In a 119-107 loss to Golden State, Joel Embiid returned to the court for the Philadelphia 76ers but struggled against the Warriors. Despite an ankle injury towards the end of the game, the Warriors dominated with strong performances from Steph Curry and Jonathan Kuminga. Tobias Harris had an impressive night with 26 points and 10 rebounds, but the absence of Tyrese Maxey left a gap for the 76ers.
The Los Angeles Lakers faced signs of crisis, both on and off the court. Coach Darwin Ham's decision to remove Christian Wood from the squad caused controversy, and the Lakers displayed weak defense, falling to a negative record. Trae Young led the Atlanta Hawks to a 138-122 victory, exposing the Lakers' defensive vulnerabilities. LeBron James finished with 20 points, but the Lakers looked frustrated and disappointed.
The New York Knicks continued their impressive form with an eighth straight win, defeating the Utah Jazz 118-103. The Villanova trio of Donte DiVincenzo, Jalen Brunson, and Josh Hart played a key role in the victory. DiVincenzo scored 33 points, including a career-high 9 threes, while Brunson finished with 29 points and 9 assists. The Knicks are climbing in the Eastern Conference standings, currently holding the third spot.
In a close contest, the Boston Celtics secured a 129-124 victory over the Indiana Pacers. Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with 30 points, and crucial defensive plays in the closing minutes, including blocks from Tatum and Jaylen Brown, secured the win. The Pacers had strong performances from Aaron Nesmith (26 points, 12 rebounds) and Pascal Siakam (23 points), but they couldn't complete a comeback. The Celtics' suffocating defense in the final minutes proved decisive.
The Toronto Raptors erased a 16-point deficit to secure a 118-107 victory over the Chicago Bulls. Gary Trent Jr. excelled with 24 points, and despite missing three first-team players, the Raptors managed to come back and snap a five-game losing streak. The Bulls, led by DeMar DeRozan's 25 points, suffered their third loss in four games.