The New York Knicks routed the Boston Celtics 105-75 in a stunning upset in the NBA on Sunday.

Julius Randle (20 points and 12 rebounds) and RJ Barrett (19 points and 11 rebounds) came up big to help the Knicks snap a five-game losing streak.

The Celtics had the best record in the Eastern Conference following five successive wins, but the hosts suffered their biggest loss of the season and had their lowest scoring output in 2020-21.

Luka Doncic posted his 29th career triple-double in the Dallas Mavericks' 117-101 defeat against the Chicago Bulls.

The All-Star moved above Bulls and NBA great Michael Jordan and into 15th position on the all-time triple-double list after finishing with 36 points, 16 rebounds and 15 assists.

Doncic put up the fourth 35-plus point, 15-plus rebound and 15-plus assist game in NBA history, while he joined Oscar Robertson (five times), Wilt Chamberlain (1968) and James Harden (2016) as the only players with that stat line.

 

Career-high night for Fox

The Sacramento Kings lost 128-123 at home to the New Orleans Pelicans, but De'Aaron Fox posted a career-high 43 points and 13 assists. Sacramento team-mate Marvin Bagley III also had a double-double of 26 points and 10 rebounds.

Nikola Jokic (35 points and 14 rebounds) and Jamal Murray (30 points) combined for 65 points, but the Denver Nuggets still went down 109-105 to the Utah Jazz.

 

Walker returns but struggles

Kemba Walker made his season debut after missing the opening 11 games of the 2020-21 campaign due to injury. But the Celtics star was just three of 13 from the field and one of eight from three-point range for nine points in 20 minutes before exiting in the third quarter with a rib problem. Boston team-mate Semi Ojeleye attempted six shots from beyond the arc, however, he missed all of them.

 

Zion flexes his muscles

Former number one draft pick Zion Williamson put on a show. The Pelicans star had 31 points on 13-of-15 shooting from the field, including a couple of monster dunks.

Sunday's results

New York Knicks 105-75 Boston Celtics
Chicago Bulls 117-101 Dallas Mavericks
Utah Jazz 109-105 Denver Nuggets
New Orleans Pelicans 128-123 Sacramento Kings
Los Angeles Clippers 129-96 Indiana Pacers
Cleveland Cavaliers-Washington Wizards (postponed)
Philadelphia 76ers-Oklahoma City Thunder (postponed)

 

Bucks at Nets

James Harden will look to follow up his historic debut when the Brooklyn Nets (8-6) host reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks (9-4) on Monday.

 

The Los Angeles Lakers cruised to a victory in the NBA, while the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics also extended their winning streaks.

LeBron James had a double-double of 21 points and 11 assists as the Lakers recorded a comfortable 112-95 win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday.

Kyle Kuzma contributed 11 points and 13 rebounds off the bench, while Anthony Davis struggled from the field, shooting five-of-16 for his 17 points.

Pelicans star Zion Williamson finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds, but the Lakers extended their winning streak to five.

Giannis Antetokounmpo's 31 points and nine rebounds helped the Bucks overcome the Dallas Mavericks 112-109.

Luka Doncic fell just short of a triple-double, contributing 28 points, 13 assists and nine rebounds in the Mavericks' loss.

The Bucks (9-4) have won four straight to sit behind the Celtics (8-3) in the Eastern Conference.

Brown leads returning Celtics, Drummond stars

Jaylen Brown had 21 points and eight assists in the Celtics' 124-97 win over the Orlando Magic. It was Boston's first game in a week.

A huge double-double of 33 points and 23 rebounds from Andre Drummond saw the Cleveland Cavaliers edge the New York Knicks 106-103.

The Los Angeles Clippers thrashed the Sacramento Kings 138-100 thanks to 27 points, six assists and four rebounds from Kawhi Leonard.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander posted 33 points and 10 assists in the Oklahoma City Thunder's 127-125 victory over the Chicago Bulls.

Bulls' narrow losses continue

The Bulls are on a four-game losing streak, with those defeats coming by four, two, three and two points. It is the first time in team history they have lost four in a row with each loss by four points or fewer, as per Stats Perform. The last team with a streak that long was the Washington Wizards in 2009 (six straight).

 

Drummond dynamite

Drummond produced a huge performance for the Cavs. He was 10-of-18 from the field and 16 of his 23 rebounds were on the defensive end.

Friday's results

Boston Celtics 124-97 Orlando Magic
Cleveland Cavaliers 106-103 New York Knicks
Milwaukee Bucks 112-109 Dallas Mavericks
Oklahoma City Thunder 127-125 Chicago Bulls
Utah Jazz 116-92 Atlanta Hawks
Los Angeles Lakers 112-95 New Orleans Pelicans
Los Angeles Clippers 138-100 Sacramento Kings

 

Magic at Nets

James Harden is set to make his debut for the Brooklyn Nets (7-6) against the Orlando Magic (6-6) on Saturday. Harden's trade from the Houston Rockets to the Nets was confirmed on Thursday.

The Los Angeles Lakers set a franchise record after winning again on the road, while Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic made NBA history.

LeBron James posted 26 points and defending champions the Lakers defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 128-99 on Wednesday.

The streaking Lakers (10-3), who have won four successive games, improved to 7-0 away from home this season – surpassing the 1985-86 team for the best start on the road.

James has had at least 15 points, five rebounds and five assists in all 13 games this season. In the last 30 years, the only NBA player to have a longer streak of 15/five/five games to start a season was James himself in 2011-12 (22 straight), according to Stats Perform.

Lakers team-mate Montrezl Harrell had 21 points, while Anthony Davis put up 18 points and seven rebounds in Oklahoma City midweek.

Doncic became the first player in NBA history to post 34 points, 13 rebounds, nine assists, four blocks, two steals and five threes made, per Stats Perform.

The Mavericks went on to win 104-93 and snap the Charlotte Hornets' four-game winning streak.

Mavericks star Kristaps Porzingis returned from a knee injury and scored 16 points in his first appearance since undergoing surgery in October.

 

Red-hot Giannis fuels Bucks

Giannis Antetokounmpo's triple-double guided the Milwaukee Bucks past the Detroit Pistons 110-101. The two-time reigning MVP finished with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for his 20th career triple-double.

Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum put on a show as the Portland Trail Blazers prevailed 132-126 against the Sacramento Kings. Lillard (40 points and 13 assists) and McCollum (28 points and 10 assists) became the first team-mate duo in NBA history to have 25-plus points, 10-plus assists and five-plus three-pointers made in the same game, per Stats Perform. They are also the first duo in the NBA to have 25-plus points, 10-plus assists and one or fewer turnovers in the same game since 1987.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker starred with 37 points, but the New Orleans Pelicans still lost 111-106 to the Los Angeles Clippers. Kawhi Leonard (28) and Paul George (27) combined for 55 points in the Clippers' win.

The Memphis Grizzlies topped the Minnesota Timberwolves 118-107 behind Jonas Valanciunas' 24 points and 16 rebounds.

 

Knicks duo struggle

The New York Knicks did not get much support from their two starting point guards in a 116-109 loss to city rivals the Brooklyn Nets. Austin Rivers was three-of-10 shooting from the field and two-of-five from three-point range for eight points in 34 minutes. Elfrid Peyton was just three of 11 from the field, while making just one of three-point attempts as he finished with seven points in 33 minutes.

 

Nurkic says no!

There was no way past Jusuf Nurkic as the Trail Blazers big man denied Glenn Robinson III in the fourth quarter.

 

Wednesday's results

Dallas Mavericks 104-93 Charlotte Hornets
Milwaukee Bucks 110-101 Detroit Pistons
Brooklyn Nets 116-109 New York Knicks
Memphis Grizzlies 118-107 Minnesota Timberwolves
Los Angeles Lakers 128-99 Oklahoma City Thunder
Los Angeles Clippers 111-106 New Orleans Pelicans
Portland Trail Blazers 132-126 Sacramento Kings
Utah Jazz-Washington Wizards (postponed)
Orlando Magic-Boston Celtics (postponed)
Atlanta Hawks-Phoenix Suns (postponed)

 

Rockets at Spurs

As James Harden reportedly heads to the Nets, the Houston Rockets (3-6) will look to cast the chaos aside when they face the San Antonio Spurs (6-5) on the road on Thursday.

LaMelo Ball made more history as the Charlotte Hornets defeated the New York Knicks 109-88 in the NBA on Monday.

Ball became the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double on Saturday, and he was at it again for the Hornets – who won their fourth straight game.

The Hornets rookie became the first player aged 19 or younger in league history to lead his team in both rebounds and assists in three consecutive games.

Ball finished with eight points, a career-high 14 rebounds and seven assists as star Hornets team-mate Gordon Hayward posted 34 points, including 28 in the first half.

Two-time reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo returned to help the Milwaukee Bucks past the Orlando Magic 121-99.

Antetokounmpo was in action following a one-game absence due to a minor back injury and scored 22 points, while Bucks team-mate Khris Middleton led the way with 20 points and 10 rebounds.

 

Brilliant Beal helps snap skid

The Washington Wizards ended their three-game losing streak and claimed their first home win of the season thanks to Bradley Beal's 34 points and a 128-107 victory over the Phoenix Suns. Devin Booker had 33 points for the Suns.

Nikola Vucevic put up 28 points and 13 rebounds for the beaten Magic in Orlando.

The shorthanded Philadelphia 76ers lost 112-94 at the Atlanta Hawks, but Joel Embiid had 24 points and 11 rebounds. Hawks star Trae Young scored 26 points.

Pascal Siakam recorded a triple-double of 22 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists but the struggling Toronto Raptors still lost 112-111 to the Portland Trail Blazers. CJ McCollum (30) and Damian Lillard (23) combined for 53 points.

Harrison Barnes (game-high 30 points) fuelled the Sacramento Kings' 127-122 win against the Indiana Pacers. Domantas Sabonis posted 28 points and 11 rebounds for the Pacers.

 

Knicks struggle

It was a forgettable outing for the Knicks, who were just 39.1 per cent from the field and 24.3 per cent from three-point range. New York's Immanuel Quickley made just one of 10 field goals, while he missed all six attempts from beyond the arc for three points in 29 minutes.

 

Clutch CJ!

McCollum nailed the game-winning shot with 9.6 seconds remaining to lift the Trail Blazers.

 

Monday's results

Charlotte Hornets 109-89 New York Knicks
Memphis Grizzlies 101-91 Cleveland Cavaliers
Milwaukee Bucks 121-99 Orlando Magic
Washington Wizards 128-107 Phoenix Suns
Atlanta Hawks 112-94 Philadelphia 76ers
Portland Trail Blazers 112-111 Toronto Raptors
Sacramento Kings 127-122 Indiana Pacers
New Orleans Pelicans-Dallas Mavericks (postponed)

 

Lakers at Rockets

LeBron James and defending champions the Los Angeles Lakers (8-3) will face James Harden's Houston Rockets (3-5) again on Tuesday.

LaMelo Ball created history in the Charlotte Hornets’ 113-105 win against the Atlanta Hawks by becoming the youngster player of all time to score a triple-double.

The first round rookie announced his arrival in the NBA after coming off the bench to post 22 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists in a dazzling 31 minutes on court.

Terry Rozier added 23 points and PJ Washington posted 22 points to help Charlotte improve to 5-5 as the Hawks rallied with De'Andre Hunter scoring 20 points but fall to to 4-5.

Mikal Bridges starred and six players hit double figures as the Phoenix Suns advanced to 7-3 in the Western Conference with a 125-117 win over the Indiana Pacers.

Bridges led the scoring with a career-high 34 points as the Pacers fell to 6-3 in the Eastern Conference despite Domantas Sabonis' 28 points and 22 rebounds.

Earlier in the day, a threadbare Philadelphia 76ers fell to 7-3 after losing 115-113 to the Denver Nuggets as coach Doc Rivers had only seven players available due injury and COVID-19 protocols.

Stephen Curry led the Golden State Warriors past the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday, while the Los Angeles Lakers bounced back.

Curry's fine start to the NBA season continued in the Warriors' 115-105 win over the Clippers.

The guard had a double-double of 38 points and 11 assists as the Warriors (5-4) responded to their loss to the Clippers on Wednesday.

Curry was 13-of-24 from the field and nine-of-14 from three-point range in the win.

Paul George (25) and Kawhi Leonard (24) combined for 49 points for the Clippers, but they slipped to 6-4.

The Lakers bounced back from their loss to the San Antonio Spurs by overcoming the Chicago Bulls 117-115.

LeBron James' 28 points, seven rebounds and seven assists led the Lakers, who were without Anthony Davis (strained adductor).

Zach LaVine finished with 38 points for the Bulls.

 

Bucks fall despite Giannis' display, Celtics win

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 35 points, eight rebounds and four assists, but the Milwaukee Bucks went down to the Utah Jazz 131-118.

Donovan Mitchell led the Jazz, posting 32 points, seven assists and five rebounds.

Jaylen Brown continued his good form with a double-double of 27 points and 13 rebounds in the Boston Celtics' 116-107 win over the Washington Wizards. Brown and Jayson Tatum (32 points) became the third pair of team-mates in the past 20 seasons to each record 250-plus points in their team's first 10 games, joining Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant (2001-02) and Curry and Kevin Durant (three times).

The Wizards slumped to 2-7 despite Bradley Beal's 41 points.

Caris LeVert exploded for 43 points, but the Brooklyn Nets – without Durant and Kyrie Irving – were edged by the Memphis Grizzlies 115-110.

 

Magic misery

The Orlando Magic have made a good start to the season, but they shot at just 38.2 per cent in a 132-90 loss to the Houston Rockets. Orlando are now 6-3.

 

Brotherly battle

LaMelo and Lonzo Ball did battle on Friday. LaMelo had 12 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists in the Charlotte Hornets' 118-110 win over the New Orleans Pelicans.

Friday's results

Detroit Pistons 110-105 Phoenix Suns
Boston Celtics 116-107 Washington Wizards
Charlotte Hornets 118-110 New Orleans Pelicans
Oklahoma City Thunder 101-89 New York Knicks
Houston Rockets 132-90 Orlando Magic
Memphis Grizzlies 115-110 Brooklyn Nets
Utah Jazz 131-118 Milwaukee Bucks
Toronto Raptors 144-123 Sacramento Kings
Golden State Warriors 115-105 Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles Lakers 117-115 Chicago Bulls

 

Cavaliers at Bucks

The Bucks (5-4) will look to bounce back when they take on the Cleveland Cavaliers (5-4) on Saturday.

The Boston Celtics edged the Miami Heat in the NBA on Wednesday, while the Milwaukee Bucks claimed their third straight win.

In a rematch of last season's Eastern Conference finals, the Celtics overcame the Heat 107-105 in Miami.

Jayson Tatum (27 points) and Jaylen Brown (21 points and 12 rebounds) led the Celtics (6-3) to their win.

But Payton Pritchard (six points) made the decisive lay-up with 0.2 seconds remaining to secure the win.

The teams kneeled in protest ahead of the clash, in response to a riot on Capitol Hill and after no charges were brought against the police officer who shot and seriously injured Jacob Blake, a black man, in Kenosha in August last year.

Meanwhile, the Bucks made it three straight wins by easing past the Detroit Pistons 130-115.

Giannis Antetokounmpo guided Milwaukee into a 5-3 record with 25 points, eight rebounds and four assists.

 

Hayward heroic, Beal brilliance not enough for Wizards

Gordon Hayward scored a career-high 44 points to see the Charlotte Hornets past the Atlanta Hawks 102-94.

Bradley Beal equalled a Washington Wizards record, but it was not enough. Beal tied the franchise record with 60 points in a 141-136 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.

Joel Embiid once again inspired the 76ers, scoring 38 points to go with eight rebounds and five assists as they improved to 7-1.

A 35-point haul from Malcolm Brogdon helped the Indiana Pacers beat the Houston Rockets 114-107.

 

Curry cools off

After 92 points in the previous two games, Stephen Curry cooled off. He went five-of-17 from the field for 13 points in 35 minutes as the Golden State Warriors fell to the Los Angeles Clippers 108-101.

 

Beal ties record

Beal was in spectacular form for the Wizards. He equalled Gilbert Arenas' record of 60 points for the Wizards against the Los Angeles Lakers in 2006.

Wednesday's results

Indiana Pacers 114-107 Houston Rockets
Orlando Magic 105-94 Cleveland Cavaliers
Philadelphia 76ers 141-136 Washington Wizards
Charlotte Hornets 102-94 Atlanta Hawks
Boston Celtics 107-105 Miami Heat
New York Knicks 112-100 Utah Jazz
Milwaukee Bucks 130-115 Detroit Pistons
Oklahoma City Thunder 111-110 New Orleans Pelicans
Phoenix Suns 123-115 Toronto Raptors
Los Angeles Clippers 108-101 Golden State Warriors
Sacramento Kings 128-124 Chicago Bulls

 

76ers at Nets

The 76ers will look to continue their good start to the season when they take on the Brooklyn Nets (4-4). The Nets will again be without star Kevin Durant, who is in quarantine.

Stephen Curry has no doubt the Golden State Warriors continue to get the absolute best from their opponents each time the team take to the court and he would have it no other way.

The superstar shooter followed up a career-high return of 62 points in the beating of the Portland Trail Blazers with another 30 in the Warriors' 137-106 triumph over the Sacramento Kings on Monday.

Curry also finished with nine rebounds and eight assists, while the 32-year-old had chalked up 23 points by half-time on the back of seven-for-11 shooting, including four-for-seven on three-pointers.

The Warriors are now 4-3 for the season and are showing positive signs despite losing Klay Thompson for the season, while the transition to life without the likes of Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala continues.

It remains to be seen if the Warriors can produce the kind of form that led them to five straight NBA Finals between 2015 and 2019 but Curry feels their opponents still treat them as a huge threat each night.

"100 percent [we get the best]," Curry said following the victory over the Kings. 

"And that's how it's supposed to be. There are teams that were in the bubble, in the playoffs last year in both conferences that we're going to be doing that to them. 

"So, it's always the game within the game and that competition's exciting knowing that there's a little bit more meaning based on what we did the last five years and other teams' experience playing against us. That's part of the journey. We love it."

After a tough opening week, Curry is back into a groove helped in part by the return of team-mate Draymond Green, who was absent for pre-season and the opening four games of the campaign due to a mix of a foot problem and adhering to COVID-19 protocols.

The Warriors finished with an NBA season-high of 41 assists against the Kings and Curry acknowledged the return of Green has been vital.

"Draymond obviously has helped a lot in terms of getting us organized," he added. 

"And especially when I get off the ball and starting again. And so [Sunday], started seeing pictures of it a little bit clearer and understand spacing and, obviously, guys have got to make shots, and everybody pitched in. 

"It was a really good effort across the board, guys staying ready off the bench, and defensively, we gave ourselves energy and life from the beginning. On a back-to-back, you need that presence to get everything flowing, and then it translated to good offense."

Seven players hit double figures as the Philadelphia 76ers surged to 6-1 while Malcolm Brogdon landed an overtime winner as the Indiana Pacers take up chase in the East.

Eastern Conference leaders Philadelphia remain ahead of the pack after a second-quarter flurry helped to sink the Charlotte Hornets, 118-101, with Tobias Harris leading the scoring on 22 points.

Joel Embiid (14 points and 11 rebounds) and Ben Simmons (12 points and 10 rebounds) played key supporting roles with double-doubles as the 76ers continue to fly high.

Indiana improved to 5-2 in a 118-116 thriller against the New Orleans Pelicans after Brogdon capped his double-double with the clutch OT winner, while Victor Oladipo top scored for the Pacers with 25 points.

In-form Pelicans duo Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson combined for 55 points in the loss, as Ingram scored 31 and Williamson recorded a double-double with 24 points and 10 rebounds.

Orlando also stayed in the hunt for top spot as Aaron Gordon (24 points, 11 rebounds) and Nikola Vucevic (23 points) inspired the Magic to move to 5-3 with a 103-83 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Malcolm Brogdon hits the game-winning floater in OT as the @Pacers pick up their 5th W of the season!

Brogdon: 21 PTS, 7 REB, 11 AST
Victor Oladipo: 25 PTS, 6 AST
Brandon Ingram: 31 PTS, 8 AST
Zion Williamson: 24 PTS, 10 REB pic.twitter.com/XfWbcMXemJ

— NBA (@NBA) January 5, 2021


Doncic, Giannis go off as Mavs and Bucks win

Luka Doncic dominated with 33 points and a triple-double as the Dallas Mavericks ended the Houston Rockets’ winning streak with a 113-100 win.

Doncic added 16 rebounds and 11 assists, while Tim Hardaway Jr shot for 30 points to boost the Mavs. Houston's Christian Wood, Eric Gordon and a returning James Harden all put up more than 20 points.

Houston Rockets coach Stephen Silas hailed his team after they beat the Sacramento Kings despite losing James Harden shortly before tip-off on Saturday.

Harden turned his ankle late in the previous game against the Kings on Thursday but was not ruled out until 30 minutes before the subsequent 102-94 win, having by then gone through his shooting routine in the warm-up.

Silas was delighted the late blow did not prove decisive.

"[Harden] was just going to see how it felt," the coach said. "Obviously it didn't feel good enough for him to play.

"For us to win this game without him is pretty special."

John Wall stepped up in Harden's absence, making his mark with 28 points after coronavirus contact-tracing protocols kept him quarantined for the start of the season.

Wall, acquired from the Washington Wizards in a trade for Russell Westbrook, has registered 50 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds across two wins against the Kings since returning from a two-year injury lay-off.

Silas said: "I didn't have many expectations [of Wall]. I didn’t know what to expect. I saw some Instagram videos and stuff, playing pickup.

"We heard from people that said he looked good. But we didn't know until we got him.

"Whatever expectations I had, he obviously exceeded them. He's scoring. He's making plays for others.

"He's still rusty with his decision-making and he knows that. That's just a part of it. When you haven't played in so long, you shouldn't expect him to be totally crisp all the way through."

Ben Simmons led the way with his 29th career triple-double as the Philadelphia 76ers claimed top spot in the NBA Eastern Conference with a 127-122 win over the Charlotte Hornets.

Simmons dropped 15 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists as Philly opened up a 15-point first quarter lead and never looked back to go 5-1.

Joel Embiid contributed with a double-double of 19 points and 14 rebounds, while Tobias Harris top scored with 24 points as the 76ers claimed a third straight victory.

Ben Simmons (15 PTS, 12 REB, 11 AST) puts up a triple-double as the @sixers move to 5-1!

Tobias Harris: 24 PTS, 9 REB, 6 AST, 4 STL, 3 BLK
Seth Curry: 21 PTS (8-11 FGM), 6 AST
Joel Embiid: 19 PTS, 14 REB
Terry Rozier: 35 PTS, 7 3PM pic.twitter.com/ZgvqSUC9kp

— NBA (@NBA) January 3, 2021

The Atlanta Hawks (4-2) fell off the pace in the East following a 96-91 loss against the Cleveland Cavaliers as Colin Sexton scored 13 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter to snatch the win. 

John Wall led the scoring with 28 points as the Houston Rockets made it back-to-back triumphs against the Sacramento Kings, 102-98, in Texas.

Christian Wood posted a double-double with 15 rebounds and 20 points as the Rockets improved from 0-2 to 2-2 since Wall’s arrival, while James Harden was sidelined with an ankle injury.

Big scorers come up short for Magic, Pacers

Nikola Vucevic dazzled, putting up 30 points and 13 rebounds, but it was not enough to prevent the Orlando Magic slipping to 4-2 after a 108-99 loss against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Six OKC players hit double-figures in an all-round team effort as Darius Bazley top scored with 19 points and 12 rebounds.

John Wall enjoyed his Houston Rockets debut, saying his job was to make James Harden's life a little easier.

In his first regular-season appearance since December 2018, Wall helped the Rockets past the Sacramento Kings 122-119 on Thursday.

Wall finished with 22 points, nine assists and six rebounds, while Harden had 33 points, eight assists and six rebounds.

After his debut for the Rockets, Wall said he enjoyed his connection with Harden.

"I think it was cool. I missed some easy shots, trying to get some rust off, no matter how much I practice and play in preseason it's a bit different when you get in real games," the guard told a news conference.

Wall added: "My job here is to help James as much as possible, make it a little easier for him.

"You know when we need a bucket and get to crunch-time situation, you know what he's capable of."

Harden scored 16 fourth-quarter points for the Rockets, who claimed their first win of the season.

The eight-time All-Star was pleased with the win, while praising Wall's performance.

"He was extremely aggressive, making plays, defensively getting after it, he looked really, really good, especially not playing in almost two years," Harden said.

"Once we get a rhythm and guys get into their roles and find their best fit for the team, we'll be even better.

"But I'm happy in the last six minutes when it was time to get stops we did and offensively we executed."

John Wall impressed on his Houston Rockets debut, while the Philadelphia 76ers' fine start to the NBA season continued.

In his first regular-season appearance since December 2018, Wall helped the Rockets to their first win of the season with a 122-119 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Thursday.

Wall posted 22 points, nine assists and six rebounds on his Rockets debut after being traded from the Washington Wizards at the start of December.

James Harden again starred, finishing with 33 points, eight assists and six rebounds.

The 76ers improved to 4-1 and handed Orlando their first loss of the season, beating the Magic 116-92.

Joel Embiid was seven-of-11 from the field for 21 points, while he also pulled down nine rebounds.

 

Westbrook's Wizards fall again as Booker shines

Russell Westbrook posted another triple-double with 22 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds, but the Washington Wizards dropped to 0-5 after a 133-130 loss to the Chicago Bulls. Westbrook joined Oscar Robertson as the only players in NBA history to open a season with four triple-doubles in their first four games.

Thomas Bryant had 28 points for the Wizards after going 10-of-11 from the field.

Devin Booker's game-high 25 points helped the Phoenix Suns past the Utah Jazz 106-95. The Suns are 4-1.

Domantas Sabonis had a double-double of 25 points and 11 rebounds in the Indiana Pacers' 119-99 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Sabonis has posted at least a double-double in all five of his games this season.

 

Terrible Thunder

The Oklahoma City Thunder shot at just 37.5 per cent from the field in a 113-80 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans.

 

Harden, Wall power Rockets

Harden and Wall finished with 55 points and 17 assists between them against the Kings.

Thursday's results

Indiana Pacers 119-99 Cleveland Cavaliers
Chicago Bulls 133-130 Washington Wizards
Philadelphia 76ers 116-92 Orlando Magic
Houston Rockets 122-119 Sacramento Kings
Toronto Raptors 100-83 New York Knicks
New Orleans Pelicans 113-80 Oklahoma City Thunder
Phoenix Suns 106-95 Utah Jazz

 

Lakers at Spurs

The Los Angeles Lakers (3-2) and San Antonio Spurs (2-2) will meet again on Friday. LeBron James powered the Lakers to a win over San Antonio on Wednesday.

Reigning champions the Los Angeles Lakers made light work of the Minnesota Timberwolves on an eventful day in the NBA.

The Lakers – without Anthony Davis due to a calf contusion – eased past the Karl-Anthony Towns-less Timberwolves 127-91 on Sunday.

Timberwolves star Towns sat out with a dislocated left wrist and the Lakers took full advantage at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Kyle Kuzma posted a game-high 20 points, James had 18 points, nine rebounds and five assists, while Marc Gasol (12), Montrezl Harrell (12), Talen Horton-Tucker (12) and Dennis Schroder (11) also had double-digit points.

Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks were sensationally routed 130-110 by the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

Julius Randle inspired the Knicks with 29 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists as Elfrid Payton added 27 points to give head coach Tom Thibodeau his first victory.

Two-time reigning MVP Antetokounmpo had 27 points and 13 rebounds for the Bucks, who fell to 1-2 this season.

 

Mavs make history

The Mavericks showed no mercy in their record-breaking 124-73 humbling of the Kawhi Leonard-less Los Angeles Clippers. Dallas earned a 77-27 half-time lead – the Mavericks' 50-point advantage the largest through two quarters since the shot-clock era began in 1954-55. It is the first time in NBA regular-season history that a team won a road game by 50-plus points against a franchise that had a .650 or better winning percentage the season before, per Stats Perform.

The Mavericks beat the Clippers by 51 points and the Lakers topped the Timberwolves by 36. According to Stats Perform, it is the first time in NBA history there were two games decided by 35-plus points in the same arena on the same day.

Gordon Hayward scored 28 points to help the Charlotte Hornets upstage the Brooklyn Nets 106-104. Kevin Durant had 29 points for the visiting Nets, who lost for the first time, while team-mate Kyrie Irving finished with 25.

The New Orleans Pelicans trumped the San Antonio Spurs 98-95 thanks to double-doubles from Brandon Ingram (28 points and 11 rebounds) and Zion Williamson (18 points and 11 rebounds).

Stephen Curry put up 36 points as the Golden State Warriors claimed their first win of the season thanks to a nail-biting 129-128 success against the Chicago Bulls. Zach Lavine's 33 points were not enough for the Bulls. Curry also became only the third player in NBA history to reach 2,500 career made three-pointers.

 

Bucks struggle from beyond the arc

On a miserable day for the Bucks, the Eastern Conference contenders were just 18.4 per cent from three-point range. Star recruit Jrue Holiday was only four-of-10 from the field, while he missed all four of his three-point attempts in an eight-point performance.

The Philadelphia 76ers were back to their old ways, committing 21 turnovers in a 118-94 blowout against the Cleveland Cavaliers – the team's first loss of the season.

 

Lee calls game!

Damion Lee was the hero for the Warriors after nailing a game-winning three with 1.7 seconds remaining.

 

Sunday's results

Dallas Mavericks 124-73 Los Angeles Clippers
Cleveland Cavaliers 118-94 Philadelphia 76ers
Los Angeles Lakers 127-91 Minnesota Timberwolves
New York Knicks 130-110 Milwaukee Bucks
Indiana Pacers 108-107 Boston Celtics
Golden State Warriors 129-128 Chicago Bulls
Phoenix Suns 116-100 Sacramento Kings
Charlotte Hornets 106-104 Brooklyn Nets
Orlando Magic 120-113 Washington Wizards
New Orleans Pelicans 98-95 San Antonio Spurs

 

Rockets at Nuggets

James Harden and the Houston Rockets (0-1) will look to bounce back from their overtime loss to the Portland Trail Blazers when they visit the winless Denver Nuggets (0-2) on Monday.

The Philadelphia 76ers made it two wins from two games under Doc Rivers, while Washington Wizards star Russell Westbrook recorded his second straight triple-double.

Joel Embiid fuelled the 76ers with a double-double of 27 points and 10 rebounds away to the Knicks in New York on Saturday.

Ben Simmons recorded 15 points, nine rebounds and six assists as he nullified Knicks star RJ Barrett, while Tobias Harris and Seth Curry each had 17 points apiece for the championship-chasing 76ers.

76ers head coach Rivers – who replaced Brett Brown in the offseason – also earned his 945th regular-season victory to move 10th all time, surpassing Bill Fitch.

The 76ers have won 13 consecutive games against the lowly Knicks (0-2).

James Harden registered 44 points and 17 assists, but the Houston Rockets still lost 128-126 to the Portland Trail Blazers in overtime.

Houston were playing for the first time after their season opener was postponed due to coronavirus, and Harden – reportedly eyeing a trade to the 76ers or Brooklyn Nets – almost guided the Rockets to victory in Portland.

The Trail Blazers (1-1) were spearheaded by CJ McCollum (44 points) and Damian Lillard (32 points).

 

Westbrook follows in Magic's footsteps

Former MVP Westbrook became the first player since Magic Johnson in 1982 to post triple-doubles in his team's first two games of the season. Westbrook put up 15 points, 15 rebounds and 12 assists in Washington's 130-120 loss to the unbeaten Orlando Magic. Acquired from the Rockets, Westbrook became the fourth player in NBA history to achieve the feat, along with Johnson (twice), Jerry Lucas and Oscar Robertson, though the nine-time All-Star is the first player to do it with a new team.

The San Antonio Spurs rallied past the Toronto Raptors 119-114 thanks to DeMar DeRozan, Dejounte Murray and Patty Mills. DeRozan scored 27 points and Murray added 11 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds for his first ever triple-double – becoming just the 14th player in franchise history to accomplish the feat. Mills was eight of nine from the field and five of six from three-point range for 21 points off the bench.

Trae Young posted 36 points to lead the Atlanta Hawks past the Memphis Grizzlies 122-112. Kevin Huerter added 21 points off the bench, while Deandre Hunter had a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds. Grizzlies star Ja Morant finished with 28 points as team-mate Kyle Anderson (20 points and 14 rebounds) also impressed.

The Indiana Pacers took down the Chicago Bulls thanks to Domantas Sabonis' triple-double (22 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists), Victor Oladipo (22 points) and TJ Warren (23 points).

Collin Sexton (32 points), Andre Drummond (23 points and 16 rebounds) and Darius Garland (21 points and 12 assists) combined to inspire the Cleveland Cavaliers' 128-119 overtime victory at the Detroit Pistons.

 

Rough night for Barrett

Barrett struggled to get going under the watchful eye of Simmons. The Knicks star was just two-of-15 shooting from the field, while he missed all six of his three-point attempts. Barrett finished with 10 points, six rebounds and four assists in a team-high 37 minutes.

 

Gilgeous-Alexander calls game!

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander nailed a clutch jumper with 1.4 seconds remaining to lift the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 109-107 win against the Charlotte Hornets.

 

Saturday's results

Atlanta Hawks 122-112 Memphis Grizzlies
Oklahoma City Thunder 109-107 Charlotte Hornets
Cleveland Cavaliers 128-119 Detroit Pistons (OT)
Orlando Magic 130-120 Washington Wizards
Philadelphia 76ers 109-89 New York Knicks
Indiana Pacers 125-106 Chicago Bulls
San Antonio Spurs 119-114 Toronto Raptors
Minnesota Timberwolves 116-111 Utah Jazz
Sacramento Kings 106-103 Phoenix Suns
Portland Trail Blazers 128-126 Houston Rockets (OT)

 

Timberwolves at Lakers

The Timberwolves (2-0) will face defending champions the Los Angeles Lakers (1-1) on the road on Sunday. LeBron James and the Lakers will look to claim back-to-back wins after their Christmas Day success.

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