LeBron James scored his 40,000th point, but the Denver Nuggets closed strong and won their sixth straight game, 124-114 over the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday.

James finished with 26 points and nine assists while reaching his latest milestone on a layup with 10:39 left in the second quarter. He extended his lead as the league’s career scoring leader.

Nikola Jokić had 35 points and 10 rebounds, Michael Porter Jr. added 25 and 10 and Jamal Murray had 24 points, 11 assists and six boards to help Denver get within one-half game of Minnesota for the Northwest Division lead.

The Nuggets closed the game on a 16-6 run, with Aaron Gordon’s 3-pointer with 3:49 left putting them ahead for good.

Jokic made a turnaround hook before Murray hit a jumper and Justin Holiday converted a running layup for a 117-110 advantage. After Anthony Davis’s basket got the Lakers within 117-112 with 1:49 left, Murray made a layup and Jokic added a layup of his own.

Booker injures ankle in Suns’ loss

Jalen Green poured in 34 points with six 3-pointers to lead the Houston Rockets to a 118-109 win over the Phoenix Suns, who lost star guard Devin Booker to an ankle injury.

Booker left late in the game after he injured his right ankle when he stepped on teammate Royce O’Neale’s foot. Booker had 24 points in 38 minutes before departing.

Fred VanVleet scored 24 points and Alperen Sengun added 21 with 10 rebounds as the Rockets snapped a three-game skid and avenged Thursday’s loss at Phoenix.

Kevin Durant had 30 points for the Suns, who had a nine-game home winning streak snapped.

Butler leads Heat past Jazz

Jimmy Butler scored 18 of his season-high 37 points in the third quarter and the Miami Heat defeated the Utah Jazz 126-120 for their 10th win in 13 games.

Bam Adebayo added 23 points and Caleb Martin had 18 for the Heat, who beat the Jazz at home for the seventh straight time.

Butler hit all three of his 3-point attempts and had a steal, extending his streak of having at least one 3 and one steal to 13 consecutive games – the fourth-longest run in the NBA this season and tying Tim Hardaway for the second-longest such streak in Heat history.

Keyonte George scored 31 points and Lauri Markkanen added 25 as the Jazz lost their third straight and eighth in nine games.

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 46 points as he became the player with the most wins in the Milwaukee Bucks' history on Friday, with the Chicago Bulls beaten 113-97 at United Center.

For Milwaukee coach Doc Rivers, however, the focus is squarely on preparing for the postseason as the Bucks eye their third NBA Championship.

Antetokounmpo surpassed the 40-point mark for the eighth time this season, also adding 16 rebounds and six assists, as the Bucks recorded their fifth straight victory.

The win was the 489th of Antetokounmpo's Bucks career including both regular-season and playoff games, taking the two-time NBA MVP clear of Sidney Moncrief as the winningest player in franchise history.

"Everybody has to be on the same page, and I feel like the last couple of games, we're doing that and that's why our defense has taken a step," Antetokounmpo said after the win. 

"Hopefully, we can keep it up. Right now, it's just about trust. We've just got to trust one another. That's it, win or lose, we have to have the same trust."

For coach Rivers, who has led the team to an 8-7 run since replacing Adrian Griffin in January, all that matters is ensuring Milwaukee are ready for the postseason.

"We're winning games, but for us, it's not about that right now," Rivers said. "Our whole key is getting ready. That's the first thing I told the players. 

"We still have work to do, we're still pushing, we've got to get better. It's nicer to get wins than to lose, but we're not where we want to be yet."

Milwaukee, who sit third in the Eastern Conference with a 40-21 record, are back in action against the 38-20 Los Angeles Clippers on Monday. 

They then embark on a four-game California road stretch on Wednesday, when they face the Golden State Warriors at Chase Center. 

Russell Westbrook has been sidelined indefinitely after fracturing his left hand during the Los Angeles Clippers' 140-115 win over the Washington Wizards on Friday.

Westbrook was hurt with around 10 minutes remaining in the second quarter, colliding with Jordan Poole as he attempted to poke the ball past the Washington guard.

The 2017 NBA MVP exited the game around two minutes later and reports have suggested he may miss around a month, having sat out 14 games when he broke his other hand in the second game of the 2014-15 season.

Clippers coach Tyronn Lue, however, was unable to offer a timeline on Westbrook's recovery after the game, saying: "I just feel bad for Russ right now. 

"You never want to see a player get hurt. Poole drove around, and he tried to deflect it from the back. I think he hit his elbow with his hand.

"So we don't know what timetable, we don't know if he needs surgery or anything yet. But he's out right now. So we're just trying to figure it out."

Westbrook was the last remaining Clipper to have not missed a single game all season, but the team handled his absence well, improving to 38-20 with a dominant win.

James Harden led the team with 28 points while Kawhi Leonard added 27 and Paul George tacked on 22, as the Clippers bounced back from Wednesday's defeat to a LeBron James-inspired Los Angeles Lakers team.

For however long Westbrook is out, Lue knows he will be a major miss, saying: "He's going to stay engaged regardless. That's just who he is. 

"We need him around, we need his energy, we need him talking, the way he leads.

"Until he is able to get back, we're going to miss him. So hopefully it's a speedy recovery and we get him back sooner rather than later, but I'm not sure of the timetable right now."

Jayson Tatum scored 32 points and the Boston Celtics overcame Luka Dončić’s second straight triple-double in a 138-110 victory over the Dallas Mavericks for their 10th consecutive win on Friday.

Jaylen Brown had 25 points and Kristaps Porzingis added 24 as seven Celtics scored in double figures.

Doncic had 37 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists for his 12th triple-double of the season and 68th of his career.

NBA-leading Boston knocked down 21 3-pointers and shot 55.3 percent (52-of-94) from the field to remain unbeaten since a loss to the Lakers on Feb. 1.

The 10-game streak is the longest for the Celtics since a 10-game run during the 2019-20 season.

Kyrie Irving scored 19 points against his former team but shot 9 of 23 as Dallas lost for the third time in four games.

Antetokounmpo powers streaking Bucks

Giannis Antetokounmpo poured in 46 points and grabbed 16 rebounds as the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Chicago Bulls 113-97 for their fifth consecutive win.

Antetokoumpo shot 16 of 22 from the field, made 2 of 3 from long range and sank 12 of 16 free throws in his eighth 40-plus point game this season.

Patrick Beverley scored 14 points and Brook Lopez added 12 for the Bucks, who improved to 8-7 under Doc Rivers and moved into a virtual tie with Cleveland for first place in the Central Division.

Chicago’s DeMar DeRozan became the 35th player in NBA history to accumulate 23,000 points. He scored 12 points – all but two in the second half – and was 5 of 13 from the field after missing his first six shots.

Coby White led the Bulls with 22 points and Nikola Vucevic added 17 with nine rebounds.

Warriors win again on road

Stephen Curry scored 25 points and Jonathan Kuminga added 24 to lead the Golden State Warriors to their eighth straight road win, 120-105 over the Toronto Raptors, who lost All-Star Scottie Barnes.

Moses Moody had 17 points and Klay Thompson was next with 14 as the Warriors won their third straight and 13th in 15 games.

Barnes broke his left middle finger late in the first half and the Raptors said he would be out indefinitely. He had 10 points and six rebounds in 16 minutes, ending a career-best streak of five consecutive double-doubles.

Golden State overcame some troublesome travel after it had to switch planes following Thursday night’s win over New York. The Warriors endured a long wait on the tarmac, finally arriving at its Toronto hotel shortly after 7 a.m. Friday morning.

Joel Embiid is aiming to return to action before the end of the NBA season, as he targets making an appearance at the Paris Olympics.

Embiid, the reigning NBA MVP, underwent surgery on a knee injury in early February.

The Philadelphia 76ers star was averaging 35.3 points, 11.3 rebounds and 5.7 assists prior to sustaining the injury in a loss to the Golden State Warriors at the end of January.

While there is no firm timeline on his return, Embiid is confident he will be back for the end of the campaign.

"That's the plan," Embiid said.

"Obviously everything has to go right, as far as getting healthy and being as close as I'm supposed to be. But yeah, that's the plan."

Embiid suggested playing at the Olympics influenced his decision to have surgery.

"I think when you look at what unfolded and what we saw, there was only one decision, and it was to go the route that I did," he added.

Embiid looked well in with a shot of retaining the MVP crown, though that now looks unlikely.

"That's why it was extremely disappointing," Embiid said. "I was on a roll and I felt like I wasn't even close to where I wanted to be, body-wise and basketball-wise, because I wasn't at my best, so I felt like there was still another level that I could go to. It was very disappointing. But I was having fun, playing, getting a lot of wins, dominating.

"The 70-point game was fun. I never would've thought that I could be in a position to score 70 in a basketball game and having the dominance that I was doing. It was fun, but it's not over. The mindset is 'come back if everything goes well, go from there.'

"My mindset is playing basketball, playing as much as I can.

"For two months, I was not at 100 per cent, I was not even close to it. And I just felt the need to give my all to the team and just wanting to win. Because I know I can, you know, I can add that to this basketball team.

"So there's nothing different I would've done. This was very depressing. But the way I also look at it is that's another way to work on myself, on my body, and just get as healthy as possible."

The San Antonio Spurs are not looking to change Victor Wembanyama, so says teammate Tre Jones.

Wembanyama recorded a stat line that had never been seen in an NBA game in the Spurs' 132-118 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday.

The rookie sensation finished with 28 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists, five blocked shots and five 3-pointers. He is the first player in NBA history with at least 10 boards, five assists, five blocks and five made 3s in a game.

And Jones says the Spurs are just letting Wembanyama do his own thing.

"I think just let him be him," Jones said. "We don't want to change that. Look where it's gotten him to this point."

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich added: "He obviously is not afraid to put himself out there.

"He will take shots and he is not afraid. He is not worried if he misses it or what the consequences are or anything like that. He likes those moments."

Wembanyama, meanwhile, channeled the words of the late, great Kobe Bryant.

"It's a lot [to do with] mentality," he said. "You know Kobe said to win a game, it mostly takes shots, big shots, because they don't call like any fouls.

"It's not as much the physical battle. Even though in defense it's 90 per cent effort, but offensively it's a lot of mental."

Wembanyama came out on top in the tussle of the rookies against Chet Holmgren, who finished with 23 points as the Thunder saw a six-game winning run come to an end.

"It's just another reminder that this is the NBA," Holmgren said.

"No team is in the NBA for no reason. No player is in the NBA for no reason. Any team can beat another on any given night regardless of record or anything. They came out confident. Part of that was them, part of that was us. We should be better [in] the next one. A lot of guys stepped up and hit big shots. Credit to them for coming ready to play."

One game after going without a point in the first half, Stephen Curry had nine points before the New York Knicks even scored.

Curry finished with 31 points and 11 rebounds and the Golden State Warriors rode a fast start for a 110-99 win at Madison Square Garden on Thursday.

The Warriors scored the game’s first 14 points, as the Knicks missed their first nine shots until Donte DiVincenzo converted a layup with 6:35 left in the opening quarter. By that time Curry already had nine points.

After failing to score in the first half in Tuesday's win over the Washington Wizards, Curry opened the scoring at MSG with a 27-foot 3-pointer 20 seconds after the opening tip. He finished 8-of-18 from 3-point range.

 

Jonathan Kuminga had 25 points and Klay Thompson had 16 points off the bench for the Warriors, who pushed their road winning streak to seven games. This is their longest road winning streak since reeling off 11 in a row in the 2018-19 season.

Overall, Golden State (31-27) has won 12 of 15 games following a 4-10 stretch.

New York (35-25), meanwhile, wrapped up a 4-8 February after going an NBA-best 14-2 in January.

Jalen Brunson led the Knicks with 27 points and DiVincenzo added 16, though he missed 15 of his 21 shot attempts.

As a team, New York shot 36.8 per cent - its worst shooting performance since shooting a season-worst 34.8 per cent in a 117-100 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on November 20.

 

Wembanyama stuffs stat sheet as Spurs beat Thunder

Victor Wembanyama recorded a stat line that had never been seen in an NBA game in the San Antonio Spurs' 132-118 win over Oklahoma City, ending the Thunder's six-game winning streak.

The rookie sensation finished with 28 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists, five blocked shots and five 3-pointers.

He is the first player in NBA history with at least 10 boards, five assists, five blocks and five made 3s in a game.

Wembanyama won the battle of first-year big men, coming up with a huge block of Chet Holmgren in the final minutes.

 

Although the Spurs (12-48) have the worst record in the Western Conference, they beat a Thunder team that was hoping to move into a tie with the Timberwolves atop the conference.

Oklahoma City (41-18) had won its last six games by an average of 20.2 points, but shot just 29.0 per cent from 3-point range (9 for 31).

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander paced the Thunder with 31 points, while Jalen Williams scored 26 and Holmgren added 23.

Devin Vassell had 28 points and nine assists for the Spurs, who were playing in San Antonio for the first time since February 3 following a 1-8 road swing.

 

Nuggets hold on to beat Heat in NBA Finals rematch

Meeting for the first time since Denver captured the franchise's first NBA title last June, the Nuggets held on for a 103-97 win over the Miami Heat.

The Nuggets looked like they were going to win easily, leading by 16 in the fourth quarter, but the Heat pulled within 99-97 on Jimmy Butler's floating bank shot with 11 seconds to play.

The Heat would get no closer, however, as Denver (41-19) improved to 5-0 since the All-Star break and moved within 1 1/2 games of the Timberwolves for the best record in the West.

 

Michael Porter Jr. had 30 points and 11 rebounds, while Nikola Jokic had 18 points, 11 boards and seven assists.

Denver overcame an injury to Jamal Murray, who sprained his right ankle when he landed on Aaron Gordon's leg just before half-time.

The Heat (33-26) arrived in Denver riding a five-game winning streak, in which they were averaging 113.0 points, but they had just 70 points through three quarters against the Nuggets.

Bam Adebayo led Miami with 22 points and eight rebounds, while Butler had 21 points and seven boards.

LeBron James felt like he had a "superpower" after authoring the best fourth-quarter comeback of his career on Wednesday, leading the Los Angeles Lakers to a stunning win over the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Lakers found themselves 21 points down in the fourth quarter and heading for a third loss in four games, but the NBA's all-time leading scorer had other ideas.

James finished with 34 points, single-handedly outscoring the Clippers 19-16 in the fourth quarter, as the Lakers roared back at Crypto.com Arena to improve to 32-28 for the season.

The 39-year-old hit five of his season-best seven 3-pointers in the final frame, also finding Cam Reddish for the final dunk in a 116-112 success, with the Lakers having trailed 89-77.

Asked about his mindset during that decisive period, James said: "It's just a zone, and you can't really describe it.

"You wish you could stay in it forever, but obviously it checks out once the game ends. But during it, you don't feel anything. It's just like a superpower feeling. 

"If I'm in a lineup, if I'm on the floor, I've got to make plays. Sometimes I've got to make even more plays. 

"Tonight was one of those moments where I had to make even more plays in order for us to even get back into the game and then ultimately win the game."

James also added six rebounds and eight assists, and was supported by Anthony Davis (20 points), D'Angelo Russell (18) and Rui Hachimura (17).

Lakers coach Darvin Ham also compared James to a superhero in his post-game press conference, saying: "He had to take the cape, tuck it under his seat on the bench, I guess. 

"It was time for him to whip it out. He definitely did that, put the cape on and just got aggressive and got into good rhythm."

While crestfallen after the defeat, Clippers coach Tyronn Lue acknowledged there was little his team could do to defend James in such form, saying: "I don't think that's ever happened in my career, to lose a 21-point lead in the fourth quarter.

"But LeBron got hot. We talked about it before the game, you can't turn the ball over against this team because it's deadly."

Luka Doncic quipped he feels like he is 40 years old after he celebrated his 25th birthday in style.

Doncic became the first player in NBA history to finish with a triple-double on their birthday as he led the Dallas Mavericks to a 136-125 win over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday.

He finished with 30 points, 16 assists and 11 rebounds for his 11th triple-double of the season.

Doncic has now had 39 30-point triple-doubles, which sees him surpass LeBron James in the all-time list for that feat.

When asked if he considered his 25th birthday as a milestone, Doncic joked: "I feel like [I'm] 40, so no."

Doncic was 11 for 23 from the field and missed 7 of 8 from 3-point range in his 67th career triple-double.

"Just a normal game, triple-double," Jason Kidd said.

"He was really good. I guess 25 means he's still going to be really good as he gets older here."

Kyrie Irving scored 15 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter and P.J. Washington Jr. added 23 points for Dallas, as they bounced back from back-to-back defeats.

"Kyrie and Luka, they had such a poise in important moments to make the right plays," said Raptors coach Darko Rajakovic after his team saw a three-game winning streak snapped.

Doncic added: "We just played aggressive on defense, got out on transition, that's it. 

"My team knows when I'm engaged. Everybody helps everyone to be engaged.

"I'm having so much fun. Back-to-back is always tough, a great win today, I've got to get some rest now."

LeBron James scored 19 of his 34 points in the fourth quarter and the Los Angeles Lakers erased a 21-point deficit in the final 12 minutes as the Los Angeles Lakers rallied for a 116-112 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday.

James hit five of his season-high seven 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and outscored the Clippers by himself (19-16). He either scored or assisted on 11 of the Lakers’ 13 baskets in the final period.

The Clippers held a 98-77 lead in the opening minute of the final quarter, but James led a 29-8 run over the next 7:34. Anthony Davis’ free throws tied it at 106 with four minutes left, and Jamesd found Rui Hachimura for a go-ahead 3 moments later.

Kawhi Leonard missed a 12-footer with five seconds to go and the Clippers down two before James threw a long pass to Cam Reddish for a dunk that punctuated a stunning win for the Lakers.

Davis finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds, D’Angelo Russell added 18 points and Hachimura had 17.

Leonard scored 26 points and James Harden added 23 with nine assists for the Clippers, who have lost consecutive games for the first time since Dec. 21 and 23.

 

Doncic has triple-double on birthday

Luka Dončić celebrated his 25th birthday with 30 points, 16 assists and 11 rebounds for his 11th triple-double of the season in the Dallas Mavericks’ 136-125 win over the Toronto Raptors.

Doncic was 11 for 23 from the field and missed 7 of 8 from 3-point range in his 67th career triple-double.

He is the first player in NBA history to record a 30-point triple-double on his birthday.

Kyrie Irving scored 15 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter and P.J. Washington Jr. added 23 points for Dallas, which avoided a third straight loss.

Scottie Barnes had 19 points and 11 rebounds and Immanuel Quickley scored a season-high 28 points as Toronto said goodbye to a season-best three-game winning streak.

Doncic scored 11 points in the third quarter and added six assists to help the Mavs take a 106-92 lead into the fourth.

 

Jokic extends triple-double streak in win

Nikola Jokić notched his fourth straight triple-double in three quarters and Jamal Murray scored 32 points as the Denver Nuggets won their fourth in a row, 117-96 over the Sacramento Kings.

Jokic had 14 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists for his 19th triple-double this season, two behind Sacramento’s Domantas Sabonis for the league lead.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 16 points and Aaron Gordon added 15 for Denver, which avoided a four-game season sweep to the Kings.

Keegan Murray had 21 points and Chris Duarte contributed 18 off the bench as Sacramento had a three-game winning streak snapped.

Steve Kerr revelled in the "crazy" luxury of being able to bring Chris Paul and Klay Thompson off the bench as the Golden State Warriors continued their fine form on Tuesday.

Golden State have hit their stride in February to move back into playoff contention in the West, despite missing veteran point guard Paul.

The 38-year-old was traded to the Warriors by the Washington Wizards at the start of the season, having previously been moved on by the Phoenix Suns, but had been restricted to 32 games and 11 starts prior to returning against the Wizards.

Paul made his comeback from the bench following his recovery from surgery on a left hand fracture, and he was joined in the second unit by Klay Thompson.

Those options in reserve were especially useful to Kerr in this 123-112 win as superstar starter Stephen Curry was held scoreless through the first half.

Curry finished with 18 points, but he was outshone by Thompson, who had 25, while Paul played a key role in the decisive third quarter in which the Warriors outscored the Wizards 38-17.

"What a luxury to come off the bench with Chris Paul and Klay Thompson," coach Kerr said. "That's crazy."

"You've got two Hall of Famers in the backcourt coming off the bench," Thompson added. "That's such a rare feat, so we take pride in that.

"[Paul] makes my life much easier, much easier. Just his ability to read the game, hit me in stride, on time, on target, he's probably one of the best in history at doing that."

Kerr continued: "We've been playing pretty well over the last month or so, but we've really been looking forward to getting Chris back.

"You could see why tonight. He's a plus-17 in 21 minutes, always in control of the game. The way we closed the third quarter was really important, and he was at the helm."

Paul is not getting carried away just yet but acknowledged that strength in depth and affirmed his commitment to taking on whatever role Kerr asks of him.

"It's one game, one game," Paul said. "We've still got a lot of work to do as a team, as a unit.

"We have so much depth, so many different ways that we can play, that it's going to take us a little while to figure it out. But obviously, you want to figure it out and win at the same time.

"We've got a really good group of guys on this team, and [Kerr is] going to need different things every night.

"You know one thing about me though: I know who I am and what I'm capable of. You know what I mean? There ain't any question about that. I'll always be ready, and I think he knows that."

Max Strus connected on a 59-foot heave at the buzzer, lifting the Cleveland Cavaliers to a wild 121-119 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday.

Strus made five 3-pointers in the final 3:42 of the game and capped a back-and-forth ending, giving the Cavs their 20th win in their last 24 games.

Dallas’ PJ Washington made a contested layup with 2.6 seconds remaining to put the Mavs up 119-118.

Without any timeouts to advance the ball, Strus inbounded to Evan Mobley, who quickly returned the ball. Strus took one dribble before launching from behind the half-court line and swishing the game-winning bucket.

Strus finished with 21 points. Donovan Mitchell also made seven 3’s and led the way for the Cavs with 31 points.

With the win, Cleveland (38-19) remained alone in second place in the Eastern Conference.

The Mavericks, who lead by 10 with under four minutes remaining, squandered a signature performance from Luka Dončić, who finished with 45 points, nine rebounds and 14 assists.

 

Celtics extend season-best winning streak

Jaylen Brown scored 31 points, Jayson Tatum flirted with a triple-double and the Boston Celtics weathered a rare cold shooting night, beating the Philadelphia 76ers 117-99 for their ninth straight win.

The Celtics, who lead the NBA in both 3-point makes and attempts this season, shot just 5 of 22 from beyond the arc, both season lows.

Boston compensated for their cold shooting by attacking the rim and shooting 34 of 37 from the free throw line. Tatum – who finished with 29 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists – was 10 of 11 from the line, while Kristaps Porzingis made all 12 of his free throws.

The Celtics (46-12) improved to 25-0 at home against Eastern Conference opponents.

Tyrese Maxey was the high-point man for Philadelphia with 32, but the rest of the 76ers’ starters combined for just 22 points.

 

SGA powers Thunder to 6th straight win

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander continued to make his case for league MVP, Jalen Williams scored an efficient 24 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Houston Rockets 112-95 to win their sixth straight game.

Gilgeous-Alexander finished with 31 points and has scored at least 30 in every game during the Thunder’s winning streak.

The win kept Oklahoma City (41-17) in a tie with the Minnesota Timberwolves for the best record in the Western Conference.

Alperen Sengun had a team-high 23 points and 11 rebounds for the Rockets, who are just 6-14 in their last 20 games.

Monty Williams slammed "the absolute worst call of the season" after the Detroit Pistons lost to the New York Knicks on Monday.

The Pistons lost 113-111 to the Knicks, in large part due to an obvious case of the officials missing a blatant foul with 8.5 seconds left, after Donte DiVincenzo barged into Ausar Thompson.

Referee James Williams subsequently admitted a mistake had been made.

And Williams was left seething.

"The absolute worst call of the season," Williams said.

"No call, and enough's enough. We've done it the right way. We've called the league. We've sent in clips. We're sick of hearing the same stuff over and over again.

"We had a chance to win the game, and a guy dove into Ausur's legs and there was a no-call. That's an abomination. You cannot miss that in an NBA game. Period. And I'm tired of talking about it. I'm tired of my guys asking, 'What more can we do, Coach?' That situation is Exhibit A to what we've been dealing with all season long, and enough's enough.

"You cannot dive into a guy's legs in a big-time game like that and there be a no-call," he continued. "It's ridiculous, and we're tired of it. We just want a fair game called. Period. And I've got nothing else to say. We want a fair game, and that was not fair."

The Pistons were also on the end of a controversial decision in their loss to the Orlando Magic on Saturday.

"I'd say livid," said Cade Cunningham, who scored 32 points and added five rebounds and five assists.

"That's the word of the day: livid."

Explaining his attempt to win the ball, DiVincenzo said: "I went for the ball. I didn't look at the play. You turn the ball over, the ball is in front of you, and you go after the ball. Like I said, I respect everyone's opinion. I can't speak on it until I look at the film."

The controversy came a day after LeBron James and Darvin Ham questioned the officials after the Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Phoenix Suns.

Detroit sit bottom of the Eastern Conference, while the Knicks are in fourth.

Bam Adebayo compiled 28 points and 10 rebounds as the Miami Heat overcame the absence of several key players to record a 121-110 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Monday and extend their winning streak to four games.

Miami moved a half-game ahead of the Orlando Magic for first place in the Southeast Division despite missing two of its stars in Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro, as well as starting point guard Terry Rozier. Herro and Rozier sat out due to injuries, while Butler was serving a one-game suspension for his role in an on-court altercation in the Heat's win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday.

Rookie Jaime Jaquez helped fill the void by producing 26 points on 12-of-17 shooting, and the Heat also got key contributions from reserves Kevin Love and Haywood Highsmith.

Love poured in 19 points in just 15 minutes, while Highsmith scored 15 first-half points to help Miami take a 65-62 lead into the break.

Jaquez then put up 13 points during a dominant third quarter in which the Heat outscored Sacramento by a 36-19 margin. Miami took the lead for good with a 10-2 run that snapped a 71-71 tie, then later scored the final 10 points of the period to build a commanding 101-81 advantage entering the fourth.

The Kings had a three-game winning streak snapped despite Domantas Sabonis registering his league-leading 21st triple-double with 14 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists.

Keegan Murray led Sacramento, which was coming off a 16-point road win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday, with 28 points. De'Aaron Fox finished with 27 in the loss.

Barnes' triple-double powers Raptors past Pacers

Scottie Barnes recorded his fourth triple-double of the season with 21 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists to lead the Toronto Raptors to a 130-122 win over the weary Indiana Pacers.

Toronto also received big efforts from RJ Barrett and rookie Gradey Dick en route to its season-high third consecutive win. Barrett delivered 24 points on 11-of-16 shooting, while Dick had 11 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter and finished 7 of 9 from the field while making all four of his 3-point attempts.

Playing for the second straight night, the Pacers had a three-game winning streak snapped despite Bennedict Mathurin matching a career-high with 34 points to go along with nine rebounds. Former Raptors All-Star Pascal Siakam had 27 points, nine rebounds and six assists in his second meeting with his ex-team since being traded to Indiana on Jan. 17.

The Pacers got an off night from leading scorer Tyrese Haliburton, however, as the All-Star guard misfired on nine of 11 shot attempts while being held to nine points.

Indiana did manage to battle back from a 12-point third-quarter deficit, however, to tie the game at 102-102 with just over eight minutes left in the fourth.

The Raptors then regained control with a 13-2 run, which Dick started and finished with 3-pointers, to take a 115-104 lead with 6:21 remaining.

Indiana closed the gap to four points entering the final three minutes, but a jumper by Toronto's Gary Trent Jr. followed by a Barrett 3-pointer helped end any comeback hopes.

Hart's late basket lifts Knicks over Pistons

Josh Hart scored the go-ahead layup with 2.8 seconds left as the New York Knicks held off a determined upset bid from the Detroit Pistons and came away with a controversial 113-111 victory.

The Pistons fought back from a 13-point deficit in the third quarter to take a 111-110 lead on former Knick Quentin Grimes' layup with 37.3 seconds remaining. New York's Jalen Brunson misfired on a 3-point try on the ensuing possession, but Detroit's Ausar Thompson had the ball stolen away after colliding with the Knicks' Donte DiVincenzo to set up Hart's basket off a feed from Brunson.

Hart missed the free throw for a potential three-point play, but the Knicks collared the rebound and Hart was fouled again with 1.3 seconds left. He made 1 of 2 from the line to prevent a potentially damaging home loss to a Detroit team with an NBA-worst 8-49 record.

Game officials acknowledged afterward that a loose-ball foul should have been called on DiVincenzo during the collision that preceded Hart's basket.

Brunson finished with 35 points and 12 assists and Hart had 23 points and eight rebounds as the playoff-hopeful Knicks won for the second time in three outings following a four-game losing streak. DiVincenzo contributed 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting.

Detroit was dealt a sixth straight loss despite Cade Cunningham's 32 points and eight assists and an 11-point, 16-rebound effort from Jalen Duren. 

The teams were facing one another for the first time since collaborating on a six-player trade on Feb. 8 that sent veterans Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks to New York, with Grimes among the return pieces to the Pistons.

Grimes finished with 14 points while Bogdanovic recorded 13 points and six rebounds off the bench. 

 

The playoff-chasing Golden State Warriors will have Chris Paul back in the lineup on Tuesday night when they visit a Washington Wizards team that’s mired in an 11-game losing streak.

Paul has not played since he sustained a fractured left hand on Jan. 5 against the Detroit Pistons and underwent surgery three days later.

The 38-year-old Paul is averaging 8.9 points, 7.2 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.13 steals in 32 games in his first season with Golden State.

The Warriors went 12-9 after Paul’s injury and are 29-27 on the season.

Golden State leads the Utah Jazz by three games for 10th place in the Western Conference and a berth in the NBA Play-In Tournament.

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