Curry top scores as Warriors end Suns' winning streak, LeBron returns in Lakers defeat
The Golden State Warriors ended the Phoenix Suns' franchise-record 18-game winning streak with a 118-96 victory to re-claim top spot in the Western Conference on Friday.
Stephen Curry top scored for the Warriors with 23 points including six of 11 from three-point range, after managing only 12 points in the defeat to the Suns on Tuesday.
The defeat was Phoenix's first since October 27 against the Sacramento Kings, although they were without All-Star guard Devin Booker with a hamstring injury.
Curry had 15 points by half-time for the Warriors, who led by 27 points at one stage. Draymond Green was heroic in defense, with six blocks, three steals and nine defensive rebounds, while Gary Payton II scored 19 points off the bench.
The Suns had few winners, with Deandre Ayton scoring 23 points with six rebounds, while veteran Chris Paul had 12 points with eight assists.
LeBron returns but Lakers lose
LeBron James returned after briefly entering COVID-19 protocols but was held to only seven points in the first half before finishing with 23 points, 11 rebounds and six assists in the Los Angeles Lakers' 119-115 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. The Lakers are now 12-12 for the season.
Kevin Durant also managed a double-double with 30 points, 10 rebounds and six assists as the Brooklyn Nets made it six victories in seven games as they won 110-105 over the Minnesota Timberwolves, while Donovan Mitchell scored 34 points as the Utah Jazz defeated the Boston Celtics 137-130.
Joel Embiid had a double-double as the Philadelphia 76ers shut down the Atlanta Hawks late to win 98-96. Embiid had 28 points, 12 rebounds and four assists as the 76ers won the fourth quarter 20-9 to claim a come-from-behind victory.
Kyle Lowry scored 26 points including six three-pointers with nine assists as the Miami Heat beat the Indiana Pacers 113-104, while Darius Garland starred with 32 points, eight rebounds and 10 assists as the Cleveland Cavaliers won 116-101 over the Washington Wizards.
Doncic and George's shooting radar off
Luka Doncic's Dallas Mavericks were soundly beaten 107-91 by the New Orleans Pelicans with the Slovenian shooting none of six from beyond the arc, finishing 21 points and seven turnovers.
The Clippers may have won against the Lakers but Paul George's shooting was off, making zero of seven from three-point range, finishing the game with 19 points.