With the race for sowing warming up at both Western and Eastern conferences, the NBA continues to shock and upset.
But some things never change and the Los Angeles Lakers continued to collect steam in the playoffs when they won to remain the top of the West.
Below is an overview of Friday’s action with 18 of the 30 teams in the NBA, where the Lakers and the Toronto Raptors get the best out of themselves.
Los Angeles Lakers 117-105 Memphis Grizzlies
LeBron James and Anthony Davis combined for 60 points when the Lakers returned from the All-Star break with a 117-105 win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night.
Davis recovered from an early injury to get 28 points and 13 rebounds, while LeBron finished with 32 points.
LeBron James continues to lead by example, as he scored 32 points in a win over Memphis
The Lakers star man combined with teammate Anthony Davis for 60 to lead the team to a win
Avery Bradley added 14 points for the Western Conference-leading Lakers, who finished strong after blowing the bulk of their 25-point lead collected in an excellent first half. Davis had 14 points and seven rebounds in the fourth quarter alone, as the win improves the Lakers to 42-12 with his fourth consecutive win since February 6.
Josh Jackson scored a season-high 20 points for the Grizzlies, who have now lost back-to-back games in California after entering the All-Star break with eight wins in 10.
No 2 trek choice Yes Morant added 17 points when Memphis dropped to 0-2 during his four-game West Coast trip, which corresponds to the longest road stretch of the season.
Toronto Raptors 118-101 Phoenix Suns
Pascal Siakam stole the show when he finished with 37 points and 12 rebounds when the Toronto Raptors beat the Phoenix Suns 118-101 on Friday-evening for their 16th win in 17 games.
Serge Ibaka added 16 points, Fred VanVleet and Terence Davis each finished 14, Kyle Lowry had 13 points and 10 assists, and OG Anunoby received 12 points for the defending NBA champions.
After the Toronto franchise-record 15-game winning streak ended with a loss in Brooklyn in the last game for the All-Star break, the Raptors bounced back starting the second half with their eighth consecutive home win.
The Raptors have not lost any back-to-back games since a loss of overtime in Indiana on December 23 and a home loss to Boston on Christmas Day. Toronto has gone since 19-1.
Pascal Siakam closed the night with 37 points when defending champion Toronto won again
Minnesota Timberwolves 117-127 Boston Celtics
Gordon Hayward scored 29 points and Daniel Theis boasted career heights of 25 points and 16 rebounds when the Boston Celtics made a strong return from the All-Star break, restraining the Minnesota Timberwolves 127-117.
Jalen Brown scored 25 points and Jayson Tatum added 28 points and 11 rebounds while fellow All-Star Kemba Walker was out due to a minor knee injury.
Marcus Smart had 10 points and a season-high 10 assists as Walker’s primary point guard, allowing the Celtics to win for the ninth time in the last 10 games.
They now stand one and a half games behind defending NBA champion Toronto Raptors for second place in the suddenly stacked Eastern Conference.
Daniel Theis achieved career highlights and rebounds while the Boston Celtics won in Minnesota
Oklahoma City Thunder 113-101 Denver Nuggets
Chris Paul continues to turn the years back while inspiring the Oklahoma City Thunder to an impressive win over the Denver Nuggets.
Paul finished with 29 points, Steven Adams had 19 points and 17 rebounds and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander added 11 points, nine rebounds and nine assists for the Thunder. They have now won 11 of their last 14 games.
Nikola Jokic scored 32 points on 12-for-15 shooting and Jamal Murray added 21 points for the Nuggets when they entered the night with the second best record in the Western Conference.
But it was Paul who was the star and he shot in and fell 2.7 seconds in the first half to equalize, but missed the free throw and the score stayed 48 before half time.
Oklahoma City took it over so often this season and took it over in the last period. A thunk by Nerlens Noel on a lob by Dennis Schroder brought the Thunder to 95-85. An opinion from Adams gave Oklahoma City a lead of 109-97 with just under two minutes left.
Chris Paul continues to mock younger opponents as he impressed again
New York Knicks 98-106 Indiana Pacers
T.J. Warren had 27 points and eight rebounds, which led the Indiana Pacers to a 106-98 win over the New York Knicks on Friday night in their return from the All-Star break.
Domantas Sabonis added 24 points and 13 rebounds for the Pacers, who won their second series after a losing series of six games.
Victor Oladipo finished with eight points in the first game since his minute limit was lifted. But Oladipo only played his eighth game after a year’s absence with a torn quad tendon in his right knee not in the fourth quarter and logged for only 25 minutes.
Bobby Portis scored 19 points and RJ Barrett had 17 for the Knicks, who lost three in a row. Leading scorer Julius Randle shot two for nine and finished with seven points and seven rebounds as they continue to struggle in the Eastern Conference.
T.J. Warren was the lead scorer of the game when Indian Pacers defeated a substandard New York Knicks
Orlando Magic 106-122 Dallas Mavericks
Luka Doncic almost fell again in a triple-double when the Mavericks star ended the night with 33 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists in a win over Orlando Magic.
Maxi Kleber added a career-high 26 points off the bench when the Mavericks improved to 19-8 on the road this season. They only won 18 road games combined over the past two seasons.
Kristaps Porzingis squatted in 24 points and 10 rebounds and Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 16 points.
Evan Fournier led Orlando with 28 points, Nikola Vucevic had 27 points and 12 rebounds, and Terrence Ross scored 19 points for the Magic, who were doomed by another gloomy shooting evening. Orlando made only nine of the 43 attempts from a 3-point range and shot only 39 percent of the floor.
Luka Doncic (left) was two assists for a triple, while Dallas Mavericks defeated Orlando
Utah Jazz 104-113 San Antonio Spurs
Dejounte Murray had 23 points and seven rebounds and led a balanced attack that stunned the San Antonio Spurs Friday’s Utah Jazz 113-104.
DeMar DeRozan added 18 points and seven assists for the Spurs, while LaMarcus Aldridge added 15 points and eight rebounds. Six players scored in double digits when San Antonio defeated the Jazz for the second time this season.
Jazz great man Rudy Gobert finished with 18 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Jazz in scoring. Emmanuel Mudiay brought in 18 points and Jordan Clarkson added 15 points for Utah.
The Jazz had a winning series of four games with the loss, while continuing to play jockey with the LA Clippers, Houston Rockets, Denver Nuggets and Oklahoma City Thunder for position in the playoffs of the Western Conference.
The play-off seeding of Utah Jazz got a hit because they were surprisingly defeated by San Antonio Spurs
Washington Wizards 108-113 Cleveland Cavaliers
Colin Sexton scored 14 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter and the Cleveland Cavaliers rallied in their first game under interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff, who defeated Washington Wizards 113-110 on Friday night.
Cedi Osman added 16 points and Darius Garland had 15 to help the Cavaliers win back-to-back games for the first time since January. After those wins, they lost 13 out of 15 on their way to the All-Star break, resulting in the resignation of first-year head coach John Beilein.
Andre Drummond added 12 points and 12 rebounds, Tristan Thompson had 10 points and 11 rebounds, and the Cavaliers took control in the fourth quarter after not leading at all during the first three.
Bradley Beal got 26 points for Washington on 9-for-28 shooting. He was 1 of the 10 out of 3-point range on a night that the Wizards shot 24 percent (9 out of 37) from long distance and it turned out to be expensive in defeat.
It turned out to be a close encounter in Washington when Cleveland Cavaliers were on their way to an important victory