Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving eclipsed 30 points each in the Brooklyn Nets' 120-116 home win over the Atlanta Hawks on Friday.
It was also the return of Ben Simmons after a five-game stint on the sidelines, starting and contributing six points, seven assists, six rebounds and four steals in 21 productive minutes.
Durant top-scored with 34 points on 14-of-25 shooting, while Irving was just as good, scoring 33 on 11-of-21 shooting while chipping in 11 rebounds.
Mostly known for his offense, Durant blocked two shots, raising his season average to 1.7 per game – the eighth-best figure in the league.
Trae Young was solid for the Hawks with 33 points (12-of-25 shooting) and nine assists, but he committed a game-high eight turnovers. He is the only player in the NBA averaging at least 25 points (27.2) and nine assists (9.5).
With the win, the Nets have now taken six of their past seven, improving their record to 15-12 after starting the season 1-5.
Pelicans stay top of the West
Entering the game as the top two teams in the Western Conference, the New Orleans Pelicans rode a terrific Zion Williamson performance to a 128-117 win against the Phoenix Suns.
Williamson was unstoppable offensively, scoring a game-high 35 points on 13-of-17 shooting, adding seven rebounds and four assists. Of his 20 games this season, it is the ninth time he has scored at least 25 points on 60 per cent shooting.
There are 14 players shooting 59 per cent or better from the field this season, and of those, only Anthony Davis is averaging more field goal attempts per game (17.5) than Williamson's 15.4.
see ya Sunday pic.twitter.com/Q9ha6LPGsy— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) December 10, 2022
Embiid's early dominance almost goes to waste
Joel Embiid tied the Los Angeles Lakers' whole team in the first quarter with 20 points each, but the Philadelphia 76ers needed an overtime period to come away with a 133-122 win.
Embiid was eight-of-nine from the field in the first quarter for his 20 points, going on to finish with 38 on 14-of-19 shooting, 12 rebounds and five assists. Teammate De'Anthony Melton helped out with a career-high 33 points on 11-of-16 shooting, hitting eight of his 12 three-point attempts.
Anthony Davis continued his strong form with 31 points (nine-of-13 shooting) and 12 rebounds, but he missed a potential go-ahead free throw in the final seconds, before the Lakers were outscored 13-2 in overtime.