Giddey fires as Thunder down Jazz again in NBA
Josh Giddey has just missed out on a triple double as his Oklahoma City Thunder welcomed All-Star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander's return with a 129-119 NBA win over the Utah Jazz.
Gilgeous-Alexander led the way in Sunday's home match with 38 points and seven rebounds in his first game following a five-game absence due to injury and health and safety protocols.
Australian youngster Giddey played a big part with 24 points, nine rebounds and nine assists as the Thunder led all the way, while rookie Jalen Williams added a career-high 32 points on hot 12-of-15 shooting.
Blown out 130-103 by the Thunder on Friday, the Jazz played without All-Star Lauri Markkanen (lower-back strain) and made only two of their first 17 field-goal attempts.
In Washington, Australian veteran Joe Ingles had 14 points and three assists as NBA leaders Milwaukee Bucks (46-18)downed the Wizards 117-11.
Bucks spearhead Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 23 points, had a season-high 13 assists and grabbed 10 rebounds for his fourth-triple double of the season.
The Wizards (30-34) have agreed terms for NBL MVP Xavier Cooks to join them after the Australian completes the NBL championship series for the Sydney Kings against the Breakers.
In Dallas, Kevin Durant emerged victorious from a thrilling first clash with former teammate Kyrie Irving since the two superstars were traded by Brooklyn last month.
Durant scored 37 points, including the tie-breaking jumper with 11 seconds to go, to lift the Phoenix Suns to a 130-126 win over a Dallas Mavericks side led by Luka Doncic and Irving.
Doncic had 34 points for Dallas, but his point-blank shot for a tie rimmed out before he fouled Durant after the rebound with 3.5 seconds remaining.
After the play was over, Doncic and Suns star Devin Booker, who scored 36 points, ended up nose-to-nose and both were issued technical fouls before Durant hit two free throws to clinch the victory.
Irving scored 30 points exactly four years to the day since the last time he faced Durant, when his Boston Celtics blew out Durant and his Golden State Warriors 128-95.
Phoenix's win left the teams tied in the season series, with playoff seedings in the Western Conference wide open below top-seeded Denver.
Phoenix are 3-0 with Durant, while Dallas dropped to 3-6 since Irving joined the club.
In New York, Mikal Bridges scored 33 points in leading the Brooklyn Nets to a 102-86 win over Charlotte.
Again sitting out the game was Ben Simmons, who has been dealing with soreness in his knee and coach Jacque Vaughan said the Australian recently had an MRI that showed inflammation in his back.
"So, we'll see what that looks like, you know, kind of day by day, but that's what we're managing, along with trying to strengthen that knee," he said.
In Los Angeles, Anthony Davis scored 39 points, including 12 in the fourth quarter, and the Lakers held on for a 113-105 victory over Golden State despite Stephen Curry's 27 points in his return to the Warriors' lineup after 11 games out with a leg injury.
Curry was 3 of 11 from the field with eight points after three quarters but scored 19 in the final 12 minutes.