Kawhi Leonard haunted his former team as the Los Angeles Clippers topped the previously unbeaten San Antonio Spurs 103-97 in NBA action on Thursday.

Leonard – who spent seven seasons with the Spurs before joining the Toronto Raptors and winning an NBA championship in 2018-19 – dropped 38 points and 12 rebounds in Los Angeles on Halloween.

After sitting out Wednesday's loss to the Utah Jazz due to load management, Leonard returned to snap the Spurs' winning start to the season following three successive wins.

Montrezl Harrell added 24 points for the Clippers, who improved to 4-2 for the season, while DeMar DeRozan led the Spurs with 29 points.

Highly rated prospect Michael Porter Jr made his NBA debut for the Denver Nuggets, who lost 122-107 to the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Nuggets used pick 14 to secure Porter and the 21-year-old capped his Denver bow with 15 points in 20 minutes.

 

Nunn ignites Heat

Miami Heat rookie Kendrick Nunn had 28 points on 10-of-15 shooting in a 106-97 win over the Atlanta Hawks.

 

Hawks' Hunter struggles

Hawks rookie De'Andre Hunter had four points on one-of-nine shooting.

 

Harris dunks on Okafor

Gary Harris threw one down over Jahlil Okafor.

 

Thursday's results

Miami Heat 106-97 Atlanta Hawks
New Orleans Pelicans 122-107 Denver Nuggets
Los Angeles Clippers 103-97 San Antonio Spurs

 

Lakers at Mavericks

The veteran duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis takes on the up-and-coming pairing of Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. This game is going to be dynamic.

Ben Simmons rejected claims he was not a peacemaker in the brawl between Philadelphia 76ers team-mate Joel Embiid and Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns.

Embiid and Towns were hit with two-game suspensions without pay for their fight during Philadelphia's 117-95 NBA win over Minnesota on Wednesday.

Sixers All-Star Embiid and Towns got tangled up in the third quarter and eventually exchanged blows before the benches cleared and the two needed to be separated prior to their ejections.

Simmons was seen on top of Towns during the fight with his arm around his throat, with the Timberwolves reportedly alleging the 76ers guard had been the aggressor.

"I don't really have anything to say about it," Simmons – who escaped punishment – told reporters when asked about the claims.

"My team-mate and Karl went at it, I tried to grab them and separate them and get Karl to relax a little bit because I know Karl. People know me, they know I'm not that type of player so it is what it is.

"As a team, we have each other's backs, no matter what, no matter what the situation is. We're always going to have each other's backs with whatever happens on the floor.

"But at the same time, we're a physical team. We're not coming out here trying to fight people but that at the same time, we're a physical team."

On the comradery of the team, Simmons added: "We're close. We're brothers. I think that's huge for us, going to eventually playoffs and further down the track.

"I think right now where we're at is a great place and everyone's feeling comfortable and knows we all support each other."

Brett Brown was asked about the incident and allegations directed at Simmons and the 76ers head coach replied: "I most definitely have thoughts.

"I've been advised to keep them to myself and I'm aware of [the Timberwolves' accusation of Simmons]. I understand what's going on."

"We intend on playing and feel that we do play the game in the spirits that it should be played," Brown continued. "But this is Philadelphia and we play a certain way and playing sort of as a unit, as a team, covering each other is important in any case and I feel like some of that was achieved."

LeBron James said the Los Angeles Lakers are looking forward to welcoming Kyle Kuzma back from injury.

Kuzma has yet to feature for the Lakers this NBA season due to a stress reaction in his left ankle, missing the team's opening four games.

However, Kuzma – who suffered the injury whilst on duty for Team USA ahead of the FIBA World Cup – is set to make his season debut against the Dallas Mavericks on Friday.

"It's going to take him a little bit to get into game shape," James told reporters of the 24-year-old after Thursday's practice.

"He hasn't played since USA basketball when he had the stress reaction. Obviously he's been training and working out, but like I always tell you guys, there's no substitution for game fatigue and game stamina.

"That will come, though. It's great to have him back on the floor. We definitely missed him."

Kuzma averaged 18.7 points and 5.5 rebounds in 2018-19 as the Lakers missed the playoffs in James' first season in Los Angeles.

"Yesterday [Wednesday] was kind of the most running I've done, so to wake up and not really have too much discomfort was a good sign," Kuzma said.

"Getting out here and doing the same thing [on Thursday], and so hopefully it's the same for tomorrow's game."

Lakers head coach Frank Vogel added: "[The training staff is] saying around 20 minutes. So there'll be a little bit of a restriction there."

 

 

Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns and Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers have both been suspended for two games after their brawl.

Wednesday's clash between the 76ers and Timberwolves in Philadelphia erupted when Embiid and Towns clashed and were ejected at Wells Fargo Center.

Towns and Embiid got tangled up in the third quarter of the Sixers' 117-95 win and eventually exchanged blows before the benches cleared and the two needed to be separated.

On Thursday, the NBA handed down bans, while 76ers All-Star Ben Simmons was not suspended or fined for his involvement.

Simmons was seen on top of Towns during the fight with his arm around his throat, leading many to believe the NBA would discipline the young guard.

But that did not seem to be the case after the league conducted its review of the event.

The unbeaten Sixers (4-0) travel west to take on the Portland Trail Blazers (3-2) on Saturday, while Minnesota (3-1) face the Washington Wizards (1-3).

 

The Washington Nationals are the newly crowned world champions in baseball, the NFL's trade deadline is boring and an injury to Stephen Curry has left Golden State in a hole

A lot has certainly happened this week - learn more below.

 

1. Washington Nationals come from behind to win World Series

This was not supposed to happen. The Nationals started the year 19-31 but made the playoffs in the National League on a wildcard berth. But still, they had to face an Astros team with home-field advantage that won 107 games and 61 at home in 2019. Washington were not supposed to win a title.

But, after falling behind 3-2 in the series, the Nationals won two straight games over the Astros at Minute Maid Park coming from behind in both games to take the first championship in the history of the organisation.

The Astros won 117 games in total in 2019 but it just was not quite enough. Stephen Strasburg was named the World Series MVP after winning two games while Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto were huge contributors as well. Now the eyes of MLB turn to the postseason where Strasburg has a chance to be a free agent while Astros ace Gerrit Cole absolutely will be.

 

2. What a boring deadline

The NFL is not the NBA or MLB. The league does not have a crazy eventful trade deadline, but after a 2018 year full of moves we thought we were going to have some drama on Tuesday. Instead, when it was all said and done, there was just one trade made before things wrapped up.

There were plenty of trades that happened leading up to the deadline, as Jalen Ramsey went to the Rams and Marcus Peters went to the Ravens, but all in all, this one was kind of boring. Teams appear happy to stand pat and hope their rosters are good enough to win titles already.

 

3. Stephen Curry breaks hand

For the Golden State Warriors, this season just went from bad to worse. After starting out 1-2, Golden State were simply trying to get a win against a surprisingly competitive Phoenix Suns team in the early going. But what they actually got was a loss and an injury to their star player.

Stephen Curry broke his hand on a bad fall on Wednesday and he may be out for an extended period of time because of the injury. The Warriors were already going to be without Klay Thompsonfor the majority of the year, but now they will also be without the two-time MVP for an extended period of time.

D'Angelo Russell will likely have to lead a team of rookies and youngsters for the next few months, which is not the news the Golden State fans thought they were going to get before the year started.

 

4. UFC 244 already full of drama

While UFC 244 was actually pretty tame in the weeks leading up to it, with main event competitors Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal very respectful to each another, the drama really kicked up a notch in the last week.

First, Diaz announced he would not be fighting after he was told he tested for elevated levels of a banned substance. He said he would not compete if his name was not immediately cleared. Then, in the last couple of days, Liverpool's Darren Till ran into visa issues which put his fight with Kelvin Gastelum at risk as well.

But, it appears things have calmed down as the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and the UFC almost instantly cleared Diaz and Till has reportedly overcome his visa issues while landing in New York on Thursday.

It's been a very dramatic week ahead of what promises to be an awesome fight weekend.

Kevin Durant has admitted his heated exchange with Draymond Green last season was part of the reason he left the Golden State Warriors in free agency.

A verbal altercation broke out between the pair during a game last November when Green grabbed a rebound against the Los Angeles Clippers and did not pass to Durant, who was open.

The incident carried over into the locker room, with Green subsequently suspended by the Warriors for one game without pay for conduct "detrimental to the team".

After losing the NBA Finals to the Toronto Raptors, Durant left at the end of his contract and signed for the Brooklyn Nets, although he is expected to miss the entire 2019-20 season through injury.

Pressed on the exchange with Green and whether it played into his thinking when deciding his future, Durant told ESPN: "A little bit. Yeah, for sure.

"I mean, if your team-mate talks to you that way, you think about it a bit. We talked about it, but definitely. For sure. I'm not going to lie about it.

"I just felt like I needed a switch. I felt like a lot of stuff in Golden State had reared its head and I felt like it was going to be the end, no matter what - especially for that group.

"Shaun Livingston was retiring, Andre Iguodalo was getting older, our contracts were going to stifle the team and put us in a hole to get other players. It was time for all of us to separate."

Green took blame for the incident last week, acknowledging he was "wrong" and revealing he had to work to rebuild Durant's trust.

"Once I was able to get over my stubbornness and accept the fact that I was wrong, I was able to move on," Green told ESPN. "I lost [Durant's] trust. How do I get that back?

"[It was] not so we can win a championship or we can win some games but [because] I actually loved this guy - like that's really my brother. And so not knowing what's next in our relationship bothered me more."

Joel Embiid and Karl-Anthony Towns' on-court tussle boiled over onto social media as their feud continued following the Philadelphia 76ers' win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Embiid and Towns were involved in a bust-up during Wednesday's NBA game, with both players ejected from the game after scrapping off the ball in the third quarter.

The Sixers' Ben Simmons also got involved as he wound up on top of Towns, while Embiid was seen laughing at his opponent after the two were finally separated.

Having been sent to the locker room, Embiid relished the moment, hyping up the home crowd as he headed down the tunnel.

However, the argument did not stop there, as Towns posted several photos of the fight - plus one of Embiid crying - to his official Instagram account.

Embiid, who claimed after the game Towns had instigated the fight, responded by mocking his opponent's playoff record.

The Sixers big man commented: "Imagine talking after a 20 pts loss. You hate to see it. Go ahead using that [picture] of me caring about losing in the second round OF THE PLAYOFFS.

"Oh wait you [have] never been there. You don’t know what is like. Boy finally won three games and he's talking and I know you ain't talking.

"You've been a p**** your whole life. That's why you were treated like a b**** by you know who. I ain't gonna put your business out but I got the facts about you. Don't get it twisted I OWN YOU."

Steve Kerr admitted the Golden State Warriors are in a "tough spot" after star Stephen Curry broke his hand in the defeat to the Phoenix Suns.

Golden State's NBA season went from bad to worse following confirmation Curry suffered a broken left hand in Wednesday's 121-110 loss against the Suns in San Francisco.

Two-time MVP Curry – who had nine points, six assists and five rebounds – was forced to leave the court after falling on his wrist in the third quarter.

Warriors general manager Bob Myers told ESPN that Curry will have an MRI and CT scan to determine if he requires surgery and discover a recovery timetable.

Head coach Kerr addressed the injury post-game, telling reporters: "Obviously it's been a tough start on many levels.

"Just trying to find out footing and obviously this puts us in a tough spot. So, we will assess it and go from there."

Curry had his wrist caught up under Suns big man Aron Baynes after a bad fall attempting a layup midweek.

"Baynes came up after the game and just wanted to know how Steph was doing," Kerr added. "You could tell he felt really bad. It's just a random basketball play, so stuff happens."

It is a huge blow for the Warriors, who crashed to their third defeat in four games to start the season.

The Warriors are already without All-Star Klay Thompson as he recovers from a torn anterior cruciate ligament, while Kevin Durant departed for the Brooklyn Nets.

"It's a great opportunity for these young guys to play," Kerr said when asked about the added responsibility on the team's young players. "It's also a little bit too much.

"You want to bring along rookies the best you can. We have no choice with all the injuries. Where we are, we might as well throw them into the frying pan."

James Harden almost scored 60 points as the Houston Rockets won a high-scoring thriller against the Washington Wizards, while the Golden State Warriors' season went from bad to worse after Stephen Curry broke his hand.

Harden posted 59 points to lead the Rockets to a stunning 159-158 victory over the Wizards in NBA action on Wednesday.

MVP in 2017-18, Harden was 18-of-32 shooting while going 17 of 18 from the free-throw line as the Rockets registered a franchise-record score.

Rockets team-mate Russell Westbrook had another triple-double, scoring 17 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.

Wizards star Bradley Beal had 46 points of his own on 14-of-20 shooting, including seven of 12 from beyond the three-point line.

Curry, meanwhile, suffered a broken left hand in Golden State's 121-110 loss to the Phoenix Suns midweek.

The Warriors star landed heavily on his wrist in the third quarter and did not return as Golden State lost for the first time in four games.

It is another huge blow for the Warriors, who are already without injured All-Star Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant – who left for the Brooklyn Nets.

As for the Los Angeles Clippers, they lost 110-96 to the Utah Jazz after resting superstar Kawhi Leonard.

 

Siakam soars as Raptors roar

Pascal Siakam recorded 30 points for defending champions the Toronto Raptors, who topped the Detroit Pistons 125-113. Andre Drummond had 21 points and 22 rebounds in a losing effort.

Tristan Thompson posted 23 points and 10 rebounds in the Cleveland Cavaliers' 117-111 win over the Chicago Bulls.

Nikola Vucevic had 21 points and 13 rebounds as the Orlando Magic were 95-83 winners against the New York Knicks.

Kemba Walker put up 32 points, six rebounds and six assists as the Boston Celtics overcame a 19-point deficit to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 116-105.

 

Wiggins highlights Timberwolves' woes

Andrew Wiggins had decent offensive numbers with 19 points, but the Minnesota Timberwolves were minus-27 with him on the floor in a 117-95 loss to the unbeaten Philadelphia 76ers.

 

Sabonis sizzles

Domantas Sabonis had 29 points and a nifty move to the basket in the Indiana Pacers' 118-108 win over the Nets.

 

Wednesday's results

Philadelphia 76ers 117-95 Minnesota Timberwolves
Cleveland Cavaliers 117-111 Chicago Bulls
Orlando Magic 95-83 New York Knicks
Toronto Raptors 125-113 Detroit Pistons
Boston Celtics 116-105 Milwaukee Bucks
Indiana Pacers 118-108 Brooklyn Nets
Portland Trail Blazers 102-99 Oklahoma City Thunder
Houston Rockets 159-158 Washington Wizards
Utah Jazz 110-96 Los Angeles Clippers
Charlotte Hornets 118-111 Sacramento Kings
Phoenix Suns 121-110 Golden State Warriors

 

Nuggets at Pelicans

The New Orleans Pelicans are still trying to get their first win of the season and they welcome a talented and deep Denver Nuggets team for the late game on Thursday.

Stephen Curry has suffered a broken left hand in a huge blow for the Golden State Warriors.

Curry was forced to leave the Warriors' NBA clash with the Phoenix Suns after falling on his wrist on Wednesday.

Warriors star and two-time MVP Curry had his wrist caught up under Suns big man Aron Baynes after a bad fall attempting a layup in the third quarter midweek.

Curry – who had nine points, six assists and five rebounds when he left the game – went straight to the locker room with a dejected look on his face, with the Warriors later confirming the broken hand.

It is another huge blow for Steve Kerr's Warriors, who are without injured All-Star Klay Thompson following Kevin Durant's move to the Brooklyn Nets.

There was a benches-clearing brawl in Philadelphia, and it did not take place on a hockey rink.

During Wednesday's NBA game between the 76ers and Minnesota Timberwolves, Joel Embiid and Karl-Anthony Towns exchanged blows after getting tangled up, leading to one wild scene in Philadelphia.

Even the Sixers' Ben Simmons got involved as he wound up on top of Towns in the third quarter.

Embiid was also seen laughing at Towns after the two were finally separated at Wells Fargo Center.

Both players were ejected for their involvement in the fight. Embiid even relished the moment, hyping up the home crowd as he headed down the tunnel.

Wednesday marked the first career ejection for Embiid and the second for Timberwolves star Towns. 

Towns had 13 points and six rebounds at the time of the ejection, while Embiid posted 19 points and five rebounds as the 76ers improved to 4-0 with a 117-95 victory.

 

LeBron James believes there is much more to come from Anthony Davis after he posted 40 points and 20 rebounds for the Los Angeles Lakers against the Memphis Grizzlies.

Davis, having moved to Los Angeles as a second superstar alongside James, enjoyed an outstanding night on Tuesday as he led the Lakers to a 120-91 victory.

James was effusive in his praise but suggested Davis still has room for further growth this season.

"I don't even think he's scratched the surface yet," James said. "I think we're all still getting comfortable with one another, he's still getting comfortable out on the floor.

"When he's attacking like that, a guy who shoots 80s, 90s from the free-throw line, that's easy money for him and it's great for our defense as well, our team, to settle our game down like that.

"He was wonderful, spectacular – both offensively and defensively – and we needed it."

Davis was playing through shoulder pain, making his performance even more remarkable, and James was impressed with the way the former New Orleans Pelicans forward dealt with the issue.

"We want him to do what's best for him. If he feels like he can go, which he did, we're all for it," he said. "But this is a marathon for us and we understand that.

"We knew he had a little bit of pain after the last game, so he's been dealing with it the last couple of days, doing everything he can to get ready.

"He did that and obviously to be not even 100 per cent and have a performance like that is pretty cool."

Davis' 40-point haul was greeted with chants of "MVP" from the Lakers crowd, as James highlighted the display as an example of exactly what Los Angeles had hoped to get from the big man.

"We know what we have in AD, and the fans know what they have," he said. "This just solidifies why we went out and got him. [This] was one of those games. He was big-time for us."

Anthony Davis was determined to lead the Los Angeles Lakers against the Memphis Grizzlies despite a shoulder injury – and did so to spectacular effect.

Superstar signing Davis revealed after the 120-91 victory that he had suffered a knock when missing a dunk in a recent game, and the ailment threatened to keep him out in the first half on Tuesday.

However, the 26-year-old returned to produce a devastating display, recording 40 points and 20 rebounds to brush aside the Grizzlies.

"I'm here to be a leader of the team and it's tough for me to do that from the sideline," he explained to reporters.

Davis became the first Laker to have a 40-20 game since Shaquille O'Neal in 2003 and the sixth in total.

Also joining George Mikan, Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Davis said: "It's an honour – great company. To be here as part of this franchise and to do something special like that and be on that list with those legends means a lot to me.

"What's more important is I'm happy that we got the win. It was a grind there in the first half. My team-mates trusted me, told me to get going, and that's what I tried to do."

Davis, who managed 30 minutes, expanded on how he managed to perform despite niggling shoulder pain.

"I was really just trying to figure it all out. It was bothering me a lot, very sore," he said. "But I didn't want to come out the game.

"I just came to the back and adjusted some things and felt good to go back out. I went back out and, late in the second, felt good.

"I did some more stuff at half-time and then went out in the third, just to test it out in the third, and it felt good. That was that.

"I'm fine. It's still a little sore. I got hit a couple of times tonight. But there's a couple of days before we play again, so hopefully I'll feel better by then."

Coach Frank Vogel added: "He gutted it out despite playing in some pain. He was dominant – that's probably the word. He impacted the game on both ends of the floor."

Anthony Davis posted a triple-double to lead the Los Angeles Lakers past the Memphis Grizzlies, while the Miami Heat downed the Atlanta Hawks as Jimmy Butler made his debut.

Davis starred with 40 points and 20 rebounds to help the Lakers to a 120-91 win over the Grizzlies in NBA action on Tuesday.

The All-Star – who made a franchise record 26 free throws – recorded his fourth 40-20 career game and became the first Lakers player to accomplish the feat since Shaquille O'Neal in 2003.

LeBron James added 23 points for the Lakers, who improved to 3-1 for the season following three consecutive victories.

Butler made his long-awaited Heat debut in Miami's 112-97 win against the Hawks.

The Miami guard missed the first three games of the year to bond with his newborn daughter but did not miss a beat once he got back on the court.

Butler – who arrived from the Philadelphia 76ers – finished with 21 points, five rebounds, and three steals.

But rookie sensation Tyler Herro also made his presence known with a team-high 29 points and seven rebounds. He scored 19 points off the bench in the second quarter alone.

Unfortunately for Atlanta, Hawks start Trae Young went down with an ankle sprain in the second quarter and was ruled out for the remainder of the game.

 

Dragic helps ignite Heat

Miami's Goran Dragic scored 21 points off the bench.

Paul Millsap tallied a game-high 23 points as the Denver Nuggets fell to the Dallas Mavericks 109-106.

 

Reddish struggles as Heat ground Hawks

Atlanta's Cam Reddish scored six points on two-of-10 shooting.

Mavericks star Luka Doncic was held to 12 points on 12 shots.

 

LeBron says no!

James made a sensational block, leading to an alley-oop for Lakers team-mate JaVale McGee.

 

Tuesday's results

Miami Heat 112-97 Atlanta Hawks
Dallas Mavericks 109-106 Denver Nuggets
Los Angeles Lakers 120-91 Memphis Grizzlies

 

Bucks at Celtics

The Milwaukee Bucks eliminated the Boston Celtics from the playoffs last season, but now the latter have a very different group. Are the Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo still too hot to handle? That remains to be seen.

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