Kyrie Irving never doubted he would return for the Brooklyn Nets after his team-imposed suspension, while he declined to answer questions about the Israel United in Christ group that turned out at Barclays Center in support of him.

Irving made his NBA return after eight games out due to suspension for sharing a social media post about a book and film with antisemitic tropes, scoring 14 points in 26 minutes in a 127-115 win over the Memphis Grizzlies.

The All-Star's return to the NBA came after a lengthy remediation process that split opinions, involving the Nets, the league, the NBPA and Irving, who also met with key community members.

"Never had a doubt," Irving responded after the game when asked if he feared the situation may mean he would never play for the Nets again.

On his return, Irving added: "I felt good. I missed my teammates, missed the coaching staff… It felt good to get this game out of the way. Now we can move forward with the rest of the season."

Prior to the game, approximately 100 members from Israel United in Christ group were outside the venue, chanting and handing out flyers headlined "The Truth About Anti-Semitism" and "The Truth about Slavery".

The group has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center yet appeared to be in support of Irving's social media post that led to his suspension.

"I think that's a conversation for another day. I'm just here to focus on the game," Irving said when asked about the group's presence.

When asked again, he added: "Again I'm just here to focus on the game."

Boston Celtics swingman and NBPA vice-president Jaylen Brown retweeted a social media video of the group, writing "energy".

Brown later backtracked on the post, but did not delete it. He wrote: "I was not aware of what specific group that was outside of Barclay’s Center tonight. I was celebrating the unification of our people welcoming the return of Kyrie to the court, first glance I thought it was a known fraternity the (C/Que’s) Omega psi phi (step’n) showing support."

The Splash Brothers were at the peak of their powers in the Golden State Warriors' 127-120 road win against the Houston Rockets on Sunday.

Fresh off his first NBA Finals MVP, Stephen Curry continued his remarkable season with 33 points (11-of-20 shooting, seven-of-14 from three-point range) and a season-high 15 assists. It was one assist shy of his career high, set back in 2013 and matched in 2014.

But the story was his backcourt partner Klay Thompson, who is shooting a career-worst percentage from both the field (36.3 per cent) and from long-range (33.6 per cent) this season.

He began to right the ship with a stunning 43-point performance, hitting 10 of his 13 three-point attempts on his way to 14-of-23 shooting. It is the sixth game of his career with at least 10 three-pointers in a game, and he also owns the all-time record with 14.

For the Rockets, the third overall selection from this year's NBA Draft, Jabari Smith Jr, showed exactly why he was so highly coveted. The long-armed, six-foot-11 power forward scored a season-high 22 points on eight-of-14 shooting, hitting three long-balls.

The win is the Warriors' first on the road this season from nine attempts, giving them an 8-9 record, while the Rockets fell to 3-14.

Durant makes history in Irving's return

Kevin Durant became the fourth player in NBA history to score at least 25 points in the first 17 games of a season in Sunday's 127-115 victory against the Memphis Grizzlies.

In the return of Kyrie Irving from his team-imposed suspension, Durant led the Nets with 26 points on nine-of-16 shooting, adding seven rebounds, seven assists, a steal and a block. The last player to score at least 25 in their first 17 games of a season was Rick Barry back in the 1966-67 campaign.

The Nets also benefited from Ben Simmons' best game since arriving with the team, scoring a season-high 22 points on 11-of-13 shooting with eight rebounds and five assists, boasting a game-high plus/minus of plus 19.

Irving was quiet in his return, hitting five-of-12 shots for 14 points and zero assists with four turnovers.

Fox leads the Kings to sixth win in a row

The Sacramento Kings have now won six games in a row after a 137-129 shootout against the Detroit Pistons.

Sacramento have scored at least 120 points in each of their wins on this streak, highlighted by a 153-point outing against the Nets, which is the most points scored by any team this season.

De'Aaron Fox top-scored with 33 points on 11-of-18 shooting, adding seven assists. After never previously shooting better than 48 per cent in a season, Fox is 55.4 per cent from the field this campaign, and a career-best 37.5 per cent from three.

Kyrie Irving is available again after an eight-game ban ahead of the Brooklyn Nets hosting the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday.

The 30-year-old NBA star had been serving a suspension imposed by the Nets on November 3 for sharing a social media post on a book and film that featured anti-semitic tropes.

Irving verbally apologised for the post for the first time on Saturday, saying he was "deeply" sorry to the Jewish community.

The Nets initially listed Irving as "questionable" for the Grizzlies clash at Barclays Center, before confirming on Sunday he would be available.

Irving said he has been on a "learning journey" as part of his suspension and reintegration into the Nets team, before reiterating his sorrow to reporters on Sunday, offering: "my deep apologies to all those who are impacted over the last few weeks".

"I don't stand for anything close to hate speech, or anti-semitism, or anything that is anti going against the human race," he said. "I feel like we all should have an opportunity to speak for ourselves when things are assumed about us.

"And I feel it was necessary for me to stand in this place and take accountability for my actions because there was a way I should have handled all of this.

"... I meant no harm to any person, any group of people. And yeah, this is a big moment for me because I'm able to learn throughout this process that the power of my voice is very strong.

"The influence that I have within my community is very strong, and I want to be responsible for that. In order to do that, we have to admit when you were wrong and instances where you hurt people and it impacts them."

Irving has played just eight games this season as a result of the ban, averaging 26.9 points, as well as 5.1 assists and 5.1 rebounds.

Suspended Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving verbally apologised for his recent social media post for the first time on Saturday, saying he is "deeply" sorry to the Jewish community as a return to NBA ranks looms.

The Nets listed Irving, who has been out for eight games due to a team-imposed suspension for sharing a book and film with antisemitic tropes on social media, as "questionable" for Sunday's game against the Memphis Grizzlies.

Irving said he has been on a "learning journey" as part of his suspension and reintegration into the Nets team.

The seven-time All-Star had previously apologised on social media after the suspension was imposed on him for the "harmful impact of his conduct". Prior to that, Irving had failed to apologise for sharing the post nor unequivocally say he has no antisemitic beliefs on numerous occasions in the immediate days after that.

"I just want to apologise deeply for all my actions throughout the time that it's been since the post was first put up," Irving told SNY. "I've had a lot of time to think. But my focus, initially, if I could do it over, would be to heal and repair a lot of my close relationships with my Jewish relatives, brothers and sisters.

"I really want to focus on the hurt that I caused or the impact that I made within the Jewish community. Putting some type of threat, or assumed threat, on the Jewish community."

The fall-out for Irving has been significant. Not only was he suspended by his team, Nike announced they had severed relations with him after a decade-long relationship and were dropping his latest signature shoe, the Kyrie 8, from its catalogue.

Irving has met with several representatives from key communities, working with the Nets, the NBA and the NBPA to move towards remediation and a resolution. His meetings included with NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who is Jewish.

"It was a learning journey to be honest with you," Irving said. "It was a lot of hurt that needed to be healed, a lot of conversations that needed to be had and a lot of reflection.

"I got a chance to do that with some great people from the Jewish community. From the Black community, from the white community - I've had so many conversations with all of our races and cultures and religious groups of people.

"Just try to find a better perspective on how we live a more harmonious life. I'm a man who stands for peace. I don't condone any hate speech or any prejudice and I don't want to be in a position where I'm being misunderstood on where I stand in terms of antisemitism or any hate for that matter for anybody in this world."

Irving called his initial reaction as self-defense when he failed to unequivocally declare he was not antisemitic during a press conference, when offered numerous opportunities, leading to the team-imposed ban, which had been indefinite without pay but for a minimum of five games.

"I felt like I was protecting my character and I reacted out of just pure defense and just hurt that I could be labeled, or I thought that I was being labeled as antisemitic or anti-Jewish, and I've felt like that was just so disrespectful to ask me whether or not I was antisemitic or not," Irving said.

"Now to the outside world, that may have been seen as a simple 'yes' or 'no'. Which rightfully so, it should've been, 'No, I'm not antisemitic. No, I'm not anti-Jewish.' I'm a person who believes we should all have equal opportunities and that we should all shower each other with love, and that should be at the forefront.

"But it wasn’t in that initial conversation, and I take my accountability and I want to apologise for that, because it came off the wrong way completely."

Suspended Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving verbally apologized for his recent social media post for the first time on Saturday, saying he is "deeply" sorry to the Jewish community as a return to NBA ranks looms.

The Nets listed Irving, who has been out for eight games due to a team-imposed suspension for sharing a book and film with antisemitic tropes on social media, as "questionable" for Sunday's game against the Memphis Grizzlies.

Irving said he has been on a "learning journey" as part of his suspension and reintegration into the Nets team.

The seven-time All-Star had previously apologized on social media after the suspension was imposed on him for the "harmful impact of his conduct". Prior to that, Irving had failed to apologize for sharing the post nor unequivocally say he has no antisemitic beliefs on numerous occasions in the immediate days after that.

"I just want to apologize deeply for all my actions throughout the time that it's been since the post was first put up," Irving told SNY. "I've had a lot of time to think. But my focus, initially, if I could do it over, would be to heal and repair a lot of my close relationships with my Jewish relatives, brothers and sisters.

"I really want to focus on the hurt that I caused or the impact that I made within the Jewish community. Putting some type of threat, or assumed threat, on the Jewish community."

The fall-out for Irving has been significant. Not only was he suspended by his team, Nike announced they had severed relations with him after a decade-long relationship and were dropping his latest signature shoe, the Kyrie 8, from its catalogue.

Irving has met with several representatives from key communities, working with the Nets, the NBA and the NBPA to move towards remediation and a resolution. His meetings included with NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who is Jewish.

"It was a learning journey to be honest with you," Irving said. "It was a lot of hurt that needed to be healed, a lot of conversations that needed to be had and a lot of reflection.

"I got a chance to do that with some great people from the Jewish community. From the Black community, from the white community - I've had so many conversations with all of our races and cultures and religious groups of people.

"Just try to find a better perspective on how we live a more harmonious life. I'm a man who stands for peace. I don't condone any hate speech or any prejudice and I don't want to be in a position where I'm being misunderstood on where I stand in terms of antisemitism or any hate for that matter for anybody in this world."

Irving called his initial reaction as self-defense when he failed to unequivocally declare he was not antisemitic during a press conference, when offered numerous opportunities, leading to the team-imposed ban, which had been indefinite without pay but for a minimum of five games.

"I felt like I was protecting my character and I reacted out of just pure defense and just hurt that I could be labeled, or I thought that I was being labeled as antisemitic or anti-Jewish, and I've felt like that was just so disrespectful to ask me whether or not I was antisemitic or not," Irving said.

"Now to the outside world, that may have been seen as a simple 'yes' or 'no'. Which rightfully so, it should've been, 'No, I'm not antisemitic. No, I'm not anti-Jewish.' I'm a person who believes we should all have equal opportunities and that we should all shower each other with love, and that should be at the forefront.

"But it wasn’t in that initial conversation, and I take my accountability and I want to apologize for that, because it came off the wrong way completely."

Ben Simmons says people underestimate how hard it is to return from back surgery following his first double-double in almost 18 months in the Brooklyn Nets' 109-107 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday.

Simmons, who was traded from the Philadelphia 76ers to the Nets in February, enjoyed his best scoring game since his switch, with 15 points along with 13 rebounds and seven assists in 32 minutes.

The double-double was the Australian's first in the NBA since June 14, 2021, having not played at all last season before undergoing back surgery in May.

The much-maligned Simmons has struggled for impact upon his return to playing this season, averaging 5.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and 5.6 assists, but Thursday was a breakthrough.

"People make it seem like I had a sprained ankle or something," Simmons told reporters. "I had back surgery, that’s not easy to come back from.

"I take it day by day, I stay locked in, I stay focused and continue to build, myself, my body and my game."

Simmons has missed games this season due to injury and soreness, but he is building some momentum after making 11-of-13 from the field in his past two games, where he has posted double-digit scores.

"I'm coming," Simmons said with a grin. "I'm getting there, it's taking a little bit of time. My team-mates have got my back, my coaches."

Kevin Durant, who top scored for the Nets with 35 points, hailed the impact made by his team-mate Simmons.

"He was incredible tonight," Durant said. "I thought he did a good job of commanding the offense, commanding the team on the defensive side of the ball. He controlled the game and was able to get us back into it."

Simmons has been criticised for his free-throw shooting in the past but made three-of-four from the stripe, all coming in the final four minutes of the fourth quarter with the game up for grabs.

"We had no doubts when he walked up there," Durant said. "I felt like we all were confident, just how he was playing. I felt super confident when he went up there, so three-from-four, crunch time like that. That was key for us. We needed those.

"He shot them like he was confident. He ran back down the court like he knew they were going in. When he's playing aggressive like that, when he's downhill, he did it all for us tonight. I'm excited for him because this is the type of the game that we all needed to see.

"I think everybody else on the outside, basketball fans in general, was loving it and couldn’t wait to see this type of performance from him. We expect that from him every night."

Royce O'Neale tipped in the game-winner with 0.7 seconds left as the Brooklyn Nets edged the Portland Trail Blazers 109-107 to improve their overall record to 7-9 on Thursday.

Kevin Durant, who finished with a game-high 35 points, missed his turn-around jumper but O'Neale was on hand with a tip-in to help the Nets snap their two-game skid.

Durant went 13-of-22 from the field with eight rebounds, three assists and a block, clocking up his 26,000th career NBA point along the way, becoming the 19th player to achieve that feat.

The Nets got strong contributions off the bench as Yuta Watanabe added 20 points with seven rebounds, while Ben Simmons had a double-double with 15 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists.

Game-winner O'Neale, who was in the starting line-up, had 11 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists for the game.

The victory comes after Durant's stinging public criticism of the Nets' starting quality in the continued absence of the suspended Kyrie Irving, who may return for Sunday's game with the Memphis Grizzlies.

Damian Lillard top scored for Portland, who fall to 10-5, with 25 points along with 11 assists. Anfernee Simons added 24 points and Jusuf Nurkic had 17, including a three-point play to tie the game up with 6.5 seconds to go.

Kawhi returns as Clippers shoot down Pistons

Kawhi Leonard had minimal impact on his return after 12 games out as the Los Angeles Clippers rallied from a 12-point deficit to win 96-91 over the Detroit Pistons.

Leonard scored six points with five rebounds and four assists after not playing since October 24 due to knee stiffness. The two-time NBA Finals MVP, who was in the starting lineup, shot two-of-eight from the field.

Reggie Jackson scored a team-high 23 points in a low-scoring game, while Ivica Zubac pulled down 18 rebounds with nine points.

Kings remain hot as Fox fires

The Sacramento Kings improved to 8-6 with their fifth straight victory, winning 130-112 over the San Antonio Spurs.

De'Aaron Fox scored a team-high 28 points on 11-of-15 shooting along with eight assists, while Malik Monk added 26 points off the bench. Spurs guard Devin Vassell top scored with 29 points, including four triples.

The Kings' five-game win streak is their first since the 2020-21 season, while it comes after they started the season 0-4, winning eight of their past 10 games.

Kevin Durant says the probable return of Kyrie Irving for the Brooklyn Nets' game against the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday will provide a "much-needed spark".

Irving will miss an eighth straight game because of a team-imposed suspension when the Nets take on the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday, in the final leg of their four-game road trip.

The seven-time All-Star guard was handed an indefinite team-imposed suspension without pay by the Nets, for at least five games, after he shared an allegedly anti-semitic film and book on social media last month.

The Nets, the NBA and the NBPA have worked together with Irving to remediate the situation, after Brooklyn initially laid out six prerequisites for the player. According to reports, a resolution is close, potentially in time for Sunday's game.

"It's exciting for everybody," Durant told reporters prior to Thursday's game. "I mean we miss 'Ky'. We miss his presence on the floor.

"I haven't talked to him since we've been on the road trip about it the last couple of days. But we're looking forward to his return to the team. Definitely gonna give us a much-needed spark."

The Nets, who are 6-9 overall, have gone 4-3 in Irving's absence, although they were blown out 153-121 by the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday, which was a franchise record for most points conceded.

Durant added that he was hopeful Irving's return would be soon but said he had not been briefed on where the process is at.

"I don't know the details about everything that's going on to be honest," Durant said. "I should know, I guess, because I'm part of the team.

"But I've been totally focused on the road trip. Once we get back home, I'm sure that stuff will figure itself out. Hopefully it's soon, that's all that I can say."

Kevin Durant lamented the weakness of the Brooklyn Nets' roster after their struggles continued against the Sacramento Kings, saying the team's poor form should surprise no one. 

The Nets sit adrift of the Eastern Conference's Playoff and Play-In Tournament spots with a 6-9 record for the season, having slipped to a demoralising 153-121 defeat against the Kings on Tuesday.

The team have also been plagued by off-court concerns this campaign, with guard Kyrie Irving having been suspended after sharing offensive material on social media.

Durant requested a trade ahead of the campaign, and he remains concerned about the Nets' lack of forward momentum, adding that expectations must be tempered with their current roster.

"I had some complaints in the summer, and my complaints were not about just me; it was about how we are moving as a unit," he told Bleacher Report.

"I want us to be respected out here in the basketball world. I don't want players to look at us and say, 'Oh man, they are full of s***. That's not the type of team I want to be on.

"So when we're all playing like s***, you know the one person they're going to look at. That's why I requested a trade.

"Look at our starting lineup. Edmond Sumner, Royce O'Neale, Joe Harris, [Nic] Claxton and me. It's not disrespect, but what are you expecting from that group?

"You expect us to win because I'm out there. So if you're watching from that lens, you're expecting us to play well because number seven is out there."

The Nets next travel cross-country to face the Portland Trail Blazers, before returning home to host the Memphis Grizzlies.

 

Dallas Mavericks MVP hopeful Luka Doncic has always given the Los Angeles Clippers nightmares, and Tuesday was more of the same in a 103-101 home win.

Of the 30 NBA teams, only the Detroit Pistons have felt Doncic's wrath more than the Clippers, averaging 32.4 points in five games against Detroit, and 31.7 per game in a healthier 13-game sample size against Los Angeles.

That number went up again after the 23-year-old Slovenian sensation dropped a game-high 35 points on 11-of-22 shooting, adding 11 rebounds, five assists, three steals and the game-sealing three-pointer.

Leading 99-98 with 30 seconds remaining, Doncic gathered a loose-ball and drilled a deep three to jump ahead by four, putting the game to bed.

While Doncic was clearly the best player on the floor for the Mavericks – scoring over 30 points for the 11th time in 13 games this season – starting wing Dorian Finney-Smith was just as important to the final result, drilling a red-hot seven-of-13 threes to chip in 21 points.

For the Clippers, Paul George was not bad on the surface, posting 23 points (seven-of-13 shooting), seven rebounds and six assists, but he committed a career-high 10 turnovers after never having more than eight in his previous 859 games.

Brunson, Reddish get it done for the Knicks

After a scorching 10-3 start to the season, the Utah Jazz have now lost their past three games after going down 118-111 at home against the New York Knicks.

Knicks starting point guard Jalen Brunson was game's most valuable player, scoring 25 points on 10-of-20 shooting with eight assists and three steals, and it was another terrific showcase from Cam Reddish.

Fresh off his season-high 26 points during the Knicks' last time out, Reddish was awarded his fifth start of the campaign after starting no games last season. 

He repaid the faith with another efficient showing, scoring 19 points on seven-of-13 shooting as he begins to fulfill the potential that saw him rated as one of the best prospects in the world heading into his draft year.

Kings score 153 points in regulation

The Sacramento Kings put up the biggest score in the league this season with a 153-121 drubbing of the Brooklyn Nets, scoring at least 36 points in every quarter.

It is eight points more than Oklahoma City in second place, after their 145-135 victory against the New York Knicks on Sunday.

They shot 60.2 per cent from the field (56-of-93), 48.8 per cent from long range (20-of-41) and had seven players in double-figures, led by Terence Davis off the bench with 31 (12-of-16 shooting).

It was the first time this season Ben Simmons has scored at least 10 points, finishing with 11, five rebounds, three assists and a steal in 20 minutes off the Nets bench.

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.

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