Ja Morant was almost unstoppable in the Memphis Grizzlies' 118-108 victory against the visiting Sacramento Kings on Sunday.

Morant was the game's top-scorer with 35 points on 13-of-23 shooting, adding eight rebounds and five assists in an encouraging performance during what has been a relatively inefficient period for the Grizzlies star.

After posting a career-high field goal percentage of 49.3 this past season – earning a Most Improved Player trophy in the process – Morant's percentage has plummeted to 45.5 this campaign, while his true shooting percentage is also a mediocre 54.9 per cent.

Despite his dip in efficiency, Morant's 27.0 points per game has him 13th in the league, and he joins Luka Doncic, Trae Young and Nikola Jokic as the only players averaging at least 25 points and eight assists.

Morant was supported well by center Steven Adams, who tied his career-high with 23 rebounds. He has reached 23 rebounds once before – back in 2018 when he played for the Oklahoma City Thunder, also against the Kings.

Grizzlies big Jaren Jackson Jr blocked three shots, and his 3.2 blocks per game is the best figure in the league, although he does not currently qualify for the official league leaderboards due to only playing in 19 of his side's 36 games.

The win is the Grizzlies' third in a row, improving their record to 23-13 – only a half-game behind the Denver Nuggets in the race for the top seed in the Western Conference.

Nuggets retain top spot

The Nuggets had to defeat the Boston Celtics to hold onto the top spot in the West, and they did just that, defending home court with a 123-111 triumph.

It was another showcase for reigning back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic, leading his team in scoring (30), rebounds (12) and assists (12) for his ninth triple-double in 32 games this season.

Jokic has somehow managed to reach new heights in his quest to become the first MVP three-peat since Larry Bird (1984-86), posting career-highs in assists per game (9.5) and true shooting percentage (68.6).

Kuzma collects triple-double in Wizards win

Kyle Kuzma and Rui Hachimura led the way in the Washington Wizards' 118-95 win against an undermanned Milwaukee Bucks team.

The Bucks were missing Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday, and did not have the firepower to keep up with a Wizards side that shot 53.2 per cent from the field.

Former top-10 draft pick Hachimura scored a game-high 26 points on 11-of-18 shooting off the bench, while Kuzma had his first triple-double of the season with 10 points, 13 rebounds and a career-high 11 assists.

After losing 10 games in a row earlier in the season, the Wizards are now on a five-game winning streak to improve their record to 17-21.

Luka Doncic scored more than 50 points for the third time in his past five games to carry the Dallas Mavericks to a 126-125 victory against the San Antonio Spurs on New Year's Eve.

It was the sixth consecutive win for the Mavericks, which has coincided with a scintillating stretch of play from their Slovenian superstar.

Doncic scored 51 points against the Spurs on 18-of-29 shooting, adding nine assists, six rebounds and four steals. It came just four days after Doncic became the first player in NBA history to post a 60-point, 20-rebound, 10-assist game in a dramatic comeback against the New York Knicks.

The 23-year-old, who has a Rookie of the Year and three All-NBA First Team selections from his first four seasons, is mounting a charge for his first MVP, and has put together arguably the best five-game stretch of his career.

In his past five games, Doncic is averaging 45.6 points, 11.2 rebounds and 10.2 assists, and in the process he has overtaken Joel Embiid in the race for the scoring title, now at 34.2 points per game for the season.

Christian Wood was strong in a supporting role against the Spurs, scoring 25 points on 10-of-15 shooting. In his eight appearances since finally being injected into the starting line-up, Wood is averaging 19.0 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.5 blocks while shooting 50.5 per cent from the field and 38.2 per cent from deep.

The Mavericks are now 21-16 and have jumped up to fourth place in the Western Conference.

Nets make it 11 in a row

The Brooklyn Nets remain the hottest team in the league after rattling off their 11th consecutive win, defeating the Charlotte Hornets 123-106.

Kyrie Irving led the way offensively with 28 points on 11-of-19 shooting, while Kevin Durant was similarly efficient for his 23 points (nine-of-15). Defensively, Nic Claxton was the anchor, blocking six shots while also hitting six of his seven field goal attempts.

After starting the season 1-5, the Nets are now 24-12, and trail only the Boston Celtics (26-10) in the Eastern Conference.

Morant takes bragging rights in 2019 Draft showdown

The New Orleans Pelicans selected Zion Williamson over Ja Morant in the 2019 NBA Draft, and they received a glimpse at what could have been as Morant guided the Memphis Grizzlies to a 116-101 triumph.

Morant scored a game-high 32 points on 13-of-22 shooting, adding eight assists and two steals, while Wiliamson could only muster 20 points on six-of-16 shooting and a career-high nine turnovers.

Having only played in 18 of the Grizzlies' 34 games, Jaren Jackson Jr does not qualify for the official league leaderboards, but his six blocks against the Pelicans raised his average to 3.0, comfortably clear of league-leader Brook Lopez (2.6).

The Boston Celtics shot the lights out during their 139-118 Christmas Day win against the Milwaukee Bucks in a crunch clash between two of the Eastern Conference heavyweights.

Boston scored at least 36 points in three of the four quarters, including a 77-point second half as they proved unstoppable offensively.

They were led by MVP candidate Jayson Tatum with a game-high 41 points on 14-of-22 shooting, adding seven rebounds, five assists and three steals.

His running-mate Jaylen Brown was just as effective in his supporting role, scoring 29 on 11-of-19 shooting with five rebounds and four assists, while reigning Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart set the table with eight assists and only four total field goal attempts.

As a team, the Celtics shot 58.8 per cent from the field (50-of-85) and 48.7 per cent from long range (19-of-39) in a blistering performance.

Two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo was not at his best for the Bucks, shooting nine-of-22 from the field for his 27 points, nine rebounds and three assists, while Jrue Holiday was more effective for his 23 points (eight-of-14), seven assists and six rebounds.

A win for the Bucks would have seen them overtake the Celtics for the top seed in the East, but they instead fell to 22-11 and are now one-and-a-half games behind Boston at 24-10.

Doncic, Mavs catch fire in the third

The Dallas Mavericks were a completely different team after half-time in their 124-115 home win against the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.

Trailing 54-43 at the long break, the Mavericks came out of the locker room and put up 51 points in the third period, setting a new record for the most points scored in a quarter on Christmas Day. They won that quarter by 30 points, racing to the lead before the duo of Luka Doncic and Christian Wood put the game to bed.

Doncic, who was being consistently double-teamed all night and being forced to give off early passes, still worked his way to 32 points (nine-of-16 shooting), nine rebounds and nine assists, while Wood added 30 points (12-of-17), eight rebounds, seven assists, four steals and two blocks.

LeBron James was the lone bright spot for the Lakers, scoring a game-high 38 points (13-of-23) as his side lost their fourth in a row to fall to 13-20.

Warriors remain the league's best home team

There is no place like home for the Golden State Warriors this season, improving their league-best record in their own stadium to 13-2 with a 123-109 victory over the visiting Memphis Grizzlies.

The Warriors are still below .500 overall at 16-18 thanks to their 3-15 road record, but once again shot the ball beautifully in front of the Chase Center crowd.

Behind 32 points from Jordan Poole and 24 from Klay Thompson, Golden State shot 18-of-44 from three-point range (40.9 per cent). It was a throwback game for Draymond Green as well, delivering a gritty double-double with 13 rebounds and 13 assists to go with his two points.

Ja Morant was the only Grizzlies player to shine under the bright lights, scoring a game-high 36 points on 15-of-29 shooting with eight assists and seven rebounds on his Christmas Day debut.

The New York Knicks extended their winning run to eight games to shoot into playoffs contention while they compounded the Golden State Warriors' road woes with a 132-94 rout on Tuesday.

The reigning champions, missing 2022 NBA Finals MVP Stephen Curry for a third straight game with a shoulder injury, slumped to 3-15 on the road this season, sitting 15-17 overall.

Offseason Knicks addition Jalen Brunson scored 21 points with five assists, while Immanuel Quickley top scored off the bench with 22 points. Julius Randle had 15 points with 12 rebounds and five assists.

The Knicks, who never trailed in the blowout win, had six players reach double-digit scores, with the 38-point triumph their largest margin of victory in the last two seasons.

The victory also means the Knicks boast the longest active win streak in the NBA, having conceded an NBA-best 97.8 points per game during the streak.

The Knicks, who had not beaten the Warriors at home for almost a decade, hit 11 triples in the first half, finishing the game with 17-of-40 three-point shooting, led by Quickley with five.

Jordan Poole scored a team-high 26 points for the Curry-less Warriors, who had James Wiseman play 22 minutes, scoring four points with three rebounds.

The Knicks improved to 18-13 overall to sit sixth in the Eastern Conference.

Markkanen shoots Jazz past Pistons

Seven-foot Finnish power forward Lauri Markkanen scored a career-high nine three-pointers in his 38-point haul as the Utah Jazz won 126-111 over the Detroit Pistons.

Jordan Clarkson had 12 points within 1:51 of gametime but it was Markkanen who stole the show, matching his career-high points output.

The game was the Jazz's third in four evenings, with Malik Beasley adding 17 points off the bench while Clarkson finished with 21. Jarred Vanderbilt had 18 points with 13 rebounds.

Nuggets take over in the west

The Denver Nuggets moved into top spot in the Western Conference with a 105-91 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies led by another Nikola Jokic triple-double.

The back-to-back NBA MVP recorded his sixth triple-double of the season, putting on a brilliant passing display, with 13 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists.

The Nuggets (19-11) defense kept the Grizzlies to 44.4 per cent shooting and only 19.2 per cent from beyond the arc, with Ja Morant top scoring for Memphis with 35 points along with 10 assists.

All-Star Ja Morant was left fuming after being ejected for the second time in the last month as the Memphis Grizzlies went down 115-109 to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Morant was thrown out of the game just before half-time after two technical fouls within 11 seconds, firstly for a profanity when complaining about a no-call before allegedly questioning the integrity of the referee.

The Grizzlies guard apparently made derogatory remarks about the officials to Grizzlies fans courtside, leading to his ejection from referee Ray Acosta.

Crew chief John Goble said Morant's first technical was "for use of profanity directed at an official" followed by the second technical "for making a comment questioning the integrity of an official."

Morant, who was also ejected from a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on November 30 and fined $35,000 for criticising officials, was left bemused by the ejection on court before eventually walking off.

"I got my first tech for saying I got hit in my [expletive] face. Didn't curse at him,'' Morant said after the game.

"Another situation where he's in my conversation and I get another tech for talking with a fan. I feel like when these fans came here, went online to buy these tickets, they didn't say Ray [Acosta's] name to come watch."

When asked if he felt he was being singled out by officials, Morant added: "I don't know. Probably so. [They] probably don't like me."

Morant only played 16 minutes of the game, scoring six points on three-of-10 shooting from the field, giving up two turnovers and going none-of-three from beyond the arc.

The Miami Heat needed a career night from Tyler Herro on Thursday to avoid becoming the Houston Rockets' third big-name scalp in a row.

Herro scored a game-high and career-high 41 points on 13-of-20 shooting, hitting 10-of-15 from three-point range in the 111-108 victory.

His All-Star teammate Jimmy Butler was terrific in a supporting role, chipping in 20 points (seven-of-13 shooting), 10 rebounds, seven assists, four steals and three blocks.

For the Rockets, who were coming into the game off consecutive wins against the Milwaukee Bucks and the Phoenix Suns, Jalen Green top-scored yet again with 22 points (eight-of-21), while Kevin Porter Jr was more efficient on his way to 21 points (10-of-17), five assists and four steals.

The Heat are now on a three-game winning streak to pull their record even at 15-15, and they have a golden opportunity to rise above .500 when they finish their four-game road trip on Saturday against the San Antonio Spurs.

Morant dominates the Bucks

The Memphis Grizzlies led by 46 points after three quarters of their blowout win against the Milwaukee Bucks, allowing the starters to ride the bench down the stretch on the way to a 142-101 final score.

Last year's Most Improved Player, Ja Morant, was at the center of the Grizzlies' success with 25 points (nine-of-21), 10 rebounds and 10 assists, while eight Memphis players reached double-figures.

With the win, the Grizzlies improved their record to 19-9 and now sit alone atop the Western Conference.

Jazz fight off the Pelicans in overtime

The Utah Jazz continue to win at home, defeating the New Orleans Pelicans 132-129 to improve their record at Vivint Arena to 11-5 this season.

It is the second game in a row the Jazz have defeated the Pelicans after Tuesday's 121-100 triumph, with Jordan Clarkson proving the hero this time around.

Clarkson scored a season-high 39 points on 15-of-26 shooting, adding eight rebounds and two steals, including the first four points of overtime after Pelicans youngster Trey Murphy III forced the extra period with a three-pointer in the dying seconds of regulation.

The Brooklyn Nets continued their hot run of form on Monday as they defeated the Washington Wizards 112-100 on the road for the eighth win from their past nine outings.

Kevin Durant's under-the-radar MVP campaign took another step in the right direction with a game-high 30 points on 11-of-17 shooting, adding nine rebounds, six assists, a steal and a block.

For the season, he is averaging exactly 30.0 points per game – the sixth-highest figure in the league – while his 55.9 per cent field goal shooting is a new career-high in his 15th campaign, and he is eighth in the league for blocks at 1.7 per game.

Durant was supported well by Kyrie Irving with 24 points (seven-of-17 shooting), six rebounds and five assists, while Ben Simmons contributed 10 points (five-of-nine), eight rebounds and five assists in 23 productive minutes.

After beginning the season with five losses from their first six games, the Nets are now fourth in the Eastern Conference with a record of 17-12, and they can make it nine wins from 10 when they travel to take on the Toronto Raptors on Friday.

Jackson sets new career-high

Jaren Jackson Jr had six blocks in his first nine minutes of action against the Atlanta Hawks, going on to finish with a career-high eight in a 128-103 win.

The former fourth overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft showed exactly the kind of defensive upside that, when coupled with his sweet shooting stroke, makes him one of the sport's most versatile big men.

He added 15 points and seven rebounds to go with his eight blocks, and he is also hitting 1.9 three-pointers per game at a 37.3 per cent clip.

The Grizzlies are now 18-9 and occupy the second seed in the Western Conference.

Luka outduels Shai to move the Mavs above .500

Luka Doncic raised his league-leading points per game figure to 33.1 as he dropped 38 in the Dallas Mavericks' 121-114 home win against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

With his 38 points on 13-of-27 shooting, Doncic has now eclipsed 30 points in 19 of his 25 games this season, while his 8.8 assists per game has him fourth in the league, chipping in another eight with his 11 rebounds against the Thunder.

It was also a terrific display from the Thunder's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who scored a game-high 42 points on 14-of-23 shooting to raise his average to 31.2 per game – now second in the league.

Dallas are now 14-13, and are tied for the eighth seed in the West.

Desmond Bane faces longer than expected on the sidelines after it was revealed the Memphis Grizzlies guard may not play again until January.

Struck down by a toe injury, it had been announced on November 15 that the Grizzlies would be without Bane for up to three weeks, but the wait goes on for his return.

An update from the team on Tuesday disclosed he faces up to a further four weeks out of action, and that is provided the toe reacts as the Grizzles hope it will to a gradual recovery process.

Bane has a big toe sprain and a sesamoid injury, which refers to a bone embedded within a tendon or muscle.

He sustained the toe sprain during a win against the Minnesota Timberwolves on November 11.

In a statement, the Grizzlies said: "Upon re-evaluation, Desmond Bane is progressing in his rehabilitation from a right big toe sprain and sesamoid injury and has been cleared to begin a gradual re-loading protocol.

"If the toe responds positively to the re-loading protocol, a return to play is projected in 3-4 weeks."

Bane is averaging a career-high 24.7 points, 4.8 assists and 4.9 rebounds per game for Memphis in an impressive season to date. The team sit third in the Western Conference with a 16-9 record.

Ja Morant has been fined $35,000 by the NBA for "directing inappropriate language towards a game official" and for not leaving the court soon enough.

The punishment was announced by the league on Saturday in response to the Memphis Grizzlies guard's behaviour in the 109-101 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday.

With just over a minute left of the game, Morant was given a technical and ejected by the referee, which provoked an angry response from the 23-year-old.

He took to Instagram after the game to suggest officials have "too much power," adding: "you get ejected nowadays for telling a mf the same thing they told you."

Morant has been enjoying another productive season in Memphis, averaging 28.2 points, 7.3 assists and 6.4 rebounds per game for the 13-9 Grizzlies, who visit the Detroit Pistons on Sunday.

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.

The Sacramento Kings just keep on winning, defeating the Memphis Grizzlies 113-109 on the road for their seventh straight victory – a feat they have not achieved since 2004.

Their 113 points is the lowest total they have put up during this winning run, having not previously fallen below 120. 

The Kings' scoring power, which includes the highest total in a game this season (153 against the Brooklyn Nets) has them as the second-best offense in the NBA at 117.7 points per 100 possessions, trailing only the Boston Celtics (118.2).

De'Aaron Fox was the catalyst on Tuesday, scoring a team-high 32 points on 11-of-21 shooting, including five-of-eight from deep, while adding eight rebounds, six assists and four steals.

Fox's ability to go head-to-head with Grizzlies superstar Ja Morant bodes well for the Kings, as the 24-year-old former fifth overall pick in the 2017 draft appears on track for his first All-Star appearance.

He is averaging a career-high 25.4 points per game at a career-best 55.8 field goal percentage, and he is also top-20 in assists with an average of 6.4.

At 10-6, the Kings are currently occupying the third seed in the Western Conference, and they will look to extend their streak to eight games when they head to Atlanta to take on the Hawks on Wednesday.

Davis' dominance goes to waste

Anthony Davis had one of the most statistically impressive games of his career in the Los Angeles Lakers' 115-105 loss to the Phoenix Suns.

Davis scored 37 points on 11-of-17 shooting, hitting 15 of his 16 free throws, while grabbing 21 rebounds, snatching five steals and swatting five blocks. He is the first player since the league began recording blocks and steals in 1973 to post at least 37 points, 20 rebounds, five steals and four blocks in a game.

For the Suns, Mikal Bridges and Devin Booker scored 25 each, while center Deandre Ayton had 14 points and 15 rebounds before being shoved to the ground by Patrick Beverley late in the fourth quarter, drawing an ejection for the Lakers guard.

Bogdanovic leads unlikely Pistons win

Despite the return of reigning back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic and second-fiddle Jamal Murray, the Detroit Pistons pulled off an upset 110-108 road win against the Denver Nuggets.

After missing some time due to the league's health and safety protocols, Jokic was back to his dominant best, scoring 31 points on 12-of-16 shooting with 10 assists and nine rebounds, but it was not enough.

Bojan Bogdanovic scored a team-high 22 points on eight-of-17 points for the Pistons, while Alec Burks chipped in 21 points and three steals off the bench, and Killian Hayes set the table with nine assists.

Ben Simmons has little doubt what is in store for him when he returns to the Philadelphia 76ers this week, having finally found form with the Brooklyn Nets.

An ugly stand-off between Simmons and the 76ers eventually came to an end in February when he was traded to the Nets in the deal that took James Harden to Philly.

The messy exit was in the best interests of both parties, but Simmons acknowledged there will be little love lost from a typically boisterous Philadelphia crowd when the teams meet on Tuesday.

"In Philly?" Simmons replied with a sarcastic smile when asked if enough time had elapsed that he might not get an unfriendly reception. "Come on now. I know what's coming."

Despite his expectations of hostility, Simmons talked up the passion of Philadelphia sports fans.

"One thing about Philly fans, they're incredible. They're diehard Philly. I respect that about the city. It's a sports town," Simmons said. 

"I was 18 years old coming into Philly, so it's really the only place I've lived as an adult. I've got a lot of love for that city.

"People don't know that, but a lot of my best friends are from Philadelphia. My brother still lives in Philadelphia. So, regardless of the [basketball] situation, and whatever happened happened, but I've got a lot of love for that city. I look forward to going down there and playing."

For Simmons, the timing of the game could hardly be better given he is starting to find his groove again.

Coming off a season-best performance against the Portland Trail Blazers last time out, Simmons went even better with 22 points, eight rebounds and five assists as the Nets downed the Memphis Grizzlies 127-115 on Sunday.

It means he has 37 points, 21 rebounds and 12 assists over his past two games. It took him until the 10th game this season to even put up a double-figure points return, while the last time he had a 20-point game was with the 76ers in the first round of the 2021 playoffs.

"It takes time," Simmons said about his improvement. 

"I'm just trying to build my consistency. Stay focused on what I can do. I know what I can do. I know what I'm capable of. I'm not surprised [I'm playing well]."

Kyrie Irving never doubted he would return for the Brooklyn Nets after his team-imposed suspension, while he declined to answer questions about the Israel United in Christ group that turned out at Barclays Center in support of him.

Irving made his NBA return after eight games out due to suspension for sharing a social media post about a book and film with antisemitic tropes, scoring 14 points in 26 minutes in a 127-115 win over the Memphis Grizzlies.

The All-Star's return to the NBA came after a lengthy remediation process that split opinions, involving the Nets, the league, the NBPA and Irving, who also met with key community members.

"Never had a doubt," Irving responded after the game when asked if he feared the situation may mean he would never play for the Nets again.

On his return, Irving added: "I felt good. I missed my teammates, missed the coaching staff… It felt good to get this game out of the way. Now we can move forward with the rest of the season."

Prior to the game, approximately 100 members from Israel United in Christ group were outside the venue, chanting and handing out flyers headlined "The Truth About Anti-Semitism" and "The Truth about Slavery".

The group has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center yet appeared to be in support of Irving's social media post that led to his suspension.

"I think that's a conversation for another day. I'm just here to focus on the game," Irving said when asked about the group's presence.

When asked again, he added: "Again I'm just here to focus on the game."

Boston Celtics swingman and NBPA vice-president Jaylen Brown retweeted a social media video of the group, writing "energy".

Brown later backtracked on the post, but did not delete it. He wrote: "I was not aware of what specific group that was outside of Barclay’s Center tonight. I was celebrating the unification of our people welcoming the return of Kyrie to the court, first glance I thought it was a known fraternity the (C/Que’s) Omega psi phi (step’n) showing support."

The Splash Brothers were at the peak of their powers in the Golden State Warriors' 127-120 road win against the Houston Rockets on Sunday.

Fresh off his first NBA Finals MVP, Stephen Curry continued his remarkable season with 33 points (11-of-20 shooting, seven-of-14 from three-point range) and a season-high 15 assists. It was one assist shy of his career high, set back in 2013 and matched in 2014.

But the story was his backcourt partner Klay Thompson, who is shooting a career-worst percentage from both the field (36.3 per cent) and from long-range (33.6 per cent) this season.

He began to right the ship with a stunning 43-point performance, hitting 10 of his 13 three-point attempts on his way to 14-of-23 shooting. It is the sixth game of his career with at least 10 three-pointers in a game, and he also owns the all-time record with 14.

For the Rockets, the third overall selection from this year's NBA Draft, Jabari Smith Jr, showed exactly why he was so highly coveted. The long-armed, six-foot-11 power forward scored a season-high 22 points on eight-of-14 shooting, hitting three long-balls.

The win is the Warriors' first on the road this season from nine attempts, giving them an 8-9 record, while the Rockets fell to 3-14.

Durant makes history in Irving's return

Kevin Durant became the fourth player in NBA history to score at least 25 points in the first 17 games of a season in Sunday's 127-115 victory against the Memphis Grizzlies.

In the return of Kyrie Irving from his team-imposed suspension, Durant led the Nets with 26 points on nine-of-16 shooting, adding seven rebounds, seven assists, a steal and a block. The last player to score at least 25 in their first 17 games of a season was Rick Barry back in the 1966-67 campaign.

The Nets also benefited from Ben Simmons' best game since arriving with the team, scoring a season-high 22 points on 11-of-13 shooting with eight rebounds and five assists, boasting a game-high plus/minus of plus 19.

Irving was quiet in his return, hitting five-of-12 shots for 14 points and zero assists with four turnovers.

Fox leads the Kings to sixth win in a row

The Sacramento Kings have now won six games in a row after a 137-129 shootout against the Detroit Pistons.

Sacramento have scored at least 120 points in each of their wins on this streak, highlighted by a 153-point outing against the Nets, which is the most points scored by any team this season.

De'Aaron Fox top-scored with 33 points on 11-of-18 shooting, adding seven assists. After never previously shooting better than 48 per cent in a season, Fox is 55.4 per cent from the field this campaign, and a career-best 37.5 per cent from three.

Kyrie Irving is available again after an eight-game ban ahead of the Brooklyn Nets hosting the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday.

The 30-year-old NBA star had been serving a suspension imposed by the Nets on November 3 for sharing a social media post on a book and film that featured anti-semitic tropes.

Irving verbally apologised for the post for the first time on Saturday, saying he was "deeply" sorry to the Jewish community.

The Nets initially listed Irving as "questionable" for the Grizzlies clash at Barclays Center, before confirming on Sunday he would be available.

Irving said he has been on a "learning journey" as part of his suspension and reintegration into the Nets team, before reiterating his sorrow to reporters on Sunday, offering: "my deep apologies to all those who are impacted over the last few weeks".

"I don't stand for anything close to hate speech, or anti-semitism, or anything that is anti going against the human race," he said. "I feel like we all should have an opportunity to speak for ourselves when things are assumed about us.

"And I feel it was necessary for me to stand in this place and take accountability for my actions because there was a way I should have handled all of this.

"... I meant no harm to any person, any group of people. And yeah, this is a big moment for me because I'm able to learn throughout this process that the power of my voice is very strong.

"The influence that I have within my community is very strong, and I want to be responsible for that. In order to do that, we have to admit when you were wrong and instances where you hurt people and it impacts them."

Irving has played just eight games this season as a result of the ban, averaging 26.9 points, as well as 5.1 assists and 5.1 rebounds.

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