Kawhi Leonard will not take any risks with his fitness after posting his best game of the season in the Los Angeles Clippers' 113-93 win over the Boston Celtics on Monday.

The five-time All-Star, who spent last season recovering from an ACL tear, has slowly worked his way back into contention this campaign, with nine games now under his belt.

In his latest outing, the small forward put up 25 points, second only to team-mate Paul George, while adding nine rebounds and six assists, as the Clippers kept the Celtics in double-digits.

Leonard shut down suggestions he had struggled in his previous games this campaign, but acknowledged he needs to ensure he does not push himself too fast, too soon.

"I've felt good all season," Leonard stated afterwards. "It's just a matter of game reps. I've just got to stay healthy.

"[It is] only my ninth game. You can't rush it. [I have] just got to keep moving."

George, who led for the Clippers with 26 points, was effusive in his praise for Leonard, suggesting glimmers of the star's championship-winning form are returning to the surface.

"That's the same Kawhi," he added. "He’s just playing more, getting more reps.

"We're still trying to figure out how we're going to play on the court with one another. It's just good if both of us are playing aggressive."

The Clippers will now mount a four-game home stand ahead of Christmas, capped off with a trip to the Philadelphia 76ers as they look to strengthen their hand in the Eastern Conference.

Bam Adebayo said the Miami Heat were determined to "dig ourselves out of a hole" after his starring role lit up a 115-110 win against the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Heat center put in a dominant 31-point performance in Thursday's success that followed two defeats in a row for Miami, who are 12-14 for the season and 10th in the Eastern Conference.

As they look to put together a run of healthy results, Adebayo said it would need to be a collective effort by the team to achieve their goals.

He told Bally Sports in an on-court interview: "We're trying to dig ourselves out of a hole. The biggest thing is we stand connected, stand together, and we keep waking up trying. We wake up and try to find solutions every day."

Adebayo weighed in with 10 rebounds and four assists, shooting 14-of-21 from the field, while the Heat got the job done from 87-84 behind going into the fourth quarter.

After failing to reach the 30-point mark in each of his first 13 games this season, Adebayo has now reached that figure in four of his past 11 outings, raising his season average to a career-high 21.2 points per game.

The 25-year-old said: "My team-mates want me to be assertive. They want me to look for my shots. They're finding me in the pocket. The biggest thing I can do is keep shooting."

Asked about the key to seeing out victory over the Clippers, who sit ninth in the Western Conference, gave credit to Jimmy Butler, who made 10 of his 12 field attempts on his way to 26 points, eight assists, five rebounds and four steals.

"We gave Jimmy the ball," said Adebayo. "He's our closer, so we let him do his thing down the stretch."

Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo did not attempt a single shot from outside the key on his way to a dominant 31-point performance in Thursday's 115-110 win against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Adebayo also added 10 rebounds (four offensive) and four assists, shooting 14-of-21 from the field in a tremendously efficient outing as the Clippers' interior defense had no answers.

After failing to reach the 30-point mark in each of his first 13 games this season, Adebayo has now eclipsed the figure in four of his past 11 fixtures, raising his season average to a career-high 20.7 points per game.

He was supported in style by Jimmy Butler, who hit 10 of his 12 field goal attempts for a terrific game in his own right, posting 26 points, eight assists, five rebounds and four steals.

Paul George led the way for the Clippers, and was the only reason they were able to keep things close on the road while Kawhi Leonard was out for a scheduled rest day, scoring a team-high 29 points (10-of-20 shooting) with eight rebounds and seven assists.

The victory for the Heat snaps a two-game losing streak and pulls their record back to 12-14, leaving them 10th in the Eastern Conference, while the Clippers are ninth in the West at 14-13.

Johnson and the Spurs win all-Texas showdown

The San Antonio Spurs received standout performances from Keldon Johnson and Tre Jones to defeat in-state rivals the Houston Rockets 118-109.

Johnson finished one point off his season-high with 32 on 14-of-21 shooting, hitting half of his six three-point attempts, while Jones' 26 points on 10-of-16 shooting was a new career-high.

Despite the loss, it was a strong outing from this year's third overall pick in the NBA Draft, with Jabari Smith Jr scoring a career-high 23 points on nine-of-13 shooting. The six-foot-11, smooth-moving wing showed off his special shooting stroke, hitting four-of-seven from deep.

'Dame Time' not enough against the Nuggets

Damian Lillard scored 15 of his game-high 40 points in the final six minutes, but Jamal Murray had the last laugh as the Denver Nuggets outlasted the Portland Trail Blazers 121-120.

Lillard, in his second game back from injury, looked back to his best late in the fourth quarter, hitting a contested step-back three with nine seconds on the clock to go up by two. He ended up shooting 12-of-22 for his 40 points and 12 assists, hitting at least nine three-pointers for the 10th time in his career.

But Murray would hit his own step-back game-winner with less than a second remaining, putting a bow on his 21-point, eight-assist showing, while reigning back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic was a force with 33 points (14-of-25), 10 rebounds and nine assists.

The Eastern Conference-leading Boston Celtics had a statement win over the Western Conference-leading Phoenix Suns with a 125-98 blowout victory on Wednesday.

The Celtics led by as much as 45 points and benched MVP candidate Jayson Tatum in the fourth quarter, in a game where the Suns welcomed back All-Star Chris Paul from a heel injury.

Tatum finished with 25 points with five rebounds, two assists and two steals. The 24-year-old is the first player in Celtics history to average 30 points per game in his first 25 games of any season.

Jaylen Brown also scored 25 points with seven rebounds, while Malcolm Brogdon added 16 points off the bench.

Boston led 69-42 at half-time in the blowout win, which was the Celtics' second-biggest margin this season.

Devin Booker struggled with four fouls and three field-goals made in the first half, finishing with 17 points, five rebounds and three assists. Paul had four points and four assists in 24 minutes on his return.

The result means the Celtics improved to an NBA-best 21-5 record after three straight wins, while the Suns fall to 16-9.

Giannis powers Bucks to another win

Giannis Antetokounmpo matched Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the second-longest streak of consecutive 30-point games (eight) in franchise history as the Milwaukee Bucks downed the Sacramento Kings 126-113.

The Greek forward finished with 35 points on 12-of-19 field-goal shooting, with six rebounds and six assists as the Bucks improved to 18-6 with their third straight win. The victory extended the Bucks' win streak against the Kings to 13.

Bucks guard Jrue Holiday made an excellent contribution with 31 points, five rebounds and six assists, while Kings forward Domantas Sabonis added 23 points with 12 rebounds.

Banchero clutch in Magic OT win

Top overall NBA Draft pick Pablo Banchero showcased his potential to help the Orlando Magic snap their nine-game losing streak with a 116-111 overtime win over the Los Angeles Clippers.

The 20-year-old power forward scored 23 points for the game, including making all six of his free-throws in the final seven seconds of overtime to overturn a 111-110 deficit. The Clippers gave up two turnovers down the stretch.

Paul George and Kawhi Leonard made another rare appearance together again, combining for 17 first-quarter points. George finished with 11 for the game with seven rebounds and five assists, while Leonard added 14 points with seven rebounds and three assists.

The Eastern Conference-leading Boston Celtics had a statement win over the Western Conference-leading Phoenix Suns with a 125-98 blowout victory on Wednesday.

The Celtics led by as much as 45 points and benched MVP candidate Jayson Tatum in the fourth quarter, in a game where the Suns welcomed back All-Star Chris Paul from a heel injury.

Tatum finished with 25 points with five rebounds, two assists and two steals. The 24-year-old is the first player in Celtics history to average 30 points per game in his first 25 games of any season.

Jaylen Brown also scored 25 points with seven rebounds, while Malcolm Brogdon added 16 points off the bench.

Boston led 69-42 at half-time in the blowout win, which was the Celtics' second-biggest margin this season.

Devin Booker struggled with four fouls and three field-goals made in the first half, finishing with 17 points, five rebounds and three assists. Paul had four points and four assists in 24 minutes on his return.

The result means the Celtics improved to an NBA-best 21-5 record after three straight wins, while the Suns fall to 16-9.

Giannis powers Bucks to another win

Giannis Antetokounmpo matched Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the second-longest streak of consecutive 30-point games (eight) in franchise history as the Milwaukee Bucks downed the Sacramento Kings 126-113.

The Greek forward finished with 35 points on 12-of-19 field-goal shooting, with six rebounds and six assists as the Bucks improved to 18-6 with their third straight win. The victory extended the Bucks' win streak against the Kings to 13.

Bucks guard Jrue Holiday made an excellent contribution with 31 points, five rebounds and six assists, while Kings forward Domantas Sabonis added 23 points with 12 rebounds.

Banchero clutch in Magic OT win

Top overall NBA Draft pick Pablo Banchero showcased his potential to help the Orlando Magic snap their nine-game losing streak with a 116-111 overtime win over the Los Angeles Clippers.

The 20-year-old power forward scored 23 points for the game, including making all six of his free-throws in the final seven seconds of overtime to overturn a 111-110 deficit. The Clippers gave up two turnovers down the stretch.

Paul George and Kawhi Leonard made another rare appearance together again, combining for 17 first-quarter points. George finished with 11 for the game with seven rebounds and five assists, while Leonard added 14 points with seven rebounds and three assists.

Kawhi Leonard was delighted to be the hero of a grandstand finish as he marked his return from injury with the winning shot in the Los Angeles Clippers' 119-117 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Monday.

Having sat out the last six games with a sprained right ankle, the two-time NBA champion returned to the court alongside fellow All-Star Paul George, with both playing a crucial part at the Spectrum Center.

It was George who led the way with a team-high 19 points, but Leonard seized the last-gasp heroics after sinking an 18-foot jumper with 1.4 seconds on the clock to claim the win.

The small forward, who missed the entirety of last season with a torn ACL, delighted in his moment of triumph on the floor afterwards, stressing his passion for the sport has not diminished during his time on the sidelines.

"It felt good to be back," he stated. "I love this game of basketball. I don't think anybody loves playing more than me.

"Maybe [people love] watching [more]. But I love this game, and it gives me joy when I am able to play.

"That ending is great, [in] that I was able to make that shot. We're [leading by] nine, eight points pretty much the whole game. I would rather close it out than have to [grind it] out like that."

George was full of praise for his team-mate too, focusing on his return rather than his own after he set up Leonard for the game-winning shot.

"Any time you see Kawhi going to the spot, that's where he is comfortable," he added. "That's where we are comfortable. I wanted to get it to him right there, and he took it home with his shot."

With both players having seldom lined up together this year, head coach Ty Lue is hopeful their return can help drive the Clippers higher this season, with the team sixth in the Western Conference.

"Those guys on the floor, it's going to cause teams to double-team," he stated. "[It will make] teams do some things they're not used to doing, and we're going to get open shots. [We] just continue building off this."

Norman Powell's late rally came as no surprise to Los Angeles Clippers head coach Ty Lue, after he helped seal a 118-112 wn over the Portland Trail Blazers.

The shooting guard was traded from the Oregon outfit down the West Coast in February, just months after signing a mammoth new five-year deal to stay with them.

Facing off against his former side, Powell posted a 32-point performance off the bench, with 22 coming in the final quarter alone, to take the team to 13-9 for the season.

Lue acknowledged the 29-year-old was likely to be fired up by the chance to impress against the Trail Blazers, and was more than happy to reap the rewards.

"When you get traded from somewhere, you want to play well against them," Lue stated after Powell connected on four of his five three-point attempts.

"I thought he was a little too excited in the first half - we are always going to stay with our guys and he had 24 points in the second half, really attacking the basket.

"He was getting to the paint and getting to the free-throw line.

"He's been playing great for about the last three to four weeks."

Powell, a former NBA champion during his time with the Toronto Raptors, is looking to help the Clippers bounce back after the team missed the playoffs by coming up short in the play-in tournament last term. 

The Clippers are fifth in the Western Conference, two places above Portland, who dropped to 11-10.

The NBA's leading scorer Luka Doncic increased his average with a stunning 42-point triple-double to defeat the Golden State Warriors 116-113 at home on Tuesday.

Averaging 33.1 points per game this season, Doncic eclipsed 40 points for the fifth time in 19 outings, hitting 14-of-27 from the field while adding 12 rebounds, 12 assists and four steals.

He finished with a plus/minus of plus 22 in 39 minutes, meaning his team was outscored by 19 in the nine minutes he was on the bench.

Doncic received strong support from Tim Hardaway Jr, hitting five-of-11 from long range for his 22 points, while their 2020 first-round draft pick Josh Green showed signs of life with three three-pointers and impressive defense off the bench.

For the Warriors, Stephen Curry continued his MVP-calibre season with another 32 points (11-of-24 shooting), five rebounds and five assists, while last year's seventh overall draft pick Jonathan Kuminga had 14 points (six-of-eight), 10 rebounds and two blocks.

The Mavericks came into the contest on a four-game losing streak, but pulled their record even at 10-10, while the Warriors are in the same boat at 11-11.

Powell shines in revenge game

Norman Powell enjoyed his most productive game of the season to deliver the Los Angeles Clippers a 118-112 comeback win on the road against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Playing on the road against his former club, Powell scored a team-high 32 points off the bench in just 26 minutes, going 10-of-16 from the field, four-of-five from deep and eight-of-10 from the free throw line.

He had 22 of his points in the fourth quarter to overcome a 95-82 deficit at three-quarter time, with the Clippers winning the final period 36-17.

Anfernee Simons was at his sharpshooting best for the Blazers, finishing 13-of-24 from the field and nine-of-16 from three-point range for his 37 points, marking the fourth time in the 23-year-old's career that he has hit nine threes in a game.

Randle has a birthday to remember

Julius Randle turned 28 on Tuesday, and he celebrated with a season-high 36 points in a one-sided 140-110 New York Knicks blowout of the Detroit Pistons.

Randle shot 14-of-24 from the field and six-of-13 from deep, raising his true shooting percentage – which accounts for and weights three-pointers and free throws – to 58.4 per cent.

That figure is more efficient than his 2020-21 season (56.7 per cent true shooting), where he became an All-Star and second-team All-NBA selection, after struggling mightily this past campaign (50.9 per cent).

The Knicks are now one game below .500 at 10-11, and boast the league's 10th-best offense.

Ivica Zubac was a man possessed in the Los Angeles Clippers' 114-100 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Sunday, recording a stat-line only ever emulated by the great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

With star Clippers duo Kawhi Leonard (ankle) and Paul George (hamstring) both absent, Zubac carried his team on both ends, scoring a season-high 31 points on 14-of-17 shooting, while grabbing a career-high 29 rebounds and blocking three shots.

Abdul-Jabbar is the only other player to offically tally those numbers, although it is widely believed both Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain should also be on that list, having played before the NBA began recording blocks and steals in the 1973-74 season.

Zubac became the first Clipper ever with 25 points and 25 rebounds, and since the 1983-84 season, there have only been 24 instances of a player grabbing at least 29 rebounds in a game, joining Andre Drummond, Nikola Vucevic and Kevin Love as the only active players to accomplish the feat.

He grabbed 12 offensive rebounds with his 17 defensive rebounds, raising his average to 10.8 for the season – the ninth-best figure in the league. He is also top-10 in blocked shots, averaging a career-high 1.8 per game.

For the Pacers, Tyrese Haliburton had 19 points and 11 assists to continue maintaining his career-high and league-leading average of 11.1 assists. He is two assists per game clear of second-placed Trae Young (9.1).

The win improves the Clippers' record to 12-9, leaving them fifth in the Western Conference standings.

Nets machine begins to click into gear

The Brooklyn Nets showed the signs of a potential contender as they pulled away in the fourth quarter to defeat the Portland Trail Blazers 111-97.

With offensive focal points Kevin Durant (31 points) and Kyrie Irving (22 points) combining to shoot 20-of-37 from the field (54 per cent), their perimeter-oriented style was thriving. 

Ben Simmons only attempted three shots and finished with two points, but he played exactly the role envisioned for him, posting team-highs in rebounds (12), assists (eight) and steals (three) to keep the ball moving and the offense functioning.

Seth Curry was spectacular off the bench, hitting 11-of-15 shots for a season-high 27 points, showing off his supreme chemistry with former Philadelphia 76ers teammate Simmons.

Golden State's big-three deliver

Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green turned back the clock as they had full control over the Golden State Warriors' 137-114 road win against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Curry continued his MVP-calibre season with 25 points (seven-of-17 shooting), 11 rebounds and eight assists, while his Splash Brother Klay Thompson contributed an efficient 21 points on eight-of-13 shooting, hitting five-of-eight from deep.

They were both set up by Green, who hit six of his seven shots for 19 points, while leading the game with 11 assists and two blocks.

The Warriors have now won five of their past six games to claw above .500 at 11-10.

The Los Angeles Clippers will be without franchise centerpieces Kawhi Leonard and Paul George for at least one more game after the duo were ruled out of Sunday's home fixture against the Indiana Pacers.

Leonard initially returned in October for his first action since tearing his ACL in the 2021 playoffs. It was short-lived, with his knee swelling up after two games, forcing him to miss another three weeks.

His latest stint saw him start three consecutive wins over the space of five days, but late in the fourth quarter of the third, against the Utah Jazz on Monday, he landed on an opponent's foot and rolled his ankle.

Meanwhile, George has missed three games since straining his hamstring against the San Antonio Spurs last Saturday – a game where he had 21 points in the first half before suffering the injury.

Making $42million each this season, the duo are the only players on the Clippers' roster making over $17m, and are relied on to lead their team on both ends of the floor.

Los Angeles have lost both of their past two games by double-digits, and will get no reprieve when the Pacers come to town. The visitors boast the fourth-best record (11-7) in the Eastern Conference after a surprising start to what was meant to be a rebuilding season, led by the league-leader in assists, Tyrese Haliburton.

Kawhi Leonard does not have a timetable for his return to action after a right ankle sprain, says Los Angeles Clippers head coach Ty Lue.

The two-time NBA champion sat out Wednesday's 124-107 defeat to the Golden State Warriors after suffering an injury during Monday's showdown with the Utah Jazz.

Leonard rolled his ankle late in the fourth quarter while attempting to make a block, though the player subsequently had seemed hopeful there would be no lay-off.

The small forward's absence at Chase Center alongside fellow key man Paul George, however, is a blow for the Clippers, with no time frame set for his return.

"[He] woke up with some soreness in his ankle," Lue stated when asked on a prognosis for Leonard's recovery.

"It was a little more than we thought. But he's okay, [he's] feeling better, getting better. We don't know a timetable."

Despite defeat, the Clippers still sit just inside the top six of the Western Conference, having posted eight wins and four losses in November so far.

They next face the Denver Nuggets and the Indiana Pacers in back-to-back home contests on November 25 and November 27, before they travel to face the Portland Trail Blazers on November 29.

Jayson Tatum shook off injury to get the better of Luka Doncic as the Boston Celtics blew out the Dallas Mavericks in a 125-112 victory, having led by as many as 27 points on Wednesday.

Tatum, who had been listed as questionable with a sprained ankle, scored 37 points with 13 rebounds and five assists, while Jaylen Brown contributed 31 points on 13-of-18 field shooting.

Doncic scored a game-high 42 points with eight rebounds and nine assists but gave up five turnovers, and was blocked by Tatum in the fourth quarter.

Tatum and Doncic went head to head in the final quarter after the Mavs closed to 117-107. The Celtics forward first dunked, then made two free-throws after being fouled by the Slovenian, before blocking Doncic's driving lay-up.

Brown drained a three-point attempt after Marcus Smart's assist and suddenly it was 124-107 and game over.

Smart had 13 points with nine assists, while center Al Horford hit four-of-four from three-point range in his 14 points.

The Celtics moved to an NBA-best 14-4 record with the victory, while the Mavs suffered their fifth loss in six road games to fall to 9-8.

Wiggins stars as Warriors get back to winning ways

All-Star Andrew Wiggins enjoyed a season-high game with 31 points including six three-pointers as the Golden State Warriors won 124-107 over the Los Angeles Clippers.

Stephen Curry scored 22 points, making four-of-10 from beyond the arc, with six rebounds and nine assists as the Warriors improved to 9-10.

The result ended the three-game winning run of the Clippers, who were without All-Stars Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. Marcus Morris Sr top scored for the Clippers with 19 points.

Bulls topple Bucks to claim another big scalp

The Chicago Bulls claimed another big scalp only a few days after ending the Celtics' nine-game winning run, with a 118-113 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.

DeMar DeRozan starred for the Bulls with 36 points and eight assists, while Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo had 36 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists.

Chicago trailed 109-106 with 1:15 remaining before Coby White sunk two three-pointers to sink the Bucks, who gave up 19 turnovers for the game.

Kawhi Leonard's return to the Los Angeles Clippers lasted three games before another injury, with a rolled ankle ruling him out of Wednesday's fixture against the Golden State Warriors.

Leonard missed all of last season after tearing his ACL in the 2021 playoffs, and after returning for two games in October, he proceeded to miss another three weeks with his troublesome knee.

The 31-year-old two-time NBA Finals MVP and two-time Defensive Player of the Year has started each of the Clippers' past three games, averaging 8.3 points in 23.3 minutes as he works his way back into form.

In Monday's win against the Utah Jazz, where the Clippers were already missing Paul George due to a strained hamstring, Leonard landed awkwardly after attempting to block a shot in the fourth quarter, and was subsequently ruled out of the rest of the contest.

After that game, he said: "I just rolled my ankle… but I should be fine".

The Clippers sorely miss Leonard at his offensive best, as they currently boast the second-best defense in the league, but the third-worst offense.

His next opportunity to get back on the floor will be Friday at home against the Denver Nuggets, or if that is too soon, Sunday at home against the Indiana Pacers.

Los Angeles Clippers franchise player Paul George has been diagnosed with a hamstring strain, ruling him out of at least Monday's clash with the Utah Jazz, and likely more.

George led the Clippers in scoring last season, and continues to lead this season as Kawhi Leonard makes his way back from a long-term injury.

Against the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday, George was ruled out of the game at half-time after putting up 21 points in 15 minutes, with the Clippers calling it knee soreness as his team cruised to a 119-97 blowout win.

George was listed as questionable until hours before Monday's fixture against the Clippers, when the team released a new injury report with the news of his hamstring strain.

After Saturday's win, Clippers head coach Ty Lue told reporters he did not think it was a significant injury.

"He's doing okay," he said. "I haven't seen what they [medical staff] said about what happened to him, but I just know he had a little tweak."

George was also recorded telling team owner Steve Ballmer that he has "a little soreness, but it's okay".

The typical recovery time for a hamstring strain is at least two weeks, although his status as questionable just two days after suffering the injury bodes well for his projected time on the sidelines.

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.

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