Jayson Tatum says it was a surreal feeling to create history with the most points ever in the NBA All-Star Game after posting 55 in Team Giannis' victory on Sunday.

Tatum surpassed Anthony Davis' 52-point record from 2017, scoring 55 points on 22-of-31 shooting from the field, making 10-of-18 from three-point range.

The Boston Celtics forward posted 27 points in the third quarter, which was also an All-Star Game record, and became the second player behind Stephen Curry to make 10 three-pointers in the contest.

"I really didn’t know [about the record]," Tatum said. "I didn’t know what the record was. I found out midway through the fourth quarter.

"Dame [Lillard] was like 'yo, the record is 52, you've got 49'. It kinda hit me, breaking history in the moment."

Tatum, in his fourth All-Star selection, won the game's Kobe Bryant MVP award for the first time, which was a source of great joy for the 24-year-old.

"It means the world," Tatum said. "Kobe was my idol, my favourite player, the reason why I fell in love with the game.

"I was in the first All-Star Game when they named the MVP after him and ever since I had my eyes on wining it one day. I'm finally glad I got one."

One of the highlights of the contest when Tatum taking on Celtics teammate Jaylen Brown in a series of one-on-one battles.

Brown actually top scored for Team LeBron, hitting 35 points off the bench on 16-of-27 shooting with 14 rebounds.

"That was cool," Tatum said. "It was normal for us, it was just millions of people watching. We been playing one-on-one so many times. It was special."

Jayson Tatum scored an All-Star game record 55 points as Team Giannis defeated Team LeBron 184-175 in Sunday's game in Salt Lake City.

Tatum won the Kobe Bryant All-Star MVP for the contest, where the first team to 182 points won with an untimed fourth quarter.

The Boston Celtics small forward shot 22-of-31 from the field along with 10-of-18 from beyond the arc, with 10 rebounds and six assists from 35 minutes. Tatum's 55 points exceeded Anthony Davis' previous All-Star record of 52 from 2017.

Tatum led the way in the free-scoring contest where defense was at a minimum, with Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell adding 40 points on 15-of-25 shooting from the field with 10 assists on his return to Utah.

Damian Lillard contributed 26 points off the bench, making eight-of-20 from three-point range, while captain Giannis Antetokounmpo left the court after a dunk in the first minute with an ongoing wrist issue.

Opposition captain LeBron James exited the game at half-time due to a hand contusion sustained in a second-quarter dunk, finishing with 13 points and four assists across 14 minutes.

Celtics guard Jaylen Brown top scored for Team LeBron off the bench with 35 points along with 14 rebounds and five assists.

Brown and Tatum's combined 90 points, albeit on opposition sides, was the most ever by a pair of teammates in an All-Star Game.

Joel Embiid and Kyrie Irving both scored 32 points for Team LeBron, while the latter had a game-high 15 assists.

LeBron James has not missed the playoffs in consecutive years since the first two seasons of an NBA career that’s spanned two decades.

He is intent on not letting that happen again, telling reporters before his 19th consecutive All-Star Game of his urgency to right the ship.

The Lakers currently sit 13th out of 15 Western Conference teams with a record of 27-32, 3.5 games behind the sixth-seeded Dallas Mavericks, and two games out of the 10th seed as the Play-In Tournament begins to look like a more realistic path to the postseason.

"I don't want to see myself not being part of the postseason for two years straight," James said. "It’s just not part of my DNA."

With fellow perennial All-Star Anthony Davis now back healthy and trade-deadline additions of guard D’Angelo Russell, shooting specialist Malik Beasley and frontcourt players Jarred Vanderbilt and Mo Bamba, James said he feels a healthier and revamped Lakers squad will be a formidable opponent for any team should they reach the postseason.

"I've always been confident in any club that I’ve been on [that] once we got to the playoffs we could compete with anyone," he said. "I feel no different now.

"With the roster the way we're shaped up now, if we can finish off this regular season on the right foot, then we can compete versus anyone in the Western Conference, if not the whole league."

James stopped short of guaranteeing a playoff berth, though, as he acknowledged the competitiveness of a conference where only two teams – San Antonio and Houston – have no realistic chance of advancing.

"It’s 23 of the most important games of my career, for a regular season," James said of the Lakers’ remaining schedule. "It’s the type of mindset I have, and I hope the guys will have, coming off the break.

"It’s going to take a lot of commitment, which is okay, that’s what it should be about. [But] if we can punch our ticket, we can compete versus anyone."

Team captains LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo both exited the All-Star Game in Utah on Sunday due to injuries.

Los Angeles Lakers forward James appeared to hurt his hand by hitting it on the rim during a dunk with 6:08 remaining in the second quarter and was ruled out for the second half.

James finished the game with 13 points on 54.5 per cent field goal shooting with four assists in 14 minutes.

The four-time NBA MVP's exit meant both Team LeBron and Team Giannis would be without their captains for the second half.

Milwaukee Bucks forward Antetokounmpo withdrew from the All-Star Game early with a pre-existing wrist injury, scoring two points before stepping out inside a minute.

James, who missed three games last week due to an ankle injury, is averaging 30.0 points, 8.4 rebounds and 7.0 assists for the Lakers this season.

Antetokounmpo is averaging 31.8 points, 12.2 rebounds and 5.4 assists for the Bucks, who are second in the Eastern Conference with a 41-17 record.

Kevin Love will sign with the Miami Heat after negotiating a buyout with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday.

Love confirmed in a Twitter post that his plan is to sign with the Heat after clearing waivers, with the hope of earning minutes with another Eastern Conference contender.

The 34-year-old was in the midst of his ninth season as a member of the Cavaliers, and was the last remaining link to their one and only championship win in 2016.

After playing exclusively as a starter since the 2010-11 season, Love was moved into a reserve role this past campaign, making only seven starts from his past 115 regular season games.

He is averaging a career-low 8.5 points and 6.8 rebounds this season while shooting 38.9 per cent from the field, but remains a respectable three-point shooter at 35.4 per cent from deep.

Love's dip in form saw him removed from the Cavaliers' rotation altogether in the lead-up to All-Star weekend, ultimately signalling the end of his time in Cleveland.

Miami currently have eight players this season averaging at least 25 minutes per game – Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro, Kyle Lowry, Caleb Martin, Max Strus, Victor Oladipo and Gabe Vincent.

Of that group, Adebayo is the only true big-man, and while Butler plays above his size, Love provides a skill-set the Heat roster is lacking.

Always desperate to have at least three shooters on the floor at any time – which star duo Adebayo and Butler are not – Miami have been playing small lineups as they do not have a single player taller than six-foot-five who is also averaging at least one made three per game.

The six-foot-eight Love averages 1.7 made threes per game over the course of his whole career, and when extrapolated to starter's minutes this season, Love is averaging 3.0 makes on 8.6 attempts while grabbing 12.3 rebounds per 36 minutes.

He is also the NBA leader in defensive rebounding percentage among players averaging at least 20 minutes per game, snatching down 29.8 per cent of all opponent misses while he is on the floor.

Currently sitting seventh in the East with a record of 32-27, Miami will hope Love provides a spark down the stretch to keep their streak of three straight playoff appearances alive.

Brittney Griner will return to the WNBA for the 2023 season after reportedly signing a one-year deal with the Phoenix Mercury following a 10-month detainment in Russia.

Griner was arrested at Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport in February 2023 for bringing under a gram of cannabis oil into Russia in vape cartridges.

The two-time Olympic gold medallist said she made an "honest mistake", with her lawyers arguing she was using the cannabis for medicinal purposes and was unaware of its illegal status in Russia.

She was subsequently jailed for nine years for drug possession and drug smuggling with criminal intent, but was released in December in a prisoner exchange that saw convicted arms dealer Viktor Bout return to Russia.

Griner stated she planned to play for the Mercury in 2023 following her return to the United States, and the team have reportedly agreed a deal for the eight-time WNBA All-Star to feature in the upcoming season.

Griner was drafted first overall by the Mercury in 2013, going on win the 2014 WNBA championship by sweeping the Chicago Sky in the finals.

Her last game for the team before her imprisonment also came against the Sky in a 2021 WNBA finals defeat after one of the best seasons of her career, during which she averaged 20.5 points, 1.9 blocks and 9.5 rebounds per game.

Griner will look to help the Mercury bounce back after suffering a first-round exit in the WNBA Playoffs in August, with the team set to begin their 2023 campaign against the Los Angeles Sparks on May 19.

Damian Lillard announced he was retiring from the NBA's three-point contest after winning the title for the first time.

Portland Trail Blazers star Lillard, entering the contest for the third time, led the way with 26 points in Salt Lake City on Saturday.

With little-known Philadelphia 76ers guard Mac McClung coming out on top in the slam dunk contest, Lillard was the big winner of the day's All-Star Weekend festivities.

A 37.3 per cent career three-point shooter, with the sixth-most made threes in NBA history (2,334), the 32-year-old felt it was about time he took the title.

"I think all the best shooters in the history of our game, most of them have one of these," Lillard said.

"I just wanted to get it done at least one time. So, I'm happy I got it, now I can retire from it."

Stephen Curry, who has won two three-point contest titles but has not added to his seven entries since winning for a second time two years ago, posted on Twitter: "He said he is retiring from it with the trophy in the hand. I feel you."

Kevin Durant says his and Kyrie Irving's high-profile NBA trades are "great for the league" after the Brooklyn Nets pair went their separate ways.

The Phoenix Suns prised Durant away from Brooklyn, who also lost fellow star Irving to the Dallas Mavericks after the 30-year-old requested a trade in February.

That saw the Nets lose their only two players to average above 20 points per game this season, although Durant and Irving only shared the court 71 times in the regular season despite joining together in 2019.

Durant has repeatedly lauded the project with the Suns, who sit fifth in the Western Conference, and believes the roster changes are positive for the NBA.

"I don't think it's bad for the league," Durant said Saturday during his All-Star news conference. "It's bringing more eyes to the league, more people are more excited.

"The tweets that I get; the news hits that we got from me being traded, Kyrie being traded; it just brings more attention to the league and that's really what rakes the money in when you get more attention.

"So, I think it's great for the league, to be honest."

Durant expressed his desire to leave shortly after Irving had voiced similar plans, leading to some criticism over the pair's actions with the Nets.

But Irving refused to accept the backlash as he insisted it should be commonplace for such trades to happen, given he was unable to agree a long-term contract extension in Brooklyn.

"It's a bad situation," Irving said Saturday. "Why doesn't anyone have the ability to ask for trades? That's my question.

"When did it become terrible to make great business decisions for yourself and your happiness and peace of mind?

"Not every employer you're going to get along with, so if you have the chance to go somewhere else and you're doing it legally, I don't think there's a problem with it."

"Teams have been trading players and making acquisitions for a long time," Durant said, echoing Irving's sentiment.

"Now when a player can kind of dictate where he wants to go and leave in free agency and demand a trade, it's just part of the game now.

"So I don't think it's a bad thing. It's bringing more and more excitement to the game."

Irving added: "Speculation and narratives are what make this entertainment kind of seem a little bit more important or more of a priority than it actually is.

"Like, it's my life. It's not just a dream that everybody can gossip about. When you work as hard as I do or anyone else in a specific profession, I feel like you should have the liberty and the freedom to go where you're wanted, where you're celebrated and where you feel comfortable."

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver D.K. Metcalf stole the show during Friday's NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, dunking and blocking his way to MVP honours.

Metcalf – standing at six-foot-four with explosive athleticism – made sure to show off what he could do on a basketball court at every opportunity, finishing with 20 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks in a 81-78 win for Team Dwyane Wade.

Team Wade was coached by Giannis Antetokounmpo and his two brothers, Thanasis and Alex, while Team Ryan Smith – named after the Utah Jazz governor, since they are the hosting city – was coached by WNBA legend Lisa Leslie, rapper Fat Joe and Houston Astros infielder Alex Bregman.

Metcalf was not the only athlete suiting up, with 37-year-old Hall of Fame receiver Calvin Johnson also taking part, as did tennis star Frances Tiafoe and MLB legend Albert Pujols.

Kevin Durant felt the Brooklyn Nets lost their "identity" without Kyrie Irving and believes the Phoenix Suns have "all the pieces to be successful" following his blockbuster trade.

Durant last week swapped Brooklyn for Phoenix in a sensational switch that saw the Nets receive a package including Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson and four unprotected first-round draft picks.

Two-time NBA Finals MVP Durant's departure came after Irving requested a trade and duly joined the Dallas Mavericks.

Durant found Irving's exit hard to take, and the 34-year-old is relishing his new challenge with the Suns.

He said in his first press conference as a Suns player on Thursday: "I was upset that we couldn't finish. I thought we had some good momentum.

"We were finally building a culture that we always wanted. I felt like every game we were building our chemistry, but I didn't know what was going on with Kyrie and his situation with the organisation, so I didn't really focus on that.

"I only focused on what we were doing on the court, and it was a blow to our team. It just took away our identity. He was a huge, huge part to what we do. His game, he's a Hall of Fame player, a great, great player that can do everything on the floor, and we relied on that.

"So without him, we didn't have a clear identity. That was tough for me to stomach. I love playing with those guys throughout the year. I felt like we had dudes that were stepping up and doing stuff that they didn't do on their previous teams.

"I enjoyed everything about it – it was tough not finishing the season, but I just tried to move forward as quickly as I can and try to figure something out for myself, but also still focus on trying to rehab and get back. So it all happened so fast, but I'm glad it worked out this way."

Durant thinks he can add to his list of honours during his time with Phoenix, who are fifth in the Western Conference at 32-28.

"I think we've got all the pieces to be successful," Durant said. "We've got guys that have experienced what it's like to play in that final round.

"We've got a champion [Suns GM James Jones] already that's overseeing us. Monty's [head coach Williams] a champion as a coach. So we've got guys that have been there, and that's half the battle, just knowing what it takes."

Durant rued not having a regular opportunity to be on court with Irving and James Harden with the Nets.

"We just didn't get on the court enough," Durant said. "I think when you have seen James, Kyrie and myself, it was amazing basketball for [16] games, but in order for you to win a championship and be a great team, you just need more time on the floor.

"It's another story about why we didn't get on the floor together, but we just didn't get enough time on the floor. And those are Hall of Fame players that I learned a lot from every day. I'm wishing them the best as well. It just didn't work out."

He added: "It was a lot of ups and downs, but I loved the grind. And everybody in Brooklyn loved the grind, too, so I built a family over there. They're going to always be part of my journey. So we didn't accomplish what we wanted to accomplish as far as winning a championship, but I enjoyed the grind.

"And everybody there, we tried our hardest every day, regardless of what was going on in the media or what was going on with our team-mates."

Durant continued: "I get emotional talking about them because that was a special four years in my career, coming off an Achilles [injury]. They helped me through a lot, so I don't have anything [bad to say]."

Giannis Antetokounmpo will be assessed ahead of the All-Star Game after suffering a wrist injury during the Milwaukee Bucks' win over the Chicago Bulls on Thursday.

The two-time NBA MVP grimaced as he left the court during the second quarter of a 112-100 victory.

Antetokounmpo had broken the record for the most assists by a Bucks player, moving beyond Paul Pressey's tally to 3,274.

The Greek forward is due to play in the All-Star Game at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City on Sunday, but it remains to be seen if he will be fit.

Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer said he had "no idea" if Antetokounmpo will play this weekend, but an X-ray was "clean" and initial reports were "hopeful".

He added: "We'll just see how he feels tomorrow, see how he feels the next few days and continue to evaluate it."

Budenholzer continued: "He's a guy that's attacking the basket all the time. He's fearless. He takes a lot of falls, so you kind of learn to just expect him to always just bounce back up, and that’s what we're hoping for from this one."

Brook Lopez scored a season-high 33 points and Jevon Carter poured in 22 as Milwaukee reeled off a 12th successive win to improve to 41-17, sitting second in the Eastern Conference.

After LeBron James' scoring record celebrations last weekend, it is fellow NBA legend Michael Jordan's turn to party in the coming days.

The former Chicago Bulls (and Washington Wizards) superstar turned 60 on Friday.

Stats Perform has marked the occasion by recapping some of the most remarkable numbers of his career – from one to 60.

 

1 – Since the ABA–NBA merger, Jordan is the only player to have scored 60 or more points in a playoff game, finishing with 63 in a double overtime defeat to the Boston Celtics in 1986.

2 – As if dominating in the games that mattered was not enough, Jordan twice won the Slam Dunk Contest in 1987 and 1988. At the time, he was the only player to have won it back-to-back.

3 – Jordan was the All-Star Game MVP on three occasions, beaten only by Kobe Bryant, who the award is now named after, and Bob Pettit.

4 – In the regular season, Jordan scored 60 or more points in four different games. Bryant (six) is the sole player to have topped that feat since the merger.

5 – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (six) alone has won more MVP awards in the regular season than Jordan's five.

6 – Jordan boasts a remarkable 6-0 Finals record and was named Finals MVP on each occasion. No player can match his six such awards.

7 – In leading the league in scoring between 1986-87 and 1992-93, Jordan tied Wilt Chamberlain's record by doing so in seven straight seasons. They are the only two players to lead the league in scoring in any seven seasons.

8 – Jordan scored 50 or more points in eight different playoff games, a dominant record. Allen Iverson is his nearest challenger with three such performances since the merger.

9 – As well as being a legendary scorer, Jordan was named to the All-Defensive First Team on nine occasions. He was the Defensive Player of the Year in 1988.

10 – Jordan led the league in scoring in a record 10 seasons across his career, following up his streak of seven in a row by doing so in 1995-96 to 1997-98.

11 – In his rookie season, Jordan led the league in total points (2,313), although Bernard King and Larry Bird were ahead in scoring average. Along with his 10 seasons as NBA scoring champion, Jordan led the league in total points 11 times.

12 – Jordan needed only 12 games of his rookie season to reach 300 points, the fewest since the merger.

13 – Led by Jordan, the Bulls lost only 13 games across the regular season and postseason in 1995-96. Their combined 87-13 record remains the best of all time.

14 – Jordan was a 14-time All-Star. In a 15-season career, he was not selected only in the 1994-95 season when he came out of retirement after the All-Star Game. He missed the 1986 game through injury.

15 – Jordan is one of 15 players to have made more than 10,000 field goals in the regular season. He ranks fifth on 12,192.

16 – The NBA named Jordan its Player of the Month on 16 occasions, with all of those wins coming before the award was split by conference from the 2001-02 season.

17 – Jordan made 17 field goals in the 1988 All-Star Game, tying a Chamberlain record. It stood for a further 26 years before being broken by Blake Griffin.

18 – An early highlight of Jordan's career saw him score the Bulls' final 18 points in a win against the New York Knicks. No player in the NBA had previously scored 18 points in a row, although he broke his own record by scoring 23 straight in a 61-point game against the Atlanta Hawks.

19 – Of the 119 playoff wins Jordan played in, 19 were by at least a 20-point margin.

20 – Jordan's scoring average of 20.0 in his final season in 2002-03 was comfortably the lowest of his career. Only LeBron James (20 – including 2022-23), Abdul Jabbar and Karl Malone (both 17) have averaged 20 or more points in more than Jordan's 15 seasons.

21 – Jordan was 21 at the start of his rookie season, but he averaged 27.7 points before his birthday. That is the best average of any player before their 22nd birthday since the merger.

22 – At the end of his rookie season, Jordan, aged 22, became the youngest player ever to score 30 points in consecutive playoff games. That record was later broken by Bryant.

23 – The number Jordan wore is forever associated with his remarkable career. It was retired by the Bulls but also by the Miami Heat ahead of their final game against him.

24 – Jordan made a move to point guard for the final 24 games of the 1988-89 regular season and dominated in a whole new way. He had 12 triple-doubles over that stretch – he only had 28 across his entire career – as he averaged 30.4 points, 10.7 assists and 9.2 rebounds.

25 – Jordan won his first Player of the Week award in January 1985 and his last 18 years later in January 2003, just three months before he retired for good. That was his 25th win.

26 – In the 1997 All-Star Game, Jordan recorded the event's first ever triple-double. He had 14 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds in 26 minutes.

27 – Jordan played more playoff games against the Knicks than against any other team, averaging 33.1 points across those 27 games.

28 – A sign of what was to come saw Jordan score 28.2 points per game in his rookie season, a record since the merger.

29 – Of Jordan's 32,292 regular season career points, 29,277 came playing for the Bulls. Discounting his points for the Wizards, Jordan still ranks above Shaquille O'Neal, who is eighth on the all-time NBA scoring list.

30 – Jordan's 30.1 career points per game in the regular season rank him first all time. Only Chamberlain (also 30.1) is also above 30.

31 – Since the merger, no player can match Jordan's 31 50-point games in the regular season. Modern greats like James (14) and Stephen Curry (11) have less than half as many such performances.

32 – Jordan scored 246 points in the 1993 NBA Finals against the Phoenix Suns, just 32 fewer than Jerry West's 278 against the Baltimore Bullets in the 1965 playoffs – the most ever by a winning player in a single series.

33 – A career playoff scoring average of 33.4 remains unmatched, although Luka Doncic (32.5), Jordan's nearest rival, is still going strong.

34 – The Portland Trail Blazers were Jordan's favourite regular season opponents as he averaged 34.0 points in such matchups, although he averaged 34.8 against the Utah Jazz when counting only games as a starter.

35 – Jordan scored 20 or more points in a record 35 straight Finals games between 1991 and 1998. That sequence included scoring a benchmark 35 in a single half against the 1992 Trail Blazers.

36 – Jordan played in 37 playoff series for the Bulls and was the leading scorer in 36 of those, beaten only by the Milwaukee Bucks' Terry Cummings during his rookie year.

37 – The best scoring season of Jordan's career saw him average 37.1 points per game in 1986-87, a mark only beaten by Chamberlain (four times) and Elgin Baylor.

38 – Jordan's final 50-point game came in the 2001-02 season, aged 38. He was the oldest player to have such a performance until Jamal Crawford in 2019.

39 – Although later known as a legendary postseason winner, Jordan did not come out on top in a playoff series until his fourth attempt. His 39 points in Game 5 against the Cleveland Cavaliers in 1988 took the Bulls beyond the first round.

40 – In scoring 43 points in 43 minutes against the New Jersey Nets four days after his 40th birthday, Jordan became the first and only player to score 40 points in a game aged 40 or older.

41 – Jordan still boasts the best scoring average for a Finals series with his 41.0 against the Suns in 1993.

4​2 – Even in his final season, Jordan scored 20 points or more in 42 games. He did so in at least 70 regular season games in 10 separate seasons and in 926 games over the course of his career.

43 – Across three playoff games in 1986, Jordan averaged 43.7 points – an NBA high for a single postseason.

44 – The 1988-89 season that included 15 Jordan triple-doubles also unsurprisingly saw a career-high for double-doubles. He had 44 in the regular season as he averaged highs in both assists and rebounds (both 8.0).

45 – Jordan played his final playoff game in Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals against the Jazz and scored 45 points in a one-point win.

46 – MJ played four games on his birthday, with his best performance on February 17 seeing him score 46 points against the Cavaliers in 1992.

47 – Jordan ended his career having scored 20 or more points in each of his final 47 playoff games, albeit he later played two more seasons with the Wizards without making the postseason.

48 – Jordan finished having played 48,485 minutes across the regular season and postseason for his career.

49 – MJ attempted a career-high 49 field goals in a 64-point performance against the Orlando Magic in 1993. Only Bryant (50 against the Jazz in 2016) has since attempted more in either the regular season or postseason.

50 – The Bulls relied on Jordan to score more than 50 per cent of their points in four different playoff games, including his last with the team. The Bulls won each time.

51 – Jordan shot 51.5 per cent from the field in his rookie season. No guard has made more field goals in a rookie season (837).

52 – Before Jordan returned with 17 games remaining of the 1994-95 regular season, seeing the Bulls go 13-4 to finish, the team had a middling 52.3 per cent win percentage.

53 – Jordan is the only guard in NBA history to attempt 1,750 field goals in a regular season and make at least 53 per cent – he did so three times.

54 – Jordan scored 54 points in the first game of the 1989-90 season. No player since the merger has scored more in the first game of a new season.

55 – Game 4 of the 1993 Finals saw Jordan score 55 points, his most in a championship series and behind only Baylor's 61 against the Celtics in 1962 all-time.

56 – Jordan's biggest playoff performance in a game that did not go to overtime saw him put up 56 in a 1992 win against the Heat. Legend has it he played a full round of golf on the morning of that game, too.

57 – Jordan had a 24-11 record in the NBA Finals, but one defeat in the championship series was the longest game of his career. He played 57 minutes in a triple overtime loss to the Suns in Game 3 in 1993.

58 – In a 1987 game against the Nets, Jordan outscored his opponents' entire starting five. The Nets' starters scored 54 to Jordan's 58.

59 – Jordan's great team-mate Scottie Pippen won 73.5 per cent of the 859 career games he played alongside MJ across the regular season and postseason. Pippen won only 59.8 per cent of 527 games when not playing with Jordan.

60 – Jordan scored at least 20 points in a record 60 consecutive playoff games between 1989 and 1993.

Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards recovered from a horrific start to storm back and defeat the Minnesota Timberwolves 114-106 away from home on Thursday.

The Wizards trailed 30-10 in the first quarter, and after trimming the margin to eight points at half-time, the Timberwolves again extended their lead to 87-69 with two minutes remaining in the third period.

Washington put together a 17-2 run over the next four-and-a-half minutes, bringing themselves right back into the contest, and they would end up winning the final period 38-19.

Beal had 15 of his game-high 35 points in the final 5:14, finishing with shooting figures of 14-of-28 from the field and four-of-eight from deep, while adding six rebounds, five assists and three steals.

No other Wizard scored more than 16 points, while Timberwolves young gun Anthony Edwards went toe-to-toe with Beal.

Edwards scored a team-high 34 points on 11-of-26 shooting with three steals, although his six turnovers hurt. Rudy Gobert was also solid for Minnesota, grabbing 19 rebounds to go with his 17 points and three blocks.

The win is the Wizards' fourth from their past five outings, improving to 28-30 to have them sitting ninth in the Eastern Conference, while the Timberwolves dropped to eighth in the West at 31-30.

Clippers leapfrog the Suns into top-four

The Los Angeles Clippers won an enticing Western Conference showdown against the Phoenix Suns 116-107 despite a rough shooting performance from star Kawhi Leonard.

Leonard, who has been boasting blistering shooting splits of 51/45/92 since the beginning of the new year, finished just five-of-18 from the field on the road against the Suns for 16 points, although he salvaged a decent outing with 10 rebounds, four assists, two blocks and a steal.

Paul George picked up the slack with 26 points (nine-of-19 shooting), six rebounds and five assists, while Terance Mann matched him with 26 points on 10-of-12 shooting.

With the win, the Clippers (33-28) moved up to fourth in the West, taking the place of the Suns (32-28).

No Giannis, no worries for Lopez and the Bucks

The Milwaukee Bucks lost their two-time MVP after suffering a game-ending wrist injury, but Brook Lopez did his best Giannis Antetokounmpo impression during a 112-100 road win against the Chicago Bulls.

Antetokounmpo played only nine minutes, scoring two points before crashing into the basket support while attempting a chasedown block, but Lopez responded with a season-high 33 points (13-of-18 shooting), seven rebounds and four blocks.

Jevon Carter also impressed with 22 points (nine-of-13 shooting), six rebounds and six assists, while undrafted rookie A.J. Green hit five three-pointers off the bench.

Two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo was ruled out of the Milwaukee Bucks' clash with the Chicago Bulls on Thursday in the second quarter after suffering a wrist injury.

The injury occurred as Antetokounmpo raced back and attempted to block a fast-break lay-up, crashing into the stanchion underneath the ring hands-first.

He immediately began feeling for his wrist, and after exiting the game and heading back to the locker room, the Bucks confirmed he would not return.

Antetokounmpo finished with two points, seven rebounds and three assists, and was plus nine in his nine minutes.

The 40-17 Bucks came into the game with the league's second-best record, trailing only the Boston Celtics (42-17).

Simone Edwards, Jamaica and former Seattle Storm player in the WNBA, has died after a prolonged fight with ovarian cancer. She was 49 years old.

Edwards, who was diagnosed with aggressive ovarian cancer in early 2021, passed away at her home in Florida on Thursday.

Her passing was announced by the Seattle Storm on Thursday night.

“We are saddened by the passing of our very own Simone Forbes,” the franchise posted on Twitter.

“Our Jamaican Hurricane was a warrior on and off the court. With her indefatigable energy and optimism, she brought happiness to so many.

“Our thoughts and condolences are with Simone’s family and loved ones at this time.”

Forbes was the first Jamaican female player to play in the WNBA, playing for the New York Liberty and the Seattle Storm, winning the WNBA title in 2004.

She retired from the WNBA in 2006.

On August 5, 2007, she was hired as an assistant coach at Radford University and she was an assistant at George Mason University from 2008-2011.

Edwards coached the Jamaican women's national basketball team and led them to a 2014 Caribbean Championship.

On August 6, 2017, the Government of Jamaica conferred the national award, the Order of Distinction which is bestowed on citizens of Jamaica who have rendered outstanding and important service to Jamaica in their field.

President of Jamaica Basketball Association, Paulton Gordon was shock and saddened by the news.

“We heard this afternoon that she has passed. I spoke with her about three weeks ago and she was upbeat,” he said.

“We are really saddened at her passing. She was the national coordinator for our youth teams and we were looking to working closely with her to prepare the U17 team for the regional competition this year.

“Condolences to her immediate family, her friends and the broader basketball family. I will certainly miss her technical guidance and support for Jamaica Basketball.”

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