Cam Thomas starred off the bench as the depleted Brooklyn Nets came from behind to defeat the Washington Wizards 125-123 on Saturday.
Already without Ben Simmons and talisman Kevin Durant, the Nets were dealt another blow when Kyrie Irving was ruled out due to a calf problem.
Irving’s injury came one day after news of him wanting to leave the Nets, and the point guard handing in a trade request.
The former Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics star was not present at the Barclays Center, although that decision was shared with the team’s management.
It looked like the week would end on a bleak note with the Warriors leading by a healthy 23 points, but the Nets managed to bounce back thanks in part to Thomas’ efforts.
He scored a career-high 44 points, and Edmond Sumner chipped in with 29 as the Wizards – who lost to the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday – became the first team in the last 25 seasons to blow a 20+ point lead . on consecutive days.
Kristaps Porzingis top scored for the Wizards with 38 points.
James gets closer but Pelicans ends losing streak
LeBron James is now just 36 points away from breaking Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s long-standing NBA record, but his efforts were not enough for the Los Angeles Lakers against the New Orleans Pelicans.
James added another 27 points to his total on Saturday, although the Lakers lost 131-126 to a Pelicans team that had suffered 10 straight losses.
Although Anthony Davis was the Lakers’ standout performer with a double-double of 34 points and 14 rebounds, Brandon Ingram’s 35-point draw led the Pelicans, who moved into .500 for the season.
A worry for heroes
Stephen Curry scored 21 points, added rebounds and dished out seven assists but left the Golden State Warriors’ 119-113 win over the Dallas Mavericks with a knee injury in the third quarter.
Curry must now await the results of an MRI scan, scheduled for Sunday, to determine the extent of the problem.
However, NBA champions Golden State got the job done without him in the final quarter, getting over the line against a Dallas side missing their star man Luka Doncic.
Draymond Green had 17 points, nine rebounds and nine assists, while Spencer Dinwiddie’s 25 points were not enough for the Mavs, who lost seven of 11.
Celtics tie buttons
The Boston Celtics lost for the fourth time in six games on Friday and the Denver Nuggets capitalized to tie level as joint NBA leaders.
Denver defeated the Atlanta Hawks 128-108, with Nikola Jokic (14 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists) claiming his 18th triple double of the season and Jamal Murray turned in style with his best score of 41 points in the season.
The Nuggets are now tied with the Celtics for the Eastern Conference lead at 37-16 on the season and have won 19 of their last 20 home games.