Simmons' Nets slump to 4th straight loss

Australia's Ben Simmons has had a night to forget in Phoenix, getting ejected early in third quarter after receiving his second technical foul for arguing with a referee in the loss to the Suns.

Brooklyn were once again missing the services of All Star Kevin Durant (knee) and Simmons's early departure did little to help end their recent slump, a fourth straight NBA defeat confirmed with a 117-112 defeat.

In his 18 minutes on court before he was sent to the locker room, Simmons contributed seven points, four rebounds and six assists.

The 26-year-old was called for an offensive foul on a screen and then started arguing with official Eric Lewis. Lewis called him for his first technical and then Simmons was subbed out of the game. As Simmons sat down, he continued arguing and got his second technical.

"It's tough," Simmons said.

"I am a 6-10 guy who likes to guard certain guys. I am going to be physical. I am not going to tone it down because the refs don't want to see the physicality."

The Nets dropped to 27-17 and fourth in the Eastern Conference standings, having gone 12-1 in December.

Kyrie Irving valiantly led Brooklyn, who made a late push in the fourth quarter after starting it 20 points down, with 30 points.

He had 21 in the final term alone, backed up by Nic Claxton (20 points, 11 rebounds), but ran out off steam with the game in the balance.

"Sometimes, the hole is too big to come back from," Irving said.

It was a first win in four games for Phoenix (22-24) who got 28 points out of Mikal Bridges and 24 from Deandre Ayton.

In Boston, Jayson Tatum scored 34 points with a career-high 19 rebounds, following Al Horford's overtime three-pointer with one of his own to help the Celtics pull away from Golden State to win 121-118.

Jaylen Brown added 16 points and nine rebounds, making a triple with 18 seconds left in regulation to send the game into OT. Horford had 20 points, 10 boards and three blocked shots for the East-leading Celtics (34-12), who lost to the Warriors in last season's Finals in six games and then lost a fourth straight game to them in their first regular-season matchup in December.

Stephen Curry scored 29 points with Jordan Poole and Klay Thompson both adding 24 for the defending champions, who fell to 22-23 and 5-18 on the road this season for ninth in the West.

Curry wowed the TD Garden crowd at the end of the first half with a buzzer-beater that was officially listed as 50 feet.

The Warriors had the ball with the clock running down, and Curry lined up a three-pointer from the far side of the half-court circle.

It swished through the net, giving the Warriors a 55-54 lead.

In Portland, Joel Embiid scored 32 points and Philadelphia stretched their winning streak to four games, all on the road, with a 105-95 victory.

James Harden added 16 points and 14 assists for the 76ers (29-16), who led by as many as 26 points before holding off a late Trail Blazers rally.

Elsewhere, Chicago beat Detroit 126-108 and Minnesota were 128-126 winners over Toronto.

With AP.