Brandon Ingram said the New Orleans Pelicans proved they can contend with the best in the NBA as he continued his hot streak to earn a huge win over the Los Angeles Clippers.

Ingram scored 25 points or more for the ninth straight outing, putting up 36 in a 122-114 victory that leaves the Pelicans just one game back of the sixth-placed Clippers in the West.

Getting into the top six would mean the Pelicans avoid the play-in tournament in the playoffs.

"If you want to be the best, you've got to go against the best and you've got to beat them," Ingram said. 

"That's one of the things that was in my head tonight, just trying to get this win."

Asked about his impressive form, Ingram said: "It's just manoeuvring a little bit, seeing what's open, seeing what spot I can get to on the floor, not forcing the game.

"That’s the biggest thing – seeing what's the best shot for the team, but also making sure that I stay aggressive."

Team-mates CJ McCollum and Trey Murphy III put up 19 apiece, and the former paid tribute to Ingram's ability to make the clutch shots in key moments.

"Those are I'm-just-better-than-you shots," McCollum said. 

"He's relying on his skill set and his comfort level. Regardless of analytics and what's considered a good shot, that's a great shot for him."

Kawhi Leonard put up 40 points for the Clippers, who have now lost back-to-back games.

"We just have to give credit to them as they played amazing. Ingram played great," Leonard said.

Luka Doncic scored 42 points with 10 rebounds but it was not enough for the Dallas Mavericks who suffered their sixth loss from their past seven games 129-122 to the Miami Heat on Saturday.

The win was much needed for Miami, who improved to 41-37 to be seventh in the East, with Jimmy Butler top scoring with 35 points and 12 assists at FTX Arena.

The Heat snapped their three-game skid but it left the Mavs' perilous playoff hopes worse off, falling to a 37-41 record, remaining 11th in the West.

Dallas are a game back from Oklahoma City (38-40) in the race for the final play-in spot, with the Thunder owning the head-to-head tiebreaker too.

Doncic tried his best with 42 points on 17-of-25 shooting with two triples along with 10 rebounds, eight assists and two steals. That was the Slovenian's 14th 40-point game this season.

Kyrie Irving added 23 points and eight assists, while Tim Hardaway Jr drained six three-pointers in his 31 points with six rebound and seven assists.

Yet all that was not enough for Dallas who shot at 61 per cent as a team, after Miami piled on 44 first-quarter points, leaving the Mavs to lament their defense. Miami's 76 first-half points was the third most in franchise history.

Center Cody Zeller offered good support to Butler with 20 points and eight rebounds, while Kevin Love and Max Strus both added 18 points and Tyler Herro contributed 15.

Ingram stars as Pels continue playoffs push

The New Orleans Pelicans moved above the Los Angeles Lakers and into the seven spot in the Western Conference with a crucial 122-114 over the Los Angeles Clippers.

Kawhi Leonard scored 40 points for the Clippers, who fall to sixth in the West, but Brandon Ingram maintained his fine form with a game-winning display.

Ingram scored 36 points on 13-of-23 shooting with four rebounds and eight assists, while Jonas Valanciunas added 23 points with 12 rebounds.

Leonard shot 15-of-28 from the field with four-of-eight from beyond the arc with eight rebounds and four assists, while Russell Westbrook contributed 24 points with nine assists.

The Pels have won seven of their past eight games to shoot into playoffs contention in the West with a 40-38 record, while the Clippers are 41-38.

The Los Angeles Clippers had Russell Westbrook in history-making form as they overcame the Memphis Grizzlies 141-132 on Wednesday.

Westbrook finished with a season-high 36 points and laid on 10 assists in the victory, which snapped Memphis' seven-game winning streak.

In the process, Westbrook became the first player in NBA history to have a 30-point and 10-assist game with five teams, having achieved the feat with the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Houston Rockets, the Washington Wizards, the Los Angeles Lakers and now the Clippers.

The sides will meet again in Memphis on Friday, with the Clippers having pulled away down the stretch on this occasion.

"Just being composed, as a point guard, I was taught the last five or six minutes of the game were very important," Westbrook said of the fourth quarter.

"Getting stops, getting good shots. We did a good job of executing down the stretch."

Westbrook's team-mate Robert Covington had a season-best 27 points, and he anticipates a tough run-in with plenty of teams in the playoff picture in the Western Conference.

"It's going to be tight," said Covington. "The West from four through 12 or 13 is like a three-game gap, something like that?

"Anything can happen. That's why these last five or six games for us are very important."

Another team pushing for a postseason place are the Clippers' city rivals the Lakers, who beat the Chicago Bulls 121-110.

Anthony Davis starred with 38 points and 10 rebounds, and believes the Lakers – eighth in the West – have what it takes to go on a deep run.

He said: "I think we've got everything we need. It's just about going out and applying it. We can definitely make a run. We've got all the right pieces from top to bottom.

"We owe this [Chicago] team. We owe Houston. We owe Minnesota. All these teams. Utah.

"So all these teams on this trip are teams that we lost to recently, and we want to get some get-back. And seeing as the situation that we're in, we need to win these games.

"So this is a time when we shouldn't shy away from the moment. We should embrace it and these are the moments that you live for as a player."

Davis' display garnered appreciation from coach Darvin Ham and superstar team-mate LeBron James.

"It all starts with A, man," Ham said, referring to Davis. "Him just playing with force, him not settling, putting pressure on the defense to foul, him just loving and living in the paint."

James added: "He always plays like that. Just got to kick him in the a** every now and then. But he always plays like that so I never worry about him."

The Dallas Mavericks' playoff hopes suffered another setback after James Harden inspired the Philadelphia 76ers' fourth-quarter charge on Wednesday.

The Mavs, who had lost seven of their previous 10 games coming into the contest, led 91-89 at three-quarter time at Wells Fargo Center before the home side rallied to triumph 116-108, clinching their 50th win of the season.

Harden provided the assists for all of Philadelphia's points during a 10-0 run that flipped the contest, condemning the Mavs to a 37-40 record and leaving them in danger of missing the playoffs and play-in tournament in the Western Conference. Dallas failed to score in the final 3:18 of the game.

Joel Embiid returned from a one-game, calf-injury-enforced absence to boost his MVP aspirations with 25 points and nine rebounds, while Harden had 15 points and 12 assists.

Harden's partnership with Embiid was on full show, with the pair holding the NBA's best single-season record over the past 25 years for assists by one player to another, averaging 4.8 per game, ahead of Sacramento Kings duo Rajon Rondo and DeMarcus Cousins (4.0 in the 2015-16 season).

For the Mavs, Luka Doncic had 24 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, while Kyrie Irving added 23 points.

Philadelphia's 50th win from their 76th game of the campaign marks the fewest amount of games required to reach that mark in franchise history since 2001.

The 50-26 76ers are third in the East, behind the Milwaukee Bucks (55-21) and the Boston Celtics (52-24).

The Bucks routed the Indiana Pacers 149-136 led by Jrue Holiday's career-high 51 points and a Giannis Antetokounmpo triple-double.

Kings end NBA's longest playoff drought

Sacramento ended their 17-year playoffs wait, the longest drought in NBA history, thanks to a 120-80 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Kings pulled away with a lopsided 70-34 second half, led by Domantas Sabonis (15 points and 12 rebounds) and De'Aaron Fox (18 points and six assists), while Keegan Murray passed Donovan Mitchell for the most threes made by a rookie (188) in his 13 points.

Sacramento clinching their playoff spot came amid a chaotic night in the West, with Jalen Williams' buzzer-beating tip-in earning the 10th-placed Oklahoma City Thunder a 107-106 win over the Detroit Pistons. OKC occupy the final play-in spot.

Russell Westbrook scored 36 points as the fifth-placed Los Angeles Clippers ended the second-placed Memphis Grizzlies' seven-game winning streak with a 141-132 victory, while the taunts continued as the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Chicago Bulls 121-110.

Durant returns as Suns firm up fourth seed

Kevin Durant made his long-awaited home debut as he returned from a 10-game absence due to a sprained ankle, but he was rusty as the Phoenix Suns overcame the Minnesota Timberwolves 107-100.

Durant shot five-of-18 from the field for 16 points with eight rebounds and four assists. Devin Booker top-scored for the Suns with 29 points on eight-of-18 shooting from the field.

The 2014 MVP Durant shot two-of-four from three-point range, both in the fourth quarter, holding off the Timberwolves who drew level in the final period, with the win helping the Suns improve to 41-35 to sit fourth in the West.

In a highly anticipated clash between winners of the past four MVPs it was Nikola Jokic's Denver Nuggets comfortably handling Giannis Antetokounmpo's Milwaukee Bucks 129-106.

Played in Denver, the reigning back-to-back MVP winner put on a show for his home fans with 31 points (10-of-20 shooting), 11 assists and six rebounds. 

Jokic was supported in style by Jamal Murray, who chipped in 26 points (nine-of-19), nine assists and six rebounds, and kick-started the Nuggets with four triples in the first quarter.

Antetokounmpo, winner of the 2019 and 2020 MVP trophies, was far from the reason his side went down, posting a strong 31 points (13-of-22), nine rebounds, four assists and four steals. He led Milwaukee to a 66-63 half-time lead, before they put up just 40 points as a team in the second half.

After a mini-slump with four losses from of five games, the Nuggets have now rattled off three wins in a row, improving their home record to 31-6 in the process, which trails only the Memphis Grizzlies (32-5) for the league's best mark.

Despite the loss, Milwaukee (53-21) are still two games clear in the race for the league's best record, while the Nuggets are 3.5 games clear atop the West.

Hawks prevail despite Trae ejection

Atlanta Hawks franchise player Trae Young was ejected for throwing the ball at an official, but his side still came away with a 143-130 home win against the visiting Indiana Pacers.

Young was kicked out in the second quarter after the incident, but eight Hawks players ended up scoring double-figures to pick up the slack.

John Collins led the way with 21 points (nine-of-12 shooting), Dejounte Murray added 20 points (eight-of-20) and 12 assists, and Clint Capela snatched down 17 rebounds to go with his 17 points (five-of-five).

The win pulled the Hawks' record even at 37-37, now a game clear of the ninth-seeded Toronto Raptors (36-38) as they battle for play-in tournament positioning.

Pelicans muddy the waters in the West

The New Orleans Pelicans kept their season alive with a 131-110 road win over the Los Angeles Clippers, creating a logjam in the Western Conference's play-in placings.

Second-year Pelicans wing Trey Murphy was spectacular as he hit 10-of-12 three-pointers for an equal team-high 32 points. He was joined on 32 points by Brandon Ingram, and after Ingram's first career triple-double on Thursday, he followed it with a career-high 13 assists against the Clippers.

The win means the Pelicans are in a three-way tie for the seventh-best record in the West, joining the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Los Angeles Lakers at 37-37 with eight games to play.

Kawhi Leonard played a lead role as the Los Angeles Clippers won without the injured Paul George and urged teammates to "dial in even deeper" over the remainder of the regular season.

The Clippers scored a 127-105 home win against the Oklahoma City Thunder, two nights after George suffered a knee injury in a 101-100 loss to the same opposition.

Leonard played the lead role as the two-time NBA Finals MVP scored a game-high 32 points on 13-of-15 shooting from the field, adding six assists and six rebounds, while Russell Westbrook added 24 points.

Asked how the Clippers would cope without eight-time All-Star George, Leonard said: "Like we did tonight. Eric Gordon stepped in and started in his position, and it provided more minutes for Bones [Hyland] and Terance [Mann] and they came in and did a great job, provided a positive energy. Nobody's head was down.

"We wish PG a speedy recovery. It's next man up and that's how we've got to play.

"We've got to keep sharing the ball, and dial in even deeper."

He said the Clippers must collectively be "more focused because we're missing a superstar".

George is set to miss the rest of the regular season but crucially he has avoided serious ligament damage, so it should not be a long-term lay-off.

Leonard might be the franchise player, but he wants everyone to be making big contributions in George's absence as the Clippers look to nail down their postseason spot. For now, they sit fifth in the Western Conference with a 39-35 record.

"Missing a guy like that, the ball's going to be in my hands more," Leonard said in his post-game press conference.

"But everybody else as well. One man can't win these basketball games. We'll have to come in with a group effort and everybody focus up, buy in, and try to do what we can do without him."

As for how Westbrook is faring, almost five weeks on from his arrival from the Utah Jazz, Leonard was complimentary, saying it was positive "just having a Hall of Fame point guard on the floor".

"He brings energy to the team, brings pace, plays both ends of the floor," Leonard said. "He's been doing a good job."

No Paul George, no worries for the Los Angeles Clippers as Kawhi Leonard carried them to an important 127-105 home win against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday.

It was the second consecutive meeting between these two sides in Los Angeles after George limped off with a knee injury in Tuesday's 101-100 loss to the Thunder, but with the Clippers' playoff future up in the air, Leonard rose to the occasion.

The two-time NBA Finals MVP scored a game-high 32 points on red-hot 13-of-15 shooting from the field. He was seven-of-seven for 15 points in the first quarter, with his team leading 36-29, but the Clippers began to fall apart as he tried to look for his team-mates in the second period.

Leonard did not attempt a field goal in the second, allowing the Thunder to claw back to 54-54 at half-time, but he came out of the break determined to decide the outcome.

The Clippers' franchise star played the entire third quarter, and the first three minutes of the fourth quarter, not coming out until his side had built a 103-85 lead.

Leonard added six rebounds, six assists and four steals in a dominant two-way performance, finishing with a plus/minus of plus 16 in his 35 minutes. 

He was supported well by an efficient night from Russell Westbrook, as he chipped in 24 points (eight-of-13 shooting) with seven assists.

A loss would have seen the Clippers tied with the Golden State Warriors at 38-36 in the sixth seed – only one game clear of the play-in tournament placings – but they are now two games clear of the drama in fifth with only eight fixtures remaining.

It was a devastating loss for the Thunder's playoff hopes, blowing an opportunity to move into the seventh seed outright, and instead slipping down to 11th, although there is now a four-way tie at 36-37.

Okoro wins it at the buzzer

The Cleveland Cavaliers secured a 116-114 road win against the Brooklyn Nets in the last second as Isaac Okoro drilled a game-winning three-pointer from the corner.

Cleveland rode the dynamic duo of Donovan Mitchell and Evan Mobley all night, with Mitchell scoring a team-high 31 points on 11-of-24 shooting, while Mobley racked up 26 points (11-of-18), 16 rebounds, four blocks and three assists.

But the biggest moment of the game came down to Caris LeVert and Okoro, as the former Net came up with a loose ball and zipped a cross-court pass for Okoro's three in a hectic closing sequence.

The Cavs have been a disappointing 18-20 away from home this season, but have now won five of their past six on the road.

With the loss, the Nets fell to 39-34 and down into play-in spots. The Miami Heat (40-34) leapfrogged them into sixth.

Magic continue to show progress

The Orlando Magic have quietly become one of the most exciting young teams in the league, and they knocked off another playoff side with a 111-106 home win over the New York Knicks.

It was Orlando's third win from their past four outings, also taking down the Clippers and the Washington Wizards, and their number one draft pick led the way. Paolo Banchero scored a team-high 21 points on seven-of-17 shooting, adding six rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks.

Both Immanuel Quickley and Quentin Grimes scored 25 points each in the absence of starting Knicks point guard Jalen Brunson, but a three-of-12 performance with five turnovers from R.J. Barrett was hard to overcome.

The Los Angeles Clippers will likely begin the playoffs without Paul George, that is if they can make it without him.

The Clippers announced on Wednesday that George suffered a sprained right knee Tuesday and will be reevaluated in two-to-three weeks.

The regular season ends in two-and-a-half weeks and the eight-time All-Star is expected to miss Los Angeles’ final nine games.

With a 38-35 record, the Clippers enter play on Wednesday in fifth place in the Western Conference, but also just one-and-a-half games out of seventh place, which would put them in the play-in tournament.

They are 6-11 without George this season with losses in five of the last seven games he has missed, which does not include Tuesday’s 101-100 defeat to the seventh-placed Oklahoma City Thunder.

George was injured with 4:38 remaining when his knee collided with Luguentz Dort's knee in the air while attempting a rebound and he crumbled to the floor.

He stayed down on the court for a while until being helped off the court, unable to put weight on his leg.

Prior to Tuesday’s defeat, Los Angeles had won five of six with George leading the charge, averaging 28.3 points – 4.5 higher than his season average.

The 32-year-old is averaging 23.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and 5.1 assists in 56 games this season and now the Clippers will have to figure out how to win without their leading scorer to get back to the playoffs after losing in the play-in tournament last season.

The Los Angeles Clippers' hopes of a deep playoffs run may have suffered a major blow after Paul George exited their 101-100 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder with a leg injury.

George fell to the floor after his right knee collided with Luguentz Dort's knee in the air while attempting a rebound.

The eight-time All-Star got up with help and exited the game with 4:38 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue said during his post-game press conference that George was still being evaluated and that he had not spoken to him.

ESPN reported George was spotted exiting the arena in the back of a cart with his right leg extended.

George scored 18 points with seven rebounds, five assists and three steals before exiting, with the loss seeing the Clippers fall to a 38-35 record in fifth in the West.

The 32-year-old is averaging 23.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game this season.

Team-mate Kawhi Leonard said the Clippers would take on a "next man up" mentality if George was unavailable for a significant period.

"Next man up, but we'll see," Leonard told reporters. "We've got a group of guys that still want to win and like to play basketball. We'll see happens."

Russell Westbrook shouldered the responsibility for the Los Angeles Clippers' defeat to the Orlando Magic, saying "it's on me to be more focused in closing the game".

The Clippers, fifth in the Western Conference, were beaten 113-108 by a Magic side who are struggling down in 13th in the East on Saturday.

Westbrook made a hot start to the game, draining four of his first six shots to finish the first quarter with 11 points, three assists and three rebounds.

But Westbrook went cold with his shooting from there, ending the game with 14 points on the back of five-of-14 shooting, while he had nine assists and five rebounds.

"This one's on me honestly tonight," Westbrook said. "I could have been better.

"I started off good, but just in the second half was terrible. I got to do a better job of helping the guys out in the second half and the fourth quarter.

"So, it's nothing anybody did. But honestly, it's on me to be more focused in closing the game."

Westbrook failed to make any of his three three-point attempts, while the Clippers were just six-of-22 in total from beyond the arc.

"That's more on me," Westbrook added. "My job is to be able to penetrate and get guys open shots, and get them open threes, and I didn't do a good enough job of that. 

"I'll make sure I'll be better at that tomorrow."

Paul George backed his veteran team-mate to figure out his shooting struggles, though.

"He's going to get through it. He knows to stay confident, and he knows that we trust him and got his back, that he's going to stay in attack mode," George said. 

"I don't ever worry about Russ' shooting. I just know what he brings and his value to the team. And that is bigger than anything. 

"Whether he makes or misses shots is part of the game. He just does so much other stuff that I don't care. He plays hard and that's a guy that I want to roll with. 

"He's a guy I want to compete with on a nightly basis, so he knows to just stay confident and just keep shooting."

Steve Kerr praised Stephen Curry's ability to "put on a great show every night" as he recorded 50 points despite the Golden State Warriors losing on the road again at the Los Angeles Clippers.

Kawhi Leonard top-scored for the hosts with 30, but had far more help from his teammates as they ran out 134-126 victors at the Crypto.com Arena.

Curry did his best as he sank 20 of 28 field-goal attempts and eight of 14 three-point shots, but no other Golden State player was able to score more than the 19 managed by Jordan Poole.

While disappointed with yet another road defeat, coach Kerr was left in awe at Curry's performance.

"It's like when a guy's throwing a no-hitter, just leave him alone," Kerr said after the loss. "Let him sit in the dugout in between innings and don't say anything to him.

"It was stunning watching that show. Watching some of the shot-making, the playmaking. We're so lucky on so many levels to coach Steph, to play with Steph.

"Our fans, being able to watch Steph, he puts on a great show every night. But this ranks right up there with some of the greatest individual performances that I've ever seen from him."

It meant that Curry became the first player in NBA history to score 50+ points, make eight or more threes and shoot 70 per cent from the field while being on the losing team in regulation.

Draymond Green, who scored eight points with eight rebounds and five assists, was left frustrated that he and his teammates could not provide Curry with more assistance.

The Warriors suffered their 27th defeat on the road out of 34 games for the season, the most by a defending champion in the league's history.

"It sucks," Green said. "You just sit and think about what more could I have done to help him?

"When you get a guy going off like that, you need to find a way to capitalise on it. We didn't do that.

"There is always frustration after a loss. Yeah, I think we did play better, but at the end of the day, you've got to come out with a win. You've got to figure out a way to win."

Golden State (36-34) are sixth in the Western Conference, one place behind the Clippers (37-33), who have won four games in a row.

Stephen Curry's 50 points were not enough for the Golden State Warriors to avoid a ninth straight road loss going down 134-126 to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday.

The Warriors' dreadful road record worsened to 7-27 across the season, with Kawhi Leonard top scoring for the Clippers with 30 points at Crypto.com Arena.

Curry piled on 21 points in the third quarter, shooting 20-of-28 from the field and eight-of-14 from three-point range, matching his season-high 50 points from the November 16 loss to the Phoenix Suns.

The reigning Finals MVP is the only player in the NBA to score 50-plus points in a loss multiple times this season. All other players are 18-2 in 50-point games this season.

Curry, who turned 35 earlier this week, also tied Wilt Chamberlain on seven for the most 50-point games after turning 30-years-old, moving past Michael Jordan (six).

Golden State's latest defeat comes in the first game of a five-game road trip which may define their playoffs aspirations, with the Warriors in sixth in the Western Conference at 36-34, while the Clippers are fifth on 37-33.

The Clippers claimed their fourth straight win after an 0-5 start after the All-Star break.

Leonard led the way on 10-of-19 field shooting, while Paul George added 24 points including four triples and seven assists.

Jordan Poole provided the Warriors' next best output with 19 points off the bench, while Draymond Green received his 16th technical foul of the season, meaning he will cop a one-game suspension.

Sixers clinch sixth win in a row

Joel Embiid scored 36 points with 18 rebounds as the Philadelphia 76ers continued their momentum with their sixth straight win in a 118-109 triumph over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Embiid had a charging call against him overturned with 4:12 remaining, which would have been his sixth foul, allowing him to play out the game and guide the 76ers home after the Cavs had led 96-95 in the last quarter.

James Harden added 28 points with 12 assists for Philadelphia, while Donovan Mitchell was kept to 21 points on nine-of-19 shooting, making only one-of-seven from beyond the arc.

In the Eastern Conference standings, the third-placed 76ers move to 46-22, just behind the second-placed Boston Celtics (48-22) who edged the Minnesota Timberwolves 104-102. The Cavs are fourth at 44-28.

Clutch Fox sinks Bulls on buzzer

De'Aaron Fox landed a go-ahead pull-up three-pointer with 0.7 seconds left to earn the Sacramento Kings' 117-114 victory over the Chicago Bulls.

Fox finished with 32 points on 12-of-17 shooting, making four-of-six three pointers including the game-winner under pressure from Ayo Dosunmu, after DeMar DeRozan tied the game at 114-all with a four-point play.

Domantas Sabonis managed a triple-double with 14 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists for the Kings, who improved to 41-27 with the win in the race for second seed in the West.

The Golden State Warriors' NBA title defence has so far been beset by problems – primarily the absences of key personnel.

Even now, there remains no return date for Andrew Wiggins, who has played only 37 of 69 games this season and missed the past 12 for personal reasons.

Stephen Curry is back now but has sat for 26 games this year.

Although the Warriors' most-used lineup in the 2022 playoffs – including both Wiggins and Curry – has again been their most-used lineup in this regular season, it has started just a third of their games.

Yet that does not explain a quite remarkable trend that has developed across this campaign and now causes the Warriors real concern as they go on the road against the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday.

Golden State have won their past eight home games, the longest active streak in the NBA, yet they have lost their past eight road games, also the league's longest active streak.

This form extends beyond the past month, too.

Ahead of Tuesday's games, the Warriors possess the fourth-best home record at 29-7, actually improving on last year's winning percentage after a 31-10 performance at Chase Center en route to taking the title.

However, on the road, only tanking duo the San Antonio Spurs and the Houston Rockets are worse off than the Warriors, who are an alarming 7-26.

Those contrasting records are still good enough to have the Warriors fifth in the Western Conference, but they are 1.5 games behind the fourth-placed Phoenix Suns, meaning Golden State are set to miss out on home advantage for every round of the playoffs. Clearly, that is an issue.

The Warriors' eight-game losing streak on the road has included each of their prior three games in Los Angeles this season, beaten by the Clippers on Valentine's Day ahead of defeats to the Lakers in consecutive road games. All of their eight straight losses have come against Western Conference rivals.

Now, this latest game at the Clippers – who are sixth in the West with an identical record to the Warriors – marks the start of a five-game road trip, with eight of Golden State's final 13 matchups away from San Francisco.

Their home record may have kept them competitive to this point, but hopes for success in the postseason will require vast improvement on the road moving forward.

PIVOTAL PERFORMERS

Los Angeles Clippers – Kawhi Leonard

As for several Warriors stars, this has been another stop-start season for Leonard, yet he has started seven of the Clippers' eight games since the All-Star break and is finally building momentum again.

Leonard had averaged 22.1 points prior to the All-Star break but has scored 31.0 points per game since then. That is tied for the sixth-best mark in that time, along with Curry.

Golden State Warriors – Klay Thompson

Curry has actually averaged more points on the road this season (30.3) than at home (28.9), but he has lacked support in away games because the same has not been true of team-mate Thompson.

The 33-year-old has scored 24.8 points at home but just 19.0 on the road. However, he has still averaged 24.6 points in those rare road wins.

Golden State will need Curry and Thompson to turn up together to get their road form back on track.

KEY BATTLE – Fast start vital

As much as any Clipper, the Warriors will be battling themselves in the first quarter. Their slow starts in road games have been ever so costly.

Golden State have trailed through the first quarter of 17 games on the road this season. They are an incredible 0-17 in those games.

The Warriors must either make a rapid start or rediscover the sort of championship grit that would allow them to recover when they are up against it on their travels.

HEAD-TO-HEAD

The Warriors are 2-1 against the Clippers this season, although those two wins have of course come in San Francisco.

Since 2019, Golden State have won just one of five road games against the Clippers. They had won eight of nine such matchups prior to that in a series they have dominated 137-94 all-time.

Stephen Curry came alight down the stretch with 22 of his 36 points in the fourth quarter and overtime as the Golden State Warriors showed they are not a spent force beating the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Warriors won 125-116 in overtime after Draymond Green's three-point attempt in the final seconds of regulation rimmed out, before Golden State went on a 9-0 run led by Curry at the Chase Center on Saturday.

Curry shot poorly in the first three quarters but knocked down several crucial three-pointers in the latter periods, finishing with 13-of-27 shooting from the field including six-of-15 from beyond the arc in his first home game since returning from a leg injury.

The result meant the Warriors have won seven straight at home, while it ended the Bucks' nine-game road streak. Golden State are 11-1 in their last 12 games at the Chase Center.

NBA-leading Milwaukee were without Giannis Antetokounmpo (sore hand) but could have won it in regulation with Jrue Holiday driving to the basket with scores locked, only to be blocked by Curry with 1.9 seconds left.

That was Curry's 16th block of the season and came after the reigning NBA Finals MVP landed a tying three-pointer.

Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez top scored for the Bucks with 19 points, with the latter having seven rebounds and five blocks. Holiday scored 18 points with nine rebounds and eight assists.

Klay Thompson and Donte DiVincenzo supported Curry with 22 and 20 points respectively, with the latter adding 10 rebounds.

Kawhi shines as Clippers keep winning

Kawhi Leonard continued his resurgent form with 38 points as the Los Angeles Clippers downed the New York Knicks 106-95.

Leonard shot 14-of-22 from the field and is now averaging 31 points across his past seven games, including four 30-point games during that span.

Paul George contributed 22 points for the Clippers, who have won three in a row, while the Knicks have now lost three straight after a nine-game winning run.

Smart ejected as Celtics clip Hawks

Jayson Tatum led the way with 34 points and 15 rebounds after Marcus Smart was ejected for a tussle with Trae Young as the Boston Celtics won 134-125 over the Atlanta Hawks.

Tatum added 11 of his 34 points in the fourth quarter as the Hawks tried to launch a comeback, while Jaylen Brown had 24 points with five rebounds and seven assists.

Hawks guard Young scored a game-high 35 points with 13 assists, but had to be separated from Smart with 1:25 remaining, with the latter ejected for his part in their confrontation.

Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving made some franchise history during the Dallas Mavericks' 133-126 home win against the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday.

It was the first time ever two Mavericks team-mates scored at least 40 points each in the same game, with Doncic shooting 13-of-22 for his 42 points, while Irving was 15-of-22 for 40 points.

The duo also combined for 18 assists, eight rebounds and four steals, while hitting 13-of-21 from three-point range.

It was a close contest through a high-scoring first half, but after Dallas came out of the locker room leading 71-67, they put their foot on the gas.

Dallas put together a 39-24 third period to jump out to a 20-point lead, and the final score was flattering for the 76ers, who trailed by 14 with under three minutes remaining before a garbage-time run.

Philadelphia's failure was no fault of their top trio, with Joel Embiid putting together 35 points (13-of-21 shooting), eight rebounds and two steals, while James Harden had 27 points (eight-of-12 shooting) with 13 assists, and Tyrese Maxey added 29 points (12-of-21).

The win gets the Mavericks back on the right foot after dropping five of their past six, now sitting sixth in the Western Conference at 33-31.

Philadelphia fell to 40-22, but remain well clear in the Eastern Conference's third seed.

Poole goes for a splash

A 34-point Jordan Poole eruption led a second-half trouncing by the Golden State Warriors in their 115-91 home blowout against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Poole finished nine-of-20 from the field, five-of-12 from deep and 11-of-12 from the free throw line, and all five of his three-pointers came in the second half as Golden State took the third and fourth quarters by a combined margin of 70-35.

Kawhi Leonard played an efficient game despite his side's struggles, shooting eight-of-12 from the field for 21 points, seven rebounds, two steals and two blocks.

The win is the Warriors' fourth in a row, and they now sit fifth in the West at 33-30 on the back of the NBA's fourth-best home record (26-7).

Wizards stay in the hunt

The Washington Wizards fended off the resurgent Toronto Raptors 119-108 to keep themselves in the thick of the Eastern Conference Play-In Tournament placings.

Kyle Kuzma led the way against a Raptors team that came into the contest with 10 wins from their past 12, scoring a game-high 30 points on 10-of-24 shooting with five rebounds and five assists.

Kristaps Porzingis added 25 points (eight-of-12 shooting) and two blocks, while defensive specialist Delon Wright flashed some ability as a starting point guard, racking up 11 assists to go with his six rebounds and three steals.

The Wizards have now won six of their past nine, improving to 30-32 to create a 1.5-game buffer between themselves and the Chicago Bulls in the race for the 10th seed.

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