Bam Adebayo compiled 28 points and 10 rebounds as the Miami Heat overcame the absence of several key players to record a 121-110 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Monday and extend their winning streak to four games.

Miami moved a half-game ahead of the Orlando Magic for first place in the Southeast Division despite missing two of its stars in Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro, as well as starting point guard Terry Rozier. Herro and Rozier sat out due to injuries, while Butler was serving a one-game suspension for his role in an on-court altercation in the Heat's win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday.

Rookie Jaime Jaquez helped fill the void by producing 26 points on 12-of-17 shooting, and the Heat also got key contributions from reserves Kevin Love and Haywood Highsmith.

Love poured in 19 points in just 15 minutes, while Highsmith scored 15 first-half points to help Miami take a 65-62 lead into the break.

Jaquez then put up 13 points during a dominant third quarter in which the Heat outscored Sacramento by a 36-19 margin. Miami took the lead for good with a 10-2 run that snapped a 71-71 tie, then later scored the final 10 points of the period to build a commanding 101-81 advantage entering the fourth.

The Kings had a three-game winning streak snapped despite Domantas Sabonis registering his league-leading 21st triple-double with 14 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists.

Keegan Murray led Sacramento, which was coming off a 16-point road win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday, with 28 points. De'Aaron Fox finished with 27 in the loss.

Barnes' triple-double powers Raptors past Pacers

Scottie Barnes recorded his fourth triple-double of the season with 21 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists to lead the Toronto Raptors to a 130-122 win over the weary Indiana Pacers.

Toronto also received big efforts from RJ Barrett and rookie Gradey Dick en route to its season-high third consecutive win. Barrett delivered 24 points on 11-of-16 shooting, while Dick had 11 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter and finished 7 of 9 from the field while making all four of his 3-point attempts.

Playing for the second straight night, the Pacers had a three-game winning streak snapped despite Bennedict Mathurin matching a career-high with 34 points to go along with nine rebounds. Former Raptors All-Star Pascal Siakam had 27 points, nine rebounds and six assists in his second meeting with his ex-team since being traded to Indiana on Jan. 17.

The Pacers got an off night from leading scorer Tyrese Haliburton, however, as the All-Star guard misfired on nine of 11 shot attempts while being held to nine points.

Indiana did manage to battle back from a 12-point third-quarter deficit, however, to tie the game at 102-102 with just over eight minutes left in the fourth.

The Raptors then regained control with a 13-2 run, which Dick started and finished with 3-pointers, to take a 115-104 lead with 6:21 remaining.

Indiana closed the gap to four points entering the final three minutes, but a jumper by Toronto's Gary Trent Jr. followed by a Barrett 3-pointer helped end any comeback hopes.

Hart's late basket lifts Knicks over Pistons

Josh Hart scored the go-ahead layup with 2.8 seconds left as the New York Knicks held off a determined upset bid from the Detroit Pistons and came away with a controversial 113-111 victory.

The Pistons fought back from a 13-point deficit in the third quarter to take a 111-110 lead on former Knick Quentin Grimes' layup with 37.3 seconds remaining. New York's Jalen Brunson misfired on a 3-point try on the ensuing possession, but Detroit's Ausar Thompson had the ball stolen away after colliding with the Knicks' Donte DiVincenzo to set up Hart's basket off a feed from Brunson.

Hart missed the free throw for a potential three-point play, but the Knicks collared the rebound and Hart was fouled again with 1.3 seconds left. He made 1 of 2 from the line to prevent a potentially damaging home loss to a Detroit team with an NBA-worst 8-49 record.

Game officials acknowledged afterward that a loose-ball foul should have been called on DiVincenzo during the collision that preceded Hart's basket.

Brunson finished with 35 points and 12 assists and Hart had 23 points and eight rebounds as the playoff-hopeful Knicks won for the second time in three outings following a four-game losing streak. DiVincenzo contributed 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting.

Detroit was dealt a sixth straight loss despite Cade Cunningham's 32 points and eight assists and an 11-point, 16-rebound effort from Jalen Duren. 

The teams were facing one another for the first time since collaborating on a six-player trade on Feb. 8 that sent veterans Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks to New York, with Grimes among the return pieces to the Pistons.

Grimes finished with 14 points while Bogdanovic recorded 13 points and six rebounds off the bench. 

 

Toronto Raptors coach Darko Rajakovic said teams must learn how to get to grips with Victor Wembanyama after the number one draft pick excelled in a win for the San Antonio Spurs.

The Spurs ran out 122-99 winners over the Raptors on Monday.

Wembanyama starred with a triple-double, entering the NBA record books in the process.

With a triple-double of 27 points, 14 rebounds, 10 blocks and five assists.

The 20-year-old became just the fifth player to record a triple-double that includes 25 points, 10 rebounds, 10 blocks and five assists since 1973-74, when blocks became an official statistic.

Wembanyama joined Hakeem Olajuwon, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, David Robinson and Ralph Sampson on that exclusive list, and Raptors boss Rajakovic believes teams will have to adapt to the rookie's stature in skill in the years to come.

"Wembanyama is the player who's going to play in this league for the next 15 years. We need to figure out how to attack and how to play against him," Rajakovic said.

"Definitely a player who's unique with his size and shot-blocking ability. We've got to do a much better job of figuring out how to play against that."

"I felt great today," Wembanyama said after becoming the fourth San Antonio player to record 10 blocks in a game. 

"Great rhythm, started the game strong. I guess it's just the NBA, you know. We've got ups and downs in terms of shape, and today was an up day."

"He did a little bit of everything," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said of Wembanyama, who leads the league in blocked shots, and is now the first rookie with 150 blocks, 150 assists and 50 steals in a season since Tim Duncan in 1997-98.

"Obviously he's an all-around, talented player. He's got a great feel for the game and it shows in a variety of ways, whether it's passing or making decisions, blocking shots."

Luka Dončić scored a franchise-record 73 points to tie for the fourth-most in NBA history in the Dallas Mavericks’ 148-143 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Friday.

Doncic surpassed his previous career high of 60 points after scoring a team-record 41 in the first half.

He joined Wilt Chamberlain and David Thompson as players to score 73 points. Chamberlain, who owns the NBA record with 100 points, also had a 78 and a 73-point game, while Kobe Bryant scored 81 on Jan. 22, 2006.

Doncic shot 25 of 33 from the field, was 8 of 13 from 3-point range and made 15 of 16 free throws. He also had 10 rebounds and seven assists in 44 ½ minutes.

No other player has ever had as many points, rebounds and assists in the same game as Doncic did.

His milestone game came in his original NBA home, at least for a few minutes. Doncic was drafted by the Hawks with the No. 3 overall pick in 2018 before having his draft rights traded to Dallas for Young with the No. 5 pick and a 2019 first-round pick used to select Cam Reddish.

Josh Green had 21 points and Tim Hardaway Jr. was the only other Dallas player in double figures with 13 points. The Mavericks snapped a three-game skid and sent the Hawks to their fourth straight loss.

Trae Young led Atlanta with 30 points and Jalen Johnson added 25.

Pacers rally to spoil Booker’s big night

Obi Toppin snapped a tie on a putback with 3.4 seconds remaining and the Indiana Pacers overcame Devin Booker’s 62 points in a 133-131 win, snapping the Phoenix Suns’ seven-game winning streak.

Booker scored 50 or more points for the second time this season and seventh time in his career, falling eight shy of matching his career-high 70 set at Boston on March 24, 2017.

Pascal Siakam scored 31 points and Toppin finished with 23 and 11 rebounds to help Indiana win its second straight without All-Star guard Tyrese Haliburton.

The Pacers fell behind 54-37 in the second quarter but whittled the deficit down to 80-70 at halftime. They trailed 114-105 entering the fourth but tied it twice in the final 90 seconds before Toppin’s basket won it.

Harden powers Clippers past Raptors

James Harden had 22 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds for his 75th career triple-double to lead the Los Angeles Clippers to their fourth straight win, 127-107 over the Toronto Raptors.

Harden, who notched his first triple-double this season, ranks eighth all-time in that category. He has at least 20 points and 10 assists in each of his last three games.

Paul George scored 21 points and Russell Westbrook added 20 as the Clippers won for the 12th time in 14 games.

Scottie Barnes scored 14 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter for the Raptors, who lost their fourth straight and ninth in 11 games.

Immanuel Quickley said patience is required as he and RJ Barrett adapt to the Toronto Raptors, after the former New York Knicks were beaten on their return to Madison Square Garden on Saturday.

Quickley and Barrett were traded to Toronto last month as the Knicks moved for forward O.G. Anunoby, with New York also receiving Precious Achiuwa and Malachi Flynn in the deal. 

The duo, who helped the Knicks reach the Eastern Conference semifinals last season, returned to their former home court for the first time on Saturday, receiving standing ovations from the Knicks fans and featuring in a tribute video shown during the first media timeout.

Barrett finished with 20 points and Quickley added 12, but that was not enough to prevent the Raptors from slipping to 16-27 with a sixth loss in their last seven games.

Despite the result, both players were appreciate of the welcome they received from their former team, with Quickley saying: "It was great, just to come back. 

"Obviously we didn't get the outcome we wanted, [but] just to see everybody where I started my professional career was pretty cool."

Barrett added: "It was amazing. Thank you to the fans, for sure. We got a tribute video, I didn't think we were going to get that. That was cool.

"I'm very appreciative of my time here. To come back brought up a lot of emotions, for sure. But it was fun to come back and play basketball again."

Toronto have only won four of their 12 games since the trade went through on December 30, but Quickley accepts it will take time for the duo to build relationships with their new team-mates. 

"It definitely takes time," he said. "It's like meeting a new girl. You've got to take time to get to know her. You've got to take her out to eat, stuff like that.

"You aren't going to just walk up to her and say, 'let's get married.' That's not going to work. No, it'll come together.

"Rome wasn't built in a day. We have to keep working, individually and as a team we have to continue to try to take steps, and if we keep chopping wood and carrying water we'll get there."

The Raptors face the Memphis Grizzlies and Los Angeles Clippers in back-to-back home games next week, while the 26-17 Knicks make the short trip to Brooklyn to face the Nets in their next game on Tuesday. 

The Indiana Pacers are acquiring Pascal Siakam in a trade with the Toronto Raptors.

As part of the deal, which was reported Wednesday by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Pacers are sending Bruce Brown, Jordan Nwora and three first-round draft picks to the Raptors in exchange for Siakam.

A third team in the trade, the New Orleans Pelicans, are swapping second-round picks with Indiana and shipping Kira Lewis to Toronto.

Siakam led the Raptors in scoring this season with an average of 22.2 points per game, along with averages of 6.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists.

 

Siakam joins a Pacers team that averages a league-high 125.6 points per game and will play alongside All-Star guard Tyrese Haliburton.

With a 23-17 record, Indiana sits in third place in the Central Division and in sixth place in the Eastern Conference as it looks to make the play-offs for the first time since 2020. 

A two-time All-NBA selection, Siakam had spent his first eight NBA seasons in Toronto and helped the Raptors win the NBA title in 2018-19.

Drafted 27th overall by the Raptors in 2016, the 29-year-old was named an All-Star in 2019-20, as well as last season, when he averaged a career-best 24.2 points.

Siakam is set to become a free agent this summer, and the Pacers are reportedly expected to re-sign him. He becomes eligible to sign a five-year deal that could pay him as much as $247million.

This is the second big trade in the last three weeks for the rebuilding Raptors, who sent OG Anunoby and Malachi Flynn to the New York Knicks on December 30.

Anthony Davis and LeBron James felt the Los Angeles Lakers had impressively executed their gameplan to beat the Toronto Raptors, whose coach Darko Rajakovic hit out at the officials.

The Lakers have won back-to-back games for the first time in a month after edging to a 132-131 home win on Tuesday.

Davis scored 20 of his season-high 41 points in the fourth quarter and was was 13 of 17 from the field and 13 of 14 from the free throw line while adding 11 rebounds and six assists.

He made all eight free throw attempts in the final minute as the Lakers held on despite late 3-pointers by Toronto's Dennis Schroder and Gary Trent Jr.

LeBron James had 22 points and 12 assists to help the Lakers win their second straight after a four-game skid.

Scottie Barnes scored 26 points and RJ Barrett added 23 with 10 rebounds for the Raptors, who had won three of four.

The 14 free throw attempts for Davis were a season high and ultimately proved decisive.

"He was able to get a lot of touches and guys were finding him," Lakers coach Darvin Ham said about Davis.

"And it was his ability to get to the free throw line and knock down free throws. It is just a matter of reading the game and seeing how it's going."

Davis added: "It was all of us, it was not just me.

"We had big-time stops. We got rebounds, and they wanted me to get the ball as far as free throws, but the team was just making the right reads and trying to finish."

It was a welcome win for the Lakers after they had also narrowly defeated cross-town rival the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday.

They are now back to .500 at 19-19 for the season and 13-6 at home, as they look to put their miserable 3-10 run after winning the NBA Cup behind them.

"We knew we had an advantage on the interior and we just tried to get it to [Davis] early and often and late," said James.

Los Angeles hosts the Phoenix Suns on Thursday, while the Raptors are on the road against the Clippers a day earlier.

The Lakers shot 23 free throws in the fourth quarter and 36 overall, while Toronto shot only 13 in total, with Davis going 11-for-11 at the line in the final period.

"It's outrageous. What happened tonight, this is completely B.S.," Rajakovic said, per ESPN. 

"This is shame. Shame for the referees. Shame for the league to allow this. Twenty-three free throws for them, and we get two free throws in the fourth quarter? 

"Like, how to play the game? I understand respect for All-Stars and all that, but we have star players on our team as well.

"How [is it] possible that Scottie Barnes, who is All-Star-caliber player in this league, he goes every single time to the rim with force and trying to get to the rim without flopping and not trying to get foul calls, he gets two free throws for a whole game?

"They had to win tonight? If that's the case, just let us know, so we don't show up for the game. Just give them a win. But that was not fair and this is not happening first time for us."

LeBron was asked about the Raptors complaints and simply replied: "I feel like they fouled and we didn't."

Domantas Sabonis notched his ninth triple-double of the season with 37 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds to lead the Sacramento Kings to a 131-110 win over the lowly Detroit Pistons.

Sabonis shot 16 of 21 from the field, made his only 3-point attempt and was 4 of 4 from the free throw line. He moves within two triple-doubles of Denver’s Nikola Jokic for the league lead.

Keegan Murray scored 32 points on 13-of-17 shooting and De’Aaron Fox added 26 for the Kings, winners of five of seven.

Bojan Bogdanovic led Detroit with 26 points as the Pistons dropped their fifth in a row since ending their NBA-record 28-game losing streak.

Sacramento trailed by 20 points in the first quarter, led by 15 in the third, were tied in the fourth and then pulled away with a 9-0 run in the fourth.

Anunoby helps Knicks stay hot

OG Anunoby scored 23 points and Julius Randle added 20 with eight assists and seven rebounds as the New York Knicks won their fifth in a row, 112-84 over the Portland Trail Blazers.

Anunoby scored 16 points in the first quarter to help the Knicks open a 19-point lead. He shot 6 of 7 from the floor – 4 of 5 from 3-point range – and might have approached his season high of 29 points but the starters played sparingly in the second half.

New York is unbeaten since acquiring Anunoby from Toronto on Dec. 30.

Quentin Grimes had 17 points and Miles McBride had 16 as the Knicks moved a half-game ahead of Miami, Orlando, Indiana and Cleveland for fourth place in the Eastern Conference.

Davis shines in Lakers’ win

Anthony Davis scored 20 of his season-high 41 points in the fourth quarter and the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Toronto Raptors, 132-131.

Davis was 13 of 17 from the field and 13 of 14 from the free throw line while adding 11 rebounds and six assists. He made all eight free throw attempts in the final minute as the Lakers held on despite late 3-pointers by Toronto’s Dennis Schröder and Gary Trent Jr.

LeBron James had 22 points and 12 assists to help the Lakers win their second straight after a four-game skid.

Scottie Barnes scored 26 points and RJ Barrett added 23 with 10 rebounds for the Raptors, who had won three of four.

  

Detroit Pistons coach Monty Williams was "almost in tears" after Saturday's 129-127 win over the Toronto Raptors, which saw his team avoid setting a new record for most consecutive NBA losses.

Detroit matched the longest losing run in NBA history on Thursday, when they blew a 21-point lead against the Boston Celtics to equal the Philadelphia 76ers' record of 28 straight losses covering the end of 2014-15 and the start of 2015-16.

The Pistons – who were on the worst single-season losing streak in league history – could have taken that unwanted record outright when they welcomed Toronto to Little Caesars Arena, but Cade Cunningham starred as they avoided doing so.

The third-year guard had 30 points and 12 assists as the Pistons clinched victory over their short-handed opponents by going 11 for 12 from the free throw line in the final minute.

Asked about the mood in the Detroit camp after the team's first win since October 28, Williams said: "I've been a ton of locker rooms my whole life, and that's a first for me, to have that. 

"It wasn't relief, it was like: 'Thank God'. Guys were screaming. I was almost in tears. I'm just so happy for our guys. I'm happy for everybody.

"Sometimes it just takes a win like that to get things started. I just have so much respect for our team."

Cunningham, who hit back-to-back three-pointers in a crucial fourth-quarter stretch to pull Detroit clear, added: "I feel amazing.

"We just kept battling. It's been a long stretch, all these losses, but I'm just happy to be part of a group of guys who don't quit."

Pascal Siakam scored 35 points and Dennis Schroder added 28 for the 12-20 Raptors, who traded O.G. Anunoby, Precious Achiuwa and Malachi Flynn to the New York Knicks earlier on Saturday and were unable to field new arrivals RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley.

They sit 12th in the Eastern Conference after losing five of their last six games, while the last-place Pistons are at 3-29 ahead of a four-game road stretch starting against the Houston Rockets on Monday.

The New York Knicks made a splash Saturday, acquiring forward O.G. Anunoby from the Toronto Raptors for forward RJ Barrett and guard Immanuel Quickley, according to multiple media reports.

The Knicks will also receive forward Precious Achiuwa and guard Malachi Flynn in the deal, while the Raptors will also be getting the Detroit Pistons’ 2024 second-round draft pick.

The move is a major shakeup in the Eastern Conference, where the Knicks are hoping to compete with top teams like the Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers.

Anunoby, 26, has been mentioned in trade speculation for the last two years. He is in the third season of a four-year, $72million contract but has a player option for next season. ESPN reported Saturday that the Knicks are “determined” to sign Anunoby to a new contract next offseason.

One of the best and most versatile defenders in the NBA, Anunoby is averaging 15.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.6 assists this season.

Anunoby was placed on the trade block because of his expiring contract and his positional and size redundancy with fellow forwards Scottie Barnes and Pascal Siakam.

Quickley, who finished second in last season’s Sixth Man of the Year voting, could move into a starting role and fill the void at point guard that Fred Van Vleet left when he signed with the Houston Rockets over the summer.

The Raptors also get a former third overall pick in Barrett, who scored 20 points per game just two seasons ago but has struggled with efficiency.

Barrett, 23, is averaging 18.2 points and 4.3 rebounds this season, while Quickley is averaging 15 points and 2.5 assists.

The Philadelphia 76ers will monitor Joel Embiid after the reigning NBA MVP suffered an ankle injury in Friday's 121-111 win over the Toronto Raptors, says head coach Nick Nurse.

Embiid finished with 31 points and 10 rebounds as the Sixers improved to 20-8 with their eighth win in the space of nine games, his 13th straight outing with at least 30 points and 10 rebounds.

That is the longest such run in the league since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar achieved the feat in 16 successive games for the Milwaukee Bucks in 1971-72, with Elgin Baylor (15 in 1961-62) and Wilt Chamberlain (13 on six occasions) the only other players to do so in at least 13 straight.

All of Embiid's points were scored after he landed awkwardly on his left ankle while trying to block a shot with 5:25 remaining in the first quarter. 

With a four-game road stretch awaiting Philadelphia next week, starting against the Miami Heat on Christmas Day, Nurse says the team will keep a close eye on Embiid's condition. 

"Obviously, he stayed in the game and it didn't change his rotation at all," Nurse said of the injury. "But he played through it and I'm pretty sure he'll be sore tomorrow. 

"We'll have to monitor it over the next couple of days before we get on the plane to Miami."

Asked about the extent of the injury immediately after the win, Embiid said: "I don't know. I'll get it checked out. We'll see."

Embiid has now reached the 30-point mark in each of his last 14 games, the most in a row in the NBA since James Harden did so in 32 successive contests in 2018-19.

The six-time All-Star said staying calm and not forcing things after a slow start was the key to his performance, adding: "I saw that I wasn't being aggressive.

"I didn't force anything. I think I took two shots in the first six or seven minutes, but I just let the game come to me.

"It came to me and then in the third quarter, I just found opportunities and made a few shots."

Joel Embiid shook off an ankle injury to finish with 31 points and 10 rebounds in the Philadelphia 76ers’ 121-111 win over the Toronto Raptors on Friday.

Embiid scored all 31 points after landing awkwardly trying to block a shot with 5:25 remaining in the first quarter.

He recorded at least 30 points and 10 rebounds for the 13th straight game, the longest in the NBA since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar did it in 16 consecutive games in 1971-72. Embiid has scored 30 or more in 14 games in a row, the most in the NBA since James Harden’s 32-game run in 2018-19.

Tobias Harris and Tyrese Maxey each scored 33 points, marking just the second time in franchise history three players have scored 30-plus points in a game. The other was in 1961 when Dick Barnett, Hal Greer and Dolph Schayes did it for the Syracuse Nationals.

Philadelphia has won eight of nine overall and six straight meetings with Toronto.

Pascal Siakam led the Raptors with 31 points.

Young makes history in Hawks’ loss

Trae Young had his sixth straight game with at least 30 points and 10 assists, but it wasn’t enough as the Miami Heat got 30 points from Tyler Herro in a 122-113 victory.

Young finished with 30 points and 13 assists for his sixth consecutive game with at least 30 and 10. That ties the second-longest such streak in NBA history, one that only Oscar Robertson has topped.

Robertson had such a streak twice – a six-game stretch in January 1964, then a seven-game run spanning December to January 1965.

Duncan Robinson had 21 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter and Jaime Jaquez Jr. added 19 for the Heat, who overcame an 11-point deficit in the third quarter.

Sabonis has triple-double to lift Kings

Domantas Sabonis had 28 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds for his fourth triple-double of the season as the Sacramento Kings rolled to a 120-105 win over the short-handed Phoenix Suns.

De’Aaron Fox added 23 points and broke Mike Bibby's Sacramento-era assists record in the third quarter.

Kevin Durant scored 28 points and Devin Booker contributed 24 for the Suns, who have lost four of five to fall to .500 (14-14).

Phoenix played without Bradley Beal (ankle), Josh Okogie (hip strain) and Jusuf Nurkic (personal).  

The Orlando Magic moved within one of the franchise record with their eighth straight win, as Franz Wagner scored 31 points in a 139-120 victory Wednesday over the reeling Washington Wizards.

Cole Anthony added 25 points and Jalen Suggs had 22 for the Magic, who are one win shy of the longest streak in team history set in 1994 and matched twice this century.

Orlando set season highs in 3-pointers (17) and shooting percentage (60.7) while its reserves outscored Washington’s 65-45.

Anthony had his sixth straight game of at least 15 points, all off the bench. In those six games, he has averaged 20.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 5.2 assists.

Kyle Kuzma scored 24 points and Deni Avdija had 22 as the Wizards dropped to 1-10 in their last 11 games.

Lakers send Pistons to franchise-record 15th straight loss

D’Angelo Russell poured in a season-high 35 points and Anthony Davis had 28 with 16 rebounds as the Los Angeles Lakers bounced back for a 133-107 rout of the Detroit Pistons, their franchise-record 15th consecutive loss.

LeBron James added 25 points and the Lakers, coming off a 138-94 loss to Philadelphia in the most lopsided loss of his career, started fast with a 38-24 lead after one quarter and were never seriously threatened.

Detroit broke the franchise record after sharing it with three teams that had 14-game skids during the 2021-22, 1993-94 and 1979–80 seasons.

Raptors end Suns’ winning streak

Scottie Barnes scored 12 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter and Pascal Siakam added 22 in the Toronto Raptors’ 112-105 victory over the Phoenix Suns, who had a seven-game winning streak stopped.

Jakob Poetl had 17 points on 8-of-9 shooting and Precious Achiuwa contributed 14 and 10 rebounds as the Raptors avoided a third straight loss.

Kevin Durant scored 30 points after missing two games with a sore foot, but Devin Booker managed only eight points on 2 of 12 from the field, including 0 for 4 on 3-pointers.

Booker, who missed a 3 that would have tied it with 50 seconds remaining, hobbled to the bench early in the second half after stepping on Dennis Schröder’s foot but was able to return.

 

Victor Wembanyama had the best game of his young career with 38 points and sparked a decisive fourth-quarter run as the San Antonio Spurs squandered a 27-point lead before pulling away for a 132-121 win over the Phoenix Suns on Thursday.

Wembanyama produced a handful of highlight plays in his fifth NBA game, including a flying dunk in the lane in the second quarter. The 7-foot-4 phenom shot 15 of 26 and grabbed 10 rebounds.

He hit a 3-pointer, made three free throws, dunked and hit an 18-foot jumper during a 12-0 run after the Suns erased a 27-point deficit to tie it at 116 with 4:21 remaining.

Devin Booker scored 31 points in his return from a sprained ankle and added 13 assists and nine rebounds, while Kevin Durant tallied 28 points.

The Spurs beat the Suns in Phoenix for the second time in three days after a stunning 115-114 victory on Tuesday, when they rallied from a 20-point deficit.

Embiid leads 76ers past Raptors

Joel Embiid tallied 28 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to a 114-99 win over the Toronto Raptors in their first game since trading James Harden.

Kelly Oubre Jr. had 23 points and Tyrese Maxey added 18 as Philadelphia won its third straight since a season-opening loss.

Scottie Barnes scored 24 points for the Raptors, who have lost four of five, including two losses to the 76ers in six days.

Oubre moved into the starting lineup in place of PJ Tucker, who was also dealt to the Clippers in the Harden deal.

Marcus Morris and Nic Batum did not play in their first game since they were dealt, though Robert Covington and K.J. Martin played some in the final 90 seconds with the game in hand.

Short-handed Pelicans beat Pistons

CJ McCollum poured in 33 points and Jonas Valanciunas had 23 with 13 rebounds as the New Orleans Pelicans overcame a pair of key absences in a 125-116 win over the Detroit Pistons.

New Orleans had a season high in points despite playing top scorers Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson.

Williamson was given the night off in the second half of a back-to-back and Ingram missed his third straight game with right knee tendinitis.

Matt Ryan made his first career start and responded with a personal-best 20 points, making the first four 3-pointers he took and finishing 6 of 8 from long range.

Cade Cunningham had 22 points and 11 assists as Detroit lost its third straight.

The Philadelphia 76ers won’t have James Harden on the court during their season-opening two-game road trip as the 10-time All-Star will remain at the team’s practice facility and attempt to get into game shape, according to multiple reports.

It’s just another chapter in the saga of Harden, who in August blasted team president Darly Morey at a promotional event in China.

"Daryl Morey is a liar and I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of," Harden said. "Let me say that again: Daryl Morey is a liar, and I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of."

Harden's comments were a response to the 76ers telling Harden's agent that Morey was unable to find a trade for the 2017-18 NBA MVP, and the franchise wouldn't deal him unless it could find a trade that would help Philadelphia contend for a championship.

Harden picked up his $35.6million player option for the 2023-24 season in late June, and then immediately requested a trade.

He could have declined the option and become a free agent but was hoping by exercising his option it would facilitate a trade.

Harden reiterated his stance earlier this month, saying his relationship with Morey is beyond repair and he still wants to be traded.

Harden returned to the team Wednesday after being away for a “personal matter” and not practicing since October 15. He will not play in Thursday’s season opener at the Milwaukee Bucks and Saturday in Toronto against the Raptors.

It remains to be seen if Harden will take the court for Philadelphia’s home opener against the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday.

It didn’t take long for some of the NBA’s top free agents to come off the board.

Point guard Fred VanVleet is leaving the Toronto Raptors after agreeing with the Houston Rockets on a three-year maximum contract totalling $130million, according to multiple media outlets.

The NBA's negotiating period began Friday at 6 p.m. EDT. Deals will not be made official until the end of the league's annual moratorium on July 6.

Undrafted out of Wichita State, VanVleet broke out during the Raptors’ 2019 title run and was a coveted prize in this year’s free agent class.

VanVleet averaged 19.3 points and a career-high 7.2 assists last season.

The Rockets entered this free agency period with the most salary cap room in the NBA, an estimated $68million.

The Raptors responded by adding Dennis Schröder on a reported two-year, $26million deal as they look to build around Pascal Siakam and Scottie Barnes. Toronto was also able to retain center Jakob Poeltl on a four-year, $80million deal.

Irving stays paired with Dončić

Kyrie Irving has agreed to a contract to remain with the Dallas Mavericks and stay paired with superstar Luka Dončić, multiple media outlets reported Friday at the dawn of free agency.

The deal is reported to be worth $126million over three seasons, with a player option for the final year.

The Mavericks acquired Irving at last season’s trade deadline for Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith and draft compensation, but Irving reportedly explored other options in free agency.

Irving had been eligible for a maximum contract of up to five years and $272million with Dallas, but he landed at a shorter deal after playing about 40 games per year over the last four seasons.

The Mavericks also came to terms with sharp-shooting guard Seth Curry on a two-year deal.

Blazers keep Grant on 5-year deal

As a busy NBA offseason moves forward, Damian Lillard and his future with the Portland Trail Blazers continue to steal the spotlight.

Forward Jerami Grant and the Trail Blazers agreed on a five-year, $160million deal to keep him in Portland, multiple media outlets reported Friday.

The implications of Grant’s new deal on Lillard’s situation remain unclear, but a total tear-down to build solely around No. 3 overall pick Scoot Henderson appears less likely with Grant signed through the 2027-28 season.

Acquired from the Detroit Pistons for a draft pick a year ago, Grant averaged 20.5 points and 4.5 rebounds in 63 games with the Trail Blazers last season.

Even after retaining Grant, Portland projects to be about $15million under the luxury tax threshold, with a key decision still to come on restricted free agent Matisse Thybulle.

Draymond Green staying with Warriors

The Golden State Warriors kept their core intact, agreeing with Draymond Green on a new four-year, $100million contract, according to multiple media outlets.

Green had declined a $27.6million player option earlier this offseason.

An 11-year NBA veteran, Green has spent his entire career with the Warriors, winning four championships and being named to an All-Defensive Team eight times.

Bucks retain Middleton on 3-year deal

The Milwaukee Bucks also kept a key player from a championship team, agreeing with Khris Middleton on a three-year contract worth $102million.

Earlier this offseason, Middleton turned down a player option for next season at $40million.

Middleton, a three-time All-Star, helped the Bucks win a title in 2021. A right knee injury limited him to 33 games last season.

Veteran center Brook Lopez remains an unrestricted free agent.

Kuzma cashes in with Wizards

Kyle Kuzma became one of the big winners early in free agency, agreeing with the Washington Wizards on a four-year, $102million deal.

Kuzma’s contract comes after he turned down a $13million player option earlier this offseason.

After making $13million in each of the last two seasons, Kuzma will make $22.8million next season.

Kuzma is coming off a career year in which he averaged 21.2 points and 7.2 rebounds for the Wizards.

Johnson gets $108M from Brooklyn

The Brooklyn Nets and restricted free agent Cam Johnson have agreed on a new four-year contract worth $108million.

A key part of the trade that sent Kevin Durant to the Phoenix Suns last season, Johnson scored a career-high 15.5 points per game last season, including 16.6 per game in 25 contests with the Nets.

Brown leaves Denver for Indiana

After helping the Denver Nuggets win their first NBA title, Bruce Brown is headed to the Indiana Pacers on a two-year, $45million contract.

Brown played a key role for the Nuggets off the bench, averaging a career-high 11.5 points during the regular season, plus 12 points per game on 51.1-percent shooting in the playoffs.

Vincent headed to Lakers

Also cashing in on a strong postseason run was Gabe Vincent, who left the Miami Heat for the Los Angeles Lakers on a three-year, $33million deal.

The undrafted guard averaged 12.7 points and shot 37.8 percent from 3-point range during Miami’s run to the NBA Finals.

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