Minnesota Timberwolves and Brooklyn Nets players wore T-shirts calling for “liberty and justice for all” following the fatal shooting of a black man by a police officer on Sunday.
The death of Daunte Wright, 20, in Brooklyn Center sparked days of angry protests and an overnight curfew.
Tributes were paid at Tuesday’s NBA game in nearby Minneapolis, which had been postponed for 24 hours.
There was a moment’s silence before the Nets beat Minnesota 127-97.
The Timberwolves also used social media to focus attention on Wright.
Before the game, the club tweeted: “We have a basketball game today. We will not be posting our usual content. Justice for Daunte Wright.”
Local police say Wright was shot after the officer meant to use a Taser, but mistakenly drew her gun instead.
Wright was pulled over for a traffic violation, but there was a struggle when he tried to get back into the car.
Police Chief Tim Gannon and officer Kim Potter quit the Brooklyn Center force on Tuesday after the death sparked two nights of unrest.
Tensions were already high in nearby Minneapolis as the trial of an ex-officer accused of killing George Floyd continues.
Timberwolves guard Josh Okogie said such deaths were “happening too frequently”.
“It’s sickening, it’s sad, it’s disgusting and it has to stop,” Okogie said.
“We have to hold people accountable. We need to keep having this conversation.
“It could be anybody. I’m not far removed from it. I have a family, a little brother, older brothers and older sisters and they are not far removed from it.”
Kevin Durant, who helped the Nets to victory with 31 points, said he was “glad” the NBA pressed ahead with the game in highly-charged circumstances.
“I think guys are obviously aware of what’s going on in our country, we have conversations about this all the time,” Durant said.
Meanwhile, a moment’s silence in honour of Wright was also observed at Target Field in Minneapolis where Major League Baseball side Minnesota Twins were beaten 4-2 by the Boston Red Sox.
The Minnesota Wild, the city’s National Hockey League side, are due to face the Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday in a rearranged fixture.
Wild captain Jared Spurgeon said news of the game’s postponement on Monday “immediately stopped” them thinking about fixture and instead focused their attention on the local community.
“There are much bigger things going on here than a a hockey game,” Spurgeon said.
“The community and city are going through some tough times. Our wishes are with Duante and his family.”