Nikola Jokic's double-double proved in vain as the streaking Indiana Pacers pulled off a 115-107 heist against the Denver Nuggets in the NBA.

The Pacers outscored the Nuggets by 15 points in the fourth quarter to snatch the eight-point victory on Sunday, their fifth in succession.

Jokic had a game-high 30 points and 10 rebounds for Denver (29-13), while Domantas Sabonis led Indiana (28-15) with 22 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists – his first career triple-double.

TJ Warren and Malcolm Brogdon also chipped in with 22 points apiece for the Pacers, while Doug McDermott added 24 in 21 minutes.

LaMarcus Aldridge (21) and DeMar DeRozan (20) combined for 41 points to help the San Antonio Spurs to a 107-102 victory over the Miami Heat.

Bam Adebayo had 21 points and 16 rebounds in a losing cause for Miami, beaten for the first time in three games.

 

Mills makes history on special occasion

Patty Mills celebrated San Antonio's inaugural Indigenous Night in fitting style, contributing 18 points and five rebounds from the bench against the Heat.

The 31-year-old guard drained four shots from beyond the arc to become the first Australian to register 1,000 three-pointers in NBA history.

Lamb labours in Denver

Indiana overcame the Nuggets despite receiving little assistance from Jeremy Lamb, who managed zero points and a solitary assist in 23 minutes on the floor.

 

Dozier dazzles and dishes

PJ Dozier produced a neat crossover and pass for Mason Plumlee as the Nuggets tried unsuccessfully to streak clear at Pepsi Center.

Sunday's results

San Antonio Spurs 107-102 Miami Heat
Indiana Pacers 115-107 Denver Nuggets

 

Lakers at Celtics

LeBron James leads the Los Angeles Lakers (34-8) to Boston on Monday for a date with the Celtics (27-14), who will be eager to snap a three-game losing streak.

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.

LeBron James guided the Los Angeles Lakers to a ninth straight win in the NBA, while the Boston Celtics claimed a victory on Monday.

James' 31 points and eight assists saw the Lakers ease past the Cleveland Cavaliers 128-99.

Dwight Howard contributed a double-double of 21 points and 15 rebounds off the bench as the Lakers improved to 33-7 this season.

The Celtics made it back-to-back wins by overcoming the Chicago Bulls 113-101.

Boston had four starters manage double-digits in points, with Jayson Tatum leading the way with 21.

 

Gilgeous-Alexander shines as Lillard lifts Trail Blazers

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had a triple-double of 20 points, 20 rebounds and 10 assists in the Oklahoma City Thunder's 117-104 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. He became the youngest player in NBA history to record 20 points, 20 rebounds and 10 assists in a game.

Damian Lillard's 30 points and nine assists helped the Portland Trail Blazers past the Charlotte Hornets 115-112.

Nikola Vucevic finished with a double-double of 26 points and 15 rebounds in the Orlando Magic's 114-112 win over the Sacramento Kings.

 

Misery for Morris

Markieff Morris went two-of-12 from the field for just seven points in 18 minutes in the Detroit Pistons' 117-110 overtime loss to the New Orleans Pelicans.

 

Lillard from deep

Lillard hit a buzzer-beater from near half-court to finish the third quarter.

Monday's results

New Orleans Pelicans 117-110 Detroit Pistons
Indiana Pacers 101-95 Philadelphia 76ers
Boston Celtics 113-101 Chicago Bulls
Oklahoma City Thunder 117-104 Minnesota Timberwolves
Portland Trail Blazers 115-112 Charlotte Hornets
Orlando Magic 114-112 Sacramento Kings
Los Angeles Lakers 128-99 Cleveland Cavaliers

 

Cavaliers at Clippers

Things get no easier for the Cavaliers (12-28) as they stay in Los Angeles to face the Clippers (27-13) on Tuesday.

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.

Jimmy Butler gave a withering assessment of T.J. Warren, calling the Indianapolis Pacers forward "trash" after the two clashed in the Miami Heat's bad-blooded road win.

Warren was ejected in the third quarter of the Heat's 122-108 triumph having twice tangled with Butler, who squared up to his opponent and shouted in his direction before blowing him kisses as he walked off.

Speaking afterwards, Butler, who had 14 points, let rip again.

"I think it's tough for him because I can guard him and he can't guard me," he said in quotes published on ESPN.

"At the end of the day, that's what it comes down to. I think you just gotta watch your mouth in certain situations. Some s*** you just don't say as a man.

"He gotta see me the next time because I feel like what he said was truly disrespectful, and it's all good cos we see him again."

Butler added: "He's soft.

"He's not even in my f***ing league. Nowhere near me.

"If I was their coach, I would never put him on me. Ever again... He's trash."

Warren did not speak to reporters afterwards and Butler continued to come after him on social media, uploading a picture of the Heat's schedule on Instagram with Miami's next game against the Pacers circled.

Butler wrote: "@t.warren1 don't be mad you can't guard me. We will see what you about in March."

The Milwaukee Bucks returned to winning ways with a 107-98 victory over the Golden State Warriors, while James Harden's triple-double inspired the Houston Rockets.

NBA leaders the Bucks bounced back from their loss to the San Antonio Spurs by topping the Warriors away from home on Wednesday.

Reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way with 30 points and 12 rebounds as the Bucks improved to 33-6 for the season, while Khris Middleton added 21 points.

Alec Burks top-scored for the Warriors with 19 points off the bench in San Francisco.

 

Harden stars as Rockets soar

James Harden moved up to eighth on the all-time triple-doubles list with his performance in the Houston Rockets' 122-115 victory over the lowly Atlanta Hawks. He recorded 41 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

Nikola Jokic led the Denver Nuggets to a nail-biting 107-106 win at the Dallas Mavericks. Jokic scored 26 of his 33 points in the second half, including the game-winning basket with 7.9 seconds remaining in Dallas. Luka Doncic posted 27 points and 10 assists for the Mavericks.

DeMar DeRozan's 30 points fuelled the Spurs' 129-114 triumph over the Boston Celtics.

 

Warren ejected on tough night

Just two days after posting a season-high 36 points, T.J. Warren had a game to forget as the Indiana Pacers lost 122-108 at home to the Miami Heat. Warren managed only three points before being ejected after sarcastically applauding a foul on Jimmy Butler.

The Nuggets did not get their usual output from star Jamal Murray, who was seven of 18 from the field for 14 points in 31 minutes. He also missed all three of his attempts from beyond the arc.

Kemba Walker also had a tough night in Boston. The Celtics star was ejected for arguing a non-call after a hard pick by LaMarcus Aldridge in the third quarter. He had six points in 18 minutes.

 

Spider man!

Donovan Mitchell nailed this slam as the Utah Jazz topped the New York Knicks 128-104.

 

Wednesday's results

Toronto Raptors 112-110 Charlotte Hornets (OT)
Miami Heat 122-108 Indiana Pacers
San Antonio Spurs 129-114 Boston Celtics
Orlando Magic 123-89 Washington Wizards
Denver Nuggets 107-106 Dallas Mavericks
Houston Rockets 122-115 Atlanta Hawks
New Orleans Pelicans 123-108 Chicago Bulls
Utah Jazz 128-104 New York Knicks
Milwaukee Bucks 107-98 Golden State Warriors

 

Celtics at 76ers

After falling to the Spurs, the Celtics (25-10) will face Eastern Conference rivals the Philadelphia 76ers (24-14) on the road. The 76ers, who will be without All-Star Joel Embiid, are eyeing back-to-back wins.

Indiana Pacers star Victor Oladipo is planning to make his long-awaited NBA return against the Chicago Bulls on January 29.

All-Star guard Oladipo has been sidelined since suffering a ruptured quad tendon in his right knee on January 23 last year.

It has been a long road back for Oladipo, but the 27-year-old is nearing a comeback later this month and he is excited.

"I just want to let you guys know personally that I plan on making my return on January 29 against the Bulls at home," Oladipo said in a video message.

"It's been a long 12 months, a long journey, but I've learned a lot about myself and I'm going to continue to keep growing because of it. Just want to thank all the Pacers fans, team-mates, coaching staff, family and friends, and my God in Heaven for making these 12 months a learning experience.

"I'm looking forward to getting out there and playing in front of you fans again and playing with my team-mates."

Oladipo told Stadium: "That could change, that might not change, who knows. But it's definitely good to have something to look forward to after 12 months of wondering and hoping and not being sure. Twelve months of the unknown.

"To actually, you know, have something and a goal to look forward to is pretty astronomical for me in this process. I'm way stronger now than I was before, especially mentally. I just feel like nothing can phase me. I've been through the worst. My better days lie ahead."

Prior to last season's injury, Oladipo had been averaging 18.8 points, 5.6 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game in 2018-19.

The Pacers finished last season with a 48-34 record before they were swept by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, with Oladipo sidelined.

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.

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.

Kawhi Leonard and Paul George helped the Los Angeles Clippers bounce back in the NBA, while James Harden and Russell Westbrook led the Houston Rockets.

Coming off a loss to the Utah Jazz, the Clippers responded by crushing the Sacramento Kings 105-87 on Tuesday.

Unsurprisingly, their star duo led the way as Leonard had 24 points and George finished with 21 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists.

The Rockets' two main stars guided Houston to a 130-104 thrashing of the Denver Nuggets on New Year's Eve.

Harden had 35 points and Westbrook finished with 28 to go with seven assists and three rebounds.

The Nuggets (23-10) are second to the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference, ahead of the Clippers (24-11) and Rockets (23-11).

 

Doncic dominance not enough for Dallas

Luka Doncic's 35 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists were not enough as the Dallas Mavericks fell to the Oklahoma City Thunder 106-101.

DeMar DeRozan's 24 points guided the San Antonio Spurs to a 117-113 overtime win against the Golden State Warriors.

Serge Ibaka had a double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds in the Toronto Raptors' 117-97 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

 

Kings, Hornets continue to struggle

The Kings slumped to an eighth straight loss with their defeat to the Clippers.

The Charlotte Hornets are on a six-game losing run, meanwhile, after being beaten by the Boston Celtics 109-92.

 

Sabonis slam

Domantas Sabonis produced a huge slam during the Indiana Pacers' win over the Philadelphia 76ers.

Tuesday's results

Boston Celtics 109-92 Charlotte Hornets
Indiana Pacers 115-97 Philadelphia 76ers
Los Angeles Clippers 105-87 Sacramento Kings
Toronto Raptors 117-97 Cleveland Cavaliers
Houston Rockets 130-104 Denver Nuggets
San Antonio Spurs 117-113 Golden State Warriors
Oklahoma City Thunder 106-101 Dallas Mavericks

 

Suns at Lakers

The Lakers (26-7) will be expecting to begin 2020 with a win against the Phoenix Suns (13-20) on Wednesday.

Jrue, Justin and Aaron Holiday became the first trio of brothers to share the court at the same time in the NBA.

New Orleans Pelicans star Jrue, and Indiana Pacers pair Justin and Aaron made history on Saturday.

Jrue Holiday earned bragging rights over his brothers as the Pelicans topped the Pacers 120-98.

"It was cool. I beat them and I got their jerseys, so I'll hang those up," Jrue said afterwards. "It was fun.

"My whole family is here, family and friends, so just to be able to share that moment on the court, even from a family standpoint where I'm going back and, I'm not going to brag, but we know what happened. But it's a good feeling for me."

Prior to the game, father Shawn Holiday said: "It's a blessing. There's no other way to put it. You couldn't write the script any better than this.

"Them growing up, you couldn't envision this. For it to come true at this stage and this level, it's pretty amazing."

Jrue Holiday posted 20 points and seven assists for the Pelicans, Aaron finished with 25 and Justin did not score a point off the bench in New Orleans.

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.

The Milwaukee Bucks cruised without star Giannis Antetokounmpo in the NBA, while the Miami Heat recorded an impressive win on Friday.

Antetokounmpo was sidelined with back soreness, but the Bucks were untroubled in a 112-86 thrashing of the Atlanta Hawks.

Khris Middleton starred with 23 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, while Ersan Ilyasova had a double-double of 18 points and 17 rebounds.

Milwaukee improved to 28-5 as they bounced back from their loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.

Miami are third in the Eastern Conference and edged the Indiana Pacers 113-112.

Bam Adebayo's double-double of 18 points and 15 rebounds led the Heat as Jimmy Butler contributed despite struggling from the field.

Butler finished with 20 points, nine rebounds and six assists, but went three-of-11.

 

Celtics roll on as Adams guides Thunder

The Boston Celtics posted their fifth straight win by beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 129-117.

Jaylen Brown (34 points) and Jayson Tatum (30) were the stars for Boston.

Steven Adams' 14 points, 12 rebounds and three assists helped the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 104-102 overtime win against the Charlotte Hornets.

The Golden State Warriors made it four straight wins as D'Angelo Russell's 31 points guided them past the Phoenix Suns 105-96.

 

76ers' road woes remain

The Philadelphia 76ers are 16-2 at home but slipped to 7-9 on the road after crashing to a surprise 98-97 loss to the Orlando Magic.

 

Flying Jones

Miami's Derrick Jones Jr. delivered an epic alley-oop.

Friday's results

Boston Celtics 129-117 Cleveland Cavaliers
Oklahoma City Thunder 104-102 Charlotte Hornets
Orlando Magic 98-97 Philadelphia 76ers
Milwaukee Bucks 112-86 Atlanta Hawks
Miami Heat 113-112 Indiana Pacers
Golden State Warriors 105-96 Phoenix Suns

 

Raptors at Celtics

After back-to-back losses, the Toronto Raptors (21-10) face a test against the Celtics (22-7) at TD Garden on Saturday.

The Milwaukee Bucks are the team to beat at Christmas time and it bodes well for their championship aspirations.

Led by reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks (27-4) top the NBA standings on Christmas Day, ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers (24-6).

Not since 1971 have the Bucks won a title – their only success so far since being founded in 1968.

However, the past three champions – the Toronto Raptors last season and Golden State Warriors in 2016-17 and 2017-18 – earned a ring having led when Santa Clause came to town.

Over the past 10 seasons, five teams who topped the league on Christmas went on to celebrate a championship, with the 2011-12 campaign not getting underway until December 25 due to a lockout.

 

2018
Dec 25 leaders: Toronto Raptors (25-10)
Champions: Raptors

2017
Dec 25 leaders: Golden State Warriors (27-7)
Champions: Warriors

2016
Dec 25 leaders: Golden State Warriors (27-5)
Champions: Warriors

2015
Dec 25 leaders: Golden State Warriors (28-1)
Champions: Cleveland Cavaliers (19-8 on Christmas Day)

2014
Dec 25 leaders: Golden State Warriors (23-5)
Champions: Warriors

2013
Dec 25 leaders: Indiana Pacers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Portland Trail Blazers (23-5)
Champions: San Antonio Spurs (22-7 on Christmas Day)

2012
Dec 25 leaders: Los Angeles Clippers (22-6)
Champions: Miami Heat (19-6 on Christmas Day)

*2011
Champions: Miami Heat (*lockout)

2010
Dec 25 leaders: San Antonio Spurs (25-4)
Champions: Dallas Mavericks (23-5 on Christmas Day)

2009
Dec 25 leaders: Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers (23-5)
Champions: Lakers

The Indiana Pacers outlasted defending champions the Toronto Raptors in overtime, while the Philadelphia 76ers downed the Detroit Pistons in the NBA.

Aaron Holiday's double-double helped the Pacers past the Raptors 120-115 in Indiana on Monday, snapping Toronto's five-game winning streak.

Holiday had 19 points and 10 assists, T.J. Warren and Myles Turner posted 24 points apiece, and Domantas Sabonis contributed 12 points and 17 rebounds for the Pacers.

The Raptors, coming off a franchise-record comeback on Monday, were led by Kyle Lowry's 30 points, while Fred VanVleet put up 21 points and 11 assists.

In Detroit, the 76ers were too good for the slumping Pistons 125-109 thanks to Tobias Harris' 35 points on the road.

Joel Embiid added 20 points of his own, while Andre Drummond scored 27 for the Pistons – who crashed to a fifth straight loss.

 

Aldridge stars in Spurs shoot-out

LaMarcus Aldridge recorded a season-high 40 points as the San Antonio Spurs beat the Memphis Grizzlies 145-115.

Ben Simmons posted a triple-double for the 76ers, finishing with 16 points, a career-high 17 assists and 13 rebounds.

Bradley Beal had 30 points in the Washington Wizards' 121-115 win over the New York Knicks. Julius Randle managed a game-high 35 points for the Knicks.

 

Griffin a shadow of himself

Blake Griffin – a six-time All-Star – looked out of sorts against the 76ers. He was just two of 14 from the floor for eight points in 27 minutes. Griffin also missed all six of this three-point attempts.

 

Murray with the game-winner

Tied at 111-111, Jamal Murray nailed the go-ahead jumper with 2.5 seconds remaining as the Denver Nuggets edged the Phoenix Suns 113-111.

 

Monday's results

Cleveland Cavaliers 121-118 Atlanta Hawks
Philadelphia 76ers 125-109 Detroit Pistons
Orlando Magic 103-95 Chicago Bulls
Washington Wizards 121-115 New York Knick
Indiana Pacers 120-115 Toronto Raptors (OT)
Miami Heat 107-104 Utah Jazz
San Antonio Spurs 145-115 Memphis Grizzlies
Denver Nuggets 113-111 Phoenix Suns
Houston Rockets 113-104 Sacramento Kings
New Orleans Pelicans 102-94 Portland Trail Blazers
Golden State Warriors 113-104 Minnesota Timberwolves

 

Christmas Day feast

After a break on Tuesday, the NBA returns in a big way for Christmas. After the Raptors entertain the Boston Celtics, the Milwaukee Bucks face the 76ers, the Houston Rockets travel to the Warriors, the Los Angeles Clippers meet the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets welcome the New Orleans Pelicans.

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