LeBron James bemoaned the Los Angeles Lakers suffering from a "weird" NBA review call as the Golden State Warriors triumphed on Saturday.

The Lakers trailed 124-120 with 1:50 remaining of the fourth quarter when a delay started after Los Angeles coach Darvin Ham challenged an out-of-bounds call that granted the Warriors possession.

Ham's questioning was proved correct as the Lakers were granted the ball but, in the process, the Lakers were punished for points after the officials reviewed LeBron's earlier three-pointer.

LeBron was deemed to have been in contact with the paint when shooting from the corner, with his three-point conversion reduced to two by the officials.

"I've never seen that be called before like that, in that particular time," said James, who finished with 40 points, 9 assists and 8 rebounds.

"That was kind of weird. It took some momentum away from us. I didn't believe I stepped on the line.

"I knew how much space I had over there. And when I shoot, I shoot on my tippy toes, so it's kind of hard for me to have a heel down."

NBA official David Guthrie explained the call after the game, though that did not quell the frustrations from either side.

"James' left foot is out of bounds as he begins to shoot," Guthrie said. "Yes, it is reviewable at that time.

"The rule is Rule 13, Section II(f)(3): Whether the shooter committed a boundary line violation, the replay center official will only look at the position of the player's feet at the moment they touch the floor immediately prior to the release of the shot. This can be applied during other replay triggers as well."

Despite profiting from the review, even Golden State coach Steve Kerr was unsure of the ruling.

"I also don't like the rule that you can go back and look at an out of bounds, or LeBron's 3," Kerr said. "That seems to happen once or twice a year. I'd love to see that rule go away.

"I think we're trying so hard to get everything just right, at the expense of the flow. Who cares if a guy's foot is half an inch on the line?

"Is that worth going back 45 seconds and changing everything, with the unintended consequences? It's not my favourite rule, for sure."

Although Kerr surprisingly took the side of the opposition, LeBron was content to prioritise fairness rather than lament the method of replay reviews.

"At the end of the day, you want to get it right," LeBron said. "So, it's unfortunate what happened. But you want to try to get it right, obviously.

"And our crew has a job to do, which is the referees, they have a job to do, and they have to do it at the best they can. So, all good."

If the review decision was not bemusing enough, the last two minutes of the game took more than 20 minutes due to additional shot-clock malfunctions.

The Lakers twice tried to restart play but the shot clock was not in cohesion, leaving the stadium announcer to count the time down due to the technology issue.

"It was bizarre," Kerr added. "It seems like a few times a year you get clock issues. That's about as extreme as I've been a part of where the backup unit doesn't work either.

"It's unfortunate. I felt bad for the fans. That was a great game, and then the last two minutes everyone is just kind of looking at each other wondering what to do."

Stephen Curry scored 31 points in his return and the Golden State Warriors overcame LeBron James’ 40 points and 13 rebounds in a 128-121 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday.

Curry was 12 of 24 from the field and had six rebounds and five assists in 31 minutes after missing three games due to a sprained right ankle.

Klay Thompson scored 26 points, Jonathan Kuminga had 23 and Draymond Green added six points, 12 rebounds and 13 assists after he missed the last game due to back soreness.

D’Angelo Russell tallied 23 points and 13 assists for the Lakers, who played the final three quarters without Anthony Davis, who suffered an eye injury.

Golden State inched ahead of Los Angeles by a percentage point into ninth place in the West after winning a game that dragged to the finish because of a pair of replay reviews and a malfunctioning clock.


Brunson’s big game lifts Knicks

Jalen Brunson scored 42 points for his second straight 40-plus effort and the New York Knicks pulled out a 98-91 win over the Sacramento Kings.

Brunson, who had 45 points in Thursday’s win at Portland, registered his seventh 40-point game of the season. He’s the first Knicks player to reach that total in consecutive games since Carmelo Anthony on Feb. 19 and 21, 2014.

Brunson joins Hall of Famers Bernard King and Patrick Ewing as the only other Knicks to score 40 in back-to-back games.

Domantas Sabonis had 21 points and 14 rebounds for his 49th straight double-double but Sacramento lost for the second time in six games.


Streaking Rockets down Cavaliers

Jalen Green had 26 points and 11 rebounds and Jabari Smith Jr. added 20 points to lead the Houston Rockets to their fifth straight win, 117-103 over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Amen Thompson scored 18 points and Fred VanVleet contributed 13 points and 16 assists for the Rockets, who have won seven of eight to stay in contention for a play-in spot in the Western Conference.

Caris LeVert scored 21 points and Donovan Mitchell added 13 in his second game back from a seven-game absence. Mitchell appeared to sustain a bloody nose in the second half and sat for much of the fourth quarter.

The Cavs dropped their third in four games and fell one game behind Milwaukee for second place in the Eastern Conference.  

Luka Dončić’ had his triple-double streak ended at seven games before leaving with left hamstring soreness as the Dallas Mavericks slogged to a 109-99 win over the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday.

Doncic had 21 points, nine assists and three rebounds, ending a triple-double run that included NBA records of five straight with at least 35 points and six in a row with at least 30 points.

Dallas coach Jason Kidd said he wasn’t sure if Doncic would make the trip to Oklahoma City, where the Mavs finish a back-to-back on Thursday night.

Daniel Gafford was 5 of 5 from the field – all on dunks – to extend his streak of made field goals to 33, two shy of Wilt Chamberlain’s NBA record, set in 1967. Gafford also had a season-high seven blocks.

Jonathan Kuminga scored 27 points and Andrew Wiggins added 17 for the Warriors, who dropped to 1-2 without Stephen Curry, who is sidelined by a sprained ankle.


Nuggets move atop West

Michael Porter Jr. scored 25 points and Nikola Jokić had 12 points, 14 rebounds and six assists to lead the Denver Nuggets to a 100-88 victory over the sliding Miami Heat in a finals rematch on Wednesday.

Aaron Gordon had 16 points and Jamal Murray contributed 14 for the Nuggets, who improved to an NBA-best 10-1 since the All-Star break to move a half-game ahead of Oklahoma City into first place in the Western Conference.

Bam Adebayo had 17 points and 13 rebounds and Jimmy Butler scored 15 for Miami, which lost its fourth straight and dropped 2 ½ games behind Orlando in the Southeast Division.

Denver is 12-1 in its last 13 games against the Heat, including last season’s NBA Finals.


DeRozan leads Bulls to overtime win

DeMar DeRozan poured in a season-high 46 points, hitting the go-ahead 3-pointer in overtime, to lift the Chicago Bulls to a 132-129 win over the Indiana Pacers.

DeRozan’s only 3 of the game with 2:18 left in overtime put the Bulls ahead for good, and he added a free throw with 10 seconds remaining before Tyrese Haliburton missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Alex Caruso scored 23 points and Ayo Dosunmu added 20 as Chicago won its fourth in six games.

Myles Turner had 27 points with five 3-pointers and Haliburton finished with 17 points and 14 assists, but Indiana failed to win its third straight.

San Antonio Spurs rookie Victor Wembanyama shrugged off Trayce Jackson-Davis' dunk after the Golden State Warriors ran out winners on Monday.

Jackson-Davis got the better of Wembanyama with just over a minute left of the fourth quarter, spinning the NBA draft's number one overall pick before finishing in style.

Wembanyama was left tumbling to the deck, and the Warriors went on to win 112-102.

But Wembanyama, who missed the Spurs' win over the Warriors at the weekend due to an ankle problem, is not overly concerned.

"Getting dunked on is nothing. It's part of the game," said the French youngster, fresh from finishing with 27 points and 14 rebounds.

"I dunk on a lot of people and a lot of people dunk on me too. But I think I block more often than I get dunked on, so that's positive."

Reflecting on the Spurs' performance, Wembanyama added: "Consistency is always [important], but today I think it's also responding to the physicality that they put [out]. We didn’t have a strong enough response."

Explaining his thought process behind the dunk, Warriors rookie Jackson-Davis said: "I saw that he overplayed it, and he overplayed it to my right.

"I'm left-handed. So, I think I spun or got to my left hand and then I had to step on him. I just tried him.

"I told Kevon [Looney] before the game that if I got the chance to try him, I would. At the end of the day, sometimes you dunk on people, sometimes you get dunked on. It's just a basketball play."

Monday's win saw the Warriors, who were without Stephen Curry, bounce back from back-to-back losses, with Golden State limiting the Spurs to just one point in the final stages of the fourth quarter.

"We weren't doing anything differently, just the effort and the connection," said coach Steve Kerr.

"If one guy is out of place and everybody's giving great effort, it still results in two points. I just felt we were better connected in the second half and as that went, we picked up some momentum."

Jonathan Kuminga led the Warriors with 22 points, with Klay Thompson adding 21, to go with a contribution of 19 from Chris Paul.

The Golden State Warriors appear to have avoided a major injury to Stephen Curry, as ESPN reported Friday that an MRI on the two-time NBA MVP's right ankle showed no structural damage.

Curry, who was injured in the fourth quarter of Golden State's 125-122 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Thursday, is still likely to miss a few games but is not expected to be facing an overly lengthy absence. According to ESPN, the Warriors will have a better idea on the star guard's return timeline as his ankle responds to treatment over the next few days.

Though the Warriors currently reside in ninth place in the Western Conference, their 12-4 record since Feb. 5 is the best among teams in the West and they trail the sixth-place Phoenix Suns by just 3 1/2 games. The top six teams are guaranteed to avoid the play-in round and earn a spot in the conference quarter-finals for the upcoming play-offs.

Curry has stayed mostly healthy this season and is in the midst of another standout campaign, as the 10-time All-Star leads the NBA in 3-point field goals made (290) while averaging a team-leading 26.9 points in 59 games. The Warriors have lost all three games he's missed this season.

The 36-year-old does have a history of issues with his right ankle, however, including two surgeries he underwent in 2011 and 2012.

"I know we're going to miss him if he does have time off,” teammate Klay Thompson said following Thursday's game. “We've been in his position before where he has had time off and we've just got to do it collectively. I know he'll be ready to go when he does come back, whenever that is. We just want to wish him a speedy recovery and to take his time.”

Golden State will play three games in five days beginning with Saturday's home matchup with the San Antonio Spurs. The Warriors then visit San Antonio on Monday before another road game against the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday. 

Steve Kerr pointed to the chemistry within the Golden State Warriors' roster after his team won for a seventh time in 10 games.

Stephen Curry inspired the Warriors on Wednesday, finishing with 29 points, eight rebounds and five assists as Golden State saw off the Milwaukee Bucks in style, winning 125-90.

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 23 points on his return to the Bucks' fold, but it was not enough to extend Milwaukee's winning streak to seven.

Kerr has looked to rotate his roster this season, and he believes the competition for places, is helping to drive his team's push for the playoffs, as Golden State moved to a 34-30 record.

"I'm really so impressed with this group, and I have been all year," Kerr told the San Francisco Chronicle.

"Chemistry and commitment to each other, the professionalism, staying with it when it's not their turn."

Draymond Green added: "I can't take plays off, there's no reason.

"I think that's one of the beautiful things about this. Everybody should be flying around, you're not playing a million minutes, so give everything you've got."

Despite losing by 35 points, Bucks coach Doc Rivers pointed fingers at Milwaukee's offense, not their defense.

"I really didn't think this was our defense, I thought it was our offense," coach Doc Rivers said.

"I didn't think we played solid offense all night."

Stephen Curry scored 29 points with six 3-pointers and the Golden State Warriors dominated the fourth quarter on Wednesday to end the Milwaukee Bucks’ six-game winning streak, 125-90.

Jonathan Kuminga added 20 points and Trayce Jackson-Davis had 15 with seven rebounds off the bench to help the Warriors rebound from Sunday’s 52-point loss at Boston and improve to 12-3 in their last 15 games.

Golden State matched a season low with 15 points in the third quarter but outscored Milwaukee 32-9 in the fourth.

Giannis Antetokounmpo led Milwaukee with 23 points and Damian Lillard and Bobby Portis each added 20. The Bucks have lost their last four visits to Golden State.

Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins returned from a four-game absence to deal with a family matter and scored three points in 14 minutes.


Fox, Sabonis power Kings past Lakers

De’Aaron Fox matched his career high with 44 points and Domantas Sabonis had a triple-double as the Sacramento Kings topped the Los Angeles Lakers, 130-120.

Fox shot 18 of 31 from the field and reached 40 points for the seventh time this season, fourth-most in the NBA.

Sabonis had 16 points, 20 rebounds and 12 assists for his fourth triple-double in seven games. He leads the league with 22 triple-doubles, the sixth player in league history with that many in a season.

LeBron James had 31 points and 13 assists and Rui Hachimura added 29 for the Lakers, who had won three of four.


Magic rally past lowly Wizards

Franz Wagner scored 28 points and the surging Orlando Magic erased a 21-point deficit to send the Washington Wizards to their franchise record-tying 16th straight loss, 119-109.

Paolo Banchero had 25 points, 10 assists and six rebounds and Jalen Suggs added 19 points for Orlando, which has won five straight and eight of nine to move a season-best 11 games over .500.

The Magic’s comeback was their largest of the season and the sixth-largest deficit overcome to win in franchise history.

Jordan Poole scored 26 points for the league-worst Wizards, who haven’t won since Jan. 29 and last won a home game on Dec. 29.

Stephen Curry lamented a "perfect storm" as the Golden State Warriors were on the end of a 140-88 defeat to the Boston Celtics on Sunday.

The loss at TD Garden was the fourth-worst the Warriors, who entered the contest in good form, have suffered in franchise history.

It marks the third time this season the Celtics have won by 50 points or more, meanwhile, as they racked up an 11th victory in a row.

"The way that they've been playing, they seem very sure of themselves in their identity and who they are," Curry said. "Give them credit. 

"They came out and whooped us from the jump, and it was a perfect storm of a rough [day] on our end and them taking it to us."

Curry played despite being questionable, but he did not feature in the second half as he finished with a season-low tally of four points.

The Warriors will hope to have Curry back to full fitness for their return to action against the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday.

"This was not a day off for Steph, though he probably could have used one," Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said.

"He's played so well and for so long this year. Hopefully the next few days he'll get it recharged."

Jaylen Brown led the scoring with 29 points, while birthday boy Jayson Tatum had 26 in the Celtics' third-biggest victory in franchise history.

Boston led by a franchise-record 44 points at the midway point and went on to extend their advantage to 51 before making some changes.

"It feels great, but, at the same time, it's always within humility," Brown said. "We don't take the game for granted. 

"We didn't come and mess around and that's just how we show our respect to the game, we handle business and take care of it.

"It's a lot of respect for the Golden State Warriors, but we feel like it's our time now."

The 48-12 Celtics lead the Eastern Conference, while the Warriors are ninth in the Western Conference with a record of 32-28. 

Stephen Curry's first basket Sunday tied the score between the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics midway through the first quarter.

The next time he made a shot, the Warriors trailed by 32 points.

The Celtics annihilated Curry and the Warriors, cruising to a 140-88 drubbing to extend their season-best winning streak to 11 games.

The victory marked the third-largest winning margin in franchise history as Boston set an NBA record with its third win by 50 or more points this season.


After Curry's floating bank shot tied the game at 21 with 6:05 to play in the opening period, Boston went on a 22-3 run en route to a franchise-record 44-point half-time lead.

Curry's only other basket came with 4:24 remaining in the second quarter, as his four points marked his fewest since he scored just three on March 16, 2022 at Boston - a game he departed after playing just 16 minutes due to a foot injury.

The 10-time All-Star missed all nine of his 3-point attempts and didn't play after half-time.

The Celtics had no such trouble making their baskets, connecting on 51.0 per cent of their 3-point tries, hitting a season high-tying 25 shots from beyond the 3-point arc.

Jaylen Brown had a game-high 29 points in just 22 minutes, while Jayson Tatum had 27 points on 9-of-13 shooting on his 26th birthday.

Payton Pritchard added 19 points for the Celtics, who shot 60 per-cent in the first half to go into the break with an 82-38 lead, and led by as much as 56 points.

At 48-12, Boston has its best record through 60 games since 2007-08 - the last season the franchise won the NBA title.

Golden State (32-28) arrived in Boston having won 11 of 13, including eight straight on the road.

None of the Warriors starters played more than 20 minutes, as reserve Lester Quinones had a team-high 17 points in 33 minutes.


Thunder escape in Phoenix to move back atop West

The Oklahoma City Thunder survived a furious rally by the Phoenix Suns to pull out an impressive 118-110 road win to move atop Western Conference.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 36 points, nine rebounds and nine assists to help the Thunder bounce back from Thursday's 132-118 loss to the San Antonio Spurs.

The victory marked Oklahoma City's seventh in eight games as the Thunder (42-18) moved into sole possession of first place in the West for the first time since January 27.

Oklahoma City looked like it was going to cruise to an easy win, going up by 24 points on Gilgeous-Alexander's jump shot with 6:56 left in the third quarter.

The Suns (35-26) stormed back, however, going on a 31-5 run and taking a 91-89 lead Royce O'Neale's 3-pointer just over one minute into the fourth period.

Phoenix built its lead to six points before Oklahoma City rallied once more, taking the lead for good at 105-103 on Jalen Williams' driving layup with 5:29 to play.


Jusuf Nurkic established a Phoenix franchise record with 31 rebounds - the most by any player in the NBA since Kevin Love also had 31 for the Minnesota Timberwolves on November 12, 2010.

Nurkic's previous career high for rebounds was 23 and he broke the Suns' record of 27 set by Tyson Chandler on January 23, 2016.

He also had 14 points and four assists for Phoenix, which was playing without Devin Booker after he sprained his right ankle in Saturday's 118-109 loss to the Houston Rockets.

Bradley Beal led the Suns with 31 points and six assists but also accounted for seven of Phoenix's 21 turnovers.

Kevin Durant, who added 20 points, turned the ball over five times, along with Nurkic.


Brunson exits early but Knicks get past Cavaliers

Things looked bleak early for New York when Jalen Bunson got hurt in the opening minute, but the Knicks managed to overcome the loss of their All-Star guard for a 107-98 road win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Brunson was injured on New York's first possession when his left knee hit the knee of team-mate Isaiah Hartenstein as he lifted off the ground while attempting a jump shot after coming off a screen from Hartenstein near the foul line.

He sat on the court holding his left leg and needed to be helped to the locker room.

The injury is not believed to be serious with coach Tom Thibodeau saying after the game that X-rays were negative. 

That's good news for a banged-up Knicks team already without starters Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson and O.G. Anunoby because of injuries.

Brunson, who was diagnosed with a knee contusion, entered the game against the Cavaliers averaging 30.2 points in his last six games.

Josh Hart and Donte DiVincenzo stepped up in Brunson's absence for the Knicks (36-25), as Hart finished with 13 points, a career high-tying 19 rebounds and 10 assists, while DiVincenzo scored 28.


Reserve Miles McBride entered New York's lineup after Brunson was injured, and was never subbed out, finishing with 16 points and four 3-pointers - including a clutch 3 in the final minute to put the Knicks up by nine.

Playing without Donovan Mitchell for a second straight game because of left knee soreness, the Cavaliers (39-21) fell apart late, missing 5 of 6 shots while turning the ball over four times in the final four minutes.

Backup Sam Merrill led Cleveland with 21 points while making 7-of-13 3-point attempts and Darius Garland added 19 points and went 5 of 8 from beyond the arc. 

Jayson Tatum scored 32 points and the Boston Celtics overcame Luka Dončić’s second straight triple-double in a 138-110 victory over the Dallas Mavericks for their 10th consecutive win on Friday.

Jaylen Brown had 25 points and Kristaps Porzingis added 24 as seven Celtics scored in double figures.

Doncic had 37 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists for his 12th triple-double of the season and 68th of his career.

NBA-leading Boston knocked down 21 3-pointers and shot 55.3 percent (52-of-94) from the field to remain unbeaten since a loss to the Lakers on Feb. 1.

The 10-game streak is the longest for the Celtics since a 10-game run during the 2019-20 season.

Kyrie Irving scored 19 points against his former team but shot 9 of 23 as Dallas lost for the third time in four games.

Antetokounmpo powers streaking Bucks

Giannis Antetokounmpo poured in 46 points and grabbed 16 rebounds as the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Chicago Bulls 113-97 for their fifth consecutive win.

Antetokoumpo shot 16 of 22 from the field, made 2 of 3 from long range and sank 12 of 16 free throws in his eighth 40-plus point game this season.

Patrick Beverley scored 14 points and Brook Lopez added 12 for the Bucks, who improved to 8-7 under Doc Rivers and moved into a virtual tie with Cleveland for first place in the Central Division.

Chicago’s DeMar DeRozan became the 35th player in NBA history to accumulate 23,000 points. He scored 12 points – all but two in the second half – and was 5 of 13 from the field after missing his first six shots.

Coby White led the Bulls with 22 points and Nikola Vucevic added 17 with nine rebounds.

Warriors win again on road

Stephen Curry scored 25 points and Jonathan Kuminga added 24 to lead the Golden State Warriors to their eighth straight road win, 120-105 over the Toronto Raptors, who lost All-Star Scottie Barnes.

Moses Moody had 17 points and Klay Thompson was next with 14 as the Warriors won their third straight and 13th in 15 games.

Barnes broke his left middle finger late in the first half and the Raptors said he would be out indefinitely. He had 10 points and six rebounds in 16 minutes, ending a career-best streak of five consecutive double-doubles.

Golden State overcame some troublesome travel after it had to switch planes following Thursday night’s win over New York. The Warriors endured a long wait on the tarmac, finally arriving at its Toronto hotel shortly after 7 a.m. Friday morning.

One game after going without a point in the first half, Stephen Curry had nine points before the New York Knicks even scored.

Curry finished with 31 points and 11 rebounds and the Golden State Warriors rode a fast start for a 110-99 win at Madison Square Garden on Thursday.

The Warriors scored the game’s first 14 points, as the Knicks missed their first nine shots until Donte DiVincenzo converted a layup with 6:35 left in the opening quarter. By that time Curry already had nine points.

After failing to score in the first half in Tuesday's win over the Washington Wizards, Curry opened the scoring at MSG with a 27-foot 3-pointer 20 seconds after the opening tip. He finished 8-of-18 from 3-point range.


Jonathan Kuminga had 25 points and Klay Thompson had 16 points off the bench for the Warriors, who pushed their road winning streak to seven games. This is their longest road winning streak since reeling off 11 in a row in the 2018-19 season.

Overall, Golden State (31-27) has won 12 of 15 games following a 4-10 stretch.

New York (35-25), meanwhile, wrapped up a 4-8 February after going an NBA-best 14-2 in January.

Jalen Brunson led the Knicks with 27 points and DiVincenzo added 16, though he missed 15 of his 21 shot attempts.

As a team, New York shot 36.8 per cent - its worst shooting performance since shooting a season-worst 34.8 per cent in a 117-100 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on November 20.


Wembanyama stuffs stat sheet as Spurs beat Thunder

Victor Wembanyama recorded a stat line that had never been seen in an NBA game in the San Antonio Spurs' 132-118 win over Oklahoma City, ending the Thunder's six-game winning streak.

The rookie sensation finished with 28 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists, five blocked shots and five 3-pointers.

He is the first player in NBA history with at least 10 boards, five assists, five blocks and five made 3s in a game.

Wembanyama won the battle of first-year big men, coming up with a huge block of Chet Holmgren in the final minutes.


Although the Spurs (12-48) have the worst record in the Western Conference, they beat a Thunder team that was hoping to move into a tie with the Timberwolves atop the conference.

Oklahoma City (41-18) had won its last six games by an average of 20.2 points, but shot just 29.0 per cent from 3-point range (9 for 31).

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander paced the Thunder with 31 points, while Jalen Williams scored 26 and Holmgren added 23.

Devin Vassell had 28 points and nine assists for the Spurs, who were playing in San Antonio for the first time since February 3 following a 1-8 road swing.


Nuggets hold on to beat Heat in NBA Finals rematch

Meeting for the first time since Denver captured the franchise's first NBA title last June, the Nuggets held on for a 103-97 win over the Miami Heat.

The Nuggets looked like they were going to win easily, leading by 16 in the fourth quarter, but the Heat pulled within 99-97 on Jimmy Butler's floating bank shot with 11 seconds to play.

The Heat would get no closer, however, as Denver (41-19) improved to 5-0 since the All-Star break and moved within 1 1/2 games of the Timberwolves for the best record in the West.


Michael Porter Jr. had 30 points and 11 rebounds, while Nikola Jokic had 18 points, 11 boards and seven assists.

Denver overcame an injury to Jamal Murray, who sprained his right ankle when he landed on Aaron Gordon's leg just before half-time.

The Heat (33-26) arrived in Denver riding a five-game winning streak, in which they were averaging 113.0 points, but they had just 70 points through three quarters against the Nuggets.

Bam Adebayo led Miami with 22 points and eight rebounds, while Butler had 21 points and seven boards.

Steve Kerr revelled in the "crazy" luxury of being able to bring Chris Paul and Klay Thompson off the bench as the Golden State Warriors continued their fine form on Tuesday.

Golden State have hit their stride in February to move back into playoff contention in the West, despite missing veteran point guard Paul.

The 38-year-old was traded to the Warriors by the Washington Wizards at the start of the season, having previously been moved on by the Phoenix Suns, but had been restricted to 32 games and 11 starts prior to returning against the Wizards.

Paul made his comeback from the bench following his recovery from surgery on a left hand fracture, and he was joined in the second unit by Klay Thompson.

Those options in reserve were especially useful to Kerr in this 123-112 win as superstar starter Stephen Curry was held scoreless through the first half.

Curry finished with 18 points, but he was outshone by Thompson, who had 25, while Paul played a key role in the decisive third quarter in which the Warriors outscored the Wizards 38-17.

"What a luxury to come off the bench with Chris Paul and Klay Thompson," coach Kerr said. "That's crazy."

"You've got two Hall of Famers in the backcourt coming off the bench," Thompson added. "That's such a rare feat, so we take pride in that.

"[Paul] makes my life much easier, much easier. Just his ability to read the game, hit me in stride, on time, on target, he's probably one of the best in history at doing that."

Kerr continued: "We've been playing pretty well over the last month or so, but we've really been looking forward to getting Chris back.

"You could see why tonight. He's a plus-17 in 21 minutes, always in control of the game. The way we closed the third quarter was really important, and he was at the helm."

Paul is not getting carried away just yet but acknowledged that strength in depth and affirmed his commitment to taking on whatever role Kerr asks of him.

"It's one game, one game," Paul said. "We've still got a lot of work to do as a team, as a unit.

"We have so much depth, so many different ways that we can play, that it's going to take us a little while to figure it out. But obviously, you want to figure it out and win at the same time.

"We've got a really good group of guys on this team, and [Kerr is] going to need different things every night.

"You know one thing about me though: I know who I am and what I'm capable of. You know what I mean? There ain't any question about that. I'll always be ready, and I think he knows that."

Draymond Green welcomed the news that Steve Kerr has agreed a contract extension with the Golden State Warriors, calling the development "incredible".

Golden State defeated the Charlotte Hornets 97-84 at home on Friday after reports had emerged that Kerr has agreed to a two-year, $35 million contract extension that will make him the highest-paid coach in NBA history.

The new deal, which is not yet formally signed, will reportedly pay Kerr, who has guided the Warriors to four NBA championships, $17.5 million a year.

His current deal was set to expire at the end of this season but Warriors forward Green was not worried about the prospect of Kerr leaving, as he was always confident an agreement would be struck.

"No [I was not worried], because I know [owner] Joe [Lacob] is going to do the right thing," Green said, per ESPN.

"He has done nothing but build that trust with us that he is going to do the right thing and take care of those who take care of this organization."

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is reported to make more annually than Kerr, but he also serves as the team’s president.

Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra signed an eight-year extension that pays him approximately $15m a season.

Kerr, 58, is in his 10th season as coach of the Warriors and holds a career regular season record of 501-264 and is 99-41 in the playoffs. 

He won his 500th game last week to become the fifth-fastest coach to do so in history.

"I think it's incredible," added Green. "I wouldn't want to finish my time here with any other coach. 

"What he has meant to this franchise and the winning ways that he brought here – you can't replace that. He got what he deserved."

Kerr will also coach Team USA in the 2024 Olympics in Paris. He said he felt "really good" about the team's future but could not comment on the deal until it was officially signed and announced.

The victory means Golden State (29-26) has now won 10 of its last 12 games in the NBA, while Charlotte (14-42) had a four-game winning streak snapped.

Stephen Curry had 15 points and five assists in a game that saw him take on his younger brother Seth, with their father Dell on commentary to make it a special night for the family.

The Warriors' Curry (23,160 points) moved past Elgin Baylor (23,149) into 33rd place on the NBA's all-time scoring list. 

Hornets forward Miles Bridges had 19 points and 11 rebounds but was involved in a scuffle that saw Lester Quinones and Grant Williams ejected in garbage time. 

An argument had ensued after Quinones drove to the basket and attempted a layup with 10.9 seconds remaining, with Bridges called for goaltending.

"I don’t really understand why people get so mad at somebody scoring at the end of the game," added Green.

"It’s like this dumb, unofficial, unwritten rule. If you all were winning by 13 points would you get mad if he laid a ball up? I doubt it. So it's kind of like a sore loser type thing."

The Warriors will next host the Denver Nuggets in a big Sunday game.

The Golden State Warriors and coach Steve Kerr have agreed to a two-year, $35 million contract extension that will make him the highest-paid coach in NBA history, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Friday.

The new deal will pay Kerr, who has guided the Warriors to four NBA championships, $17.5 million a year.

His current deal was set to expire at the end of this season.

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich makes more annually, according to sources, but he also serves as the team’s president. Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra signed an eight-year extension that pays him approximately $15 million a season.

Kerr, 58, is in his 10th season as coach of the Warriors and holds a career regular season record of 501-264 and is 99-41 in the playoffs. He won his 500th game last week to become the fifth-fastest coach to do so in history.

LeBron James has been ruled out of the Los Angeles Lakers' road game against the Golden State Warriors on Thursday as he continues to nurse an ankle problem.

James has been suffering from peroneal tendinopathy in his left ankle, and the issue caused him to miss the Lakers' 138-122 road win over the Utah Jazz before the All-Star break.

The NBA's all-time leading scorer did feature in Sunday's All-Star Game, but he was limited to just 14 minutes on the court as the Western Conference All-Stars lost 211-186 to their Eastern Conference counterparts.

James said before Sunday's game that he would use the break to undergo treatment on his ankle, also suggesting his status for Thursday's trip to Chase Center was uncertain.

On Wednesday, the Lakers announced he had officially been downgraded to out, causing him to miss his eighth game of the season.

James had 36 points, 20 rebounds and 12 assists as the Lakers beat the Warriors in a double overtime classic last month, and the 39-year-old is averaging 24.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game this season.

Prior to the trade deadline earlier this month, the Warriors reportedly enquired about James' availability, only to be knocked back by Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka.

James said last week that he wishes to finish his glittering career in Los Angeles, though he is yet to decide whether to take up his $51.4million player option for 2024-25.

Thursday's matchup could prove crucial to the playoff hopes of both teams, with the Lakers emerging from the mid-season hiatus at 30-26 and the Warriors having a 27-26 record. 

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