LaMarcus Aldridge had a strong debut for the Brooklyn Nets as they cemented their recent move to the top of the Eastern Conference with a 111-89 performance against the fourth-placed Charlotte Hornets.
Aldridge, recruited from the San Antonio Spurs as the Nets wait on the returns from injury of James Harden and Blake Griffin, was playing for the first time since March 1 yet contributed 11 points, nine rebounds, six assists, two steals and a block across 30 minutes on court.
Star player Kyrie Irving had a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds for Brooklyn, who have won 20 of their last 23 games and are 34-15 through the season.
Centre Jamal Murray’s 23 points helped the Denver Nuggets to a 101-94 triumph against the Los Angeles Clippers, with the victors ahead on the scoreboard throughout as they claimed their fourth straight win.
The Golden State Warriors’ Steph Curry scored 36 and had 11 rebounds but could not stop the Miami Heat from snatching their third straight victory with a 116-109 result.
The Joel Embiid-less Philadelphia 76ers, sitting one spot back from the Nets in the East, finished their road trip 4-2 following a 114-94 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Shake Milton led the way with 27 points from the bench.
Josh Jackson had a season-high 31 points, including 19 in the first half, as his Detroit Pistons punished the Washington Wizards 120-91.
A pair of jumpers from Terrence Ross in overtime proved the difference for the Orlando Magic, who went 115-110 over the injury-hit New Orleans Pelicans.
Trae Young took over late in the game for the Atlanta Hawks against the Spurs, with the point guard netting seven points in the fourth quarter before scoring another 15 across two overtimes en route to a 134-129 win. Young, Bogdan Bogdanovic and Clint Capela finished with 28 apiece.