Giannis Antetokounmpo poured in a franchise-record 64 points on Wednesday in the Milwaukee Bucks’ 140-126 win over the Indiana Pacers.

Antetokounmpo surpassed the team record of 57 points set by Michael Redd in 2006 in a loss to the Utah Jazz. The previous career high for the Milwaukee superstar was 55 points in a victory over the Washington Wizards on Jan. 3.

He was 20 of 28 from the field in this one, 24 of 32 on free throws and had 14 rebounds.

Damian Lillard added 21 points and Bobby Portis had 13 for the Bucks, who lost to the Pacers in the semifinals of the In-Season Tournament on Thursday.

Tyrese Haliburton and Myles Turner each scored 22 points for Indiana, which had won four in a row, excluding a loss to the Lakers in the championship game of the tournament on Saturday.

Antetokounmpo was tackled by Aaron Nesmith on a play underneath with 10:10 left, setting off a brief exchange involving several players. Nesmith was called for a flagrant-1, and Nesmith and Portis were assessed technical fouls.

Embiid, 76ers deal Pistons 21st straight loss

Joel Embiid scored 30 of his 41 points in the first half as the Philadelphia 76ers sent the Detroit Pistons to their 21st straight loss, 129-11 on Wednesday to open a home-and-home series.

The Pistons, who haven’t won since Oct. 28, matched the longest losing streak in franchise history, set at the end of the 1979-80 season and the start of 1980-81. It is the sixth-longest single-season losing streak in NBA history.

Only the 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers and the 2013-14 76ers (26 in a row), along with the 1995-96 Vancouver Grizzlies, the 1997-98 Denver Nuggets and the 2010-11 Charlotte Bobcats (23 straight) have lost more consecutive games in a season.

Philadelphia holds the overall mark of 28, set at the end of 2014-15 and start of 2015-16.

Bojan Bogdanovic led Detroit with a season-high 33 points on 11-of-19 shooting.

Former Piston Tobias Harris had 21 points and Kelly Oubre Jr. added 17 for the 76ers, winners of four straight.

Davis, Lakers hold off Wembanyama, Spurs

Anthony Davis scored 37 points and the Los Angeles Lakers overcame Victor Wembanyama’s big night in a 122-119 victory, extending the Spurs’ franchise-record losing streak to 18.

Davis rolled his left ankle in the opening seconds but refused to exit and went on to shoot 10 for 15 from the field and score 24 points in the first half.

Taurean Prince had 17 points and Austin Reaves added 15 to help the Lakers win for the fifth time in six games despite missing LeBron James, who sat out the first of two straight games in San Antonio because of a left calf injury.

Wembanyama had 30 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks, but the Spurs have remained winless since Nov. 2. He became the first rookie with 30 points, 10 boards and six blocks in a game since Spurs superstar Tim Duncan in 1998.

Victor Wembanyama vowed the San Antonio Spurs will continue looking for "a good recipe" after his historic performance failed to prevent his team matching their franchise-record losing run.

At 19 years and 38 days old, the first overall draft pick became the youngest player in NBA history to post a 20-20 game, managing 21 points and 20 assists at home to the Chicago Bulls on Friday.

However, that performance was not enough to prevent a 121-112 defeat as the Bulls rallied after the interval, with Patrick Williams, Demar DeRozan, Nikola Vucevic and Coby White all managing 20 points or more for Chicago.

San Antonio has now tied their all-time record losing streak of 16 games, while their 3-18 record is the worst they have ever managed through 21 games of a season.

Wembanyama – whose 20-20 game came when he was four days younger than previous record holder Dwight Howard – says it is still a case of trial and error after he starred from the center position against the Bulls.

"Experimenting in different areas of the game is always something important and interesting to me," Wembanyama said. 

"Every game is different, but we're going to see and try until we find a good recipe.

"When our opponents are down at half, of course they're going to try and have a reaction. We've got to expect that every time, because our first half was pretty solid, especially defensively. 

"There are ups and downs during the game, but we've got to get our downs less and less."

San Antonio's losing steak still stands three games short of that being endured by the Detroit Pistons, who are 2-20 after going down by a 123-91 scoreline against the Orlando Magic, their 19th straight loss.

Franz Wagner scored 27 points and Paolo Banchero added 24 for Orlando, with the Pistons now enduring the longest single-season losing streak in their franchise history and their second-longest overall.

Detroit previously lost 21 in a row across the end of the 1979-80 season and the start of 1980-81.

Though Pistons coach Monty Williams acknowledged the 15-7 Magic are a tough nut to crack defensively, he wasn't happy with his team's offensive efforts.

"They're a good defensive team but we missed a lot of open shots," Williams said after the defeat. 

"They take away the paint, force you to play outside. We generated only 30 threes and just didn't hit a good percentage. We just had a hard time putting the ball in the basket tonight."

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich stands by his decision to criticise the team's fans over their booing of former franchise favourite Kawhi Leonard, describing their behaviour as "hateful".

Popovich made headlines on Wednesday when he walked over to the scorer's table and grabbed a microphone during the second quarter of the Spurs' 109-102 defeat to the Los Angeles Clippers.

With San Antonio's fans loudly jeering their former star Leonard as he lined up a pair of free throws, his former coach Popovich leapt to his defence. 

"Excuse me for a second," Popovich said to the crowd. "Can we stop all the booing and let these guys play? Have a little class. That's not who we are. Knock off the booing."

Popovich later said the boos had risked giving Leonard – who won the NBA Championship with the Spurs in 2014 before departing four years later – additional motivation.

Asked if he regretted the remarks ahead of Friday's game against the Golden State Warriors, Popovich said: "Absolutely not. It's pretty easy to understand.

"I listened to it for a while and it just got louder and louder and uglier and uglier, and I felt sorry for him, and I was embarrassed for our city, for our organization.

"That's not who we are, that's not how we've conducted ourselves for the last 25 years. It's the opposite of the way we've conducted ourselves, the way we've worked in the community.

"It's kind of an indication of the world we live in today. It was hateful. It was really disrespectful, it was just mean-spirited. 

"We're the team that when somebody comes back to town after having been a Spur, we show a video of them. I can remember when Kawhi and Danny Green came back from Toronto, we showed videos of those guys and the crowd didn't react like that." 

The Spurs failed to end their dismal run of form on Friday, seeing their losing streak extend to 11 games as Stephen Curry's 35 points helped the Warriors to a 118-112 win in the In-Season Tournament game at Chase Center.

Curry also matched his season-high tally of seven three-pointers and added six assists, while guard Gary Payton II won plaudits for a terrific leaping block on Spurs rookie Victor Wembanyama.

Number one draft pick Wembanyama had 22 points and eight rebounds but only made one of six three-point attempts as San Antonio's miserable run continued. 

They continue to prop up the Western Conference at 3-13 and are 0-4 in the group stage of the In-Season Tournament ahead of Sunday's difficult road game against the Denver Nuggets. 

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.

Victor Wembanyama will be a "real, real problem" in the NBA, so says Rudy Gobert.

Top draft pick Wembanyama has been earning plenty of plaudits from big names around the NBA in the early weeks of his maiden season with the San Antonio Spurs.

The 19-year-old is averaging 19.9 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game, though he could not lift the Spurs to victory against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday.

It was Gobert's Wolves who ran out 177-110 winners in the first in-season tournament game for both teams.

And Gobert believes his fellow Frenchman is already proving just how good he could be.

"I think his positioning is way ahead of the positioning of a rookie," Gobert said.

"You can tell that he is well coached and also that he is studying the game. That will only get better throughout the year. He's already affecting [shots], he's already getting in people's minds a bit defensively.

"He's going to be a real, real problem. He's already a problem, but I think he's going to be a real, real problem really soon.

"I'm really happy and proud of the way he's evolving and his progression.

"He's a competitor. He's a winner. All those things that, like I said, the way he works, his mindset, the way he studies the game. You add that to obviously the unique physical tools that he has. And I don't think we're going to see something like that for a while."

Indeed, Gobert thinks it is hard to know just how good Wembanyama might turn out to be.

"His approach, his dedication, the work that he puts in, the work he put in the last three months since the draft is paying off," Gobert said.

"I saw a big difference between summer league and preseason. You can tell he was in the gym, and not just in the gym, but he was doing the right thing.

"It's hard to imagine what [he's] going to be [like] after a couple years of working like he's doing. I can't even imagine how he's going to evolve."

Gobert and Wembanyama swapped jerseys after the game, which the latter finished with 29 points and nine rebounds.

"It feels special," Wembanyama said of his first matchup against Gobert.

"I know every night there's going to be one or two guys who are special to play against. But even more, it's someone that over the years has tried to take care of me and teach me some stuff. It was even more special and challenging."

Victor Wembanyama described his Madison Square Garden debut as "special" but accepted he has much to learn after seeing the New York Knicks spoil his first outing at the iconic venue.

Wembanyama and the San Antonio Spurs travelled to Manhattan looking to improve on a 3-4 start to the season on Wednesday, but the Knicks comfortably condemned them to a third straight defeat, triumphing 126-105.

The seven-foot-four rookie received some rough treatment from the Knicks, finishing with 14 points, nine rebounds and a block while failing to make his first field goal until the third quarter.

The New York fans revelled in the struggles of this year's first overall draft pick, with a sellout crowd chanting that he was "overrated".

Wembanyama, though, viewed the defeat as part of the Spurs' learning curve and expressed confidence that San Antonio – the youngest team in the league – will soon find their feet. 

"We're learning," he said after the game. "As a young team, any team really, we're going to go through losing streaks sometimes during the season in tough times.

"It's going to happen. But the most important thing is how we bounce back.

"We've got good intentions, and we've learned a lot also from the coaching staff defensively, so we're just trying to apply what they say. 

"But I think what's good is we are bringing energy at all times, so this is a good start. We've got great potential defensively. 

"I know in the past games, especially in Phoenix, we've seen great defensive sequences. We're just all getting it together."

Despite the difficult nature of the game, the 19-year-old enjoyed his first outing at the Garden, adding: "No matter how many times I play here, I hope it will always be special." 

The Knicks weren't afraid to be physical with Wembanyama, with center Mitchell Robinson being the primary defender on six of his field goal attempts, denying him a basket.

Spurs guard Tre Jones is confident Wembanyama will adapt to that kind of attention, adding: "Some teams will try to attack him and whatnot, be very aggressive with him, physical with him.

"It is what it is, and as long as he continues to develop like we know he will, it'll be like that for however long he plays, and so it's something that we'll just get used to."

The 2023 number one draft pick Victor Wembanyama has officially marked his arrival in the NBA with 38 points as his San Antonio Spurs beat the Phoenix Suns 132-121.

The 19-year-old centre from France had 10 rebounds to go with his scoring effort as the Spurs held off a late charge from the Suns to beat them for the second time this season.

Kevin Durant scored 28 points while Devin Booker had 31 for the Suns, but it was not enough to stop the 7 foot 4 tall teenager.

The Spurs are now sitting with three wins and two losses while the Suns, who have been missing all star Bradley Beal, have two wins and three losses.

The Philadelphia 76ers showed that life without James Harden, who was traded to the Clippers, might not be so bad after beating the Toronto Raptors 114-99.

Centre Joel Embiid starred for the 76ers with 28 points and 13 rebounds, while Kelly Oubre Jr and Tobias Harris had 23 points each.

It takes the 76ers to three wins and one loss while the Raptors fell to their fourth loss of the season.

A young Orlando Magic side beat the Utah Jazz 115- 113, with Paolo Banchero scoring 30 points for the Magic.

Banchero, 20, had nine rebounds and five assists while Franz Wagner contributed with 21 points.

The depleted New Orleans Pelicans took care of the Detroit Pistons in a nine-point win, despite Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram both sitting out.

Guard CJ McCollum stepped up with 33 points while centre Jonas Valanciunas had 13 rebounds to go with his 23 points.

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.

Rookie Victor Wembanyama and the San Antonio Spurs recorded a comeback victory against the Phoenix Suns after taking the lead with just one second remaining.

After being down 18 points at half-time, the Spurs rallied back in the second half and with just six seconds left, Wembanyama, who had 18 points, cut the Suns lead to just one point with a put-back dunk.

Durant was then given the ball and became surrounded by three Spurs players, with his team rejecting to call the time out.

He then had the ball stolen by Keldon Johnson who scored the winning basket with just 1.2 seconds left on the clock, which was the first time the Spurs led during the game.

Johnson finished with a game-high 27 points, while Durant, who became the 12th player in NBA history to score 27,000 points, had 26 points in the 115-114 loss.

The New York Knicks put together their best defensive effort of the season as they kept the Cleveland Cavaliers to just 91 points in an 18-point win.

New York took the lead in the first quarter and did not let it go for the game’s duration.

The Knicks boasted a shared scoresheet, with four players scoring more than 15 points and forward Julius Randle landing a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds.

The Cavaliers fell to their third loss of the season despite shooting guard Donovan Mitchell scoring 26 points. Isaac Okoro was the only other player who scored more than 10.

Meanwhile, Paul George starred for the Los Angeles Clippers in their 118-102 win over the Orlando Magic with 27 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.

The Clippers were slow out of the blocks with only 13 points in the first quarter but their talent across the board was too much for the youthful Magic.

Keldon Johnson scored on a contested layup after a steal with 1.2 seconds remaining to give the Spurs their only lead of the game and San Antonio rallied for a stunning 115-114 win over the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday.

The Suns led by as many as 13 in the fourth quarter, but the Spurs closed to within 114-113 after Victor Wembanyama scored four straight points.

Johnson then stole the ball from Kevin Durant and put in a layup to put San Antonio on top.

Durant missed a fadeaway as the buzzer sounded to give the Spurs their first win against the Suns in the past 10 meetings.

Johnson finished with 27 points and Devin Vassell and Wembanyama each added 18 for San Antonio, which outscored Phoenix 33-19 in the fourth quarter.

Durant scored 26 points and Eric Gordon had 20 for a Phoenix team that was again without the injured starting backcourt of Devin Booker and Bradley Beal.


Knicks handle undermanned Cavaliers

The New York Knicks got 19 points and 10 rebounds from Julius Randle and never trailed over the final three quarters in a 109-91 win over the short-handed Cleveland Cavaliers.

Jalen Brunson scored 19 points and Immanuel Quickley added 18 off the bench to help the Knicks win the first half of a home-and-home series.

Donovan Mitchell had 26 points in 29 minutes for the Cavaliers, who lost their third straight and fell to 0-3 at home.

Cleveland was without point guard Darius Garland (left hamstring strain), center Jarrett Allen (left ankle bone bruise), top reserve Caris LeVert (left hamstring soreness) and backup guard Ty Jerome (right ankle sprain).


Victor Wembanyama will be "unstoppable" for the San Antonio Spurs when the 19-year-old finds his feet in the NBA.  

That is the view of 2014 Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams, who has urged the seven-foot-four power forward to learn from the likes of LeBron James and Stephen Curry to boost his chances of success.

Wembanyama – the first overall pick in this year's NBA Draft – has been touted as one of the most exciting prospects of his generation. 

While Wembanyama was unable to stop San Antonio losing their 2023-24 season opener against the Dallas Mavericks earlier this week, he played a key role as they bounced back with a 126-122 overtime win over the Houston Rockets on Friday.

Wembanyama finished the Houston victory with 21 points, 12 rebounds and one assist, and Carter-Williams believes his physical stature and all-round skillset make him unique. 

"I think he's definitely an anomaly, right? There are not too many seven-foot-four dudes that can move like him," Carter-Williams – who is a free agent after leaving the Orlando Magic – told Stats Perform.

"Obviously, we'll see other people with other attributes, but I think for him, he's so tall and he's got such a long reach that he affects the game in so many different ways and it's going to be cool to see him develop. 

"You saw it with Giannis [Antetokounmpo] a little bit. You'd watch the game and there would be like two or three plays where you're like, 'if he can do that 10 times a game, he's in for some serious competition'.

"I think you see that with Victor as well, there's five or six times in the game where you're just shaking your head about how amazing the things that he does are.

"As soon as he starts doing those things more, he's going to be unstoppable."

Asked if he had any advice for the 19-year-old, Carter-Williams said: "I would find my routine. 

"If you start that as a rookie and you maintain that work and effort and that health, I think it sets you up for a really good career. 

"Obviously, the easy answer is to listen to your coaches and listen to this person, listen to that person, but I think the biggest thing is if you can stick to your resume every single day.

"You hear about LeBron and Steph taking care of their bodies, doing these offseason things and yes, they do have a million resources, but they put themselves in a situation where they can succeed. I think that's what's most important as a rookie."

Carter-Williams has experience of being a highly regarded prospect, having been named NBA Rookie of the Year after starring for the Philadelphia 76ers in 2013-14.

Asked how Wembanyama would respond to the heightened interest in his performances, Carter-Williams said: "It's funny, when you're that age coming into the NBA and people have high expectations, you're kind of oblivious to what's really going on.

"There's so many things going on that you're like, 'I want to play basketball'. That's where I was at that time, obviously at a different level to him, he's one of the hottest rookies of all time. 

"He's probably got it 10 times as much as I had it when I was on my streak of being Rookie of the Year, so it's a little tough. 

"But I think that when you're at that level, you're just so focused on being on the court, it's like, 'I got a lot of hype, but I really haven't truly done anything'. 

"There's that pressure there, but for the most part, I think it's mostly, 'I just want to get on the court, I'm excited to be out there, and I get to play against all these guys that I once looked up to.'"

Victor Wembanyama said winning is "what I love most in life" as he celebrated his first victory as an NBA player.

Wembanyama, who measures seven feet and four inches, joined the Spurs as the first overall pick of this year's NBA Draft.

The 19-year-old had been unable to inspire San Antonio to victory against the Dallas Mavericks in the Spurs' first game of the campaign, but he played a key role as they beat the Houston Rockets 126-122 in overtime on Friday.

Wembanyama finished with 21 points, 12 rebounds and one assist, tying the scores to take the game to OT before then giving the Spurs a lead they would not relinquish.

Keldon Johnson's dunk rounded out the win, leaving a delighted Wembanyama to tell the media: "I really, really love winning.

"It's what I love most in life, so of course it feels great."

Wembanyama is the second Spurs player in the history of the franchise to have a 20-point, 10-rebound game within his first two career games.

The rookie played 31 minutes, but it was when he came off the bench in the fourth quarter that he really swung the game in San Antonio's favour.

"At some point, they were making shots and were being successful on every play," Wembanyama said.

"We didn't put our head down, but our energy and hype weren't as persistent enough. I think the rotations by the end of the fourth quarter, bringing fresh energy on the court and managed to keep us in the game and get to overtime."

"I said this after the first preseason game or scrimmage, but he's going to make some amazing plays at least once a game, and tonight he probably had three or four." Wembanyama's team-mate Devin Vassell said of the youngster.

"But that's just a testament to him, and like I keep preaching, he makes the game easier for us and we've got to make it easier for him."

Luka Doncic reminded the basketball world just how good he is, scoring 49 points as the Dallas Mavericks beat the Brooklyn Nets 125-120.

The Slovenian superstar hit four straight three-point shots in the final quarter, adding 10 rebounds and seven assists to his mammoth scoring effort, while Nets small forward Cam Thomas had 30 points in the losing side.

French rookie Victor Wembanyama secured the first win of his NBA career in style with 21 points and 12 rebounds as the San Antonio Spurs beat the Houston Rockets 126-122 in overtime.

The 19-year-old proved he is more than ready for the NBA as he hit the game-tying bucket with 20 seconds left in regulation time and added crucial baskets in overtime.

Guard Alex Caruso handed the Chicago Bulls a dramatic victory over the Toronto Raptors, 104-103, with a go-ahead three with just two seconds left of overtime.

Demar DeRozan starred for the Bulls with 18 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter while Scottie Barnes had a triple double for the Raptors with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

Steph Curry exploded for the Golden State Warriors with 41 points to get the win over the Sacramento Kings 122-114.

It was the battle of the guards throughout the game with Kings guard De’Aaron Fox trying to keep up with Curry, scoring 39 points.

The Boston Celtics took out last year’s runners up the Miami Heat 119-111, taking revenge on the team who knocked them out in the Eastern Conference finals.

Derrick White starred for the Celtics with 28 points while Tyler Herro matched that for Miami.

Nikola Jokic continued his hot start to the season for the Denver Nuggets with 22 points and 12 rebounds as the NBA champions took down the Memphis Grizzlies 108-104.

The Utah Jazz upset the Los Angeles Clippers 120-118 with forward Lauri Markkanen scoring 35 points with 12 rebounds, while Paul George scored 36 points for the Clippers.

Orlando Magic beat the Portland Trail Blazers, the New York Knicks beat the Atlanta Hawks, Oklahoma City Thunder took down the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Detroit Pistons made easy work of the Charlotte Hornets.

Luka Doncic poured in 49 points and sank a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 26.3 seconds remaining to lift the Dallas Mavericks to a 125-120 win over the Brooklyn Nets on Friday.

Cam Thomas’ 3-pointer with 51 seconds left forged a 120-all tie but Doncic answered 25 seconds later when he banked in a 25-foot hook shot from the right sideline while tightly guarded as the shot clock was about to expire.

The Mavericks superstar shot 16 of 25 – including 9 of 14 from deep – and added 10 rebounds and seven assists.

The game was the first between the teams since the February trade that sent 10-time All-Star Kyrie Irving to Dallas in exchange for Dorian Finney-Smith and Spencer Dinwiddie.

Thomas scored 30 points in his seventh career NBA start, a game after setting a league record by scoring 36 points off the bench in a season opener.

Thomas, though, missed a potential tying 3-pointer with 16 seconds left, and Josh Green sealed Dallas’ win with two free throws three seconds later.

Irving finished with 17 points, seven rebounds and six assists and Tim Hardaway Jr. added 19 points.

Dinwiddie had 23 points and six 3s and Mikal Bridges scored 18 for the winless Nets.


Wembanyama sparks Spurs to OT win

Victor Wembanyama had 21 points, including the tying basket with 20 seconds left in regulation, and the San Antonio Spurs notched a 126-122 win in overtime against the Houston Rockets.

The No. 1 draft pick shook off a slow start and had 16 points, eight rebounds and three blocks in the second half and overtime in his first NBA victory.

Devin Vassell scored 25 points and Keldon Johnson added 20 for the Spurs, who bounced back after a season-opening loss to Dallas on Wednesday.

Wembanyama’s jumper early in overtime sparked a 6-0 run, and he made a pair of free throws with 1:45 left to give San Antonio a 120-115 lead.

Alperen Sengun led the Rockets with 25 points.


Celtics beat Heat in East finals rematch

Derrick White scored 28 points with five 3-pointers and the Boston Celtics defeated the Miami Heat 119-111 on Friday in a rematch of last season’s Eastern Conference finals.

Jaylen Brown added 27 points and Jayson Tatum had 22 for the Celtics, who followed Wednesday’s season-opening victory over the Knicks with a win in their home opener.

Miami squandered a 3-0 series lead against the Celtics last season before winning Game 7 in Boston to advance to its seventh NBA Finals.

Tyler Herro led the Heat with 28 points and sank five of his team’s 16 3-pointers. Bam Adebayo added 27 points and Jimmy Butler scored 14 on 3-of-11 shooting.

Neither team led by more than five points at the end of any of the first three periods and there were six ties and six lead changes in the game.

Luka Doncic played spoiler in number one draft pick Victor Wembanyama’s NBA debut as the Dallas Mavericks eclipsed the San Antonio Spurs 126-119.

After a solid start from the Spurs, the Mavericks were able to rally in the third quarter and hold on to their lead in the home stretch.

Doncic was central in Dallas’ third-quarter effort and finished with a 33-point triple-double.

Wembanyama had two threes in the opening quarter but was slowed by foul trouble until a fourth-quarter flourish lifted him to 15 points to go along with five rebounds.

New recruit Kristaps Porzingis played a pivotal role in seeing the Boston Celtics past the New York Knicks 108-104.

The former Knick combined with Jayson Tatum for 64 points, which included a tiebreaking three-pointer with 90 seconds left on the clock.

RJ Barrett scored 24 points for New York, while Immanuel Quickley added 24 off the bench.

Last season’s finalists the Miami Heat were pushed to their limit in a 103-102 win over the Detroit Pistons.

Miami looked to have victory all but sealed when they took a 19-point lead with nine minutes left.

Detroit were somehow able to claw their way back to within one, but ultimately fell short as Cade Cunningham missed a 30-foot jump shot at the buzzer.

It was also a close result in Brooklyn, where a late burst from Donovan Mitchell pushed the Cleveland Cavaliers past the Nets 114-113.

Mitchell scored 10 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter, including a go-ahead three in the dying seconds.

A 25-point effort from PJ Washington helped the Charlotte Hornets down the Atlanta Hawks 116-110, and Zion Williamson scored 23 in the New Orleans Pelicans’ 111-104 win over the Memphis Grizzlies.

Elsewhere, the Orlando Magic, Oklahoma City Thunder, Sacramento Kings and Indiana Pacers opened their seasons with double-digit victories, while the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Portland Trail Blazers and the Toronto Raptors scraped past the Minnesota Timberwolves 97-94 in a low-scoring affair.

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