Kevin Durant went down injured before Royce O'Neale scored the game-winning two-pointer with 3.2 seconds left as the Brooklyn Nets edged the Miami Heat 102-101 on Sunday.

Durant exited late in the third quarter with a right knee issue after Jimmy Butler fell on him, but the Nets did enough without him to improve to 27-13 overall and second spot in the Eastern Conference. Brooklyn have won 18 of their last 20 games.

Butler put the Heat ahead 101-100 with a dunk with 1:12 remaining, but O'Neale had the final say with a putback after Kyrie Irving had missed a 30-foot three-point attempt.

Irving top scored for Brooklyn with 28 points, including six-of-15 from three-point range with six assists, while Nic Claxton contributed strongly again with 13 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks.

Durant managed 17 points on five-of-11 shooting from the field with five rebounds in his 30 minutes on the court.

Butler top-scored for the Heat with 26 points, but shot nine-of-21 from the field with two turnovers, while Tyler Herro finished with 24 points before limping off late.

Bam Adebayo was also limited by a right-hand contusion, scoring 10 points with eight rebounds.

Harden records triple-double in 76ers win

James Harden recorded a triple-double and became the 27th NBA player with 24,000 career points as the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Detroit Pistons 123-111.

Harden finished with 20 points on seven-of-14 shooting, including three-of-five from beyond the arc, 11 rebounds and 11 assists.

Tyrese Maxey also came to the fore for the Joel Embiid-less 76ers, while Pistons guard Killian Hayes had a game-high 26 points, with four three-pointers.

Suns slump to sixth straight loss

The Cleveland Cavaliers consigned the short-handed Phoenix Suns to their sixth straight defeat with a 112-98 victory as Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland scored 22 points each.

Mitchell, who scored a season-high 71 points in last weeks' OT win over the Chicago Bulls, made seven-of-12 from the field, while Garland dished off seven assists in a fine display.

The Suns were missing their backcourt of Chris Paul and Devin Booker but were within one point at three-quarter time before fading.

Duane Washington top scored for Phoenix in 25 minutes off the bench with 25 points including five triples.

The NBA has suspended 11 players from the scuffle during Wednesday's Detroit Pistons 121-101 win over the Orlando Magic.

The altercation occurred with 33.2 seconds left in the second quarter when Orlando's Moritz Wagner body checked Detroit guard Killian Hayes off the court and onto the Pistons bench.

The Pistons bench immediately stepped up to remonstrate with Wagner given their proximity before Hayes struck the Magic power forward in the back of the head with his forearm.

Wagner appeared to have been knocked out by the blow but was able to eventually walk away from the skirmish.

Hayes copped the longest suspension, a three-game ban without pay, while Wagner was banned for two games for an "unsportsmanlike act".

Eight Magic players - Cole Anthony, R.J. Hampton, Gary Harris, Kevon Harris, Admiral Schofield, Franz Wagner, Mo Bamba and Wendell Carter Jr. - all received one-game suspensions, having left their bench to join in the altercation. Pistons' shooting guard Hamidou Diallo also was banned for one game for pushing Wagner from behind as the altercation erupted.

Dwayne Casey felt his Detroit Pistons side "threw in the towel" as they squandered a 14-point deficit in the final three minutes to lose 142-131 to the Los Angeles Clippers.

The NBA-worst Pistons were on course for just a ninth win in 36 games this season until the Clippers rallied in Monday's contest at Little Caesars Arena.

Paul George scored 32 in the Clippers' overtime triumph, with Terance Mann hitting a tying jumper with five seconds left in regulation to deny the Pistons.

"We were down 15 points in the third quarter, fought our way back, got the lead and had a comfortable lead with three minutes left," Pistons coach Casey said. 

"They threw in the towel. We must learn how to win that game. I'm proud of the way we put ourselves in a position to beat one of the best teams in the West, but we didn't get it."

Clippers coach Tyronn Lue took action with his side 126-112 down by pulling his starters.

A line-up of Luke Kennard, Amir Coffey, Nicolas Batum, Moses Brown and Mann finished the fourth quarter with a 16-2 run in an unlikely turnaround.

"You have to give those guys credit for staying ready," Lue said. "They came out and played with some urgency. 

"Amir and Moses hadn't played in the game, so for them to come in and produce like the way they did was huge."

The Clippers had lost their previous 417 games in which they had trailed by 14 points or more with three minutes remaining prior to Monday's comeback against the Pistons.

Isaiah Stewart, who scored 21 points, says the blame is on the Pistons' players rather than the coaching staff.

"They took their starters out, and we thought the game was over," he said. "We had the lead and we didn't finish the game. That's completely on us, not the coaches."

The Clippers (20-15) are fourth in the Western Conference, while the Pistons (8-28) are bottom of the East.

The Brooklyn Nets now own the NBA's longest active winning streak after extending it to nine games with Monday's 125-117 road victory against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Making it even more impressive is the fact that the Cavaliers came into the contest with the third-best home record in the league at 16-3, but had no answer for the Nets' offensive firepower early.

Brooklyn built a 65-49 lead at half-time, and despite a big performance from Cavs point guard Darius Garland down the stretch, the Nets were never truly threatened.

Kevin Durant (10-of-18 shooting) and Kyrie Irving (11-of-19) had 32 points and five assists each for the Nets, while Ben Simmons finished with nine rebounds, eight assists, three steals and one block to go with his four points.

T.J. Warren continues to shine off the bench since returning from a long-term injury, contributing 23 points (nine-of-14), eight rebounds and two steals.

Garland was clearly the Cavaliers' best, scoring 46 points (14-of-20) with eight assists, while it was the first time this season Donovan Mitchell has had consecutive games of 15 points or fewer.

The win improves the Nets' record to 22-12 after beginning the campaign 1-5, leapfrogging the Cavaliers (22-13) into the Eastern Conference's third seed.  

Clippers complete miraculous comeback

The Los Angeles Clippers came from 14 points down with under three minutes remaining to defeat the Detroit Pistons 141-132 in overtime.

Detroit led 126-112 with 2:52 on the clock before the Clippers launched a 16-2 run from that point to force the game to overtime, and their momentum carried into the extra session, winning it 14-3.

With Kawhi Leonard sitting out the first leg a back-to-back, Paul George was the unquestioned leader, and he delivered with team-highs in points (32), assists (11) and steals (three).

The Clippers have now won six of their past eight to improve their record to 20-15.

Heat spread it around against the Timberwolves

The Miami Heat beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 113-110 despite not having a single player cross the 20-point barrier.

Eight of the Heat's nine players scored between seven and 19 points in the absence of Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, led by Max Strus' 19 on seven-of-12 shooting.

Tyler Herro was effective as a playmaker with eight assists, but struggled with his shooting, missing all eight of his three-pointers. 

Kyle Lowry picked up the slack as the Heat's best player, finishing with 18 points (eight-of-16), nine assists and no turnovers, as well as a steal on the final play to deny the Timberwolves a chance to tie the game.

The New York Knicks extended their winning run to eight games to shoot into playoffs contention while they compounded the Golden State Warriors' road woes with a 132-94 rout on Tuesday.

The reigning champions, missing 2022 NBA Finals MVP Stephen Curry for a third straight game with a shoulder injury, slumped to 3-15 on the road this season, sitting 15-17 overall.

Offseason Knicks addition Jalen Brunson scored 21 points with five assists, while Immanuel Quickley top scored off the bench with 22 points. Julius Randle had 15 points with 12 rebounds and five assists.

The Knicks, who never trailed in the blowout win, had six players reach double-digit scores, with the 38-point triumph their largest margin of victory in the last two seasons.

The victory also means the Knicks boast the longest active win streak in the NBA, having conceded an NBA-best 97.8 points per game during the streak.

The Knicks, who had not beaten the Warriors at home for almost a decade, hit 11 triples in the first half, finishing the game with 17-of-40 three-point shooting, led by Quickley with five.

Jordan Poole scored a team-high 26 points for the Curry-less Warriors, who had James Wiseman play 22 minutes, scoring four points with three rebounds.

The Knicks improved to 18-13 overall to sit sixth in the Eastern Conference.

Markkanen shoots Jazz past Pistons

Seven-foot Finnish power forward Lauri Markkanen scored a career-high nine three-pointers in his 38-point haul as the Utah Jazz won 126-111 over the Detroit Pistons.

Jordan Clarkson had 12 points within 1:51 of gametime but it was Markkanen who stole the show, matching his career-high points output.

The game was the Jazz's third in four evenings, with Malik Beasley adding 17 points off the bench while Clarkson finished with 21. Jarred Vanderbilt had 18 points with 13 rebounds.

Nuggets take over in the west

The Denver Nuggets moved into top spot in the Western Conference with a 105-91 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies led by another Nikola Jokic triple-double.

The back-to-back NBA MVP recorded his sixth triple-double of the season, putting on a brilliant passing display, with 13 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists.

The Nuggets (19-11) defense kept the Grizzlies to 44.4 per cent shooting and only 19.2 per cent from beyond the arc, with Ja Morant top scoring for Memphis with 35 points along with 10 assists.

Kevin Durant was so "in the zone" against the Detroit Pistons on Sunday that he lost count of his shooting numbers.

Durant scored 43 points as the Brooklyn Nets won 124-121 at Little Caesars Arena, including a career-best quarter as he put up 26 in the third.

It was an important period of the game for the Nets, who trailed 71-54 at half-time, and Durant admitted he had struggled to keep up with his own statistics as he helped turn things around.

"I usually know how many shot attempts [I have]," he said. "But when I forget, that's when I really know I'm super, super in the zone.

"I don't know for sure what my shot attempts or my points [were]. I felt like the ball was coming to my hands so fast so I couldn't even process it in my mind and I looked up, 'Damn, I got 39.' I didn't think I had that much. But it was good to get back in the game and give us some momentum and energy."

The Nets sit on 19-12 after winning six in a row, and coach Jacque Vaughn described it as an "efficient night" after Durant also moved to 16th in the NBA's all-time scorers' list, surpassing John Havlicek and Paul Pierce.

"When the water started running, it started pouring," Vaughn said. "The teams throw everything at [Durant], so that piece of it, I think it warrants that conversation.

"Just because at the end of the night, you look at the stat sheet and it's an extremely efficient night... You just see it in a variety of ways, which means his game is getting better still, which is pretty difficult to say but there's some truth behind it."

Kyrie Irving also impressed, scoring 38 as the pair recorded a combined total of 81 for Brooklyn, and he credited Durant with being able to get the best out of him.

"Numbers show," Irving said. "When we're out there it doesn't necessarily feel like that because he makes it look so easy or he gets it in a myriad of ways -- when he gets on stretches like this, you want to play well alongside of him, that's really how I feel. I want to play well alongside him."

Reigning back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic became just the third player in NBA history with 40 points, 25 rebounds and 10 assists in a game in the Denver Nuggets' 119-115 win over the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday.

Jokic finished with 40 points, 27 rebounds and 10 assists for his 81st career triple-double, joining Wilt Chamberlain and Elgin Baylor as the only players to achieve the aforementioned stat line.

The Serbian is the first player to reach that mark since Chamberlain in 1968. Chamberlain managed that milestone four times in his decorated career.

The Nuggets center pulled down 20 rebounds before half-time in a dominant display in the paint, leading Denver to an 18-11 overall record. Jokic's 27 rebounds were a career-high, and it was his fifth triple-double of the season.

Jokic received strong support from Kentavious Caldwell-Pope with 20 points, four rebounds and five assists while Jamal Murray dished off 11 assists. Aaron Gordon chipped in with 19 points and 10 rebounds.

The Hornets fall to a 7-23 record, with LaMelo Ball scoring 31 points including four triples on 100 per cent three-point shooting in his third game back from injury.

Banchero stars as Magic topple Celtics

This season's top overall NBA Draft pick Paolo Banchero scored 31 points as the Orlando Magic claimed their sixth straight win and toppled the Boston Celtics 95-92.

Banchero produced his third 30-point game, shooting six-of-seven from beyond the arc, while Admiral Schofield contributed 11 of his 13 points in the fourth quarter.

The win means the Magic completed a sweep of consecutive games in Bolton and extended their win streak to their longest since March 2019.

KD leads Nets rally for sixth straight win

Kevin Durant scored 26 of his 43 points in the third quarter to carry a 17-point comeback for the Brooklyn Nets in a 124-121 victory over the Detroit Pistons. Kyrie Irving added 38 points as the Nets secured their sixth straight win.

The Minnesota Timberwolves broke their franchise single-game scoring record in a 150-126 rout over the Chicago Bulls led by Anthony Edwards' season-high 37 points and 11 assists.

The Golden State Warriors won for the first time this season without the injured Stephen Curry (shoulder), with Jordan Poole scoring a career-high 43 points in a 126-110 victory over the Toronto Raptors.

Charlotte Hornets star LaMelo Ball could make his return against the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday.

Ball has only played three games this season after suffering an ankle sprain in pre-season, before sustaining another in November's clash with the Indiana Pacers when he stepped on the foot of a fan sitting courtside.

The 21-year-old – who was named NBA rookie of the year in June 2021 – has missed 24 games in all this campaign with the two ankle injuries, averaging 19.3 points, 7.0 assists and 3.7 rebounds across the three games he was able to participate in.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Ball has been "upgraded to questionable" for the game with the Pistons and is "hopeful" of playing, with the intention being for him to warm-up pre-game to "see if he's ready".

Ball made 75 appearances for Charlotte last season, averaging 20.1 points per game as well as 7.6 assists and 6.7 rebounds.

Largely without Ball, it has been a poor 2022-23 for the Hornets so far, sitting on 7-20, though they host the only team with a worse win percentage than them on Wednesday when the 7-22 Pistons come to Spectrum Center.

Cade Cunningham will miss the remainder of the NBA season after it was revealed on Monday the Detroit Pistons' franchise cornerstone will undergo surgery on his bothersome left shin.

According to a report from ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Cunningham has been dealing with pain in his shin since the preseason, with the injury keeping him out of action since November 9.

The plan was to give him a month off to see if the rest would address the issue, but its persistence required further action, leading to the decision to send the former first overall pick in the 2021 draft under the knife.

He is expected to make a full recovery and be ready for the start of the 2023-24 campaign, when the Pistons will look to begin their ascent out of the NBA's cellar.

It has been a lean few years in the win column for Detroit, landing the top pick in the 2021 draft after finishing dead last in the Eastern Conference with a record of 20-52 in the shortened 2020-21 season, before following it with a 23-59 campaign, ultimately resulting in Jaden Ivey's arrival with the fifth pick this year.

They are on track for another top-five pick in next year's draft as they own the worst record in the league at 7-22 – but it is a year where the front office will be happy to continue losing.

The light at the end of the tunnel is 18-year-old French super-prospect Victor Wembanyama, who will assuredly be selected by whichever team is fortunate enough to win the draft lottery and the top pick in the draft.

Standing at 7ft 4in with an 8ft wingspan – longer than any player currently in the league – Wembanyama is plying his trade in the French LNB Pro A, which is France's top men's league.

He is leading the league in scoring (23.6 points per game), rebounding (9.4), and blocks (2.8), while hitting 1.4 three-pointers per game, including high-difficulty attempts off the bounce, and even off one leg.

Cunningham and Wembanyama is a pairing that would have the Pistons on an express path to contention, and it will be no surprise to see Detroit trade away veterans with any value – such as Bojan Bogdanovic, whom The Athletic is reporting as a target for the Los Angeles Lakers – to lose as many games as possible.

Cade Cunningham will miss the remainder of the NBA season after it was revealed on Monday the Detroit Pistons' franchise cornerstone will undergo surgery on his bothersome left shin.

According to a report from ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Cunningham has been dealing with pain in his shin since the preseason, with the injury keeping him out of action since November 9.

The plan was to give him a month off to see if the rest would address the issue, but its persistence required further action, leading to the decision to send the former first overall pick in the 2021 draft under the knife.

He is expected to make a full recovery and be ready for the start of the 2023-24 campaign, when the Pistons will look to begin their ascent out of the NBA's cellar.

It has been a lean few years in the win column for Detroit, landing the top pick in the 2021 draft after finishing dead last in the Eastern Conference with a record of 20-52 in the shortened 2020-21 season, before following it with a 23-59 campaign, ultimately resulting in Jaden Ivey's arrival with the fifth pick this year.

They are on track for another top-five pick in next year's draft as they own the worst record in the league at 7-22 – but it is a year where the front office will be happy to continue losing.

The light at the end of the tunnel is 18-year-old French super-prospect Victor Wembanyama, who will assuredly be selected by whichever team is fortunate enough to win the draft lottery and the top pick in the draft.

Standing at 7ft 4in with an 8ft wingspan – longer than any player currently in the league – Wembanyama is plying his trade in the French LNB Pro A, which is France's top men's league.

He is leading the league in scoring (23.6 points per game), rebounding (9.4), and blocks (2.8), while hitting 1.4 three-pointers per game, including high-difficulty attempts off the bounce, and even off one leg.

Cunningham and Wembanyama is a pairing that would have the Pistons on an express path to contention, and it will be no surprise to see Detroit trade away veterans with any value – such as Bojan Bogdanovic, whom The Athletic is reporting as a target for the Los Angeles Lakers – to lose as many games as possible.

Donovan Mitchell scored 43 points as the Cleveland Cavaliers claimed a rare win over the former face of their franchise LeBron James, beating the Los Angeles Lakers 116-102 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on Tuesday.

Mitchell's season-high 43-point haul was the most by a Cavaliers player ever against James, while it meant that the 37-year-old four-time NBA MVP has a 17-3 record against his former side.

The Lakers were not helped by the first-quarter exit of in-form big man Anthony Davis, who did not return due to flu-like symptoms.

James finished with 21 points on eight-of-17 shooting, pulling down 17 rebounds with four assists, while Thomas Bryant came off the bench to add 19 points with Davis out.

The Cavs led by two points at the final change, but Mitchell took control on 17-of-27 shooting with four three-pointers along with six rebounds, five assists and four steals. Mitchell scored 29 of his 43 points in the second half.

Cavs center Jarrett Allen capitalised on Davis' absence on his own return from injury with 24 points and 11 rebounds, while point guard Darius Garland had 21 points with 11 assists.

The Cavs' win means they are 11-1 on their home floor and improved their season record to 16-9, snapping the Lakers' three-game win streak.

Mavs down Nuggets in a thriller

Dorian Finney-Smith drained a clutch three-pointer with 16.8 seconds remaining as the Dallas Mavericks downed the Denver Nuggets 116-115.

Tim Hardaway top scored with 29 points including six three-pointers for the Mavs, who claimed an impressive road win, even with Luka Doncic only managing 22 points on five-of-17 shooting. Doncic did record a triple-double, adding 10 rebounds and 12 assists.

Back-to-back reigning MVP Nikola Jokic was also down on his usual output, scoring 19 points with eight rebounds and eight assists, while the center missed a crucial free-throw with 12 seconds left. 

Heat humiliated in second-half blitz

The Miami Heat were humiliated at home by the Detroit Pistons who triumphed 116-96, led by Bojan Bogdanovic and his 31 points, with 28 coming in the second half.

The Pistons piled on 69 second-half points after scores were 50-47 in the Heat's favour at half-time to improve their record to 7-19.

Heat point guard Tyler Herro top scored for the game with 34 points, while Bam Adebayo scored 21 points with 15 rebounds.

It was a familiar story for the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday as Luka Doncic was the best player on the court, but it was not enough, going down 131-125 against the Detroit Pistons in overtime.

In front of their home fans, the Pistons rode hot-shooting nights from Bojan Bogdanovic and Killian Hayes, combining for 52 points on 20-of-27 shooting to overcome the Slovenian star's brilliance.

Bogdanovic had 30 points with four assists, four rebounds and two steals, while Hayes had 22 points, eight assists and four rebounds, while starring in the overtime period.

Doncic, the league-leader in points per game, raised his average to 33.5 with his 35 points on 13-of-25 shooting, adding 10 assists an five rebounds, but he hit just two of his six free throws, proving costly.

With Doncic essentially being a one-man show in Dallas, the Pistons used that against the Mavericks in overtime, consistently trapping him as soon as he crossed mid-court to force a quick pass, deciding they would live with whatever resulted from other players shooting the ball.

The Pistons approached their offense in the complete opposite fashion, with six players attempting between 10 and 15 field goal attempts each, and their unpredictability forced the Dallas defense to play one-on-one.

Taking advantage of his hot hand, Hayes put the game to bed as he turned a 125-125 tie into a win with back-to-back pull-up three-pointers to stick the dagger into the visiting Mavs.

The tanking Pistons are now 6-18, while the Mavericks, who are coming off a Western Conference Finals appearance, fall to 10-11.

The NBA's leading scorer Luka Doncic increased his average with a stunning 42-point triple-double to defeat the Golden State Warriors 116-113 at home on Tuesday.

Averaging 33.1 points per game this season, Doncic eclipsed 40 points for the fifth time in 19 outings, hitting 14-of-27 from the field while adding 12 rebounds, 12 assists and four steals.

He finished with a plus/minus of plus 22 in 39 minutes, meaning his team was outscored by 19 in the nine minutes he was on the bench.

Doncic received strong support from Tim Hardaway Jr, hitting five-of-11 from long range for his 22 points, while their 2020 first-round draft pick Josh Green showed signs of life with three three-pointers and impressive defense off the bench.

For the Warriors, Stephen Curry continued his MVP-calibre season with another 32 points (11-of-24 shooting), five rebounds and five assists, while last year's seventh overall draft pick Jonathan Kuminga had 14 points (six-of-eight), 10 rebounds and two blocks.

The Mavericks came into the contest on a four-game losing streak, but pulled their record even at 10-10, while the Warriors are in the same boat at 11-11.

Powell shines in revenge game

Norman Powell enjoyed his most productive game of the season to deliver the Los Angeles Clippers a 118-112 comeback win on the road against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Playing on the road against his former club, Powell scored a team-high 32 points off the bench in just 26 minutes, going 10-of-16 from the field, four-of-five from deep and eight-of-10 from the free throw line.

He had 22 of his points in the fourth quarter to overcome a 95-82 deficit at three-quarter time, with the Clippers winning the final period 36-17.

Anfernee Simons was at his sharpshooting best for the Blazers, finishing 13-of-24 from the field and nine-of-16 from three-point range for his 37 points, marking the fourth time in the 23-year-old's career that he has hit nine threes in a game.

Randle has a birthday to remember

Julius Randle turned 28 on Tuesday, and he celebrated with a season-high 36 points in a one-sided 140-110 New York Knicks blowout of the Detroit Pistons.

Randle shot 14-of-24 from the field and six-of-13 from deep, raising his true shooting percentage – which accounts for and weights three-pointers and free throws – to 58.4 per cent.

That figure is more efficient than his 2020-21 season (56.7 per cent true shooting), where he became an All-Star and second-team All-NBA selection, after struggling mightily this past campaign (50.9 per cent).

The Knicks are now one game below .500 at 10-11, and boast the league's 10th-best offense.

Julius Randle celebrated his 28th birthday in style as he dropped 36 points on the New York Knicks' best shooting night of the season to hammer the Detroit Pistons 140-110.

Randle's 36 points sets a new season-high for the 2021 All-NBA selection, kicking off his night with the first quarter of his career with at least five three-pointers, before finishing 14-of-24 from the field and six-of-13 from deep.

Averaging 24.3 assists per game to sit 18th in the league, the Knicks dished 31 dimes en route to setting their new season-best mark of 45.7 per cent shooting from long-range, hitting 16 of their 35 total attempts.

The win on the first game of their road trip snaps a two-game losing streak for the Knicks, and Randle said he was determined to make his birthday a great night for the whole squad.

"The road is usually where teams come together," he said. "That's what we do, so I'm just trying to lead by example and play with energy, play with effort, and do whatever I can do help this team win.

"It was flowing. Anytime we get stops we can get out in transition and get easy buckets, and offensively we're starting to move without the ball. It's good.

"It's always what the defense gives me. Naturally, I'm going to be aggressive, but I was just locked in and taking the shots they were giving me."

When asked if he can sense a big game like this in the hours leading up to the contest, Randle admitted he had a feeling this one was going to go well.

"Sometimes [I can tell]," he said. "I could tell today a little bit. I was just locked in, felt good by myself and how my body was feeling. We've got to follow it up tomorrow."

After Randle's career-best 2020-21 campaign, there were concerns this past season that he had regressed and that perhaps his great year was an outlier, with his true shooting percentage dipping from 56.7 to 50.9 – his lowest figure since the 2015-16 season.

He started slow again this time around, but quickly figured things out, putting up 21.5 points per game with strong splits of 47.4 per cent from the field, 35.4 per cent from deep on 6.9 attempts per game, and 80.4 per cent from the free throw line during November.

It has resulted in his true shooting percentage – which weights three-pointers and free throws to produce one figure – jumping back up to a 58.4 per cent, and coach Tom Thibodeau said it is no surprise.

"He's been doing it for a while now," he said. "Offensively, we're scoring a ton of points, I think we're top-10 in scoring.

"We're scoring in the paint, guys are sharing it, making plays, getting to the line a lot. I like where we are offensively, and I thought our rebounding was really good tonight. We just have to keep building."

Veteran guard Derrick Rose added: "Of course, with it being his birthday, we knew when he first came out how the game was going to go. 

"He forced his will on the team, and everybody else had to follow. That's normally what happens when leaders lead."

The Knicks are now 10-11, and if they can just figure out how to fix their 24th-ranked defense, their 10th-ranked offense is potent enough to flirt with the playoffs.

The Sacramento Kings just keep on winning, defeating the Memphis Grizzlies 113-109 on the road for their seventh straight victory – a feat they have not achieved since 2004.

Their 113 points is the lowest total they have put up during this winning run, having not previously fallen below 120. 

The Kings' scoring power, which includes the highest total in a game this season (153 against the Brooklyn Nets) has them as the second-best offense in the NBA at 117.7 points per 100 possessions, trailing only the Boston Celtics (118.2).

De'Aaron Fox was the catalyst on Tuesday, scoring a team-high 32 points on 11-of-21 shooting, including five-of-eight from deep, while adding eight rebounds, six assists and four steals.

Fox's ability to go head-to-head with Grizzlies superstar Ja Morant bodes well for the Kings, as the 24-year-old former fifth overall pick in the 2017 draft appears on track for his first All-Star appearance.

He is averaging a career-high 25.4 points per game at a career-best 55.8 field goal percentage, and he is also top-20 in assists with an average of 6.4.

At 10-6, the Kings are currently occupying the third seed in the Western Conference, and they will look to extend their streak to eight games when they head to Atlanta to take on the Hawks on Wednesday.

Davis' dominance goes to waste

Anthony Davis had one of the most statistically impressive games of his career in the Los Angeles Lakers' 115-105 loss to the Phoenix Suns.

Davis scored 37 points on 11-of-17 shooting, hitting 15 of his 16 free throws, while grabbing 21 rebounds, snatching five steals and swatting five blocks. He is the first player since the league began recording blocks and steals in 1973 to post at least 37 points, 20 rebounds, five steals and four blocks in a game.

For the Suns, Mikal Bridges and Devin Booker scored 25 each, while center Deandre Ayton had 14 points and 15 rebounds before being shoved to the ground by Patrick Beverley late in the fourth quarter, drawing an ejection for the Lakers guard.

Bogdanovic leads unlikely Pistons win

Despite the return of reigning back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic and second-fiddle Jamal Murray, the Detroit Pistons pulled off an upset 110-108 road win against the Denver Nuggets.

After missing some time due to the league's health and safety protocols, Jokic was back to his dominant best, scoring 31 points on 12-of-16 shooting with 10 assists and nine rebounds, but it was not enough.

Bojan Bogdanovic scored a team-high 22 points on eight-of-17 points for the Pistons, while Alec Burks chipped in 21 points and three steals off the bench, and Killian Hayes set the table with nine assists.

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