LeBron James is set to tie the record for the most All-Star Game appearances in NBA history after being announced as one of the two team captains on Thursday.

James, who will match Kareem Abdul-Jabbar when he suits up for his 19th All-Star Game in Salt Lake City next month, will be joined by Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo as the captains. 

In a league-first, the captains will draft their reserves live in the lead-up to tip-off, as opposed to previous years when the draft was conducted via a pre-recorded segment and aired weeks before the game.

While most of the expected names were announced as starters – including reigning back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic and Golden State Warriors icon Stephen Curry – there were also some surprises.

The two head-scratchers were New Orleans Pelicans franchise player Zion Williamson and controversial Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving.

Williamson is averaging the highest points per game figure (26.0) for any player shooting at least 60 per cent from the field this season, but has only played in 29 of the Pelicans' 49 games so far. He is also scheduled to miss at least two more weeks, meaning he will have only played in roughly half of the possible games by the time All-Star Weekend arrives.

Meanwhile, Irving has a stronger case as he averages 26.8 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.2 assists, but his addition as a starter in the East means relegating reigning scoring champion and back-to-back MVP runner-up Joel Embiid to the bench.

After James' 19th appearance, the next-most among the starters belongs to Kevin Durant, who has missed some time with injury in his own right but was playing at an MVP level prior to earn his 13th All-Star nod. Curry will play in his ninth edition, while Irving now has eight and Antetokounmpo has made seven consecutive.

The full list of starters includes:

Western Conference 

LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers

Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets

Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks

Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors

Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans

Eastern Conference

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks

Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets

Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn Nets

Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics

Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers

The New Orleans Pelicans are taking a cautious approach to Zion Williamson's hamstring injury and announced Tuesday that he will be re-evaluated in two more weeks.

It was framed as a positive update for the Pelicans' franchise star, who was initially ruled out for at least three weeks after suffering the injury on January 4.

Three weeks have passed, and New Orleans released the results of their recent re-evaluation on Twitter.

It read: "Update on Zion: he was recently re-evaluated for his right hamstring injury. The re-evaluation showed that his hamstring is healing as expected, and progressing well with his recovery.

"He will continue his rehabilitation process, which includes strengthening his hamstring and gradually progressing to more movement. He will be re-evaluated again in two weeks."

That means it will be over a month between games for the top overall pick from the 2019 NBA Draft, who has had his career marred by injuries up to this point.

He managed only 24 games in his rookie season, and after appearing back on track with a spectacular 2020-21 campaign where he played 61 games and earned an All-Star appearance, he then went on to miss the entire 2021-22 season.

So far, he has suited up for 29 of the Pelicans' 47 games. They have gone 17-12 in those 29 contests, while posting a 9-9 record in fixtures he has been unavailable for.

One of the most dominant offensive forces in the sport, Williamson is averaging 26.0 points per game while shooting 60.8 per cent from the field. Of all players this season averaging at least 20 points per game, reigning back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic is the only other shooting at least 60 per cent (62.6).

New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson will be reevaluated in three weeks he suffered a right hamstring strain during Monday’s loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, the team announced Tuesday.

Late in the third quarter of Monday’s game, Williamson grabbed a defensive rebound and began pushing the ball in transition, before pulling up sharply as he crossed mid-court, holding his hamstring.

He was evaluated in the locker room by the team’s training staff and did not return to the game.

Imaging on Tuesday revealed a strain that will keep him off the floor until late this month at the earliest.

Williamson’s absence will be a blow to a New Orleans club that has been without co-star Brandon Ingram since November 25 because of a left toe injury.

Despite Ingram’s injury, the Pelicans began Tuesday with the third-best record in the Western Conference at 23-14.

Ingram has begun doing individual shooting drills and appears nearing a return, but C.J. McCollum will likely be asked to carry the offensive load in the meantime.

Larry Nance Jr. would be the most obvious candidate to step into Williamson’s forward spot in the starting lineup, but he has played in just two of the past eight games due to a neck contusion and soreness in his right Achilles tendon. Third-year forward Naji Marshall may fill that role until Nance can return.

Dominant when on the court, Williamson has had his young pro career marred – and perhaps defined – by a series of injuries that have kept him on the sidelines. Since being drafted first overall in 2019, Williamson has played just 114 games, and he missed all of last season with a fractured right foot.

Williamson is averaging 26 points, 7 rebounds and 4.6 assists this season in 29 games.

The New Orleans Pelicans will likely be without franchise player Zion Williamson for at least the next week after suffering a hamstring injury in Monday's 120-111 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.

It was late in the third quarter when the injury occurred, with the Pelicans trailing 84-81, as Williamson pushed the ball in transition before sharply pulling up, holding his right hamstring.

He had 26 points on 10-of-12 shooting, adding seven assists and six rebounds in his 28 minutes before the incident, with the 76ers taking the fourth period 36-30 following his departure.

Speaking after the game, Pelicans head coach Willie Green confirmed the injury as a right hamstring strain.

"It was right at a pivotal moment in the game," he said. "We'll get some imaging and look at him and hopefully he's okay. It was a tough loss for us."

Williamson has played in 28 of the Pelicans' 37 games up to this point after missing the entire 2021-22 season, and had rediscovered his best form in December.

He averaged 29.8 points, 7.5 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game while shooting 61.3 per cent from the field during his 12 games in December, picking up the slack while team-mate Brandon Ingram has been sidelined.

Joel Embiid ended up as the star of the 76ers' win, scoring a game-high 42 points with 11 rebounds and five assists.

Luka Doncic scored more than 50 points for the third time in his past five games to carry the Dallas Mavericks to a 126-125 victory against the San Antonio Spurs on New Year's Eve.

It was the sixth consecutive win for the Mavericks, which has coincided with a scintillating stretch of play from their Slovenian superstar.

Doncic scored 51 points against the Spurs on 18-of-29 shooting, adding nine assists, six rebounds and four steals. It came just four days after Doncic became the first player in NBA history to post a 60-point, 20-rebound, 10-assist game in a dramatic comeback against the New York Knicks.

The 23-year-old, who has a Rookie of the Year and three All-NBA First Team selections from his first four seasons, is mounting a charge for his first MVP, and has put together arguably the best five-game stretch of his career.

In his past five games, Doncic is averaging 45.6 points, 11.2 rebounds and 10.2 assists, and in the process he has overtaken Joel Embiid in the race for the scoring title, now at 34.2 points per game for the season.

Christian Wood was strong in a supporting role against the Spurs, scoring 25 points on 10-of-15 shooting. In his eight appearances since finally being injected into the starting line-up, Wood is averaging 19.0 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.5 blocks while shooting 50.5 per cent from the field and 38.2 per cent from deep.

The Mavericks are now 21-16 and have jumped up to fourth place in the Western Conference.

Nets make it 11 in a row

The Brooklyn Nets remain the hottest team in the league after rattling off their 11th consecutive win, defeating the Charlotte Hornets 123-106.

Kyrie Irving led the way offensively with 28 points on 11-of-19 shooting, while Kevin Durant was similarly efficient for his 23 points (nine-of-15). Defensively, Nic Claxton was the anchor, blocking six shots while also hitting six of his seven field goal attempts.

After starting the season 1-5, the Nets are now 24-12, and trail only the Boston Celtics (26-10) in the Eastern Conference.

Morant takes bragging rights in 2019 Draft showdown

The New Orleans Pelicans selected Zion Williamson over Ja Morant in the 2019 NBA Draft, and they received a glimpse at what could have been as Morant guided the Memphis Grizzlies to a 116-101 triumph.

Morant scored a game-high 32 points on 13-of-22 shooting, adding eight assists and two steals, while Wiliamson could only muster 20 points on six-of-16 shooting and a career-high nine turnovers.

Having only played in 18 of the Grizzlies' 34 games, Jaren Jackson Jr does not qualify for the official league leaderboards, but his six blocks against the Pelicans raised his average to 3.0, comfortably clear of league-leader Brook Lopez (2.6).

The New Orleans Pelicans will be without top offensive option Zion Williamson for Thursday's game against the San Antonio Spurs due to the league's health and safety protocols.

Williamson, 22, has been the Pelicans' leading scorer this season at 25.2 points per game, and after missing the entire 2021-22 campaign, he has suited up for 25 of his team's 30 games this time around.

He will miss his sixth game of the season after triggering the league's COVID-19 protocols, and with it being the first leg of a back-to-back, he will also likely miss Friday's road game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Williamson has been one of the game's most dominant forces in December, raising his usage while fellow All-Star Brandon Ingram has also been out injured, having not played since November 25.

In his nine games in December, Williamson has averaged 28.8 points, 8.1 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game while shooting 62.2 per cent from the field. He is the only player this season shooting at least 60 per cent from the field (60.3) while averaging over 25 points per game.

In his absence, it will be up to C.J. McCollum to run the show against the Spurs. He is sporting his worst figures in points per game (18.7) since his second season in 2014-15, along with a career-worst field goal percentage of 41.5.

However, his 5.8 assists per game represent a career high, and he is beginning to find his scoring touch, with totals of 28, 27 and 31 in his past three outings.

As well as McCollum, it will be a golden opportunity for emerging wing Trey Murphy III, with last year's first-round draft pick having flashed intriguing potential in five 20-point games so far this season, having only posted two during his rookie campaign.

Giannis Antetokounmpo recorded 42 points while Zion Williamson was largely subdued by an excellent performance from Jrue Holiday as the Milwaukee Bucks beat the New Orleans Pelicans.

Antetokounmpo made 12 of 17 field goal attempts, while also sinking 17 out of a hefty 22 shots from the free-throw line.

Williamson was restricted to 18 points in his team's 128-119 defeat at Smoothie King Center, with former Pelican Holiday shining back in New Orleans.

"I'm guessing I've done it quite a bit here," Holiday said, after also scoring 18 points with 11 assists. "So, just coming off that screen and letting it fly.

"We know [Williamson] is such a big part of their offense that if he's not scoring, we had a good chance. I feel like we kind of frustrated him."

Along with Antetokounmpo, three other players scored 30+ points, with Brook Lopez helping out his fellow Buck, while Jonas Valanciunas (37) and CJ McCollum (31) stepped up while Williamson struggled for the Pels.

Milwaukee coach Mike Budenholzer reserved praise for Holiday and the job he did on Williamson.

"Jrue, in a kind of subtle, understated way is very, very strong and I think he loved the challenge, beating him to a spot, having the strength to kind of take a hit, pressuring him a little bit," he said.

"There's probably only a handful of guards, if even that many, like Jrue that could maybe pick him up higher, pick him up earlier, do some different things to him."

Devin Booker reached 12,000 career points with a season-high 58 points as the Phoenix Suns rallied from a 24-point deficit with a hard-fought 118-114 win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday.

Booker, who returned from a hamstring issue in Thursday's win over the Los Angeles Clippers which ended the Suns' five-game losing run, made 21-of-35 attempts from the field, including shooting six-of-12 from beyond the arc.

The Suns guard's haul was the second most by a player in a single game this NBA season, behind only Joel Embiid with 59 points last month against the Utah Jazz.

Booker, 26, also became the sixth youngest player in NBA history to reach 12,000 career points, behind only LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony and Tracy McGrady.

The Suns had trailed 83-59 with 7:14 left in the third quarter, coming after the Pelicans had beaten them twice last week.

Booker had five rebounds and five assists along with his 58 points, while Chris Paul added 18 points with five rebounds and eight assists.

Zion Williamson scored 30 points with nine assists for the Pels, while C.J. McCollum added 27 points with eight assists.

Cavs hang on for OT win over Mavs

The Dallas Mavericks spurned three late go-ahead opportunities, including Christian Wood's 30-foot buzzer-beating attempt as the Cleveland Cavaliers got home 100-99 in overtime.

Jarrett Allen's dunk with 2:01 remaining in overtime was the final score, with Donovan Mitchell scoring 25 points for the victorious Cavs, who improved to 20-11. Jarrett Allen had eight points with 15 rebounds.

Kemba Walker top scored with 32 points for the Mavs, who were missing Luka Doncic (quad), while Wood scored 26 points, including five triples, but he missed the crucial late one.

Kawhi finds groove with season-high

Kawhi Leonard scored a season-high 31 points as the Los Angeles Clippers fought back from a three-quarter time deficit to win 102-93 over the Washington Wizards.

Leonard, who has been working back slowly after missing last season with an ACL injury, played a season-high 31 minutes, shooting 12-of-26 with nine rebounds.

Luke Kennard came off the bench to add a season-high 20 points with four three-pointers as the Clippers rallied from a 75-72 three-quarter time deficit.

The Miami Heat needed a career night from Tyler Herro on Thursday to avoid becoming the Houston Rockets' third big-name scalp in a row.

Herro scored a game-high and career-high 41 points on 13-of-20 shooting, hitting 10-of-15 from three-point range in the 111-108 victory.

His All-Star teammate Jimmy Butler was terrific in a supporting role, chipping in 20 points (seven-of-13 shooting), 10 rebounds, seven assists, four steals and three blocks.

For the Rockets, who were coming into the game off consecutive wins against the Milwaukee Bucks and the Phoenix Suns, Jalen Green top-scored yet again with 22 points (eight-of-21), while Kevin Porter Jr was more efficient on his way to 21 points (10-of-17), five assists and four steals.

The Heat are now on a three-game winning streak to pull their record even at 15-15, and they have a golden opportunity to rise above .500 when they finish their four-game road trip on Saturday against the San Antonio Spurs.

Morant dominates the Bucks

The Memphis Grizzlies led by 46 points after three quarters of their blowout win against the Milwaukee Bucks, allowing the starters to ride the bench down the stretch on the way to a 142-101 final score.

Last year's Most Improved Player, Ja Morant, was at the center of the Grizzlies' success with 25 points (nine-of-21), 10 rebounds and 10 assists, while eight Memphis players reached double-figures.

With the win, the Grizzlies improved their record to 19-9 and now sit alone atop the Western Conference.

Jazz fight off the Pelicans in overtime

The Utah Jazz continue to win at home, defeating the New Orleans Pelicans 132-129 to improve their record at Vivint Arena to 11-5 this season.

It is the second game in a row the Jazz have defeated the Pelicans after Tuesday's 121-100 triumph, with Jordan Clarkson proving the hero this time around.

Clarkson scored a season-high 39 points on 15-of-26 shooting, adding eight rebounds and two steals, including the first four points of overtime after Pelicans youngster Trey Murphy III forced the extra period with a three-pointer in the dying seconds of regulation.

New Orleans Pelicans All-Star Brandon Ingram suffered a setback during his recovery from a toe injury and has been ruled out for at least one more week.

The initial injury occurred on November 25 against the Memphis Grizzlies, and he has missed the eight games since.

Ingram, 25, was named the NBA's Most Improved Player for the 2019-20 season, earning his only All-Star selection in the process.

While his scoring this season is at its lowest since his last campaign with the Los Angeles Lakers (2018-19), his efficiency has reached a new career-high.

He is currently boasting a true shooting percentage – which accounts for and weights three-pointers and free throws – of 59 per cent, which has been buoyed by a scorching start to the season from beyond the arc.

Having never shot better than 39.1 per cent from three-point range, Ingram has hit 28 of his 60 attempts this season for a 46.7 per cent mark, albeit on a limited sample size.

Despite his effectiveness, the Western Conference-leading Pelicans (18-8) have actually had a worse record in games he has played this season (9-6) than in the games he has missed (9-2).

This is more an indication of the dominance of Zion Williamson when he has to assume a larger usage rate in Ingram's absence, as he is averaging exactly 30 points per game with 9.1 rebounds and 5.3 assists in seven consecutive wins since the injury.

Williamson is shooting 79/118 over those seven games for a field goal percentage of 66.9 – only Brooklyn Nets center Nic Claxton, averaging 11.7 points per game, has a higher field goal percentage for the season (73.3 per cent).

Joel Embiid posted another 50-point performance to lead the Philadelphia 76ers past the Charlotte Hornets 131-113 on Sunday.

Embiid scored 53 points with 11 rebounds for the Sixers, backing up his league season-best 59 points against the Utah Jazz on November 13.

The Sixers center joined Allen Iverson (2000-01 and 2004-05) and Wilt Chamberlain (1965-66 and 1967-68) to become the third player in franchise history to record multiple 50-point games in the same season.

Embiid also joined Chamberlin as the only Sixers in franchise history with at least 30 games of 40 points and 10 rebounds.

The big man's haul was built around 20-of-32 shooting along with making 11-of-11 free throws as the Sixers improved to 14-12.

James Harden made a solid contribution with 16 assists along with 19 points, including three-of-eight three-point shooting.

Pelicans soar into Western Conference lead

Zion Williamson scored 35 points to power the New Orleans Pelicans to a 129-124 overtime victory over the Phoenix Suns, who were missing Devin Booker again.

Williamson starred on 14-of-21 shooting with eight rebounds for the Pels, who beat the Suns twice in three days to surge into the Western Conference lead with a 18-8 record, fueled by seven straight wins.

Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton both fouled out for Phoenix, who were without Booker due to left hamstring tightness.

Griffin snatches remarkable OT Hawks win

A.J. Griffin sunk an overtime buzzer-beater to clinch the Atlanta Hawks a thrilling 123-122 win over the Chicago Bulls, after DeMar DeRozan hit three free throws with 0.5 seconds left to take the lead.

The Hawks snatched the win when Jalen Johnson's inbound alley-oop pass found Griffin, who hit a six-foot turnaround jumper. Trae Young had 19 points and 14 assists for Atlanta.

DeRozan scored a game-high 34 points for the Bulls, including 12 in the fourth quarter and three overtime free throws after being fouled by Bogdan Bogdanovic with less than a second left on a three-point attempt.

Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving eclipsed 30 points each in the Brooklyn Nets' 120-116 home win over the Atlanta Hawks on Friday.

It was also the return of Ben Simmons after a five-game stint on the sidelines, starting and contributing six points, seven assists, six rebounds and four steals in 21 productive minutes.

Durant top-scored with 34 points on 14-of-25 shooting, while Irving was just as good, scoring 33 on 11-of-21 shooting while chipping in 11 rebounds.

Mostly known for his offense, Durant blocked two shots, raising his season average to 1.7 per game – the eighth-best figure in the league.

Trae Young was solid for the Hawks with 33 points (12-of-25 shooting) and nine assists, but he committed a game-high eight turnovers. He is the only player in the NBA averaging at least 25 points (27.2) and nine assists (9.5).

With the win, the Nets have now taken six of their past seven, improving their record to 15-12 after starting the season 1-5.

Pelicans stay top of the West

Entering the game as the top two teams in the Western Conference, the New Orleans Pelicans rode a terrific Zion Williamson performance to a 128-117 win against the Phoenix Suns.

Williamson was unstoppable offensively, scoring a game-high 35 points on 13-of-17 shooting, adding seven rebounds and four assists. Of his 20 games this season, it is the ninth time he has scored at least 25 points on 60 per cent shooting.

There are 14 players shooting 59 per cent or better from the field this season, and of those, only Anthony Davis is averaging more field goal attempts per game (17.5) than Williamson's 15.4.

Embiid's early dominance almost goes to waste

Joel Embiid tied the Los Angeles Lakers' whole team in the first quarter with 20 points each, but the Philadelphia 76ers needed an overtime period to come away with a 133-122 win.

Embiid was eight-of-nine from the field in the first quarter for his 20 points, going on to finish with 38 on 14-of-19 shooting, 12 rebounds and five assists. Teammate De'Anthony Melton helped out with a career-high 33 points on 11-of-16 shooting, hitting eight of his 12 three-point attempts.

Anthony Davis continued his strong form with 31 points (nine-of-13 shooting) and 12 rebounds, but he missed a potential go-ahead free throw in the final seconds, before the Lakers were outscored 13-2 in overtime.

Kevin Durant produced his best scoring performance of the season to carry the Brooklyn Nets to a 109-102 victory against the Orlando Magic on Monday.

In a remarkably efficient outing, Durant hit 19-of-24 from the field, three-of-five from deep and all four of his free throws for 45 points in 39 minutes. He added seven rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks.

One of the greatest offensive players in league history, Durant has rediscovered his ability to protect the rim defensively this season, with his 1.8 blocks per game placing him eighth in the league while tying his career-high.

Durant was supported well by Kyrie Irving with 20 points on nine-of-17 shooting, but they had to see out the second half without Ben Simmons after the Australian left the game in the second quarter due to left knee soreness.

Starting center Nic Claxton picked up the slack with 17 points (seven-of-10 shooting), 13 rebounds and three blocks, while Joe Harris chipped in 17 points off the bench.

For Orlando, heavy favourite for Rookie of the Year and top overall pick from this year's draft Paolo Banchero continued to display his All-NBA upside, scoring an equal team-high 24 points on nine-of-17 shooting with five assists, four rebounds and two steals.

With the result, the Nets have now won five of their past seven games, and have pulled their record even at 11-11.

Siakam's return ignites Raptors

Pascal Siakam returned to the Toronto Raptors starting line-up and looked right at home with 18 points, 11 rebounds and five assists in a 100-88 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Siakam had missed the past 10 games due to a strained adductor, but mustered 30 minutes in his first game back.

O.G. Anunoby top scored for the Raptors with 20 points on eight-of-13 shooting, while in an interesting coaching decision, Nick Nurse opted to start Juancho Hernangomez and bring reigning Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes off the bench.

After starting the season with Siakam as the biggest player in the Raptors' starting line-up, Nurse pivoted to a larger group in his return, with Gary Trent Jr also relegated to the bench in favour of Thaddeus Young.

'Point Zion' orchestrates Pelicans win

With C.J. McCollum and Brandon Ingram both missing through injuries, Zion Williamson assumed the role of lead initiator in the New Orleans Pelicans' 105-101 triumph against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Williamson, who largely operated as the lead ball-handler during the second half of his breakout 2020-21 campaign, dished a season-high eight assists to go with his 23 points (11-of-18 shooting) and eight rebounds.

He did it on both ends, as his three blocks nearly matched his total for the season, having only tallied a combined four from his first 14 games

New Orleans Pelicans head coach Willie Green says Zion Williamson always makes the right play after marking his return from a hip injury with a double-double on Sunday.

The 2019 NBA Draft top overall pick scored 21 points, shooting nine-of-17 from the field, with 12 rebounds and seven assists in the Pelicans' 112-91 win over the short-handed Los Angeles Clippers.

Williamson had missed the Pelicans' past two games after suffering a posterior hip contusion in a heavy fall following a dunk attempt in their loss to the Utah Jazz last Sunday.

"Glad to have him back," Green said. "When he touches the ball - I've said it before - he makes the right play. Whether it's a score for himself or finding his teammates and kicking it out and continuing to move. He was fantastic."

Williamson missed all of last season with a broken foot having developed into an All-Star in his second season in 2020-21, averaging 27 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists.

The Pelicans power forward is averaging 22 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists across four games this season as he works his way back.

New Orleans have started the season 4-2 and loom as a danger side in the Western Conference with Williamson in full flight and he said he had developed his offensive game since his All-Star year.

"I would say before, I think I would rush it sometimes trying to see the open pass," Williamson said. "But now I just let it develop. I let the defense kind of shift towards me as soon as I see them take that shift.

"We got some special shooters on this team, and I'm able to find them and they knock the shots down."

Williamson also reassured that he was feeling better, albeit sore, after his hip injury.

"Still a little sore, man," Williamson said. "I've taken a lot of falls, but I ain't never had a fall like that one. But it was fine enough for me to play.

"Unless I'm truly injured, I'm going to be playing the game of basketball. That's just how I am."

Devin Booker continued his prolific start to the season as the Phoenix Suns flexed their offensive muscle with a 134-105 win over Western Conference rivals Golden State Warriors on Tuesday.

Booker, who turns 26 on Sunday, became the first player in franchise history to have three 30-point games in the first four of a season, finishing with 34 on 10-of-19 shooting from the field with seven assists and three steals.

Deandre Ayton added 16 points with 14 rebounds, including 11 in the first half, while Chris Paul had 16 points with seven rebounds and nine assists.

The Suns, who improved to 3-1, shot at 41 per cent from the field, making 12-of-29 three-pointers, with Paul draining four-of-five from beyond the arc. Phoenix outscored the Warriors 62-39 in the second half.

The reigning champions, who moved to 2-2, continued their worrying defensive start to the season, having conceded 109 or more points in all four of their games this season, averaging 124 points against per game.

Stephen Curry managed 21 points to end his 30-point run to start the season, shooting seven-of-17 from the field and four triples.

Jordan Poole was productive off the bench with 17 points, including 14 in the first half. Klay Thompson was ordinary again with two points, shooting none-of-five from three-point range.

Pels triumph over Doncic's Mavs despite key outs

The New Orleans Pelicans overcame the absence of Zion Williamson (hip) and Brandon Ingram (concussion) along with a Luka Doncic masterclass to win 113-111 over the Dallas Mavericks.

Doncic scored 37 points on 16-of-30 shooting, with 11 rebounds and seven assists for the Mavs, but the undermanned Pels triumphed, led by Trey Murphy with a team-high 22 points with 100 per cent shooting. 

C.J. McCollum struggled to find his range, shooting six-of-20 for 14 points but eight Pels players reached double-figure scoring as they improved to 3-1 to start the season. 

Doncic became the first Mav to ever open a season with three straight 30-point games. The Slovenian is also only the second player in NBA history with 100-plus points, 25-plus rebounds and 20-plus assists through the first three games of a season.

SGA's OKC down short-handed Clippers

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander produced a dominant all-round display with 33 points as the Oklahoma City Thunder cruised past the short-handed Los Angeles Clippers 108-94.

The Clippers were without former NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard due to knee soreness along with seven-time All-Star Paul George with illness, with the defeat seeing them slip to 1-3.

Gilgeous-Alexander went at 50 per cent from the field, making two-of-two from beyond the arc, with five rebounds, eight assists, three blocks and three steals in a masterful display, while Tre Mann scored 16 of his 25 points in the first half.

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