The Boston Celtics survived an almighty fourth-quarter collapse to defeat the Los Angeles Lakers 122-118 in overtime on Tuesday.

Boston controlled the first half on the road, building a 65-50 advantage at the long break, but after reaching an 88-74 lead with two minutes remaining in the third quarter, everything began to fall apart for the visitors.

From that point on, the Lakers launched a 32-5 run to take a 106-93 lead with four minutes to play, but then it was the home side's turn to go into their shell, allowing the Celtics to storm back with a 17-4 run.

Anthony Davis had two free throws with 28 seconds on the clock, leading by two, but missed both. Jayson Tatum capitalised and tied the game with a contested mid-range jumper over LeBron James, before the four-time NBA MVP's potential game-winner was way off.

The Lakers had nothing to offer in overtime, scoring only four points in the first four minutes to allow the Celtics to build a game-winning lead.

It was a crucial win for the Celtics to snap a two-game losing skid, improving their league-best record to 22-7 and retaining bragging rights over their long-time rivals.

Tatum was the deciding factor, scoring a game-high 44 points on 15-of-29 shooting with nine rebounds and six assists, while running-mate Jaylen Brown chipped in 25 points (10-of-21) and 15 rebounds.

Both Lakers stars delivered, with Davis' 37 points and 12 rebounds continuing his MVP-calibre season, while James had 33 points, nine rebounds and nine assists.

Portis pulverises the Warriors

All-NBA Milwaukee Bucks duo Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton combined for 50 points, but it was Bobby Portis off the bench producing the best performance in his side's 128-111 win over the Golden State Warriors.

Portis had his best game of the season with 25 points on 11-of-15 shooting and 11 rebounds, while two-time MVP Antetokounmpo had 30 points on poor efficiency (nine-of-26 shooting), 12 rebounds and five assists.

Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 20 points (six-of-17), but it was not nearly enough to stop his side from taking their third loss from their past four outings, and dropping their road record to 2-12.

The Bucks have now won eight of their past 10 to improve their record to 20-7, and they are 13-3 at home.

Giant-killing Rockets take another scalp

After knocking off the Bucks in their last game, the Houston Rockets collected another big scalp with a 111-97 triumph over the Phoenix Suns.

The Rockets were led by second-year scoring sensation Jalen Green, who had 26 points on seven-of-17 shooting – hitting 11-of-12 free throws – to raise his team-high average to 21.8 per game.

Third overall draft pick Jabari Smith Jr continued to impress, only attempting five total shots, but finishing with 14 points and eight rebounds, hitting all three of his three-pointers. The six-foot-11 wing is hitting a respectable 36.8 per cent of his threes on a healthy 5.8 attempts per game.

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr says his side needs to correct their defensive issues on the road after slumping to a 2-12 record away from home with Tuesday's 128-111 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.

The reigning champions, playing in the first leg of a six-game road trip, were brushed aside by the Bucks, who were led by Giannis Antetokounmpo with 30 points, 12 rebounds and five assists at the Fiserv Forum.

The defeat means the Warriors are ranked 29th in the NBA on the road this season and have an 0-8 record on the road to teams with plus-.500 records. 

Golden State has also given up at least 114 points in every road game this season, which Kerr was quick to point out.

"In the road losses, our defense has been bad," Kerr told reporters. "For whatever reason, the splits are pretty dramatic. Our defense is pretty good at home and bad on the road. We've got to turn that around."

Kerr also pointed to the free-throws as an issue, with the Bucks scoring 26-of-32 from the stripe compared to Golden State's 15-of-19.

"It's basically the difference in the game when we lose," he said. "It usually feels like that's the difference.

"At half-time it's a 10-point game and they had 10 more free-throws than us, despite the fact that we weren’t shooting the ball very well, we weren’t playing very well, it was a six-point game with a minute and half left in the second quarter. We were right there but the free-throws are a killer."

Kerr along with Stephen Curry both received technical fouls in the first quarter, after a play where last season's Finals MVP appeared to be fouled by Wes Matthews as he shot a three-pointer, yet no call was forthcoming as Bobby Portis scored down the other end, leaving the pair incensed.

"There were several non-calls in the paint," Kerr said. "I felt like we were on the bad end of things to start the game. Steph Curry gets hit on the head on a three-point shot, that needs to be called. That's what he does. That's Steph Curry. You can't miss that.

"We were getting frustrated with some no-calls and it led to a pretty choppy night."

Kerr and Curry's technical fouls were two of five for the game, including Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer.

"I have no comment about my technical," Budenholzer said. "The game just had a really poor flow for a while. Lots of free-throws, delays of game, technicals, everything, the flow tonight was poor."

The Golden State Warriors will look to claim only their third road win of the season when they face the Milwaukee Bucks in a potential NBA Finals preview.

Golden State have recovered from a slow start to their title defence to sit at 14-13, eighth in the Western Conference.

The reigning champions delivered a reminder of their title credentials last time out, defeating the team they vanquished in last year's Finals, the 21-6 Boston Celtics, 124-107.

As with most of their successes so far this season, that win came at friendly confines of the Chase Center.

On their travels, it is a different story for the Warriors, who are 2-11 on the road.

It will be a tall order to improve that dismal mark against the Bucks, who are 12-3 at home, and at 19-7 overall trail only the Celtics in the Eastern Conference.

Yet the Bucks displayed vulnerability in stumbling to defeat against the rebuilding Houston Rockets in their most recent encounter.

It is still relatively early in the season, but this matchup between the last two NBA champions will be a good barometer of each team's prospects as they plot a path to lifting the trophy again this campaign.

PIVOTAL PERFORMERS

Milwaukee Bucks - Giannis Antetokounmpo

Antetokounmpo is obviously the heartbeat of the Bucks, and he will be motivated to bounce back after being held to 16 points in 36 minutes in their loss to the Rockets.

It was just the second time he had been limited to 16 or less in that number of minutes since the 2017-18 season. The Warriors are allowing the ninth-most points per game in the NBA (116.1), seemingly giving Antetokounmpo the opportunity to get back on track in a marquee matchup.

Golden State Warriors - Klay Thompson

The second 'Splash Brother' atoned for his somewhat disappointing performance in last year's Finals by making it rain against the Celtics.

He shot 53.8 per cent from the field in racking up 34 points in a game that also saw Stephen Curry score 32. When the Warriors get those contributions from both their leading lights, even teams as talented as the Bucks find them tough to overcome.

KEY BATTLE - Can Looney prevent second chances?

Kevon Looney was exceptional as the Warriors defeated the Celtics. He finished plus-19 the plus-minus and dominated on the defensive glass.

Twelve of Looney's 15 rebounds came on the defensive side, and his ability to excel in that area will be critical against a Bucks team that is eighth in offensive rebounds per game and second-chance points.

HEAD-TO-HEAD

The Warriors and Bucks split their season series in the previous campaign, but Golden State have not tasted victory on the road against Milwaukee since 2018.

Khris Middleton exited the Milwaukee Bucks' shock 97-92 loss to the Houston Rockets with a left ankle sprain on Sunday.

The 31-year-old All-Star left the game after playing only six minutes where he did not register anything on his statistics line and missed two three-point attempts.

Middleton appeared to roll his ankle during a defensive possession in the first quarter, which left him hobbling before checking out shortly after. He attempted to return in the second quarter but only lasted 90 seconds, before being ruled out.

Jalen Green starred with 30 points for the Rockets, who claimed only their eighth win of the season. Bucks power forward Giannis Antetokounmpo was kept to 16 points, although he brought up his 15,000th career point.

The Milwaukee small forward was playing only his fifth game of the season for the 2021 NBA champions, having been beset by injuries to begin the 2022-23 campaign.

Middleton suffered a playoff-ending Grade 2 MCL sprain against the Chicago Bulls last season, before undergoing offseason wrist surgery, forcing him to miss the Bucks' opening 20 games.

The 2021 NBA champion was averaging 13.8 points, 3.0 rebounds and 5.8 assists in his four games prior to Sunday's injury.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Giannis powers Bucks to another win

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

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

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

Banchero clutch in Magic OT win

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Giannis powers Bucks to another win

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

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

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

Banchero clutch in Magic OT win

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

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

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

Andrew Wiggins and Stephen Curry piled on the points as the Golden State Warriors improved to a 12-11 record with a 120-101 victory over the Houston Rockets on Saturday.

Wiggins scored a season-high 36 points on 14-of-19 field shooting with a joint career-high eight three-pointers, including three in a row in the third quarter at the Chase Center.

Curry added 30 points, including eight triples, as well as providing 10 assists for Golden State, who have won five of their past six games.

Jordan Poole, who came into the starting line-up for Klay Thompson who was rested, also had 21 points with five three-pointers. Center Kevon Looney had 12 rebounds with nine points.

The Warriors shot 25-of-52 from three-point range as a team, compared to the Rockets who went at 10.7 per cent from beyond the arc, making three-of-28 attempts.

Golden State became the second team in NBA history to make 20 three-pointers in four of five games.

Gobert ejected in Timberwolves defeat

Rudy Gobert was ejected for deliberately tripping Kenrich Williams as the Minnesota Timberwolves were beaten 135-128 by the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The French center was given a flagrant 2 foul and ejected in the second quarter when he tangled with Williams, appearing to sweep a leg out while on the ground, seeing his unbalanced opponent tumble.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander top scored for OKC with 33 points and six assists, while for the Timberwolves, who were already without Karl-Anthony Towns (calf), D'Angelo Russell and Anthony Edwards scored 27 and 26 points respectively.

Short-handed Bucks down Hornets

The Milwaukee Bucks overcame the absence of Giannis Antetokounmpo due to left knee soreness as they moved to 16-6 with a 105-96 victory over the Charlotte Hornets.

The Bucks, who are second in the Eastern Conference, were also without Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday but Bobby Portis (20 points, eight rebounds and seven assists) stepped up.

Jordan Nwora added 17 points, while Brook Lopez (14 points including three three-pointers and six rebounds) and Jevon Carter (14 points and six assists) were strong contributors.

Khris Middleton was happy to get minutes under his belt despite defeat after he played his first game since April for the Milwaukee Bucks against the Los Angeles Lakers.

A rampant pair of performances from Anthony Davis and LeBron James – who scored 44 points and passed Magic Johnson on the all-time NBA assists list respectively – saw the visitors downed 133-129.

But even with the loss, it marked a major landmark for the Bucks as they welcomed back forward Middleton to their line-up, having seen him sidelined since April's playoffs.

With 17 points and seven assists, the 31-year-old kept himself busy throughout, and expressed his delight at getting back on the floor with the rest of his team-mates.

"It felt really good to be back out there with the guys competing, playing," he said. "[I've got] a range of emotions.

"[I've] been through a lot these last couple months - happy, sad, anxious, nervous. To finally get out there and play and get a lot of those nerves past me, it felt pretty good."

The Bucks head to the Charlotte Hornets as part of a back-to-back on Saturday, but head coach Mike Budenholzer suggested Middleton will not be played again so quickly in succession.

"To have Khris back is huge for us," he added. "[It is] pretty impressive how seamlessly he got back into the game, [at] both ends of the court.

"We talk a lot about how Khris, he's just a basketball player. He's a smart player [who] just understands the game. [He is] not overly reliant on athleticism or things like that.

"For him to come back and be able to catch a good rhythm – he's got to keep working but a big step for us tonight to get Khris Middleton back."

LeBron James moved up to sixth on the all-time assist leaderboard as he dished 11 in the Los Angeles Lakers' impressive 133-129 win against the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday.

James also had 28 points on 12-of-27 shooting, eight rebounds and two steals to go with his assists, and he was supported in spectacular fashion by Anthony Davis.

Davis had a season-high 44 points (18-of-27 shooting), 10 rebounds and three blocks, in what was his third-most points in a Lakers uniform, and the most since January 2020.

With James' ninth assist of the game – the 10,142nd of his career – he passed fellow Lakers legend Magic Johnson on the all-time list, now trailing only Mark Jackson (10,334), Steve Nash (10,335), Chris Paul (11,071), Jason Kidd (12,091) and John Stockton (15,806).

Speaking after the contest, James made sure to convey his respect for Johnson and his impact on the game.

"It means a lot, obviously," he said. "The way Magic approached the game, it was very infectious. 

"His teammates loved playing with him because of the joy he played with, and the ability to pass the ball and get other guys involved. He was always excited about seeing his teammates be great. I always admired that in him.

"What’s even more humbling and super-duper cool is the fact that I’m doing it in a Laker uniform, and knowing how much Magic means to the Laker franchise."

Earlier in the week in an interview with ESPN, James reflected on the legacy he hopes to leave behind.

"To know that I'm in the conversation, or about to get to a point that I'm breaking a record that he set for this franchise – and I'm not comparing myself to Magic with this franchise, what he did, sheesh," he said.

"Him, [James] Worthy, Kobe [Bryant], Shaq [O'Neal], those guys are synonymous with this franchise. But it's just pretty cool, always, when I'm able to see my name with some of the greats that have played this game.

"Listen, when you talk about just one-name guys when you're talking about sports, you got Ali, Jordan, Magic, Bird. Those names are just synonymous with sports."

Turning his attention back to the win against the Bucks, James said he felt this was the most connected this Lakers team has felt since the addition of Russell Westbrook.

"I will say I feel like tonight is the most complementary, and the best game with all three of us on the floor together that we've played on both sides of the floor," he said.

"We all felt in a rhythm. We all felt we were making impactful plays throughout the whole game."

The victory was the Lakers' seventh from their past nine fixtures, reviving what was looking like being a lost season and inching closer to .500, now 9-12 – only two games behind the current Western Conference eighth seed, the Golden State Warriors.

Anthony Davis enjoyed his highest-scoring game since January 2020 as he put up 44 points to deliver a Los Angeles Lakers road win against the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday.

The Bucks entered the contest on a three-game winning streak, and were welcoming three-time All-Star Khris Middleton back to the starting line-up for his first action of the season. 

Middleton was solid in his return, scoring 17 points on six-of-11 shooting with seven assists and no turnovers in his 27 minutes, but there was nothing he could do to stop Davis.

Davis was dueling head-to-head with two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, and while the Bucks superstar had 40 points (16-of-23 shooting), seven rebounds and five assists, Davis dropped his 44 on 18-of-27 shooting, adding a game-high 10 rebounds and three blocks.

It is the third-most points Davis has scored in a Lakers jersey, trailing a 46-point effort back in 2020 and a 50-point explosion in 2019.

Davis is averaging 26.3 points, 12.7 rebounds (most in the NBA) and 2.3 blocks per game (third-most) this campaign, and both his field goal percentage (56.9 per cent) and true shooting percentage (63.5 per cent) are career-highs.

With the win, the Lakers have now emerged victorious in seven of their past nine games to salvage their rough start and improve their record to 9-12, while the Bucks hold onto the second-best record in the Eastern Conference at 15-6.

Heat upset the Celtics in overtime

The Miami Heat (11-12) collected an impressive 120-116 overtime win against the league-leading Boston Celtics (18-5) as four of their starters scored at least 20 points each.

Bam Adebayo top-scored for the Heat with 28 points, while Tyler Herro added 26 with three steals, Jimmy Butler had 25 with 15 rebounds and Kyle Lowry chipped in 20 of his own.

Jaylen Brown was terrific for the Celtics with a game-high 37 points on 12-of-23 shooting, adding 14 rebounds and five assists, but his heroics were not enough to prevent his side from dropping only their second game from their past 16 outings.

Morant, Jackson deliver Grizzlies win

Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr showed exactly why they are the two centerpieces the Memphis Grizzlies are building around, delivering on both ends in a 117-109 victory against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Morant top-scored for the Grizzlies with 28 (10-of-28 shooting), while Jackson flashed his unique skill-set by blocking four shots and hitting two three-pointers on his way to 22 points (seven-of-12) and nine rebounds.

Joel Embiid was immense for the 76ers, scoring a game-high 35 points (13-of-26) with 12 rebounds, eight assists and three blocks, posting a plus/minus of plus nine in his 41 minutes.

This means in the seven minutes he was on the bench, the 76ers were outscored by 17.

Khris Middleton is set to make his return from injury for the Milwaukee Bucks against the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday.

The three-time NBA All-Star underwent a procedure to repair torn ligaments in his wrist in July and has yet to play for the Bucks this season.

Middleton's last appearance was back in April when he sprained the medial collateral ligament in his left knee in Game 2 of the opening round of the playoffs against the Chicago Bulls.

The Bucks went on to lose to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semi-finals in the absence of Middleton.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Bucks are about to have one of their star men back, though, when they host the Lakers at Fiserv Forum.

The Bucks sit second in the East having amassed a 15-5 record through 20 games of the 2022-23 NBA season, three games back on the 18-4 Celtics.

Luka Doncic called Giannis Antetokounmpo "the best player in the NBA right now" after the Greek's Milwaukee Bucks downed the Slovenian's Dallas Mavericks 124-115 on Sunday.

Antetokounmpo starred for the NBA-best Bucks, with 30 points on 11-of-19 shooting with 11 rebounds and four assists.

Doncic, who leads the NBA for points per game this season, could only manage 27 points for the Mavericks, who are 0-5 this season when he scores under 30.

"It's hard to go against a guy like that," Doncic told reporters about Antetokounmpo. "He's the best player in the NBA right now.

"He's almost impossible to stop. It's really fun to see him play, but it's not that fun to go against him."

Antetokounmpo's 30-point, 10-rebound double-double was his seventh this season.

"He improves every day. He works really hard, you can see it," Doncic added about Antetokounmpo.

"He works on everything. He works on his shot and he's gotten better at a lot of things. He just gets better every day."

Doncic is averaging 33.1 points per game this season, with Antetokounmpo fourth overall at 30.9, and the Greek returned the compliments.

"No matter wins or losses, just being respected by your peers, it's always a good feeling," Antetokounmpo said. "I always love playing against the best players in the league.

"He's an incredible player, incredible talent, arguably one of the most talented players I've ever seen in my lifetime. It's unbelievable what he can do for himself and his team."

Dallas have also fallen to a 9-10 record, losing their past four games and losing seven of their past 10.

"We've just got to keep going," Doncic said. "There’s 82 games. We've just got to keep going. Every day is a new day. Every game is a new game."

Two-time league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo was once again the best player on the floor to lead his Milwaukee Bucks to a 117-102 victory against the breakout Cleveland Cavaliers.

Both teams entered the contest as a top-three seed in the Eastern Conference, and despite a 29-point effort from offseason trade acquisition Donovan Mitchell, the Cavs had no answer for the Bucks' future Hall-of-Famer.

Antetokounmpo scored a game-high 38 points on 13-of-20 shooting, hitting 10 of his 14 free throws while adding nine rebounds, six assists and two blocks. 

While usual running-mate Jrue Holiday was not at his sharpest, shooting four-of-13 for his nine points, it was veteran center Brook Lopez who turned out to be the Bucks' second star.

Lopez scored eight points without missing a field goal, hitting both of his three-point attempts, and he was a force defensively, blocking six shots for the second time this season, and it was the fifth time from his 17 games that he has blocked at least five shots.

His 2.6 blocks per game is a new career-high in his 15th season, and the second-best figure in the league, trailing only Myles Turner (2.8) of the Indiana Pacers. 

Along with Antetokounmpo, the pair are anchoring the best defense in the league, conceding 105.9 points per 100 possessions – almost two points per 100 possessions better than any other team.

With the win, the Bucks are now 13-5 and 10-2 at home, while the Cavaliers fall to 12-7, and remain the third seed.

Lakers make it four wins from five

The return of LeBron James has helped the Los Angeles Lakers win their fourth game from their past five outings, defeating the San Antonio Spurs 105-94.

After missing five games with an adductor injury, James was more than a little rusty as he committed nine turnovers for only the ninth time in his 1377-game career. However, he still chipped in 21 points on eight-of-17 shooting with eight rebounds and five assists.

Enjoying his best statistical start to a season since arriving with the Lakers, Anthony Davis scored a game-high 25 points on 10-of-13 shooting, grabbing 15 rebounds to increase his career-high average to 12.6, and he blocked three shots.

Pacers keep on winning

The Indiana Pacers are meant to be in a rebuilding year, but after their 128-117 win against the Brooklyn Nets on Friday they now own the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference.

Myles Turner continued his career-best season with an efficient 23 points on nine-of-11 shooting, grabbing eight rebounds and blocking two shots, while pick-and-pop partner Tyrese Haliburton had 15 assists and four steals to go with his 21 points. Haliburton leads the league in assists at 10.9 per game, and is the only player averaging over 9.4.

Kevin Durant was not to blame for the Nets' loss, scoring a game-high 38 points (15-of-31) with eight rebounds and eight assists, while Ben Simmons scored 20 points on perfect eight-for-eight shooting.

Jayson Tatum shook off injury to get the better of Luka Doncic as the Boston Celtics blew out the Dallas Mavericks in a 125-112 victory, having led by as many as 27 points on Wednesday.

Tatum, who had been listed as questionable with a sprained ankle, scored 37 points with 13 rebounds and five assists, while Jaylen Brown contributed 31 points on 13-of-18 field shooting.

Doncic scored a game-high 42 points with eight rebounds and nine assists but gave up five turnovers, and was blocked by Tatum in the fourth quarter.

Tatum and Doncic went head to head in the final quarter after the Mavs closed to 117-107. The Celtics forward first dunked, then made two free-throws after being fouled by the Slovenian, before blocking Doncic's driving lay-up.

Brown drained a three-point attempt after Marcus Smart's assist and suddenly it was 124-107 and game over.

Smart had 13 points with nine assists, while center Al Horford hit four-of-four from three-point range in his 14 points.

The Celtics moved to an NBA-best 14-4 record with the victory, while the Mavs suffered their fifth loss in six road games to fall to 9-8.

Wiggins stars as Warriors get back to winning ways

All-Star Andrew Wiggins enjoyed a season-high game with 31 points including six three-pointers as the Golden State Warriors won 124-107 over the Los Angeles Clippers.

Stephen Curry scored 22 points, making four-of-10 from beyond the arc, with six rebounds and nine assists as the Warriors improved to 9-10.

The result ended the three-game winning run of the Clippers, who were without All-Stars Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. Marcus Morris Sr top scored for the Clippers with 19 points.

Bulls topple Bucks to claim another big scalp

The Chicago Bulls claimed another big scalp only a few days after ending the Celtics' nine-game winning run, with a 118-113 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.

DeMar DeRozan starred for the Bulls with 36 points and eight assists, while Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo had 36 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists.

Chicago trailed 109-106 with 1:15 remaining before Coby White sunk two three-pointers to sink the Bucks, who gave up 19 turnovers for the game.

The Milwaukee Bucks own the second-best record in the NBA after their 119-111 home win against the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday gave them 12 wins from their first 16 games.

With six-time All-Star Damian Lillard ruled out for the Blazers due to a calf injury, the Bucks were strong favourites, and they used a dominant third quarter to pull away.

On the back of a big game from Anfernee Simons, scoring 29 points on 12-of-23 shooting, Portland trailed by only two at halftime – before Giannis Antetokounmpo took over.

The former Defensive Player of the Year and two-time league MVP controlled the third quarter at both ends, helping to hold the Blazers to 18 points, while scoring 19 himself on his way to a game-high 37 on 16-of-24 shooting. 

While Antetokounmpo is once again a Defensive Player of the Year candidate – having made four consecutive All-Defensive First Teams – perhaps his biggest competition is his own teammate, Brook Lopez.

In his 15th season, the seven-foot Lopez is averaging a career-high and league-leading 2.6 blocks per game, and he improved upon that figure with five blocks and a steal against Portland.

Having played in 15 games this season, it is the fourth time he has tallied at least five blocks, and the Bucks are undefeated in those contests.

Milwaukee have made Fiserv Forum a fortress this season, now 9-1 at home and 3-3 on the road.

Brunson out-duels Gilgeous-Alexander

Jalen Brunson continues to make a case as the most impactful free agent signing from the offseason, scoring a season-high 34 points in a 129-119 victory against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

After leaving the Dallas Mavericks, Brunson is averaging career-highs in points per game (20.0), assists (6.5), steals (1.2) and minutes (32.5). His 34 points against the Thunder tied his most ever in a regular season game, although he had 41 in a playoff win against the Utah Jazz in April.

He shot 14-of-20 from the field, and in an encouraging sign, backcourt partner R.J. Barrett also had an efficient outing, scoring 25 on 10-of-16 shooting.

Fourth in the NBA in scoring at 31.1 points per game, Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had another 30 on nine-of-22 shooting, adding seven assists and five rebounds.

Bulls snap nine-game Celtics winning streak

The Boston Celtics had their winning streak cut short one game shy of double-figures, going down 121-107 to the Chicago Bulls.

Chicago's shooting was the story of the game, hitting 14-of-29 three-pointers (48.3 per cent), including their starters combining to shoot 11-of-19. 

Traditionally a mid-range scorer, DeMar DeRozan led the Bulls with 28 points on 11-of-24 shooting, hitting all three of his long-range attempts, while Zach Lavine was five-of-10 on three-pointers for his 22 points.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.