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LeBron on new milestone: I always think back to my hometown

    LOS ANGELES, USA –  LeBron James poured on 44 points to leapfrog Wilt Chamberlain on the NBA's all-time scoring rankings  as the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Portland Trail Blazers, 126-117 , on Wednesday, November 14 (Thursday, November 15, Manila time).  But James later made sure to pay tribute to Chamberlain when ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: News1 hr. 18 min. ago Related News

Fire hits popular Mt. Pulag trail

A fire hit one of the trails to Mt. Pulag in Kabayan, Benguet on Wednesday morning......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: News2 hr. 31 min. ago Related News

LeBron passes Chamberlain for '5 on NBA s all-time scoring list

NBA.com staff report LeBron James hit another career milestone on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time) as he passed Wilt Chamberlain for fifth on the NBA's all-time scoring list. The King passes the Big Dipper.@KingJames is now the fifth-highest scorer in NBA history. pic.twitter.com/XHDXoMVCsW — Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) November 15, 2018 James reached 31,420 career points with an and-one free throw in the fourth quarter to pass Chamberlain. James, 33, now sits directly behind Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Karl Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on the NBA's all-time scoring list. James finished the game with a season-high 44 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists in the Lakers' 126-117 win over the Portland Trail Blazers. 👑 @KingJames walking off with 3️⃣1️⃣,4️⃣2️⃣5️⃣points and the 5th spot on the @NBA all-time scoring list! pic.twitter.com/FzXtV4R9lp — Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) November 15, 2018 “It’s all about hard work.” @KingJames (44p/10r/9a/@Lakers W) walks off as the 5th all-time leading scorer in @NBAHistory! #ThisIsWhyWePlay pic.twitter.com/Z6ZZwhs4J7 — NBA (@NBA) November 15, 2018 Congratulations to @KingJames for passing Laker great Wilt Chamberlain to become 5th all-time leading scorer in NBA history! — Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) November 15, 2018 The historic game ball and James' uniform will be donated to the I Promise School in Akron, LeBron announced after the game......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports5 hr. 5 min. ago Related News

NCAA: Mapua gets revenge on LSGH, grabs second title in three years

Mapua High School now has the most number of championships in NCAA Juniors Basketball – and its record-setting title could not have come in more dramatic fashion. Dan Arches finished what Paolo Hernandez started as the Red Robins stood strong in the face of a furious fightback from now-dethroned champion College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills, 77-74, on Thursday at the MOA Arena. Mapua was well on its way to a win, up 69-53 late in the third quarter before being at the wrong end of a 19-5 Junior Blazer rally that tied the tally at 74-all inside the last two minutes. “Credit sa lahat ng players na walang ginawa kundi sumunod sa game plan namin,” a beaming head coach Randy Alcantara said post-game. It was at that point, however, that Arches scored from a split from the stripe and then an inside basket to put his team back on top, 77-74. CSB-LSGH had 66 ticks to go to make something happen, but was unable to find the hole the rest of the way. Up until the last moment, however, the game wasn’t over as the Junior Blazers had the ball with 0.5 on the clock. The inbound went to Joshua David at the top of the key and he had an open look that had the ball finding the bottom of the net. Only, he wasn’t able to release the ball before time expired – therefore, preserving the three-point win for the Red Robins. With that, Mapua claimed its second championship in the last three years and 22nd overall – tying it with San Beda High School as the winningest program in the Juniors. At the same time, they have gotten back at the same Junior Blazers who dethroned them a season ago. Hernandez was the firestarter for it all with a career-best 33 points on top of 12 rebounds, three steals, two assists, and two steals. Arches then brought the finishing kick with 22 markers, including all six of his team’s points in the final frame, to go along with five boards. “Thank you nagkaroon ako ng ganitong klaseng mga players. Sila talaga ‘to e,” coach Randy said. For CSB-LSGH, Inand Fornilos topped the scoring column with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Joel Cagulangan, though, was silent for his standards with just 10 markers, six boards, and four assists after incurring an apparent right ankle injury early in the game. BOX SCORES MAPUA 77 – Hernandez 33, Arches 22, Sarias 5, Smith 5. Quimado 4, Policarpio 4, Mariano 2, Dennison 2, Lazarte 0, Diaz 0. CSB-LSGH 74 – Fornilos 18, David 13, Cagulangan 10, Palencia 8, Natividad 7, Calimag 6, Sangco 4, Lao 3, Mosqueda 3, Valenzuela 2, Lepalam 0. QUARTER SCORES: 18-15, 42-34, 71-56, 77-74. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports5 hr. 5 min. ago Related News

LTO to identify abusive SUV driver

Traffic officials are hot on the trail of a driver of sports utility vehicle (SUV) bearing protocol plate number “8,” who reportedly harassed a fellow motorist for no apparent reason. Car plates with number “8” are commonly assigned to a member of the House of Representatives. This developed as Metropolitan Manila Development Authority spokesperson and […].....»»

Source: Tribune TribuneCategory: NewsNov 14th, 2018Related News

US trial to tell epic tale of Mexican drug lord ‘El Chapo’

NEW YORK --- During the height of Mexican drug wars in 1993, an attempted hit on Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman went wrong. A team of gunmen sent to rub out the notorious drug lord instead killed a Roman Catholic cardinal at an airport in Guadalajara, outraging the Mexican public enough to touch off a massive manhunt for Guzman. He was captured, but prosecutors say he was undeterred from a brutal pursuit of power that lasted decades, featured jail breakouts and left a trail of bodies. The story of the botched assassination will be part of an epic tale told in a tightly secured New York City courtroom starting Tuesday as prosecutors and defense lawyers make their opening statements i...Keep on reading: US trial to tell epic tale of Mexican drug lord ‘El Chapo’.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Nov 13th, 2018Related News

Dagger Dan Arches wills Mapua to winner-take-all vs LSGH in NCAA 94

Mapua High School and College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills will figure in another winner-take-all matchup now in the NCAA 94 Men’s Basketball Tournament. Dan Arches made sure of that, putting the Red Robins on his back over the defending champion Junior Blazers, 85-76, on Monday at the MOA Arena. The graduating guard scored 19 points, including six straight in the run that effectively turned the tides in favor of his team. “Si Dan naman, siya na talaga magli-lead ngayong wala si Clint,” head coach Randy Alcantara, referring to main man Clint Escamis who did not play still due to his ailing left knee. Mapua trailed, 36-39, late in the second quarter after Lennox Valenzuela drew unsportsmanlike and technical fouls from them. It was at that point, though, that Arches settled down the troops before burning Valenzuela with three baskets in a row to put his squad on top, 42-39, at halftime. That was just the wakeup call that that the Red Robins needed to impose their will in what was a must-win matchup for them following a loss in Game 1. “Sinabi ko lang talaga sa kanila na natalo tayo ng Game 1, pero hindi pa sila champion. Kailangan lang nating makuha ‘tong Game 2 kahit gaano kahirap,” coach Randy said. Briedyn Smith, Jonnel Policarpio, and Paolo Hernanez only joined in on the fun in the third and got together for an 11-3 run that increased their advantage to 70-61 in the middle of the quarter. In the end, Arches had 22 points and five rebounds while Policarpio and Hernandez both had double-doubles with the former having 14 markers and 14 boards and the latter having 13 points and 10 rebounds. Thanks to them, Mapua is now one win away from a second championship in the last three years. Arches and company try to do that in the winner-take-all Game 3 on Thursday. Of course, CSB-LSGH would also be going all-out for what would be their own back-to-back titles. Joel Cagulangan topped the scoring column for them in this one with 17 points, but hard to work for all of those, just shooting 4-of-17. Inand Fornilos also had a 13-point, 12-rebound double-double. They would need much more from Joshua David, however, who had a substandard game with just five points in 1-of-15 shooting. BOX SCORES MAPUA 85 – Arches 22, Policarpio 14, Hernandez 13, Mariano 11, Smith 8, Sarias 6, Lazarte 3, Fransman 3, Quimado 2, Dennison 2, Diaz 1. CSB-LSGH 76 – Cagulangan 17, Fornilos 13, Sangco 13, Valenzuela 13, David 5, Lepalam 4, Palencia 4, Calimag 4, Mosqueda 3, Morales 0, Lao 0. QUARTER SCORES: 20-25, 42-39, 59-56, 85-76. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsNov 12th, 2018Related News

Hontiveros: A lesson in justice, an electoral guide to vote against the Marcoses trail of plunder and tyranny

November 9, 2018. *Statement of Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros on the Sandiganbayan finding Rep. Imelda Marcos guilty of 7 counts of graft This is an important lesson in justice. The Marcoses may be able to temporarily evade accountability, they may be able, for the moment, to cheat history and whitewash their… Source link link: Hontiveros: A lesson in justice, an electoral guide to vote against the Marcoses' trail of plunder and tyranny.....»»

Source: Manilainformer ManilainformerCategory: Nov 10th, 2018Related News

Lillard scores 25 as Trail Blazers beat Clippers 116-105

By Anne M. Peterson, Associated Press PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Damian Lillard had 25 points and the Portland Trail Blazers won their third straight game, 116-105 over the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time). CJ McCollum added 23 points for Portland, which has won 6-of-7. Danilo Gallinari and Lou Williams each scored 20 for the Clippers. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had a career-high 19. Portland had struggled all night to separate from the Clippers, but pulled in front 93-83 on Zach Collins' dunk with 9:42 left. Another dunk by Collins put the Blazers up 100-90 with 6:10 to go. The Clippers closed to 107-101 on Gallinari's jumper, but Jusuf Nurkic answered for Portland with a layup and Los Angeles could not get any closer down the stretch. There were questions before the game about the availability of Clippers forward Tobias Harris because of illness. Coach Doc Rivers said Harris was a game-time decision, but he was ultimately in the starting lineup. Harris, the team's leading scorer and rebounder, finished with 15 points and 11 boards for his fifth double-double this season. The Clippers were without Avery Bradley for the second straight game because of a left ankle sprain, and Luc Mbah a Moute missed his seventh game with a sore left knee. The Clippers missed Bradley's perimeter defense against Lillard and McCollum. Portland was without Maurice Harkless, who has missed seven straight games because of a sore left knee. Jake Layman has been starting in his place. The Blazers led 37-28 after the first quarter, paced by McCollum's 10 points. Portland never could extend the lead to double digits and led just 61-57 at the break. Gilgeous-Alexander and Montrezl Harrell each had 12 first-half points for the Clippers, while Lillard led all scorers with 14. Al-Farouq Aminu hit a three-pointer that gave Portland a 78-68 lead, its largest to that point, midway through the third quarter. The Clippers narrowed it again, closing to 81-77 on Harris' driving floater. Nurkic fouled out with 1:57 left, finishing with 16 points and nine rebounds. TIP-INS Clippers: The team put out a statement of sympathy for victims of the mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, California, on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time). Thousand Oaks is located northwest of Los Angeles. ... The Clippers were coming off a 120-109 win at home over Minnesota. Trail Blazers: The club held a moment of silence for victims of the shooting in California. ... Portland was coming off a 118-103 win at home over Milwaukee on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time). ... The Blazers have won the last four meetings between the teams. ... Lillard did not shoot a free throw. UP NEXT The Clippers host the Bucks on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time). The Trail Blazers host the Celtics on Sunday night (Monday, PHL time)......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsNov 9th, 2018Related News

Heat end dry spell

HASSAN SHINES MIAMI— Hassan Whiteside had 29 points, 20 rebounds and a National Basketball Association (NBA) season-high nine blocked shots and the Miami Heat snapped a four-year drought against San Antonio by beating the Spurs 95-88 on Wednesday night. Whiteside played against the Spurs five times previously and the Heat lost all of them Wayne […].....»»

Source: Tribune TribuneCategory: NewsNov 8th, 2018Related News

Juvic Pagunsan 5 adrift in Taiheiyo Masters

Juvic Pagunsan hit two late birdies to card a one-under 69 and trail Shota Akiyoshi by five at the start of the VISA Taiheiyo Masters at the Taiheiyo Club Gotemba Course in Shizuoka, Japan yesterday......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: SportsNov 8th, 2018Related News

McCollum lifts Blazers past Bucks

McCollum lifts Blazers past Bucks.....»»

Source: Thestandard ThestandardCategory: SportsNov 7th, 2018Related News

McCollum s 40 points propel Blazers over Bucks

    LOS ANGELES, USA – CJ McCollum scored 40 points Tuesday, November 6 (Wednesday, November 7, Manila time) as the Portland Trail Blazers cooled off the red-hot Milwaukee Bucks with a 118-103 NBA victory. McCollum connected on 17 of 23 attempts from the field, including 5-of-10 from three-point range, as the ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsNov 7th, 2018Related News

NCAA: The grassroots have become greener for LSGH

College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills joined the NCAA in 1998 and didn’t win a championship for two decades. Last year, they finally broke through, triumphing over then defending champion Mapua High School and taking their first-ever title. Now, the Junior Blazers have a golden opportunity for back-to-back championships as they are set to meet the Red Robins once more for all the glory. For head coach Marvin Bienvenida, the past two years have just proven that recruiting tantalizing talents is not the only way to win. “We didn’t really end up having a good set of players. This is all about developing players straight from the grassroots,” he said. Indeed, in the past three years, the boys from Greenhills have not had a shining stars in the mold of Rivero brothers Prince and Ricci. Instead, they have featured hardworking players like Troy Mallillin, Joel Cagulangan, and Inand Fornilos who improved year in and year out. Mallillin worked his way to an MVP just like Cagulangan is en route to working his way to the award for the top individual player. Fornilos’ motor, meanwhile, never stopped chugging and he is well on track to a second straight Mythical selection Even key cogs such as Joshua David, Makoy Marcos, and Unique Naboa came from out of nowhere. And so, the fact that it was Cagulangan and David who showed the way in their knockout bout against Jose Rizal University High School means that they have developed into the leaders that CSB-LSGH needs. “The stats show they played well, but the contributions they give in leadership, camaraderie, experience, yun ang mabigat,” coach Marvin said. With that, the Junior Blazers are nothing but confident they can work their way into another championship. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsNov 5th, 2018Related News

Threeforall: Bucks become latest team to set a 3-point mark

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press The best 3-point shooter who ever lived, at least in terms of volume, is Ray Allen. Boston used to have him. Milwaukee used to have him. And he doesn’t figure into either franchise’s greatest single-game 3-point barrage. With NBA records being set from 3-point range this season — Golden State’s Klay Thompson has already busted the mark for 3s in a game with 14, one more than the standard his fellow Warriors sharpshooter Stephen Curry established in 2016, the league is well on its way to making more shots from beyond the arc than ever before. The record, set last season, is 25,807. The NBA is on pace this season to make about 27,300 shots from 3-point land. Now, not even three full weeks into this season, five teams have broken their own franchise record for 3s in a game. The most recent entry into that club was Milwaukee, which connected on 22 3s — on 56 tries, as opposed to 39 from inside the arc — in its 144-109 win over Sacramento on Sunday (Monday, PHL time). The Bucks used 13 players, with everyone trying at least one shot from 3-point range and 11 connecting on at least one triple. It was the second time this season the Bucks tried more 3s than 2s. Number of times in Bucks history that happened before this season? Zero. “We’ll just hopefully keep pushing that record, whatever it is,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “See if we can get more. ... Good for us to know that we’re pushing that envelope and we want to be great behind that 3-point line.” The Bucks aren’t alone in their quest for 3-point greatness. Boston, which has had 3-point stars like Larry Bird, Paul Pierce, Antoine Walker and Allen in its rich history, made a team-record 24 3-pointers last week against the Bucks. The Celtics came into this season with 19 3s in a game being their franchise mark; they’ve made 19 or more twice already this season. “We took what the defense gave us,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said after the barrage of 24 3s. Fueled by Thompson’s 14 3s in Chicago, the Warriors set a team record that night with 24 makes from deep. Atlanta set a team mark with 22 3-pointers against Cleveland, and Utah connected on its record of 19 in a loss to Golden State. “This is the NBA right now,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. Curry is shooting more 3s per game than ever, making more 3s per game than ever — and doing it more accurately than ever. He’s already made 59 3s through the Warriors’ first 10 games, and is shooting 51 percent from deep. Curry is fifth all-time in 3-pointers made with 2,188. Allen is the record-holder with 2,973, a mark Curry is on pace to get in about two years. MUST GET 100 In this NBA, if a team doesn’t score 100 points, they’re not winning. Then again, getting to 100 doesn’t guarantee anything either. Teams that score 100 points or more are 134-99 this season, meaning they win 57.5 percent of the time. Those who don’t score 100 are 5-40, or winning 11.1 percent of the time. That’s a big change from recent years. Last season, teams over 100 won 62.2 percent of the time, and teams that didn’t score 100 won 20.8 percent of the time. A decade ago, those scoring 100 won at a 69.4 percent clip, and those not reaching the century mark won 30.8 percent of the time. THE WEEK AHEAD A six-pack of games to watch this week ... — Minnesota at L.A. Clippers, Monday (Tuesday, PHL time): Jimmy Butler had the Clippers among those on his radar when this trade saga started. — Philadelphia at Indiana, Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time): Joel Embiid’s numbers are fantastic, but Myles Turner is another great young big guy. — Milwaukee at Golden State, Thursday (Friday, PHL time): Bucks have been one of the season’s top early stories, and now get the ultimate test. — Boston at Utah, Friday (Saturday, PHL time): This will be Gordon Hayward’s 262nd time playing in Salt Lake City, and his first in a Celtics uniform. — Houston at San Antonio, Saturday (Sunday, PHL time): Spurs are 14-7 in last 21 with Rockets, and the teams play three times before Christmas. — Atlanta at L.A. Lakers, Sunday (next Monday, PHL time): Hawks rookie Kevin Huerter was LeBron James’ scrimmage teammate at a Nike camp in 2015. ON THE MOVE Now that the Tyson Chandler buyout by the Phoenix Suns has been completed, he’s expected to be on the Los Angeles Lakers’ roster later this week once he clears waivers. Portland coach Terry Stotts, who was a Dallas assistant when Chandler was with the Mavericks, said it’ll be a good move for the Lakers. “I like Tyson Chandler,” Stotts said. “Great teammate, obviously that was a few years ago but he impacts the game at the defensive end. He’s a great locker room guy. ... He’s all about winning. So, any team that has Tyson is going to be better for it.” ___ AP Sports Writer Anne M. Peterson in Portland, Oregon contributed......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsNov 5th, 2018Related News

Magic hold on to defeat Spurs, 117-110

By Raul Dominguez, Associated Press SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Aaron Gordon scored 26 points and the Orlando Magic held on to beat the San Antonio Spurs 117-110 on Sunday night (Monday, PHL time) after nearly blowing a 26-point lead with 9 minutes remaining. D.J Augustin added 18 points for Orlando, which scored a season high and hit 12 3-pointers. DeMar DeRozan had 25 points as San Antonio’s four-game winning streak came to an end on the second night of a back-to-back. Orlando snapped a four-game skid, but had to bring its starters back into the game to preserve the victory. The Spurs went on a 25-6 run over 6 minutes to erase the Magic’s 105-79 with 9:02 remaining. Pau Gasol blocked and collected Gordon’s shot and raced downcourt where he was fouled with 7 minutes remaining. Gasol’s hustle led San Antonio coach Popovich to reinsert DeRozan, LaMarcus Aldridge, Patty Mills and Bryn Forbes back into the game despite Orlando leading by 18 points. The Spurs responded with a 9-2 run to pull within 107-96 with 5:28 remaining and forced Magic coach Steve Clifford to take a timeout to slow the momentum. Clifford was forced to take another timeout 2 1/2 minutes later when Bryn Forbes’ 3-pointer cut Orlando’s lead to 111-104. The Magic were able to hang on, preserving their best offensive production of the season. Orlando had lost four straight, including failing to score 100 points in three consecutive games, but jumped out to an early lead. San Antonio’s worst defensive effort of the season came less than 24 hours after their finest in a 109-95 victory against New Orleans. Mills finished with 16 points and Aldridge added 14 for San Antonio. TIP-INS Magic: Orlando entered the game last in the league in scoring at 99.9 points per game as well as field goal percentage at 41.4. ... Jonathon Simmons received a warm ovation upon entering the game late in the first quarter. Simmons, who was listed as questionabl with bruised right wrist, had no points in 18 minutes. ... Jonathan Isaac did not play due to a sprained right ankle. ... Timofey Mozgov missed the game with sore right knee. Spurs: Rudy Gay missed his first game of the season, sitting out due to right heel soreness. ... Jakob Poeltl played 14 minutes, including starting the second half. It was the most minutes Poeltl has played since logging 13 minutes against Indiana on Oct. 24. UP NEXT Magic: Host Cleveland on Monday night. Spurs: At Miami on Wednesday night.  .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsNov 5th, 2018Related News

James scores 28 points, Lakers edge Blazers

PORTLAND, Ore. --- It took LeBron James to help the Los Angeles Lakers snap a lengthy losing streak against Portland. James had 28 points and seven assists and the Lakers defeated the Trail Blazers 114-110 Saturday night. The Lakers snapped the franchise's 16-game losing streak against the Blazers. In addition to the streak, Saturday was the Lakers' first road win this season against a team with a winning record. "Great to snap that," James said of the Lakers' streak of futility against Portland. "They're a very good team, obviously. To beat Portland, you can't just come in and win without playing really hard and really well." Rajon Rondo gave the Lakers a huge lift off the bench, ...Keep on reading: James scores 28 points, Lakers edge Blazers.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Nov 4th, 2018Related News

LeBron, Lakers claim 2nd straight win at Blazers expense

MANILA, Philippines – LeBron James showcased an all-around effort as the Los Angeles Lakers edged the Portland Trail Blazers, 114-110, for their second straight win on Saturday, November 3 (Sunday, November 4, Philippine time). James pumped in 28 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds, and 2 blocks to lead 4 ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsNov 4th, 2018Related News

Trash-talking UST spurs DLSU s Mark Dyke to career-high marks

      ANTIPOLO, Philippines – Even in basketball, you don’t want to poke a sleeping bear. But that’s exactly what UST allegedly did to La Salle’s veteran role player Mark Dyke during their UAAP Season 81 second-round match in Antipolo City, and they paid dearly for it. The result? The seldom-used Dyke exploded for ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsNov 3rd, 2018Related News

MVP Ladder: Hot start pushes Curry to forefront

By Sekou Smith, NBA.com When Kevin Durant raised the Finals MVP trophy in the air in June -- his second straight, mind you -- it was supposed to be over for Stephen Curry. The prevailing wisdom said there was no way the former two-time Kia MVP winner Curry would be able to contend for a third Maurice Podoloff Trophy playing alongside Durant (a former Kia MVP himself). Their individual brilliance would be muted by the collective strength of their partnership as the two best players on the best team in the league. This notion they would continue to split Kia MVP votes made sense given their super team required all of its stars to sacrifice personal glory for the greater team good. That was the thinking before the first nine games of this season ... and then Curry decided to attack things as he did in 2015-16. That season, he went nuclear -- averaging 30.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 6.7 assists per game while shooting 50.4 percent overall and 45.4 percent on three-pointers -- becoming the NBA's first unanimous MVP winner as the Warriors won an NBA-record 73 games. Durant was still toiling for the rival Oklahoma City Thunder then, sharing the spotlight with another eventual Kia MVP in Russell Westbrook. Curry’s opening salvo this season, though, has been nothing short of staggering. His pace right now -- leading the league in scoring while shooting nearly 55 percent overall and 53 percent on three-pointers  -- could top that 2015-16 season. Doing all this with teammates who could make their own compelling cases for Kia MVP honors makes Curry’s start even more mind-boggling. Both Durant (check out his 25-point fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden) and Klay Thompson (who topped Curry’s three-pointers made record in Chicago) are taking turns showing out, all of which speaks to the Warriors' mastery of a situation that easily could have overloaded these three stars. Curry’s consistent brilliance sticks out in a sea of transcendent scoring performances in the early stages of this season. He was the one who dropped 51 points in 32 minutes in a win over Washington, making 11 of his 16 three-pointers. He went 6-for-11 on three-pointers en route to 29 points when Durant worked the Knicks for 41 points at MSG. When Thompson was in the zone against the Bulls, Curry scored 23 points (on 7-for-9 shooting) in just 25 minutes. And when the New Orleans Pelicans showed up to Oracle Arena Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time), Curry lit them up for 37 on 12-for-20 shooting and a 7-for-11 night on three-pointers. That's all why Curry sits atop the first Kia Race to the MVP Ladder this season. And if he keeps this up, there’s no reason Curry won't be in the thick of this season's MVP conversation when the dust settles. The top five in the Week 1 edition of the 2018-19 Kia Race to the MVP Ladder: * * * 1. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors Season stats: 33 points, 5.9 assists, 5.0 rebounds Here's the kind of damage Curry is doing so far: he’s not only leading the league in scoring, but doing so while shooting a preposterous 54.9 percent overall and an equally bonkers 52.9 percent on three-pointers. Scoring around the league is on the rise this season, and perhaps no one is taking more advantage of the freedom of movement rule the way Curry has. He’s scoring from everywhere, against any and everyone whenever he wants in a system built around his skills. He’s got one of the league’s early 50-point games (51 points, vs. Washington), and, given the way he’s shooting now, could go for another 50-spot at any time. That’s a warning for the Minnesota Timberwolves, who will see Curry today. 2. Kawhi Leonard, Toronto Raptors Season stats: 27.3 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists Leonard is off to a monstrous start with Toronto, shattering that pesky myth that he was a product of a system in San Antonio. Anyone who forgot just how devastating a two-way player he could be after his nine-game run with the Spurs last season should have a clearer understanding of what he can do when healthy. Just ask Philadelphia 76ers stud Ben Simmons, who couldn't praise Leonard enough after matching wits with the two-time Kia Defensive Player of the Year. “He’s a freak,” Simmons said after turning the ball over 11 times while being guarded by Leonard on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time). “His hands are huge. He’s got long arms. He’s a great defender.” The scary part for the rest of the league? Leonard is shooting as good or better than ever on three-pointers (44.4 percent) while logging a career-high 34.7 minutes. And, technically, he is still undefeated in a Raptors uniform (he got a rest day for Bucks-Raptors). 3. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks Season stats: 26.1 points, 13.7 rebounds, 5.1 assists It took a franchise-record 24 made three-pointers for the Boston Celtics to hold off Antetokounmpo and the Bucks Thursday night (Friday, PHL time) at TD Garden. It was the Bucks’ first loss this season, but it wasn’t because the "Greek Freak" didn’t show up. He roasted the Celtics for 33 points (on just 22 shots), 11 rebounds, three steals and two assists. The increased floor spacing that comes with the arrival of coach Mike Budenholzer has allowed Antetokounmpo to put opposing defenders in compromising positions. His three-point shot is still in the development stage, but if Budenholzer can help transform that part of his game (as he did for Al Horford and Paul Millsap in Atlanta), the rest of the league will be on notice. As for Antetokounmpo's groove elsewhere on the court, it has made him virtually unstoppable when he’s in attack mode. 4. Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans Season stats: 25.2 points, 13.0 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 3.2 blocks Had there been a top five after the first four games of this season, Davis would have been a runaway pick for the No. 1 spot. He was that good in powering New Orleans' 4-0 start. But the Pelicans have lost four straight and three to the four games since as Davis deals with nagging right elbow pain. Davis missed back-to-back games against Utah and Denver, then played Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time) against the Warriors. It was clear he wasn’t at his best, as he had 17 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists. (Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry held him out in a road loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.) Davis hasn’t been shy about proclaiming that he’s chasing both Kia MVP and Kia Defensive Player of the Year honors, a double-dip that only half a handful of players could realistically set as a goal. The talent and high ceiling have never been in question. His availability to chase such lofty goals, however, remains a question at times. 5. Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers Season stats: 29.1 points, 6.0 assists, 5.1 rebounds Lillard entered this season as determined to prove his team’s early 2018 playoff exit wasn't a true measure of Portland's status. Still, getting swept by the Pelicans sent the Blazers into the offseason with tons of questions and skeptics. Since the first whistle of training camp, Lillard has gone about the business of answering those questions. He’s averaging career-highs in points (29.1), field goal percentage (49.7 percent), three-point percentage (40 percent) and free throw percentage (94 percent). The Blazers finished their recent four-game road trip at 3-1, which included wins against Orlando, Indiana and the struggling Houston Rockets. Thursday night’s (Friday, PHL time) win over the Anthony David-less Pelicans was fueled by Lillard’s team-high 26 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Saturday night’s home game against LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers could be another opportunity for Lillard and Co. to show they aren’t stepping aside for anyone. * * * The next five 6.  Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets 7.  Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors 8.  Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz 9.  LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers 10.  Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers And five more: Jimmy Butler, Minnesota Timberwolves; DeMar DeRozan, San Antonio Spurs; Blake Griffin, Detroit Pistons; Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics; Victor Oladipo, Indiana Pacers 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 3rd, 2018Related News