Kyrie Irving stands by his criticism of some Brooklyn Nets team-mates and defended his leadership style as he insisted he is not a "f****** a*****e".

Irving – who joined the Nets as a free agent in the offseason – made headlines this week when he claimed the team had "glaring" needs following a 117-106 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.

However, the 27-year-old, a one-time NBA champion and a six-time All-Star, believes he was right to criticise his team-mates and cites his career achievements as the basis for taking a leadership role.

"It's probably a tell-tale sign of the career that I've had, some of the moves that I've made individually as well as coming to different environments and organisations," Irving told reporters in a video shared by SNYtv.

"At the end of the day, it's an entertainment league. We're drama-filled, everything revolves on these media platforms, which is part of society. I can't really do anything about it, except really be a pillar in our locker room and when I'm out there, winning, that's what it comes down to.

"It's not like I'm a f****** a*****e shouting all of the time in the locker room.

"I'm going to continue to push, demand greatness from my team-mates and we go from there. If it's harsh as a leader or it's too much for anybody, you're not in our locker room – stay the f*** out, it's as simple as that."


Irving also insisted he has earned the right to be respected and listened to by his team-mates, as he attempts to propel the Nets towards a championship win.

"At the end of the day, my name is in a lot of people's mouths all of the time," Irving added.

"I've earned that respect because of how great I am as a player and there's still more goals I want to accomplish in this league and I can't do it without improving an organisation and winning a championship, and that's what it comes down to."

The Nets are eighth in the Eastern Conference with an 18-22 record for the season, with pacesetters the Milwaukee Bucks next up on Saturday.

The Orlando Magic snapped the Los Angeles Lakers' winning streak in the NBA, while the Houston Rockets were also stunned on Wednesday.

The Lakers' nine-game winning run was ended with a shock 119-118 loss to Orlando.

LeBron James had a double-double of 19 points and 19 assists, but the Lakers (33-8) were stunned at the Staples Center.

Markelle Fultz was the star for Orlando (20-21) with a triple-double of 21 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.

Houston were also surprised in a 117-107 defeat to the Portland Trail Blazers.

Russell Westbrook contributed a triple-double of 31 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds, but James Harden (13 points) went three-of-12 from the field.

Damian Lillard (25 points) and CJ McCollum (24) combined for 49 points for Portland, while Hassan Whiteside (18 points and 18 rebounds) and Carmelo Anthony (18 points and 12 rebounds) managed double-doubles.

 

Doncic delights as Sabonis shines

Luka Doncic starred with 25 points, 17 assists and 15 rebounds in the Dallas Mavericks' 127-123 win over the Sacramento Kings. The 20-year-old became the youngest player in NBA history to post a triple-double with at least 15 rebounds and 15 assists.

Domantas Sabonis' double-double of 29 points and 13 rebounds helped the Indiana Pacers past the Minnesota Timberwolves 104-99.

The Philadelphia 76ers overcame the Brooklyn Nets 117-106 as Ben Simmons contributed 20 points and 11 assists.

 

Kuzma struggles

Kyle Kuzma struggled in the Lakers' defeat, going two-of-10 from the field for just four points in 27 minutes.

 

Mykhailiuk from deep

Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk converted from beyond half-court to beat the buzzer in the third quarter of the Detroit Pistons' 116-103 victory against the Boston Celtics.

Wednesday's results

Detroit Pistons 116-103 Boston Celtics
Philadelphia 76ers 117-106 Brooklyn Nets
Miami Heat 106-100 San Antonio Spurs
Chicago Bulls 115-106 Washington Wizards
Indiana Pacers 104-99 Minnesota Timberwolves
Toronto Raptors 130-121 Oklahoma City Thunder
Denver Nuggets 100-86 Charlotte Hornets
Portland Trail Blazers 117-107 Houston Rockets
Dallas Mavericks 127-123 Sacramento Kings
Orlando Magic 119-118 Los Angeles Lakers

 

Celtics at Bucks

The Celtics (27-12) get a chance to bounce back when they face Eastern Conference leaders the Milwaukee Bucks (36-6) on Thursday.

Giannis Antetokounmpo showed no mercy in a devastating 21-minute display as the NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks defeated the New York Knicks 128-102.

Antetokounmpo only played three quarters but the reigning MVP still scored 37 points to lead the Bucks past the Knicks on Tuesday.

The Bucks, who led by as many as 35 points, improved their league-best record to 36-6 with a fourth consecutive victory.

Meanwhile, Kawhi Leonard posted 43 points as the Los Angeles Clippers cruised past the Cleveland Cavalier 128-103.

Lou Williams contributed 24 points off the bench for the Clippers, who were again without injured star Paul George.

 

Jazz extend winning streak

The Utah Jazz made it 10 successive wins by beating the Brooklyn Nets 118-107. Joe Ingles matched his career high with 27 points, while Rudy Gobert had 22 points and 18 rebounds. Kyrie Irving recorded 32 points and 11 assists for the Nets.

Trae Young's double-double of 36 points and 10 assists helped the lowly Atlanta Hawks soar past the Phoenix Suns 123-110. Devin Booker scored 39 points for the visiting Suns.

James Harden's 41 points were not enough after the Houston Rockets fell 121-110 to the in-form Memphis Grizzlies. Rookie Ja Morant put up 26 points as the Grizzlies won their sixth successive game.

 

O'Neale scoreless

Royce O'Neal did not post a point against the Nets. In 32 minutes, he was 0 of five from the floor, while he missed all three of his three-point attempts.

 

Grizzlies put on a show

Led by Morant and Jackson, the Grizzlies grounded the Rockets.

 

Tuesday's results

Atlanta Hawks 123-110 Phoenix Suns
Utah Jazz 118-107 Brooklyn Nets
Milwaukee Bucks 128-102 New York Knicks
Memphis Grizzlies 121-110 Houston Rockets
Los Angeles Clippers 128-103 Cleveland Cavaliers
Dallas Mavericks 124-97 Golden State Warriors

 

Magic at Lakers

Can the Los Angeles Lakers (33-7) make it 10 straight wins? The Western Conference leaders play host to the Orlando Magic (19-21) on Wednesday.

Nikola Jokic led the Denver Nuggets past Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers 114-104, while Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving impressed on his return in the NBA.

Jokic's double-double of 20 points and 15 rebounds helped the Nuggets see off Western Conference rivals the Clippers in Denver on Sunday.

Jamal Murray contributed 19 points as the Nuggets edged the Clippers, who closed within six points with just over a minute remaining after trailing by as many as 20 in the second half.

In the absence of Paul George (hamstring) for the second consecutive game, Leonard led the Clippers with 30 points on the road.

In Brooklyn, Irving ended his two-month injury absence in the Nets' 108-86 victory at home to the lowly Atlanta Hawks.

Back on the floor following a shoulder injury, Irving was 10 of 11 from the field for 21 points in 20 minutes of action against the Hawks – who were without Trae Young.

 

Valanciunas makes Grizzlies roar

Jonas Valanciunas posted 31 points and collected a season-high 19 rebounds as the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Golden State Warriors 122-102. Warriors guard D'Angelo Russell – who missed the previous six games due to a shoulder problem – scored 34 points.

Kelly Oubre Jr. finished with 25 points and 15 rebounds to help the Phoenix Suns outlast the Charlotte Hornets 100-92.

Jimmy Butler put up 25 points and 10 rebounds but the Miami Heat were stunned 124-121 away to the New York Knicks.

All of the Utah Jazz's starters had double-digit points (Bojan Bogdanovic 31), Rudy Gobert (21, 14 rebounds), Joe Ingles (20), Emmanuel Mudiay (14) and Royce O'Neale (10), while Jordan Clarkson added 23 off the bench in a 127-116 victory over the Washington Wizards.

 

Raptors blow lead

Defending champions the Toronto Raptors were unable to hold out the San Antonio Spurs. The Raptors surrendered an 18-point lead in a 105-104 defeat at home to the Spurs.

Landry Shamet played 25 minutes against the Nuggets and he failed to score a point. The Clippers guard was 0 of five from the floor.

 

Irving's back!

After a prolonged absence and talk of surgery, Irving was back on the court on Sunday and it was like he was never away.

 

Sunday's results

Utah Jazz 127-116 Washington Wizards
New York Knicks 124-121 Miami Heat
San Antonio Spurs 105-104 Toronto Raptors
Memphis Grizzlies 122-102 Golden State Warriors
Brooklyn Nets 108-86 Atlanta Hawks
Phoenix Suns 100-92 Charlotte Hornets
Denver Nuggets 114-104 Los Angeles Clippers

 

Cavs at Lakers

A ninth successive win will be on the line when Western Conference leaders the Los Angeles Lakers (32-7) welcome the Cleveland Cavaliers (12-27) to Staples Center on Monday. The Lakers could have star pair LeBron James and Anthony Davis back for the clash. The Cavs have won two straight.

Kyrie Irving savoured his long-awaited comeback after ending a two-month injury absence to lead the Brooklyn Nets past the lowly Atlanta Hawks.

Irving returned from a right shoulder injury for his first NBA appearance since November as the Nets beat the Hawks 108-86 in Brooklyn on Sunday.

The NBA champion and six-time All-Star posted 21 points in 20 minutes, shooting 10 of 11 from the field against the visiting Hawks.

"I really missed the game of basketball," Irving said after the game. "I'm grateful to be out here. I worked extremely hard to get back.

"We got a long season ahead of us, a lot more goals to accomplish, and it started tonight ... I love the game man, I missed it so much."

The Nets improved their season record to 18-20 to be seventh in the Eastern Conference following back-to-back wins.

In his first season with the Nets since leaving the Boston Celtics, Irving is averaging 27.9 points, 6.8 assists and 5.3 rebounds per game.

Kyrie Irving appears set to make his first appearance since November after the Brooklyn Nets said the six-time All-Star was "getting ready" for Sunday's game against the Atlanta Hawks.

Irving, one of Brooklyn's big free-agent acquisitions in the offseason along with Kevin Durant, has missed the Nets' past 26 games with a right shoulder injury.

The Nets, who remain without the injured Durant, have gone 13-13 in that time and Irving's return will be a timely boost for a team eighth in the Eastern Conference.

Irving had officially been listed as 'probable' for the game in Brooklyn, and the Nets' tweet on Sunday suggested he will be returning.

The former Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics guard has averaged 28.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 7.2 assists - all career highs - in his 11 appearances for Brooklyn so far.

The Los Angeles Lakers cruised to a seventh straight win, while Kawhi Leonard led the Clippers to victory on Friday.

Even without Anthony Davis due to injury, the Lakers were untroubled in a 129-114 win over the Dallas Mavericks.

LeBron James starred with 35 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists, while Kyle Kuzma – Davis' replacement – contributed 26 points.

Mavericks star Luka Doncic finished with 25 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.

The Clippers were tested on their way to a 109-100 victory over the Golden State Warriors.

Leonard's 36 points helped the Clippers to their win, while Lou Williams chipped in with 21 off the bench.

Middleton steps up as Butler finishes with 33

Khris Middleton had a double-double of 27 points and 11 rebounds in the Milwaukee Bucks' 127-106 win against the Sacramento Kings.

Jimmy Butler finished with 33 points as the Miami Heat fell to a surprise 117-113 loss to the Brooklyn Nets.

Zach LaVine managed to score 43 points, but the Chicago Bulls were downed by the Indiana Pacers 116-105.

 

Graham struggles in Hornets' loss

Devonte' Graham struggled in the Charlotte Hornets' 109-92 loss to the Utah Jazz. The guard went two-of-nine from the field for just four points in 25 minutes.

 

LeBron passes Jordan

James moved up to fourth on the all-time list for field goals made, going past Michael Jordan (12,192). Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (15,837), Karl Malone (13,528) and Wilt Chamberlain (12,681) remain ahead of him.

Friday's results

Washington Wizards 111-101 Atlanta Hawks
New Orleans Pelicans 123-111 New York Knicks
Brooklyn Nets 117-113 Miami Heat
Indiana Pacers 116-105 Chicago Bulls
Memphis Grizzlies 134-121 San Antonio Spurs
Phoenix Suns 98-94 Orlando Magic
Utah Jazz 109-92 Charlotte Hornets
Los Angeles Lakers 129-114 Dallas Mavericks
Milwaukee Bucks 127-106 Sacramento Kings
Los Angeles Clippers 109-100 Golden State Warriors

 

Lakers at Thunder

The Lakers will try to extend their winning streak when they visit the Oklahoma City Thunder (22-16) on Saturday.

Anthony Davis was hurt in a hard fall during the Los Angeles Lakers' win in the NBA on Tuesday, while Carmelo Anthony delivered a game-winner.

Davis fell awkwardly on his back during the third quarter of the Lakers' 117-87 thrashing of the New York Knicks.

The forward, who had five points, six rebounds and five assists, managed to walk to the locker room slowly after the fall and has reportedly been cleared of a serious injury.

LeBron James saw the Lakers to a sixth straight win thanks to 31 points, five rebounds and five assists.

Anthony hit a pull-up jump shot with 3.3 seconds remaining to see the Portland Trail Blazers past the Toronto Raptors 101-99.

He finished with a game-high 28 points on 10-of-17 shooting in a match-winning performance.

 

Drummond, Paul star

Andre Drummond's double-double of 23 points and 20 rebounds guided the Detroit Pistons to a 115-113 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Chris Paul finished with 28 points as the Oklahoma City Thunder edged the Brooklyn Nets 111-103 after overtime.

Harris struggles

Joe Harris managed nine points in the Nets' loss, but the guard struggled from the field. Harris went three-of-12 from the field and one-of-seven from three-point range.

 

Anthony's game-winner

Anthony delivered in a key moment for the Trail Blazers.

Tuesday's results

Detroit Pistons 115-113 Cleveland Cavaliers
Portland Trail Blazers 101-99 Toronto Raptors
Oklahoma City Thunder 111-103 Brooklyn Nets
Memphis Grizzlies 119-112 Minnesota Timberwolves
Sacramento Kings 114-103 Phoenix Suns
Los Angeles Lakers 117-87 New York Knicks

 

Bucks at Warriors

The Milwaukee Bucks (32-6) will look to bounce back from their loss to the San Antonio Spurs when they visit the Golden State Warriors (9-29) on Wednesday.

The San Antonio Spurs stunned NBA leaders the Milwaukee Bucks 126-104, while the Philadelphia 76ers ended a four-game losing streak on Monday.

San Antonio used a season-high 19 three-pointers to upstage Milwaukee, who had their five-game winning streak snapped.

DeMar DeRozan posted 25 points for the Spurs (15-20) and team-mate Patty Mills added 21 points – including six for 10 from beyond the arc.

The high-flying Bucks (32-6) were led by reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and his 24 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists on the road.

In Philadelphia, the 76ers returned to winning ways thanks to a 120-113 victory at home to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Ben Simmons' double-double of 17 points and 15 rebounds, Josh Richardson's 23 points and Joel Embiid's 18 points despite a dislocated finger fuelled the 76ers.

 

Doncic with league-leading triple-double

Luka Doncic recorded his 11th triple-double of the season as the Dallas Mavericks beat the Chicago Bulls 118-110. He scored 21 of his 38 points in the third quarter, collected 11 rebounds and tallied 10 assists.

Markelle Fultz – the number one pick in the 2017 NBA Draft by the 76ers – had a career-high 25 points to lead the Orlando Magic past the Brooklyn Nets 101-89. Team-mate Nikola Vucevic added 11 points and 24 rebounds.

Nikola Jokic was red-hot in the Denver Nuggets' 123-115 triumph at the Atlanta Hawks. He had a career-best 47 points with no turnovers.

Ish Smith put up a game-high 27 points as the Washington Wizards shocked the Boston Celtics 99-94.

Bogan Bogdanovic's 35 points led the Utah Jazz to a 128-126 victory against the New Orleans Pelicans and a sixth straight win.

 

Nets duo struggle, Washington cold from floor

Taurean Prince was two of 11 from the field and two of nine from three-point range for six points in 29 minutes. His Nets team-mate Garrett Temple did not fare much better, posting nine points on two of 13 shooting and one of eight from beyond the arc.

The Charlotte Hornets lost 115-104 to the Indiana Pacers and PJ Washington struggled. While Washington collected nine rebounds, he only made three of his 12 shots from the field, while he missed all five of his three-point attempts.

 

Trae with the fake

The Hawks might be struggling, but Trae Young continues to star in Atlanta…

 

Monday's results

Philadelphia 76ers 120-113 Oklahoma City Thunder
Indiana Pacers 115-104 Charlotte Hornets
Washington Wizards 99-94 Boston Celtics
Orlando Magic 101-89 Brooklyn Nets
Denver Nuggets 123-115 Atlanta Hawks
Utah Jazz 128-126 New Orleans Pelicans
San Antonio Spurs 126-104 Milwaukee Bucks
Dallas Mavericks 118-110 Chicago Bulls
Sacramento Kings 111-98 Golden State Warriors

 

Knicks at Lakers

The lowly New York Knicks (10-26) make the trip to Staples Center on Tuesday. The Western Conference-leading Los Angeles Lakers (29-7) will look to extend their winning streak to six games.

The NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks defeated the San Antonio Spurs 127-118 for their 32nd win of the season.

Giannis Antetokounmpo posted a game-high 32 points as the high-flying Bucks improved to 32-5 on Saturday.

Reigning MVP Antetokounmpo scored 19 of his points in the third quarter to fuel Milwaukee's fifth successive win since a Christmas Day loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.

DeMar DeRozan led the Spurs (14-20) with 26 points on the road in Milwaukee.

Meanwhile, Luka Doncic's NBA-leading 10th triple-double of the season was not enough to stop the Dallas Mavericks from falling 123-120 to the Charlotte Hornets in overtime.

Doncic had 39 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists for the Mavericks, who succumbed to Terry Rozier's go-ahead shot from range in OT.

Rozier finished with 29 points as the Hornets erased a 12-point deficit in the fourth quarter.

 

Young sees Hawks soar

Trae Young's 41 points powered the struggling Atlanta Hawks past the Indiana Pacers 116-111.

Jae Crowder (27 points), Jaren Jackson Jr. (24), Ja Morant (22) and Dillon Brooks (22) starred as the Memphis Grizzlies crushed the Paul George-less Los Angeles Clippers 140-114 in LA.

Double-doubles from Fred VanVleet (29 points, 11 assists) and Serge Ibaka (21 points, 12 rebounds), and Kyle Lowry's 26 points guided the Toronto Raptors to a 121-102 win at the Brooklyn Nets.

The Utah Jazz topped the Orlando Magic 109-96 thanks to Donovan Mitchell's 32 points on the road.

Jamal Murray put up 39 points in the Denver Nuggets' 128-114 defeat away to the Washington Wizards.

 

Aldridge goes cold

LaMarcus Aldridge scored all 16 of his points in the first half, with the Spurs big man 0 of seven from the field in 15 second-half minutes.

 

Carter makes history

Hawks veteran Vince Carter, 42, received a standing ovation after he became the first NBA player in history to feature in four different decades.

 

Saturday's results

Memphis Grizzlies 140-114 Los Angeles Clippers
Toronto Raptors 121-102 Brooklyn Nets
Utah Jazz 109-96 Orlando Magic
Oklahoma City Thunder 121-106 Cleveland Cavaliers
Atlanta Hawks 116-111 Indiana Pacers
Boston Celtics 111-104 Chicago Bulls
Washington Wizards 128-124 Denver Nuggets
Detroit Pistons 111-104 Golden State Warriors
Milwaukee Bucks 127-118 San Antonio Spurs
Charlotte Hornets 123-120 Dallas Mavericks (OT)
New Orleans Pelicans 117-115 Sacramento Kings

 

Pistons at Lakers

The Western Conference-leading Los Angeles Lakers (28-7) will welcome the Pistons (13-23) to Staples Center on Sunday. The Lakers have won four straight, while the Pistons are eyeing back-to-back victories.

Kyrie Irving has not ruled out undergoing shoulder surgery, though the Brooklyn Nets star is hoping to avoid it.

Irving has endured a nightmare first season with the Nets – an ongoing shoulder problem sidelining the 2016 NBA champion since November.

The six-time All-Star, who arrived from the Boston Celtics in the offseason, is holding off on surgery but Irving will re-evaluate in a month or two.

"I am in a better place now that it has been a significant amount of time," Irving told reporters on Saturday. "The next step in any progression was to either get a cortisone shot or to get surgery. That was the ultimatum I was fixed with.

"Now, I'm just doing the best I can to live off this cortisone and move forward if I need surgery in the future."

Irving added: "A cortisone shot lasts as long as it can. You either continue to get cortisone shots, which is obviously detrimental to your health and your muscles, or you go get arthroscopic surgery.

"For me, it's just about being able to go back out there after the right amount of rehab, the right amount of rest and recovery and see what we can do for the rest of the season and then re-evaluate after a few months."

Irving has not played since a showdown against the Denver Nuggets on November 14.

Up until that point, Irving had been averaging 28.5 points, 7.2 assists and 5.4 rebounds per game for the Nets, who also have star recruit Kevin Durant recovering from an Achilles injury.

"It just sucks, man," Irving said. "It really is disheartening when you are working your tail off to be at a certain level and your shooting shoulder just starts to give out on you a little bit. You are looking at it like, 'Hey, it's just a shoulder. Let me ice this thing and get back out there.'

"But you keep feeling something in your shoulder and you're trying to explain it to the medical staff. You're trying to explain it to all these experts out there ... I'm doing all these exercises and still nothing is happening to get me back on the court."

Luka Doncic inspired the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA on Thursday, while the Los Angeles Clippers cruised again.

Doncic's 31 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists saw the Mavericks past the Brooklyn Nets 123-111.

Seth Curry provided plenty of support off the bench with 25 points on nine-of-13 shooting.

The Clippers eased to a 126-112 win over the Detroit Pistons.

Kawhi Leonard and Paul George combined for 30 points, but it was the Clippers' bench that did most of the damage.

Montrezl Harrell (23 points), Lou Williams (22) and JaMychal Green (12 points and 12 rebounds) impressed.

 

Awesome Adebayo leads Heat

Bam Adebayo had a double-double of 15 points and 14 rebounds in the Miami Heat's 84-76 win against the Toronto Raptors.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander delivered 25 points in the Oklahoma City Thunder's 109-103 victory over the San Antonio Spurs.

A double-double from Rudy Gobert (17 points and 12 rebounds) saw the Utah Jazz past the Chicago Bulls 102-98.

Poor Pistons

Detroit's starters struggled against the Clippers. The Pistons' starting line-up – Tony Snell, Sekou Doumbouya, Andre Drummond, Svi Mykhailiuk and Tim Frazier – went 14-of-43 from the field in the loss.

 

Spellman's slam

Golden State Warriors forward Omari Spellman delivered a huge dunk against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Thursday's results

Charlotte Hornets 109-106 Cleveland Cavaliers
Denver Nuggets 124-116 Indiana Pacers
Miami Heat 84-76 Toronto Raptors
Utah Jazz 102-98 Chicago Bulls
Minnesota Timberwolves 99-84 Golden State Warriors
Dallas Mavericks 123-111 Brooklyn Nets
Oklahoma City Thunder 109-103 San Antonio Spurs
Sacramento Kings 128-123 Memphis Grizzlies
Los Angeles Clippers 126-112 Detroit Pistons

 

Pelicans at Lakers

Flying high atop the Western Conference, the Los Angeles Lakers (27-7) host the New Orleans Pelicans (11-23) on Friday. The Pelicans are on a four-game winning streak.

Giannis Antetokounmpo returned from injury to see the Milwaukee Bucks past the Chicago Bulls 123-102 with a double-double in the NBA.

Antetokounmpo missed two games due to back soreness but the reigning MVP was on the court for the Bucks on Monday.

The 'Greek Freak' scored 23 points and collected 10 rebounds in 27 minutes of action in Chicago, while Khris Middleton posted 25 points as Milwaukee improved to a league-best 30-5.

Zach LaVine had 19 points for the beaten Bulls, with Wendell Carter Jr. contributing 10 points and 11 rebounds.

 

McRae, Mathews inspire depleted Wizards

Jordan McRae had a season-high 29 points, Garrison Mathews scored 28 and Ian Mahinmi put up a career-best 25 as the Washington Wizards stunned the Miami Heat 123-105. The Wizards were without leading scorer Bradley Beal.

The Minnesota Timberwolves claimed their first home win since November 13 after outlasting the Brooklyn Nets 122-115 in overtime. Shabazz Napier registered a season-high 24 points for the Timberwolves. Spencer Dinwiddie's 36 points were not enough for the visiting Nets.

The Phoenix Suns defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 122-116 behind Devin Booker's 33 points. Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 29 of his own, while Ricky Rubio finished with 18 and 13 assists. The Blazers were led by Damian Lillard (33 points) and Hassan Whiteside (16 points, 22 rebounds).

The Atlanta Hawks snapped a 10-game skid thanks to a 101-93 victory away to the Orlando Magic.

 

Fultz struggles again

It was another tough night for Magic guard Markelle Fultz, who was just one of seven from the floor for three points in 31 minutes of action.

Nets guard Garrett Temple also struggled against the Timberwolves. He finished with 11 points, but he was three of 16 from the floor and one of seven from three-point range.

 

Giannis with the dagger

Antetokounmpo showed no signs of a lingering back problem as he threw down a thunderous dunk against the Bulls.

 

Monday's results

Washington Wizards 123-105 Miami Heat
Atlanta Hawks 101-93 Orlando Magic
Minnesota Timberwolves 122-115 Minnesota Timberwolves (OT)
Milwaukee Bucks 123-102 Chicago Bulls
Utah Jazz 104-81 Detroit Pistons
Phoenix Suns 122-116 Portland Trail Blazers

 

76ers at Pacers

Coming off back-to-back one-point defeats, the Philadelphia 76ers (23-12) travel to the Indiana Pacers (21-12) on Tuesday. The 76ers are 7-10 on the road this season and must improve if they are to end 2019 on a high note in the Eastern Conference.

LeBron James led the way as the Los Angeles Lakers ended a four-game losing streak with a 128-120 win over the Portland Trail Blazers in the NBA.

James posted a double-double to snap the Lakers' season-long winless run away to the Trail Blazers on Saturday.

In doubt with a groin problem, James took to the court and scored 21 points and tallied 16 assists for the Lakers in Portland.

Kyle Kuzma put up 24 points and Lakers team-mate Anthony Davis added 20 points.

Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard had a game-high 31 points as Portland lost their third consecutive game.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Clippers lost 120-107 at home to the Utah Jazz.

Paul George had 20 points and 10 rebounds and Kawhi Leonard recorded 19 points, but the Clippers went down to the visiting Jazz – who were led by Donovan Mitchell's 30 points.

 

Doncic delivers another triple-double

It was the Luka Doncic show as the Dallas Mavericks star had 31 points, 15 assists and 12 rebounds in just 30 minutes. His ninth triple-double of the season led the Mavericks past the Golden State Warriors 141-121. Warriors guard D'Angelo Russell finished with 35 points and nine three-pointers.

James Harden starred with 44 points and 10 rebounds as the Houston Rockets defeated the Brooklyn Nets 108-98.

Joel Embiid posted 35 points and 11 rebounds but the Philadelphia 76ers suffered a heartbreaking 117-116 overtime loss to the Miami Heat.

Defending champions the Toronto Raptors topped the Boston Celtics 113-97 thanks to Kyle Lowry's 30 points. Serge Ibaka contributed 20 points and 10 rebounds.

DeMar DeRozan (29 points) and LaMarcus Aldridge (25 points, 12 rebounds) combined to help the San Antonio Spurs beat the Detroit Pistons 136-109.

 

Fultz falters

Former number one pick Markelle Fultz has shown glimpses of his talent this season. However, Fultz was just one of 10 from the floor in 30 minutes of action. He finished with just four points as the Orlando Magic went down 111-100 to the Milwaukee Bucks.

 

Happy Holidays

Jrue, Justin and Aaron Holiday made history in the New Orleans Pelicans' 120-98 victory against the Indiana Pacers. It was the first time in the NBA three brothers shared the court at the same time.

 

Saturday's results

Denver Nuggets 119-110 Memphis Grizzlies
Toronto Raptors 113-97 Boston Celtics
New Orleans Pelicans 120-98 Indiana Pacers
Miami Heat 117-116 Philadelphia 76ers (OT)
Chicago Bulls 116-81 Atlanta Hawks
Cleveland Cavaliers 94-88 Minnesota Timberwolves
New York Knicks 107-100 Washington Wizards
Houston Rockets 108-98 Brooklyn Nets
San Antonio Spurs 136-109 Detroit Pistons
Dallas Mavericks 141-121 Golden State Warriors
Milwaukee Bucks 111-100 Orlando Magic
Phoenix Suns 112-110 Sacramento Kings
Los Angeles Lakers 128-120 Portland Trail Blazers
Utah Jazz 120-107 Los Angeles Clippers

 

Mavs at Lakers

Doncic and the Mavericks will travel to Los Angeles on Sunday to face James and the Lakers in a Western Conference showdown.

Spencer Dinwiddie joked "too much eggnog" was to blame for the Brooklyn Nets setting an NBA record for shooting futility in a 94-82 loss to the New York Knicks.

With Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving watching on from the sideline, the Nets made just eight of their 28 two-point field goal attempts at Barclays Center on Boxing Day.

As reported on the NBA's official website, that represents the fewest since the Fort Wayne Pistons beat the Minneapolis Lakers 19-18 in 1950. The shot clock was implemented four years later.

Dinwiddie was one of just two Brooklyn players to reach double figures, scoring 25 points on 5-of-15 shooting, and he playfully suggested the festive period was behind their woes.

"Let's go with too much eggnog," Dinwiddie said. "I don't know what else to tell you.

"We were really, really bad. Like laughably bad. We shot really bad. Probably historically bad."

Jarrett Allen acknowledged Brooklyn's attack seized up as the number of misses increased and said there was little they could do to stop Knicks forward Julius Randle, who scored a game-high 33 points.

"We were all searching for our shot, that's the most political way to put it," Allen said. "We could've moved the ball more, but at the end of the day we were all frustrated.

"It's a tough task when you shoot like 25 per cent, it makes playing defense harder, it makes running up and down the court harder, but at the end of the day we have to have more effort.

"Missing shots, we had a lot of open threes … and just on their offensive end they weren't missing. Julius Randle had a great game, credit to him, and we just couldn't stop him."

Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson added: "They just outplayed us, plain and simple. You could say we missed a lot of open shots but I don't buy that, give them credit they were just simply the better team tonight.

"[Misses] affected our morale, it affected our spirit, it affected our physicality and that's the difference between an average team and a really good team, and it brought us down to average with that spirit, it affected us all around.

"We had a lot of guys off tonight… I don't think anybody was in rhythm tonight, including myself."

Page 1 of 6
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.