Atlanta Hawks rookie Trae Young received his first career ejection against the Chicago Bulls on Sunday and it was a little unorthodox.

Young was thrown out of the game after receiving his second technical for staring at Kris Dunn in the third quarter.

They were both assessed technical fouls for a skirmish earlier in the game.

Young said after the Hawks' 123-118 win over the Bulls that he plays passionately and insinuated he was not going to change his style.

"I "try to" play with emotion, passion, effort, and a little bit of flair within the game of basketball," he wrote on Twitter.

"That's all I've ever tried to do, and that's the only way I know how."

Young totalled 18 points and five assists before being sent to the locker room. He entered Sunday averaging 34.8 points and 10.4 assists since the All-Star break.

The Hawks sit in 12th in the Eastern Conference standings. They will face the Miami Heat on Monday.

The Houston Rockets extended their winning streak to five games against the slumping Boston Celtics with a 115-104 victory. 

Zach LaVine described himself as "so damn tired" after the Chicago Bulls prevailed in an epic 329-point NBA battle that went to a fourth overtime period and saw Trae Young match an incredible Michael Jordan feat.

The high-flying Milwaukee Bucks locked up the first playoff spot of the NBA season after defeating the Los Angeles Lakers 131-120.

Eric Bledsoe – who reportedly agreed to a four-year extension worth $70million earlier in the day – led the Bucks with 31 points, nine rebounds and five assists in Los Angeles on Friday.

Giannis Antetokounmpo did not have his best night as he scored just 16 points, but he did throw down one poster to make his night a bit better.

The Bucks are now 48-14 and two-and-a-half games ahead of the Toronto Raptors for top spot in the Eastern Conference.

LeBron James scored 31 points and threw down a good dunk of his own for the beaten Lakers at the Staples Center.

The Lakers are 30-32 and failed to capitalise on a Sacramento Kings loss and remain a game behind for ninth place in the Western Conference.

 

Young posts career-high in Bulls-Hawks marathon

The Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks combined for the third highest-scoring game in NBA history following four overtime periods.

Friday's clash refused to end as the Bulls eventually prevailed 168-161 over the Hawks after quadruple OT – a franchise-record score for Chicago.

The 329 points is the third most two teams have ever scored in a single game in since the ABA-NBA merger in 1976.

The record stands at 370 following the Detroit Pistons' 186-184 victory against the Denver Nuggets in December 1983.

Hawks rookie Trae Young led all scorers with a franchise-rookie record 49 points while adding 16 assists.

Young's performance was the most points scored by a rookie this season, while he is the first rookie since Early Malone (1968) to put up more than 49 points and over 10 assists in a game.

The 20-year-old is averaging 40.3 points over his last three games.

Bulls guard Zach LaVine scored 47 points and added nine rebounds and nine assists for Chicago.

Lauri Markkanen and Otto Porter Jr. each added 31 points for the triumphant Bulls.

Dwyane Wade hit an incredible buzzer-beater to give the Miami Heat an upset win over the Golden State Warriors in the NBA on Wednesday.

The remainder of Wade's career can be measured in a matter of weeks, but the veteran showed he can still do amazing things.

Wade hit an off-balance three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Heat a 126-125 upset over the visiting Warriors.

He had to pump fake to get the shot off, had his shot blocked, recovered the ball, and had the presence of mind to step back behind the arc, where he fired up the game winner off one foot.

It was Wade's fifth career game-winning buzzer-beater, but first in almost 10 years. Afterwards, Wade brought up another shot from 10 years ago, Kobe Bryant's banked three-pointer over Wade that gave the Los Angeles Lakers a win over the Heat on December 4, 2009.

"I wondered when Kobe hit that game winner on me … I said, 'How is that possible?'" Wade told Fox Sports. "Thank you for showing me the way – 'Mamba' mentality."

The 37-year-old Wade had a great game beyond that shot, coming off the bench to score 25 (he hit five of his eight three-point attempts) and pulling down seven rebounds. Goran Dragic led the way for Miami with 27. Klay Thompson (36 points), Kevin Durant (29) and Stephen Curry (24) all had big games for Golden State (43-18).

The Heat (27-33) are now just a half-game out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. It would be only fitting if Wade headed off into retirement with one final postseason appearance.

 

Bledsoe brilliant as Young shines

Eric Bledsoe posted a triple-double with 26 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds for the Milwaukee Bucks in an overtime win against the Sacramento Kings.

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young tallied 36 points and added 10 assists and eight rebounds in a 131-123 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Karl-Anthony Towns scored 37 and collected 18 rebounds in the loss to the Hawks.

Damian Lillard scored 33 and had seven rebounds to key the Portland Trail Blazers' 97-92 win over the Boston Celtics.

Hornets guard Kemba Walker had 35 points and five steals in Charlotte's 118-113 loss to the Houston Rockets.

 

Nets poor from distance

The Brooklyn Nets hit only eight of 35 three-point attempts, the difference in a 125-116 loss to the Washington Wizards.

 

Carter with the finish

The Vince Carter of 2010 would have posterised someone with a monster slam, but a gravity-defying shot is still a thing of beauty.

Young's perfect alley-oop found John Collins for a reverse dunk.

Wednesday's results

Houston Rockets 118-113 Charlotte Hornets
Atlanta Hawks 131-123 Minnesota Timberwolves
Washington Wizards 125-116 Brooklyn Nets
Miami Heat 126-125 Golden State Warriors
Portland Trail Blazers 97-92 Boston Celtics
Chicago Bulls 109-107 Memphis Grizzlies
Dallas Mavericks 110-101 Indiana Pacers
San Antonio Spurs 105-93 Detroit Pistons
Utah Jazz 111-105 Los Angeles Clippers
Milwaukee Bucks 141-140 Sacramento Kings
Los Angeles Lakers 125-119 New Orleans Pelicans

 

76ers at Thunder

Philadelphia star Joel Embiid will sit out his fourth straight game with tendinitis in his left knee, and his backup, Boban Marjanovic, injured his knee on Monday and will not play. New acquisition Tobias Harris has stepped it up recently, averaging 24.3 points in his last four games while shooting 59 per cent from the field. Still, the 76ers are big underdogs against Russell Westbrook and the Thunder in Oklahoma City.

James Harden was philosophical about the end of his 30-point streak, saying he knew he would not get "to number one" in the NBA's all-time list.

The Houston Rockets star finished with 28 in Monday's 119-111 victory over the Atlanta Hawks, meaning his run of draining at least 30 points ended at 32 games.

It marked the second-longest streak in NBA history, but fell well short of the 65-game stretch put together by the legendary Wilt Chamberlain.

Asked if he was happy the run was over, Harden said: "Yeah, I am.

"It was cool, I knew I wasn't getting to number one, so…

"I don't care, we won. Made shots, missed shots, we won the game. We have 22 games left to catch a rhythm and find a rhythm for where we are trying to go."

Harden passed up the chance to shoot at the end of the game, opting instead to dribble out and secure the victory.

When questioned if he regretted not taking the chance, he added: "Nah. The streak was great, you know, but I was just doing it because that's what we had to do to keep our heads above water.

"Now we have a full roster back. You look at the stat line, we had multiple guys in double figures, which is great to see so. Hopefully we can keep that up and catch a rhythm."

Harden's status for the game was in doubt due to a neck injury that sidelined him for the 118-112 win over the Golden State Warriors.

"It's been a few days and so it actually felt good to go out there and just move it and run around," Harden said of his injury. 

"I haven't really done any working out or any movement. I've been in bed, really."

The Los Angeles Lakers are chasing an NBA playoff appearance, but went down to the Memphis Grizzlies for their second straight loss.

Los Angeles lost to the Grizzlies 110-105 on Monday despite a triple-double from LeBron James, who tallied 24 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists.

The Lakers trailed for most of the game but cut their deficit to just two when James hit a jumper with a minute to play. Memphis, however, answered with a pair of free throws and held on for the victory.

Brandon Ingram led all scorers with 32 points while Kyle Kuzma chipped in 22 points. Memphis' Mike Conley totalled 30 points to lead the Grizzlies.

The Lakers fell to 29-31 and are three games behind the San Antonio Spurs for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. 

Los Angeles have dropped four of their last five games and six of their last eight. 

Young lifts Hawks

Trae Young scored a career-high 36 points for the Atlanta Hawks in their 119-111 loss to the Houston Rockets.

CJ McCollum posted 35 points on 12-of-18 shooting in the Portland Trail Blazers' 123-110 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Karl-Anthony Towns racked up 34 points and 21 rebounds in the Minnesota Timberwolves' 112-105 victory against the Sacramento Kings.

 

Richardson, Parsons struggle

Josh Richardson scored seven points on two-of-10 shooting as the Miami Heat fell to the Phoenix Suns 124-121.

Chandler Parsons scored five points on two-of-10 shooting to help the Grizzlies take down the Lakers.

 

Super Simmons

Ben Simmons' ball fake fooled Anthony Davis in the Philadelphia 76ers' 111-110 triumph against the New Orleans Pelicans.

Towns shocked the crowd with a windmill dunk on the break in Minnesota's win.

Monday's results

Golden State Warriors 121-110 Charlotte Hornets
Portland Trail Blazers 123-110 Cleveland Cavaliers
Detroit Pistons 113-109 Indiana Pacers
Brooklyn Nets 101-85 San Antonio Spurs
Phoenix Suns 124-121 Miami Heat
Milwaukee Bucks 117-106 Chicago Bulls
Houston Rockets 119-111 Atlanta Hawks
Memphis Grizzlies 110-105 Los Angeles Lakers
Minnesota Timberwolves 112-105 Sacramento Kings
Philadelphia 76ers 111-110 New Orleans Pelicans
Los Angeles Clippers 121-112 Dallas Mavericks

 

Celtics at Raptors

Boston and Toronto are two of the Eastern Conference's top contenders. But both teams recently lost to opponents that are not in the playoff picture. The Celtics and Raptors can be threats to any team when they are at their best.

James Harden's scoring streak finally came to an end in the NBA on Monday.

The Houston Rockets star entered the matchup against the Atlanta Hawks having scored 30 or more points in 32 consecutive games.

However, it ended when he tallied 28 points in Houston's 119-111 win at the Toyota Center.

Harden is now behind Wilt Chamberlain, who holds the record at 65 straight games.

Harden connected on seven of his 21 shots in the win over Atlanta and missed all 10 of his three-point attempts. He also tallied five rebounds and four assists.

The Rockets improved to 35-25 with the victory. 

The Houston Rockets upstaged reigning NBA champions the Golden State Warriors 118-112 despite the absence of James Harden.

Harden – the NBA's leading scorer – sat out with a neck injury. But Chris Paul and his supporting cast were more than enough away from home on Saturday.

Paul recorded 23 points and 17 assists for the Rockets, while Eric Gordon and Kenneth Faried chipped in 25 and 20 points respectively.

Faried, P.J. Tucker and Clint Capela all reached double-digits in rebounding and helped the Rockets narrowly win the battle on the glass.

Kevin Durant's 29 points on 11-of-19 shooting paced the Warriors. Stephen Curry was right behind him with 25 on five made three-pointers.

The Rockets and Warriors have now both lost two of their last three games. But Houston are looking to climb a few spots from the fifth seed in the Western Conference.

 

Nurkic leads Trail Blazers past 76ers

Portland Trail Blazers big man Jusuf Nurkic had 24 points and 10 rebounds in a 130-115 victory at the Joel Embiid-less Philadelphia 76ers.

Zach LaVine posted 42 points as the Chicago Bulls shocked the Boston Celtics 126-116. Lauri Markkanen recorded 35 points and 15 rebounds.

D'Angelo Russell's 40-point performance lifted the Brooklyn Nets past the Charlotte Hornets 117-115.

Russell Westbrook managed 41 points and 10 assists against the Sacramento Kings, but the Oklahoma City Thunder still lost 119-116.

 

Saric struggles

Dario Saric scored seven points on two-of-11 shooting in the Minnesota Timberwolves' 140-128 loss to the high-flying Milwaukee Bucks.

Jordan Clarkson scored five points on two-of-10 shooting as the Cleveland Cavaliers took down the Memphis Grizzlies 112-107.

 

Holiday dazzles with Davis absent

Jrue Holiday's rainbow buzzer-beater in the third quarter helped the New Orleans Pelicans extend their lead and claim a 128-115 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, despite the absence of Anthony Davis.

Bradley Beal shook Wesley Matthews on the right wing and sank this three-pointer while getting fouled, but the Washington Wizards lost to the Indiana Pacers 119-112.

 

Saturday's results

Portland Trail Blazers 130-115 Philadelphia 76ers
Atlanta Hawks 120-112 Phoenix Suns
Brooklyn Nets 117-115 Charlotte Hornets
Cleveland Cavaliers 112-107 Memphis Grizzlies
Indiana Pacers 119-112 Washington Wizards
New Orleans Pelicans 128-115 Los Angeles Lakers
Detroit Pistons 119-96 Miami Heat
Chicago Bulls 126-116 Boston Celtics
Sacramento Kings 119-116 Oklahoma City Thunder
Milwaukee Bucks 140-128 Minnesota Timberwolves
Houston Rockets 118-112 Golden State Warriors
Utah Jazz 125-109 Dallas Mavericks

 

Clippers at Nuggets

Despite recently freeing up two max slots, the Los Angeles Clippers have made it known they still have playoff aspirations this season. The Denver Nuggets are second in the Western Conference, just behind Golden State. The Nuggets should prove to be a good test for the eighth-placed Clippers.

Russell Westbrook's streak of 11 straight triple-doubles came to an end as the Oklahoma City Thunder won an NBA thriller against the Utah Jazz.

Westbrook scored 43 points with 15 rebounds and eight assists, but a charge in overtime brought his game to an end as he fouled out in a 148-147 victory over Utah on Friday.

The eight-time All-Star combined with Paul George to score 88 points in the game as Utah got a superb effort from Donovan Mitchell on the other end with 38 points.

George finished with 45 points, nine rebounds and seven assists and threw down an emphatic windmill in the first overtime.

He also drained the winning shot on a teardrop with 0.8 seconds left in double overtime.

It was an emotional game for DeMar DeRozan, who made his first appearance in Toronto since being traded to the San Antonio Spurs for Kawhi Leonard during the offseason.

DeRozan had a good game on the stat sheet, but a late turnover ultimately helped the Raptors get a 120-117 win as all five Toronto starters finished in double-figures.

Kawhi Leonard finished with 23 points and got the steal on DeRozan which all but decided the game.

 

Beal brilliant in defeat

Bradley Beal had 46 points, seven assists and six rebounds, but the Washington Wizards fell to the Charlotte Hornets 123-110.

Montrezl Harrell had 30 points on 11-of-14 shooting in the Los Angeles Clippers' 112-106 win over the Memphis Grizzlies.

Detroit Pistons guard Reggie Jackson had 32 points and eight assists and center Andre Drummond had 26 points and 21 rebounds in a 125-122 win over the Atlanta Hawks.

Atlanta rookie Trae Young would not be outdone, though, as he had 30 points and 10 assists

Isaac battles for Orlando

The Orlando Magic knew Jonathan Isaac was raw and would have some bad games in his first few years and Friday was one of the rough ones. He scored four points on one-of-six shooting in a 110-109 loss to the Chicago Bulls.

 

Smith's huge dunk

New York Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. might have won the dunk contest if he threw one down like he did on Friday.

New York lost to the Karl-Anthony Towns-less Minnesota Timberwolves 115-104.

 

Friday's results

Charlotte Hornets 123-110 Washington Wizards
Indiana Pacers 126-111 New Orleans Pelicans
Chicago Bulls 110-109 Orlando Magic
Toronto Raptors 120-117 San Antonio Spurs
Detroit Pistons 125-122 Atlanta Hawks
Minnesota Timberwolves 115-104 New York Knicks
Los Angeles Clippers 112-106 Memphis Grizzlies
Denver Nuggets 114-104 Dallas Mavericks
Oklahoma City Thunder 148-147 Utah Jazz

 

Trail Blazers at 76ers

Portland struggle on the road (11-15) and Philadelphia are great at home (24-7), but the 76ers also struggle against good teams with a 14-15 record against teams .500 and above. So, this will likely be a good one. It will be entertaining with Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris and Boban Marjanovic on the floor.

Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum won the NBA Skills Challenge after nailing a half-court shot on All-Star weekend.

Tatum converted the stunning long-range attempt to beat Atlanta Hawks youngster Trae Young in Charlotte on Saturday.

With Young ahead of him and preparing to make a shot from beyond the arc, Tatum did not break stride as he nailed the sensational three-pointer.

"I'm just here trying to have fun. I threw it up and it went in," Tatum told TNT afterwards.

Tatum – who has been linked with a move away from the Celtics amid the team's reported interest in wantaway New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis – overcame Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley in the first round.

The 20-year-old forward then trumped Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets before pipping Young in the final.

Russell Westbrook was good but the Oklahoma City Thunder fell to the New Orleans Pelicans 131-122 in the NBA on Thursday.

Westbrook scored a season-high 44 points on 18-of-30 shooting while adding 14 rebounds and 11 assists in his NBA-record 11th straight triple-double. He is now averaging 21.2 points, 11.2 assists and 11.1 rebounds this season.

The Thunder, though, trailed by three points at the half and did not come out of the locker room very well as New Orleans opened up a 12-point lead going into the fourth quarter.

Westbrook scored 11 points in the fourth quarter as the Thunder outscored the Pelicans in the frame, but the deficit after the third was simply too much to overcome.

The Thunder will go into the All-Star break with a 37-20 record and a three-game lead over the Portland Trail Blazers for the number three seed in the West. The Pelicans are now 26-33 and will have to wait to hear about the condition of Anthony Davis, who left the game after half-time with a shoulder injury.

 

Ross shines for Orlando

Magic guard Terrence Ross scored a game-high 21 points off the bench in Orlando's 127-89 shellacking of the Charlotte Hornets.

Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. scored 19 points and added seven assists as New York broke their 17-game losing streak with a 106-91 win over the Atlanta Hawks.

 

Woeful Walker

Kemba Walker scored 10 points on four-of-20 shooting in the loss to the Magic.

 

Holiday heroics

Jrue Holiday scored 32 points while adding seven assists, five rebounds, three blocks and two steals for the Pelicans. He impressed with a nice finish at the rim.

Thursday's results

Orlando Magic 127-89 Charlotte Hornets
New York Knicks 106-91 Atlanta Hawks
New Orleans Pelicans 131-122 Oklahoma City Thunder

 

All-Star break

The NBA All-Star Game will feature teams led by LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo on Sunday. The next regular-season games will be played on Thursday.

A LeBron James triple-double was not enough as the Los Angeles Lakers were upstaged 117-113 by the Atlanta Hawks in the NBA.

James had 28 points, 11 rebounds and 16 assists for the Lakers, who crashed to back-to-back defeats on Tuesday.

The three-time NBA champion tied Wilt Chamberlain for fifth most triple-doubles in league history, but Atlanta's young talent proved to be too much.

Rookie Hawks guard Trae Young and second-year forward John Collins tallied 22 points apiece. Young also posted 14 assists against the Lakers.

Meanwhile, the Boston Celtics held on to beat the in-form Philadelphia 76ers 112-109 on the road.

The Celtics did not have star point guard Kyrie Irving, so Al Horford took over the scoring load with 23 points. Gordon Hayward also chipped in 26 points off the bench.

Joel Embiid recorded 23 points and 14 rebounds in the loss, while 76ers team-mate Jimmy Butler added 22 points and nine rebounds.

 

Vucevic double-double sparks Magic

Nikola Vucevic recorded 25 points and 17 rebounds in the Orlando Magic's dominant 118-88 win over the New Orleans Pelicans.

Avery Bradley scored a career-high 33 points as the Memphis Grizzlies lost to the San Antonio Spurs 108-107.

Kevin Durant posted 28 points and seven assists in the Golden State Warriors' 115-108 victory over the Utah Jazz.

 

Smart struggles from the floor

Marcus Smart scored eight points on three-of-14 shooting for the Celtics.

 

Tatum with the slam!

Jayson Tatum split the defense with a spin move and capped it off by punching home a dunk for the Celtics.

Young dished out assists left and right in the Hawks' win over the Lakers.

 

Tuesday's results

Atlanta Hawks 117-113 Los Angeles Lakers
San Antonio Spurs 108-107 Memphis Grizzlies
Orlando Magic 118-88 New Orleans Pelicans
Boston Celtics 112-109 Philadelphia 76ers
Golden State Warriors 115-108 Utah Jazz

 

Kings at Nuggets

The Sacramento Kings are trying to stay afloat in the Western Conference, while the Denver Nuggets are toward the top of the standings. Both teams feature promising, athletic players that run the floor nonstop. This matchup should be an entertaining one as the All-Star break approaches.

LeBron James is relaxed about the Los Angeles Lakers' playoff chances following Tuesday's defeat against the Atlanta Hawks.

The Lakers crashed to back-to-back NBA losses after going down 117-113 to the lowly Hawks, despite James' triple-double.

James - who was taunted by Hawks fans as they chanted "Kobe's better" - scored 28 points, 16 assists and 11 rebounds but his fifth triple-double of the season was not enough to lift the Lakers.

The Lakers (28-29) are now two-and-a-half-games behind the Sacramento Kings for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference heading into the All-Star break.

"You either make it or you don't make it," James said post-game after tying Wilt Chamberlain for the fifth most triple-doubles with 78. "That's when you worry about it."

The Lakers have lost four of their past five games and James added: "Some guys have never played a playoff game before.

"You can't teach them that. It's very important to understand how important every game is, no matter who you're playing or where you are."

James - who signed a four-year, $154million contract with the Lakers in the offseason - and the Lakers are back in action against the Houston Rockets on February 21.

 

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