Paul George was thrilled to take to the court alongside Kawhi Leonard for the first time as the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Boston Celtics 107-104 in overtime.

After injuries to both players postponed their maiden outing together, the wait was ended in Wednesday's clash with the Celtics in LA.

George put up 25 points and eight assists, while Leonard finished with a 17-point haul that included a dazzling dunk over the towering Daniel Theis.

And George was full of praise for his fellow Spurs star.

"I mean, that's the Finals MVP, man," George said of Leonard. "He knows when it's time to take over.

"He's been there and he's won championships with multiple ball clubs, so he knows how to stomp and put that foot on opponents' neck and that's what you saw him do tonight.

"It was fun to see what this team can look like on the defensive end, and offensively it was fun to see how we can play off each other.

"The fact of the matter is we are going to have growing pains and I think the most positive thing is we understood that.

"Nobody was pointing fingers or dropping their heads in huddles ... at no point was this team ever dysfunctional."

For his part, Leonard recognises there is room for improvement as the duo bed in alongside each other, with game time the key.

"It's pretty much just finding each other's spots and knowing the plays," Leonard said.

"It's still tough. We are both kind of on a minute restriction, hard to get into a flow. But just knowing plays and each other's spots and the language on the defensive end [will help].

"Repetition is what we need right now."

Luka Doncic recorded a remarkable triple-double as the Dallas Mavericks demolished the Golden State Warriors 142-94 in the NBA.

Doncic showed no mercy with 35 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds in just 25 minutes of action on Wednesday.

The second-year guard had 22 points, five assists and five rebounds after the first quarter alone in Dallas midweek.

Doncic – who was coming off a 40-point triple-double on Monday – has an NBA-best seven triple-doubles through 14 games for the Mavs (9-5) this season.

The struggling Warriors (3-13) were led by Eric Paschall's 22 points on the road.

Kawhi Leonard and Paul George took to the court for the first time together as the Los Angeles Clippers outlasted the Boston Celtics 107-104 in overtime.

Injuries to both players postponed the star Clippers recruits from playing together, however, that changed on Wednesday.

George had 25 points and eight assists, while Leonard – back from injury – finished with 17 points in Los Angeles, while Jayson Tatum scored 30 points.

 

Giannis sparks Bucks

Giannis Antetokounmpo put up 33 points and 11 rebounds in the Milwaukee Bucks' 135-127 victory against the Atlanta Hawks. Eric Bledsoe had 28 of his own as the Bucks won their fifth consecutive game.

James Harden (27) and Russell Westbrook (25) combined for 52 points, while Clint Capela posted 12 points and 21 rebounds but the Houston Rockets still lost 105-95 to the Denver Nuggets.

Jarrett Allen's 22 points and 17 rebounds led the Brooklyn Nets past the Charlotte Hornets 101-91.

 

Spurs' slide continues

The San Antonio Spurs are in freefall. Gregg Popovich's team dropped their seventh straight game – a 138-132 loss to the Washington Wizards. It is San Antonio's worst streak since 1996-97.

 

Simmons shoots a three!

Yes, you read that right. Ben Simmons nailed his first three-pointer in the NBA. After 17 unsuccessful attempts, the Philadelphia 76ers guard ended his drought in the opening quarter of his team's 109-104 win over the New York Knicks.

Wednesday's results

Washington Wizards 138-132 San Antonio Spurs
Philadelphia 76ers 109-104 New York Knicks
Toronto Raptors 113-97 Orlando Magic
Milwaukee Bucks 135-127 Atlanta Hawks
Miami Heat 124-100 Cleveland Cavaliers
Brooklyn Nets 101-91 Charlotte Hornets
Dallas Mavericks 142-94 Golden State Warriors
Chicago Bulls 109-89 Detroit Pistons
Utah Jazz 103-95 Minnesota Timberwolves
Denver Nuggets 105-95 Houston Rockets
Los Angeles Clippers 107-104 Boston Celtics (OT)

 

Trail Blazers at Bucks

The Bucks (11-3) will back up when they welcome Carmelo Anthony and the Portland Trail Blazers (5-10) to Milwaukee on Thursday. Anthony made his debut last time out and will be looking to make more of an impact against the high-flying Bucks.

Luka Doncic stole the show in the NBA on Monday, while the Los Angeles Clippers edged to victory.

Doncic, 20, finished with a triple-double of 42 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds in the Dallas Mavericks' 117-110 win over the San Antonio Spurs.

The Slovenian became the second youngest player in NBA history to record a 40-point triple-double, with LeBron James the only other 20-year-old to manage the feat.

Kawhi Leonard was sidelined again with a knee injury as the Clippers overcame the Oklahoma City Thunder 90-88.

Paul George finished with 18 points, but it was Montrezl Harrell's 28 points and 12 rebounds off the bench that led the Clippers (9-5).

 

Harden, Westbrook guide Rockets to eighth straight win

James Harden had 36 points, six rebounds and five assists in the Houston Rockets' eighth straight win – a 132-108 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.

He got plenty of support from Russell Westbrook, who posted a triple-double of 28 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists.

Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Milwaukee Bucks past the Chicago Bulls 115-101 with 33 points and 10 rebounds.

 

Horrible Hornets

The Charlotte Hornets (6-8) were destroyed by the Toronto Raptors, blown out in a 132-96 defeat.

 

George hits key three

George stepped up when the Clippers needed him, sinking a go-ahead three-pointer with less than 30 seconds remaining.

Monday's results

New York Knicks 123-105 Cleveland Cavaliers
Indiana Pacers 115-86 Brooklyn Nets
Toronto Raptors 132-96 Charlotte Hornets
Milwaukee Bucks 115-101 Chicago Bulls
Houston Rockets 132-108 Portland Trail Blazers
Dallas Mavericks 117-110 San Antonio Spurs
Boston Celtics 99-85 Phoenix Suns
Minnesota Timberwolves 112-102 Utah Jazz
Los Angeles Clippers 90-88 Oklahoma City Thunder

 

Thunder at Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers are 11-2 and return to action against the Thunder (5-8), who will be out to rebound from their narrow loss to the Clippers.

Marcus Smart was absolutely convinced his buzzer-beating attempt had landed but felt the Boston Celtics paid the price for a slow start in their defeat to the Sacramento Kings.

The Celtics guard went to the hoop with a last-gasp effort that seemed destined to land but hit the rim and trickled to safety as Boston saw a 10-match winning streak in the NBA snapped in a 100-99 reverse.

It capped a difficult evening for Smart, who went two-for-16 from the floor and made just one of eight three-point attempts.

Speaking about the late near miss, he said: "I thought it was going in.

"I think everybody thought it was going in and it just rolled out. It's one of those games, but that's not what lost us the game. 

"What lost us the game was the early start for me and everybody else in that starting unit. We allowed those guys to get very, very comfortable, and as we know in this league, especially with great guys like those are over there, when they get comfortable it's kind of hard to get a stop to get going."

Prior to that moment, Smart opted to shoot with 15 seconds remaining, having earned an offensive rebound and missed.

"I came up with the offensive rebound, and instead of kicking it back out I lost track of time," he added. 

"I thought I had a quick layup, instead of kicking it out and letting them foul us and controlling the game. And then I got called for the foul. He made two big free throws and got the bounce on one of them to go in.

"And then Kemba [Walker] made a great play. They stopped him, my man turned around to help and he kicked it. I drove it, just like anybody else would do. The ball felt like it sat on the rim forever."

Coach Brad Stevens hopes his side can learn from the mistakes they made.

"There were a lot of controllables that we missed, but they had to also make some incredible shots," Stevens said. 

"So, I think it was a mixture of those two, and we'll get to work from a film standpoint on those controllables and hopefully be better in those scenarios tomorrow. 

"But also credit them. I thought a couple of those shots were awfully well contested and those go in and it makes a big difference."

Kemba Walker has claimed his will to win is the reason for his streak of tallying up crucial points in fourth quarters this season.

Walker came back on from the bench to score a sublime three-pointer as the Boston Celtics made it 10 successive wins in NBA with a 105-100 win over the Golden State Warriors.

The three-time All Star netted 20 points in total on Friday, with five rebounds and five assists, while he has a 49.1 per cent shot accuracy in fourth quarters and 53.6 per cent of his three-pointers have come in the final stage of games.

"I just want to win so bad, I just will those shots in a lot of the time," Walker told reporters when asked about his fourth-quarter form.

"I just want to win and when it's winning time, my competitive nature just increases in those kinds of situations.

"I make 500 [three-pointers] the night before the game. I trust in my work. That's it. And the reason I do that is because if I am having an off night, I know it's an off night, I know it's not because I'm not working.

"My first halves haven't really been too great. I just try my best to just stay positive, and just continue to shoot.

"Fourth quarter, it's just winning time."

The Celtics lead the way in the Eastern Conference with a 10-1 record this season.

LeBron James recorded a double-double as the Los Angeles Lakers continued their fine start to the NBA season with a 120-94 victory against the Golden State Warriors.

James starred in the absence of rested team-mate Anthony Davis, finishing with 23 points and 12 rebounds in 26 minutes of action on Wednesday.

JaVale McGee contributed 18 points and 17 rebounds, while Kyle Kuzma posted 22 points as the Lakers improved to 9-2 midweek.

D'Angelo Russell top scored for the lowly Warriors (2-10) with 21 points away to the Lakers in Los Angeles.

James Harden led the way with 47 points in the Houston Rockets' 102-93 win against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Harden shone as the Rockets extended their winning streak to five games at the expense of the Clippers.

Kawhi Leonard had 26 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists for the Clippers – who saw head coach Doc Rivers ejected during the closing stages in Houston.

 

Wiggins leads Timberwolves

Andrew Wiggins put up 30 points on 12-for-23 shooting as the Minnesota Timberwolves topped the struggling San Antonio Spurs 129-114. Karl-Anthony Towns added 28 points and 11 rebounds to condemn the Spurs to a third straight defeat.

Bradley Beal scored 44 points but the Washington Wizards still lost 140-133 to the in-form Boston Celtics, who have not lost since their season opener – a run of nine successive wins.

Nikola Vucevic registered 25 points as the Orlando Magic outscored the Philadelphia 76ers 32-15 in the final quarter to prevail 112-97.

Pascal Siakam (36) and Fred VanVleet (30) combined for 66 points as defending champions the Toronto Raptors outlasted the Portland Trail Blazers 114-106.

 

Rough night for Westbrook

Westbrook had 17 points and the Rockets won, but it was not a memorable outing for the Houston star. Westbrook was six of 20 from the field and two-for-seven shooting beyond the arc. He has gone six straight games without double digits for rebounds or assists.

 

Morant called game!

Ja Morant produced the game-winning layup with 0.7 seconds remaining to see the Memphis Grizzlies past the Charlotte Hornets 119-117. The rookie and South Carolina native finished with 23 points and 11 assists.

 

Wednesday's results

Orlando Magic 112-97 Philadelphia 76ers
Memphis Grizzlies 119-117 Charlotte Hornets
Boston Celtics 140-133 Washington Wizards
Minnesota Timberwolves 129-114 San Antonio Spurs
Houston Rockets 102-93 Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles Lakers 120-94 Golden State Warriors
Toronto Raptors 114-106 Portland Trail Blazers

 

Clippers at Pelicans

The Clippers travel to the New Orleans Pelicans for what is poised to be Paul George's debut for the Los Angeles franchise. George swapped the Oklahoma City Thunder to team up with Leonard at the Clippers but the All-Star has been recovering from shoulder surgery.

Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward is set to miss six weeks after undergoing surgery on his left hand.

Hayward, 29, fractured the fourth metacarpal in his left hand during the Celtics' 135-115 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday.

The Celtics confirmed the surgery on Monday and are set to be without Hayward until late December.

"Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward underwent successful surgery today to repair a fourth metacarpal fracture in his left hand," a Celtics statement read.

"The injury occurred during Saturday night's game against the San Antonio Spurs.

"He is expected to return to play in approximately six weeks."

Hayward is averaging 18.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists for the Celtics this season.

Kemba Walker says the Boston Celtics need other players to "step up" after Gordon Hayward suffered a broken hand on Saturday.

The in-form Hayward was hurt in a collision with LaMarcus Aldridge late in the first half of the Celtics' 135-115 victory over the San Antonio Spurs.

After the game, Boston coach Brad Stevens revealed a decision on whether Hayward requires an operation will be made on Sunday, adding: "It sounds like, should he decide that, the surgery option might actually be a better timeline. So we'll see how that all plays out."

Walker acknowledged the injury represented a blow for the 7-1 Celtics, who lead the Eastern Conference, but urged other players to take the opportunities that will now come their way.

"We're definitely going to miss him, but you know, we just need guys to step up," said Walker.

"Now it's our opportunity for other guys until he comes back and we just have to hold the fort down."

No timeline has yet been placed on the recovery of Hayward, who missed the entire 2017-18 season after suffering a horrific ankle injury in the Celtics' season opener.

"It's tough, man," added Walker. "Obviously he's been through a lot with his old injury, and now this."

Hayward had made an impressive start to the season, averaging 20.3 points, 7.9 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game prior to Saturday's contest.

The Boston Celtics extended their winning streak after beating the San Antonio Spurs 135-115, while the Golden State Warriors lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Boston made it seven successive victories since losing their NBA season opener by topping San Antonio away from home on Saturday.

Jaylen Brown posted 30 points for the Celtics (7-1), who lost star Gordon Hayward to a fracture in his left hand, while Kemba Walker added 26.

The slumping Spurs (5-4) were led by DeMar DeRozan and his 22 points on their home court.

In Oklahoma City, the Thunder trumped the struggling Warriors 114-108 thanks to Danilo Gallinari's 21 points.

D'Angelo Russell and his 30 points were not enough for the Warriors, who dropped to 2-8 for the season in the absence of injured stars Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.

 

Harden inspires Rockets

James Harden put up 42 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists as the Houston Rockets beat the Chicago Bulls 117-94. Harden fell just short of his first triple-double of the season.

Luka Doncic had 24 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists to lead the Dallas Mavericks past the Memphis Grizzlies 138-122. Doncic's performance came through three quarters after being rested for the final period.

 

Pelicans and Hornets combine for sloppy spectacle

The New Orleans Pelicans registered 26 turnovers, while the Charlotte Hornets turned the ball over on 22 occasions. New Orleans came away with a 115-110 win.

 

Harden lights up Chicago

'The Beard' had fun against the lowly Bulls, dishing off this stunning pass to Rockets team-mate Clint Capela.

 

Saturday's results

Boston Celtics 135-115 San Antonio Spurs
New Orleans Pelicans 115-110 Charlotte Hornets
Oklahoma City Thunder 114-108 Golden State Warriors
Houston Rockets 117-94 Chicago Bulls
Dallas Mavericks 138-122 Memphis Grizzlies

 

Raptors at Lakers

Defending champions the Toronto Raptors (6-2) will have their hands full when they face the in-form Los Angeles Lakers (7-1) at Staples Center on Sunday. LeBron James and the Lakers have won seven games on the bounce since losing to the Los Angeles Clippers on Opening Night.

Boston Celtics star Gordon Hayward fractured his hand against the San Antonio Spurs, the NBA team confirmed.

The Celtics diagnosed forward Hayward with a left hand fracture following an x-ray as Boston topped the Spurs 135-115 on Saturday.

Hayward hurt his hand in the second quarter after making contact with the Spurs' LaMarcus Aldridge in San Antonio.

The 2017 All-Star left the court and did not return for the remainder of the game away from home.

Hayward was averaging 20.3 points per game during Boston's 7-1 start to the season amid a seven-game winning streak.

It comes after Hayward suffered a devastating leg injury that cost him almost all of 2017-18.

After leaving the Utah Jazz for the Celtics on a four-year, $128million contract in 2017, Hayward sustained a fractured tibia and dislocated ankle in his left leg less than six minutes into his Boston debut.

Kemba Walker was "really emotional" after the reception he received on his return to Charlotte as the Boston Celtics extended their winning streak against the Hornets.

Playing in Charlotte for the first time since he left in the close season, Walker was given a warm reception from the crowd and was choked up when the team displayed a tribute video.

The three-time All-Star was below his best, scoring just 14 points, but the Celtics claimed a 108-87 victory to record their sixth straight win.

"It was special," Walker told reporters.

"Just to be back here, the amount of love I've been getting throughout this day, leading up to this day, the video just topped it off.

"It made me really emotional, I was trying to hold it in, but I couldn't, I knew I wasn't going to be able to.

"It was amazing, just a great feeling to know that they still have love for me even though I left. To be back and to get the reception I got was really cool."

Walker denied his below-par display had anything to do with the emotion of the night, adding: "I was just off, that's it. It's a part of the game.

"I just missed shots. I don't think the way I played had anything to do with the emotion or anything like that.

"My main focus was just to get a win and help in any way possible."

The 29-year-old revealed he did not catch up with Hornets owner Michael Jordan during his return, but said he remained close to the five-time MVP having spoken to him recently.

"MJ's always going to be a special guy in my life," Walker said.

"He's one of the reasons why I am who I am today. He gave me an opportunity to flourish as a basketball player, to grow as a man in this community.

"MJ's definitely going to have a special place in my heart, for sure."

The Boston Celtics extended their winning streak in the NBA as Kemba Walker returned to Charlotte on Thursday.

Playing in Charlotte for the first time since leaving the Hornets at the end of last season, Walker received a warm ovation before the Celtics' 108-87 victory.

The guard was below his best, finishing with 14 points on four-of-12 shooting, but the Celtics recorded their sixth straight win.

Gordon Hayward (20 points and 10 rebounds) and Jayson Tatum (23 points and nine rebounds) led the way for Boston.

With Kawhi Leonard back, the Los Angeles Clippers edged the Portland Trail Blazers 107-101.

Leonard contributed a double-double of 27 points and 13 rebounds.

 

Butler brilliant for Heat

Jimmy Butler delivered for the Miami Heat, scoring 34 points to go with five rebounds and four assists in a 124-108 win over the Phoenix Suns.

LaMarcus Aldridge starred with 39 points as the San Antonio Spurs overcame the Oklahoma City Thunder 121-112.

Woes for Hornets

Terry Rozier and P.J. Washington struggled for Charlotte. Rozier went one-for-11 and Washington one-for-eight as they combined for just seven points.

 

Walker honoured

The Hornets paid tribute to the returning Walker with a classy video.

Thursday's results

Boston Celtics 108-87 Charlotte Hornets
San Antonio Spurs 121-112 Oklahoma City Thunder
Miami Heat 124-108 Phoenix Suns
Los Angeles Clippers 107-101 Portland Trail Blazers

 

Heat at Lakers

Miami (6-2) and the Los Angeles Lakers (6-1) have made fine starts to the season and this shapes as an entertaining early-season contest at the Staples Center.

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