Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone believes his side should have been rewarded with more than one All-Star selection after building such a commanding lead in the Western Conference.

The Nuggets came into Monday's play at 39-18, owners of a 4.5-game lead atop the West, but their only All-Star is reigning back-to-back league MVP Nikola Jokic.

Jokic, the favourite to win again this year and earn the first three-peat since Larry Bird from 1984-86, was an obvious selection, but the Nuggets had been campaigning for Aaron Gordon's first selection early in the season, before Jamal Murray also found his footing in the past couple months after an injury-impacted start to the campaign.

Gordon has started 49 of his side's 57 games – the same number as Jokic – while functioning as the team's top defender and averaging 17.3 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists on career-best efficiency. In fact, his field goal percentage of 58.7 per cent is the fifth highest in the league among players attempting at least 10 shots per game.

Meanwhile, after a slow start, Murray is averaging 25.9 points, 7.5 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 1.2 steals on shooting splits of 49/41/91 across his past 15 games.

Speaking to the media ahead of Monday's game against the Miami Heat, Malone said he would have liked to see the best team get rewarded in the All-Star Game for their dominance.

"It definitely bothers you, when you are in first place in the West by four games and you have the second-best record in the NBA," he said. 

"Yes, Nikola is a great player and he's on his way to potentially winning three MVPs in a row, but we have other great players as well. 

"A guy like Aaron Gordon, like Jamal Murray, you would hope they would be given some respect, if you will.

"But we're not going to focus on that because I know for Aaron, for Jamal, for everybody in that locker room, our goals are much bigger than the All-Star game."

There have already been two replacement All-Stars named in the West after it became clear Zion Williamson and Stephen Curry were not going to be able to participate, but those reserve selections went to Minnesota Timberwolves rising star Anthony Edwards and Sacramento Kings point guard De'Aaron Fox.

Joel Embiid and James Harden led the Philadelphia 76ers to a hard-fought 101-98 win against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center on Saturday.

The Nets, now shorn of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, had to face another of their former stars in Harden, who had no problem showing them the kind of form he rarely displayed in Brooklyn on his first appearance there since leaving last year, scoring 29 points with six rebounds and six assists.

Embiid had an even better outing, with the Cameroonian finishing with 37 points and 13 rebounds, making 12 of his 18 field-goal attempts.

Mikal Bridges scored 23 on debut for Brooklyn after his arrival as part of the Durant deal with the Phoenix Suns, with fellow debutant Cam Johnson adding 12, while Joe Harris managed 18 points from just over 16 minutes on court.

The two players the Nets acquired as part of the Irving deal, Dorian Finney-Smith and Spencer Dinwiddie, struggled against the Sixers.

Finney-Smith made just two of his eight field-goal attempts, while Dinwiddie fared even worse with two from 10, and zero from four shots from beyond the arc.

Dinwiddie thought he had forced overtime at least when a three-pointer finally went in, but it was ruled out of time after a review as Philadelphia secured the victory.

 

Doncic and Irving outfoxed by De'Aaron

In their first outing together for the Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic and Irving could not get the W as De'Aaron Fox helped the Sacramento Kings to an overtime victory.

Both Doncic and Irving spent more than 40 minutes on the court, scoring 27 and 28 points respectively in a tight game in which neither team ended a quarter with more than a two-point lead.

Fox particularly shone in the latter stages as he recorded 26 points in the fourth quarter and overtime, including six free throws in the final 18.4 seconds to help seal a 133-128 win at Golden 1 Center.

Jokic makes history, Young's assist bonanza

Nikola Jokic became only the fifth player in NBA history to record 20+ triple-doubles in a single season as he led the Denver Nuggets to a 119-105 win at the Charlotte Hornets.

The two-time MVP scored 30 points, with 16 rebounds and 10 assists, while Trae Young also had a productive game as the Atlanta Hawks beat the San Antonio Spurs 125-106.

Young provided an impressive season-high 17 assists for his team to go with his 24 points to make it a 12-game losing streak for the Spurs, their longest since 1988-89 (13).

A much-changed Los Angeles Lakers pulled off a 109-103 victory against the Golden State Warriors, with Dennis Schroder top-scoring with 26 points, while the returning D'Angelo Russell added 15 and Anthony Davis recorded 16 rebounds.

The Brooklyn Nets are off to a winning start after trading away both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant at the trade deadline, defeating the Chicago Bulls 116-105 with their new-look line-up.

In his first appearance since arriving as the key piece back from the Dallas Mavericks in return for Kyrie Irving, Spencer Dinwiddie looked right at home as he delivered a game-winning performance.

Dinwiddie – who spent five season with the Nets from 2016-2021 – was clearly the focal point of coach Jacque Vaughn's offense. He started, led the team with 39 minutes played, and posted team-highs in points (25), assists (six) and steals (four) with a plus/minus of plus 25.

The only player with a better plus/minus was fellow former Maverick Dorian Finney-Smith, who was plus 32 in his 35 minutes, scoring nine points and grabbing nine rebounds after immediately stepping into a key role.

Brooklyn were without both Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson, who they acquired from the Phoenix Suns in return for Kevin Durant, and when interviewed during the game, Bridges said they hope to debut in their new colours on Saturday against the visiting Philadelphia 76ers.

For the Bulls, Zach Lavine was impressive with a game-high 38 points on 16-of-25 shooting, although he did not contribute much else, with one point, one rebound, no steals or blocks, and four turnovers.

With the win, the Nets improved their record to 33-22, and they now sit 3.5 games clear of the play-in race, comfortably in the fifth seed for the time being.

Orlando's depth delivers Denver demise

The Orlando Magic reserves dominated the Denver Nuggets' bench to pull out a 115-104 home win against the Western Conference leaders.

It was another typical masterclass from reigning back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic, scoring 29 points on 10-of-19 shooting with 12 rebounds and six assists, but the Nuggets lacked further firepower in the absence of Jamal Murray, who troublingly missed his third game in a row with knee inflammation.

Denver were plus eight in Jokic's 38 minutes, but were outscored by 19 in the 10 minutes he was on the bench.

Orlando were led by a terrific Cole Anthony showing, coming off the pine to score 17 points with seven rebounds and seven assists, while Bol Bol had 17 points in 15 minutes.

Giannis too big, too strong for undermanned Lakers

LeBron James was out and the Los Angeles Lakers' new arrivals were also not ready as Giannis Antetokounmpo carried the Milwaukee Bucks to a 115-106 victory.

The Lakers should have their newly constructed line-up when they next take the floor – having acquired Jarred Vanderbilt, Malik Beasley and D'Angelo Russell at the deadline while shipping off Russell Westbrook – but Anthony Davis' 23 points and 16 assists was not enough against the Bucks.

Antetokounmpo controlled proceedings with a game-high 38 points on 14-of-23 shooting, adding 10 rebounds and six assists, while Khris Middleton looked like his All-NBA self with 22 points (10-of-18) off the bench.

Gary Payton II is heading back to the Golden State Warriors less than a year after departing the reigning NBA champions, according to ESPN senior NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski.

The guard signed with the Portland Trail Blazers as a free agent during the offseason after helping the Warriors win their fourth championship in the space of eight years.

However, Payton was sidelined for several months after undergoing core muscle surgery and did not make his Blazers debut until their 135-106 win over the Detroit Pistons last month.

But the 30-year-old was reportedly traded back to the Warriors on a hectic trade deadline day, with the Blazers receiving five future second-round picks.

Kevin Knox was also traded to the Warriors as part of a three-team trade with the Pistons, who received James Wiseman in the opposite direction while also trading Saddiq Bey to the Atlanta Hawks.

Wiseman, the second overall pick from the 2020 NBA Draft, had bounced between the Warriors' active roster and their G League affiliate, but he could not justify the luxury tax expenses that would have been associated with retaining him on the roster. According to The Athletic's John Hollinger, the Warriors will save a combined $51million in salary and luxury tax this season, and $85m next season by cutting their losses.

Elsewhere, the Eastern Conference-leading Boston Celtics bolstered their three-point shooting and depth after agreeing a trade with Oklahoma City Thunder for 10-year NBA veteran Mike Muscala.

According to The Athletic, the Thunder will receive Justin Jackson and two future second-round picks as part of the deal.

There has also been activity involving Western Conference leaders, the Denver Nuggets, who have traded youngster Bones Hyland to the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for two future second-round picks.

Earlier in the day, Kevin Durant completed a stunning trade to the Phoenix Suns from the Brooklyn Nets, who have lost two All-Star starters in as many days after also trading Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks this week.

According to ESPN, the Suns gave the Nets three players in Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson and Jae Crowder, plus four unprotected first-round picks and a 2028 pick swap.

Reportedly part of the Durant trade, Jae Crowder is heading to the Milwaukee Bucks with the Nets receiving five second-round picks, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

LeBron James was the biggest story in sports on Tuesday as he became the NBA's all-time scoring leader, but the Oklahoma City Thunder got the last laugh.

James reached the legendary record late in the third quarter, with a turnaround jump shot from the free throw line bringing up his 36th point of the game, and his 38,388th regular season point overall to surpass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's 39-year-old record.

But it was the Thunder leading 104-99 at the time of the basket, and it would be the Thunder coming away with the 133-130 victory.

Oklahoma City were led by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who remains one of seven players this season averaging at least 30 points per game (30.8) after scoring an even 30 on nine-of-17 shooting, adding eight assists and two steals.

Rookie wing Jalen Williams was terrific with 25 points (10-of-19 shooting), seven rebounds and six steals, while point guard Josh Giddey added 20 points (10-of-19), six assists and five rebounds.

James ended up scoring a game-high 38 points on 13-of-20 shooting with seven rebounds and three steals, while Russell Westbrook put together one of his better performances this season with 27 points (10-of-19), eight assists and two steals.

With the win, the Thunder improved their record to 26-28 to sit 11th in the Western Conference, although things are so tightly bunched that they are only 2.5 games back from the six seed. 

The Lakers fell to 25-30, and are four games back from the Dallas Mavericks in the six seed.

Thomas makes history as Booker returns for Phoenix

Brooklyn Nets rising star Cam Thomas became the youngest player to ever score 40 points in three consecutive games, but Devin Booker's return lifted the Phoenix Suns to a 116-112 win.

After scoring a career-high 44 points against the Washington Wizards on Saturday, and then following it with another career-high of 47 against the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday, Thomas dropped 43 against the Suns.

He shot 11-of-23 from the field – his worst shooting performance in this three-game run – but boosted his tally by going 18-of-20 from the free throw line.

But the return of Devin Booker after 21 games and six weeks on the sideline provided a jolt in the arm for the Suns, contributing 19 points on six-of-15 shooting with six assists in 26 minutes, while Deandre Ayton dominated the action with 35 points (14-of-18) and 15 rebounds.

Another Jokic masterclass blows away the Timberwolves

Reigning back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic showed exactly why he is the favourite to make it a three-peat with a dominant performance in the Denver Nuggets' 146-112 blowout of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Jokic had 17 points on eight-of-10 shooting with 10 rebounds and 10 assists by half-time, and he did not attempt a field goal in the second half, finishing with 20 points, 16 assists and 12 rebounds.

He has a chance to become the first center in NBA history to average a triple-double if he can maintain his current figures of 24.7 points, 11.3 rebounds and 10.2 assists, while Michael Porter Jr carried the scoring load against Minnesota, pouring in 30 on 11-of-15 shooting.

Cam Thomas starred off the bench as the depleted Brooklyn Nets came from behind to defeat the Washington Wizards 125-123 on Saturday.

Already without Ben Simmons and talisman Kevin Durant, the Nets were dealt a further blow when Kyrie Irving was ruled out due to a calf problem.

Irving's injury came just a day after news broke of his wish to leave the Nets, with the point guard having handed in a trade request.

The former Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics star was not in attendance at the Barclays Center, though that decision was a joint one with the team's management.

A bleak end to the week looked set to be compounded as the Warriors held a healthy 23-point lead, yet the Nets fought back partly thanks to Thomas' efforts.

He scored a career-high, game-leading 44 points, while Edmond Sumner chipped in with 29 as the Wizards – who lost to the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday – became the first team in the past 25 seasons to throw away 20+ point leads on consecutive days.

Kristaps Porzingis top scored for the Wizards with 38 points.

James gets closer but Pelicans end losing streak

LeBron James is now just 36 points away from breaking Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's long-standing NBA record, yet his efforts were not enough for the Los Angeles Lakers against the New Orleans Pelicans.

James added 27 more points to his total on Saturday, though the Lakers lost 131-126 to a Pelicans team that had suffered 10 straight defeats.

While Anthony Davis was the Lakers' standout performer with a double-double of 34 points and 14 rebounds, Brandon Ingram's 35-point haul led the Pelicans, who moved onto .500 for the season.

Curry concern for Warriors

Stephen Curry scored 21 points, added six rebounds and provided seven assists but hobbled out of the Golden State Warriors' 119-113 win over the Dallas Mavericks with a knee injury in the third quarter.

Curry must now await results of an MRI scan, which is set to take place on Sunday, to determine the severity of the issue.

Reigning NBA champions Golden State nevertheless got the job done without him in the final quarter, getting over the line against a Dallas side missing their star man Luka Doncic.

Draymond Green's 17 points, nine rebounds and nine assists were crucial, with Spencer Dinwiddie's game-high 25 points not enough for the Mavs, who have lost seven in 11.

Nuggets tie with Celtics

The Boston Celtics lost for the fourth time in six games on Friday and the Denver Nuggets capitalised to tie level as joint-NBA leaders.

Denver beat the Atlanta Hawks 128-108, with Nikola Jokic (14 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists) claiming his 18th triple-double of the season while Jamal Murray turned on the style with his season-best tally of 41 points.

The Nuggets are now tied with the Eastern Conference-leading Celtics on 37-16 for the season and have won 19 of their last 20 home games.

The Los Angeles Lakers trailed by 14 early in the fourth quarter before storming back to defeat the Indiana Pacers 112-111 on the road.

Los Angeles' defense let them down early on Thursday as they gave up 35 points in the first quarter and another 32 in the second, heading into the long break trailing 67-54.

The Lakers were finally able to hold the Pacers under 30 points in a 30-29 third frame, before their defense woke up in the final period and kept the home side to just 15.

The visiting team did not claim their first lead of the game until LeBron James drained a three-pointer to jump ahead 108-106 with 2:35 remaining, but a jump shot from rookie Andrew Nembhard put the Pacers up by one with under a minute to play.

With the game on the line, Anthony Davis drained a clutch post fadeaway over elite defensive center Myles Turner to retake the lead, and although the Lakers left the door open with a pair of missed free throws from Pat Beverley, Buddy Hield's potential game-winner was off the mark thanks to Beverley's smothering defense.

It was a gutsy comeback to give the Lakers their second win in a row, led by Davis' 31 points on 13-of-27 shooting with 14 rebounds and two blocks. 

Meanwhile, James was efficient with 26 points on 11-of-19 shooting, adding seven rebounds and seven assists. He is now 62 points away from tying Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's all-time scoring mark.

For the Pacers, Tyrese Haliburton enjoyed a strong return from injury after three weeks on the sideline, leading his team in points (26) and assists (12) after being named to his first All-Star team earlier in the day.

Jokic toys with the Warriors

Reigning back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic continued his march towards a three-peat as he dominated the Golden State Warriors in the Denver Nuggets' 134-117 triumph.

Jokic finished with 22 points on nine-of-13 shooting with 16 assists and 14 rebounds. Over his past 17 games, he has only finished with fewer than nine assists once, and no player is averaging more than his 11.9 assists over their past 15 games.

It was also another strong performance from Nuggets guard Jamal Murray, scoring 33 points on 12-of-23 shooting with eight assists and five rebounds. Over his past five outings, Murray is averaging 27.6 points and 7.2 assists.

The Nuggets sit four games clear atop the Western Conference at 36-16, while the 26-26 Warriors are ninth.

Mavericks hold on as Doncic leaves hurt

The Dallas Mavericks led the New Orleans Pelicans by 31 points during the second quarter, but ended up getting pushed all the way in a 111-106 victory.

Slovenian superstar Luka Doncic had 27 points in the first half, and made his way up to 31 early in the third period before he suffered a heel injury due to a hard fall, ending his night.

The Mavericks led by 28 when he exited the game, and from that point on the Pelicans closed the contest on a 50-27 run. They ultimately came up short after a controversial refereeing mistake in the final seconds robbed them of a chance to shoot for the tie.

It was the Pelicans' 10th loss in a row as they desperately await the return of Zion Williamson from his hamstring injury, while the Mavericks improved to fifth in the West at 28-25.

Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone and his staff will take charge of LeBron James' team in this season's All-Star Game.

The game will be played in Salt Lake City on February 19, with LeBron's team taking on a side headed up by Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks.

A victory for the Portland Trail Blazers over the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday ensured the Nuggets will top the Western Conference by the end of play on Sunday, two weeks before the game, meaning Malone's coaching staff are assured of their roles in the exhibition event.

It is the second time in his career that Malone will coach in the All-Star Game, after he oversaw a 178-164 victory for Team LeBron over Team Giannis in 2019. Joe Mazzulla, interim coach of the Boston Celtics, is to take charge of Team Giannis.

The Nuggets still have eight games to play before the All-Star break, however, starting with a clash against the Golden State Warriors on Thursday, and Malone warned against any complacency.

He said: "I say it every year and I told our players this. There's some teams that are dying for the All-Star break and can't wait to go to Cancun.

"No, we are keeping our eyes on the prize and we have to make sure we play all the way to the break."

Nuggets star Nikola Jokic has been selected as a starter, though the two-time reigning NBA MVP might not be coached by Malone, who will have to wait until the day of the game to find out his full roster when James drafts his side.

Joel Embiid made it clear he is only concerned about winning a championship after dominating in the Philadelphia 76ers' 126-119 victory against reigning back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets.

Embiid – who has finished runner-up in each of the past two MVP votes – was spectacular on Saturday, finishing with a game-high 47 points on 18-of-31 shooting, a game-high 18 rebounds and equal game-highs with three steals and two blocks.

He outplayed Jokic, who still posted a terrific stat line of 24 points (eight-of-12 shooting), nine assists and eight rebounds, but his seven turnovers were the third-most he has had in a game this season,

It continued a remarkable campaign for Embiid, improving his league-leading scoring average to a career-high 33.8 per game, while also shooting a career-best 53.2 per cent from the field. He is shooting a career-best 86.1 per cent from the free throw line while leading the league at 10.0 made free throws per game.

When asked after the win if he feels he should be the MVP, Embiid said he is no longer concerned about the award.

"I don't know, that's up to you guys to decide," he said. "Like I told you, I'm done arguing for myself. It's all out there.

"But the focus is on winning. As long as we win, I know everything is going to take care of itself. If we keep winning, and everyone stays healthy, I've got a better chance of going out there and winning a championship."

Embiid also had his streak of five consecutive selections as an All-Star starter snapped this past week as Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant and Jayson Tatum claimed the three frontcourt spots in the East.

He said he feels that is an indication that he is "not well-liked", but he is not bothered by it.

"I'm used to it," he said. "It's not the first time. I think it's more of a motivation to go out and win the whole thing – that's the only way I'm probably going to get that respect.

"I was not surprised, I think it's well documented that I'm not well-liked. That's cool. I don't know if it's because I troll a lot or that I guess I'm an a****** – but it's cool. 

"I keep being me, I keep being an a******, and I keep trolling, and if people don't like it, that's their problem. But like I said, it all goes back to winning."

The 28-year-old believes winning would cure everything, and that the current 76ers roster – with a healthy James Harden – has the balance required to go all the way.

"You've got James Harden, obviously he's been playing great basketball," he said. "You've got Tyrese Maxey, Tobias has been great, P.J. Tucker... we've got a group that fits with each other.

"We'll find that out in the postseason. But I think as far as the fit, you've got everything. Everybody fits with each other, we've got shooters, we've got defenders, and we've got James Harden. So I think we've got a good chance."

The 76ers are now 32-16, sitting second in the Eastern Conference while owning the third-best record in the league.

Reigning back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic will miss his third game from the past four due to a tight left hamstring when the Denver Nuggets face the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday.

Jokic returned with a triple-double including the game-winner in Tuesday's 98-99 win over the New Orleans Pelicans after missing two games with the same hamstring issue.

The Serbian center is averaging 25.1 points, 11.0 rebounds and 9.9 assists this season, putting him in contention to be first player to win three MVPs in a row since Larry Bird (1984-86).

Jokic's absence comes as the Western Conference-leading Nuggets (34-14) take on the Bucks (30-17), who are third in the Eastern Conference.

The Nuggets will also be without Jamal Murray (left knee), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (sprained right wrist) and Michael Porter Jr. (personal reasons) for the game.

Bobby Portis will be absent for Milwaukee due to right MCL and right ankle sprains, with the injuries to be reevaluated in two weeks.

Portis sustained the injuries in Monday's 150-130 win over the Detroit Pistons where both Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton returned after injuries.

LeBron James scored 46 points but the Los Angeles Clippers continued their recent dominance over the Los Angeles Lakers with a 133-115 victory on Tuesday.

The Clippers have now won 10 straight against the Lakers and are 36-9 in recent seasons. The win moves the Clippers up to fifth spot in the west with a 26-24 record, while the Lakers are 22-26 and 13th in the west.

Paul George top scored for the Clippers, who made 19 three-pointers at 50 per cent as a team, leading the way with 27 points on 11-of-20 shooting while adding nine rebounds and four assists.

Kawhi Leonard chipped in 25 points with nine rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks as the Clippers found form with a third straight win, and they could receive further reinforcements soon as Luke Kennard (calf) and John Wall (abdominal strain) close in on returns.

James was exceptional for the Lakers, shooting 16-of-29 from the field with nine-of-14 triples, along with eight rebounds, seven assists, two steals and one block.

The four-time NBA MVP's 46-point haul moves him to within 177 of tying Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's all-time scoring record at 38,387.

James appeared set for a 50-point game, scoring 15 points in the fourth quarter, before the Clippers put the game to bed on an 8-0 run and send James to the bench for good with five minutes remaining.

Another triple-double as Jokic calls game

Nikola Jokic scored the game-winner with 16.2 seconds left as he recorded his 15th triple-double of the season in the Denver Nuggets' 99-98 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans.

Jokic and Jamal Murray were disconnected down the stretch before linking up for the crucial two-pointer, capping the Serbian's game with 25 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists, adding further weight to his claims for a third straight MVP, which would be the first occurrence since Larry Bird from 1984-86.

Murray added 25 points on 11-of-21 shooting with seven assists for Denver, while C.J. McCollum top scored for the Pels with 20 points, but he went zero-of-eight from three-point range.

Celtics suffer back-to-back defeats

The short-handed Miami Heat fought back from 14 points down to inflict back-to-back defeats on the Boston Celtics with a 98-95 victory.

Bam Adebayo top scored with 30 points and 15 rebounds for Miami, who were without Jimmy Butler due to a back injury. The Heat squared the game up at 87-87 in the fourth quarter on a 10-0 run, before going on to win their sixth straight game at home.

Jayson Tatum, who scored 31 points with 14 rebounds, threw a pass that was intercepted by Tyler Herro in the final minute, before Payton Pritchard missed a desperation three-point attempt on the buzzer.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander plays the game at his own pace, according to Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault after his star player helped them break the Denver Nuggets' winning streak.

Denver had put together nine victories in a row, and were unbeaten in 16 at home before the Thunder overcame them 101-99 at Ball Arena on Sunday.

Gilgeous-Alexander led the way as he scored 34 points, with five rebounds and five assists as OKC made it five wins from six games and moved onto 23-24 for the season.

The decisive basket came from Gilgeous-Alexander with 9.2 seconds remaining and Daigneault praised the Canada international guard's composure under pressure.

"He's got some poise in those situations," Daigneault said of the 24-year-old. "The game slows down for him. He's got great confidence and he's always at his pace, even in the most pressure situations."

It was the first time in over a month that the Thunder had limited an opponent to under 100 points, and Daigneault paid tribute to the Nuggets – who were again without Nikola Jokic due to a hamstring issue – and his team's ability to get past them.

"I thought we did a really good job, played really good situational basketball down the stretch of the game," he said. "Denver were really good honestly, we especially had a hard time getting anything going offensively, but the guys stuck together.

"That's a tough place to play and it was a grind, so I was really pleased with the guys tonight."

Gilgeous-Alexander is one of just five players in the league to average more than 30 points per game this season (30.7), and he believes OKC are only going to improve.

"We're getting better," Gilgeous-Alexander said. "And we're in it more often, we've played a lot of close games for a few years now and we're just going to keep getting better in those moments... really trying to get better from our mistakes in every moment we're in."

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.

Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray collected the first triple-double of his career as he filled in as his side's top option during Friday's 134-111 home victory against the Indiana Pacers.

The Nuggets were without reigning back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic for the fifth time this season as he sat out with hamstring tightness, allowing Murray to slide in as the primary initiator in what was Denver's ninth consecutive win.

Murray made the most of his opportunity, producing a Jokic-like performance as he attempted only eight field goal attempts on his way to 17 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds.

He was not alone as the Nuggets shot 61 per cent from the field and 50 per cent from three-point range, with Aaron Gordon also dominating on his way to 28 points (11-of-15 shooting), six assists and five rebounds. 

Michael Porter Jr chipped in 19 points (eight-of-14 shooting) and eight rebounds, while Bruce Brown was everywhere on his way to 17 points (seven-of-11), five assists, four rebounds, two steals and a block.

As a team, the Nuggets finished with 38 assists, which was just four away from the league's best total this season, which was set at 42 by the Brooklyn Nets in December.

Speaking after the game, Murray joked he would have more triple-doubles if he did not play with Jokic.

"He steals a lot of my triple-doubles," he said. "It was nice to finally get one on the board.

"I was just playing our game, playing aggressive. We were just having fun out there, the ball was hopping."

Fill-in head coach David Adelman – who is 3-0 while standing in for Michael Malone – spoke about how Murray's game changes with Jokic out of the team.

"I think sometimes you have to [take into consideration] that Jamal plays with Nikola – his job is to score," he said. "The facilitating has gotten better, but we're a unique team in that sense.

"Our guards are out there to cut, move, make plays and score baskets off Nikola, but there are nights where the coverage is what it is and he takes advantage of it.

"We've talked a lot about Aaron Gordon being a possible All-Star – we're the number one team in the West – if Jamal Murray is not in the conversation, then you don't value winning.

"All three of those guys have been so consistent throughout the year, they deserve the accolades they're getting."

The Nuggets are now 33-13, and sit one-and-a-half games clear atop the Western Conference.

Nikola Jokic wants to be remembered as a "really good team player" after making franchise history in the Denver Nuggets' 122-118 triumph over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The two-time reigning NBA MVP contributed 31 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds as the Nuggets improved to 32-13 on the season to sit top of the Western Conference.

Jokic now has 3,686 career assists, surpassing the tally of Alex English who had 3,679 in Nuggets colours. Moreover, he has reached his tally in 568 games as opposed to English's 837.

English himself paid tribute to Jokic's achievement, intimating he foresees a third MVP accolade in the near future, posting on Twitter: "I knew that eventually my all-time assist record would be broken. I'm honored to see that it's 2 time, I mean 3 time MVP of the NBA do it. Congrats big fella."

Jokic was typically humble when asked what it meant to earn a piece of Nuggets history.

"When you have a lot of assists, it just shows that you're a good team player," he said.

"That's something I want to be. I want everybody to remember me as a guy who was a really good team player."

Team-mate Jamal Murray, who nailed a game-tying three-pointer with a little over two minutes remaining, then hit the bucket that put the Nuggets into a lead they did not let go of, said of Jokic: "We clapped a little bit. That's a lot of passes. That's pretty impressive."

The Nuggets are next in action against the Indiana Pacers, who are 23-23 and ninth in the Eastern Conference, on Friday.

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