Giddey's Thunder combine well to halt NBA slide
Australian Josh Giddey has scored 18 points and added 13 assists and six rebounds to help the Oklahoma City Thunder defeat the Utah Jazz 129-103, snapping a five-game NBA losing streak.
The Thunder were without high-scoring All-Star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander for a fourth straight game due to health and safety protocols and an abdominal strain.
But Giddey and his teammates made up for it with balance in Friday night's home game as Aaron Wiggins top-scored with 27 points, Jalen Williams scored 20, Lu Dort 19 and Isaiah Joe 17.
Giddey had 10 points and nine assists in the first half as the Thunder made 13 3-pointers in that time to take a 67-52 lead at the break.
The youthful Thunder (28-34) sit 13th in the tightly-congested western conference, still eyeing a possible crack at the playoffs.
In Chicago, Devin Booker scored 35 points and matched his career high with six 3-pointers and Kevin Durant added 20 points in his second game with Phoenix as the Suns beat the Chicago Bulls 125-104.
Durant took just 10 shots but also had nine rebounds and six assists.
In Boston, Mikal Bridges scored 38 points as his Brooklyn Nets overcame a 28-point deficit to stun the high-flying Celtics 115-105.
Bridges arrived from the Suns in the mid-season trade that sent superstar Durant to Phoenix. Fellow traded Suns player Cam Johnson added 20 points for the Nets.
The Nets remained without Ben Simmons and coach Jaque Vaughan said the Australian began experiencing back soreness this week while increasing activity to strengthen the sore knee that has kept him sidelined since the All-Star break.
In Denver, Nikola Jokic posted his 25th triple-double of the season - 18 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists - to lead the Nuggets past Memphis Grizzlies 113-97 in a showdown of the top two teams in the western conference.
The Nuggets are 25-0 this season when Jokic has a triple-double. Michael Porter Jr. scored 26 points and Jamal Murray had 22 for the hosts while Ja Morant had 27 points and 10 assists for Memphis.
In Miami, Julius Randle scored 43 points, the last of them on a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1.7 seconds left as New York beat Miami 122-120 to extend their winning streak to eight games.
In Los Angeles, Rudy Gobert had 22 points and 14 rebounds and Anthony Edwards scored 19 points as Minnesota completed a two-game Los Angeles sweep with a 110-102 victory over the short-handed Lakers.
Anthony Davis scored 38 points for the Lakers, who lost for only the second time in six games and couldn't keep up without injured LeBron James and D'Angelo Russell.
In Atlanta, Dejounte Murray scored a career-high 41 points as Atlanta overcame Portland star Damian Lillard's 33-point night to give new coach Quin Snyder his first victory with the Hawks by 129-111.
In Sacramento, Domantas Sabonis made two free throws with seven seconds left to cap a near-triple double in Sacramento's 128-127 victory over Los Angeles.
Sabonis had 23 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists to help the Kings to a fifth straight win.