Mitchell leads Jazz past Nets with Harden, Irving and Durant out
James Harden was absent as Donovan Mitchell had 27 points in a 30-point Utah Jazz win over the Brooklyn Nets.
Donovan Mitchell led the way with 27 points, six rebounds and seven assists as the Utah Jazz brushed aside the undermanned Brooklyn Nets 118-88 on Wednesday.
The Nets went into the match without star James Harden due to neck soreness, along with Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and new recruit Blake Griffin among others, and their absence told.
The Jazz led by 25 points at half-time in a fizzer of a contest, as the Nets suffered their biggest defeat of the season, while Utah recorded their 17th straight home win.
Utah improved to a 32-11 record while the Nets slipped to 30-15, with the Milwaukee Bucks moving ahead of them in the Eastern Conference after a thrilling win over the Boston Celtics.
Celtics center Daniel Theis could have snatched victory when he had a wide open look for a three-pointer on the buzzer but his shot missed as Milwaukee won 121-119.
Giannis Antetokounmpo's output was below his normal standards with only 13 points, although he had seven assists and eight rebounds.
Khris Middleton starred for the Bucks with 27 points, 13 rebounds and four assists, while Bobby Portis came off the bench to add 21 points for the Bucks.
The Sacramento Kings also edged a last-shot thriller over the in-form Atlanta Hawks, winning 110-108.
Danilo Gallinari could have sent the match to overtime but his effort rimmed out, handing the Kings victory aided by De'Aaron Fox's 37 points, including 24 in the first half.
Kawhi torments former franchise in Texas
Two-time NBA champion Kawhi Leonard returned to his former home as the Los Angeles Clippers easily accounted for the San Antonio Spurs 134-101.
Leonard has an imposing record against his former franchise and added to that with 25 points, seven rebounds and three assists.
Lou Williams (16 points) reached a career milestone of 15,000 NBA points, including 12,813 off the bench, making him arguably the best sixth man in competition history.
Amid reports of a trade before the NBA deadline, Kyle Lowry may have played his final game for the Toronto Raptors in a 135-111 win over the Denver Nuggets.
Lowry had eight points and nine assists, while Pascal Siakam top scored with 27 points, eight rebounds and six assists.
The Phoenix Suns, second in the West, went down 112-111 to the Orlando Magic as Devin Booker missed a late shot to win the match.
Billed as a blockbuster between two of the title favourites, the Jazz-Nets clash ended up as a fizzer given Brooklyn's absentees, particularly after the pre-match withdrawal of Harden due to neck soreness. Seeing him watch from the sidelines was a low.
Clutch three from the logo
Trae Young kept the Hawks in the game late against the Kings, including a spectacular three-pointer from the logo to tie scores at 108-108. He finished with 29 points and nine assists.
Wednesday's NBA results
76ers at Lakers
The reigning champions Los Angeles Lakers (28-16), without LeBron James, take on the Eastern Conference leaders Philadelphia 76ers (31-13).