Luka Doncic quipped he feels like he is 40 years old after he celebrated his 25th birthday in style.

Doncic became the first player in NBA history to finish with a triple-double on their birthday as he led the Dallas Mavericks to a 136-125 win over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday.

He finished with 30 points, 16 assists and 11 rebounds for his 11th triple-double of the season.

Doncic has now had 39 30-point triple-doubles, which sees him surpass LeBron James in the all-time list for that feat.

When asked if he considered his 25th birthday as a milestone, Doncic joked: "I feel like [I'm] 40, so no."

Doncic was 11 for 23 from the field and missed 7 of 8 from 3-point range in his 67th career triple-double.

"Just a normal game, triple-double," Jason Kidd said.

"He was really good. I guess 25 means he's still going to be really good as he gets older here."

Kyrie Irving scored 15 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter and P.J. Washington Jr. added 23 points for Dallas, as they bounced back from back-to-back defeats.

"Kyrie and Luka, they had such a poise in important moments to make the right plays," said Raptors coach Darko Rajakovic after his team saw a three-game winning streak snapped.

Doncic added: "We just played aggressive on defense, got out on transition, that's it. 

"My team knows when I'm engaged. Everybody helps everyone to be engaged.

"I'm having so much fun. Back-to-back is always tough, a great win today, I've got to get some rest now."

Max Strus connected on a 59-foot heave at the buzzer, lifting the Cleveland Cavaliers to a wild 121-119 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday.

Strus made five 3-pointers in the final 3:42 of the game and capped a back-and-forth ending, giving the Cavs their 20th win in their last 24 games.

Dallas’ PJ Washington made a contested layup with 2.6 seconds remaining to put the Mavs up 119-118.

Without any timeouts to advance the ball, Strus inbounded to Evan Mobley, who quickly returned the ball. Strus took one dribble before launching from behind the half-court line and swishing the game-winning bucket.

Strus finished with 21 points. Donovan Mitchell also made seven 3’s and led the way for the Cavs with 31 points.

With the win, Cleveland (38-19) remained alone in second place in the Eastern Conference.

The Mavericks, who lead by 10 with under four minutes remaining, squandered a signature performance from Luka Dončić, who finished with 45 points, nine rebounds and 14 assists.

 

Celtics extend season-best winning streak

Jaylen Brown scored 31 points, Jayson Tatum flirted with a triple-double and the Boston Celtics weathered a rare cold shooting night, beating the Philadelphia 76ers 117-99 for their ninth straight win.

The Celtics, who lead the NBA in both 3-point makes and attempts this season, shot just 5 of 22 from beyond the arc, both season lows.

Boston compensated for their cold shooting by attacking the rim and shooting 34 of 37 from the free throw line. Tatum – who finished with 29 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists – was 10 of 11 from the line, while Kristaps Porzingis made all 12 of his free throws.

The Celtics (46-12) improved to 25-0 at home against Eastern Conference opponents.

Tyrese Maxey was the high-point man for Philadelphia with 32, but the rest of the 76ers’ starters combined for just 22 points.

 

SGA powers Thunder to 6th straight win

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander continued to make his case for league MVP, Jalen Williams scored an efficient 24 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Houston Rockets 112-95 to win their sixth straight game.

Gilgeous-Alexander finished with 31 points and has scored at least 30 in every game during the Thunder’s winning streak.

The win kept Oklahoma City (41-17) in a tie with the Minnesota Timberwolves for the best record in the Western Conference.

Alperen Sengun had a team-high 23 points and 11 rebounds for the Rockets, who are just 6-14 in their last 20 games.

Myles Turner scored a season-high 33 points and the Indiana Pacers pulled away in the fourth quarter to end the Dallas Mavericks' seven-game winning streak with Sunday's 133-111 victory.

Tyrese Haliburton added 17 points and 10 assists for Indiana, which broke open the game with a 20-4 run in the fourth quarter to earn a third consecutive win and hand Dallas its first defeat since Feb. 3.

The Mavericks got 33 points from Luka Dončić and 29 from Kyrie Irving, but failed to get late stops as the Pacers shot a sizzling 63.2 per cent from the field over the final 12 minutes.

Dallas cut an 11-point deficit early in the fourth quarter down to four when Irving got a jumper to fall with 8:56 to go to bring the Mavs within 104-100. 

The Pacers then caught fire from beyond the arc, as they hit 5 of 7 attempts from 3-point range during the pivotal spurt Haliburton capped with a layup that gave Indiana a commanding 124-104 lead with 4:15 to go.

Rookie Ben Sheppard scored nine of his 15 points in the fourth quarter and went 5 of 5 on 3-point attempts to lead Indiana's reserves. The Pacers also received a 14-point, 11-rebound double-double from Bennedict Mathurin, while Turner grabbed eight rebounds in addition to finishing 10 of 15 from the field. 

 

Bucks cruise past 76ers in Rivers' return to Philadelphia

Giannis Antetokounmpo finished just short of a triple-double while amassing 30 points as the Milwaukee Bucks made head coach Doc Rivers' return to Philadelphia a triumphant one by rolling to a 119-98 win over the host 76ers.

Rivers coached the 76ers for three seasons before being fired at the conclusion of the 2022-23 campaign after the team lost in the second round of the playoffs for the third consecutive year. The accomplished veteran was hired by Milwaukee after the Bucks dismissed Adrian Griffin on Jan. 26.

Antetokounmpo added 12 rebounds and nine assists to help the Bucks keep pace with first-place Cleveland in the Central Division. The Bucks remain a game behind in the standings after the Cavaliers defeated the Washington Wizards on Sunday.

Damian Lillard scored 11 of his 24 points in the first quarter as Milwaukee opened up a 35-21 lead after 12 minutes. Bobby Portis had 11 of his 17 points in the second as the Bucks stretched their advantage to 69-48 at half-time.

The 76ers, still without reigning NBA MVP Joel Embiid due to a knee injury, cut into their deficit early in the second half and closed the gap to 93-82 near the end of the third quarter. They never got any closer, however, and dropped to 4-11 since Jan. 25.

Philadelphia shot just 37.1 per cent from the field for the game, while the Bucks connected on 54.1 per cent of their field goal attempts.

Tyrese Maxey paced the 76ers with 24 points and seven assists, while De'Anthony Melton had 16 points off the bench.

 

Jokic extends triple-double streak, leads Nuggets over Warriors

Nikola Jokić compiled 32 points, 16 rebounds and 16 assists for his third consecutive double-double to help the Denver Nuggets earn a season sweep of the Golden State Warriors with a 119-103 win.

Behind another massive performance from Jokic and 27 points from Jamal Murray, the Nuggets recorded their fourth victory over Golden State in as many meetings in the season series between teams that have won the last two NBA titles.

The Nuggets overcame a 16-point second-quarter deficit in this latest matchup, as the Warriors failed to hold on to a 56-40 lead they held 5 1/2 minutes before half-time and saw their three-game winning streak snapped.

Denver got back in it by outscoring Golden State by a 21-5 margin to close out the first half. Murray accounted for 10 points during the surge, and his 3-pointer with 15.8 seconds left forged a 61-61 tie at the intermission.

The game remained tight into the fourth quarter before the Nuggets broke things open with a 10-2 flurry - capped by 3-pointers from Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Christian Braun - that turned a three-point edge into a 105-94 advantage with six minutes remaining.

Golden State shot just 29.4 per cent in the final period as the Nuggets maintained a lead of at least nine points the rest of the way.

Klay Thompson led the Warriors with 23 points off the bench and Stephen Curry had 20 for Golden State, though the two-time NBA MVP made just 1 of 10 tries from three-point range on the night. 

 

 

Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving have proved any doubters wrong after leading the Dallas Mavericks to a seventh straight win.

That is the opinion of coach Jason Kidd, whose Dallas team overcame the Phoenix Suns 123-113 on Thursday.

Doncic had 41 points, nine rebounds and 11 assists, while Irving finished with 29 points.

Dallas have been without at least one of Doncic or Irving in 27 games this season due to injuries, but the duo have now started in the last seven games.

"I think it answers the questions that those two co-exist quite well," Kidd said.

"I think it just shows again, our health, our energy, everything's positive right now. I think the guys are having fun. You can see that energy on the floor.

"They want to win, and you can see that energy on the floor. Those guys are cheering for one another.

"There's going to be mistakes, there's going to be missed shots, but it's on to the next play.

"You can see that. We were on a roll and then we go on [the All-Star] break. Sometimes you can come out flat, but I thought the guys did a great job tonight."

Devin Booker led the Suns with 35 points, though Phoenix were unable to keep Doncic or Irving down.

"You just have to know that, especially after he makes one, that the next one is coming up," Booker said of Irving.

"He's a great player and hard to guard. We definitely could have limited some of those transition looks."

The Suns have lost two of their last four games, and are now one place below the Mavericks in the Western Conference.

"We didn't start the third quarter with enough attentiveness," Suns coach Frank Vogel said.

"We did get a little too stagnant offensively. We had some breakdowns with what we were supposed to do. That led to some tough possessions."

Daniel Gafford felt he was "already part of the mold" after impressing on his Dallas Mavericks debut.

Gafford, who was acquired this week in a trade from the Washington Wizards, finished with 19 points, nine assists and eight rebounds in an emphatic 146-111 victory for Dallas over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday.

Luka Doncic led with 32 points, while Kyrie Irving chipped in with 25, as the Mavs - who sit eighth in the Western Conference - made it four straight wins.

"Playing with guys like Luka, Kyrie, all the other guys that were on the floor, it just felt like I was already part of the mold," said Gafford, who featured for only 17 minutes and was rested in the fourth quarter.

Mavs coach Jason Kidd was delighted with Gafford's display, as he became the second-highest scoring debutant while coming on from the bench in Dallas' history.

"What we've seen playing against Gafford is that he gets every offensive rebound," Kidd said.

"And I thought he did that for us. And we’re going to need that."

Reflecting on Dallas' display, Kidd added: "The pace was high. We didn't have to run anybody’s minutes up. And that was something that we talked about. A lot, a lot of good stuff."

The same could not be said for the Thunder, who lost for the second straight game and were 47-30 down by the end of the first quarter.

"They shot it well early, but that’s where some of the transition, like straight up fast break plays really hurt you," Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said.

"When you're giving up easy ones and they're making shots, then that's how the 47 can happen in the first quarter."

Kyrie Irving described himself as "at peace" over his time with the Nets after scoring 36 points in a stellar return to Brooklyn as the Dallas Mavericks won 119-107 on Tuesday.

Irving, acquired from the Nets exactly one year ago, shot 15 of 24 from the field, was 4 of 11 on 3-pointers and handed out five assists.

Luka Doncic fell just short of a 10th triple-double this season with 35 points, 18 rebounds and nine assists.

Dallas improved to 28-23 with its second straight win before Thursday's road game in New York.

After the win, Irving faced a string of questions over his time spent with the Nets, with his return coming after Kevin Durant also made a winning return to Brooklyn last week.

"I don’t think about it too often now, I’m pretty much at peace with what happened and the time I spent here," said Irving.

"I wish a lot of the guys well. Obviously, it was emotional and you could see my emotions running on out there but after that, I was just pretty much focused on winning the basketball game.

"It was just like any other basketball game, but it felt like I was home."

Pressed on his Brooklyn exit after impressing in his second game back after missing six with a sprained right thumb, Irving added: "It was time to get my own peace of mind and go somewhere where I was able to thrive.

"I did not want to be in a situation where I didn't have to worry about behind-the-back talk or the media talk or not knowing how to handle real-life circumstances that has nothing to do with the game of basketball. 

"While I was here, I learned a lot of lessons. I've made my peace again and I just want to move forward."

The Nets only won one playoff series with Durant and Irving, who spent three-and-a-half years in Brooklyn.

However, they almost defeated the eventual champion Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference semifinals in 2021, a battle that took place while James Harden and Irving were both short of full fitness.

Irving said: "Things could have changed, and you look back at the past and you have 20-20 vision then this could've gone right or if this would've happened…

"If I didn't get injured versus the Bucks, do I still ask for a trade? If KD's foot wasn't on the 3-point line, are we talking about a different legacy here? If James doesn't ask for a trade – all of the woulda, coulda, shoulda, wouldas.

"Everything that I've learned about myself has come from being in the city and being in Jersey. It was a childhood dream to play for the Nets.

"Obviously I fell short in terms of the championship aspirations, but for me, I think it was bigger than a championship here.

"I had to really take some moral stances. There were some political things that were going on here as well and there were some things that I did on my accord that I look back on and they were mistakes. And I have to be accountable for those things. 

"I'm not perfect. But one thing I can say is I've been able to learn from things and continue to push forward."

Mikal Bridges scored 28 points and Royce O’Neal added 18 for Brooklyn, which cut a 23-point deficit to 107-101 with roughly five minutes left before Irving hit two straight 3s for a 113-101 advantage.

The Mavericks are eighth in the highly competitive Western Conference standings.

Irving added: "Hopefully after this night, we can just put that to rest, just move forward and I can look forward to the rest of my career and just handle it in Dallas and going after my second championship."

Kyrie Irving scored 36 points in a stellar return to Brooklyn and Luka Doncic fell just short of a triple-double in the Dallas Mavericks’ 119-107 win over the Nets on Tuesday.

Irving, acquired from the Nets exactly one year ago, shot 15 of 24 from the field, was 4 of 11 on 3-pointers and handed out five assists in his second game back after missing six with a sprained right thumb.

Doncic had 35 points, 18 rebounds and nine assists to come up short for his 10th triple-double of the season.

Mikal Bridges scored 28 points and Royce O’Neal added 18 for Brooklyn, which cut a 23-point deficit to 107-101 with roughly five minutes left before Irving hit two straight 3s for a 113-101 advantage.

 

Brunson hurts ankle in Knicks’ win

Jalen Brunson had 27 points and eight assists before leaving with an ankle injury and Donte DiVincenzo had 32 points as the New York Knicks held off the Memphis Grizzlies, 123-113.

Brunson appeared to injure his ankle when he was fouled by G.G. Jackson with 5:31 remaining. The Knicks did not have an update postgame.

Isaiah Hartenstein had 17 points and eight rebounds and Precious Achiuwa added 17 as the Knicks won for the 10th time in 11 games to move to 16-3 in their last 19.

Vince Williams Jr. led seven players in double figures with 19 points, but Memphis lost its sixth straight game to match a season high.

 

Suns’ star trio delivers in win

Devin Booker scored 32 points and Kevin Durant had 28 and 10 rebounds as the Phoenix Suns pushed past the short-handed Milwaukee Bucks, 114-106.

Bradley Beal added 25 points and 10 rebounds and Jusuf Nurkic had 10 points with 10 boards as the Suns won their third in four games despite missing 20 of 28 from 3-point range.

Giannis Antetokoumpo led Milwaukee with 34 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, but the Bucks dropped to 1-4 since hiring coach Doc Rivers.

Damian Lillard missed the game with a sprained ankle and starting center Brook Lopez was out for personal reasons. Forward Khris Middleton left in the first quarter with a sprained ankle.

Donovan Mitchell scored 29 points and led a torrid shooting performance from 3-point range that carried the Cleveland Cavaliers to a sixth consecutive win, a 136-110 rout of the Sacramento Kings on Monday. 

Cleveland rolled to its 14th victory in 15 games by going 23 of 41 (56.1 percent) from beyond the arc. Mitchell finished 5 of 11 on 3-point tries and Max Strus was 6 for 10 while adding 22 points.

The Kings got 12 points, 19 rebounds and 15 assists from Domantas Sabonis - his 15th triple-double of the season - but couldn't match the Cavaliers' prolific perimeter shooting as Cleveland began pulling away early in the second quarter.

Cleveland scored five straight points to stretch its lead to 46-36 less than two minutes into the second quarter and went into the half owning a comfortable 74-59 advantage behind Mitchell's 19 points.

The Cavaliers remained up by double digits the rest of the way, with their lead expanding to as many as 29 points late.

Harrison Barnes led Sacramento with 22 points while finishing 6 of 10 from 3-point range. The Kings closed out a seven-game road trip in which they had won five of their first six outings and six of seven overall coming into Monday's clash.

Irving, Doncic lead Mavericks past ailing 76ers

Kyrie Irving and Luka Dončić combined for 42 points in the duo's first appearance together in two weeks to propel the Dallas Mavericks to a 118-102 win over the staggering Philadelphia 76ers.

Irving racked up 23 points on 10-of-17 shooting to go along with eight assists in his return from a six-game absence caused by a sprained right thumb. Doncic had 19 points and eight assists to help Dallas end a two-game skid and deal the ailing 76ers their sixth loss in seven games.

It was just the 23rd time in the Mavericks' 50 games this season they had a healthy Irving and Doncic together in the lineup.

Playing their third straight game without reigning NBA MVP Joel Embiid, who will undergo left knee surgery and is out indefinitely, the Sixers received 19 points from Kelly Oubre Jr. and 17 from Tobias Harris.

All-Star Tyrese Maxey, Philadelphia's second-leading scorer behind Embiid, had 15 points but was just 6 of 16 from the field.

The 76ers did manage to lead 33-26 after one quarter and 57-53 at the half, but Doncic hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 3:57 left in the third quarter to spark an 8-2 run that gave the Mavericks a 77-72 edge near the end of the period.

Dallas then dominated the fourth quarter, outscoring the 76ers by a 41-28 margin with its bench providing most of the offence, as reserves Jaden Hardy and Grant Williams each recorded 10 points in the final 12 minutes. 

Leonard's 36 points help Clippers cap trip with win over Hawks

Kawhi Leonard scored 13 of his 36 points in the fourth quarter as the Los Angeles Clippers outlasted the Atlanta Hawks and completed a successful road trip with a 149-144 victory.

James Harden added 30 points and 10 assists as he and Leonard powered Los Angeles to a ninth win in 10 games. The Clippers went 6-1 on an 11-day trek away from Crypto.com Arena while the venue hosted the Grammy Awards. 

In a fast-paced fourth quarter that saw both teams combine for 90 points, the Clippers outscored Atlanta by a 21-10 margin over a late stretch to move ahead for good.

Leonard began the run with a putback of his own miss that gave Los Angeles a 124-123 lead with 4:52 left, and Harden capped it when he was fouled after hitting a 26-foot jumper with 1:06 to go. He made the free throw to complete the 4-point play and extend the margin to 143-133.

The Hawks put forth a late rally and got to within 147-144 on Bogdan Bogdanović's 3-pointer with 26.7 seconds remaining, but Harden sunk two free throws on the ensuing possession to keep Atlanta at bay.

De'Andre Hunter had 27 points and seven rebounds off the bench to lead Atlanta, which had a four-game winning streak snapped. Trae Young finished with 25 points and 12 assists in the loss. 

 

Milwaukee Bucks coach Doc Rivers is less than impressed after Saturday's win over the Dallas Mavericks meant he is set to coach in the All-Star game.

Rivers picked up his first win as Bucks coach as Giannis' Antetokounmpo's 48 points inspired Milwaukee to a 129-117 comeback victory, while Damian Lillard had 30 points on 10-of-11 shooting.

Yet that victory means the Bucks' coach is now obligated to take charge of the Eastern Conference team in the All-Star game on February 18.

That is because Joe Mazzulla, the Boston Celtics coach, is ineligible after coaching in the All-Star game last year. Given the Bucks have the second-best record in the East two weeks before the event, the task will fall to Rivers.

But after just three games in charge of his new team, Rivers – who replaced Adrian Griffin last month – was far from impressed with that outcome.

"It's ridiculously bad. It really is," Rivers said.

"Well, Adrian's going to get some money, that's for sure. And a ring. It's one of those quirky things.

"I think there should be a rule somehow that someone else does it, other than me. Maybe I'll send my staff, and I'll go on vacation.

"I'll run that by Adam Silver. Adam's a good man, I think he'll understand."

Luka Doncic finished with 40 points for the Mavericks, who lost a second straight game.

"Looking at what Milwaukee did, they just kept playing and took our best shot there in the first half and then ended the half on a positive with Dame making that three at the buzzer," Dallas coach Jason Kidd said. "We didn't take care of the ball."

Dallas Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd heaped praise on Luka Doncic after his franchise-record 73 points helped them past the Atlanta Hawks on Friday, declaring: "He is the game plan".

The Mavs arrived at State Farm Arena looking to halt a three-game losing run, and Doncic ensured they did exactly that with a historic performance in their 148-143 victory.

He tied Wilt Chamberlain and David Thompson for the fourth-best return in NBA history. Chamberlain also holds the scoring record with a 100-point game and also had a 78-point performance to his name, while Kobe Bryant racked up 81 points against the Toronto Raptors in 2006.

Doncic's incredible performance came just four days after the Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid brought up 70 points in a win over the San Antonio Spurs.

Kidd was more than happy to let Doncic take centre-stage and believes the Slovenian will have been frustrated to miss out on a triple-double after adding 10 rebounds and seven assists.

"He is the game plan," Kidd said of Doncic. "The three assists are what he's probably thinking about in the locker room to have a triple-double!"

Doncic himself was focused purely on helping Dallas end their slump, saying: "We've been struggling lately, so the mindset was to go and get a win. We played great."

He was not the only player to put in a huge performance on Friday, with Devin Booker scoring 62 points for the Phoenix Suns, only to finish on the losing side against the Indiana Pacers. 

Obi Toppin's putback broke a tie with just under four seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, guiding Indiana to a 133-131 victory and ruining Booker's remarkable display.

"He's a great player," Toppin said of Booker. "But in that fourth quarter, we decided to hit and send another defender to get the ball out of his hands and just scramble out of that. They didn't like it at all. I think it was their worst quarter.

"We needed points so our objective was just to get involved, crash the boards. I saw Bennedict [Mathurin] try to finish over someone and then Pascal [Siakam] was right in front of me, so I just grabbed the ball and put it in."

Luka Doncic became the fourth player to score 73 points or more in NBA history as Dallas Mavericks beat Atlanta Hawks 148-143.

The 24-year-old’s haul also set a franchise record for the Mavericks, easily surpassing his personal best of 60 points, scoring 41 in the first half.

Doncic now joins an elite list of players, moving level with Wilt Chamberlain and David Thomson with 73 points, while Chamberlain holds the NBA record scoring with 100 points and also had a 78-point game, with Kobe Bryant racking up 81 points.

The Slovenian’s impressive tally comes only four days after Joel Embiid set a new Philadelphia 76ers scoring record after bagging 70 points in a 133-123 victory over San Antonio Spurs.

Doncic’s 73 points helped the Mavericks earn an important win having come into the match on a three-game losing streak.

“We’ve been struggling lately. Mindset was to get a win,” Doncic told the NBA website.

“(The performance) probably (ranks) at the top, one of the top. But I’m glad we got a win.”

In the Western Conference, leaders Oklahoma City Thunder won their fifth game in a row by beating New Orleans Pelicans 107-83, while LA Clippers earned a 127-107 win against Toronto Raptors.

Memphis Grizzlies edged to a 107-106 victory over Orlando Magic, Indiana Pacers also bagged a narrow 133-131 win against Phoenix, despite Devin Booker’s 62-point haul for the Suns.

Houston Rockets beat Charlotte Hornets 138-104 and San Antonio Spurs earned an important 116-100 victory over fellow strugglers Portland Trail Blazers.

In the Eastern Conference, Milwaukee fell to a 112-100 defeat against Cleveland Cavaliers, with the Bucks announcing Doc Rivers as their new head coach after the game.

Luka Dončić scored a franchise-record 73 points to tie for the fourth-most in NBA history in the Dallas Mavericks’ 148-143 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Friday.

Doncic surpassed his previous career high of 60 points after scoring a team-record 41 in the first half.

He joined Wilt Chamberlain and David Thompson as players to score 73 points. Chamberlain, who owns the NBA record with 100 points, also had a 78 and a 73-point game, while Kobe Bryant scored 81 on Jan. 22, 2006.

Doncic shot 25 of 33 from the field, was 8 of 13 from 3-point range and made 15 of 16 free throws. He also had 10 rebounds and seven assists in 44 ½ minutes.

No other player has ever had as many points, rebounds and assists in the same game as Doncic did.

His milestone game came in his original NBA home, at least for a few minutes. Doncic was drafted by the Hawks with the No. 3 overall pick in 2018 before having his draft rights traded to Dallas for Young with the No. 5 pick and a 2019 first-round pick used to select Cam Reddish.

Josh Green had 21 points and Tim Hardaway Jr. was the only other Dallas player in double figures with 13 points. The Mavericks snapped a three-game skid and sent the Hawks to their fourth straight loss.

Trae Young led Atlanta with 30 points and Jalen Johnson added 25.

Pacers rally to spoil Booker’s big night

Obi Toppin snapped a tie on a putback with 3.4 seconds remaining and the Indiana Pacers overcame Devin Booker’s 62 points in a 133-131 win, snapping the Phoenix Suns’ seven-game winning streak.

Booker scored 50 or more points for the second time this season and seventh time in his career, falling eight shy of matching his career-high 70 set at Boston on March 24, 2017.

Pascal Siakam scored 31 points and Toppin finished with 23 and 11 rebounds to help Indiana win its second straight without All-Star guard Tyrese Haliburton.

The Pacers fell behind 54-37 in the second quarter but whittled the deficit down to 80-70 at halftime. They trailed 114-105 entering the fourth but tied it twice in the final 90 seconds before Toppin’s basket won it.

Harden powers Clippers past Raptors

James Harden had 22 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds for his 75th career triple-double to lead the Los Angeles Clippers to their fourth straight win, 127-107 over the Toronto Raptors.

Harden, who notched his first triple-double this season, ranks eighth all-time in that category. He has at least 20 points and 10 assists in each of his last three games.

Paul George scored 21 points and Russell Westbrook added 20 as the Clippers won for the 12th time in 14 games.

Scottie Barnes scored 14 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter for the Raptors, who lost their fourth straight and ninth in 11 games.

LeBron James quipped that Anthony Davis was learning from him after the latter turned in a star showing against the Dallas Mavericks.

Though James did have other things on his mind as he spoke to the media in the wake of the Los Angeles Lakers' 127-110 victory on Tuesday.

While D'Angelo Russell led the Lakers with 29 points, and James chipped in with 25 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, it was Davis who stole the show.

Davis finished with 28 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists as he fell just short of his second triple-double in the space of three games.

Asked about Davis in the locker room after the game, James said with a smile: "He's learning from me how to pass out of the post.

"He's been working on it and it’s great. Teams are going to stop doubling him soon.

"As long as we make shots out there for him. It's our job to make sure we are in the right position at the right time when he gets doubled."

James was not wholly focused on answering the media's questions, however, as he was simultaneously keeping an eye on how his son Bronny was getting on in the USC Trojans' matchup against the Arizona Wildcats.

USC ultimately lost 82-67, with James shouting "Shoot it!" several times through his media huddle.

While the Lakers have now won six of their last four games, the Mavs have lost three of their last five, with Luka Doncic's triple-double on his return from injury not enough against Los Angeles.

Doncic finished with 33 points but was only 2-for-9 when it came to 3-pointers.

"First game back was tough with the legs. I thought a lot of 3s were going in and they didn't," he said.

Mavericks coach Jason Kidd added: "We generated a lot of wide-open looks and they didn't drop for us.

"They made it a point to have pace and took advantage of the misses. When you miss open shots against a team like that, they are going to make you pay."

For Lakers coach Darvin Ham, it is now a case of his team being able to replicate the urgency they showed at both ends of the court, starting against the Brooklyn Nets on Friday.

"Usually when you play good defense, it triggers good offense," Ham said.

"Everyone was having that sense of urgency to be in attack mode. We have to bottle it up and continue to work at it and sustain what we do well."

The Memphis Grizzlies got career-best scoring performances from Vince Williams Jr. and GG Jackson to overcome a slew of injured players and spoil Draymond Green's return to the Golden State Warriors' lineup in Monday's 116-107 win.

Williams amassed 24 points and seven rebounds and Jackson contributed 23 points off the bench on a night Memphis was without three of its top four scorers for the season in Ja Morant, Desmond Bane and Marcus Smart.

Both players recorded eight fourth-quarter points as the Grizzlies pulled away late to halt a two-game losing streak and hand the reeling Warriors an eighth loss in 11 games.

Green had seven points and seven rebounds in 24 minutes in his first appearance in just over a month. The former NBA Defensive Player of the Year had just completed serving an indefinite NBA suspension for striking Phoenix Suns centre Jusuf Nurkic in the face on Dec. 12.

The Warriors owned a 91-90 lead following Stephen Curry's go-ahead 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter, but Memphis responded with a 16-5 run to break the game open. 

Jackson, who finished 5 of 8 from 3-point range, had two triples during the surge, which Luke Kennard capped with a 3-pointer to give the Grizzlies a 106-96 advantage with 7:20 left.

Golden State never got closer than seven points behind the rest of the way.

Curry led the Warriors with 26 points and Jonathan Kuminga delivered 20 points and 11 rebounds off the bench.

Mavericks down rival Pelicans behind big games from Irving, Hardaway

Kyrie Irving and Tim Hardaway Jr. each eclipsed the 40-point mark while rallying the Dallas Mavericks to a 125-120 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans, a win that created a two-way tie atop the Southwest Division between the teams.

The Mavericks overcame a 10-point deficit late in the third quarter and another absence from superstar Luka Dončić to avenge Saturday’s 118-110 home loss to the Pelicans.

Irving and Hardaway more than made up for Doncic missing a third straight game with a sprained ankle. Irving scored 24 of his 42 points in the second half, while Hardaway had 11 of his season-high 41 points during a fourth quarter in which Dallas outscored New Orleans by a 33-21 margin.

The Pelicans held a 111-104 lead with seven minutes left before Dallas took control with a 17-4 run. Hardaway hit back-to-back 3-pointers during the pivotal spurt, the second of which gave the Mavericks a 112-111 edge with 4:16 remaining.

Jalen Green’s 3-pointer with 1:27 left to play extended Dallas’ advantage to 121-115, though New Orleans answered with five straight points to cut its deficit to one with 17.7 seconds remaining.

Irving then hit two free throws on the ensuing possession, and after the Pelicans’ Brandon Ingram missed a potential game-tying 3-point attempt, Maxi Kleber made two foul shots to seal the win and pull Dallas even with New Orleans in the standings.

Zion Williamson led the Pelicans with 30 points and CJ McCollum had 23 in the loss, though Ingram went just 3 of 14 from the field while finishing with 12 points.

Jazz extend winning streak with rout of Pacers

Lauri Markkanen put up 32 points and 10 rebounds as the resurgent Utah Jazz continued their recent winning ways with a 132-105 rout of the short-handed Indiana Pacers.

The Jazz cruised to their sixth consecutive victory behind the hot shooting of Markkanen and Collin Sexton, who went 11 of 17 from the field while scoring a season-high 30 points to go along with five assists. Markkanen made 10 of 15 field goal attempts and was a perfect 10 for 10 from the foul line.

After getting off to a 7-16 start, Utah has won 15 of its last 19 games to move up to ninth place in the Western Conference.

The Pacers lost their second in a row while playing a fourth straight game without star point guard Tyrese Haliburton, out with a hamstring injury. Indiana was also without two other key contributors in guard Bruce Brown and 3-point specialist Aaron Nesmith due to injuries.

Indiana's depleted lineup proved to be no match, as the Jazz took a 33-26 lead after one quarter and increased it to 64-50 at half-time behind 17 points from Sexton and 15 from Markkanen.

Utah maintained a double-digit advantage the rest of the way, with its lead swelling to 29 points in the final stages.

Buddy Hield and Andrew Nembhard each had 14 points to lead Indiana.

 

Bobby Portis and Giannis Antetokounmpo combined to score 20 straight points during a 25-0 run midway through the first half and the Milwaukee Bucks coasted to a 135-102 rout of the NBA-leading Boston Celtics on Thursday.

Portis finished with 28 points and Antetokounmpo added 24 while both players had 12 rebounds. Damian Lillard had 21 points in his return to the Bucks’ lineup after missing a 132-116 loss to Utah on Monday for personal reasons.

Milwaukee led by as many as 43 points and its 75-38 lead at the break was the fourth-biggest halftime advantage in franchise history.

Payton Pritchard scored 21 points for the Celtics, who missed 16 of their first 17 3-point attempts and finished 9 of 34 from deep. Boston was back in action after beating Minnesota in overtime on Wednesday and looked fatigued.

The Celtics allowed their highest point total of the season and dropped their second straight road game.

Giddey leads Thunder to historic rout

Josh Giddey had a triple-double and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 31 points as the Oklahoma City Thunder matched the fifth-largest rout in NBA history, 139-77 over the Portland Trail Blazers.

Jalen Williams scored 21 points on 9-of-10 shooting and Giddey finished with 13 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds for Oklahoma City, which was on the wrong end of the NBA’s biggest blowout, a 73-point loss to Memphis on Dec. 2, 2021.

The Thunder’s 62-point win shattered their previous record for victory margin of 45 points, set twice during the 2012-13 season.

Portland shot a dismal 27.7 percent from the field and suffered its second-worst loss, having fallen by 65 to Indiana on Feb. 27, 1998.

Irving’s big game lifts Mavericks

Kyrie Irving poured in a season-high 44 points and Tim Hardaway Jr. added 32 to lead the short-handed Dallas Mavericks to a 128-124 win over the New York Knicks.

Josh Green scored 18 points, the last coming on a 3-pointer with 25 seconds left to give Dallas a 124-120 lead. Irving and Hardaway combined to make four free throws in the final 11.1 seconds to seal the win.

Dallas superstar Luka Doncic sat out with an ankle injury and Dereck Lively II and Dante Exum also missed the game.

Julius Randle scored 32 points and Jalen Brunson had 30 for the Knicks, who had a five-game winning streak snapped and lost for the first time since acquiring OG Anunoby from Toronto on Dec. 30.

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