Stephen Curry labelled the Golden State Warriors as "very average" after they gave up a big lead against the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Warriors looked set to claim a sixth straight win after a strong first three quarters against the Clippers on Wednesday.

However, despite at one stage holding a 15-point lead, and a 13-point advantage heading into the final quarter, the Warriors could not hold on.

It is the sixth time this season that Golden State have lost after holding a 15-point lead - only the San Antonio Spurs have a poorer record.

And Curry, who finished with 41 points, bluntly said: "We're very average. 

"Very average doesn't get it done in this league. We need to make a run, hopefully, we bounce back tomorrow and after the All-Star break hit a stride where we win every game [at home] and steal a few on the road.

"We've been very average so far, so we have to regain that home-court fear that we have grown accustomed to in the past."

The Warriors blew a 22-point lead against the Clippers earlier in the season, and held an 11-point lead when their coach Tyronn Lue was ejected midway through the fourth quarter.

Yet the Clippers then went on a 36-22 streak, and Curry acknowledged the Warriors came up against an in-form side.

"They're a really good team that has some confidence, and we're still trying to prove that we're that type of team," Curry said.

While the Clippers are third in the Western Conference, the Warriors are 10th, just above the playoff line.

"Either way, how tonight would have gone, we would say the same thing about tomorrow, we're trying to keep the streak going and not have any missteps," added Curry.

"Now, it's the same mission but a different mindset of bounding back and just feeling good going into a six-day break. It's a very, very, very, very important game, to say the least."

Norman Powell hit four 3-pointers over the final 7:03 and the Los Angeles Clippers rallied from 12 down in the fourth quarter to end the Golden State Warriors’ five-game winning streak, 130-125 on Wednesday.

James Harden had 26 points, eight rebounds and seven assists and Paul George scored 24 points before fouling out as the Clippers won their fifth straight on the road despite missing Kawhi Leonard, who sat out with a left leg injury.

Stephen Curry scored 41 points and went 9 for 19 from 3-point range and became the first player in NBA history to make at least seven 3s in four straight games. He notched his sixth 40-point game of the season.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr was denied his 500th regular season win and Golden State suffered just its second loss in the last nine games.

The Clippers had lost six straight on the Warriors’ home floor.

 

Surging Celtics rip Nets

Payton Pritchard scored 28 points and Derrick White had 27 as the Boston Celtics pounded the Brooklyn Nets 136-86 for their sixth straight win and a sweep of their home-and-home series.

Jayson Tatum added 20 points, nine assists and seven rebounds as the Celtics gave coach Joe Mazzulla his 100th victory.

Boston, which enters the All-Star break with a league-best 43-12 record, made 22 of 44 from 3-point range and won by at least 50 points for the fifth time in team history.

The Celtics won their 10th in the last 11 meetings against the Nets, who have lost five of six overall.

 

Irving keeps Mavericks red hot

Kyrie Irving had 34 points and Luka Dončić added 27 before leaving early in the fourth quarter as the streaking Dallas Mavericks rallied for a 116-93 win over the San Antonio Spurs.

Doncic, who also had nine rebounds and eight assists in 31 minutes, left three minutes into the fourth holding his neck. A team spokesman said the Dallas superstar received treatment.

The Mavs erased a 15-point deficit to win their season-high sixth straight.

Victor Wembanyama scored 20 of his 26 points in the first half and grabbed nine rebounds as the Spurs lost for the eighth time in nine games.

Jusuf Nurkic hit out at Draymond Green after the pair exchanged words and taunts during the Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry-inspired win over the Phoenix Suns.

The resurgent Warriors won 113-112 thanks to Curry's 33-foot 3-pointer in the dying seconds on Saturday.

But while Curry wrote the headlines, and received high praise from all involved, including former teammate Kevin Durant, Green and Nurkic were involved in a verbal tussle.

Green has been careful with his behaviour since he returned from an indefinite NBA suspension in January. He had been banned because he had hit Nurkic in the face during a clash between the Warriors and the Suns in December.

But Nurkic does not believe Green has learned any lessons.

"It's sad," he said. "He didn't learn anything. It's just a matter of time.

"He's going to hit somebody else again. I take everything back, what I said. He doesn't deserve a chance."

Nurkic taunted Green by slapping the floor twice with a "too small" gesture during the third quarter, with the Warriors star returning the favour when he scooped the ball over the Suns center two minutes later.

"You can't be a nothing defender if you're going to do that," Green said of Nurkic.

"You probably outweigh me by 70 pounds and you get put in the rim? Got to be more careful.

"I thought I was great tonight. He tried to get in my head, and it didn't work. If he wants me to walk around quiet, like him, I'm never going to do that. Quiet guys don't win.

"He can keep rocking with that same horse that he rode in on. He can ride his a** right out of here on that same horse. It's not working."

Curry laughed off Nurkic's comments.

"He's given us a lift every game he's been back," Curry said of Green. "He connects, obviously, our defense, but you can talk about his defense every game.

"What he did offensively tonight, especially in the fourth quarter, he gave us great energy in the sense of having that competitive spirit you need to win a game like tonight, to meet the moment.

"Draymond knows how to walk the line that he needs to walk. This is probably the best game that you've seen it.

"You can tell when someone is in your head when you go out of your way to celebrate. Then Draymond comes back at him. All of the talk, Draymond was in his head, plain and simple."

Warriors coach Steve Kerr likewise defended Green.

"That month off, that suspension was real," Kerr said. "[Draymond] knew that his career was on the line or is on the line. He understands that he's got to be the guy he's been the last nine years, not the one he's been the last year. I see him doing that."

Ultimately, it was Curry's quality that settled the contest. The two-time MVP finished with 30 points, nine rebounds and six assists, with his match-winning moment coming when Bradley Beal missed an attempted steal, after Brandin Podziemski had picked out Golden State's talisman.

"He's the best to ever shoot it," Beal said. "So you know the result after that."

For Durant, who played alongside Curry with the Warriors, there was not much more the Suns could have done to deny his former teammate.

"You give him a look like that for the game, he's licking his chops," Durant reflected. "I still think we could've had that steal. It's a tough play. Sometimes guys are just that great."

Kerr added: "We were due. We were due for one of these tight games to go our way. But the guys earned it. It didn’t just happen."

The Warriors have now won their last four games and sit 10th in the Western Conference with a 25-25 record, while the Suns are sixth on 31-22.

Stephen Curry urged the Golden State Warriors not to run before they can walk after his 42-point haul inspired them to victory over the Indiana Pacers.

The Warriors won for the fifth time in six games on Thursday, claiming an emphatic 131-109 win over Indiana.

Curry was in scintillating form, with 29 of his points coming in the first half. The four-time NBA champion has now recorded three 40+ point games across his last seven outings.

Golden State are 11th in the Western Conference, with a 24-25 record, but are now looking up as they aim to secure a playoff place.

But they must keep their feet on the ground.

"The challenge is to not get too far ahead of yourself, thinking you can just show up and win games," Curry said.

"We've got a long way to go to get some security."

Coach Steve Kerr believes the Warriors are beginning to show what they are truly made of.

He added: "We had a great start to the season and then things, obviously, went kind of haywire for a while.

"But this feels like the best version of us, with the starting lineup, playing they are, bringing guys off the bench who are giving great energy and effort.

"And then, Steph was just scalding hot there early."

Pacers coach Rick Carlisle offered up few excuses, simply pointing to the quality of Curry's performance.

"Well, he was making shots, but we got beat by their hard play — and our lack of hard play," he said.

"Simple as that. It was ugly. I think we lost every quarter."

Stephen Curry was left frustrated after having no win to show for his 60-point haul in the Golden State Warriors' loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

Curry scored a season-high 60 points, while recording six rebounds and four assists, but the Warriors went down 141-134 in overtime on Saturday.

The Warriors are now 21-25 for the season, and 12th in the Western Conference.

Having fallen just two shy of his career-best 62 points, Curry became the 10th player in NBA history to register multiple 60-point games.

Yet the four-time champion was left with a sour taste in his mouth after watching Trae Young lead the Hawks to a fourth straight win with his 35 points.

"It sucks to not have something to show for it," Curry said.

"It's frustrating, obviously, not coming away with the win knowing a couple plays here, a couple plays there could have been a different outcome. It just adds to our frustrating season."

Draymond Green chipped in with seven points, six rebounds and eight assists for the Warriors, and despite the result, he was delighted to see Curry shine.

"It just seems he continues to get better, which is special at his age," Green said of Curry, while coach Steve Kerr added: "We competed like crazy but just couldn't get over the hump."

Young and Curry embraced on the court after the game, with the latter offering some advice to the Hawks star, who is averaging 27.3 points per game but missed out on an All-Star pick.

"I told him after the game it will all come back to him if he continues to approach the game in the right way," said Curry.

Stephen Curry scored 60 points for the second-most in his career and made 10 3-pointers, but the Atlanta Hawks started fast in overtime in a 141-134 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Saturday.

Curry had eight points in overtime to notch the second 60-point game of his career, falling two points shy of matching his career high set against Portland on Jan. 3, 2021. He was 22 of 38 from the field, 10 of 23 from long range, and made all six free throws.

Dejounte Murray scored the last seven points in an 11-0 run to open overtime for the Hawks and finished with 19 points.

Curry’s second 3 of overtime drew Golden State within 136-131 with 67 seconds to play but Trae Young hit a floater and Jalen Johnson’s layup with 20 seconds left sealed the win.

Young scored 35 points with seven 3-pointers, and Onyeka Okongwu added a career-high 22 points and a season-best 16 rebounds for Atlanta, which has won a season high-tying four straight.

 

Lakers snap Knicks’ 9-game streak

LeBron James scored 24 points and the Los Angeles Lakers pulled away down the stretch for a 113-105 victory to end the New York Knicks’ nine-game winning streak.

Austin Reaves had 22 points, D’Angelo Russell and Taurean Prince each scored 16 and Anthony Davis added 12 with 18 rebounds.

It was the second straight impressive road win for the Lakers after their 114-105 victory at NBA-leading Boston on Thursday.

Jalen Brunson poured in 36 points and Donte DiVincenzo added 26 before fouling out. The Knicks were done in by a nearly seven-minute scoreless stretch in the fourth quarter, as the Lakers turned a 96-94 deficit into a 105-96 lead.

 

Antetokounmpo outduels Doncic in Bucks’ win

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 48 points and the Milwaukee Bucks rallied from a 25-point deficit for their first win under coach Doc Rivers, 129-117 over the Dallas Mavericks.

Antetokounmpo shot 20 of 28 from the field to go with 10 assists and six rebounds as Milwaukee avoided a season-high third straight loss.

The Bucks, who lost their first two games under Rivers, started the rally with a 15-0 run in the final two minutes of the first half to get within five.

Damian Lillard added 30 points on 10-of-11 shooting and hit all five 3-point attempts.

Luka Dončić had 40 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists to fall just shy of his 10th triple-double of the season.

Maxi Kleber scored 21 points and Josh Green had 20 with nine rebounds for Dallas, which had its biggest blown lead in a loss this season and dropped to 2-6 in its last eight games.

LeBron James is looking forward to talking about his thrilling matchups against Stephen Curry with his grandchildren.

That is how much James relishes going up against the Golden State Warriors star, as the duo served up another wonderful instalment of their long-running rivalry on Saturday.

James and the Los Angeles Lakers came out on top, edging out the Warriors 145-144 in double overtime.

Curry led the game with 46 points, with 15 of those coming across the two OT periods, but James inspired the Lakers with a triple-double of 36 points, 12 assists and a career-best 20 rebounds.

"It's something I'll be able to talk about with my grandkids," James said.

"When you talk about me being able to compete versus one of the greatest players to ever play the game.

"It's been a treat to go against one of the greatest to ever play this game.

"For us to continue to push each other at the state of our careers, you don't take it for granted because you don't know how many times you're actually going to get the moment to actually be on the same floor with such a talent."

James and Curry dominated four successive NBA Finals, and the pair, who have eight championship rings between them, rekindled that fire in magnificent fashion.

However, neither team have been enjoying their best campaigns. The Lakers are ninth in the Western Conference with a 24-23 record, three places ahead of the 19-24 Warriors.

"Every year that we get to do this and go back and forth, the battles, the Finals runs, the playoff battles last year, after the horn sounded tonight there was a little laugh of, I can't imagine a scenario where a game like tonight happens, [with] him in Season 21 and me in Year 15," Curry said.

"You look forward to the battles, but you also appreciate the mutual respect of what it takes to keep doing what you're doing at this level. Only a few people know how hard it is. I'm happy to be in that group."

Klay Thompson, who scored 24 points for the Warriors, is simply happy to have played alongside, and against, two of the NBA's greatest.

"Credit to LeBron for what he's doing at his age. I mean, that guy is a freak of nature in terms of his ability to play at this level for so long. Same with Steph," Thompson said.

"When you're younger, you don't ever really think that basketball will stop because it's what you love. It's all you do.

"But when you get to your thirties, you realise there's an end point to being an athlete. Knowing that, I am very grateful to step on the floor with those guys and play against LeBron."

LeBron James is in his 21st NBA season, and still accomplishing things he's never done before.

James had a career-high 20 rebounds as part of a triple-double and hit two late free throws in the second overtime to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 145-144 road win over the Golden State Warriors in an epic showdown with Stephen Curry on Saturday.

James also had 36 points and 12 assists as part of his 110th career triple-double while playing a season-high 48 minutes.

He became the first Laker to have at least 35 points, 20 rebounds and 10 assists in a game in the last 40 seasons.

 Curry scored 10 of his season-high 46 points in the second overtime, and put the Warriors up 144-143 on his season-best ninth 3-pointer with 4.7 seconds to play.

On the Lakers ensuing possession, James drove the lane and drew a foul with 1.2 seconds remaining. He hit both free throws to put Los Angeles up by one point and Curry then missed a desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer.

D'Angelo Russell finished with 28 points, and hit a key 3-pointer late in regulation and another clutch 3-pointer with 52 seconds remaining in the second overtime.

Anthony Davis exited for a bit in the third quarter due to a hip spasm but returned to finish with 29 points and 13 rebounds for Los Angeles (24-23), which trailed by as much as 15 points.

The Warriors (19-24) lost for the fourth time in five games despite scoring a season high in points and making a season-best 23 3-pointers.

Klay Thompson drained a tying 3 with 5.9 seconds to play in the first extra period and then hit another with 1:53 to play in the second, but he ended up fouling out 39 seconds later. He finished with 24 points and made six 3-pointers.

 

Clippers roll in Boston for fifth straight win

One month ago, the Boston Celtics trounced the Clippers in Los Angeles.

The Clippers returned the favour.

Los Angeles led by as much as 36 en route to a 115-96 victory over the NBA-best Celtics in Boston.

The Pacific Division-leading Clippers (30-14) rode a 21-0 run in the third quarter to avenge a 37-point home loss to the Celtics on December 23. The Clippers have won five in a row with all victories coming by double digits.

Kawhi Leonard had a game-high 26 points, while Paul George added 17 points in just 22 minutes for Los Angeles, which scored 64 points in the paint.

With the outcome in little doubt, both teams emptied their bench for the fourth quarter.

The Celtics (35-11) were opening a season-high seven-game home-stand, but came out sluggish, scoring a season-low 21 first-quarter points.

Jayson Tatum was the only Celtic starter in double figures, scoring 21 while the other four Boston starters combined for 17 points on 5-of-37 shooting (13.5 per cent).

It marked the second straight home loss for the Celtics, who opened the season 20-0 in Boston.

 

 Knicks win sixth in row but Randle injured

The New York Knicks' latest win may have come at a cost.

The Knicks extended their winning streak to six games with a 125-109 victory over the Miami Heat, but Julius Randle injured his shoulder late in the fourth quarter.

Randle exited with 4:27 to play after appearing to land hard on his right shoulder after colliding with the Heat's Jaime Jaquez Jr. He was reportedly diagnosed with a dislocated shoulder, and it's uncertain how long he'll be sidelined.

 Jalen Brunson led New York with 32 points and eight assists, and Randle had 19 points and nine rebounds before getting hurt. OG Anunoby also scored 19 for the Knicks (29-17), who improved to 12-2 since the calendar flipped to 2024.

Things have not been going nearly as well for the Heat (24-22), who have lost a season-high six straight games.

Jimmy Butler had 28 points and eight assists for Miami, which is still atop the Southeast Division despite its recent slide.

Draymond Green's disciplinary issues this season have played a part in him missing out on selection for the Paris Olympics, so says Team USA chief Grant Hill.

Green, a two-time Olympic gold medallist, has not made the 41-man list, which was unveiled on Tuesday.

LeBron James, Stephen Curry and reigning NBA MVP Joel Embiid all featured on the list, which will be whittled down to a 12-man roster ahead of the Olympics, which take place in July and August in the French capital.

But Golden State Warriors power forward Green, who helped Team USA triumph in 2016 and 2021, will not feature at another Games, with executive director Hill claiming the two suspensions the NBA has handed the 33-year-old's way in recent months have swayed that decision.

Having served a five-game suspension in November for grappling with Rudy Gobert, Green then missed a further 12 games after striking the head of Phoenix Suns center Jusuf Nurkic.

"His contributions have been significant, and he is a real part of the legacy of this organisation for his excellence," Hill said of Green.

"But I think just in lieu of sort of what's transpired this year, we made a decision to not have [Green] on this list with this particular point in time with the process."

Warriors coach Steve Kerr is set to take charge of Team USA at the Paris Games.

The Memphis Grizzlies got career-best scoring performances from Vince Williams Jr. and GG Jackson to overcome a slew of injured players and spoil Draymond Green's return to the Golden State Warriors' lineup in Monday's 116-107 win.

Williams amassed 24 points and seven rebounds and Jackson contributed 23 points off the bench on a night Memphis was without three of its top four scorers for the season in Ja Morant, Desmond Bane and Marcus Smart.

Both players recorded eight fourth-quarter points as the Grizzlies pulled away late to halt a two-game losing streak and hand the reeling Warriors an eighth loss in 11 games.

Green had seven points and seven rebounds in 24 minutes in his first appearance in just over a month. The former NBA Defensive Player of the Year had just completed serving an indefinite NBA suspension for striking Phoenix Suns centre Jusuf Nurkic in the face on Dec. 12.

The Warriors owned a 91-90 lead following Stephen Curry's go-ahead 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter, but Memphis responded with a 16-5 run to break the game open. 

Jackson, who finished 5 of 8 from 3-point range, had two triples during the surge, which Luke Kennard capped with a 3-pointer to give the Grizzlies a 106-96 advantage with 7:20 left.

Golden State never got closer than seven points behind the rest of the way.

Curry led the Warriors with 26 points and Jonathan Kuminga delivered 20 points and 11 rebounds off the bench.

Mavericks down rival Pelicans behind big games from Irving, Hardaway

Kyrie Irving and Tim Hardaway Jr. each eclipsed the 40-point mark while rallying the Dallas Mavericks to a 125-120 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans, a win that created a two-way tie atop the Southwest Division between the teams.

The Mavericks overcame a 10-point deficit late in the third quarter and another absence from superstar Luka Dončić to avenge Saturday’s 118-110 home loss to the Pelicans.

Irving and Hardaway more than made up for Doncic missing a third straight game with a sprained ankle. Irving scored 24 of his 42 points in the second half, while Hardaway had 11 of his season-high 41 points during a fourth quarter in which Dallas outscored New Orleans by a 33-21 margin.

The Pelicans held a 111-104 lead with seven minutes left before Dallas took control with a 17-4 run. Hardaway hit back-to-back 3-pointers during the pivotal spurt, the second of which gave the Mavericks a 112-111 edge with 4:16 remaining.

Jalen Green’s 3-pointer with 1:27 left to play extended Dallas’ advantage to 121-115, though New Orleans answered with five straight points to cut its deficit to one with 17.7 seconds remaining.

Irving then hit two free throws on the ensuing possession, and after the Pelicans’ Brandon Ingram missed a potential game-tying 3-point attempt, Maxi Kleber made two foul shots to seal the win and pull Dallas even with New Orleans in the standings.

Zion Williamson led the Pelicans with 30 points and CJ McCollum had 23 in the loss, though Ingram went just 3 of 14 from the field while finishing with 12 points.

Jazz extend winning streak with rout of Pacers

Lauri Markkanen put up 32 points and 10 rebounds as the resurgent Utah Jazz continued their recent winning ways with a 132-105 rout of the short-handed Indiana Pacers.

The Jazz cruised to their sixth consecutive victory behind the hot shooting of Markkanen and Collin Sexton, who went 11 of 17 from the field while scoring a season-high 30 points to go along with five assists. Markkanen made 10 of 15 field goal attempts and was a perfect 10 for 10 from the foul line.

After getting off to a 7-16 start, Utah has won 15 of its last 19 games to move up to ninth place in the Western Conference.

The Pacers lost their second in a row while playing a fourth straight game without star point guard Tyrese Haliburton, out with a hamstring injury. Indiana was also without two other key contributors in guard Bruce Brown and 3-point specialist Aaron Nesmith due to injuries.

Indiana's depleted lineup proved to be no match, as the Jazz took a 33-26 lead after one quarter and increased it to 64-50 at half-time behind 17 points from Sexton and 15 from Markkanen.

Utah maintained a double-digit advantage the rest of the way, with its lead swelling to 29 points in the final stages.

Buddy Hield and Andrew Nembhard each had 14 points to lead Indiana.

 

Stephen Curry acknowledged something needs to change for the Golden State Warriors after they suffered their second blowout loss in the space of three days, saying: "It all sucks."

The Warriors were booed off at Chase Center following Sunday's 133-118 defeat to the Toronto Raptors, and a similar reception awaited them on Wednesday as the New Orleans Pelicans ran out 141-105 victors. 

Steve Kerr's team did not lead at any point in those back-to-back defeats and are now 17-20 for the season, having gone 2-5 throughout a vital seven-game home stretch since Christmas.

Curry was limited to 15 points by the Pelicans after only managing a paltry nine against Toronto, both well below his season average of 26.7.

The two-time NBA MVP was at a loss to explain the Warriors' struggles after their latest home defeat, saying: "It's pretty evident that if things stay the same, that's the definition of insanity, right? Keep doing the same thing but expecting different results.

"You get to a point where you're trying to explain it, trying to figure out what can change specifically that can help us.

"Those conversations are happening between games, in film sessions, in the locker room. But it's headed in the opposite direction. 

"I don't know what to say about it. We're not used to this vibe around our team. It all sucks."

While the Warriors have suffered several gut-wrenching reverses this season, blowing big leads to lose to the Sacramento Kings, Los Angeles Clippers and Denver Nuggets, head coach Kerr says their back-to-back blowout defeats exposed a lack of belief.

"We are lacking confidence," Kerr said. "You get to a stage where you lose your belief.

"One of the coaches said we are the quietest team ever. We need guys who can rally the troops right. 

"When you're going through it like this, there is only one way out. That's to fight together, to compete together."

The Golden State Warriors were on the verge of beating the Denver Nuggets for the first time in nearly two years.

Nikola Jokic had other ideas.

Jokic hit a long 3-pointer at the buzzer to lift the Nuggets to a 130-127 win over the Warriors on Thursday to cap an 18-point, fourth-quarter comeback.

Jokic's improbable 3 came from just inside of half-court and over the outstretched arms of Warriors centre Kevon Looney.

Jokic, who had just tied the game with 26 seconds left on a short jumper, finished with 34 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds.

Aaron Gordon sparked Denver's furious rally, scoring 15 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter, as the defending champions won for the eighth time in nine games.

The Nuggets (25-11) also extended their winning streak over the Warriors to six games dating to a loss in the 2022 play-offs.

Stephen Curry led Golden State with 30 points but also committed a costly turnover late, with Jamal Murray stealing the ball from him with four seconds remaining to set up Jokic's winner.

The Warriors (16-18) lost for the third time in four games following a five-game winning streak.

Antetokounmpo powers Bucks past Wembanyama, Spurs

Victor Wembanyama sent the San Antonio Spurs fans into a frenzy with a huge 3-pointer.

Giannis Antetokounmpo promptly silenced the crowd with a 3-point play of his own.

Antetokounmpo scored 44 points and the Milwaukee Bucks pulled out a 125-121 win at San Antonio to snap a two-game losing streak.

The first NBA meeting between Antetokounmpo and Wembanyama was a back-and-forth affair in which neither team led by more five points in the final quarter.

Wembanyama tied the game at 121 on a 3-pointer with 1:09 remaining, but the Bucks responded on their next trip down the court, as Antetokounmpo put Milwaukee ahead on a driving dunk and added a free throw after being fouled.

Antetokounmpo also had 14 rebounds and seven assists for the Bucks (25-10), who got back in the win column after being swept in a home-and-home series with the Indiana Pacers.

Damian Lillard scored 11 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter and chipped in 10 assists.

Wembanyama blocked Lillard's layup attempt right before his 3-pointer, and later blocked an attempted dunk by Antetokounmpo with less than 30 seconds remaining. But on the Spurs' next possession, Tre Jones missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer.

Wembanyama finished with 27 points, nine rebounds and five blocked shots, while Devin Vassell led San Antonio with 34 points.

The Spurs (5-29) lost their fourth in a row and for the ninth time in the last 10 games.

The Golden State Warriors were on the verge of beating the Denver Nuggets for the first time in nearly two years.

Nikola Jokic had other ideas.

Jokic hit a long 3-pointer at the buzzer to lift the Nuggets to a 130-127 win over the Warriors on Thursday to cap an 18-point, fourth-quarter comeback.

Jokic's improbable 3 came from just inside of half-court and over the outstretched arms of Warriors centre Kevon Looney.

Jokic, who had just tied the game with 26 second left on a short jumper, finished with 34 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds.

Aaron Gordon sparked Denver's furious rally, scoring 15 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter, as the defending champions won for the eighth time in nine games.

The Nuggets (25-11) also extended their winning streak over the Warriors to six games dating to a loss in the 2022 play-offs.

Stephen Curry led Golden State with 30 points but also committed a costly turnover late, with Jamal Murray stealing the ball from him with four seconds remaining to set up Jokic's winner.

The Warriors (16-18) lost for the third time in four games following a five-game winning streak.

Antetokounmpo powers Bucks past Wembanyama, Spurs

Victor Wembanyama sent the San Antonio Spurs fans into a frenzy with a huge 3-pointer.

Giannis Antetokounmpo promptly silenced the crowd with a 3-point play of his own.

Antetokounmpo scored 44 points and the Milwaukee Bucks pulled out a 125-121 win at San Antonio to snap a two-game losing streak.

The first NBA meeting between Antetokounmpo and Wembanyama was a back-and-forth affair in which neither team led by more five points in the final quarter.

Wembanyama tied the game at 121 on a 3-pointer with 1:09 remaining, but the Bucks responded on their next trip down the court, as Antetokounmpo put Milwaukee ahead on a driving dunk and added a free throw after being fouled.

Antetokounmpo also had 14 rebounds and seven assists for the Bucks (25-10), who got back in the win column after being swept in a home-and-home series with the Indiana Pacers.

Damian Lillard scored 11 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter and chipped in 10 assists.

Wembanyama blocked Lillard's layup attempt right before his 3-pointer, and later blocked an attempted dunk by Antetokounmpo with less than 30 seconds remaining. But on the Spurs next possession, Tre Jones missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer.

Wembanyama finished with 27 points, nine rebounds and five blocked shots, while Devin Vassell led San Antonio with 34 points.

The Spurs (5-29) lost their fourth in a row and for the ninth time in the last 10 games.

Stephen Curry scored 36 points in an impressive display as the Golden State Warriors snapped a three-game losing streak with a 121-115 victory over the Orlando Magic.

Coach Steve Kerr praised Curry for an "amazing" performance on Tuesday as Golden State improved to 16-17 with a much-needed home win.

The Warriors had lost consecutive games to the Denver Nuggets, Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks until Curry intervened with a big night which included some crucial plays in the fourth quarter.

Curry also had six assists and four steals, while Jonathan Kuminga scored 19 points and Klay Thompson added 15 for the Warriors.

"Steph was amazing," said Kerr. "But Steph is always amazing. Even when he doesn't score 36 points.

"Just the attention he draws defensively, what he does to an opposing defense, the way he opens up the floor, he's a remarkable player.

"He really got himself going on a night when we needed it."

The Warriors will host the Nuggets on Thursday as their seven-game homestand continues, with Chris Paul relieved to get back to winning ways ahead of that clash with the defending NBA champions.

"It was huge, we have been struggling to get wins," said Paul.

"It is hard to win in this league. That team [Orlando] is a young team, well coached. They've been playing hard all season long, so this was a good win for us."

The Magic are on the road against the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday and are fifth in the Eastern Conference after the loss to Golden State.

Paolo Banchero had 27 points and 12 rebounds with Franz Wagner adding 25 points, but Orlando fell to 19-14 on the season and 7-10 in road games.

"They have an elite shot maker and Hall of Fame player in Steph Curry – that is what we got," said coach Jamahl Mosley.

Stephen Curry and Steve Kerr both admitted the Golden State Warriors are still searching for an identity after they were beaten by a Luka Doncic-inspired Dallas Mavericks team on Saturday.

The Warriors sit a disappointing 11th in the Western Conference with a 15-17 record after losing their third straight game, with Curry's 25-point haul not enough to prevent a 132-122 defeat.

Doncic was the catalyst for Dallas upon his return to the fold after sitting out Thursday's loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves due to injury, finishing with 39 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds.

Golden State have seen their last two losses arrive at Chase Center, having also gone down to a Miami Heat team deprived of Jimmy Butler, Kyle Lowry and Caleb Martin two days earlier.

While injuries and suspensions – most notably for forward Draymond Green – have hampered the Warriors' attempts to find consistency this season, Curry knows they need to do so quickly.

"We've experimented a lot, some for forced reasons, sometimes just us searching for an identity," Curry said. "We haven't found it collectively. 

"It's frustrating, for sure, 32 games in. Any team that is a seriously competitive contender, a good team, can usually answer that question. We have to get to that point before it's too late."

Coach Kerr agreed with that assessment, saying: "We haven't found that grit that every good team needs, where you pull together and you just play for the group. We are not there yet, and that's a problem. 

"We have great guys, but until every team connects in a way that is solely dedicated to winning each game, then we are going to be stuck in this place."

The Warriors were the latest team to fail to contain Doncic, who has scored at least 39 points in his last four games, only failing to reach 30 once in 13 outings in December – when he managed 28 against the Los Angeles Clippers.

He is just the second player in NBA history to average at least 35 points, eight rebounds and 10 assists per game across a calendar month (minimum 10 games played), after Oscar Robertson did so for the Cincinnati Royals in December 1960.

While Kerr was disappointed with the Warriors' defensive efforts, he acknowledged they had simply failed to live with one of the foremost contenders for MVP honours.

"We tried to mix it up on him," Kerr said. "We single-covered him, we switched, we hit him. We tried a lot of different things, but he is a brilliant player and he had a phenomenal game. 

"We weren't communicating. We had some good stretches when we were getting stops, and then our communication broke down."

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