The NBA is back! A shortened schedule, a new play-in tournament and increased roster sizes have created plenty of interest in a new season.

A December start seems to have caught a few of the potential title hopefuls a little cold, though it is still early days. The key is not about starting fast, but finishing strong.

Still, some have hit the ground running. Each week, Stats Perform will take a look at the players who are impressing, as well as those seemingly stuck in a bit of a slump.

For this opening edition, however, all statistical comparisons are made to performances on average across the entire 2019-20 season.
 

RUNNING HOT... 

Stephen Curry (32.3ppg versus 20.8ppg) 

Scoring 62 points in a game sure helps to boost the average. Curry actually started out a little slowly – hardly a surprise considering injury meant he played just five games in the previous campaign – as he made only 13 of his combined 48 field goal attempts in defeats to the Nets and Bucks. However, Curry was certainly cooking against the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday, hitting eight three-pointers as he posted a new career-high points total. So far in this season, he is making 4.3 three-pointers per outing. 

Christian Wood (23.8ppg versus 13.1ppg) 

These are uncertain times in Houston, where James Harden seemingly no longer wants to be. While his future remains the headline story for the franchise, Christian Wood has quickly shown why he was such an astute signing. Having gone undrafted out of college, the 25-year-old flashed potential with the Detroit Pistons in 2019-20, tempting the Rockets to sign him to a three-year, $41million deal. Their reward? Wood has averaged 23.8 points while playing 36.5 minutes for a team that boasts a 2-2 record through four games. 

Kyle Anderson (16.7ppg versus 5.8ppg) 

Opportunity knocks for Anderson in Memphis due to the absence of Jaren Jackson Jr with a knee issue. The forward's minutes on court have risen as a result – and so, too, has his production. Having never averaged in double digits for points for his previous six seasons in the NBA, Anderson is now up at 16.7 per game for the Grizzlies. Ja Morant was, less surprisingly, on the rise in terms of his scoring output as well, up at 26.3 points per game before suffering an ankle injury. 

Luguentz Dort (14.6ppg versus 6.8ppg) 

Someone has to score points for Oklahoma, right? GM Sam Presti is clearly in it for the long haul in terms of a rebuild, considering the number of moves made in the offseason and draft picks now owned by the team. Still, Dort remains on the roster and has stepped up to accept greater responsibility. The Canadian has raised his successful three-point attempts from an average of 0.8 to 2.4 a game, shooting an impressive 44.4 per cent from deep. Team-mate Isaiah Roby is another to catch the eye for the Thunder, averaging 13 points and 6.5 total rebounds.


GOING COLD...

Devonte' Graham (9.0ppg versus 18.2ppg)

The moment Charlotte selected fellow point guard LaMelo Ball with the third pick in the draft, Graham was under pressure. He retained his starting job in the Hornets' backcourt but the pressure is mounting now, considering the form of both players. While Ball seems to be a quick learner after some preseason concerns, his teammate has struggled. Graham is at just nine points per game - half his average from the previous season. His three-point shooting has dipped to 2.0 made per outing from 3.5. He forced himself off the bench and into the rotation for the Hornets last year, yet could soon find himself moving in the opposite direction.

Jimmy Butler (8.3ppg versus 19.9ppg)

There are reasons behind the five-time NBA All-Star's sluggish start. Butler has featured in just three games so far - and one of those he only played in the first half, with an ankle issue keeping him off the court for the remainder of the clash with the Pelicans. He averaged 19.9 per game for a Heat team that made it all the way to the Finals last term. The early going has seen an 11.6-point decrease in his scoring output, though expect that to rise as the weeks progress.

Kelly Oubre Jr. (9.7ppg versus 18.7ppg)

Oubre was on the merry-go-round headlined by Chris Paul going from Oklahoma to Phoenix. His form last season with the Suns was not enough for the Thunder to keep him around, though, as they dealt him to Golden State. It has not been plain sailing with the Warriors; while not required to contribute quite so much on offense for his new team, the concern is his three-point shooting. Having made 1.9 on average per game last season, Oubre's been successful with two of his 30 attempts so far. The early report card for him reads as such: Must do better.

Kyrie Irving is in it for the long haul with the Brooklyn Nets and will not be getting frustrated despite them slipping to a 3-4 record with a 123-122 loss to the Washington Wizards. 

The Nets dropped their fourth game in their past five, with Irving missing a three-pointer with 5.9 seconds remaining and Kevin Durant unable to make the most of a second chance after Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot grabbed the rebound. 

There were numerous on-court discussions between Brooklyn team-mates throughout the game, with the new-look line-up trying to work through the kinks during their early season struggles. 

Irving had a game-high 30 points and 10 assists but his five turnovers in addition to Durant's six accounted for more than half of the team's entire total (20). 

Head coach Steve Nash highlighted "simple defensive lapses, offensive rebounding, and turnovers" as the primary issues, though his starting point guard is confident they will eventually be ironed out. 

"It's just basketball. I've been doing it for a long time at a high level and the greatest gift is teaching the game to others, to be able to match their level or raise their level to yours to be a great functioning team," said Irving. 

"It's just taking time. It's not going to be put together overnight, nor am I expecting it to, nor am I going to get frustrated over six games or however many games we've played. 

"The object of this regular season is to continue to get better and to prepare for the 16 wins in the playoffs, so we're just gonna enjoy this. 

"We just have to manage realistic expectations of what we want out of this group right now … [when] we put together a few great months of consistent work and consistent progress, consistent craft, consistent communication, then we'll be okay. 

"We're committed to it. I know the guys in the locker room and everyone in the organisation is committed to that. We want to change this whole thing and that's not an overnight process. 

"I didn't just come here for two years or three years or anything like that. I'm excited for the journey ahead and to continue to get better. It is as simple as basketball, but the team effort takes a while to get together."

Asked about what was labelled a "disconnect" between the bench and the players on the floor when Nash was slow to call a timeout during the third quarter, Irving responded: "I don't know what you're talking about. Disconnect? It's basketball. It's pretty simple, just go out there and try to out-score the other team."

Durant missed the entirety of last season with an Achilles injury and acknowledged he needs to "tone it down" to help the team flourish.

"I think we're just trying to be aggressive to make plays and sometimes we look overzealous to make a pass," he said of the turnovers committed by himself and Irving.

"I can live with two or three but six of them is too much for me and I've got to just tone it down if our team wants to be successful."

Stephen Curry called on a Michael Jordan meme to explain his attitude towards the criticism he received prior to scoring a career-high 62 points as the Golden State Warriors beat the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday.

Two-time NBA MVP Curry averaged 26.4 points and 6.6 assists through the first five games of the season, but with the Warriors 2-3 and his shooting percentages down, his ability to lead the team back to the playoffs without a supporting cast of fellow superstars was brought into question.

Of the Golden State team that reached the 2019 NBA Finals, Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins have left, Klay Thompson is expected to miss the entire season with a knee injury and Draymond Green only made his first appearances of 2020-21 in the double-header against the Trail Blazers.

Curry issued an emphatic response, scoring 62 points on 18-of-31 shooting (58.1 per cent) in a 137-122 victory for Golden State, making eight three-pointers in a single game for the 49th time in his career.

The 31-year-old posted career-highs in free throws made (18) and attempted (19) as he became the first Warrior since Thompson in 2016 to drop at least 60 points in a single game.

Speaking after the game, he referenced the mindset Jordan described possessing during the 1997-98 season with the Chicago Bulls on 'The Last Dance'.  

Curry said: "Cue the Jordan meme, right? 'I take all that personally.' I sensed the opportunity to kind of assert my will on the game early and try to create some energy and get off on the right foot.

"As crazy as it sounds after the game, all we really wanted to do was win the first quarter and take it from there. Obviously, that's what we did, and we continued the momentum.

"We have a winning spirit, we've just got to figure out how to do it consistently, and against the good teams in the league, it's gonna test us."

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was surprised to hear that Curry had been coming under fire early in the season, claiming it is tougher for him to dominate games than the likes of LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Anthony Davis.

"I'm honestly not playing dumb. Does he really take criticism? I hope they're saying something good about him tonight," said Kerr.

"If you think about most of the guys who are considered the best in the league, they're physical freaks of nature: LeBron, Giannis, Anthony Davis. Steph is 6-3, 180 pounds, so he has to carry a game with skill, he can't carry a game with physicality and athleticism.

"That would be the only thing I could think of that would make people criticise him. It's much harder to carry a team single-handedly by making 35-footers all day – the same thing with Damian [Lillard] and CJ [McCollum], those guys are incredible shot-makers.

"But if you're not 6-8 and 250, you can't really dominate a game in other ways. That's probably my best guess as to the criticism."

Green added: "I think that was right up there with the best of them, just because of all the talk that's been going around.

"Steph has the tendency at times to f*** around with the basketball. There was no f****** around. He came out and everything was a shot or attack."

Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry just wanted to "stay in the moment" as he approached his career-high of 62 points against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Curry exploded for 62 points to lead the Warriors past the Trail Blazers 137-122 in the NBA on Sunday.

The two-time NBA MVP was 18-of-31 from the field and eight-of-16 from three-point range to set a personal best.

"You try to just continue to stay humble and stay in the moment. That's the best way to approach it," Curry told NBC Sports after the game.

"It doesn't help when your team-mates are yelling at you every dead ball how many points you've got, but other than that it's just don't do anything differently, just keep being aggressive, being decisive and good things happen."

Curry was also 18-of-19 from the free-throw line as he became the first Warriors player to score 62-plus points since Rick Barry in March 1974.

Damian Lillard (32) and CJ McCollum (28) combined for 60 points for the Trail Blazers.

Curry said he enjoyed coming up against the likes of Lillard, who is a five-time NBA All-Star.

"It's always the best guys in the league, especially the point guard position, bring the best out of you," he said.

"If you're around this league long enough you kind of get to see every kind of scenario and situation and we have a lot to fight for and a huge challenge in front of us.

"They're the established team now so for a guy like him, it always brings the best out of you and I love the competition and that's kind of what it is."

The Warriors are 3-3 to begin the NBA season and Golden State face the Sacramento Kings on Monday.

Stephen Curry exploded to lift the Golden State Warriors to victory in the NBA on Sunday, while the Los Angeles Lakers won again.

Curry produced a career-high 62 points as the Warriors beat the Portland Trail Blazers 137-122.

The two-time NBA MVP was in spectacular form, shooting 18-of-31 from the field and eight-of-16 from three-point range.

Damian Lillard (32) and CJ McCollum (28) combined for 60 points for the Trail Blazers.

The Lakers made it three straight wins by beating the Memphis Grizzlies 108-94.

LeBron James' 22 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists led the Lakers, who had six players in double-digits for points.

 

Durant dominance not enough for Nets, George shines

Kevin Durant had 28 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists, but the Brooklyn Nets fell to the Washington Wizards 123-122.

Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 27 points and 10 rebounds.

Paul George posted 39 points to guide the Los Angeles Clippers past the Phoenix Suns 112-107.

Jayson Tatum's double-double of 24 points and 12 assists helped the Boston Celtics edge the Detroit Pistons 122-120.

Bad Brooks

Dillon Brooks had a difficult outing for the Grizzlies. The guard went three-of-15 from the field for just nine points in 29 minutes.

 

Amazing Curry

Curry hit a brilliant eighth three-pointer to reach 62 points in the Warriors' win.

Sunday's results

Boston Celtics 122-120 Detroit Pistons
Los Angeles Lakers 108-94 Memphis Grizzlies
Washington Wizards 123-122 Brooklyn Nets
Denver Nuggets 124-109 Minnesota Timberwolves
Utah Jazz 130-109 San Antonio Spurs
Chicago Bulls 118-108 Dallas Mavericks
Los Angeles Clippers 112-107 Phoenix Suns
Golden State Warriors 137-122 Portland Trail Blazers

 

Pistons at Bucks

The Milwaukee Bucks (3-3) take on the Detroit Pistons (1-5) on Monday. Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo is averaging 23.5 points, 11.7 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game this season.

Houston Rockets coach Stephen Silas hailed his team after they beat the Sacramento Kings despite losing James Harden shortly before tip-off on Saturday.

Harden turned his ankle late in the previous game against the Kings on Thursday but was not ruled out until 30 minutes before the subsequent 102-94 win, having by then gone through his shooting routine in the warm-up.

Silas was delighted the late blow did not prove decisive.

"[Harden] was just going to see how it felt," the coach said. "Obviously it didn't feel good enough for him to play.

"For us to win this game without him is pretty special."

John Wall stepped up in Harden's absence, making his mark with 28 points after coronavirus contact-tracing protocols kept him quarantined for the start of the season.

Wall, acquired from the Washington Wizards in a trade for Russell Westbrook, has registered 50 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds across two wins against the Kings since returning from a two-year injury lay-off.

Silas said: "I didn't have many expectations [of Wall]. I didn’t know what to expect. I saw some Instagram videos and stuff, playing pickup.

"We heard from people that said he looked good. But we didn't know until we got him.

"Whatever expectations I had, he obviously exceeded them. He's scoring. He's making plays for others.

"He's still rusty with his decision-making and he knows that. That's just a part of it. When you haven't played in so long, you shouldn't expect him to be totally crisp all the way through."

Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid are showing they each have the ability to be Defensive Player of the Year, according to Philadelphia 76ers team-mate Danny Green.

The Sixers were 127-112 winners against the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday, with Simmons' 29th career triple-double leading the way.

The 24-year-old, who made the All-Defensive First Team in 2020, also had had a block and a steal to go with his 15 points, 11 assists and 12 rebounds, of which 11 were on the defensive end.

Team-mate Embiid - twice selected to the All-Defensive Second Team - balanced his 19 points with 11 defensive rebounds, a steal and an assist, too.

Green said of the pair after Philly moved to 5-1 at the top of the East: "They can be monstrous for us defensively.

"I think they have the potential, both of them, to be Defensive Player of the Year with their size, ability, reflexes, their footwork."

Coach Doc Rivers was on the same page, too, adding: "Ben has been, in my opinion, as good as anyone in the league defensively.

"Then having Joel to back him up, that combination defensively allows you to do a lot of things that you probably wouldn't do when you have the size of those two guys."

But the Sixers' two star names were not the only players contributing on both ends of the floor against Charlotte.

Tobias Harris was particularly impressive in a dominant display that led his team in scoring with 24 points but also included nine rebounds, six assists, four steals and three blocks.

Six games into the season, Harris is averaging career highs in rebounds (8.5), assists (3.2, same as 2019-20), steals (1.5) and blocks (1.5), and Simmons has noted the improvement.

"On both sides of the ball, offensively and defensively, he's been amazing," he said. "He's been an amazing factor for our team and he's going to be if we want to win a championship."

Simmons added: "We've got a good group, the chemistry's good off the floor. It makes it even better when you're winning, playing the right way, sharing the ball.

"Guys aren't worried about who's scoring the ball, as long as we're scoring and winning games.

"That's what it's all about for us. Our goal is to win a championship, and to do that, we need everybody."

Ben Simmons led the way with his 29th career triple-double as the Philadelphia 76ers claimed top spot in the NBA Eastern Conference with a 127-122 win over the Charlotte Hornets.

Simmons dropped 15 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists as Philly opened up a 15-point first quarter lead and never looked back to go 5-1.

Joel Embiid contributed with a double-double of 19 points and 14 rebounds, while Tobias Harris top scored with 24 points as the 76ers claimed a third straight victory.

Ben Simmons (15 PTS, 12 REB, 11 AST) puts up a triple-double as the @sixers move to 5-1!

Tobias Harris: 24 PTS, 9 REB, 6 AST, 4 STL, 3 BLK
Seth Curry: 21 PTS (8-11 FGM), 6 AST
Joel Embiid: 19 PTS, 14 REB
Terry Rozier: 35 PTS, 7 3PM pic.twitter.com/ZgvqSUC9kp

— NBA (@NBA) January 3, 2021

The Atlanta Hawks (4-2) fell off the pace in the East following a 96-91 loss against the Cleveland Cavaliers as Colin Sexton scored 13 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter to snatch the win. 

John Wall led the scoring with 28 points as the Houston Rockets made it back-to-back triumphs against the Sacramento Kings, 102-98, in Texas.

Christian Wood posted a double-double with 15 rebounds and 20 points as the Rockets improved from 0-2 to 2-2 since Wall’s arrival, while James Harden was sidelined with an ankle injury.

Big scorers come up short for Magic, Pacers

Nikola Vucevic dazzled, putting up 30 points and 13 rebounds, but it was not enough to prevent the Orlando Magic slipping to 4-2 after a 108-99 loss against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Six OKC players hit double-figures in an all-round team effort as Darius Bazley top scored with 19 points and 12 rebounds.

Patrick Williams took pride in guarding Giannis Antetokounmpo, even though the rookie could not stop the NBA's reigning MVP from delivering a stellar performance against the Chicago Bulls.

Antetokounmpo recorded 29 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists as he helped the Milwaukee Bucks to a 126-96 victory on Friday.

Milwaukee had seven players in double digits, and they hit 22 three-pointers. No team has hit more treble scores through the first six games of a season than the Bucks' tally of 108.

Despite the heavy defeat, Bulls head coach Billy Donovan was happy with the performance of Williams, who on his sixth appearance was tasked with the unenviable challenge of shadowing Antetokounmpo.

"I'm sure internally inside of himself he's probably saying, like, 'Wow, last year I was playing in college, the year before that I was in high school'," Donovan told reporters.

"It's a lot for a young player to handle. But he's got to kind of get thrown to it, and he's gotta learn it and experience it. But his attitude and his disposition, whatever you put in front of him is always the same."

Reflecting on his game, 19-year-old Williams said: "My chest is on fire right now just from the shoulders that [Antetokounmpo] gave me.

"I was just blessed to be in this opportunity for sure. Of course, we wanted to win the game, but now that we didn't win, we can learn from it.

"He doesn't really compare to any other guy that I've had to guard yet this season. But the next time we play them, I hope to guard him again and do better.

"Being able to guard somebody like that in my sixth game of the season, it means a lot. It means a lot that coach trusted me to guard him pretty much the entire game when I was out there. It shows the trust that he has in me and the trust that I have to have in myself. It means a lot for sure.

"I want to guard the best player every night. It's just the person that I am. I want to be the guy that always guards the best person. So, if I want to be that guy, I've got to learn from it. It's just a blessing."

Last month, Antetokounmpo signed an extension reportedly worth $228.2million (£170.1m) – the largest deal in NBA history.

Averaging 23.5 points per game, he has helped the Bucks – who have a home series against the Detroit Pistons up next – to three wins this season.

"I'd say the growth in my game comes from being less stubborn," Antetokounmpo told a postgame media conference.

"Keep your team-mates involved, got to look at the bigger picture. Being less stubborn, sacrificing for my team-mates."

LeBron James wants to see the Los Angeles Lakers get Marc Gasol more involved going forward.

James (26 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists) and Anthony Davis (34 points and 11 rebounds) guided the Lakers past the San Antonio Spurs 109-103 in the NBA on Friday.

Gasol attempted just one field goal in his 20 minutes, while finishing with eight rebounds and three assists.

James hopes the Lakers can use the 35-year-old more often as the season progresses.

"I just think playing through him a lot more. When we do that, we're very good because his ability to see the floor, pass the ball, he does some special things out on the floor," he told a news conference.

"When he's on the floor, we have to do a better job of not playing much pick and roll with him setting the picks but more just letting him kind of play that point four or that point centre position at the top of the key, letting offense flow through him because he makes just great decisions.

"We're going to get him more involved because he's going to be a big part of what we do, we know that, he showed that already this year against Minnesota.

"We want to continue to just get him and Dennis [Schroder] and Trez [Montrezl Harrell] and Wes [Matthews] acclimated to what we want to do and go from there."

The Lakers (4-2) face the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday.

The Los Angeles Lakers made it back-to-back wins in the NBA, while the Milwaukee Bucks thrashed the Chicago Bulls on Friday.

LeBron James posted a triple-double of 26 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists as the Lakers beat the San Antonio Spurs 109-103.

Anthony Davis had a game-high 34 points, to go with 11 rebounds, as the Lakers enjoyed a second win in three days over San Antonio.

Keldon Johnson (26) and DeMar DeRozan (23) combined for 49 points for Spurs.

Giannis Antetokounmpo (29 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists) helped the Bucks crush the Bulls 126-96.

Milwaukee had seven players in double-digits and the Bucks hit 22 three-pointers.

No team has hit more threes through the first six games of a season than the Bucks' 108 to begin 2020-21.

 

Doncic lifts Mavericks, Leonard's Clippers lose

Luka Doncic finished with 27 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists in the Dallas Mavericks' 93-83 win over the Miami Heat.

Kawhi Leonard fell just short of a triple-double as he posted 20 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists, but the Los Angeles Clippers went down to the Utah Jazz 106-100.

The Portland Trail Blazers eased past the Golden State Warriors 123-98 thanks largely to 34 points from Damian Lillard. Lillard joined Clyde Drexler as the only players to score 15,000 points with the Trail Blazers.

Deandre Ayton's double-double of 22 points and 11 rebounds helped the Phoenix Suns improve to 5-1 with a 106-103 victory against the Denver Nuggets.

 

Nets slip to 3-3

Kyrie Irving struggled from the field, shooting six-of-21 for 18 points, as the Brooklyn Nets were beaten by the Atlanta Hawks 114-96. Kevin Durant finished with 28 points.

 

Grant delivers huge dunk

Jerami Grant produced a huge dunk as part of his 24 points in the Detroit Pistons' first win of the season – a 96-93 victory over the Boston Celtics.

Friday's results

Memphis Grizzlies 108-93 Charlotte Hornets
Detroit Pistons 96-93 Boston Celtics
Dallas Mavericks 93-83 Miami Heat
Atlanta Hawks 114-96 Brooklyn Nets
Milwaukee Bucks 126-96 Chicago Bulls
Washington Wizards 130-109 Minnesota Timberwolves
Los Angeles Lakers 109-103 San Antonio Spurs
Phoenix Suns 106-103 Denver Nuggets
Utah Jazz 106-100 Los Angeles Clippers
Portland Trail Blazers 123-98 Golden State Warriors

 

Kings at Rockets

The Sacramento Kings (3-2) take on James Harden and the Houston Rockets (1-2) on Saturday.

John Wall enjoyed his Houston Rockets debut, saying his job was to make James Harden's life a little easier.

In his first regular-season appearance since December 2018, Wall helped the Rockets past the Sacramento Kings 122-119 on Thursday.

Wall finished with 22 points, nine assists and six rebounds, while Harden had 33 points, eight assists and six rebounds.

After his debut for the Rockets, Wall said he enjoyed his connection with Harden.

"I think it was cool. I missed some easy shots, trying to get some rust off, no matter how much I practice and play in preseason it's a bit different when you get in real games," the guard told a news conference.

Wall added: "My job here is to help James as much as possible, make it a little easier for him.

"You know when we need a bucket and get to crunch-time situation, you know what he's capable of."

Harden scored 16 fourth-quarter points for the Rockets, who claimed their first win of the season.

The eight-time All-Star was pleased with the win, while praising Wall's performance.

"He was extremely aggressive, making plays, defensively getting after it, he looked really, really good, especially not playing in almost two years," Harden said.

"Once we get a rhythm and guys get into their roles and find their best fit for the team, we'll be even better.

"But I'm happy in the last six minutes when it was time to get stops we did and offensively we executed."

John Wall impressed on his Houston Rockets debut, while the Philadelphia 76ers' fine start to the NBA season continued.

In his first regular-season appearance since December 2018, Wall helped the Rockets to their first win of the season with a 122-119 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Thursday.

Wall posted 22 points, nine assists and six rebounds on his Rockets debut after being traded from the Washington Wizards at the start of December.

James Harden again starred, finishing with 33 points, eight assists and six rebounds.

The 76ers improved to 4-1 and handed Orlando their first loss of the season, beating the Magic 116-92.

Joel Embiid was seven-of-11 from the field for 21 points, while he also pulled down nine rebounds.

 

Westbrook's Wizards fall again as Booker shines

Russell Westbrook posted another triple-double with 22 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds, but the Washington Wizards dropped to 0-5 after a 133-130 loss to the Chicago Bulls. Westbrook joined Oscar Robertson as the only players in NBA history to open a season with four triple-doubles in their first four games.

Thomas Bryant had 28 points for the Wizards after going 10-of-11 from the field.

Devin Booker's game-high 25 points helped the Phoenix Suns past the Utah Jazz 106-95. The Suns are 4-1.

Domantas Sabonis had a double-double of 25 points and 11 rebounds in the Indiana Pacers' 119-99 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Sabonis has posted at least a double-double in all five of his games this season.

 

Terrible Thunder

The Oklahoma City Thunder shot at just 37.5 per cent from the field in a 113-80 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans.

 

Harden, Wall power Rockets

Harden and Wall finished with 55 points and 17 assists between them against the Kings.

Thursday's results

Indiana Pacers 119-99 Cleveland Cavaliers
Chicago Bulls 133-130 Washington Wizards
Philadelphia 76ers 116-92 Orlando Magic
Houston Rockets 122-119 Sacramento Kings
Toronto Raptors 100-83 New York Knicks
New Orleans Pelicans 113-80 Oklahoma City Thunder
Phoenix Suns 106-95 Utah Jazz

 

Lakers at Spurs

The Los Angeles Lakers (3-2) and San Antonio Spurs (2-2) will meet again on Friday. LeBron James powered the Lakers to a win over San Antonio on Wednesday.

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