LeBron James was left helpless as the Utah Jazz destroyed the Los Angeles Lakers, 114-89, with the defending champions slipping to a fourth straight loss.

James was the game's top scorer with 19 points while six Jazz players hit double-figures, with Rudy Gobert and Jordan Clarkson dropping 18, and the NBA leaders raced away with this contest between two championship contenders.

Utah stormed to a 16-point half-time lead before restricting the Lakers to a season-low 17-point third quarter, and the hosts once again set the bar high from downtown, shooting 22 threes, including a franchise-high 14 in the first half.

The lifeless Lakers offered little resistance while slipping to their biggest loss of the season as the Western Conference leaders cruised to a 22nd win in 24 games.

The Jazz's league-leading 15-2 home record improves them to 26-6 overall.

With Anthony Davis joined by Dennis Schroder on the sidelines, Montrezl Harrell (16 points) and Markieff Morris (12 points) were the only other Lakers players to hit double-figures as their record fell to 22-11.

Gallinari writes Hawks and NBA history

Danilo Gallinari set an Atlanta Hawks franchise record of 10 three-pointers in the 127-112 win against the Boston Celtics.

The Italian veteran had the best shooting day of his career, burying 13 of his 16 attempts from the field, while putting up a personal-best 38 points. 

Siakam ineffective for Raps

Pascal Siakam was only able to put up five points from his 24 minutes on court in the Toronto Raptors' 116-108 defeat by the Miami Heat.

The Raps center landed one of six field-goal attempts, sinking one of his three from distance and adding a pair of free throws, before being benched in the fourth quarter.

 

Dort beats the clock and comes up clutch 

Luguentz Dort's three-point buzzer-beater earned the Oklahoma City Thunder a dramatic 102-99 win over the San Antonio Spurs, after a career-high 42 points from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

The Canadian becomes only the third player in franchise history to sink a game-winning three since the move to Oklahoma, joining Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

Wednesday's results

Atlanta Hawks 127-112 Boston Celtics
Golden State Warriors 111-107 Indiana Pacers
Cleveland Cavaliers 112-96 Houston Rockets
New Orleans Pelicans 128-118 Detroit Pistons
Oklahoma City Thunder 102-99 San Antonio Spurs
Miami Heat 116-108 Toronto Raptors
Chicago Bulls 133-126 Minnesota Timberwolves
Charlotte Hornets 124-121 Phoenix Suns
Utah Jazz 114-89 Los Angeles Lakers

 

Pelicans at Bucks

Giannis Antetokounmpo has led the Milwaukee Bucks (19-13) to third in the east and they host the Zion Williamson-inspired New Orleans Pelicans (14-17) on Thursday.

James Harden and Anthony Davis headline the reserves for next month's NBA All-Star Game in Atlanta.

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James and Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets will captain their respective sides – Team LeBron and Team Durant – in the 70th All-Star contest on March 7.

Nets guard and former MVP Harden has been named an All-Star for the ninth consecutive year as he headlines the Eastern Conference reserves, which also includes Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers), Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum (both Boston Celtics), Zach LaVine (Chicago Bulls), Julius Randle (New York Knicks) and Nikola Vucevic (Orlando Magic).

Brown, LaVine and Randle have earned All-Star selection for the first time in their careers.

Lakers star Davis is the pick of the Western Conference reserves, alongside 11-time All-Star Chris Paul of the Phoenix Suns.

Joining the pair as reserves from the west are Paul George (Los Angeles Clippers), Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert (both Utah Jazz), Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers) and Zion Williamson (New Orleans Pelicans) – who is a first-time All-Star.

The All-Star Game rosters will be determined through a March 4 draft, where James and Durant will select from the pool of players voted as starters and reserves in each conference.

The 10 All-Star Game starters were unveiled last week, with Durant, Kyrie Irving (Nets) two-time reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks), Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards) and Joel Embiid (76ers) in the Eastern Conference starter pool.

James, Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors), Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks), Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets) and Kawhi Leonard (Clippers) are in the Western Conference starter pool.

76ers head coach Doc Rivers will coach Team Durant, while Quin Snyder of the Jazz will coach Team LeBron.

The high-flying Brooklyn Nets made it six straight wins in the NBA with a 112-108 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.

Brooklyn were missing star Kevin Durant (hamstring) once again, but James Harden (37 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists) and Kyrie Irving (28 points and eight assists) stepped up in his absence.

The Nets held a 10-point lead at the final break but roared on by billionaire owner Steve Ballmer in the front row, the Clippers pushed hard in the last.

With the Nets leading 110-108 with 10 seconds to play, Clippers star Kawhi Leonard (29 points and 13 rebounds) was called for a tough offensive foul on former MVP Harden, spurning their final chance at victory.

The Nets have beaten all five Pacific Division teams on the road over their last 5 games. According to Stats Perform, Brooklyn are the first NBA team to beat an entire division on the road in consecutive games since the Milwaukee Bucks did so against the Pacific Division over their last five games of the 1972-73 season.

Brooklyn wrapped up a 5-0 road trip – their longest undefeated single trip in franchise history.

The Nets improved to 20-12 in the Eastern Conference – a half-game adrift of leaders the Philadelphia 76ers, while the Clippers slipped to 22-10.

Zion Williamson revelled in the New Orleans Pelicans' rallying win over the Boston Celtics after the team completed their largest comeback in franchise history.

The Pelicans looked down and out against the Celtics but overturned a 24-point deficit to stun the visitors 120-115 in overtime in the NBA on Sunday.

Boston led 79-55 in the middle of the third quarter before Williamson, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart (17 points, 10 rebounds, three blocks and a steal) got to work in New Orleans.

Ingram – who posted 33 points – nailed the go-ahead three-pointer with 33.3 seconds remaining in OT, while former number one draft pick Williamson scored 24 of his 28 points following half-time.

"I think it was about the will to want to win," said Williamson, who also recorded 10 rebounds, four assists and a block for the Pelicans.

"We just wanted to win. We didn't want to get blown out in our gym. We fought. We played hard. It didn't look smooth at first, but we figured it out and came up with a W."

"It was a big win for us because we stayed true to who we were," Williamson continued. "We rallied back. Everybody – coaches, players, ballboys – everybody was just engaged and we needed all that energy, and we pulled through."

Ingram added: "I think we can take away that we're really, really good when we stay together."

The Pelicans (13-17) narrowly avoided losing for the sixth time in seven games, and head coach Stan Van Gundy praised his team.

"I think the real lesson of this game for us is we beat a really good team," Van Gundy said. "We were far from perfect.

"There were a lot of things we didn't do well. But we kept fighting. Nobody dropped their heads. We were resilient. We came away with a win."

Joel Embiid's return fuelled the Philadelphia 76ers' to a drought-ending 118-113 win over the Houston Rockets in the NBA on Wednesday.

Embiid had scored 35 points in back-to-back games before back tightness caused him to miss Monday's defeat to the high-flying Utah Jazz – a third straight loss – but the three-time All Star came back in style.

The star center claimed a 31-point, 11-rebound double-double, adding nine assists, as the 76ers dug deep against the Rockets to condemn Houston to a seventh defeat in a row midweek.

Philadelphia's win improved the 76ers to 19-10 atop of the Eastern Conference, while Western Conference leaders the Jazz extended their winning run to nine games with a 114-96 triumph against the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Jazz have won 20 of their past 21 games to set the pace in the NBA this season.

Elsewhere, the Portland Trail Blazers made it a 3-0 road trip with a 126-124 win against the New Orleans Pelicans as Damian Lillard scorched to 43 points and 16 assists after dropping the winning three-pointer in the final seconds.

Pelicans star Zion Williamson hit back with a career-high 36 points for the hosts, but Portland snatched a sixth consecutive win.

Lonzo Ball felt blocking out trade talk had proven key as he responded to recent speculation in style against the Milwaukee Bucks.

The New Orleans Pelicans earned an impressive 131-126 win against the Bucks on Friday.

Ball came to the fore with a season-high 27 points which included seven three-pointers – tied for his career high – and eight assists.

Eric Bledsoe (25 points) also scored seven three-pointers while center Steven Adams had 20 rebounds.

Per Stats Perform data, the Pelicans became the first NBA team ever to have two players with at least seven three-pointers and another with 20 or more rebounds.

New Orleans matched a franchise record with 21 threes in the game, with Ball the leading light as the Pelicans followed up their win over the Washington Wizards with another fine outing.

Ball, who has had a tough start to the 2020-21 season and was regularly a subject of trade talk when with the Los Angeles Lakers, insisted he had blocked out distractions.

Asked if he had any extra motivation amid the speculation, he replied: "I just stay the course.

"I've been playing basketball for a long time. I put a lot of work in and just try to play my game. That's how I play.

"I just try to stay away from all the noise and just go out there and try to help my team win games."

Zion Williamson, who just missed out on a triple-double with 21 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, was impressed by Ball as the Pelicans moved to 7-10 ahead of Saturday's game with the Houston Rockets.

"We love to see it," said former number one overall pick Williamson.

"When he shoots the ball like that with confidence, even if he misses it, just him shooting it with the confidence it's going in, that's what we want Zo to do. He hit seven and they were all big for us."

The Bucks were beaten despite 38 points from two-time league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and 22 from Jrue Holiday against his former team.

They still sit third in the Eastern Conference but are 4-5 on the road.

Zion Williamson needs to "get in shape" if he is to fulfil his potential in the NBA, according to Hall of Famer Karl Malone.

New Orleans selected Williamson with the first overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft but a meniscus tear in preseason and a season shortened by the coronavirus pandemic meant he played just 24 games in his rookie campaign.

The Duke product is up to 36 games – still less than half the standard season – but former power forward Malone, a two-time MVP who had All-NBA First Team honours on 11 occasions, thinks he need to improve his physique if he is to maximise his abilities.

Williamson is listed at six foot, seven inches and 284 pounds, with Malone pointing to Glen 'Big Baby' Davis as an example of someone who did not live up to their billing due to their size – Davis was 6ft 9in and played at 289 pounds.

"I love Zion Williamson. Zion needs to get into shape. If he doesn't get in shape, we might not ever know his full potential," Malone said on The Players' Tribune's Knuckleheads podcast.

"There's a young man that played at LSU, 'Big Baby' Davis. Big Baby made a comment about eight months ago, he did an ESPN show … he came on that show and he said, 'Look guys, I'm about to get into trouble now with what I'm about to say. I know everybody loves Zion and I love him too. But Zion has the same body type that I had.'

"He was talking about himself. And he said if he doesn't get into shape, we'll never know his full potential. And he did get heat from that."

Williamson had 32 points with five rebounds and three assists as the Pelicans suffered a 118-102 defeat to the Utah Jazz on Tuesday, New Orleans losing for the sixth time in seven games to slip to 5-8 for the season.

This season the 20-year-old is averaging 23.4 points and 8.0 rebounds in 32.6 minutes per game. That ranks him 44th in minutes per game, with his usage percentage of 29.1 enough for 39th in the league.

However, he leads in the league in contested three-points shots per game at 5.9.

Malone added: "I'm still waiting on him to play the whole damn season… and he needs to be averaging 40 minutes per game. Look here, you're a 21, 22-year-old kid. Your a** shouldn't get tired."

New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson will miss the Los Angeles Clippers matchup due to the NBA's health and safety protocols amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Pelicans announced Williamson's absence prior to Wednesday's tip-off against the Clippers in Los Angeles.

New Orleans were already set to be without Lonzo Ball (knee) and Eric Bledsoe (eye) for the Clippers showdown as they try to arrest a three-game slump.

Williamson – the number one draft pick in 2019 – has been averaging 21.9 points and 8.1 rebounds per game for the Pelicans (4-5) this season.

It comes after the NBA postponed Wednesday's Atlanta Hawks-Phoenix Suns game due to league rules on health and safety protocols.

The scheduled midweek contests between the Utah Jazz-Washington Wizards and Orlando Magic-Boston Celtics were also postponed amid the growing impact of COVID-19 on the NBA season.

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