The Boston Celtics and Miami Heat played "with a heavy heart" after highlighting the different treatment of protesters in the United States.
Players kneeled ahead of the clash at AmericanAirlines Arena before the game went ahead.
It came in response to riot on Capitol Hill and after no charges were brought against the police officer who shot and seriously injured Jacob Blake, a black man, in Kenosha in August last year.
A statement from Heat and Celtics players read: "2021 is a new year, but some things have not changed.
"We play tonight's game with a heavy heart after yesterday's decision in Kenosha, and knowing that protesters in our nation's capital are treated differently by political leaders depending on what side of certain issues they are on.
"The drastic difference between the way protesters this past spring and summer were treated and the encouragement given to today's protesters who acted illegally just shows how much more work we have to do.
"We have decided to play tonight's game to try to bring joy into people's lives. But we must not forget the injustices in our society, and we will continue to use our voices and our platform to highlight these issues and do everything we can to work for a more equal and just America."
Supporters of United States president Donald Trump stormed Capitol Hill as Joe Biden's election victory was due to be certified.
At least 13 people were arrested, police said.