Bojan Bogdanovic said he should not have even been on the court to produce his game-winner for the Utah Jazz against the Houston Rockets on Sunday.

Bogdanovic had struggled for much of the contest, but hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer to lift the Jazz to a 114-113 win over the Rockets in the NBA.

The forward finished with eight points in 32 minutes on two-of-seven shooting as Utah improved to 34-18.

Bogdanovic praised Utah's coaching staff for giving him the chance despite his below-par performance.

"First of all, I wasn't supposed to be on the court on the last play the way I played the whole game," he told AT&T SportsNet.

"But that's the coaching staff, they believe in me, they gave me the opportunity to shoot the game-winning shot.

"I stayed confident, I know that I'm able to hit all shots and at the end of the game it's a very important W for us."

James Harden finished with a triple-double of 28 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for the Rockets, while Russell Westbrook had 39 points.

Bogdanovic talked up the importance of the win for Utah, who edged clear of Houston in fourth in the Western Conference.

"That was our game plan, to take the ball out of James' hands. We did a great job the whole game," he said.

"Rudy [Gobert] was guarding big time Russell Westbrook all game, but like I said big and really important victory for us."

Reigning NBA champions the Toronto Raptors extended their winning streak to 13 games, while the Philadelphia 76ers claimed a crucial victory over the Memphis Grizzlies.

The Raptors (38-14) stayed hot with a 115-106 win away to the Indiana Pacers on Saturday – a franchise record 10th straight road victory.

Serge Ibaka fuelled the Raptors with 22 points and 10 rebounds, while Fred VanVleet (20 points) and Kyle Lowry (16 points, 11 assists) made solid contributions.

Lowry moved third on Toronto's all-time list for scoring, surpassing Vince Carter, before leaving the game with whiplash.

Eastern Conference rivals the 76ers snapped a four-game losing streak by beating the Grizzlies 119-107 in Philadelphia.

Struggling on the road, the 76ers impressed again at Wells Fargo Center thanks to 22 points and 10 assists from Ben Simmons.

A stiff neck limited Joel Embiid to 10 points and 10 rebounds in 16 minutes.

 

What the Furk?

Forget about Simmons, Embiid and Tobias Harris, it was the Furkan Korkmaz show in Philadelphia. Korkmaz had a career-high 34 points. The Turkish import made 13 of 17 shots, including seven of nine three-pointers.

All-Star Jayson Tatum posted 32 points to lead the Boston Celtics past the Atlanta Hawks 112-107. John Collins had 30 points for the visiting Hawks.

Kelly Oubre Jr. (39) and Devin Booker (33) combined for 72 points as the Phoenix Suns crushed the Houston Rockets 127-91.

 

Brown headlines Pistons' struggles

The post-Andre Drummond error started with a loss for the Detroit Pistons and starter Bruce Brown was among those to struggle in the 108-101 loss at the Oklahoma City Thunder. Brown was one of nine from the field for just four points in 33 minutes.

Only two Grizzlies starters reached double-digit points – Ja Morant (15) and Jonas Valanciunas (14, 10 rebounds). Jaren Jackson Jr. (six points), Dillon Brooks (nine points) and Kyle Anderson (six) struggled.

Russell Westbrook sat out and the Houston had a night to forget. While James Harden recorded 32 points, his Rockets team-mates struggled. Houston only made 29 of 85 shots at 34.1 per cent.

 

Beal with the game-winner!

Bradley Beal was the hero for the Washington Wizards, who stunned the Dallas Mavericks 119-118 at the buzzer.

 

Friday's results

Philadelphia 76ers 119-107 Memphis Grizzlies
Boston Celtics 112-107 Atlanta Hawks
Oklahoma City Thunder 108-101 Detroit Pistons
Toronto Raptors 115-106 Indiana Pacers
Washington Wizards 119-118 Dallas Mavericks
Phoenix Suns 127-91 Houston Rockets
Sacramento Kings 105-97 Miami Heat
Utah Jazz 117-114 Portland Trail Blazers

 

Lakers at Warriors

The NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Clippers and in-form Raptors are in action on Saturday, however, all eyes will be on the Los Angeles Lakers. After being upstaged by the Rockets at Staples Center, LeBron James and the Lakers (38-12) travel to the lowly Golden State Warriors (12-40).

Russell Westbrook paid tribute to "mentor, friend and brother" Kobe Bryant after inspiring the Houston Rockets to victory at the Los Angeles Lakers.

NBA great Bryant, who spent his entire career with the Lakers, and his teenage daughter Gianna were among nine people killed in a helicopter crash last month.

Westbrook grew up in California and put up 41 points as the Rockets ran out 121-111 winners at Staples Center on Thursday.

Speaking to TNT post-game, Westbrook dedicated his performance to Bryant.

"Man, it's a blessing. I don't take this game for granted," Westbrook said. 

"Kobe was a mentor, a friend, a brother to me and every time I step on this floor it's definitely going out to him. 

"Every night I step on the floor, I keep him and his family in my thoughts."

LeBron James contributed 18 points, 15 assists and nine rebounds in the Lakers' losing effort and he believes Westbrook, now 31, has mixed pace and strength with smarter play.

"Of course [his pace and strength are still there], and [he's] smarter - that's what it's all about," James told reporters. 

"We can continue to get older and age in this game, but we continue to get smarter. 

"Russ is a much more complete basketball player right now, he has the ability to use speed and strength but also do things with his brain which helps out a lot."

Russell Westbrook scored 41 points as the new-look Houston Rockets upstaged the Western Conference-leading Los Angeles Lakers 121-111 in NBA action.

While Rockets team-mate James Harden struggled, Westbrook was red hot in a stunning performance to take down rivals the Lakers at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Thursday.

Robert Covington made his debut for the Rockets, who traded away center Clint Capela prior to the deadline in a bid to become smaller and faster on the court, and he impressed with 14 points – including four three-pointers.

Double-doubles from LeBron James (18 points, 15 assists) and Anthony Davis (32 points, 13 rebounds) were not enough for the Lakers.

The NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks defeated the struggling Philadelphia 76ers 112-101 earlier on Thursday.

Giannis Antetokounmpo produced another dominant performance with 36 points and 20 rebounds as the Bucks improved to 44-7 for the season.

Antetokounmpo had 30-plus points and 15 or more rebounds for the fifth consecutive game and the 14th time this season. Antetokounmpo also became just the fifth player in Bucks history to record a 30-20 game and the first since 1996.

 

Zion flexes muscles… again

Zion Williamson continues to star. The 2019 number one pick posted his fourth consecutive 20-point game – the longest streak among rookies this season. Williamson finished with 21 as the New Orleans Pelicans topped the Chicago Bulls 125-110.

Damian Lillard put up 26 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Portland Trail Blazers past the San Antonio Spurs 125-117.

 

More woes for 76ers & Embiid

Much had been made about Philadelphia's form on the road and their chemistry, or lack thereof. And the 76ers crashed to their fourth straight loss – dropping to 9-19 away from home. Joel Embiid put up 19 points and 11 rebounds but it was a rough night for the All-Star. Cutting a dejected figure, Embiid was just six of 26 from the floor and three of 10 from three-point range. The 76ers struggled with 37.4 per cent shooting, hitting just 37 of 99 shots.

Harden was far from his best in Los Angeles. Harden was three of 10 from the floor and one of six from beyond the arc for 14 points in 35 minutes.

 

LeBron with the reverse jam!

James turned back the clock with a monster dunk against the Rockets.

 

Thursday's results

New York Knicks 105-103 Orlando Magic
New Orleans Pelicans 125-119 Chicago Bulls
Milwaukee Bucks 112-101 Philadelphia 76ers
Portland Trail Blazers 125-117 San Antonio Spurs
Houston Rockets 121-111 Los Angeles Lakers

 

Raptors at Pacers

Can the red-hot Toronto Raptors (37-14) extend their winning streak to 13 games? The defending champions are on the road against Eastern Conference rivals the Indiana Pacers (31-20) on Friday.

Anthony Davis and Kawhi Leonard headline Team LeBron, while Team Giannis includes Joel Embiid and Pascal Siakam for the NBA All-Star Game.

LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo finalised their teams for the showcase event, which will take place at the United Center in Chicago on February 16.

James used the number one pick to draft Los Angeles Lakers team-mate Anthony Davis to Team LeBron, while reigning MVP Antetokounmpo countered by selecting Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Team LeBron's starting five consists of James, Davis, Los Angeles Clippers superstar Kawhi Leonard, Dallas Mavericks sensation Luka Doncic and Houston Rockets star James Harden.

Antetokounmpo, Embiid, Toronto Raptors star Siakam, Boston Celtics guard Kemba Walker and the Atlanta Hawks' Trae Young are the starters for Team Giannis.

Team LeBron reigned supreme last year – James' squad winning 178-164 over Team Giannis in Charlotte.

 

Team LeBron

Starters: LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers), Anthony Davis (Los Angeles Lakers), Kawhi Leonard (Los Angeles Clippers), Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks), James Harden (Houston Rockets)
Reserves: Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers), Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers), Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets), Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics), Chris Paul (Oklahoma City Thunder), Russell Westbrook (Houston Rockets), Domantas Sabonis (Indiana Pacers)

Team Giannis

Starters: Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks), Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers), Pascal Siakam (Toronto Raptors), Kemba Walker (Boston Celtics), Trae Young (Atlanta Hawks)
Reserves: Khris Middleton (Milwaukee Bucks), Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat), Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz), Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors), Brandon Ingram (New Orleans Pelicans), Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz)

D'Angelo Russell and Andrew Wiggins swapped teams while Andre Drummond found a new home in Cleveland on what was a busy trade deadline day in the NBA.

Russell was only acquired by Golden State in July but the point guard is relocating again, the Warriors striking a deal to send the player to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Wiggins – taken first overall in the 2014 draft – is heading in the opposite direction, with the Timberwolves also giving up a 2021 protected first-round pick and a second-round selection for the same year.

As well as Russell, who is averaging a career-high 23.6 points this season, Minnesota also acquired Jacob Evans and Omari Spellman.

The Timberwolves had already been involved in a blockbuster four-team trade prior to Thursday's deadline, sending Robert Covington to Houston in a deal that involved 12 players.

Center Clint Capela was part of it, moving from the Rockets to the Atlanta Hawks, who also added another big man in Nene. Minnesota added Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt, Evan Turner and Juan Hernangomez, while also collecting the Brooklyn Nets' 2020 first-round draft pick via Atlanta.

Drummond was another center to be traded - much to his surprise - as the Detroit Pistons moved the two-time NBA All-Star, who they drafted in the first round in 2012, to the Cavaliers.

In exchange, the Pistons received John Henson, Brandon Knight and a second-round draft pick in 2023.

Drummond, who is averaging a career-best 17.8 points this season, as well as 15.8 rebounds per game, was not pleased with the way the trade was handled, however, as he revealed on Twitter.

"If there’s one thing I learned about the NBA, there’s no friends or loyalty," he posted. "I've given my heart and soul to the Pistons, and to be have this happen with no heads up makes me realise even more that this is just a business! I love you Detroit..."

He then continued in a second tweet: "You will always have a special place in my heart! But on to the next @cavs hope your (sic) ready! Let's finish the year off the right way."

The Los Angeles Clippers made a late move to strength their roster ahead of the playoffs, Marcus Morris and Isaiah Thomas joining from the New York Knicks in a three-team deal that also involved the Washington Wizards.

Jerome Robinson is to join the Wizards, while the Knicks will receive Moe Harkless plus a 2020 first-round pick, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Clint Capela is to join the Atlanta Hawks as part of an elaborate four-team trade deal involving 12 players, according to widespread reports.

The Houston Rockets will allow center Capela, 25, to move to the Hawks, with the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Denver Nuggets also involved in a complex series of swaps ahead of the trade deadline.

Robert Covington is another big name involved as he moves from the Timberwolves to the Rockets along with Jordan Bell as part of the NBA's most expansive trade for two decades, per ESPN.

The young Hawks side led by All-Star Trae Young is boosted by the additions of Capela and another center, the veteran Nene, who also moves from the Rockets.

Capela signed a five-year, $90million deal with the Rockets after the 2017-18 season, but the team have been eager to move his contract and appear keen to surround James Harden and Russell Westbrook with three-point threats as part of smaller line-ups. 

That seems to be the motivation behind landing Covington, with experienced forward PJ Tucker now set to be the regular at center as Bell, formerly of the Golden State Warriors, provides some backup.

Malik Beasley has joined the Timberwolves along with Jarred Vanderbilt, Evan Turner and Juan Hernangomez, with the team also collecting the Brooklyn Nets' 2020 first-round draft pick via Atlanta.

The Nuggets, meanwhile, end up with Houston's 2020 first-round draft pick along with quartet Gerald Green, Noah Vonleh, Keita Bates-Diop and Shabazz Napier.

Capela is averaging 13.9 points and 13.8 rebounds in 39 matches this season, while Covington is shooting at 43.5 per cent from the field, a career-high, as he averages 12.8 points from 29.4 minutes per game.

Further moves are expected before the trade deadline, which is on Thursday at 3pm ET.

Giannis Antetokounmpo led the NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks past Zion Williamson's New Orleans Pelicans 120-108, while LeBron James inspired the Los Angeles Lakers.

Reigning MVP Antetokounmpo put up 34 points and 17 rebounds as the Bucks improved to 43-7 for the season and 20-4 away from home.

The Bucks led by 19 points in the third quarter before withstanding a Pelicans rally in New Orleans on Tuesday.

Pelicans sensation and rookie Williamson scored 20 points – Brandon Ingram topscoring for New Orleans with 32 of his own.

James posted 19 of his 36 points in the final quarter as the Lakers topped the San Antonio Spurs 129-102 in Los Angeles.

Lakers superstar James hit a stunning five three-pointers in three fourth-quarter minutes to propel the hosts at Staples Center, where he added nine assists and seven rebounds.

DeMar DeRozan led the Spurs with 28 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.

 

Harden stars as Rockets soar

James Harden had 40 points and 11 assists to guide the Houston Rockets to a 125-110 win over the Charlotte Hornets. The Rockets were without Russell Westbrook and Clint Capela – reportedly set to join the Atlanta Hawks – but they still extended their winning streak to three games.

Nikola Jokic's 29 points and 13 rebounds set the tone for the Denver Nuggets, who downed the Portland Trail Blazers 127-99.

 

Anthony struggles

Carmelo Anthony has been a fine addition for the Trail Blazers, however, the veteran endured a tough night in Denver. Anthony was 0 of five from the field and missed all three of his attempts from beyond the arc for two points in 26 minutes.

Spurs star LaMarcus Aldridge also struggled. He finished with just seven points on three of 10 shooting in 30 minutes.

 

LeBron lights up LA

Sit back and enjoy this three-point burst by James.

 

Tuesday's results

Milwaukee Bucks 120-108 New Orleans Pelicans
Houston Rockets 125-110 Charlotte Hornets
Denver Nuggets 127-99 Portland Trail Blazers
Los Angeles Lakers 129-102 San Antonio Spurs

 

Heat at Clippers

After thrashing Eastern Conference rivals the Philadelphia 76ers, the Miami Heat travel to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday. The Jimmy Butler-led Heat (34-15) have won back-to-back games to be fourth in the east, while the Clippers (35-15) are second in the Western Conference.

Zion Williamson must not go prolonged stretches in the fourth quarter without touching the ball, fumed New Orleans Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry after their 117-109 loss to the Houston Rockets.

The Rockets triumphed at Toyota Center on Sunday, with James Harden pouring in 40 points as Houston came from behind in a fourth quarter that saw the Pelicans score just 16.

Williamson, the first overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, was making his sixth appearance in the league, having undergone right knee surgery in October.

The 19-year-old forward has quickly proven himself to be a force to be reckoned with, though, and logged 21 points and 10 rebounds against Houston.

However, Gentry was irate his team failed to find Williamson more regularly as they fell away in the final period and blamed himself.

"We didn't execute and we didn't do what we were supposed to do. That being said, Zion can't go four minutes without touching the basketball and that's on me," said Gentry.

"That's something that I've got to make sure that will never happen again. So I take responsibility for that. And if we're not gonna get it to him and not gonna execute, then we've got to have different people in the game. That's on me also."

Gentry denied the suggestion it was down to a lack of chemistry with Williamson still in the early stages of his rookie season, while also criticising the "absurd" and "ridiculous" total of 21 turnovers from his team.

"You've got to throw [Zion] the damn basketball, it has nothing to do with playing together or figuring it out," said Gentry.

"He has advantage and we've got to find a way to get him the basketball better, so I'm not buying the playing together or figuring out or anything like that. We have to have him have touches in the fourth quarter, if not there's no reason for us to have him in the game. And that's not going to happen either.

"I like our chances when he's got it down there because I think he's going to make the right play, and we didn't do that. You can't have 30 points off your turnovers and think you're going to beat a good basketball team.

"You can get away with it every now and then, but we're shooting 64 per cent for most of the first half and we're trailing in the game and so that just tells me that what we were doing as far as execution and turning the ball over is absurd, it is just ridiculous. It really was. It's as disappointed as I've been this year from the standpoint of doing what we're supposed to."

Harden was impressed by Williamson after his first game against the Duke product. Asked for his assessment of the Pelicans star, Harden told ESPN: "Beast.

"He's gonna be really good. This is only like his 10th game playing, he has a feel for the game, obviously he's strong, so he's gonna be great.

"He's really good. Very, very explosive. Athletic, as we all know. He has a good feel for the game."

James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo starred in respective wins for the Houston Rockets and Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA on Sunday.

Harden guided the Rockets past the New Orleans Pelicans 117-109 with 40 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.

The star guard went 12-of-24 from the field, while Russell Westbrook (22 points) and Ben McLemore (22) were also strong contributors.

Zion Williamson continued the fine start to his NBA career, finishing with 21 points and 10 rebounds in his sixth game for the Pelicans.

The Bucks bounced back from their loss to the Denver Nuggets on Friday by cruising to a 129-108 victory over the Phoenix Suns.

Like Harden, Antetokounmpo fell just short of a triple-double, finishing with 30 points, 19 rebounds and nine assists.

Khris Middleton, meanwhile, went nine-of-15 from the field for his 25 points.

 

Jokic, Drummond shine

Nikola Jokic had 39 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds, but the Denver Nuggets fell to the Detroit Pistons 128-123 after overtime.

Andre Drummond led the way for Detroit – who lost Derrick Rose to groin soreness – with 21 points and 17 rebounds.

Terence Davis poured in a career-high 31 points, going 12-of-15 from the field, in the Toronto Raptors' 129-102 win over the Chicago Bulls. Defending champions Toronto tied a team record with their 11th straight win.

 

Bulls duo struggle

Tomas Satoransky and Luke Kornet both went three-of-11 from the field in the Bulls' loss to Toronto.

 

Zion, Lonzo combine

Lonzo Ball tossed an alley-oop to Williamson during the Pelicans' defeat.

Sunday's results

Detroit Pistons 128-123 Denver Nuggets
Houston Rockets 117-109 New Orleans Pelicans
Milwaukee Bucks 129-108 Phoenix Suns
Toronto Raptors 129-102 Chicago Bulls

 

Spurs at Clippers

The Los Angeles Clippers (34-15) will try to close the gap to the Lakers (37-11) atop the Western Conference when they host the San Antonio Spurs (22-26) on Monday.

LeBron James shed tears, Usher sang 'Amazing Grace' and Staples Center fell silent in reverence to Kobe Bryant as the Los Angeles Lakers returned to the floor on Friday.

Fans crowded outside the venue and those inside, including the players, donned replica Bryant jerseys amid heartfelt tributes to a franchise legend and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna.

An emotional video played on the big screen and a 24.2 second moment of silence was taken to honour all seven victims of Sunday's helicopter crash in Calabasas, California.

James read their names and gave a speech asking for the event to be a "celebration" of Bryant before the on-court action against the visiting Portland Trail Blazers began.

After a subdued start, Damian Lillard lifted the energy in the third quarter, hitting 23 points en route to a game-high 48 to issue the Lakers a 127-119 loss.

Lillard became the first NBA player to make 40 three-point shots in a five-game span and the first to record at least 35 points, five rebounds, five assists and five three-pointers in five straight games.

Irving inspires Nets, Nuggets upset Bucks

On the other side of the country, an inspired Kyrie Irving paid a personal tribute to his old mentor in fitting fashion.

The Brooklyn Nets guard, who earlier in the week vowed to "carry the torch", shot 19-of-23 from the floor and hit seven three-pointers as he tallied 54 points, five rebounds and five assists in a 133-118 win over the Chicago Bulls.

James Harden (35 points, 16 rebounds) and Russell Westbrook (32 points, nine assists) did likewise, the pair leading the Houston Rockets to a 128-121 victory against the Dallas Mavericks, who were without the injured Luka Doncic.

Giannis Antetokounmpo played his part, putting up 31 points in a double-double at Fiserv Forum, but the Milwaukee Bucks failed to prolong their nine-game winning run, losing to the Denver Nuggets 127-115.

The Toronto Raptors had more success preserving a streak, recording a 10th successive victory thanks to Pascal Siakam's 30 points in a 105-92 road win over the Detroit Pistons.

Zion Williamson posted a career-high 24 points in 29 minutes to outscore draft rival Ja Morant at Smoothie King Center, the New Orleans Pelicans topping the Memphis Grizzlies 139-111.

 

Rubio struggles in Suns loss

The Phoenix Suns might have avoided a late 111-107 home loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder had Ricky Rubio made more of his shooting opportunities, the Spaniard going two-of-eight from the floor for eight points in 30 minutes.

 

Lillard too hot for Lakers

The Lakers simply could not stop Lillard, the All-Star reserve delivering a clinic in long-range shooting.

 

Friday's results

Toronto Raptors 105-92 Detroit Pistons
Houston Rockets 128-121 Dallas Mavericks
Brooklyn Nets 133-118 Chicago Bulls
New Orleans Pelicans 139-111 Memphis Grizzlies
Oklahoma City Thunder 111-107 Phoenix Suns
Denver Nuggets 127-115 Milwaukee Bucks
Portland Trail Blazers 127-119 Los Angeles Lakers

 

76ers at Celtics

Due to knee soreness, the Boston Celtics (32-15) could be without Kemba Walker for Saturday's game against the Philadelphia 76ers (31-18).

Luka Doncic will miss at least the Dallas Mavericks' next six games, head coach Rick Carlisle has revealed.

MVP candidate Doncic suffered a right ankle sprain in practice on Thursday and was ruled out of the game against the Houston Rockets the following day.

The 20-year-old sprained the same ankle in December, missing four games, but Carlisle was unable to offer an immediate estimate for his return this time.

However, speaking on his show on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM on Friday, the coach had an update, saying: "He'll miss the next six games, for sure."

The 29-18 Mavs are fifth in the West but look set to be without Doncic against the Atlanta Hawks, Indiana Pacers, Memphis Grizzlies, Washington Wizards and Charlotte Hornets, as well as the Rockets.

Dallas then face the Utah Jazz on February 10.

Doncic is averaging 28.8 points, 9.5 rebounds and 8.7 assists in his second NBA season.

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic faces another spell on the sidelines after reinjuring his problematic right ankle on Thursday.

The newly selected All-Star suffered another sprain in practice and will miss Friday's game against the Houston Rockets.

Dallas expect to have a clearer picture of the problem once Doncic, 20, undergoes an MRI.

"Luka turned his right ankle in practice," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said in quotes published on the team's website.

"He's getting treatment right now. We don't know the status. We obviously hope it's not serious. But we don't know."

Doncic missed four games after spraining the same ankle during an overtime loss to the Miami Heat in December.

Whether the reigning NBA Rookie of the Year will be fit to start his first All-Star Game on February 16 remains unclear.

Veteran guard J.J. Barea said: "Stuff happens. Playing hard basketball and stepped on somebody. We hate it that it happened at the end of practice to Luka.

"But he's a tough kid. We'll see what happens, but hopefully it won't be that long."

In his second NBA season, MVP candidate Doncic is averaging 28.8 points, 9.5 rebounds and 8.7 assists.

The Mavs could also be without Tim Hardaway Jr. against the Rockets after listing him as questionable due to tightness in the lower back region.

Devin Booker was the most notable omission as six first-timers won NBA All-Star selection among the 14 reserves named on Thursday.

Jimmy Butler, Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook headlined the list of players selected by NBA coaches to round out the roster options for Team LeBron and Team Giannis.

Phoenix Suns guard Booker was denied a place despite averaging 27.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 6.4 assists through 44 games this season.

Oklahoma City Thunder veteran Paul, Houston Rockets star Westbrook, Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers and Utah Jazz youngster Donovan Mitchell snatched Western Conference guard spots, the latter handed his maiden selection alongside team-mate and fellow first-timer Rudy Gobert.

Brandon Ingram, Bam Adebayo, Jayson Tatum and Domantas Sabonis will also be among the newcomers at United Center in Chicago on February 16.

Suns general manager and three-time NBA champion James Jones questioned Booker's absence.

"I've played with and against multiple All-Stars in this league and Devin Booker is undoubtedly an NBA All-Star," Jones said in a statement.

Frenchman Gobert's inclusion alongside Sabonis (Lithuania), Ben Simmons (Australia) and Nikola Jokic (Serbia) plus starters Luka Doncic (Slovenia), Joel Embiid (Cameroon), Pascal Siakam (Cameroon) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (Greece) lifts the number of international players to eight, a record for an All-Star Game.

The 2020 edition will feature several format changes to honour Kobe Bryant after the Los Angeles Lakers legend, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others died in a helicopter crash on Sunday.

Among them will be a 'target score' to chase in a timeless fourth quarter, the figure being the leading team's tally after three periods plus 24 points - representing the number Bryant wore during the second half of his glittering NBA career.

LeBron James and Milwaukee Bucks forward Antetokounmpo, the designated captains, will select their teams from the available player pool on February 6.

 

Eastern Conference reserves:

Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics), Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers), Domantas Sabonis (Indiana Pacers), Jimmy Butler (Miami Heat), Khris Middleton (Milwaukee Bucks), Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors), Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat)

Western Conference reserves:

Chris Paul (Oklahoma City Thunder), Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers), Brandon Ingram (New Orleans Pelicans), Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz), Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz), Russell Westbrook (Houston Rockets), Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets)

Kyrie Irving returned to the court and helped the Brooklyn Nets to victory on Wednesday, while Damian Lillard continued to press his NBA All-Star claims.

In his first game since close friend Kobe Bryant's death, point guard Irving posted 20 points, five rebounds and five assists as the Nets prevailed 125-115 against the Detroit Pistons.

Irving, who skipped Brooklyn's last game, fought back tears as Barclays Center paid a pre-game tribute to Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and the other seven victims of Sunday's helicopter crash.

Overlooked for an All-Star starting spot, Lillard boosted his hopes of being named among the reserves with a first career triple-double.

The 29-year-old tallied 36 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists to take the Portland Trail Blazers to a 125-112 victory over the Houston Rockets, who were led by Russell Westbrook's 39 points and 10 rebounds.

 

Oladipo delivers in magical comeback

Victor Oladipo put 12 months of injury rehabilitation behind him with a clutch three-pointer as the Indiana Pacers beat the Chicago Bulls 115-106 in overtime. Finally recovered from a ruptured quad tendon, the former number two overall draft pick completed 21 minutes off the bench and hit a long-range shot in the closing seconds to send the game into an extra period.

DeMar DeRozan dropped a season-high 38 points on 11-of-19 shooting to see the San Antonio Spurs to a slump-busting 127-120 win over the Utah Jazz. Utah suffered their second successive loss despite Rudy Gobert's double-double and 31 points from Donovan Mitchell.

Dillon Brooks had 27 points and Jonas Valanciunas a double-double as the Memphis Grizzlies extended their winning streak to four games, defeating the New York Knicks 127-106.

 

Gordon goes cold

After hitting 50 points two days earlier, Eric Gordon came crashing back to reality in Portland. The 31-year-old guard went two-of-10 from the floor for eight points against the Trail Blazers, making just one of his eight three-point attempts.

 

Dinwiddie dazzles

Spencer Dinwiddie's 28 points against the Pistons included a neat reverse layup.

 

Wednesday's results

Indiana Pacers 115-106 Chicago Bulls
Memphis Grizzlies 127-106 New York Knicks
Brooklyn Nets 125-115 Detroit Pistons
San Antonio Spurs 127-120 Utah Jazz
Portland Trail Blazers 125-112 Houston Rockets
Oklahoma City Thunder 120-100 Sacramento Kings

 

Jazz at Nuggets

The Jazz (32-15) are back on the road on Thursday with a big Western Conference clash against the Denver Nuggets (32-15), who will be looking to rebound from their recent loss to the Grizzlies.

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