Aussie Green has career-best game in NBA

A career-best night from Australian Josh Green was not enough to save the Dallas Mavericks from a tight 98-97 NBA loss to the Denver Nuggets.

Green (23 points) started from the bench and outscored each of his teammates by missing only one of seven attempts from deep, two of which came from the corner.

The 22-year-old's Sunday total of six three pointers was more than he made in his entire rookie season and twice as many as in any previous game.

Green comfortably eclipsed his previous personal best of 18 points and while the Mavericks outscored their rivals by 13 points with him on the floor, the masterclass could not seal a Dallas win.

MVP candidate Luka Doncic had the chance to secure victory with a deep three in the final three seconds but his shot bounced off the rim and the Nuggets held on.

Elsewhere, Ben Simmons and Kyrie Irving returned to the starting five as the Brooklyn Nets defeated the undermanned Memphis Grizzlies 127-115.

The Grizzlies led to halftime even without injured marquee man Ja Morant but could not keep pace with the Nets as they rallied late.

Controversial guard Irving came back from an eight-game suspension - incurred for posting a link to an anti-Semitic film on social media - and scored 14 points on a minutes restriction.

Irving sunk his first attempt, from deep, but missed his other four in 13 first-half minutes.

"Felt good, felt good," Irving said of his return to the floor.

"Just missed my teammates, missed the coaching staff."

After impressing off the bench as a back-up centre under new coach Jacque Vaughn, Simmons beat Day'Ron Sharpe and Markieff Morris to start in place of Nic Claxton, who withdrew due to personal reasons.

Simmons' well-documented shooting woes appear a thing of the past. The 26-year-old shot 11 of 13 from the field to finish with 22 points, more than he has scored in a game since February 2021.

Simmons has now scored more points in his past three games than in his first nine of the season, his dunk from a Joe Harris pass against Memphis at short odds to make the Australian's end-of-season highlights reel.

"I know what I can do. I know what I'm capable of. I'm not surprised," Simmons said post-match.

Kevin Durant top-scored for Brooklyn with 26 and Yuta Watanabe stood up against his former side, sinking four threes in the last quarter as the Nets ran away with the contest.

Brooklyn's first win from its last eight games against the Grizzlies will serve as ideal preparation for Simmons' long-awaited return to Philadelphia, where he will face his old side the 76ers on Wednesday (AEDT).

For the first time so far this season, Australian centre Jock Landale was not used for Phoenix as they defeated the New York Knicks 116-95.

Landale has established himself as the first centre off the bench in his maiden campaign with the Suns.

But coach Monty Williams gave preference to Congolese centre Bismack Biyombo against New York, whom he explained was better equipped to handle the physicality of Knicks big men Mitchell Robinson and Isaiah Hartenstein

"It was strictly about the size that they had," Williams said.