Denver Nuggets superstar Nikola Jokic took another step towards a third consecutive MVP after dominating the Portland Trail Blazers in a 122-113 victory on Tuesday.

Jokic was unstoppable offensively, finishing with 36 points on 13-of-14 shooting while adding 12 rebounds and 10 assists. 

In doing so, he became the first player in NBA history to record multiple 35-point triple-doubles while shooting at least 90 per cent from the field. Hall-of-Famer Wilt Chamberlain is the only other player with even one such game.

Jokic was supported well by Michael Porter Jr, who scored 23 points on nine-of-13 shooting, while Jamal Murray chipped in 17 points (six-of-15), seven assists, five rebounds and two steals.

For the Blazers, it was another spectacular showing from the franchise's all-time scoring leader as Damian Lillard had a game-high 44 points on 12-of-20 shooting with eight assists.

It continued a blistering run of form for Lillard, who is averaging a league-leading 39 points per game across his past six outings, although Portland have only been able to convert his stellar play into two wins from six.

With the victory, the Nuggets are now alone atop the Western Conference with a record of 31-13, which the Memphis Grizzlies can tie if they can secure their 11th consecutive win when they face the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday.

Holiday delivers for the Giannis-less Bucks

Jrue Holiday has set a new season-high points total in back-to-back games after putting up 37 in the Milwaukee Bucks' 130-122 triumph at home against the Toronto Raptors.

Holiday scored a season-high 35 on Monday against the Indiana Pacers in the first leg of the Bucks' back-to-back, and he followed it up with 37 against the Raptors.

He shot 16-of-26 from the field while adding seven assists, six rebounds, two steals and a block, and Fred VanVleet was just as good for Toronto.

VanVleet tied his season-high by scoring 39 points on 15-of-28 shooting, with nine rebounds and seven assists.

The Bucks are now 29-16 and occupy the second seed in the Eastern Conference.

Embiid bullies the Clippers

Joel Embiid was too big and too strong on his way to a game-high 41 points in the Philadelphia 76ers' 120-110 road win against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Embiid shot 12-of-22 from the field and 15-of-18 from the free throw line while adding nine rebounds, three assists and two blocks in a comprehensive performance.

Tobias Harris was sharp in a supporting role, snatching five steals in the first half while scoring 20 points on efficient eight-of-12 shooting.

For the Clippers, Kawhi Leonard made it five consecutive games with at least 24 points and a steal as he begins to recapture his All-NBA form following a string of injuries.

Veteran point guard John Wall has been ruled out of action by the Los Angeles Clippers for at least two weeks after suffering an abdominal injury.

The injury occurred during the Clippers' loss to the Denver Nuggets on Friday when Wall went up and finished an explosive dunk.

He went on to finish the game with a strong stat-line of 16 points, seven rebounds and four assists, but he told reporters his first highlight dunk in a while may have come at a price.

"I haven't jumped like that when somebody contested me in probably like three years to be honest," he said. "I think I just stretched it as much as I could when I dunked it."

Wall adds to an extended injury list for the Clippers that includes All-Star Paul George (hamstring), forward Marcus Morris (knee contusion) and guard Luke Kennard (calf).

In Wall's absence, Clippers head coach Ty Lue said he would turn to Reggie Jackson to takeover as point guard on the second unit.

 

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.

Michael Malone will always allow his Denver Nuggets team to enjoy the wins but said "I'm not going to party and celebrate" after a rout of the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday.

Jamal Murray top scored with 18 points as the high-flying Nuggets ran out 122-91 winners at Ball Arena to improve to 25-13 on the season and 15-3 on home court.

It was another statement victory in a season full of excellent performance and leaves the Nuggets top of the Western Conference, with an identical record to the Memphis Grizzlies.

Head coach Malone encouraged his players to enjoy the moment, while also emphasising there is plenty of work still to be done.

"I've been around people who would not allow themselves to enjoy the wins, to enjoy the moment. I'm not that guy," Malone said.

"But I'm also not going to party and celebrate.

"That was a hell of a win for us. A convincing win, from beginning to end. Everybody contributed. 

"We're in first place in the Western Conference. We're not there yet. But we're on our way. I like where we're at and, more importantly, I like who I'm going there with."

Murray scored 13 of his 18 points in a blistering first quarter and it was a welcome performance considering his hit-and-miss form since returning from an ACL injury that ruled him out of last season.

Following a 124-111 defeat to the Minnesota Timberwolves last time out, Malone said with Murray on the plan ride home for a heart-to-heart.

"He takes ownership. He has to help himself as well," Malone said of Murray.

Murray added that the win shows the level the Nuggets have to aspire to on a consistent performance.

He said: "Wins like this give us a lot of confidence and build a lot of chemistry. Sets a standard for us."

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.

Indiana Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle gushed over his two top players after Myles Turner and Tyrese Haliburton helped extend their winning streak to three games.

The Pacers ended the year on a high as they beat the Los Angeles Clippers 131-130 on the road in the opening game on New Year's Eve.

It continued an impressive run of scoring form, putting up 129 points in a victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday, before notching 135 points to defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday.

Against the Clippers, Turner proved nearly unstoppable. The man who has led the league in blocks per game on three separate occasions was an offensive force, scoring a team-high 34 points on 11-of-17 shooting, hitting all 10 of his free throws.

He also hit a pair of three-pointers, dished three assists and snatched two steals, and while it was all Turner for the first three quarters, it was the Haliburton show late.

Haliburton reached the fourth quarter with just six points to his name, before exploding for 18 in the final period alone, finishing with 24 points (eight-of-13 shooting), 10 assists, seven rebounds and four steals.

In his postgame media appearance, Carlisle spoke about how exciting it is to watch his young stars excel in a playoff type of atmosphere.

"Myles Turner was spectacular in this game," he said. "He didn't get many rebounds, but he neutralised the boards – he kept their big guy off the boards.

"He was clutch all night, he punished them on the inside when they went small, he made big free throws, big and-ones – he played huge in this game.

"Tyrese’s fourth quarter was a monster. 18 [points] in the fourth, made just about every play you could imagine. Really just breathtaking stuff to watch. 

"The building was absolutely alive. Today was another opportunity to play a playoff-caliber game during the regular season. [The Clippers] were loaded up, they had all their guys, and they really came to play. We had to put together a monster game to beat them – and we did."

When asked about Haliburton and his growth into a true team leader since arriving in a trade from the Sacramento Kings, Carlisle compared him to another young playmaker he has coached – Luka Doncic.

"[Haliburton] is a basketball savant-type guy," he said. "People like him, people like Doncic, people like Reggie Miller, they sense when their time is coming.

"He's resourceful, and he finds ways to help our team get the ball in the basket. Sometimes it's not him – sometimes he makes the play that leads to the bucket, or the pass that leads to the pass.

"But his will to win is spectacular for a young player, and he really is grasping everything that there is to grasp about the opportunity that he has here, and the responsibility that he has here.

"It's amazing to watch him continue to grow, grow and grow every single game."

Haliburton himself spoke of the challenge of facing a team that dominated the interior last time they met, and pointed out why Turner is such a mismatch problem for teams who like to play small.

"Last time we played these guys [Ivica] Zubac had a great game – almost 30 and 30," he said. "So as a competitor, and as a competitive team, we wanted to respond the right way.

"We attacked him early, we felt like we were getting after him… he's a tough guy to keep off the glass, but we were able to do that successfully.

"We made them play small, which is to our advantage, because we still feel we can run with a big on the floor because 'MT' runs so well.

"We felt like we dictated pace tonight, and usually when we dictate pace, we win games."

It is the fifth win from the Pacers' past six outings, improving their record to 20-17 to occupy the six seed in the Eastern Conference, while the Clippers (21-17) are sixth in the West.

Luka Doncic maintained his dynamite form with another triple-double as the Dallas Mavericks improved to 20-16 with a 129-114 victory over the Houston Rockets on Thursday.

Doncic, who scored a franchise-best and season-high 60 points two nights earlier, recorded his eighth triple double of the season, finishing with 35 points, 12 rebounds and 13 assists.

The Slovenian guard led the Mavs to their fifth straight win, notching up a second straight triple-double for the second time this season. Doncic's collective 95 points across the past two games is an NBA-record in consecutive triple-doubles.

Doncic shot 11-of-21 from the field, including four-of-nine from beyond the arc, making nine-of-12 free-throws.

Ex-Rockets forward Christian Wood offered good support with 21 points, including five-of-eight three-pointers, six rebounds and four blocks, along with Dwight Powell, who added a season-high 19 points with six rebounds and two blocks off the bench.

The Rockets, who are 10-25 and have lost seven of their past eight games, had few answers as they fell behind 65-51 at half-time with a Doncic 35-foot buzzer beater, with Jalen Green top scoring with 23 points.

Celtics avenge Clippers' blowout

The Boston Celtics avenged their heavy loss to the Los Angeles Clippers three weeks ago with a 116-110 victory led by 29 points each from Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

The NBA-best Celtics (26-10) had suffered their worst loss of the season at the hands of the Clippers earlier this month, losing 113-93, starting off a run where they lost five of six games.

Tatum had 11 rebounds to go with his 29 points, shooting 10-of-26 from the field, while Kawhi Leonard scored 26 points with eight rebounds for the Clippers.

Hield makes history in Pacers' win

Buddy Hield made history with the fastest three-pointer recorded since play-by-play began in 1996-97 as the Indiana Pacers downed the Cleveland Cavaliers 135-126.

Hield, who leads the league in three-pointers made this season, swished a shot just three seconds into the game. The Pacers made 19-of-31 from beyond the arc for the game, rallying from a seven-point fourth-quarter deficit.

Tyrese Haliburton top scored with 29 points, including six-of-eight three-point shooting, while Hield made six triples in his 25 points. Donovan Mitchell had 28 points and six assists for the Cavs.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Clippers complete miraculous comeback

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

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

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

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

Heat spread it around against the Timberwolves

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

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

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

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

The 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.

James Harden was left blown away after joining "rare company" by matching the Philadelphia 76ers franchise record of 21 assists in Friday's 119-114 win over the Los Angeles Clippers.

Harden joined Wilt Chamberlain and Mo Cheeks with the record, which was a career-high for the former MVP, in a game where the 76ers rallied from a 20-point first-half deficit.

The 33-year-old finished the game with 20 points, 11 rebounds and 21 assists and became the second player in 76ers history with a 20-assist triple-double, joining Chamberlain from 1968 against the Detroit Pistons.

"That's rare company," Harden told reporters. "Mo Cheeks was one of my coaches in OKC and then Wilt, I feel like he has every record.

"Just always and be in the conversation of some of the best basketball players to touch a basketball is a blessing. Hopefully, I can keep going and get more records."

Joel Embiid top scored for the 76ers with 44 points, shooting 18-of-30 from the field with seven rebounds and three assists. Harden regularly fed Embiid points throughout the game.

"I just do what I do," Harden said. "Honestly, I feel really good and just trying to get to that paint and they do a really good job of using their length.

"They're a really long team, they switch, they do a really good job of switching so I tried to press the paint and really try and find matchups that work in our advantage that really make the game easier for all of us and guys knock down shots, Joel did a really good job of getting to his spots. It was a total team effort."

Philadelphia head coach Doc Rivers heaped praise on Harden for sacrificing his scoring game.

"This is a generational scorer that has taken and decided to be a point guard, who still scores, but to be a point guard for this team," Rivers said.

"That's hard to do. A lot of people, most people, can’t do that, or will not do it is a better way of saying it. The fact that he is willingly doing it, running the team, organizing us, is huge for us."

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.

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