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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lakers make it four wins from five

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

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

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

Pacers keep on winning

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

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

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

Injury-plagued Charlotte Hornets wing Gordon Hayward is set for another extended stint on the sidelines after it was revealed on Friday he has a fracture in his left shoulder.

Hayward, 32, has only played more than 52 games in one of the past five seasons since his shocking broken leg in his first game as a member of the Boston Celtics back in 2017.

Averaging 16.3 points, 4.4 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game in his 11 games this season, Hayward allegedly suffered the injury in Sunday's loss to the Washington Wizards.

However, according to his wife Robyn Hayward, Gordon went on to play 29 minutes in Wednesday's win against the Philadelphia 76ers, scoring just seven points with four turnovers as he battled pain throughout.

In a comment on Instagram, she said: "He actually has a fractured scapula... that they had him play with last game.

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James returned on Friday after missing five games due to an adductor injury.

James, 37, is averaging 24.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 6.9 assists per game in his 20th season, although his efficiency is the lowest it has been since his rookie year.

Shooting a career-worst 23.9 per cent from long range, James' 45.7 per cent figure from the field would be his worst finish since 2004 if he is unable to right the ship.

The Lakers are struggling to start the season, entering Friday's contest against the San Antonio Spurs with a 5-11 record. They are also 0-6 away from home, which they are looking to change in San Antonio.

During James' absence, Anthony Davis has rediscovered some of his best form, including a stunning 37-point, 21-rebound, five-block, five-steal performance in a loss to the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday.

While the early returns have been poor, there are signs that this roster construction for the Lakers has a chance to figure things out. 

After posting the 21st-ranked defense in the league last season, the Lakers now own the eighth-best defense, and are only being weighed down by their 29th-ranked offense.

James returning with a red-hot Davis should begin to push the Lakers' offense to at least league-average, and when partnered with a top-10 defense and two go-to options, they will feel they still have everything to play for.

Patrick Beverley has been suspended for the Los Angeles Lakers' next three games after shoving Deandre Ayton in their 115-105 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday.

With just under four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Beverley pushed an oblivious Ayton while the Suns' center was stood over a grounded Austin Reaves, following a flagrant foul by Devin Booker.

Beverley received a technical foul and was then ejected, but the Lakers guard has now received further punishment in the form of a three-game suspension without pay.

The sanction will see Beverley miss out on a reported $268,965 in salary and will rule him out of the Lakers' back-to-back road games at the San Antonio Spurs on Friday and Saturday, as well as Monday's home showdown with the Indiana Pacers.

An NBA statement read: "Los Angeles Lakers guard Patrick Beverley has been suspended three games without pay for forcefully shoving Suns center Deandre Ayton from behind and knocking him to the court.

"The suspension was based in part on Beverley's history of unsportsmanlike acts."

Over his 14 starts this season, Beverley has averaged 4.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists a game.

Kawhi Leonard does not have a timetable for his return to action after a right ankle sprain, says Los Angeles Clippers head coach Ty Lue.

The two-time NBA champion sat out Wednesday's 124-107 defeat to the Golden State Warriors after suffering an injury during Monday's showdown with the Utah Jazz.

Leonard rolled his ankle late in the fourth quarter while attempting to make a block, though the player subsequently had seemed hopeful there would be no lay-off.

The small forward's absence at Chase Center alongside fellow key man Paul George, however, is a blow for the Clippers, with no time frame set for his return.

"[He] woke up with some soreness in his ankle," Lue stated when asked on a prognosis for Leonard's recovery.

"It was a little more than we thought. But he's okay, [he's] feeling better, getting better. We don't know a timetable."

Despite defeat, the Clippers still sit just inside the top six of the Western Conference, having posted eight wins and four losses in November so far.

They next face the Denver Nuggets and the Indiana Pacers in back-to-back home contests on November 25 and November 27, before they travel to face the Portland Trail Blazers on November 29.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wiggins stars as Warriors get back to winning ways

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

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

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

Bulls topple Bucks to claim another big scalp

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

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

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

Kyrie Irving was thrilled with the Brooklyn Nets' response to the "internet uproar" from Tuesday's 115-106 loss to the short-handed Philadelphia 76ers in Wednesday's 112-98 road win over the Toronto Raptors.

Irving led the way for the Nets with a team-high 29 points, including 19 in the third quarter, as they bounced back after being "embarrassed" by the 76ers who were missing Joel Embiid, James Harden and Tyrese Maxey.

The win improved the Nets to 9-10, fueled by a 39-25 third quarter where Irving scored three triples.

"We're in the business of winning," Irving told reporters after the game.

"We'll take this one, especially after last night's loss, and the whole internet going up in an uproar in terms of how embarrassed we should be, which is true.

"We just wanted to make sure we paid attention to detail tonight. We came out and responded."

Nets teammate Ben Simmons, who had his fifth straight game with 10 points or more, praised Irving for his role in the win.

"Just being Kyrie, that's what we want him to do, just be himself," Simmons said. "Have that confidence to come out and take those shots and be who he is.

"He's an incredible player, an incredible teammate, I'm glad he had a night like tonight."

Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn said his side had learned and applied valuable lessons from losses to short-handed opponents lately, including their 116-103 defeat to the Los Angeles Lakers missing LeBron James along with the 76ers.

"It really was a standard that we have to have for each other," Vaughn said. "A big piece of that is holding each other in a higher standard.

"I thought from the beginning of the game you saw that, a lot more talk from each other, a lot more communication and demand from each other which was great to see."

Kevin Durant was held to only 12 points for the game, but passed Kevin Garnett to be 18th on the NBA all-time points scorers' list.

The Sacramento Kings just keep on winning, defeating the Memphis Grizzlies 113-109 on the road for their seventh straight victory – a feat they have not achieved since 2004.

Their 113 points is the lowest total they have put up during this winning run, having not previously fallen below 120. 

The Kings' scoring power, which includes the highest total in a game this season (153 against the Brooklyn Nets) has them as the second-best offense in the NBA at 117.7 points per 100 possessions, trailing only the Boston Celtics (118.2).

De'Aaron Fox was the catalyst on Tuesday, scoring a team-high 32 points on 11-of-21 shooting, including five-of-eight from deep, while adding eight rebounds, six assists and four steals.

Fox's ability to go head-to-head with Grizzlies superstar Ja Morant bodes well for the Kings, as the 24-year-old former fifth overall pick in the 2017 draft appears on track for his first All-Star appearance.

He is averaging a career-high 25.4 points per game at a career-best 55.8 field goal percentage, and he is also top-20 in assists with an average of 6.4.

At 10-6, the Kings are currently occupying the third seed in the Western Conference, and they will look to extend their streak to eight games when they head to Atlanta to take on the Hawks on Wednesday.

Davis' dominance goes to waste

Anthony Davis had one of the most statistically impressive games of his career in the Los Angeles Lakers' 115-105 loss to the Phoenix Suns.

Davis scored 37 points on 11-of-17 shooting, hitting 15 of his 16 free throws, while grabbing 21 rebounds, snatching five steals and swatting five blocks. He is the first player since the league began recording blocks and steals in 1973 to post at least 37 points, 20 rebounds, five steals and four blocks in a game.

For the Suns, Mikal Bridges and Devin Booker scored 25 each, while center Deandre Ayton had 14 points and 15 rebounds before being shoved to the ground by Patrick Beverley late in the fourth quarter, drawing an ejection for the Lakers guard.

Bogdanovic leads unlikely Pistons win

Despite the return of reigning back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic and second-fiddle Jamal Murray, the Detroit Pistons pulled off an upset 110-108 road win against the Denver Nuggets.

After missing some time due to the league's health and safety protocols, Jokic was back to his dominant best, scoring 31 points on 12-of-16 shooting with 10 assists and nine rebounds, but it was not enough.

Bojan Bogdanovic scored a team-high 22 points on eight-of-17 points for the Pistons, while Alec Burks chipped in 21 points and three steals off the bench, and Killian Hayes set the table with nine assists.

Kevin Durant feels "everybody" wants to see the Brooklyn Nets fail after Ben Simmons' homecoming against the undermanned Philadelphia 76ers ended in a disappointing 115-106 road defeat on Tuesday.

The 76ers were missing Joel Embiid, James Harden and Tyrese Maxey through injury, but they were able to catch fire from deep, shooting 50 per cent from the three-point line (16-of-32).

In a hostile environment for the Nets, the Philadelphia crowd aggressively booed Simmons every time he touched the ball, although he performed well, collecting 11 points, 11 assists, seven rebounds, three blocks and three steals.

For the 76ers, Tobias Harris stepped up into an increased workload and delivered a team-high 24 points on 10-of-21 shooting, while De'Anthony Melton, Georges Niang and Shake Milton combined for 54 points on 12-of-19 from long-range.

It was a golden opportunity for the full-strength Nets to pull their record even at 9-9, but they are now two games below .500 at 8-10.

When asked if he felt the crowd took extra delight in getting one over Simmons and the Nets, Durant said he feels every away crowd has added animosity towards his team.

"It's a lot of emotions [for Simmons coming back to Philadelphia], you always want to play well," he said. "You know the fans are going to be involved… and bring their best. 

"But that's at every arena, everybody wants to see our team fail – nobody likes Ben, nobody likes 'Ky' [Irving], nobody likes myself – so it might be like that at every road arena.

"It's just something we've got to deal with, but I thought [Simmons] did a great job at handling it and playing his game. We had a chance to win, but we just didn't."

Durant added that he did not feel the Nets played a poor defensive game, but were too slow to adjust to the 76ers' hot shooting.

"It's the same s***," he said. "They had 20 more shots than us, and seven more three-pointers. That's the game.

"[We have to] just go do it. Just go do what we need to do. Rebound, box out, move the ball, guard up one-on-one.

"They shot 43 per cent from the field, which is not bad. But they shot 50 per cent from the three-point line, and a lot of those were crossover, step-back threes – they're just back-breakers. 

"I wouldn't necessarily say we had a horrible defensive night, but they out-rebounded us – 20 offensive rebounds – and they made 16 threes, and it looked bad.

"We would make them shoot a tough shot, they get a rebound and hit a three. We botch a switch maybe, and a guy gets a little bit of space and he shoots over a contest. They knocked them down tonight.

"Early on we should have seen they were hot, so we had to get up into them and force them inside the three-point line.

"But they played free, and they had nothing to lose, so those shots are just going to feel better when they leave their hands. We had to make them miss tonight, and they hit them, you have to give them credit."

Kawhi Leonard's return to the Los Angeles Clippers lasted three games before another injury, with a rolled ankle ruling him out of Wednesday's fixture against the Golden State Warriors.

Leonard missed all of last season after tearing his ACL in the 2021 playoffs, and after returning for two games in October, he proceeded to miss another three weeks with his troublesome knee.

The 31-year-old two-time NBA Finals MVP and two-time Defensive Player of the Year has started each of the Clippers' past three games, averaging 8.3 points in 23.3 minutes as he works his way back into form.

In Monday's win against the Utah Jazz, where the Clippers were already missing Paul George due to a strained hamstring, Leonard landed awkwardly after attempting to block a shot in the fourth quarter, and was subsequently ruled out of the rest of the contest.

After that game, he said: "I just rolled my ankle… but I should be fine".

The Clippers sorely miss Leonard at his offensive best, as they currently boast the second-best defense in the league, but the third-worst offense.

His next opportunity to get back on the floor will be Friday at home against the Denver Nuggets, or if that is too soon, Sunday at home against the Indiana Pacers.

Zach LaVine was relieved to put "a career-worst night" behind him by galvanising the Chicago Bulls for a victory that denied the Boston Celtics a 10-game winning streak.

The two-time All-Star had a lousy game against the Orlando Magic on Friday, tallying just four points, but he was back on it as the Bulls snatched a 121-107 victory over Boston.

Zach Lavine was five-of-10 on three-pointers for his 22 points, but it was his all-round effort that most impressed Bulls coach Billy Donovan.

The Celtic were on a nine-game roll, but they were no match for the Bulls on Monday.

LaVine said: "We've lost a lot in a row and they've won a lot in a row. I think we're a really good team, but we go through little lapses or times where we play bad. That's how fast the game can change."

He said of his sorry showing against Orlando: "Everybody has a career-worst night. I guess that was my night."

Coach Donovan commended the 27-year-old for putting the misfiring Magic game to the back of his mind, and refocusing.

Donovan said of LaVine: "I thought he played a great game tonight. I've got an enormous amount of confidence in his offense, in his ability to shoot the ball. He's done that his entire career, he's a lead at it.

"That will come back as he continues to play, and we're doing something differently offensively that he's having to work through, get accustomed to.

"There's a lot of things he can do to impact a game. Even though I think he missed his first three shots, it's probably not going to show up on the stats sheets but he generated a lot of open shots for our guys.

"He didn't shoot the ball at the percentage rate that he normally does, but I'm not worried about it.

"I thought his fingerprints were all over the game in a lot of different ways. He still got 22 points, but he did it defensively, he did it with his passing, he tried to get in there and rebound, he made good decisions.

"I thought he did a lot of extremely positive things."

DeMar DeRozan led the Bulls with 28 points on 11-of-24 shooting, hitting all three of his long-range attempts.

Jaylen Brown insists he does not endorse the protesters who gathered outside Barclays Center to welcome Kyrie Irving's return from suspension for the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday.

Irving had sat out eight straight games after being punished for sharing a social media post about a book and film with anti-Semitic tropes.

He returned to the fold against the Memphis Grizzlies, a game that saw approximately 100 members from Israel United in Christ gather outside the venue, chanting and handing out flyers headlined "The Truth About Anti-Semitism" and "The Truth about Slavery".

The group has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Boston Celtics guard and NBPA vice-president Brown retweeted a social media video of the group with the caption "Energy".

Brown later backtracked on the post insisting he "was not aware of what specific group was outside of Barclays Center" and reiterated that stance when speaking after Monday's defeat to the Chicago Bulls.

"I saw a large group of our people from our community showing support for [Kyrie] and his return," Brown said.

"Me being proud of that support and being proud of our community for doing that does not mean I endorse or celebrate some of the things that were being done or being said.

"My instinct when I saw this was I didn't notice which group it was. I just noticed the support, and that's what I commented on. I reemphasise that I don't think that everything that is said or being done or being said is something I endorse or represent."

Brown added he wanted to promote "brown and black people standing together on our issues rather than seeing images of violence in our media, music and movies that we don't entirely promote or profit from".

Brown has criticised the Nets' handling of Irving's suspension and the terms set out for him to return to court.

"I've been in contact as a union member, as a former team-mate just to show support for the situation that [Irving's] been going through," Brown added.

"Being exiled from the game, of course, emotionally is a lot on our league, but it's a lot on everyone who's a fan of this game.

"Kyrie's contributed in a lot of ways to the game of basketball, so for him to be able to come back and be on the floor last night, I thought was something to celebrate.

"I thought that was something to support. The NBA, the Brooklyn Nets decided whatever the disagreements were or the concern was, was obviously handled and we were moving on. I was supporting that decision."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brunson out-duels Gilgeous-Alexander

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

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

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

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

Bulls snap nine-game Celtics winning streak

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

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

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

The Cleveland Cavaliers have quietly built an elite championship profile with a top-five offense and a top-five defense, and they were too good for fellow Eastern Conference playoff contenders the Atlanta Hawks on Monday.

Against the Hawks, the Cavaliers rode the offensive brilliance of their two All-Star guards. Darius Garland, who the team drafted fifth overall back in 2019, had an efficient 26 points on nine-of-14 shooting, while their offseason trade acquisition Donovan Mitchell top-scored with 29 points on 11-of-22 shooting.

While having two terrific scorers in the backcourt is one thing, having two elite playmakers unlocks a whole new level of play.

Both Garland and Mitchell finished with nine assists each, with Mitchell averaging a career-high 5.8 assists since arriving from the Utah Jazz, while Garland's 7.7 assists per contest ties him for the sixth-most in the league.

When factoring in that they both play close to 40 minutes a night, coach J.B. Bickerstaff can stagger his rotation in a way where one of them is always on the floor, giving them 48 minutes of structured, competent offense, regardless of who the four surrounding players are.

While their dynamic duo are the heartbeat of their offensive success – producing the fifth-best offensive rating in the league at 114.8 points per 100 possessions – they have an equally impactful pairing in the frontcourt with seven-footers Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley.

Allen, along with Garland, was honoured last season as a first-time All-Star, while Mobley came into the league as one of the greatest defensive prospects in the history of college basketball.

It is the brilliance of that combination that has allowed the Cavaliers to concede the third-fewest points per 100 possessions (108.2) despite starting two small guards, making them the only team in the top-five of both offensive and defensive efficiency.

After Monday's win against the Hawks, Garland spoke about how their defense was able to deliver a 12-point win despite committing 20 turnovers as a team.

"We're just trying to cut the turnovers down, really – even though we had a lot tonight, we made it up on defense," he said.

"That's how we got easy buckets and got out in transition – got us a couple lay-ups, a couple lobs, and that's really what got us going.

"Our team is just unselfish – everybody sees it. We all love each other, we just want to win, we're just competitors."

Coach Bickerstaff expanded on what makes their defense so good during his postgame press conference, pointing to it as a driving force of their offense, as well.

"We've shown what we're capable of defensively," he said. "We know when we're at our best we can create stops, we can force turnovers, we can create easy opportunities for ourselves.

"In that fourth quarter, holding them to 17 points until that last three – that's how you win basketball games against good teams. You lock down defensively, and that helped our offense.

"When you're getting stops, you're playing in the flow and not against a set defense as much. All of our stuff works together – our offense helps our defense, and our defense helps our offense

"We need to be able to slow the game down and control the game. If you have to go against our half-court defense, you're going to be in for a tough time."

He went on to discuss how special the Allen and Mobley connection is, and why it is such a stark difference when Allen is out injured. The Cavaliers have a woeful defensive rating of 126.6 in the two games Allen has missed this season, and what would be a league-leading figure of 104.0 in the 15 games he has played.

"Jarrett is a Defensive Player of the Year-caliber player," he said. "When you take that away, it's obviously going to have an impact. 

"But when he's on the floor, we're a different team, and when our two big guys are on the floor together, and they're working as a pair, they're hard to score on.

"Evan [Mobley] is an All-Defensive player himself, we're extremely fortunate to have two guys who can defend the way they can defend. When they're working together, you're hard-pressed to find easy looks out there."

With the win, the Cavaliers are now 7-1 at home and 11-6 overall, occupying the third seed in the Eastern Conference – a position they will be aiming to maintain all season.

Los Angeles Clippers franchise player Paul George has been diagnosed with a hamstring strain, ruling him out of at least Monday's clash with the Utah Jazz, and likely more.

George led the Clippers in scoring last season, and continues to lead this season as Kawhi Leonard makes his way back from a long-term injury.

Against the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday, George was ruled out of the game at half-time after putting up 21 points in 15 minutes, with the Clippers calling it knee soreness as his team cruised to a 119-97 blowout win.

George was listed as questionable until hours before Monday's fixture against the Clippers, when the team released a new injury report with the news of his hamstring strain.

After Saturday's win, Clippers head coach Ty Lue told reporters he did not think it was a significant injury.

"He's doing okay," he said. "I haven't seen what they [medical staff] said about what happened to him, but I just know he had a little tweak."

George was also recorded telling team owner Steve Ballmer that he has "a little soreness, but it's okay".

The typical recovery time for a hamstring strain is at least two weeks, although his status as questionable just two days after suffering the injury bodes well for his projected time on the sidelines.

Page 2 of 167
© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.