with more than 17 straight home wins.

The game ended on a slightly sour note for the Celtics, though, as Tatum was removed for two technicals in quick succession. 

Having received his first for complaining about a non-call when his arm was clearly struck during an attempted dunk with just over 10 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Tatum continued to berate the officials then shouted at referee CJ Washington after being ejected.

Tatum has no regrets over his behaviour, however, suggesting he chose the right moment to air his grievances as Boston closed in on a blowout win.

"I'm a pretty self-aware person. I understand the time and score of the game, Tatum said. "The game was pretty much over. I've got to stand up for myself. I was frustrated. 

"At some point throughout the course of the night, you've got to stand up for yourself. This is not something I do every game or every night. Tonight, I just had to let them know how I felt.”

Boston coach Joe Mazzulla echoed those sentiments, saying: "In the NBA you have that space of having to defend yourself, and for me having to defend my guys. 

"There's a time and a place for everything, and you've just got to pick and choose your spots."

Asked about the non-call which led to Tatum's first technical, Mazzulla said: "When it comes to stuff like that, I try not to have an opinion."

Saturday's win – Boston's 10th in their last 13 games – came just 48 hours after a 33-point loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday, and Brown recognised the importance of bouncing back.

"Last game we didn't feel like we were at our best," Brown said. "Today we wanted to come out and make sure we stayed undefeated on our home court."

Giannis Antetokounmpo believes the Milwaukee Bucks must do "every little thing" better after slipping to a third defeat in four games.

The Bucks were defeated 112-108 by the Houston Rockets on Saturday, dropping Milwaukee to 25-11 on the season and leaving them three-and-a-half games behind the conference-leading Boston Celtics in the East.

The Bucks' defeat to the Rockets came in spite of a brilliant display from Antetokounmpo, who finished with 48 points and 17 rebounds in a seventh-straight double-double.

Antetokounmpo says the Bucks must improve every facet of their game if they are to repeat their run to the 2021 title, telling reporters: "We have to be better.

"We have to play better, we have to defend better, we have to trust one another better, we have to be coached better.

"Every single thing, everybody has to be better. It starts from the equipment manager – he has to wash our clothes better. The bench has to be better, the leaders of the team have to be more vocal, we have to make more shots, we have to defend better, we have to have a better strategy, we have to be better.

"We have four months to get better, so we'll see."

The Rockets held a 16-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, and though the Bucks could not quite get the comeback completed, Milwaukee head coach Adrian Griffin is confident his team will get over their struggles soon.

"It'll come," Griffin stated. "It's a team sport, it's five guys out there.

"I thought we dug ourselves in a hole as a unit and did a good job of getting out of it but just ran out of time."

Jayson Tatum poured in 38 points with a season-high eight 3-pointers and Jaylen Brown added 31 points to help the Boston Celtics snap the Indiana Pacers’ six-game winning streak, 118-101 on Saturday.

Tatum, who also had 13 rebounds and six assists, combined with Brown for 27 of Boston’s 46 baskets on a night they never trailed.

Bennedict Mathurin scored 20 points and Tyrese Haliburton had 17 points, seven assists and six rebounds and five steals. Indiana was held to a season-low point total and lost the rebounding battle, 70-42.

The Pacers were within 84-81 entering the fourth quarter, but the Celtics went up 100-85 on Tatum’s 3-pointer with 7:30 remaining.

Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis played only six minutes due to an eye laceration.

Rockets survive Antetokounmpo’s 48 points

Alperen Sengun had 21 points and the Houston Rockets overcame 48 points and 17 rebounds from Giannis Antetokounmpo to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks, 112-108.

Antetokounmpo shot 16 of 25 from the field for his seventh straight double-double but teammate Damian Lillard shot 5 of 16, including 1 for 8 from long range, and missed a season-high three free throws on 10 attempts.

Jalen Green scored 16 points and Fred VanVleet added 14 with seven assists for Houston, which has won three of four following a three-game skid.  

Randle leads Knicks over Wizards

Julius Randle scored 39 points and Jalen Brunson had 33 as the New York Knicks won their fourth straight game, 121-105 over the Washington Wizards.

Isaiah Hartenstein grabbed 19 rebounds as New York showed no letup following an impressive 128-92 rout of the 76ers a night earlier.

Kyle Kuzma had 27 points and Deni Avdija added 23 for Washington, which has lost four in a row and seven of eight.

Kevin Durant was relieved to play a leading role in ending the Phoenix Suns' three-game losing streak against the Houston Rockets.

He registered a career-high 16 assists to go with 27 points and 10 rebounds in his 18th career triple-double on Wednesday, giving the Suns a 129-113 win.

Durant shot 9 of 16 from the field and 3 of 7 from 3-point range as Phoenix snapped a three-game losing run with its first road victory since Nov. 26.

Eric Gordon also scored 27 points in his first game back in Houston since being traded in February. He had 17 points in the Suns' 43-point second quarter.

The Suns are back in action against the Charlotte Hornets on Friday and Durant is thrilled to go into a six-game homestand – their longest of the season – with a key road win behind them.

"It was amazing to get back on the winning side," he said.

"It sucks losing. Having a tough stretch in the NBA is one of the worst feelings you can have, regardless of how many games we play in a season."

Phoenix is 15-15 after winning just three of their last 10 games, putting them 10th in the Western Conference.

"Kevin just got into an aggressive mode to score or pass," added Suns coach Frank Vogel.

"Taking the ball in the backcourt, running a high volume of pick and rolls and just being aggressive. He really led us."

Devin Booker had 20 points for the Suns and there were 16 points from Grayson Allen.

Alperen Sengun had 24 points and Jalen Green added 23 for the Rockets, who have lost four of six following a five-game winning streak.

The Rockets fell to 15-14 after Gordon made his mark on his return to Houston, sinking seven 3-pointers.

"It was great to be back here – I had a lot of good memories and a lot of fun here and it was a major turning point in my career, coming to Houston," said Gordon.

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