Stephen Curry delivered another dazzling display of three-point shooting as the Golden State Warriors overpowered the Orlando Magic 111-105 in the NBA.

Curry went into the contest on a career-best streak of 12 consecutive games scoring at least four three-pointers, and the two-time MVP wasted no time extending that run to 13 inside the first quarter at Chase Center on Thursday.

James Harden is the only other player in NBA history to nail four threes in 13 straight games, after putting up 40 points, draining 10 of 19 from beyond the arc.

Curry has posted at least 25 points while shooting at least 50.0 per cent from the field in each of his last eight games. According to Stats Perform, it is the longest streak by any guard since Michael Jordan did so in 11 successive games in 1995-96.

Warriors team-mate Andrew Wiggins scored 21 points in support, while Magic star Nikola Vucevic hit a 25-point, 13-rebound double-double in reply.

Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis admitted he is not prepared to take any risks with an Achilles problem that has ruled him out of the NBA champions' last two games.

The injury was revealed on Sunday after Davis produced a 30-point haul against the Detroit Pistons, and the seven-time All-Star subsequently missed a pair of midweek wins against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Davis featured in 83 of 92 games to help the Lakers end their 10-year championship drought last season - his first in Los Angeles following a blockbuster trade from the New Orleans Pelicans.

And although Davis insisted he can play through the pain barrier, the thought of rushing back and aggravating the issue in the lead up to the NBA playoffs is something the 27-year-old is not willing to entertain.

"I think every other game... I've wanted to play in. This is just a different circumstance with it being an Achilles," Davis said, after suffering tendonosis in his right heel.

"If it was a quad or finger, anything like that, I wouldn't mind playing. But I just don't really want to play around with an Achilles.

"Today was the first day we were able to practice, get some run-in with some guys to really test it out.

"I just don't want to play a game where I still feel it and then get hurt and now I'm out for the playoffs or whatever or for multiple weeks."

The Lakers extended their winning streak to six games with Wednesday’s 114-113 overtime victory against the Thunder and sit second in the Eastern Conference at 20-6.

The defending champions host the Memphis Grizzlies at Staples Center on Friday and Davis was back on court during a specially-arranged Thursday practice session.

Although Davis was also dealing with soreness in his right calf, head coach Frank Vogel seemed upbeat about his chances of returning sooner rather than later.

"We just did some drill work, no-contact drill work, which he did all of. He seemed fine," Vogel said.

"We'll see how he feels tomorrow before making any decisions on the game."

Three weeks ago, it appeared this season was shaping up to be like each of the previous 14 for the Sacramento Kings.

A 115-96 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on January 20 marked the sixth defeat in seven games for the Kings and dropped their record to 5-10 – third worst in the Western Conference.

A month into the season and it was already looking like Sacramento would match the Clippers' dubious record of 15 consecutive seasons without a playoff berth from 1976-77 to 1990-91 for the longest playoff drought in NBA history.

Now one-third of the way into their season, however, the Kings have pulled within a half-game of the eighth-placed Golden State Warriors in the West on the heels of a 7-2 stretch. on Friday night, they take on the Orlando Magic.

The turnaround began two nights after the blowout loss to the Clippers with a 103-94 victory over the New York Knicks. The Kings' performance that night was emblematic of how they've managed to climb back into the playoff picture, but is their formula for winning sustainable?

Against the Knicks, the Kings found themselves up 89-87 with just under four minutes remaining after New York went on an 8-0 run. Sacramento then went on a 7-0 run of their own, punctuated by a Tyrese Haliburton three-pointer with 2:35 to play to put the game away.

The Kings ended up scoring 14 of the game's final 21 points, and over the next few weeks displayed a proficiency for closing out tight games.

Prior to January 22, the Kings had the NBA's third-worst fourth-quarter point differential at minus-2.8 while ranking 23rd in fourth-quarter scoring with an average of 25.5 points. Since then, they are averaging 28.1 points over the final 12 minutes of games.

It's been in the game's final moments, however, that the Kings have really excelled. Their 10.0-scoring average in the final three minutes since January 22 is the best in the NBA.

The Kings are finding ways to grind out victories and have a league-high eight wins this season by five points or less, but this typically is not a blueprint for success in the NBA.

The Kings' 5.9-point differential in their wins is the lowest in the NBA, and no team have finished a season with a point differential of less than 6.0 in their victories since 2005-06, when the Portland Trail Blazers were at 5.6 and the Atlanta Hawks were at 5.8. Sacramento, however, do not want to be too closely linked to those teams, as Portland were a league-worst 21-61 while Atlanta were not much better at 26-56.

Winning close games rarely leads to long-term success, seeing as only one team in the last 30 years have reached the playoffs while having a point differential of less than 8.0 in their wins – the 2007-08 Cleveland Cavaliers at 7.8.

In fact, in NBA history only two teams have reached the playoffs while outscoring their opponents by fewer than 7.0 points in their wins and those instances came well before man even walked on the Moon – the 1954-55 Rochester Royals at 6.6 and the 1948-49 St Louis Bombers at 6.8.

Grinding out wins over the long haul of a full season takes its toll and it may have caught up with the Kings in their last time on the court.

In Tuesday's 119-111 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, the Kings seemed to tire down the stretch, missing seven straight shots over a three-minute stretch in the fourth quarter as the Sixers went on a 10-0 run to turn a two-point deficit into an eight-point lead with just over four and a half minutes to play.

Sacramento were playing for the third time in four days, so they were playing on tired legs, but it's also possible fatigue was setting in because each of their previous three games went down to the wire and the minutes are piling up for their stars.

De'Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield each played the entire fourth quarter on Tuesday and have regularly been playing in crunch time.

Since January 22, the Kings have four players ranking in the top 20 in fourth-quarter minutes – Haliburton (1st, 10.7), Fox (11th, 9.9), Hield (12th, 9.7) and Harrison Barnes (18th, 9.4).

The Nets are the only other team to have more than two players ranking in the top 20 in fourth-quarter minutes in that period.

Sacramento have counted on Fox down the stretch, as his 11 field-goal attempts in late and close situations since January 22 trails only the Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James (15) and the Phoenix Suns' Chris Paul (13) for the most in the NBA. Late and close situations here are defined as the last two minutes of the final quarter when the game is within four points.

Fox's shots, however, weren't falling on Tuesday.

Over a five-game stretch from January 30 to February 7, Fox led the league with an average of 13.2 fourth-quarter points (minimum three games) while shooting 57.8 per cent. He misfired on 10 of 13 shots, though, while scoring seven points in Tuesday’s fourth quarter.

Haliburton's fourth quarter – as well as his third quarter for that matter – was even more forgettable. His final points on Tuesday came on a three-pointer with 2:00 remaining before halftime.

It was a sub-par showing for someone who is shooting at a staggering clip when the game moves to the fourth quarter.

The 20-year-old rookie is making 60.6 per cent (40-of-66) on all fourth-quarter shots – tied for fourth in the NBA with the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo among the 109 players with at least 50 shot attempts in the fourth – and has been connecting at an even higher percentage from beyond the arc.

Shooting an absurd 61.5 per cent on three-pointers (24-of-39) in the fourth quarter, Haliburton is on track to become the only player seeing regular minutes to shoot at least 60 per cent from deep in the final quarter in the last 15 seasons. Since 2005-06, Kyle Korver for the 2014-15 Atlanta Hawks has the highest fourth-quarter shooting percentage on three-pointers at 57.4, among players with at least 50 3-point attempts.

Haliburton has also made seven clutch three-pointers this season to trail only James (11), the Charlotte Hornets' Devonte’ Graham (eight) and the Brooklyn Nets' Kyrie Irving (eight) for most in the league. Here, clutch is defined as the last five minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime when a game is within six points.

Considering Haliburton is knocking down 44.1 per cent of his shots in the game's first three quarters, his fourth-quarter shooting has been especially baffling. His increase in shooting of 16.5 per cent from the first three quarters to the fourth is the biggest in the NBA this season (minimum 125 field goal attempts in first three quarters and 50 in fourth).

His shooting has been exceptional but hitting a rookie wall could be a concern. Tuesday marked the 22nd game of the season for Haliburton – the exact same number of games he played all of last season collegiately at Iowa State.

The fourth-quarter exploits of Haliburton and Fox have played a big role in Sacramento's climb in the standings, but the climb is just beginning. The season is only a little more than seven weeks old and time will tell if the Kings have the strength to continue their playoff push.

The Toronto Raptors will play the remainder of their 2020-21 home games at Tampa Bay's Amalie Arena due to ongoing coronavirus restrictions.

The Raptors – who won their first NBA Championship in 2019 – announced in November that they would be based in Tampa for the first half of the season, due to border restrictions and public safety measures in place between Canada and the United States amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the pandemic and such restrictions still ongoing, Toronto have now taken the decision to remain in Florida for the rest of the season.

"Florida has been really welcoming to us and we're so grateful for the hospitality we've found in Tampa and at Amalie – we're living in a city of champions, and we intend to carry on the tradition of winning for our new friends and fans here," Raptors president Masai Ujiri said, also referring to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' recent Super Bowl triumph.

"But home is where the heart is, and our hearts are in Toronto. We think often of our fans, of our Scotiabank Arena family, and all those we are missing back home, and we can't wait until we can all be together again."

The Raptors, along with the rest of the NBA teams, are set to find out their schedule for the second half of the season in the coming days.

Toronto are fifth in the Eastern Conference, with Nick Nurse's team having won five of their last six games.

Giannis Antetokounmpo said "I don't want to get fined" when asked whether he felt Jae Crowder had "pulled the chair" on him late in the Milwaukee Bucks' narrow defeat to the Phoenix Suns.

Bucks superstar Antetokounmpo went off for a season-high 47 points to go alongside 11 rebounds and five assists but it came down to a couple of late plays as the Suns ran out 125-124 winners.

In the Bucks' penultimate possession, the Suns regained the ball following the incident between Crowder and Antetokounmpo, who then missed a 20-foot buzzer beater.

The Bucks consequently saw a five-match winning streak snapped, but their main man was reluctant to get drawn into his thoughts on a crucial finish.

"I just don't want to get fined. What do you want me to say? You gotta live with it," he said when asked about Crowder.

"If people out there think he pulled the chair on me, I cannot change what happened. At the end of the day, it was a play. That's the part of what we gotta execute better.

"That's the part we have to get a shot off no matter what happens."

Asked how the Bucks can be better in clutch moments, he replied: "Practice, always practice. You cannot practice too much. Just got to trust one another.

"Who wants to have close games? We want to beat teams by 10, 15, 20 points but when we have close games we learn from it.

"Moving forward if we run the same play, I hope me and Khris [Middleton] don't turn the ball over. We have great players who can execute down the stretch.

"We have good playmakers who can read the right play and make the right play down the stretch. Game by game we learn from each possession."

It was a particularly frustrating game for the Bucks given they took a 71-59 lead into half-time after going 13-of-24 from three-point range.

Antetokounmpo finished 15-of-23 from the field, draining 15-of-19 from inside the arc.

The final play may not have gone how the Bucks wanted but head coach Mike Budenholzer will have no hesitation putting Antetokounmpo in that same spot in the future.

"Yeah, that's definitely one of the options for Giannis to be top of the key. He got a pretty good look. Definitely one of the options," he said.

"We want Giannis to continue to grow and develop and have the ball in his hands lots of different times, including late when one down.

"He can attack, he can find team-mates, him getting to a spot, getting a shot is part of his growth and his development – in the long run that's good for us.

"We got I think a little bit sloppy in the second half, there were some stretches we could have played with each other better.

"We weren't as sharp as we needed to be. We gotta be better defensively, they flipped it from a 12-point lead to six up or so. We weren't as good as we have to be second half."

Coby White felt the Chicago Bulls had been due a good shooting night after he and Zach LaVine made NBA history against the New Orleans Pelicans.

In the Bulls' 129-116 success against the Pelicans on Wednesday, White and LaVine became the first team-mates in NBA history to each make at least eight three-pointers in the same game.

The pair combined for 76 points, the third time they have accumulated at least 75 together – only Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen have achieved that on more occasions (six) for Chicago.

LaVine was 17-of-25 from the field, including 9-of-14 from distance, as he racked up a season-high 46 points. White went 8-of-17 from beyond the arc for 30 points, with the Bulls shooting 59.3 per cent overall as they made a franchise record 25 three-pointers.

"We were due for a good team shooting night. We haven't been shooting the ball well as a team, especially at home, so it was time for a good team shooting night," said White.

"Everybody contributed and everybody came out locked in. We knew we let a couple games slip away. Tonight was a much-needed win for us, so we've got to come out and play big. Come out and compete and play the right game."

White shot over 50 per cent from the field for just the fourth time this season and is trying to ignore criticism from outside and focus on improving his on-court relationship with LaVine.

"I just stay the course. Basketball's filled with ups and downs. You're never gonna please everyone," said White.

"I'm still growing and I'm still learning and I know that. I've just got to be who I am, come out and play and block out all the noise – that's the most important thing."

He added of LaVine: "We're continuing to grow. We're continuing to get better, we're continuing to figure each other out playing together. This is the first time we're playing together this year, so we're continuing to grow. We both never get too high or low, we're more focused on the winning part."

LaVine, who also put up seven rebounds, four assists and one block, was not surprised by his performance and was pleased to see White getting hot too.

"That's big. I didn't know that," LaVine said when asked for his reaction to the historic performance from himself and White.

"We're explosive to be able to do that, two really good shooters. Obviously you're not gonna be able to hit shots like that throughout the whole entire game but I'm glad and very happy for Coby that he got back on track. He showed that confidence in him again.

"Coby's a very explosive scorer. Sometimes he's just got to go out there and play his game to get back in rhythm."

On his own display, he added: "I expect to do that. I put in the time and effort. It happens that way. You hit a couple, get hot. You wish it could happen every game. Obviously, it can't. But when you get in a zone, you want to stay in it."

LeBron James showed in the Los Angeles Lakers' latest overtime win against the Oklahoma City Thunder why he is likely to win this season's MVP award, according to head coach Frank Vogel.

The Lakers claimed a second straight overtime victory against the Thunder on Wednesday, having needed two additional five-minute periods to get past the Detroit Pistons on Saturday.

It was the first time in franchise history the Lakers won three straight overtime games, with the last NBA team to achieve the feat being the Minnesota Timberwolves in January 2007.

James played at least 40 minutes in all three – he last played that much in three successive games in January 2017 – and became the first player aged 35 or older in NBA history to do that in a trio of consecutive overtime triumphs.

Despite his increased time on the floor, the four-time MVP showed no noticeable dip in production. In a total of 130 minutes across the three wins he had 86 points, 30 assists, 25 rebounds and eight steals. The last NBA player to reach those numbers over a three-win span in the regular season was Michael Jordan in January 1989.

The Lakers were without Anthony Davis for a second straight game and Vogel felt the leadership LeBron displayed offensively and defensively was evidence of why he is a frontrunner for the MVP award.

Asked if he was concerned by the minutes James had racked up, Vogel replied: "Of course, there's always concern but his body's been feeling good.

"These aren't scripted plans to go to overtime each night and get him up to 40 minutes, but he's gonna be there in those situations to win the game.

"We'll continue evaluating how he's feeling, his workload on a day-by-day basis and make decisions on a game-by-game basis.

"He made several defensive plays to be honest with you, he's really leading the charge taking a matchup of [Al] Horford on certain situations. That's what Bron does. Bron does it on both sides of the ball.

"That's why he's probably going to be this year's MVP; carrying the load offensively and quarterbacking the number one defense in the league and taking these tough assignments and making the plays down the stretch, so he's played terrific."

Vogel joked that James was getting rest after the game by being excused from media duty.

He added: "These are the toughest games to play, when you have a sub-.500 team that comes in with guys out. Everybody on their team is getting an opportunity. You've got an opportunity to be the go-to guy. We've seen that with a few different games.

"We've certainly got to be better, we're not making things easy on ourselves but at the end of the day we're doing enough to grind things out in the second half and do what we need to do to get that W. Happy to get three wins but certainly got to be better.

"We're not worried about being tired. We're a no excuse team."

Kyle Kuzma praised James mentality after he contributed 25 points, seven assists, six rebounds and two steals in the 114-113 success over the Thunder.

"You've heard it from him: being tired is just in your head," said Kuzma, who contributed 15 points and nine rebounds.

"If you put your mind to it, you don't really see yourself getting too tired and that's always been his mindset through his unbelievable career. That dude's a beast. If he says he's not tired, doesn't get tired, [then] he doesn't get tired."

Zach LaVine and Coby White proved unstoppable from downtown as the Chicago Bulls delivered a record-breaking display, while Luka Doncic's superb triple-double powered the Dallas Mavericks.

The Bulls exploded to post an all-time franchise best total of 25 three-pointers as Chicago halted the New Orleans Pelicans' four-match winning streak, 129-116, at the United Center.

LaVine delivered 20 points in the first quarter before going on to drop 46 in total, draining nine of his 14 three-point shots, while White added 30 points including eight of 17 buckets from distance.

The duo became the first team-mates in NBA history to each hit eight three-pointers in the same game as the Bulls came back from eight points down at the half to blow away the Pelicans.

The scorching-hot LaVine also became the first Chicago player to post 120 points in a three-game stretch since Michael Jordan in 1997 as the Bulls improved to 10-14.

Doncic posted his 32nd career triple-double as the Mavericks edged a nail-biting 118-117 triumph over the Atlanta Hawks to extend their winning streak to three.

The Slovenian star dropped 28 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists as Dallas trailed by nine at the start of the fourth quarter but finished strongly to close out the win and take their record to 12-14.

Atlanta's John Collins was the game's top scorer with 33 points, while Trae Young notched 25 points and 15 assists, but the Hawks could not find the decisive play in a wild final 90 seconds.


Giannis produces fireworks but Suns claim comeback win

The Phoenix Suns kept their momentum rolling, claiming a fourth straight win by edging Milwaukee 125-124 after coming back from 16 points down, but Giannis Antetokounmpo exploded for the Bucks.

The two-time NBA MVP carried his team on his shoulders, scoring a season-high 47 points and claiming 11 rebounds and five assists. Antetokounmpo almost snatched a remarkable victory but his buzzer-beater bounced back off the rim.

Indiana off the pace against Brooklyn

Malcolm Brogdon had a day to forget as the Indiana Pacers were held under 100 points, falling to their fourth straight defeat, in a 104-94 reverse against the Brooklyn Nets.

The Indiana guard had a 29.4 per cent field-goal success rate, scoring five of his 17 attempts, as the 12-13 Pacers could not match Kyrie Irving and James Harden's high-power offense.

LeBron sets up Matthews for key bucket 

With less than a minute remaining in overtime and the Los Angeles Lakers level against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Wesley Matthews came up clutch.

LeBron James drove towards the paint in heavy traffic, before flipping the ball out right for Matthews to sink the key three-pointer.

The Lakers clinched a 114-113 overtime victory to improve to 20-6.

Wednesday's results

Toronto Raptors 137-115 Washington Wizards
Dallas Mavericks 118-117 Atlanta Hawks
Los Angeles Clippers 119-112 Minnesota Timberwolves
Memphis Grizzlies 130-114 Charlotte Hornets
Brooklyn Nets 104-94 Indiana Pacers
Chicago Bulls 129-116 New Orleans Pelicans
Denver Nuggets 133-95 Cleveland Cavaliers
Los Angeles Lakers 114-113 Oklahoma City Thunder 
Phoenix Suns 125-124 Milwaukee Bucks

 

76ers at Trail Blazers

Led by the in-form Joel Embiid, the 18-7 Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia 76ers go on the road to face another team with a winning record, the 13-10 Portland Trail Blazers, on Thursday.

The NBA has said all teams will keep up the tradition of playing the United States national anthem before games, despite the Dallas Mavericks' decision not to.

ESPN reported on Tuesday that Mark Cuban, director and owner of the Mavs, had confirmed the team – who had not played the national anthem prior to any of their 13 pre-season or regular-season home games so far – would not resume the tradition.

Cuban declined to comment further but made the decision after consulting with NBA commissioner Adam Silver.

However, on Wednesday, the NBA issued a statement insisting teams will play the anthem before each home game.

"With NBA teams now in the process of welcoming fans back into their arenas, all teams will play the national anthem in keeping with longstanding league policy," a statement from NBA chief communications officer Mike Bass read.

The NBA's rulebook requires players to stand during the national anthem though it is not a policy which has been enforced by Silver, with players often choosing to take a knee during the anthem to protest social and racial injustice – something which Cuban has previously backed.

The NBA has said all teams will keep up the tradition of playing the United States national anthem before games, despite the Dallas Mavericks' decision not to.

ESPN reported on Tuesday that Mark Cuban, director and owner of the Mavs, had confirmed the team – who had not played the national anthem prior to any of their 13 pre-season or regular-season home games so far – would not resume the tradition.

Cuban declined to comment further but made the decision after consulting with NBA commissioner Adam Silver.

However, on Wednesday, the NBA issued a statement insisting teams will play the anthem before each home game.

"With NBA teams now in the process of welcoming fans back into their arenas, all teams will play the national anthem in keeping with longstanding league policy," a statement from NBA chief communications officer Mike Bass read.

The NBA's rulebook requires players to stand during the national anthem though it is not a policy which has been enforced by Silver, with players often choosing to take a knee during the anthem to protest social and racial injustice – something which Cuban has previously backed.

Kyrie Irving accepts the Brooklyn Nets "look very average" but insisted the rest of the NBA will be on notice when the team finally starts to click. 

The Nets have assembled a star-studded cast with James Harden arriving last month to form an exciting 'Big 3' alongside Irving and Kevin Durant. 

But since Harden's heralded arrival, the Nets have gone 7-6. Tuesday's disappointing 122-111 loss to the Detroit Pistons was their third in a row and they have a 14-12 record for the season, comfortably behind Eastern Conference rivals the Philadelphia 76ers (18-7) and the Milwaukee Bucks (16-8). 

Defense has been a particular concern for the inconsistent Nets, a fact highlighted by the Pistons shooting 56 per cent from the field and 44.8 per cent from the beyond the arc. 

Irving knows the Nets, who were without Durant against the Pistons, are not living up to expectations but remains confident they will get it right as the season progresses.

"I don't think that we go out every single day and sacrifice the time to be average at anything," Irving told reporters.  

"We look very average, we have the talent that the eye test presents that we should be dominating. We have the experience in terms of some of our guys have been some through certain things, circumstances to be able to battle through. 

"We're the team that is literally battling against so many odds that at this point it's not even a reason to continue to comment on. They are what they are.  

"As a warrior that I am and the energy I have alongside my team-mates, we just have to turn that corner. We haven't done it yet but we will and I'm telling you the league is going to be on notice when that happens. We just have to take it by day by day."

The Nets have lost four of their past five outings, with three of those setbacks coming against teams who have losing records. 

Irving acknowledges the Nets need to address the perception the team is not playing hard enough. 

"I don't accept that, and I don't think our team accepts it as a whole, obviously we don't want that to be what teams think of us," he added.  

"We're seeing it day in, day out where guys and teams are coming out and punching us in the mouth early and we're playing catch up. 

"It happens to be against the guys with the least good records. We gotta call it for what it is, we gotta fix that. It takes maturity, accountability and a realisation of what we need to do moving forward." 

Irving missed the previous loss to the Philadelphia 76ers due to an injury to his right index finger – an issue that is still troubling him. 

"It sucks man," he said. "It's uncomfortable but at the same time I don't want to make excuses. 

"I'm out there, I do a lot of treatment on it, we're down a few players obviously as well. You just want to go out there and compete and worry about the pain later. I'm doing the best I can."

Stephen Curry dazzled once again as he scored 32 points for the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday, leading Steve Kerr to declare: "I don't think I've ever seen him look better". 

Having missed the majority of the previous season due to injury, Curry has been outstanding upon his return. The guard is averaging 29.6 points per game despite playing restricted minutes following his long lay-off.  

The San Antonio Spurs were the latest team unable to stop the two-time NBA MVP, who produced one particularly memorable play in the first quarter of his team's 114-91 triumph on the road.  

Curry was fouled on a drive but, with his back to the basket, managed to flip the ball on target at the last moment, having appeared set at one moment to throw a pass out to a waiting team-mate.  

For Golden State coach Kerr, it was another example of how the 32-year-old makes the seemingly impossible look easy. 

"I think that's part of Steph's brilliance is that he just constantly amazes you to the point where you almost take it for granted," Kerr said after the win over the Spurs.   

"I do think, and maybe it's circumstantial given the injuries and the fact that he's playing with a different group of guys, that this is the best I've ever seen him just from a confidence and a strength standpoint.  

"That's saying something, obviously - a two-time MVP. I don't think I've ever seen him look better." 

Draymond Green compared Curry's miracle shot to one produced by the great Michael Jordan, though the scorer himself insisted it was simply a case of reacting to the situation, having realised he had drawn the foul.  

"It was a fun one," Curry said after the game. "I don't know the ranking, but it was up there, for sure.   

"I had to improvise. I don't really even know how to explain it: I just had a good flow once I got the contact and heard the whistle. Just get it up on the glass however you can. All the wild and acrobatic shots you practice or tried, the instincts take over, so that was pretty cool."  

Curry's performance - he went 11-for-20 shooting from the floor - helped put an end to the Spurs' three-game winning streak, while the Warriors improve to 13-12 on the season.  

The result also saw Kerr reach a significant landmark in his coaching career, with this his 350th win. 

"I worked my butt off over the offseason," Curry said. "I'm just happy to be playing. I feel strong. I feel in rhythm, in ultimate control of my game. Shots are falling.   

"It all comes not only with my own confidence, but growing confidence in my team."

The Los Angeles Clippers will be without Paul George for their upcoming two-game road trip due to injury.

Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue confirmed George's absence for games against the Minnesota Timberwolves and Chicago Bills as the NBA All-Star deals with a swollen right toe.

George has been sidelined for the Clippers' past two games.

"Staying back home and getting some treatment," Lue said of George on Tuesday. "And we'll re-evaluate when we get back."

The Clippers face the Timberwolves on Wednesday before visiting the Bulls on Friday.

George is averaging 24.4 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game for the Clippers this season.

The Clippers (17-8) are third in the Western Conference, behind leaders the Utah Jazz (19-5) and defending champions the Los Angeles Lakers (19-6), following back-to-back losses.

LaMelo Ball is "fearless" and his shooting is only going to improve after the rookie starred in the Charlotte Hornets' 119-94 triumph over the Houston Rockets, says head coach James Borrego.

The 19-year-old had a game-high 24 points to go alongside 10 assists and a career-high seven three-pointers in Monday's contest.

Consequently, Ball joined Stephen Curry (2010) and Jason Kidd (1995) as the only rookies with seven-plus threes and 10-plus assists in a game and is the youngest to do so.

Borrego initially had concerns over Ball's shooting style, given the way his release point is at his chest not above his shoulders, but those fears were allayed by a trip to watch him at a workout in Los Angeles.

"When we went there, there was just a confidence about him and his shot," Borrego said. 

"As I sat there with [Hornets GM] Mitch [Kupchak] I looked over and said 'he's going to be fine'. The kid is confident and believes it is going in. And that is at least half the battle.

"Whether he's at the line or two feet behind the line, it's almost effortless.

"[LaMelo] oozes confidence. He's going to continue that. He's fearless. He's going to continue to shoot it. 

"He's got great confidence in [his shot] and he's going to keep getting reps and better shots as he goes. It's a great weapon to have and it sets up a lot of his game with the way he can get to the rim."

Ball himself added on his shooting style: "I stick with it. I say, 'this is how I shoot'.

"I'm confident in it and I feel good letting it go. I came here and they tried to adjust it a little, but I'm like, 'Ah, this is how I shoot'."

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