James picks up injuries to add to disappointment for reigning champions.
There were nine games on a busy NBA schedule on Friday night, with the Sacramento Kings arguably completing the biggest shock against the Miami Heat.
The reigning champions rested three regulars who were all struggling with various ailments, and were hopeful that they could rely on LeBron James to guide them to victory.
Despite 33 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, it wasn’t enough from the ‘King’, as they came unstuck against DeMarcus Cousins and Co at the Sleep Train Arena in a 108-103 overtime win.
“I thought our guys accepted the challenge,” Sacramento coach Michael Malone told reporters after the game.
To add further woe to the night for Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, James picked up a groin strain and is now questionable for the showdown with the Portland Trail Blazers.
Miami drop to 22-7 for the season, losing further ground on the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference, while Sacramento will have given their coach the response he would have asked for after a team summit earlier this week.
Elsewhere, the Oklahoma City Thunder overcame the disappointment of the news that they will be without Russell Westbrook for the next two months by securing a win over the Charlotte Bobcats.
The 25-year-old underwent a procedure on his right knee after suffering from swelling since his procedure back in October, and the emphasis will now undoubtedly be on Kevin Durant (34 points, 12 rebounds and 6 assists) to help them through his absence.
The Brooklyn Nets were also able to give their coach a much-needed reaction after sealing a 104-93 win over the Milwaukee Bucks, but there was further frustration for the New York Knicks who surrendered a strong lead to lose to the Toronto Raptors at the Garden.
It was the second consecutive game, and loss, without Carmelo Anthony, and he is doubtful to return in time for the second of a back-to-back against the Raptors.
In the final game of the night, the Golden State Warriors sealed a comprehensive 115-86 win over the Phoenix Suns with Stephen Curry putting up a triple double.
“He was spectacular,” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. “I love the way he competed. It was impressive the way he ran the team and kept his foot on the gas pedal.”
The point guard had 14 points, 13 rebounds and 16 assists on the night, as Golden State move to 18-13 for the season and into seventh spot in the Western Conference after arguably one of their most complete performances so far this season.
Oklahoma City Thunder 89-85 Charlotte Bobcats
Detroit Pistons 92-109 Orlando Magic
Milwaukee Bucks 93-104 Brooklyn Nets
Toronto Raptors 95-83 New York Knicks
Washington Wizards 98-120 Minnesota Timberwolves
Denver Nuggets 89-105 New Orleans Pelicans
Los Angeles Lakers 103-105 Utah Jazz
Miami Heat 103-108 Sacramento Kings
Phoenix Suns 86-115 Golden State Warriors