LeBron James collected another pair of milestones as he made history in the Los Angeles Lakers' 129-123 overtime victory against the New York Knicks on Tuesday.

Playing on the road in Madison Square Garden, James became the first 38-year-old to ever record a 20-point triple-double, finishing with 28 points on 11-of-25 shooting, 11 assists and 10 rebounds.

He also came into the contest eight assists away from overtaking Steve Nash for fourth-place on the all-time assist leaderboard, with James dishing assist number 10,336 early in the fourth period. 

James is 908 assists behind the still-active Chris Paul (11,246) – which would take him another 124 games to reach at his current career average of 7.3 per game – while he is 240 games at that pace away from the second-placed Jason Kidd (12,091).

Against the Knicks, the Lakers had to pull themselves off the canvas after their six-point lead with under two minutes left evaporated, as Jalen Brunson tied the game at 114-114 with 24 seconds on the clock.

But the Lakers had the answer this time, holding the Knicks scoreless for a near three-minute stretch in the five-minute extra period to pull away.

There were extremely encouraging signs for Los Angeles in the first game sporting their new-look starting five, with Anthony Davis making his first start since December 16, and his first alongside new trade acquisition Rui Hachimura.

Davis looked back to his best with 27 points (nine-of-16 shooting), nine rebounds and two steals, while Hachimura put together an efficient 19 points (eight-of-12) with nine rebounds and strong defense on Julius Randle.

With the win, the Lakers improved their record to 24-28, and sit just three games out of the Western Conference's six seed.

Kawhi dominates the Bulls on both ends

Any concerns about Kawhi Leonard's prime passing him by have been quashed after the latest standout performance from the two-time NBA Finals MVP.

Leonard was clearly the best player on the court in the Los Angeles Clippers' 108-103 road win against the Chicago Bulls, scoring a game-high 33 points (11-of-24) while also snatching a season-high five steals with two blocks.

It was the kind of performance that has earned the 31-year-old three First Team All-NBA and three NBA All-Defensive First Team selections, and it cancelled out one of the more well-rounded games of Zach LaVine's career.

LaVine grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds for the Bulls to go with 18 points (six-of-14) and eight assists, also adding a steal and a block.

Giannis overpowers the Hornets

Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo continued to build a convincing case for his third MVP during his side's 124-115 home win against the Charlotte Hornets.

Antetokounmpo led both teams with 34 points and 18 rebounds, shooting a terrific 14-of-24 from the field and a more than respectable five-of-six from the free throw line.

Despite being on the losing side, Hornets franchise player LaMelo Ball produced a head-turning stat line with 27 points (10-of-26), 11 assists, 10 rebounds, three steals and three blocks.

The Bucks own the third-best record in the league at 34-17.

LeBron James' 41 points were not enough to prevent his Los Angeles Lakers from going down 125-121 in a controversial overtime loss on the road against the Boston Celtics.

In the latest edition of the league's most decorated rivalry, James was a man on a mission, finishing 15-of-30 from the field, six-of-12 from deep and five-of-six from the free throw line as the only Lakers player to score more than 16.

He added nine rebounds and eight assists, and he should have been awarded potential game-winning free throws after he was clearly hit on the arm while driving for a layup with under a second remaining in regulation.

But the Celtics got the call in Boston, and it would be Jaylen Brown stepping up in the extra period to deliver a win for the home fans.

Brown scored 11 of his team-high 37 points in overtime, finishing 13-of-23 from the field with nine rebounds, picking up the slack for team-mate and MVP candidate Jayson Tatum.

Tatum had a respectable stat line of 30 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and two steals, but he shot a dismal eight-of-25 from the field, while Sixth Man of the Year contender Malcolm Brodgon chipped in a game-changing 25 points (eight-of-15), six rebounds, four assists and two steals off the bench.

For the Lakers, it was Anthony Davis' second game back after five-and-a-half weeks on the sideline dealing with a foot injury, and he came off the bench again for 16 points (six-of-15), 10 rebounds and four assists in 34 minutes.

The win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Celtics, and improved their league-leading record to 36-15. 

The Lakers fell to 23-27, and although they sit 13th in the Western Conference, they are only three games behind the Minnesota Timberwolves in the sixth seed.

Clippers extend winning streak to five

The Los Angeles Clippers are enjoying their longest winning streak of the season after making it five in a row with Saturday's 120-113 victory against the Atlanta Hawks.

The Clippers were led by their resurgent two-time NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, who scored a game-high 32 points on 12-of-20 shooting while adding eight rebounds and four assists.

There were fears Leonard's prime had been stolen from him by injuries after scoring a total of 50 points in his first five games of this campaign, but over his past 10 fixtures he sits eighth overall in points per game at 29.3.

Over that span he is shooting 55.6 per cent from the field, 47.2 per cent from deep and 92.5 per cent from the free throw line while adding 7.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.9 steals per game, improving the Clippers' record to 28-24.

Kyrie stays red-hot in New York showdown

Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving posted his sixth consecutive game with at least 30 points and six assists to defeat the New York Knicks 122-115 at home.

Irving, who was named an All-Star starter mid-week, scored a game-high 32 points on 12-of-27 shooting with nine assists, six rebounds and two steals.

Over his past six games, his 36.3 points per game is eclipsed only by Portland Trail Blazers icon Damian Lillard (38.3), while Irving's 7.8 assists would also be a new career-high as he shoulders a massive workload in the absence of injured superstar Kevin Durant.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Another triple-double as Jokic calls game

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

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

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

Celtics suffer back-to-back defeats

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

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

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

The Los Angeles Lakers produced a late comeback to defeat the Memphis Grizzlies 122-121, denying the visitors what would have been a franchise-record 12th consecutive victory.

Memphis looked well on their way to breaking their record, jumping out to a 13-point lead late in the third quarter, but a 41-point final period from the Lakers turned the game on its head.

Los Angeles trailed by five points with under a minute on the clock, and after Dennis Schroder cut the margin to one with 19 seconds left, he then stole the ball and laid it in – with a foul – to put the Lakers in front for good.

Brandon Clarke had a chance to tie the game with two free throws in the final seconds, but after hitting the first, he missed the second. He was arguably the Grizzlies' best player, shooting a perfect seven-of-seven from the field for 20 points and 10 rebounds in his 22 minutes.

Russell Westbrook led all scorers with 29 points on 10-of-18 shooting, adding six assists and five rebounds, while LeBron James had 23 points (eight-of-21), nine rebounds, six assists, two steals and two blocks.

The win improves the Lakers' record to 21-25, leaving them 13th in the Western Conference, but only two games behind the Los Angeles Clippers (24-24) in the race for the six seed.

Kawhi back to his best for the Clippers

Two-time NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard looked back to his All-NBA self as he scored a season-high 36 points in the Los Angeles Clippers' 131-126 road win against the San Antonio Spurs.

Leonard shot 13-of-18 from the field while adding seven assists and two steals, marking his sixth consecutive game with at least 24 points and a steal. 

During that stretch, his 30.0 points per game is the seventh-highest figure in the league, all while shooting 57.4 per cent from the field, 50 per cent from deep and 93.8 per cent from the free throw line.

He was supported well by fellow All-Star Paul George, who dished a season-high 12 assists to go with his 16 points.

Undermanned Warriors shoot the lights out

The Golden State Warriors came into their road fixture against the Cleveland Cavaliers without Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins – but still came away with a 120-114 victory.

In the absence of their top stars, the Warriors received a 32-point outburst from Jordan Poole on 10-of-23 shooting, while Ty Jerome posted season-highs in points (22) and assists (eight).

As a team, the Warriors shot 23-of-43 (53.5 per cent) from three-point range, opening a 20-point lead in the third quarter that was too much for the Cavaliers to overcome.

The New York Knicks have now won six of their past seven games after Jalen Brunson excelled in a 112-108 victory against the Washington Wizards on Friday.

Brunson, who is averaging career-highs in points (21.9) and assists (6.4) since signing with the Knicks in the offseason, was once again his side's best player.

He scored a team-high 34 points on 12-of-24 shooting with eight rebounds and eight assists, continuing the red-hot form that has seen him average 33.2 points, 5.6 assists and 5.2 rebounds on 52 per cent shooting since the new year began.

Another player in scintillating form since the start of January is Knicks forward Julius Randle, and he is now averaging 24.8 points and 14.4 rebounds this month after putting up 23 points (eight-of-19 shooting) and 16 rebounds.

The Knicks overcame a terrific performance from Wizards wing Kyle Kuzma, who scored a season-high 40 points on 14-of-27 shooting with seven rebounds and seven assists.

New York are now 24-19, and sit sixth in the Eastern Conference.

No Jokic, no problem for the Nuggets

The Denver Nuggets showed they can survive without reigning back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic as they defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 115-103.

It was just the third contest Jokic has missed out of 41 total opportunities, but while on the sidelines nursing a wrist injury he watched Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr pick up the slack.

Murray scored a team-high 24 points on eight-of-17 shooting with eight rebounds and four assists, while Porter had 22 points (nine-of-17) with four rebounds and three assists.

The highlight of the game came courtesy of Clippers star Kawhi Leonard, who dunked on the head of Zeke Nnaji on his way to 24 points (10-of-21) and nine rebounds.

Hawks bigs deliver the win

Despite having two All-Stars in their backcourt, the Atlanta Hawks frontcourt came to the rescue in a 113-111 triumph over the Indiana Pacers.

Third-year center Onyeka Okongwu was tremendous with 18 points (nine-of-12 shooting), a career-high 20 rebounds, four assists, four blocks and two steals. 

His interior partner, John Collins, was less impactful for the first three quarters, and while he only finished with seven points, he scored the game-winning tip-in with less than a second remaining on the clock.

The Los Angeles Clippers have opted to rest All-NBA duo Kawhi Leonard and Paul George on the second leg of their back-to-back against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday.

It is a curious decision after neither player eclipsed 18 minutes in Thursday's 122-91 blowout loss against the Denver Nuggets, where they both sat out the entire second half.

Leonard has officially been listed out due to "injury management", while George may have picked up a niggling injury as he is listed out due to his hamstring.

Their absence leaves the Clippers in a difficult situation as they head to Minnesota undermanned and on a four-game losing streak, although they remain in the thick of the playoff picture at 21-19 – currently sixth in the Western Conference.

Leonard has only played in 17 of the Clippers' 40 games so far, but after easing his way back into things in October and November, he began to look like himself in December.

In his 11 games this past month, Leonard averaged 20.6 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.2 assists per contest while shooting 49.1 per cent from the field.

Meanwhile, George has made 30 appearances this campaign, averaging 23.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and 5.1 assists, and remains on track for what would be his eighth All-Star selection.

Jayson Tatum registered his second career triple-double as the Boston Celtics ended the Dallas Mavericks' seven-game winning streak with a 124-95 victory on Thursday.

Tatum finished the game with 29 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists plus one steal and two blocks. The MVP candidate shot eight-of-22 from the field and two-of-eight from beyond the arc, scoring 11-of-12 from the stripe.

The Celtics improved to 27-12 with their merciless display, which comes amid a tough stretch for the Eastern Conference leaders, who had dropped seven of their past 12 games, including giving up 150 points last game to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Luka Doncic was kept to only 23 points for the Mavs, after a five-game run averaging 44.5 points. Doncic, who shot none-of-six from three-point range, was benched in the fourth quarter amid the blowout.

Tatum also struggled from beyond the arc, but Marcus Smart made up for it with four-of-nine triples in his 15 points, while Malcolm Brogdon hit three-of-five three-pointers in his 15 points off the bench.

Jaylen Brown scored 19 points with two three-pointers with seven rebounds, three assists and two blocks.

Nuggets rout Clippers despite Jokic being quiet

The Denver Nuggets re-claimed top spot in the Western Conference with a 122-91 domination of the Los Angeles Clippers, who slumped to their fourth straight defeat.

The Nuggets, who secured their 10th straight home win, prevailed without a great contribution from MVP Nikola Jokic, who managed 12 points with six rebounds and nine assists.

Jamal Murray top scored with 18 points, including four three-pointers for Denver, who led by as much as 43 points. The Clippers shuffled their deck ahead of a back-to-back with Kawhi Leonard scoring six points in 18 minutes.

The Nuggets lead the west with a 25-13 record ahead of the Memphis Grizzlies, also 25-13, who won 123-115 over the Orlando Magic with Ja Morant scoring 32 points.

Lauri's career-high ends Jazz's five-game skid

Lauri Markkanen scored a career-high 49 points as the Utah Jazz snapped their five-game skid with a 131-114 victory over the Houston Rockets.

Markkanen posted 18 points in the first quarter on his way to the equal 15th highest single-game scoring performance this season.

The Finnish forward sparked a 14-0 fourth-quarter run which put the game to bed. Jalen Green scored 30 points for Houston, while Kevin Porter Jr added 23.

The Los Angeles Clippers must wait on the status of franchise player Kawhi Leonard after he was a late addition to the injury report for Monday's home game against the Miami Heat.

Leonard, who has only played in 16 of the Clippers' 38 games this season, has been listed as questionable due to a non-COVID illness after suiting up for each of his side's past three outings.

After missing the entire 2021-22 season following an ACL tear in the 2021 playoffs, Leonard has slowly been recapturing the form that has earned him five NBA All-Star selections and seven NBA All-Defensive honours.

He averaged 10 points per game across his five games played in October and November, but looked back to his old self in December, posting 20.6 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.2 assists in his 11 games played in the month.

Leonard also has fond memories of his time competing against the Heat, announcing his arrival as a star when he won the NBA Finals MVP in 2014, as the San Antonio Spurs defeated the LeBron James led 'Heatles' in their quest for a three-peat.

It is one of two Finals MVP trophies in Leonard's possession after also carrying the Toronto Raptors to an improbable championship in 2019, joining James and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the only players to win the award with two teams.

The Heat may also be undermanned for Monday's fixture, with Jimmy Butler, Caleb Martin, Gabe Vincent and Duncan Robinson all questionable due to various injuries.

The Brooklyn Nets claimed a statement Eastern Conference victory over the Milwaukee Bucks to extend their win streak to eight games with a 118-100 triumph on Friday.

Kevin Durant top scored for the Nets with 24 points along with five rebounds and six assists, while Nic Claxton starred with 19 points, eight rebounds and five assists.

All five Nets' starters reached double-figure scoring, achieving that feat for the sixth time this season. The Nets' eight-game win streak matched the franchise's most since their relocation to Brooklyn a decade ago.

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 26 points with 13 rebounds and seven assists for the Bucks but did not have a shot in the fourth quarter, with Ben Simmons dulling his output

Simmons finished the game with 12 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists and three steals.

The Nets have surged into contention this month, improving to a 21-12 overall record after a 9-1 December. The Bucks are second in the east with a 22-10 record.

Antetokounmpo hurt his hand in a fall but X-rays revealed no major damage, according to head coach Mike Budenholzer.

Harden matches franchise assists record in 76ers win

James Harden matched the Philadelphia 76ers' franchise record for assists as part of a triple-double in their 119-114 win over the Los Angeles Clippers to sweep a seven-game homestand.

Harden finished the game with 20 points, 11 rebounds and 21 assists, matching Wilt Chamberlain and Mo Cheeks' franchise record for assists, as the 76ers rallied from a 20-point first-half deficit.

Joel Embiid top scored with 44 points with seven rebounds, while Kawhi Leonard continued his improved scoring form with 28 points and five assists for the Clippers.

Doncic scores season-high in Mavs win

Luka Doncic scored a season-high 50 points as the Dallas Mavericks overcame the Houston Rockets 112-106 with the Slovenian adding 17 in the fourth quarter.

Doncic shot 17-of-30 from the field including six three-pointers for his second career 50-point game, with his career best being 51 against the Clippers in February this year.

The Mavs point guard also had eight rebounds and 10 assists, while Jabari Smith Jr top scored for the Rockets with 24 points and 10 rebounds.

The Brooklyn Nets claimed a statement Eastern Conference victory over the Milwaukee Bucks to extend their win streak to eight games with a 118-100 triumph on Friday.

Kevin Durant top scored for the Nets with 24 points along with five rebounds and six assists, while Nic Claxton starred with 19 points, eight rebounds and five assists.

All five Nets' starters reached double-figure scoring, achieving that feat for the sixth time this season. The Nets' eight-game win streak matched the franchise's most since their relocation to Brooklyn a decade ago.

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 26 points with 13 rebounds and seven assists for the Bucks but did not have a shot in the fourth quarter, with Ben Simmons dulling his output

Simmons finished the game with 12 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists and three steals.

The Nets have surged into contention this month, improving to a 21-12 overall record after a 9-1 December. The Bucks are second in the east with a 22-10 record.

Antetokounmpo hurt his hand in a fall but X-rays revealed no major damage, according to head coach Mike Budenholzer.

Harden matches franchise assists record in 76ers win

James Harden matched the Philadelphia 76ers' franchise record for assists as part of a triple-double in their 119-114 win over the Los Angeles Clippers to sweep a seven-game homestand.

Harden finished the game with 20 points, 11 rebounds and 21 assists, matching Wilt Chamberlain and Mo Cheeks' franchise record for assists, as the 76ers rallied from a 20-point first-half deficit.

Joel Embiid top scored with 44 points with seven rebounds, while Kawhi Leonard continued his improved scoring form with 28 points and five assists for the Clippers.

Doncic scores season-high in Mavs win

Luka Doncic scored a season-high 50 points as the Dallas Mavericks overcame the Houston Rockets 112-106 with the Slovenian adding 17 in the fourth quarter.

Doncic shot 17-of-30 from the field including six three-pointers for his second career 50-point game, with his career best being 51 against the Clippers in February this year.

The Mavs point guard also had eight rebounds and 10 assists, while Jabari Smith Jr top scored for the Rockets with 24 points and 10 rebounds.

Devin Booker reached 12,000 career points with a season-high 58 points as the Phoenix Suns rallied from a 24-point deficit with a hard-fought 118-114 win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday.

Booker, who returned from a hamstring issue in Thursday's win over the Los Angeles Clippers which ended the Suns' five-game losing run, made 21-of-35 attempts from the field, including shooting six-of-12 from beyond the arc.

The Suns guard's haul was the second most by a player in a single game this NBA season, behind only Joel Embiid with 59 points last month against the Utah Jazz.

Booker, 26, also became the sixth youngest player in NBA history to reach 12,000 career points, behind only LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony and Tracy McGrady.

The Suns had trailed 83-59 with 7:14 left in the third quarter, coming after the Pelicans had beaten them twice last week.

Booker had five rebounds and five assists along with his 58 points, while Chris Paul added 18 points with five rebounds and eight assists.

Zion Williamson scored 30 points with nine assists for the Pels, while C.J. McCollum added 27 points with eight assists.

Cavs hang on for OT win over Mavs

The Dallas Mavericks spurned three late go-ahead opportunities, including Christian Wood's 30-foot buzzer-beating attempt as the Cleveland Cavaliers got home 100-99 in overtime.

Jarrett Allen's dunk with 2:01 remaining in overtime was the final score, with Donovan Mitchell scoring 25 points for the victorious Cavs, who improved to 20-11. Jarrett Allen had eight points with 15 rebounds.

Kemba Walker top scored with 32 points for the Mavs, who were missing Luka Doncic (quad), while Wood scored 26 points, including five triples, but he missed the crucial late one.

Kawhi finds groove with season-high

Kawhi Leonard scored a season-high 31 points as the Los Angeles Clippers fought back from a three-quarter time deficit to win 102-93 over the Washington Wizards.

Leonard, who has been working back slowly after missing last season with an ACL injury, played a season-high 31 minutes, shooting 12-of-26 with nine rebounds.

Luke Kennard came off the bench to add a season-high 20 points with four three-pointers as the Clippers rallied from a 75-72 three-quarter time deficit.

Los Angeles Clippers All-Stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George will both sit out Thursday's highly anticipated home game against the Phoenix Suns on the second night of a back-to-back.

The duo, who have a combined 11 All-NBA selections, both played in Wednesday's 99-88 home win against the Minnesota Timberwolves in a game where George posted his first triple-double in a Clippers uniform.

Leonard is yet to play in both legs of a back-to-back since returning from his long-term ACL injury, while George has played in all six games – including a back-to-back – since returning from his brief absence with a hamstring strain.

As a team, the Clippers sit sixth in the Western Conference with a 17-13 record, but they are 14-8 in games George is playing in, and an even more impressive 8-2 in games Leonard suits up for.

They will face a Suns team dealing with their own absences as starting center Deandre Ayton and backup point guard Cameron Payne are both out with injuries, as well as starting wing Cam Johnson, who has not played since November 4.

The Suns, at 16-12, are one spot ahead of the Clippers in the fifth seed, but are on a five-game losing streak after what was a promising 15-6 start to the campaign.

After this game, the Clippers should have their star tandem back for home games against the Washington Wizards on Saturday and the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday, before embarking on a five-game road trip.

Kawhi Leonard will not take any risks with his fitness after posting his best game of the season in the Los Angeles Clippers' 113-93 win over the Boston Celtics on Monday.

The five-time All-Star, who spent last season recovering from an ACL tear, has slowly worked his way back into contention this campaign, with nine games now under his belt.

In his latest outing, the small forward put up 25 points, second only to team-mate Paul George, while adding nine rebounds and six assists, as the Clippers kept the Celtics in double-digits.

Leonard shut down suggestions he had struggled in his previous games this campaign, but acknowledged he needs to ensure he does not push himself too fast, too soon.

"I've felt good all season," Leonard stated afterwards. "It's just a matter of game reps. I've just got to stay healthy.

"[It is] only my ninth game. You can't rush it. [I have] just got to keep moving."

George, who led for the Clippers with 26 points, was effusive in his praise for Leonard, suggesting glimmers of the star's championship-winning form are returning to the surface.

"That's the same Kawhi," he added. "He’s just playing more, getting more reps.

"We're still trying to figure out how we're going to play on the court with one another. It's just good if both of us are playing aggressive."

The Clippers will now mount a four-game home stand ahead of Christmas, capped off with a trip to the Philadelphia 76ers as they look to strengthen their hand in the Eastern Conference.

The Eastern Conference-leading Boston Celtics had a statement win over the Western Conference-leading Phoenix Suns with a 125-98 blowout victory on Wednesday.

The Celtics led by as much as 45 points and benched MVP candidate Jayson Tatum in the fourth quarter, in a game where the Suns welcomed back All-Star Chris Paul from a heel injury.

Tatum finished with 25 points with five rebounds, two assists and two steals. The 24-year-old is the first player in Celtics history to average 30 points per game in his first 25 games of any season.

Jaylen Brown also scored 25 points with seven rebounds, while Malcolm Brogdon added 16 points off the bench.

Boston led 69-42 at half-time in the blowout win, which was the Celtics' second-biggest margin this season.

Devin Booker struggled with four fouls and three field-goals made in the first half, finishing with 17 points, five rebounds and three assists. Paul had four points and four assists in 24 minutes on his return.

The result means the Celtics improved to an NBA-best 21-5 record after three straight wins, while the Suns fall to 16-9.

Giannis powers Bucks to another win

Giannis Antetokounmpo matched Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the second-longest streak of consecutive 30-point games (eight) in franchise history as the Milwaukee Bucks downed the Sacramento Kings 126-113.

The Greek forward finished with 35 points on 12-of-19 field-goal shooting, with six rebounds and six assists as the Bucks improved to 18-6 with their third straight win. The victory extended the Bucks' win streak against the Kings to 13.

Bucks guard Jrue Holiday made an excellent contribution with 31 points, five rebounds and six assists, while Kings forward Domantas Sabonis added 23 points with 12 rebounds.

Banchero clutch in Magic OT win

Top overall NBA Draft pick Pablo Banchero showcased his potential to help the Orlando Magic snap their nine-game losing streak with a 116-111 overtime win over the Los Angeles Clippers.

The 20-year-old power forward scored 23 points for the game, including making all six of his free-throws in the final seven seconds of overtime to overturn a 111-110 deficit. The Clippers gave up two turnovers down the stretch.

Paul George and Kawhi Leonard made another rare appearance together again, combining for 17 first-quarter points. George finished with 11 for the game with seven rebounds and five assists, while Leonard added 14 points with seven rebounds and three assists.

The Eastern Conference-leading Boston Celtics had a statement win over the Western Conference-leading Phoenix Suns with a 125-98 blowout victory on Wednesday.

The Celtics led by as much as 45 points and benched MVP candidate Jayson Tatum in the fourth quarter, in a game where the Suns welcomed back All-Star Chris Paul from a heel injury.

Tatum finished with 25 points with five rebounds, two assists and two steals. The 24-year-old is the first player in Celtics history to average 30 points per game in his first 25 games of any season.

Jaylen Brown also scored 25 points with seven rebounds, while Malcolm Brogdon added 16 points off the bench.

Boston led 69-42 at half-time in the blowout win, which was the Celtics' second-biggest margin this season.

Devin Booker struggled with four fouls and three field-goals made in the first half, finishing with 17 points, five rebounds and three assists. Paul had four points and four assists in 24 minutes on his return.

The result means the Celtics improved to an NBA-best 21-5 record after three straight wins, while the Suns fall to 16-9.

Giannis powers Bucks to another win

Giannis Antetokounmpo matched Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the second-longest streak of consecutive 30-point games (eight) in franchise history as the Milwaukee Bucks downed the Sacramento Kings 126-113.

The Greek forward finished with 35 points on 12-of-19 field-goal shooting, with six rebounds and six assists as the Bucks improved to 18-6 with their third straight win. The victory extended the Bucks' win streak against the Kings to 13.

Bucks guard Jrue Holiday made an excellent contribution with 31 points, five rebounds and six assists, while Kings forward Domantas Sabonis added 23 points with 12 rebounds.

Banchero clutch in Magic OT win

Top overall NBA Draft pick Pablo Banchero showcased his potential to help the Orlando Magic snap their nine-game losing streak with a 116-111 overtime win over the Los Angeles Clippers.

The 20-year-old power forward scored 23 points for the game, including making all six of his free-throws in the final seven seconds of overtime to overturn a 111-110 deficit. The Clippers gave up two turnovers down the stretch.

Paul George and Kawhi Leonard made another rare appearance together again, combining for 17 first-quarter points. George finished with 11 for the game with seven rebounds and five assists, while Leonard added 14 points with seven rebounds and three assists.

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