The NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks produced a statement win ahead of the playoffs led by Giannis Antetokounmpo as they defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 117-104 on Sunday.

Antetokounmpo scored 33 points with 14 rebounds, six assists and three blocks, bringing up his 31st 30-point double-double this season, as they improved to 56-22 at Fiserv Forum.

The win moves Milwaukee closer to clinching the Eastern Conference, with the Boston Celtics (54-24) in the second spot ahead of the 76ers (51-27) in third with four games to play.

Boston, who routed the Bucks 140-99 three nights ago, have the head-to-head tiebreaker on Milwaukee.

The Bucks shot at 57.5 per cent from the field, led by Antetokounmpo's 13-of-17 shooting, while Khris Middleton started strong for 19 points. Brook Lopez, Jrue Holiday and Bobby Portis contributed 21, 18 and 18 points respectively.

Middleton's hot start fuelled the Bucks' 41-26 first-quarter lead and they never looked back, with the 76ers closing to within four points in the third period, before the Bucks pulled away again as Antetokounmpo scored the final seven points of that quarter.

MVP candidate Joel Embiid scored 28 points on 11-of-25 shooting from the field with nine rebounds and five assists.

Tyrese Maxey added a team-high 29 points with six-of-seven from beyond the arc. James Harden was contained to 11 points with six assists.

Thompson spurns game-winning attempt

Klay Thompson missed two game-winning three-point attempts in the final five seconds as the fast-finishing Golden State Warriors lost 112-110 to the Denver Nuggets without Nikola Jokic.

The Warriors had rallied from nine points down in the final two minutes to earn Thompson a three-point shot for victory from Stephen Curry's pass, but his initial attempt rimmed out, before a follow-up was blocked by Aaron Gordon.

Michael Porter Jr (29 points and 11 rebounds) and Jamal Murray (26 points and eight assists) impressed in Jokic's absence.

Thompson and Curry finished with 25 and 21 points each, with the former making five-of-16 from three-point range as Golden State shot nine-of-42 from beyond the arc as a team. Golden State fall to sixth with a 41-38 record with the Los Angeles Lakers right behind them.

LeBron matches Kidd for triple-doubles

Anthony Davis scored 40 points and LeBron James recorded a triple-double as the Lakers claimed their third straight win to boost their playoff hopes, downing the Houston Rockets 134-109.

James finished with 18 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists to draw level wit Jason Kidd in fourth overall (107) for most triple-doubles in NBA history. Russell Westbrook (198) has the most, ahead of Oscar Robertson (181) and Magic Johnson (138).

Davis scored 27 of his 40 points in the first half, with the Lakers improving their record to 40-38 to sit seventh in the West with four games to go. The fifth-placed Los Angeles Clippers (41-38) lost to the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday, with the two LA sides to meet on Wednesday.

Anthony Davis limped through a vital Los Angeles Lakers win at the Minnesota Timberwolves before assuring fans his ankle would "be fine" and "we're not finished".

The Lakers moved above .500 for the first time this season with a 123-111 victory at the T-Wolves, powered by 38 points and 17 rebounds from Davis.

That was despite the Lakers superstar turning his ankle in his first game back in Minnesota since sustaining a knee injury there in December 2021.

On that occasion, Davis missed more than a month; this time, he did not miss a possession.

"I knew I was going to play," he said after the game. "Tied the shoes up tighter and just kind of played off adrenaline until the end of the game and was able to get some treatment. But I'll be fine."

The Lakers could not have afforded to be without him, with coach Darvin Ham emphasising the big man's importance to their team.

"Everyone knows that in order for us to be at the highest level and playing at the highest level, it all starts with AD," he said.

"We have a team that can make some things happen, but you have to have that one pivotal force that's leading the charge, and in our case, with this particular team here in the moment, it's AD.

"When he comes out and he's aggressive and we're feeding him and he's not settling and he's putting pressure on the paint, putting pressure on the rim, we find ourselves having a lot of success."

LeBron James added of his team-mate: "I think he understood the assignment and knew how important this game was, and I think we all knew that.

"We jumped on AD's back and he brought us home."

As T-Wolves coach Chris Finch put it: "He kicked our a** in every way possible."

The Lakers are up to seventh in the West, but an intense playoff race is not done – and nor are they.

"We've made some huge climbs, but we're not finished," Davis said. "We want to get greedy."

The Los Angeles Lakers collected their fifth win from their past six games as they defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 123-111 away from home on Friday.

Lakers center Anthony Davis was the star of the show, piling up a game-high 38 points on 15-of-26 shooting while adding a game-high 17 rebounds and an equal team-high two blocks.

Superstar running-mate LeBron James was not as his offensive best, shooting seven-of-19 from the field, but he found a way to contribute with 10 rebounds, six assists, two blocks and a steal to go with his 18 points.

The Timberwolves actually led by 10 at half-time, but the Lakers came out of the break and produced a 35-18 third period to snatch control of the contest.

An Anthony Edwards three-pointer early in the fourth period cut the Lakers' lead to nine, but from that point Davis would score 15 of Los Angeles' next 17 points, taking over when his team needed him most.

It was a disappointing performance from Edwards, finishing four-of-16 from the field for 11 points. Karl-Anthony Towns was strong with 23 points (eight-of-18), and Mike Conley led the Wolves with 25 (seven-of-11) and seven assists.

It was a costly loss for Minnesota, as they could have begun threatening the sixth-seeded Warriors with a win, but instead dropped down to ninth at 39-39.

The Lakers (39-38) jumped two spots up to seventh, and are just 1.5 games behind Golden State (41-37).

Brunson outduels Mitchell in Cleveland

Jalen Brunson put together one of the best games of his career as he carried the New York Knicks to a 130-116 victory on the road against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Brunson set a new career-high with 48 points on 18-of-32 shooting, and he also dished nine assists. It is the fourth time this season he has scored at least 40 points after never scoring more than 34 during his four years in Dallas.

Donovan Mitchell was determined to match Brunson every step of the way, dropping 23 points in the first quarter on his way to 42 (16-of-23) for the game, but Cleveland fell away in a disappointing 25-14 fourth period.

Barring any major losing streak from either of these teams the rest of the regular season, Cleveland will host New York as the Eastern Conference's four-five first-round playoff matchup.

Banchero bullies the Wizards

Number one draft pick Paolo Banchero showed why he is the future of the Orlando Magic after a dominant display in a 116-109 road win over the Washington Wizards.

Banchero, the runaway Rookie of the Year favourite, scored a game-high 30 points, blocked a game-high three shots and snatched down a team-high 12 rebounds, while also leading the Magic with six assists.

Fellow number one pick Markelle Fultz was similarly impressive, shooting 11-of-15 from the field for his 25 points, six rebounds and four assists, while 21-year-old talent Franz Wagner chipped in 20 points (eight-of-14).

The Los Angeles Clippers had Russell Westbrook in history-making form as they overcame the Memphis Grizzlies 141-132 on Wednesday.

Westbrook finished with a season-high 36 points and laid on 10 assists in the victory, which snapped Memphis' seven-game winning streak.

In the process, Westbrook became the first player in NBA history to have a 30-point and 10-assist game with five teams, having achieved the feat with the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Houston Rockets, the Washington Wizards, the Los Angeles Lakers and now the Clippers.

The sides will meet again in Memphis on Friday, with the Clippers having pulled away down the stretch on this occasion.

"Just being composed, as a point guard, I was taught the last five or six minutes of the game were very important," Westbrook said of the fourth quarter.

"Getting stops, getting good shots. We did a good job of executing down the stretch."

Westbrook's team-mate Robert Covington had a season-best 27 points, and he anticipates a tough run-in with plenty of teams in the playoff picture in the Western Conference.

"It's going to be tight," said Covington. "The West from four through 12 or 13 is like a three-game gap, something like that?

"Anything can happen. That's why these last five or six games for us are very important."

Another team pushing for a postseason place are the Clippers' city rivals the Lakers, who beat the Chicago Bulls 121-110.

Anthony Davis starred with 38 points and 10 rebounds, and believes the Lakers – eighth in the West – have what it takes to go on a deep run.

He said: "I think we've got everything we need. It's just about going out and applying it. We can definitely make a run. We've got all the right pieces from top to bottom.

"We owe this [Chicago] team. We owe Houston. We owe Minnesota. All these teams. Utah.

"So all these teams on this trip are teams that we lost to recently, and we want to get some get-back. And seeing as the situation that we're in, we need to win these games.

"So this is a time when we shouldn't shy away from the moment. We should embrace it and these are the moments that you live for as a player."

Davis' display garnered appreciation from coach Darvin Ham and superstar team-mate LeBron James.

"It all starts with A, man," Ham said, referring to Davis. "Him just playing with force, him not settling, putting pressure on the defense to foul, him just loving and living in the paint."

James added: "He always plays like that. Just got to kick him in the a** every now and then. But he always plays like that so I never worry about him."

LeBron James returned from a month-long absence with a team-high 19 points and eight rebounds but the Los Angeles Lakers' three-game winning streak was halted by a 118-108 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Sunday.

James had missed 13 games, having not played since February 26 due to what he called a torn tendon in his foot, and started on the bench for the second time in his 20-year NBA career, entering the game midway through the first quarter.

But the four-time NBA MVP's return could not inspire the Lakers past the Bulls at Crypto.com Arena, with Zach LaVine scoring a game-high 32 points for the road team. The Lakers went 8-5 during James' absence.

The Bulls led 91-78 at three-quarter time and kept the Lakers at arm's length throughout the final period, with James only managing five points in the final quarter.

James shot six-of-11 from the field, missing both of his three-point attempts, with three assists along and five turnovers.

Lakers' power forward Anthony Davis scored 15 points with nine rebounds and five assists, while Bulls All-Star DeMar DeRozan had 17 points with 10 assists.

James was on the wrong end of a taunt from ex-Laker Patrick Beverley, who slapped the floor with the "too small" gesture, after making a two-point attempt with 1:12 left.

The loss drops the Lakers below .500 with a 37-38 record to sit ninth in the Western Conference, while the Bulls have won seven of their past nine games to shoot into playoff contention in the East, placed 10th with a 36-38 record.

Doncic faces ban as Mavs lose again

Luka Doncic dropped 40 points with 14 rebounds but the Dallas Mavericks' playoff hopes suffered another blow with their fourth successive defeat, going down 110-104 to the lowly Charlotte Hornets.

To make matters worse for Dallas, Doncic faces a one-game ban after he received his 16th technical foul of the season after using a profanity directed at an official following a correct no-call.

Doncic will miss Dallas' game against the Indiana Pacers on Monday if the decision is not rescinded, which seems unlikely.

Kyrie Irving only managed 18 points on five-of-15 shooting for the Mavs, who are 11th in the Western Conference with a 36-39 record, having lost seven of their past nine games.

Morant leads Grizzlies to sixth straight win

Ja Morant started for the first time since returning from suspension and scored 27 points to help the streaking Memphis Grizzlies beat the Atlanta Hawks 123-119 for their sixth straight win.

Morant scored a team-high 27 points on nine-of-17 shooting, with Desmond Bane adding 25 points, including three triples, and Jaren Jackson Jr built on his Defensive Player of the Year case as he racked up five blocks and three steals to go with 15 points and eight rebounds.

After being ejected on Saturday, Hawks guard Trae Young had 28 points on seven-of-14 shooting with 10 assists.

Memphis' sixth straight win, and second in a row on the road, improved their record to 47-27 to sit second in the West.

LeBron James revealed the full extent of the injury that kept him out of the Los Angeles Lakers' previous 13 games before Sunday's return, but said he may still require surgery.

James returned off the bench with 19 points, making six-of-11 shots from the field with eight rebounds and three assists in 30 minutes as the Lakers lost 118-108 to the Chicago Bulls on Sunday.

The four-time NBA MVP revealed after the game that he had actually torn a tendon in his foot against the Dallas Mavericks on February 26, which typically keeps players out for longer than the four weeks' recovery time he needed.

The 38-year-old said he was told by two doctors that he required surgery but opted against it, albeit conceding he may still require an operation on the injury in the offseason.

When asked why James opted against surgery, he replied: "Because I went to the LeBron James of feet and he told me I shouldn't."

James added: "Right now I don’t need it [surgery]. We'll wait and see. I'll probably get another MRI at the end of the season and go from there.

"If I end up having to get surgery after the season... by the time next season starts I'll be fine, I'll be ready to go."

The Lakers provided few updates during his recovery, with his return coming with minimal advance warning.

James added that doctors told him he was "healing faster than anybody they've seen before with the injury", leading to his early comeback, although he said he would remain "day to day" in the short term depending on his recovery.

"I felt confident in the workouts that I had this week," James said. "The day after the workouts, when I woke up, stepped out down off the bed, I could possibly play today. After my workout early before the game today, I knew I could play."

On his performance, James added: "I felt okay. Obviously the rhythm is the most important.

"I had a couple of drives and the ball got away from me and a couple shots didn’t feel as good as before, but I was out for four weeks obviously so between that and the wind I've just got to get those things back leading into the final stretch of the season."

James' return for the Lakers came with seven regular season games left, with the side having gone 8-5 in his absence to boost their playoff hopes.

"Now we're sitting with a chance to be a top-eight seed that definitely changed my mindset coming back and trying to be part of this obviously," James said. "I won't say changed, but enhanced it, in terms of my workouts and treatment. They played such great basketball."

James is averaging 29.3 points on 50 per cent shooting with 8.4 rebounds and 6.9 assists from 48 games this season.

The Lakers dropped below .500 with the defeat, sitting ninth in the West with a 37-38 record.

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James will return from injury to come off the bench against the Chicago Bulls.

James had been upgraded from 'out' to 'doubtful' for Sunday's game at Crypto.com Arena, having been sidelined since February 28.

He has missed the Lakers' last 13 games, with Los Angeles going 8-5 during that span to reach .500 for the first time this season.

The Lakers confirmed on Sunday that James had been upgraded to available, with The Athletic's Shams Charania reporting he would be coming off the bench for just the second time in his career, having only previously done so in December 2007.

The 38-year-old has missed 27 games this season, but is averaging 29.5 points along with 6.9 assists and 8.4 rebounds.

His return comes at a crucial point for the Lakers, who are tied for the seventh-best record in the Western Conference at 37-37 after their ongoing three-game win streak. They still have the time to climb out of the play-in tournament spots.

LeBron James is not yet ready to return from a right foot injury, but there are now signs that he is getting closer.

James has been upgraded from 'out' to 'doubtful' for Sunday's game against the Chicago Bulls, the Los Angeles Lakers announced Saturday.

The superstar has been sidelined since February 28 and has missed the Lakers' past 13 games, with Los Angeles going 8-5 during that span to reach .500 for the first time this season.

"Progressing as normal," Lakers coach Darvin Ham said Friday when asked about James’ rehabilitation process. "Just doing the work that needs to be done to get his foot all the way together."

While still unlikely that James suits up Sunday, there seems to be a chance that he could play Wednesday when the Lakers visit the Bulls in the opener of a five-game road trip.

The 38-year-old James, who has missed 27 games this season, is averaging 29.5 points per game and would rank among the league-leaders if he had enough games to qualify.

His return comes at a crucial point for the Lakers, who are currently tied for the seventh-best record in the Western Conference at 37-37 after their current three-game win streak. They still have the time to climb out of the play-in tournament spots, while they are also only one game ahead of the 11th-ranked Dallas Mavericks.

LeBron James denied reports he has set a target date to return from injury but insists he is "working around the clock" to get back.

James has been absent since suffering a tendon injury in his foot during a February 26 victory over the Dallas Mavericks, with the franchise initially saying he would be re-evaluated in three weeks' time.

Lakers coach Darvin Ham recently suggested he expected his star player to return before the playoffs.

Reports on Thursday then claimed the 38-year-old had been evaluated and was looking to be back for the final week of the NBA regular season.

However, James denied those stories on social media, writing: "There wasn't an evaluation today and there hasn't been any target date for my return.

"I'm just working around the clock, every day (three times a day) to give myself to best chance of coming back full strength, whenever that is. God bless y'all sources. I speak for myself!"

James has an average of 29.5 points per game this season from 47 games, as well as 6.9 assists and 8.4 rebounds.

It would be a welcome development for the Lakers, who remain in a tight race to make the playoffs after their 122-111 win over the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday, with a record of 36-37 and sitting 10th in the Western Conference.

They have nine games remaining of the regular season, with their final outing a home clash with the Utah Jazz on April 9.

Austin Reaves was lost for words after praise from four-time MVP team-mate LeBron James following his career-best 35 points led the Los Angeles Lakers to a crucial win on Sunday.

Reaves top scored for the Lakers, including scoring their last 10 points, in the 111-105 win over the Orlando Magic, which moved them into a tie for ninth in the Western Conference with a 35-37 record.

The shooting guard made his telling contribution in 30 minutes off the bench. Reaves became the seventh player in franchise history to score 35 points or more off the bench.

The Lakers bench contributed 61 of their 111 points, but Reaves earned special praise from James.

James, who missed his 11th straight game due to a right-foot injury, wrote on social media "You toooooo TOUGH!!" about Reaves after his game-winning display.

"You're talking about arguably one of the greatest players ever," Reaves told reporters. "I mean I don't know what to say.

"For him to accept me the way he accepted me from day one, obviously I felt there was a really good chemistry, IQ-wise, from day one. But not just him, everybody else."

Anthony Davis, who contributed 15 points with 11 rebounds and four blocks, heaped further praise on Reaves.

"He carried us tonight with his play," Davis said. "We know what we have in Austin. He's very confident and he played that way tonight."

The Lakers' Crypto.com Arena crowd went so far as to chant M-V-P towards Reaves for his performance, which he revelled in.

"For them to recognise what I do – obviously not an MVP-calibre player, those guys are really good – but for them to do that for me is special, it means a lot to me," Reaves said.

"Every time I take the court, play with a sense of urgency and leave it all out on the floor, because that's how I feel basketball should be played."

Reaves is averaging 11.6 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game this season, but has managed double-digit scores in the Lakers' past eight games, averaging 15.9 points during March.

LeBron James' regular season is not over, according to Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham.

James has been absent since suffering a tendon injury in his foot during a February 26 victory over the Dallas Mavericks, with the franchise initially saying he will be re-evaluated in three weeks.

Three weeks have now passed, and while there was no concrete update in his timetable, Ham made it clear there is no thought of shutting down the rest of James' regular season.

The reality is that the Lakers do not have the luxury of holding James out for the playoffs, as they currently sit barely inside the Western Conference play-in tournament placings.

When asked for an update ahead of the Lakers' crucial win over the Orlando Magic on Sunday, Ham said: "We anticipate him coming back at some point [this season]."

Ham also pointed to how James' time away may have benefited his team, by being forced to field other players in expanded roles.

"I think Bron, him being out has revealed that we have a lot of different weapons that are very capable players on both sides of the ball that can help us achieve the goal that we're trying to achieve," he said. "And when he comes back, he's just going to add to it."

If James is not able to get back on the floor this season it will not be due to a lack of effort, according to Lakers point guard Dennis Schroder, highlighting the work the four-time Finals MVP is putting in to return to full strength.

"He works three times a day on his body to get back," he said. "I think we got a real chance here [once James returns]."

Anthony Davis labelled his own performance "terrible" as he blamed himself for the Los Angeles Lakers' 112-108 loss to the New York Knicks on Sunday.

The Lakers missed the chance to get back .500, with the narrow defeat leaving them 33-35 in the battle for playoffs spot in the West.

In LeBron James' absence, Davis was critical of his own ability to lead the side, managing 17 points and 16 rebounds but shooting one-of-five from the free-throw line.

Davis also had four assists, two steals and a block, but his eight-of-18 field shooting left a lot to be desired, with the power forward stating "my play" was the reason for the loss.

"I played terrible," Davis told reporters. "Couldn't find my shot: free throws, layups, everything. The guys did their job. I didn't do my job."

Davis had little impact down the stretch with the game up for grabs, shooting one-of-four from the field.

"I just missed a lot of shots," he said. "I don't think they did anything special. A lot of times one-on-one, they doubled a couple of times."

The Lakers' three-game winning streak may have been halted, but there was some good news with James, who was out of a walking boot and rejoined the team.

The four-time MVP has not played since February 26 and will be re-evaluated next week, potentially offering the Lakers a major boost in their push for the playoffs if they can stay in contention in the meantime.

"It's also good for him to unplug a little bit," Lakers head coach Darvin Ham said about James' break. "Not be detached necessarily, but just mentally get a little bit of a calming to everything that's transpired over the year.

"It's not just about him getting healthy, it's about him being in a good place mentally and spiritually, so we get the best version of him when he returns."

The Lakers (33-35) are 11th in the Western Conference, which is tightly contested from the fourth-placed Phoenix Suns (37-30) down to the 12th-placed New Orleans Pelicans (33-35).

LeBron James' foot injury will be reassessed in three weeks, the Los Angeles Lakers have confirmed.

The 38-year-old sustained the injury in the third quarter of Sunday's victory over the Dallas Mavericks and subsequently missed the defeat to the Memphis Grizzlies and the victory against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Reports on Thursday stated that James would not require surgery and, although not confirmed by the team, the Lakers have said it is a right foot tendon injury.

A team statement said: "LeBron James has been evaluated by Lakers team physicians and medical staff, and it has been determined that he has sustained a right foot tendon injury.

"James will be reevaluated in approximately three weeks."

There is just over a month remaining of the regular season, with the Lakers facing a battle to secure a spot in the playoffs, sitting 11th in the Western Conference on a record of 30-33.

Anthony Davis will join LeBron James on the sidelines and miss the Los Angeles Lakers' game with the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday due to a foot injury.

The Lakers said Davis had a right foot stress injury, which is an issue that has caused him to miss 20 games earlier this season.

Darvin Ham's 29-33 side are already without James (ankle) and D'Angelo Russell (foot) as they look to launch a charge to qualify for the playoffs. Entering Wednesday's slate of games, the Lakers are 12th in the Western Conference.

Wednesday's game was the second of a back-to-back for LA, having lost 121-109 to the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday.

Joel Embiid will also not play on Wednesday due to a sore foot, missing the Philadelphia 76ers' clash with the Miami Heat.

The 76ers said it was left foot soreness, forcing him to miss a game for the 13th time this season.

The NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks extended their winning streak to 15 games after defeating the Brooklyn Nets 118-104 away from home on Tuesday.

Milwaukee are now one win away from tying the third-longest streak in franchise history, while their best-ever run of 20 games, led by the great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the 1970-71 season, is now also within reach.

They had to come from behind against the Nets, trailing 35-22 early in the second quarter, but they pulled things level halfway through the third and then hit the front for the entire fourth period.

The Bucks were led by MVP hopeful Giannis Antetokounmpo with a game-high 33 points on 15-of-27 shooting, adding 15 rebounds and four assists on his return, while Defensive Player of the Year candidate Brook Lopez chipped in 13 points (six-of-13 shooting), 10 rebounds and two blocks.

Three-time All-Star wing Khris Middleton continued his road to recovery with 18 points (seven-of-13), six assists and two steals in 23 minutes off the bench, but he is still yet to exceed 25 minutes in a game since the new year began.

For the Nets, Mikal Bridges was terrific with 31 points (11-of-19), five assists and two steals, and Spencer Dinwiddie put together a strong stat-line of 26 points (nine-of-17), eight assists and six rebounds.

With the win, the Bucks improved to 44-17, remaining ahead of the Boston Celtics (44-18) for the best record in the league.

Brooklyn have lost seven of their past nine, but still sit sixth in the Eastern Conference at 34-27.

Lakers drop first game of LeBron's absence

Desperate for a strong finish to sneak into the playoffs, the Los Angeles Lakers suffered a 121-109 defeat against the Memphis Grizzlies in the first game since LeBron James' injury.

James is expected to miss at least two weeks, and Anthony Davis stepped up to try and fill the void, contributing a team-high 28 points (nine-of-19), a game-high 19 rebounds and a game-high five blocks.

But it was not enough to prevent Ja Morant from getting the result for Memphis, with the reigning Most Improved Player putting together a massive 39-point triple-double, shooting 15-of-29 from the field with 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

Memphis (37-23) are almost a lock for a top-four seed in the west, but the Lakers (29-33) sit 12th, one game out of the play-in tournament places and 2.5 wins out of the six seed.

Warriors pull above .500

It threatened to be the latest Damian Lillard masterclass early before the Golden State Warriors strangled the life out of the Portland Trail Blazers in the second half of a 123-105 home victory.

Lillard – who is leading the NBA in scoring over the past 15 games with a gaudy 39.5 per contest – had 15 in the first quarter to help the Blazers build a 41-27 lead at the first break.

Golden State steadied the ship, and then produced a 75-40 second half, holding Lillard to just 10 points in the next three quarters and nine-of-21 shooting overall.

Jordan Poole led the way offensively for the Warriors, scoring 29 points (10-of-24 shooting) with six rebounds and five assists, while Donte DiVincenzo put together another strong performance in the starting line-up with 21 points (eight-of-11).

The win, combined with the Dallas Mavericks' loss, meant the Warriors (31-30) ended the day sitting sixth in the West.

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