The Los Angeles Lakers have been awarded the rights to Giannis Antetokounmpo's brother Kostas on a waiver claim.

Kostas Antetokounmpo – the younger brother of the reigning NBA MVP and Milwaukee Bucks superstar – arrives from the Dallas Mavericks on a two-way contract.

Initially drafted 60th overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in 2018, 21-year-old Kostas played two games for the Mavericks last season.

Kostas made 40 appearances for the Texas Legends in the G League, averaging 10.6 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.3 blocks.

Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo and his MVP success headlined the NBA awards.

Antetokounmpo capped a stellar season to be crowned the league's most valuable player.

The 24-year-old averaged 27.7 points, 12.5 rebounds and 5.9 assists this season. He shot 57.8 per cent from the field and added 1.5 blocks per game.

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic was named the Rookie of the Year, while Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam secured Most Improved Player.

Here is a complete list of the 2019 NBA award finalists and winners:

 

Most Valuable Player

Winner: Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks)

Other finalists: Paul George (Oklahoma City Thunder), James Harden (Houston Rockets)

Rookie of the Year

Winner: Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks)

Other finalists: Deandre Ayton (Phoenix Suns), Trae Young (Atlanta Hawks)

Coach of the Year

Winner: Mike Budenholzer (Milwaukee Bucks)

Other finalists: Michael Malone (Denver Nuggets), Doc Rivers (Los Angeles Clippers)

Sixth Man Award

Winner: Lou Williams (Los Angeles Clippers)

Other finalists: Montrezl Harrell (Los Angeles Clippers), Domantas Sabonis (Indiana Pacers) 

Defensive Player of the Year

Winner: Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz)

Other finalists: Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks), Paul George (Oklahoma City Thunder)

Most Improved Player

Winner: Pascal Siakam (Toronto Raptors)

Other finalists: De'Aaron Fox (Sacramento Kings), D'Angelo Russell (Brooklyn Nets)

NBA Cares Community Assist Award

Winner: Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards)

Other finalists: Jarrett Allen (Brooklyn Nets) Mike Conley (Memphis Grizzlies), Tobias Harris (Philadelphia 76ers), LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers), Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers), Khris Middleton (Milwaukee Bucks), Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz), Dwight Powell (Dallas Mavericks), Pascal Siakam (Toronto Raptors)

Twyman-Stokes Team-mate of the Year Award

Winner: Mike Conley (Memphis Grizzlies)

Other finalists: Steven Adams (Oklahoma City Thunder), Jared Dudley (Brooklyn Nets), Channing Frye (Cleveland Cavaliers), Rudy Gay (San Antonio Spurs), Udonis Haslem (Miami Heat), Andre Iguodala (Golden State Warriors), Kyle Korver (Utah Jazz), Khris Middleton (Milwaukee Bucks), JJ Redick (Philadelphia 76ers), Garrett Temple (Los Angeles Clippers), Thaddeus Young (Indiana Pacers)

Sportsmanship Award

Winner: Mike Conley (Memphis Grizzlies)

Other finalists: Steven Adams (Oklahoma City Thunder), Harrison Barnes (Sacramento Kings), Al Horford (Boston Celtics), Khris Middleton (Milwaukee Bucks), Kemba Walker (Charlotte Hornets)

Lifetime Achievement Award

Winners: Larry Bird, Magic Johnson

Sager Strong Award

Winner: Robin Roberts

Hustle Award

Winner: Marcus Smart (Boston Celtics)

Moment of the Year

Winner: Derrick Rose's 50-point game against the Utah Jazz.

Executive of the Year

Winner: Jon Horst (Milwaukee Bucks)

Dallas Mavericks sensation Luka Doncic has been named the 2018-19 NBA Rookie of the Year.

Doncic received the award on Monday, ahead of Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young and the Phoenix Suns' Deandre Ayton.

The 20-year-old Slovenian star averaged a team-high 21.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 6.0 assists in his rookie season with the Mavericks.

Doncic is the only Mavs player, along with Jason Kidd in 1994-95, to be named the league's Rookie of the Year.

He is also the first international player who did not attend high school or college in the United States to receive the award since Spain's Pau Gasol with the Memphis Grizzlies in 2001-02.

Doncic joined Oscar Robertson as the only rookies in NBA history to average at least 20 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists per game in 72 appearances.

Dallas Mavericks swing man Luka Doncic and Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young were unanimously selected to the 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie first team on Tuesday.

The pair were named on all 100 ballots from a global panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.

Doncic, who turned 20 in February, averaged 21.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game this season. Young, who also is only 20, averaged 19.1 points and 8.1 assists with 3.7 rebounds per game.

The All-Rookie first team was a mirror of the top five picks in the 2018 NBA Draft, as Doncic (drafted third overall) and Young (fifth) were joined by Phoenix Suns center and No. 1 pick Deandre Ayton, Sacramento Kings forward Marvin Bagley III (second) and Memphis Grizzlies forward-center Jaren Jackson Jr. (fourth).

Doncic, Young and Ayton are the finalists for the 2018-19 Rookie of the Year award.  The winner will be revealed June 24 at the 2019 NBA Awards in Los Angeles.

This marks the first time since the 1984-85 season that the top five picks in the previous NBA Draft were selected to the NBA All-Rookie first team. Thirty-four years ago, that NBA All-Rookie first team was Hakeem Olajuwon (No. 1 pick in 1984), Sam Bowie (No. 2), Michael Jordan (No. 3), Sam Perkins (No. 4) and Charles Barkley (No. 5).

The 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie second team consists of Los Angeles Clippers guards Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Landry Shamet, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton, New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson and Hawks guard Kevin Huerter.

Dirk Nowitzki's long and glittering NBA career came to an end on Wednesday.

After confirming his retirement a day earlier and bidding an emotional farewell to Mavericks fans in his final home game in Dallas, Nowitzki bowed out with a double-double in a defeat to the San Antonio Spurs.

He finishes his 21-year-career sixth on the NBA points list and will best be remembered for helping the Mavericks defeat a star-studded Miami Heat team in the 2011 NBA Finals.

So where does the German stand in terms of the NBA's best European players? Here we look at Nowitzki's career and those of some of the association's best other European imports.

Vlade Divac

He may never have climbed the mountain and won an NBA title but Divac, along with the late Drazen Petrovic, helped pave the way for more European players to make the switch to the NBA with his excellent career.

Divac, now Sacramento Kings general manager, only earned one All-Star berth in his career with the Los Angeles Lakers and the Kings. However, he remains part of an elite group of seven players in NBA history to record 13,000 points, 9,000 rebounds, 3,000 assists, and 1,500 blocked shots.

Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Tim Duncan, Shaquille O'Neal, Kevin Garnett, Pau Gasol, and Hakeem Olajuwon can claim to have achieved the same feat.

 

Tony Parker

"[When] we gave [Tony Parker] his first workout, we didn't think he was tough enough – and we sent him home. And then we set up another interview, another workout... and he was fantastic in that one."

Those the words of Gregg Popovich after the Spurs won their 2007 championship. Popovich and the Spurs will be forever thankful he offered Parker another shot ahead of the 2001 draft.

The French point guard was MVP in the 2007 Finals and helped them to four titles, including three in five seasons between 2003 and 2007.

A six-time All-Star, Parker is still going strong with the Charlotte Hornets and will be worthy of the same send-off Nowitzki received when he calls it a career.

 

Pau Gasol

Gasol has been dominant in the frontcourt for close to two decades and, after winning Rookie of the Year in his first campaign, has been adding to a sparkling resume ever since.

Six times an NBA All-Star, Gasol became only the fourth player in league history to rack up 20,000 points 11,000 rebounds, 3,500 assists and 1,500 blocks back in February 2018.

Two titles came his way during his spell with the Los Angeles Lakers and, if the Milwaukee Bucks can somehow dethrone the Golden State Warriors, the Spaniard will have a third to his name despite the fact he has been out for most of the season with an ankle injury. 

Their ability to do that, however, depends largely on the performance of a young team-mate seemingly headed for even greater things.

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Unknown to the wider NBA public heading into the 2013 draft, Antetokounmpo is perhaps the leading candidate to be the face of the league whenever the post-LeBron James era starts.

His monstrous blend of size and athleticism have seen him terrorise opposing defenses and help turn the Bucks into a force to be reckoned with. Already a three-time All-Star, the 'Greek Freak' led the Bucks to the best record in the NBA this season, in which he averaged a career-high 27.7 points, 12.5 rebounds and 5.9 assists.

It appears to be between Antetokounmpo and Houston Rockets star James Harden for this year's MVP award. If Antetokounmpo claims that trophy and goes on to lead the Bucks past a Warriors team many see as the greatest of all time, his legacy as the best European ever may already be secured.

Dirk Nowitzki

Yet for now it is Nowitzki who lays claim to that particular title. No other European comes close to him on the all-time points list and there is no player on this list who has won league MVP and Finals MVP.

Nowitzki was named MVP in 2007 and added Finals MVP to his CV after playing an instrumental role in the Mavs' win over the Heat.

With 14 All-Star game appearances and 12 All-NBA team selections to his name, Nowitzki's career is unmatched by any European. Antetokounmpo could soon overhaul him but, for now, Nowitzki stands alone as the best European NBA import in history.

The Detroit Pistons are heading to the NBA playoffs after defeating the lowly New York Knicks 115-89.

After jumping out to an early lead and never looking back, the Pistons clinched the final postseason spot in the Eastern Conference on Wednesday.

The Pistons took control in the opening moments and held a 14-point advantage by the end of the first quarter. They pushed the score to 65-41 by half-time and cruised from there.

Andre Drummond tallied 20 points and 18 rebounds to lead Detroit to the victory. Luke Kennard chipped in a game-high 27 points off the bench while connecting on four of his eight three-point attempts.

The Pistons were playing without star Blake Griffin, who is dealing with a sore knee. They had last made the playoffs in 2015-16.

Meanwhile, the Charlotte Hornets entered play with their postseason hopes still alive. But, they were officially eliminated following Detroit's win.

Charlotte would not have advanced to the playoffs anyway as they fell to the Orlando Magic 122-114.

Soon-to-be free agent Kemba Walker recorded 43 points and five assists for Charlotte in what could be his last game with the Hornets.

 

Wade and Nowitzki say goodbye

Dwyane Wade registered a triple-double in his last game before retirement. The 37-year-old put up 25 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in the Miami Heat's 113-94 loss to the Brooklyn Nets.

Dallas Mavericks veteran Dirk Nowitzki scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in his farewell – a 105-94 loss to the San Antonio Spurs.

Jonathon Simmons had 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists as the Philadelphia 76ers won 125-109 against the Chicago Bulls.

Jevon Carter tallied 32 points in the Memphis Grizzlies' 132-117 victory over the Golden State Warriors.

 

Finney-Smith struggles

Dorian Finney-Smith was two-of-10 shooting and scored five points in the Mavericks' defeat.

Atlanta Hawks wing Kent Bazemore shot two of 10 from the field and was a minus-16 as his team fell to the Indiana Pacers 135-134.

 

No stopping Gordon

Aaron Gordon powered his way to the basket for the Magic.

 

Wednesday's results

Orlando Magic 122-114 Charlotte Hornets
San Antonio Spurs 105-94 Dallas Mavericks
Philadelphia 76ers 125-109 Chicago Bulls
Memphis Grizzlies 132-117 Golden State Warriors
Detroit Pistons 115-89 New York Knicks
Indiana Pacers 135-134 Atlanta Hawks
Oklahoma City Thunder 127-116 Milwaukee Bucks
Brooklyn Nets 113-94 Miami Heat
Denver Nuggets 99-95 Minnesota Timberwolves
Los Angeles Clippers 143-137 Utah Jazz (OT)
Portland Trail Blazers 136-131 Sacramento Kings

The playoffs

After a long regular season, the playoffs have finally arrived. The path to the championship begins on Saturday when the first series tip-off.

Dallas Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki declared his retirement had been "a long time coming" after playing his final game at American Airlines Center on Tuesday.

The 40-year-old German confirmed his retirement following a 120-109 victory over the Phoenix Suns.

Long-serving great Nowitzki, sixth on the list of all-time NBA points-scorers, marked his last home match by claiming a 30-point haul.

Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle and owner Mark Cuban paid tribute to the 2006-07 MVP before the man himself took the microphone in front of a sell-out crowd.

"Mark, can't wait to see what you've got for my jersey retirement," Nowitzki said to Cuban. "I mean, this is a high bar that you set. But as you guys might expect, this is my last home game.

"I'm trying my yoga breathing, but it's not really working that well. This is obviously super, super emotional."

He added in a press conference: "I think it's been a long time coming. I was struggling this year with my foot. That's no secret. It's just not there where it needs to be to compete at a high level for 82 games.

"I felt actually some of the best today, but I've got a lot of treatment over the course of the season - pills, injections. It just doesn't make any sense anymore to keep doing that for another season, even though I'd love to be there.

"I'd love to be there with Kristaps [Porzingis] and Luka [Doncic] and all these young guys and have fun with them and mentor them as much as I can. But it just doesn't make any sense anymore physically.

"What ended up happening was with more ankle movement, the arthritis was just showing up too much and I was in pain most of the year. You could tell sometimes. When I was backpedalling, my left foot kept sinking in.

"It was a tough year, tough year, but I kept plugging through. And I'm glad it's almost over."

After spending all 21 seasons with Dallas, Cuban says Nowitzki's incredible contribution will be recognised appropriately.

"I promise you that everything you taught us will live on," Cuban said to the stalwart. "I promise you a job for life. I promise you that we'll retire your number. And I promise you will get the biggest, most badass statue ever."

Tuesday was a historic day for the NBA.

Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki each played their last home games for their respective teams, as both have plans to retire after the season. The Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks were both able to secure quality wins for their superstars on such an important night.

Wade scored a game-high 30 points for Miami in its 122-99 triumph over the Philadelphia 76ers. After the contest, he gifted jerseys to all of his teammates.

Nowitzki scored 30 points of his own in Dallas. The 40-year-old big man filled it up early, scoring his team's first 10 points in a 120-109 victory over Phoenix Suns. He became the oldest player in NBA history to score at least 30 points in a game.

While neither future Hall of Fame player will be in the post-season, they got the storybook endings they deserved in front of their home crowds.

Crawford goes off on Dallas

Pheonix Sun Jamal Crawford scored a game-high 51 points against the Mavericks.

James Harden recorded 39 points and 10 rebounds in Houston Rockets' 112-111 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Donovan Mitchell posted 46 points in Utah Jazz's 118-108 win over the Denver N.

Six and out for Green

Jeff Green scored six points on 2-of-13 shooting in the Washington Wizards' 116-110 loss to the Boston Celtics.

Wayne Ellington totaled seven points on 1-of-11 shooting in the Detriot Pistons' 100-93 victory against the Memphis Grizzlies.

Caruso almost wins it for the Lakers

Alex Caruso hit a huge shot to put the Lakers up late, but they fell to Portland 104-101.

Paul George hit a game-winner to lift the Thunder over the Rockets.

What's Next?

Orlando Magic (41-40) at Charlotte Hornets (39-42) 8 p.m. ET — Orlando has already punched its ticket to the playoffs. Charlotte, on the other hand, is battling with Detroit for the Eastern Conference's final playoff spot. Steve Clifford coached the Hornets as recently as last season and now he has the opportunity to eliminate his old team from the post-season.

Reigning NBA champions the Golden State Warriors locked up first place in the Western Conference thanks to Sunday's 131-104 blowout win against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Golden State secured the west's number one seed in their last regular-season game at Oracle Arena after 47 years as they prepare to move to Chase Center in San Francisco.

The Warriors marked the occasion by wearing throwback jerseys – famously known as the "We Believe" era uniforms worn during the team's run to the 2007 playoffs, which were used from 2002 to 2010.

It was fitting that the franchise's cornerstone, Stephen Curry, led all scorers with 27 points. Six other Warriors also reached double-figures.

Landry Shamet led the Clippers' well-rounded scoring effort with 17 points.

 

Harden lifts Rockets

James Harden posted 30 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists in the Houston Rockets' 149-113 win over the Phoenix Suns.

Alex Len scored a career-high 33 points as the Atlanta Hawks fell 115-107 to the Milwaukee Bucks.

Karl-Anthony Towns posted 35 points in the Minnesota Timberwolves' 132-126 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

 

Cavs' Clarkson and his shooting woes

Jordan Clarkson scored two points on one-of-eight shooting in the Cleveland Cavaliers' 112-90 defeat to the San Antonio Spurs.

Kyle Lowry scored five points on one-of-eight shooting as the Toronto Raptors downed the Miami Heat 117-109 in overtime.

 

McGee with the slam!

JaVale McGee threw an alley-oop into the hoop with force in the Los Angeles Lakers' 113-109 win against the Utah Jazz.

Elfrid Payton sent the Sacramento Kings' De'Aaron Fox tumbling with a dribble move as the New Orleans Pelicans won 133-129.

 

Sunday's results

Toronto Raptors 117-109 Miami Heat (OT)
San Antonio Spurs 112-90 Cleveland Cavaliers
Oklahoma City Thunder 132-126 Minnesota Timberwolves
Charlotte Hornets 104-91 Detroit Pistons
Brooklyn Nets 108-96 Indiana Pacers
Dallas Mavericks 129-127 Memphis Grizzlies (OT)
Milwaukee Bucks 115-107 Atlanta Hawks
Houston Rockets 149-113 Phoenix Suns
Orlando Magic 116-108 Boston Celtics
New York Knicks 113-110 Washington Wizards
Golden State Warriors 131-104 Los Angeles Clippers
New Orleans Pelicans 133-129 Sacramento Kings
Portland Trail Blazers 115-108 Denver Nuggets
Los Angeles Lakers 113-109 Utah Jazz

 

Hornets at Cavaliers

Charlotte will attempt to keep their playoff dreams alive against Cleveland on Tuesday. The Hornets will likely have to win out to reach the postseason. The Cavaliers could bring the opposition's campaign crashing to a halt.

The Orlando Magic could not be stopped in Friday's 149-113 NBA victory over the Atlanta Hawks.

Orlando's ridiculous offensive performance was fuelled by three 25-point scorers.

Nikola Vucevic and Evan Fournier both contributed 25 points as starters. But Terrence Ross pitched in with a surprising 25 more from the bench and connected on six 3-pointers.

Trae Young and John Collins mustered 22 and 20 points respectively for Atlanta, but were simply outmatched from the start.

With the Magic's victory, they moved to sixth in the Eastern Conference standings. Orlando are just a half game ahead of Detroit Pistons and Brooklyn Nets in the playoff race. Things could get tight down the stretch as these teams battle it out for optimal postseason seeding.

Griffin's haul in vain

Blake Griffin scored a game-high 45 points in the Pistons' 123-110 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Delon Wright posted a career-high 26 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists as Memphis Grizzlies took down Dallas Mavericks 122-112.

Kemba Walker totaled 29 points in Charlotte Hornets' 113-111 victory over Toronto Raptors.

 

Blundering Bogdanovic penalises Pacers  

Bojan Bogdanovic scored four points on 1-of-8 shooting as Indiana Pacers fell short to Boston Celtics 117-97.

Damyean Dotson managed seven points on 3-of-14 shooting in New York Knicks' 120-96 blowout loss to Houston Rockets.

 

Layman and Towns make the highlights reel

Portland Trail Blazers' Jake Layman elevated over Denver Nuggets to finish strong with two hands at the rim.

And Karl-Anthony Towns' over-the-shoulder pass made for an easy Minnesota Timberwolves finish against Miami Heat.

Friday's results

Utah Jazz 119-98 Sacramento Kings
Dallas Mavericks 112-122 Memphis Grizzlies
Oklahoma City Thunder 123-110 Detroit Pistons
Minnesota Timberwolves 111-109 Miami Heat
Houston Rockets 120-96 New York Knicks
Indiana Pacers 97-117 Boston Celtics
Washington Wizards 112-129 San Antonio Spurs
Orlando Magic 149-113 Atlanta Hawks
Charlotte Hornets 113-111 Toronto Raptors
Phoenix Suns 133-126 New Orleans Pelicans
Los Angeles Clippers 117-122 Los Angeles Lakers
Golden State Warriors 120-114 Cleveland Cavaliers
Denver Nuggets 119-110 Portland Trail Blazers

 

Nets at Bucks

Brooklyn Nets are tied with Detroit Pistons for the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference. Milwaukee Bucks have the top spot in the conference, so they could end up facing the Nets in the first round of the playoffs. This match-up could be a preview of a high-intensity postseason series.

The Denver Nuggets thrashed the San Antonio Spurs 113-85 in the NBA on Wednesday.

Both the Spurs and Nuggets entered the game with a chance to improve their playoff seeding.

Yet things went south for the Spurs just 63 seconds into the game when coach Gregg Popovich was ejected after picking up his second technical for arguing a call.

Denver went on to win comfortably, with the outcome never in doubt.

The only way Popovich could have made a difference for the Spurs would be if he had suited up and started knocking down three-pointers. San Antonio were dreadful from behind the arc, hitting only five-of-27 attempts.

Nikola Jokic scored 20 (with 11 boards and nine assists) to lead six players in double-figures for the Nuggets, who improved to 52-26. That leaves them only 1.5 games behind the idle Warriors for the number one seed in the Western Conference. Denver have four games remaining, while Golden State have five.

At the other end of the playoff field, the Spurs (45-34) dropped from seventh to eighth in the standings, a half-game behind the idle Oklahoma City Thunder. As the final week of the season plays out, those potential one-eight and two-seven first-round playoff matchups bear a close watch.

 

Drummond dynamic for Detroit

Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond narrowly missed another 20-20 game, scoring 28 and collecting 19 rebounds in a loss to the Indiana Pacers.

Center Nikola Vucevic had 29 points and 13 rebounds in the Orlando Magic's 114-100 win over the New York Knicks.

Knicks forward Mario Hezonja scored 29 points and added nine rebounds in the loss to the Magic.

Chicago Bulls guard Walt Lemon Jr. scored 24, had eight assists and won the game with two late free throws in a 115-114 victory over the Washington Wizards.

Portland Trail Blazers wing Evan Turner came off the bench for a triple-double (13/12/11) in a 116-89 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. 

 

Evans wayward

Pacers guard Tyreke Evans hit only one of 13 shots and scored six points in a win against the Pistons.

 

Harden class

Houston Rockets star James Harden makes even difficult shots look easy, as he showed against the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Minnesota Timberwolves' Karl-Anthony Towns drove the lane not once, but twice, for thunderous dunks in the first quarter against the Dallas Mavericks.

Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris went up strong to dunk, but the Atlanta Hawks' John Collins had other ideas.

Wednesday's results

Indiana Pacers 108-89 Detroit Pistons
Orlando Magic 114-100 New York Knicks
Chicago Bulls 115-114 Washington Wizards
Atlanta Hawks 130-122 Philadelphia 76ers
Toronto Raptors 115-105 Brooklyn Nets
Boston Celtics 112-102 Miami Heat
Charlotte Hornets 115-109 New Orleans Pelicans
Minnesota Timberwolves 110-108 Dallas Mavericks
Denver Nuggets 113-85 San Antonio Spurs
Utah Jazz 118-97 Phoenix Suns
Portland Trail Blazers 116-89 Memphis Grizzlies
Houston Rockets 135-103 Los Angeles Clippers

 

Bucks at 76ers

This could be a preview of the Eastern Conference Finals. The 76ers expect star Joel Embiid back in the lineup after a three-game break. But even with Embiid on the floor, the 76ers recently lost games to the Hawks and Magic – they lost again to the Hawks on Wednesday – so they need to rediscover their form before the playoffs begin.

The Boston Celtics got an unlikely triple-double from Al Horford in their 110-105 victory over the Miami Heat in the NBA on Monday.

Horford totalled 19 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in what was just the second triple-double of his 12-year career.

Boston got out to a sizable first-half lead, but Miami came battling back in the fourth. The Heat's comeback was fuelled by Goran Dragic's 30-point performance, but the Celtics simply had too many options, even without Jaylen Brown (back).

Miami (38-39) hold the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, but the Magic are just a half-game back. The scramble for a postseason appearance could get hectic as the regular season comes to a close.

Boston (46-32), the Eastern Conference's fourth seed, are even with Indiana with four games to play before the playoffs.

 

Bledsoe brilliant against Brooklyn

Eric Bledsoe poured in a game-high 29 points in the Milwaukee Bucks' 131-121 win over the Brooklyn Nets.

Robin Lopez scored a season-high 29 points in the Chicago Bulls' 113-105 loss to the New York Knicks.

Danny Green's season-high of 29 points helped lift the Toronto Raptors past the Magic 121-109.

 

Joseph struggles

Cory Joseph tallied four points on two-of-nine shooting in the Indiana Pacers' 111-102 win over the Detroit Pistons.

Jonah Bolden scored two points on one-of-six shooting in the Philadelphia 76ers' 122-102 blowout loss to the Dallas Mavericks.

 

Jones tricks Lillard

Tyus Jones fooled Damian Lillard with a step-back jumper in the Minnesota Timberwolves' 132-122 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.

Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell moved the defense with a ball fake and threw the ball in at the rim against the Charlotte Hornets.

Monday's results

Indiana Pacers 111-102 Detroit Pistons
Boston Celtics 110-105 Miami Heat
Milwaukee Bucks 131-121 Brooklyn Nets
New York Knicks 113-105 Chicago Bulls
Toronto Raptors 121-109 Orlando Magic
Portland Trail Blazers 132-122 Minnesota Timberwolves
Dallas Mavericks 122-102 Philadelphia 76ers
Utah Jazz 111-102 Charlotte Hornets
Phoenix Suns 122-113 Cleveland Cavaliers

 

Nuggets at Warriors

Only one game separates Denver and Golden State in the Western Conference standings. The Nuggets are coming off a disappointing loss to the Washington Wizards and will have to rally to win in Oracle Arena. One of these team will likely claim the top seed, as just six games remain for each side in the regular season.

Ben Simmons believes Dallas Mavericks sensation Luka Doncic should win Rookie of the Year over Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young.

Doncic has been a revelation with the Mavericks this season, averaging 21.1 points, 7.6 rebounds and 5.1 assists in 2018-19.

The 19-year-old Slovenian – who is favourite to claim the award – leads all first-year players in minutes played and points scored.

Philadelphia 76ers All-Star Simmons – the 2018 Rookie of the Year – backed Doncic to take his crown this season.

"Luka," Simmons replied when asked who he would vote for in this year's race.

"He's playing better. Like, his team's winning more games.

"Trae Young is killing it. Same as Donovan (Mitchell last year). But it's just overall I think Luka's got his team playing a little better."

Young had a bit of a rocky start this season, but has put up eye-popping numbers as of late. The Hawks guard is averaging 25.1 points and 9.3 assists per game since the All-Star break.

Simmons was drafted with the top pick in the 2016 draft. But he did not play until 2017-18 because of a foot injury that kept him out for all of what should have been his rookie campaign.

The 22-year-old Australian exploded onto the scene last season. He averaged 15.8 points, 8.1 rebounds and 8.1 assists during his rookie campaign and beat out notable names like the Utah Jazz's Donovan Mitchell and Boston Celtics swingman Jayson Tatum.

Doncic and Young were exchanged in a trade on draft day last year and both are already proving to be valuable pieces to their respective teams.

Trae Young has been on a roll lately, and his late-game heroics helped the Atlanta Hawks top the Milwaukee Bucks 136-135 in the NBA on Sunday.

The rookie guard made a game-winning shot after the ball ricocheted to him in the closing seconds.

Young did not have a great shooting game, but finished with 12 points and 16 assists. His fellow starters Justin Anderson, Alex Len and John Collins all eclipsed 20 points.

Milwaukee, the top team in the Eastern Conference, were without quite a few notable players, including Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe.

In their absence, Sterling Brown erupted for a game-high 27 points, leading all scorers.

The Bucks are preparing for the playoffs while the Hawks are looking to finish the regular season strongly.

 

Aldridge heroics not enough

LaMarcus Aldridge posted 27 points and 18 rebounds in the San Antonio Spurs' 113-106 loss to the Sacramento Kings.

Russell Westbrook tallied 25 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists as the Oklahoma City Thunder fell to the Dallas Mavericks 106-103.

 

Stephenson slumps

Lance Stephenson was held scoreless on 0-of-seven shooting in the Los Angeles Lakers' 130-102 blowout win over the New Orleans Pelicans.

Bobby Portis scored two points on one-of-nine shooting in the Washington Wizards' 95-90 victory over the Denver Nuggets.

 

Cook's circus

Quinn Cook finished an over-the-shoulder circus shot in the Golden State Warriors' 137-90 victory over the Charlotte Hornets.

Will Barton pulled off an impressive no-look bounce pass on the break for the Nuggets against the Wizards.

Sunday's results

Atlanta Hawks 136-135 Milwaukee Bucks
Dallas Mavericks 106-103 Oklahoma City Thunder
Los Angeles Lakers 130-102 New Orleans Pelicans
Sacramento Kings 113-106 San Antonio Spurs
Washington Wizards 95-90 Denver Nuggets
Golden State Warriors 137-90 Charlotte Hornets
Los Angeles Clippers 113-96 Memphis Grizzlies

 

Magic at Raptors

The Toronto Raptors are firmly in the playoff picture. But the Orlando Magic are just outside it. The Magic are half a game back from the Miami Heat for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference, so they will be prepared to go all out against a top contender.

The San Antonio Spurs boosted their NBA playoff chances with victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers as Western Conference rivals the Sacramento Kings lost.

After San Antonio's 116-110 win against the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Kings' 121-118 defeat to the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday, the Spurs (44-32) are six-and-a-half games clear of Sacramento (37-38) – who have seven games remaining.

One loss from the Kings and their playoff hopes are dashed.

On the night the Spurs retired Manu Ginobili's number, DeMar DeRozan led San Antonio with 25 points against the Cavaliers.

Collin Sexton scored 24 points for the Cavaliers, while Kevin Love added 18.

 

Harden produces the goods… again

James Harden scored 38 points and added six rebounds and six assists to lead the Houston Rockets past the Denver Nuggets 112-85.

Joel Embiid scored 14 of Philadelphia's first 19 points and 39 in total to go with 13 rebounds and six assists in the 76ers' 123-110 win over the Brooklyn Nets.

Miami Heat point guard Goran Dragic tallied his first triple-double of the season, scoring 23 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists in a 105-99 victory against the Dallas Mavericks.

Khris Middleton posted 39 points and added nine rebounds as the Milwaukee Bucks were 128-118 winners over the Los Angeles Clippers.

 

Smith highlights Knicks' woes

New York Knicks point guard Dennis Smith Jr. had more turnovers (two) than assists (one) while shooting two of 11 from the floor and scoring seven points in a 117-92 loss to the Toronto Raptors.

 

Teamwork!

There is nothing to hate about this clip for Detroit Pistons fans as the team tallied two blocks and a nice save on the defensive end, and added some nice passing which led to a three-pointer in a 115-98 win over the Orlando Magic.

 

Thursday's results

Detroit Pistons 115-98 Orlando Magic
Philadelphia 76ers 123-110 Brooklyn Nets
Miami Heat 105-99 Dallas Mavericks
Toronto Raptors 117-92 New York Knicks
New Orleans Pelicans 121-118 Sacramento Kings
Milwaukee Bucks 128-118 Los Angeles Clippers
Houston Rockets 112-85 Denver Nuggets
San Antonio Spurs 116-110 Cleveland Cavaliers

 

Hornets at Lakers

The Charlotte Hornets can move within one game of a playoff spot in the east with a win on Friday. The Nets, Magic, Heat and Pistons are all off, so Charlotte make progress with a win no matter what with eight games left to play.

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