Damian Lillard credited his Portland Trail Blazers team-mates for helping him match the franchise record for three-pointers in their impressive 133-112 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The point guard matched the Oregon outfit's previous best – set by himself – with 11-from-17, including eight in the first half, as his side ran out comfortable winners at Moda Center.

With an additional two rebounds and two assists, it was Lillard's performance that steered the Trail Blazers around the court and inspired a crucial victory to push them up to sixth in the Western Conference.

The 32-year-old claimed he had not realised he had matched the record, while thanking the rest of his squad for setting up his opportunities.

"I literally didn't know how many threes I had,'" Lillard said. "I was just shooting. I knew I was in double digits

"I thought I made a lot of threes tonight and then I think 'how many did I shoot?'

"Once I got hot, they were looking for me, making the right play. They just kept giving me opportunity after opportunity

"The basket looks huge. I felt I was hot tonight, but I didn't feel I was blazing."

Lillard did not return for the fourth quarter, denying him the chance to make it a dozen, but coach Chauncey Billups said he had no concerns over his decision to keep him on the side.

"He was on a heater that was fun to watch,'' he said. "He can always use some rest, as well. But we rode him as good as we could, and we were able to take care of business.''

The Utah Jazz will receive a boost for Friday's home game against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the form of Mike Conley Jr's return from a nine-game injury absence.

Conley, 35, has not played since November 19, when he left the floor against the Portland Trail Blazers after only playing nine minutes, going on to be diagnosed with a strained muscle near his left knee.

An All-Star in 2021, Conley is posting his lowest point average (10.2 per game) since his rookie season, although his 7.9 assists per game is a new career-high in his 16th campaign.

Speaking to reporters after Friday's shootaround, he implied he was not yet at full capacity, but that the only way he is going to get to that point is by returning to game-speed.

"I've been working, and we're still working through some things, but the only way to get through it is to kind of work your way back in it and test the water," he said.

After trading away franchise players Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell in the offseason, it was meant to be a rough rebuilding year for the Jazz, but they have defied expectations up to this point and sit sixth in the Western Conference at 15-13.

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.

Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns will only miss an estimated four-to-six weeks of action after suffering a right calf strain.

Towns' injury appeared to be serious when he went down in a non-contact situation in the third quarter of Monday's 142-127 loss to the Washington Wizards, needing to be helped back to the locker room.

However, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the 27-year-old underwent imaging on Tuesday and is expected to return "sometime in January".

Towns was named 2016 Rookie of the Year and has made three All-Star games (2018, 2019 and 2022).

He is also the only center ever to win the Three-Point Contest during All-Star Weekend.

Towns is not having his best year, averaging 21.4 points per game this season – his lowest figure since 2017-18 – as well as a career-low 8.5 rebounds and a career-low 0.7 blocks.

But his absence is still likely to be felt keenly by a Minnesota team at 10-11, having lost their last three games.

Minnesota Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns was initially diagnosed with a right calf strain after leaving Monday's 142-127 loss to the Washington Wizards in the third quarter.

Towns' injury appeared serious when he went down in a non-contact situation, needing to be helped back to the locker room.

Fortunately, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Timberwolves have "early optimism" that he has avoided a "substantial injury to his lower right leg".

Towns, 27, was the 2016 Rookie of the Year and has gone on to make three All-Star games in 2018, 2019 and 2022, and is the only center to ever win the Three-Point Contest during All-Star Weekend.

The self-proclaimed "best big-man shooter ever" is averaging 21.4 points per game, which is his lowest figure since the 2017-18 season, as well as a career-low 8.5 rebounds and a career-low 0.7 blocks.

After trading four first-round draft picks to the Utah Jazz for Rudy Gobert in a win-now move, the Timberwolves are just 10-11 through their first 21 games as they tick past the quarter-mark of the season.

Towns' absence will allow the Timberwolves to play a more traditional line-up with Gobert as the only center on the floor, and will place an increased offensive responsibility on fellow former Rookie of the Year Anthony Edwards.

Draymond Green expressed his frustration at being hit with a "crazy" and "ridiculous" technical foul during the Golden State Warriors' win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Green scored a season-high 19 points and provided 11 assists - his first double-double of the season - in a commanding 134-114 victory for the defending NBA champions on Sunday.

The four-time All-Star was not impressed when he was slapped with a seventh technical foul of the season late in the fourth quarter, though.

Green was punished for moving slightly onto the court at Target Center when he rose from the bench to celebrate a late layup from Jordan Poole.

He said: "It's crazy. I probably got four techs this year that are questionable. They told me I was at the lane line, but I thought I was standing in the corner. So I don't know. It sucks, though."

Stephen Curry was also given a technical foul for coming on the court and waving his towel after Donte DiVincenzo hit a three-pointer following the incident involving Green.

Green added': "It's the NBA, man. Your team-mates make a good move, I didn't affect the play. There was no one near me. So it sucks. And the fact that that's going to count against my tech count? Come on, that's ridiculous."

The Warriors scored 47 points in the first quarter to lay the foundations for a third consecutive win, moving to 11-10 for the season.

Golden State's tally of 137 points was their biggest of the campaign, Curry scoring 25 of those and Poole weighing in with 24.

The Timberwolves have slipped to 10-10 following back-to-back losses, sitting just below the Warriors in 10th place in the Western Conference.

Ivica Zubac was a man possessed in the Los Angeles Clippers' 114-100 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Sunday, recording a stat-line only ever emulated by the great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

With star Clippers duo Kawhi Leonard (ankle) and Paul George (hamstring) both absent, Zubac carried his team on both ends, scoring a season-high 31 points on 14-of-17 shooting, while grabbing a career-high 29 rebounds and blocking three shots.

Abdul-Jabbar is the only other player to offically tally those numbers, although it is widely believed both Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain should also be on that list, having played before the NBA began recording blocks and steals in the 1973-74 season.

Zubac became the first Clipper ever with 25 points and 25 rebounds, and since the 1983-84 season, there have only been 24 instances of a player grabbing at least 29 rebounds in a game, joining Andre Drummond, Nikola Vucevic and Kevin Love as the only active players to accomplish the feat.

He grabbed 12 offensive rebounds with his 17 defensive rebounds, raising his average to 10.8 for the season – the ninth-best figure in the league. He is also top-10 in blocked shots, averaging a career-high 1.8 per game.

For the Pacers, Tyrese Haliburton had 19 points and 11 assists to continue maintaining his career-high and league-leading average of 11.1 assists. He is two assists per game clear of second-placed Trae Young (9.1).

The win improves the Clippers' record to 12-9, leaving them fifth in the Western Conference standings.

Nets machine begins to click into gear

The Brooklyn Nets showed the signs of a potential contender as they pulled away in the fourth quarter to defeat the Portland Trail Blazers 111-97.

With offensive focal points Kevin Durant (31 points) and Kyrie Irving (22 points) combining to shoot 20-of-37 from the field (54 per cent), their perimeter-oriented style was thriving. 

Ben Simmons only attempted three shots and finished with two points, but he played exactly the role envisioned for him, posting team-highs in rebounds (12), assists (eight) and steals (three) to keep the ball moving and the offense functioning.

Seth Curry was spectacular off the bench, hitting 11-of-15 shots for a season-high 27 points, showing off his supreme chemistry with former Philadelphia 76ers teammate Simmons.

Golden State's big-three deliver

Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green turned back the clock as they had full control over the Golden State Warriors' 137-114 road win against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Curry continued his MVP-calibre season with 25 points (seven-of-17 shooting), 11 rebounds and eight assists, while his Splash Brother Klay Thompson contributed an efficient 21 points on eight-of-13 shooting, hitting five-of-eight from deep.

They were both set up by Green, who hit six of his seven shots for 19 points, while leading the game with 11 assists and two blocks.

The Warriors have now won five of their past six games to claw above .500 at 11-10.

Joel Embiid had an injury scare late as the short-handed Philadelphia 76ers charged home but ultimately fell short in a 112-109 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday.

Embiid appeared to roll his left ankle when he tripped over teammate Georges Niang with 5:53 remaining in the fourth quarter. He writhed in pain on the ground and was attended to by a trainer before hobbling to the bench at Wells Fargo Center.

The Sixers center played the game out but limped throughout yet nailed a three-pointer to make it 105-102, before Timberwolves top scorer Anthony Edwards steadied it with his second triple of the game.

Embiid finished with 32 points, including making 18-of-20 from the free-throw line, with nine rebounds, six assists and three steals for the Sixers, who were without James Harden and Tyrese Maxey due to foot injuries.

Shake Milton added 27 points, while De'Anthony Melton made five three-pointers in his 19-point haul. Melton's three with 29.1 seconds remaining moved the 76ers within one point, before he missed a lay-up and Edwards iced the game from the stripe. The Sixers had trailed by 20 points but rallied with a 25-15 fourth quarter.

For the winners, Edwards had 25 points with five rebounds and five assists, while point guard D'Angelo Russell scored 19 points with seven assists.

French center Rudy Gobert scored eight points with 13 rebounds and Karl-Anthony Towns added 12 points with eight rebounds.

The result leaves both sides with 8-8 records, with the Timberwolves having won three straight. Embiid's 32 points means he is averaging 41.25 across his past four games.

Trae shines as Hawks win with OT buzzer-beater

Trae Young fed A.J. Griffin under the basket for a buzzer-beating two-pointer in overtime as the Atlanta Hawks defeated the Toronto Raptors 124-122.

Young took an inbound pass with 3.8 seconds remaining in overtime with scores tied, racing clear as Griffin - who is the son of Raptors assistant coach Adrian Griffin - got behind the defense, allowing the Hawks guard to find him wide open for a routine lay-up in the nick of time.

Atlanta hauled in a seven-point deficit with 2:36 to go in the fourth quarter, led by Young, who finished with 33 points on 12-of-21 shooting with 12 assists. Scottie Barnes had a season-high 28 points for injury-hit Toronto, who only dressed nine players.

George hurt as Clippers blow out Spurs

Paul George hit three first-half three-pointers before being ruled out with knee soreness at half-time while Kawhi Leonard's impact was limited again but the Los Angeles Clippers blew out the San Antonio Spurs 119-97.

George played 15 first-half minutes, scoring 21 minutes on five-of-eight three-point shooting, while Leonard played 22 minutes for 11 points with four assists in his second game back after stiffness in his surgically repaired knee.

Norman Powell came off the bench to score a game-high 26 points, with five-of-seven three-point shooting, as the Clippers improved to 9-7. The Clippers hit 13 first-half triples and finished with 21 for the game on 53.8 per cent three-point shooting.

Joel Embiid was more concerned about Philadelphia 76ers teammate Tyrese Maxey's foot injury than his own rolled ankle which saw him hobble through Saturday's 112-109 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Embiid hurt his ankle when he tripped over teammate Georges Niang with 5:53 remaining in the fourth quarter, staying grounded as he was attended to by a trainer before hobbling to the bench at Wells Fargo Center.

The Sixers center returned to the court and hit a crucial three-pointer but ran with a limp throughout, while he also hobbled at his post-game press conference.

"Hopefully, somehow it feels better, but we'll see," Embiid told reporters.

Sixers head coach Doc Rivers also did not seem overly concerned by the ankle problem lingering long term.

"I think it's a turned ankle," Rivers said. "He went back in and played, so I think he's good. Anybody who goes to the floor, I always worry."

Embiid expressed more concern for Maxey, who was hurt in Friday's 110-102 win over the Milwaukee Bucks, with an MRI scan on Saturday confirming a fractured foot which will sideline him for three to four weeks.

"It really hit me when I heard the news about him missing some time, too," said Embiid, who scored 32 points with nine rebounds and six assists against the Timberwolves.

"That's why even starting the game, I really wasn’t in the game to start the game, but that's why I was trying to really play make and try to get everybody involved and all of that."

Maxey's injury comes with the Sixers already missing James Harden (foot) and Tobias Harris (hip).

"I just felt bad for him because he puts in so much work and, he takes care of himself," he said. "Obviously, missing James to the same thing and Tobias being hurt. It does suck, but it’s next man up."

Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry scored 18 of his game-high 40 points in the fourth quarter of his team's 106-101 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday.

After scoring a season-high 47 points on 17-of-24 shooting (70.8 per cent) in Monday's home win against the Sacramento Kings, Curry electrified the Chase Center crowd once more for consecutive 40-plus point performances.

Despite his final figures against the Cavaliers, the visitors actually led 72-62 with less than three minutes remaining in the third quarter. The Warriors closed the game on a 46-29 run.

The Warriors trailed 98-95 with 90 seconds remaining, before Curry proceeded to hit two three-pointers, a two-pointer and two free throws to ice the game.

He finished a terrific 15-of-23 (65.2 per cent) from the field, hitting six-of-11 threes while adding five assists and two turnovers.

Andrew Wiggins chipped in 20 points (eight-of-13 shooting), Draymond Green had season-highs in assists (13) and rebounds (9), and Jordan Poole rediscovered some form with 18 points (six-of-13) off the bench.

Donovan Mitchell continued his strong start in a Cavaliers uniform as he put up 29 points (10-of-20), 10 rebounds and nine assists, posting a plus/minus of plus seven in his 37 minutes. 

Morant outduels Edwards in Grizzlies win

Ja Morant and Anthony Edwards faced off in one of the NBA's most entertaining matchups, but it was Morant's Memphis Grizzlies coming out on top against the Minnesota Timberwolves for a 114-103 home win.

Both young stars finished with 28 points, with Edwards shooting a superior 10-of-16 compared to Morant's 11-of-25, but Morant added 10 rebounds, eight assists and two steals, while Edwards had six rebounds and six assists.

Timberwolves' franchise-player Karl-Anthony Towns struggled with foul trouble all game, fouling out with 13 points and 10 rebounds in 26 minutes.

Barrett, Brunson put on a show at Madison Square Garden

The New York Knicks' backcourt was everything their fans have been hoping for in a 121-112 home win against the Detroit Pistons.

Former third-overall draft pick R.J. Barrett scored a season-high 30 points on 10-of-17 shooting (three-of-eight from deep), with five rebounds and five assists, while his running-mate and recent trade acquisition Jalen Brunson was just as good.

Brunson scored 26 points on eight-of-16 shooting, adding a team-high seven assists and a game-high four steals.

The win boosts the Knicks' home record to 4-2, and pulls them to 6-6 overall. 

Three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert has entered the NBA's health and safety protocols and will miss the Minnesota Timberwolves' game against the Houston Rockets on Saturday.

Gobert has twice previously tested positive for COVID-19, in January last year and in March 2020 when he was the first NBA player to do, following a now famous press conference.

The French center's positive COVID-19 test in March 2020 led to the NBA being halted.

Gobert played 30 minutes in Friday's 115-102 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks with an illness before the Timberwolves announced he had protocols on Saturday.

Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch was not concerned about the potential impact of Gobert playing on Friday to the rest of the roster.

There is no longer any mandatory quarantine period for players who enter the NBA's health and safety protocols.

Three-time All-Star Gobert, who moved to the Timberwolves from the Utah Jazz in the offseason, is averaging 12.6 points and 13.9 rebounds this season.

The Brooklyn Nets started life after Steve Nash with a 108-99 defeat to the Miami Heat as under-fire Kyrie Irving struggled with four points on two-of-12 shooting on Tuesday.

The Nets announced earlier on Tuesday that Nash had been fired following their 2-5 start to the season, with assistant coach Jacque Vaughn taking charge in his absence.

Kevin Durant scored 32 points with nine rebounds for the Nets who led 58-52 at half-time before the Bulls charged home in the fourth quarter, led by Zach LaVine who had 20 of his 29 points in the final period.

LaVine top scored for the Bulls, including five-of-11 three-point shooting with four rebounds and five assists, while DeMar DeRozan added 20 points and center Nikola Vucevic hauled down 15 rebounds.

Irving, who has faced widespread backlash for sharing a film on social media with alleged anti-Semitic connotations, battled throughout with three turnovers while making none of his six three-point attempts.

The win improved the Bulls to 4-4, while the Nets fall to 2-6, with a 2-4 record at Barclays Center this season.

Golden State's road struggles continue

Reigning champions, the Golden State Warriors, slumped to their third straight defeat as Jimmy Butler fired late to lift the Miami Heat to a 116-109 win.

Butler, who finished with 23 points with six rebounds and eight assists, scored five straight points down the stretch to give the Heat the lead which they never surrendered.

Kyle Lowry moved past Jason Kidd into 12th on the all-time NBA three-pointers made list, scoring three triples in his 13 points.

Stephen Curry recorded his 10th regular-season triple-double with 23 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists, but he could not prevent the Warriors' road woes (0-4) continuing, dropped to 3-5 overall.

Johnson shines as Suns burn

Cam Johnson drained seven three-pointers as the Phoenix Suns maintained their perfect home record this season and moved to 6-1 overall with a 116-107 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Johnson finished with 29 points, 21 coming from beyond the arc on seven-of-11 three-point shooting, while Devin Booker took a back seat with 18 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

Chris Paul had 14 points, 12 assists and a team-high eight rebounds for the Suns who clinched their fifth straight win. Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards both had 24 points for the Timberwolves.

Paolo Banchero showed exactly why the Orlando Magic took him with the first overall pick in this year's NBA Draft, nearly posting his first career triple-double as his side defeated the Charlotte Hornets 113-93 on Friday.

With last year's fifth overall pick Jalen Suggs and starting point guard Cole Anthony both missing through injuries, Orlando opted to not start a traditional point guard and instead let their new star run the show.

He looked right at home as the focal point of the Magic's offense, scoring 21 points on eight-of-14 shooting while adding 12 rebounds and seven assists to deliver their first win of the season.

Even more impressive was the fact that almost all of that production came in the first three quarters, as Orlando built an 82-53 lead heading into the fourth and Banchero sat out the final nine minutes.

Through six career games, Banchero is averaging 24 points, 7.6 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game, and is yet to score less than 20 points in a contest.

Lakers lose again despite James' best efforts

LeBron James' 28 points, seven rebounds, five assists and four steals were not enough to bring an end to the Los Angeles Lakers' winless start to the season, falling to 0-5 after a 111-102 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

James shot 10-of-24 from the field and one-of-six from deep, and in his first game off the bench since his rookie season, Russell Westbrook was plagued by similar issues.

Westbrook shot six-of-17 for his 18 points, while also missing half of his 10 free throws and committing five turnovers.

For the Wolves, Anthony Edwards led the scoring with 29 points on 11-of-22 shooting, while Rudy Gobert was seven-of-11 for 22 points and 21 rebounds to lift their record to 4-2.

Antetokounmpo mounts case for third MVP

With two MVP trophies already in his display case, Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo made it clear why he is one of the favourites yet again this season with a powerhouse performance in a 119-108 win against the New York Knicks.

Antetokounmpo led the Bucks in made field goals (11), made free throws (seven), points (30), rebounds (14) and assists (nine) in a true virtuoso showing. He was supported well, with six teammates making their way into double figures, including 12 points and 12 rebounds off the bench from Bobby Portis.

With the win, the Bucks are now 4-0, and the only remaining unbeaten team.

LeVert and Mitchell drop 41 each in overtime Cavaliers win

Caris LeVert and Donovan Mitchell of the Cleveland Cavaliers went head-to-head with star Boston Celtics duo Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown and emerged 132-123 winners in overtime.

While Brown and Tatum had 32 each at a combined 22-of-41 from the field (54 per cent), the Cavs pairing played even better, scoring 41 each off a combined 27-of-47 (57 per cent).

Second-year phenom Evan Mobley also had a big hand in the win, chipping in 19 points (seven-of-12 shooting) with 10 rebounds, three assists and two blocks.

The Memphis Grizzlies duo of Ja Morant and Desmond Bane outdueled Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets in a high-scoring 134-124 win on Monday night.

Both Morant (12-of-22 shooting) and Bane (14-of-21) finished with 38 points, combining to hit 12 of their 17 three-point attempts as the Grizzlies rode a 45-point third quarter to the win. The pair's combined total of 76 points set a new Grizzlies record for most points scored by a duo in a single game.

Morant, the reigning Most Improved Player, is firmly in the mix for MVP this season and he added eight rebounds, seven assists and two steals to his gaudy stat-line.

The Nets led 69-64 at halftime as Durant and Irving were also both on their way to big games, with both scoring 37 points as Durant shot 14-of-20 from the field and Irving was 14-of-24 in an offensive exhibition.

But the Grizzlies' third-quarter explosion was too emphatic, with Bane scoring 19 of his points in the period while the Nets had 28 as a team.

Embattled Nets All-Star Ben Simmons struggled, fouling out for the second time in the Nets' first three games, while also committing five turnovers with his eight assists. 

With the win, the Grizzlies are now 3-1, while the Nets fall to 1-2.

Simons catches fire in Trail Blazers win

Fresh off signing his $100million extension in the offseason, 23-year-old Portland Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons produced his first game-winning performance of the season as his third-quarter explosion led a 135-110 home win against the Denver Nuggets.

The Trail Blazers – who at 4-0 join the 2-0 Milwaukee Bucks as the only two remaining unbeaten teams – largely shut down reigning back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic, holding him to nine points, nine rebounds and nine assists as he battled foul trouble all night.

Damian Lillard top-scored with 31 points on 10-of-16 shooting for the Blazers, adding eight assists and six rebounds, but it was Simons' third quarter that separated the teams.

In just over five-and-a-half minutes, Simons scored 22 of his 29 points, including a stretch where he made six consecutive three-pointers as he helped the Blazers score 80 in the second half. It is the Trail Blazers' first 4-0 start to the season since 1999.

Rockets youngsters hand the Jazz their first loss

Houston Rockets fans received a glimpse into the future in their 114-108 win against the previously undefeated Utah Jazz, with top-three draft picks Jalen Green and Jabari Smith Jr both delivering strong performances.

Both players shot at least 50 per cent from both the field and long range, and combined to hit all nine of their free throws. 

Green posted 25 points on nine-of-16 shooting, hitting four-of-eight from deep, while rookie Smith had 21 points (six-of-10 shooting, three-of-five from long range), nine rebounds and three blocks.

Vassell flashes star potential for the Spurs

Third-year wing Devin Vassell caught the eye with a starring performance in the San Antonio Spurs' 115-106 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Vassell – the 11th pick from the 2020 draft – has shown significantly more playmaking this season since the departure of Dejounte Murray in a trade to the Atlanta Hawks, and against the Timberwolves he dished off a career-high seven assists.

As well as showing his ability to create for his teammates, the six-foot-six wing with superb defensive skills showcased his all-round game, hitting five-of-10 from three-point range on his way to 22 points, and he also grabbed nine rebounds.

Anthony Edwards has been fined by the NBA after the Minnesota Timberwolves guard used homophobic language in a social media post.

The 21-year-old shared a video on his Instagram account in which he could be heard passing comment on a group of men gathered near the car he was sat in.

Edwards deleted the video in question and issued an apology on Twitter, saying: "What I said was immature, hurtful, and disrespectful, and I'm incredibly sorry.

"It's unacceptable for me or anyone to use that language in such a hurtful way, there's no excuse for it, at all. I was raised better than that!"

He has now been hit with a $40,000 fine by the NBA for using "offensive and derogatory language".

A statement issued by the NBA added Edwards has "acknowledged that his actions were inappropriate".

The Timberwolves previously issued an apology last week, attributed to president of basketball operations Tim Connelly.

"We are disappointed in the language and actions Anthony Edwards displayed on social media," it read.

"The Timberwolves are committed to being an inclusive and welcoming organisation for all and apologise for the offense this has caused to so many."

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