Reigning champions the Los Angeles Lakers made light work of the Minnesota Timberwolves on an eventful day in the NBA.
The Lakers – without Anthony Davis due to a calf contusion – eased past the Karl-Anthony Towns-less Timberwolves 127-91 on Sunday.
Timberwolves star Towns sat out with a dislocated left wrist and the Lakers took full advantage at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Kyle Kuzma posted a game-high 20 points, James had 18 points, nine rebounds and five assists, while Marc Gasol (12), Montrezl Harrell (12), Talen Horton-Tucker (12) and Dennis Schroder (11) also had double-digit points.
Making the ball do the work. pic.twitter.com/kIIEfFdsMx— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) December 28, 2020
Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks were sensationally routed 130-110 by the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
Julius Randle inspired the Knicks with 29 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists as Elfrid Payton added 27 points to give head coach Tom Thibodeau his first victory.
Two-time reigning MVP Antetokounmpo had 27 points and 13 rebounds for the Bucks, who fell to 1-2 this season.
Mavs make history
The Mavericks showed no mercy in their record-breaking 124-73 humbling of the Kawhi Leonard-less Los Angeles Clippers. Dallas earned a 77-27 half-time lead – the Mavericks' 50-point advantage the largest through two quarters since the shot-clock era began in 1954-55. It is the first time in NBA regular-season history that a team won a road game by 50-plus points against a franchise that had a .650 or better winning percentage the season before, per Stats Perform.
The Mavericks beat the Clippers by 51 points and the Lakers topped the Timberwolves by 36. According to Stats Perform, it is the first time in NBA history there were two games decided by 35-plus points in the same arena on the same day.
Gordon Hayward scored 28 points to help the Charlotte Hornets upstage the Brooklyn Nets 106-104. Kevin Durant had 29 points for the visiting Nets, who lost for the first time, while team-mate Kyrie Irving finished with 25.
The New Orleans Pelicans trumped the San Antonio Spurs 98-95 thanks to double-doubles from Brandon Ingram (28 points and 11 rebounds) and Zion Williamson (18 points and 11 rebounds).
Stephen Curry put up 36 points as the Golden State Warriors claimed their first win of the season thanks to a nail-biting 129-128 success against the Chicago Bulls. Zach Lavine's 33 points were not enough for the Bulls. Curry also became only the third player in NBA history to reach 2,500 career made three-pointers.
Bucks struggle from beyond the arc
On a miserable day for the Bucks, the Eastern Conference contenders were just 18.4 per cent from three-point range. Star recruit Jrue Holiday was only four-of-10 from the field, while he missed all four of his three-point attempts in an eight-point performance.
The Philadelphia 76ers were back to their old ways, committing 21 turnovers in a 118-94 blowout against the Cleveland Cavaliers – the team's first loss of the season.
Lee calls game!
Damion Lee was the hero for the Warriors after nailing a game-winning three with 1.7 seconds remaining.
DAMION. LEE. pic.twitter.com/fAvRZkfCwu— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) December 28, 2020
Dallas Mavericks 124-73 Los Angeles Clippers
Cleveland Cavaliers 118-94 Philadelphia 76ers
Los Angeles Lakers 127-91 Minnesota Timberwolves
New York Knicks 130-110 Milwaukee Bucks
Indiana Pacers 108-107 Boston Celtics
Golden State Warriors 129-128 Chicago Bulls
Phoenix Suns 116-100 Sacramento Kings
Charlotte Hornets 106-104 Brooklyn Nets
Orlando Magic 120-113 Washington Wizards
New Orleans Pelicans 98-95 San Antonio Spurs
Rockets at Nuggets
James Harden and the Houston Rockets (0-1) will look to bounce back from their overtime loss to the Portland Trail Blazers when they visit the winless Denver Nuggets (0-2) on Monday.