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.

The Los Angeles Clippers must be able to replicate their regular-season form in the playoffs if they are to prove themselves as the real deal, so says Kawhi Leonard.

Leonard led the Clippers with 26 points in a blowout 115-96 victory over the NBA-leading Boston Celtics on Saturday.

That marked the Clippers' fifth straight win, as they improved to a league-best 22-4 run since the start of December.

Clippers coach Tyronn Lue labelled the road trip to Boston, who dealt his team a 145-108 defeat back in December, as a "measuring stick".

By any measurement, their response was emphatic, but Leonard has urged his teammates to remember that it is the postseason that really matters.

"I'm happy that we were able to come in and give the Celtics a loss," Leonard said.

"But it really doesn't mean nothing until you get to the playoffs and you're doing the things we did tonight – executing, making shots, playing good defense.

"It's good that we had carryover from last night coming from Toronto and winning these back-to-back games. But you got to just keep getting better as the year goes on."

James Harden, meanwhile, cited Saturday's display as the Clippers' best performance of the season.

"Against a team that was playing really, really well, especially at home, we've still got some ways to go, but this is a good test for us," he said.

Lue added: "The guys were pretty motivated. When they came to L.A., they did us pretty bad. So, the guys were locked in.

"Just a measuring stick against a great team. We just wanted to kind of see where we're at. We had that on our mind."

The Clippers are third in the Western Conference, two wins behind the Minnesota Timberwolves, who suffered a surprise defeat to the San Antonio Spurs.

Victor Wembanyama starred with 23 points and 10 rebounds as the Spurs - rooted to the bottom of the West - clinched a 113-112 victory.

"This is the best win we've had," said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, whose team trailed by 15 points before hitting back.

Wembanyama added: "It is definitely a good one and I think tonight we have to feel proud about what we did and get used to the feeling so we can repeat it."

Devin Vassell, who led the Spurs with 25 points, said: "I think we're just growing and maturing.

"There would be times where teams go on a run and we put our heads down and almost get defeated already. Basketball is a game of runs. So right now, we've just been sticking with it. We've been playing 48 minutes."

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.

Kawhi Leonard claimed there is a "different dynamic" to the Los Angeles Lakers when LeBron James is out.

Leonard recorded a triple-double of 25 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists, while James Harden had 23 points and 10 assists, as the Los Angeles Clippers defeated a Lakers team shorn of superstar James 127-116 on Tuesday.

James was out with an ankle issue, with the Lakers treating his recovery on a day-to-day basis.

While the Clippers have won 11 of their last 13 games, the Lakers have now lost four road wins on the spin.

Leonard suggested there was a noticeable difference to the Lakers, not that players did not step up in James' absence. D'Angelo Russell led the Lakers with 27 points and Anthony Davis had 26.

"It's a different dynamic with him not being out there," Leonard said.

"You saw guys came in and stepped up and made big shots for him."

Reflecting on the Clippers' display, Leonard added: "Everybody contributed to the win. That's what we've got to do, knock down shots when they're open and tonight we did."

Despite a win that has taken the Clippers, who are fourth in the Western Conference, to a 28-14 winning record, coach Tyronn Lue said there is still plenty to improve on.

"Just overall, [we] didn't play a good mental game and we didn't do a good job with our coverages, especially defensively," Lue said.

"We were all over the place. We've just got to continue to keep getting better."

Leonard added: "They're a good transition team and we allowed them to play to their strengths. We just got to be better at that."

Lakers boss Darvin Ham, meanwhile, took positives from the defeat.

He said: "Like I told them just now, a lot of good things we did during this game.

"Our guys competed, competed their butts off. The [Clippers are] going to make you pay [for mistakes], that's how they're built.

"They are in a really good rhythm. But that said, I think the lesson tonight is how we competed, how we competed together. Again, guys taking accountability for mistakes and not making them twice.

"Trying to get better defensively as the game was ticking away. Disappointed in the loss but proud of how our guys competed minus LeBron."

On LeBron's status, Ham added: "Just trying to be proactive with his ankle. He'll probably be day-to-day. But that's pretty much it."

Paul George warned that the Los Angeles Clippers never know when they are beaten after their unanswered points streak in Sunday's win over the Brooklyn Nets.

Having gone into the fourth quarter trailing by 15 points, the Clippers reeled off a 22-0 run to close out the game and triumph 125-114.

It brought up their 10th win in the space of 12 games in stunning fashion.

Kawhi Leonard led the epic comeback, scoring 14 of his 21 points during the Clippers' 22-0 run over the game's final 5:17, with Los Angeles improving from 44.7 per cent shooting across the first three quarters to 75 per cent in the final period.

"That was first of a kind, with a slow start and then get red-hot at the end," said George, who finished with 12 points.

"We're going to always compete to the very end. The great thing about this group is we don't ever believe that we're down and out of it."

After scoring 24 points and adding 10 assists against his former team, James Harden said: "They came out and punched us in the mouth and in that fourth quarter we played Clipper basketball, got some stops and the rest is history.

"It was like a party. The energy was 100. That right there is home-court advantage."

Mikal Bridges led Brooklyn with 26 points but scored just six after half-time, and he offered few excuses for the Nets' capitulation.

"Just got to be better for the whole 48," Bridges said. "Definitely not fun.

"We were stuck, didn't know what to do or how to break it."

The Clippers are fourth in the Western Conference with a 27-14 record, with a clash against their city rivals the Los Angeles Lakers next up.

The Los Angeles Clippers trailed the Brooklyn Nets by three points after one quarter, 12 points after two quarters and 15 points after three quarters.

The fourth quarter, however, belonged to the Clippers.

The Clippers throttled the Nets in the final period, outscoring them 41-15 and tallied the game's final 22 points to pull out a stunning 125-114 win on Sunday.

Down by 18 points with just under 11 minutes to play, Los Angeles (27-14) closed the game on a 39-10 run en route to its 10th victory in the last 12 games.

Kawhi Leonard led the epic comeback, scoring 14 of his 21 points during the Clippers' 22-0 run over the game's final 5:17.


The Clippers shot 44.7 percent through the first three quarters before making 12-of-16 shots (75.0 per cent) in the final period.

James Harden led Los Angeles with 24 points and 10 assists, while Russell Westbrook added 23 points, nine rebounds and six assists off the bench.

The Nets (17-25) started the game hot, jumping out to 16-0 lead over the first 4 1/2 minutes.

But as hot as they started, they were unable to make a basket down the stretch with a 114-103 lead, missing their final nine shots to lose for the 10th time in 12 games.

Mikal Bridges led Brooklyn with 26 points but scored just six after half-time.


Durant has 40 as Suns hang on to beat Pacers for fifth straight win

Kevin Durant poured in 40 points to lead the Phoenix Suns to a 117-110 win over the Indiana Pacers for their fifth straight victory.

In his third 40-point game of the season, Durant did most of his damage on mid-range jumpers and became the first player in franchise history to score at least 40 points without attempting a free throw.

The 13-time All-Star made 18-of-25 shots - including 4-of-7 from 3-point range - and grabbed nine rebounds to go with a season high-tying three blocks.


The Suns' starting backcourt combined for 51 points, with Devin Booker scoring 26 and Bradley Bead adding 25 points on 11-of-16 shooting.

Phoenix (24-18) led by as much as 14 points, but Indiana used an 11-0 run to pull ahead 105-103 on Buddy Hield's 3-pointer with 3:20 left.

Durant then responded with a 3-pointer of his own on the Suns' next possession, as Phoenix closed the game on a 14-5 run.

Hield led the Pacers with 18 points, and Pascal Siakam had 15 points and seven assists in his second game with Indiana after being acquired from Toronto.

The Pacers (24-19), who were once playing without All-Star guard Tyrese Haliburton due to a strained left hamstring, lost for the fourth time in five games following a 9-1 stretch.


Jokic scores season-high 42 as Nuggets beat Wizards

Nikola Jokic had his highest scoring game of the season, scoring 42 points while adding 12 rebounds and eight assists to lead the Denver Nuggets to a 113-104 win over the Washington Wizards.

The two-time NBA MVP was red-hot shooting, going 15-of-20 from the field and making 12-of-14 free throws.


All five Denver starters scored in double figures with Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. each scoring 19, Aaron Gordon adding 11 and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope chipping in 10.

The Nuggets (30-14) led by as much as 17 in winning for the fourth time in five games.

The Wizards (7-35), meanwhile, lost their fourth in a row and for the 10th time in 11 games.

Kyle Kuzma paced Washington with 17 points, seven assists and six rebounds, while Tyus Jones had 15 points and 13 assists.

Daniel Gafford had 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting and grabbed seven rebounds in his return after missing the last two games with a head injury.

James Harden is wholly satisfied with life at the Los Angeles Clippers and is hoping to see the key players in the team stick together in the coming seasons.

The Clippers defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 128-117 on Tuesday, winning nine of their last 11 games.

Paul George scored a season-high 38 points, while Harden and Kawhi Leonard chipped in with 16 points each.

Leonard this month signed a new three-year contract, reportedly worth $153million. However, that is less than he would have been eligible for, and Leonard claimed he took a lower offer in order to help the Clippers keep their other stars, like Harden and George.

For his part, Harden is extremely happy with his new team, and like Leonard, hopes to keep the core of the side together for years to come.

"I thought the same thing last year, last team I was on," Harden said when asked if he would like to see out his playing days with the Clippers. "That's why I did all those sacrifices.

"But I'm here, home. We have an opportunity. I want to be able to keep the core together for a few years and I haven't had those opportunities the last few years. So things are going well and I'm happy."

Leonard believes the majority of the Clippers lineup are planning on staying with the team next season.

"With the conversation that I have with them about it, I think for the most part everybody is coming back," he said.

"So with me signing an extension, I think it gives us a chance to sign both of those players."

The Clippers sit fourth in the Western Conference with a 26-14 record.

They found themselves 79-77 down at the end of the third quarter against the Thunder, but they lodged a comeback in the fourth.

Coach Tyronn Lue said: "We responded well. To hold onto the lead and make our own run says a lot about our team."

Kawhi Leonard is hopeful that his new deal will help the Los Angeles Clippers keep hold of their other star players.

Leonard, who is enjoying a fine season, has signed a three-year contract extension with the Clippers, reportedly worth $153million.

However, that is less than Leonard was eligible for. The 32-year-old, along with his teammate Paul George, went into the season eligible for a maximum extension of four years, worth $223m, via ESPN.

But Leonard believes taking a hit on this contract will aid the Clippers as they look to keep both George and James Harden, who has impressed since joining Los Angeles in a trade from the Philadelphia Eagles in October. 

After scoring 29 points in a 126-120 win over his old team the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday, Leonard told reporters: "With the conversation that I have with them about it, I think for the most part everybody is coming back.

"So with me signing an extension, I think it gives us a chance to sign both of those players."

"It just made sense from both sides," Clippers president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank said of Leonard's new deal.

"We both wanted the same thing. We wanted Kawhi to be a Clipper for a very long time, and Kawhi wants to be a Clipper for a very long time, and we wanted to put the focus on the team and at the same time it just came together where it just made sense where it was a very fair deal for both sides.

"Kawhi was a great partner. There's harsh penalties for high-spending teams, and Kawhi understood it."

Asked if Leonard's contract extension was an encouraging sign for his own future with the Clippers, George said: "Absolutely. You secure and lock in Kawhi. Definitely leaves the door open for myself, but very, very optimistic something will get done on my behalf, as well."

The Clippers have lost just three of their last 20 games, rising up to fourth in the Western Conference in the process, and coach Tyronn Lue has his sights set firmly on the playoffs.

“I think half of it is great talent, and I think half of it is execution, and we got to be 100 per cent execution with our talent, and that makes for a dangerous team," Lue said.

"When you get to the playoffs it's a whole different animal, and so we've got to start building those habits.

"We're doing it a little bit at a time, but we've got to start progressing a little bit more as far as being better with our execution and what we're trying to do."

The Los Angeles Clippers signed star forward Kawhi Leonard to a contract extension on Wednesday, with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reporting the deal is worth $153million for three years.

Without announcing terms of the contract, Clippers president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank issued a statement saying "we're thrilled to continue our relationship with Kawhi.

"He is an elite player, a terrific partner and a relentless worker who knows how to win and makes it his first priority.

“He elevated our franchise from the moment he arrived. We feel fortunate that Kawhi chose to join the Clippers five years ago, and excited to keep building with him."

The 32-year-old Leonard declined his $48.8million player option for 2024-25 as part of the extension and is slated to earn $52million next season and roughly $50million in both 2025-26 and 2026-27.

Leonard signed with Los Angeles in July 2019 after leading the Toronto Raptors to their first NBA title.

He was named MVP of the 2019 NBA Finals, the second such honour of his career after guiding the San Antonio Spurs to the championship in 2013-14.

A five-time All-Star and two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, Leonard leads the Clippers (23-13) this season with 23.8 points and 1.75 steals per game.

He is also tied for second on the team in rebounding (6.1) and ranks fourth with 3.4 assists per game.

LeBron James urged the Los Angeles Lakers to use their victory over the Los Angeles Clippers as a "catapult" towards an upturn in underwhelming NBA form.

The Lakers snapped a four-game losing streak with a 106-103 triumph over their Los Angeles neighbours on Sunday.

LeBron's Los Angeles were just 3-10 since winning the in-season tournament, with Sunday's win a much-needed victory to somewhat ease a 13-game struggle.

"Try to use this to try to catapult a little bit better play from us," LeBron said after leading the game with 25 points against the Clippers.

"But it still doesn't take away from the fact of how we've been playing like the last 11, 12 games.

"Tonight was a good start. Hopefully we can start from here and continue to build."

Lakers coach Darvin Ham benefitted from having an increasing number of rotation options, with the fit-again D'Angelo Russell managing 13 points and six assists, while Jarred Vanderbilt impressed in defense.

Christian Wood also added nine points, 10 rebounds and two blocks, along with Max Christie's seven points, three rebounds and two blocks, as the Lakers' bench outshone the Clippers.

"All those guys helped us win, made some big shots, timely plays, and that's what we need," said Anthony Davis, who had 22 points and 10 rebounds.

"It takes 'the others' to win championships and win basketball games. And these guys played phenomenal tonight. When these guys are playing well, it just makes me and Bron's job a lot easier."

Ham labelled the performance as a benchmark for the remainder of the season.

"Everybody contributed, competed at a very high level," Ham added. "And I'm proud of them.

"Now the cat's out the bag for this one, in terms of how we need to approach each and every game and everybody do it as a committee."

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.

Paul George and James Harden were relieved to see Kawhi Leonard return from a four-game absence and help the Los Angeles Clippers stay hot with a win over the Miami Heat.

Leonard scored 24 points to pass 13,000 for his NBA career as the Clippers won 121-104 against the short-handed Heat on Monday.

George added 23 points, Norman Powell had 22 on 9-of-11 shooting while James Harden scored 15 points and provided 10 assists to aid in the Clippers' third straight victory and 12th in 14 games. 

"You see the performance," Harden said about the return of Leonard, who had been sidelined by a hip contusion.

"Both ends of the ball, just elite. Shotmaking, defensively just being active, creating opportunities in transition. We needed that, for him to get well and get better. We missed him."

George feels Leonard adds so much more than his statistical production.

"He does all the little intangible stuff – it's just so reliable," said George.

"It's great to have 2 back in the lineup. He missed a little over a week and it was going to take a little time for him to catch his rhythm, but I thought he did and looked like himself."

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 had 13 second-quarter points to spark the comeback and George then scored 12 points in the third as the Clippers extended their lead to 95-85 entering the fourth.

The Clippers have continued to find a way to win since their six-game losing streak in November.

"It is better when you try to figure it out winning than trying to figure out losing and that is what was happening earlier [in the season]," added Harden.

"Every single game, we are trying to find ways to win games. Then towards the end of the season we’ll understand what we’re really good at and what we are not."

Los Angeles is now 20-12 for the season, fourth in the Western Conference ahead of Wednesday's road game against the Phoenix Suns, who have won four straight games.

Bradley Beal scored 21 points as the surging Suns beat the Portland Trail Blazers 109-88, even with Kevin Durant sidelined by right hamstring tightness.

As for the Heat, they will stay in Los Angeles before playing the Lakers on Wednesday.

Bam Adebayo paced Miami with 21 points and 15 rebounds but the Heat have now dropped two straight following a four-game winning streak and are fifth in the Eastern Conference.

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. 


Anthony Davis labelled Saturday's clash with the Oklahoma City Thunder as a "must win" for the skidding Los Angeles Lakers.

The Lakers lost for a fourth straight game as they went down 118-111 at the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday.

Their record since winning the NBA's inaugural in-season tournament is now 1-5.

And while there were green shoots of recovery against the Timberwolves, Davis knows the skid has to stop.

"It's the NBA season. There's going to be ups, there's going to be downs. Right now we're in that down period," said Davis, who finished with 31 points and eight rebounds.

"We've just got to continue to fight and continue to play hard. Play with some effort, some energy and we're treating Saturday as a must win.

"We've got to still buckle down and find ways to get wins.

"So after 30 [games], I think it's still tough to assess, but we know what we can be. We've shown what we can be. And we've shown that if we don't do the things we need to do to be successful then we're going to continue to be on this side of our record, which is losing."

The Lakers were without LeBron James, though the veteran is expected to be fit to face the Thunder, who are second in the Western Conference and beat the other Los Angeles team – the Clippers – on Thursday.

That snapped a nine-game winning streak for the Clippers, who lost 134-115.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 31 points while Chet Holmgren nailed an innovative dunk off the backboard to propel the Thunder to a third straight win.

James Harden and Paul George chipped in with 23 points and 22 points respectively for the Clippers, who were without talisman Kawhi Leonard.

"Obviously, they’re a super talented group," Gilgeous-Alexander said of the Clippers. "A bunch Hall of Famers over there, and we knew what the task was waking up this morning."

Clippers coach Tyronn Lue acknowledged: "They did a good job of just attacking us.

"We couldn't get back, we couldn't get set, we couldn't get matched, and they took advantage of that early."

The Detroit Pistons suffered their 25th straight loss – one short of the NBA single season record – as Kelly Olynyk scored 25 points to lead the short-handed Utah Jazz to a 119-111 victory on Thursday.

Detroit missed nine of 10 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and was 9 of 31 overall from long range as it remained winless since Oct. 28.

The 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers and 2013-14 Philadelphia 76ers share the record at 26, which the Pistons will try to avoid Saturday in Brooklyn. The 76ers hold the overall mark of 28, a skid that started in 2014-15 and carried over into 2015-16.

Collin Sexton scored 19 points and Ochai Agbaji added 18 for the Jazz, who played without four of their top seven scorers – Lauri Markkanen, Jordan Clarkson, Keyonte George and Talen Horton-Tucker – on the second night of a back-to-back after losing at Cleveland on Wednesday.

Antetokounmpo propels Bucks to 6th straight win

Giannis Antetokoumpo tallied 37 points, 10 rebounds and six assists and the Milwaukee Bucks completed a perfect six-game homestand with a 118-114 win over the Orlando Magic.

Damian Lillard added 24 points and eight assists for the Bucks, who have won 15 straight games at Fiserv Forum. That’s the Bucks’ longest single-season home win streak since they opened 18-0 at home in 1991-92.

Franz Wagner scored 29 points and Paolo Banchero had 23 for the Magic, who have lost four in a row.

Thunder snap Clippers’ 9-game streak

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander poured in 31 points and Chet Holmgren gave the Thunder the lead for good with a dunk he threw off the backboard to himself, and Oklahoma City ended the Los Angeles Clippers’ nine-game winning streak, 134-115.

Holmgren’s flashy jam with 8:43 left in the third quarter gave the Thunder a 74-73 lead and sparked a decisive 13-0 run.

Holmgren finished with 23 points and Lu Dort added 21 for Oklahoma City, which has won three straight and five of six.

James Harden scored 23 points and Paul George had 22 for the Clippers, who played without leading scorer Kawhi Leonard due to a bruised right hip.

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