The Minnesota Timberwolves pulled off a thrilling 116-114 win against the Phoenix Suns thanks to Derrick Rose.

Luka Doncic may have played for Real Madrid's basketball team, but the Dallas Mavericks rookie joked he needed to work on his "soccer skills" after being ejected for kicking the ball into the crowd.

The Slovenian teenager suffered a night to forget in an otherwise fine debut NBA campaign on Saturday, scoring just eight points on three-of-14 shooting before being ejected in the third quarter of Dallas' 111-99 loss to the Indiana Pacers.

Doncic picked up one technical foul at the conclusion of the first half and was tossed from the game when he was awarded another technical for kicking the ball into the stands.

The 19-year-old, who played for Madrid in the EuroLeague prior to being drafted third overall in last year's NBA draft, explained he had merely been trying to flick the ball up to himself and was unaware that his act would result in an ejection.

"I was just trying to play soccer," Doncic told reporters.

"I didn't try to kick the ball out of the stands.

"For sure, I didn't know the rule if you go [and kick the ball] to the stands you are ejected.

"It's a different rule in Europe. I didn't know that was a rule.

"I wouldn't have been ejected for that, for sure, in Europe. I was trying to juggle the ball. I've got to work on my soccer skills!"

Doncic conceded his poor night had impacted him but vowed to learn from the incident.

"I wasn't playing good, for sure,” he added. "It's one of the [worst] games I’ve played, so yeah, I was frustrated before [the ejection].

"I know it was my fault. I learned a new thing today.

"Everybody does bad things in their life, so it's not going to stop me the next game.

"That's the good thing about the NBA. The next game is in two days, so just forget about it and move on."

The Houston Rockets keep finding a way to win after James Harden inspired a 138-134 overtime win against the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Los Angeles Lakers dropped the Thunder 138-128 in overtime on Thursday, but Lonzo Ball did his best to give Oklahoma City a chance.

Up 122-119 with less than five seconds to play, the Lakers wanted to foul and take the three-point possibility out of the Thunder's hands.

And Ball did foul – just like his team-mates and coach were telling him to do from the sideline. The problem, however, was he managed to let time run off the clock and fouled Russell Westbrook in the act of shooting, which put him on the line with a chance to tie the game.

Westbrook did just that by knocking down all three shots.

Westbrook may not have actually been in the act of shooting. He threw up a shot when Ball touched him and he appeared to be on the ground when doing so. But the referee called the foul despite LeBron James' confusion online.

"So what really is "in the shooting motion" rule?!?!?" James wrote on Twitter. "Asking for a friend @OfficialNBARefs."

It was an unfortunate and bad play from Ball, but the good thing was the second-year player came out and hit two three-pointers to start overtime for the Lakers.

While he extended the team's game, he made sure it would not go past one extra frame and the Lakers (25-21) have now won two games in a row and four of their last six. The Thunder are 26-18 and have lost five of their last six.

 

Brilliant Booker

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker had 30 points, eight assists and two rebounds in a 111-109 loss to the Toronto Raptors.

Jimmy Butler had an extremely efficient night in the Philadelphia 76ers' 120-96 win over the Indiana Pacers. He scored 27 points on 10-of-17 shooting, went six of six from the free-throw line, added eight assists and five rebounds while tallying zero turnovers.

Knicks guard Emmanuel Mudiay had 25 points, seven rebounds and two assists in New York's 101-100 loss to the Washington Wizards.

Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen scored 27 points on 10-of-18 shooting with 10 rebounds in Chicago's 135-105 loss to the Denver Nuggets.

 

Biyombo struggles for Hornets

It is really hard to be minus-13 when you do not put up a single shot, but Bismack Biyombo pulled it off in the Charlotte Hornets' 114-95 win over the Sacramento Kings.

 

Siakam the hero

Pascal Siakam is not the first player you would think of that would hit a game-winning buzzer-beater for the Raptors but that is exactly what he did in their victory over the Suns.

Thursday's results

Washington Wizards 101-100 New York Knicks
Charlotte Hornets 114-95 Sacramento Kings
Philadelphia 76ers 120-96 Indiana Pacers
Toronto Raptors 111-109 Phoenix Suns
Denver Nuggets 135-105 Chicago Bulls
Los Angeles Lakers 138-128 Oklahoma City Thunder

 

Warriors at Clippers

It is DeMarcus Cousins' Golden State Warriors debut. The Warriors already set scoring records and three-point records this week without Cousins. Imagine them with him.

NBA champions the Golden State Warriors enjoyed a record-breaking performance after crushing the Denver Nuggets 142-111.

Luka Doncic starred to lead the Dallas Mavericks to a thrilling win over the Minnesota Timberwolves in the NBA on Friday.

Doncic hit three straight go-ahead shots in the final two minutes to lead Dallas to a 119-115 victory.

His first shot came in the paint to give the Mavs a 112-111 lead, his second gave them a 114-113 advantage and the third was on a transition three-pointer to give Dallas a lead they would never relinquish.

The 19-year-old scored 29 points to go with 12 assists and eight rebounds to lead the way for the Mavericks.

Huerter produces big performance

Hawks rookie Kevin Huerter scored a career-high 29 points in Atlanta's 123-121 win over the 76ers.

Wizards guard Tomas Satoransky tallied his first career triple-double with 18 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in Washington's 113-106 win over a Giannis Antetokounmpo-less Bucks team.

Rockets star James Harden stayed hot, tallying another 40-point triple-double with 43 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds in a 141-113 win over the Cavaliers.

 

Dinwiddie dire for Nets

Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie did not have his best game as he scored eight points on one-of-seven shooting off the bench in Brooklyn's 122-105 loss to the Raptors. Brooklyn were minus-24 with Dinwiddie on the floor.

 

Sabonis throws one down

Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis threw one down in the Pacers' 121-106 win over the Knicks.

Friday's results

Atlanta Hawks 123-121 Philadelphia 76ers
Washington Wizards 113-106 Milwaukee Bucks
Indiana Pacers 121-106 New York Knicks
Toronto Raptors 122-105 Brooklyn Nets
Houston Rockets 141-113 Cleveland Cavaliers
Dallas Mavericks 119-115 Minnesota Timberwolves
Portland Trail Blazers 127-96 Charlotte Hornets
Utah Jazz 113-95 Los Angeles lakers
Golden State Warriors 146-109 Chicago Bulls

 

Spurs at Thunder

The Spurs and Thunder are coming off of one of the best games of the season in a double-overtime thriller Thursday and could deliver again.

The Milwaukee Bucks managed to overcome a big performance from James Harden to top the Houston Rockets 116-109 in the NBA. 

Andrew Wiggins inspired the Minnesota Timberwolves to a win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday.

The Timberwolves travelled to Oklahoma City and handed the Thunder a 119-117 loss.

Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Steven Adams all totalled more than 20 points for the Thunder but they could not will themselves past a streaking Wiggins, who recorded a game-high 40 points on 11-of-24 shooting. He also grabbed 10 rebounds.

Karl-Anthony Towns chipped in 20 points and nine rebounds of his own for Minnesota. 

George, Westbrook and Adams scored 27, 25 and 20 points respectively.

The win was the first for new Timberwolves coach Ryan Saunders, who took over after the team fired Tom Thibodeau on Sunday.

The Thunder dropped to 25-15 while the Timberwolves improved to 20-21.

Jokic lifts Nuggets

Nikola Jokic had a triple-double in a 103-99 win for the Nuggets against the Heat. He recorded 29 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.

Landry Shamet scored a career-high 29 points and made eight three-pointers for the 76ers in a 132-115 win over the Wizards.

Kawhi Leonard tallied 31 points on 11-of-18 shooting as the Raptors topped the Hawks 104-101.

Klay Thompson erupted for 43 points on 18-of-29 shooting in a 122-95 victory for the Warriors over the Knicks.

 

Curry struggles for Warriors

Stephen Curry tallied 14 points but shot just five of 19 from the field.

Bogdan Bogdanovic scored seven points on three-of-11 shooting as the Kings fell to the Suns 115-111.

 

Curry provides clever assist

Curry dished a no-look assist to a slashing Kevon Looney for a slam.

De'Aaron Fox tracked down De'Anthony Melton in transition and pinned a layup against the backboard.

Tuesday's results

Indiana Pacers 123-115 Cleveland Cavaliers
Philadelphia 76ers 132-115 Washington Wizards
Denver Nuggets 103-99 Miami Heat
Toronto Raptors 104-101 Atlanta Hawks
Minnesota Timberwolves 119-117 Oklahoma City Thunder
Phoenix Suns 115-111 Sacramento Kings
Golden State Warriors 122-95 New York Knicks
Los Angeles Clippers 128-109 Charlotte Hornets

 

Bucks at Rockets

Houston have been one of the toughest teams to beat, especially at home. Milwaukee will have to step into the Toyota Center and top a Rockets team that have won their past 10 home games. Giannis Antetokounmpo and James Harden will be looking to lead their respective sides to victory.

The Toronto Raptors did not have a hard time as they beat the Indiana Pacers 121-105 behind the efforts of an unlikely leading scorer on Sunday.

Kyle Lowry made his return to Toronto's lineup against Indiana and he put together a decent performance. He recorded 12 points, eight assists and three steals.

Norman Powell led all scorers, though, pouring in 23 points on 10-of-12 shooting off the bench for Toronto.

Bojan Bogdanovic led the way for Indiana with 21 points and nine rebounds.

Even without Kawhi Leonard, the Raptors were too much for the Pacers. Toronto snapped Indiana's six-game winning streak, dropping them to 26-13.

The Raptors improved to 30-12 and claimed the top spot in the Eastern Conference from the Milwaukee Bucks.

Harris, Russell shine

Tobias Harris recorded 28 points and grabbed nine rebounds on 10-of-21 shooting in a 106-96 Clippers victory over the Magic.

D'Angelo Russell tallied 28 points and made six three-pointers as Brooklyn beat the Bulls 117-100.

Karl-Anthony Towns dropped 28 points and registered 18 rebounds to help the Timberwolves top the Lakers 108-86.

 

Awful Olynyk

Kelly Olynyk scored nine points on three-of-10 shooting and the Heat fell short to the Hawks 106-82.

Trevor Ariza scored four points on one-of-nine shooting, but the Wizards still managed to beat the Thunder 116-98.

 

Crawford class

Jamal Crawford elusively threw the ball between his own legs to get into the lane and make a floater in the Suns' 119-113 loss to the Hornets.

Jarrett Allen showed he can throw dunks down just as well as he can block them with a rim rocker.

Sunday's results

Brooklyn Nets 117-100 Chicago Bulls
Los Angeles Clippers 106-96 Orlando Magic
Minnesota Timberwolves 108-86 Los Angeles Lakers
Atlanta Hawks 106-82 Miami Heat
Washington Wizards 116-98 Oklahoma City Thunder
Toronto Raptors 121-105 Indiana Pacers
Charlotte Hornets 119-113 Phoenix Suns

 

Nuggets at Rockets

Denver (26-11) have been a pleasant surprise this season and will enter this matchup with the best record in the Western Conference. Houston (22-16) have been one of the NBA's hottest teams lately. While the Rockets lost to the Trail Blazers in their last game, they have been steadily climbing the standings.

Victor Oladipo nailed a last-gasp three-pointer as the Indiana Pacers extended their winning streak to six NBA games by beating the Chicago Bulls 119-116 in overtime.

Indiana star Oladipo banked in a three-pointer with 0.3 seconds remaining to ensure the Pacers stayed hot on Friday.

Oladipo finished the game with 36 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals.

The Pacers are now just one and a half games back of the Milwaukee Bucks for first place in the Eastern Conference.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 16 rebounds, 10 assists and eight rebounds as the Bucks – who led 43-12 after 12 minutes – routed the Atlanta Hawks 144-112 in Milwaukee.

 

George helps Thunder top Blazers

Paul George had 37 points, eight rebounds and two assists in the Oklahoma City Thunder's 111-109 win over the Portland Trail Blazers. The victory broke an eight-game losing streak in Portland for Oklahoma City.

Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal posted 33 points, nine rebounds and seven assists but his team fell to the Miami Heat 115-109.

Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns scored 29 points and added 15 rebounds in their 120-103 victory against the Orlando Magic.

Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley scored 31 points and added four steals in a 109-100 loss to the Brooklyn Nets.

Los Angeles Clippers center Marcin Gortat had close to a perfect night scoring 18 points on eight-of-10 shooting and two-of-two from the free-throw line. He also grabbed 13 rebounds in a 121-111 win over the Phoenix Suns.

 

Sexton struggles in Cleveland's defeat

Cavaliers rookie Collin Sexton shot the three-pointer well, going three of four from beyond the arc, but he failed to hit a single shot inside of the line as he finished three of 13 from the floor in Cleveland's 117-91 loss to the Utah Jazz.

 

Doncic dazzles again

Dallas Mavericks sensation Luka Doncic provided another shot for the highlight-reel, nailing a three before the half-time buzzer in his team's 114-93 defeat at the Boston Celtics.

 

Friday's results

Utah Jazz 117-91 Cleveland Cavaliers
Minnesota Timberwolves 120-103 Orlando Magic
Miami Heat 115-109 Washington Wizards
Indiana Pacers 119-116 Chicago Bulls (OT)
Brooklyn Nets 109-100 Memphis Grizzlies
Boston Celtics 114-93 Dallas Mavericks
Milwaukee Bucks 144-112 Atlanta Hawks
Los Angeles Clippers 121-111 Phoenix Suns
New York Knicks 119-112 Los Angeles Lakers
Oklahoma City Thunder 111-109 Portland Trail Blazers

 

Raptors at Bucks

In a night full of good games as the Memphis Grizzlies play the San Antonio Spurs, the Houston Rockets face the Trail Blazers and the Golden State Warriors meet the Sacramento Kings, this is the best game on the schedule. It is two MVP contenders going head to head for the second time this season. Kawhi Leonard did not play in the first matchup of the season and the Toronto Raptors lost to the Bucks, but the second fixture was decided by just five points and was a great regular-season showing. This one looks to be no different.

The San Antonio Spurs used a season-best performance in the third quarter to beat the visiting Boston Celtics in the NBA on Monday.

San Antonio (21-17) entered half-time trailing 52-46 but then returned to score 46 points in the third quarter. The Spurs won 120-111.

LaMarcus Aldridge led the effort with 32 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Derrick White pitched in 22 points and Davis Bertans had 17 points off the bench. It was Aldridge's second consecutive game scoring 30-plus points.

The two teams were neck-and-neck from the field – San Antonio shot 49.5 per cent and Boston 48.9 per cent – but the Spurs were able to do some damage from long range and made 53.8 per cent of their three-pointers while the Celtics struggled (32.4 per cent).

Jaylen Brown led Boston (21-15) with 30 points off the bench.

Harden makes history

James Harden etched his name in the record books during the Rockets' 113-101 win over the Grizzlies. He passed Oscar Robertson for the most consecutive games (eight) in NBA history recording 35-plus points and five-plus assists. Harden finished the contest with a triple-double, recording 43 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds. He also joins Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant as the only players in the last 30 seasons to score 400-plus points in a 10-game span.

Victor Oladipo (22 points, seven assists) and Domantas Sabonis (20 points, eight rebounds) powered the Pacers to their fifth consecutive win. Indiana enter the new year third in the Eastern Conference behind only the streaking Bucks and the Raptors.

 

No magic from Fournier

The Magic's Evan Fournier scored just nine points and had four turnovers in the team's 125-100 loss to the Hornets. Fournier finished the night minus-20.

 

Curry recovers to shoot three

Stephen Curry recovered in only a way he can, with a nothing-but-net three-pointer.

It appears you do not want to be in Malik Monk's way.

Rookie Josh Okogie finished for the Timberwolves.

Monday's results

Indiana Pacers 116-108 Atlanta Hawks
Charlotte Hornets 125-100 Orlando Magic
Houston Rockets 113-101 Memphis Grizzlies
San Antonio Spurs 120-111 Boston Celtics
New Orleans Pelicans 123-114 Minnesota Timberwolves
Oklahoma City Thunder 122-102 Dallas Mavericks
Golden State Warriors 132-109 Phoenix Suns

 

76ers at Clippers

The 76ers (23-14) and Clippers (21-15) are sitting near the top of their respective conferences, but both teams are also entering Tuesday's contest after losses. The 76ers are awaiting the return of their leader Joel Embiid, who sat out of Sunday's game with knee soreness and was not able to practice on Saturday. Coach Brett Brown told reporters Embiid's soreness was "recent" and they are "just being precautionary with it".

The Los Angeles Clippers trumped city rivals the Los Angeles Lakers 118-107 in the NBA on Friday.

The Lakers were missing injured superstar LeBron James and they struggled to finish the game without him against the Clippers.

Quite a few Clippers had cold shooting nights, but Lou Williams was not one of them with a game-high 36 points off the bench.

The Clippers subs amassed a staggering 71 points, trumping the Lakers' total of 36.

Kyle Kuzma led the Lakers in scoring with 24 points.

The Lakers (20-16) fell to seventh in the Western Conference standings with the loss, while the Clippers (21-14) are in fourth.

 

Vucevic stars with double-double

Nikola Vucevic scored 30 points and snagged 20 rebounds in the Orlando Magic's 116-87 trouncing of the Toronto Raptors.

Bradley Beal had 34 points and made four three-pointers as the Washington Wizards fell short to the Chicago Bulls 101-92.

Anthony Davis scored 48 points on 20-of-32 shooting accompanied by 17 rebounds helping the New Orleans Pelicans beat the Dallas Mavericks 114-112.

 

Galloway shoots blank

Langston Galloway was held scoreless on 0-of-six shooting in the Detroit Pistons' 125-88 loss to the Indiana Pacers.

Marvin Williams scored six points on two-of-10 shooting as the Charlotte Hornets won 100-87 against the Brooklyn Nets.

 

Smith with the slam!

Dennis Smith Jr. dropped the hammer on Julius Randle's head in the Mavericks' loss to the Pelicans.

Lauri Markkanen rose for this baseline slam in a big Bulls win.

 

Friday's results

Charlotte Hornets 100-87 Brooklyn Nets
Chicago Bulls 101-92 Washington Wizards
Orlando Magic 116-87 Toronto Raptors
Indiana Pacers 125-88 Detroit Pistons
Atlanta Hawks 123-120 Minnesota Timberwolves (OT)
New Orleans Pelicans 114-112 Dallas Mavericks
Miami Heat 118-94 Cleveland Cavaliers
Oklahoma City Thunder 118-102 Phoenix Suns
Denver Nuggets 102-99 San Antonio Spurs
Los Angeles Clippers 118-107 Los Angeles Lakers

 

Warriors at Trail Blazers

Golden State are still near the top of the Western Conference, but have lost back-to-back games. Portland handed the Warriors a 110-109 overtime loss in Oracle Arena on Thursday, so the Dubs will have a chance to avenge themselves this time around.

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Derrick Rose made a triumphant return to Chicago in the NBA on Wednesday.

Back in Chicago, where he starred for eight seasons, Rose scored 24 points and handed out eight assists in a 119-94 win over the Bulls.

The crowd greeted Rose, the 2011 NBA MVP, with chants of 'MVP' during his performance.

"I had to crack a smile ... it meant a lot," Rose said afterward (via NBCS ).

The San Antonio Spurs defeated the visiting Denver Nuggets 111-103. The loss knocked Denver (21-11) out of first place in the Western Conference. They are now a half game behind the Golden State Warriors, who were idle.

DeMar DeRozan scored 30 points and LaMarcus Aldridge added 27 as the Spurs (19-16) won for the fifth time in six games.

 

Dynamic Dinwiddie

High-scoring sixth man Spencer Dinwiddie scored a career-high 37 to lead the Nets to a double-overtime win over the Hornets.

Karl-Anthony Towns had 20 points and 20 rebounds in the Timberwolves' win over the Bulls.

Devin Booker poured in 35 points to help the Suns escape with a 122-120 victory over the Magic.

Rookie star Luka Doncic scored 21 points and added 10 assists and nine rebounds in the Mavericks' 122-119 win over the Pelicans.

Kent Bazemore scored 32 points in the Hawks' loss to the Pacers.

 

Misery for Murray

Nuggets guard Jamal Murray made only four of his 19 shots and had a minus-20 rating in Denver's loss to San Antonio.

 

Whiteside, Rose produce magic

Hassan Whiteside spun his way out to a big dunk.

Rose hit a miraculous shot during his superb performance.

Wednesday's results

Detroit Pistons 106-95 Washington Wizards
Phoenix Suns 122-120 Orlando Magic
Indiana Pacers 129-121 Atlanta Hawks
Brooklyn Nets 134-132 Charlotte Hornets
Toronto Raptors 106-104 Miami Heat
Minnesota Timberwolves 119-94 Chicago Bulls
Memphis Grizzlies 95-87 Cleveland Cavaliers
Dallas Mavericks 122-119 New Orleans Pelicans
San Antonio Spurs 111-103 Denver Nuggets
Los Angeles Clippers 127-118 Sacramento Kings

 

Celtics at Rockets

A nice inter-conference matchup that would have fit right in with the marquee slate on Christmas Day. After a rocky patch in late November and early December, the Rockets have now won seven of eight. However, Chris Paul is out with a strained groin and James Harden is questionable (bruised calf). The Celtics are coming off a big overtime win against the 76ers on Christmas Day, led by Kyrie Irving (40 points).

Stephen Curry was the hero as the Golden State Warriors topped the Los Angeles Clippers 129-127 in the NBA on Sunday. 

The Los Angeles Lakers got the better of the Pelicans on Friday as they claimed a 112-104 victory over New Orleans at the Staples Center.

LeBron James and Anthony Davis were questionable for the matchup with illnesses, but both ended up playing.

James led the way for the Lakers, recording 22 points, 12 rebounds and 14 assists. Kyle Kuzma led Los Angeles in scoring with 23 points.

Davis scored 30 points and grabbed 20 rebounds in the Pelicans' losing effort.

James showcased his all-round game, but was especially effective as a distributor.

Leonard in form

Kawhi Leonard scored 37 points on 12-of-16 shooting in the Raptors' 126-110 win over the Cavaliers.

Emmanuel Mudiay scored 32 points in the Knicks' 114-107 loss to the Hawks.

Lauri Markkanen scored 32 points and made four three-pointers to help the Bulls beat the Magic 90-80.

 

Russell struggles for Nets

D'Angelo Russell scored three points on one-of-eight shooting in the Nets' 114-106 loss to the Pacers.

Terry Rozier scored four points on one-of-seven shooting as the Celtics fell short to the Bucks 120-107.

 

Brilliant Bridges

Miles Bridges brought the ball behind his back to split the defense for a lefty finish at the basket in the Hornets' 98-86 win over the Pistons.

Jaylen Brown took two dribbles and met Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim and punched home.

Friday's results

Charlotte Hornets 98-86 Detroit Pistons
Toronto Raptors 126-110 Cleveland Cavaliers
Indiana Pacers 114-106 Brooklyn Nets
Atlanta Hawks 114-107 New York Knicks
Milwaukee Bucks 120-107 Boston Celtics
Chicago Bulls 90-80 Orlando Magic
San Antonio Spurs 124-98 Minnesota Timberwolves
Utah Jazz 120-90 Portland Trail Blazers
Sacramento Kings 102-99 Memphis Grizzlies
Los Angeles Lakers 112-104 New Orleans Pelicans

 

Raptors at 76ers

The last time these two teams met, they were close until Toronto pulled away in the fourth quarter to claim a 113-102 victory. Leonard and Jimmy Butler put on stellar offensive performances, combining for 74 points in the matchup. This next matchup should make for an equally exciting game.

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