LeBron James said it had been a "rough" New Year's weekend after playing through illness as the Los Angeles Lakers suffered their second defeat in as many days on Sunday.

James played through flu-like symptoms as the Lakers suffered a contentious 108-106 defeat to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday, being denied a potential game-tying three-pointer with 3.3 seconds remaining.

On New Year's Eve, the New Orleans Pelicans dropped Los Angeles to 17-17 with a comprehensive 129-109 success at Smoothie King Center, Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram posting 26 points apiece.

James scored a game-high 34 and former Pelican Anthony Davis had 20 points and 10 rebounds as the Lakers suffered a seventh loss in nine games, leaving the league's all-time leading scorer to reflect on a difficult few days.

"We have to figure it out and get better, for sure," James said. "We're not a team that likes to play from behind. We've been in that position a lot this year.

"The flight last night did not help, obviously. We didn't get to the hotel last night until 3:45 a.m., so, it was a rough day trying to recalibrate and get ready for the game. 

"But I'm happy I was able to go out and just try to make some plays happen for my team."

A raucous New Orleans crowd was on its feet when Jose Alvarado made steals from both James and Davis during the second quarter, with his team up by 19 points at that stage.

The 25-year-old was delighted to give himself a highlight-reel moment against one of the all-time greats, saying: "LeBron, he's one of the greatest players to ever play this game and for me to be on the court, for me to get steals, for me to do anything… that's pretty amazing.

"When I get back to watch videos when I grow old, and they say that he is the best player to play this game, at least I got a video of him, with me getting a steal."

Ja Morant says the Memphis Grizzlies are well aware of their own potential after claiming a fourth straight win.

The Grizzlies beat the New Orleans Pelicans 116-115 in overtime on Tuesday, and they are now 4-0 since Morant returned from his suspension.

Morant finished with 31 points, while Desmond Bane scored 27 as Memphis fought back from a double-digit deficit.

For Morant, it was merely more evidence that the Grizzlies know how good they can be.

"We know what we're capable of," Morant said.

"We told ourselves, we've been here before. We were very confident.

"Being able to come back and win four games now and continue to take this momentum to the next game, and the next day, is big time for us."

Morant had been named the Western Conference's Player of the Week prior to tip-off against the Pelicans, having averaged 28.8 points since his return to action.

"A lot of credit to my teammates," Morant added.

"Obviously, without them on the floor, I won't have the gaps I have, the lanes I have and them always telling me to be aggressive allows me to go out and deliver for us."

It was another damaging defeat for the Pelicans, who have lost three of their last four games after going on a four-game winning run.

"For three-and-a-half quarters, our game-plan discipline was at a high level," said Pelicans coach Willie Green.

"As the game started to get a little close, we get tired, and we started to turn the ball over, not execute as well and we let them right back into the game.

"This crap hurts, losing games like this. But it's a part of it and we have to learn from these moments."

The Detroit Pistons etched their name into the history books Tuesday, setting the NBA single-season record with their 27th straight loss, 118-112 to the Brooklyn Nets.

Cam Johnson scored 24 points and Mikal Bridges added 21 for the Nets, who handed the Pistons their 26th consecutive loss on Saturday.

Cade Cunningham poured in 37 of his 41 points in the second half and shot 15 of 21, but Detroit broke a tie with the 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers and 2013-14 Philadelphia 76ers. The 76ers hold the overall mark at 28 straight losses, a skid that started in 2014-15 and carried over into 2015-16.

The Pistons’ next chance to end the streak is Thursday at league-leading Boston.

Cunnigham made a pair of layups to draw the Pistons within 112-110 with less than a minute remaining, but Dorian Finney-Smith sank a baseline 3-point to put the Nets up 115-110 with 38 seconds left.

Alec Burks then missed a 3-pointer and Bridges hit two free throws for a 117-110 advantage.

Grizzlies win in OT, improve to 4-0 since Morant’s return

Ja Morant scored 31 points and the Memphis Grizzlies rallied for a 116-115 win in overtime against the New Orleans Pelicans to improve to 4-0 since he made his season debut a week earlier.

Desmond Bane scored 27 points, including a key 3-pointer in the final minute of regulation and the clinching free throw with 4 seconds left in overtime.

Jaren Jackson Jr. added 19 points, redeeming his missed free throw at the end of regulation with a pair of baskets late in OT that gave Memphis the lead for good.

Morant has averaged 28.8 points in four games since he returned from his 25-game NBA suspension after the Grizzlies were 6-19 in his absence.

Zion Williamson had 23 points and 11 rebounds for the Pelicans, who also lost a double-digit, second-half lead to Memphis in the previous meeting.

Kings’ Fox scores 43 in loss to Trail Blazers

De’Aaron Fox had 43 points but it wasn’t enough as Anfernee Simons scored 29 to lift the Portland Trail Blazers to a 130-113 win over the Sacramento Kings.  

Duop Reath added a career-high 25 points and grabbed nine rebounds off the bench for the Blazers, who got 19 points from Malcolm Brogdon and 17 and 11 assists from rookie Scoot Henderson.

Fox was 16 of 26 from the field and 7 of 15 from long range while adding eight rebounds and four assists. Domantas Sabonis scored 34 points, but no other Sacramento player was in double figures.

Ja Morant is simply excited to be back on the court after he starred for the Memphis Grizzlies following the end of his eight-month absence from basketball.

Morant received a 25-game suspension from the NBA for conduct detrimental to the league back in June.

The two-time All-Star was banned for showing a firearm on social media, just three months after a similar offence.

However, Morant returned in style on Tuesday, finishing with 34 points, six rebounds and eight assists as the Grizzlies beat the New Orleans Pelicans 115-113.

"I've been putting work in, man. I ain't played a game in eight months," said Morant, whose buzzer-beater won the game.

"I had a lot of time to learn myself. A lot of hard days where I went through it. But you know, basketball is my life, what I love, [it's] therapeutic for me. I'm just excited to be back.

"I've been working hard, but there's nothing like NBA basketball. I just had to lock in and push through; pretty much my life, you know, just continuing to push, no matter what."

Reflecting on his time away from the game, Morant added: "[My support system] showed me a lot of support. 

"They got on my a** a little bit, too. I felt like it was needed, not only during this process for me, but them as well to obviously learn from me.

"A lot of us make mistakes. I can see how [the situation] changed them as well. I don't wish it happened, but it definitely took me, my family, my team to the next level."

Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins simply wanted Morant to enjoy the moment.

"My one expectation was for him to have fun," he said.

"That's how you want Ja to play, is play fast and free with the dynamic abilities."

The Grizzlies, who went 6-19 in the 25 games without Morant, snapped a five-game losing streak. They host the Indiana Pacers on Thursday.

Ja Morant scored 34 points in his season debut, including a spinning dribble in the lane to set up a game-winning floater as time expired, to lift the Memphis Grizzlies to a 115-113 victory Tuesday over the New Orleans Pelicans.

Morant didn’t look rusty in his return, shooting 12 of 24 from the field with eight assists and six rebounds to help Memphis snap a five-game losing streak.

His point total was the most in NBA history by a player coming back from an absence of at least 25 games.

The Grizzlies went 6-19 during Morant’s suspension for his social media antics with guns.

Jaren Jackson Jr. had 24 points and Desmond Bane added 21 for Memphis.

Brandon Ingram poured in 34 points and Jonas Valanciunas had 22 and 4 rebounds for the Pelicans, who had a four-game winning streak stopped.

Zion Williamson was limited by foul trouble and was limited to 13 points.

Lillard has 40 to power Bucks past Spurs

Damian Lillard scored a season-high 40 points to reach 20,000 and Giannis Antetokounmpo had a triple-double to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to their fifth straight win, 132-119 over the San Antonio Spurs.

Lillard increased his career point total to 20,034 to become the 51st player in NBA history – and eighth active player – to accumulate 20,000 points. He is the 17th-fastest player to reach that milestone.

Antetokounmpo had a career-high 16 assists, 14 rebounds and a season-low 11 points for his second triple-double this season and 37th of his career.

Milwaukee is 5-0 on its season-long, six-game homestand that concludes Thursday against Orlando. The Bucks have won 14 straight games at Fiserv Forum for their longest home winning streak since a 20-game run from April 19, 1990-Jan. 8, 1991.

The Spurs played without rookie Victor Wembanyama (sore right ankle) and lost for the 20th time in 21 games.

Warriors outlast Celtics in overtime

Stephen Curry scored 33 points, including seven straight in overtime, and the Golden State Warriors defeated the Celtics, 132-126 to end Boston’s five-game winning streak.

Klay Thompson had 24 points, Jonathan Kuminga added 17 and Trayce Jackson-Davis contributed 10 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists as the Warriors won their third in a row.

Derrick White scored 30 points and Jaylen Brown had 26 points, eight boards and six assists for Boston, which dropped its third straight road game.

Al Horford’s 3-pointer with 36 seconds left in overtime drew the Celtics within 127-126, but Curry drilled a 3 with the shot clock winding down with 12 seconds to play and added a pair of free throws in the closing seconds.

Zion Williamson delivered a season-high 36 points as the New Orleans Pelicans cooled off the NBA-leading Minnesota Timberwolves with a 121-107 victory on Monday.

CJ McCollum scored nine of his 23 points in the fourth quarter to help the Pelicans pull away and bounce back from Thursday's 44-point blowout loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA In-Season Tournament semifinals.

Minnesota entered the matchup with a league-best 17-4 record and had won six consecutive games but played without leading scorer Anthony Edwards due to a hip pointer.

Karl-Anthony Towns, Mike Conley and Naz Reid all had 17 points for the Timberwolves, with Towns adding 12 rebounds. 

Minnesota never led in the second half, however, as the Pelicans ended the second quarter on a 12-3 run to take a 59-52 half-time lead.

New Orleans held a 90-86 advantage after three quarters, then opened the fourth on a 9-0 spurt capped by a McCollum 3-pointer to gain further separation.

The Pelicans also received 20 points from Brandon Ingram and 14 points and 13 rebounds from Jonas Valanciunas.

Bucks bounce back with overtime win over Bulls

Giannis Antetokounmpo compiled 32 points, 12 rebounds and six assists and the Milwaukee Bucks dominated the early stages of overtime to come through with a 133-129 win over the Chicago Bulls.

After Chicago rallied from a 14-point first-half deficit to force overtime on DeMar DeRozan's jumper with 3.7 seconds left in regulation, the Bucks opened the extra session with an 8-1 run to build a 126-119 lead and never trailed thereafter.

Brook Lopez and Malik Beasley each had 19 points to help Milwaukee rebound from Thursday's loss to the Indiana Pacers in the NBA In-Season Tournament semfinals.

The Bulls had a four-game winning streak halted despite a monster performance from DeRozan, who put up 41 points and 11 assists. Coby White finished with a season-high 33 points in the loss.

Nuggets hold off Hawks to end three-game skid

Jamal Murray scored 29 points on 12-of-15 shooting and added nine rebounds to help the Denver Nuggets get back on track with a 129-122 win over the Atlanta Hawks.

The reigning NBA champions withstood a career-high 40 points from Atlanta's Bogdan Bogdanović and a fourth-quarter comeback attempt by the Hawks to stop a three-game losing streak. Nikola Jokić contributed 25 points and nine assists for Denver, while rookie Julian Strawther hit six 3-pointers while producing a career-high 22 points off the bench.

Bogdanovic had 13 of his points in the fourth quarter with Atlanta's leading scorer, Trae Young, out of the game after being ejected when arguing a no-foul call late in the third.

The Hawks trailed 100-86 at the time of Young's departure and were down by 20 points with under 10 minutes left before rallying late, as Bogdanovic led a 16-5 run that cut the Nuggets' lead to 126-122 with 30.5 seconds left.

Jokic hit two free throws on the ensuing possession, however, and Bogdanovic missed a pair of 3-point tries in the final seconds as the Hawks' bid came up short.

Young had 19 points and nine assists before exiting.

 

LeBron James quipped he was not too old to put his body on the line for the $500,000 per player cash prize that goes to the NBA's in-season tournament winners.

James' comment came after he played a starring role in the Los Angeles Lakers' 133-89 demolition of the New Orleans Pelicans in Thursday's semi-final.

Just over three weeks away from his 39th birthday, James finished with 30 points, eight assists and five rebounds at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

He also got in the way of a Zion Williamson charge in the first quarter. Asked if he was too old to be risking a serious injury, James smiled: "Listen man, not for that 500, I ain't."

Each player on the winning side of the inaugural final, in which the Lakers will take on the Indiana Pacers, will receive a $500,000 bonus.

James was weighing up retirement after last season, but is thrilled to still be on the court.

"If you decide to retire, or whatever the case may be, you're not a part of it anymore, so it wouldn't be me leaving it on the table because I would have never had the table set," James told ESPN.

"But I'm happy that I'm here; this is a pretty cool moment, and let's see if we can capitalise on it. It's been good. It's been dope.

"We've got to finish our breakfast on Saturday. That's the most important thing."

Lakers coach Darvin Ham, meanwhile, believes the NBA's in-season tournament has injected fresh life into the early stages of the season.

"This time of the year you tend to, you don't want to admit it, but teams tend to sleepwalk through some of these games," Ham said.

"So for the league to infuse this tournament at this point and time of the year, I thought it was brilliant.

"Now being here in Vegas, it's definitely a really thick electricity that's happening that's reverberating all the way through the arena, through the teams. Everybody is excited to try to give it their best shot.

"We are just trying to build a rhythm and be the best team we can be and put our best foot forward on a daily basis. The tournament just happens to align with what we got going on in general."

It was another tough game for Pelicans talisman Williamson, who finished with only 13 points.

"I got to be better," Williamson said. "I got to be more aggressive in finding my shot. I got to do more things to get my team going. I think I was too laid back tonight."

LeBron James needed less than three quarters to score 30 points and the Los Angeles Lakers booked a spot in Saturday’s Inaugural In-Season Tournament final with a 133-89 rout of the New Orleans Pelicans in Las Vegas.

Austin Reaves had 17 points and Anthony Davis added 16 with 15 rebounds for the Lakers, who will face the surprising Indiana Pacers for the NBA Cup.

Trey Murphy led New Orleans with 14 points and Zion Williamson had 13 with just two rebounds.

The Pelicans led 30-29 after the first quarter, but James opened the second by scoring the Lakers’ first 11 points, including three 3-pointers in a row.

James had 21 points on 7-of-9 shooting by halftime with Los Angeles up 67-54. He went to the bench midway through the third quarter and should be plenty rested for the final.

The Lakers have won three straight games and 11 of their past 15.

Haliburton leads Pacers over Bucks in In-Season Tournament semifinals

Tyrese Haliburton had 27 points and 15 assists, Myles Turner added 26 and the Indiana Pacers beat the Milwaukee Bucks 128-119 to advance to Saturday’s inaugural In-Season Tournament final.

Haliburton hit a dagger 3-pointer with 50 seconds remaining to put the Pacers up 122-114 and celebrated by mimicking Damian Lillard’s “Dame time” celebration.

The Pacers, who entered the game third in the NBA in 3-point shooting, shot just 7 of 33 from deep (21.2%) but scored 72 points in the paint.

Turner scored 10 of his 26 points in the first quarter, including a monstrous dunk over Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Isaiah Jackson, Andrew Nembhard and T.J. McConnell combined to shoot 13 of 19 from the field while Indiana’s bench outscored Milwaukee’s 43-13.

Antetokounmpo had 37 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Bucks, while Lillard scored 24 and Khris Middleton added 20.

 

Zion Williamson believes there is great potential in the ranks of the New Orleans Pelicans after they bounced back to defeat the Sacramento Kings in the NBA's in-season tournament.

The Pelicans teed up a semi-final tie with either the Los Angeles Lakers or the Phoenix Suns in Las Vegas, after rallying from a 15-point first-quarter deficit to win 127-117 on Tuesday.

Brandon Ingram finished with 30 points, eight rebounds and six assists in the comeback victory, while Herb Jones added 23 points for the Pelicans, who trailed by a 32-17 score less than eight minutes in before embarking on a 22-4 run to take a three-point lead early in the second quarter.

New Orleans extended the margin to 69-61 at halftime and never trailed in the final two quarters while building a lead as big as 15 points in the third. Ingram had 17 of his points in the second half, while Jonas Valanciunas posted 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting along with 11 rebounds for the Pelicans.

"This team can be so great," Williamson said. "We have a lot of potential, but we have a lot of growth to do.

"But overall, we can do something really special if everybody stays locked in. We can do something really special."

Williamson only had 10 points, but he believes it is crucial that others step up to the plate when he is not at his best.

"With the shooters we've added, it definitely does take pressure off of me," Williamson said.

"I didn't play too well, but we were still up 13, 18, late in the game. This just shows how locked in everybody is. Coach always talks about staying ready. Our guys stayed ready."

For coach Willie Green, the level of trust shown by his players was the most pleasing aspect of the win.

"The biggest thing I saw in that game was trust," Green said.

"Our guys just stuck together. They stuck together in the huddle, and they continued to make the right play over and over and over again.

When you see a team that has 29 assists and only 14 turnovers, that's a team that's continuing to trust. We want to continue to build on that."

The Pelicans' win was marred, however, by news of a fan dying after a medical emergency at Golden 1 Center.

"During the first quarter of the Kings vs. Pelicans game, a guest had a medical emergency," a Kings statement read.

"EMS immediately responded and administered CPR. Tragically, these efforts were unsuccessful and the guest passed away. The organization offers its deepest condolences to the guest's family and loved ones."

Willie Green believes Zion Williamson is "starting to find his rhythm" after his 33 points led the New Orleans Pelicans to a 124-114 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday.

Williamson went 11 of 12 from the field as the Pelicans moved to 10-9, taking advantage of the absence of reigning MVP Joel Embiid and ensuring the 76ers fell to 12-6.

Pelicans head coach Green is delighted with the play of Williamson, who has now scored at least 26 points and managed five assists in his last six games, saying: "He was great. He attacked the basket. Getting to the paint was something we were big on.

"He's been knocking off some rust. You can see he's getting better and better as we progress. He's starting to find his rhythm.

We're putting him in different situations and he's thriving, so it's fun to see."

With Embiid out through illness, Philadelphia struggled without their key man, and 76ers head coach Nick Nurse was frustrated with his team's display after the game.

"We cannot use that [Embiid's absence] as an excuse, and we won't," Nurse told reporters. "What put us in a big hole is we didn't go out and execute our defensive schemes the way we wanted to from the start of the game."

The New Orleans Pelicans will get shooting guard C.J. McCollum back on Wednesday night when they host the Philadelphia 76ers.

McCollum hasn't played since being diagnosed with small pneumothorax in his right lung on Nov. 5.

He averaged 21.7 points, 5.7 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 1.5 steals to help the Pelicans win four of their first six games this season.

McCollum was selected 10th overall by Portland in the 2013 NBA Draft before the Trail Blazers traded him to New Orleans in February 2022.

Since being named the NBA’s Most Improved Player in 2015-16, McCollum has made 1,513 3-pointers to rank sixth in the league among active players.

Miles Bridges' 3-pointer with 6.6 seconds left in overtime capped a stunning rally by the Charlotte Hornets, who snapped the Boston Celtics' six-game winning streak with a 121-118 victory on Monday.

The Hornets trailed by 11 points with six minutes remaining in regulation and overcame a 45-point night from Boston star Jayson Tatum to end a run of six consecutive home losses. LaMelo Ball led the comeback with 36 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, while former Celtic Gordon Hayward scored six of his 20 points in overtime.

Bridges added 14 points and 15 rebounds in his third game back from a suspension for a domestic violence arrest that caused him to miss the entire 2022-23 season and the first 10 games of this one.

The Celtics appeared on the way towards another victory before Charlotte scored the final nine points of the fourth quarter. Ball hit a key 3-pointer during the late run and forced overtime with a driving layup with 7.2 seconds remaining.

Tatum's 3-pointer with 57.6 seconds left in regulation put Boston back up by a 116-114 score, but Ball fed Hayward for a dunk on the ensuing possession and after the Celtics' Jaylen Brown missed a 3-pointer, Bridges buried a 25-foot jumper with time winding down to give Charlotte a 119-116 lead.

Payton Pritchard went 5 of 8 from 3-point range and recorded 21 points off the bench for Boston, while Tatum added 13 rebounds and six assists.

Curry extends 3-point record as Warriors halt six-game skid

Stephen Curry made five more 3-pointers and collected 32 points to get the Golden State Warriors back on track with a 121-116 win over the Houston Rockets.

Curry, the NBA's all-time leader in 3-point field goals made, finished 5 of 9 from beyond the arc to become the first in league history with 13 consecutive games with four or more triples to begin a season. 

Klay Thompson broke out of a shooting slump with 20 points to help the Warriors end a six-game losing streak. Chris Paul added 15 points and 12 assists, while Dario Saric contributed 18 points off the bench. 

Thompson, who ended 5 of 11 from 3-point range, had 12 first-half points as Golden State built a 63-53 lead at intermission. Curry scored 16 of his points in the fourth quarter to allow the Warriors to stay in front the rest of the way.

The Rockets lost for the third straight time following a six-game winning streak despite Alperen Sengun's 30 points and 13 rebounds. Fred VanVleet dished out 14 assists for Houston but went just 3 of 13 from the field while being held to 10 points.

Pelicans snap Kings' winning streak with 36-point blowout

Brandon Ingram scored 31 points and Zion Williamson had 26 as the New Orleans Pelicans cooled off the Sacramento Kings with a 129-93 rout.

The Pelicans shot 54 per cent from the field and led by as many as 41 points in ending Sacramento's six-game winning streak. Ingram made all five of his 3-point attempts and shot 11 of 18 overall, while Williamson converted 12 of his 16 field goal tries and added five assists and three steals.

Williamson racked up 22 points on 10-of-12 shooting during a dominant first half as the Pelicans took a 66-53 lead into the break. New Orleans then broke the game open by outscoring the Kings by a 34-16 margin in the third quarter, with Ingram delivering 18 points for the period.

Sacramento shot just 24.4 per cent from 3-point range, including a 2-of-12 performance from leading scorer De'Aaron Fox. 

Harrison Barnes led the Kings with 16 points. Fox ended with a season-low 14 after coming into the contest averaging 31.9 per game. 

Victor Wembanyama had the best game of his young career with 38 points and sparked a decisive fourth-quarter run as the San Antonio Spurs squandered a 27-point lead before pulling away for a 132-121 win over the Phoenix Suns on Thursday.

Wembanyama produced a handful of highlight plays in his fifth NBA game, including a flying dunk in the lane in the second quarter. The 7-foot-4 phenom shot 15 of 26 and grabbed 10 rebounds.

He hit a 3-pointer, made three free throws, dunked and hit an 18-foot jumper during a 12-0 run after the Suns erased a 27-point deficit to tie it at 116 with 4:21 remaining.

Devin Booker scored 31 points in his return from a sprained ankle and added 13 assists and nine rebounds, while Kevin Durant tallied 28 points.

The Spurs beat the Suns in Phoenix for the second time in three days after a stunning 115-114 victory on Tuesday, when they rallied from a 20-point deficit.

Embiid leads 76ers past Raptors

Joel Embiid tallied 28 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to a 114-99 win over the Toronto Raptors in their first game since trading James Harden.

Kelly Oubre Jr. had 23 points and Tyrese Maxey added 18 as Philadelphia won its third straight since a season-opening loss.

Scottie Barnes scored 24 points for the Raptors, who have lost four of five, including two losses to the 76ers in six days.

Oubre moved into the starting lineup in place of PJ Tucker, who was also dealt to the Clippers in the Harden deal.

Marcus Morris and Nic Batum did not play in their first game since they were dealt, though Robert Covington and K.J. Martin played some in the final 90 seconds with the game in hand.

Short-handed Pelicans beat Pistons

CJ McCollum poured in 33 points and Jonas Valanciunas had 23 with 13 rebounds as the New Orleans Pelicans overcame a pair of key absences in a 125-116 win over the Detroit Pistons.

New Orleans had a season high in points despite playing top scorers Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson.

Williamson was given the night off in the second half of a back-to-back and Ingram missed his third straight game with right knee tendinitis.

Matt Ryan made his first career start and responded with a personal-best 20 points, making the first four 3-pointers he took and finishing 6 of 8 from long range.

Cade Cunningham had 22 points and 11 assists as Detroit lost its third straight.

Luka Doncic amassed 35 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists to help the Dallas Mavericks continue their strong start to the NBA season with Monday's 125-110 road win over the slumping Memphis Grizzlies. 

Coming off a 49-point effort in a win over the Brooklyn Nets on Friday, Doncic followed up by making 6 of 12 attempts from 3-point range and going 11 of 22 overall from the field to lead the way as the Mavericks improved to 3-0.

Derrick Jones added 22 points on 7-of-10 shooting and Tim Hardaway Jr. had 21 points on a night Dallas played without its other star guard, Kyrie Irving, due to a left foot sprain.

Memphis, which had the Western Conference's second-best record at 51-31 last season, fell to 0-4 despite 30 points each from Jaren Jackson Jr. and Desmond Bane. The Grizzlies also got 23 points and nine assists from Marcus Smart in a losing cause.

The short-handed Grizzlies have opened the season without a pair of starters in All-Star Ja Morant and center Steven Adams. Morant is serving a 25-game suspension by the NBA for conduct detrimental to the league, while Adams is not expected to play in 2023-24 after recently undergoing knee surgery.

 

Jokic powers 4-0 Nuggets past Jazz

Nikola Jokic recorded the 107th triple-double of his illustrious career with 27 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists to lead the unbeaten Denver Nuggets to a 110-102 win over the Utah Jazz.

Jokic made 12 of 16 field-goal attempts and added a pair of blocks while tying LeBron James and Jason Kidd for fourth on the NBA's all-time list in triple-doubles. 

Denver also got an efficient shooting night from Aaron Gordon, who finished 12 of 16 from the field while compiling 21 points and seven rebounds. Jamal Murray chipped in 18 points and 14 assists as the defending NBA champions moved to 4-0.

Lauri Markkanen paced Utah with 27 points, 14 rebounds and five assists, while Walker Kessler tallied 22 points on 10-of-11 shooting along with 13 rebounds.

The Jazz led for just 16 seconds and trailed by as many as 17 points to fall to 1-3.

 

Curry's hot hand sparks Warriors' rout of Pelicans

Stephen Curry drained seven 3-pointers and finished with 42 points as the Golden State Warriors continued their recent roll with a 130-102 rout of the New Orleans Pelicans.

With long-time backcourt mate Klay Thompson unavailable with a sore right knee, Curry carried the Warriors' offence by going 15 of 22 from the floor and 7 of 13 on 3-point tries. The two-time NBA MVP added five assists to help the Warriors to a third straight victory following a season-opening loss to the Phoenix Suns.

Curry has now made 24 3-pointers during the Warriors' 3-1 start, the most by any player through four games of a season in NBA history. 

Moses Moody started in place of Thompson and scored 13 points, with Chris Paul and rookie Trayce Jackson-Davis also contributing 13 points off the bench in a game Golden State broke open in the second half.

The Warriors held a slim 59-57 advantage at half-time before outscoring the Pelicans by a 39-21 margin in the third quarter.

New Orleans had a two-game winning streak to begin the season snapped while playing without second-leading scorer Brandon Ingram, who was held out with a sore right knee.

Zion Williamson and CJ McCollum led the Pelicans with 19 points each.

 

Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum grabbed 69 points between them as the Boston Celtics cruised to a third straight win with a 126-107 victory over the Washington Wizards.

Brown scored 36 points and Tatum 33, Kristaps Porzingis adding 15 on his return to Washington after an off-season move between the clubs.

It is the second successive season the Celtics, who reached the Eastern Conference finals last time out, have begun with three straight wins.

Their efforts were eclipsed by Dejounte Murray, who matched his career-best haul with 41 points as he helped the Atlanta Hawks come from 19 points down at half-time to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 127-113.

Steph Curry shrugged off the absence of Klay Thompson with a knee injury as he inspired the Golden State Warriors to a 130-102 win at the New Orleans Pelicans.

Curry scored 42 points, opening with a pair of three-pointers from 25 feet and wrapping his scoring up from 31 feet.

The Dallas Mavericks remain unbeaten as Luka Doncic grabbed a triple-double with 35 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists in a 125-110 win over the Memphis Grizzlies.

Nikola Jokic also recorded a triple-double – his second of the season – with 27 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds as the Denver Nuggets saw off the Utah Jazz 110-102.

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 33 points for the Milwaukee Bucks as they avenged being eliminated by the Miami Heat in last year’s play-offs with a 122-114 win, despite 35 points from Tyler Herro.

Cam Thomas scored 33 points as the Brooklyn Nets beat the Charlotte Hornets 133-121 for their first win of the season, while Nikola Vucevic inspired the Chicago Bulls as they came from behind late to inflict a first defeat on the Indiana Pacers, 112-105.

The Portland Trail Blazers also claimed their first win, Jerami Grant scoring 22 points as they beat the Toronto Raptors 99-91, while 32 points from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander lifted the Oklahoma City Thunder past the Detroit Pistons.

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