Eight-time All-Star Kyrie Irving wants to be traded by the Brooklyn Nets before the February 9 deadline, it was reported on Friday.

The 30-year-old point guard has told the Nets of his intentions, with Irving looking for a change after four years with the team.

According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, Irving has told the Nets he wants to leave now in a trade, otherwise he will depart in free agency in July.

The Nets were destroyed 139-96 by the Boston Celtics on Wednesday, with Irving on the team, and they sit fourth in the Eastern Conference with a 31-20 record.

They have lost seven of their last 11 games during Kevin Durant's injury absence.

Irving has averaged 27.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.3 assists this season, in keeping with his form from recent campaigns.

Reports have said the Nets have seen no need to rush talks over a contract extension for Irving, who scored a season-high 48 points in a win over the Utah Jazz on January 20.

The first overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft spent his formative years with the Cleveland Cavaliers, winning a championship in 2016 and becoming a near lock-in for All-Star recognition.

He then spent two years with the Celtics before arriving in Brooklyn in free agency in July 2019, signing a four-year contract.

Now it remains to be seen whether teams are in a position to move for Irving, and whether those that are keen figure in Irving's own plans, with time at a premium.

The Nets are next in action on Saturday when they face the 24-26 Washington Wizards.

Boston Celtics' Robert Williams says team-mates Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are using last year's close call as motivation to win the NBA Championship this time around.

Tatum and Brown were scintillating as the Celtics cruised to an emphatic 139-96 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday.

The duo became the first team-mates in franchise history to each make seven three-pointers in the same game, doing so in just three quarters, while Tatum's plus-42 heading into halftime saw him better Kevin Garnett's Celtics record for a single-half plus/minus.

Tatum finished with a game-leading 31 points as well as nine rebounds and four assists, while Brown had 26 points, three assists and three rebounds. It was the eighth time this campaign that the pair have each accumulated 25 points or more.

Williams added a useful 16 points and nine rebounds from just 19 minutes of action, and he said Tatum and Brown are "carrying the team" as they look to make amends for last year's NBA Finals defeat to the Golden State Warriors.

"They take all criticism. They take all the 'he said, she said'," Williams said.

"But I love how they've been responding. Feel like they're hungry, really. You know what I'm saying? Still p***** about last year."

Only Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks (1,538) has more points on the board than Tatum's 1,493 this season, while the latter's 31.1 points per game average is a career-best.

Tatum, for his part, feels the sustained level of performance from Brown and himself has been overdue as he noted "it's not done" until the Celtics clinch their first championship since 2008.

He told reporters: "It's been a long time coming. We've had our good times and not-so-good times, but I think those are just growing pains.

"We were just 19-year-old kids that came into the league hungry and trying to help our team win. We've had to learn how to play in this league, learn how to play with each other, learn how to lead the team.

"I feel like we're still a long way ultimately from where exactly we want to be, but we've made amazing strides from the beginning.

"You can tell we were ready to go from the jump. We've still got a long way to go. It's not done until we win a championship."

It was the first time in franchise history that Boston, who top the Eastern Conference with a league-best 37-15 record, outscored their opponent by at least 30 points in the first quarter, in which they scored 46 points before going on to record their biggest victory of the season.

Nets star Kyrie Irving, whose 20 points was a team-high for Brooklyn, felt there was little his side could do as they slumped to their heaviest loss since a 44-point defeat to the Portland Trail Blazers in February 2014.

"It's clear as day that they want to win the championship, and they're not wasting any time in the regular season," Irving said. "Tonight I felt like we were just one of those teams in the way, and you know, we just can't be one of those teams in the way.

"We've got to be one of those teams that stands up to them and at least shows them that we're going to be competition for them moving forward, which I believe we are. But we just didn't show it."

The Brooklyn Nets fell to their worst loss in nine years after a hugely one-sided first quarter teed the Boston Celtics up for a 139-96 win.

The Nets had lost their previous two games against the Celtics this year, but this was by some margin the worst of the lot.

A 43-point loss was the Nets' heaviest since losing by 44 against the Portland Trail Blazers in February 2014.

Brooklyn never gave themselves a chance after being outscored by 30 in the first quarter, shooting one of 12 from the field to start as shot after shot went in at the other end.

The Nets' 23.1 per cent three-point shooting over the game stood in stark contrast to the Celtics' 48.1 per cent as Jayson Tatum (31 points) and Jaylen Brown (26 points) made seven threes apiece.

The pair were the first Boston team-mates to each make seven threes in the same game in franchise history, and the huge lead even allowed them to sit the fourth quarter.

Former Celtic Kyrie Irving was one of seven from beyond the arc on his way to 20 points and a plus/minus of minus-31.

No let-up from Lillard

Another big performance from Damian Lillard saw Portland rally to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 122-112.

Lillard scored 42 points, including a stunning seven-point play early in the third quarter, along with his 10 assists and eight rebounds.

The point guard has now topped 30 points in five straight games as the Blazers have gone 4-1 and 11 of 13 games going back to early January.

Swift revenge for Sixers

The Philadelphia 76ers had suffered a shock loss in their previous game at home to the Orlando Magic two days earlier, but a rematch went according to plan.

Joel Embiid, the bright spot in that loss, was again influential with 28 points and 11 rebounds in a 105-94 win.

Markelle Fultz, Embiid's former Sixers team-mate, had celebrated victory on his first return to Philadelphia and again tried to lift the Magic in this loss, finishing with a team-high 18 points on seven-of-11 shooting.

Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets will travel to Boston on Wednesday to take on the Celtics in a tantalising clash between Eastern Conference contenders.

The Celtics, at 36-15, currently boast the best record in the NBA, while the 31-19 Nets occupy the fourth seed. 

Fresh off a trip to the NBA Finals, Boston have looked like genuine contenders since the opening day, building an elite, championship-level statistical profile.

Almost without fail, the eventual champion will show signs of elite play on at least one side of the ball throughout the regular season. Last year's champions, the Golden State Warriors built their identity on a top-two defense; the 2021 Milwaukee Bucks had a top-five offense and top-10 defense; the 2020 Los Angeles Lakers owned the third-best defense.

This year's Celtics side are currently in the rare air of sitting top-five in both offensive and defensive efficiency, guided by two no-brainer All-Stars on the wing with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, as well as reigning Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart and fellow All-Defensive selection Robert Williams III.

While games and series can often be decided by which team has the singular best player, the Celtics have been buoyed by the continued ascent of Tatum, who is now a legitimate MVP candidate.

This season the 24-year-old is averaging career-highs in points (31.1 per game), rebounds (8.7), assists (4.4), field goal makes (10.1) and attempts (21.8), three-point makes (3.3) and attempts (9.3), free throw makes (7.6) and attempts (8.8) – all while shooting his best field goal percentage (46.5) since his rookie season and a career-best 86.9 per cent from the free throw line.

The Celtics' elite record, profile and talent, combined with the fact they will be playing in front of their home fans will have them as favourites on Wednesday – but Irving and the Nets present a frisky opposition.

It is without question that the Nets have entered a mini tailspin since Kevin Durant suffered a knee injury against the Miami Heat on January 8. Brooklyn were 27-13 at the time but have won only four of their 10 games since.

Their ranks as the fifth-best offense and 10th-best defense for the season are both tumbling due to this past stretch, where both units have been the definition of mediocre, ranking 19th on offense and 18th defensively.

That is no fault of former Celtic Irving, who is enjoying a tremendous run of personal form. He has posted seven consecutive outings of at least 26 points and six assists, and after the Nets dropped their first four games of Durant's absence, they responded with four wins from their next six.

Also playing into Brooklyn's favour is the fact they are the NBA's second-best team away from home this season, while their 16-11 mark on the road is only bettered by the Celtics at 17-9.

Unfortunately for the Nets, Boston have also had little trouble at home. They own the fifth-best home record (19-6), and their overtime defeat against the New York Knicks on Thursday was their first loss at TD Garden since December 21.

PIVOTAL PERFORMERS

Boston Celtics – Malcolm Brogdon and Derrick White

Simply put, with Durant out of action, the Nets only have one superstar on the offensive end, and the Celtics have the perfect player to make Irving's life miserable. Or at least they normally would.

Smart became the first guard to win Defensive Player of the Year since 'The Glove' Gary Payton back in the 1995-96 season, and his impact on Irving has been evident in recent matchups – but he will miss this fixture as he recovers from an ankle injury.

Malcolm Brogdon – one of the favourites for Sixth Man of the Year – will take his place as the top defensive guard in the line-up, with help from Derrick White, and together they will aim to pick up where Smart left off.

In his past four games against the Celtics, Irving has only reached 20 points once, finishing with the following shooting performances: four-of-19, eight-of-18, seven-of-21 and nine-of-24.

Brooklyn Nets – Bench shooters

While Irving is the obvious focal point and the engine that will make the Nets run, they will likely need one of their shooters off the bench to get hot.

In their win against the Lakers on Monday, second-year spark plug Cam Thomas and veteran Patty Mills scored 21 points each while combining to shoot eight-of-11 from long range. The previous game, a rivalry victory against the New York Knicks, the trio of Thomas, Edmond Sumner and Yuta Watanabe combined to hit six-of-six three-pointers.

Watanabe in particular could be a game-changer, as he is shooting 49 per cent from deep – the best figure in the league among players averaging at least one attempt per game.

KEY BATTLE – How will Brooklyn slow down the Boston wings?

As previously discussed, the Nets have been a top-10 defense this season, but they will definitely be without the seven-foot Durant, and will likely also be missing six-foot-10 former Defensive Player of the Year runner-up Ben Simmons and six-foot-eight T.J. Warren.

It leaves them woefully undermanned when it comes to defending the All-Star duo of Tatum and Brown, and while Tatum is the exact kind of matchup Brooklyn had in mind when they traded a first-round pick to Utah for Royce O'Neale, they will likely be stuck with Joe Harris on Brown.

Watanabe, at six-foot-eight, and perhaps even six-foot-nine veteran Markieff Morris will get a chance off the bench, but the rest of Brooklyn's perimeter options are simply too small.

HEAD-TO-HEAD

Since the beginning of February 2022, the Celtics are undefeated in nine meetings against the Nets, including a clean 4-0 sweep in the first round of last season's playoffs.

Boston have won both head-to-head matchups this campaign by 11 points – one with Durant playing, and one with him out.

LeBron James and Anthony Davis have been ruled out of the Los Angeles Lakers' game at the Brooklyn Nets on Monday.

James is dealing with left ankle soreness, while Davis has a right foot stress injury, the team confirmed the day before the game.

Both men played in Saturday's overtime loss to the Boston Celtics, in which James scored 41 points.

For James, his absence in Brooklyn may well mean a historic NBA moment comes in front of a home crowd in Los Angeles.

The four-time MVP now has 38,271 career regular season points, putting him just 116 behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's all-time record.

Averaging 30.2 points per game this season, James would only require four more games to pass Abdul-Jabbar at his current rate of scoring.

The Lakers have four games in this coming week – all on the road.

After that, the Lakers return to Staples Center on February 7 to play the Oklahoma City Thunder in a game in which James will likely be targeting the record.

LeBron James' 41 points were not enough to prevent his Los Angeles Lakers from going down 125-121 in a controversial overtime loss on the road against the Boston Celtics.

In the latest edition of the league's most decorated rivalry, James was a man on a mission, finishing 15-of-30 from the field, six-of-12 from deep and five-of-six from the free throw line as the only Lakers player to score more than 16.

He added nine rebounds and eight assists, and he should have been awarded potential game-winning free throws after he was clearly hit on the arm while driving for a layup with under a second remaining in regulation.

But the Celtics got the call in Boston, and it would be Jaylen Brown stepping up in the extra period to deliver a win for the home fans.

Brown scored 11 of his team-high 37 points in overtime, finishing 13-of-23 from the field with nine rebounds, picking up the slack for team-mate and MVP candidate Jayson Tatum.

Tatum had a respectable stat line of 30 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and two steals, but he shot a dismal eight-of-25 from the field, while Sixth Man of the Year contender Malcolm Brodgon chipped in a game-changing 25 points (eight-of-15), six rebounds, four assists and two steals off the bench.

For the Lakers, it was Anthony Davis' second game back after five-and-a-half weeks on the sideline dealing with a foot injury, and he came off the bench again for 16 points (six-of-15), 10 rebounds and four assists in 34 minutes.

The win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Celtics, and improved their league-leading record to 36-15. 

The Lakers fell to 23-27, and although they sit 13th in the Western Conference, they are only three games behind the Minnesota Timberwolves in the sixth seed.

Clippers extend winning streak to five

The Los Angeles Clippers are enjoying their longest winning streak of the season after making it five in a row with Saturday's 120-113 victory against the Atlanta Hawks.

The Clippers were led by their resurgent two-time NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, who scored a game-high 32 points on 12-of-20 shooting while adding eight rebounds and four assists.

There were fears Leonard's prime had been stolen from him by injuries after scoring a total of 50 points in his first five games of this campaign, but over his past 10 fixtures he sits eighth overall in points per game at 29.3.

Over that span he is shooting 55.6 per cent from the field, 47.2 per cent from deep and 92.5 per cent from the free throw line while adding 7.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.9 steals per game, improving the Clippers' record to 28-24.

Kyrie stays red-hot in New York showdown

Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving posted his sixth consecutive game with at least 30 points and six assists to defeat the New York Knicks 122-115 at home.

Irving, who was named an All-Star starter mid-week, scored a game-high 32 points on 12-of-27 shooting with nine assists, six rebounds and two steals.

Over his past six games, his 36.3 points per game is eclipsed only by Portland Trail Blazers icon Damian Lillard (38.3), while Irving's 7.8 assists would also be a new career-high as he shoulders a massive workload in the absence of injured superstar Kevin Durant.

Stephen Curry and Joel Embiid have both been fined $25,000 in separate on-court incidents from Wednesday's game, the NBA announced on Friday.

Reigning NBA Finals MVP Curry was fined for "throwing his mouthpiece into the spectator stands" during Wednesday's 122-120 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies.

Curry was ejected for the act, which came out of frustration after not receiving a pass from Golden State Warriors team-mate Jordan Poole, occurring with 1:14 remaining in the fourth quarter.

It was the third ejection of Curry's career, all involving his mouthpiece, having thrown it at a referee in 2017.

"He knows he can't make that mistake again," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after the game.

Philadelphia 76ers center Embiid was fined for "making an obscene gesture on the playing court" during their 137-133 win over the Brooklyn Nets, where Ben Simmons returned to face his former side at a wound-up Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday.

The incident occurred when Embiid celebrated making a layup and earning a foul shot by emulating a gesture made by WWE wrestlers Shawn Michaels and Triple H.

Nets forward Kevin Durant, who was watching from afar due to an MCL sprain, described the act as a "trash celebration" on Twitter at the time.

The Brooklyn Nets are having their 'next man up' mentality pushed to the limit after Ben Simmons and T.J. Warren both left Thursday's 130-122 loss against the Detroit Pistons with knee injuries.

Brooklyn are already without MVP candidate Kevin Durant as he recovers from an MCL sprain in his right knee, while bench spark plug Seth Curry also missed Thursday's game with soreness in his right knee.

Their injury situation went from bad to worse against the Pistons as Simmons exited the game in the third quarter and did not return due to left knee soreness, before Warren suffered a left knee contusion and was taken out in the fourth quarter.

Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn said after the game that he is unsure whether one or both would undergo MRI scans on Friday, and while both injuries appear minor, it is unknown if they will be able to suit up for Saturday's rivalry game against the New York Knicks.

Despite the loss, it was an impressive day for Kyrie Irving, who was named an All-Star starter before dropping a game-high 40 points (14-of-27 shooting) with six assists, five rebounds, two blocks and two steals.

Speaking to the media after his performance, Irving said he would do all he can to keep the Nets afloat, but lamented the uncertainty the team faces in their next stretch after losing six of their past eight fixtures.

"I can't control everyone's emotions day-to-day, as much as I see myself as one of the leaders of our team," he said. 

"But what I can show is just a consistency to continue to work on off-days, and after the games, and before the games, and just continue to prepare at a very high level. 

"Whoever's available for us to play will be available and we just move onto the next game. As much as I would love to sit up here and give you guys a nice diatribe of what it looks like in the future, I just don't know.

"T.J. being out, Ben being out, so we just got to take it one day at a time, and we just want those guys to get healthy –  that's the most important thing. We just got to carry our own water right now. Chop wood, carry water."

Despite their recent rough patch, the Nets still sit fourth in the Eastern Conference with a record of 29-19 thanks to a 12-game winning streak before Durant's injury.

The New York Knicks rode terrific performances from the dynamic duo of Julius Randle and Jalen Brunson to a 120-117 overtime victory on the road against the Boston Celtics on Thursday.

Randle, who is on track to make his second All-Star team, scored a game-high 37 points on 13-of-25 shooting while grabbing nine rebounds. His partner-in-crime, Brunson, led both teams with seven assists to go with 29 points on 12-of-25 shooting.

For the Celtics, Jayson Tatum had a team-high 35 points on 12-of-26 shooting, including the game-tying basket with 48 seconds remaining to force overtime at 110-110.

Randle and team-mate R.J. Barrett scored five points each in the extra session to pull away for the win, improving to 27-23 overall, which includes the league's second-best road record (15-10). The only team with a better record away from home this season is the Celtics (17-9).

In his fifth start of the season, second-year Knicks center Jericho Sims grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds as he continues to fill-in for the injured Mitchell Robinson, while Immanuel Quickley chipped in 17 points (seven-of-12 shooting) off the bench.

Pistons ruin Kyrie's big night

Kyrie Irving's 40 points were not enough to prevent his Brooklyn Nets from going down 130-122 at home against the Detroit Pistons.

After being named an All-Star starter earlier in the day, Irving shot 14-of-27 from the field while adding six assists, five rebounds, two steals and two blocks.

But the Pistons had eight of their nine players reach double-figures in a well-rounded display, led by Saddiq Bey with a team-high 25 points (10-of-19 shooting), while highly rated rookie point guard Jaden Ivey had a game-high eight assists with his 16 points and two steals.

The Nets have now lost six of their past eight fixtures to slip to 29-19 as they desperately await the return of Kevin Durant from injury.

Cavs pile on the punishment

The Houston Rockets were relegated to their 20th loss from their past 22 outings as the Cleveland Cavaliers came into town and left 113-95 victors.

Darius Garland scored a game-high 26 points (nine-of-16 shooting) with nine assists and four steals to lead the Cavs, while their star defensive duo of Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley both collected double-doubles.

On the bright side for the Rockets – who own the NBA's worst record at 11-38 – it was the ninth game in a row exciting young center Alperen Sengun has tallied at least six assists. Over that span, the only centers averaging more than his 6.8 assists are Draymond Green (7.0), Domantas Sabonis (10.0) and Nikola Jokic (11.2).

Joel Embiid found the experience of facing Ben Simmons for the first time no different to any other night as the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Brooklyn Nets in a thriller.

Embiid came up against his former team-mate Simmons for the first time at Wells Fargo Center on Thursday and the 76ers came out on top, winning 137-133.

Simmons was traded to the Nets almost a year ago in a deal that saw James Harden make the move to Philadelphia.

Three-time All-Star point guard Simmons scored 12 points, claimed five rebounds and provided five assists as the Nets slipped to 29-18.

Embiid finished with 26 points and 10 rebounds for a 76ers side that have won six games in a row and sit second in the Eastern Conference at 31-16 behind the Boston Celtics (35-14).

Asked how it felt doing battle with Simmons for the first time, he replied: "Nothing. Just like every single night, [I am trying to] just freaking kill whoever is in front of me.

"My mentality is always about scoring. If I get doubled, make the right pass, but if I get played one-on-one, or I see an opportunity to go score, I'm going to go score."

Doc Rivers, the 76ers head coach, said: "The first play, Ben is guarding Joel and it was like it was a party.

"It was hilarious. That's when I turned to our coaches and said, 'This is a boxing crowd tonight. They want to see them drop the basketball, turn and duke it out. And [Simmons and Embiid] went at each other, which is fun and good."

Despite another win, Rivers felt his players could have handled the occasion better.

He added: "I thought the team overall did. We got caught up in all the c*** going on tonight.

"There was a lot of chippiness, and that's good, but play above it, stay above it. Keep playing. I didn't think we did that."

Stephen Curry was ejected for throwing his mouthpiece before Jordan Poole scored a last-second layup as the Golden State Warriors narrowly beat the Memphis Grizzlies 122-120 on Wednesday.

Curry was ejected with 1:14 remaining in the fourth quarter  with the Warriors up by two for unsportsmanlike conduct, having thrown his mouthpiece in frustration after Poole opted not to pass to him, before missing a three-point attempt.

But Golden State kept their composure without their NBA Finals MVP, with Klay Thompson draining a clutch three-pointer with 14.1 seconds left, before Ja Morant dished off for a Brandon Clarke dunk to square it up with 6.3 seconds remaining.

Poole got redemption for his role in Curry's ejection, when he got free to land a left-handed layup from Donte DiVincenzo's inbound to decide the game at Chase Center.

Curry finished with 34 points with four-of-eight three-point shooting, while Klay Thompson hit five-of-10 triples in his 24 points.

Draymond Green had 13 rebounds, seven assists and three blocks, while Poole added 21 points with seven assists.

Morant posted 29 points for the Grizzlies, making two-of-seven from beyond the arc with 12 assists and two steals. Desmond Bane managed 20 points but went four-of-six from the stripe.

The result lifts the Warriors up to ninth in the Western Conference with a 24-24 record, while the Grizzlies are 31-17 and second in the west.

Simmons booed as 76ers down Nets

Ben Simmons was booed throughout on his return to Wells Fargo Center as the Philadelphia 76ers edged the Brooklyn Nets 137-133 to clinch their sixth straight win.

James Harden starred against his former side with 23 points, three rebounds and seven assists, making two three-pointers and a driving layup in the final four minutes. Tyrese Maxey added 27 points off the bench and Joel Embiid had 26 points and 10 rebounds.

Seth Curry had a season-high 32 points including seven triples, Kyrie Irving added 30 points with 10 assists, while Ben Simmons was scoreless in the first half from only one shot but finished with 12 points, five rebounds and five assists.

Lillard shoots 60 in Blazers win

Damian Lillard scored 60 points, the second-most by a single player in a game this season, as the Portland Trail Blazers won 134-124 over the Utah Jazz.

Lillard shot nine-of-15 from three-point range including six of those in the first half, recording his fourth career 60-point game, matching Michael Jordan and James Harden for the third most overall.

The Blazers guard scored five triples in the second quarter, which he has done 16 times in any quarter in his career, which is the second most by any player in the last 25 seasons. Jazz power forward Lauri Markkanen scored 24 points with four rebounds.

The Brooklyn Nets have received some good news on Kevin Durant's MCL sprain.

Brooklyn announced on Tuesday that Durant's right knee was evaluated on Monday by Dr. Riley Williams III and that he is pleased with the forward's progress.

Durant will begin running this week and participate in on-court training activities and will then be re-evaluated in another two weeks.

He sprained a ligament in his right knee in a January 8 win over Miami, when the Heat's Jimmy Butler fell backward onto him.

Durant was originally projected to miss about a month, so his recovery appears to be right on track with the initial timeline.

With the All-Star break beginning in just over three weeks, however, it is possible the Nets decide not to rush him back and give him some extra time to recover to have him return after the break.

An MVP candidate in his third season with Brooklyn, Durant ranks among the NBA leaders with 29.7 points per game while also averaging 6.7 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 1.49 blocks.

The Nets had won 14 of 15 prior to Durant's injury before losing their first four games without him in the lineup. They have since reeled off back-to-back wins over the Utah Jazz and Golden State Warriors to improve to 29-17.

Brooklyn enter play on Tuesday in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, and five games behind the Boston Celtics for the Atlantic Division lead.

Royce O'Neale says his Brooklyn Nets team-mates are all stepping up to the challenge after his late three-pointer proved decisive against the Golden State Warriors.

The Nets claimed a second straight win on Sunday, with O'Neale's three-pointer with less than 30 seconds left on the clock nosing them into a two-point lead.

Kyrie Irving, the team's talisman in the absence of the injured Kevin Durant, scored two free throws with 14 seconds remaining to seal a 120-116 comeback victory at the Chase Center.

Golden State had been leading 106-93 midway through the final quarter on Sunday, and O'Neale hailed the Nets' attitude and self-belief.

"There's a lot of confidence going around," O'Neale told reporters.

"Everybody's taking the challenge, stepping up, finding out ways to win games."

Irving was key, teeing up O'Neale's crucial three-pointer to cap a ninth assist of the game. He finished with 38 points and seven rebounds.

"Kyrie had been getting to the basket, hitting tough shots and at that moment, he drove, two people double-teamed and he found me open," O'Neale said.

"I just needed to have the confidence to knock it down."

Irving added: "They did a great job of staying on my body, keeping the game physical, making it tough.

"I felt like my team-mates had a lot of great looks, drawing the defense to lose their man.

"Royce being wide open, I felt like that was the best shot for our team, so I gave up the ball, trusted him to make it and luckily it went in."

The Nets are fourth in the Eastern Conference, while the Warriors – reigning NBA champions – are down in 10th in the West after suffering a sixth loss from their last nine games.

The Golden State Warriors blew a 12-point fourth-quarter lead at home as the Brooklyn Nets prevailed 120-116 after 38 points from Kyrie Irving on Sunday.

The Nets outscored the Warriors 22-6 after the reigning NBA champions had led by 12 with 5:42 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Irving scored a game-high 38 points, making five-of-seven three-point attempts, with seven rebounds and nine assists. Irving's performance was his third 30-point game in his past four.

Nic Claxton added a career-high 24 points with 15 rebounds and three blocks, while Ben Simmons contributed a game-high 11 assists. Royce O'Neale, who had 16 points, scored a go-ahead three-pointer with 27.1 seconds remaining.

Stephen Curry top scored for Golden State with 26 points, making four-of-eight from beyond the arc, along with six rebounds and seven assists.

Jonathan Kuminga added 20 points off the bench, while center Draymond Green had 11 rebounds and seven assists.

The Warriors' home loss means their record at the Chase Center falls to 17-6, having managed 3-2 on their recent road trip where they have struggled throughout this season.

Lakers complete stunning second-half turnaround

LeBron James scored 37 points with 11 rebounds while Thomas Bryant added 31 points as the Los Angeles Lakers stormed home for a 121-112 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Lakers had trailed 71-46 at halftime after the Blazers put up 45 second-quarter points, but rallied in a remarkable second-half turnaround to improve to 22-25.

Bryant had 14 rebounds to go with his 31 points, while Dennis Schroder contributed 24 points. Anfernee Simons scored 31 points for Portland, with Damian Lillard adding 24.

OKC snap Nuggets' win streak

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander hit an eight-footer with 9.2 seconds remaining to end the Denver Nuggets' nine-game win streak as the Oklahoma City Thunder won 101-99. 

The Nuggets were without back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic for the second straight game with tightness in his left hamstring, with Jamal Murray top scoring in his absence with 26 points and nine assists. Murray missed an attempt on the buzzer to force overtime.

Gilgeous-Alexander finished the game with 34 points on 13-of-21 shooting with five rebounds, five assists and two blocks, while Josh Giddey added 18 points and nine rebounds. The result also ended Denver's 17th game win streak at home.

Kyrie Irving is enjoying the extra responsibility bestowed upon him by coach Jacque Vaughn in the absence of Kevin Durant.

Irving starred as the Brooklyn Nets beat the Utah Jazz 117-106 on Friday, scoring 48 points with 11 rebounds and six assists at Vivint Arena.

The Nets have struggled since Durant was sidelined by an MCL injury earlier this month, losing four in a row prior to Friday, but Irving stepped up to lead his team to a win in Utah, and when asked about consistently shooting close to 50 points said: "I don't think it's an unrealistic expectation."

The 30-year-old is averaging 26.4 points this season, and following his first 40+ point contribution of the campaign, said: "Every night I try to put myself in that place, in that zone. Specifically in the fourth quarter when it's winning time.

"I have the trust through Jacque to be able to make plays down the stretch, and he comes to me and we talk about it. 

"I think we've been able to develop a dialogue, it continues to grow game-to-game so it gives me a lot of confidence in the fourth quarter to be able to perform that way.

"And my team-mates looking to me as well and when the ball's feeling good in my hands you just want to get a great shot, that's better for our team."

Vaughn – who has a record of 24-10 since being appointed head coach in November – was understandably pleased with Irving's efforts.

"I thought you saw from him throughout the course of the night just different segments of the game where he really put his imprint on what we were trying to do offensively," he said.

"And it paid dividends, especially in the fourth quarter."

Nic Claxton was Brooklyn's next-highest scorer with 20 points, and added his kudos for Irving, saying: "I'm really observing out there on the court and just watching him. It's like he's in a different world. He's locked in. He's in a different type of zone, and he makes those big shots time and time again.

"We just watch it and don't take it for granted, just having a guy that can create shots from all three levels the way he can."

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