Two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo returned from a spell on the sidelines to help the Milwaukee Bucks to a 117-114 victory over the Brooklyn Nets.
Antetokounmpo scored 49 points, including a dunk with 7:57 left to break a 96-96 tie as the Bucks took their second win in a row to close the gap to the Nets in the Eastern Conference.
Khris Middleton had 26 points and 11 rebounds for the Bucks, while Kevin Durant – who scored 42 – missed a three-pointer at the buzzer which could have sent the game into overtime.
The Eastern Conference leaders – the Philadelphia 76ers – needed overtime to see off the San Antonio Spurs 113-111, with a Ben Simmons tip-in proving the difference.
San Antonio staged a late comeback – outscoring their opponents 28-18 in the fourth – to force the extra five minutes, and Simmons tipped in from Joel Embiid for the victory, Philly’s fourth on the bounce.
The Oklahoma City Thunder, coming off the back of a near NBA record 152-95 defeat to the Indiana Pacers, went down to the Phoenix Suns 123-120, with Devin Booker top scoring with 32.
Elsewhere, Julius Randle scored 31 as the New York Knicks breezed past the Houston Rockets 122-97, the Portland Trail Blazers saw off the Boston Celtics 129-119 and the Miami Heat boosted their play-off chances with a 121-111 win over the Charlotte Hornets.
The Sacramento Kings saw off the Dallas Mavericks 111-99 and the Los Angeles Lakers were downed by the Toronto Raptors 121-114.