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LeBron James, Anthony Davis bring new Heat to L.A.

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com The relationship they formed, nurtured and maximized to the championship fullest was captured in all its glory nine years ago this month on a sensational play that took maybe six seconds. Dwyane Wade grabbed a loose ball and ran up court, leading a rather routine fast break and then, chemistry happened. He gently tossed a short, no-look bounce pass that for a microsecond went to a ghost, at least until LeBron James, trailing the play in full sprint, appeared and scooped the ball. Wade didn’t see LeBron behind him … he just knew. LeBron didn’t call for the ball … he just knew. As LeBron elevated and cupped the ball for a tomahawk dunk, Wade kept running forward and spread his arms before the crowd, as if to say: This is how we do it. That finish was immortalized by an Associated Press photographer seated underneath the rim named Morry Gash. The image instantly went viral, causing witnesses to gasp at the image’s snarky, arrogant and amazing glory. Mostly, though, that sequence symbolized the blossoming bond between LeBron and Wade early in their time together with the Miami Heat. 9 years ago today. #L3GENDARY pic.twitter.com/Yc7iQDezlM — Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) December 6, 2019 And, it suggests what’s currently percolating in Los Angeles with the Lakers. LeBron has a new basketball boo, and the process with Anthony Davis is starting to look strikingly familiar. Theirs is an already devastating combo that has the Lakers scorching through the early NBA season with the best record in the West. ‘Bron and The Brow are both entertaining and effective, a combination that certainly works in L.A. (which expects both). This is more of the peanut butter-and-jelly variety than fingernail meets blackboard in terms of two forces blending in beautifully. They share the same ideas about how to play the game as one, when to defer (and when take over) and why there’s no need for ego or one-upmanship. It’s a tag-team, your-turn-my-turn type of existence, sprinkled with an ability to recognize each other’s tendencies. Oh, and it helps that they like each other as people. Longtime Laker witnesses might feel the urge to compare this to Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant, but a more apt linkage is LeBron and Wade, whose on-court kinship spilled over into their personal lives, and to this day they still refer to each other as brothers from other mothers. “We had something special,” James said. And now, with Davis? “Everything’s coming along great, maybe even quicker than we thought.” As the Lakers prepare to play Friday in Miami (Saturday, PHL time) -- the site of so many LeBron-Wade connections -- the NBA’s new combo is just getting ramped up. No All-Star duo in the league is generating more wins, sizzle and per-game production than LeBron and Davis, who average a combined 53.6 points, 15.8 rebounds and 14.1 assists per game. They’re durable, too: LeBron has played in every game while Davis has missed only one. Much of this was expected when the Lakers traded for Davis and gave LeBron someone who was arguably his equal in terms of talent. The pairing seemed ideal because Davis is a low-maintenance star who doesn’t always demand the ball and keeps his ego hidden -- necessary tools when one plays in LeBron’s orbit. They also tend to cover each other’s weaknesses. For example, Davis is a superior defender while LeBron, who turns 35 in a few weeks, picks his spots defensively. Davis took the Pelicans to the semifinals once, while LeBron has played in eight of the last nine Finals. One other critical element worth noting is this: LeBron is anxious to grab at least another title here with his third team, which would be unprecedented. Davis is hungry for his first. They share the same quest, then, but approach it from different angles. Given where they are in their careers, there was a hunch they were made for each other. After 25 games, this notion has proven correct. “They hit the ground running right from the start of training camp,” said Lakers coach Frank Vogel. “Both on and off the basketball court, their chemistry has been seamless.” LeBron seemed determined to make this work after his first season in L.A. lacked a true co-star and was slowed by a groin injury. His basketball relationship with Kyrie Irving in Cleveland took a sharp turn three years ago when Irving demanded a trade, mainly to escape LeBron’s enormity and strike out on his own. LeBron, like almost everyone else, was stunned as to why someone was so willing to bail on an all-time great. That raised this issue: while LeBron is one of the most accommodating superstars in NBA history, other stars in their prime would rather be the lead singer on another team. Davis seems cut from another cloth, however. And besides, when LeBron eventually retires (he has two seasons left on his contract), Davis will become a solo king if he so desires. This process was months in the making as LeBron made a point to align himself with Davis off the court since last summer. He welcomed him into his home, inviting him to events and generally magnetizing himself to Davis, who in turn did the same. This same approach worked for LeBron and Wade in 2010, but back then, LeBron was joining Wade’s team and was careful not to overstep any boundaries. “What I’m seeing here is how much time they spent together away from the court last summer and how that has impacted what’s going on right now,” Vogel said. “Even in film sessions the two are always together. They’re just building that friendship that LeBron and Dwyane had. LeBron has done everything in his power to make sure he’s going out of his way to make Anthony comfortable.” Wade and LeBron became fast friends because their personalities were similar and therefore clicked. Wade admitted that, at times, it was difficult to ride shotgun that first season together. But he respected LeBron’s talents too much to make that an issue. It all worked as they won two championships and made four Finals together. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra recognizes what’s developing in L.A. and says about LeBron: “He’s able to morph into whatever he needs to be to bring out the best from other players. This just fits like a glove with LeBron and AD, the way they work well together. Their skill sets compliment each other.” The Bron-Brow combo is causing defensive hell for teams: Which one gets a double team? Do you put a big player on LeBron and a shorter one on Davis or vice versa? Last Sunday (Monday, PHL time), the two combined for 82 points against the Timberwolves, which came two nights after they dropped 70 on the Blazers. Scoring only tells so much, but the way they compliment each other is nearly perfect. LeBron handles the ball, Davis impacts the rebounding and defense. They can almost sense where the other is without looking. Together, their sneaker prints are all over the floor. “The more time you spend together, if you have the same goals in mind and you have the same drive, then organically it happens,” LeBron said. Much of this is new to Davis, who only got a half-season’s worth of playing time with an All-Star (DeMarcus Cousins) his six seasons with New Orleans. He welcomes the change of synergy because playing next to LeBron ups his championship odds. “I mean, he’s a tremendous teammate, great talent and takes a lot of pressure off not only me, but everyone else,” Davis said. “It’s fun to be on the floor with him.” That’s evident from everyone who has watched this relationship take root and grow. “It’s there, and I think it’s genuine, too, from what I can see,” said former Lakers great and James Worthy, now a TV analyst for the club. “They’ve known each other for a while now, and they have that same drive and vision about the game and how it’s played. I think they know how to monitor each other and the team constructively to where the cohesiveness remains tight.” What’s frightening is the process hasn’t even reached a half-season. The wavelength LeBron and Wade once enjoyed can be matched with Davis, and it’s on pace to be fully maximized by the playoffs. The better it gets for Bron and Brow, the better it is for their supporting cast. “For me and AD, it starts with us,” LeBron said. “If we’re on the same page it makes it easier for the rest of the ball club.” There’s an important duplication taking place in Los Angeles, from LeBron-Wade to LeBron-Davis. The initial results are decisively promising. If this all keeps up, might multiple championships also follow? Shaun Powell has covered the NBA for more than 25 years. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here, and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports7 hr. 25 min. ago Related News

Leonard scores 24 points as Clippers beat Raptors 112-92

By Ian Harrison, Associated Press TORONTO (AP) — Kawhi Leonard got his ring, and the Los Angeles Clippers got another win. Leonard scored 23 points in his return to Toronto, Lou Williams had 18 and the Clippers won their third straight game Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time), beating the slumping Raptors 112-92. Maurice Harkless scored 14 points and Paul George had 13 as the Clippers evened their road record at 6-6. Before the game, Leonard received his championship ring from the 2018-19 season, when he helped Toronto beat Golden State in six games for the franchise’s first NBA title. Clippers guard Patrick Beverley scored 11 points in 19 minutes before leaving in the third quarter because of a concussion. Beverley collided with Marc Gasol’s shoulder as the Raptors center was setting a screen. Pascal Siakam scored 24 points, Norman Powell had 22 and OG Anunoby 13 as the Raptors lost for the fourth time in five games and dropped their third straight at home. Toronto set a franchise record with nine straight home victories to begin the season. The Raptors shot 8 for 35 from 3-point range, their worst mark of the season. Toronto matched a season low with 31 field goals. They also had 31 in a Nov. 29 (Nov. 30, PHL time) win at Orlando. Following a pregame video tribute, Leonard’s former teammates, along with coaches and team executives, gathered in a circle at center court. As the sold-out crowd roared with approval, Leonard embraced each player in turn before guard Kyle Lowry presented him with his ring. After slipping it on, Leonard raised his arms and waved. Leonard was held to 12 points, a season low at the time, when the Raptors visited the Clippers on Nov. 11 (Nov. 12, PHL time). The three-time All-Star and two-time NBA Finals MVP shot 1 for 11 in that game, but Los Angeles won 98-88. Leonard shot 8 for 14 Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time), going 2 for 4 from 3-point range and 5 for 5 from the free throw line. He returned after sitting out Monday’s (Tuesday, PHL time) win at Indiana because of a sore left knee. Leonard has missed seven of the Clippers’ 26 games this season. Anunoby scored nine points in the first and the Raptors went 6 for 6 at the free throw line to lead 32-27 after one. Toronto led 36-34 on a basket by Rondae Hollis-Jefferson with 9:21 remaining in the second, but the Clippers outscored the Raptors 30-10 over the rest of the quarter to take a 64-46 halftime lead. Williams scored 13 points in the second, one fewer than the Raptors had as a team. Toronto shot 5 for 22 in the quarter, going 0 for 9 from 3-point range. The only time this season the Raptors have scored fewer points in a quarter was their Nov. 11 road loss to the Clippers, when they scored 10 points in the fourth. Powell scored 12 points in the third, and Toronto cut the gap to 76-71 on a basket by Siakam with 3:43 left in the quarter, but Leonard scored five points as the Clippers used a 12-0 run to take an 88-71 lead into the fourth. TIP-INS Clippers: Coach Doc Rivers said G Rodney McGruder, who has missed six straight games because of a strained right hamstring, might return Friday (Saturday, PHL time) at Minnesota. … Williams led the Clippers with eight assists. Raptors: Lowry scored six points in the first quarter but didn’t score again, missing his final six field goal attempts and shooting 0 for 7 from 3-point range. … G Fred VanVleet (right knee) sat for the second straight game. … F Patrick McCaw returned after missing 17 games because of left knee surgery. … Gasol led Toronto with 11 rebounds. UP NEXT Clippers: Visit the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday (Saturday, PHL time). Raptors: Host the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time)......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports20 hr. 12 min. ago Related News

Booker, Oubre carry Suns past Timberwolves 125-109

By David Brandt, Associated Press PHOENIX (AP) — Devin Booker scored 26 points, Kelly Oubre Jr. added 24 on his 24th birthday and the Phoenix Suns rolled to a 125-109 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night. Oubre shot 8 of 15 from the field and made all six free throws, while Ricky Rubio finished with 16 points and 14 assists. The Suns won at home for the first time since Nov. 14, snapping a four-game losing streak at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Dario Saric added 20 points for Phoenix. Rubio has had at least 13 assists in three straight games. Minnesota lost its fifth in a row. The Timberwolves were led by Karl Anthony-Towns, who scored 33 points and grabbed 15 rebounds. He shot 12 of 18 from the field. Andrew Wiggins added 23 points and Jeff Teague had 16 off the bench. Phoenix trailed by three at halftime but rallied for a 94-85 advantage at the end of the third quarter. The Suns pushed that margin to 12 early in the fourth after Rubio's 3-pointer. The Timberwolves made a few small runs in the final period but could never get the deficit under seven. Rubio hit another 3 with 4:26 left to push the Suns ahead 111-98, and they cruised in the final minutes. Towns had 21 points and eight rebounds in the first half as the Timberwolves took a 64-61 halftime lead. Oubre and Saric both scored 13 for the Suns. TIP-INS Timberwolves: F Jake Layman (toe sprain) missed his ninth straight game. ... Towns scored at least 30 points against the Suns for the fourth time in his five-year career. The 33 points were a career high for him in the series. Suns: C Aron Baynes returned after missing nine of the past 10 games because of hip and calf injuries. Baynes has been productive when healthy this season, averaging 14.7 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. He played 15 minutes on Monday, finishing with 12 points and four rebounds. ... The Suns are 11-0 when leading after three quarters. UP NEXT The Timberwolves host the Utah Jazz on Wednesday. The Suns host the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsDec 10th, 2019Related News

Schroder scores 27 off bench, Thunder dominate Jazz 104-90

By John Coon, Associated Press SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Dennis Schroder scored 27 points off the bench and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Utah Jazz 104-90 on Monday night. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 20 points and Chris Paul added 16 points and seven assists for the Thunder. Steven Adams chipped in with 11 points and 13 rebounds. Oklahoma City got a big lift from its bench and outscored the Utah reserves 45-23. The Thunder shot 47% from the field. Donovan Mitchell scored 26 points to lead the Jazz. Rudy Gobert added 19 points and 17 rebounds. Utah lost for the sixth time in eight games. Utah and Oklahoma City traded big runs in the first half. The Jazz surged ahead 24-19 late in the first quarter on the strength of a 13-2 run. Gobert highlighted the spurt with back-to-back baskets — part of the 14 points he scored before halftime. The Thunder answered with a 18-5 run that extended into the second quarter. Schroder got things going with a pair of baskets before the first quarter ended. Paul capped it off with back-to-back baskets, giving Oklahoma City a 37-29 lead. Oklahoma City stayed in front for the remainder of the game. The Thunder opened their first double-digit lead in the third quarter, going up 85-65 behind a 19-4 run. Schroder did most of the damage during the outburst, scoring four total baskets. His driving layup ignited the run and his third 3-pointer of the game finished it. TIP INS Thunder: Danilo Gallinari did not play because of a left ankle sprain. Terrance Ferguson also missed his third straight game because of right hip soreness. ... Darius Bazley collected a career-high seven rebounds. ... Oklahoma City forced 15 turnovers and scored 19 points off those miscues. Jazz: Mike Conley missed his third straight game with left hamstring tightness. … The Jazz did not allow any second-chance points over the first three quarters. … Bojan Bogdanovic shot just 4 of 17 from the field. … Joe Ingles finished with a game-high eight assists. Ingles is averaging 7.0 assists over his last five games. UP NEXT Thunder: At the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday. Jazz: At the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsDec 10th, 2019Related News

Thunder opens road trip with 108-96 win in Portland

By Anne M. Peterson, Associated Press PORTLAND, Ore (AP) — Dennis Schroder and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander each scored 21 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder opened a four-game trip with a 108-96 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday night (Monday, PHL time). The Thunder, who led by as many as 18 points in the first half, have won four of their last five games, the team's best stretch of the season. Chris Paul finished with 20 points. Damian Lillard had 26 for the Blazers, who have lost three of four. After trailing 55-47 at the break, the Blazers closed the gap in the third quarter and the Thunder held just an 82-78 advantage going into the final period. But Danilo Gallinari's 3-pointer put Oklahoma City up 95-87 with 4:14 left and Moda Center fans started streaming to the exits. Gilgeous-Alexander hit a 3-pointer and a floater that extended Oklahoma City's margin to 100-89 with 3:13 left and essentially put the game out of reach for the Blazers. Portland (9-15) was coming off a costly 136-113 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. Starting forward Rodney Hood tore his Achilles during the first half and will miss the rest of the season. The Blazers had already lost forward Zach Collins to a shoulder injury that required surgery. And center Jusuf Nurkic continues to rehab from a broken leg. Portland made a move to shore up the frontcourt with the Nov. 19 signing of 10-time All-Star Carmelo Anthony, who hadn't played for more than a year. Anthony has fit in well with the Blazers, averaging 16.7 points and 5.6 rebounds through his first nine games. But he struggled against the Thunder, going 4 of 18 from the field and finishing with just nine points. Kent Bazemore started in Hood's place against Oklahoma City. Oklahoma City (10-12) was without Terrance Ferguson because of right hip soreness for the second straight game. Coach Billy Donovan said before the game that he expects Ferguson will miss Monday night's (Tuesday, PHL time) game at the Jazz as well. Abdel Nader started in his place. The Thunder were coming off a 139-127 overtime victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday (Saturday, PHL time). Oklahoma City forced overtime when Steven Adams threw a length-of-the-court pass that Schroder caught and laid in at the buzzer. The game got attention because Thunder guard Chris Paul alerted the officials that Minnesota's Jordan Bell had an untucked shirt, which led to a technical foul that helped the trailing Thunder send the game to overtime. Neither team looked sharp at the start on Sunday (Monday, PHL time). Oklahoma City held a slight 21-20 lead at the end of the first quarter, on 31.8% shooting. Portland shot 27.6% to open the game. Schroder's pull-up jumper stretched the Thunder's lead to 41-29 midway through the second quarter. Portland clawed back into it and closed to within 51-47 on Anthony's 3-pointer, which capped a 10-0 Blazers run. But Portland couldn't get closer and trailed 55-47 at the break. Paul led all players with 16 points. Portland closed within 62-60 on Lillard's 3-pointer in the third quarter. The Blazers eventually pulled in front when Lillard made a trio of free throws, but it was short lived and the Thunder led 82-78 going into the final quarter. The teams split their first two games earlier this season. TIP-INS Thunder: In the third quarter a fan dropped a phone on the court and Dennis Schroder picked it up and handed it back. ... It was the first of a four-game trip for Oklahoma City. ... Luguentz Dort fouled out with 4:34 left in the game. Trail Blazers: Damian Lillard went 0 for 6 from the field to start the game. His first basket was a floater with less than a minute left in the opening quarter. Then he had 16 points in the third quarter alone. ... Hassan Whiteside finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds. UP NEXT Thunder: Oklahoma City plays the second of a back-to-back Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time) at Utah. Trail Blazers: Portland hosts the New York Knicks on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time)......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsDec 9th, 2019Related News

Paul, Thunder umeskapo sa OT

NAGSALANSAN ng season-high 30 points si Chris Paul at nailu­sot ng Oklahoma City Thunder ang kakaibang 139-127 overtime win laban sa Minnesota Timberwolves Biyernes ng gabi......»»

Source: Abante AbanteCategory: NewsDec 7th, 2019Related News

Grizzlies Morant week to week due to back spasms

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Memphis Grizzlies rookie guard Ja Morant didn’t travel for the team’s Sunday (Monday, PHL time) game at Minnesota due to back spams. The Grizzlies said Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) in a release that Morant’s status is considered “week-to-week.” Morant first experienced the back spasms Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) in a 126-114 loss to the Indiana Pacers. He aggravated the back spasms Friday (Saturday, PHL time) in a 103-94 loss to the Utah Jazz. Morant, the No. 2 overall pick out of Murray State, is averaging 18.6 points to lead all rookies......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsDec 1st, 2019Related News

Hornets complete home-and-home sweep of Pistons, 110-107

By The Associated Press DETROIT (AP) — Langston Galloway’s shot from near midcourt rimmed out at the buzzer, and the Charlotte Hornets held on for a 110-107 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time). Charlotte completed a home-and-home sweep of the Pistons this week. Detroit must be wondering what it has to do to beat the Hornets. Charlotte edged the Pistons 109-106 earlier in the month and 102-101 on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time). This matchup went down to the wire again. The Hornets rallied from an eight-point deficit in the final quarter and led by three with 8.9 seconds left. Detroit inbounded the ball, and Luke Kennard missed a 3-pointer from near the top of the key. Galloway was able to run down the loose ball, and his last-ditch shot looked on line, but it wouldn’t go in. P.J. Washington scored 26 points for Charlotte, and Terry Rozier added 23. The Hornets were without center Cody Zeller because of a left hip injury. Derrick Rose led the Pistons with 23 points. SPURS 107, CLIPPERS 97 SAN ANTONIO (AP) — LaMarcus Aldridge and Derrick White each had 17 points, and San Antonio beat Kawhi Leonard and Los Angeles. The Spurs stopped the Clippers’ seven-game win streak in Leonard’s second appearance in San Antonio as an opponent. Leonard finished with 19 points on 8-for-23 shooting. San Antonio had lost two straight and 12 of 14, but found its footing against Los Angeles. Leonard spent his first seven seasons in San Antonio before demanding a trade. He was shipped off to Toronto and won his second NBA Finals MVP last season before joining the Clippers as a free agent. Leonard’s initial return to San Antonio on Jan. 24 (Jan. 25, PHL time) resulted in thunderous boos and a 125-107 loss for the Raptors. BUCKS 119, CAVALIERS 110 CLEVELAND (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 11 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter and Milwaukee held off Cleveland for its 10th straight victory. Antetokounmpo grabbed 12 rebounds and has had double-doubles in every game this season for Milwaukee, at 16-3 the top team in the Eastern Conference. The Bucks hadn't won 10 in a row since the 1985-86 season. Hill scored 18 points, and Middleton, playing for the second time since missing seven games with a bruised left thigh, had 12. Cleveland has dropped nine of 10. Rookie Darius Garland scored 21 points, including five 3-pointers, and Cedi Osman had 20. Tristan Thompson had 11 points and 13 rebounds, including the 5,000th of his career in the first half. Love, who is playing despite dealing with a sore back, had 16 points and eight rebounds in 31 minutes. RAPTORS 90, MAGIC 83 ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Norman Powell scored a career-best 33 points as Toronto won its sixth straight game, beating Orlando. Powell was 7-for-9 shooting in the third quarter, including three 3-pointers. Fred Van Fleet added 22 points for the Raptors, who won despite Pascal Siakam's 4-for-22 shooting. Siakam finished with 10 points and 13 rebounds. Evan Fournier scored 19 points for Orlando, which has lost four of five. Markelle Fultz added 15 points. Aaron Gordon, who played 32 minutes for Orlando after missing three games with a right ankle contusion, had eight points and eight rebounds. NETS 112, CELTICS 107 NEW YORK (AP) — Spencer Dinwiddie had 32 points and 11 assists while Kyrie Irving was again unable to face his former team, and Brooklyn beat Boston to split a home-and-home series. Irving missed his eighth straight game with a right shoulder injury but was at the arena to get an evaluation and watch from the bench along with Kevin Durant as Dinwiddie kept up his strong play in his place. The Eastern Conference player of the week last week matched his highest assist total of the season and was two shy of his best scoring performance of the season. Jarrett Allen added 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Nets, who bounced back from their 121-110 loss in Boston on Wednesday night to win for the fifth time in six games. Jayson Tatum had 26 points and nine rebounds for the Celtics. HEAT 122, WARRIORS 105 MIAMI (AP) — Goran Dragic scored 20 points, Tyler Herro added 19 and Miami remained perfect at home this season. Duncan Robinson scored 17 for Miami, which is 8-0 at home for the second time in franchise history — tying the mark set by the 2012-13 Heat. Robinson and Herro were a combined 10 for 13 from 3-point range. Jimmy Butler scored 16, while Kendrick Nunn and Kelly Olynyk each had 15 for the Heat. Jordan Poole scored 20 for injury-ravaged Golden State, which was playing the opener of a five-game road trip. Eric Paschall scored 17 and Alec Burks finished with 16 for the Warriors. The Warriors are one of four teams without back-to-back wins this season, joining Chicago, Detroit and New York. 76ERS 101, KNICKS 95 NEW YORK (AP) — Joel Embiid had 27 points and 17 rebounds, James Ennis III scored 18 of his 20 points in the second half, and Philadelphia overcame a sluggish start and beat New York. Tobias Harris scored 19, and Ben Simmons chipped in 16 points, including a game-sealing steal and dunk late in the fourth quarter for the 76ers, who have won two straight and six of seven. Julius Randle had 22 points and 10 rebounds, and Marcus Morris Sr. scored 20 points for the Knicks, who have lost a season-high five straight. The 76ers were playing without starters Al Horford (rest) and Josh Richardson (right hamstring injury) and it showed in the first half as their offense struggled. Philadelphia shot 13 for 38 from the field, including 2 for 18 behind the 3-point line. JAZZ 103, GRIZZLIES 94 MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Bojan Bogdanovic scored 16 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter, helping Utah pull away from Memphis. Bogdanovic matched his season-high scoring mark, going 12 of 20 from the field, including 4 of 8 from 3-point range as Utah snapped a two-game losing streak. Donovan Mitchell added 20 points, and Rudy Gobert had 13 points, 13 rebounds and a pair of blocks. Jonas Valanciunas led Memphis with 22 points and 17 rebounds, and Brandon Clarke scored 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting. The Grizzlies have lost six straight. PACERS 105, HAWKS 104, OT INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Jeremy Lamb scored 20 points, T.J. Warren hit a go-ahead 3-pointer and Indiana outlasted Trae Young and Atlanta in overtime. Young matched his career high with 49 points in the Hawks’ ninth straight loss. He was 16 of 28 from the field, hitting 8 of 15 from 3-point range. Lamb got the Pacers started in overtime with a 20-foot jumper and he fed Myles Turner for a 3-pointer. Warren made his only 3-pointer of the game with 1:12 remaining to push the Pacers to their fifth consecutive victory. Turner and Domantas Sabonis each scored 17 points, and Warren and Malcomb Brogdon had 16 apiece. DeAndre’ Bembry and Alex Len added 15 points each for Atlanta. THUNDER 109, PELICANS 104 OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Dennis Schroder scored 25 points, including 12 in the fourth quarter, and had seven assists to help Oklahoma City beat New Orleans. Abdel Nader scored 19 points and Danilo Gallinari had 17 for Oklahoma City (7-11), which had been 1-4 in its previous five games. Steven Adams added 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Thunder, including the final four points in the last minute. Brandon Ingram scored 26 points and had eight rebounds to lead New Orleans (6-13), which lost its fourth straight. J.J. Redick added 16 points for the Pelicans but missed two 3-point attempts in the final 10 seconds. New Orleans had seven players score in double digits. MAVERICKS 120, SUNS 113 PHOENIX (AP) — Luka Doncic tied a career high with 42 points, Tim Hardaway Jr. added 26 and Dallas beat Phoenix. Doncic just missed a triple-double with 11 assists and nine rebounds. Hardaway shot 6 of 9 from 3-point range to help offset a quiet night from Kristaps Porzingis, who finished with two points. The teams entered the final quarter tied at 89. The Mavericks went on an 8-0 run midway through the fourth to take a 104-97 lead and never trailed again. Phoenix has lost six of its last seven games. Kelly Oubre Jr. led the Suns with 22 points and 10 rebounds, and Ricky Rubio added 21 points and nine assists. LAKERS 125, WIZARDS 103 LOS ANGELES (AP) — Anthony Davis had 26 points and 13 rebounds, and LeBron James had 23 points and 11 assists before both superstars took the fourth quarter off in Los Angeles’ 10th consecutive victory. Quinn Cook scored 17 points and JaVale McGee had 15 points and 11 rebounds for the steamrolling Lakers, who have won 17 of 18 to soar to the top of the overall NBA standings. Los Angeles went 14-1 in November, posting the most victories in a month for this 16-time champion franchise since March 2000. The up-tempo Wizards have been one of the NBA’s worst defensive teams this season, and the Lakers’ dynamic offense was far too much for them. Bradley Beal had 18 points and nine assists for the Wizards, who have lost three of four. Washington got off to a solid start and had several good stretches against the Lakers, but committed 19 turnovers and lost for the second time in three stops on a four-game West Coast road trip. TRAIL BLAZERS 107, BULLS 103 PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Carmelo Anthony had 23 points and 11 rebounds and Portland downed Chicago for its second victory over the Bulls this week. Damian Lillard added 28 points for the Blazers, who have won three straight after four consecutive losses. Hassan Whiteside had eight points, 15 rebounds and a franchise-record 10 blocks for Portland. Zach LaVine finished with 28 for the slumping Bulls, who have lost seven of their last nine games......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsNov 30th, 2019Related News

Love at peace, not worried about trade chatter

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press Kevin Love knows change could be coming. A couple of years ago, uncertainty might have been something that stressed him out, triggered the sorts of feelings like the ones that manifested themselves in the form of an in-game panic attack in 2017, rendered him unable to compete as efficiently as he wanted. Not this time. Even though he has three full years and about $90 million left on his contract after this season, it’s no secret that Love could be traded by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Plenty of teams even make sense for such a move — Portland, Dallas, Denver, Miami among others. But going public with the details of his panic attack — and his ongoing involvement in the conversation about the need to take care of mental health — has not left Love feeling vulnerable. He’s more at peace than anything else, and that’s why the rumors that are out there aren’t gnawing at him. “I’m just going to let the chips fall,” Love said. “I know that this is a young team. I think I can help them. I’m going to do right by Cleveland, the organization. This is a league where teams want to rebuild, teams want to go young but certain teams are looking for a piece, a guy who’s played in the finals, a guy who has playoff experience. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I think it definitely lessens the burden and the anxiety.” Cleveland is 5-12 and Love missed Monday’s (Tuesday, PHL time) game against Brooklyn with back issues. Now in his 11th season, the five-time All-Star can still play — he’s averaging 17.9 points and 11.8 rebounds, is a 36% shooter from 3-point range and won a ring with the Cavs in 2016. Even with him, the Cavs are likely a long shot for a playoff spot in the East. But Love insists that he isn’t forcing a change. “I’ve been committed to Cleveland since Day 1,” Love said. “I know it’s been a little shaky at some points. It’s been really great at some points. But now I’ve found some semblance of balance in my life, not only on the court but away from it.” Love also doesn’t shy away from the mental health questions. Players like Love and DeMar DeRozan helped bring the conversation into the NBA mainstream by opening up about their own private and personal issues. “I kind of played all my cards and spoke my truth,” Love said. “I just feel like there’s not a lot out there that could really hurt me. I feel like, not only for other people but selfishly for myself, it’s been very therapeutic.” HISTORY LESSON The Spurs are in trouble. Monday’s (Tuesday, PHL time) loss to the Lakers dropped San Antonio to 6-12, and seeing that is all anyone would probably need to realize that the Spurs’ record-tying 22-year streak of postseason appearances is in major jeopardy. But the numbers really hammer the point home. Over the last 14 seasons, not including this one, there have been 103 instances of teams starting 6-12 or worse. Of those, only four have made the postseason — and none of those four came from the Western Conference. And the last time the Spurs were under the .500 mark 18 games into a season was 1995-96, when they started 3-15. That’s the point where they fired Bob Hill for a guy named Gregg Popovich. “They’re going to be OK,” said Charlotte coach James Borrego, a former longtime Spurs assistant, who crossed paths with Popovich in Washington recently. “At the end of the day, he’s coaching his team, I’m coaching my team. I know what they’re going through. But they’ve been in this territory before. I don’t know if they’ve lost as much as they’ve lost this early, but they’ll bounce back. There’s high character there. They know what they’re doing.” The last West team to start 6-12 or worse and get into the playoffs was the 2004-05 Memphis Grizzlies, who began 5-11, went through two different coaches before bringing in Mike Fratello. He fashioned a 40-26 finish, the Grizzlies sneaked into the playoffs at 45-37 and as the eighth seed. They got swept in the first round. The NBA champions that year? San Antonio. KEMBA’S NECK Boston guard Kemba Walker took a scary hit last week when he collided with teammate Semi Ojeleye during the Celtics’ game at Denver. The way Walker fell, and how he had to leave the game on a stretcher, understandably raised plenty of concern. He was diagnosed with a sprained neck, which was probably about the best possible outcome given how bad the play looked in real time. Perhaps overlooked is this: The sprain is Walker’s second neck issue in less than three months. He played some games for USA Basketball at the FIBA World Cup in China in September while dealing with neck pain, which intensified to the point that he sat out the Americans’ finale there — the seventh-place game in Beijing against Poland. MIGHTY MAVS With MVP candidate Luka Doncic leading the way, Dallas is flying. The Mavericks have scored 137 points or more in each of their last three games. Only two teams in league history have gone on longer such streaks — Denver in November 1988 and Portland in November 1990, both of those being four-game runs. The Mavs have reached the 125-point mark five times already this season. That matches their total from all of last season. THE WEEK AHEAD A game to watch each day in the coming week: (PHL times listed) Wednesday, L.A. Clippers at Dallas: Doncic is rolling right now. Here comes a very big test. Thursday, L.A. Lakers at New Orleans: Welcome back to New Orleans, Anthony Davis. Friday, Happy Thanksgiving: It’s one of the days the NBA has no games on the schedule. Saturday, Boston at Brooklyn: A noon start time. Could it be Kyrie Irving versus the Celtics? Sunday, Charlotte at Milwaukee: For some reason, few seem to be talking about the Bucks. Next Monday, Memphis at Minnesota: Through Monday (Tuesday, PHL time), Grizzlies rookie Ja Morant averaged 19 ppg. Next Tuesday, Utah at Philadelphia: A matchup of really good teams that usually put defense first......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsNov 26th, 2019Related News

Lakers eke out win over Grizzlies, Spurs halt skid

LOS ANGELES: LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers stretched their NBA winning streak to seven games Saturday (Sunday in Manila) with a gritty 109-108 victory over the Grizzlies in Memphis. James scored 30 points and pulled down six rebounds and Anthony Davis added 22 points and blocked five shots as the Lakers rallied late […].....»»

Source: Manilatimes_net Manilatimes_netCategory: NewsNov 25th, 2019Related News

Lakers eke out win over Grizzlies; Spurs halt skid

    LOS ANGELES, USA – LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers stretched their NBA winning streak to 7 games with a gritty 109-108 victory over the Grizzlies in Memphis on Saturday, November 2. James scored 30 points and pulled down 6 rebounds and Anthony Davis added 22 points and blocked 5 ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsNov 24th, 2019Related News

Lakers escape Grizzlies, 109-108

The Lakers are in a 7-game winning roll. #NBA The post Lakers escape Grizzlies, 109-108 appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Source: Tribune TribuneCategory: NewsNov 24th, 2019Related News

Harden scores 49 points, taking career-high 41 shots

By The Associated Press MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — James Harden scored 49 points on a whopping 41 shots from the field and the undermanned Houston Rockets won their seventh straight game, 125-105 over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time). With Russell Westbrook resting, the Rockets needed Harden to shoulder an even bigger scoring load than usual. The 41 attempts are the most in his career, and the most in the NBA this season, surpassing the 37 Golden State’s D’Angelo Russell took in an overtime loss Nov. 8 (Nov. 9, PHL time) in the same building in Minnesota. Harden made 16 of the 41 shots, going 8 for 22 from 3-point range. He was 9 of 11 on free throws. Ben McLemore scored 20 points. Undrafted rookie Chris Clemons scored a career-high 19 for the Rockets, who broke open the game with a 9-0 run in the fourth quarter. Austin Rivers also had 19 points. Karl-Anthony Towns had 27 points and 15 rebounds for the Timberwolves. TRAIL BLAZERS 121, SPURS 116 SAN ANTONIO (AP) — CJ McCollum scored 32 points and Portland beat San Antonio to spoil Tim Duncan’s first shot at coaching following Gregg Popovich’s ejection. Popovich was ejected after walking onto the court to berate official Jason Goldenberg over a non-call. Popovich calmly walked off the court following his first ejection of the season. The Spurs responded with Duncan and fellow assistants Becky Hammon and Will Hardy coaching by committee, but it was Duncan calling the plays and screaming out instruction. Damian Lillard added 22 points and Hassan Whiteside had 21 for Portland. LaMarcus Aldridge had 30 points and 13 rebounds Spurs. They’ve lost five straight. BUCKS 102, PACERS 83 INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo had 26 points, 13 rebounds and six assists and Milwaukee forced Indiana into its worst shooting performance of the season. Brook Lopez added 15 points and eight rebounds. He had blocked five shots as the Pacers shot a season-low 32% from the field. Milwaukee, 9-3 despite a road-heavy schedule to start the season, shot 45%. Donte DiVincenzo added 14 points, Myles Turner, playing his first game since Oct. 30 (Oct. 31, PHL time), had 16 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks for Indiana. MAVERICKS 110, RAPTORS 102 DALLAS (AP) — Luka Doncic had 26 points and 15 rebounds in Dallas’ victory over Toronto. Doncic scored nine points in the fourth quarter as the Mavericks added to a one-point lead. He made all seven free throws in the quarter and finished with a career-best 15 free throws in 19 attempts. Delon Wright finished with 15 points, and banked in a fadeaway with 5 seconds left in the third quarter to send Dallas into the fourth quarter with a 78-77 edge. Wright added six points in the fourth quarter. Kristaps Porzingis had 20 points and matched his career best with 15 rebounds for Dallas. Norman Powell scored a season-high 26 points for Toronto. HEAT 109, PELICANS 94 MIAMI (AP) — Kendrick Nunn scored 22 points and Miami beat New Orleans to remained unbeaten at home. Bam Adebayo had 18 points and 14 rebounds, and Jimmy Butler added 16 points, 13 assists and eight rebound. Miami is 5-0 at home and 9-3 overall — tying the best 12-game start in team history. Nickell Alexander-Walker made six 3-pointers and had 27 points for New Orleans. NETS 117, BULLS 111 CHICAGO (AP) — Spencer Dinwiddie scored 24 points and Brooklyn beat Chicago without All-Star guard Kyrie Irving to snap a three-game losing streak. Irving entered Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) sixth in the NBA with 28.5 points per game but sat with a right shoulder injury. The short-handed Nets are also without Caris LeVert, who’s recovering from right thumb surgery. Zach LaVine scored 36 points for Chicago. HORNETS 103, KNICKS 102 NEW YORK (AP) — Devonte’ Graham made his ninth 3-pointer with 2.8 seconds remaining and had 29 points to lead Charlotte past New York. P.J. Washington scored 19 points, Terry Rozier had 16 and Marvin Williams added 13. RJ Barrett scored 22 points for the Knicks......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsNov 17th, 2019Related News

Harden drops 44 as Rockets ground Pacers; Hornets win

Rockets 111, Pacers 102 Hornets 109, Pistons 106 Thunder 127, 76ers 119 (OT) Wizards 137, Wolves 116 Grizzlies 107, Jazz 106 Magic 111, Spurs 109 Lakers 99, Kings 97   LOS ANGELES (AFP) – James Harden scored 44 points and had eight rebounds as the Houston Rockets beat the Indiana Pacers, 111-102, on Friday night […].....»»

Source: Tempo TempoCategory: NewsNov 16th, 2019Related News

Ja Morant lifts Grizzlies past Hornets with late layup

By Steve Reed, Associated Press CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Rookie Ja Morant scored on a driving left-handed layup with 0.7 seconds left to give the Memphis Grizzlies 119-117 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time). A HOMECOMING 12 WILL NEVER FORGET @JaMorant | #GrzNxtGen pic.twitter.com/mczFhwIK9r — Memphis Grizzlies (@memgrizz) November 14, 2019 In his first NBA game in the Carolinas, Morant had his first double-double with 23 points and 11 assists to help the Grizzlies win consecutive games for the first time this season. The South Carolina native was 10 of 15 from the field and excelled all night at getting to the rim and finding the open man. Jonas Valanciunas was one of the beneficiaries of Morant’s passes, finishing with 18 points and 13 rebounds. Marko Guduric had 17 points off the bench. The Hornets battled back from 10 down in the fourth quarter to tie it on a 3-pointer by Devonte Graham from the top of the key with 22.7 seconds left. But after a timeout, Morant got a screen near the top of the key and drove left against Cody Martin and somehow got the layup to fall over 7-foot center Cody Zeller in traffic. Terry Rozier tied a career-high with 33 points on seven 3-points for the Hornets, who have lost four straight. Graham, who entered the game leading the team in points and assists, had 19 points in his first start of the season. The Hornets led by 12 in the third quarter before the Grizzlies went on a 22-5 run led by Morant and Dillon Brooks, who finished with 15 points. TIP-INS Grizzlies: Grayson Allen, who starred at Duke a couple of hours away, did not play because of left ankle soreness. Hornets: Were outrebounded 45-35. ... Dwayne Bacon sat out with knee soreness. ... The Hornets have trailed by double digits in every game this season. UP NEXT Grizzlies: Host Utah on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time). Hornets: Host Detroit on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time)......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsNov 14th, 2019Related News

Celtics beat Wizards 140-133 despite 44 points from Beal

By Jimmy Golen, Associated Press BOSTON (AP) — Kemba Walker scored 25 points and the Celtics overcame 44 points from Bradley Beal to beat the Washington Wizards 140-133 on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time), Boston’s ninth straight victory. Jayson Tatum bounced back from a historically bad shooting night with 23 points, Jaylen Brown scored 22 and Enes Kanter had 13 points and nine rebounds for the Celtics. Boston has not lost since the season-opener at Philadelphia, its longest streak since winning 16 in a row in the 2017-18 season. Rui Hachimura scored 21 points and Davis Bertans had nine points and 10 rebounds for the Wizards, who lost their third straight game, and for the sixth time in seven games. Former Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas, who led Boston to the 2017 Eastern Conference finals, scored 18 and had seven assists. Boston led by two at the half and made it a six-point game after three quarters. After Bertans hit a 3 to open the fourth and make it 102-99, the Celtics ran off the next 10 points. Boston led by 16 points, 137-121, with 3:39 left in the game before the Wizards ran off 12 in a row. Walker hit a 3-pointer with just over a minute left to preserve the victory, and Hachimura missed a 3 at the other end. Thomas received a standing ovation when he was introduced before the game. When he went to the free throw line in the fourth quarter, a few fans even broke out in an “M-V-P!” chant. Celtics F Gordon Hayward watched from the bench, two days after he had surgery on his broken left hand. He is expected to miss six weeks. Carsen Edwards, a second-round draft choice, had a career-high 18 points for Boston. TIP-INS Wizards: Thomas was back for the third time since he was traded to Cleveland as part of the 2017 deal that brought Kyrie Irving to Boston. He was inactive the first time, with Cleveland, and scored zero points in seven minutes when he returned with the Nuggets on March 18, 2018. Celtics: Tatum was 1 for 18 in the victory over Dallas on Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) and then posted a picture of himself working on his shot later that night. According to Elias Sports Bureau, it was the second-worst shooting performance by a Celtics player in the last 65 seasons, and matched the second-worst shooting percentage by a player on a winning team in 65 years (minimum 15 shots). He was 9 for 20 from the field and 1 for 5 from 3-point range against Washington. UP NEXT Wizards: Visit the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time). Celtics: Visit the Golden State Warriors on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time)......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsNov 14th, 2019Related News

Wiggins leads Wolves with 30 points in 129-114 win vs. Spurs

By Dave Campbell, Associated Press MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Andrew Wiggins kept up his early season surge with 30 points on 12-for-23 shooting, and the Minnesota Timberwolves handed the San Antonio Spurs their third straight loss, 129-114 on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time). Karl-Anthony Towns scored 28 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, giving Minnesota’s maximum-contract duo a third consecutive game with 25-plus points apiece. Towns and Wiggins are currently the only teammates in the NBA averaging more than 25 points per game. Wiggins, who added eight rebounds and seven rebounds, drained a pull-up 3-pointer from the left wing in the waning seconds of the third quarter to give the Wolves their biggest lead of the night at 106-95 before they breezed through the final 12 minutes. Wiggins, who has shown a sharp improvement in shot selection under coach Ryan Saunders, received a standing ovation when he was removed late in the game. DeMar DeRozan had 27 points and LaMarcus Aldridge added 23 points for San Antonio, with the two stars combining to shoot 22 for 34 from the floor, but the Spurs finished just 3 for 17 from 3-point range. The Spurs, with Tony Parker’s jersey now hanging from their arena rafters next to Tim Duncan’s and Manu Ginobili’s, are well past the glory days of their five NBA championships, but they still, of course, have Gregg Popovich in charge. With the 70-year-old winningest coach in NBA history on the bench and DeRozan and Aldridge in the lineup, though, they’re hardly a pushover, even though Popovich lamented their “really soft” defense after a 135-115 defeat against Boston last week. The Spurs entered this game ranked just 21st in the league in average points against. They weren’t exactly overflowing with intensity on the defensive end in this one, either, squandering a strong start to the second half while watching the Wolves pull away for the third consecutive quarter. Bryn Forbes missed a 3-pointer that would have broken an 83-all tie, and Jake Layman, who was continually slashing to the basket all game, dropped in a finger roll for a lead the Wolves never relinquished. DeRozan picked up a technical foul after arguing a personal foul against him, and the free throws helped the Wolves on their way. TIP-INS Spurs: For the third time in 11 games this season, the Spurs allowed 120-plus points. ... DeRozan and Aldridge each hit the 20-point mark for the second game this season. They did that 24 times during the 2018-19 regular season. Timberwolves: Teague, who missed the last four games because of illness, returned to action in a reserve role, with rookie Jarrett Culver in the starting lineup at point guard for a fourth time in five games. Teague had 18 points and six assists in 23 minutes. ... Backups power forward Jordan Bell (sprained right shoulder) and point guard Shabazz Napier (sprained right hamstring) each had their fifth straight absence. WINNING WITH WIGGINS Towns and Wiggins have 35 games with 25-plus points apiece, the fourth-most in the NBA since Towns was a rookie in 2015-16. Wiggins hit the 30-point mark for the fourth time in five games. LONG RANGE The Timberwolves have been trying to sharpen their 3-point shooting for years, and thanks in part to a 6-for-45 performance from behind the arc on Sunday in an overtime defeat against Denver, they entered this game ranked third-worst in the league at 30.8%. A few minutes after Towns and San Antonio’s Rudy Gay were given double technical fouls for their testy exchange, sparked when Gay fouled Towns while he was shooting, Towns and Wiggins swished 3-pointers on consecutive possessions to break a tie and give the Timberwolves a 57-51 lead. They were 15 for 34 from 3-point range at Detroit in their last game, a season best. ONE-SIDED The Spurs have won the season series in 22 of 30 years since the Timberwolves entered the NBA, with five ties, for an overall record of 89-30. This was the first of four meetings this season. UP NEXT Spurs: Play at Orlando on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time). They have a 43-18 lead in the all-time series with the Magic. Timberwolves: Host Washington on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time), then Houston on Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time) to conclude a stretch with five home games, and six total, in eight days......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsNov 14th, 2019Related News

21 active stars who should have their jersey retired someday

By Sekou Smith, NBA.com Tony Parker is the latest all-time great to see his jersey raised to the rafters for his years of service in San Antonio. But he won’t be the last of his generation to be honored that way. Parker’ big night in San Antonio generated some interesting conversation about who, among current NBA players only, would be in line for similar honors someday. Keep in mind that the standards for a retired jersey with one franchise differs from one to another. Winning titles in Los Angeles or Boston -- or even Chicago or Golden State -- is a tougher sell than it is where there aren’t already multiple championship banners. Accomplishments matter … and so does sentiment, too. There are always unique variables at work when it comes to retiring jerseys, which is a much more significant honor than inducting a player into a franchise’s ring of honor. With Parker’s star-studded ceremony still fresh in our minds, here’s a list of other stars who will one day be able to see their jerseys up in the rafters: * * * LeBron James (Cavs and Heat): If there is anyone that’s an absolute lock to see his jersey raised high when he calls it a career, it’s LeBron. He delivered Cleveland a title, ending the city’s 52-year title drought, in his second stint with what is essentially his hometown team. Before that, he was the catalyst for the Heat’s four straight Finals trips (2011-14) and back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013. The standard to join the Lakers’ retired-jersey fraternity is tougher, of course. The greatest Lakers get statues -- a fate that might await LeBron in Cleveland one day. Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala (Warriors): Also known as the “Hamptons 5”, they will all be immortalized someday by Golden State. All five played a role in the championship fun and excitement they generated during the franchise’s golden era of the past half-decade. You can make case for all five of them to enjoy jersey retirement ceremonies on their own. That, however, would go against everything their “Strength In Numbers” era was about. Rest assured, though, that all five of them will have their day. James Harden (Rockets): Harden started his career as a super sixth man in Oklahoma City before rewriting his legacy after a trade to Houston. He’s already one of the most prolific and creative scorers the league has seen. The Rockets have had their fair share of legendary players and know what it’s like to bask in the championship glow provided by the rise of a transcendent player. Harden’s jersey will be in good company some day, perhaps right next to Hakeem Olajuwon’s No. 34. Russell Westbrook (Thunder): In an era where nearly every other elite superstar of his generation made a move via trade or free agency, Westbrook stuck to his roots in Oklahoma City until he had no choice but to move on. He endeared himself to generations of OKC fans by playing at a fever pitch from start to finish, earning All-Star, All-NBA and Kia MVP honors there. Being a part of a Finals team with Durant and Harden helped cement his legacy. Although he’s now in Houston, he’ll always have a place in the hearts of Thunder fans. Damian Lillard (Blazers): Lillard personifies the values of a basketball-mad fan base in a city that adores its team and stars in a unique way. The Blazers did their homework on the unheralded point guard from Weber State and have enjoyed everything that’s happened since. From his Kia Rookie of the Year campaign in 2013 to today, he has played out better than anyone could have imagined. Lillard, one of the most underappreciated stars of his generation, couldn’t have found a better match in a city and franchise. Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks): The rise of the "The Greak Freak" from obscure prospect to Kia MVP in just six seasons gives his story extra dramatic flair. His relentless work ethic helped change the culture in Milwaukee and branded him as a potential successor to James as the face of the league. The fact that he authored the greatest individual season in Bucks history since Kareem-Abdul Jabbar’s days has carved out a permanent space for Antetokounmpo’s jersey in franchise lore. Kemba Walker (Hornets): The face of the franchise in Charlotte for the first eight years of his career, Walker has since moved on to Boston. But he remains the Hornets’ career leader in several categories and was a beloved fan favorite for a team that never achieved any sustained postseason success. Few players of his or any era forged a connection to a city and franchise as Walker did with Charlotte. Derrick Rose (Bulls): Born and raised in Chicago, Rose (at 22) became the youngest player to win the Kia MVP in 2011. He also joined Michael Jordan and Elton Brand as the only Bulls to win Rookie of the Year honors. Even though knee injuries derailed his career in his hometown, he piled up enough early career accolades to one day be honored with a retired jersey. Although he never led the franchise back to championship prominence, he is the the most decorated Bull since MJ. Vince Carter (Raptors): How many players can say they served as the basketball inspiration for an entire nation? Carter can. His time with the Raptors served as the spark for generations of future NBA players, many of whom have gotten the chance to play with their childhood idol in the twilight of his future Hall of Fame career. His five seasons with the New Jersey Nets solidified his status as one of the best players of his generation. But his star was never brighter than it was from 1998-2004 when “Vinsanity” inspired Canada. Marc Gasol and Mike Conley (Grizzlies): These two should grit and grind their way to the rafters in Memphis, on the same night if possible. They helped usher in the greatest run in franchise history, spearheading a feisty and physical style that spoke to the city’s blue-collar ways. The “Grit and Grind” Grizzlies validated their rise to prominence with a West finals run in 2013 steered by Gasol and Conley. Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan (Raptors): Lowry and his best buddy DeRozan were separated before they could realize their dreams of winning a title together in Toronto. Lowry realized it last season alongside Kawhi Leonard, thus cementing his legacy as an all-time great Raptor. He’ll always have a place to call home north of the border because of the franchise-altering success that took place on his watch. DeRozan was a fan favorite who wanted to finish his career in Toronto. He, too, will always have a home in the city. Blake Griffin and Chris Paul (Clippers): The LA end for these two was messier than it should have been, especially since they oversaw the “Lob City” era that revitalized the franchise. Time will surely heal all wounds, somewhere down the road. History will be kinder to the Clippers’ climb out of the doldrums than anyone was during their injury-tortured run. Griffin and Paul are locks for the Hall of Fame one day. Plus, a franchise without much history to celebrate could use a couple of jerseys to jazz up their new building. Kawhi Leonard (Raptors): Is a one-year surreal playoff run enough to warrant franchise immortality? Clippers fans are hoping Kawhi and Paul George give them a reason to raise their jerseys to the rafters someday, too. Right now, Leonard is a seeming lock for the honor with the Raptors, where his brief-but-fruitful stay there gave their rabid fan base their first NBA championship. Dwight Howard (Magic): After his first eight seasons in Orlando, Howard had a near slam-dunk case for the Hall of Fame and retired jersey status. Yes, his exit from Orlando was messy. And he has yet to find a way to part ways with any of the other franchises on good terms. Still, you can’t overlook his Magic-era feats: All-Star berths, three Kia Defensive Player of the Year awards, five All-NBA first team nods and a Finals trip in 2009. Sekou Smith is a veteran NBA reporter and NBA TV analyst. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsNov 13th, 2019Related News

Jokic, Nuggets hold on for 100-98 overtime win over Wolves

By Brian Hall, Associated Press MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Nikola Jokic hit a fadeaway jumper with 2.4 seconds left to give the Denver Nuggets a 100-98 overtime victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday (Monday, PHL time). ???? JOKIC COMES UP CLUTCH AGAIN! ???? The Joker sinks his second-straight GAME WINNER for the @nuggets! #MileHighBasketball pic.twitter.com/FxqL61NW3g — NBA (@NBA) November 10, 2019 Jokic had 20 points, six rebounds and seven assists to help Denver win its fourth straight game. Will Barton had 13 points, including a pair of 3s in overtime, and 12 rebounds. Paul Millsap scored all 14 of his points during a big third-quarter run and had 10 rebounds. Karl-Anthony Towns had 25 points and 16 rebounds for Minnesota. Towns sent it to overtime with a corner 3, but the Wolves shot a season-low 13.3% from 3-point range and 35.1% overall from the field. Andrew Wiggins added 25 points in Minnesota's third loss in four games. A game after recovering from a 19-point, fourth-quarter deficit, the Nuggets allowed the Wolves to rally. Denver led by 16 in the fourth when Gary Harris hit a 3 with 6:41 left. The Nuggets went scoreless the remainder of regulation and Minnesota put together a 16-0 streak. The Wolves led 55-53 midway through the fourth when Millsap was fouled shooting a 3. He converted all three free throws for his first points and scored six points as Denver went on a 10-0 run. Minnesota was 0 for 10 from beyond the arc in the third as Denver took control. The Wolves hit 4 of 17 shots overall in the quarter. TIP-INS Nuggets: Jamal Murray left the game early in the third with left foot soreness but later returned. He scored all 15 of his points in the first half. ... Backup guard Malik Beasley left with an illness after playing five scoreless minutes. ... The Nuggets are 22-9 at Target Center since 2004-05. Timberwolves: Point guards Jeff Teague (illness) and Shabazz Napier (right hamstring strain) each missed their third straight game. ... Minnesota's previous worst 3-point shooting performance was Friday night (Saturday, PHL time) against Golden State when it was 9 of 36. The Wolves are 15 of 18 from 3 in the two games. ... Minnesota had one turnover in the first quarter. UP NEXT Nuggets: Host Atlanta on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time). Timberwolves: At Detroit on Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time)......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsNov 11th, 2019Related News

A rarity: Lillard, Russell both top 50-point mark in losses

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press A career-best for Damian Lillard. A career-best for D’Angelo Russell. And neither was enough, on a wacky Friday (Saturday, PHL time) in the NBA. Lillard scored a franchise-record 60 for Portland in its loss to Brooklyn, Russell had 52 in Golden State’s loss at Minnesota — and those efforts added up to an absolute NBA rarity. Friday (Saturday, PHL time) became only the second night in league history in which multiple players scored at least 50 points in losses. The only other such day: April 9, 1978. David Thompson scored 73 points in Denver’s loss to Detroit, and George Gervin scored 63 in San Antonio’s loss to the New Orleans Jazz. That was the final day of the 1977-78 regular season, one where Thompson and Gervin were going for the league’s scoring title. No scoring title was at stake Friday (Saturday, PHL time). It was merely a wild night. “Obviously, Dame was exceptional tonight,” Portland coach Terry Stotts said. “Carried us, put us in a position to win the game.” Lillard capped his 60-point effort, one more than his previous career best, with a 34-footer at the buzzer to cap a 119-115 loss. He was 19 for 33 from the field, 15 for 15 from the foul line, but merely slapped a few teammates’ hands and walked off the floor quietly after the record night. Russell was 19 for 37 from the field, but the Warriors fell to the Timberwolves 125-119. “D’Angelo hit some incredible shots. ... Played a fantastic game,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. Russell said he never scored 50 in a game before Friday (Saturday, PHL time). His previous NBA high was 44. “It’s not easy to get 50 in this league,” Russell said. Another big effort that didn’t end in a win Friday (Saturday, PHL time) — Luka Doncic, who had 38 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists for Dallas in a loss to New York. Doncic’s 38 points were a career-best and he has four triple-doubles in eight games this season. “I don’t care about the season-high,” Doncic said. “I just wanted to win.” Gervin won the scoring title after that final-day flurry in 1978, finishing that season averaging 27.22 points. Thompson’s 73 pushed him to 27.15; another six points in the finale would have been enough to give him the scoring crown. Lillard’s 60-point game allowed him to jump one spot to No. 2 in the points-per-game standings, now behind only Houston’s James Harden. “Dame’s a special player,” Stotts said. Having a night in which multiple players score 50 in a loss is really rare, obviously — and having a night where it happens in wins isn’t exactly common, either. Friday (Saturday, PHL time) was the first day that the NBA had multiple 50-point scorers, regardless of outcome, since Dec. 23, 2005. That night, Vince Carter scored 51 for New Jersey in a win at Miami, and Allen Iverson scored 53 for Philadelphia in a loss to Atlanta. Other days with multiple 50-point efforts: Feb. 21, 2003 (Jamal Mashburn and Tracy McGrady), Dec. 6, 2000 (Kobe Bryant and Antawn Jamison, both putting up 51 in the same Lakers-Warriors game), Jan. 16, 1993 (Michael Jordan and David Robinson), Dec. 1, 1990 (Patrick Ewing and Charles Smith), March 24, 1990 (Ewing and Tom Chambers), Feb. 13, 1963 (Elgin Baylor and Wilt Chamberlain), Dec. 14, 1962 (Baylor and Chamberlain), Feb. 25, 1962 (Chamberlain and Richie Guerin), Jan. 24, 1962 (Chamberlain and Jerry West), Jan. 17, 1962 (Chamberlain and West), Dec. 29, 1961 (Baylor and Chamberlain), Dec. 13, 1961 (Baylor and Chamberlain), and Dec. 8, 1961 (Baylor and Chamberlain)......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsNov 9th, 2019Related News