Kyrie Irving led the Dallas Mavericks' second-half rally from a 13 point third-quarter deficit to boost their play-in hopes with a 123-119 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday.

Irving scored 25 of his 31 points in the second half as the Mavs claimed an important win to improve to 38-42, having trailed 71-60 at half-time at American Airlines Center.

The win sees the Mavs draw level with the 10th-placed Oklahoma City Thunder in the fourth and final play-in tournament spot in the West with two games to play. OKC have the tiebreaker edge.

Dallas play the Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs in their final two games, while the Thunder take on the Utah Jazz and the Memphis Grizzlies.

Mavs point guard Irving shot 12-of-23 from the field with six-of-10 from beyond the arc along with four rebounds, eight assists and two steals.

Luka Doncic was outstanding on Dallas' backcourt too, with 29 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, while Tim Hardaway Jr scored 24 points including five triples.

Irving led Dallas' third-quarter 12-0 run, flipping the game on its head, ending their own three-game losing skid.

De'Aaron Fox scored 28 points with eight assists for the Kings, with Domantas Sabonis recording a triple-double with 19 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists. All five Kings starter scored double-digit points.

Sacramento also had a season-high 22 offensive rebounds, recording 30-14 second chance points.

Clippers claim crunch win over Lakers

The Los Angeles Clippers claimed a critical 125-118 win over the Los Angeles Lakers in the race to avoid the play-in tournament, while extending their recent winning run in the Battle of LA to 11-0.

Norman Powell scored a team-high 27 points off the bench, while Kawhi Leonard added 25 points and seven rebounds. The Lakers, playing the second game of a back-to-back, had LeBron James score 33 points with eight rebounds and seven assists.

The Clippers snapped their two-game losing run and ended the Lakers' four-game winning streak, improving to a 42-38 record to sit fifth ahead of the Golden State Warriors (42-38).

The Lakers are 41-39 in seventh alongside the New Orleans Pelicans (41-39), who won 138-131 over the Memphis Grizzlies despite Jaren Jackson Jr's 40 points, nine rebounds and four blocks.

Bucks and Celtics clinch No.1 and No.2 seeds

The Milwaukee Bucks were without Giannis Antetokounmpo and lost Khris Middleton midgame both due to knee soreness but triumphed 105-92 over the Chicago Bulls to secure the East's number one seed.

The Bucks flexed their muscle without the star duo with Bobby Portis scoring 27 points with 13 rebounds, Brook Lopez adding 26 points and seven rebounds and Jrue Holiday contributing 20 points with eight rebounds and 15 assists.

Milwaukee have locked in top spot with a 58-22 record, while the Boston Celtics won 97-93 over the Toronto Raptors to confirm the East's number two seed with a 55-25 record.

Malcolm Brogdon came off the bench to score 29 points from 35 minutes, while Jaylen Brown managed 25 points and 11 rebounds with Jayson Tatum out with a bruised left hip.

The Golden State Warriors might not like being where they are, but Steve Kerr is nevertheless enjoying the thrill of the chase.

Reigning NBA champions Golden State have endured a disappointing campaign, yet find themselves in the playoff places heading into their final two regular-season games.

The Warriors are fifth in the Western Conference after beating the Oklahoma City Thunder 136-125 at home on Tuesday, although they will drop down to sixth after the Los Angeles Lakers face the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday.

Golden State trailed by four heading into the final quarter against the Thunder, but Jordan Poole turned on the style to lead them to victory, while Stephen Curry top scored with 34 points and Draymond Green chipped in with 17.

It got the Warriors, who were without Klay Thompson, back to winning ways following a loss to the Denver Nuggets. They have now won six of their last eight games, and head coach Kerr is revelling in the excitement.

He told reporters: "It's fun, this is all what it's about.

"We love the competition and even though we'd prefer to be home free in the playoffs right now, this is where we are.

"I'm really proud of the guys what they've done here in recent weeks to put ourselves in this position but now we've got to go finish the deal and get into the top six."

Poole starred down the stretch, with 13 of his 30 points coming in the final quarter.

"They all matter. You try to lock in as much as possible and put us in a really good position to be successful," Poole said.

"He's obviously extremely talented," Curry said of Poole. "He can create off the dribble. He's fast in transition.

"We kind of read the gameplan from them, so we just gave JP space, let him go to work. Our biggest thing is just being decisive on offense. Any time we fall late is because we haven't been decisive in our intention or play calls.

"JP played amazing down the stretch, then our defense allowed us to connect the game."

Moses Moody added: "It definitely had that playoff feel to it being out here in these games, how much each game matters, how much each possession matters."

Philadelphia 76ers center and MVP hopeful Joel Embiid put together arguably his best game of the season on Tuesday to deliver a 103-101 home win against the Boston Celtics.

Embiid put up 52 points – over half of his team's total and the third-most in his career – while shooting a remarkable 20-of-25 from the field. He also grabbed 13 rebounds, dished six assists and blocked two shots in his 39 minutes.

The 29-year-old, who has finished as the runner-up in the past two MVP votes, had never scored more than 50 points in a game prior to this season, but he has done so three times this campaign, highlighted by a 59-point, 11-rebound, eight-assist, seven-block showing against the Utah Jazz in November.

Against the Celtics, Embiid was supported in style by James Harden as the 76ers' second star chipped in 20 points (seven-of-17 shooting) and 10 assists with no turnovers. It was only his second game this season without a turnover.

Meanwhile, the Celtics were left short-handed as All-Star Jaylen Brown was ruled out in the hours leading up to tip-off, and Jayson Tatum was disappointing in his highly anticipated showdown against Embiid, delivering just 19 points on seven-of-20 shooting with six rebounds, six assists and three steals.

Tatum had a plus/minus of minus 13 in his 38 minutes, meaning Boston were plus 11 in the 10 minutes he was on the bench.

LeBron lifts the Lakers in overtime

The Los Angeles Lakers have now won seven of their past eight fixtures after a 135-133 overtime victory on the road against the Utah Jazz.

It was a mediocre offensive showing from the red-hot Anthony Davis as he shot just seven-of-16 from the field and seven-of-12 from the free throw line for his 21 points, but he added 14 rebounds, six assists, two steals and two blocks.

Instead it was LeBron James coming through for the Lakers, producing his best game since the All-Star break with 37 points (14-of-27 shooting), six assists and five rebounds. Austin Reaves stepped up in D'Angelo Russell's absence, contributing 28 points (eight-of-13) and six assists in an equal team-high 42 minutes.

The win improved the Lakers' record to 41-38, leaving them tied with the Los Angeles Clippers for the sixth-best record in the West – with the Lakers and Clippers to face off on Wednesday.

Warriors stay out of the play-in

The Golden State Warriors were at risk of being leapfrogged by the Lakers and falling into the play-in tournament placings, before coming from behind to defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder 136-125.

It was the Thunder leading 106-102 heading into the fourth quarter, but with Klay Thompson missing through injury, Jordan Poole stepped up as the Warriors' hero.

Poole scored 18 points in the fourth quarter while the Thunder scored 19 as a team, with the fourth-year guard finishing with 30 points (eight-of-19 shooting). 

Stephen Curry was just as good, dropping a game-high 34 points (11-of-25), while Most Improved Player candidate Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 32 points (11-of-17) and seven assists for the Thunder.

The win means the Warriors have jumped the Clippers into the fifth seed with just two games remaining, while the Thunder's loss keeps the Dallas Mavericks alive, with just a half-game separating the 10th and 11th seeds.

The Dallas Mavericks' playoff hopes suffered another setback after James Harden inspired the Philadelphia 76ers' fourth-quarter charge on Wednesday.

The Mavs, who had lost seven of their previous 10 games coming into the contest, led 91-89 at three-quarter time at Wells Fargo Center before the home side rallied to triumph 116-108, clinching their 50th win of the season.

Harden provided the assists for all of Philadelphia's points during a 10-0 run that flipped the contest, condemning the Mavs to a 37-40 record and leaving them in danger of missing the playoffs and play-in tournament in the Western Conference. Dallas failed to score in the final 3:18 of the game.

Joel Embiid returned from a one-game, calf-injury-enforced absence to boost his MVP aspirations with 25 points and nine rebounds, while Harden had 15 points and 12 assists.

Harden's partnership with Embiid was on full show, with the pair holding the NBA's best single-season record over the past 25 years for assists by one player to another, averaging 4.8 per game, ahead of Sacramento Kings duo Rajon Rondo and DeMarcus Cousins (4.0 in the 2015-16 season).

For the Mavs, Luka Doncic had 24 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, while Kyrie Irving added 23 points.

Philadelphia's 50th win from their 76th game of the campaign marks the fewest amount of games required to reach that mark in franchise history since 2001.

The 50-26 76ers are third in the East, behind the Milwaukee Bucks (55-21) and the Boston Celtics (52-24).

The Bucks routed the Indiana Pacers 149-136 led by Jrue Holiday's career-high 51 points and a Giannis Antetokounmpo triple-double.

Kings end NBA's longest playoff drought

Sacramento ended their 17-year playoffs wait, the longest drought in NBA history, thanks to a 120-80 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Kings pulled away with a lopsided 70-34 second half, led by Domantas Sabonis (15 points and 12 rebounds) and De'Aaron Fox (18 points and six assists), while Keegan Murray passed Donovan Mitchell for the most threes made by a rookie (188) in his 13 points.

Sacramento clinching their playoff spot came amid a chaotic night in the West, with Jalen Williams' buzzer-beating tip-in earning the 10th-placed Oklahoma City Thunder a 107-106 win over the Detroit Pistons. OKC occupy the final play-in spot.

Russell Westbrook scored 36 points as the fifth-placed Los Angeles Clippers ended the second-placed Memphis Grizzlies' seven-game winning streak with a 141-132 victory, while the taunts continued as the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Chicago Bulls 121-110.

Durant returns as Suns firm up fourth seed

Kevin Durant made his long-awaited home debut as he returned from a 10-game absence due to a sprained ankle, but he was rusty as the Phoenix Suns overcame the Minnesota Timberwolves 107-100.

Durant shot five-of-18 from the field for 16 points with eight rebounds and four assists. Devin Booker top-scored for the Suns with 29 points on eight-of-18 shooting from the field.

The 2014 MVP Durant shot two-of-four from three-point range, both in the fourth quarter, holding off the Timberwolves who drew level in the final period, with the win helping the Suns improve to 41-35 to sit fourth in the West.

The Golden State Warriors played an inspired second half to recover from a 20-point deficit and defeat the visiting New Orleans Pelicans 120-109 on Tuesday.

As usual, the Warriors were led by reigning NBA Finals MVP Stephen Curry with a game-high 39 points on 14-of-25 shooting, hitting eight-of-15 three-point attempts while adding eight rebounds, eight assists and three steals.

It was a rough start for Golden State as they found themselves trailing 63-43 late in the second quarter, but some early shenanigans between Draymond Green and the entire Pelicans team seemed to spur some life into the Warriors defense after the break.

In typical Warriors fashion, they exploded in the third quarter in front of their home fans, putting together a 39-26 period to cut the lead to four going into the last.

They ratcheted up the defense even further down the stretch, holding the visitors to just 20 points while piling on 35 of their own as Curry, Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole all drained deep triples to blow the roof off Chase Center.

Despite the loss, it was another strong showing from Pelicans centrepiece Brandon Ingram. After his first career triple-double on Thursday and a career-high 13 assists on Saturday, Ingram again looked every bit of an All-NBA initiator with a team-high 26 points (nine-of-22), eight rebounds and seven assists.

A loss for the Warriors would have seen them drop to 39-38 and potentially swap spots with the eighth-seeded Pelicans, but they instead improved to 40-37 and leapfrogged the sixth-seeded Minnesota Timberwolves (39-37) in the process.

Mitchell's 44 not enough for Cleveland

Donovan Mitchell dropped 44 points on the road but it was not enough as the Cleveland Cavaliers fell 120-118 to the Atlanta Hawks.

Mitchell shot 15-of-33 with five rebounds and five assists, while Darius Garland added 27 points (10-of-22) and Evan Mobley chipped in 20 points (10-of-13), 15 rebounds, four assists and four blocks – but the Hawks had all the answers.

Atlanta had seven players score double figures, led by Dejounte Murray's 29 (11-of-22). Trae Young ran the show with 10 assists on an off-shooting night (four-of-15 for 16 points), and the Hawks' bench delivered in a big way.

Backup center Onyeka Okongwu had a wildly efficient 20 minutes with 21 points (five-of-five from the field and 11-of-12 free throws), nine rebounds and three blocks, and trade deadline acquisition Saddiq Bey had 11 points, 10 rebounds and three assists.

Hornets win a shootout in Oklahoma City

The Oklahoma City Thunder received 30-point efforts from Josh Giddey, Jalen Williams and Isaiah Joe – but still lost 137-134 to the surprisingly in-form Charlotte Hornets.

Giddey had one of the best statistical games of his career with 31 points (14-of-22), 10 rebounds and nine assists; rookie Williams had 31 points (11-of-16), four assists and four steals; and Joe hit six-of-11 threes and 11-of-18 overall for his 33 points.

But P.J. Washington was not going to let the Hornets lose, scoring a career-high 43 points on 16-of-24 shooting as he added six rebounds and five assists in an eye-opening performance from the well-rounded six-foot-seven 24-year-old.

It was a standout showing off the bench for the spectacularly bouncy 22-year-old second-year center Kai Jones, collecting the first double-double of his career with 12 points (five-of-five) and 14 rebounds in 22 minutes.

The loss for the Thunder means they slipped to 37-39, still inside the play-in tournament placings, but now tied with the 11th-ranked Dallas Mavericks.

The Golden State Warriors stormed home to rally back from an 11-point fourth-quarter deficit to down the Philadelphia 76ers 120-112 despite Joel Embiid's 46 points on Friday.

Jordan Poole was clutch with 33 points off the bench including six three-pointers, while Stephen Curry added 29 points on 10-of-18 shooting from the field with eight rebounds at the Chase Center.

Poole made a pivotal three-pointer for a 115-110 lead with 1:18 remaining in the last as the Warriors improved to 39-36 to sit sixth in the Western Conference.

The 76ers had led by 11 points with 11:32 remaining in the fourth quarter after Shake Milton laid off for Paul Reed's alley oop layup, but the Warriors launched their comeback with Poole and Curry at the heart of it.

Poole scored 19 of his 33 points in the fourth period, while Curry stepped up with eight points in the final four minutes.

Klay Thompson added six triples in his 21 points, while Draymond Green had 10 points, seven rebounds and 10 assists in a busy display.

MVP candidate Embiid was huge with 46 points on 13-of-23 shooting from the field with nine rebounds and eight assists.

Tobias Harris added 23 points for the 76ers, with Tyrese Maxey contributing 21. James Harden was absent with Achilles soreness.

Embiid scored 13 straight points for the 76ers in the fourth quarter after checking back in with 8:26 left.

Mavericks slip out of play-in spots

The Dallas Mavericks suffered their third straight loss as their playoff hopes took another hit with a disappointing 117-109 loss to the short-handed Charlotte Hornets.

Luka Doncic scored a game-high 34 points with 10 rebounds and eight assists, while Kyrie Irving added 18 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, but the Mavs were undone after a slow first half, with Hornets forward P.J. Washington managing a team-high 28 points.

The loss leaves the Mavs outside the play-in tournament spots in 11th in the Western Conference with a 36-38 record.

Lakers up to .500 for first time this season

The Los Angeles Lakers squared their ledger at .500 and moved up to eighth in the West with a 116-111 triumph over the Oklahoma City Thunder securing three consecutive wins.

Anthony Davis had 37 points and 14 rebounds for the Lakers, while Lonnie Walker impressed in his return with 20 points and Denis Schroder added 13 of his 21 points in the second half.

The Lakers improved to 37-37 with the win, getting to .500 for the first time this season, with LeBron James' return form injury reportedly not far away. LA are 8-5 during James' latest absence.

Kawhi Leonard played a lead role as the Los Angeles Clippers won without the injured Paul George and urged teammates to "dial in even deeper" over the remainder of the regular season.

The Clippers scored a 127-105 home win against the Oklahoma City Thunder, two nights after George suffered a knee injury in a 101-100 loss to the same opposition.

Leonard played the lead role as the two-time NBA Finals MVP scored a game-high 32 points on 13-of-15 shooting from the field, adding six assists and six rebounds, while Russell Westbrook added 24 points.

Asked how the Clippers would cope without eight-time All-Star George, Leonard said: "Like we did tonight. Eric Gordon stepped in and started in his position, and it provided more minutes for Bones [Hyland] and Terance [Mann] and they came in and did a great job, provided a positive energy. Nobody's head was down.

"We wish PG a speedy recovery. It's next man up and that's how we've got to play.

"We've got to keep sharing the ball, and dial in even deeper."

He said the Clippers must collectively be "more focused because we're missing a superstar".

George is set to miss the rest of the regular season but crucially he has avoided serious ligament damage, so it should not be a long-term lay-off.

Leonard might be the franchise player, but he wants everyone to be making big contributions in George's absence as the Clippers look to nail down their postseason spot. For now, they sit fifth in the Western Conference with a 39-35 record.

"Missing a guy like that, the ball's going to be in my hands more," Leonard said in his post-game press conference.

"But everybody else as well. One man can't win these basketball games. We'll have to come in with a group effort and everybody focus up, buy in, and try to do what we can do without him."

As for how Westbrook is faring, almost five weeks on from his arrival from the Utah Jazz, Leonard was complimentary, saying it was positive "just having a Hall of Fame point guard on the floor".

"He brings energy to the team, brings pace, plays both ends of the floor," Leonard said. "He's been doing a good job."

No Paul George, no worries for the Los Angeles Clippers as Kawhi Leonard carried them to an important 127-105 home win against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday.

It was the second consecutive meeting between these two sides in Los Angeles after George limped off with a knee injury in Tuesday's 101-100 loss to the Thunder, but with the Clippers' playoff future up in the air, Leonard rose to the occasion.

The two-time NBA Finals MVP scored a game-high 32 points on red-hot 13-of-15 shooting from the field. He was seven-of-seven for 15 points in the first quarter, with his team leading 36-29, but the Clippers began to fall apart as he tried to look for his team-mates in the second period.

Leonard did not attempt a field goal in the second, allowing the Thunder to claw back to 54-54 at half-time, but he came out of the break determined to decide the outcome.

The Clippers' franchise star played the entire third quarter, and the first three minutes of the fourth quarter, not coming out until his side had built a 103-85 lead.

Leonard added six rebounds, six assists and four steals in a dominant two-way performance, finishing with a plus/minus of plus 16 in his 35 minutes. 

He was supported well by an efficient night from Russell Westbrook, as he chipped in 24 points (eight-of-13 shooting) with seven assists.

A loss would have seen the Clippers tied with the Golden State Warriors at 38-36 in the sixth seed – only one game clear of the play-in tournament placings – but they are now two games clear of the drama in fifth with only eight fixtures remaining.

It was a devastating loss for the Thunder's playoff hopes, blowing an opportunity to move into the seventh seed outright, and instead slipping down to 11th, although there is now a four-way tie at 36-37.

Okoro wins it at the buzzer

The Cleveland Cavaliers secured a 116-114 road win against the Brooklyn Nets in the last second as Isaac Okoro drilled a game-winning three-pointer from the corner.

Cleveland rode the dynamic duo of Donovan Mitchell and Evan Mobley all night, with Mitchell scoring a team-high 31 points on 11-of-24 shooting, while Mobley racked up 26 points (11-of-18), 16 rebounds, four blocks and three assists.

But the biggest moment of the game came down to Caris LeVert and Okoro, as the former Net came up with a loose ball and zipped a cross-court pass for Okoro's three in a hectic closing sequence.

The Cavs have been a disappointing 18-20 away from home this season, but have now won five of their past six on the road.

With the loss, the Nets fell to 39-34 and down into play-in spots. The Miami Heat (40-34) leapfrogged them into sixth.

Magic continue to show progress

The Orlando Magic have quietly become one of the most exciting young teams in the league, and they knocked off another playoff side with a 111-106 home win over the New York Knicks.

It was Orlando's third win from their past four outings, also taking down the Clippers and the Washington Wizards, and their number one draft pick led the way. Paolo Banchero scored a team-high 21 points on seven-of-17 shooting, adding six rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks.

Both Immanuel Quickley and Quentin Grimes scored 25 points each in the absence of starting Knicks point guard Jalen Brunson, but a three-of-12 performance with five turnovers from R.J. Barrett was hard to overcome.

The Los Angeles Clippers' hopes of a deep playoffs run may have suffered a major blow after Paul George exited their 101-100 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder with a leg injury.

George fell to the floor after his right knee collided with Luguentz Dort's knee in the air while attempting a rebound.

The eight-time All-Star got up with help and exited the game with 4:38 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue said during his post-game press conference that George was still being evaluated and that he had not spoken to him.

ESPN reported George was spotted exiting the arena in the back of a cart with his right leg extended.

George scored 18 points with seven rebounds, five assists and three steals before exiting, with the loss seeing the Clippers fall to a 38-35 record in fifth in the West.

The 32-year-old is averaging 23.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game this season.

Team-mate Kawhi Leonard said the Clippers would take on a "next man up" mentality if George was unavailable for a significant period.

"Next man up, but we'll see," Leonard told reporters. "We've got a group of guys that still want to win and like to play basketball. We'll see happens."

Devin Booker made Phoenix Suns history with 44 points in the Phoenix Suns' 132-101 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, where Kevin Durant's anticipated home debut was delayed due to an ankle injury.

Durant had been named in the Suns' starting line-up but suffered an ankle sprain during the warm-ups and was ruled out of the game on Wednesday at the Footprint Center.

In Durant's absence, Booker put on a show, becoming the first player in franchise history with four straight 35-point games.

Booker finished with 44 points on 17-of-23 shooting from the field, making six-of-10 from beyond the arc in a masterful display from only 28 minutes on court, checking out in the fourth quarter.

The Suns guard had 30 points by half-time in the blowout win which gave fourth-placed Phoenix a cushion on the chasing pack for the Western Conference playoffs spots.

Veteran guard Chris Paul added 18 points with nine assists and four steals, while Terrence Ross scored 24 points in 23 minutes off the bench.

For the Thunder, Lindy Waters III top scored off the bench with 23 points including six three-pointers, while Josh Giddey had 10 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

Doncic injured as Mavs lose to Pels

The Dallas Mavericks lost Luka Doncic to injury as their defensive struggles continued with a 113-106 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, who are still without star center Zion Williamson.

The Mavs slipped to eighth in the west with the defeat and will be sweating on Doncic's fitness, exiting in the third quarter with a strained left thigh after 15 points and eight assists.

C.J. McCollum landed six-of-eight three-point attempts in his 32 points for the Pels, who made 13-of-27 from beyond the arc, compared to Dallas' 16-of-46.

Hawks triumph despite Porzingis career-high

Kristaps Porzingis scored a career-high 43 points, but it was not enough as the Washington Wizards lost 122-120 to the Atlanta Hawks.

De'Andre Hunter's go-ahead three-point play with 1:07 left in the fourth quarter settled the tight win, as new Hawks head coach Quin Snyder saw his side improve to 33-33.

Atlanta guard Trae Young scored 28 points with 10 assists and three steals, while Porzingis was outstanding, shooting 17-of-22 from the field including seven-of-10 from three-point range.

Kevin Durant will undergo an MRI after injuring his ankle prior to his anticipated home debut for the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday.

Durant was ruled out of the game after slipping awkwardly and spraining his left ankle during warmups.

The Suns won 132-101 over the Oklahoma City Thunder in Durant's absence, with Devin Booker scoring 44 points.

Suns head coach Monty Williams was hopeful that Durant had avoided a serious sprain but the All-Star is scheduled for an MRI on Thursday.

"We'll get more testing done tomorrow,” Williams told reporters. "Right now, it's just an ankle sprain and we don't have anything official to report."

Durant was traded to the Suns last month from the Brooklyn Nets and was due to play for the first time as a Phoenix player at the Footprint Center, having played three road games since overcoming a knee injury.

"I feel bad for him because he feels bad," Williams added. "I saw his face and - I've been around him so many times - I know what he's feeling and I don't want him feeling that way at all."

Booker, who continued his hot streak with his fourth straight 35-point game, said the Suns would re-schedule Durant's welcome.

"We'll re-schedule the party," Booker said. "I'm sure they'll be back, people that missed out on tonight. I tried to give them a little something to make it better."

Josh Giddey's career-high 17 assists proved too much for the Golden State Warriors to overcome in Tuesday's 137-128 home win for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The visitors received a vintage performance from reigning NBA Finals MVP Stephen Curry, dropping 40 points on 14-of-23 shooting, including 10-of-16 from deep, while adding seven assists and six rebounds.

It was the most points Curry had scored since Golden State's January 16 victory over the Washington Wizards, where he had 41, and marks a return to his best in his second game back following a month on the sidelines.

Curry has now made at least 10 three-pointers on 23 occasions, while no other player has ever had more than team-mate Klay Thompson's nine.

But the Thunder were too strong as Giddey raced past his previous career-high of 14 assists, while also adding 17 points (six-of-11) and 11 rebounds for his third triple-double of the season, after four in his rookie campaign.

Giddey was supported in style by the league's fifth-leading scorer Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who came into the game averaging 31.1 points per game and gave that figure a small bump with 33 points on 14-of-24 shooting.

With the win – the Thunder's third in a row – they improved their record to 31-34 to join the logjam of teams tied for the Western Conference's ninth and 10th seeds. 

They are only 2.5 games behind the Warriors (34-32), who are narrowly clear of the Play-In Tournament placings, a half-game clear in sixth.

Embiid gets the better of Gobert

In a clash between arguably the most dominant offensive and defensive centers of their generation, Joel Embiid's Philadelphia 76ers overwhelmed Rudy Gobert's Minnesota Timberwolves in a 117-94 blowout.

Embiid was unstoppable, finishing with 39 points in 28 minutes after shooting 13-of-22 from the field, adding seven rebounds, four assists, three blocks and a steal.

With James Harden out following his 20-assist showing in Monday's first leg of their back-to-back, Tyrese Maxey enjoyed a larger role with 27 points (nine-of-16 shooting), five assists and four rebounds, pulling the 76ers (43-22) to within 1.5 games of the second-seeded Boston Celtics (45-21).

Gobert ended up with six points (two-of-six), nine rebounds, two steals and a block.

Kyrie and Luka get back in the winner's list

The mesmerising offensive duo of Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving combined for 62 points in the Dallas Mavericks' close 120-116 home win against the Utah Jazz.

Irving was the more efficient of the two on the offensive end, scoring a team-high 33 points on 10-of-18 shooting (10-of-10 free throws) with eight assists and six rebounds. Doncic was not far behind with 29 points (10-of-23 shooting), 10 rebounds, six assists, two steals and a block.

All-Star Lauri Markkanen kept his terrific season going with 33 points (12-of-20 shooting), but after looking like a potential playoff team early in the campaign, the 31-35 Jazz now sit outside the Play-In Tournament spots.

Kevin Durant is glad he got the opportunity to get his "feet wet" on the road with the Phoenix Suns ahead of his home debut Wednesday against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Suns went 3-0 with Durant in the line-up during their recent road trip, defeating the Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls and Dallas Mavericks by a combined margin of 37 points.

Their newly acquired two-time NBA Finals MVP averaged 26.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists during those games, shooting 69 per cent from the field, 53 per cent from deep and 88 per cent from the free throw line.

Speaking to the media after Tuesday's practice, Durant spoke about how comfortable he is fitting into new situations, highlighting the fact that "everyone runs the same stuff".

"I'm at this point in my career where I've played with some of the best players to ever play," he said. "I've been in Olympic teams, I've been on some of the best All-Star teams, and I've figured out the best way to kind of fit in with a group of guys.

"Once you start to understand the terminology it makes it a bit easier, and you realise everyone runs the same stuff, it's just different players you put in those spots.

"Having communication with your team-mates every day is the most important piece of it all."

Durant, who is coming off his 10th All-NBA selection, touched on what has impressed him with Devin Booker, who emerged as an All-NBA First Team member last season after never previously making the second or third teams.

"'Book' understands exactly what he needs to do every time out on the floor, and once you prepare the right way and know your role, the game can be easy," he said. "The game is easy for Book, and he makes the game easy for all his team-mates as well.

"We've got such an unselfish team, and we want to move the ball a lot and get everybody involved, but he's such a gifted, talented offensive scorer that he can make plays for others, but he can also make plays for himself.

"I felt like a couple of times last game he had a one-on-one opportunity with not a lot of help and he was going downhill, getting whatever he wanted. So we want to exploit that as much as possible, but he's going to play the right way regardless.

"There's going to be more times in the future where I'm probably going to have to tell him to shoot, but that's always a good thing when your best players are willing to give up the ball."

Having only played three games since being traded from the Nets a month ago, Durant said he is looking forward to getting "back to normal".

"I'm glad I was able to get a couple on the road to get my feet wet because I know it's going to be loud in [Footprint Center]," he said. "I'm looking forward to our fans. I know they can't wait to see us out on the floor.

"I'm just trying to get back to normal as soon as possible. I'm glad I'm playing again, and things will get back to normal."

Anthony Davis will join LeBron James on the sidelines and miss the Los Angeles Lakers' game with the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday due to a foot injury.

The Lakers said Davis had a right foot stress injury, which is an issue that has caused him to miss 20 games earlier this season.

Darvin Ham's 29-33 side are already without James (ankle) and D'Angelo Russell (foot) as they look to launch a charge to qualify for the playoffs. Entering Wednesday's slate of games, the Lakers are 12th in the Western Conference.

Wednesday's game was the second of a back-to-back for LA, having lost 121-109 to the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday.

Joel Embiid will also not play on Wednesday due to a sore foot, missing the Philadelphia 76ers' clash with the Miami Heat.

The 76ers said it was left foot soreness, forcing him to miss a game for the 13th time this season.

Friday marked two games with Kyrie Irving in the line-up, and two wins for the Dallas Mavericks as they beat the Sacramento Kings 122-114 on the road.

Irving – who was acquired before the trade deadline in exchange for Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith and three draft picks – led the Mavericks in scoring for the second game in a row as superstar Luka Doncic continues to recover from a heel injury.

He had 25 points against the Kings on five-of-14 shooting, hitting all 12 of his free throws, while also tying his season-high with 10 assists.

Irving was supported strongly by 22-year-old emerging Australian Josh Green, who chipped in 17 points on seven-of-12 shooting and a season-high seven assists, and rookie Jaden Hardy hit four of his five three-point attempts off the bench.

The Mavericks had been flailing without Doncic, having lost the first six games he missed this season, but they have now won three in a row during his current absence.

For the Kings, De'Aaron Fox was terrific with a game-high 33 points on 10-of-16 shooting, adding six rebounds and five assists, while All-Star selection Domantas Sabonis had 18 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists.

With the victory, the Mavericks are now 31-26, sitting fourth in the Western Conference, while the 31-24 Kings are third.

Giannis accomplishes feat not seen since Wilt

The Milwaukee Bucks are the hottest team in the NBA and collected their 10th consecutive win with a 119-106 triumph against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way with 35 points (13-of-25 shooting), eight rebounds, six assists and two steals, giving him a total of 373 points during the 10-game winning streak. That is the most points by one player during a 10-game winning streak since Wilt Chamberlain's 416 during his rookie season in 1959-60.

At 39-17, the Bucks are just one game behind the 40-16 Boston Celtics in the race for the best record in the Eastern Conference, and the league.

Embiid dominates the Knicks

Joel Embiid was unstoppable as his Philadelphia 76ers defended home court 119-108 against the visiting New York Knicks.

Embiid scored a game-high 35 points on 14-of-18 shooting, and his field goal percentage of 77.8 set a new season-high. He also added 11 rebounds, six assists, two steals and a block.

James Harden delivered, dishing a game-high 12 assists to go with his 20 points (seven-of-17) and eight rebounds, while Tyrese Maxey exploded for 27 points (nine-of-16) off the bench.

The 76ers (35-19) climbed up to third place in the East, while the Knicks (30-27) occupy the seventh seed.

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