In a Christmas Day slate full of noteworthy performances, Luka Doncic was the star atop the Christmas tree.

Doncic scored 50 points, eclipsing 10,000 for his career, and added six rebounds and 14 assists as the Dallas Mavericks beat the Phoenix Suns 128-114 in the NBA’s Christmas night cap.

Doncic went 8 of 16 from 3-point range and made all 12 of his free throw attempts as he reached the 10,000-point milestone in 358 career games, the seventh-fastest in NBA history.

Rookie center Dereck Lively II added 20 points and 10 rebounds for his fifth double-double, while Derrick Jones Jr. contributed 23 points.

Grayson Allen led the Suns with 32 points while Kevin Durant (4 for 11) and Devin Booker (6 for 14) had poor shooting nights.

Celtics get first Christmas win over Lakers

Kristaps Porzingis had 28 points and 11 rebounds, Jayson Tatum scored 25 despite an off shooting night and the Boston Celtics beat the Los Angeles Lakers 126-115.

The Celtics’ win was their first ever against the Lakers on Christmas Day, overcoming a 40-point, 13-rebound performance from Anthony Davis.

LeBron James had 16 points, nine rebounds and eight assists as the Lakers dropped to 2-6 since winning the NBA’s inaugural in-season tournament.

Jokic shines in win over Warriors

Nikola Jokic flirted with a triple-double and made all 18 of his free throw attempts, leading the Denver Nuggets to a 120-114 win over the Golden State Warriors.

Jokic had 26 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists for the defending champions as the Nuggets won a season-high fifth consecutive game and improved to 12-2 at Ball Arena this season.

Jamal Murray led Denver with 28 points.

The Warriors’ leading scorer was Andrew Wiggins, who netted 22 off the bench.

James Harden scored a season-high 35 points to lead the scorching Los Angeles Clippers to an eighth consecutive win with Monday's 151-127 blowout of the Indiana Pacers.

Kawhi Leonard added 28 points and Paul George had 27 as the Clippers' two other stars also had big nights to keep the league's hottest team rolling. Harden chipped in nine assists as well, while Ivica Zubac compiled an 18-point, 16-rebound double-double.

The Clippers took control with a 10-0 second-quarter run that gave them a 67-57 lead with under 3 1/2 minutes left in the first half, then headed into the break with a 77-66 advantage.

Los Angeles then outscored the Pacers by a 37-28 margin in the third quarter to stretch the margin further, and Harden ended any hopes of an Indiana comeback by putting up 21 points on 7-of-8 shooting in the fourth.

The Pacers lost their fourth straight game despite a career-high 34 points from Bennedict Mathurin. Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana's leading scorer for the season, dished out 11 assists but was held to eight points on 3-of-12 shooting. 

Nuggets blow out Mavericks in clash of West contenders

Jamal Murray scored 22 points, Aaron Gordon tied a season high with 21, and the Denver Nuggets cruised to a 130-104 win over the short-handed Dallas Mavericks in a showdown between two of the Western Conference's top teams.

The defending NBA champion Nuggets shot 56.3 per cent from the field and led from start to finish en route to a fourth victory in five games. Reggie Jackson delivered 20 points off the bench on 9-of-12 shooting, while Gordon finished 7 of 9 and Murray was perfect on four attempts from 3-point range.

Dallas got 38 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists from Luka Dončić, but couldn't overcome the absence of fellow star Kyrie Irving as well as key contributors Josh Green and Dereck Lively and lost for the second time in three games.

Gordon had 16 first-half points as the Nuggets took a 68-59 lead into the break, then extended their advantage to 20 points after a 10-0 run late in the third quarter put the Mavericks at a 94-74 deficit.

Denver then rested its entire starting lineup in the fourth quarter while building a lead as large as 36 points.

Bulls continue surge, snap 76ers' six-game winning streak

Coby White racked up 24 points, eight rebounds and nine assists as the Chicago Bulls continued their recent hot play and cooled off the Philadelphia 76ers with a 108-104 victory.

Chicago has now won six of its last nine games following a 5-14 start despite two-time All-Star Zach LaVine being sidelined by a foot injury. Nikola Vucevic had 23 points and eight rebounds for the Bulls, who had a 12-point lead after three quarters reduced to one late before holding on.

The 76ers had a six-game winning streak halted despite another huge performance from Joel Embiid, who totalled 40 points, 14 rebounds and six assists. 

Tyrese Maxey added 29 points and eight assists, but no other Philadelphia player managed more than eight points.

White had 16 first-half points as Chicago took a 55-44 lead into the break. Chicago was up 81-69 entering the fourth quarter before the 76ers rallied late to pull within 105-104 on a Maxey 3-pointer with 33.2 seconds left.

Embiid misfired on two shots afterward, though, and Chicago's DeMar DeRozan sealed the game by making three of four free throws in the final stages.

 

Nikola Jokic accepted he "crossed the line" after being ejected from the Denver Nuggets' road win over the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday, a decision which prompted boos from the opposing fans. 

Jokic was ejected with just over a minute remaining in the second quarter, but Reggie Jackson stepped up with a team-high 25 points as Denver rallied in his absence for a 114-106 win.

The two-time NBA MVP was tossed after yelling at official Mousa Dagher while asking for a foul call, with ESPN reporting that he told Dagher: "Call the foul, mother******". 

The pool report said Jokic was thrown out for "profane language that warranted an ejection", and while Jokic accepted he was in the wrong, he said other officials would not have called a technical for that offence.

"Sometimes it's not even a technical," Jokic said after the game. "I crossed the line, I understand, but sometimes that word doesn't cross the line. It is what it is."

Jokic's ejection led to boos from the Chicago crowd, and the Bulls were expecting a large contingent of Serbian fans to be in attendance on Jokic's only visit to United Center this regular season.

"It's the second-biggest Serbian population here," Jokic pointed out. "Belgrade is the first, and Chicago is the second. So, maybe they came to see me!"

While Denver coach Michael Malone was pleased to see Jokic's team-mates step up, he said the team must ensure that he stays in games for the duration.

"I think everybody was surprised it was a one-tech toss," Malone said. "Maybe I have to do a better job because if he's getting fouled or he thinks he's getting fouled, let me take the tech.  

"That's my job as a head coach because I don't want him being put in that position where he is getting thrown out. It's not good for him and more importantly it's not good for the team.

"We can talk about how great our bench was tonight, but in the big picture, we need Nikola available. He knows that, and we just have to work on how we engage and how we communicate with the referees."

Jokic was not the subject of the only high-profile ejection across the NBA on Tuesday, with Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green tossed for the third time this season in a 119-116 loss to the Phoenix Suns.

Green was ejected in the third quarter after receiving a Flagrant 2 foul for hitting Jusuf Nurkic in the face, with the incident coming less than a month after he was banned for five games for putting the Minnesota Timberwolves' Rudy Gobert in a headlock.

Green must now wait on a league review to discover whether he will face another suspension, and he apologised for catching Nurkic in the aftermath of Golden State's loss.

"I am not one to apologise for things I do, but I do apologise to Jusuf because I didn't intend to hit him," Green said. "I sell calls with my arms. I was selling the call, I swung and unfortunately I hit him."

While Suns coach Frank Vogel called Green's behaviour "reckless" and "dangerous", the 33-year-old insisted he didn't intend to strike Nurkic.

"If I intended to do that, then I would feel awful about not being there," Green added. "But my intentions were just to sell the foul.

"You guys have known me long enough, if I intended to do something, I am not apologising. But I did make contact with him, so I do apologise. It's a hard hit."

Zion Williamson delivered a season-high 36 points as the New Orleans Pelicans cooled off the NBA-leading Minnesota Timberwolves with a 121-107 victory on Monday.

CJ McCollum scored nine of his 23 points in the fourth quarter to help the Pelicans pull away and bounce back from Thursday's 44-point blowout loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA In-Season Tournament semifinals.

Minnesota entered the matchup with a league-best 17-4 record and had won six consecutive games but played without leading scorer Anthony Edwards due to a hip pointer.

Karl-Anthony Towns, Mike Conley and Naz Reid all had 17 points for the Timberwolves, with Towns adding 12 rebounds. 

Minnesota never led in the second half, however, as the Pelicans ended the second quarter on a 12-3 run to take a 59-52 half-time lead.

New Orleans held a 90-86 advantage after three quarters, then opened the fourth on a 9-0 spurt capped by a McCollum 3-pointer to gain further separation.

The Pelicans also received 20 points from Brandon Ingram and 14 points and 13 rebounds from Jonas Valanciunas.

Bucks bounce back with overtime win over Bulls

Giannis Antetokounmpo compiled 32 points, 12 rebounds and six assists and the Milwaukee Bucks dominated the early stages of overtime to come through with a 133-129 win over the Chicago Bulls.

After Chicago rallied from a 14-point first-half deficit to force overtime on DeMar DeRozan's jumper with 3.7 seconds left in regulation, the Bucks opened the extra session with an 8-1 run to build a 126-119 lead and never trailed thereafter.

Brook Lopez and Malik Beasley each had 19 points to help Milwaukee rebound from Thursday's loss to the Indiana Pacers in the NBA In-Season Tournament semfinals.

The Bulls had a four-game winning streak halted despite a monster performance from DeRozan, who put up 41 points and 11 assists. Coby White finished with a season-high 33 points in the loss.

Nuggets hold off Hawks to end three-game skid

Jamal Murray scored 29 points on 12-of-15 shooting and added nine rebounds to help the Denver Nuggets get back on track with a 129-122 win over the Atlanta Hawks.

The reigning NBA champions withstood a career-high 40 points from Atlanta's Bogdan Bogdanović and a fourth-quarter comeback attempt by the Hawks to stop a three-game losing streak. Nikola Jokić contributed 25 points and nine assists for Denver, while rookie Julian Strawther hit six 3-pointers while producing a career-high 22 points off the bench.

Bogdanovic had 13 of his points in the fourth quarter with Atlanta's leading scorer, Trae Young, out of the game after being ejected when arguing a no-foul call late in the third.

The Hawks trailed 100-86 at the time of Young's departure and were down by 20 points with under 10 minutes left before rallying late, as Bogdanovic led a 16-5 run that cut the Nuggets' lead to 126-122 with 30.5 seconds left.

Jokic hit two free throws on the ensuing possession, however, and Bogdanovic missed a pair of 3-point tries in the final seconds as the Hawks' bid came up short.

Young had 19 points and nine assists before exiting.

 

The Orlando Magic beat the Washington Wizards 130-125 on Friday to match a franchise record with their ninth straight win behind strong games from Franz Wagner and Paolo Banchero.

Wagner scored 31 points for his third straight game with at least 30 and Banchero had 28 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists.

Orlando has had four nine-game winning streaks, previously in 1994, 2001 and 2010-11. The Magic are one of only two NBA franchises without a double-digit win streak. The Indiana Pacers’ longest win streak is also nine games.

Jalen Suggs and Banchero combined for 10 straight points midway through the third quarter to give Orlando an 86-79 lead.

The Magic did not pull ahead for good until Wagner’s layup with 7:06 remaining opened a 7-0 run.

Kyle Kuzma led Washington with 27 points and Daniel Gafford had 18 and 11 rebounds. The Wizards have lost 11 of 12.

Tatum ejected but Celtics get past depleted 76ers

Jayson Tatum scored 21 points before he was ejected and the Boston Celtics defeated the short-handed Philadelphia 76ers, 125-119 to remain unbeaten on its home court.

Tatum was tossed near the end of the third quarter for arguing a foul call after he had already received a technical in the first half.

Derrick White also had 21 points and Jaylen Brown and Al Horford each added 20 for Boston, which has won three straight overall and improved to 9-0 at home.

The 76ers, who were without leading scorers Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey, were led by Patrick Beverley’s season-high 26 points.

Jokic lifts Nuggets as Durant moves up scoring list

Nikola Jokić had 21 points and 16 assists to help the Denver Nuggets hold off the Phoenix Suns, 119-111 on the night Kevin Durant moved into 10th place on the NBA’s career scoring list.

Reggi Jackson added 20 points and Michael Porter Jr. had 19 with 10 rebounds as the Nuggets won their fourth straight game.

Durant finished with 30 points but shot 8 of 25 from the field and missed all five shots in the fourth quarter.

He moved into 10th place on the scoring list in the second quarter, driving the baseline for a layup to pass Moses Malone with 27,411 points.

Denver played without Jamal Murray (ankle) and Aaron Gordon (heel), while Phoenix was without Devin Booker (ankle) and Bradley Beal (back).

Joel Embiid racked up 30 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists as the Philadelphia 76ers rolled to a 138-94 rout of the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday, giving LeBron James the most lopsided loss of his 21-year NBA career.

Tyrese Maxey complemented Embiid's sixth career triple-double with 31 points and eight assists, and the 76ers dominated from the 3-point line to also record their largest margin of victory in 290 all-time regular-season meetings with the Lakers.

James' previous worst loss came by 42 points, a 136-94 defeat to the Indiana Pacers on Feb. 5, 2019, in his first season with the Lakers. The NBA's all-time leading scorer finished with 18 points and five assists but failed to register a rebound.

Philadelphia finished 22 of 46 from 3-point range compared to 7 of 28 for Los Angeles, which trailed by double digits since late in the first quarter and were outscored by a whopping 40-14 margin in the fourth despite the 76ers resting Embiid and fellow starters Tobias Harris and De'Anthony Melton the entire period.

Anthony Davis ended with 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Lakers, who have dropped two of three since a 6-1 stretch from Nov. 10-21.

Nuggets handle Clippers despite Jokic resting

DeAndre Jordan filled in well for a resting Nikola Jokić as the Denver Nuggets rallied for a 113-104 win over the Los Angeles Clippers.

Jordan posted 21 points, 13 rebounds and five assists starting in place of Jokic, who was held out with Denver playing for the second consecutive night. Reggie Jackson had 13 of his game-high 35 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Nuggets back from an 11-point deficit to start the period.

Jackson, who spent parts of four seasons with the Clippers before being traded away in February, added 13 assists. Jordan played his first 10 NBA seasons with Los Angeles from 2008-18.

The Nuggets trailed 88-77 after three quarters before outscoring the Clippers by a 36-16 margin in the fourth. They went ahead for good when Jackson capped a 15-2 run to start the period with a short floater that gave Denver a 92-90 lead with under 7 1/2 minutes left.

Los Angeles, which had won four of five following a 3-7 start, went just 4 of 17 from the field in the fourth quarter and got just six points on 2-of-13 shooting from star Paul George.

Kawhi Leonard led the Clippers with 31 points and eight rebounds, while Ivica Zubac recorded 23 points and 14 boards. 

Wizards halt nine-game losing streak, extend Pistons' skid to 14

Kyle Kuzma compiled 32 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists to lead the Washington Wizards to a 126-107 victory over the Detroit Pistons in a matchup of the NBA's two worst teams.

Washington, which entered the game with an identical 2-14 record to Detroit, halted a nine-game losing streak. The Pistons have now lost 14 consecutive games, tied for the longest skid in franchise history within a single season.

The Wizards led by just one early in the third quarter before Kuzma took over, as the veteran forward scored 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting for the period to help extend Washington's advantage to 94-83 entering the fourth.

Washington maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way while shooting 50.6 per cent from the field for the game. Deni Avdija and Danilo Gallinari each contributed 16 points to the victory.

Cade Cunningham led Detroit with 26 points and seven assists, while Jalen Duren finished with 12 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks.

 

 

Michael Malone quipped that Nikola Jokic was purely out to defend him after the Denver Nuggets pair were ejected from Monday's game against the Detroit Pistons.

Two-time NBA MVP Jokic and Nuggets head coach Malone were both ejected in the first quarter of Denver's 107-103 win over the struggling Pistons, who have now lost 12 straight games.

Jokic was called for a technical foul for arguing with the officials, before he was tossed for arguing another call in the final two minutes of the quarter.

Malone, meanwhile, was ejected because he went onto the court to dispute a decision.

"I think Nikola was worried about my welfare," Malone joked.

"It is tough to watch a game on TV – we were hugging on good plays and I was cursing in Serbian on the bad ones."

Denver are second in the Western Conference with a 10-4 record for the season.

The NBA has fined Paul George $35,000 after the Los Angeles Clippers star hit out at referees.

George was frustrated with the officiating crew as the Clippers lost to the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday.

George went to the line five times, which he felt was nowhere near enough, and was whistled for a technical foul for arguing with the referees shortly before halftime.

"We played great," George said, per ESPN. "It's tough, the adversity of playing against the extra three [officials]. 

"I thought they were awful... It was bad. Five free throws is very disrespectful on this night. So many times I got hit on layups, 3-pointers, it was constant.

In response, the NBA slapped the forward with a $35,000 fine.

The league's statement added that the fine amount "is based in part on George's history of public criticism of the officiating."

Paul George was frustrated with the officiating crew as the Los Angeles Clippers’ losing streak continued at the Denver Nuggets.

James Harden is still waiting for his first win in a Clippers jersey despite the team putting in an improved performance, losing 111-108 in a competitive NBA In-Season Tournament game on Tuesday.

Nikola Jokic had 32 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists for the hosts, who held off the Clippers despite George scoring 35 points, tying his season high as Harden added 21.

Los Angeles has lost five straight games with Harden since acquiring him last month. They are 0-6 on the road this season, 0-2 in the tournament and 3-7 overall.

The Nuggets took 32 free throws compared to the Clippers' 24 with Jokic making all 14 of his free-throw attempts.

George went to the line five times, which he felt was nowhere near enough, and was whistled for a technical foul for arguing with the referees shortly before halftime.

"We played great," George said, per ESPN. "It's tough, the adversity of playing against the extra three [officials]. 

"I thought they were awful. But, [against the] defending champs, we [were able to] to play better and there's a lot to be positive about. 

"I'm not one for moral victories, but I thought we showed more of a sign of a team that's close to getting it over the hump."

George, who also had seven rebounds, was asked to elaborate on his comments on the refs.

He added: "It was bad. Five free throws is very disrespectful on this night. So many times I got hit on layups, 3-pointers, it was constant.

"Jump shots, getting hit, smacked on the forearm. I mean, it was poor, a poor job. They [are] calling something on one end, they got to call it on the other.

"But, again, we [have] got to be able to beat these guys on their floor and not rely on that."

Harden sank three of his eight 3-point attempts as the Clippers produced their best performance since his arrival.

"I kept reiterating, I didn’t have a training camp or a preseason, so kind of learning on the fly," Harden said.

"Also getting myself into James Harden shape. This was definitely another step in the right direction and just keep improving."

The Nuggets' Reggie Jackson thinks it is only a matter of time until the Clippers put it all together.

"They’re still figuring it out," he said about George, Harden, Kawhi Leonard and Russell Westbrook. 

"You can see it, they’ve got a lot of talents that overlap. When you have superstars, superstars can do a lot of things. They gave us a great punch."

Denver is 9-2 for the season, 7-0 at home and 2-0 in the tournament, even with point guard Jamal Murray still out with a hamstring injury.

Both teams are back in action on Friday with the Clippers hosting the Houston Rockets while the Nuggets are on the road against the New Orleans Pelicans.

Karl-Anthony Towns scored 33 points to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to their seventh straight win, 104-101 in an In-Season Tournament game on Tuesday that featured three early ejections.

Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Minnesota’s Jaden McDaniels were ejected after an altercation early in the first quarter.

Thompson and McDaniels became embroiled in a shoving match near midcourt following a Minnesota possession. Green rushed in and pulled Rudy Gobert away from behind with his arm around the center’s neck.

Thompson’s jersey was ripped during the scuffle, which led to Green’s second ejection of the season and two free throws by Gobert.

Towns also had 11 rebounds and Anthony Edwards scored 20 points for Minnesota, which defeated Golden State for the second time in three days following a 116-110 win on Sunday.

Brandin Podziemski had 23 points and Dario Saric added 21 for the Warriors, losers of three in a row.

Golden State was already without leading scorer Stephen Curry, who was ruled out with right knee soreness.

Nuggets keep Clippers winless with Harden

Nikola Jokić scored 32 points and just missed a triple-double as the Denver Nuggets defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 111-108 in an In-Season Tournament game.

Jokic had 16 rebounds, nine assists and made all 14 free-throw attempts, including two with 13 seconds left that helped thwart the Clippers’ comeback try.

Paul George matched a season high with 35 points and Harden had 21, as the Clippers lost their sixth in a row.

Haliburton stars as Pacers cool 76ers

Tyrese Haliburton had 33 points and 15 assists and Obi Toppin added 27 points to help the Indiana Pacers snap the Philadelphia 76ers’ eight-game winning streak, 132-126 in an In-Season Tournament game.

Myles Turner scored 15 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter for Indiana, which has won four of five and bounced back from Sunday’s 137-126 loss to Philadelphia.

Joel Embiid scored 39 points and De’Anthony Melton had 30 as the 76ers suffered their first loss since a season-opening defeat at Milwaukee.

Haliburton was 11 of 18 from the field and 7 for 12 from 3-point range. He had 32 assists and no turnovers in two games against Philadelphia.

Michael Malone has agreed to a new contract with the Denver Nuggets, according to reports.

Malone has spent the last eight seasons with Denver, who – along with the help of talisman Nikola Jokic – he guided to the NBA championship last season.

And the two-time NBA All-Star coach is now being rewarded with a new deal.

The 52-year-old has agreed to a contract extension that will make him one of the league's highest-paid coaches.

Malone took over in Denver in 2015 following a stint in charge of the Sacramento Kings, where he took up his first head coaching role. 

He is the fourth-longest-serving coach in the NBA, and has coached the Nuggets for 647 games – trailing only Doug Moe and George Karl in that regard.

Despite losing to the Houston Rockets on Sunday, the Nuggets top the Western Conference with an 8-2 record.

Nikola Jokić had 35 points and 13 rebounds and Reggie Jackson scored 20 points in place of an injured Jamal Murray to lead the NBA-best Denver Nuggets to a 108-105 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday.

Every Denver starter reached double figures, with Michael Porter Jr. scoring 17 points, Aaron Gordon adding 14 and 11 rebounds and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope contributing 10 points.

The Nuggets won their fourth straight overall and have won all six home games this season.

Stephen Curry scored 23 points with six 3-pointers for the Warriors but missed a runner in the lane with seven seconds left that would’ve tied it at 107-all.

Golden State stayed close behind its bench, which outscored Denver’s 42-12.

Murray missed his second straight game with a strained right hamstring, while the Warriors played without Draymond Green, who was out for personal reasons.

 

76ers down Celtics to stay hot

Joel Embiid had 27 points and 10 rebounds and Tyrese Maxy added 25 and nine assists as the Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Boston Celtics 106-103 for their sixth straight victory.

Tobias Harris scored 17 points and Kelly Oubre Jr. had 14 as the 76ers remained perfect since a season-opening loss to Milwaukee.

Kristaps Porzingis led Boston with 29 points and Derrick White, back after missing two games for the birth of his child, added 19 but the Celtics dropped their second in a row after a 5-0 start.

It was the first meeting between the Atlantic Division rivals since Philadelphia blew a 3-2 series lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals last season.

Jaylen Brown hit a 3-pointer with 33 seconds remaining to get the Celtics within 106-103 but Porzingis missed a potential tying 3 with six seconds left.

 

Wembanyama struggles in MSG debut

Victor Wembanyama managed just one basket in the first three quarters in his Madison Square Garden debut and the New York Knicks coasted to a 126-105 rout of the San Antonio Spurs.

The 7-foot-3 rookie missed his first seven shots and was in danger of failing to reach double figures for the first time before scoring eight points in the fourth to finish with 14 on 4-of-14 shooting with nine rebounds.

Jalen Brunson scored 25 points and Julius Randle added 23 with 16 rebounds for the Knicks, who bolted to a 13-0 lead and led 33-16 after one quarter.

Jeremy Sochan had 16 points and six rebounds for San Antonio, which dropped its third straight while allowing 123 points in each contest.

Draymond Green congratulated the NBA on a "job well done" following the start of the league's inaugural in-season tournament.

The new competition started on Friday, with seven group-stage games played. The other pool games will be played on six other days across the month of November.

Green finished with 15 points as he helped the Golden State Warriors beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 141-139.

And the four-time NBA champion believes the tournament is a great idea.

"We talk about this in-season tournament and it's a playoff game," Green said.

"It was a fun game to play in. The intensity level was there.

"It's a job well done to the NBA, adding this type of excitement in November, because there'll be some dark days in November, but you get games like this, you can appreciate them. It was great."

The Warriors won in contentious circumstances, with Stephen Curry's layup with less than a second to go allowed to stand after a video review.

Meanwhile, Nikola Jokic starred for the Denver Nuggets, with 33 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists while shooting 14-for-16 from the field in a win over the Dallas Mavericks.

"What I marvel at is just the consistency," Nuggets coach Michael Malone said of Jokic.

"I mean, the guy is just great every night. He's just a great player. I just love how he impacts the game in every way, shape and form. It's really the definition of greatness."

Elsewhere, the Milwaukee Bucks beat the New York Knicks, the Indiana Pacers saw off the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Miami Heat overcame the Washington Wizards.

There were also wins for the Brooklyn Nets and Portland Trail Blazers.

 

Nikola Jokic scored 33 points and fell an assist shy of a triple-double as the Denver Nuggets sent the Dallas Mavericks to their first loss of the season, 125-114 on Friday in the inaugural In-Season Tournament.

Michael Porter Jr. had 24 points and nine rebounds and Jamal Murray added 18 points and 13 assists to help Denver bounce back from its first loss of the season.

Jokic shot 14 of 16 and grabbed a season-high 14 boards, coming up an assist short of his 108th career triple-double.

Luka Doncic also just missed a triple-double with 34 points, 10 boards and eight assists and Kyrie Irving scored 22 points for Dallas, which opened the season 4-0.

The Mavericks were without coach Jason Kidd, who didn’t make the trip due to a non-COVID-19 illness. Top assistant Sean Sweeney took his spot on the bench.

Dallas' loss leaves 4-0 Boston as the league’s lone remaining unbeaten team.

 

Curry’s last-second layup lifts Warriors

Stephen Curry scored 30 points and made the winning layup with 0.2 seconds left to propel the Golden State Warriors to a 141-139 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder in the teams’ first In-Season Tournament game.

Curry’s basket was initially waved off because of offensive goaltending, but it was overturned, and the Warriors notched their second straight last-second win. Klay Thompson hit a jumper with less than a second remaining in Wednesday’s win over Sacramento.

Dario Saric had 20 points and Andrew Wiggins added 17 to help Golden State win its fifth straight since a season-opening loss to Phoenix.

Lu Dort led the Thunder with 29 points – including 6 of 6 from 3-point range - and Chet Holmgren had a career-high 24 on 7-of-9 shooting with eight rebounds and five assists.

Oklahoma City played without leading scorer Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who sat out with a sprained knee.

 

Bucks overcome Brunson, Knicks

Damian Lillard scored six straight points down the stretch on his way to 30 points and the Milwaukee Bucks got past the New York Knicks, 110-105 to open the inaugural In-Season Tournament.

Milwaukee survived Jalen Brunson’s 45 points and blew a 14-point lead before Lillard sank a 3-pointer to give the Bucks a 104-103 lead with 1:03 left.

Lillard converted a three-point play 25 seconds later to make it 107-103 and sealed the win with two free throws in the waning seconds.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 22 points, eight rebounds and six assists for Milwaukee, which has alternated wins and losses in each of its five games this season.

Brunson was 17 of 30 from the field and fell three points shy of his career high, set against Cleveland on March 31.

Luka Doncic amassed 35 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists to help the Dallas Mavericks continue their strong start to the NBA season with Monday's 125-110 road win over the slumping Memphis Grizzlies. 

Coming off a 49-point effort in a win over the Brooklyn Nets on Friday, Doncic followed up by making 6 of 12 attempts from 3-point range and going 11 of 22 overall from the field to lead the way as the Mavericks improved to 3-0.

Derrick Jones added 22 points on 7-of-10 shooting and Tim Hardaway Jr. had 21 points on a night Dallas played without its other star guard, Kyrie Irving, due to a left foot sprain.

Memphis, which had the Western Conference's second-best record at 51-31 last season, fell to 0-4 despite 30 points each from Jaren Jackson Jr. and Desmond Bane. The Grizzlies also got 23 points and nine assists from Marcus Smart in a losing cause.

The short-handed Grizzlies have opened the season without a pair of starters in All-Star Ja Morant and center Steven Adams. Morant is serving a 25-game suspension by the NBA for conduct detrimental to the league, while Adams is not expected to play in 2023-24 after recently undergoing knee surgery.

 

Jokic powers 4-0 Nuggets past Jazz

Nikola Jokic recorded the 107th triple-double of his illustrious career with 27 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists to lead the unbeaten Denver Nuggets to a 110-102 win over the Utah Jazz.

Jokic made 12 of 16 field-goal attempts and added a pair of blocks while tying LeBron James and Jason Kidd for fourth on the NBA's all-time list in triple-doubles. 

Denver also got an efficient shooting night from Aaron Gordon, who finished 12 of 16 from the field while compiling 21 points and seven rebounds. Jamal Murray chipped in 18 points and 14 assists as the defending NBA champions moved to 4-0.

Lauri Markkanen paced Utah with 27 points, 14 rebounds and five assists, while Walker Kessler tallied 22 points on 10-of-11 shooting along with 13 rebounds.

The Jazz led for just 16 seconds and trailed by as many as 17 points to fall to 1-3.

 

Curry's hot hand sparks Warriors' rout of Pelicans

Stephen Curry drained seven 3-pointers and finished with 42 points as the Golden State Warriors continued their recent roll with a 130-102 rout of the New Orleans Pelicans.

With long-time backcourt mate Klay Thompson unavailable with a sore right knee, Curry carried the Warriors' offence by going 15 of 22 from the floor and 7 of 13 on 3-point tries. The two-time NBA MVP added five assists to help the Warriors to a third straight victory following a season-opening loss to the Phoenix Suns.

Curry has now made 24 3-pointers during the Warriors' 3-1 start, the most by any player through four games of a season in NBA history. 

Moses Moody started in place of Thompson and scored 13 points, with Chris Paul and rookie Trayce Jackson-Davis also contributing 13 points off the bench in a game Golden State broke open in the second half.

The Warriors held a slim 59-57 advantage at half-time before outscoring the Pelicans by a 39-21 margin in the third quarter.

New Orleans had a two-game winning streak to begin the season snapped while playing without second-leading scorer Brandon Ingram, who was held out with a sore right knee.

Zion Williamson and CJ McCollum led the Pelicans with 19 points each.

 

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