The Brooklyn Nets are off to a winning start after trading away both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant at the trade deadline, defeating the Chicago Bulls 116-105 with their new-look line-up.

In his first appearance since arriving as the key piece back from the Dallas Mavericks in return for Kyrie Irving, Spencer Dinwiddie looked right at home as he delivered a game-winning performance.

Dinwiddie – who spent five season with the Nets from 2016-2021 – was clearly the focal point of coach Jacque Vaughn's offense. He started, led the team with 39 minutes played, and posted team-highs in points (25), assists (six) and steals (four) with a plus/minus of plus 25.

The only player with a better plus/minus was fellow former Maverick Dorian Finney-Smith, who was plus 32 in his 35 minutes, scoring nine points and grabbing nine rebounds after immediately stepping into a key role.

Brooklyn were without both Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson, who they acquired from the Phoenix Suns in return for Kevin Durant, and when interviewed during the game, Bridges said they hope to debut in their new colours on Saturday against the visiting Philadelphia 76ers.

For the Bulls, Zach Lavine was impressive with a game-high 38 points on 16-of-25 shooting, although he did not contribute much else, with one point, one rebound, no steals or blocks, and four turnovers.

With the win, the Nets improved their record to 33-22, and they now sit 3.5 games clear of the play-in race, comfortably in the fifth seed for the time being.

Orlando's depth delivers Denver demise

The Orlando Magic reserves dominated the Denver Nuggets' bench to pull out a 115-104 home win against the Western Conference leaders.

It was another typical masterclass from reigning back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic, scoring 29 points on 10-of-19 shooting with 12 rebounds and six assists, but the Nuggets lacked further firepower in the absence of Jamal Murray, who troublingly missed his third game in a row with knee inflammation.

Denver were plus eight in Jokic's 38 minutes, but were outscored by 19 in the 10 minutes he was on the bench.

Orlando were led by a terrific Cole Anthony showing, coming off the pine to score 17 points with seven rebounds and seven assists, while Bol Bol had 17 points in 15 minutes.

Giannis too big, too strong for undermanned Lakers

LeBron James was out and the Los Angeles Lakers' new arrivals were also not ready as Giannis Antetokounmpo carried the Milwaukee Bucks to a 115-106 victory.

The Lakers should have their newly constructed line-up when they next take the floor – having acquired Jarred Vanderbilt, Malik Beasley and D'Angelo Russell at the deadline while shipping off Russell Westbrook – but Anthony Davis' 23 points and 16 assists was not enough against the Bucks.

Antetokounmpo controlled proceedings with a game-high 38 points on 14-of-23 shooting, adding 10 rebounds and six assists, while Khris Middleton looked like his All-NBA self with 22 points (10-of-18) off the bench.

The NBA has handed out bans to Austin Rivers, Mo Bamba and Jalen Suggs for their roles in an on-court brawl during the Orlando Magic's 127-120 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday.

Rivers and Bamba became involved in an altercation late in the third quarter, with both men throwing punches before Magic guard Suggs pulled Rivers to the ground.

All three players were ejected in the aftermath of the incident, with Timberwolves duo Jaden McDaniels and Taurean Prince joining them after getting too involved in the melee. 

Bamba will face the most severe punishment after the league said he continued to "engage with Rivers in a hostile manner" outside the locker rooms following the brawl.

The Orlando center will serve a four-game suspension without pay, while Rivers has been given a similar three-game ban.

Bamba's team-mate Suggs will miss one game for escalating the confrontation by grabbing Rivers around the neck, the league said, with that ban to be served when the Magic face the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday.

McDaniels, meanwhile, has been fined $20,000 for his actions, which included running into the melee to push Bamba from behind. 

A fight broke out between Austin Rivers and Mo Bamba during Friday's game between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Orlando Magic, resulting in five ejections.

The situation occurred late in the third quarter as Rivers took exception to some words from the Magic bench, and while the play continued, Rivers stayed down the other end of the court jawing with Bamba before punches started to fly.

It appeared Rivers and Bamba were the only players to throw punches, before Magic guard Jalen Suggs was also ejected for pulling Rivers to the ground, while the Timberwolves' Jaden McDaniels and Taurean Prince were also given their marching orders for getting too involved.

The Magic went on to win the game 127-120 away from home in a well-balanced performance, with 10 players scoring at least nine points each, led by Cole Anthony with 20 off the bench.

Rivers was still fired up after the contest, posting an Instagram story about Bamba saying "we only know about you from an old rap song" – referencing Sheck Wes' 2018 hit titled Mo Bamba.

His post read: "Buddy I went at you one-on-five! With no backup! You needed your team-mates otherwise you would of been choked out.

"We only know you from an old rap song, not hoops… and Orlando my city, ask around and actually find out. They don't mess with you there… facts!"

He deleted that post after a short period of time, and he explained the situation further when addressing the media afterwards.

"I’m just like, 'Yo, what are you doing?'," Rivers said. "I went up to him and I pressed him, and at that point, it can go one of two ways. 

"I didn’t think we were going to get in a fight, but when you stand up that fast and put your hands up – he threw a punch and missed, thankfully. At that point I've got to protect myself. Ain’t no one worried about him."

Orlando center Moritz Wagner said it is difficult to know what to do when a situation like that breaks out, but he was proud of his team-mates supporting each other.

"You obviously want to have your teammate's back and at the same time, you’ve got to be a professional," he said. "So, that’s a challenge for a young team like us. 

"I think this time around we did a good job compared to last time [when Wagner was ejected against the Detroit Pistons in December]. So, yeah, I don't really know. It's a weird dynamic. 

"You don't really want to be in those situations and it's not really the best look… at the same time, there is something in me that appreciates the team sticking together like that."

The incident comes the night after both Dillon Brooks and Donovan Mitchell were ejected for a skirmish between the Memphis Grizzlies and Cleveland Cavaliers, with Brooks receiving a one-game suspension for instigating it.

James Harden has shrugged off any stress over his chances of making the All-Star Game, saying his numbers speak for themselves.

Harden had a double-double of 26 points and 10 assists as the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Orlando Magic 105-94 on Wednesday.

The 33-year-old is a 10-time All-Star, but an 11th successive appearance in the mid-season exhibition game is not guaranteed.

Harden faces stiff competition from several other star names, including Sixers team-mate Joel Embiid, in the Eastern Conference to make the reserve list for the All-Star Game. There are seven spots available for each conference.

Yet Harden, who is averaging 21.4 points per game – Embiid, with 33.5, is the only Sixers player to boast more – 6.4 rebounds and 11 assists this season, believes he has done enough.

"If my name is called, great," Harden told reporters. "If not, there's bigger and better goals for the season.

"I'm not going to sit here and make a case. The numbers show it, our seed shows it."

The Sixers are third in the East with a 33-17 record, having won eight of their previous nine games.

Harden made three catch-and-shoot three-pointers against Orlando and was thrilled to thrive in an area where he has struggled.

"That's pretty exciting, I didn't want to do too much, just catch and shoot," he explained.

"You put the work in, I work on it every day. So opportunities are going to come whether it's Joel or dribble penetration."

Embiid added: "That's not something he was comfortable with, but he's gotten better over time and he's taking more and more.

"He needs to take more than he does, but it's a good step. He's getting better and he's knocking them down."

Embiid was marked tightly by the Magic's Franz Wagner, though still topped the scoring with 28 points, adding 11 rebounds and three assists.

"A really good young player," Embiid said of Wagner. "Obviously, you can tell he's competitive, as he kept attacking even though he was not getting the better of me.

"But I like him, a great talent and as a team, that's a pretty good team."

Sixers coach Doc Rivers, meanwhile, saw scope for improvement. 

"I didn't think we played great, but we played good enough to win," he said. "We'll take that."

Luka Doncic produced yet another spectacular performance on Monday as he carried the Dallas Mavericks with 53 points in a 111-105 home win against the Detroit Pistons.

The 23-year-old Slovenian returned to the lineup after missing the Mavericks' loss against the Utah Jazz on Saturday, and he looked on track for a big one from the jump.

Doncic scored 24 of Dallas' 30 points in the first quarter, but the team found themselves trailing at half-time as the rest of the Mavericks struggled on the offensive end.

By the end of the third frame, Dallas trailed by one as Doncic had 45 points and none of his team-mates had more than eight, but the Mavericks were able to hold the Pistons to 21 points in the final period to pull out the narrow victory.

Doncic shot 17-of-24 from the field for his 53 points – the second-most he has ever scored in an NBA game – while adding eight rebounds, five assists and two steals. He had 41 points more than his closest team-mate, Spencer Dinwiddie with 12.

It was the fifth time in his career Doncic has reached 50 points, and the fourth since December 23, after posting games of 50, 51 and 60 points in the last nine days of 2022.

With the win, the Mavericks improved their record to 27-25, sitting sixth in the Western Conference, while the Pistons are dead last in the East at 13-39.

Curry brings the thunder to OKC

Stephen Curry was at his best in the Golden State Warriors' 128-120 road win against the Oklahoma City Thunder, leading both teams in points and assists.

The reigning NBA Finals MVP finished with 38 points on 12-of-20 shooting, while also dishing 12 assists and snatching eight rebounds in a masterful display.

He was supported well by 'Splash Brother' Klay Thompson, who chipped in 28 points on 10-of-21 shooting, as the duo combined to hit 14-of-28 from three-point range.

They locked horns with the Thunder's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who maintained the fifth-best scoring average in the league (30.9 per game) by scoring 31 on 10-of-24 shooting with seven assists and three blocks.

Banchero shines in Fultz's return to Philly

Orlando Magic guard Markelle Fultz posted his first double-double of the season as the former number one overall pick made a winning return to Philadelphia.

In his first road game against the Philadelphia 76ers since being traded from the franchise in 2019, Fultz finished with 12 points and 10 assists, helping to ignite a 77-47 second-half demolition on the way to a 119-109 upset win.

The star for the Magic was their other top overall pick, as rookie Paolo Banchero scored a team-high 29 points on 11-of-22 shooting while adding nine rebounds, three assists, a block and a steal.

Joel Embiid was terrific for the 76ers, dropping 30 points (11-of-20), 11 rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks, but his scoring average for the season dropped to 33.6. He still leads the league, but Doncic (33.4) is hot on his tail.

Jonathan Isaac expressed his gratitude to the Orlando Magic for "sticking with me" after he made a "surreal" long-awaited return in a 113-98 win over Boston Celtics.

Isaac had been out since tearing his ACL when the NBA restarted at Walt Disney World in August 2020 and wondered if he would ever be back on court in an NBA game.

The Magic forward's comeback finally came at Amway Center on Monday as Orlando ended the Eastern Conference-leading Celtics' nine-game winning run.

Isaac missed 211 games, but came off the bench to score 10 points, claim three rebounds and produce two steals in an appearance of around nine and a half minutes.

He said: "Much love to the Magic for sticking with me. And the Magic fans were excited, so I was just trying to bottle all that up in one moment. It was surreal."

Isaac added: "There were days where I was like I don't know if I want to keep going.

"But then again, I have to thank Christ. Being able to go back to my faith and say God has me on this journey for a purpose. I know that I was made to play basketball. I was made to give glory to God on this stage."

Isaac understandably felt the pace on his return from such a long absence.

"That kind of first wind got to me. That last minute I could barely talk I was breathing so hard," Isaac said. "But the second rotation in the second half, that four minutes, I started to just relax and just feel good."

Paolo Banchero top scored with 23 points for the Magic, while 26 points apiece for Celtics duo Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown were in vain.

Orlando are 18-29 down in 13th place in the Eastern Conference, with Boston leading the way at 35-13.

Orlando Magic wing Jonathan Isaac’s long-awaited return to the NBA is nearing an end after a lengthy rehab process.

Isaac will reportedly play Monday against the visiting Boston Celtics, his first game since he tore his left ACL on August 2, 2020.

That game was played at Walt Disney World as part of the bubble the league created to keep players safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

He played in just two games in the bubble after initially injuring his knee in January 2020, and it will be 904 days between NBA games for the 25-year-old, who ended up missing all of the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons.

Isaac, who had been practicing with the Magic since early December, recently played in three games for Orlando’s G League affiliate, averaging 15.8 points and 6.7 rebounds while playing more than 17 minutes a game for the Lakeland Magic.

In his last G League game on Wednesday he played 22 minutes, and he is expected to be on a minutes limit with the Magic as he works toward regaining his form and fitness.

Selected sixth overall by Orlando in the 2017 draft, Isaac appeared in 32 games in his last NBA season in 2019-20, and averaged 11.9 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.3 blocked shots.

He will join a Magic team that’s 17-29 and in 13th place in the Eastern Conference, 4.5 games behind the Chicago Bulls for the last spot in the Play-In Tournament.

Rui Hachimura put in a strong showing for the Washington Wizards on Saturday, but is unsure how much longer he will be at the franchise.

The Japanese forward scored 30 points against the Orlando Magic, the joint-best effort of his career, and claimed five rebounds as the Wizards won 138-118 at Capital One Arena.

Hachimura has been the subject of trade speculation and has made it clear he only wants to play for a team where he is wanted.

"I just want to be somewhere that wants me as a basketball player, and I want to be somewhere that likes my game," he said.

Asked if that place was Washington, he admitted: "I don't know. We've got to find out."

The 24-year-old joined the Wizards in 2019 as the ninth pick of the draft, but after a promising first two years, he has fallen out of favour.

Hachimura started just 13 games last season, and is yet to start this year, with his season average of 13.0 points per game matching his career average.

"I just got to play my game. I know what I can do, and I can help the team to win," he added. "It's either here or [another] team. I can help teams.

"I've just got to keep focus on the moment right now. I know all the stuff going on right now. I've just got to play the games and just to be myself."

LeBron James became the second player to 38,000 career NBA points before Russell Westbrook's failed final play as the Los Angeles Lakers lost 113-112 to the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday.

With the Sixers leading by one point, Westbrook rebounded after Joel Embiid missed a two-point shot with 16 seconds remaining, opting to advance the ball, rather than take a timeout, before failing to get a clean shot or pass away as the clock expired under defense from Embiid and Georges Niang.

The finish took some gloss off James' significant achievement, reaching the 38,000 career points mark in the first quarter, before finishing the game with 35 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds.

Only one player in NBA history has more career points than James and that is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with 38,387. James is on track to surpass Abdul-Jabbar next month.

The game was tight throughout, with Embiid top scoring for the Sixers with 35 points on 12-of-21 shooting from the field with two three-pointers. Embiid also had 11 rebounds and four assists. James Harden contributed 24 points, seven rebounds and 13 assists.

Westbrook played 34 minutes of the bench with 20 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists but four turnovers. That marked Westbrook's 198th career triple-double.

Jokic sinks late three to clinch Nugs win

Back-to-back NBA MVP Nikola Jokic landed a step-back three-pointer with 1.2 seconds left to secure the Denver Nuggets a 119-116 victory over the Orlando Magic.

Jokic finished with 17 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists for his 12th triple-double of the season, with the Nugs clinching their 13th straight home win to remain top of the Western Conference.

Aaron Gordon added 25 points with eight rebounds and five assists, while Jamal Murray delivered 18 points with three three-pointers and seven assists.

Lillard leads Blazers past Mavs missing Doncic

Damian Lillard backed up with 40 points for the Portland Trail Blazers to complete a two-game back-to-back sweep of the Dallas Mavericks, 140-123.

Lillard shot 10-of-17 from the field and four-of-nine from three-point range with six assists for the Blazers, who had lost five in a row prior to the two games against Dallas.

The Mavs rested Luka Doncic after his season-low 15 points in Saturday's game, having starred in Thursday's double overtime win over the Lakers.

Former top-10 draft pick Jonathan Isaac is nearing his return for the Orlando Magic after two-and-a-half years on the sidelines.

Isaac, 25, last played a competitive game in August 2020, when he tore his ACL in the NBA 'bubble' and was ruled out for the remainder of the 2019-20 season.

He went on to miss all of the 2020-21 campaign, and after complications with his recovery, he also missed the entirety of the 2021-22 season and now half of the current season.

The 6ft 10in defensive ace appeared on track for multiple NBA All-Defensive First Team honours, averaging 2.3 blocks and 1.4 steals per game in his most recent campaign. The only player this season averaging at least two blocks and one steal is Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Isaac will play for the Lakeland Magic – Orlando's G League affiliate – on Wednesday, as the first of two planned games before assessing his readiness to return to the NBA.

He is in the second year of a four-year, $70million contract, and will rejoin a Magic team in the tail-end of what looks to be a successful rebuild, with franchise building blocks Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner in place following two terrific drafts from the Orlando front office.

Jayson Tatum registered his second career triple-double as the Boston Celtics ended the Dallas Mavericks' seven-game winning streak with a 124-95 victory on Thursday.

Tatum finished the game with 29 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists plus one steal and two blocks. The MVP candidate shot eight-of-22 from the field and two-of-eight from beyond the arc, scoring 11-of-12 from the stripe.

The Celtics improved to 27-12 with their merciless display, which comes amid a tough stretch for the Eastern Conference leaders, who had dropped seven of their past 12 games, including giving up 150 points last game to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Luka Doncic was kept to only 23 points for the Mavs, after a five-game run averaging 44.5 points. Doncic, who shot none-of-six from three-point range, was benched in the fourth quarter amid the blowout.

Tatum also struggled from beyond the arc, but Marcus Smart made up for it with four-of-nine triples in his 15 points, while Malcolm Brogdon hit three-of-five three-pointers in his 15 points off the bench.

Jaylen Brown scored 19 points with two three-pointers with seven rebounds, three assists and two blocks.

Nuggets rout Clippers despite Jokic being quiet

The Denver Nuggets re-claimed top spot in the Western Conference with a 122-91 domination of the Los Angeles Clippers, who slumped to their fourth straight defeat.

The Nuggets, who secured their 10th straight home win, prevailed without a great contribution from MVP Nikola Jokic, who managed 12 points with six rebounds and nine assists.

Jamal Murray top scored with 18 points, including four three-pointers for Denver, who led by as much as 43 points. The Clippers shuffled their deck ahead of a back-to-back with Kawhi Leonard scoring six points in 18 minutes.

The Nuggets lead the west with a 25-13 record ahead of the Memphis Grizzlies, also 25-13, who won 123-115 over the Orlando Magic with Ja Morant scoring 32 points.

Lauri's career-high ends Jazz's five-game skid

Lauri Markkanen scored a career-high 49 points as the Utah Jazz snapped their five-game skid with a 131-114 victory over the Houston Rockets.

Markkanen posted 18 points in the first quarter on his way to the equal 15th highest single-game scoring performance this season.

The Finnish forward sparked a 14-0 fourth-quarter run which put the game to bed. Jalen Green scored 30 points for Houston, while Kevin Porter Jr added 23.

The NBA has suspended 11 players from the scuffle during Wednesday's Detroit Pistons 121-101 win over the Orlando Magic.

The altercation occurred with 33.2 seconds left in the second quarter when Orlando's Moritz Wagner body checked Detroit guard Killian Hayes off the court and onto the Pistons bench.

The Pistons bench immediately stepped up to remonstrate with Wagner given their proximity before Hayes struck the Magic power forward in the back of the head with his forearm.

Wagner appeared to have been knocked out by the blow but was able to eventually walk away from the skirmish.

Hayes copped the longest suspension, a three-game ban without pay, while Wagner was banned for two games for an "unsportsmanlike act".

Eight Magic players - Cole Anthony, R.J. Hampton, Gary Harris, Kevon Harris, Admiral Schofield, Franz Wagner, Mo Bamba and Wendell Carter Jr. - all received one-game suspensions, having left their bench to join in the altercation. Pistons' shooting guard Hamidou Diallo also was banned for one game for pushing Wagner from behind as the altercation erupted.

LeBron James and Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham were complimentary of Russell Westbrook after he recorded another triple-double to help snap their four-game losing streak on Tuesday.

Westbrook played 29 minutes off the bench, scoring 15 points on six-of-11 shooting while adding 13 rebounds and 13 assists – finishing with a plus/minus of plus 18 as the Lakers beat the Orlando Magic 129-110.

It was his third triple-double off the bench this season, tying three-time All-Star Detlef Schrempf for the most triple-doubles off the bench in NBA history.

Speaking to the media after the win, Westbrook said he is just focused on playing his role.

"I'm a hooper," he said. "I can do anything, anytime, anywhere. I'll continue to do whatever is asked of me until further notice."

James was also terrific, scoring a team-high 28 points on 12-of-24 shooting with seven rebounds and five assists. 

He told reporters how Westbrook's ability to rebound as an undersized guard is crucial with Anthony Davis set for an extended stint on the sidelines.

"We all have to play a little bit more, and do a little bit more," he said. "Russ has definitely picked up, obviously with the rebounding. We're a team that lacks a lot of size, a lot of length.

"We try to make it up by being fundamentally sound, and also being athletic, and rebounding out of your position.

"Russ has always done that in his career – he's always rebounded outside of his size and length. It was very key for us to get stops, clean the glass and not allow offensive rebounds.

"I know when I'm out on the floor with him I just need to run. When he gets the rebound, and he gets on the break, I have to run with him. He sees pretty much everything that's going on on the floor, so just run and make yourself available.

"Tonight we were against a team that has been playing extremely well – they were winners of their last eight out of nine or something like that.

"They're playing exceptionally well here. They beat Boston twice on their home floor – and we know how great that team is – so it's a good win for us."

When asked if Westbrook's strong play would see him reinserted into the starting lineup, Ham made it clear the starting lineup does not necessarily mean the five best players.

"An NBA lineup has to have balance," he said. "It’s not so much 'can he start' or 'are his starting days over?'

"It’s not about that. It’s about him being able to bring a counter punch, a new extra wave off the bench... I know it’s been hard at times, but kudos to him for doing everything that was asked of him in that role."

Of the Lakers' three back-to-backs this season, James has only played in both legs once. When asked if he will be able to suit up against the Miami Heat on Wednesday, he said "I'll know tomorrow when I get up".

Luka Doncic put up arguably the most gaudy stat-line of the season in the Dallas Mavericks' 126-121 home victory against the New York Knicks on Tuesday.

Doncic ended up with 60 points on 21-of-31 shooting, 21 rebounds, 10 assists, two steals and a block in the virtuoso performance, and the Mavericks needed every bit of it to come back from a late deficit.

Trailing 112-103 with less than 30 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Dallas staged a miraculous recovery, but still needed some Luka magic to send the game to overtime.

With four seconds on the clock, trailing by three, Doncic was sent to the line for two free throws. He made the first, before intentionally missing the second, tracking down his own rebound and putting it back in to tie the game.

He scored seven of the Mavericks' 11 points in the overtime period to complete the comeback, finishing the game on a 23-9 run.

The win is Dallas' fourth in a row, and improves their record to 19-16 to sit seventh in the Western Conference.

Despite the loss for the Knicks – their fourth in a row – there were encouraging signs for the future of their backcourt. With Jalen Brunson missing his first game of the season due to a hip injury, Immanuel Quickley was handed the start. 

He had 11 of his 15 assists in the first half before struggling down the stretch as he was asked to play a game-high 51 minutes, while Quentin Grimes top-scored for New York with 33 points (12-of-25).

LeBron's Lakers get back on track

The Los Angeles Lakers are back in the winner's list after LeBron James led them to a 129-110 road win against the Orlando Magic.

Entering the contest on a four-game losing streak since the injury of Anthony Davis, James was terrific, scoring a team-high 28 points on 12-of-24 shooting with seven rebounds and five assists.

He was supported well by Davis' replacement in the starting lineup, with Thomas Bryant chipping in 21 points (eight-of-10 shooting) and 10 rebounds, while Russell Westbrook tied Detlef Schrempf's all-time record for triple-doubles off the bench with 15 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists.

The Magic had won eight of their previous nine, but it was a tough outing for number one draft pick Paolo Banchero, scoring a career-low four points with five fouls in 22 minutes.

76ers waste incredible Embiid performance

The Philadelphia 76ers' winning streak has ended at eight games after a disappointing 116-111 loss to the Washington Wizards, despite Joel Embiid heroics.

Embiid, the back-to-back MVP runner-up, scored a game-high 48 points on 17-of-31 shooting, adding nine rebounds, three blocks and three steals to finish with a plus/minus of plus eight in his 36 minutes.

Unfortunately for Embiid, the 76ers were outscored by 13 in the 12 minutes he was on the bench, with Kristaps Porzingis' 24 points (seven-of-15), 10 rebounds, three blocks and two steals leading the way for the Wizards.

The win may be coming at a cost, however, as All-Star Bradley Beal left in the fourth quarter after suffering a hamstring injury.

Anthony Edwards continued to show what he can do as a true top option in the Minnesota Timberwolves' 116-106 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Monday.

With Karl-Anthony Towns still out, Rudy Gobert was also ruled out in the hours leading up to tip-off, leaving the home Timberwolves as the underdogs against a full-strength Mavericks outfit.

But after one of the best games of his career against the Chicago Bulls on Sunday – when Edwards had 37 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds – the former number one overall draft pick showed it was no fluke.

Playing against arguably the league's top one-man-show in Dallas' Luka Doncic, Edwards produced an all-round performance with 27 points (seven-of-21 shooting), 13 rebounds and nine assists, helping his side build a 20-point buffer heading into the last quarter.

After only exceeding six assists in two of his first 23 games this season, Edwards has now registered at least seven in five of his past eight outings.

He was supported strongly against the Mavericks by Naz Reid, with the sweet-shooting center taking full advantage of his team's absences and his expanded role. He had 27 points on 11-of-19 shooting with 13 rebounds, after a 28-point, nine-rebound performance on Friday.

Doncic was kept quiet in his 28 minutes, hitting just five-of-17 from the field for 19 points, seven assists and six rebounds.

The win is the Timberwolves' third in a row, pulling their record above .500 at 16-15 after starting the season 2-6.

Giannis, Lopez dominate the Pelicans' interior

Giannis Antetokoumpo put up his third-highest point total of the season as he dropped 42 in the Milwaukee Bucks' 128-119 win against the New Orleans Pelicans.

Both teams entered the contest in the top-three of their respective conferences, but it was the 2021 NBA Champions coming out on top, with Antetokounmpo shooting 12-of-17 from the field and 17-of-22 from the free throw line while adding 10 rebounds.

Brook Lopez was similarly impressive, also shooting 12-of-17 from the field for 30 points, although his league-leading figure in blocks per game (2.8) took a small dip after only blocking one shot against the Pelicans.

Young carries the Hawks' offense

Trae Young had his fifth game of the season with at least 30 points and 10 assists in a close 126-125 victory to snap a six-game Orlando Magic winning streak.

Young finished with 37 points on 11-of-22 shooting, while also dishing 13 assists. None of his teammates scored more than rookie A.J. Griffin's 19 off the bench.

It was comfortably the best game of the season for former number one draft pick Markelle Fultz, scoring 24 points with nine assists and six rebounds as the Magic's starting point guard.

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