The Boston Celtics will have their eye on revenge when they visit the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday.

It will be the second meeting between the two sides this season, with both having made impressive starts.

The Celtics, last season's Eastern Conference champions, are 4-2 staring up at only the unbeaten Milwaukee Bucks and the 5-1 Cavs.

One of their two defeats came last week at TD Garden, as they suffered a 132-123 home loss to the Cavs in overtime.

Donovan Mitchell and Caris LeVert combined for 82 points in that victory for the Cavs, who will look to reaffirm their credentials as contenders in the East by backing up that win with another as they play hosts this time to the visiting Celtics.

After All-Star point guard Darius Garland left the first game of the season with an eye injury that is still keeping him out of action, Mitchell has been the catalyst for the Cavs' strong form, having been acquired in a trade with the Utah Jazz in the offseason.

Cleveland sent Lauri Markkanen, Collin Sexton, Ochai Agbaji and three first-round picks to the Jazz for the star shooting guard in a deal that also included two pick swaps.

Stopping Mitchell will be the priority for a Celtics team whose play on defense has slipped from the standards they set in their run to the Finals.

PIVOTAL PERFORMERS

Cleveland Cavaliers - Donovan Mitchell

Mitchell has proven worth the high price the Cavs paid for him to this point.

Only four players are averaging more than his 32.2 points per game, while Mitchell is shooting a red-hot, and possibly unsustainable 45.5 per cent from three-point range.

Bojan Bogdanovic (50.8 per cent) is the sole player who has attempted at least 50 threes to perform better from beyond the arc than Mitchell this season.

If he can get hot from deep in this one, it could spell trouble for a Boston team that saw him go for 41 on their home court last Friday.

Boston Celtics - Marcus Smart

Smart has long been the defensive heartbeat for the Celtics, but he could not help them contain Mitchell and LeVert in the previous meeting.

Indeed, he had a plus/minus of minus 26 against the Cavs, and his defensive rating – albeit a team stat – of 116.4 this season is the worst of his career.

Simply put, the Celtics need Smart to return to the form that saw him win Defensive Player of the Year last season.

KEY BATTLE - Preventing turnovers key for Celtics

The Cavs are averaging 20.5 points off turnovers per game, the fifth-most in the NBA.

Though Boston's 13.8 turnovers per game are the 10th-fewest in the league, the Celtics committed 19 in their home loss to Cleveland.

Given how effective the Cavs are at turning those opportunities into points, Celtics interim coach Joe Mazzulla should be preaching the importance of taking care of the ball especially hard this time around.

HEAD-TO-HEAD

The Cavs' victory last week continued a theme of recent success against Boston, with Cleveland having won four of their past six regular-season matchups with the Celtics.

Ime Udoka is the frontrunner to replace Steve Nash as the Brooklyn Nets head coach, according to reports.

The Nets parted with Nash on Tuesday after five defeats from their opening seven games of the season.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Nets and Nash came to a mutual decision to part ways, a day after Brooklyn had snapped a four-game losing streak by defeating the Indiana Pacers.

Wojnarowski subsequently claimed Udoka, who was previously part of Nash's staff in Brooklyn before he led the Boston Celtics to the NBA Finals last season, is the Nets' top target and a deal could be struck by Thursday.

Udoka was suspended by the Celtics in September for an "improper" consensual relationship with a female staff member.

Should Udoka take the job, he will inherit a team packed with talent, though Nash had to deal with plenty of contentious issues during his two-year stint as Brooklyn coach.

Much of the controversy surrounded Kyrie Irving, whose refusal to get vaccinated against COVID-19 meant he was unable to play in cities with vaccine mandates, including New York, in Nash's second season.

This campaign, Irving has been heavily criticised for his promotion of a documentary, which – according to Nets owner Joe Tsai – is "full of anti-Semitic disinformation".

The Brooklyn Nets have parted company with head coach Steve Nash.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Nets and Nash came to a mutual decision to part ways after a disappointing start to the 2022-23 season.

The Nets have won just two of their opening seven games, though they did beat the Indiana Pacers 116-109 on Monday.

Jacque Vaughn will be the Nets' acting head coach for Tuesday's game with the Chicago Bulls.

"We want to thank Steve for everything he brought to our franchise over the past two-plus seasons," said general manager Sean Marks.

"Since becoming head coach, Steve was faced with a number of unprecedented challenges, and we are sincerely grateful for his leadership, patience and humility throughout his tenure.

"Personally, this was an immensely difficult decision; however, after much deliberation and evaluation of how the season has begun, we agreed that a change is necessary at this time. We wish Steve, Lilla and their family all the best in the future."

A two-time MVP as a player and former consultant for the Golden State Warriors during two of their championship-winning seasons in 2017 and 2018, Nash took charge of the Nets in 2020.

He led them to the Eastern Conference semifinals in 2020-21, losing a seven-game series to eventual champions the Milwaukee Bucks.

A tumultuous 2021-22 campaign that saw James Harden traded to the Philadelphia 76ers ended with the Nets losing in the first round of the playoffs to the Boston Celtics in a sweep.

Despite having the chance to coach stars including Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving during his Nets tenure, Nash has had to navigate much controversy, predominantly surrounding Irving.

Irving's refusal to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and his inability to play in cities with vaccine mandates, including New York, complicated Nash's second season in charge.

This season, Irving has attracted significant criticism and was condemned by Nets owner Joe Tsai for his promotion of a documentary film said to be "full of anti-Semitic disinformation".

Nash had said he hoped the Nets could "grow through this together", but they will now tackle this latest saga surrounding their star guard without him.

He leaves the Nets with a 94-67 regular-season record.

"Thank you, Brooklyn," Nash said in a statement on Twitter.

"A very heartfelt thanks to Joe and Clara Tsai along with Sean Marks for giving me the opportunity to coach the Brooklyn Nets. It was an amazing experience with many challenges that I'm incredibly grateful for.

"It was a pleasure to work with the players, performance team and front office everyday. I'm especially grateful to my coaching staff and video room who are a talented group with so much character and professionalism.

"Lastly, thanks to Brooklyn and the passionate fans who support this team. Family first and my family has found a home here and LOVES being a part of this beautiful community.

"I wish the Nets all the success in the world and the Nash's will be rooting for our team as they turn this season around."

Steve Nash said the Brooklyn Nets should look to "grow through this together" after a number of fans wore 'Fight Antisemitism' T-shirts in protest against Kyrie Irving's recent highlighting of a controversial film.

The 30-year-old Irving tweeted a link to 'Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America' last Thursday, with Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai condemning Irving for promoting the documentary film. Tsai alleged the film was "full of anti-Semitic disinformation".

The Nets and NBA released strong statements refusing to tolerate "hate speech", while coach Nash said the star guard had been spoken to prior to Saturday's 125-116 loss to the Indiana Pacers.

Irving said at the weekend he would not "stand down" and pointed to the "historical complexities" of African heritage in America, but he subsequently deleted the social media post that sparked the uproar.

Nash spoke again on the matter after Monday's 116-109 win against the Pacers, which saw a group of seven Nets fans conspicuous at courtside in the protest T-shirts.

They were Orthodox Jews, the New York Post reported, quoting one of the fans, Aaron Jungreis, as saying the Nets "should not keep a guy like that around", with regard to Irving. The fan also told the newspaper the Nets should "have to discipline him in some way".

Looking at how Irving has handled the episode, Nash said: "That's an ongoing conversation. I haven't been a part of those internal talks, to be honest. I've been coaching, preparing the team. But I know they're looking at that constantly."

Erasing the controversial social media content appears to have been taken as a positive step, with Nash saying that "certainly helps".

The Nets coach added: "I just hope that we all grow through this together. There's always an opportunity for us to grow and understand new perspectives.

"I think the organisation is trying to take that stance that we communicate through this and all come out in a better position with more understanding and wanting to have empathy for every side of this debate and situation."

Irving last week wrote on Twitter: "I am an OMNIST and I meant no disrespect to anyone's religious beliefs. The 'Anti-Semitic' label that is being pushed on me is not justified and does not reflect the reality or truth I live in everyday. I embrace and want to learn from all walks of life and religions."

Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner took his opportunity on the podcast of ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski to lay out the case for why the Los Angeles Lakers should trade for him.

Turner, 26, led the NBA in blocked shots per game in the 2018-19, 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons. His career average of 2.29 blocks per game is second among all active players, trailing only Lakers star Anthony Davis (2.34).

Of all the players to average at least two blocks per game across the past two seasons, only Memphis Grizzlies big-man Jaren Jackson Jr has also averaged at least one made three-pointer per game.

His unique combination of shot blocking and shooting at a relatively young age has made him an intriguing trade chip for the Pacers, who are well-and-truly in the middle of a total rebuild, led by young point guard Tyrese Haliburton.

There were reports in the offseason about a potential trade between the Lakers and Pacers that would have seen Russell Westbrook and the Lakers' first round draft picks in 2027 and 2029 sent to the Pacers for Turner and shooter Buddy Hield.

Speaking on the Woj Pod, Turner, who is in the last year of his contract, said he believes it is a deal the Pacers should revisit.

"Coming into a contract year as well, you can’t lose me for [nothing]," he said. 

"[The Pacers] can’t have the notion of me playing out this year, they don’t trade me, and it’s like 'okay, say free agency comes around and I don’t re-sign here'. Let’s just be real – that’s just bad on the organisation.

"If they do trade me, and they do get assets for me coming along, they’re doing what’s best for them and doing what they’re paid to do. There’s no hard feelings with that."

He then laid out his case for why he believes he would be a strong fit, and be more appreciated with the Lakers.

"I know what I can provide for a team," he said. "My leadership, my shot-blocking, my three-point ability and just my ability to make plays out there on the floor.

"If I'm the Lakers, I take a very hard look at this with the position that you're in… but as far as pulling the trigger, I get paid to shoot. I'm not paid to make these calls, so I couldn't answer that.

"I just feel like here in the Midwest we don't get the love that I think we deserve... it doesn't get taken in on the national level.

"You are under the microscope out there in the West. When you are doing bad, you're going to hear about it. When you are doing great, you are going to get a lot of love, especially with the love that the Lakers get.

"I think that another aspect that is [appealing is] playing with greatness and playing under LeBron. I feel like he demands a certain level of excellency, especially at this point of his career. It's just one of those things; when you are out there, you got to perform.

"People are going to expect you to go out there and hold on to that legacy that the Lakers have built over the years."

The NBA trade deadline is not until February 9, but with the Lakers starting their season 1-5, they may act with urgency to turn things around.

Big performances from Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday and Brook Lopez carried the Milwaukee Bucks to a 110-108 victory against the Detroit Pistons on Monday.

With their win, the Bucks are now 6-0, and the NBA's last remaining unbeaten team.

Two-time MVP Antetokounmpo led the way with a game-high 31 points on 12-of-23 shooting, and he delivered in an important stretch of the game.

After the Bucks came out of halftime with a 60-52 lead, the Pistons got on a quick run, cutting the margin to one at 62-61, before Antetokounmpo scored his team's first 10 points of the third quarter to steady the ship.

He was supported well by Holiday, who scored 25 points with an efficient long-range shooting performance, finishing seven-of-15 from the field while hitting five of his 11 three-point attempts. He also added 10 assists and seven rebounds

Meanwhile, Lopez was a force in the middle of the paint, scoring 26 points (10-of-16) with nine rebounds and two blocks.

For the Pistons, Cade Cunningham was excellent with 27 points (11-of-23), seven assists and six rebounds, while the fifth overall pick from this year's NBA Draft, Jaden Ivey, had seven of his 19 points in the fourth quarter to make it a game down the stretch.

Harden narrowly misses career-high 

James Harden was one assist shy of his career-high as he dished out 17 in the Philadelphia 76ers' 118-111 win over the Washington Wizards.

His 17 assists matched his regular-season high, becoming the 10th time he has reached that figure, while he had 18 assists in a playoff game for the Brooklyn Nets against the Boston Celtics in the first round of 2021.

Against the Wizards, Harden also added 23 points (eight-of-17 shooting) and seven rebounds, with Tyrese Maxey finishing as their top-scorer with 28 on 12-of-22 shooting.

Washington's Kristaps Porzingis was the game's highest scorer with 32 points (10-of-17), nine rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Durant and the Nets get back in the win column

The Brooklyn Nets snapped a four-game losing streak when they defeated the Indiana Pacers 116-109.

Superstar duo Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving led the way as Ben Simmons missed the game with swelling in his knee.

Durant finished with a game-high 36 points on 13-of-22 shooting, while adding nine rebounds and seven assists. Irving was not far behind, posting 28 points (nine-of-19) with six rebounds, six assists and four steals.

Second-year wing Chris Duarte was impressive for the Pacers, scoring 30 points on 10-of-15 shooting, hitting five-of-10 from long range.

The Philadelphia 76ers have been stripped of a pair of second-round draft picks for holding conversations with free-agent players prior to the NBA's allotted time period, the league announced Monday.

Philadelphia will forfeit their second-round selections in the 2023 and 2024 drafts after being found to have engaged in early discussions with forwards P.J. Tucker and Danuel House Jr., both of whom later signed with the team.

The NBA said in a statement that the 76ers fully cooperated with the investigation.

Tucker, a 12-year veteran and defensive specialist, signed a three-year, $33million contract in July, a move made possible by star guard James Harden declining a $47m player option and re-signing with the 76ers at a lower salary to create cap flexibility.

House, a reserve averaging 2.7 points per game this season, was signed to a two-year deal worth around $8.4m.

Philadelphia are the fourth team in the past two years to lose second-round picks for a violation in player negotiation rules. The Milwaukee Bucks, Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls were previously hit with similar penalties.

Steve Kerr feels the Golden State Warriors look like they are playing "a pick-up game" rather than NBA-level basketball right now after their latest loss to the Detroit Pistons.

The Warriors went down 128-114 at Little Caesars Arena on Saturday, taking them to four losses for the season and leaving them mired in the lower half of the Western Conference.

With 38 free throws conceded, Golden State were also outscored by fast break and second-chance points throughout the encounter, slumped to a third loss in four games.

Kerr feels his side's struggles are self-inflicted, stressing the importance of being more disciplined.

"I always talk about the game being connected," he told reporters. "It just feels like we're putting ourselves in tough spots offensively.

"Then that translates to defense, and then we're late in either in transition or on rotations, and we just can't stop fouling.

"[There were] 38 more free throws tonight. We talk about it every day, but something has to click with our guys.

"I don't think they're all just blatant hacks. I think the way we're playing is affecting our defense. I think it looks like a pick-up game out there."

Kerr believes that if the Warriors can bring purpose and grit back into their performances., they will be able to turn their fortunes around.

"Until we do, then we're going to be experiencing games like this where [we] just never quite get the traction you need to build momentum," he added.

New Orleans Pelicans head coach Willie Green says Zion Williamson always makes the right play after marking his return from a hip injury with a double-double on Sunday.

The 2019 NBA Draft top overall pick scored 21 points, shooting nine-of-17 from the field, with 12 rebounds and seven assists in the Pelicans' 112-91 win over the short-handed Los Angeles Clippers.

Williamson had missed the Pelicans' past two games after suffering a posterior hip contusion in a heavy fall following a dunk attempt in their loss to the Utah Jazz last Sunday.

"Glad to have him back," Green said. "When he touches the ball - I've said it before - he makes the right play. Whether it's a score for himself or finding his teammates and kicking it out and continuing to move. He was fantastic."

Williamson missed all of last season with a broken foot having developed into an All-Star in his second season in 2020-21, averaging 27 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists.

The Pelicans power forward is averaging 22 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists across four games this season as he works his way back.

New Orleans have started the season 4-2 and loom as a danger side in the Western Conference with Williamson in full flight and he said he had developed his offensive game since his All-Star year.

"I would say before, I think I would rush it sometimes trying to see the open pass," Williamson said. "But now I just let it develop. I let the defense kind of shift towards me as soon as I see them take that shift.

"We got some special shooters on this team, and I'm able to find them and they knock the shots down."

Williamson also reassured that he was feeling better, albeit sore, after his hip injury.

"Still a little sore, man," Williamson said. "I've taken a lot of falls, but I ain't never had a fall like that one. But it was fine enough for me to play.

"Unless I'm truly injured, I'm going to be playing the game of basketball. That's just how I am."

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham was almost brought to tears when speaking about Russell Westbrook buying in and delivering as a bench player after ending their winless start to the season.

Westbrook made a strong contribution for the Lakers, coming off the bench for the second straight game and playing 32 minutes with 18 points, eight rebounds and eight assists as the Lakers won 121-110 over the Denver Nuggets on Sunday to end their five-game losing run.

The 2017 MVP shot six-of-12 from the field including two three-pointers, while he was perfect with four-of-four from the free-throw line.

Westbrook's new role under Ham, who took over from Frank Vogel in the off-season, comes after the point guard was the subject of widespread criticism for the Lakers missing the playoffs in his first year at the franchise last season.

"I'm so happy for him," Ham told reporters. "Last couple of games, Minnesota and tonight, he's been phenomenal. Nothing short of amazing. But I'm so happy. I can't even imagine what that kid is going through.

"One of the biggest things about me getting this job was for him to get that respect that he deserved because a lot of what went on last year was not his fault.

"And everything, all the blame was placed on him. I told him, 'man, just listen to me, believe in me bro. I'm gonna put you in a position to succeed with the group, but you have to put the group first. I can't be about me or I or mine. It's got to be us, ours, we'. And he's done that."

Westbrook, who had 18 points and eight rebounds against the Timberwolves on Friday, may not have started on Sunday but he played a key role down the stretch, with a lay-up and two free-throws in the final two minutes.

"Like I've mentioned since day one, whatever is needed from me to help the team win, that’s what I'll do," Westbrook said.

The win improved the Lakers, who were the last winless team in the NBA, to 1-5 having missed the playoffs last season with a 33-49 record.

"I just think guys got tired of going through the same motions through the last four, five games where we've been highly competitive," Ham said. "I saw a different type of focus… It's a part of the process.

"Tonight we needed to prove something to ourselves, not the world, not to the media. That felt great how we responded throughout the game."

LeBron James top scored with 26 points, while power forward Anthony Davis was exceptional with 23 points and 15 rebounds but appeared to labor with a back issue.

"It's day by day," Davis said. "One day I feel great, the next day [I don't]. Just try to manage it and keep getting treatment. I'm not going to let that stop me."

The Los Angeles Lakers ended their winless start to the season to move to a 1-5 record with a 121-110 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Sunday.

LeBron James scored a game-high 26 points with six rebounds and eight assists, while Anthony Davis excelled with 23 points and 15 rebounds, although he appeared to nurse a back injury late.

Russell Westbrook was solid again off the bench, adding 18 points on 50 per cent shooting with eight rebounds and eight assists. Westbrook scored four points in the final two minutes to see off any Nuggets' challenge.

The Lakers improved their three-point shooting, making 13-of-30 attempts at 43.3 per cent, while they also scored 48 points in the paint, taking advantage of the defensive limitations of the Nuggets' two-time MVP-winning center Nikola Jokic.

Jokic recorded a double-double with 23 points and 14 rebounds while Jamal Murray, who missed the 2021-22 campaign with a ruptured ACL, had his best scoring game of the season with 21 points.

The win ends the Lakers' five-game losing run to start the season. For Denver, the defeat means they are 1-3 on the road this season and 4-3 overall.

Warriors beaten by struggling Pistons

The Golden State Warriors had defensive issues again as they suffered back-to-back losses and fell to a 3-4 record after a 128-114 loss to the Detroit Pistons, who ended their own five-game losing run.

Last year's top NBA Draft selection Cade Cunningham was an assist short of a triple-double, contributing 23 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists as the Pistons dominated after quarter-time.

Stephen Curry scored 32 points on 10-of-24 shooting, while Jordan Poole added 30 with Klay Thompson rested. The Warriors, who have given up 120-or-more points in five of their past six games, only made 12-of-39 three-point attempts (31 per cent).

Doncic matches rare Jordan feat

Luka Doncic became the first player since Michael Jordan in 1986 to score 30-or-more points in each of the first six games of the season as the Dallas Mavericks won 114-105 over the Orlando Magic.

The Slovenian point guard shot 17-of-26 from the field for 44 points with three rebounds and five assists. Doncic scored 30 of his 44 points in the first half.

Top 2022 NBA Draft pick Pablo Banchero failed to reach 20 points for the first time in his career, scoring 18 on six-of-20 shooting for the Magic.

Kyrie Irving says he will not "stand down" for what he believes in after facing widespread backlash for sharing a film on social media with alleged anti-Semitic connotations.

The 30-year-old tweeted a link to 'Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America' on Thursday, with Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai condemning Irving for promoting a film "full of anti-Semitic disinformation".

The Nets and NBA both released strong statements refusing to tolerate "hate speech", while coach Steve Nash said the star guard had been spoken to prior to Saturday's 125-116 loss to the Indiana Pacers.

However, speaking after the game against the Pacers at Barclays Center, Irving suggested he had not done anything wrong and would continue to speak with freedom.

"I'm not here to argue over a person or a culture or a religion and what they believe," Irving said. "Nah, this is what's here. It's on a public platform.

"Did I do anything illegal? Did I hurt anybody? Did I harm anybody? Am I going out and saying that I hate one specific group of people?

"So out of all the judgement that people got for me posting, without talking to me, and then I respect what Joe [Tsai] said, but there has a lot to do with not ego or pride of how proud I am to be [of] African heritage, but also to be living as a free black man here in America, knowing the historical complexities for me to get here.

"So I'm not going to stand down on anything that I believe in. I'm only going to get stronger because I'm not alone. I have a whole army around me."

Irving had earlier defended his actions on Twitter, where his shared post still remains, stating the "anti-Semitic label" on him was "not justified", nor did he intend to disrespect "anyone's beliefs".

The Nets fell to a fourth straight loss of the season against the Pacers, though Nash does not believe the Irving situation influenced Brooklyn's performance.

"I don't think our group is overly affected by the situation," Nash said. "We've had so many situations over the last one or two years that I think we've kind of built an immunity to some of it.

"I also think our guys aren't that familiar with the material."

Star Nets forward Kevin Durant echoed Nash's comments, suggesting Brooklyn would pay no attention to those outside of the locker room.

"Absolutely not," Durant responded when asked if the furore had impacted his side. "The only impact is you guys and everybody outside the locker room."

Steve Nash implored the Brooklyn Nets to "care more" after falling to their fourth straight loss, with Ben Simmons revealing the side met for a players-only meeting to discuss problems.

Indiana Pacers recorded a 125-116 victory on Saturday, the fourth time in six games the Nets have conceded 125 points or more, as Nash's side dropped to 1-5 this season.

Brooklyn host the Pacers again on Monday and Nash outlined his frustrations with the Nets as he urged his team to show more commitment.

"It was a disaster," coach Nash said. "How else do you say it? I didn't see the will, didn't see the desire, or the connectivity necessary to get stops and get rebounds.

"We just got to make a bigger commitment and it's got to mean more and we got to care more.

"We have to look deep inside ourselves and what we want to do. What do we want to accomplish? Do we want to give up on this because it's been difficult early or do we want to stay the course and start to build something?

"We've had a lot of really good days here early in the season and we've lost a couple of games; it shakes our mentality, it has shaken our mentality hard.

"And we're not seeing the same competitive spirit, same purpose, and if we don't clean that up it's not going to get better. It's the only way to get out of difficult positions is to have character and competitive spirit."

The Nets have been largely reliant on Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving thus far, the pair scoring 61 points at Barclays Center, and the former acknowledged Brooklyn must improve soon.

"It was a s***ty night," Durant said. "Excuse my language, it was a bad night. We're p***ed. We enjoy basketball.

"We like to win, though, so of course when we lose the games it's going to be a sombre mood in the locker room. But it will change once we start playing some good basketball.

"We got a lot of basketball to be played ahead of us."

While Nash urged his team to up their effort levels, Simmons suggested the Nets are confronting their problems after a meeting between the players following the defeat.

"It was honest," Simmons said of the meeting. "We had a conversation. Obviously, I'm not going to talk about it, but it was honest.

"That's what winning teams do. Hold each other accountable, be able to be open and talk to your team-mates, and respect that and be men."

Stephen Curry scored 31 points with 11 rebounds in his annual homecoming that ended in an overtime defeat for the Golden State Warriors, losing 120-113 to the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday.

Golden State had led by four points in the final minute of regulation, before P.J. Washington hit a jumper, followed by a Dennis Smith Jr layup to tie the game.

Curry missed a tough three-point attempt to win the game at the end of regulation time, and airballed another shot in overtime. The Warriors point guard finished with three-of-13 from beyond the arc, making 10-of-22 from the field.

The Hornets, who were without LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier, were rampant in overtime, with Washington finishing the game with 31 points and Jalen McDaniels draining a crucial triple. Gordon Hayward made a strong contribution with 23 points and four assists.

Golden State shot at 29.5 per cent from three-point range, with Klay Thompson battling on one-of-seven shooting from beyond the arc in his 11 points.

Jordan Poole made four-of-11 attempts in his 24 points off the bench for the Warriors, who are 0-2 on the road this season and 3-3 overall.

Clutch Embiid lifts 76ers to back-to-back wins

Joel Embiid scored 25 points but none were better than his tiebreaking three-point shot as the Philadelphia 76ers made it back-to-back wins with a 114-109 victory over the Chicago Bulls.

Embiid drained his wide-open three-point shot to put the 76ers up 112-109 with 18.1 seconds remaining in the game as Philadelphia improved to 3-4 after their 1-4 start to the season.

The 76ers center had seven rebounds and four assists, while James Harden contributed 15 points on two-of-13 field shooting with 11 assists, while Tyrese Maxey scored 14 points after posting a career-high 44 on Friday.

Nets woes worsen with Pacers shock

The Brooklyn Nets' defensive woes continued as they fell to a fourth straight loss, going down 125-116 to the Indiana Pacers for whom rookie Bennedict Mathurin scored a career-high 32 points.

The Nets conceded another big score, averaging 124.5 points against during their four-game losing skid, with Kevin Durant contributing 26 points with five rebounds and four blocks.

Kyrie Irving, who has come under fire for appearing to show support to an antisemitic film this week, responded on the court with 35 points including five triples with six assists.

Kyrie Irving is being met with severe backlash, including from owner of the Brooklyn Nets Joe Tsai, after sharing a link on social media to a movie "full of anti-Semitic disinformation".

On Thursday, Irving tweeted out a link to a movie on Amazon Prime called 'Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America' – his tweet remains up as of Saturday - and he also shared the same image to his Instagram story.

The 2018 movie is based on a 2015 book of the same name, and includes troubling assertions.

In a team statement, the Nets said: "The Brooklyn Nets strongly condemn and have no tolerance for the promotion of any form of hate speech. 

"We believe that in these situations, our first action must be open, honest dialogue.

"We thank those, including the ADL [Anti-Defamation League], who have been supportive during this time."

Tsai also released his own statement that he posted on his personal Twitter account.

"I’m disappointed that Kyrie appears to support a film based on a book full of anti-semitic disinformation," he said. 

"I want to sit down and make sure he understands this is hurtful to all of us, and as a man of faith, it is wrong to promote hate based on race, ethnicity or religion."

He then posted a follow-up tweet saying "this is bigger than basketball".

Irving is yet to comment on the situation, which is sure to dominate the lead-up to the Nets' home game against the Indiana Pacers on Saturday.

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