Anthony Davis enjoyed his highest-scoring game since January 2020 as he put up 44 points to deliver a Los Angeles Lakers road win against the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday.

The Bucks entered the contest on a three-game winning streak, and were welcoming three-time All-Star Khris Middleton back to the starting line-up for his first action of the season. 

Middleton was solid in his return, scoring 17 points on six-of-11 shooting with seven assists and no turnovers in his 27 minutes, but there was nothing he could do to stop Davis.

Davis was dueling head-to-head with two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, and while the Bucks superstar had 40 points (16-of-23 shooting), seven rebounds and five assists, Davis dropped his 44 on 18-of-27 shooting, adding a game-high 10 rebounds and three blocks.

It is the third-most points Davis has scored in a Lakers jersey, trailing a 46-point effort back in 2020 and a 50-point explosion in 2019.

Davis is averaging 26.3 points, 12.7 rebounds (most in the NBA) and 2.3 blocks per game (third-most) this campaign, and both his field goal percentage (56.9 per cent) and true shooting percentage (63.5 per cent) are career-highs.

With the win, the Lakers have now emerged victorious in seven of their past nine games to salvage their rough start and improve their record to 9-12, while the Bucks hold onto the second-best record in the Eastern Conference at 15-6.

Heat upset the Celtics in overtime

The Miami Heat (11-12) collected an impressive 120-116 overtime win against the league-leading Boston Celtics (18-5) as four of their starters scored at least 20 points each.

Bam Adebayo top-scored for the Heat with 28 points, while Tyler Herro added 26 with three steals, Jimmy Butler had 25 with 15 rebounds and Kyle Lowry chipped in 20 of his own.

Jaylen Brown was terrific for the Celtics with a game-high 37 points on 12-of-23 shooting, adding 14 rebounds and five assists, but his heroics were not enough to prevent his side from dropping only their second game from their past 16 outings.

Morant, Jackson deliver Grizzlies win

Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr showed exactly why they are the two centerpieces the Memphis Grizzlies are building around, delivering on both ends in a 117-109 victory against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Morant top-scored for the Grizzlies with 28 (10-of-28 shooting), while Jackson flashed his unique skill-set by blocking four shots and hitting two three-pointers on his way to 22 points (seven-of-12) and nine rebounds.

Joel Embiid was immense for the 76ers, scoring a game-high 35 points (13-of-26) with 12 rebounds, eight assists and three blocks, posting a plus/minus of plus nine in his 41 minutes.

This means in the seven minutes he was on the bench, the 76ers were outscored by 17.

Joel Embiid will miss the Philadelphia 76ers' next two games after suffering a foot injury.

Embiid tripped over teammate Georges Niang with 5:53 remaining in the fourth quarter of Saturday's loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, writhing in pain on the ground before being attended to by a trainer and hobbling to the bench at Wells Fargo Center.

The Sixers confirmed on Monday that the Cameroonian superstar has sustained a left midfoot sprain, meaning he will be absent for Tuesday's clash with the Brooklyn Nets and Wednesday's trip to the Charlotte Hornets.

Embiid has been in imperious form of late, averaging 32.3 points per game for the season and recently scoring 59 against the Utah Jazz.

That was 56.2 per cent of the Sixers's total of 105, the highest percentage of a team's points in an NBA game played in the state of Pennsylvania since Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game in Hershey in March 1962 (59.2 per cent).

The 28-year-old joins James Harden and Tyrese Maxey in the treatment room, with the duo also sidelined with foot issues.

It leaves Tobias Harris as the only available member of the Philadelphia roster averaging double figures for points per game this season, though he only returned to training on Monday after missing the last two games with a hip issue.

 

Kyrie Irving is never too far away from making himself the headline.

The 30-year-old returned on Sunday from the suspension imposed by the Brooklyn Nets after social media activity that appeared to promote a book and film with anti-Semitic tropes.

Following eight games on the sidelines before an eventual apology arrived, Irving was back on the court in the 127-115 win against the Memphis Grizzlies, scoring 14 points along with five rebounds.

Playing just 26 minutes at Barclays Center, he could feature more against the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday as he clears off some of the rust.

However, as far as the Sixers are concerned, it will be more about those missing in action.

Former Net James Harden remains out with a foot injury, and he has now been joined by Joel Embiid, who will miss the upcoming clashes with the Nets and the Charlotte Hornets.

The Cameroonian will be a huge miss for Doc Rivers, having been in sensational form of late.

Embiid has an average of 32.6 after 12 outings this season, with his 4.6 assist average also higher than he has managed before in his career.

The 28-year-old had scored over 30 in five of his last six games, including a monstrous performance against the Utah Jazz where he put up 59 points as well as eight assists and 11 rebounds, showing just what a big hole he will leave.

Philadelphia are also still missing Tyrese Maxey, the only player other than Embiid and Harden (22.0) to be averaging over 20 points this season (22.9).

The Sixers had won three on the bounce before defeat last time out against the Minnesota Timberwolves, and face a Nets side that have experienced a bit of resurgence under coach Jacque Vaughn.

Having lost two of his first three games after replacing Steve Nash, including conceding 153 in the loss at Sacramento, Vaughn has seen his team overcome the Portland Trail Blazers and the Grizzlies in their last two.

With no Embiid, Maxey or Harden on the other side of the court, this will surely be an ideal opportunity for the Nets to build some much-needed momentum.

PIVOTAL PERFORMERS

Philadelphia 76ers - Tobias Harris

Recent talk of a potential trade for Harris needs to be pushed to one side as the only available Sixers player to have an average in double figures this season (14.9).

He is another who has suffered recent injury problems having missed the last two games with a hip issue, but he practiced on Monday and surely will be used if possible given all the other absences.

Harris stepped up to support Maxey when Embiid and Harden were both out against the New York Knicks earlier this month, scoring 23 with nine rebounds.

Brooklyn Nets - Kevin Durant

Of course, many eyes will be on Ben Simmons against his former team, especially after his performance against Memphis, but Durant remains Brooklyn's danger man.

While the Nets have struggled for consistency, Durant has been an ever-reliable figure, having not scored fewer than 26 in any of his 17 games this season, at an average of 30.4.

KEY BATTLE - Can Sixers defense keep them in the game?

With so much attacking talent unavailable, it will inevitably mean Philadelphia's ability to keep the opposition's scoring to a minimum will be crucial.

Despite the efforts of Embiid, the Sixers have one of the worst records in the league for scoring this season, with only the Los Angeles Clippers (105.2) averaging less than their 108.6 (level with the Wizards, the Heat and the Rockets).

They do indeed have the third-best record for points against, with only the Clippers (105.4) and the Dallas Mavericks (105.3) conceding fewer than their 106.6 per game. 

HEAD TO HEAD

The Nets won three of their four meetings with the Sixers last season, although Rivers' men were victorious in their last contest in Philly, winning 110-102 at the end of December at Wells Fargo Center.

Joel Embiid had an injury scare late as the short-handed Philadelphia 76ers charged home but ultimately fell short in a 112-109 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday.

Embiid appeared to roll his left ankle when he tripped over teammate Georges Niang with 5:53 remaining in the fourth quarter. He writhed in pain on the ground and was attended to by a trainer before hobbling to the bench at Wells Fargo Center.

The Sixers center played the game out but limped throughout yet nailed a three-pointer to make it 105-102, before Timberwolves top scorer Anthony Edwards steadied it with his second triple of the game.

Embiid finished with 32 points, including making 18-of-20 from the free-throw line, with nine rebounds, six assists and three steals for the Sixers, who were without James Harden and Tyrese Maxey due to foot injuries.

Shake Milton added 27 points, while De'Anthony Melton made five three-pointers in his 19-point haul. Melton's three with 29.1 seconds remaining moved the 76ers within one point, before he missed a lay-up and Edwards iced the game from the stripe. The Sixers had trailed by 20 points but rallied with a 25-15 fourth quarter.

For the winners, Edwards had 25 points with five rebounds and five assists, while point guard D'Angelo Russell scored 19 points with seven assists.

French center Rudy Gobert scored eight points with 13 rebounds and Karl-Anthony Towns added 12 points with eight rebounds.

The result leaves both sides with 8-8 records, with the Timberwolves having won three straight. Embiid's 32 points means he is averaging 41.25 across his past four games.

Trae shines as Hawks win with OT buzzer-beater

Trae Young fed A.J. Griffin under the basket for a buzzer-beating two-pointer in overtime as the Atlanta Hawks defeated the Toronto Raptors 124-122.

Young took an inbound pass with 3.8 seconds remaining in overtime with scores tied, racing clear as Griffin - who is the son of Raptors assistant coach Adrian Griffin - got behind the defense, allowing the Hawks guard to find him wide open for a routine lay-up in the nick of time.

Atlanta hauled in a seven-point deficit with 2:36 to go in the fourth quarter, led by Young, who finished with 33 points on 12-of-21 shooting with 12 assists. Scottie Barnes had a season-high 28 points for injury-hit Toronto, who only dressed nine players.

George hurt as Clippers blow out Spurs

Paul George hit three first-half three-pointers before being ruled out with knee soreness at half-time while Kawhi Leonard's impact was limited again but the Los Angeles Clippers blew out the San Antonio Spurs 119-97.

George played 15 first-half minutes, scoring 21 minutes on five-of-eight three-point shooting, while Leonard played 22 minutes for 11 points with four assists in his second game back after stiffness in his surgically repaired knee.

Norman Powell came off the bench to score a game-high 26 points, with five-of-seven three-point shooting, as the Clippers improved to 9-7. The Clippers hit 13 first-half triples and finished with 21 for the game on 53.8 per cent three-point shooting.

Joel Embiid was more concerned about Philadelphia 76ers teammate Tyrese Maxey's foot injury than his own rolled ankle which saw him hobble through Saturday's 112-109 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Embiid hurt his ankle when he tripped over teammate Georges Niang with 5:53 remaining in the fourth quarter, staying grounded as he was attended to by a trainer before hobbling to the bench at Wells Fargo Center.

The Sixers center returned to the court and hit a crucial three-pointer but ran with a limp throughout, while he also hobbled at his post-game press conference.

"Hopefully, somehow it feels better, but we'll see," Embiid told reporters.

Sixers head coach Doc Rivers also did not seem overly concerned by the ankle problem lingering long term.

"I think it's a turned ankle," Rivers said. "He went back in and played, so I think he's good. Anybody who goes to the floor, I always worry."

Embiid expressed more concern for Maxey, who was hurt in Friday's 110-102 win over the Milwaukee Bucks, with an MRI scan on Saturday confirming a fractured foot which will sideline him for three to four weeks.

"It really hit me when I heard the news about him missing some time, too," said Embiid, who scored 32 points with nine rebounds and six assists against the Timberwolves.

"That's why even starting the game, I really wasn’t in the game to start the game, but that's why I was trying to really play make and try to get everybody involved and all of that."

Maxey's injury comes with the Sixers already missing James Harden (foot) and Tobias Harris (hip).

"I just felt bad for him because he puts in so much work and, he takes care of himself," he said. "Obviously, missing James to the same thing and Tobias being hurt. It does suck, but it’s next man up."

The Miami Heat only had seven available players on Friday, and eventually ran out of steam in a gutsy 107-106 road loss against the Washington Wizards despite a heroic performance from Kyle Lowry.

Miami's top two players, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, were both absent along with a cast of their teammates after a quick succession of injuries, forcing their available players into extended minutes.

Lowry played 46 of a possible 48 minutes in regulation, but a late Kyle Kuzma three-pointer tied the game at 104-104 with 15 seconds left, forcing overtime.

With four of their five starters reaching the 40-minute mark in overtime, fatigue caught up with the visitors as they failed to hit a single field goal in the extra period.

Their only two points came from two Lowry free throws, capping his 24-point, 15-assist, 10-rebound triple double in 51 minutes of play.

Kristaps Porzingis scored the only basket of overtime, giving him 20 points and 17 rebounds, while Bradley Beal top-scored for the Wizards with 27 on nine-of-18 shooting.

The win for the Wizards moves them to 9-7, while the Heat fall to 7-9 as they desperately await healthy reinforcements.

Suggs delivers dagger in Magic win

Second-year point guard Jalen Suggs is beginning to fulfill the potential that saw him as a top-five pick in the 2021 draft, hitting the game-winning three-pointer in a 108-107 win against the Chicago Bulls.

The Bulls received polarizing performances from their two star wings, with Zach Lavine struggling mightily on his way to one-of-14 shooting, while DeMar DeRozan stepped up with 41 points on 16-of-30 shooting.

DeRozan's big game had the Bulls up 103-107 with under 30 seconds remaining, but two made free throws for Suggs were followed by two misses by Bulls center Nikola Vucevic, giving the Magic a chance to steal it.

Suggs was determined to be the one taking the last shot, stepping back confidently for a three-pointer and nailing it to finish with 20 points (seven-of-16 shooting) and eight assists. It is the first time this season Suggs has posted back-to-back 20-point games, and he has at least six assists and five rebounds in each.

Embiid finishes Maxey's strong start against the Bucks

The Philadelphia 76ers had a different star in each half of their 110-102 home win against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Tyrese Maxey was the focal point early, putting up 24 points on nine-of-12 shooting, with five assists and four rebounds, before rolling his ankle in the shadows of halftime.

He did not return after the break, and Joel Embiid stepped up in his absence, scoring a game-high 32 points (12-of-26 shooting) with 11 rebounds, eight assists and three blocks. It is the third game in a row Embiid has had at least 32 points, 10 rebounds and six assists.

Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers has never seen anything like Joel Embiid's performance at both ends in Sunday's 105-98 win over the Utah Jazz.

Embiid scored a career-best 59 points, with a joint career-high seven blocks, along with 11 rebounds and eight assists.

The Cameroonian scored 26 of Philadelphia's 27 final quarter points and more than half their total score, a feat not achieved in the NBA since Damian Lillard in 2019.

"I've seen a guy score a lot of points," Rivers told reporters. "I haven't seen guys score a lot of points, rebound, and then the blocked shots. That was impressive.

"He was just getting everything. I've never seen a more dominating performance when you combine defense and offense."

Embiid's teammates were left in awe too, with Matisse Thybulle labelling his stat line as "pretty ridiculous".

"It’s absurd. Actually, my friends were texting me after the game and they were like 'It's like a 2K stat line' and it's not one of those things you see in a real basketball game," Thybulle said.

"It's like when you pick one player on 2K and just do everything with him. It's pretty ridiculous if I'm being honest. It's amazing."

Embiid's 59 points is the best in the NBA this season, exceeding Darius Garland's mark of 51 set earlier on Sunday in the Cleveland Cavaliers' 129-124 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Despite his monstrous performance, Embiid played down the significance of his individual display.

"This is not about me. We did it as a team," the 28-year-old center said. "Obviously, the coaches put me in those positions, and obviously, my teammates fed me the ball. I thought we had great spacing around everything we were doing.

"Like I said, all the credit goes to my teammates just being in the right spots and trusting me and giving me the ball."

Embiid shot 19-of-28 from the field including making a three-pointer, which reinforced to him that it was going to be his game.

"When I finally made a three [I knew it was going to be a big game] because I’ve been shooting the ball so bad this year from three," he said.

"It was early in the game. I saw how they were guarding me. Just like last night, I'll take that every night. If they’re not gonna double team as much, I hope every team does it so I'll take it, but from the beginning... Obviously, in the fourth quarter with the game being so close, I just wanted to do whatever it took."

Joel Embiid flexed his muscles with arguably the best game of his career, with a season-best 59-point haul in the Philadelphia 76ers' 105-98 victory over the Utah Jazz on Sunday.

Embiid was dominant in every facet, with his 59 points coming on 19-of-28 shooting, making 20-of-24 from the stripe, while having 11 rebounds, eight assists and seven blocks.

The Sixers center is the first player since blocks became official in 1973-74, to record 50-plus points, 10-plus rebounds, five-plus assists and five-plus blocks in a game.

Embiid is also the first player since Damian Lillard in 2019 to have more than half of his team's points in a game.

The Cameroonian erupted in the fourth quarter with 26 points, taking him into fifth spot for the best scoring performances in franchise history. It was a career-best points haul for 28-year-old Embiid.

Tyrese Maxey was Philadelphia's next best with 18 points and four steals, with James Harden still out with a foot injury.

The Jazz had no answers to Embiid, who had scored 42 points on Saturday against the Atlanta Hawks, with Malik Beasley scoring 18 off the bench while Lauri Markkanen had 15 points with 10 rebounds.

Garland briefly holds season-high points haul

Darius Garland piled on 27 fourth-quarter points for a career-high 51 points, but he could not lift the Cleveland Cavaliers past the Minnesota Timberwolves, losing 129-124.

Garland's 51 points, which included 10 triples, was briefly a league season-high, before Embiid's monster game for the Sixers.

The Timberwolves led by 24 points late in the third before the Cavs rallied, led by Garland, who became the fourth Cleveland player to reach 50 points.

Karl-Anthony Towns scored 29 points with 13 rebounds, while D'Angelo Russell added 30 points with 12 assists.

AD lifts Lakers without LeBron to snap skid

Anthony Davis stepped up in LeBron James' absence, scoring 37 points with 18 rebounds as the Los Angeles Lakers snapped their five-game losing run with a 116-103 win over the Brooklyn Nets.

Davis shot 15-of-25 from the field, while bringing down 10 offensive rebounds among his 18 for the game, with Lonnie Walker adding 25 points, making four-of-five from beyond the arc.

Kevin Durant was a lone hand on offense for the Nets with Seth Curry, Ben Simmons and Kyrie Irving all absent. Durant scored 31 points with nine rebounds and seven assists.

Meanwhile, Stephen Curry hit 27 points as the Golden State Warriors' winless road run (0-7) extended to 0-7 after being downed 122-115 by the Sacramento Kings.

Joel Embiid flexed his muscles with arguably the best game of his career, with a season-best 59-point haul in the Philadelphia 76ers' 105-98 victory over the Utah Jazz on Sunday.

Embiid was dominant in every facet, with his 59 points coming on 19-of-28 shooting, making 20-of-24 from the stripe, while having 11 rebounds, eight assists and seven blocks.

The Sixers center is the first player since blocks became official in 1973-74, to record 50-plus points, 10-plus rebounds, five-plus assists and five-plus blocks in a game.

Embiid is also the first player since Damian Lillard in 2019 to have more than half of his team's points in a game.

The Cameroonian erupted in the fourth quarter with 26 points, taking him into fifth spot for the best scoring performances in franchise history. It was a career-best points haul for 28-year-old Embiid.

Tyrese Maxey was Philadelphia's next best with 18 points and four steals, with James Harden still out with a foot injury.

The Jazz had no answers to Embiid, who had scored 42 points on Saturday against the Atlanta Hawks, with Malik Beasley scoring 18 off the bench while Lauri Markkanen had 15 points with 10 rebounds.

Garland briefly holds season-high points haul

Darius Garland piled on 27 fourth-quarter points for a career-high 51 points, but he could not lift the Cleveland Cavaliers past the Minnesota Timberwolves, losing 129-124.

Garland's 51 points, which included 10 triples, was briefly a league season-high, before Embiid's monster game for the Sixers.

The Timberwolves led by 24 points late in the third before the Cavs rallied, led by Garland, who became the fourth Cleveland player to reach 50 points.

Karl-Anthony Towns scored 29 points with 13 rebounds, while D'Angelo Russell added 30 points with 12 assists.

AD lifts Lakers without LeBron to snap skid

Anthony Davis stepped up in LeBron James' absence, scoring 37 points with 18 rebounds as the Los Angeles Lakers snapped their five-game losing run with a 116-103 win over the Brooklyn Nets.

Davis shot 15-of-25 from the field, while bringing down 10 offensive rebounds among his 18 for the game, with Lonnie Walker adding 25 points, making four-of-five from beyond the arc.

Kevin Durant was a lone hand on offense for the Nets with Seth Curry, Ben Simmons and Kyrie Irving all absent. Durant scored 31 points with nine rebounds and seven assists.

Meanwhile, Stephen Curry hit 27 points as the Golden State Warriors' winless road run (0-7) extended to 0-7 after being downed 122-115 by the Sacramento Kings.

The Brooklyn Nets secured their third win from their past four games led by Kevin Durant and Seth Curry as they pulled away late to secure a 110-95 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday.

Durant top scored with 27 points along with six rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks, while Curry drained four three-pointers in his 22 points off the bench. Nic Claxton also had 13 points with 14 rebounds.

Curry scored 14 points with two assists in the fourth quarter as the Nets extended their four-point lead with a 35-24 final period.

The Nets, who confirmed the permanent appointment of Jacque Vaughn as head coach on Wednesday, were excellent defensively again, keeping their opposition below 100 points for the fifth straight game.

For the Clippers, who were still without Kawhi Leonard due to knee stiffness, Paul George scored 17 points with four rebounds and four assists, while Ivica Zubac added 16 points with 15 rebounds.

Nets guard Edmond Sumner (11 points, four assists and three steals) reached double-figure scoring for the third time in five games since stepping into the starting lineup in place of Kyrie Irving for a team-imposed suspension.

Irving's five-game minimum suspension has now ended but Vaughn confirmed he would not play in Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Lakers. The victory starts the Nets' four-game road trip in style, improving Brooklyn to 6-7 on the season, while the Clippers are 7-6.

Doncic responds after form dip

Luka Doncic responded to his drop-off in form with 42 points as part of a triple-double as the Dallas Mavericks won 117-112 over the Portland Trail Blazers.

Doncic had started the season with an historic run of nine 30-point games, but that was halted in the past two games, both where he scored less than 30.

The Slovenian guard turned that around on 13-of-22 field shooting, also making 15-of-18 from the stripe, along with 13 rebounds, 10 assists and two steals.

Tatum and Embiid both score 40-plus

Jayson Tatum reached 40 points for the 13th time in his career, the third most in Boston Celtics history, as he scored 43 points in their 117-108 win over the Detroit Pistons.

Tatum finished with 43 points, including seven three-pointers, along with 10 rebounds and three assists. The Celtics small forward scored 28 of his points in a dominant first half.

Joel Embiid produced a season-best scoring return of 42 points as the Philadelphia 76ers triumphed 121-109 over the Atlanta Hawks after a brilliant first-half shooting display.

The trusty Atlanta Hawks duo of Trae Young and Clint Capela controlled the show in a 104-95 home win against the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday.

It was not Young's most efficient scoring performance, as he finished with an equal game-high 26 points on seven-of-21 shooting, hitting all 10 of his free throws.

However, Young's pick-and-roll combination with Capela proved nearly unstoppable, with the Swiss center converting seven-of-10 field goals for 18 points and a game-high 20 rebounds. 

Three of his seven field goals were alley-oop dunks off Young assists, and one was an offensive rebound off a Young miss as Capela's defender came over to help.

Of the Hawks' five starters, only Young and Capela finished with a positive plus/minus, meaning their most effective lineup was that duo with three bench players.

With James Harden out for at least the next couple of weeks, Joel Embiid was again asked to carry a massive offensive burden, and he struggled against Capela's defense.

While he finished with an efficient 26 points (nine-of-18 shooting) and 12 rebounds, he posted a season-high seven turnovers.

The Hawks are now 8-4, and have won four of their past five games, while the 76ers have lost three of their past four to sit at 5-7.

Butler ignites the Heat in overtime win

Miami Heat All-Star Jimmy Butler flirted with a triple-double as he starred in a 117-112 overtime win over the Charlotte Hornets.

Playing a season-high 42 minutes as the Heat kept their rotation down to eight players, Butler eclipsed 30 points for the first time this season on his way to 35 on 11-of-19 shooting (13-of-15 free throws). He also added 10 rebounds, eight assists and two steals in a complete performance.

Five of his Heat teammates reached double figures, led by center Bam Adebayo with 18 points (six-of-15 shooting) and 14 rebounds to snap their third two-game losing streak of the young season, moving to 5-7.

Doncic struggles in Mavericks loss

After starting the season with nine consecutive 30-point performances, Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic had his second tough outing in a row as his side lost 113-105 to the Washington Wizards.

Doncic shot just nine-of-29 in Wednesday's loss to the Orlando Magic, and followed it on Thursday by shooting eight-of-21 for his 22 points, although he added nine rebounds and six assists.

With both Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis missing for the Wizards through injury, it was Kyle Kuzma stepping up with 36 points (14-of-26 shooting), 11 rebounds and six assists.

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.

Giannis Antetokounmpo went up a gear in the second half while Steve Nash was ejected for the first time as a head coach as the Milwaukee Bucks downed the Brooklyn Nets 110-99 on Wednesday.

Antetokounmpo scored 34 of his 43 points in the second half – 28 of those coming in the paint - as the Bucks put the foot down with a 67-44 after half-time at Fiserv Forum. 

The Greek forward backed up his 44 points against the Houston Rockets on Saturday, meaning his 87 points in their past two games is the most across a two-game span in his 10-year NBA career.

The Nets were leading 70-66 in the third quarter when Nash was ejected after being incensed by a non-call from the officials after Antetokounmpo bumped into Patty Mills.

Kevin Durant scored 33 points on 10-of-23 shooting from the field with six rebounds and five turnovers, while Kyrie Irving added 27 points for the Nets who led by as much as 12 points.

Ben Simmons battled again with four points on two-of-seven field shooting with none-of-two from the stripe, along with four personal fouls. Simmons has nine field goals and 18 personal fouls in four games this season.

The Bucks shot at 56 per cent from the field in the second half, with Antetokounmpo supported well by Bobby Portis with 20 points and 11 rebounds.

LeBron's Lakers' winless start drags on

LeBron James' Los Angeles Lakers slumped to an 0-4 start after Nikola Jokic put in a dominant display to lead the Denver Nuggets to a 110-99 victory.

Jokic scored 31 points with 13 rebounds and nine assists for the Nugs, who were far better defensively. The Serbian led both teams outright in points, rebounds and assists for the 85th time in his career, which is the most by a center in NBA history.

James, who fell to an 0-4 start for the second time of his career and first since his 2003-04 rookie season, managed 19 points with seven rebounds and nine assists, while Anthony Davis had 22 points with 14 rebounds. Russell Westbrook was out injured.

The Lakers' NBA-worst three-point struggles continued, albeit with a slightly improved eight-of-30 (27 per cent) from beyond the arc.

Sixers' struggles continue as Trent Jr sparkles

The Philadelphia 76ers' early season struggles continued too, going down 119-109 to the Toronto Raptors, leaving them with a 1-4 record.

The Sixers' record is their fifth 1-4 or worse start through five games. Philadelphia were 1-4 in 2017-18 yet made the playoffs, but missed out on the other three occasions when they were 0-3.

Joel Embiid scored 31 points with five rebounds and Tyrese Maxey impressed with 31 points including four three-pointers. Raptors guard Gary Trent Jr bettered him with five triples, scoring 27 points, while Pascal Siakam added 20 points and 13 assists.

Philadelphia 76ers star James Harden said it is a weight off everyone's shoulders to finally get their first win of the season on the board with a 120-106 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Monday night.

After an 0-3 start following losses to the Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks and the San Antonio Spurs, the 76ers began to right the ship with an explosive first half.

Led by former MVP Harden with 11 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in the first two quarters, the 76ers ran out to a 64-46 halftime lead.

Back-to-back MVP runner-up Joel Embiid worked his way to the free throw line in the second half, hitting all nine of his attempts to finish with 26 points (eight-of-13 shooting), five rebounds and three blocks, while Harden posted 29 points (10-of-18 shooting) with nine rebounds and 11 assists.

Speaking to the media after the game, Harden said it's a good start, but there is still plenty of work to do if they want to be real contenders this season.

"That felt good, man," he said. "It felt like we were 0-82. It felt good, but it's a work in progress.

"As much as we want things to happen overnight, and for us to be 4-0, we're 1-3. We just have to continue to work, continue to build really good habits, and live with the results. 

"We have to hang our hats on the defensive end, and I think we had some really good spurts, and then some where we let them back in the game. We have to continue to build and continue to hang our hats on the defensive end."

Meanwhile, head coach Doc Rivers praised Embiid for his patience and playing within the structure of the offense.

"I liked his patience," he said. "This was one of those game where you haven't won a game, and they're trapping him every time – literally every time he touched it early – and he just kept moving it.

"He was in no rush, and eventually it opened up because they were tired of us making threes, so then they left Joel one-on-one – which is not going to work either.

"I just liked how he approached the game – he had great patience, he let the game come to him."

Rivers added that if the 76ers want to play faster – which they do – the Pacers are a great team to do it against.

"They play really fast – because they have to," he said. "They're very similar to San Antonio, and I've coached teams like this. When you don't have the one guy you can just give it to, you better run, if you have any chance.

"We really focused on [our pace] this morning – our goal was to get the ball across halfcourt by 20 [on the shot clock]. I don't think we accomplished that goal a lot, but we did get it up there a lot earlier.

"That allows us – especially against trapping teams, because they were switching and trapping Joel [Embiid] – having those four or five extra seconds to make the extra pass, guys get rhythm shots."

Harden also touched on that point, shouldering the blame for some of their lack of pace in the opening games as they entered this contest with the fewest possessions-per-game at 98.3, whereas the league-leading Golden State Warriors are averaging 113.4 possessions.

"It gives us more time to create a better shot," he said. "When you're walking the ball up, you're limited, so we want our pace to pick up a little more.

"The first couple games I put that on myself – just because I've played against some really good individual defensive players – but even me, when they're on me, I've got to push the ball up and push the tempo.

"That's just going to give us more opportunities on the back-end when the shot clock is winding down. Tonight was a good start, and we just need to keep improving."

Joel Embiid says he must "play better" despite an excellent solo performance in the Philadelphia 76ers' 114-105 loss to the San Antonio Spurs at home on Saturday.

The 28-year-old posted 40 points and 13 rebounds in a superb individual performance but his efforts were in vain as the Sixers slipped to a third successive loss to start the campaign.

With a talented squad expected pre-season to be among the league's strongest this term, a 0-3 return so far has been a shock to the system for the 76ers.

Embiid, who has been struggling with a foot issue following a plantar fasciitis injury sustained before the team's lead-in training camp, says he is still heading back to full fitness, but stresses he can do more in spite of that.

"Obviously, I'm not playing at my best," he stated. "We're not winning. Tonight was a start, but we got to find ways to win, so I need to play better.

"I'm still trying to work my way back. Coming into training camp, I hadn't done anything in like two months.

"So, it really slowed me down, but [I'm] still trying to work my way back. Hopefully, everything goes back to normal."

The Sixers will hope to dodge an 0-4 record when they welcome the Indiana Pacers to face them on Monday.

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