Kyrie Irving will miss the Brooklyn Nets' clash with the Washington Wizards due to injury just a day after he requested a trade.

Star Nets guard Irving reportedly told the team on Friday he wants to leave before the February 9 deadline, otherwise he will depart as a free agent in July.

The 30-year-old was not initially named among Brooklyn's absentees, but the Nets placed him on their injury report due to right-calf soreness on Saturday.

It will mark the third game of the season Irving has missed through injury, while he also served an eight-game suspension in November.

Irving has averaged 27.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.3 assists this season. Brooklyn will also be without Ben Simmons for a fourth straight game due to a sore left knee.

The Nets sit fourth in the Eastern Conference with a 31-20 record ahead of their clash with the 24-26 Wizards.

The Portland Trail Blazers coach Chauncey Billups says his side perform "when our backs are against the wall" after a late comeback against the Washington Wizards.

Washington looked set to extend their winning streak to seven games on Friday, only for Portland to stage a third-quarter fightback in a 124-116 victory over the Wizards.

Anfernee Simons scored 20 of his 33 points in the third quarter, making six of Portland's nine three-pointers in the third, as he went on to finish 9-of-12 beyond the arc.

"Our team is just so much better when our backs are against the wall," Billups said. "I've been on teams like that before, so I understand it, but it's a dangerous place to live."

A fine comeback saw the Trail Blazers fire nine field goals from long distance after going in at the second quarter 69-51 down.

Simons hit the first five of those shots before hitting another three-pointer to reduce the deficit to seven points after scores for Damian Lillard and Jerami Grant.

The Trail Blazers eventually snatched the lead at 102-101, but Portland could not have fought back without Simons.

"We ran plays for him. We started off the third quarter kind of running his play," Billups said. "He came off and got a couple of looks.

"Then I thought Dame and Josh and those guys, they all just did a really good job of continuing to keep the ball in his hands."

Wednesday's game between the Detroit Pistons and the Washington Wizards has been postponed due to weather-related travel issues.

The Pistons have been unable to get back to Detroit after Monday's defeat at the Dallas Mavericks, with an ice storm leading to several flights out of Dallas Fort-Worth International Airport being cancelled in recent days.

A weather warning will remain in effect until at least Thursday, with ice also affecting roads.

The Pistons said in a statement: "We will provide further information on the new date and time once it is available."

Detroit sit bottom of the Eastern Conference with a record of 13-39, while the ninth-placed Wizards are on a six-game win streak, currently 24-26 overall for the season.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Thursday's game between the Mavericks and the New Orleans Pelicans is also in doubt due to the weather conditions.

Kyle Kuzma shared on Tuesday that he is open to a long-term extension with the Washington Wizards when he hits free agency.

Kuzma, 27, is fully expected to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season by declining his $13million player option for 2023-24.

The former 27th overall draft pick by the Los Angeles Lakers in 2017 is enjoying a career-best season with the Wizards, averaging 21.8 points, 7.6 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game while suiting up for 45 of a possible 46 fixtures to this point.

Standing at six-foot-nine, Kuzma has shown the ability to defend three positions while also hitting 2.6 three-pointers per game, providing the kind of size, versatility and floor-spacing in desperate demand league-wide.

Kuzma shared that he has had no discussions with the Wizards about a potential extension, but he is open to the conversation when it arrives due to how the franchise has allowed him to spread his wings.

"That’s probably coming," he told The Athletic. "But I’ve said from the jump I love being here, because I can play my game and I’ve developed so much. 

"Taking on a new role has been amazing for me… they understand what I’m doing right now. I’m trying to get better and that’s my priority."

He added that he believes the franchise would like to retain him long-term, and he appreciates the feeling of being wanted after being sent away from the Los Angeles Lakers as part of their trade for Russell Westbrook.

"It is a source of peace, because any time somebody wants you, that’s a good thing," he said. "You want to be wanted in this world. You don’t want to be not-wanted.

"So, it’s a great feeling… as a person, you love that, you feel love. You feel that and it makes you alive. It’s a great thing, especially when you think of the landscape of this sport between teams and players. 

"Players are gone year after year, there are such short stints now. For anybody to want to keep you long term, that’s a blessing.

"They showed me love. They have allowed me to have a platform to show my game and show the league I’m not just a role player. I’m someone that’s arriving right now – that’s the biggest thing for me.

"I want to keep elevating. Having a leadership position, having somewhere where I’m developing and playing my game and my role and I’m getting better every single game – that’s what I care about."

With his ability to leave the Wizards at the end of the season, Kuzma said he is aware he will be involved in trade rumours as the franchise assesses what they could potentially get in return, but it does not bother him.

"I’ve been in trade talks five out of six years in my career," he said. "I’ve seen it. I’ve been through it. I understand it. 

"I’ve been in trade rumours at the highest of the highest levels year after year. So, I’m numb to white noise and noise in general. I don’t get rattled and I don’t get bothered. I’m really an unbothered person at this point in my life."

He added: "I’m the only source in this world that knows what I want to do or what I’m thinking. People can think, they can say I may want out and say I want to be here or whatever, but nobody really knows but me, and I don’t even know.

"I don’t get caught up in speculation and all the headlines and stuff, because I’ve been there. I’ve been there and done that. I understand what it is."

The Los Angeles Lakers have made a notable move in their quest to earn a playoff spot by acquiring former lottery pick Rui Hachimura from the Washington Wizards on Monday.

The Lakers sent reserve guard Kendrick Nunn and three second-round picks to Washington in exchange for Hachimura – the ninth overall choice of the 2019 draft – who will be a restricted free agent this offseason after failing to reach an agreement on a contract extension with the Wizards in October.

According to ESPN, the Wizards will receive the Chicago Bulls’ 2023 second-round pick and the Lakers' 2029 second rounder, as well a the less favourable of Washington and the Lakers' 2028 second-round selections.

Hachimura is averaging 13 points and 4.3 rebounds over 30 games this season, and matched a career-high with 30 points in his final appearance with the Wizards, a win over Orlando on Saturday.

The 24-year-old forward is a career 35.6 percent three-point shooter who will be expected to provide a perimeter presence and defense to a veteran Lakers team that entered Monday's play 12th in the Western Conference, but they sit only two games back of the sixth-place Los Angeles Clippers in a tightly bunched race.

"We are excited to welcome Rui and his family to the Los Angeles Lakers," team vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka said in a statement. "Adding both size and depth to the wing position has been a goal, and the chance to accomplish that by acquiring a player with Rui’s two-way skills and upside was one that doesn’t present itself often."

The Lakers were 14-21 and near the bottom of the West standings on December 29, but have won eight of 12 since and could soon be getting back eight-time All-Star Anthony Davis from a foot injury that has sidelined him since mid-December.

Nunn signed a two-year, $10.25million contract with the Lakers in August 2021 after averaging 15 points per game with the Miami Heat over his first two NBA seasons. The 27-year-old missed all of last season with a knee injury, however, and has averaged just 13.5 minutes in 39 games thus far in 2022-23.

"Kendrick has shown the ability to be a solid perimeter threat who can provide instant offence as a reserve." Wizards president Tommy Sheppard said in a statement. "He has proven to be a valuable contributor during his young career, most notably as a key role player helping Miami make a run to the (2020) Finals."

Rui Hachimura put in a strong showing for the Washington Wizards on Saturday, but is unsure how much longer he will be at the franchise.

The Japanese forward scored 30 points against the Orlando Magic, the joint-best effort of his career, and claimed five rebounds as the Wizards won 138-118 at Capital One Arena.

Hachimura has been the subject of trade speculation and has made it clear he only wants to play for a team where he is wanted.

"I just want to be somewhere that wants me as a basketball player, and I want to be somewhere that likes my game," he said.

Asked if that place was Washington, he admitted: "I don't know. We've got to find out."

The 24-year-old joined the Wizards in 2019 as the ninth pick of the draft, but after a promising first two years, he has fallen out of favour.

Hachimura started just 13 games last season, and is yet to start this year, with his season average of 13.0 points per game matching his career average.

"I just got to play my game. I know what I can do, and I can help the team to win," he added. "It's either here or [another] team. I can help teams.

"I've just got to keep focus on the moment right now. I know all the stuff going on right now. I've just got to play the games and just to be myself."

Jayson Tatum scored a season-high 51 points to propel the Boston Celtics to a 130-118 win against the Charlotte Hornets on Monday.

With fellow Celtics All-Star Jaylen Brown out with an injury, Tatum produced the seventh 50-point performance of his career, shooting 15-of-23 from the field, seven-of-12 from deep and 14-of-14 from the free throw line.

In doing so, Tatum set the Celtics' franchise record for most regular season 50-point games with his fifth, and also added nine rebounds and five assists, while Derrick White contributed 19 points (five-of-11 shooting) and eight assists as he filled in for Brown in the starting line-up.

Jalen McDaniels was impressive for the Hornets, scoring a season-high 26 points on nine-of-15 shooting, while LaMelo Ball was inefficient for his 25 points (eight-of-23) and six assists.

With the win, the Celtics improved their streak to seven games and their league-best record to 33-12. They also own the NBA's best road record at 16-7.

Curry heroics deliver rare road win for the Warriors

Golden State Warriors icon Stephen Curry put on a show in his side's 127-118 away victory against the Washington Wizards.

Trailing 106-105 with less than six minutes on the clock, Curry went on to match the Wizards the rest of the way, scoring 12 of his 41 points while the home side could only put up 12 points as a team.

He shot 12-of-28 from the field for 41 points and seven rebounds, while Jordan Poole shot 12-of-20 for 32 points and seven rebounds.

It was a rare good night away from home for the now 22-22 Warriors, who at 5-17 own the second-worst road record in the league, while their 17-5 home record is tied for the fourth-best.

Jazz rookie shines as Rudy Gobert replacement

The Utah Jazz appear to have unearthed another towering defensive presence at center as rookie Walker Kessler dominated in a 126-125 win against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Kessler, the 22nd pick in the most recent NBA Draft, is already one of the league's best shot-blockers, sitting fourth in blocks at 2.0 per game and fourth in blocks-per-36 minutes at 3.6 per game.

It was only the ninth start from his 43 appearances this season, and he put up 20 points (nine-of-13), 21 rebounds (nine offensive), four assists and two blocks in a comprehensive performance.

The New York Knicks have now won six of their past seven games after Jalen Brunson excelled in a 112-108 victory against the Washington Wizards on Friday.

Brunson, who is averaging career-highs in points (21.9) and assists (6.4) since signing with the Knicks in the offseason, was once again his side's best player.

He scored a team-high 34 points on 12-of-24 shooting with eight rebounds and eight assists, continuing the red-hot form that has seen him average 33.2 points, 5.6 assists and 5.2 rebounds on 52 per cent shooting since the new year began.

Another player in scintillating form since the start of January is Knicks forward Julius Randle, and he is now averaging 24.8 points and 14.4 rebounds this month after putting up 23 points (eight-of-19 shooting) and 16 rebounds.

The Knicks overcame a terrific performance from Wizards wing Kyle Kuzma, who scored a season-high 40 points on 14-of-27 shooting with seven rebounds and seven assists.

New York are now 24-19, and sit sixth in the Eastern Conference.

No Jokic, no problem for the Nuggets

The Denver Nuggets showed they can survive without reigning back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic as they defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 115-103.

It was just the third contest Jokic has missed out of 41 total opportunities, but while on the sidelines nursing a wrist injury he watched Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr pick up the slack.

Murray scored a team-high 24 points on eight-of-17 shooting with eight rebounds and four assists, while Porter had 22 points (nine-of-17) with four rebounds and three assists.

The highlight of the game came courtesy of Clippers star Kawhi Leonard, who dunked on the head of Zeke Nnaji on his way to 24 points (10-of-21) and nine rebounds.

Hawks bigs deliver the win

Despite having two All-Stars in their backcourt, the Atlanta Hawks frontcourt came to the rescue in a 113-111 triumph over the Indiana Pacers.

Third-year center Onyeka Okongwu was tremendous with 18 points (nine-of-12 shooting), a career-high 20 rebounds, four assists, four blocks and two steals. 

His interior partner, John Collins, was less impactful for the first three quarters, and while he only finished with seven points, he scored the game-winning tip-in with less than a second remaining on the clock.

Bradley Beal is nearing his return for the Washington Wizards after being cleared for full basketball activities.

Beal has not played since suffering a left hamstring strain on January 3, but received a positive update during Thursday's re-evaluation.

The Wizards are scheduled to host the New York Knicks on Friday, but it is unclear if Beal will suit up for that contest, with the team announcing "his return to play will be based on his progression".

The 29-year-old is averaging a team-high 22.9 points, and while that is his lowest figure since the 2017-18 season, he has reached a new level of efficiency this campaign.

Having never posted a field goal percentage greater than 48.5 per cent during his 10-year career, Beal is sitting at a career-high 52.5 per cent this season.

He has done so by being more particular about the kind of shots he takes, with his usage rate of 27.8 also a five-year low.

The Wizards have lost three of their past four games since Beal's injury, relegating their record to 18-24, placing them 12th in the Eastern Conference.

Giannis Antetokounmpo wants to make his performances so consistently brilliant that people become bored by him.

The Greece-born star scored a career-high 55 points in the Milwaukee Bucks' 123-113 win against the Washington Wizards on Tuesday, while also claiming 10 rebounds and seven assists.

Antetokounmpo is averaging 32.8 points per game after 31 appearances for Milwaukee this season, with only Luka Doncic (34.3) and Joel Embiid (33.5) averaging more in the league.

"I want to get in a position... that my game is boring," Antetokounmpo said after the win. "I just do what I do and people don't talk about it because it becomes boring, I do it every single night.

"That's what I want to do. I want other people to feel like my game is boring. But I don't get bored. The greats, the best players, never get bored. They go out there and they always give their best any given night."

The 28-year-old also became the first player to average 45.0+ points, 15.0+ rebounds and 5.0+ assists per game over a three-game period since Wilt Chamberlain 59 years ago.

"He's been kind of playing with this kind of determination, this kind of just willing us in games," Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. "Tonight we were able to win it. He's just been phenomenal."

Brooks Lopez, who scored 21 points along with 12 rebounds and three assists, claimed there were not enough words available to describe his team-mate.

"He's just constantly improving," Lopez said. "When you think where else can he go and how else can he improve, he just improves again. We're going to have to expand the English language in some way to come up with words [to describe him].

"I don't know if I've said that before, but I'm sure he's going to improve again. Who knows what he's going to do next? He's just so otherworldly."

Giannis Antetokounmpo continued his red-hot form on Tuesday as he scored a season-high 55 points in the Milwaukee Bucks' 123-113 win over the Washington Wizards.

His 55-point outburst on 20-of-33 shooting – including an impressive 15-of-16 at the free throw line – comes after games of 43 points and 20 rebounds against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday, and 45 points, 22 rebounds against the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday.

In doing so, Antetokounmpo became the first player since Hall-of-Famer Wilt Chamberlain in 1964 to average at least 45 points, 15 rebounds and five assists over a three-game span.

He added 10 rebounds and seven assists against the Wizards, while fellow defensive stalwart Brook Lopez was also terrific. Lopez scored 21 points on 10-of-13 shooting while grabbing 12 rebounds and blocking six shots. 

His 2.7 blocks per game is the best figure among those who have qualified for the league leaderboard by playing at least 70 per cent of their team's games, although Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr is averaging 3.1 blocks in his 20 appearances.

Meanwhile, Antetokounmpo boosted his scoring average to 32.8, placing him third in the league, and he is also third in rebounding at 11.8 per game.

With the win, the Bucks are now 24-13, which is tied with the Denver Nuggets for the third-best record overall.

Thunder shock the Celtics

The Oklahoma City Thunder produced one of the more unlikely performances of the season as they broke their franchise scoring record with a 150-117 home win against the league-leading Boston Celtics.

Making the feat even more impressive was the fact that the Thunder were without franchise player and the NBA's fifth-leading scorer Shai Gilgeous-Alexander after he was a late withdrawal due to an illness.

OKC were led by Josh Giddey with 25 points (10-of-15 shooting), five rebounds, five assists and two steals as one of five Thunder players to score at least 20.

The 150 points is the second-most the Celtics have ever conceded in a game as Oklahoma City piled on quarters of 34, 40, 48 and 28 in a completely one-sided contest.

Fox delivers game-winner for the Kings

De'Aaron Fox nailed a game-winning lay-up with under one second remaining to give the Sacramento Kings a 117-115 road win against the Utah Jazz.

Fox led all scorers with 37 points on 15-of-22 shooting, adding six assists, three rebounds, two blocks and a steal. 

He was supported strongly by two-time All-Star Domantas Sabonis, who had 21 points (eight-of-13), 14 rebounds and eight assists to help the Kings into the Western Conference's fifth seed as they seek to break the NBA's longest active playoff drought (2006).

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 put up arguably the most gaudy stat-line of the season in the Dallas Mavericks' 126-121 home victory against the New York Knicks on Tuesday.

Doncic ended up with 60 points on 21-of-31 shooting, 21 rebounds, 10 assists, two steals and a block in the virtuoso performance, and the Mavericks needed every bit of it to come back from a late deficit.

Trailing 112-103 with less than 30 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Dallas staged a miraculous recovery, but still needed some Luka magic to send the game to overtime.

With four seconds on the clock, trailing by three, Doncic was sent to the line for two free throws. He made the first, before intentionally missing the second, tracking down his own rebound and putting it back in to tie the game.

He scored seven of the Mavericks' 11 points in the overtime period to complete the comeback, finishing the game on a 23-9 run.

The win is Dallas' fourth in a row, and improves their record to 19-16 to sit seventh in the Western Conference.

Despite the loss for the Knicks – their fourth in a row – there were encouraging signs for the future of their backcourt. With Jalen Brunson missing his first game of the season due to a hip injury, Immanuel Quickley was handed the start. 

He had 11 of his 15 assists in the first half before struggling down the stretch as he was asked to play a game-high 51 minutes, while Quentin Grimes top-scored for New York with 33 points (12-of-25).

LeBron's Lakers get back on track

The Los Angeles Lakers are back in the winner's list after LeBron James led them to a 129-110 road win against the Orlando Magic.

Entering the contest on a four-game losing streak since the injury of Anthony Davis, James was terrific, scoring a team-high 28 points on 12-of-24 shooting with seven rebounds and five assists.

He was supported well by Davis' replacement in the starting lineup, with Thomas Bryant chipping in 21 points (eight-of-10 shooting) and 10 rebounds, while Russell Westbrook tied Detlef Schrempf's all-time record for triple-doubles off the bench with 15 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists.

The Magic had won eight of their previous nine, but it was a tough outing for number one draft pick Paolo Banchero, scoring a career-low four points with five fouls in 22 minutes.

76ers waste incredible Embiid performance

The Philadelphia 76ers' winning streak has ended at eight games after a disappointing 116-111 loss to the Washington Wizards, despite Joel Embiid heroics.

Embiid, the back-to-back MVP runner-up, scored a game-high 48 points on 17-of-31 shooting, adding nine rebounds, three blocks and three steals to finish with a plus/minus of plus eight in his 36 minutes.

Unfortunately for Embiid, the 76ers were outscored by 13 in the 12 minutes he was on the bench, with Kristaps Porzingis' 24 points (seven-of-15), 10 rebounds, three blocks and two steals leading the way for the Wizards.

The win may be coming at a cost, however, as All-Star Bradley Beal left in the fourth quarter after suffering a hamstring injury.

Devin Booker reached 12,000 career points with a season-high 58 points as the Phoenix Suns rallied from a 24-point deficit with a hard-fought 118-114 win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday.

Booker, who returned from a hamstring issue in Thursday's win over the Los Angeles Clippers which ended the Suns' five-game losing run, made 21-of-35 attempts from the field, including shooting six-of-12 from beyond the arc.

The Suns guard's haul was the second most by a player in a single game this NBA season, behind only Joel Embiid with 59 points last month against the Utah Jazz.

Booker, 26, also became the sixth youngest player in NBA history to reach 12,000 career points, behind only LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony and Tracy McGrady.

The Suns had trailed 83-59 with 7:14 left in the third quarter, coming after the Pelicans had beaten them twice last week.

Booker had five rebounds and five assists along with his 58 points, while Chris Paul added 18 points with five rebounds and eight assists.

Zion Williamson scored 30 points with nine assists for the Pels, while C.J. McCollum added 27 points with eight assists.

Cavs hang on for OT win over Mavs

The Dallas Mavericks spurned three late go-ahead opportunities, including Christian Wood's 30-foot buzzer-beating attempt as the Cleveland Cavaliers got home 100-99 in overtime.

Jarrett Allen's dunk with 2:01 remaining in overtime was the final score, with Donovan Mitchell scoring 25 points for the victorious Cavs, who improved to 20-11. Jarrett Allen had eight points with 15 rebounds.

Kemba Walker top scored with 32 points for the Mavs, who were missing Luka Doncic (quad), while Wood scored 26 points, including five triples, but he missed the crucial late one.

Kawhi finds groove with season-high

Kawhi Leonard scored a season-high 31 points as the Los Angeles Clippers fought back from a three-quarter time deficit to win 102-93 over the Washington Wizards.

Leonard, who has been working back slowly after missing last season with an ACL injury, played a season-high 31 minutes, shooting 12-of-26 with nine rebounds.

Luke Kennard came off the bench to add a season-high 20 points with four three-pointers as the Clippers rallied from a 75-72 three-quarter time deficit.

Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving says there will be "no more distractions" for the team after they seized a 112-100 road win against the Washington Wizards on Monday.

The New York outfit improved to 17-12 for the season with a commanding victory at Capital One Arena, led by a 30-point haul for Kevin Durant.

The result helped the Nets further distance themselves from their early season controversy, when Irving was suspended over a series of tweets linking to an anti-semitic documentary, before initially refusing to apologise.

Now, the seven-time All-Star says the team are keeping their focus firmly on the court and know they have the players on hand to succeed this term.

"Man, let's just go win ballgames," he said. "That's it, that's really what the attitude is.

"We know the talent we have. This is our group. No more excuses, no more distractions."

Having been held back from building an early lead, the Nets raced out to 88-71 in the third quarter, and never let the Wizards get within eight after that.

Durant, who also posted nine rebounds and six assists, noted the visitors were aware letting their foot off the pedal could have proven dangerous.

"We talked about this being a trap game," he added. "If we'd have played too relaxed, with no sense of urgency, we definitely would have lost this game."

The Nets are now 5-1 across December, and have gone unbeaten over their last four matches, with trips to the Toronto Raptors and Detroit Pistons next on the agenda.

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