The San Antonio Spurs will rest Victor Wembanyama for Wednesday's road game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, denying him a clash with fellow Rookie of the Year contender Chet Holmgren.

Wembanyama rolled his right ankle against the New Orleans Pelicans on April 5, having missed a game against the Phoenix Suns due to a left ankle sprain the previous month.

Last year's number one draft pick has played 70 games this season, averaging 21.3 points, 10.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists.

With Wembanyama playing 31 minutes in Tuesday's 102-87 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies, the Spurs are reportedly being cautious over his condition on the second leg of a back-to-back.

After Tuesday's game, San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said of Wembanyama's involvement: "We're going to talk it out. It's a question because we've held him out a lot of the back-to-backs. 

"Once when he had that foot thing and now down the stretch, I'm not sure it makes much sense to push it."

Popovich's decision to hold Wembanyama back means fans will be denied a meeting between the likely top two in the Rookie of the Year race, with Holmgren looking to maintain his record of appearing in every game for the Thunder this year. 

Wembanyama is expected to return to the court on Friday, when San Antonio host the Denver Nuggets in their penultimate game of the season. 

The Philadelphia 76ers have been fined $100,000 by the NBA for violating the league's injury reporting rules after Joel Embiid's return to the court.

Embiid spent over two months on the sidelines after suffering a knee injury during a game against the Golden State Warriors at the end of January, undergoing surgery to repair the lateral meniscus in his left knee.

The reigning NBA MVP, who was in outstanding form before sustaining the injury, sat out 29 straight games before returning to help the Sixers beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 109-105 on Tuesday.

Embiid had 24 points in his first game back then added 29 on his latest outing on Thursday as the Sixers beat the Miami Heat by the same scoreline.

However, Philadelphia have fallen foul of the NBA's injury reporting rules after initially saying Embiid would not face the Thunder.

Embiid was listed as being out of that game for 24 hours before he was suddenly upgraded to questionable just one hour and 15 minutes before he was named in the Sixers' starting lineup.

In a statement issued on Friday, the league said: "The 76ers failed to accurately disclose the game availability status of Joel Embiid prior to their game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on April 2.  

"Embiid was listed as 'out' in Philadelphia's initial injury report and subsequently played in the game. The fine takes into account the 76ers' prior history of fines for violating injury reporting rules."

Embiid is expected to be rested for one of the Sixers' two road games this weekend, as they face the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday and the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday.

Having won three straight games, the Sixers now sit just one game behind the sixth-placed Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference standings and have a chance of avoiding the Play-In Tournament. 

Boston Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla lauded his side after clinching NBA Playoffs home advantage following Wednesday's routine victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Celtics powered to a 135-100 triumph against the Thunder as Boston secured the best NBA record this season and home-court preference for the postseason.

Kristaps Porzingis had 27 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks, while Jayson Tatum finished with 24 points and Jaylen Brown added another 23 as Boston made it 11 straight wins.

"It's very hard to do. We may never be in this position again," Mazzulla said. "We talked about it as a team. We talked about it before the game, to try to treat this game as the clincher.

"To kind of put that on ourselves to be able to do that. I think it was important for us to simulate that. We should enjoy it tonight, and when we wake up tomorrow – nobody cares."

The Celtics extended to 60-16 for the season, though Brown still wants more when the playoffs arrive.

"We're not skipping any steps," Brown said. "Sixty wins. I think we're on track. When the playoffs start, it's back to square one."

Porzingis added: "We deserve it. I think it's possibly going to matter if we follow through with the vision we have for ourselves."

There were some Boston concerns after Brown was questionable with a left-hand injury heading into the Thunder clash, though the Celtics man assured all is well.

"I think it's fine. It's something I'm not concerned with moving forward," he said. "But it bothered me a little bit tonight."

Mazzulla will hope Brown is available when Boston look to improve their record further when hosting the Sacramento Kings on Friday.

Kristaps Porzingis tallied 27 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks and the Boston Celtics won their 11th straight home game, 135-100 over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday.

Jayson Tatum added 24 points and Jaylen Brown had 23 and seven rebounds as the league-leading Celtics (60-12) clinched the NBA’s best record and home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.

Josh Giddey scored 17 points and Luguentz Dort added 15 for the Thunder, who had 14 turnovers and made just 5 of 24 from long range.

Oklahoma City lost its second straight and fell into third place in the Northwest Division, one game behind Denver and Minnesota.

The Thunder were without All-Star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander for the fourth time in five games due to a bruised right quadriceps.

 

Pistons’ Flynn drops 50 in loss

Malachi Flynn scored a career-high 50 points, but it wasn’t enough as Jalen Johnson had his first career triple-double to lead the Atlanta Hawks to a 121-113 win over the Detroit Pistons.

Flynn blew past his previous career high of 27 points by shooting 18 of 25 from the field, 5 of 9 from long range and 9 of 12 on free throws in 34 minutes. The 50 points were a franchise record for a reserve.

Johnson had 28 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists and De’Andre Hunter added 26 points as the Hawks won their sixth in seven games to clinch a berth in the Eastern Conference play-in tournament.

 

Davis keeps Lakers surging

Anthony Davis scored 19 of his 35 points in the first quarter and grabbed 18 rebounds to propel the Los Angeles Lakers to their eighth win in nine games, 125-120 over the Washington Wizards.

LeBron James had 25 points and nine assists and Rui Hachimura added 19 points for the Lakers, who completed a 5-1 road trip and are ninth in the Western Conference, one game behind Sacramento.

Jordan Poole scored 29 points for the Wizards, who are a loss shy of matching the franchise record of 63, set in 2008-09.

Joel Embiid has revealed his recent injury layoff left him feeling depressed, having returned to the court to help the Philadelphia 76ers past the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday. 

Embiid missed over two months of action after suffering a knee injury during a game against the Golden State Warriors at the end of January.

Having undergone surgery to repair the lateral meniscus in his left knee, Embiid sat out 29 straight games with the Sixers slumping from 29-17 to 40-35 in that time.

The Sixers have gone 14-27 without the reigning NBA MVP overall this campaign, and they were buoyed by his return on Tuesday as he finished their 109-105 win with 24 points, seven assists and six rebounds.

Opening up on the toll his injury took, Embiid said: "Usually I just tell myself, 'move on to the next one', get better, and then fix it, but this one took a toll mentally, being depressed, it was not good.

"So, I'm still not where I'm supposed to be, especially mentally, but I just love to play and love basketball and I want to play. Any chance that I have to be out there, I'm going to take it.

"For some reason this injury was just disappointing. It was depressing. It took me a while to get over it, and I still haven't gotten over it. So I've just got to take it day by day, look at the positives.

"I'm back. So, hopefully every single day, I'll try to get better and get back to myself."

Embiid was limited to just 29 minutes on the court, but only Kelly Oubre Jr., with 25 points, bettered his return as Philadelphia boosted their playoff hopes by making it back-to-back wins. 

"Minutes-wise, that was probably where I thought we would end up," head coach Nick Nurse said. "I thought we had a good start and it mapped out something like that, minutes-wise.

"He scored some, I thought he passed the ball really well, but when we start amping up our defense in the last six minutes he was down there again.

"Some of those drives didn't look as productive, so that to me is where I really thought he impacted the game. He looked pretty good for not playing for a couple of months, that's for sure."

Joel Embiid made his presence felt in his first game in nine weeks following knee surgery, sinking four free throws in the final 40 seconds and finishing with 24 points to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to a 109-105 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday.

Embiid – the reigning MVP - added seven assists and six rebounds in nearly 30 minutes in his first game since Jan. 30.

Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 25 points and Tobias Harris added 18 for the 76ers, who have won two straight following a 1-5 slide.

They are eighth in the Eastern Conference, 1 ½ games behind Miami.

Chet Holmgren scored 22 points and Lu Dort and Aaron Wiggins added 15 apiece as the Thunder failed to win a third straight and dropped one-half game behind Denver for the Western Conference lead.

Oklahoma City squandered an 11-point lead midway through the fourth quarter and was without All-Star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander for the third time in four games with a quad injury.

Jokic’s big night powers Nuggets

Nikola Jokić had 42 points and 16 rebounds and Michael Porter Jr. hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 28 seconds left to lift the Denver Nuggets to a 110-105 win over the San Antonio Spurs.

Jokic’s hook shot snapped a 103-all tie but Victor Wembanyma’s layup at the other end tied it again with 62 seconds left.

Porter, who had 15 points and a career-high 16 rebounds, then drilled a 3 to put Denver ahead to stay.

Wembanyama had 23 points, 15 boards, eight assists and nine blocks to nearly complete the NBA’s first quadruple-double since David Robinson in 1994.

Denver moved atop the Western Conference – a half-game ahead of Oklahoma City and Minnesota.

Warriors stay hot, cool Mavericks

Andrew Wiggins scored 23 points and the Golden State Warriors survived Luka Dončić’s 20th triple-double of the season in a 104-100 victory to end the Dallas Mavericks’ seven-game winning streak.

Doncic had 30 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists and trails only Domantas Sabonis (23) and Nikola Jokić (23) in triple-doubles. The Dallas superstar also notched his 48th 30-point game of the season, trailing only Oklahoma City’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (50).

Klay Thompson and Chris Paul each scored 14 points and Stephen Curry had 13 on 5-of-18 shooting as the Warriors tied a season high with their fifth straight win.

Jalen Green scored 37 points and Dillon Brooks hit a pair of 3-pointers in overtime to lift the Houston Rockets to their 10th consecutive victory, 132-126 over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday.

Amen Thompson had 25 points and 15 rebounds and Brooks finished with 20 points for the Rockets, who remained one game behind Golden State in the race for the final play-in spot in the Western Conference.

Houston’s winning streak is its longest since an 11-game run late in the 2017-18 season.

Josh Giddey tied a career high with 31 points and Jalen Williams added 23 and 10 assists for the Thunder, who remained tied with Minnesota and one-half game behind Northwest Division-leading Denver.

Oklahoma City played without All-Star guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who sat out with a bruised right thigh.

Brooks got Houston going in overtime with consecutive 3-pointers and Green’s 3 with 64 seconds left extended the Rockets’ lead to 126-120. Isaiah Joe nailed a 3 for the Thunder five seconds later, but Green made a layup and Thompson dunked with 26 seconds to go.

Streaking Lakers ride LeBron’s triple-double

LeBron James had 23 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists and Rui Hachimura scored 32 points to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to their fifth straight win, 136-124 over the Memphis Grizzlies.

D’Angelo Russell had 23 points and Taurean Prince added 15 for the Lakers, who stayed hot without Anthony Davis (knee) and pulled within 2 ½ games of idle Dallas for sixth in the Western Conference.

James returned after sitting out Tuesday’s double-overtime win over Milwaukee with a troublesome ankle and notched his fourth triple-double this season and 111th of his career.

Clippers get disputed win over 76ers

Kawhi Leonard completed two 3-point plays late in the fourth quarter and made a block at the rim on the final possession to give the Los Angeles Clippers a controversial 108-107 win over the Philadelphia 76ers.

Leonard stuffed Kelly Oubre at the rim with five seconds left and the Clippers holding a one-point lead.

The officiating crew after the game said a foul should have been called on the play that would have sent Oubre to the line with a chance for the winning points.

Leonard bounced back from a 1-for-8 shooting first half to finish with 17 points and 10 rebounds and Paul George scored 22 points. James Harden had 16 points and 14 assists in his return to Philadelphia.

Tyrese Maxey scored 26 points for the 76ers, who dropped their fourth in five games.

Austin Reaves notched a triple-double and drilled a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 37.8 seconds left in the second overtime as the Los Angeles Lakers rallied to beat the Milwaukee Bucks, 128-124, on Tuesday despite the absence of LeBron James.

Reaves had 29 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists in 47 minutes, Anthony Davis tallied 34 points and 23 rebounds in 52 minutes and D’Angelo Russell had 29 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds.

The Lakers, who never led in regulation, overcame a 17-point deficit in the fourth quarter and won their season-best fourth straight game with James sidelined with an ankle issue.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 29 points, a season-high 21 boards and 11 assists and Damian Lillard added 21 points for the Bucks, who had won six straight at home.

Reaves’ 3-pointer with 38 seconds left in the second OT snapped a tie and Lillard missed a 3 before Antetokounmpo missed two free throws. Russell then sank a pair from the line and Davis sealed the win with two free throws with two seconds left after Malik Beasley’s 3 drew Milwaukee within two.

Doncic keeps Mavericks rolling

Luka Dončić scored 26 of his 28 points in the first half and the Dallas Mavericks cruised to their fifth straight victory, 132-96 over the Sacramento Kings.

Doncic added 11 rebounds, six assists and three steals and Kyrie Irving had 24 points and eight assists for Dallas, which has won nine of 10 to move into sixth in the Western Conference.

De’Aaron Fox scored 18 points on 6-of-18 shooting and Domantas Sabonis had 12 points, 11 boards and nine assists for his 55th consecutive double-double, tying Jerry Lucas for the longest streak in franchise history.

Thunder ride late run past Pelicans

Jalen Williams scored 26 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder used a game-ending 12-0 run to rally for a 119-112 win over the New Orleans Pelicans after blowing a 20-point lead in the third quarter.

Josh Giddey added 25 points and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 24, including a tying 3-pointer with 89 seconds left.

Zion Williamson had 29 points and 10 assists for the Pelicans, who led 112-107 with 3:11 to play before missing their final five shots.

The Thunder won for the fifth time in six games to pull within a half game of idle Denver for the top spot in the Western Conference.

Giannis Antetokounmpo has no time left for excuses after the Milwaukee Bucks put injury struggles to one side in a convincing victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Bucks star Antetokounmpo recorded 30 points and a season-high 19 rebounds, while Khris Middleton registered his second career triple-double in Sunday's 118-93 thrashing of the Thunder.

Middleton had missed 16 straight games with a sprained left ankle, while Antetokounmpo returned for Thursday's victory over the Brooklyn Nets after missing two games due to an issue with his left hamstring.

Indeed, Sunday was the first time Antetokounmpo, Middleton and seven-time All-NBA guard Damian Lillard had shared the court since February 3.

"I just feel this appreciation of having everybody healthy and available to play," Antetokounmpo said.

"When we're not healthy, I think sometimes we play well, sometimes we don't, sometimes we create this excuse in our mind that like, 'OK, when he gets back, we're going to be better.' 

"But now we're all here. There are no more excuses."

Middleton had 11 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for his first triple-double since January 2018 and echoed Antetokounmpo's sentiment.

"With a full team out there, we realise what we can do," said Middleton. "We have so many guys, so many weapons that can carry us, or guys that can make a play or just attract a crowd."

In total, Milwaukee had seven players score in double figures as Bobby Portis posted 15 points, Brook Lopez 14, Lillard and Pat Connaughton 11 each and Jae Crowder 10.

"Just having everybody together makes the game easier for everybody,” Antetokounmpo added. "We don't have to force anything. We just keep on playing good basketball, keep on moving the ball.

"There's going to be some nights that it's going to be my night. There's going to be some nights that it's going to be Khris' night. There's going to be some nights that it's going to be Dame's night.

"But we don't have to force anything. Everybody out there is a threat. I think our bench is unbelievable, and they keep on getting better."

Such was Milwaukee's control, Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 12 points – the first time since January 16 he has been held below 20 – and sat out the entire fourth quarter as the Bucks dominated.

"They had him in a crowd for much of the night and made it very difficult for him to get his cracks," Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said of Gilgeous-Alexander.

"I thought as a team, just our overall pace and sharpness on offense wasn't where it needed to be."

Jaylen Brown scored 33 points to lead the NBA-leading Boston Celtics to their eighth straight victory, 129-102 over the short-handed Detroit Pistons on Friday.

Payton Pritchard had 20 points and Derrick White added 19 with 11 assists for Boston, which has won 18 of 20 games to continue cruising toward the top seed in the Eastern Conference.

Leading scorer Jayson Tatum sat out to rest an ankle for the second time in five days.

James Wiseman scored a season-high 24 points for the Pistons, who have lost five in a row overall and the last nine meetings with the Celtics.

Detroit was missing its top post players in Jalen Duren (back), Stanley Umude (ankle), Simone Fontecchio (toe), Isaiah Stewart (hamstring) and Ausar Thompson (illness).

Pelicans roll over Heat

CJ McCollum scored 30 points and the New Orleans Pelicans exacted a measure of revenge on the Miami Heat with a 111-88 rout.

Jose Alvarado added 17 points and Trey Murphy had 14 with eight rebounds as the Pelicans had no trouble in the first meeting between the teams since four players were ejected in the most recent matchup in New Orleans last month.

Zion Williamson was limited to only four points in 25 minutes, but the Pelicans won their eighth in 10 games.

Jimmy Butler scored 17 points as the Heat dropped to 17-16 at home, the 19th-best mark in the league. Miami dropped four games behind Southeast Division-leading Orlando.

Thunder down reeling Raptors

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 23 points, eight assists and seven rebounds in his only regular-season trip to his native Canada and the Oklahoma City Thunder pulled away to defeat the Toronto Raptors, 123-103.

Jalen Williams added 20 points and Kenrich Williams and Cason Wallace scored 12 apiece as the Thunder won their fourth straight and remained on top of the Western Conference.

Rookie Gradey Dick scored 21 points for the Raptors, who lost their ninth straight game. Toronto was without seven players, including five regular starters.

D’Angelo Russell scored 21 of his season-high 44 points in the fourth quarter, including the go-ahead jumper with 5.9 seconds left, and the Los Angeles Lakers overcame LeBron James’ absence in a 123-122 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday.

After Russell’s basket put the Lakers up one, Spencer Dinwiddie blocked Damian Lillared’s step-back jumper before the buzzer to preserve a stirring win for the Lakers.

Russell matched his career high with nine 3-pointers, handed out nine assists and scored the Lakers’ final eight points in the final 1:13 to help them rally from a late deficit.

Anthony Davis had 22 points and 13 rebounds and Austin Reaves added 18 points as the Lakers won without James, who sat out to rest his sore left ankle.

Giannis Antetokounmpo tallied 34 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists for his 43rd career triple-double and Lillard scored 28 points, but Milwaukee lost its second in a row after coming out of the All-Star break with six consecutive wins.

Depleted Cavaliers outlast Timberwolves

Darius Garland scored 34 points and Jarrett Allen scored 10 of his career-high 33 in overtime and also grabbed 18 rebounds to lead the injury-thinned Cleveland Cavaliers to a 113-104 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Allen made a career-best 15 free throws, 14 after halftime and his dunk early in overtime put the Cavaliers ahead for good.

Georges Niang had 16 points and Caris LeVert added 15 and eight assists to help Cleveland win despite missing starters Donovan Mitchell, Evan Mobley and Max Strus.

Naz Reid scored a career-high 34 points and Anthony Edwards added 19 on 7-of-27 shooting for the Wolves, who entered with a league-best 21-11 road record.

Minnesota’s loss coupled with Oklahoma City’s win over Miami moved the Thunder into sole possession of the Western Conference lead.

Thunder win to move atop West

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 23 of his 37 points in the second half and the Oklahoma City Thunder rallied for a 107-100 victory over the Miami Heat to move into sole possession of the Western Conference lead.

Jalen Williams added 15 points and Josh Giddey had 11 points, nine rebounds and six assists as the Thunder overcame a 14-point deficit to move into first place in the West, one-half game ahead of Minnesota.

Rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr. scored 25 points and Jimmy Butler had 20, 10 boards and eight assists for Miami, which has lost consecutive games for the first time since a seven-game skid in January.

D'Angelo Russell insisted the Los Angeles Lakers proved their quality by overcoming the Oklahoma City Thunder, in a win he labelled as "no fluke".

Russell was the star of the show for the Lakers in their 116-104 triumph on Monday, sinking five 3-pointers in a 26-point haul.

Anthony Davis backed Russell up with 24 points and 12 rebounds, while LeBron James added 19 points and 11 rebounds.

The Lakers have now won 10 of their last 14 games, while the Thunder were knocked off of their perch at the Western Conference summit.

"They're so well-coached that you can't relax," Russell said of facing the Thunder, who have now lost two of their last three games after going on a six-game winning streak.

"That team has got everything you need to win and to be efficient at this level. You've got to be ready to play against those guys. It's no fluke [to beat them]."

Austin Reaves, who shot four 3s, added: "Obviously, they're coming off a tough back-to-back.

"But any time you can beat a team confidently going into the fourth of that calibre, it speaks to what you did offensively and defensively.

"Anytime you beat a team like that that’s been playing really good basketball, it feels good and it gives you some momentum going forward."

The Lakers managed to keep Shai Gilgeous-Alexander under wraps, limiting him to 20 points, ending a run of eight successive 30-point performances for the Thunder's talisman.

"Our start was good offensively, but our overall sharpness just wasn't there," Thunder coach Mark Daigneault reflected.

"Defensively, we turned them over a bunch of times, and that kept us in it. But certainly not our fastball tonight.

"I just didn't think we were as sharp offensively as we needed to be. A team like that that’s got size and physicality, that's a requirement to hit shots against them, but we just didn't do that enough."

The Thunder were replaced at the top of the West by the Minnesota Timberwolves, who beat the Portland Trail Blazers 119-114.

Rudy Gobert recorded his 43rd double-double of the season, and the Timberwolves have now swept the Trail Blazers in their four meetings with Portland this term.

"We absolutely had to have this one," said Timberwolves coach Chris Finch, whose team had lost their previous two games.

Damian Lillard poured in 41 points and helped lead a fourth-quarter rally as the Milwaukee Bucks withstood Giannis Antetokounmpo's absence and remained unbeaten since the All-Star break with Monday's 113-106 win over the Los Angeles Clippers.

Despite Antetokounmpo sitting out with left Achilles tendinitis, the Bucks moved to 6-0 following the break behind Lillard and Bobby Portis, who scored 14 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter after Milwaukee trailed by as many as 15 in the third.

Portis added a season-high 16 rebounds for Milwaukee, which took the lead for good with a 15-0 run that erased a 96-90 deficit with under 5 1/2 minutes left.

Back-to-back 3-pointers from Lillard and Patrick Beverley began the spurt, which Portis capped with four consecutive points that gave Milwaukee a 105-96 advantage with under two minutes to go. 

The Clippers, who shot just 35 per cent in the fourth quarter compared to Milwaukee's 61.9 per cent, never got closer than five points down the rest of the way.

Los Angeles owned a 74-59 lead just past the midway point of the third quarter, but the Bucks scored the period's final five points and pulled to within 81-73 entering the fourth on Malik Beasley's triple in the final seconds.

The Clippers, who were coming off Sunday's 89-88 road win over the Western Conference-leading Minnesota Timberwolves, got 29 points each from Paul George and James Harden. Kawhi Leonard finished with 16 points, but was held to one in the fourth quarter while going 0 for 4 from the field.

Lakers continue surge, knock Thunder out of first in West

It was a better night for Los Angeles' other team, as the Lakers continued their recent strong play by knocking the Oklahoma City Thunder out of first place in the Western Conference with a 116-104 victory.

D'Angelo Russell recorded 26 points and Anthony Davis had 24 along with 12 rebounds as the Lakers improved to 10-4 since Feb. 1. Los Angeles currently stands in ninth place in the West but is now just two games behind the sixth-place Phoenix Suns, with the top six teams guaranteed a first-round play-off series.

The Thunder, who were coming off a 118-110 win over Phoenix on Sunday, shot just 39.4 per cent and fell a half-game behind Minnesota for the West's top spot after the Timberwolves registered a 119-114 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday.

All-Star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led Oklahoma City with 20 points but finished 5 of 13 from the field.

The Lakers seized control with a 12-0 run to build a 37-27 lead with seven minutes left in the second quarter, and went into the break owning a 52-43 advantage behind 10 points from Russell and Austin Reaves. 

Davis then took over in the third quarter, as the All-Star forward netted 15 points in the period as Los Angeles stretched its lead to 89-72 entering the fourth. 

The Lakers' margin grew to as much as 25 points in the final quarter before the Thunder scored the game's final 13 points with the outcome already determined.

Bulls stun Kings with furious late comeback

Coby White put up a career-high 37 points and helped ignite a big second-half comeback that carried the Chicago Bulls to a stunning 113-109 road win over the Sacramento Kings.

Chicago trailed by 22 points late in the third quarter before outscoring the Kings by a 36-18 margin in the fourth to deal Sacramento a third loss in four games. DeMar DeRozan had 19 of his 33 points in the final period, while White tallied 24 of his points in the second half.

After closing out the third quarter on a 10-2 run to cut their deficit to 91-77, the Bulls continued to chip away in the fourth. They outscored the Kings by an 18-5 count over the final 5 1/2 minutes and held Sacramento without a point over the last 2:20.

White's layup off a Sacramento turnover tied the contest at 109-109 with 1:32 left, and after the Kings gave the ball away on their next possession as well, White again drove the lane and scored to put Chicago ahead with 47.6 seconds to go.

The Bulls would miss their next two shots, but got a late offensive rebound before DeRozan was able to seal the victory with two free throws with 3.5 seconds left.

De'Aaron Fox led the Kings with 20 points and 10 rebounds in his return from a two-game absence, while Domantas Sabonis grabbed 21 rebounds to go along with 18 points before fouling out with 2:57 remaining.

 

 

 

Jayson Tatum just missed a triple-double with 26 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, and the Boston Celtics held off a late comeback attempt by the Miami Heat in Sunday's 110-106 victory that extended their winning streak to four games.

Kristaps Porzingis added 25 points and nine rebounds to help Boston defeat Miami for the third time in as many meetings this season. The Heat ousted the Celtics in seven games in last season's Eastern Conference finals.

Miami had a two-game winning streak snapped and was playing without leading scorer Jimmy Butler, who is away from the team due to the death of a family member. The Heat also lost starting guard Terry Rozier to a knee injury in the third quarter.

Porzingis had 16 first-half points as Boston took a 59-50 lead into the break, and the Celtics were up by as many as 15 points in the third quarter and owned a seemingly comfortable 94-82 advantage with 9 1/2 minutes left to play.

The Heat then went on a 10-2 run to get back in it, however, and later cut their deficit to two when Tyler Herro drilled a 3-pointer with 1:49 remaining that trimmed Boston's lead to 106-104.

Miami came up empty on its next two possessions, though, and Porzingis and Tatum combined to go 4 for 4 from the free-throw line in the late stages to put the game away.

Herro scored 22 of his 24 points in the second half to lead the Heat, who also received 22 points and 13 rebounds from Bam Adebayo.

 

Gilgeous-Alexander, Williams carry Thunder past Kings

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 38 points and Jalen Williams chipped in 32 as the Oklahoma City Thunder got back on track with a 127-113 win over the Sacramento Kings.

Both players had hot shooting performances to help the Thunder bounce back from consecutive road losses to Utah and Dallas and move a half-game behind the Minnesota Timberwolves for first place in the Western Conference.  Gilgeous-Alexander finished 15 of 26 from the field while adding seven assists, while Williams was 13 of 20 to go along with nine rebounds.

The duo also recorded 19 first-half points each, with Williams producing eight during a 12-0 run that turned a tied game into a 41-29 Oklahoma City lead four minutes into the second quarter.

Oklahoma City took a 67-57 advantage into half-time before pulling away further in the third quarter, building a lead as large as 24 points.

Sacramento's Domantas Sabonis recorded 21 points, 11 rebounds and 14 assists for his 17th triple-double of the season, two more than Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokić for the NBA lead. 

Malik Monk had 26 points off the bench for the Kings, who have now lost three of their last four games. De'Aaron Fox finished with 15 points but was held to 6-of-17 shooting.

 

Daniel Gafford felt he was "already part of the mold" after impressing on his Dallas Mavericks debut.

Gafford, who was acquired this week in a trade from the Washington Wizards, finished with 19 points, nine assists and eight rebounds in an emphatic 146-111 victory for Dallas over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday.

Luka Doncic led with 32 points, while Kyrie Irving chipped in with 25, as the Mavs - who sit eighth in the Western Conference - made it four straight wins.

"Playing with guys like Luka, Kyrie, all the other guys that were on the floor, it just felt like I was already part of the mold," said Gafford, who featured for only 17 minutes and was rested in the fourth quarter.

Mavs coach Jason Kidd was delighted with Gafford's display, as he became the second-highest scoring debutant while coming on from the bench in Dallas' history.

"What we've seen playing against Gafford is that he gets every offensive rebound," Kidd said.

"And I thought he did that for us. And we’re going to need that."

Reflecting on Dallas' display, Kidd added: "The pace was high. We didn't have to run anybody’s minutes up. And that was something that we talked about. A lot, a lot of good stuff."

The same could not be said for the Thunder, who lost for the second straight game and were 47-30 down by the end of the first quarter.

"They shot it well early, but that’s where some of the transition, like straight up fast break plays really hurt you," Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said.

"When you're giving up easy ones and they're making shots, then that's how the 47 can happen in the first quarter."

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