The New Orleans Pelicans were missing offensive force Zion Williamson, but head coach Willie Green was ecstatic with the contributions he got from up-and-down his roster in their 113-102 home win against the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday.

C.J. McCollum assumed primary scorer responsibilities, dropping a team-high 30 points on 11-of-23 shooting while adding nine assists, and he was not alone in having a strong game.

Brandon Ingram was his usual efficient self with 19 points on seven-of-14 shooting, while second-year wing Trey Murphy III made the most of his starting opportunity by showcasing his deep range, hitting three-of-six three-pointers and finishing a big contested dunk.

NBA All-Defensive team shoo-in Herbert Jones scored more than half of his shots and defended all five positions, and their bench was also excellent.

Larry Nance Jr showcased his skills with 19 points (eight-of-10), seven rebounds, two assists and two blocks, backup point guard Jose Alvarado had 12 points (five-of-11) and six assists, and rookie Dyson Daniels continued to impress.

The 19-year-old, who was selected eighth overall, grabbed a team-high nine rebounds with a steal and a block in 17 minutes, earning praise from his head coach.

"[Daniels] and Herb [Jones] give you a comfort level when they're out on the floor," Green said. "He's only 19, but he doesn't play like it.

"He's been working. He stays in the gym working on his shot, he understands the game at a high level.

"We all feel comfortable putting him on the floor. I'm super excited about what he did tonight, and what he'll continue to do in the future."

Despite Williamson missing the game, Green opted to play starting centre Jonas Valanciunas only 13 minutes, telling reporters that he feels general manager David Griffin has assembled the weapons to give him the luxury to sit such an important piece based on matchups.

"It was a tough matchup game for 'JV'," he said. "Steven Adams played 13 minutes, JV played 13 minutes, so we had those guys matched up against each other.

"This was more of a smaller game, smaller fours and fives who are moving around, cutting, playing with force and pace. We tried to match their team in that way – it's something we've been working on.

"That's what the game is coming down to, guys who can play multiple positions, can handle the ball, can defend, can shoot the three-ball at a high clip,

"We put guys on the floor that can do all of those things – I'm thankful I get to coach this team. [Our front office] has done an amazing job of continuing to build our roster.

"Sky's the limit, we'll continue to build from here, but definitely grateful."

The Denver Nuggets' reigning back-to-back league MVP Nikola Jokic has entered the league's health and safety protocols, ruling him out of Wednesday's game against the New York Knicks.

Jokic, 27, is averaging a career-high 8.9 assists per game to go with his 20.8 points and 9.5 rebounds, helping the Nuggets to a 9-4 record through their first 13 games.

Having won five of their past six games, the Nuggets will be without Jokic and second-year talent Bones Hyland, who is also in health and safety protocols.

They will have to clear the league's guidelines before being able to return to the floor, with a maximum of 10 days before they are automatically cleared.

The Nuggets head away from home to take on the Dallas Mavericks on both Friday and Sunday, before returning home to face the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday.

Memphis Grizzlies guard Desmond Bane will be out for up to three weeks with a toe injury.

Bane did the damage to his right big toe during a 114-103 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves at FedExForum last Friday.

The Grizzlies on Tuesday revealed Bane will be sidelined for at least a fortnight.

A statement released by the franchise said: "After further evaluation, it was determined that Memphis Grizzlies guard Desmond Bane suffered a Grade 2 sprain of his right big toe during the November 11 game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Bane will be re-evaluated in 2-3 weeks."

Bane is averaging a career-high 24.7 points, 4.8 assists and 4.9 rebounds per game for Memphis in an impressive season to date.

The Grizzlies are fourth in the Western Conference at 9-5 ahead of a meeting with the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday.

The Golden State Warriors have a chance to reaffirm themselves as the heavyweights in the Western Conference on Wednesday when the defending NBA champions visit the Phoenix Suns.

Steve Kerr's team have endured a difficult start to their bid to win back-to-back titles, going 6-8 across their opening 14 games.

But they produced one of their best performances of the season on Monday, crushing the San Antonio Spurs 132-95.

A meeting with the Suns, seen as one of the primary challengers to Golden State in the West going into the season, my provide a more accurate indication of whether the Warriors have turned things around.

Phoenix lost a thriller with the Miami Heat on Monday, losing 113-112 on the road to drop to 8-5 but had little issue knocking off the Warriors in their first meeting this season on October 25, prevailing 134-105.

Veteran point guard Chris Paul has missed the last three games with a heel problem, and it remains to be seen if he will be healthy to play against the Warriors.

However, even without Paul the Suns possess one of the most talented rosters in the league, and with Devin Booker continuing his outstanding form from last season, they are well-equipped to trouble a Warriors team that has yet to win on the road this campaign.
 

PIVOTAL PERFORMERS

Phoenix Suns - Devin Booker

Through 13 games, Booker has the highest offensive rating of his career (117.2) while his effective field goal percentage of 53.5 is his best since the 2019-20 season (54.4).

His 26.5 points per game rank 11th in the NBA, and his ability to maintain that efficiency will be key against a Warriors team whose problems have predominantly been on defense.

Golden State Warriors - Jordan Poole

Poole scored 36 points after being inserted into the starting lineup as Klay Thompson was rested against San Antonio, making a compelling argument for becoming a permanent fixture in the Warriors' starting five.

Kerr is not ready to make the that move, but, after the spark he gave Golden State last time out, Poole could play a more prominent role in a game that may yet be a preview of the Western Conference Finals if the Warriors can get back on track.
 

KEY BATTLE - Can Warriors find a winning bench combination?

The main issue with the Warriors does not concern their starting five, but their youthful bench.

Indeed, the Warriors' bench has an average plus-minus of minus 4.9, the worst in the NBA, their issues in that regard exemplified by Golden State sending former second overall pick James Wiseman to the G-League.

By contrast, the Suns' bench ranks sixth in the league with an average plus-minus of plus-1.5. If the Warriors cannot find a way to narrow that gap, it could be another difficult night for the champions.


HEAD TO HEAD

The Warriors and Suns split the season series in 2021-22, each winning once at home and once on the road. Recent history favours the Suns, though, with the Warriors having lost five of their last seven against Phoenix on the road, including the blowout defeat in Arizona last month.

Steve Kerr hailed the "pretty amazing" performance of Jordan Poole as the Golden State Warriors routed the San Antonio Spurs but is not planning changes to his starting line-up at this point.

Poole had endured an indifferent start to the season but was influential in Monday's 132-95 win, which saw Klay Thompson rested.

Finishing with a season-best 36 points on the back of 13-for-20 shooting and five three-pointers, Poole was sat down with a little over eight minutes remaining and earned an ovation from the home crowd at Chase Center.

"Jordan was pretty amazing offensively," Warriors head coach Kerr said. "He got it rolling right away."

This was the Warriors' best performance of the season and one that sees the defending champions improve to 6-8 in a campaign that has yet to truly catch fire.

However, Kerr said any thoughts of bumping Poole permanently into the starting five at the expense of Thompson are a little premature.

"No, it's not something I'm thinking about," Kerr said. 

"Our starting five with Klay has been really good this year. The bigger thing is finding the right combinations off the bench."

Poole's performance came on an even more special night, given it coincided with the launch of his "Poole Party" bobblehead.

"I love it, it's absolutely amazing. It's my first one. It's really a special accomplishment. It’s an honour. I'm glad it came out the way it did," he said.

It was also confirmed on Monday that James Wiseman will spend some time with Golden State's G League affiliate, the Santa Cruz Warriors.

The number two overall pick in the 2020 draft had not played in any of the three games prior to the Spurs win, where he had two points, two rebounds and three assists in eight minutes.

Wiseman's career in the NBA has been somewhat stop-start with this just his 50th game in three years. Having appeared in 27 during his rookie year, he missed the entirety of last season due to complications from a meniscus injury - bar three outings in the G League.

Asked about the decision, Kerr said: "He needs reps. He needs to play. It's not easy when you don't get minutes."

Wiseman said he is not viewing the call as a step back.

"I don't look at this as a demotion. I'm just ready to go out there and hoop," he said.

It was a move that proved beneficial for Poole earlier in this career. He played 11 games in the 2020-21 season with Santa Cruz, averaging 22.4 points, and had some words of encouragement for his team-mate.

"I'm telling [Wiseman] this is not a demotion. This is not a punishment," Poole said. 

"I'm telling him to go down there and take 50 shots, be aggressive, get techs, hang on the rim, do it all. Just so he can understand what he wants to be at the highest level. This is just a step in that direction."

It was not Jimmy Butler's best offensive game of the season, but he was crucial in their narrow 113-112 home win against the Phoenix Suns on Monday.

The Suns led 102-89 with just eight minutes remaining, before Heat center Bam Adebayo took over, scoring 12 points to ignite a 24-10 run to close the contest.

Adebayo's two free throws with 35 seconds on the clock gave the Heat the lead, but an offensive rebound on the Suns' next possession would give Devin Booker a chance to win the game.

Pulling up from mid-range, Booker was blanketed by five-time NBA All-Defensive selection Butler for a game-winning blocked shot.

Adebayo led the way scoring the ball for Miami, finishing with a game-high 30 points on nine-of-18 shooting and 10 rebounds, but Butler was doing everything else, chipping in 13 rebounds, seven assists, a steal and the decisive block to go with his 16 points (five-of-12 shooting).

Booker played well for the Suns, posting a team-high 25 points on 11-of-22 shooting with eight rebounds, five assists and three steals, while Duane Washington Jr caught fire off the bench for 21 points (eight-of-14) in 19 minutes.

The win pulls the Heat's record even at 7-7, while the Suns are still in a good position at 8-5.

Tatum leads Celtics comeback

Jayson Tatum flashed incredible defensive ability in the Boston Celtics' 126-122 come-from-behind win against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Young Thunder star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander continued his ridiculous start to the season, eclipsing 30 points for the ninth time in 14 games. He had 37 points on 13-of-26 shooting with eight assists, raising his averages to 31.1 points, 5.7 assists and 4.4 rebounds while shooting 54.3 per cent from the field.

But Tatum and running-mate Jaylen Brown were too much in the fourth quarter, leading a 37-26 final frame to swing the game in their favour. Tatum had 27 points on nine-of-23 shooting, but he was even better defensively, snatching three steals and blocking three shots.

Dalano Banton makes the most of his Raptors start

A second-round pick from the 2021 NBA Draft, Toronto Raptors point-forward Dalano Banton was tremendous in his side's 115-111 triumph on the road against the Detroit Pistons.

In his first start of the season due to Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam and Gary Trent Jr all missing through injuries, the six-foot-seven Banton scored a game-high 27 points on nine-of-16 shooting, adding four rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks in his 25 minutes.

The Raptors are now 8-7, and will be considered a threat in the Eastern Conference once fully healthy.

Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers has never seen anything like Joel Embiid's performance at both ends in Sunday's 105-98 win over the Utah Jazz.

Embiid scored a career-best 59 points, with a joint career-high seven blocks, along with 11 rebounds and eight assists.

The Cameroonian scored 26 of Philadelphia's 27 final quarter points and more than half their total score, a feat not achieved in the NBA since Damian Lillard in 2019.

"I've seen a guy score a lot of points," Rivers told reporters. "I haven't seen guys score a lot of points, rebound, and then the blocked shots. That was impressive.

"He was just getting everything. I've never seen a more dominating performance when you combine defense and offense."

Embiid's teammates were left in awe too, with Matisse Thybulle labelling his stat line as "pretty ridiculous".

"It’s absurd. Actually, my friends were texting me after the game and they were like 'It's like a 2K stat line' and it's not one of those things you see in a real basketball game," Thybulle said.

"It's like when you pick one player on 2K and just do everything with him. It's pretty ridiculous if I'm being honest. It's amazing."

Embiid's 59 points is the best in the NBA this season, exceeding Darius Garland's mark of 51 set earlier on Sunday in the Cleveland Cavaliers' 129-124 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Despite his monstrous performance, Embiid played down the significance of his individual display.

"This is not about me. We did it as a team," the 28-year-old center said. "Obviously, the coaches put me in those positions, and obviously, my teammates fed me the ball. I thought we had great spacing around everything we were doing.

"Like I said, all the credit goes to my teammates just being in the right spots and trusting me and giving me the ball."

Embiid shot 19-of-28 from the field including making a three-pointer, which reinforced to him that it was going to be his game.

"When I finally made a three [I knew it was going to be a big game] because I’ve been shooting the ball so bad this year from three," he said.

"It was early in the game. I saw how they were guarding me. Just like last night, I'll take that every night. If they’re not gonna double team as much, I hope every team does it so I'll take it, but from the beginning... Obviously, in the fourth quarter with the game being so close, I just wanted to do whatever it took."

Joel Embiid flexed his muscles with arguably the best game of his career, with a season-best 59-point haul in the Philadelphia 76ers' 105-98 victory over the Utah Jazz on Sunday.

Embiid was dominant in every facet, with his 59 points coming on 19-of-28 shooting, making 20-of-24 from the stripe, while having 11 rebounds, eight assists and seven blocks.

The Sixers center is the first player since blocks became official in 1973-74, to record 50-plus points, 10-plus rebounds, five-plus assists and five-plus blocks in a game.

Embiid is also the first player since Damian Lillard in 2019 to have more than half of his team's points in a game.

The Cameroonian erupted in the fourth quarter with 26 points, taking him into fifth spot for the best scoring performances in franchise history. It was a career-best points haul for 28-year-old Embiid.

Tyrese Maxey was Philadelphia's next best with 18 points and four steals, with James Harden still out with a foot injury.

The Jazz had no answers to Embiid, who had scored 42 points on Saturday against the Atlanta Hawks, with Malik Beasley scoring 18 off the bench while Lauri Markkanen had 15 points with 10 rebounds.

Garland briefly holds season-high points haul

Darius Garland piled on 27 fourth-quarter points for a career-high 51 points, but he could not lift the Cleveland Cavaliers past the Minnesota Timberwolves, losing 129-124.

Garland's 51 points, which included 10 triples, was briefly a league season-high, before Embiid's monster game for the Sixers.

The Timberwolves led by 24 points late in the third before the Cavs rallied, led by Garland, who became the fourth Cleveland player to reach 50 points.

Karl-Anthony Towns scored 29 points with 13 rebounds, while D'Angelo Russell added 30 points with 12 assists.

AD lifts Lakers without LeBron to snap skid

Anthony Davis stepped up in LeBron James' absence, scoring 37 points with 18 rebounds as the Los Angeles Lakers snapped their five-game losing run with a 116-103 win over the Brooklyn Nets.

Davis shot 15-of-25 from the field, while bringing down 10 offensive rebounds among his 18 for the game, with Lonnie Walker adding 25 points, making four-of-five from beyond the arc.

Kevin Durant was a lone hand on offense for the Nets with Seth Curry, Ben Simmons and Kyrie Irving all absent. Durant scored 31 points with nine rebounds and seven assists.

Meanwhile, Stephen Curry hit 27 points as the Golden State Warriors' winless road run (0-7) extended to 0-7 after being downed 122-115 by the Sacramento Kings.

Joel Embiid flexed his muscles with arguably the best game of his career, with a season-best 59-point haul in the Philadelphia 76ers' 105-98 victory over the Utah Jazz on Sunday.

Embiid was dominant in every facet, with his 59 points coming on 19-of-28 shooting, making 20-of-24 from the stripe, while having 11 rebounds, eight assists and seven blocks.

The Sixers center is the first player since blocks became official in 1973-74, to record 50-plus points, 10-plus rebounds, five-plus assists and five-plus blocks in a game.

Embiid is also the first player since Damian Lillard in 2019 to have more than half of his team's points in a game.

The Cameroonian erupted in the fourth quarter with 26 points, taking him into fifth spot for the best scoring performances in franchise history. It was a career-best points haul for 28-year-old Embiid.

Tyrese Maxey was Philadelphia's next best with 18 points and four steals, with James Harden still out with a foot injury.

The Jazz had no answers to Embiid, who had scored 42 points on Saturday against the Atlanta Hawks, with Malik Beasley scoring 18 off the bench while Lauri Markkanen had 15 points with 10 rebounds.

Garland briefly holds season-high points haul

Darius Garland piled on 27 fourth-quarter points for a career-high 51 points, but he could not lift the Cleveland Cavaliers past the Minnesota Timberwolves, losing 129-124.

Garland's 51 points, which included 10 triples, was briefly a league season-high, before Embiid's monster game for the Sixers.

The Timberwolves led by 24 points late in the third before the Cavs rallied, led by Garland, who became the fourth Cleveland player to reach 50 points.

Karl-Anthony Towns scored 29 points with 13 rebounds, while D'Angelo Russell added 30 points with 12 assists.

AD lifts Lakers without LeBron to snap skid

Anthony Davis stepped up in LeBron James' absence, scoring 37 points with 18 rebounds as the Los Angeles Lakers snapped their five-game losing run with a 116-103 win over the Brooklyn Nets.

Davis shot 15-of-25 from the field, while bringing down 10 offensive rebounds among his 18 for the game, with Lonnie Walker adding 25 points, making four-of-five from beyond the arc.

Kevin Durant was a lone hand on offense for the Nets with Seth Curry, Ben Simmons and Kyrie Irving all absent. Durant scored 31 points with nine rebounds and seven assists.

Meanwhile, Stephen Curry hit 27 points as the Golden State Warriors' winless road run (0-7) extended to 0-7 after being downed 122-115 by the Sacramento Kings.

Kyrie Irving remains suspended by the Brooklyn Nets for his sharing of problematic material on Twitter, and he took to the social media platform again on Sunday in an attempt to explain himself.

Irving, 30, played a career-low 29 games last season as he took a stand against New York's vaccine mandate, and he has a list of tasks to complete before he can return to the floor for this campaign.

The former champion with the 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers is facing intense backlash after sharing a film containing anti-semitic conspiracies, and when initially asked to apologise, he refused, instead choosing to dance around the subject without taking accountability.

Irving eventually did issue an apology after his suspension was announced, and he vaguely tweeted again on Sunday in defense of his character.

"I was not put here on earth to participate in any religious/political wars or incite racial disharmony/prejudice within communities," he wrote.

"We are all equal under the sun and I am here to participate in the building of an Equal world and follow the Word from the Most High/GOD/YAH."

Irving has met with league commissioner Adam Silver, who is Jewish, and still has to meet with Jewish leaders in order to fulfil the requirements set before he can begin the process of returning to play.

Kevin Durant insists suspended Brooklyn Nets teammate Kyrie Irving's spirit is high despite there being no timetable on his return to the side.

Irving was handed an indefinite team-imposed suspension by the Nets, for at least five games, after the seven-time All-Star shared an allegedly antisemitic film and book on social media a fortnight ago.

The Nets point guard's minimum five-game ban elapsed after Brooklyn won 110-95 over the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday.

Brooklyn owner Joe Tsai put out a statement on Friday stating that "the Nets and Kyrie, together with the NBA and NBPA, are working constructively toward a process of forgiveness, healing and education". Irving met with Tsai this week along with NBA commissioner Adam Silver as they move toward a resolution on the saga.

Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn confirmed that Irving would not play in Sunday's game with the Los Angeles Lakers and added there was no timetable for his return.

"The good thing is Joe put out that statement that shows where the collaboration or alignment is right now," Vaughn told reporters. "I have no idea or timetable at all.

"I do know not available [for Sunday], I have been told that. So I can give you that."

Durant, who top scored with 27 points against the Clippers, said he was eager for Irving to return to the court and move on from the episode.

"His spirit is high," Durant told reporters about Irving. "[He's] looking forward to playing again. He's a gamer. He loves to play. Hopefully all this stuff is over with, we can move past it and get him back on the floor soon.

"That's been out of our control. And as players we try to lock in on the game, practices. We just try to lock in and whenever that figures itself out, it will. That's over a lot of our heads right now so we just got to control what we can."

The Nets showed they can win without Irving, claiming victories in four of the five games he has missed during this ban, with Seth Curry popping up with 22 points off the bench against the Clippers following off-season ankle surgery.

Durant added: "We're going to have to be one of those teams that any given night, somebody will have to step up and make huge plays for us.

"Obviously we're missing [Irving], so we're going to have to look for where those points are going to come from. I think the guys are doing it as a group."

The Brooklyn Nets secured their third win from their past four games led by Kevin Durant and Seth Curry as they pulled away late to secure a 110-95 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday.

Durant top scored with 27 points along with six rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks, while Curry drained four three-pointers in his 22 points off the bench. Nic Claxton also had 13 points with 14 rebounds.

Curry scored 14 points with two assists in the fourth quarter as the Nets extended their four-point lead with a 35-24 final period.

The Nets, who confirmed the permanent appointment of Jacque Vaughn as head coach on Wednesday, were excellent defensively again, keeping their opposition below 100 points for the fifth straight game.

For the Clippers, who were still without Kawhi Leonard due to knee stiffness, Paul George scored 17 points with four rebounds and four assists, while Ivica Zubac added 16 points with 15 rebounds.

Nets guard Edmond Sumner (11 points, four assists and three steals) reached double-figure scoring for the third time in five games since stepping into the starting lineup in place of Kyrie Irving for a team-imposed suspension.

Irving's five-game minimum suspension has now ended but Vaughn confirmed he would not play in Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Lakers. The victory starts the Nets' four-game road trip in style, improving Brooklyn to 6-7 on the season, while the Clippers are 7-6.

Doncic responds after form dip

Luka Doncic responded to his drop-off in form with 42 points as part of a triple-double as the Dallas Mavericks won 117-112 over the Portland Trail Blazers.

Doncic had started the season with an historic run of nine 30-point games, but that was halted in the past two games, both where he scored less than 30.

The Slovenian guard turned that around on 13-of-22 field shooting, also making 15-of-18 from the stripe, along with 13 rebounds, 10 assists and two steals.

Tatum and Embiid both score 40-plus

Jayson Tatum reached 40 points for the 13th time in his career, the third most in Boston Celtics history, as he scored 43 points in their 117-108 win over the Detroit Pistons.

Tatum finished with 43 points, including seven three-pointers, along with 10 rebounds and three assists. The Celtics small forward scored 28 of his points in a dominant first half.

Joel Embiid produced a season-best scoring return of 42 points as the Philadelphia 76ers triumphed 121-109 over the Atlanta Hawks after a brilliant first-half shooting display.

Last year's top overall NBA Draft pick Cade Cunningham will miss at least the next four games for the Detroit Pistons due to left shin soreness.

The Pistons made that announcement prior to Saturday's 117-108 loss to the Boston Celtics, with the 21-year-old point guard to be re-evaluated in a week.

Cunningham is averaging 19.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game this season for the Pistons who are 3-11.

The former Oklahoma State guard failed to score double digits for the first time this season in his last outing, Wednesday's 128-112 loss to the Boston Celtics.

The second-year guard only played a season-low 24 minutes in Wednesday's game and finished with four points on one-of-11 shooting.

Steph Curry has "never been better" as he pulls the Golden State Warriors out of a "rut", head coach Steve Kerr said.

Having earlier this week dropped 47 points to help the Warriors defeat the Sacramento Kings and end a five-match losing streak, Curry was influential as Golden State rallied to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 106-101 on Friday.

Curry finished with 40 points, making 18 in the final quarter and going 15-of-23 shooting including 6-of-11 from three-point range.

With 1:18 left on the clock, Curry drained a three to tie the game then - having hit the go-ahead lay-up - landed another from downtown to get the Warriors over the line.

"You run out of adjectives to describe Steph's play," Kerr said of his star man.

"He's just amazing night after night. Given the circumstances with our team kind of in a rut, trying to dig our way out of a hole, he's just been spectacular. He's never been better, I can say that.

"He's in such great shape. If there's one area that he's dramatically better now than when I first got here eight years ago it's just his strength and conditioning.

"He's much bigger and stronger, much more capable of defending at a really high level and sustaining two-way basketball for an entire game and just knocking down shots from all over and finishing at the rim. He's unbelievable."

Curry has now scored at least 10 points in the final quarter on six occasions this season for a Warriors team who are 5-7 as they aim to defend their NBA Championship this season.

Asked if he can explain his strong finishes, Curry said: "I classify it as being aggressive.

"Obviously shots have to fall but it's about having aggressive attacks off of pick-and-roll, getting other guys involved, getting to the paint and finishing, coming out shooting. 

"A lot of confidence carried over from our playoff run last year. It's understanding the balance of playmaking and scoring."

Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry scored 18 of his game-high 40 points in the fourth quarter of his team's 106-101 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday.

After scoring a season-high 47 points on 17-of-24 shooting (70.8 per cent) in Monday's home win against the Sacramento Kings, Curry electrified the Chase Center crowd once more for consecutive 40-plus point performances.

Despite his final figures against the Cavaliers, the visitors actually led 72-62 with less than three minutes remaining in the third quarter. The Warriors closed the game on a 46-29 run.

The Warriors trailed 98-95 with 90 seconds remaining, before Curry proceeded to hit two three-pointers, a two-pointer and two free throws to ice the game.

He finished a terrific 15-of-23 (65.2 per cent) from the field, hitting six-of-11 threes while adding five assists and two turnovers.

Andrew Wiggins chipped in 20 points (eight-of-13 shooting), Draymond Green had season-highs in assists (13) and rebounds (9), and Jordan Poole rediscovered some form with 18 points (six-of-13) off the bench.

Donovan Mitchell continued his strong start in a Cavaliers uniform as he put up 29 points (10-of-20), 10 rebounds and nine assists, posting a plus/minus of plus seven in his 37 minutes. 

Morant outduels Edwards in Grizzlies win

Ja Morant and Anthony Edwards faced off in one of the NBA's most entertaining matchups, but it was Morant's Memphis Grizzlies coming out on top against the Minnesota Timberwolves for a 114-103 home win.

Both young stars finished with 28 points, with Edwards shooting a superior 10-of-16 compared to Morant's 11-of-25, but Morant added 10 rebounds, eight assists and two steals, while Edwards had six rebounds and six assists.

Timberwolves' franchise-player Karl-Anthony Towns struggled with foul trouble all game, fouling out with 13 points and 10 rebounds in 26 minutes.

Barrett, Brunson put on a show at Madison Square Garden

The New York Knicks' backcourt was everything their fans have been hoping for in a 121-112 home win against the Detroit Pistons.

Former third-overall draft pick R.J. Barrett scored a season-high 30 points on 10-of-17 shooting (three-of-eight from deep), with five rebounds and five assists, while his running-mate and recent trade acquisition Jalen Brunson was just as good.

Brunson scored 26 points on eight-of-16 shooting, adding a team-high seven assists and a game-high four steals.

The win boosts the Knicks' home record to 4-2, and pulls them to 6-6 overall. 

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