Klay Thompson drained a three-pointer with 12.5 seconds remaining to lift the Golden State Warriors to a 110-106 NBA victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday.
The Warriors' victory in San Francisco was just one close shave on a night that saw the Toronto Raptors edge the Eastern Conference-leading Miami Heat 124-120 in a triple-overtime thriller and the Philadelphia 76ers rally for a 103-101 victory over the Sacramento Kings.
"Splash Brothers" Thompson and Stephen Curry struggled early, combining for just seven points in the first half. But they scored the last 17 for Golden State as the Warriors toughed out a victory over a Nets team led by Kyrie Irving but missing the other two of their "Big Three" Kevin Durant and James Harden.
Irving, who was needled by the San Francisco crowd over his refusal to receive a Covid-19 vaccine, scored 32 points and the Nets clawed back from a 19-point third-quarter deficit to cut the lead to one on two free throws from Patty Mills.
Golden State answered promptly as Thompson, left open as Curry drew the double-team, made his three-pointer for a 107-103 lead.
Irving responded with a three-pointer, but a free throw from Curry and two from Thompson sealed the Warriors' win.
Thompson, still returning to form after an injury layoff of two-and-a-half years, finished with 16 points. Curry scored 19 and Andrew Wiggins led the Warriors with 24 points and eight rebounds.
Mills made six three-pointers on the way to 24 points for Brooklyn, who were without Durant as he continues to recover from a knee sprain and missed Harden, who was a late scratch with a right hand strain that "really flared up this morning" according to coach Steve Nash.
In Miami, Fred VanVleet made two three-pointers in the third overtime and the Raptors held on against the weary Heat, who were playing the second night of a back-to-back.
VanVleet's shot from beyond the arc made it 117-117 with 3:35 to play. He came up with a steal and drained another three to put Toronto up 122-117 with 2:17 remaining.
VanVleet finished with 19 points for Toronto, who were led by Gary Trent's 33.
Jimmy Butler had a triple-double of 37 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists for the Heat.
Mavs win in Carlisle return
In Dallas, Luka Doncic scored 30 points and handed out 12 assists to lead the Mavericks in a 132-105 victory over the Indiana Pacers.
It was a rude welcome back to Texas for Indiana coach Rick Carlisle, who coached the Mavericks the previous 13 seasons and led the team to a title in 2011.
The Mavs played a video tribute to Carlisle before the game that had fans on their feet and the coach in tears.
"I wasn't expecting that," Carlisle said. "It was a wonderful gesture."
There were a lot of hugs exchanged after the game, too, but the Mavericks showed no sentiment in their wire-to-wire victory.
Reggie Bullock added 23 points, hitting six of his seven three-point attempts. Maxi Kleber celebrated his 30th birthday with 15 points and 14 rebounds for Dallas.
The only down note for the Mavericks was Kristaps Porzingis's second-quarter departure with a sore right knee, the same knee on which he had meniscus surgery in October 2020.
"We'll see how he feels tomorrow," said Mavs coach Jason Kidd, who had no details on the injury immediately after the game.
The Philadelphia 76ers, fueled by 36 points from Cameroonian big man Joel Embiid, notched a fourth straight win, but it was a battle against the Kings.
Tyrese Haliburton scored a career-high 38 points for Sacramento, and the Kings led by 17 in the third quarter before dropping their sixth straight.
Led by an aggressive Embiid, the Sixers had taken a 10-point lead with less than three minutes to play. The Kings fought back, with Haliburton's off-balance three-pointer cutting Philadelphia's lead to two with 11.1 seconds left.
But Harrison Barnes's last-gasp three-point attempt for the Kings bounced off the rim.