Devin Booker top scored with 38 points as the table-topping Phoenix Suns withstood the Chicago Bulls' late charge to win 127-124 on Monday.

Booker shot 14 of 23 from the field including five three-pointers with four rebounds and five assists, while veteran guard Chris Paul contributed 19 points and 11 assists.

The Suns guard reached 30 points for the third time in the past four games as Phoenix won their 13th game from their past 14.

The Bulls charged into contention with a 41-25 fourth-quarter run after the Suns had led by 27 points in the third.

DeMar DeRozan top scored for Chicago with 38 points along with five rebounds and four assists and Zach LaVine returned from injury with 32 points, with six rebounds and eight assists.

 

Clutch Klay leads Warriors past OKC

Klay Thompson top scored for the Golden State Warriors with 21 points including some clutch three-pointers and Stephen Curry had a near triple-double with 18 points, nine rebounds and 10 assists in a 110-98 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Donovan Mitchell scored 32 points with seven rebounds, six assists and four steals as the Utah Jazz won 113-104 over the New York Knicks, while seven Miami Heat players scored double figures in a 121-100 win over the Washington Wizards.

 

New All-Star Ball struggles

On the same day he received his debut All-Star call, LaMelo Ball struggled as the Charlotte Hornets went down 116-101 to the Toronto Raptors. Ball shot five-of-19 from the field and one-of-six from beyond the arc for his 15 points, while he also had seven turnovers.

Opinions on this 2021-22 NBA season are being firmly formed as we enter February.

Last month saw the All-Star starters announced, while the MVP race hotted up – or cooled down, with several early contenders struggling with form and fitness.

But who really lit up the league in January? And whose bright end to 2021 did not carry over into the new year?

Stats Perform's NBA Heat Check looks at the best and worst performers of the month...

RUNNING HOT...

RJ Barrett

Now in his third year with the New York Knicks, Barrett's has been a season of peaks and troughs. In the month of November, he averaged 12.8 points per game; in January, that mark was a mightily impressive 21.8.

Such inconsistency leaves the guard just below last year's average of 17.6 at 17.3, but he is now a man in form, scoring double-figures in 17 straight games – including all 15 in January.

Barrett's 31 points against the San Antonio Spurs on January 10 were followed by 32 against the Dallas Mavericks on January 12 in consecutive wins, before the Knicks traded for Cam Reddish, his old Duke team-mate, the next day. As stretches go, this was a good one.

Reddish is yet to find his feet in New York but at least finds a familiar face full of confidence in the locker room.

Kyle Kuzma

January finished with the Washington Wizards on a five-game losing streak that was extended to six on Tuesday, but it was a month of progress for Kuzma.

Comparing output for the past month to the rest of the season, Kuzma ranked second in the league for an increase in both scoring (up from 13.4 to 22.5) and rebounding (up from 8.0 to 11.1).

While this form is clearly not doing enough to get the Wizards' year back on track, it is at least providing the Los Angeles Lakers with a reminder of what they gave up in a trade for Russell Westbrook.

Kuzma was one of three players, along with a first-round pick, sent to Washington in exchange for Westbrook, who has again flattered to deceive and appears to be back on the market with the Lakers toiling at 24-27.

Anfernee Simons

One place behind the Lakers in the West, the Portland Trail Blazers are similarly out of sorts, with Damian Lillard falling below his usual standards and the rest of the team struggling to pick up the slack.

The Blazers have still had some breakout stars, however, with Simons the most obvious of those in year four after a dazzling January.

Already averaging double-figures at 11.9 heading into 2022 – something he had failed to do in his previous three campaigns – Simons was the most improved scorer last month, scoring 23.1 points across 15 games. He made 4.5 three-pointers per game over that period, also a league-leading improvement on his prior 2.0.

Third-year forward Nassir Little (13.1 points and 2.1 threes in January) ranked seventh and fifth by those metrics, only to sustain a season-ending labrum tear – a setback that just about summed up Portland's season.

GOING COLD...

Stephen Curry

Curry's 26.0 points per game this year are up on two of his three title-winning campaigns with the Golden State Warriors but significantly down on last year's 32.0 – enough to win the scoring title – and falling rapidly from his early-season standards.

The two-time MVP made a hot start with 28.7 points in October and was still operating at 27.7 come the end of 2021. In January, however, he scored only 22.3 points – the biggest drop in the NBA.

Curry also led an unwanted chart in seeing his 5.4 made threes per game decrease massively to 3.5, a career 42.9 per cent three-point shooter and 47.3 per cent field-goal shooter slumping to 32.9 per cent and 38.5 per cent.

Such is the depth of talent on the Warriors' roster – in Kevon Looney and Jonathan Kuminga, they had two of January's three most-improved rebounders – they have been able to ride out Curry's rough patch. However, Jordan Poole had also been struggling to maintain his high standards (fifth for scoring decrease in January), though a 31-point effort in Tuesday's win over the Spurs hinted at a return to form.

Giannis Antetokounmpo drove the Milwaukee Bucks home with a triple-double as they bounced back with a 112-98 victory over the Washington Wizards on Tuesday.

Antetokounmpo finished the game with 33 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists, including 13 points in the fourth quarter as the Bucks closed it out on a 17-4 run. The Greek forward was scoreless in the first quarter.

The Wizards, missing Bradley Beal to a wrist injury, had rallied from a 17-point deficit to be within contention in the final period but the reigning champions pulled away.

The Bucks had lost 136-100 to the Denver Nuggets in their last game and Antetokounmpo was delighted to put that behind them as they improved to 32-21.

Jrue Holiday provided good support with 22 points, five rebounds and two assists and Khris Middleton caught fire late to add 13 points and five rebounds.

 

Warriors win without All-Stars

The Golden State Warriors put aside the absence of All-Stars Stephen Curry, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson as they beat the San Antonio Spurs 124-120. Jordan Poole starred with 31 points, six rebounds and five assists as Golden State won after a 35-16 fourth quarter rally.

The Chicago Bulls reinforced top spot in the east with a 126-115 victory over the Orlando Magic led by DeMar DeRozan with 29 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, while Zach LaVine chipped in with 26 points.

Karl-Anthony Towns (24 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists) got the better of Nikola Jokic (21 points, 16 rebounds, eight assists)) as the Minnesota Timberwolves won 130-115 over the Denver Nuggets.

 

Harden shooting cools down

James Harden returned from a hand injury but went six-of-19 from the field and four turnovers as the Brooklyn Nets went down 121-111 to the streaking Phoenix Suns. Harden had 22 points and 10 assists while Kyrie Irving hit 26 points. Devin Booker scored 35 points while Chris Paul added 20 points with 14 assists.

Two-time MVP Stephen Curry will join a long list of players on the sidelines and miss the Golden State Warriors' clash with the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday due to left toe soreness.

Curry, along with Andrew Wiggins (knee soreness), Klay Thompson (rest), Otto Porter Jr. (foot), and Nemanja Bjelica (back spasms) will all be unavailable for the game, leaving the 38-13 Warriors short-handed.

Andre Iguodala (hip) and Draymond Green (back) are also unavailable at the moment for Golden State.

Curry dropped 40 points with five rebounds and nine assists in Monday's 122-108 win over the Houston Rockets.

The Warriors listed Curry as out for Tuesday's game, amid a busy season having played 47 games with 34.8 minutes per game, averaging 26.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 6.3 assists.

Golden State provided a positive injury update on All-Star Green who has not played since January 10.

"Draymond Green, who has been sidelined for the last 12 games due to a lower back/disc injury, was recently re-examined," the Warriors said. "This indicated that Green is making steps in a positive direction and the injury is improving. He will be re-evaluated again prior to the All-Star break."

Stephen Curry insists he is the first person to judge how well he played after he put a frustrating January behind him in style on Monday.

Curry had 40 points, five rebounds and nine assists as the Golden State Warriors beat the Houston Rockets 122-108 to claim a sixth straight victory.

Of Curry's points haul, which included seven three-pointers, 21 came in the fourth quarter, the highest total of his career in the final period of a game.

He has now scored 20+ points in a quarter on 37 occasions across his NBA career, surpassing a milestone set by Kobe Bryant for the most of any player in the league since the 1996-97 season.

Curry has now scored 40 points or more six times this season. However, his display in Houston bucked the trend of what had been a poor month.

Prior to Monday's game, Curry had managed to score 30 points just once since the turn of the year.

While Curry acknowledged he has not been at his best, he suggested he also comes in for more criticism due to the high standards he has previously set.

"It's the gift and the curse of the bar that you've set," he told reporters.

"You get all the praise when things are going well and obviously it's something to talk about when I don't meet that level.

"It's not so much the commentary, because when I walk off the court I'm the first one to judge the way that I played.

"I understand when I don't meet that level and try to deal with the frustration when that happens over a consistent period of time."

Yet Curry showed no signs of frustration against the Rockets, turning in a scintillating display as the Warriors clocked up a 38th win of the season.

"You always feel like the next shot is going to start that vibe," he said.

"It's no secret how I've been shooting the ball recently, but the confidence is always there and it only takes one to ignite a night like that."

Curry reeled off five points in quick succession in the fourth quarter to nudge the Warriors clear of Houston, who had moved to within four points.

"We've seen Steph do that a million times," said Warriors coach Steve Kerr.

"It was bound to happen even though it's been a couple of weeks or whatever. Not surprising but fun to see him shake free and have a game like he did."

The Golden State Warriors won a sixth straight game as Stephen Curry returned to form with a 40-point haul in Texas.

Golden State saw off the Houston Rockets 122-108 on Monday, with Curry finishing with 40 points, 21 of which came in the final quarter.

It marked the end of a below-par month for Curry, who had previously had over 30 points on just one occasion since the turn of the year.

Curry has now scored 40 points or more in six games this season. He made seven three-pointers to go along with nine assists and five rebounds.

He has scored 20 points or more in a quarter 37 times in his career, surpassing the late Kobe Bryant for the most by any NBA player since at least 1996-97.

Andrew Wiggins added 23 points for Golden State, while Kevon Looney had 14 rebounds.

Christian Wood offered some resistance for the Rockets with a double-double, but Houston are without a win at home in 11 games.

Sixers do the businesses without Embiid

With Joel Embiid rested, the Philadelphia 76ers nevertheless clinched a fifth straight win as Andre Drummond, Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris stepped up against the Memphis Grizzlies.

All-Star Ja Morant had 37 points for Memphis, but it was Maxey (33 points) who snatched a 122-119 victory in overtime with a driving layup.

Drummond had 16 points but amassed a huge 23 rebounds, while Harris also had 31 points, with Desmond Bane's career-high 34 in vain for the Grizzlies.

Heat lose their flame

The Miami Heat lost a second straight game and gave up their place at the top of the Eastern Conference after a 122-92 defeat to the Boston Celtics.

Jaylen Brown led Boston with 29 points, as the Celtics moved to 27-25 for the season after a fourth successive win.

The Cleveland Cavaliers posted a fifth straight home win as they overcame the New Orleans Pelicans 93-90, while Isaiah Jackson had a double-double for the Indiana Pacers in a 122-116 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr is not worried about Stephen Curry's recent shooting slump after another "tough night" in Saturday's 110-106 win over the Brooklyn Nets.

Curry made 14 of his 19 points in the final quarter, shooting five-of-18 for the game including three-of-10 from beyond the arc, as the Warriors edged past the Nets minus James Harden (hand) and Kevin Durant (knee).

The two-time MVP's struggles continued a below-par recent run, shooting at 35 percent from the field and 29 percent from beyond the arc in his past five games. Curry has shot at 42 percent from the field and 38 percent from three-point range across this season.

"It's a question I'll keep getting if he's not shooting the ball well, but I'm not worried about him," Kerr said at the post-game news conference.

"I'm not. He's Steph Curry, one of the great players of all time. He's had a tough night tonight but he helps us win routinely and does so much beyond just making shots. It'll come round for him."

Curry has previously been impacted by a hand injury and appeared to favour that at times on Saturday but Kerr insisted it was not currently an issue or reason for his slump.

"He's told me he feels great physically," Kerr said. "We've talked a lot about the schedule and the minutes.

"I'm really aware of what needs to happen in terms of monitoring his minute and when we can push him harder and when we can't. I think he's in a good place physically. He's going to be fine."

Curry became the Warriors' all-time career leader in games after surpassing Chris Mullin's mark of 808 appearances on Saturday.

The 33-year-old point guard broke the NBA's all-time record for most three-pointers made earlier this season while he also holds several single-season team milestones too, but Kerr praised Curry's loyalty, having been with the Warriors since being pick seven in the 2009 NBA Draft.

“I love that particular record just because it signifies his loyalty to the franchise and vice-versa,” Kerr said pre-game.

“The love affair that exists between Steph and The Bay is pretty unique.”

First-time All-Star Andrew Wiggins kept the Warriors going in the first half with 17 points, finishing with a team-high 24 points along with eight rebounds, three steals and two blocks.

"Andrew was phenomenal tonight. [Two] blocks and three steals," Kerr said. "[He was] All over the place defensively and on offense he was our most consistent player.

"He carried us in the first half. He’s playing with a lot of confidence and showing why he's an All-Star."

Meanwhile, Nets head coach Steve Nash offered an update on Harden who missed the game with a hand strain.

"We'll have to see how it settles but we're hopeful [for next game]," Nash said.

Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson came to life in the final quarter as the Golden State Warriors edged the short-handed Brooklyn Nets 110-106 on Saturday.

Curry struggled with his shooting throughout, going five-of-18 from the field, but found his range late, scoring 14 of his 19 points in the final quarter to lead Golden State to victory despite Kyrie Irving's game-high 32 points for the Nets, who were without James Harden with a hand strain.

Thompson also had his issues shooting five-of-14 for the game, but scored nine fourth-quarter points including a clutch three-pointer to make it 107-103 with 12.1 seconds left.

Five-time All Star Thompson finished with 16 points, while Curry had 19 points, with seven rebounds and eight assists. First-time All-Star Andrew Wiggins led the Warriors' scoring with 24 points, including 17 in the first half.

Irving had seven rebounds and seven assists to go with his 32 points which included three triples, while Patty Mills hit six three-pointers in his 24 points.

The Warriors, who are 24-4 at home this season, improve to 37-13, while the Nets move to 29-20.

 

Embiid and Morant continue hot streaks

Joel Embiid led the Philadelphia 76ers' rally from a 17-point deficit as they won 103-101 over the Sacramento Kings. Embiid scored 25 or more points for the 17th consecutive game, finishing with 33 points, 12 rebounds and six assists, while Tyrese Haliburton had 38 points for the Kings.

First-time All-Star Ja Morant scored 34 points including four three-pointers as the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Washington Wizards 115-95, while Jayson Tatum starred with 38 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in the Boston Celtics' 107-97 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans.

Jimmy Butler had a triple-double with 37 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists but the Miami Heat went down in triple overtime 124-120 to the Toronto Raptors. Gary Trent Jr had 33 points for Toronto who had blown a 10-point three-quarter time lead.

Pacers battle as Doncic stars for Mavs

The Indiana Pacers' road struggles continued with their 20th loss in 26 games away from home, with Luka Doncic dominant as the Dallas Mavericks blew them out 132-105 with 30 points, six rebounds and 12 assists. 

Andrew Wiggins thought he was dreaming when he learned he had been selected to his first NBA All-Star Game as a starter for the Western Conference team.

Wiggins and Ja Morant earned their first call-ups when the starters were confirmed on Thursday, with LeBron James and Kevin Durant named as captains.

While Memphis Grizzlies guard Morant was widely expected to be picked, fellow first-time starter Wiggins was seen as a surprise selection by some.

It was clear how much the achievement meant to the Warriors forward as he spoke to reporters after the 124-115 win over his former team, the Minnesota Timberwolves, on Thursday.

Wiggins will join Warriors teammate Stephen Curry in representing the West when the annual midseason exhibition is held on February 20 in Cleveland.

"It was mind-blowing," Wiggins said about learning the news. 

"I was taking my pregame nap. My girl woke me up and said, 'You're a starter! You’re a starter!' – I thought I was dreaming for a second!

"It means a lot. I've been working hard in different situations and I found a home here, something that works. Hopefully I can keep it going and this is not the last one.

"There has been nothing but love [from my teammates]. As soon as I got here, in the game, this whole time, I'm sure when I go down the locker room, they will give me more love. So, it's a special feeling."

Wiggins had 19 points that included five three-pointers as the Warriors improved to 36-13 for the season and 23-4 at home by beating the Timberwolves.

They sit second in the Western Conference and Wiggins is their second-highest scorer this season with 18.1 points per game, only behind Curry (25.8).

Steve Kerr was delighted for his player, who has had to wait eight seasons for his first selection.

"One of the proudest moments just to see what Wiggs has done since he got here a couple of years go," said the Warriors coach.

"The journey he has travelled has been rocky at times, and to see how hard he's worked and to see all the work rewarded, just could not be happier for him.''

Curry had a team-high 29 points for the Warriors against Minnesota.

They have a huge game next at home to the Brooklyn Nets (26-19) on Saturday.

Klay Thompson warned that a full-strength Golden State Warriors are "going to be real scary" after he marked his return to form and fitness with a fine display on Thursday.

Thompson and Stephen Curry combined for 11 three-pointers as the Warriors strung together a fourth consecutive win with a 124-115 triumph over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

With 23 points, five rebounds and four assists to his name, it was a showing that suggested Thompson's injury woes were well behind him, with a combination of ACL and Achilles problems having sidelined him for two and a half years before his return earlier this month.

And with Andre Iguodala and Draymond Green among the players still waiting to come back into the side amid injury lay-offs, Thompson is excited to see what the Warriors can do when they have everyone available.

"I thought we were going to play like this my first game back. Maybe I was a little naive," he said.

"It's going to get better every night. And when our full squad is back, it's going to be real scary."

Curry finished with 29 points – including six triples – eight rebounds and six assists as the Warriors rallied from a three-point half-time deficit with a 38-20 third quarter to improve to 36-13, with the best home record (23-4) in the NBA.

Former Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins, on the same night he was named an All-Star for the first time, contributed 19 points, five rebounds and four assists.

Karl-Anthony Towns had 31 points, 12 rebounds and six assists and Anthony Edwards added 27 points with six rebounds and six assists.

Coach Steve Kerr took huge encouragement from a performance that hinted at what might be to come from his side in the remainder of the season.

"It's a really good indicator of what our team can look like with Klay back and everybody healthy, for the most part, in terms of our shooters," he said.

"With these last couple of games, the spacing that we've had and the ball movement, we've gotten great shots."

Curry, whose three-point shooting had come in for scrutiny after a notable drop-off, was pleased to see his self-belief pay off as he put on a show.

"Stay confident, keep taking shots I feel like I can make," Curry said of his approach in the wake of the criticism that had come his way.

"It's the balance of maintaining who I am on the court and how I enjoy the game even when things aren't going my way. That joy has to remain. Everybody feeds off of it. If I'm in my feelings and thinking about my shot, it takes away from everything else that we do.

"When a couple goes down early, it's a good feeling. You want to ride that energy, that wave."

Joel Embiid scored 26 points as the Philadelphia 76ers continued their hot form with a 105-87 win over the Los Angeles Lakers without LeBron James on Thursday.

James missed the game with left knee soreness but Anthony Davis, in his second game back after an MCL sprain, scored a game-high 31 points with 12 rebounds in his absence.

But the 76ers were too good, clinching their 13th win from their past 16 games, to improve to 29-19 and fifth in the Eastern Conference.

Embiid, matched up on Davis, was not at his best but still had 26 points with nine rebounds and seven assists. The 76ers center's haul marked 16 straight games with 25 or more points.

Tobias Harris scored 23 points for Philadelphia who were always in control, while second-season guard Tyrese Maxey contributed 14 points, seven rebounds and 10 assists.

 

Curry and Klay lead Warriors second-half rally

Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combined for 11 three-pointers as the Golden State Warriors clinched their fourth straight win, triumphing 124-115 over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Curry finished with 29 points including six triples, eight rebounds and six assists, while Thompson added 23 points, five rebounds and four assists as the Warriors rallied from a three-point half-time deficit with a 38-20 third quarter to improve to 36-13, with the best home record (23-4) in the NBA.

Former Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins, on the same night he was named an All-Star for the first time, contributed 19 points, five rebounds and four assists.

Karl-Anthony Towns had 31 points, 12 rebounds and six assists and Anthony Edwards added 27 points with six rebounds and six assists.

LeBron James and Kevin Durant will be the captains in this year's All-Star Game while Ja Morant and Andrew Wiggins got their first selections as the starters were confirmed on Thursday.

The NBA announced the starters for the annual midseason exhibition to be held on February 20 in Cleveland.

In the west, James was named for his 18th straight All-Star appearance in his 19th season alongside reigning MVP Nikola Jokic (fourth All-Star selection) and MVP contender Stephen Curry (eighth All-Star selection).

Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant and Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins were the two first-time All-Star starters, with the latter coming as the major surprise.

Four-time MVP James has made 18 All-Star teams, equaling Kobe Bryant for second place all-time behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (19).

Durant, who is under an injury cloud for the game, will lead the east side after finishing with more fan votes than anyone else in the conference.

The Nets superstar will be joined by Chicago Bulls guard DeMar DeRozan and Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young in the backcourt, with Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid and Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo.

The All-Star reserves will be selected by the coaches in both conferences and confirmed on Thursday.

After 13 years in the NBA, Stephen Curry finally knows the exhilaration of hitting a buzzer-beater.

He kicked out at a courtside chair in frustration at one point on Friday evening, but the two-time MVP saved a big shot for last, his stepback 20-footer giving the Golden State Warriors a 105-103 win over the Houston Rockets.

Curry, whose shooting from the field has fallen short of his usual high standard this season, finished the game with 22 points and 12 assists, with the wobbling Warriors bouncing back from a sorry 121-117 overtime defeat to a depleted Indiana Pacers the previous night.

In the Pacers game, Curry had scored 39 points, but against Houston he made just six of 21 shots from the field. Ultimately, it hardly mattered thanks to his last-ditch heroics.

"It's good to know what that feels like finally," Curry said of his special moment. "We know we dropped a ball last night, and for 30 minutes or so this game was all over the place.

"Throughout the course of the season you can go through different dry spells.

"We're second in the West, and we're fine. We obviously know we've got to play better if we're going to win a championship. But there are different ways to lose basketball games and last night didn't set well with any of us.

"We had a good talk in our pre-game meeting about what we needed to do. There's always that uneasiness of knowing what you've got to do and then going out and doing it and dealing with adversity in the game when you're trying to show up and trying to bounce back, and that's what tonight was."

 

Curry spoke of an improved mentality from the Pacers game.

"It reminds you to keep the big-picture perspective on what we're trying to do, realise what it takes to continue to try to win at this level," said 33-year-old Curry.

"I liked the way we fought. Everyone contributed down the stretch leading up to the shot to give us a chance. We needed it, obviously. We've got to try to build on it and bring some joy back."

Even as his radar appeared to be off, Curry never stopped going for his shots.

"The worst thing you could do is shy away from that next opportunity," he said.

"The fact I had a shot to win it was because everybody stayed locked in, stayed focused and competed. That's a great sign in terms of what we're trying to build on."

His field-goal shooting is down at 42 per cent this season, by far the lowest of any year in his career, bar 2019-20 when he played just five times. Curry's career average is 47.2 per cent, and he knows he can improve.

"Somebody told me my open shots were like six or seven per cent lower than they usually are. There's no reason other than you're just missing shots," Curry said. "I obsess over it, but I don't panic. If I did, I wouldn't be shooting as much as I am to try to get myself through it.

"I know I've got to shoot the ball better, and I want to shoot it better, and I'm going to shoot it better. Everything else I feel pretty good about.

"You want to be as efficient as possible, but you also want to win games, and whatever it takes to do that is the most important."

James Harden and Dejounte Murray both had triple-doubles as the Brooklyn Nets got past the San Antonio Spurs 117-102 on Friday.

Harden scored 37 points with 10 rebounds and 11 assists with Kevin Durant out with a sprained left MCL as the Nets rallied from a 51-50 half-time deficit to improve to 29-16.

Kyrie Irving contributed 24 points with three rebounds and four assists for the Nets, who are top of the Eastern Conference.

Harden's triple-double was the 66th of his career, moving him to eighth on the all-time list, while Murray – who had 25 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists – recorded his ninth triple-double of the season and 13th of his career.

 

LeBron leads Lakers past Magic

LeBron James led the Los Angeles Lakers' second-half response as they fought back from an eight-point half-time deficit to win 116-105 over the Orlando Magic. James finished with 29 points, seven rebounds and five assists, playing the second half at center, while Russell Westbrook contributed 18 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists.

The Milwaukee Bucks edged the Chicago Bulls 94-90 in an important game in the Eastern Conference standings. Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 30 points with 12 rebounds and three assists as the Bucks overcame Grayson Allen's ejection.

Reigning MVP Nikola Jokic recorded another triple-double with 26 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists but Ja Morant overshadowed him with 38 points as the Memphis Grizzlies won 122-118 over the Denver Nuggets, while Stephen Curry had 22 points including a game-winning buzzer beater in the Golden State Warriors' 105-103 win over the Houston Rockets.

 

Sixers fluff 24-point lead

The Philadelphia 76ers blew a 24-point lead to lose 102-101 to the Los Angeles Clippers despite Joel Embiid scoring 40 points with 13 rebounds. Reggie Jackson finishing with 19 points and nine assists for the Clippers.

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