Nikola Jokic recorded his league-leading 15th triple-double this season and Jamal Murray fell a rebound shy of one as the Denver Nuggets took down the Portland Trail Blazers, 120-108 on Friday.

Jokic had 27 points, a season-high 22 rebounds and 12 assists for his 120th career triple-double, a total bettered only by Russell Westbrook (198), Oscar Robertson (181) and Magic Johnson (138) in NBA history.

Murray finished with 13 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds, while Aaron Gordon scored 18 points and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 16 points. The Nuggets have won five straight and 12 of 13 against the Blazers.

Scoot Henderson scored 30 points and Anfernee Simons had 29 for Portland, which played without Jerami Grant, who was a late scratch due to lower back tightness.

Clippers’ Westbrook hits milestone in win

Russell Westbrook scored 23 points to become the 25th player in NBA history to reach 25,000 in the Los Angeles Clippers’ 136-125 win over the Detroit Pistons.

Westbrook, who shot 10 of 13 from the field and handed out nine assists, joined teammate James Harden on the list of players to score 25,000 points. Harden reached the milestone in December.

Kawhi Leonard scored 21 of his 33 points in the first half and Paul George added 18 as the Clippers won for the seventh time in eight games.

Jalen Ivey scored 28 points and Bojan Bogdanovic had 26 for the Pistons, who dropped to 4-41 after a 2-1 start to the season.

Sabonis breaks Robertson’s record in Kings’ win

Domantas Sabonis tallied 26 points and 12 rebounds to break Oscar Robertson’s single-season franchise record with his 30th straight double-double to lead the Sacramento Kings to a 133-122 win over the Indiana Pacers.

Sabonis, who added seven assists, surpassed Robertson’s mark set from Dec. 6, 1961-Jan. 30, 1962.

De’Aaron Fox had 25 points and six assists and Malik Monk added 23 points, six assists and five rebounds to help Sacramento win for the fifth time in six games.

Bennedict Mathurin scored 31 points for the Pacers, who shot 54.1 percent from the field but were hurt by 21 turnovers to fall to 4-8 in their last 12 games.

Jalen Brunson was emotional after a night which saw him being voted a first-time All-Star before leading the New York Knicks to a comeback win.

The Knicks overcame the loss of two starters again to rally for their ninth straight NBA victory, 109-105 over the Indiana Pacers, with Brunson pouring in 40 points hours after getting his All-Star nod.

Brunson scored 11 points in the fourth quarter to help win a game in which the Knicks had trailed by 15 points. 

He shook off an eye injury late in the game and made a driving layup with 1:46 remaining to give the Knicks the lead for good on Thursday.

Donte DiVincenzo added 20 points, Miles McBride had 16 off the bench and Isaiah Hartenstein contributed 12 points and 19 rebounds for New York, which was again without starters Julius Randle and OG Anunoby, with Mitchell Robinson and Quentin Grimes also out.

The Knicks, coming off a 14-2 January, have won nine in a row for the first time since a 13-game run in 2013 and moved to within a half-game of the Milwaukee Bucks for second place in the Eastern Conference standings before they host the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday.

But this night was about Brunson, who continued his spectacular season and was serenaded with MVP chants at Madison Square Garden.

"It was really cool, the whole experience, the night, how we won and obviously what happened before the game," said Brunson.

"You always work for certain moments, but you never know how to react when they happen. 

"So it was special. When the game's going, you're focused and when it's over you kind of relax and realize what's going on.

"It's definitely different at that point. So, really thankful for the fans and what they've done for myself, my family and this team."

Brunson’s exploits meant the Pacers had a three-game winning streak snapped despite Jalen Smith scoring 22 points and Aaron Nesmith having 17.

Asked about Brunson’s growth, Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said: "It's surreal. Each step of the way, there's always been naysayers, and he always proves them wrong.

"You just love his competitiveness and he never goes away."

DiVincenzo is getting used to praising Brunson in his post-game interviews, smiling to reporters that he was not sure what else he could say.

"He did exactly what everybody expects him to do and what he has been doing all season long," added DiVincenzo.

"The dude is an All-Star. He's having an MVP-caliber season right now. He should be the player of the month this month.

"What else can I say? The dude's doing everything he possibly can for us to win games. It's not easy right now with Julius going down, OG going down, Mitch not being here. 

"Everything's been thrown against us and he's still willing us to win games."

While the Knicks have a day to prepare for their big clash with the Lakers, Indiana (27-22) is straight back in action at home against the Sacramento Kings on Friday.

Jrue Holiday is happy to do things the hard way occasionally after helping the Boston Celtics survive a fightback from the Indiana Pacers.

The Eastern Conference-leading Celtics battled to a 129-124 victory at TD Garden on Tuesday to go 37-11 for the season.

Indiana rallied from 20 points down late in the first half to make it 127-124, but big back-to-back stops kept the Celtics' lead intact.

Holiday saw out the victory for his side with two free throws and has no complaints about being made to sweat for the win.

"We've got to be able to fight through everything," he said. "Fight through expectations, fight through being up 20.

"Fight through somebody having a great third quarter and finishing games. If it was easy the whole time, what's the fun in that?"

Jayson Tatum scored 30 points and came up with two blocks in the final 30 seconds as the Celtics made it five wins in six games.

Jaylen Brown also impressed with 25 points, while Derrick White added 24 for Boston, who claimed the season series with Indiana 3-2.

"You have to be able to win games with your defense," coach Joe Mazzulla said.

"It's a tough balance for us because we always talk about how the game's connected. You can't have one without the other.

"But there's moments when they both have to be elite. We had really good defense down the stretch and made some winning plays."

Aaron Nesmith had 26 points and 12 rebounds and Pascal Siakam added 23 as Indiana, who had won three in a row, fell short of a comeback.

"We got outplayed in the second half, for sure," Brown said. 

"But when it came down to it in the wire, fourth quarter, we were able to nudge out and win just by matching the physicality. 

"We rebounded better in the fourth quarter, a lot better than we did all game, and then that just helped us win."

The Celtics, boasting the best record in NBA, face the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday. The 27-21 Pacers meet the New York Knicks the same day.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pacers rally to spoil Booker’s big night

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

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

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

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

Harden powers Clippers past Raptors

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

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

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

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

Indiana Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle described Pascal Siakam's performance as "tremendous" after he notched his first triple-double in 15 months to help end the Philadelphia 76ers' six-game winning run.

Philadelphia arrived at Gainbridge Fieldhouse looking to close the gap on the Eastern Conference leaders, the Boston Celtics, with a seventh straight win. However, Siakam took centre-stage in a 134-122 home victory.

Siakam finished with 26 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists for his first triple-double with Indiana, who never trailed at any point in the game.

The victory came on the same night as Tyrese Haliburton was announced as a first-time All-Star starter, and just three days after reigning MVP Joel Embiid had a 76ers-record 70 points in a win over the San Antonio Spurs.

"We made it our kind of game," Pacers coach Carlisle said after seeing his team improve to 25-20.

"Siakam was obviously tremendous, the sixth triple-double of his career, his first, obviously, with the Pacers. When you have a power forward get a triple-double, it's pretty special."

The Pacers were without Haliburton as he missed another game due to a niggling hamstring injury, but they made light of his absence by racing into a 17-point lead within the first half.

Siakam's display was central to that, and Philadelphia coach Nick Nurse also heaped praise on the two-time All-Star, saying: "He was good, he was very good

"He got going early and when he does that, you're going to see him play really, really well. 

We got to him kind of late on some double teams and there was nobody there to rotate out, which is why he had such a big assist number."

The 76ers were made to pay for their slip-up as the league-leading Celtics beat the Miami Heat 143-110, avenging their defeat to the same team in last season’s Eastern Conference finals.

Jayson Tatum led seven Celtics in double figures with 26 points as Boston improved to 35-10, but head coach Joe Mazzulla warned the victory will be proven redundant if they don't reach the same level in the postseason.

"This game was really good, but it means nothing at all in the grand scheme of things if we don't take the lessons that we need to and apply it to the next game," Mazzulla said. 

"So, we'll enjoy it until we get to the plane and then it's onto the next one."

Pascal Siakam notched his first triple-double in over a year and the Indiana Pacers snapped the Philadelphia 76ers’ six-game winning streak, 134-122 on Thursday.

Siakam had 26 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists, Myles Turner added 20 points and nine boards and Andrew Nembhard contributed 19 points as Indiana snapped a three-game skid.

Joel Embiid scored 31 points just three days after setting the franchise record with 70 points. He has scored at least 30 points in 21 consecutive games.

Despite playing without All-Star guard Tyrese Haliburton, the Pacers were never seriously threatened in this one. They opened with six straight points, quickly extended the lead to double digits and led by 17 before settling for a 73-61 edge at the break.

 

Porzingis injured in Celtics’ win

Jayson Tatum scored 26 points and Kristaps Porzingis had 19 before leaving with a sprained left ankle as the Boston Celtics rolled to a 143-110 rout of the Miami Heat.

Jaylen Brown added 18 points and Jrue Holiday had 17 for the NBA-leading Celtics, who registered their most-ever points against Miami, with the 33-point margin their most lopsided win in 172 meetings between the franchises, including playoffs.

Boston made 22 3-pointers, shot 63.8 percent from the field and held a 47-31 rebounding advantage.

Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro scored 19 points apiece for the Heat, who dropped their season-high fifth straight.

 

Surging Knicks roll over Nuggets

OG Anunoby scored 26 points and Jalen Brunson added 21 as the New York Knicks sent the defending champion Nuggets to their worst loss of the season, 122-84.

Quentin Grimes had 19 points, Julius Randle scored 17 and Donte DiVincenzo chipped in 16 as the Knicks won their season high-tying fifth in a row and improved to 11-2 since Anunoby was acquired from Toronto.

Nikola Jokić led Denver with 31 points and 11 rebounds, but the Nuggets had a three-game winning streak stopped. Their previous biggest loss was a 119-93 defeat to Oklahoma City on Dec. 29.

New York was 15 of 38 from 3-point range, while Denver was 5 of 26.

 

Nikola Jokic scored 31 points as part of his league-leading 13th triple-double of the season and Jamal Murray also had 31 points to lead the Denver Nuggets to a 114-109 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday.

Jokic sealed Denver’s third straight win with a 3-pointer with 4.7 seconds remaining. He leads all active players with 118 triple-doubles.

Myles Turner had 22 points and Pascal Siakam added 16 with 10 rebounds in his first home game since the Pacers acquired him from Toronto last week.

Indiana lost its third in a row overall and eighth straight against Denver.

The Nuggets took a 93-81 lead into the fourth quarter, but the Pacers took the lead 103-102 on Ben Sheppard’s 3-pointer with 3:42 left.

Jokic’s layup with 1:38 to play gave Denver the lead for good and Murray’s running finger roll 22 seconds later made it 111-107.

McCollum sinks 9 3-pointers as Pelicans erupt

CJ McCollum matched his season high with 33 points and went 9 for 13 from 3-point range as the New Orleans Pelicans set a franchise scoring record in a 153-124 win over the Utah Jazz.

Zion Williamson added 17 points and a career-high 11 assists and Herb Jones scored 22 points for the Pelicans, who surpassed their previous franchise record of 149 points in a win over Sacramento in October 2018.

McCollum shot 11 of 17 from the field and New Orleans connected on half its attempts from long range (23 of 46) as part of a 57.7 percent overall shooting effort.

Brunson, Randle team up to keep Knicks hot

Jalen Brunson had 30 points and Julius Randle flirted with a second straight triple-double as the New York Knicks rallied for a 108-103 win over the Brooklyn Nets.

Donte DiVincenzo scored 11 points and OG Anunoby added 10 for the Knicks, who have won four straight and improved to 10-2 since acquiring Anunoby from Toronto.

Randle finished with 30 points, nine rebounds and seven assists after he had 18 points, 16 boards and 10 assists in Saturday’s win over the Raptors.

Mikal Bridges scored 36 points with a career-high seven 3-pointers for the Nets, who entered the fourth quarter with a nine-point lead, just two nights after squandering an 18-point advantage in a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.

 

The Indiana Pacers are acquiring Pascal Siakam in a trade with the Toronto Raptors.

As part of the deal, which was reported Wednesday by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Pacers are sending Bruce Brown, Jordan Nwora and three first-round draft picks to the Raptors in exchange for Siakam.

A third team in the trade, the New Orleans Pelicans, are swapping second-round picks with Indiana and shipping Kira Lewis to Toronto.

Siakam led the Raptors in scoring this season with an average of 22.2 points per game, along with averages of 6.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists.

 

Siakam joins a Pacers team that averages a league-high 125.6 points per game and will play alongside All-Star guard Tyrese Haliburton.

With a 23-17 record, Indiana sits in third place in the Central Division and in sixth place in the Eastern Conference as it looks to make the play-offs for the first time since 2020. 

A two-time All-NBA selection, Siakam had spent his first eight NBA seasons in Toronto and helped the Raptors win the NBA title in 2018-19.

Drafted 27th overall by the Raptors in 2016, the 29-year-old was named an All-Star in 2019-20, as well as last season, when he averaged a career-best 24.2 points.

Siakam is set to become a free agent this summer, and the Pacers are reportedly expected to re-sign him. He becomes eligible to sign a five-year deal that could pay him as much as $247million.

This is the second big trade in the last three weeks for the rebuilding Raptors, who sent OG Anunoby and Malachi Flynn to the New York Knicks on December 30.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mavericks down rival Pelicans behind big games from Irving, Hardaway

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jazz extend winning streak with rout of Pacers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Indiana Pacers overcame a double-digit deficit and an injury to star point guard Tyrese Haliburton to rally for a thrilling 133-131 win over the Eastern Conference-leading Boston Celtics on Monday.

Indiana earned its seventh win in eight games despite trailing by 11 points in the third quarter and playing the entire second half without Haliburton, the team's top scorer who had to be carried off the court after slipping and straining his left hamstring late in the second quarter.

Bennedict Mathurin helped offset Haliburton's absence with 26 points off the bench, while Buddy Hield scored 10 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter to help the Pacers also withstand a season-high 40 points from Boston's Jaylen Brown.

Brown finished 17 of 26 from the field on a night the Celtics played without leading scorer Jayson Tatum due to a sore left ankle. Boston lost for only the second time in its last 10 games and was coming off a 118-101 home win over the Pacers on Saturday. 

The Celtics did hold a 74-63 lead early in the third quarter before Indiana put forth a 17-6 run to tie the game and later take a slim 103-101 edge into the fourth.

The game remained tight up until the very end, when Mathurin was fouled by Kristaps Porzingis on a 3-point try with 0.6 seconds on the clock. He made the first two free throws before deliberately missing the third and leaving the Celtics with not enough time to get a good shot off.

Fast start helps Jazz extend Bucks' slump

The Pacers closed the gap on first-place Milwaukee in the Central Division after the struggling Bucks were handed a 132-116 defeat by the visiting Utah Jazz.

Five Jazz players had at least 19 points and Utah led from nearly start-to-finish to deal Milwaukee a fourth loss in five games. The Bucks' lead over Indiana and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Central is now down to 3 1/2 games.

Utah hit 11 3-pointers in the first quarter to take a 41-23 lead after 12 minutes, then shot 54.2 per cent in the second to build a commanding 77-46 half-time advantage. John Collins and Jordan Clarkson led the Jazz with 12 first-half points.

Clarkson and Lauri Markkanen each finished with 21 points for Utah, which had its lead reduced to seven points midway through the fourth quarter before pulling away again late.

Collins, Collin Sexton and Keyonte George all had 19 points in the Jazz's eighth win in 10 games, while Kris Dunn dished out 13 assists.

Milwaukee did get a 25-point, 10-rebound, 11-assist triple-double from Giannis Antetokounmpo on a night in which it played without fellow star Damian Lillard, who was away from the team due to a personal matter. 

Jayson Tatum poured in 38 points with a season-high eight 3-pointers and Jaylen Brown added 31 points to help the Boston Celtics snap the Indiana Pacers’ six-game winning streak, 118-101 on Saturday.

Tatum, who also had 13 rebounds and six assists, combined with Brown for 27 of Boston’s 46 baskets on a night they never trailed.

Bennedict Mathurin scored 20 points and Tyrese Haliburton had 17 points, seven assists and six rebounds and five steals. Indiana was held to a season-low point total and lost the rebounding battle, 70-42.

The Pacers were within 84-81 entering the fourth quarter, but the Celtics went up 100-85 on Tatum’s 3-pointer with 7:30 remaining.

Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis played only six minutes due to an eye laceration.

Rockets survive Antetokounmpo’s 48 points

Alperen Sengun had 21 points and the Houston Rockets overcame 48 points and 17 rebounds from Giannis Antetokounmpo to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks, 112-108.

Antetokounmpo shot 16 of 25 from the field for his seventh straight double-double but teammate Damian Lillard shot 5 of 16, including 1 for 8 from long range, and missed a season-high three free throws on 10 attempts.

Jalen Green scored 16 points and Fred VanVleet added 14 with seven assists for Houston, which has won three of four following a three-game skid.  

Randle leads Knicks over Wizards

Julius Randle scored 39 points and Jalen Brunson had 33 as the New York Knicks won their fourth straight game, 121-105 over the Washington Wizards.

Isaiah Hartenstein grabbed 19 rebounds as New York showed no letup following an impressive 128-92 rout of the 76ers a night earlier.

Kyle Kuzma had 27 points and Deni Avdija added 23 for Washington, which has lost four in a row and seven of eight.

Tyrese Haliburton tallied 31 points and 12 assists and the Indiana Pacers erupted for 47 points in the third quarter to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks, 142-130 for their fifth straight win on Wednesday.

Bennedict Mathurin added 16 points and Obi Toppin and Bruce Brown each added 15 as Indiana beat Central-leading Milwaukee for the second time in three days and improved to 4-1 in the season series.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 26 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists, while Damian Lillard had 23 points with five assists. Milwaukee has lost two straight for the first time since Nov. 9 and 11.

The Pacers entered the third quarter trailing 68-66 but went on a 21-6 run – capped by Haliburton’s 3-pointer – and opened a 113-97 lead after the period.

The Bucks couldn’t get closer than 10 points the rest of the way.

Surging Clippers cool Suns

Paul George scored 33 points and Kawhi Leonard added 30 as the Los Angeles Clippers won their fourth straight game, 131-122 over the Phoenix Suns.

James Harden had 22 points and 11 assists to help the Clippers improve to 13-2 in their last 15 games.

Devin Booker scored 35 points on 11-of-15 shooting and Bradley Beal added 21 but just 7 of 20 and missed all six of his 3-point attempts.

Kevin Durant missed his second straight game due to soreness in his right hamstring and the Suns had a four-game winning streak stopped.

Kings outlast Magic in double overtime

Malik Monk and Keegan Murray hit 3-pointers in the second overtime and the Sacramento Kings overcame a franchise-record 25 3-pointers by the Orlando Magic in a 138-135 win.

Monk finished with season highs of 37 points and seven 3-pointers and Murray had 31 points on 14-of-22 shooting with 11 rebounds. Domantas Sabonis notched his seventh triple-double of the season with 22 points, 23 rebounds and 12 assists.

Paolo Banchero scored a career-high 43 points with six 3-pointers to lead Orlando but missed a potential tying 3 at the final buzzer.

Jalen Suggs added 24 points, including six 3s, for the Magic.

Julius Randle had 39 points and nine rebounds, OG Anunoby made a strong debut with his new team and the New York Knicks earned a 112-106 win over the Western Conference-leading Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday to end a three-game losing streak. 

Anunoby was traded to the Knicks from the Toronto Raptors on Saturday and met his new teammates for the first time on Sunday.

Despite needing some occasional help to navigate coach Tom Thibodeau’s system, Anunoby finished with 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting and pulled down six rebounds.

Randle finished 14 for 24 from the field and made nine of 13 free throws for New York, which trailed by nine points after one quarter before outscoring Minnesota by a 38-17 margin in the second to build a 61-49 half-time lead.

Anthony Edwards led the Timberwolves, who had a two-game winning streak halted, with 35 points. Karl-Anthony Towns finished with 29 for Minnesota, while Rudy Gobert grabbed 15 rebounds to go along with 10 points.

Bench propels Pacers as Bucks' home winning streak ends

Tyrese Haliburton finished just short of a triple-double as the Indiana Pacers put an end to the Milwaukee Bucks' 15-game home winning streak with a 122-113 victory over their Central Division rival.

Haliburton compiled 26 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds to lead Indiana, which trailed by 15 points late in the third quarter to tie the game at 101-101 with under six minutes left.

The Pacers then embarked on an 8-0 run, with T.J. McConnell scoring six points during the spurt, to take the lead for good. 

McConnell had 12 points in the fourth quarter to help the Pacers to a fourth straight win. He finished with 16 points off the bench, while Bennedict Mathurin had 25 along with a career-high 13 rebounds. 

With Mathurin and McConnell leading the way, Indiana's bench outscored Milwaukee's reserves by a 70-16 margin.

The Central-leading Bucks were dealt their first defeat at Fiserv Forum since Oct. 29 despite Giannis Antetokounmpo's 30-point, 18-rebound, 11-assist triple-double.

Brook Lopez and Khris Middleton had 21 points each for Milwaukee, though Bucks star guard Damian Lillard struggled with a 3-of-16 shooting night while being held to 13 points.

Leonard returns to help Clippers top Heat

Kawhi Leonard returned from a four-game absence to score 24 points and help the Los Angeles Clippers stay hot with a 121-104 win over the Miami Heat.

Paul George added 23 points and Norman Powell had 22 on 9-of-11 shooting to aid in the Clippers' third straight victory and 12th in 14 games. 

Miami, playing without six-time All-Star Jimmy Butler and a few other key contributors due to injuries, held a 35-23 lead after one quarter and was up by as much as 14 points in the second before the Clippers began battling back.

Los Angeles outscored the Heat by a 32-17 margin over the final 9 1/2 minutes of the first half to take a 59-58 edge at the break. Leonard, who had been sidelined by a hip contusion, had 13 second-quarter points to spark the comeback. 

George then scored 12 points in the third quarter as the Clippers extended their lead to 95-85 entering the fourth.

Bam Adebayo paced Miami with 21 points and 15 rebounds. The Heat have now dropped two straight following a four-game winning streak. 

 

Nikola Jokic registered another triple-double as the Denver Nuggets earned their sixth successive win on Thursday, while Tyrese Haliburton joined him in enjoying a big statistical night for the Indiana Pacers.

Jokic had 26 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists in less than three quarters as the Nuggets recorded a 142-105 win over the Memphis Grizzlies, who were without the injured Ja Morant.

It was Jokic's 11th triple-double of the season, and he also shot 11-of-11 from the field and made all three of his free throws before exiting the game near the end of the third period.

Jokic now sits fourth in the NBA's all-time charts for triple-doubles with 116, behind Russell Westbrook (198), Oscar Robertson (181) and Magic Johnson (138).

Denver coach Michael Malone, however, says the Serbian is uninterested in individual accolades and was more concerned with ensuring the Nuggets continued their push at the top of the Western Conference.

"I don't know how many MVPs you could say this about, but Nikola doesn't care about how many shots he's getting," Malone told The Denver Post.

"He was 11-for-11 tonight. He doesn't care about that.  If Jamal [Murray] has got it going, he's clapping for Jamal. 

"He takes more joy in his team-mates' success than his own and that's the true definition of being selfless. He lives it every day."

Jokic himself said: "It's a miss and make game. Of course, sometimes you miss, sometimes you make. Today I made all my shots. There's not going to be a lot of those nights."

He was not the only player to enjoy a memorable outing on Thursday, with Pacers guard Haliburton scoring 21 points and adding a career-high 20 assists in a 120-104 win over the Chicago Bulls.

Having led by as many as 25 points, the Pacers found themselves 93-90 down in the fourth quarter before Haliburton took over, hitting back-to-back three-pointers to put his team ahead.

The 23-year-old then scored or assisted on Indiana's next 16 points as they improved to 16-14 with their second straight win.

Haliburton also avoided committing a single turnover, making him just the second player to record 20 points and 20 assists without a miscue in league history, after Chris Paul in 2016. 

However, he insisted his eye-catching figures were only made possible by his team-mates, saying: "I've done a terrible job taking care of the ball lately, so it was good to see zero turnovers again.

"You don't get 20 assists without guys making shots."

Center Myles Turner heaped praise upon Haliburton's performance, saying: "That's what he's been doing pretty much since he's been here.

"It's been phenomenal to watch, phenomenal to be a part of."

Ja Morant is prioritising having fun after he helped the Memphis Grizzlies to a 116-103 win over the Indiana Pacers.

On his first home game back from his eight-month suspension from the NBA, Morant had 20 points and eight assists as the Grizzlies won a second game on the bounce.

Having starred on his first game back to help Memphis snap a five-game losing streak, Morant's first aim on the court on Thursday was to ensure his team were enjoying their basketball.

"The tough part was not being able to be out there and enjoy and have fun with my guys, but now that I'm out there, I'm making sure that we're all having fun no matter what," Morant said.

"So that was pretty much just my message. You could just tell by the energy of the team.

"We catch a lob, you got the bench going crazy, you got the players screaming, yelling, dapping each other up. That's our type of basketball. That's how we are. That's the team we are, the people we are."

Desmond Bane led the Grizzlies with 31 points, adding six rebounds and seven assists, while Jaren Jackson Jr. contributed 21 points to Memphis' tally.

"Having those two guys alongside of me who can pretty much go and score the ball at will at different levels is big time for us," Morant added.

The excitement inside the FedExForum was palpable, with the home fans eager to see Morant back.

"It was great to feel that," said Bane.

"We've had several home games that weren't like that this season. Obviously, getting Ja back, everybody's super excited.

"You got to play the game with a lot of joy, and when you're losing and down, sometimes it's hard to find that spirit and that swag.

"But regardless, winning, losing, up, down, you got to have that fire and that fight. And I think we got that now."

The Pacers have been in poor form since losing to the Los Angeles Lakers in the final of the NBA's in-season tournament in Las Vegas, though did come into Thursday's game on the back of a resounding win over the Charlotte Hornets.

Pacers head Rick Carlisle said: "Overall, this was a tough game for a lot of reasons.

"We didn't play well, but we kept competing. I was really proud of the way the team kept their poise and their aggression.

"We got unlucky with some miscues and some missed shots."

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