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.

Kevin Durant likes where the Phoenix Suns are trending after pouring in 33 points to seal a victorious return to Brooklyn.

The Suns won 136-120 over the Nets, as Durant shot 10 of 16 from the field and added eight assists in his first game in Brooklyn since being traded to Phoenix nearly a year ago.

Jusuf Nurkic had 28 with 11 rebounds, Devin Booker scored 22 points and Eric Gordon added 17 for the surging Suns.

The win at Barclays Center was the Suns' ninth win in 11 NBA games before they play the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night and the Washington Wizards on Sunday.

"We were just floating from two to three games under .500 and .500 for most of the year," Durant said after the game, per ESPN. 

"Now we look up, we're 28-20 with a good opportunity to be 10 games over .500 with our next two games on the road. 

"So, we're going home at the 50-game mark, hopefully we can be 30-20, and I like where we are. 

"It's a grind throughout the whole season, especially with the new group, new coaching staff, new team, guys in and out the lineup. You got to build some continuity, and we are on our way to that."

There was huge hype around Durant’s return to his former team, but Suns coach Frank Vogel was impressed by how he focused on the job at hand.

"Hell of a performance," said Vogel. "He put the team first.

"He went out and competed, played team-first basketball, had eight assists and several other plays where made the extra pass and allowed his teammates to play through his double-teams.

"He played a team-first type of game and ended up with 33 and eight."

Durant spent almost four years at Brooklyn, playing alongside James Harden and Kyrie Irving. But the stars only played 16 games together and the Nets won just one playoff series.

The two-time NBA champion gave his reflections on that time but said he did not ponder what might have been, instead focusing on the facts of his time in a Nets jersey.

Durant said: "No, I don’t think about what could have been, that's just a pointless exercise, in my opinion. What happened. That's what I thought about: what actually happened, the reality of it.

"We didn't have enough time together. That's just it. Guys wanted to go their separate ways. 

"We tried our hardest to salvage everything together. We had three or four different teams [from] when I signed here until when I left. 

"But at the end of the day, I enjoyed coming to work, playing for, being a part of this community and playing, representing Brooklyn; regardless of what went on, what was said or how I felt, I still came to work.

"I was an All-Star every year. I was the leading vote-getter every year in All-Star games. Sold a lot of jerseys. [Averaged] 50-40-90, averaged 30, [made] All-NBA. 

"I mean, was that successful? You know what I mean? But team success is a different thing.

"You'd like to put the team, how the team does, you'd like to put that on one of the best players and call it a failure, but if you want to talk about me individually, you can just look at the work that I put in here.

"I think I've grown as a player. I'm on my way to mastering the game. I think coming here helped me, pushed me far closer to that. So that's what I try to take from my time here."

The Nets played a tribute video for Durant before the game and he had a mixture of cheers and boos from the home crowd over the course of the night.

"That wasn't going to stop me from just doing my job regardless," Durant said about the video.

"But there's class people here. They appreciate everybody who donned the jersey and that shows a great organization. I respect that."

Cam Thomas scored 25 points and Mikal Bridges, who came to Brooklyn in the Durant trade, had 21 but the Nets (19-28) failed in their bid to win three straight for the first time since early December.

They next play at Philadelphia on Friday.

Adam Silver's intervention prevented Draymond Green stepping away from basketball for good, the Golden State Warriors star has revealed.

Green is about to return from a suspension that has been in place since December 12, after he hit the Phoenix Suns' Jusuf Nurkic in the face.

That was the second suspension Green has had this season, following an altercation with Rudy Gobert in November.

And on an episode of The Draymond Green Show, the 33-year-old revealed that only a conversation with NBA commissioner Silver stopped him from retiring following his latest ban.

"I told him, 'Adam this is too much for me. This is too much. It's all becoming too much for me, and I'm going to retire'," Green said.

"And Adam said, 'You're making a very rash decision and I won't let you do that.'

"We had a long, great conversation; very helpful to me. Very thankful to play in a league with a commissioner like Adam who's more about helping you than hurting you; helping you than punishing you. He's more about the players."

Suns star Kevin Durant said at the time Green was handed the ban that the power forward needed to "get the help he needs".

On Monday, Durant explained he meant no ill will with his comments.

"You got to look at it from my perspective like before I had made those comments, [people were] saying Draymond's going to therapy and s***," Durant said.

"Like what am I supposed to think? They say somebody going to therapy, I'm hoping he gets better from that, and hope he learned from whatever he feels like he needs to learn from going to therapy.

"I'm glad he's back. I'm glad he can move past that. Draymond is an incredible teammate. He's got his times where he loses his temper, but everybody has those times and I'm sure they all [are] happy to have him back.

"But I didn't mean no ill will by what I said. I know some people look at me as this malicious snake. I know how people feel about me sometimes, so when I say s***, I don't mean no harm by nobody. I don't mean to disrespect him or his family if he felt that way. I'm just glad he's back on the court."

Kevin Durant was relieved to play a leading role in ending the Phoenix Suns' three-game losing streak against the Houston Rockets.

He registered a career-high 16 assists to go with 27 points and 10 rebounds in his 18th career triple-double on Wednesday, giving the Suns a 129-113 win.

Durant shot 9 of 16 from the field and 3 of 7 from 3-point range as Phoenix snapped a three-game losing run with its first road victory since Nov. 26.

Eric Gordon also scored 27 points in his first game back in Houston since being traded in February. He had 17 points in the Suns' 43-point second quarter.

The Suns are back in action against the Charlotte Hornets on Friday and Durant is thrilled to go into a six-game homestand – their longest of the season – with a key road win behind them.

"It was amazing to get back on the winning side," he said.

"It sucks losing. Having a tough stretch in the NBA is one of the worst feelings you can have, regardless of how many games we play in a season."

Phoenix is 15-15 after winning just three of their last 10 games, putting them 10th in the Western Conference.

"Kevin just got into an aggressive mode to score or pass," added Suns coach Frank Vogel.

"Taking the ball in the backcourt, running a high volume of pick and rolls and just being aggressive. He really led us."

Devin Booker had 20 points for the Suns and there were 16 points from Grayson Allen.

Alperen Sengun had 24 points and Jalen Green added 23 for the Rockets, who have lost four of six following a five-game winning streak.

The Rockets fell to 15-14 after Gordon made his mark on his return to Houston, sinking seven 3-pointers.

"It was great to be back here – I had a lot of good memories and a lot of fun here and it was a major turning point in my career, coming to Houston," said Gordon.

Kevin Durant registered a career-high 16 assists to go with 27 points and 10 rebounds in his 18th career triple-double on Wednesday, leading the Phoenix Suns to a 129-113 win over the Houston Rockets.

Durant shot 9 of 16 from the field and 3 of 7 from 3-point range as Phoenix snapped a three-game losing streak with it first road victory since Nov. 26.

Eric Gordon also scored 27 points in his first game back in Houston since being traded in February. He had 17 points in the Suns’ 43-point second quarter.

Alperen Sengun had 24 points and Jalen Green added 23 for the Rockets, who have lost four of six following a five-game winning streak.

Gilgeous-Alexander, Williams help Thunder win

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jalen Williams scored 36 points apiece and Williams sank a pair of key 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to lift the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 129-120 victory over the New York Knicks.

Chet Holmgren added 22 points on 9-of-14 shooting as the Thunder followed Tuesday’s triumph over Western Conference-leading Minnesota with their fifth win in six games.

Williams scored 17 points on 6 of 7 from the field in the fourth quarter, including eight points and two 3s during a 10-2 run after the Knicks cut their deficit to five with 4:37 remaining.

Julius Randle had 25 points and Jalen Brunson added 24 for New York, which had won three of four.

Antetokounmpo, Bucks handle undermanned Nets

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 32 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists and the Milwaukee Bucks pulled away for a 144-122 win over the short-handed Brooklyn Nets.

Khris Middleton added 27 points and 10 boards and Cameron Payne and Malik Beasley each hit five 3-pointers as the Bucks improved to 10-2 this month.

Milwaukee shot 23 of 51 from 3-point range and 58.4 percent (52 for 89) overall to bounce back from a Christmas Day loss to the Knicks.

The Nets rested three starters (Spencer Dinwiddie, Nic Claxton and Cam Johnson) and barely played two others one night after a victory in Detroit extended the Pistons’ losing streak an NBA-record 27.

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).  

Damian Lillard recognised the importance of his accomplishment after reaching 20,000 NBA points in the Milwaukee Bucks' 132-119 win over the San Antonio Spurs.

Seven-time All-Star Lillard is the eighth active player to reach the milestone, having followed LeBron James, Kevin Durant, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Stephen Curry, DeMar DeRozan and Chris Paul in achieving the feat.

There have been 51 players in NBA history who have reached 20,000, with Lillard doing so in his 794th game, making him the 17th fastest to do it, on a night in which he scored a season-high 40 points.

Lillard increased his career point total to 20,034 on Tuesday, while there was also a triple-double for Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Antetokounmpo had a career-high 16 assists, 14 rebounds and a season-low 11 points for his second triple-double this season, giving the Bucks a fifth straight win and a 14th consecutive triumph at Fiserv Forum.

"I don't want to fake downplay it like it's nothing," Lillard said after the game about hitting 20,000. 

"I know it's a big deal. It's a great accomplishment. It's a rare space to be in.

"I look at what led up to it. All of the things that I think of in high school, in college and the doubt that I faced over the course of my career, before the NBA – what I wasn't supposed to be, what I wasn't supposed to accomplish, and just my mentality through all those things. 

"Sometimes you don't really see the light at the end of the tunnel. You've just got to have that faith in yourself."

Lillard drained seven 3-pointers in a fantastic performance that saw the Bucks improve to 20-7 for the season, second only to the Boston Celtics (20-6) in the Eastern Conference.

"When you look at Dame, obviously he can shoot the ball," added Bucks coach Adrian Griffin.

"He can stretch the floor. He just puts a lot of pressure on your defense. 

"If you bring your bigs up, he can drive around them. He's strong enough and physical enough to finish at the rim. He just has no weaknesses on the offensive end."

The Spurs played without star rookie Victor Wembanyama (ankle) and lost for the 20th time in 21 games.

"I don't think we are expecting it to be long-term or anything," coach Gregg Popovich said about the injury.

Milwaukee is 5-0 on its season-long, six-game homestand that concludes Thursday against Orlando. San Antonio returns to action in Chicago on the same day.

Jalen Brunson poured in a career-high 50 points and hit all nine of his 3-point attempts Friday in the New York Knicks’ 139-122 victory over the Phoenix Suns.

Brunson was 17 of 23 from the field and 7 of 9 from the free-throw line with nine assists, six rebounds and five steals in 35-plus minutes.

He is the first player in franchise history to score 50 points while making all nine 3s.

Julius Randle had 23 points, eight rebounds and six assists to help New York snap a three-game road skid.

Kevin Durant scored 29 points and Devin Booker added 28 for the Suns, who lost guard Bradley Beal to an ankle injury in the first quarter.

Phoenix could be without a member of its All-Star trio for another extended period. Durant, Booker and Beal have played just one game together this season before Friday.

76ers extend Pistons’ losing streak to 22

Joel Embiid had another big game against the Detroit Pistons with 35 points and 13 rebounds on Friday and the Philadelphia 76ers sent the Detroit Pistons to their franchise-record 22nd straight loss, 124-92.

The Pistons, who lost at home to Philadelphia on Wednesday, surpassed the franchise record set at the end of the 1979-80 season and start of 1980-81. Detroit's slide is the sixth-longest single-season skid in NBA history.

The 76ers hold the overall losing streak record with 28 straight, set at the end of 2014-15 and start of 2015-16.

In three wins this season against the Pistons, Embiid has averaged 36.3 points and 13.3 rebounds. He is the first NBA player with at least 675 points and 200 rebounds in the first 20 games of a season since Wilt Chamberlain in 1964-65.

Philadelphia more than doubled Detroit in the second quarter, outscoring the Pistons 35-17 en route to a 61-39 lead at halftime.

James Wiseman had 20 points for Detroit, which dropped to 2-23.

Spurs beat Lakers to snap 18-game slide

Devin Vassell scored a career-high 36 points and Victor Wembanyama had 13 points and 15 rebounds as the San Antonio Spurs beat the short-handed Los Angeles Lakers, 129-115 to end an 18-game losing streak.

The victory was the first for San Antonio since defeating Phoenix on Nov. 2 and snapped the longest losing streak in franchise history, topping a 16-game slide last season.

LeBron James returned after a one-game absence with 23 points and 10 rebounds, but the Lakers felt the loss of Anthony Davis, who sat out with a hip injury after he scored 37 points in a 122-119 win over the Spurs on Wednesday.

Los Angeles was also without starters D’Angelo Russell and Cam Reddish.

Kevin Durant did not look to use a contentious timeout call as an excuse after the Phoenix Suns slipped to a 106-103 defeat to the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Suns were left furious after the referee elected to call a timeout following LeBron James' call, when the ball appeared to be loose, late in the fourth quarter of Tuesday's in-season tournament quarter-final.

With 15 seconds remaining, Davin Booker dispossessed Austin Reaves, with James swiftly requesting a timeout, which was granted.

Suns coach Frank Vogel fumed: "It's a loose ball, and you can't call a timeout on a loose ball.

"The whistle blows. I don't know why. Everything in the league is reviewable. I don't know why that can't be reviewable.

"We've got the trap, we've got the turnover, [and the] damn whistle blows. It's just frustrating."

Durant, though, did not share his coach's anger.

"That's not the ballgame," said Durant, who led the Suns with 31 points, seven rebounds and four assists.

"That's one play. It's a 48-minute game. I don't like to complain about calls.

"Sometimes the ref isn't going to get it right all the time. Sometimes it's on us to play through all that stuff and not worry about putting the game in the ref's hands."

Reaves added: "There was no call, and LeBron made a high-IQ play he's made a million times.

Vogel did, however, echo Durant's sentiment that the Suns did not do enough to win the tie and progress to Las Vegas.

"We didn't do enough early in the game," Vogel said. "The turnovers and on the glass, if we do a better job, we're not talking about a close game like that."

The Lakers will now face the New Orleans Pelicans for a place in the final of the inaugural in-season tournament, with the winner taking home the NBA Cup.

"You've got some of the most alpha male competitors in the world, and if you give us an opportunity to play for something meaningful or an incentive, then you get what you're getting," said James, who finished with 31 points and 11 assists.

"The in-season tournament is what it is, and we have an opportunity to play on a big stage, be on national television, represent our families, our communities, where we come from."

The Los Angeles Lakers secured a spot in the In-Season Tournament semifinals on Tuesday with a 106-103 win over the Phoenix Suns, as LeBron James scored 15 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter.

James had 15 of the Lakers’ first 19 points in the final quarter and got the assists on his teammates’ other two baskets as Los Angeles pulled ahead.

Anthony Davis tallied 27 points and 15 rebounds and Austin Reaves added 20 points, including a key 3-pointer with 15 seconds left to extend the Lakers’ lead to 105-101.

Los Angeles advances to face New Orleans on Thursday in Las Vegas.

Kevin Durant scored 31 points for the Suns but came up short on a potential tying 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Bucks handle Knicks to reach semifinals

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 35 points and 10 assists to help the Milwaukee Bucks book a spot in the semifinals of the NBA’s inaugural In-Season Tournament with a 146-122 victory over the New York Knicks.

Damian Lillard added 28 points and Malik Beasley had 18 for the Bucks, who improved to 5-0 in tournament play with their ninth consecutive home win.

They set a season high in scoring, shooting 60.5 percent (23 of 38) from 3-point range and 60.4 percent overall to set up a matchup with Indiana in Las Vegas on Thursday.

Julius Randle scored a season-high 41 points on 14-of-19 shooting, and Jalen Brunson had 24 points, but the Knicks had a three-game win streak stopped.

Kevin Durant reflected on "a long journey" after entering the top 10 of the NBA's career scoring list.

The Denver Nuggets held off the Phoenix Suns with a 119-111 road victory on Friday.

That made it a mixed night for Durant, but still a memorable one.

The 35-year-old finished with 30 points but shot 8 of 25 from the field and missed all five shots in the fourth quarter, with Nikola Jokic having 21 points and 16 assists for the Nuggets.

A 30-point total was more than enough for Durant to move into 10th place on the scoring list.

He did so in the second quarter, driving the baseline for a layup to pass Moses Malone, who had 27,409 points, with Durant's total standing at 27,423 at the end of play.

"As a basketball player, I think it's our job to go back and know the history of the game and who paved the way for us," said Durant, per ESPN, as he labelled Malone one of the most underrated players in the sport.

"It's a long journey to be up there, mentioned with the greats.

"It takes a lot of work, a lot of preparation, a lot of people helping me get to this point."

Reggie Jackson added 20 points and Michael Porter Jr. had 19 with 10 rebounds as the Nuggets (14-6) won their fourth straight game with all five starters scoring at least 15 points.

"When we make shots like that, it's much easier for us to have a good game," said Jokic. "I think we create open looks — it's just a matter of if we're going to make it or not."

Denver played without Jamal Murray (ankle) and Aaron Gordon (heel), while Phoenix was without Devin Booker (ankle) and Bradley Beal (back).

The Suns dropped to 11-8 and are 4-5 in home games this season.

LeBron James tops the all-time scoring list with 39,124 points and is the only other active player in the top 25. 

He was quick to congratulate Durant on social media.

Durant will have his sights set on moving further up the list. Carmelo Anthony (28,289 points) and Shaquille O’Neal (28,596) will be his next targets.

Suns forward Durant is a two-time NBA champion and two-time NBA Finals MVP, achieving those feats with the Golden State Warriors.

And the 13-time All Star was the NBA MVP in 2014 as a representative of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Orlando Magic beat the Washington Wizards 130-125 on Friday to match a franchise record with their ninth straight win behind strong games from Franz Wagner and Paolo Banchero.

Wagner scored 31 points for his third straight game with at least 30 and Banchero had 28 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists.

Orlando has had four nine-game winning streaks, previously in 1994, 2001 and 2010-11. The Magic are one of only two NBA franchises without a double-digit win streak. The Indiana Pacers’ longest win streak is also nine games.

Jalen Suggs and Banchero combined for 10 straight points midway through the third quarter to give Orlando an 86-79 lead.

The Magic did not pull ahead for good until Wagner’s layup with 7:06 remaining opened a 7-0 run.

Kyle Kuzma led Washington with 27 points and Daniel Gafford had 18 and 11 rebounds. The Wizards have lost 11 of 12.

Tatum ejected but Celtics get past depleted 76ers

Jayson Tatum scored 21 points before he was ejected and the Boston Celtics defeated the short-handed Philadelphia 76ers, 125-119 to remain unbeaten on its home court.

Tatum was tossed near the end of the third quarter for arguing a foul call after he had already received a technical in the first half.

Derrick White also had 21 points and Jaylen Brown and Al Horford each added 20 for Boston, which has won three straight overall and improved to 9-0 at home.

The 76ers, who were without leading scorers Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey, were led by Patrick Beverley’s season-high 26 points.

Jokic lifts Nuggets as Durant moves up scoring list

Nikola Jokić had 21 points and 16 assists to help the Denver Nuggets hold off the Phoenix Suns, 119-111 on the night Kevin Durant moved into 10th place on the NBA’s career scoring list.

Reggi Jackson added 20 points and Michael Porter Jr. had 19 with 10 rebounds as the Nuggets won their fourth straight game.

Durant finished with 30 points but shot 8 of 25 from the field and missed all five shots in the fourth quarter.

He moved into 10th place on the scoring list in the second quarter, driving the baseline for a layup to pass Moses Malone with 27,411 points.

Denver played without Jamal Murray (ankle) and Aaron Gordon (heel), while Phoenix was without Devin Booker (ankle) and Bradley Beal (back).

Phoenix Suns head coach Frank Vogel described Devin Booker as a "professional scorer" as he stepped up in Kevin Durant's absence on Friday, starring in a 110-89 road victory over the Memphis Grizzlies.

The In-Season Tournament game was the first Durant has missed all season, with Phoenix's leading scorer complaining of soreness in his right foot before the game.

However, the Suns made light of his absence as Booker stepped up with a season-high 40 points, while Eric Gordon added 20 as Phoenix extended its winning streak to six games.

Asked about Booker's efforts in the aftermath of the win, which took Phoenix to 3-1 in the tournament, Vogel said: "The guy's just a professional scorer. He is a big reason we are having this six-game win streak."

With Phoenix waiting to see how Durant's condition develops, Booker says it will be difficult for the team to replace his contribution.

"It's tough", Booker said. "You can't replace what he brings to the court. His scoring ability, his versatility on defense. It's going to take a lot of extra from everybody else."

With the Los Angeles Lakers winning Group A of the In-Season tournament with a 4-0 record, the Suns must wait on other results across the Western Conference to see whether they have done enough for a wild-card spot.

Phoenix was made to endure something of a Memphis resurgence in the second half as the hosts cut their lead to single digits, but guard Jordan Goodwin scored eight straight Suns points in the fourth quarter to kill any hopes of a comeback.

"He was great," Vogel said of Goodwin, who finished with 14 points and added five rebounds in 20 minutes on the court.

"You know, he's had some ups and downs this year. We've been challenging him as a coaching staff to be better on both sides of the ball.

"He competes defensively but staying within the framework of what we're asking him to do… to see it all come together for him was a great night for all of us, as coaches, trying to challenge a player and see him respond, and for him, to respond and have a great night."

De’Aaron Fox scored 16 of his season-high 43 points in the fourth quarter and the Sacramento Kings won their fifth straight, 129-120 over the San Antonio Spurs to remain perfect in the In-Season Tournament on Friday.

Domantas Sabonis had 28 points and Malik Monk added 20 as the Kings won their fourth in a row in San Antonio and moved to 2-0 in the West Group C standings of the tournament.

Victor Wembanyama had 27 points on 12-of-26 shooting and nine rebounds after scoring a season-low eight points in Tuesday’s loss at Oklahoma City.

Zach Collins scored 28 points and Keldon Johnson contributed 20, but the Spurs lost their seventh straight and dropped to 0-3 in the in-season tournament.

Durant stars as Suns beat Jazz

Kevin Durant scored 38 points and came up just shy of a triple-double and Devin Booker had 24 points and 15 assists to lead the Phoenix Suns to a 131-128 victory over the Utah Jazz.

Durant had nine rebounds and nine assists and scored at least 25 points for the 11th straight game, the longest active streak in the NBA.

Durant’s 3-pointer gave Phoenix a 124-115 lead before Utah rallied to get within one in the final minute. He struck again with his sixth 3 of the game with 18 seconds to play.

Jordan Clarkson had a season-high 37 points for Utah and Lauri Markkanen added 21.

Harden hits key 3-pointer as Clippers snap skid

James Harden drilled a tiebreaking 3-pointer while getting fouled with six seconds remaining and the Los Angeles Clippers ended a six-game losing streak with a 106-100 win over the Houston Rockets.

Harden sank a 26-footer from atop the key and completed the rare four-point play to seal his first win since joining the Clippers, who had lost their last five games since acquiring the superstar.

Kawhi Leonard added two free throws in the final second and finished with 26 points, while Harden added 24 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.

Alperen Sengun scored 23 points for the Rockets, whose six-game win streak was stopped after allowing Los Angeles to close the game on a 12-1 run.

Phoenix Suns star duo Kevin Durant and Devin Booker had nothing but praise for San Antonio Spurs rookie Victor Wembanyama.

The Spurs beat the Suns 132-121 on Thursday, with the number one overall pick Wembanyama marking his arrival in the NBA with a 38-point performance.

Ten of those points came in the final 4:15 as the French teenager took the game away from the Suns down the stretch.

It marked the Suns' second defeat on the spin to the Spurs, and Durant and Booker, who combined for 59 points, were not afraid to pile the plaudits onto the 19-year-old swiftly emerging as San Antonio's talisman.

"He's an unbelievable talent," said Booker. "Everyone knows that. We're just trying to figure what he is because we've never seem him before.

"We got him early in the season. Hopefully, next time we play him we can make some adjustments to make it tougher. But he has an advantage being 7-4 and being able to shoot over everybody."

Two-time NBA champion Durant added: "I don't see anyone else like him in this game.

"We're both skinny and I know he watched me growing up, but he's his own player.

"His enthusiasm for the game – you can tell that through the TV and playing against him.

"He's his own player, own person. He's going to create his own lane and is much different than anyone else who has played."

Wembanyama has averaged 20.6 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.6 assists across his first five NBA games.

"He's a multi-faceted player – he’ll pass to the open guy," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.

"He's got confidence in himself. He made some plays that were unbelievable. That combination is pretty good."

Wembanyama, though, pointed out that it remains a team game.

"Every game is different," he said. "We got our third win. Every game we try to find the spots that we need to hurt them.

"Today, it might have been in this way. Tomorrow, it will be someone else. That is how great teams work. If we want to be great, we need to play with everyone."

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