The Splash Brothers found their range as Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combined for 64 points including 10 three-pointers in the Golden State Warriors' 129-117 win over the Toronto Raptors on Friday.

Curry top scored with 35 points on 13-of-21 shooting from the field, making four-of-eight from beyond the arc, with seven rebounds, 11 assists and two steals at Chase Center.

Thompson finished with 29 points but nailed six-of-14 three-point attempts, along with eight rebounds.

Donte DiVincenzo made another strong impression off the bench, playing 33 minutes for 12 points with two-of-five three-pointers and 11 assists.

As a team, Golden State shot at 55.6 per cent from the field (50-of-90), while they had 40 assists compared to Toronto's 24.

The win improves the Warriors' home record to 19-6, while they nudge over .500 with a 25-24 overall record to move up seventh in the Western Conference.

Raptors guard Fred VanVleet scored a team-high 28 points on five-of-10 three-point shooting with 10 assists, while Scottie Barnes chipped in with 24 points.

Giannis dominates as Middleton comeback continues

Giannis Antetokounmpo held off another Indiana Pacers' late charge as the Milwaukee Bucks won 141-131 fuelled by the Greek's 41 points, 12 rebounds and six assists.

Antetokounmpo made five-of-eight free-throws in the final four minutes as the Bucks held on. Jrue Holiday contributed 20 points with nine rebounds and nine assists.

Khris Middleton continued his gradual return to full fitness, scoring 17 points in 15 minutes off the bench, while Myles Turner top scored for Indiana with 24 points.

SGA racks them up again for OKC

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander recorded his fourth straight 30-point game as the Oklahoma City Thunder down the Cleveland Cavaliers 112-100 after scores were locked at three-quarter time.

Gilgeous-Alexander finished with 35 points, with eight assists and five rebounds for OKC, who won for the sixth time in eight games to improve to 24-25.

The Cavs were without Donovan Mitchell due to a groin injury, with Darius Garland starring for them with 31 points and 13 assists.

Meanwhile, Ja Morant recorded his fourth triple-double of the season with 27 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists in the Memphis Grizzlies' 111-100 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Stephen Curry was ejected for throwing his mouthpiece before Jordan Poole scored a last-second layup as the Golden State Warriors narrowly beat the Memphis Grizzlies 122-120 on Wednesday.

Curry was ejected with 1:14 remaining in the fourth quarter  with the Warriors up by two for unsportsmanlike conduct, having thrown his mouthpiece in frustration after Poole opted not to pass to him, before missing a three-point attempt.

But Golden State kept their composure without their NBA Finals MVP, with Klay Thompson draining a clutch three-pointer with 14.1 seconds left, before Ja Morant dished off for a Brandon Clarke dunk to square it up with 6.3 seconds remaining.

Poole got redemption for his role in Curry's ejection, when he got free to land a left-handed layup from Donte DiVincenzo's inbound to decide the game at Chase Center.

Curry finished with 34 points with four-of-eight three-point shooting, while Klay Thompson hit five-of-10 triples in his 24 points.

Draymond Green had 13 rebounds, seven assists and three blocks, while Poole added 21 points with seven assists.

Morant posted 29 points for the Grizzlies, making two-of-seven from beyond the arc with 12 assists and two steals. Desmond Bane managed 20 points but went four-of-six from the stripe.

The result lifts the Warriors up to ninth in the Western Conference with a 24-24 record, while the Grizzlies are 31-17 and second in the west.

Simmons booed as 76ers down Nets

Ben Simmons was booed throughout on his return to Wells Fargo Center as the Philadelphia 76ers edged the Brooklyn Nets 137-133 to clinch their sixth straight win.

James Harden starred against his former side with 23 points, three rebounds and seven assists, making two three-pointers and a driving layup in the final four minutes. Tyrese Maxey added 27 points off the bench and Joel Embiid had 26 points and 10 rebounds.

Seth Curry had a season-high 32 points including seven triples, Kyrie Irving added 30 points with 10 assists, while Ben Simmons was scoreless in the first half from only one shot but finished with 12 points, five rebounds and five assists.

Lillard shoots 60 in Blazers win

Damian Lillard scored 60 points, the second-most by a single player in a game this season, as the Portland Trail Blazers won 134-124 over the Utah Jazz.

Lillard shot nine-of-15 from three-point range including six of those in the first half, recording his fourth career 60-point game, matching Michael Jordan and James Harden for the third most overall.

The Blazers guard scored five triples in the second quarter, which he has done 16 times in any quarter in his career, which is the second most by any player in the last 25 seasons. Jazz power forward Lauri Markkanen scored 24 points with four rebounds.

Steve Kerr was effusive in his praise of Jordan Poole after the 23-year-old led the Golden State Warriors to victory at the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday.

Poole scored 32 points as the Warriors won 120-114 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, with the defending NBA champions without star players Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins.

Coach Steve Kerr rested them and others after their agonising overtime defeat at the Boston Celtics on Thursday, and was pleased to see Poole step up in their absence.

"He's continuing to grow and he's continuing to get better," Kerr said post-game. "In the last two games, he was fantastic... To play that way tonight without Steph and Klay and Wiggs and Dray, to give us that scoring and that force, he made so many plays out there. He set the tone.

"He's getting better and better. There is still so far to go, which is exciting."

Golden State did not particularly miss Curry as they managed to hit 23 three-pointers, the most they have ever recorded in a game without the eight-time All Star.

Poole acknowledged he and his team-mates had to learn from their mistakes against Boston, where they threw away a lead in the fourth quarter.

The Cavaliers also began eating into a lead that had been as high as 20 points at one stage, but this time the Warriors were able to close it out.

"It was a learning experience yesterday," Poole said. "It was something that we were very aware of. It kind of was a very similar situation, being up with six minutes left and then it became a close game. We knew we needed to lock down, get some stops and make a good run. We needed to close it out and we did. Now we have to build on it.

"Everybody on our team is confident, and shout-out to Coach Kerr for allowing us to play with that confidence. We know what we are capable of. We were spacing the floor and getting good looks. We got laser-focused."

Klay Thompson suggested the Golden State Warriors paid the price for thinking "we'd just get the dub" as Stephen Curry returned from injury against the Phoenix Suns.

Curry missed 11 games with a shoulder injury but was back in the lineup on Tuesday alongside Andrew Wiggins, who had returned in the Warriors' previous outing after 15 games on the sideline.

However, the Suns defeated the NBA champions 125-113 after building a big halftime lead.

Complacency was an issue, according to Thompson, whose 29 points led Golden State.

"I think with Steph and [Wiggins] back, we probably relaxed a bit more than we should have," he said.

"We thought with them showing up, we'd just get the dub."

The loss was the Warriors' third in a row after a run of five straight wins appeared to have got their season back on track.

At the halfway mark in the campaign, Golden State are eighth in the West with a losing 20-21 record.

"We've been talking about it for a long time," said Curry. "Eventually, you have to do it or else time runs out.

"We have 41 games to figure it out – or else we won't."

There was at least cause for optimism in the fourth quarter, in which Curry, playing with a shooting sleeve on his left arm, scored 16 of his 24 points.

"It's hit or miss with how much rust you will have and how close you can get to the speed of the game," Curry explained. "The first quarter, it felt good just to be out there, running with our guys.

"I felt like I got stronger as the game went on. In the fourth, the intensity of the game picked up. We were playing very desperately trying to come back and make some plays. I felt like myself again."

Coach Steve Kerr added: "I'm hoping that fourth quarter was the team that I have come to know and love and recognise.

"But we have to show in the first quarter, not in the fourth quarter."

Damar Hamlin had the American sporting community rooting for him after the Buffalo Bills safety suffered an on-field cardiac arrest, as team-mate Josh Allen pleaded: "Please pray for our brother."

Hamlin was in a critical condition at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, having collapsed during Monday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Hamlin made a tackle on Bengals receiver Tee Higgins in the first quarter, and after briefly returning to his feet, he slumped to the ground.

He was administered CPR on the field, before being loaded into a waiting ambulance and rushed away.

Amid harrowing scenes, the game was suspended while the Bengals were leading 7-3 with 5:58 remaining in the first period.

Allen led the call for prayer for Hamlin, with well-wishers from across sport, entertainment and politics also sending thoughts and best wishes.

Former Chargers and Saints quarterback Drew Brees wrote on Twitter: "Damar Hamlin represents every one of us and every team-mate we've ever had.

"I've never met him, but I know him as a member of our brotherhood. My family and I pray for him and his family as he recovers. God be with him."

Michael Vick and Patrick Mahomes also said they were praying for Hamlin, the latter adding: "Please be okay man."

Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill added: "Praying for Damar Hamlin, his family and everyone in Buffalo... no words for a situation like this."

The NFL said: "Our thoughts and prayers are with Damar, his family and the Buffalo Bills."

Arizona Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt said: "The game is not important. Damar Hamlin’s life is important. Please be ok. Please."

From basketball, the NBA said: "The entire NBA family's thoughts and prayers are with Damar Hamlin, his family and the NFL community."

That was reflected in post-game comments from a number of leading stars after Monday's NBA action, with Lakers superstar LeBron James saying: "My thoughts and super prayers goes up to the skies above for that kid's family, for him, for that brotherhood of the NFL and everybody a part of the NFL family."

James said it was "definitely the right call" to abandon the game for the night.

He said of the incident: "It was a terrible thing to see and I wish nothing but the best for that kid, for the city of Buffalo, for the franchise of the Bills and like I said, for the rest of the NFL as well and also the Bengals that was there and playing in that game."

Klay Thompson, from the Golden State Warriors, added: "As athletes, sometimes the game can overshadow us as individuals or people.

"On behalf of the organisation, we wish him the best. We're keeping him in our prayers and hoping for the best possible outcome. He's a tremendous person and it's bigger than the sport."

Hollywood actor Ben Stiller, a big sports fan, wrote: "Sending good thoughts and prayers to Damar Hamlin and his family."

Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani said: "Our prayers are with Damar Hamlin."

Amid the focus on Hamlin's plight, there was a surge in donations to a Christmas fundraiser the Bills star organised in 2020, to raise money to buy toys for children hit hard by the pandemic.

The fundraiser's target had been $2,500, but its running tally passed $3million by the early hours of Tuesday.

Klay Thompson recalled his lowest moments from an extended time on the sidelines after posting his best scoring performance of the season on Monday.

Thompson, who missed over two and a half years through injury before returning to the court last January, scored 54 points as the Golden State Warriors sealed an overtime win against the Atlanta Hawks.

The 32-year-old, who also had eight rebounds and three assists, made 21 of 39 field goal attempts and 10 of 21 from beyond the arc as the Warriors won 143-141 at Chase Center.

"It's better than good, [it's] amazing,'' Thompson said after his performance. "Those moments where you have the ball with the game on the line down the stretch and your team-mates trust you, those are what you really live for as a competitor, as a basketball player. It was hard to see those at times during the rehab process."

The defending NBA champions have struggled on the road this season, but their far more reliable home form saw them move to 20-18, with 17 of those wins coming at Chase Center.

Coach Steve Kerr was particularly pleased with the effort of Thompson, saying: "He just made shot after shot and play after play, he was incredible."

Kevon Looney scored the winning basket right at the final buzzer in second overtime, making up for a miss just prior, and laughed when asked if he had ever scored a game-winner before.

"Not a walkoff game-winner," Looney said. "I rushed the first one. I didn't think I had that much time, but I saw I had more time, so I took my time on the second one and I was able to make it."

Splash brothers Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combined for 66 points as the Golden State Warriors claimed arguably their best win of the season, beating the Boston Celtics 123-107 on Saturday.

The Celtics had won eight of their past nine games, including a statement win over the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday, but the reigning champions shut down the NBA's number one offensive team while the splash brothers were on song.

Curry finished with 32 points including six-of-11 from beyond the arc, with four off the dribble, while Thompson scored a game-high 34 points with four triples. The Warriors are 14-0 all-time when Curry and Thompson both score 30-plus points.

It was a rare night of frustration for the NBA-leading Celtics, who fall to 21-6 overall, with Jayson Tatum kept to 18 points with seven rebounds, two assists and three steals. Jaylen Brown scored a team-high 31 points.

Curry and Thompson led the way, but center Kevon Looney pulled down 15 rebounds while Jordan Poole added 20 points.

The win means the Warriors are 12-2 at Chase Center this season and have won 11 of their past 17 games, improving to 14-13 overall.

Thomas stars as short-handed Nets claim shock win

The short-handed Brooklyn Nets recorded an admirable 136-133 victory over the Indiana Pacers, with Cam Thomas coming off the bench to score a career-high 33 points.

The Nets were without eight players, including All-Stars Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons, but Thomas stepped up along with Australian guard Patty Mills with 24 points, six rebounds and six assists.

Tyrese Haliburton scored 35 points for the Pacers, but Thomas and Mills were crucial in the fourth quarter, as the Nets made it three straight wins and six from their past seven games.

Jokic records triple-double in Nuggets victory

Nikola Jokic led the Denver Nuggets to a 115-110 win over the Utah Jazz with his fourth triple-double of the season and 80th of his NBA career.

Jokic finished with 31 points, 12 rebounds and 14 assists in a dominant display that helped the Nugs improve their record to 15-10.

Jamal Murray supported the reigning MVP well, with 30 points, four rebounds and five assists.

Klay Thompson admitted he "fell asleep" as the Utah Jazz produced a stunning finish to snatch a dramatic 124-123 win over the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday.

The Warriors roared back from 11 points down in the fourth quarter to lead by four with only 13.3 seconds to play at Vivint Arena.

Golden State paid the price for switching off in the closing stages, though, leaving Malik Beasley on his own in the right corner to give him the chance to land a three-pointer.

Simone Fontecchio then came up with a decisive dunk with 1.4 seconds to go after Utah forced a turnover from Jordan Poole.

Thompson held his hands up for not paying close attention to Beasley.

"I just fell asleep," Thompson said. "I watched the ball handler get to the rim rather than sticking on the three-point shooter. That was a dreadful mistake by myself."

Poole, who scored 36 points and provided eight assists, was at a loss to explain what happened late on.

"I heard on the catch, 'Look for the foul on the ball'," Poole said. "I don't really know [what happened], to be honest."

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr expects his team to learn from a shattering defeat.

"I feel terrible for our guys because they fought and they did a lot of great things, but we have to close the door," Kerr said.

"I thought [we] really fought and earned the right to win the game, and then we didn't close. And you've got to close.

"You've got to be rock solid with the ball. You've got to be smart defensively. We were neither of those things the last 13 seconds."

Golden State are 10th in the Western Conference at 13-13 after back-to-back losses, with the 15-12 Jazz four places above them.

The Golden State Warriors (11-11) have a golden opportunity to climb back above .500 when they host the 9-12 Chicago Bulls on Thursday.

Both teams entered the season with lofty expectations, but have sputtered out of the gates, struggling in areas they are meant to excel in.

With four championships since 2015, the Warriors have been widely regarded as the greatest shooting team the game has ever seen, but the underlying factor of their greatest years has always been their defense.

Boasting the league's best defensive efficiency in their 2014-15 championship season, second-best for their 2016-17 title, and 11th for their 2017-18 crown – the Warriors rediscovered their dominance on that end of the floor this past season to finish as the second-best defense en route to another ring.

That has cratered this campaign, with Golden State currently allowing 113.4 points per 100 possessions for the 21st-ranked defense.

What that means is that some of the Warriors' point totals from their eighth-ranked offense are going to waste, having scored over 110 points in seven of their 11 losses so far.

Meanwhile, the Bulls have committed to offensively-minded scorers DeMar DeRozan, Nikola Vucevic and Zach Lavine as their core trio, but currently own the 22nd-best offense.

In a clash between two sides struggling to establish an identity, the result could simply come down to which side's X-factor shows up – or more specifically, which one shoots the lights out.

PIVOTAL PERFORMERS

Golden State Warriors - Klay Thompson

Klay Thompson is a Warriors legend, a future Hall-of-Famer and one of the greatest shooters in the history of the NBA – but he has never been less efficient than he is right now.

However, when Thompson is feeling it this season, the Warriors win. Shooting 35.5 per cent from the field and 32.5 per cent from deep in losses, Thompson's numbers skyrocket to 43.7 per cent from the field and 44.7 per cent on three-pointers in the 10 wins he has played in.

Only the Boston Celtics score a higher percentage of their points from three-pointers (41.7 per cent) than the Warriors (41.2 per cent), so it makes sense that when their secondary sharpshooter catches fire, good things happen.

Chicago Bulls - Zach Lavine

While the Warriors rely on a heavy dose of three-pointers to put up their points, the Bulls are the opposite, leading the league in their percentage of points that come from the mid-range (14.6 per cent).

This is primarily due to DeRozan's affinity for the mid-range, and in turn, it leaves them 28th in the percentage of points that come from the three-point line (27.4 per cent).

To outgun the Warriors, you need to score big, and the Bulls' best bet to get hot from deep is Zach Lavine.

Making 2.8 threes per game, he is the only Bulls player averaging more than Coby White's 1.5, and his win/loss splits are eerily similar to Thompson's.

He is hitting 3.6 threes at 43.9 per cent in wins, and 2.1 threes at 26.4 per cent in losses, indicating his outsized importance and responsibility for the interior-heavy Bulls offense.

KEY BATTLE - Can the Bulls slow down the Warriors' ball movement?

While the Bulls' offense has been disappointing, their defense has actually been a pleasant surprise, climbing from the 23rd-ranked unit last season up to the 11th-best this time around.

Golden State's porous defense and second-highest pace in the league could provide a perfect environment for the Bulls to put up a big score, so it may come down to if they can force Stephen Curry to beat them by himself.

While Curry has been spectacular, averaging 31.4 points, the Warriors lead the league in assists per game at 29.7, so if the Bulls can figure out how to force the Warriors into isolations and restrict their quick passing, they can force the reigning champions to play the game out of their comfort zone.

 

HEAD-TO-HEAD

This will be the first meeting between the Warriors and Bulls this campaign after two fixtures in the 2021-22 season – resulting in two convincing Golden State wins.

The champions-in-waiting hammered the Bulls 119-93 last November, before following it up with a 138-96 thrashing in January, making it 10 consecutive victories against Chicago dating back to 2017.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Durant makes history in Irving's return

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

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

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

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

Fox leads the Kings to sixth win in a row

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

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

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

Stephen Curry scored 50 points but could not prevent the Golden State Warriors' winless road run from extending to eight games after a 130-119 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday.

The defeat means the Warriors are 0-8 on the road this season, and slump to 6-9 in the 2022-23 campaign, which is a tie for fourth worst 15-game start to a season by an NBA champion.

Golden State's 0-8 road start is the worst ever by a defending champion in NBA history. The eight-defeat run is also a tie for third for longest road losing streak by a defending champion in their title-defense season.

The Warriors' defense was an issue once again, having allowed 124.3 points per game on the road this season which is the worst in the NBA. The Warriors' opponents have scored 120 or more points six times in 15 games this season.

The Suns improved to 9-5, with point guard Cameron Payne top scoring with 29 points including six three-pointers alongside Devin Booker with 27 points. Mikal Bridges added 23 points with five triples along with eight rebounds and nine assists.

Phoenix, who were without Cameron Johnson (knee), Chris Paul (heel) and Jae Crowder, knocked down a season-high 21 three-pointers, which is the most allowed by the Warriors this season, shooting at 52.5 per cent from beyond the arc.

Curry posted 50 points on 17-of-28 field shooting with seven-of-11 from three-point range with nine rebounds and six assists. Klay Thompson added 19 points but the Warriors' bench combined for only 17 points.

Celtics extend winning run to eight games

The short-handed Boston Celtics secured their eighth straight win with a 126-101 victory over the Atlanta Hawks where seven players scored double digits for the winners.

Jayson Tatum had a career-high six assists in the first quarter and finished the game with 19 points, with seven rebounds and eight assists, while Jaylen Brown top scored for Boston with 22 points. Derrick White dished off 10 assists and Al Horford hauled down 11 rebounds.

During the Celtics' eight-game win streak, they have the NBA's best offensive efficiency (123.2), three-point field goals made (16.4) and assists-turnovers ratio (2.3).

SGA comes up clutch again for OKC

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored an equal career-high 42 points, including draining a last-gasp three-pointer to lift the Oklahoma City Thunder past the Washington Wizards 121-120.

Bradley Beal had hit a two-pointer to put the Wizards up 120-118 with 6.1 seconds left, but Gilgeous-Alexander, who scored 19 points in the third quarter, had time to hit a step-back triple with 1.1 seconds remaining.

Over the last two seasons, Gilgeous-Alexander has scored four go-ahead or game-tying field goals in the final five seconds, which is more than any other player in the NBA. Nine players have two.

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr referenced last season's late-season turnaround to offer confidence the reigning champions can remedy their slow 3-7 start.

The Warriors have an 0-6 road record this season after five-game losing run ended with Friday's 114-105 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans. Klay Thompson described that run as the "road trip from hell".

Golden State are the first defending champion to ever start the next season 0-6 on the road.

Kerr, whose side return to action on Monday at Chase Center against the Sacramento Kings, is bullish they can turn around their slow start, pointing to last season when endured two poor streaks before going on to win the NBA title.

The Warriors lost nine of 11 games in February and March, along with another stretch where they lost eight of nine games, before winning five in a row on the eve of their successful playoffs campaign.

"It's all part of the NBA," Kerr told reporters about their 3-7 start. "A year ago, we lost 9 out of 11 games in March and won the championship a couple of months later

"So there are times in the NBA season when things can go off the rails a little bit. A big part of being a great team, being a solid organisation, is just understanding how to work through that."

He added: "You come off a bad stretch, you watch a bunch of film, figure out what you can do better, coaching staff makes a few adjustments, give players the instructions and the advice an then everybody is all in together and then you bounce back. That's the plan. I'm really confident that we can do that."

Four of the Warriors' five most recent losses were by single figures which Kerr acknowledged offered some positives but remained focused on the detail to reverse their fortunes.

"It's a matter of focusing on why we lost five close games," he said. "You can show some of the positive things that happened during that stretch but then you've really got to lock in on the detail and the small mistakes that are just killers, not boxing out, fouling, all the stuff we've been talking about."

Kerr indicated Jonathan Kuminga will likely earn more on-court time in coming games after a season-high 38 minutes in the Pelicans loss, while he backed former NBA Draft second overall pick James Wiseman but acknowledged his struggles.

"He's got plenty to learn, but he's a willing learner and we're gonna take our time with him, and I have no doubt long-term he's gonna be a really good player," Kerr said about Wiseman.

"I see a really talented young guy who's eager to learn, who's committed to the team, who's overcome an awful lot to get to this point dealing with his injury for over a year."

Stephen Curry's 39 points were not enough to prevent the Golden State Warriors from slumping to their fourth straight defeat as Jalen Suggs lifted the Orlando Magic to a 130-129 victory on Thursday.

The reigning champions, who led by 16 points at one stage, had gone into the final minute with scores tied but Suggs drained a three-pointer, followed by making a steal, sinking one of two free-throws to make it to a two-score game.

Suggs finished the game with 26 points with nine assists, while rookie Pablo Banchero contributed 22 points with eight rebounds.

Curry scored 39 points on eight-of-15 three-point shooting with nine assists for Golden State. Klay Thompson found form with seven triples in his 27-point haul.

The Magic scored 33-of-46 points from the free-throw line, compared to Golden State's 10-of-15.

The result means the Warriors fall to 3-6, having lost three of their past four games to sides who missed last year's playoffs. Golden State are also 0-5 on the road.

Jokic records another triple-double

Two-time MVP Nikola Jokic's third triple double of the season and 79th of his career helped the Denver Nuggets to a 122-110 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Jokic scored 15 points with 13 rebounds and 13 assists as Jamal Murray contributed 24 points including four three-pointers for Denver who improve to 5-3.

For the Thunder, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 37 points but only four in the final quarter when OC went seven-for-22.

The Golden State Warriors' offense, led by the Splash Brothers, was at its destructive best in Thursday night's 123-110 victory over the Miami Heat.

In a strong four-quarter performance, the Warriors scored between 29 and 32 points in all four periods, led by iconic backcourt duo Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.

Curry was the game's top-scorer with 33 points on 13-of-22 shooting, hitting seven of his 14 three-point attempts. 

Thompson also got up 14 three-point attempts as the Warriors – who play at the fastest pace in the league at 111.7 possessions per game – were determined to let it fly from deep.

The second Splash Brother hit five of his 14 attempts, while going one-of-five from two-point range for 19 points of his own. They were supported strongly by Andrew Wiggins, who grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds to go with his 18 points (five-of-10 shooting).

For the Heat, Jimmy Butler was terrific on both ends, leading his team with 27 points on an incredibly efficient eight-of-13 from the field (four-of-seven from deep, made all seven free throws), while adding eight assists, six rebounds and six steals.

The win means the defending champions are 3-2 through their first five games, while Miami fell to 2-4.

The Baniac delivers again

Memphis Grizzlies wing Desmond Bane is in a rich vein of form, and he led the way with 31 points in a 125-110 win against the Sacramento Kings.

It is the second consecutive game Bane has top-scored for the Grizzlies in a win, after dropping 38 to tie with teammate Ja Morant and set a new franchise record for points by a duo (76) in their victory over the Brooklyn Nets.

Against the Kings, Bane stayed red-hot as he made 11-of-18 field goal attempts, including six-of-eight from long range in a true sharpshooter's performance.

One of the best shooters in the entire NBA, Bane now boasts a career three-point percentage of 43.3 per cent on 5.6 attempts per game.

Thunder collect another win over the Clippers

The Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Los Angeles Clippers for the second time in the past three days with a 118-110 triumph.

Los Angeles were missing stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George when they rolled into Oklahoma City for a two-game road trip, and were still without Leonard as George returned to the lineup.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (24 points on 10-of-23 shooting) and Luguentz Dort (21 points on nine-of-15) carried the offensive load for the Thunder, while George was much less effective for the Clippers.

George could only muster 10 points on four-of-12 shooting, while center Ivica Zubac grabbed a game-high 18 rebounds with his 12 points. After starting their season with two wins, the Clippers have now lost their past three.

Devin Booker loves and admires Klay Thompson, but that does not excuse him from being competitive after their verbal spar led to the Golden State Warriors guard's ejection from Tuesday's game.

Booker scored 34 points as the Phoenix Suns won 134-105 over the Warriors, with Thompson ejected for the first time in his career during a heated third quarter between two of the top Western Conference contenders at Footprint Center.

Thompson was thrown out of the game after consecutive technical fouls, instigated by a heated exchange with Booker that went on for several minutes.

The pair bumped chests and exchanged words, leading to double technicals for both players, but Thompson boiled over during an ensuing timeout and was thrown out after yelling at the officials, despite being restrained by Stephen Curry and assistant coach Chris DeMarco.

"I love Klay Thompson," Booker told ESPN during his on-court interview after the game. "I have from the beginning, from the draft coming out, I said I wanted to be Klay Thompson.

"But that doesn’t excuse us from competing against each other and talking a little mess with each other. I had fun with it. I'm a big fan of his and his competitive nature and that's that."

When asked at the press conference what Thompson said to Booker, he said: "They have four rings. Repeated over and over. And they do."

Thompson managed only two points on one-of-eight shooting, with that frustration boiling over, while Booker kept his composure to an extent. The Warriors guard was still shouting at the Suns bench as he was walked out following his ejection.

"He was having a tough night," Booker said. "I think everything plays into his frustration. I've been there before.

"You know what they have, they've got the four rings, they're going to use that in all the trash talk, rightfully so, respectfully. But that doesn't have anything to do with competing.

"I've always admired his game, how he plays on both sides of the ball and obviously the rings speak for themselves. Like I said, I'm going to bring it every time."

Thompson's ejection comes amid a sluggish start to the season for the five-time All-Star shooting guard, averaging 14.0 points on 40.5 per cent shooting from the field, while he has made eight-of-28 three-point attempts at 34.8 per cent.

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr understood Thompson's frustration but tried to offer some perspective to his frustrated four-time NBA champion.

"One thing I will remind Klay on, he's had plenty of slow starts in his career," Kerr said. "I remember several years ago where he really struggled for the three-point line in his first four or five games.

"Klay cares so much about the game, his own impact on our team. He wants it so badly and he's trying to force everything right now. He's trying too hard. I'll remind him of that."

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