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It s halftime in the NBA, and time to look at some trends

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press It’s halftime. The midway point of the NBA regular season arrives this week -- there are 1,230 games between October and April, and after Thursday night’s (Friday, PHL time) slate goes into the books 618 games will have been played with 612 left to go. Making statistical judgments after a few games, or even a few weeks, isn’t the wisest thing. But with 50% of the season done, it seems like appropriate enough of a sample size to point out a few trends. 3’S, AGAIN The league records for 3-pointers made and attempted are going to get broken for the eighth consecutive year. But the growth rate in that department seems to be slowing down. First, the numbers: NBA teams combined to make 27,955 3-pointers last season and attempt 78,742, both of which are records. That was an increase of 8.3% on makes from 2017-18 and an increase of 10.4% on attempts. This year, the league is on pace to make more than 29,000 3-pointers and attempt nearly 83,000 of them. Both would be records, of course, but the increases over last season are on pace to be only 4.7% on makes and 5.1% on attempts. And while the league’s love affair with the 3-pointer is nothing new, it’s still a bit mindboggling to put it in perspective. When this soon-to-be-eight-year run of record-setting began, NBA teams made 17,603 3’s and attempted 49,067 of them. How much has it changed? This year’s projected final numbers, compared to those -- up 66% percent on makes, up 69% on attempts. SCORING DOWN (SORT OF) Maybe defenses have caught up to the offense-friendly officiating emphasis that went into place at the start of last season. Scoring is down a tiny bit from last year. In 2018-19, teams averaged 111.2 points per game. This year, it’s down to 110.4 per game. But that is still on pace to be the 15th-highest scoring season in the NBA’s 74-year history -- and the second-highest in the last 35 years. JAMES HARDEN Any look at numbers must include what Houston guard James Harden is doing. He’s averaging 37.7 points per game, putting him on pace for the fifth-highest mark in NBA history. Wilt Chamberlain owns the top three (50.4 in 1961-62, 44.8 in 1962-63 and 38.4 in 1960-61). Elgin Baylor is fourth, at 38.3 per game in 1961-62. Harden’s scoring will be (and already has been) a rallying cry for his MVP candidacy, just as it was last season when he averaged 36.1 points per game -- and Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo won the award. Precedent is not in Harden’s MVP favor. Chamberlain didn’t win MVP in his three highest-scoring seasons, nor did Baylor when he had his best scoring year. In all three cases, Boston’s Bill Russell won the award -- without averaging more than 18.9 points per game in that stretch. He did average nearly 24 rebounds in each of those seasons, and the Celtics won the NBA championship in all three of those years as well. Harden, however, could seriously challenge the 3-point single-season record. Golden State’s Stephen Curry made 402 in his unanimous MVP season of 2015-16; Harden is on pace for 414 this season, provided he plays in every Houston game the rest of the way. LEBRON’S ASSISTS LeBron James is well on his way to winning his first assist crown, leading the NBA with 10.7 per game entering Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) -- more than one assist per game ahead of Phoenix’s Ricky Rubio. Like so many other things James does, an assist crown would be historic. James is 35. He would become the second-oldest assist champion in NBA history; Steve Nash was 37 when he won that title for the final time. As far as first-time winners, James would become the oldest. Jerry West won his lone assist title when he was 33. Lenny Wilkens and Mark Jackson were both 32. Wilt Chamberlain and Rod Strickland were both 31. Even Utah’s John Stockton -- the king of assists -- was 34 when he won his final assist title. A LOT OF GOOD ... There is a chance that there could be as many 50-win teams as the league has ever seen. At the midway mark, there are 12 teams with realistic chances of getting to 50 wins this season. If they all get there -- and it’s not exactly improbable, either -- it would tie the record for most teams reaching that standard in a single season. The mark is 12 set in 2009-10. That season, Boston, Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Cleveland, Phoenix, Dallas, the Los Angeles Lakers, Utah, Portland, Orlando, Denver and Atlanta all won between 50 and 61 games. ... AND A LOT OF BAD Meanwhile, there are 17 teams on pace to finish with losing records. As of now, there are the 12 teams with a great shot at 50 or more wins. Then there’s Oklahoma City, the lone team in the middle, on pace for about 46 wins. And then there is everyone else, all with records below .500 at this point. Call it an erosion of the NBA’s middle class. The last time the league had only one team finish between 41 and 49 wins -- including adjustments for labor-issue-related shortened seasons -- was 1966-67. Of course, the NBA only had 10 teams then, with two (Philadelphia and Boston) having winning percentages of .741 or better, the San Francisco Warriors at 44-37, and then the other seven teams all with losing records. THE WEEK AHEAD A game (or two) to watch for each of the next seven days (PHL times listed) ... Wednesday, Houston at Memphis: Don’t look now, but the Grizzlies are really in the West playoff mix. Thursday, San Antonio at Miami: Impossible for these teams to play and not think of 2013 and 2014. Friday, Boston at Milwaukee: A matchup of two of the best in the Eastern Conference. Saturday, Portland at Dallas: It should be an elite guard showdown, Damian Lillard vs. Luka Doncic. Sunday, Sacramento at Utah: In what is becoming an annual tradition, the Jazz are wildly underrated. Next Monday, Indiana at Denver: Pacers still hovering on pace for 50 wins, Nuggets just keep winning. Next Tuesday, Toronto at Atlanta/New Orleans at Memphis: The league celebrates the life Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with 14 games -- including these two, Atlanta being where he was born and Memphis being where he was killed. ___ Tim Reynolds is a national basketball writer for The Associated Press. Write to him at treynolds@ap.org.....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnJan 14th, 2020

Magic snap Lakers 9-game winning streak in 119-118 thriller

By Greg Beacham, Associated Press LOS ANGELES (AP) — Markelle Fultz hit two big layups in the final minute while scoring 21 points during his second career triple-double, and the Orlando Magic snapped the Los Angeles Lakers' nine-game winning streak with a 119-118 victory Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time). Fultz added 11 rebounds and 10 assists, while Aaron Gordon had 21 points and a late go-ahead basket as the Magic became the first sub-.500 team to beat the Western Conference-leading Lakers this season despite blowing a 21-point lead in the second half. Wes Iwundu scored a career-high 19 points, and Nikola Vucevic scored seven of his 19 points in the fourth quarter of the Magic's eighth win in 12 games. LeBron James had 19 points and matched his career high with 19 assists before missing a tying 3-pointer with 3 seconds left for the Lakers (33-8), who hit the halfway point of their regular season with their first loss since Christmas. Quinn Cook scored a season-high 22 points, including a 3-pointer at the buzzer, while Troy Daniels added a season-high 17 for the Lakers. Los Angeles finally lost in its fourth straight game without injured superstar Anthony Davis. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope also scored 17 points for the Lakers in their final home game before a five-game road trip while the Grammy Awards take over Staples Center. The Lakers erased an 87-66 deficit early in the fourth quarter with an impressive rally, but the Magic answered and traded big scores down the stretch. Gordon's basket with 2:03 left reclaimed the lead for Orlando. Cook and James hit late 3-pointers that trimmed the Magic's lead to one point, but Fultz drove for a clutch layup with 15 seconds left to put Orlando up 118-115, and James' tying attempt went in and out. The Magic played without injured regulars Evan Fournier, Michael Carter-Williams and D.J. Augustin in their third stop on a six-game road trip. Davis remained out of the lineup since he bruised his backside eight days ago, but the six-time All-Star likely won't be sidelined much longer. Iwundu was outstanding for Orlando while starting in place of Fournier, who sat out with a bruised right quadriceps. The speedy guard surpassed his previous career high early in the third quarter. Orlando jumped to a 20-point lead in the second quarter with an impressive scoring flurry against the Lakers' normally solid defense. The Magic had seven players with at least seven points in their exuberant first half. The Lakers trimmed their deficit to seven points at halftime, but then gave up a 21-4 run by the Magic. The Lakers responded with a 28-6 rally, but couldn't finish. TIP-INS Magic: Fournier's unavailability was determined shortly before game time. ... Augustin sat out for the second time in three games with a bruised left knee. ... Carter-Williams has missed 12 straight games with a sprained left shoulder. Lakers: G Rajon Rondo missed his second straight game with a broken right ring finger. ... Alex Caruso went to the locker room after he got accidentally smacked in the face while stealing the ball from Mo Bamba in the second quarter. A concussion evaluation was inconclusive, and the valuable backup guard didn't return to the game. He will be re-evaluated Thursday (Friday, PHL time). UP NEXT Magic: Stay at Staples Center to face the Clippers on Thursday (Friday, PHL time). Lakers: Visit the Houston Rockets on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) to open a stretch of five road games in eight days......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 16th, 2020

Leonard scores 43 in 3 quarters as Clippers rout Cavaliers

By Joe Reedy, Associated Press LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kawhi Leonard scored a season-high 43 points in three quarters as the Los Angeles Clippers routed the Cleveland Cavaliers 128-103 on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time). According to Sportradar, it was only the second time since 1996 a Clippers player scored at least 40 points in the first three quarters. Lou Williams had 40 against Golden State in a 2018 game. Leonard had 14 points in the second quarter and set a career high for 3s in one period with four as the Clippers broke open the game. The All-Star forward played 29 minutes and was 14 of 22 from the floor and 6 of 10 from beyond the arc. He was two points from tying his regular-season career high. Williams added 24 points for the Clippers, who played again without injured star Paul George. They have won five of six and had six scorers in double figures. Collin Sexton led Cleveland with 25 points and Cedi Osman added 21. Rookie guard Darius Garland, the fifth overall pick in last June's draft, had 14 points and a career-high 10 assists for his first double-double. Osman's 3-pointer gave the Cavs a 34-33 lead with 9:58 remaining in the second quarter before Los Angeles outscored them 33-16 the remainder of the half. The Clippers scored the final 13 points of the first half, including nine from Leonard. He closed the half by intercepting Osman's pass and going down the floor for a dunk while drawing a foul from Garland. Leonard's free throw completed the three-point play to put Los Angels up 66-50 at halftime. The Clippers' largest lead was 36 early in the fourth. THROWBACK NIGHT In a matchup of two franchises celebrating their 50th year, the Clippers wore their Buffalo Braves uniforms. The franchise started in Buffalo before moving to San Diego in 1978 and changing their name to the Clippers. They relocated to Los Angeles in 1984. The Cavaliers donned the uniforms they wore from 1994-2002, which was fitting since it was 1990s Night at Staples Center. ANOTHER LA REUNION Cleveland forward Tristan Thompson gave former coach Tyronn Lue a bearhug on the Clippers sideline before the game. Lue is in his first season as an assistant on Doc Rivers' Clippers staff after he was fired by the Cavaliers six games into last season. The Cavaliers faced LeBron James on Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time) for the third time since he signed with the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2018 offseason. TIP-INS Cavaliers: Kevin Love got the night off with Cleveland playing back-to-back games. Love has played a back-to-back set only once this season. ... Larry Nance Jr. returned to the lineup after missing the past seven games due to left knee soreness. He was scoreless in 19 minutes with three rebounds and four assists. Clippers: George missed his third straight game due to a strained left hamstring. Rivers did not have an update before the game on when the All-Star forward might be back. ... Maurice Harkless had 11 rebounds. UP NEXT Cavaliers: At the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday (Saturday, PHL time). Cleveland won the first meeting 114-107 on Dec. 20 (Dec. 21, PHL time). Clippers: Host the Orlando Magic on Thursday (Friday, PHL time). Los Angeles has won the last 11 in the series......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 15th, 2020

Powell, Doncic lead Mavericks past beat-up Warriors 124-97

By Janie McCauley, Associated Press SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Dwight Powell scored 21 points and was perfect from the floor in his return to the Bay Area after starring at Stanford, and the Dallas Mavericks beat the Golden State Warriors 124-97 on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time). Luka Doncic added 20 points and eight rebounds as the Mavericks won their fourth straight against the Warriors — three in a row on their home floor. Powell shot 9 for 9 and grabbed six rebounds. Jordan Poole came off the bench to score 17 points for Golden State. Fellow reserve Eric Paschall added 16, while D'Angelo Russell and Glenn Robinson III had 13 apiece. The Warriors lost their eighth consecutive game and fourth straight at Chase Center. And injury-plagued Golden State lost another player when guard Jacob Evans III was taken to a hospital to be evaluated for a head injury. He was helped off the court with 4:38 left in the first half after getting hit with an elbow by Powell as they fought for a rebound. The Warriors trailed by as many as 28, then used a 13-0 run in the third quarter to make things interesting. Mavericks star Kristaps Porzingis, who had been listed as questionable, sat out an eighth straight game. He has been feeling ill and is still dealing with soreness in his right knee. He could be ready in time to face the Kings in Sacramento on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time). “With him being under the weather and the rehab of the knee, it’s just the stars didn’t align for tonight," coach Rick Carlisle said. “Tomorrow night might be a possibility, but he’s going to work out before and we will see where we are tomorrow." Dallas made six of its first 12 shots from 3-point range — three by Maxi Kleber — and built a 28-18 lead while hitting 11 of its initial 20 shots overall. The Warriors started 8 for 20, with four baskets by Russell. TIP-INS Mavericks: Dallas has won the last three meetings by a combined 95 points, including 142-94 on Nov. 20 (Nov. 21, PHL time) at home and 141-121 in San Francisco on Dec. 28 (Dec. 29, PHL time). The Mavericks already had won the season series for the first time since taking two of three in 2011-12, but have now swept the regular-season matchups for the first time since winning all four in 2002-03. ... The Mavericks are 9-2 on the road vs. the Western Conference. Warriors: Golden State is expected to sign F Marquese Chriss as a two-way player Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time), just more than a week after he was waived by the team last Tuesday (last Wednesday, PHL time). There was a two-way spot open as Golden State worked to sign Damion Lee to a standard NBA contract after he expired his NBA service time allotment as a two-way player. Chriss will now split time with the Santa Cruz Warriors of the G League. The 22-year-old Chriss provided a boost for the injury-plagued Warriors after signing as a free agent in late September, averaging 7.4 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 17.7 minutes over 37 games with three starts. ... The Warriors are 5-9 against the West at home. THOMPSON’S TRIP Klay Thompson will have his No. 1 jersey retired at Washington State on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time), traveling on owner Joe Lacob’s private plane to Pullman, Washington, for the halftime ceremony when the Cougars host Oregon State. “I haven't been back in about five years,” Thompson said. “To go back and see the people I really grew up with, the community that really embraced me, it's very nostalgic and it's just really cool because that was a dream of mine leaving Pullman. I didn't think it would ever come true and it did, so it's exciting." Splash Brother Stephen Curry can't wait to go along, as well as Zaza Pachuila and Mike Dunleavy. General manager Bob Myers is scheduled for a surgery and won't make it. “I heard it’s pretty cool there," he said, then later said with a smile, “Go Cougs!” UP NEXT Mavericks: At the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time) in a Northern California back-to-back. Warriors: Host the Denver Nuggets on Thursday (Friday, PHL time) as part of a three-game, every-other-night homestand. Golden State has won the last three meetings overall and three straight at home vs. Denver......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 15th, 2020

Tatum and Brown lead Celtics to 113-101 win over Bulls

By Ken Powtak, Associated Press BOSTON (AP) — Jayson Tatum scored 21 points, Jaylen Brown 19 and the Boston Celtics coasted to a 113-101 victory over the Chicago Bulls Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time). Enes Kanter had 15 points and nine rebounds, Kemba Walker added 14 points and Marcus Smart had 12 points for Boston, which won its second straight after a season-high three-game losing streak. Zach LaVine led the Bulls with 30 points, including a couple of highlight dunks. Thaddeus Young added 17 points for Chicago, which has lost seven of eight. The Bulls trailed by 55-37 at halftime, but came out with a 17-5 run over the initial 4 minutes of the second half. Lavine had six points in the spree. Chicago cut its large deficit at intermission to six points twice in the third, the last 67-61 on Kris Dunn’s 3-pointer from directly in front of Boston’s bench, but the Celtics closed the quarter with an 8-2 spurt to take an 83-71 edge into the fourth. The Bulls never really threatened in the final quarter. They closed it to 95-84 with just under 6 minutes to play on Daniel Gafford’s put-back basket, but never tested Boston the rest of the way. TIP-INS Bulls: C Gafford returned to the lineup after missing the last four games with a sprained left ankle. … C Wendell Carter Jr. missed his fourth straight with a sprained right ankle. Celtics: C Daniel Theis missed the game with right knee soreness. … G Marcus Smart went to the floor early in the second quarter after banging his left knee into Ryan Arcidiacono’s right knee. Smart got up slowly after a short delay, but stayed in the game. He also was limping later in the quarter. TOTAL CONTROL The Celtics only trailed once in the game — 6-4 in the opening quarter — and that was just for 22 seconds. They opened their first double-digit lead (21-9) on Walker’s 3 pointer and shot 52.5 % in the opening quarter (21 of 40) en route to a 28-14 lead at the break. UP NEXT Bulls: Host the Wizards on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time). Beat Washington on the road in the clubs’ first game, 110-109, in overtime on Dec. 18. Celtics: Host the Pistons Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time) in the teams’ second meeting of the season. Boston won the first, 114-93, at home on Dec. 20 (Dec. 21, PHL time)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 14th, 2020

Ball leads Pelicans past Pistons in overtime, 117-100

By Dave Hogg, Associated Press DETROIT (AP) — Lonzo Ball scored five of his 17 points in overtime and the New Orleans Pelicans beat the Detroit Pistons 117-110 on Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) in a matchup of injury-depleted teams. The Pistons are still missing starters Blake Griffin (knee), Luke Kennard (knee) and Reggie Jackson (back), while the Pelicans played without their top three scorers — Brandon Ingram (knee), Jrue Holiday (elbow) and JJ Redick (hamstring) — along with Derrick Favors (hamstring) and Zion Williamson (knee). Detroit, which trailed by 16 with 11 minutes to play, tied the game at 100 on Derrick Rose's bank shot with 30 seconds left. E'Twaun Moore missed two short jumpers, giving Detroit the ball with 14 seconds remaining, but Rose missed at the buzzer. The Pelicans opened overtime with a 9-2 run, including five points from Ball, and Rose had two turnovers in the last 90 seconds. New Orleans has won three of four and is now 9-4 after a 6-22 start. Jahlil Okafor had 25 points and 14 rebounds while Nicolo Melli scored 20 points and Moore had 16. The Pistons lost their third straight and their 12th in the last 15 games. Rose had 23 points and eight assists, while Christian Wood added 18 points and nine rebounds. Rookie Sekou Doumbouya scored 16 points. Okafor had 19 points and eight rebounds as the Pelicans took a 63-52 halftime lead. Detroit narrowed the gap to seven at the start of the third, but Melli answered with a 3-pointer. The Pelicans kept the gap in double figures for the rest of the quarter, going into the fourth with an 89-77 lead. Doumbouya's transition dunk cut it to 97-91 with 6:05 left, and Rose followed with a layup in traffic. Josh Hart and Wood traded 3-pointers, and another layup by Rose pulled the Pistons within 100-98. TIP-INS Pelicans: With the Pelicans short-handed, rookie Zylon Cheatham entered the rotation as part of coach Alvin Gentry's second unit. He played 11 minutes, scoring two points in his third NBA game. Pistons: Guard Jordan Bone, who came into the game with six NBA minutes over three games, was inserted into the game in the first quarter as part of a three-guard second unit. Bone finished with no points in eight first-half minutes. UP NEXT Pelicans: Host the Utah Jazz on Thursday (Friday, PHL time). Pistons: Visit the Boston Celtics on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 14th, 2020

Gilgeous-Alexander s first triple-double leads Thunder

By Joe Ziemer, Associated Press MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 20 points, a career-high 20 rebounds and 10 assists in his first triple-double, leading the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 117-104 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time). Gilgeous-Alexander came in averaging 23.7 points in his previous 13 games but did much more than score in this one, also matching his career best in assists. Danilo Gallinari scored 30 points for the Thunder, who have won 12 of their past 15 games and six of seven on the road. He was 11 for 12 from the free throw line. Naz Reid scored 20 off the bench for Minnesota, which was still without Karl-Anthony Towns. Reid has scored in double figures in six of the last eight games. Robert Covington scored 18 points. The Thunder held a 63-60 lead at halftime. They went on an 11-2 run early in the third quarter and then a 10-3 burst midway through the third to push their lead into double figures. Oklahoma City led by as many as 18. Steven Adams had 13 points, 11 rebounds and five assists for the Thunder. TIP-INS Thunder: Forward/center Nerlens Noel missed his fifth consecutive game because of a left ankle sprain. Guard/forward Andre Roberson (left knee injury recovery) has yet to play this season. ... Mike Muscala, who attended nearby Roseville High School, scored 11 points off the bench. ... Chris Paul was held without a point or assist in 15 first-half minutes and finished with 10 points and three assists. It was the first time in his career he did not record a point or assist in a half in which he played 10 or more minutes. Timberwolves: Towns has missed 14 games with a left knee sprain. He also was battling an illness Monday (Tuesday, PHL time). ... Forward Jake Layman missed his 25th straight game with a left toe sprain. ... Andrew Wiggins scored 10 points in the first half but was held scoreless in the second half. ... Minnesota had a three-game home win streak snapped. UP NEXT Thunder: Host Toronto on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time). Oklahoma City won the first meeting between the teams 98-97 in OT on Dec. 29 (Dec. 30, PHL time). Timberwolves: Host Indiana on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time) in the first meeting of the teams this season......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 14th, 2020

Irving returns with 21 points, Nets pound Hawks 108-86

By Brian Mahoney, Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) — Kyrie Irving scored 21 points in 20 minutes of an easy return from a two-month absence with an injured right shoulder, leading the Brooklyn Nets to a 108-86 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday (Monday, PHL time). Irving shot 10 for 11 from the field after missing 26 games with an impingement. The shoulder looked fine and his handle looked as good as ever while he dribbled his way around a hopeless Atlanta defense. Energized by his return that still seemed a ways away just a week ago, the Nets led by 39 points and won their second straight after dropping seven in a row. Cam Reddish scored 20 points for the Hawks, who played without star guard Trae Young because of a left hamstring injury and lost their fourth straight. Taurean Prince scored 14 points for the Nets, who made it such an easy night that their fans didn't need to worry about the scoreboard as they roared for Vince Carter's two 3-pointers in the fourth quarter. The 42-year-old former Nets star finished with eight points in his final road appearance against the franchise. Irving began feeling pain in his shoulder early in the season, and he took himself out of the lineup after a game in Denver on Nov. 14 (Nov. 15, PHL time). The Nets held up well without him for a while thanks mostly to Spencer Dinwiddie's strong play, but had faltered recently and struggled especially in crunch time. Irving got a cortisone shot on Dec. 24 (Dec. 25, PHL time), revealing last weekend his options were that or surgery. He gave no indication then he was close to returning, but participated fully in practice this week. He started alongside Dinwiddie to share the playmaking responsibilities and did most of his scoring near the basket, making the only 3-pointer he attempted. The Nets were already leading 70-46 at halftime before he went 5 for 5 for 10 points in a dazzling six-minute stretch of the third quarter. TIP-INS Hawks: Carter got a nice ovation when he checked in and then when he checked out for good in his final road appearance against the Nets. He spent 4 1/2 seasons with the franchise when it was in New Jersey and is third on the Nets' scoring list. His old team was a bit premature with its goodbye, playing a tribute video for Carter when the Hawks played here last year, though he had given no indication he planned to retire. He ended up coming back and became the first player to play 22 NBA seasons. ... Coach Lloyd Pierce said Young got treatment in Washington, where the Hawks practiced Saturday (Sunday, PHL time), and was still sore Sunday (Monday, PHL time). Brandon Goodwin started in his place. Nets: Brooklyn has won the last eight meetings. That's only halfway to the longest winning streak in the series, as Atlanta won 16 straight from 1986-89. ... Brooklyn's previous biggest lead in a game this season was 26 points against Philadelphia on Dec. 15 (Dec. 16, PHL time). FAN FAVORITES Young and Irving are the leading vote-getters among Eastern Conference guards after the second returns of fan balloting for the NBA All-Star Game. Young had received 1,389,628 votes in totals announced Thursday (Friday, PHL time), and Irving had 1,351,997. STATEMENT SHIRTS The Nets warmed up in shirts reading “No Place for Hate." The shirts were designed in collaboration with the Anti-Defamation League after a number of anti-Semitic attacks in Brooklyn over the past few months. UP NEXT Hawks: Host Phoenix on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time). Nets: Host Utah on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 13th, 2020

Jonas Valanciunas leads Grizzlies over Warriors, 122-120

By Clay Bailey, Associated Press MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Jonas Valanciunas had 31 points and a season-high 19 rebounds and the Memphis Grizzlies dominated the second half, beating Golden State 122-102 on Sunday night (Monday, PHL time) to hand the Warriors their eighth straight loss. Valanciunas was 13 of 17 from the field, including a 3-pointer to help the Grizzlies win their fifth straight. Jaren Jackson Jr. finished with 21 points, while Ja Morant had 11 points and 10 assists. Tyus Jones and Grayson Allen also had 11 points each, Allen converting all three of his 3- pointers. D’Angelo Russell, who missed the previous six games with a right shoulder contusion, led the Warriors with 34 points. Alec Burks and Jordan Poole each had 13. The first half started with poor shooting, both teams going to intermission hitting about 40% of their shots. The teams settled into a closely played half, Memphis holding a 60-59 advantage at halftime. Russell had 18 points to lead the Warriors. Valanciunas already had a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Valanciunas would continue his dominance in the third, crashing the boards and cashing in on second-chance points. Then a 3-pointer. By the time he headed to the bench for a break late in the third, the center had 15 points in the quarter, drawing a standing ovation from the Memphis faithful. Memphis built the lead to 20 and a 95-76 advantage after three. TIP-INS Warriors: C Omari Spellman started his second game of the season. “We’re rewarding him for how well he’s playing,” coach Steve Kerr said. Spellman finished with 12 points. … Have lost seven straight road games and 13 of last 14 on the road. … Their last win was Dec. 27 (Dec. 28, PHL time) against Phoenix 105-96. … Draymond Green passed Tom Meschery (3,885) for sole possession of 12th on the Warriors' rebounds list. Grizzlies: Valanciunas had his 20th double-double of the season. The 31 points were one short of his season high of 32 against Chicago on Dec. 4 (Dec. 5, PHL time). … Morant has seven games with at least 10 assists. … Jackson has a 3-pointer in 28 straight games. … Memphis outscored the Warriors 62-26 in the paint, the 14th time this season its has scored at least 60 points in the paint. … Brandon Clarke matched his season high with 11 rebounds. UP NEXT Warriors: Open a three-game homestand against Dallas on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time). Grizzlies: Host Houston on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 13th, 2020

Packers hold off Seahawks 28-23 to reach NFC title game

By Dave Campbell, Associated Press GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers connected with Davante Adams eight times for 160 yards and two touchdowns, Green Bay's spruced-up defense fended off a spirited Seattle rally, and the Packers held on for a 28-23 victory Sunday night to reach the NFC championship game for the third time in six years. Aaron Jones rushed for 62 yards and two first-half scores for the Packers (14-3), who will travel next weekend to take on top-seeded San Francisco. Russell Wilson carried the Seahawks (12-6) on yet another comeback, this time from a 21-3 halftime deficit, but the Packers forced a punt just before the two-minute warning on the second sack of the game by Preston Smith. That was Green Bay's fifth of the game. Za'Darius Smith, the other big-money free agent added to the defense last spring, had two sacks himself. The Seahawks never got the ball again. Rodgers sealed the win with two third-down throws: first a 32-yard pass to Adams on third-and-8 with 2:19 left and then 9 yards to Jimmy Graham on third-and-9 right after the two-minute warning to take down a Seahawks team that was 8-1 on the road this season entering the game. Rodgers exacted some payback for five years ago, when the Packers blew a 16-0 halftime lead in the NFC championship game at Seattle and lost 28-22 in overtime. The Seahawks haven’t been back to the conference title game since, let alone the Super Bowl. Rodgers is running out of time faster than Wilson, though, nine years after his only championship. The Seahawks had just a plus-seven scoring margin during the regular season, making quite the habit of second-half rallies. Wilson did some of the finest work of his eight-year career in 2019, helping the Seahawks stay on track despite a steady stream of injuries, including the late setbacks in the backfield that prompted the emergency call for Marshawn Lynch. Racking up 64 yards rushing on seven scrambles and completing 21 of 31 passes for 277 yards, Wilson directed touchdown drives of 69, 84, 79 right out of the gate after halftime. Lynch finished two of them with scores, and Wilson threw to Tyler Lockett for the other one. Lynch’s second touchdown with 9:33 left cut the lead to 28-23, but Jaire Alexander blew up the 2-point conversion attempt with a sack on an unblocked blitz. The Packers gave the ball back to the Seahawks with a second consecutive punts, this time with 4:54 left at the Seattle 22, but Wilson ran out of tricks in his seemingly bottomless bag of them. FORCEFUL FIRST HALF The Seahawks brought their pass rush to life with seven sacks while grinding out a 17-9 win at Philadelphia last week in the wild card round, with Jadeveon Clowney making his presence felt including a hit that knocked Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz out of the game with a concussion. The Packers mostly kept Rodgers much better protected, though. The Packers had three touchdown drives of 75 yards apiece over the first three quarters, plus a 60-yard march preceded by a missed 50-yard field goal try from Jason Myers. Rodgers hasn't had much help beyond Adams and Jones this season, but he and coach Matt LaFleur did a masterful job of getting them the ball with some Tyler Ervin and Jimmy Graham mixed in. On the opening possession, Adams and Geronimo Allison ran angled routes toward each other before faking the pick and zagging away. Seahawks cornerback Tre Flowers was caught in the confusion, allowing Adams to break free for the 20-yard score. OH, NO, LAMBEAU Seahawks fans have plenty of bad memories of their favorite team's performances in Green Bay, with the losing streak at Lambeau Field now at nine straight games. The last such win for Seattle was on Nov. 1, 1999. There was the hot mike that picked up Matt Hasselbeck's ill-fated boast during the overtime coin toss that the Seahawks would win, preceding his pick-six in the 2003 playoffs. There was the blowout in the snow in the 2007 playoffs, which turned out to be Brett Favre's final win for the Packers. There were also the regular season losses with Wilson in 2015, 2016 and 2017. INJURY REPORT Seahawks: LG Mike Iupati was out with a neck injury, and Jamarco Jones left in the second quarter with a concussion. That forced rookie Phil Haynes into action. ... Clowney, who has fought through a core muscle injury this season, was holding his midsection in the second quarter and briefly absent for the first TD run by Jones. ... Backup DEs Ziggy Ansah (neck) and L.J. Collier were inactive, and DE Quinton Jefferson left with a foot injury in the third quarter. Packers: RT Bryan Bulaga, one of six players the team reported this week as being limited by illness, was active for but did not play. Jared Veldheer replaced him. ... FB Danny Vitale (ankle/illness) was inactive. ... WR Allen Lazard hurt his ankle in the second quarter after Jones collided with the back of his right leg. UP NEXT Seahawks: head into the offseason, needing replenish their depth on the offensive line and on defense while Wilson remains in his prime. Packers: advance to their third NFC championship game in six years. They lost 37-8 on Nov. 24 to the 49ers, who beat Minnesota 27-10 on Saturday in their divisional round game......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 13th, 2020

LIVE UPDATES - PBA Governors Cup 2019 Finals: Ginebra vs. Meralco Game 2

For the third time in four seasons powerhouse franchises Barangay Ginebra and Meralco square off in the finals of the PBA's season-ending conference, the 2019 Governors' Cup.  Led by super-import Justin Brownlee and local stars such as LA Tenorio, Scottie Thompson, Stanley Pringle, and Japeth Aguilar, the fan-favorite fourth-seeded Gin Kings bested sister-team San Miguel and NorthPort en route to another Governors' Cup Finals berth.  The second-seeded Bolts, powered by two-time Best Import Allen Durham and the likes of Baser Amer, Raymond Almazan, Chris Newsome and rookie sensation Bong Quinto, took down Alaska and Talk N' Text on their way to another Governors' Cup Finals matchup against Ginebra. Ginebra has had Meralco's number in the last two Finals pairings, with the Gin Kings winning 4-2 back in the 2015-2016 season and 4-3 the following year.  After a 91 - 87 victory in Game 1, can the Gin Kings continue to reign over the Bolts, or will Meralco even up the series?  Game 1 tips off on Friday, January 10th at 7:00 PM, LIVE from the Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City.  Join us as we bring you live updates here!  MERALCO SURVIVES GINEBRA ONSLAUGHT END OF 3: The Gin Kings gain ground with a huge run but Meralco maintains an 82-76 lead in Lucena#PBAFinals — Paul Kennedy Lintag (@paullintag8) January 10, 2020   TIED BALLGAME! Brownlee! Tied at 70#PBAFinals — Paul Kennedy Lintag (@paullintag8) January 10, 2020 ???? Brownlee floats it in, TABLA NA!#2019GovsCupFinals #PBAFinals pic.twitter.com/8ICHY3ZupY — PBA (@pbaconnect) January 10, 2020 STRONG START IN THIRD QUARTER BY GINEBRA ???? STANLEY PRINGLE BANGGGGG! Baba sa dalawa ang hinahabol ng Barangay Ginebra!#2019GovsCupFinals #PBAFinals pic.twitter.com/nXWP8EHL7J — PBA (@pbaconnect) January 10, 2020 ???? Stanley Pringle connects on the open corner bomb!#2019GovsCupFinals #PBAFinals pic.twitter.com/0Qd2KZpfMn — PBA (@pbaconnect) January 10, 2020 ???? LA Tenorio takes it away and lays it in! 8-0 run mula sa Ginebra para simulan ang third quarter!#2019GovsCupFinals #PBAFinals pic.twitter.com/zbSVW6BVjP — PBA (@pbaconnect) January 10, 2020   BOLTS STILL ELECTRIC Meralco's Chris Newsome beats the buzzer for a 63 - 46 halftime lead. HALFTIME: Newsome beats the buzzer and Meralco will take a 63-46 lead over Ginebra at the break#PBAFinals — Paul Kennedy Lintag (@paullintag8) January 10, 2020 ALMAZAN RESTORES ORDER Three straight hits for Almazan and it’s 52-40 Meralco. Timeout on the floor#PBAFinals — Paul Kennedy Lintag (@paullintag8) January 10, 2020   GINEBRA MOUNTING A RALLY Caguioa jumper! Meralco lead down to five, 41-36#PBAFinals — Paul Kennedy Lintag (@paullintag8) January 10, 2020 ???? BROWNLEE WITH SOME SAUCE ????#2019GovsCupFinals#PBAFinals pic.twitter.com/axvsdF6GpU — PBA (@pbaconnect) January 10, 2020 ???? Justin Brownlee MONEY on the pull up!#2019GovsCupFinals#PBAFinals pic.twitter.com/KkMHYhD6rz — PBA (@pbaconnect) January 10, 2020 BOLTS WITH 15-POINT BULGE AFTER FIRST Powered by John Pinto's hot shooting off the bench, Meralco posts a 36 - 21 lead over Ginebra after the first period. END OF 1: Bolts unleash a 30-8 run after calling their first timeout of Game 2. Meralco leads Ginebra, 36-21, in Lucena#PBAFinals — Paul Kennedy Lintag (@paullintag8) January 10, 2020 PINTO HITS FOURTH TRIPLE! Pinto hits his third and fourth triples of the opening period in back-to-back possessions. Ginebra calls for time again as the Bolts are now up by 14. 31-17 Meralco with two minutes to go in the first#PBAFinals — Paul Kennedy Lintag (@paullintag8) January 10, 2020   MERALCO GOES ON 10-0 RUN TO SEIZE UPPER HAND 10-0 Meralco run after Pinto hits the corner three. Ginebra calls for time as the Bolts take over, 16-13#PBAFinals — Paul Kennedy Lintag (@paullintag8) January 10, 2020 ???? John Pinto launches and buries his second three of 1Q!#2019GovsCupFinals#PBAFinals pic.twitter.com/SmBapCUIbC — PBA (@pbaconnect) January 10, 2020   GINEBRA IN CONTROL EARLY Six straight points for Brownlee plus a Scottie layup on the break. Early “Ginebra” chants as the Gin Kings lead, 13-6. Timeout Meralco#PBAFinals — Paul Kennedy Lintag (@paullintag8) January 10, 2020 ???? Justin Brownlee spins and scores against Almazan!#2019GovsCupFinals#PBAFinals pic.twitter.com/6wlxeLnVGY — PBA (@pbaconnect) January 10, 2020 ???? Thompson wala, Brownlee on the tip-in! #2019GovsCupFinals#PBAFinals pic.twitter.com/xPPe2HZMl7 — PBA (@pbaconnect) January 10, 2020 8:44 1q Brownlee attacks, gets fouled by Almazan. 2/2 for Justin; 9-6 Ginebra #2019GovsCupFinals — PBA (@pbaconnect) January 10, 2020   BROWNLEE OPENS GAME WITH A TRIPLE 11:38 1q Unang pukol! Baaaaang 3?? Brownlee! #2019GovsCupFinals — PBA (@pbaconnect) January 10, 2020 ???? Brownlee tres ang panimula sa Game 2! #2019GovsCupFinals#PBAFinals pic.twitter.com/PA5eU3dCZX — PBA (@pbaconnect) January 10, 2020   GAME 2 STARTERS Game 2 starters Ginebra ???? - Japeth, Brownlee, Pringle, Thompson, Tenorio Meralco ??- Amer, Newsome, Quinto, Almazan, Durham#PBAFinals — Paul Kennedy Lintag (@paullintag8) January 10, 2020 ALL SET FOR GAME 2 IN LUCENA! COMING UP: Game 2 of the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup Finals ???? #2 Meralco??vs. #4 Barangay Ginebra ???? Gin Kings lead, 1-0#PBAFinals pic.twitter.com/38f80NEieT — Paul Kennedy Lintag (@paullintag8) January 10, 2020   Magic up-close ?#2019GovsCupFinals #PBAFinals pic.twitter.com/H34JzBXrSw — PBA (@pbaconnect) January 10, 2020 JDV ????????‍?? #2019GovsCupFinals #PBAFinals pic.twitter.com/44NQzRuVvj — PBA (@pbaconnect) January 10, 2020 Tabla 1-1 para sa @MeralcoBoltsPH o 2-0 para sa @barangayginebra #2019GovsCupFinals game 2 sa Lucena! pic.twitter.com/Kf9g8TphmX — PBA (@pbaconnect) January 10, 2020.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 10th, 2020

Atletico rallies to beat Barcelona and reach Super Cup final

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — A Madrid derby will decide the Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia. Atlético Madrid rallied with two late goals to beat Barcelona 3-2 in a back-and-forth game on Thursday, setting up a meeting against city rival Real Madrid in Sunday's final at the revamped Spanish Super Cup. Real Madrid defeated Valencia 3-1 in the first semifinal at King Abdullah Sports City stadium on Wednesday. Atlético and Real Madrid only made it to the tournament this year because the Spanish soccer federation debuted a “Final Four” format as part of a three-year lucrative deal to play in Saudi Arabia. Previously, only the Spanish league champion — Barcelona last season — and the Copa del Rey winner — Valencia — participated. “We deserved it,” Atlético coach Diego Simeone said. “We knew we had to be patient, we were playing against a very good opponent. We had the feeling that if we could tie the game we would eventually win it, and that's what happened.” Barcelona was mostly in control throughout the match but Atlético opened the scoring less than 20 seconds into the second half with a goal by midfielder Jorge “Koke” Resurrección, who had come on at halftime. Barcelona started its comeback five minutes later with Messi equalizing with a well-placed shot after getting past two defenders inside the area. Antoine Griezmann then put his team ahead with a header in the 62nd from the rebound after Atlético goalkeeper Jan Oblak saved Luis Suárez's attempt. Barcelona kept playing better but Atlético threatened on counterattacks, and it equalized with a penalty kick converted by Álvaro Morata in the 82nd after striker Víctor “Vitolo” Machín was fouled in a one-on-one situation with Barcelona goalkeeper Neto. Atlético got the winner four minutes later following another fast counterattack, this time with Ángel Correa scoring with a shot that bounced off goalkeeper Neto before going in. “It was an intense match,” said Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde, who will be under increased pressure back home after the loss. “It seemed we had it under control but they were able to rally.” A minute after Morata's equalizer, Atlético had loudly demanded another penalty after a handball by Gerard Piqué, but the non-call stood after video review. The VAR had already disallowed two Barcelona goals, one by Messi because of a handball just before Griezmann's goal, and another by Piqué because of offside in the 73rd, when Barcelona was leading 2-1. The first half ended with a small altercation involving players from both teams, including Messi and young Atlético forward João Félix. The mostly pro-Barcelona crowd at the 62,000-capacity King Abdullah stadium was much larger than in the game between Real Madrid and Valencia. The Spanish federation had said ahead of the match it was sold out. Less than 500 fans had been expected to make the trip from Spain for the matches in Saudi Arabia. The Spanish federation took the Super Cup to Saudi Arabia in a three-year deal reportedly worth 120 million euros ($134 million). It made the move despite criticism from human rights activists and advice from UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin for European soccer teams not to play in countries "where the basic rights of women are not respected.” On Wednesday, Amnesty International organized a small peaceful protest in front of the Saudi Arabia embassy in Madrid to call for the release of women activists who have been fighting for their rights in Saudi Arabia. The Spanish federation has praised the fact women are being allowed to watch the Super Cup games, something that was part of the deal when it accepted to play in Saudi Arabia. It said the agreement will help Spain in its attempt to host the 2030 World Cup in a joint bid with Portugal. The Super Cup was also played abroad last season, when Barcelona beat Sevilla in Tangiers, Morocco, in a single-game final......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 10th, 2020

Villa holds Leicester 1-1 in 1st leg of League Cup semis

LEICESTER, England (AP) — Leicester’s substitutes pounced on a rare lapse in concentration by Aston Villa to salvage a 1-1 draw for their team in the first leg of the English League Cup semifinals on Wednesday. Hamza Choudhury dispossessed Douglas Luiz as the Villa midfielder dawdled on the ball inside his own half and it was fed to fellow substitute Kelechi Iheanacho, who slammed a rising shot into the net in the 74th minute. Right back Frederic Guilbert broke forward to give Villa the lead in the 28th from his side’s only shot on target at the King Power Stadium, as the injury-hit visitors stifled the second-place team in the Premier League until Iheanacho struck. The second leg is on Jan. 28 at Villa Park. The winner faces Manchester City or Manchester United in the final, with City 3-1 ahead from Tuesday’s first leg. Following a recent season-ending injury to Brazil international Wesley, Villa didn’t play a recognized striker against Leicester - a tactic also employed to good effect by City at Old Trafford on Tuesday. Villa defended obdurately, with prolific striker Jamie Vardy - the top scorer in the Premier League this season - getting only three sights on goal. The first two before halftime were saved by Villa goalkeeper Orjan Nyland, and Vardy’s third attempt was struck into the side-netting just before the final whistle. Villa is a five-time winner of the League Cup, most recently in 1996. The last of Leicester’s three titles in the competition came in 2000......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 8th, 2020

Lakers block 20 shots, hold off Pistons 106-99 in wild 4th

By Greg Beacham, Associated Press LOS ANGELES (AP) — LeBron James had 21 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists, and Anthony Davis had eight of the Los Angeles Lakers' 20 blocked shots in their fifth straight victory, 106-99 over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday night (Monday, PHL time). Davis scored 11 of his 24 points in the final 3:40 and added 11 rebounds for the Lakers, who blew a late 11-point lead in a wild fourth quarter and nearly lost to a team with a losing record for the first time all season. Instead, Alex Caruso scored 13 points and the Lakers finished one blocked shot short of their franchise record while they hung on to remain unbeaten since Christmas, when they had a four-game skid. Los Angeles had 21 blocks against Denver in April 1982. James finished with his 90th career triple-double, his ninth of the season and his second in five days. Derrick Rose scored 28 points and former Lakers guard Svi Mykhailiuk had 14 — one off his career high — for the Pistons, who have lost nine of 11 despite a strong effort against the Western Conference leaders. Andre Drummond added 12 points on 2-of-13 shooting and 18 rebounds before fouling out late, and the Pistons finished the California portion of their six-game road trip with a heartbreaker. The Lakers scored the first 15 points of the fourth quarter in a rally spearheaded by James and Caruso, turning a four-point deficit into a 90-79 lead. After finally scoring nearly five minutes into the quarter, Detroit strung together nine straight points and a 13-1 run to reclaim the lead with 4:51 left. James' driving, two-handed dunk put the Lakers up 96-92 with 3:22 left, and Davis was unstoppable down the stretch. After Rose hit a 3-pointer with 1:52 left to trim LA's lead to one point, Davis replied with a corner 3, and Dwight Howard got the Lakers' 20th blocked shot moments later. Howard finished with 11 points, nine rebounds and five blocks. Avery Bradley sprained his right ankle shortly before halftime and didn't return for the Lakers. The starting guard missed 13 games earlier in this season with a hairline fracture in his leg. The Lakers blocked eight shots in the first quarter alone, including four by Davis and three by JaVale McGee, who finished with six. Los Angeles blocked 12 shots and held Detroit to 35% shooting in the first half, but Rose and Drummond still kept the Pistons close. Detroit also stayed in it by making its first 21 consecutive free throws until Drummond missed midway through the third quarter. The Pistons still took their first lead late in the third on back-to-back 3-pointers by Mykhailiuk and Langston Galloway. TIP-INS Pistons: Blake Griffin missed his fourth straight game with knee soreness. The injury forced the longtime Clippers star to miss both of Detroit's games at Staples Center this season. ... Coach Dwane Casey got a technical foul in the third quarter for arguing the severity of a foul call against James. ... Detroit again had five players out with injuries, leaving an 11-man active roster. Lakers: Caruso had a strong game off the bench after missing Friday's (Saturday, PHL time) game with tightness in his right calf. ... Ohio State defensive end Chase Young watched the game from courtside next to agent Rich Paul, who represents Davis and James. Young announced Friday (Saturday, PHL time) he'll enter the NFL draft, where he could be the first overall pick. ... Coach Frank Vogel got a technical foul between the third and fourth quarters. INJURED LAKERS Bradley and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope both went to the Lakers' locker room shortly before halftime after apparently rolling their ankles. Caldwell-Pope walked it off and returned in the third quarter, while Bradley's sprain raised worries about the Lakers' perimeter depth, although X-rays were negative. UP NEXT Pistons: Visit Cleveland on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time) to begin a home-and-home set with the Cavaliers. Lakers: Host the New York Knicks on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 6th, 2020

Texans roar past Bills for 22-19 win in OT

By Kristie Rieken, Associated Press HOUSTON (AP) — Deshaun Watson’s teammates talked all week about how they never feel as if they’re out of any game when No. 4 is on the field. On Saturday Watson showed why the Houston Texans have so much trust in him, when the quarterback’s dazzling performance late after a tough start led them to a playoff victory. Watson spun out of a would-be sack and coolly completed a pass that set up the winning field goal in overtime as the Texans rallied from a double-digit second-half deficit for a 22-19 victory over the Buffalo Bills in the first round of the playoffs. DeAndre Hopkins was asked to describe Watson’s play on Saturday to somebody who might have missed the game. “I hope everyone watched this today, but he's amazing,” Hopkins said. “You can't put too many words on it.” Both teams punted on their first possessions of overtime — the first extra period in an AFC wild-card game since January 2012. On Houston’s next drive, Watson evaded a sack by wriggling away from one defender and bouncing off another before rolling out to find Taiwan Jones for a 34-yard reception to set up first-and-goal. Watson flexed both arms as the crowd at NRG Stadium went wild — knowing their team was in position to pull off another comeback win to Houston's playoff history. “I told myself to stay up. I mean, it's do-or-die now. I just had to make the play,” Watson said. Ka'imi Fairbairn then kicked a 28-yard field goal to lift Houston to the victory. The Texans (11-6) advanced to the divisional round of the playoffs next weekend where they’ll face the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. The Texans got a boost from the return of J.J. Watt, who had a sack that helped spark his team. Houston scored 19 straight points to take the lead before Stephen Hauschka’s 47-yard field goal tied it with 5 seconds left to force overtime. “We never quit, regardless,” Watson said. “Whatever it takes to get the win. I mean, we're going to keep fighting.” Watt was wowed by the play of Watson. “The play he made at the end of the game — nobody makes that play,” he said. “The guy’s unbelievable. I’m very thankful and lucky to have him as my quarterback. That’s why you play the whole game.” It was Watt's first game after sitting out since October with a torn pectoral muscle. “This is why you come back,” Watt said. “I don't know if I meant to come back for these many plays or this much extra time, but these feelings, these emotions, these fans, these players, Deshaun Watson and all the guys on this team, this is why you come back.” The win gives the Texans their first playoff victory since the 2016 season and extends Buffalo’s postseason losing streak to six games, with their most recent playoff win coming in 1995. It’s the first wild-card overtime game since the Broncos beat the Steelers 29-23 in the 2011 season. The game conjured memories of another huge comeback in a wild-card game. The last time teams from Houston and Buffalo met in the playoffs it was in a game that is known as “The Comeback.” The Bills set an NFL record for the largest comeback in NFL history by rallying from a 32-point deficit for a 41-38 overtime win against the Houston Oilers in a wild-card game in 1993. This time Josh Allen and the Bills (10-7) used a dominant first half to build a 13-point lead and were up 16-0 in the third quarter, before Allen began to struggle. “He was just trying to do too much and getting a little bit extreme with what he felt like we needed at the time,” coach Sean McDermott said. “But overall, we just didn’t make enough plays.” Watson had 247 yards passing and ran for 55 yards and Hopkins had 90 yards receiving. Watson led the Texans to the victory despite being sacked seven times, led by three from Jerry Hughes, and hit 12 other times. Allen threw for 264 yards, ran for 92 and caught a touchdown pass on a trick play in the first quarter, but often looked rattled late in his playoff debut. Houston couldn’t get anything going on offense before halftime and had 81 yards in a first half where Hopkins didn’t catch a pass for the first time since Week 16 of the 2017 season. They were finally able to sustain a drive on their second possession of the third quarter when Hopkins had receptions of 14 and 10 yards to help move the ball. The Texans cut the lead to 10 when Watson dragged two defenders into the end zone on a 20-yard touchdown run. Watson then dived into the end zone for a 2-point conversion that got Houston within 16-8 with about two minutes left in the third. The Bills were driving early in the fourth quarter when Allen was sacked by Whitney Mercilus and fumbled, and it was recovered by Jacob Martin at the Buffalo 47. Houston cashed in on the miscue with a 41-yard field goal that cut the lead to 16-11 with about 11 minutes to go. Watson connected with Carlos Hyde on a 5-yard touchdown pass and Hopkins on a 2-point conversion with about five minutes left to put the Texans on top 19-16. Hopkins had a 41-yard reception earlier in that drive. The Bills were in field-goal range on their next drive when Allen got a 14-yard penalty for intentional grounding and Buffalo lost a down to bring up fourth down. They went for it and Allen was sacked by Jacob Martin for a 19-yard loss to give Houston the ball back with 1:41 left. “We didn’t execute how we should have, and we didn’t make as many plays as we should have,” Allen said. “That’s what it really comes down to. They made one more play than us.” The Texans trailed 13-0 at halftime and Hopkins fumbled on their opening drive of the third quarter to give Buffalo the ball at the Houston 32. Watt sacked Allen for a loss of 8 yards on third down and the Bills settled for a 38-yard field goal to extend the lead to 16-0. Allen scrambled 42 yards for a first down on Buffalo’s first possession for its longest rush of the season. Two plays later, the Bills used some trickery to take the lead when John Brown threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Allen to make it 7-0. Brown’s pass was wobbly, but Allen was wide open despite having to slow down to grab it. It was early in the second quarter when Allen appeared to fumble, and it was recovered by Houston. But the play was reviewed and overturned, giving Buffalo the ball at the Houston 32. The Bills were unable to move the ball after that and made a 40-yard field goal to make it 10-0. The Bills added another 40-yard field goal at the end of the second quarter to push the lead to 13-0 at halftime. NOT SO FAST Houston’s DeAndre Carter looked to have made a major mistake when caught the opening kickoff of the second half in the end zone and tossed the ball toward a referee without taking a knee. The Bills scooped it up and thought they had scored a touchdown on the play. But the play was reviewed, and it was determined that Carter “gave himself up” so it was called a touchback and Houston kept the ball. WATT’S HEALTH Watt was pleasantly surprised with how good he felt on Saturday in his return from injury. But there was one moment where he was a bit worried that his surgically repaired pectoral muscle wouldn’t hold up. As he was about to dive to try and grab Allen, he wondered if that could be the moment where he was re-injured. “But I dove and landed right on it, popped up, checked it out and looked over at the doctor who was standing like 10 feet away,” he said. “And I was like: ‘It’s all right.’” UP NEXT Bills: Season over. Texans: Advance to divisional round......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 5th, 2020

Derrick Henry, Titans stun Patriots 20-13 in wild-card upset

By Barry Wilner, Associated Press FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — When the eerie Foxborough fog lifted, it became clear that New England's reign atop the NFL was ending. Derrick Henry ensured that with the kind of dominating playoff performance usually reserved for Tom Brady and the Patriots. Henry rushed for 182 yards and a touchdown while Tennessee's defense stymied Brady and perhaps ended his championship-filled New England career with a 20-13 wild-card victory Saturday night. “It’s a great win against a great team in a hostile environment," Henry said on his 26th birthday. “Credit to my team. I’m just happy we were able to advance. “We were just locked in. That was our mindset, just coming in here doing what we needed to do in all three phases, stay locked in no matter what happens in the game, and I feel like we did that.” For sure. As that dense fog that shrouded Gillette Stadium for the first half dissipated, the Patriots, who made the last three Super Bowls and won two, stalled repeatedly with the ball. They no longer were the bullies on the block — Henry was. Six-time champ Brady's contract is up and the 42-year-old quarterback could well be headed elsewhere, including retirement. “I just came off the field," Brady said when asked about his future, but added that it is pretty unlikely he will retire. “There is nobody who has had a better career than me,” he said. “I am very blessed.'' As for this defeat, the Patriots' fourth as a wild card, Brady noted: “They kind of stopped us in the first half and the second half and we couldn't get the job done.'' Meanwhile, the Titans (10-7) are headed next week to Baltimore, the league's top team. There was no scoring in the second half when All-Pro Brett Kern's 58-yard punt that took up 10 seconds rolled down at the New England 1. Brady then was picked by former Patriot Logan Ryan for a 9-yard touchdown to finish off the Patriots (12-5), who at one point were 8-0. The game's first three possessions wound up as three long scoring drives. A 29-yard screen pass to James White set up Nick Folk's 36-yard field goal, but Tennessee answered with a 75-yard march built around Henry. He had no role on the touchdown, Tannehill's pass to a Harvard man, tight end Anthony Firkser that made it 7-3. New England counterpunched with its own 75-yard drive, taking temporary control of the game by victimizing Tennessee's defense on the outside. The Titans looked slow trying to protect the flanks as Sony Michel broke off a 25-yard run and White had a 14-yarder. Julian Edelman finished it with the first rushing touchdown of his 11 pro seasons, a 5-yard dash to the unprotected left side of the Tennessee D. New England appeared primed for another touchdown after Mohamed Sanu's 14-yard punt return set up the Patriots at the Titans 47, and they steadily drove to first-and-goal at the 1. All they got was Folk's 21-yard field goal as three runs failed. It was the 13th time the Patriots had first-and-goal at the 1 in a playoff game in the Brady era and the first time they failed to get a TD on the drive. Tannehill led the NFL with a career-best 117.5 passer rating and by averaging 9.6 yards per pass attempt. But he didn't do a whole lot Saturday night in his first postseason game: 8 of 15 for 72 yards. His awful decision to put the ball up for grabs on the first play of the fourth quarter resulted in Duron Harmon's interception. But New England's spotty attack flopped and never revived. That has not been unusual during the second half of the schedule. Tannehill's passing yards were the fewest for a starter since the Ravens' Joe Flacco had 34 in a wild-card win against the Patriots 10 years ago. BIRTHDAY BOY Henry celebrated his birthday by getting the most rushing yards against a Bill Belichick-coached Patriots team in the playoffs. He set an early tone by rushing for 49 of the Titans' 75 yards on their opening touchdown drive. On the Titans' second 75-yard TD march, all Henry did was gain every yard: 22 on a screen pass and 53 rushing, including a 1-yard dive into the end zone for a 14-13 halftime lead. Those were Tennessee's first points in the final two minutes of the opening half since Week 8. He led the NFL in rushing this season with 1,540 yards in 15 games, the fourth-most rushing yards in franchise history. Henry also ran for 16 TDs, second most in team history. NEW ENGLAND SLUMP After winning their first eight games, the Patriots struggled mightily in the second half of the schedule. They lost four games, and with the defeat by the Titans, they fell three times at home. INJURIES Titans: Linebacker Jayon Brown hurt his shoulder in the first half. Patriots: Safety Patrick Chung left in the first quarter with an ankle issue. NEXT UP Titans: Head to Baltimore in the divisional round. Patriots: Head home early, failing to become the second team to make four straight Super Bowls. And wondering where Brady is headed......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 5th, 2020

Grizzlies take advantage of George s absence to top Clippers

By The Associated Press LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jae Crowder scored 27 points and the Memphis Grizzlies took advantage of Los Angeles star Paul George's absence to rout the Clippers 140-114 on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time). Jaren Jackson Jr. added 24 points, and Ja Morant and Dillon Brooks had 22 points each to help Memphis improve to 7-10 on the road with its highest scoring game of the season. Montrezl Harrell led the Clippers with 28 points, and Kawhi Leonard and Lou Williams added 24 points each. The team appeared out of sorts from the start without George. He sat out with left hamstring tightness and Los Angeles clearly missed his defense. The usually stoic Leonard complained to the referees, who hit him with a technical after the halftime buzzer. Coach Doc Rivers stayed on court discussing it and was unhappy about other calls in the game. The Grizzlies raced to an 18-point lead to open the game, highlighted by a 16-2 run that included four 3-pointers. By the time Williams made the Clippers' first 3-pointer late in the second, cutting their deficit to seven, the Grizzlies had already connected on 10 3s. Los Angeles never got closer. BUCKS 127, SPURS 118 MILWAUKEE (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 19 of his 32 points in the third quarter to help NBA-leading Milwaukee beat San Antonio. The Bucks improved to 32-5 with their fifth straight victory since a Christmas Day loss in Philadelphia. Eric Bledsoe added 21 points. Khris Middleton scored 20 points for the Bucks and backup center Robin Lopez had 14 points in 19 minutes. DeMar DeRozan led the Spurs with 26 points and LaMarcus Aldridge added 16 — all the first half. RAPTORS 121, NETS 102 NEW YORK (AP) — Fred VanVleet had 29 points and 11 assists, Kyle Lowry scored 26 points and Toronto bounced back from its worst offensive performance of the season to beat slumping Brooklyn. Serge Ibaka finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds for the Raptors. They were held to season lows for points and shooting in their 84-76 loss in Miami, when they hit just 31.5% overall and went 6 for 42 from 3-point range (14.3%.). Toronto made 13 3s and beat Brooklyn for the 17th time in 18 meetings. Spencer Dinwiddie scored 23 points for the Nets. They have lost five straight games. CELTICS 111, BULLS 104 CHICAGO (AP) — Jayson Tatum scored 28 points, Gordon Hayward added 24 and Boston beat Chicago. The Celtics hung on for their eighth win in nine games after a 16-point lead dwindled to three in the fourth quarter. Tatum hit a 3-pointer with just over a minute left to bump the lead to seven, and the Atlantic Division leaders came out on top after rallying from 18 down to beat Atlanta on Friday night. Zach LaVine scored 35 points for Chicago. HORNETS 123, MAVERICKS 120, OT DALLAS (AP) — Terry Rozier scored 29 points, including the go-ahead 3-pointer in overtime after his tying basket in regulation, and Charlotte outlasted Dallas. Luka Doncic set a Dallas season record with his NBA-leading 10th triple-double, finishing with 39 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. Devonte Graham had 27 points and 13 assists to help the Hornets win their second straight after a season-worst six-game losing streak. WIZARDS 129, NUGGETS 114 WASHINGTON (AP) — Ish Smith scored a career-high 32 points and Troy Brown added 25 and a career-high 14 rebounds in Washington’s victory over Denver. After Denver took a 101-99 lead with 9:33 left on Mason Plumlee's dunk, the Wizards scored the next 11 with the run eventually reaching 19-2 for a 118-103 lead with 4:48 remaining. Smith scored 11 points in that stretch, capping the surge with a 3-pointer. Jamal Murray scored all 39 of his points after the first quarter for Denver. The Nuggets have lost two of three on their five-game trip. JAZZ 109, MAGIC 96 ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Donovan Mitchell scored 32 points and Georges Niang added 15 off the bench to help Utah beat Orlando for its fifth straight victory. Bojan Bogdanovic had 14 points, Emmanuel Mudiay scored 12 points and Joe Ingles had 11. Terrence Ross led Orlando with 24 points. Nikola Vucevic had 22 points and 11 rebounds. THUNDER 121, CAVALIERS 106 CLEVELAND (AP) — Dennis Schroder scored 22 points, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 20 and Oklahoma City beat Cleveland to run its winning streak to five. Danilo Gallinari added 19 points, hitting five 3-pointers, and Steven Adams grabbed 16 rebounds. Collin Sexton scored 30 points for Cleveland. PISTONS 111, WARRIORS 104 SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Andre Drummond had 14 points and 18 rebounds before fouling out late, Derrick Rose scored 22 points off the bench and Detroit beat Golden State to snap a three-game losing streak. Reserve guard Alec Burks contributed 27 points, seven rebounds and five assists in Golden State's fourth straight defeat following a four-game winning streak. Draymond Green was ejected with 4:57 left in the third. HAWKS 116, PACERS 111 ATLANTA (AP) — Trae Young scored 30 of his 41 points in the first half, Kevin Huerter added a season-high 26 points and Atlanta beat Indiana after blowing a 22-point lead. Domantas Sabonis had 25 points and 11 rebounds for Indiana. Justin Holiday added 18 points. PELICANS 117, KINGS 115 SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — JJ Redick’s driving layup with 1.1 seconds remaining lifted New Orleans over Sacramento. Lonzo Ball had 24 points with 10 assists and Redick scored 18 as the Pelicans won for the fifth time in six games. Nemanja Bjelica converted a four-point play for Sacramento with 4.2 seconds left to tie it at 115. Harrison Barnes scored 30 points to lead the Kings, and Buddy Hield added 24......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 5th, 2020

Injuries pile up as EPL managers vent at festive workload

By Steve Douglas, Associated Press It's tough to know who had the bigger workload during a Premier League festive period perhaps like no other - the players or the clubs’ medical departments. Newcastle manager Steve Bruce lost four of his players to injury - and was forced to keep on the field a player, American DeAndre Yedlin, with a suspected broken hand - in a 20-minute spell around halftime during a game against Leicester on Wednesday. Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe fielded already-injured players in his team’s loss at Brighton days earlier, while Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson acknowledged starting star player Wilfried Zaha against Norwich despite knowing he was carrying a problem. Across a period where some teams were forced to play four games in an 11-day span, a website that compiles injuries in English soccer’s top flight - Premier Injuries - has calculated that there were 53 reported injuries sustained by players. “Like all things in life, it’s about quality over quantity,” said Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, who has been one of the most vocal critics about the workload asked of a modern-day player. “If you have a good friend and you see him twice a year, it’s brilliant, the best time of your life. If you see him every day, you’ll think after five days, ‘What the heck?’” Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, the owner of one of the best and deepest squads in world soccer, also spoke out Friday about the crammed nature of the festive period in England. “Like I’ve said before, nobody cares,” Guardiola said, referring to soccer’s authorities. “And next season there will be more than 50 injuries in this period again.” While most leagues in Europe take a break over Christmas and New Year, the Premier League plows on regardless, continuing a tradition in England that saw - at its most extreme - top-flight teams playing on both Christmas Day and Dec. 26 until the late 1950s. It’s a dream for soccer-mad TV viewers - in England and around the world - less so for Premier League managers who are left to pick up the pieces as their squads are left in tatters at the heavy workload that often impacts on the quality of the games. “The boys last night ran 13 kilometers (8 miles),” Klopp said, the day after his team beat Sheffield United 2-0 at Anfield on Thursday to restore its 13-point lead. “I can’t tell them, ‘Come on, try to run only 11 km so you’ll be ready for the next game.’ It doesn’t work like this. “It’s more, it’s quicker, it’s more physical, it’s more demanding in more departments. But the schedule is the schedule. That’s the truth.” Klopp called on all parties - football authorities, broadcasters, managers - to come together and discuss a solution, though he is not holding his breath. “Try to think at one time in all these negotiations about the players,” he said. “Without the money, it doesn’t work. But without the players, it doesn’t work, as well.” Wolverhampton and Manchester City played two games in less than a 48-hour period (on Dec. 27 and Dec. 29). City, especially, has the capacity to rotate its lineup to keep players slightly fresher but there was no such luxury for the likes of Palace, Newcastle and Bournemouth, who already had a long lost of injuries to players. “We have 10 out of 22 outfield players injured. It's horrendous,” said Bruce, who added that he had never seen such an extreme situation in 40 years in professional football. Hodgson said his players had done “extremely well during this period to actually get on the field and play.” “Do you say we need to play what we think is near to our best team, and we put players on the field and risk that they are going to pick up an injury, or do we say we can't afford to risk it with all the games we have coming up?” said the 72-year-old former England manager. "It is a dilemma and I am still waiting for some bolt from the blue which will tell me what I need to do to solve the dilemma - but it hasn't happened yet." FIFPro, an organization that represents more than 65,000 professional players, made a series of recommendations in a report - called “At The Limit” - it published last year. file:///C:/Users/sdouglas/Downloads/at-the-limit.pdf They include introducing mandatory periods of rest, of four weeks in the offseason and two weeks midseason, and limiting the amount of times per season when players have back-to-back competitive games with less than five days of recovery time in between. FIFPro also wants soccer authorities to consider imposing an annual cap on matches for each player “to protect his health and performance.” For the first time in English soccer, the top flight will have a midseason break this season. It will see one round of Premier League games played across two weekends - five games on one, five on the other - in February to give clubs a two-week break. The then-chief executive of the Football Association, Martin Glenn, said when the new schedule was announced last year that it would keep the “much-loved Christmas schedule in place” and prove to be a “valuable addition for our players” who will be going into end-of-season international tournaments. Try telling that to England captain Harry Kane, who came off after tearing his left hamstring muscle while playing for Tottenham against Southampton on Wednesday, or Tom Heaton, an England goalkeeper who is out for the rest of the season with knee-ligament damage sustained while playing for Aston Villa the same day. Expect managers to roll out largely reserve teams as the English soccer calendar continues this weekend with the third round of the FA Cup......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 4th, 2020

Clippers beat Pistons 126-112; George leaves with hamstring tightness

By Beth Harris, Associated Press LOS ANGELES (AP) — Montrezl Harrell scored 23 points and the Los Angeles Clippers survived without Paul George in the second half to beat the Detroit Pistons 126-112 on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time), winning consecutive games for the first time since Dec. 13 (Dec. 14, PHL time). George didn't return after halftime because of left hamstring tightness. He finished with 12 points. Lou Williams added 22 points and Kawhi Leonard had 18 in three quarters for the Clippers, who had alternated wins and losses for nearly three weeks. Bruce Brown led nine Pistons in double figures with 15 points. Andre Drummond added 10 points and 12 rebounds. They've lost four in a row on the road and eight of nine overall. Trailing by nine, the Clippers took control in the second quarter. They outscored the Pistons 35-20, including runs of 9-0 and 10-0, to take a 69-63 lead into halftime. George hit back-to-back 3-pointers and Leonard followed with another 3. Seven different Clippers scored in the spurts. Once George was sidelined, his teammates stepped up. Landry Shamet hit consecutive 3-pointers that extended the lead to 18 points in the third. Maurice Harkless, who started, Williams and Harrell combined to score 13 of the Clippers' final 15 points and send them into the fourth leading 106-79. Detroit scored on consecutive possessions just once in the third. Harrell and Williams anchored the second unit in the fourth when the starters rested. The Pistons outscored the Clippers 33-20, but they had too big a deficit to overcome. TIP-INS Pistons: They're on a trip with at least one game in each time zone for the first time since Dec. 5-16, 1979. ... Nearly two years after Blake Griffin's shocking trade from the Clippers to Detroit, he's the only one of six players involved still on either roster. Clippers: Patrick Beverley is expected back in the next couple games from a sprained right wrist. ... At 10-5, they tied for the league's third-best record in December. ... So far the Clippers have scored at least 130 points in six games, tied for second-most in the NBA. NO GRIFFIN Griffin sat out with left knee soreness against his former team. Clipper Darrell shouted, “I paid my money and I want to see Blake Griffin!”, drawing a smile from Griffin seated on the bench. The crowd then began chanting, “We want Blake! We want Blake!” REMEMBERING STERN Doc Rivers recalled that David Stern was the first call he received after being fired as Orlando coach in 2003. "I'm thinking, `Wow, this is a cool thing. When you get fired the commissioner calls,'" Rivers said. "But he was calling me to tell me was that tomorrow ABC was going to offer me the job and I better take it." Rivers did, working with Al Michaels as a TV commentator for one season before returning to coaching with the Boston Celtics. "He was the sheriff with love," Rivers said of Stern, who died Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time). "People don't remember this league when he came in. This was a tough league. This was a drug-infested, image-problem league. David Stern came in and cleaned it up and kept it going." Detroit coach Dwane Casey credited Stern for doing more than any other sports commissioner to promote race relations and women in the workplace. “I am a product of the '60s and I've seen everything, discrimination, segregation, and David made it known from the very start that he wanted diversity in the NBA,” Casey said. "He wanted it in the front offices and in the coaching ranks, and he made it happen." There was a pregame moment of silence for Stern. UP NEXT Pistons: Visit Golden State on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) in the middle of their six-game trip. Clippers: Host Memphis on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time), a team the Clippers beat by two points on Nov. 27 (Nov. 28, PHL time)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 3rd, 2020

Fox helps Kings rally from 20 down to beat Grizzlies 128-123

By Michael Wagaman, Associated Press SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — De’Aaron Fox scored 10 of his 27 points in the final five minutes and the Sacramento Kings overcame a 20-point deficit in the first half to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 128-123 on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time), ending an eight-game losing streak. Buddy Hield had 26 points and seven rebounds to help the Kings win for the first time since beating Golden State on Dec. 15 (Dec. 16, PHL time). Richaun Holmes added 18 points and seven rebounds, and Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 16 points. The Kings allowed 42 points in the first quarter and 37 in the third but held the Grizzlies to 13 through the first 10 ½ minutes of the fourth quarter, one of the best defensive stretches of the season by coach Luke Walton’s team. Sacramento took control with a 14-4 run after trailing 106-104 with 5:11 to go. Ja Morant, the Western Conference rookie of the month for December, had 23 points and seven assists for Memphis. Jonas Valanciunas added 18 points and 12 rebounds. The Grizzlies led 42-26 after the first quarter and took a 97-90 advantage into the fourth. Before the game a moment of silence was held for former NBA Commissioner David Stern. At halftime, a tribute to Stern played on the giant video scoreboard. Stern died Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time) at the age of 77. TIP-INS Grizzlies: The 42 points matched the most in any quarter by Memphis this season and were five more than the Grizzlies had in a first quarter this season. Kings: The 128 points were the Kings' season high. … The King avoided their first nine-game losing streak since 2009. … Marvin Bagley III (left foot soreness) was on the court taking shots before the game. That’s considerable progress from when Bagley got hurt Dec. 26 (Dec. 27, PHL time) against Minnesota and left the arena in a walking boot. There is no timetable for his return. PASSING FANCY The Grizzlies dished out 31 assists, the 12th time this season they’ve had 30 or more. That’s tied for second-most in franchise history and one shy of the record set last season. UP NEXT Grizzlies: Play the Clippers in Los Angeles on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time). Memphis has lost three straight in the series, including 121-119 at home on Nov. 25 (Nov. 26, PHL time). Kings: Host the Pelicans on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time). Sacramento lost three of four to New Orleans last season......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 3rd, 2020

West-leading Lakers beat Suns 117-107 for 3rd win in row

By Beth Harris, Associated Press LOS ANGELES (AP) — LeBron James had his eighth triple-double of the season, Anthony Davis had 26 points and 11 rebounds, and the West-leading Los Angeles Lakers opened the new year with a 117-107 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time). James finished with 31 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists in the Lakers' third straight victory that appeared well in hand by the end of a dominant first quarter. He had double-figure points and assists by halftime. The Suns rallied in the fourth, getting within seven points after trailing by 36 earlier in the game. That forced the Lakers' starters back in, and James steadied them with eight points to close out the win. The Lakers shot 70% in a ferocious opening quarter when they made their first 11 shots. Danny Green had their first miss on a 3-point attempt, but the Lakers controlled the offensive rebound and JaVale McGee found Green for a dunk. It was that kind of sequence for the Lakers, who missed just eight attempts in the first. James airballed a shot, but they snagged the rebound and Avery Bradley scored to salvage the possession. The Lakers put together a 25-4 run in which the Suns were limited to only free throws. Among the highlights, Davis dunked over Aron Baynes and let out a roar, and later Davis threw down a reverse dunk on James' pass. Not to be outshone, James followed with a two-handed jam that ignited the crowd. Los Angeles led 43-17 at the end of the quarter. Kyle Kuzma, sporting blond hair, had three 3-pointers in the second. Bradley scored on a smooth behind-the-back pass from James. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope beat the shot clock with a casual heave on a 3-pointer. Dwight Howard chipped in eight points and the Lakers shot 61% in taking a 74-41 lead into halftime. Kuzma added 19 points and Bradley had 18. Devin Booker scored 32 points and Kelly Oubre Jr. added 26 for the Suns. Phoenix had won two in a row after losing eight straight. TIP-INS Suns: Booker has scored 30 or more points in a season-high four straight games. ... They fell to 1-4 all-time playing on New Year's Day; it was their first such contest since 1983. ... They were held to a season-low 17 points in the first quarter. ... The Suns gave up a season-worst 74 points in the first half. ... Frank Kaminsky III missed his second straight game because of a right knee injury. Lakers: They improved to 18-0 against teams under .500 this season and more such opponents are coming up: New Orleans, Detroit and New York. ... Howard notched his 1,000th career steal. ... Their 43 points in the first quarter were a season high. ... Alex Caruso had right calf tightness and didn't return. ... Green and McGee stayed loose by jumping rope on court during a timeout in the fourth. UP NEXT Suns: Host the New York Knicks on Friday (Saturday, PHL time) to open a five-game homestand. Lakers: Host New Orleans on Friday (Saturday, PHL time) in the middle of a five-game homestand......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 2nd, 2020