Nikola Jokic wins the MVP while Monty Williams won Coach of the year
(Basketball news) The Serbian center becomes the 13th player selected as Kia MVP in consecutive seasons. Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokić was named the 2021-22 Kia NBA Most Valuable Player. This is his second Kia NBA MVP Award for Jokić, who also won it last season. He becomes the 13th player to win the award in consecutive seasons, and joining some legendary players like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain, Stephen Curry, Tim Duncan, LeBron James, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Moses Malone, Steve Nash and Bill Russell.
Jokić received a total of 875 points (65 first-place votes) from a global panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters. 76ers center Joel Embiid finished in second place with 706 points (26 first-place votes) and Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo came third with 595 points (nine first-place votes), followed by Suns guard Devin Booker in fourth place with 216 points Mavericks guard Luka Dončić in fifth place with 146 points. Players received 10 points for each first-place vote, seven points for a second-place vote, five points for third-place, three points for each fourth-place vote and one point for each fifth-place vote.
This was the first time in NBA history that the top four out of the top five finishers in MVP race were international players, with Jokić from Serbia, Embiid from Cameroon and Antetokounmpo from Greece as they comprised the top three and Dončić from Slovenia joined them in the top five. Jokić is only the second European player to win the award twice, joining Giannis Antetokounmpo, who won the MVP in the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons.
In his seventh NBA season, Jokić this season averaged 27.1 points, 13.8 rebounds, 7.9 assists, 1.47 steals and 0.85 blocks per game, setting career highs in each category except assists . Jokić had played 74 games and averaged 33.5 minutes, he ranked sixth in the NBA in points, second in rebounds, eighth in assists, 12th for steals and 33rd in blocks per game. He led the league in total rebounds (1,019) and total defensive rebounds (813) in this remarkable season. He set a career-high in field goal percentage with 58.3. Jokić also became the first player in NBA history to record at least 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 500 assists in a season and the first player to average at least 25.0 points, 13.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists in a season. He led the NBA this year in triple-doubles with 19 and double-doubles with 66, both were single-season records for a Nuggets player.
Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams won the Red Auerbach Trophy as the 2021-22 NBA Coach of the Year. Monty Williams wins his first NBA coach of the year as he joins Cotton Fitzsimmons (1988-89) and Mike D’Antoni (2004-05) as the head coaches of Suns to earn this award. Williams received 458 points (81 first-place votes) from a global panel as Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins finished in second place with 270 points (17 first-place votes) and Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra finished in third place with 72 points. Williams guided the Suns to the best NBA record this season with a 64-18 record, his team had the most victories and the highest winning percentage (.780) in a season in franchise history. The Suns had an identical at home as well on the road (32-9). The Suns tied for the third-most wins on the road and fifth-best road winning percentage (.780) in a season in NBA history.
NBA: The Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks make the Conference finals
(Basketball news) The Boston Celtics knocked out the defending Champions as they beat the Milwaukee Bucks in the final game 7 decider 109-81. For the Celtics, Grant Williams scored a career-high 27 points and hit seven 3-pointers, Jayson Tatum added 23 and Boston set a Game 7 record with 22 3-pointers as Jaylen Brown scored 19 points and Marcus Smart added 11 crucial points. For the Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo had 25 points, 20 rebounds and nine assists but he was just 3 of 11 in the paint in the second half, including 1 for 6 the fourth quarter as Jrue Holiday added 21 points and eight assists while Brook Lopez finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds. With this result, the Celtics will face top-seeded Miami beginning Tuesday in a rematch of the 2020 East finals. The Heat beat the Celtics in six games in that series at Walt Disney World.
''As much as it hurt to lose Game 5, I was looking forward to that challenge,'' Tatum said. ''I believe in myself, I believe in this team. I expected to play the way I did and for us to respond the way we did.''
''For me it was like, they're encouraging it, I might as well take advantage,'' Williams said. ''Each one as time went on got more comfortable.''
''Shots that I usually make weren't going in. That's basketball. That's sports,'' Antetokounmpo said. ''Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. There's a winner. There's a loser. You've just got to live with it.'
''This is what we played for, why we played the season out, to have home-court advantage in a Game 7,'' Udoka said. ''If you believe in the basketball gods, those things matter.''
Brown said their coach has been the catalyst to put them in this position. ''We didn't want it to be over. We didn't overcome all the stuff we did during the regular season for that to be it. .. At the end of the day, we wanted to come out, leave it all out there. I think we did.''
The Dallas Mavericks produced the upset of the season when they beat the best team in the NBA in game 7 as they took the series 4-3 with a 123-90 blowout victory over the Phoenix Suns. For the Mavericks, Doncic scored 35 points, Spencer Dinwiddie added 30 as both of them were the first teammates to have at least 20 points in a half in Game 7 since Patrick Ewing and Allan Houston did it for the Knicks in 1997. Doncic finished 12 of 19 from the field, including 6 of 11 on 3s. He also got some help in Dinwiddie who had 21 points in the first half with 7-of-10 shooting, including 4 of 5 from 3-point range. For the Suns, Booker finished with 11 points and shot 3 of 14 while Paul had 10 points and four assists as they shot just 37.9% from the field. With this result the Dallas Mavericks are going to face the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference finals.
''A lot of people said it would be a blowout,'' Mavs coach Jason Kidd said with a grin. ''They were right.''
''We played all season to be in this situation,'' Suns guard Chris Paul said. ''It didn't work out for us.''
''I can't get this smile off my face,'' Doncic said. ''I'm just really happy. Honestly, I think we deserved this.''
''It's still kind of shocking,'' Dinwiddie said
''That group has a lot of character and integrity and I know how bad they wanted it,'' Suns coach Monty Williams said. ''We just could not execute tonight. Couldn't make a shot early, that messed with us a little bit and Dallas played their tails of from start to finish.''
''You could see some of the pressure was on them early,'' Kidd said. ''They missed some shots they normally make.''
NBA: Miami Heat qualify to the finals, Mavericks force game no 7
(Basketball series) The Miami Heat became the first team to qualify for the Eastern Conference final when they beat the Philadelphia 76ers 99-90 to clinch the series 4-2. For the Heat, Butler scored 32 points as Max Strus had 20 points and 11 rebounds, PJ Tucker and Bam Adebayo both had 10 points. For the Sixers, Embiid, the NBA scoring champion, had no significant help and scored 20 points with 12 rebounds on 7-of-24 shooting as Tersey Maxey also had 20 points after James Harden had an abysmal game again. With this result the Miami Heats reached their first conference finals since 2013 and the first LeBron-less conference since 2008.
''Now I'm where I belong,'' Butler said. ''Guess where I should have been a long time ago.''
''I think he's one of the ultimate competitors in this profession,'' coach Erik Spoelstra said. ''He was brilliant all series long. The challenges only get tougher here. He saw there was an opportunity to end this tonight and he wasn't going to let this get to seven.''
''I know I tried. I think for the most part, we tried,'' Embiid said. ''It just wasn't good enough.''
''I'm sure since we got him, everybody expected the Houston James Harden,'' Embiid said. ''But that's not who he is anymore.''
''I came to the conclusion at the end of this game that we were not good enough to beat Miami,'' Rivers said
''I don't worry about my job. I think I do a terrific job. If you don't, then you should write it,'' Rivers said. ''Because I worked my butt off to get this team here. When I first got here, no one picked us to be anywhere. Again this year, the same thing. If that's how anyone feels, write it. I'm going to feel secure about it.''
“Joel, my guy. My brother. Who I'd pick for MVP,'' Butler said. ''It feels good to beat him. I'm not going to lie to you. I've got a lot of love for this city. A lot of love for guys in that locker room. So any time you get to beat a former team, it's special.''
The Dallas Mavericks levelled up the series with a 113-86 victory over the Phoenix Suns as they will have to play game 7 to find a winner. For the Mavericks, Doncic scored 33 points as Reggie Bullock scored 19 points for Dallas, going 5 of 11 from 3-point range and Jalen Brunson added 18, Spencer Dinwiddie had a series-high 15, all on 3s (5 of 7). For the Suns, Booker scored 19 points but was shut out from 3-point range (0 of 4) while going 6 of 17. Deandre Ayton had 21 points and 11 rebounds, and Paul added 13 points. With this result the series is tied at 3-3 as both teams will travel to Phoenix to play game 7 on the 15th.
''I don't know if he was playing as if he was trying to do something different,'' Kidd said. ''I think he enjoys the moment. You guys have seen a little bit longer than I have up close. He's not afraid of the stage. I think you guys call it the first time winning an elimination game. He'll be in this situation a long, long time.''
''I don't have enough time to talk about everything that's eating at me,'' coach Monty Williams said. ''I didn't think we understood the desperation they were going to play with. Couple that with the turnovers that we had tonight, it's a recipe for what we just got.''
''Greatest two words in sports,'' Booker said. ''I'm excited to feel the energy. I'm excited to be a part of it. It's a great opportunity.''
''I think we won this game on the defensive end,'' Doncic said. ''We've got another game. That's fun. It's the playoffs, and we're going to give our energy.''
NBA: Suns blowout the Mavericks in game 5 while the Heat win
(Basketball news) The Phoenix Suns produced a clinical performance to take the series lead as they beat the Mavericks 110-80. For the Suns, Booker scored 28 points, Deandre Ayton added 20 as Cam Johnson came off the bench to score 14 points. Booker now has 804 points in 30 career playoff games. The 25-year-old is one of just 18 players in NBA history with at least 800 points in his first 30 postseason games. For the Mavericks, Doncic finished with 28 points and 11 rebounds, but other than that didn’t really get much support as Jalen Brunson added 21 points. The Mavs shot just 38% from the field. With this result the Suns lead the series 3-2 and are a victory away from making their second consecutive Western Conference playoffs.
''We study film,'' Booker said. ''Coach is coming in with adjustments, we make them and we follow them.''
'The defense tonight - that's the backbone of our program,'' said Williams, who was announced as the Coach of the Year on Monday.
''The one thing we didn't do great today was our pace,'' Doncic said. ''In the last two games, our pace was very good. I think they are one of the best defensive teams, if not the best, in the NBA. They held us to 80. That's pretty impressive. We've got to move the ball and have better pace - faster.''
The Miami Heat produced a dominant performance as they took the series after they beat the Philadelphia 76ers 120-85. For the Heats, Jimmy Butler scored 23 points, Max Strus added 19 points and 10 rebounds as Victor Oladipo scored 13 for Miami, which got 12 from Bam Adebayo and 10 apiece from Tyler Herro and P.J. Tucker. For the Sixers, Joel Embiid scored 17 points for fourth-seeded Philadelphia, which got 14 from James Harden and 12 from Tobias Harris. The 35-point margin of victory matched the biggest so far in this year's playoffs. With this result the Heat are also one victory away from making their first Eastern Conference for the first time since LeBron James left the Miami Heat for the Cavaliers.
''They were just more physical,'' 76ers coach Doc Rivers said. ''We didn't run anything. We didn't run our stuff very well. We played at a snail's pace ... everything they did tonight was harder and better. Their stuff was better, their energy was better.''
''Tonight, we weren't focused enough,'' Embiid said.
''It's just one game,'' Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. ''They know it. We know it.''
''He's tough,'' Rivers said. ''I think he knew going into all this that there's going to be a couple times when he gets hit in the face. It's going to happen. ... He got up and said he was fine, after a while.''
''I was humbled to be a part of that moment,'' Spoelstra said. ''He's such a great fan there. Over the years, I've said hello a few times, but that was the best interaction. That was genuine. It was cool.''
NBA: Sixers and Mavericks draw their respective series level
(Basketball news) The Philadelphia 76ers have completed the comeback, they have levelled up the series to 2-2 as they defeated Miami Heat 116-108. For the Sixers, Harden scored 31 points, Embiid had 24 points and 11 rebounds as Tyrese Maxey added 18 points in a commanding win. For the Heats, Jimmy Butler scored 40 points on 13 of 20 shooting from the floor, 12 of 13 free throws and nearly one-man willed them to victory as Bam Adebayo scored 21 points and Victor Oladipo added 15 points from the bench. With this victory the Sixers level the series to 2-2 as they will travel to Miami to play the fifth game on 10th May.
''I don't think we've played our best basketball,'' Embiid said.
''Joel's going to be able to play,'' coach Doc Rivers said, laughing.
''It's just James being James,'' Rivers said. ''I felt like he was going to have a big game tonight. You can just sense it.''
''Nothing really changed. I just made shots,'' Harden said.
''I thought we had some really good looks. We just missed them,'' Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.
''He's a good player. He did what he was supposed to do,'' Butler said of Harden.
''That's why he's here,'' Embiid said. ''It's only 2-2. We've got a lot of work to do. But I'm excited about what we can accomplish.''
The Dallas Mavericks also made a comeback in the Western Conference semifinals playoffs as they beat the Phoenix Suns 111-101. For the Mavericks, Doncic scored 26 points as Dorian Finney-Smith scored a playoff career-high 24 points on the most 3-pointers he's had, regular season or playoffs. He was 8 of 12 from deep, including consecutive 3s for a 14-point lead midway through the fourth while Brunson scored 18 points and Davis Bertans started 4 of 4 from 3 and finished with 12 points. For the Suns, Devin Booker scored 35 points as Jae Crowder finished with 15 and Deandre Ayton had 14 points and 11 rebounds. Both teams face each other on 10th May in Phoenix.
''I saw he was going for the rebound and I was surprised,'' Doncic said. ''He said to me, 'Did I push you that hard?' I said, `No, not that hard. But it was a smart play.' And he said, `Yeah, I know.'''
''Last year was a learning experience for us,'' Booker said. ''We went to six games last year with the Lakers, six games with the Clippers, six with the Bucks, six with New Orleans (this year). We understand that it's a series. It's the playoffs for a reason.''
''I've got to look back at it,'' Paul said. ''I mean, I can't put myself in the situation to give them that ability to do that. I've just got to look at myself and figure out how to do better.''
''Everybody's got to take ownership, and it starts with me,'' Williams said. ''I made some decisions tonight that put us in a tough spot. Should have kept Chris out of the game, especially right before halftime. And then as a team, we've got take ownership as far as guarding the ball so we don't have to help as much.''
NBA: Suns beat the Mavs as Heat take a 2-0 lead against the Sixers
(Basketball news) The Phoenix Suns are two games away from reaching the Western Conference finals as they beat the Dallas Mavericks 129-109. For the Suns, the 12-time All-Star Chris Paul scored 28 points, including 14 in another spectacular final period as Booker led the Suns with 30 points on 11-of-19 shooting, including 5 of 8 from 3-point range. For the Mavs, Luka Doncic scored 35 points on 13-of-22 shooting as Reggie Bullock added 16 points. With this win the Suns head to Dallas in game 3 tomorrow.
''You've just got to lean on the work,'' Paul said. ''It all goes back to work. You can't cheat the game. You've got to do the strength and conditioning, you've got to lift, you've got to get your rest, you got to get your shots up.
''You guys tell me, you're watching the same thing,'' Booker said. ''It impresses us every time we see it, but it doesn't surprise us. It's just the will to win.''
''We have good players,'' Suns coach Monty Williams said. ''I'd love to sit here and tell you I'm moving the chess pieces around, but we have good players who can knock down shots.''
''He had a great game, but no one else showed,'' Mavs coach Jason Kidd said. ''We've got to get other guys shooting the ball better. We can't win with just him out there scoring 30 a night. Not this time of the year and playing the best team in the league.''
''The mood is fine,'' Doncic said. ''I think a lot of players, it's the first time in this situation. They've got to win four, so it's not over yet. We are going to go back home, our crowd is amazing.''
The Miami Heat beat the Philadelphia 76ers 119-103 as they took a 2-0 lead in the series. For the Heat, Adebayo scored 23 points, Butler had 22 points and 12 assists, as Victor Oladipo scored 19 points on his 30th birthday and Tyler Herro added 18. For the Sixers, Tyrese Maxey scored 34 points, as they got 21 from Tobias Harris and 20 from James Harden. The 76ers' franchise has never recovered to win the series after going 2-0 down in a playoff series. The question going into Friday will revolve around whether Embiid could be ready for Game 3. The league's scoring champion and MVP finalist is recovering from an orbital fracture and concussion and has, not surprisingly, been big-time missed by the 76ers
''It's always nice to win,'' Butler said. ''We just did what we're supposed to do at home.''
''We've just got to go back to the drawing board and try to figure it out,'' Maxey said.
''We don't have a big man right now,'' Philadelphia coach Doc Rivers lamented.
''He's got so many steps to go through,'' Rivers said. ''I don't think he's cleared any of them right now.''
''When it comes down to it, you've got to make shots, especially when you're on the road against a really good team,'' Harden said. ''It's pretty simple.''
'It's not easy to get playoff wins.'' Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. ''We had some great stretches, particularly defensively. We had some really good stretches offensively. ... Our defense really carried us to the win, but we had some really timely offensive plays.''
NBA: Heats overcome the Sixers as Mavs lose to the Suns
(Basketball news) The Miami Heat overcame the Philadelphia 76ers 106-92 in the first game of the Eastern Conference semifinal playoffs. For the Heat, Herro scored 25 points - the second-most he'd ever had in a playoff game, while Bam Adebayo finished with 24 points and 12 rebounds, Jimmy Butler added 15 points, as they got 10 points from Gabe Vincent and P.J. Tucker. For the Sixers, Tobias Harris scored 27 points, they got 19 from Tyrese Maxey and 16 points, nine rebounds and five assists from James Harden as they were without their star man Joel Embiid for this fixture. Now they both face each other on the 5th of May.
He's a worker,'' Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. ''He's relentless.''
''I feel like I was just making plays,'' Adebayo said
''I didn't like how we moved the ball,'' 76ers coach Doc Rivers said. ''I thought we passed late tonight. I thought the physicality affected us tonight and that had an impact. There were too many times, we'd take the extra dribble and by the time we passed it they got there.''
''I liked how we fought back,'' Rivers said. ''I liked how we came out at the beginning of the third quarter ... and then I didn't like the rest of the game from that point on.''
''It's doable. It is doable,'' Maxey said. ''It's not totally out of reach.''
The Phoenix Suns overcame some Luka magic to win 121-114 against the Dallas Mavericks in the first game of the Western Conference semifinal playoffs. For the Suns, Deandre Ayton scored 25 points, Devin Booker added 23 as Paul added 19 points and Cam Johnson had 17 off the bench. For the Mavs, Luka Doncic led the scoring with 45 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists. It's the first time Dallas has advanced to the postseason's second round in Doncic's four-year NBA career as Kleber finished with 19 points. Now both teams face each other on the 5th May at the Footprint Centre Arena in Phoenix.
''We'll take the win,'' Suns point guard Chris Paul said. ''It's not always going to be pretty. We played well most of the game. We'll look at the film tomorrow and see what we need to do differently for Game 2.''
''I thought Maxi and Luka in that first half kept us afloat,'' Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said. ''We could have easily been down 39 at halftime but Maxi and LD were good. LD was good in the second half, too.
'I liked the fact that we weren't settling for 3s tonight,'' Suns coach Monty Williams said. ''A lot of guys were attacking the paint, we were getting floaters and rim shots.''
NBA: Pelicans make a comeback as Heat's win against the Hawks
(Basketball news) The New Orlean Pelicans made a comeback against the Phoenix Suns by winning 125-114 to level the series 1-1. For the Pelicans, Ingram had a fantastic all-around game with 37 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists as McCollum finished with 23 points. For the Suns, Paul finished with 17 points and 14 assists but shot just 5 of 16 from the field as Devin Booker top-scored with 31 points but it wasn’t enough. With this result the Pelicans caused a major upset and leveled the series as they now go to New Orleans to play the third and fourth match of the series.
“Good win, let's go,'' Nance said. ''Let's go home.''
''We've got guys that are more than capable of stepping up,'' Paul said. ''Book was killing. He was having a big-time game, but it is what it is.''
''Everything was flowing,'' Ingram said. ''Everybody was effective on the floor, all five. All five made something happen, whether it was offensively or defensively. We were really connected today.''
''This is one of his best and it was on a big stage,'' Pelicans coach Willie Green said. ''I'm proud of that young man. He works his tail off, he's a great teammate, high character, high IQ and he put it on display tonight.''
''That was probably, for us, the worst we have ever looked in transition since I have been here,'' Suns coach Monty Williams said. ''For that to happen in a playoff game was a bit unsettling for everybody.
The Miami Heat beat the Atlanta Hawks 115-105 to take a 2-0 series lead. For the Heat, Butler scored a playoff career-high 45 points, he was 15 of 25 from the floor, 11 for 12 from the line and 4 of 7 from 3-point range as Tyler Herro scored 15 for Miami, while Max Strus scored 14 and Vincent added 11 for the top-seeded team. For the Hawks, Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 19 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter for Atlanta as Trae Young got his scoring touch back but he had 25 points as De'Andre Hunter had 16 and John Collins finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds. With this result the Hawks return to Atlanta on 22nd as they hope they can utilize the home advantage and get back into the series.
''We go as he goes,'' Heat guard Gabe Vincent said.
''If the refs are going to let them be as physical as they are and not call fouls, it's going to be hard to really do anything anyways,'' Young said.
“Big-time basketball from a big-time basketball player, one of the best two-way players in the game,'' Heat guard Kyle Lowry said.
''Just staying aggressive,'' Butler said. ''Taking what the defense gives me.''
''I think the difference in the game tonight was turnovers,'' Hawks coach Nate McMillan said. ''You can't have 19 turnovers in a playoff game and expect to win games. They scored 21 points off of our turnovers. A lot of those came in transition ... and I thought that was the difference.''
The Memphis Grizzlies made a comeback in the series against the Minnesota Timberwolves as they won 124-96. For the Grizzlies, All-Star point guard Ja Morant scored 23 points, handed out 10 assists and grabbed nine rebounds as Desmond Bane and Jaren Jackson Jr. each added 16 with Jackson hitting 4 of 7 from 3-point range. Seven Grizzlies finished in double figures with Brandon Clarke, Xavier Tillman Sr. and Ziaire Williams each having 13. Tyus Jones added 10. For the Wolves, Karl-Anthony Towns had 15 points and 11 rebounds, Naz Reid and Taurean Prince had 12 each off the bench, and D'Angelo Russell added 11. With this result the Timberwolves will take home advantage and face them on the 21st in game three.
''It was good to get that win,'' Morant said. ''Obviously, you know, if you get a triple-double, it's hard to do it in this league, so that's special as well. But the win is the important thing, and we got that.''
''It shows just how physical and locked in you've got to be every single night regardless of the opponent,'' Towns said. ''A small lapse, mental, and you see what the game comes out to be in the playoffs.''
“Then our offense just dried up. Our shot selection in the second quarter basically started the avalanche,'' said Minnesota coach Chris Finch, who added that the Grizzlies also started controlling the glass. ''That's really where the game was won.''
NBA: Celtics win the first match as Suns prevail over the Pelicans
(Basketball news) The Boston Celtics won their first match 115 - 114 against the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the NBA playoffs. For the Celtics, Tatum scored 31 points, the last two on the first buzzer-beater of his career as it was Boston's first buzzer beater in the postseason since Paul Pierce in 2010 against the Heat. Brown added 23 points as Horford had 20 points and 15 rebounds, and Smart finished with 20 points, including four 3-pointers. For the Nets, Kyrie Irving finished with 39 points, including 18 in the fourth quarter as Durant added 23 points but shot just 9 of 24. With this result the Celtics take a 1-0 lead in the series as they play their next match on Wednesday.
''When he took that dribble we just kind of made eye contact. He made a great pass,'' Tatum said. ''It doesn't get any better than that. A buzzer-beater in a playoff game at home.''
I've always been told you have more time than you realise you have,'' Smart said. ''I was about to throw it to Al (Horford) off the dribble and I saw JT cut at the last minute.''
''I think that's kind of a microcosm for our season, guys moving the ball being unselfish,'' coach Ime Udoka said.
“They did a good job of forcing me away, then helping in the paint. I just got to be more fundamental in my moves,'' said Durant . ''I feel like some shots went in and out for me.''
The top seed in the Western Conference, the Phoenix Suns made easy work of the New Orleans Pelicans as they won 110-99. For the Suns, Paul scored 19 of his 30 points during a brilliant fourth-quarter scoring display as Deandre Ayton was particularly dominant on the defensive end with four blocks, and had 21 points and nine rebounds and Booker finished with 25 points. For the Pelicans, CJ McCollum led the scoring with 25 points, but struggled with his shooting much of the night as he finished 9 of 25 from the field. Valanciunas added 18 points and 25 rebounds as Brandon Ingram scored 18 points. With this result the Suns take the lead in the series as they play their second in Phoenix tomorrow.
''Classic Chris,'' Suns coach Monty Williams said.
''It's just reading the game,'' Paul said. ''We watch games all day, every day. We got to watch all the games yesterday. We watched the games today. We know in the playoffs, teams aren't going to lay down.''
''That man's a true competitor, a true winner,'' Suns guard Devin Booker said. ''He wants it that bad. You can see it in his demeanour, you can see it in his walk. It shouldn't surprise anybody. He's built for these moments.''
''We figured out a way to play,'' Pelicans forward Larry Nance Jr. said. ''This is the playoffs and there are going to be ebbs and flows, ups and downs. We are in a chess match now.''
The Milwaukee Bucks started their title defence in emphatic fashion as they won 93-86 against the Chicago Bulls. For the Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo had 27 points and 16 rebounds as Brook Lopez scored 18 points, Holiday had 15, Khris Middleton had 11 and Bobby Portis added 10. Portis also had 12 rebounds. For the Bulls, DeMar DeRozan scored 18 points but shot 6 of 25 as Vucevic had 24 points and 17 rebounds but shot 9 of 27. LaVine had 18 points and 10 rebounds while shooting 6 of 19. With this result the Bucks took a 1-0 lead in the series as they both will face each other on Wednesday in Milwaukee.
''We've got to win the ugly games,'' said Jrue Holiday, whose 3-pointer with 5:03 left put the Bucks ahead for good. ''I feel like today was ugly. It was a battle and it was tough, but it was an ugly one.''
''I thought it was a good shot,'' LaVine said. ''We were down three. I got a really clean look.''
''Every shot I took tonight felt good,'' said DeMar DeRozan, ''I guarantee you that me, Zach and Vooch (Nikola Vucevic) aren't going to miss that many shots again.''
''The whole team was kind of out of rhythm,'' said Antetokounmpo, who didn't score in the fourth quarter while dealing with foul trouble. ''We weren't able to find one another as easy as we usually find one another and make shots. We missed a bunch of open shots today. Usually we make those and we get energy.''
NBA: Mavericks secured a playoff berth as Clippers beat the Suns
(Basketball news) Mavericks secured a playoff berth after they beat the Detroit Pistons 131-113. For the Mavericks, Luka Doncic had 26 points, 14 assists and eight rebounds, Jalen Brunson had 24 points as they reached 50 wins this season. For the Pistons, Rookie of the Year candidate Cade Cunningham had 25 points, nine assists and seven rebounds. With this result the Mavericks moved 20 games above .500 for the first time since 2011, when they went on to win the NBA title. The Dallas Mavericks are going to earn home-court advantage in the playoffs, for the first time since Kidd was playing during championship season. Their current record stands at 50-30 and are currently 4th in the Western Conference standings with two games to go.
''It's a great accomplishment,'' coach Jason Kidd said. ''The guys in that locker room can't take that lightly because it's not easy to do.''
“I think it's pretty impressive,'' Doncic said. ''We started the season kind of slow. I'm proud of how we played and hopefully we get to 52 (wins).''
''That's going to be a top team in the West,'' Casey said. ''I wanted them to feel it and experience it.''
''They do a great job of spreading out and making 3-point shots,'' Casey said. ''You make one mistake and they make you pay. They're a great offensive team, exactly what we want to be in terms of moving the basketball and knocking down 3s,''
The Los Angeles Clippers won against a rested Phoenix Suns 113-109. For the Clippers it was a welcome return for Paul George and Norman Powell after being out of the majority of the season. Norman Powell scored 24 points and Paul George added 19 points as Ivica Zubac had 13 points and 11 rebounds. For the Suns, they were without Devin Booker and Chris Paul and fellow starters Deandre Ayton and Jae Crowder as the second unit played, Ish Wainwright scored a career-high 20 points, Aaron Holiday added 16 points and Bismack Biyombo had 14 points and 12 rebounds. The only starter in double figures was Payne with 13 points. With this result, the Clippers have secured the 8th place in the standings with a record of 40-40.
''You can never relax in the NBA,'' Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said. ''The players are too good, the coaches are too good, and as soon as you let your guard down things like this can happen.''
''It's a great lesson for our team and any kid watching, you just play it out,'' Suns coach Monty Williams said. ''We just stayed with it and had that Suns grit.''
''When you have games like this, you find out who that guy is that you may be able to throw into a big game,'' Williams said. ''You build that confidence in games like this.''
''Playing with PG still didn't seem real to me,'' Powell said. ''I looked up to him growing up. Early on in my career he gave me some words of encouragement that stuck with me.''
''We just tried to play off one another,'' George said. ''The biggest thing for me was playing off the ball and letting Norm get comfortable. He's a big-time playmaker and scorer off the ball.''
The other results were:
- Nets 110 - 98 Knicks
- Bulls 94 - 117 Celtics
- Hawks 118 - 103 Wizards
- Jazz 137 - 101 Thunder
Tomorrow’s fixture are:
- Hornets vs Magic
- Bucks vs Celtics
- Raptors vs 76ers
- Pelicans vs Trail Blazers
- Timberwolves vs Spurs
- Nuggets vs Grizzlies
- Warriors vs Lakers
NBA: Phoenix Suns beat the Warriors and the Heat also win
(Basketball news) The Phoenix Suns produced a clinical performance as they beat the Golden State Warriors 107-103. For the Suns, Chris Paul finished with 15 points and eight assists, Mikal Bridges and Devin Booker both scored 22 points as Deandre Ayton added 16 points and 16 rebounds, The Suns matched the franchise record with 62 wins for their 9th straight victory this season. For the Warriors, Jordan Poole scored a season-best 38 points to match his career high and also contributed nine rebounds and seven assists, Klay Thompson finished with 13 points as he shot just 5 for 21 and missed nine of his 10 3-point attempts in Golden State's fourth straight loss, seventh in eight and third in a row at Chase Center. With this result the Suns extended their record to 62-14 and sit at the top of the Western Conference standings.
''That's who we are. We are a work team. Even though the studies show that lifting after a game helps with recovery, I think they really enjoy being around each other and they enjoy the work,'' coach Monty Williams said. ''... As I've said before, our guys are chasing something. When you're chasing something, you don't want to get to whatever you're chasing and not be ready.''
''We felt like we've been there before,'' Paul said of the atmosphere. ''Obviously this is an exciting environment playing in here, the crowd going crazy and all that but we've been playing a ton of games like that.''
''The tough part about Jordan is he's learning how to play like Steph,'' Williams said before the game.
''Draymond took a step tonight,'' Kerr said of the improvements on both ends.
The Miami Heat reclaimed their top spot in Eastern Conference standings when they defeated the Boston Celtics 106-98. For the Heat, Jimmy Butler scored 24 points, Kyle Lowry added 23 as Bam Adebayo finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds. For the Celtics, Jaylen Brown led the team with 28 points and 10 rebounds. Jayson Tatum added 23 points and six assists. With this result the Miami Heat clinched a playoff place and also reclaimed the top spot with a record of 49-28 as the Celtics moved down to 4th in the standings with a record of 47-30, the Eastern Conference is very open at the moment as the Bucks, 76ers, Heat and Celtics are fighting it out for that elusive top spot.
''I think we did a good job of just communicating and being there for each other,'' Lowry said.
''It's a good thing for us to learn from,'' Tatum said. ''The season is not decided today. We've still got games to play, playoffs. So, we'll be good.''
''We've gotten a lot better at knowing where the ball has to go,'' Butler said. ''Putting everybody in the position that they need to be in to be successful.''
''That's why I like going through all these kind of games during the regular season,'' Spoelstra said. ''We had our share of challenges going down the stretch. But what I love about this group is we come in the next day, work at it and really try to get better. Those experiences make you stronger.''
The other results were:
- Pacers 118 - 125 Nuggets
- Cavs 112 - 120 Mavericks
- Wizards 127 - 110 Magic
- Raptors 125 - 102 Timberwolves
- Knicks 114 - 125 Hornets
- Rockets 118 - 121 Kings
- Thunder 118 - 136 Hawks
- Spurs 111 - 112 Grizzlies
- Trail Blazers 107 - 117 Pelicans
Tomorrow's matches are:
- Pistons vs 76ers
- Nets vs Bucks
- Hawks vs Cavs
- Bulls vs Clippers
- Jazz vs Lakers
NBA: Lakers snap their losing streak as Suns continue winning
(Basketball news) Lakers snapped out of their losing streak as they beat the Toronto Raptors in overtime 128-123. For the Lakers, LeBron James scored 19 of his 36 points in the fourth quarter and overtime, Russell Westbrook had 22 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists as the likes of Wenyen Gabriel scored 17 points, Bradley had 14 and Austin Reaves had 10 points. For the Raptors, Barnes set career-highs with 31 points and 17 rebounds, Gary Trent Jr. scored 23 points and Fred Van Vleet 20. With this victory the Lakers snapped out of their 11 game losing streak away from home as they improved their record to 30-40 and are currently in 9th in the Western Conference standings.
“To be able to come into a very hostile environment and win a basketball game, and the way we won it, was big for our team,'' James said. ''We needed literally every minute, all 53 of them, to accomplish that.''
''I thought we did a great job of just sticking to our principles, grinding the game out,'' Westbrook said. ''This was a grind-out game.''
''That's part of what makes him the greatest is his ability to just make whatever play is necessary, whatever side of the floor,'' Lakers coach Frank Vogel said.
''We just didn't make one little play there to get the ball in bounds,'' Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. ''We got it in and got a tough pass complete, and then gave it up.''
''He really competed,'' Vogel said. ''I thought tonight he did a great job of really leading the team in terms of organizing our action, not just making plays himself but getting our group organized.''
The Phoenix Suns beat the Chicago Bulls quite comprehensively 129-102 for their 4th straight victory. For the Suns, Ayton scored 20 points he was 8 of 11 from the field as Devin Booker led the scoring with 28 points and Cameron Payne scored 15 points, Torrey Craig, Landry Shamet had 14 each, JaVale McGee 12 and Mikael Bridges 11. For the Bulls, DeMar DeRozan scored 19 points, Nikola Vucevic added 16 points. Coby White had 14, Zach LaVine 12 and Tristan Thompson 11 as they are fifth in the Eastern Conference with a record of 41-29. The Suns improved their record to 57-14 and moved closer to clinching the NBA's best regular-season record this season.
''He is aggressive in the post. I didn't see a ton of finesse,'' Suns coach Monty Williams said
“We don't want to be `Chris and Book' dimensional,'' Williams said. ''We want to be comfortable to go to other guys so that in those key moments it is not something new to them.''
“To get the lead that we got and sustain it, then maintain it throughout the second half was pretty impressive,'' Craig said.
''I don't want to take anything away from Phoenix or teams we've played against, but we've got to be able to have a better response when shots aren't going in,'' Chicago coach Billy Donovan said. ''I thought some of the (Suns') offensive rebounds in the second quarter really hurt us, and then we started missing shots. We gotta develop a resilience when it's not going well.''
DeRozan said the team is dealing with some new adversity after a solid season. ''We're at that time of the year where nothing is a secret,'' he said. ''We've played great basketball and now teams are coming after us no matter who we play. Once we figure it out, we'll be fine.''
The other results were:
- 76ers 111 - 101 Mavericks
- Nets 128 - 123 Trail Blazers
- Knicks 100 - 97 Wizards
- Cavaliers 119 - 116 Nuggets
- Hawks 120 - 105 Grizzlies
- Heat 120 - 108 Thunder
- Rockets 118 - 121 Pacers
- Spurs 91 - 124 Pelicans
- Jazz 121 - 92 Clippers
- Kings 97 - 126 Celtics
Tomorrow’s fixtures are:
- Timberwolves vs Bucks
- Hornets vs Mavericks
- Wizards vs Lakers
- Cavs vs Pistons
Kyrie drops 60 against the Magic while Suns continue their winning run
(Basketball news) The Brooklyn Nets are back to their winning ways thanks to Kyrie Iriving who dropped 60 points to lead them to a blowout 150-110 victory over the Orlando Magic. For the Nets, Irving scored a career-high 60 points, most in the Nets' NBA history as he shot 20 for 31, including 8 of 12 on 3-pointers, in 35 minutes. He made 12 of 13 free throws in matching the highest-scoring game in the NBA this season. Irving also scored 41 points in the first half which was the most in the first two quarters since Kobe Bryant had 42 against Washington on March 28, 2003 as Durant added 19 points in the Nets' fourth straight win. For the Magic, Cole Anthony had 19 points and seven assists and Wendall Carter finished with 18 points. With this result the Nets improved their record to 36-33 and sit in 8th in the Eastern Conference standings.
''It just shows you we're on our way to history,'' Irving said.
'The night after Karl Towns had an incredible performance, and then to have Kyrie do it the next night, the league is in an amazing place right now,'' teammate Kevin Durant said. ''We're seeing a lot of talent displayed every night, and this was one of the elite ones.''
''It was just about the team really, just getting in the flow,'' Kyrie said. ''That's the true purity of this game, doing it efficiently on both ends of the floor and coming out with a W.''
''A few shots I probably shouldn't have taken. Tough ones, with double-teams and triple-teams coming,'' he added. ''But as long as I can do it with a smile on my face and my teammates weren't too angry with me, it was worthwhile.''
''There's times he's shooting over two people,'' said Magic coach Jamahl Mosley. ''You try to double-team him, he's smart enough to know when to go and when not to go. He's fast in transition so you can't speed up and try to deny him. They're setting backscreens. He's crafty enough and he's seen every coverage and he knows how to play with a pace. That makes it hard.''
The Phoenix Suns continued their golden form as they beat the New Orleans Pelicans 130-115. For the Suns, Booker capped his 27-point performance with six points in a 33-second span at the end of the third quarter which was crucial in the end for the victory, Deandre Ayton added 18 points and Mikal Bridges went 4 of 5 from deep and scored 20 for them. For the Pelicans, Herb Jones scored 22 as CJ McCollum returned from a two-game absence and scored 21 points, Jonas Valanciunas added 17 points and 12 rebounds. With this result the Suns extended their record to 55-14 and sit comfortably on top of the Western Conference table.
''It's demoralizing because you're right there, you're looking to get over the hump and then he comes down and hits a couple shots like that,'' Pelicans coach Willie Green said.
''More important than making the shot with 33 seconds left was making sure you're taking the shot with 33 seconds, playing the possession game,'' Booker said, alluding to the NBA's 24-second shot clock. ''We've just been stressing on finishing quarters the right way.''
'When they don't miss a shot, it's pretty hard,'' Pelicans forward Jaxson Hayes said. ''They're just hard to match up with.''
We just come together, man. It's fun to be a part of,'' Booker said. ''Just everybody vs. us, just taking that approach to it, just enjoying the road games, just enjoying being the bearer of bad news coming through here. It's something I think that we definitely own.''
The other results were:
- Pacers 102 - 135 Grizzlies
- Heat 105 - 98 Pistons
Tomorrow’s fixtures are:
- Cavs vs 76ers
- Wizards vs Nuggets
- Hornets vs Hawks
- Nets vs Mavericks
- Knicks vs Trail Blazers
- Timberwolves vs Lakers
- Spurs vs Thunder'
- Jazz vs Bulls
- Kings vs Bucks
- Warriors vs Celtics
- Clippers vs Raptors
NBA: Suns thrash hapless Lakers while 76ers win in overtime
(Basketball news) The Phoenix Suns thrashed the Lakers 140-111 in a resounding victory as the Suns scored 48 in 1st quarter itself. For the Suns, Devin Booker scored 30 points, Deandre Ayton had 23 points and 16 rebounds in just 27 as Mikal Bridges added 18 points to help Phoenix move 40 games over .500. For the Lakers, LeBron James led the scoring with 31 points, seven rebounds and six assists as the Lakers have lost 10 straight road games. James reached a milestone with his 10,000th career assist in the second quarter on Carmelo Anthony's 3-pointer. James is the only player in NBA history with at least 30,000 points, 10,000 rebounds and 10,000 assists. With this result the Suns improved their record to 54-14 and stayed on top of the Western Conference standings.
''I get a loss of words anytime things like this happen to me,'' James said. ''I automatically start thinking about my hometown of Akron and my upbringing where I come from. The dreams I had of being in this league at the highest level and to now sit alone in a statistical category in this league. I model my game after being able to score, rebound and assist. And to sit alone in a stat, I'll say cool, but it doesn't quite make sense to me.''
''It wasn't selfish, not like I want more points,'' Williams said. ''(It was)`I can dominate them. I think we need to look at ourselves more.' ... DA doesn't make those kinds of statements so he can score more and get those points. He's like, `I can work down there.' I've been around long enough to know his intentions and he backed it up.''
''We played poorly,'' Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. ''How we started, really the whole night, was unacceptable ... This is a tough matchup to play small-ball against but we definitely have to be better than we were tonight.''
The Philadelphia 76ers continued their good form with a hard fought overtime victory over the Orlando Magic 116-114. For the Sixers, Embiid had 35 points and 16 rebounds, Harden finished with 26 points and Tobias Harris added 25 and nine rebounds as they slowly formed a formidable trio. For the Magic, Wendell Carter Jr. had 23 points and 12 rebounds and Cole Anthony had 19 points. With this result the 76ers improved their record to 41-25 as they are currently second in the Eastern Conference table.
''This was a big win for us. I know people are like: `Oh, it's the Orlando Magic.' But they just beat the Timberwolves the other night and the Timberwolves came back and beat the Miami Heat,'' said Georges Niang, who hit two big 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to help send the game into overtime. ''That should tell you something about the NBA.''
'(The final shot) could have gone in and we'd be in a different mood,'' Anthony said. ''This is a game that easily could have fallen in our favor.''
''We're giving ourselves a chance in the fourth quarter,'' Carter said. ''We're going to be in this position a lot, and we're going to win some and lose some. It's good experience.''
''I would like to get off to a good start, but it's almost like we've got to get punched in the mouth before we turn on our defensive intensity,'' Philadelphia coach Doc Rivers said. ''That stretch of defense in the third quarter was phenomenal, but we have to start the game that way.''
The other results were:
- Pistons 102 - 106 Clippers
- Celtics 92 - 95 Mavericks
- Pelicans 130 - 105 Rockets
- Hawks 131 - 128 Pelicans
- Thunder 118 - 125 Grizzlies
Tomorrow’s matches are:
- Cavs vs Clippers
- Hawks vs Trail Blazers
- 76ers vs Nuggets
- Thunder vs Hornets
- Spurs vs Timberwolves
- Kings vs Bulls
- Jazz vs Bucks
- Warriors vs Wizards
- Lakers vs Raptors
The NBA is back as Warriors kicked off the proceedings with an emphatic victory
(Basketball news) The Golden State continued from where they left off before the All Star break as they destroyed the Portland Trail Blazers 132-95. For the Warriors, Stephen Curry had 18 points and 14 assists as Klay Thompson also had 18 points for the Warriors, the Warriors at the end of the match had 8 players in double digits scoring. For the Trailblazers, Anfernee Simons had 24 points for Portland as they had won four straight going into the break. With this result the Warriors improved their record to 43-17 and sit comfortably in second place in the Western Conference table.
'It was a good way to kind of come back from the break and establish ourselves on both ends of the floor,'' Curry said.
''Steph was brilliant tonight,'' Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. ''I loved his patience and the way he ran the team tonight. He played a beautiful game.''
''(Curry) has always been able to pass like this. His scoring is so good it can get overlooked sometimes,'' Thompson said.
''I thought they played hard and they played well, they just came up against a juggernaut,'' Billups said. ''They kind of took off on us there, they had 39 points in the second quarter, that really hurt us and we could never really recover.''
The Phoenix Suns won their 8th consecutive match against the Oklahoma City Thunder 124-104. For the Suns, Devin Booker had 25 points, 12 assists and a career-high six steals as Cameron Johnson and Mikal Bridges each scored 21 points for the Suns, who have won 19 of 20. For the OKC, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led them with 32 points on his return as Rookie guard Josh Giddey, who had 15 points, nine rebounds and six assists. At this moment the Suns are the best team in the league by a mile and they are consistently winning matches for fun. With this result the Suns improved their record to 49-10 and sit on top of the Western Conference table.
''I thought Devin managed the game well,'' Suns coach Monty Williams said.
''I feel like we can only get better from this,'' Suns forward Jae Crowder said. ''Obviously, we've put ourselves in a position to have a cushion. But at the same time, we're playing for something. We're playing purposeful basketball each and every night.''
'Love playing with him,'' Giddey said. ''I think that chemistry is getting better and better over time. I think in a few years, we're going to be one of the best backcourts in the league. So growing with him is something I love doing.''
''The good thing is, we got that game out of the way,'' Williams said. ''I thought we had some rust in the pipes tonight, and we were able to get some of that out and get used to Book (Booker) playing some point.''
The other results were:
- Pistons 106 - 103 Cavs
- Nets 106 - 129 Celtics
- Timberwolves 119 - 114 Grizzlies
- Bulls 112 - 103 Hawks
- Kings 110 - 128 Nuggets
Tomorrow’s fixtures are:
- Pacers vs Thunder
- Magic vs Rockets
- Hornets vs Raptors
- Wizards vs Spurs
- Knicks vs Heat
- Timberwolves vs 76ers
- Suns vs Pelicans
- Jazz vs Mavericks
- Lakers vs Clippers
- Pistons vs Celtics
The NBA All Star week is set to kick off as Team LeBron take on Team Durant
(Basketball news) The NBA All Star week is all set to kick off as Team LeBron take on Team Durant in Cleveland. Like every year the NBA All-Star Weekend will bring fun, frolic as well as new and exciting game events that will enthrall every spectator all over the world. There will be some for Indian fans to cheer for as Ranveer Singh will participate in the celebrity All Star game also.
LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Stephen Curry, DeMar DeRozan, Nikola Jokic, Luka Doncic, Darius Garland, Chris Paul, Jimmy Butler, Donovan Mitchell, Fred VanVleet, James Harden
Joel Embiid, Ja Morant, Jayson Tatum, Trae Young, Andrew Wiggins, Devin Booker, Karl-Anthony Towns, Zach LaVine, DeJounte Murray, Khris Middleton, LaMelo Ball, Rudy Gobert
The 71st NBA All-Star Game is all set to be the star attraction of the NBA All-Star event will be this iconic encounter between Team Durant vs Team Lebron which will take place on the 20th February. The all star game is unlike a traditional game of basketball as the rules of this game will be a bit different. The winning team will have to hit the target score to achieve as there will be no time limit assigned. The target score is assigned on the basis of the team’s performance and also scoring based on the first three-quarters of the game. This system was brought into play in the 2020 season after a lot of criticism was received for the All Star games not being competitive.
Another star attraction every year in the All Star week is the dunk contest as this year Cole Anthony, Juan Toscano-Anderson, Obi Toppin and Jalen Green will compete in the competition. The Dunk contest consists of four competitors who take part in this Slam Dunk contest. Each individual gets the chance of two dunks for the first round as the top two players in terms of with the most points after two dunks move on. Then in the final two finalists will get two dunk each, and ultimately the player with the highest combined dunk score in the final will be adjudged as the winner but the competition continues even if the scores are levelled as a winner is mandatory.
The NBA three point contest also takes place as this year CJ McCollum, Trae Young, Zach LaVine, Desmond Bane, Karl-Anthony Towns, Fred VanVleet, Luke Kennard and Patty Mills will participate. This special event is an individual event. Each player will get the chance to score a maximum of 40 points. In the allotted 70 seconds, a player will have to shoot that 27 balls. The aggregate highest of the three scorers of the rounds will then move ahead into the championship round. Finally, the highest scorer of this round will be judged as the winner of this competition.
The Warriors defeated the Lakers and Suns maintain winning streak
(Basketball news) The Golden State Warriors edged out the struggling Lakers as they won 117-115 in a close encounter. For the Warriors, Klay Thompson scored 16 of his season-high 33 points in the fourth quarter, Stephen Curry made a clutch layup with 46 seconds remaining to win the encounter as Curry finished with 24 points and eight assists while Andrew Wiggins scored 19 points to help the Warriors end a two-game losing streak. For the Lakers, James had 26 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists as James extended his streak of 25 points or more to 22 games and passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for most points scored in the NBA in the regular season and postseason with 44,157. James tied Abdul-Jabbar's mark of 44,149 in the first half, as he then surpassed it with a 3-pointer early in the third quarter to break such a historical record. With this result the Warriors improved their record to 42-15.
''It meant something special to do it for my dad,'' Thompson said. ''I don't think he's seen me play for a few years. I know he was proud of me, and that's always fun.''
''This one hurts,'' Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. ''We were up six with a few minutes to play. Just one of those nights where a lot of bad bounces didn't go our way.''
''We had an opportunity to win a big game tonight,'' James said. ''But in all my career, any time I've been linked with some of the greats, I've always just been in awe.''
''Just took over the game at a time when we desperately needed him,'' Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. ''With our offense kind of struggling to find a groove he got hot and took over the game. Klay is special. It goes beyond making shots. He brings electricity to the building that's hard to quantify.''
The Phoenix Suns continued their winning streak as they won 132-105 against the Orlando Magic. For the Suns, Devin Booker scored 26 points and Deandre Ayton had 17 points and 10 rebounds as Chris Paul recorded his 30th double-double of the season with 10 points and 15 assists and the Suns had nine players score in double figures. Phoenix has won 16 of 17 games and owns the NBA's best record at 46-10. For the Magic, Jalen Suggs, who scored 20 points, two shy of his career-high, and had a season-high 10 assists. Cole Anthony scored 17 points, and Chuma Okeke had 15 points off the bench. With this result the Suns improved their record to 46-10 as they sit comfortably on top of the Western Conference table.
''That's an unreal ratio,'' coach Monty Williams said. ''But the ability, the will to turn down a decent shot or a good shot for a great shot, that's who we are. That's our DNA. That's who we have to be if we want to do something really, really special, which we believe we can.''
Magic coach Jamahl Mosley said the Suns set an example for his team on how to play the game. ''You talk about what they've done and how they do it and the chemistry which they have and we talk about our guys being able to play in that same fashion,''
The other results were:
- Trail Blazers 112 - 103 Knicks
- Pelicans 114 - 124 Spurs
- Hornets 118 - 125 Grizzlies
- Wizards 110 - 123 Kings
- 76ers 103 - 93 Cavs
- Raptors 109 - 110 Nuggets
- Heat 115 - 111 Nets
- Bulls 106 - 101 Thunder
- Mavericks 97 - 99 Clippers
Tomorrow’s fixtures are:
- Wizards vs Pistons
- Knicks vs Thunder
- Nets vs Kings
- Pelicans vs Raptors
- Bucks vs Trail Blazers
- Bulls vs Spurs
- Jazz vs Rockets
- Clippers vs Warriors
Phoenix Suns in unbeatable form while Warriors win 9th straight game
(Basketball news) The Phoenix Suns in the current form look unbeatable as they beat the Chicago Bulls 127-124. For the Suns, Booker hit the 30-point mark for the third time in four games as the All-Star made 14 of 23 shots, including five 3-pointers, Chris Paul added 19 points and 11 assists. JaVale McGee finished with 16 points and eight rebounds and Mikal Bridges scored 15. For the Bulls, Zach LaVine added 32 points after missing the previous two games because of back spasms and DeMar DeRozan scored 38. With this win it meant that they stretched their winning run to 13 wins in 14 games as they improved to 43-10 overall and a league-leading 21-5 on the road. They also have the best record in the NBA by far as they sit comfortably on top of the Western Conference.
''Just playing within the offense,'' Booker said. ''I understand that's how our team is built, there are gonna be opportunities to score at all times. I've been in this system for a minute now. There's no reason to force anything. We have too many talented players out there.''
''I thought as the game wore on, we played at a higher and higher and higher standard,'' Donovan said. ''To start the game, it was almost like they forced us to play at a higher level. And we've got to be able to do that ourselves.''
“With our team, it's just we're always so balanced,'' Paul said. ''We take the best available shot and not just any shot.''
The Golden State Warriors won against the Oklahoma City Thunders 110-98 as they won their 9th straight match. For the Warriors, Klay Thompson scored 21 points and Stephen Curry added 18 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds. For the Warriors, who shot 50% from the field, Andrew Wiggins scored 13 of his 15 points in the first half. For OKC, Dort scored 26 points and Bazley matched a season high with 20 for Oklahoma City. Josh Giddey added 16 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. With this result the Warriors improved their record to 41-13 and sit comfortably in second spot in the Western Conference table.
''It was great to see Klay hit those back-to-back 3s to kind of seal the win,'' Golden State coach Steve Kerr said. ''Just fun to have him back, and he looks great out there. He's moving great. It's fun to be able to play him.''
'He's so good at shooting the ball, I feel like my hand doesn't really do anything,'' Bazley said. ''You've kind of like just got to bank on him missing. There's some players that are just so good that they don't even see you.''
''We need him,'' Kerr said of Andre Iguodala playing after a month. ''You could see how good he was in that first half. He just does so many things for us. So it's definitely a concern.''
The other results were:
- Hornets 101 - 116 Raptors
- Wizards 100 - 121 Heat
- Jazz 113 - 104 Knicks
Tomorrow’s fixtures are:
- 76ers vs Suns
- Hawks vs Pacers
- Nets vs Celtics
- Grizzlies vs Clippers
- Pelicans vs Rockets
- Mavericks vs Pistons
- Nuggets vs Knicks
- Lakers vs Bucks
- Kings vs Timberwolves
- Trail Blazers vs Magic
Suns extend their winning run in the NBA while Warriors defeat Spurs
(Basketball news) The Phoenix Suns overcame the Brooklyn Nets 121-111 as the Suns won their 11th straight game. For the Suns, Booker scored 35 points, Bridges added a season-high 27 as Paul finished with 20 points and 14 assists and Cam Johnson had 16 points off the bench. For the Nets, Irving led the Nets with 26 points while James Harden had 22. Blake Griffin scored 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting off the bench.Irving was playing just his ninth game of the season and all of them have been on the road. The star guard remains one of the few unvaccinated players in the NBA and due to COVID-19 mandates in New York City concerning public arenas, he's not permitted to play in home games. With this result the Suns further extended their lead at the top of the Western Conference as their record currently stands at 41-9.
''What helps us is we just have a complete team,'' Paul said. ''You can't key in on one or two guys. If people try to do that with me or Booker, Mikal can get hot...''
''This league is not simple,'' Booker said. ''Guarding Kyrie (Irving) 1-on-1 is not simple. So it's something you have to lock into. It takes a lot of hard work and effort. But having those experiences that we've had together, it helps a lot.''
''We had opportunities,'' Harden said. ''We need to get off to a better start. That first quarter really hurt us. I felt like the last three quarters we were really pretty good.''
''That is a high-level team playing the best basketball in the league, with a lot of momentum, great crowd. Other than giving up 39 in the first quarter and getting them in the bonus early in the fourth and some loose balls, we matched them for large stretches.''
The Warriors won back to back games as they defeated the San Antonio Spurs 124-120. For the Warriors, Jordan Poole had 31 points, including a go-ahead 3-pointer with 17.9 seconds remaining, and the short-handed Golden State Warriors beat the San Antonio Spurs as Damion Lee had 21 points, Moses Moody added 20 and Kuminga finished with 19 points. For the Spurs, Dejounte Murray led San Antonio with 27 points, nine rebounds and nine assists. With this result the Warriors consolidated their second place in the Western Conference standings with an improved record of 39-13.
''I knew he was going to make it,'' Warriors rookie Jonathan Kuminga said. ''He missed the first one. Great players don't miss the second one.''
''Our vets who didn't play are so excited in there,'' Warriors coach Steve Kerr said, adding it was ''a fantastic win for us.''
''That was the play that won the game,'' Poole said. ''That was the one that did it. That hustle play, that effort play, especially in such a crucial time.''
''Rebounding has been our problem all year,'' Spurs guard Derrick White said. ''And the turnovers, I probably started it off with two turnovers in the fourth.''
The other results were:
- Pistons 101 - 111 Pelicans
- Bucks 112 - 98 Wizards
- Raptors 110 - 106 Heat
- Timberwolves 130 - 115 Nuggets
- Bulls 126 - 115 Magic
Tomorrow’s fixtures are:
- Pacers vs Magic
- 76ers vs Wizards
- Celtics vs Hornets
- Knicks vs Grizzlies
- Rockets vs Cavaliers
- Mavericks vs Thunder
- Kings vs Nets
- Jazz vs Nuggets
- Lakers vs Trail Blazers
NBA: The Nets lose their third match in a row and Suns make it 8 straight victories
(Basketball news) The Brooklyn Nets suffered their second consecutive loss in as many days as they lost 124-118 against the Denver Nuggets. For the Nuggets, Austin Rivers, who scored 22 of his 25 points in the second half, and Nikola Jokic's 26 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists as Denver also got 21 points and 10 rebounds from Will Barton and 13 points off the bench from DeMarcus Cousins to win its last three games and eight of 13. For the Nets, they were missing three of their best players, including All-Star guard James Harden as Rookie Cam Thomas scored 25 points and Patty Mills added 21 for Brooklyn, who have lost three consecutive games. With this result the Nets slipped down to third in the Eastern Conference standings,with a record of 29-19. For the Denver Nuggets, they moved up to 6th in the Western Conference table with an improved record of 26-21.
“We haven't played maybe perfect basketball, but we're winning games,'' Malone said. ''Ultimately that's all that matters. A lot of the NBA is like winning the games you're supposed to and that's no disrespect to a team like Detroit or these Brooklyn Nets - obviously all the guys they have out.''
''Just not enough against a very good team,'' Nets coach Steve Nash said. ''We played well for long stretches, but probably didn't take care of enough details to close it out.''
''I'm a scorer. I can score the ball,'' said Rivers, who shot 8 for 11 from the field, including 7 for 10 from long range. ''I really feel like I can do this consistently. But obviously I have my role here. So, I try to come out each and every night and be aggressive and you just look for those opportunities.''
The Phoenix Suns made it eight straight victories after winning 105- 97 against the Utah Jazz. For the Suns, Booker had 43 points and tied a career high with 12 rebounds, Paul scored 15 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter, Booker became the Suns' career leader in games scoring 40 or more points with 16. For the Jazz, Jordan Clarkson, who scored 16 of his team-high 26 points in the fourth quarter. Whiteside had 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Mike Conley also scored 16 points and added 10 assists for the Jazz, who dropped their ninth game in the last 11. With this result the Suns maintained their best record in the NBA as they sit on top of the Western Conference table with an improved record of 38-9.
'It's a good feeling now, but it came with a learning curve,'' Booker said. ''There was a lot of trial and error, but now we've been in enough situations where we know what to expect.''
''You only build that trust by playing together in games, close games like that,'' Paul said
''We're playing without Rudy and Donovan right now. But it doesn't mean we can't run back. ... This is about committing to the things consistently that allow you to (grow),'' Utah coach Quin Snyder said of his team's inconsistent effort.
''Chris can read the game and when Book has it going like that, he typically goes to sets where he can get him in catch-shoot environments,'' Phoenix coach Monty Williams said. ''But when he's in a groove like that, I think our team feeds off it.''
The other results were:
- Magic 102 - 11 1 Clippers
- Pacers 126 - 158 Hornets
- Cavaliers 115 - 89 Bucks
- Heat 110 - 96 Knicks
- Hawks 121 - 104 Kings
- Bulls 111 - 105 Raptors
- Spurs 110 - 118 Grizzlies
- Trail Blazers 112 - 132 Mavericks
Tomorrow’s matches are:
- 76ers vs Lakers
- Warriors vs Timberwolves
NBA: Suns continued their winning streak as Bulls are back to winning ways
(Basketball news) The Suns matched their franchise best start as they won 115-109 against the Utah Jazz. For the Suns, Devin Booker scored 33 points, Paul had 15 of his season-high 27 points in the fourth quarter, and the Suns rallied for their seventh straight win as Cam Johnson started in place of Crowder, he went on to pour in 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting, including 5 of 8 from 3-point range. Paul just missed a triple-double with 14 assists and nine rebounds as the Suns improved their NBA-best record to 37-9, matching the 2006-07 team for the best start in franchise history. For the Jazz,, Jordan Clarkson led them with 22 points, including three straight 3-pointers in the fourth quarter that made things interesting in the final minute as they were missing all-Stars Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert and Mike Conley. This was subsequently the Jazz losing for the eight time in 11 games.
“We had a good start to the game and then we got a little comfortable,'' Booker said. ''Those guys were ready to play. They took advantage of their opportunity, came out aggressive and confident. Once they got confidence, they were a little tougher to stop.''
“Collectively, we played hard,'' Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. ''That's a credit to our guys because the team we played played hard. That's why it was such a competitive game. I think what Chris (Paul) did in the fourth quarter, he's unique, obviously.''
The Chicago Bulls went back to winning ways in a close encounter as they won 111-110 against the Oklahoma City Thunders. For the Bulls, rookie Nicola Vucevic had 26 points and 15 rebounds, Ayo Dosunmu scored a season-high 24 points and Zach LaVine added 23 as DeMar DeRozan, who averages 26.3 points per game was rested. For the OKC, Gilgeous-Alexander had 31 points and 10 assists and Lu Dort added 16 points for the Thunder, who have lost 11 of 12. With this result the Bulls moved up to second in the Eastern Conference as they improved their record to 29-17.
''Two of our primary ball handlers in Lonzo and Alex are not here, and when you get into these situations in the fourth quarter where teams turn up the defensive pressure and pick up full court, you've got to be able to handle it,'' Bulls coach Billy Donovan said.
''It felt good,'' LaVine said. ''I got tired of just sitting at home watching. I'm about as healthy as I can get, but it just sucks sitting at home and not being able to help.''
''I give our guys a lot of credit,'' Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said. ''The ball pressure really amped up and they brought a lot of energy. To go out there and pressure the ball like that was huge for us because it took them out of their offense and didn't allow them to use their size at the (center position).''
The other results were:
- Cavaliers 95 - 93 Knicks
- Pelicans 117 - 113 Pacers
Tomorrow’s matches are:
- 76ers vs Pelicans
- Raptors vs Hornets
- Pistons vs Nuggets
- Wizards vs Clippers
- Nets vs Lakers
- Celtics vs Kings
- Rockets vs Spurs
- Trail Blazers vs Timberwolves
- Warriors vs Mavericks
NBA: Warriors lose against the Pacers as the Suns extend their lead at the top of the table
(Basketball news) The Golden State Warriors lost to the spirited Indiana Pacers 121-117 in overtime. For the Pacers, Chris Duarte top scored with 27 points, Justin Holiday scored 16 points as seven Pacers players scored in double digits. For the Warriors, Curry scored 39 but none in overtime, missing a 3 from the top of the arc with 16.5 seconds left as Klay Thompson struggled with only 13 points as he missed all seven of his 3-point tries and Golden State's players aside from Curry were 0 for 14 from deep until Damion Lee connected with 40 seconds left in the third. With this result the Pacers improved their record to 17-29 as the Warriors stayed in second in the Western Conference standings with a record of 32-13.
“We were definitely sped up a little bit, 9 for 42 from 3, but it wasn't a great game in terms of our execution to get those 42 3-point shots,'' coach Steve Kerr said. ''I don't think we earned the right to make a lot more than that. It just felt like we were scattered out there and in a rush for sure.''
:As far as the 3-point shot that tied it, I'm normally a fouler and I take the hit on that one, too. This was my night to stink it up,'' Kerr said.
''Golden State is a great, great team. They got two of the best players - two of the best shooters that you've ever seen in this game - so I think us coming out with the win, it's a huge, huge win for us,'' Duarte said.
''Everyone's tired from all the travel over the last month or so, just felt like a good day to unwind and do something fun, '' Kerr said. ''... Klay was good. I know you're going to be shocked that Steph and Klay were both excellent.''
The Phoenix Suns have continued their magnificent run with their 9th straight victory over the Dallas Mavericks 109-101. For the Suns, Devin Booker scored 28 points, Chris Paul had 20 points and 11 assists with no turnovers as they won despite shooting a season-worst 22.2% on 3-pointers (8 for 36), including missing 17 straight in the first half as five Suns players were in double digits. For the Mavericks, Doncic had 24 points through three quarters - giving him 20 or more points in nine straight games, Jalen Bruson had 19 points and Kristaps Porzingis had 18 points. With this result the Suns improved their record to 35-9 and sit comfortably on top of the Western Conference standings.
''Chris knows when to go,'' Dallas coach Jason Kidd said. ''He showed that again in the fourth quarter.''
''That's a team that's been running through the league here of late,'' Suns coach Monty Williams. ''To beat them on their home floor like that is huge.'
''My neck's not an excuse,'' said Doncic, who had eight turnovers and said he might have lost some steam in the fourth quarter. ''But man, they're the best record in the league. We were right there.''
''It's hard to trust the players because no player in the history of the league has ever committed a foul,'' Williams said
The other results were:
- Knicks 91 - 102 Pelicans
- Nuggets 130 - 128 Clippers
- Bucks 128 - 114 Grizzlies
- Bulls 117 - 104 Cavaliers
- Wizards 118 - 119 Nets
Tomorrow’s fixtures are:
- Magic vs Lakers
- Hornets vs Thunder
- 76ers vs Clippers
- Celtics vs Trail Blazers
- Hawks vs Heat
- Bucks vs Heat
- Spurs vs Nets
- Jazz vs Pistons
- Nuggets vs Grizzlies
- Warriors vs Rockets
NBA: Lakers start the year with a win as Suns continued their golden run
(Basketball news) Los Angeles Lakers won two back to back matches after a long time as they won 108-103 against the Minnesota Timberwolves. LeBron James scored 26 points, Malik Monk added 22 and the Lakers hung on to beat them for the first time this season. Westbrook finished with 20 points, three rebounds, five assists and nine of the Lakers' 28 turnovers, the Lakers (19-19) climbed back to .500, with their veterans carrying them in the fourth quarter. Carmelo Anthony scored five in a row to help erase a four-point deficit. Anthony hit a 3-pointer, got fouled and made the free throw. He finished with 14 points. For the Timberwolves, Naz Reid led the Wolves with season highs of 23 points, Jaylen Nowell added 17 points off the bench. With this result the Lakers moved to 7th in the Western Conference standings.
“We did a good job of holding our own, gutting it out,'' said Westbrook, who had just one turnover in the second half.
''He's done a great job for us all year,'' Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. ''He's brought a great deal of basketball integrity to our team, making sure guys are playing the right way offensively.
''We're playing good basketball of late,'' James said. ''Even with some of the losses we've had, we're still trending in the right direction.''
''We're not here solely just to develop talent,'' Wolves coach Chris Finch said. ''We're trying to win these games.''
The Phoenix Suns continued their golden run as they routed past the Charlotte Hornets 133-99. Devin Booker scored 24 points, Jalen Smith tied a career high with 19 points and 12 rebounds and the Phoenix Suns hammered the Hornets. For the Suns, Shamet added 17 points, Mikal Bridges had 15, and Cam Johnson and Cam Payne 14 each. Seven Suns players scored in double figures to blow out the Hornets. For the Hornets LaMelo Ball had 17 points and Kelly Oubre Jr had 15 points. With this victory the Suns improved their record to 28-8 as they are currently second in the Western Conference standings.
''It's so great to see,'' Paul said. ''We have been waiting for that emotion from him for a year. You just never know when you are going to get your opportunity and to see him play with that emotion. ... You can get down in this league especially when you are on a team as good as ours and you find yourself out of the rotation. But he's been working and has stayed ready.''
''This was all you can ask for, especially after you just took it on the chin against Boston,'' Young said. ''Sometimes as a coach in your heart you feel like you are doing the right thing and you think it's going to resonate, and when it does come to fruition it's rewarding.''
''The whole time I have been picking his brain and he's been able to tell me how to get on the court and how to keep him improving,'' Smith said.
The other scores were:
- Raptors 120 - 105 Knicks
- Cavaliers 108 - 104 Pacers
- Celtics 116 - 111 Magic
- Kings 115 - 113 Heat
- Thunder 86 - 95 Mavericks
Tomorrow's fixtures are:
- Wizards vs Hornets
- 76ers vs Rockets
- Nets vs Grizzlies
- Pelicans vs Jazz
- Bucks vs Pistons
- Bulls vs Magic
- Mavericks vs Nuggets
- Warriors vs Heat
- Trail Blazers vs Hawks
- Clippers vs Timberwolves
NBA: Golden State Warriors extended their winning run to 22 wins while the Phoenix Suns lost to Los Angeles Clippers
(Basketball) The Golden State Warriors beat the Indiana Pacers 102-100 in a close encounter. Stephen Curry came up just short of Ray Allen's 3-point record as made five 3s, scored 26 points and rallied the Golden State Warriors to a victory. He's two 3’s short of surpassing Allen, something he's likely to do Tuesday night on the NBA's grandest stage, Madison Square Garden. Allen made 2,973 during his 18-year career. For Warriors, Draymond Green had 15 points, nine rebounds and five assists, Andrew Wiggins scored 15 points and Looney had 14 points and eight rebounds as Golden State was 8 of 30 on 3s and had 17 turnovers. For the Pacers, Domantas Sabonis had 30 points and 11 rebounds and Malcolm Brogdon had 23 points and eight assists. With this result the Warriors improved their record to 22-5 and stayed on top of the Western Conference standings.
'I'm enjoying the moment, knocking on the doorstep. It's pretty surreal,'' Curry said. ''You just keep playing basketball, taking shots you think you can make and enjoy the experience”.
''The play was set up perfectly, the 3 just didn't go in and Loon did what Loon does, which is go get the offensive board to give us the lead and eventually the win,'' said Draymond Green, who had 15 points and nine rebounds.
''I know he was trying to get the record tonight and in my mind, I wasn't going to let him do it on our court,'' said Malcolm Brogdon, who had 23 points and eight assists. ''When you slow him down, you expect to win the game. We slowed him down.''
The Phoenix Suns lost only their fifth match of the season against the Clippers 111-95. Marcus Morris had season highs of 24 points and 11 rebounds, leading the Los Angeles Clippers to a much deserved victory. It wasn't quite the rematch from the playoffs, with both teams missing their stars. The Suns were without Deandre Ayton and Devin Booker, while Paul George and Kawhi Leonard sat out for the Clippers .Reggie Jackson added 19 points and Terance Mann had 17 points and nine rebounds for the Clippers who won their fourth in a row. For the Suns, Cam Johnson led Phoenix with 17 points off the bench as Mikal Bridges added 16 points and Chris Paul was held to nine points and eight assists against his former team. With this win, the Clippers improved their record to 16-12 as they stayed 5th in Western Conference standings.
'It definitely didn't feel like that,'' Morris said of Monday's game compared to last spring's playoffs.
“We're just getting contributions from all of our guys,'' Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said. ''Our whole team did a good job of just chipping in.''
''Against CP, we tried to slow him down and give him different looks,'' Lue said. ''To slow him down a little bit was huge for us”.
“We were out of rhythm all night. We just couldn't knock down shots,'' Suns coach Monty Williams said. ''If you're missing shots, you're playing in transition a lot.''
The other results were:
- Cavaliers 105 - 94 Heat
- Raptors 124 - 101 Kings
- Hawks 126 - 132 Rockets
- Celtics 117 - 103 Bucks
- Grizzlies 126 - 91 76ers
- Mavericks 120 - 96 Hornets
- Nuggets 113 - 107 Wizards
The tomorrow's fixtures are:
- Knicks vs Warriors
- Nets vs Raptors
- Trail Blazers vs Suns
NBA: Phoenix Suns stretch their run to 17 straight victories as Lakers avenged their loss against the Sacramento Kings
(Basketball news) Phoenix Suns have tied a franchise record with 17 wins in a row as they won 104-96 against the Golden State Warriors. Ayton scored 24 points, Chris Paul added 15 points and 11 assists despite losing star guard Devin Booker to a left hamstring injury in the second quarter. He had 10 points and two rebounds in 15 minutes. For the Warriors, Jordan Poole led Golden State with 28 points. Stephen Curry - who came into the game averaging 28.6 points per game - had 12 points on 4 of 21 shooting, including 3 of 14 from 3-point range.The Suns limited the Warriors to just 42 points in the second half. The Warriors also had 22 turnovers.The Suns haven't lost since Oct. 27 when Harrison Barnes hit a game-winning 3 at the buzzer for the Sacramento Kings. With this result the Suns improved their record to 18-3 and took the number 1 spot in the Western Conference.
''It's just a lot of work, a lot of mental toughness, staying with it,'' Bridges said. ''We knew when we first got here that we wanted to turn it around.''
''With all of the mistakes we did have and how terrible I shot the ball, it was a close game down the stretch,'' Curry said. ''I know Booker got hurt, but yes, it was a good learning lesson for us. Understanding the intensity and the focus we need to beat a team like that.''
'To me, this was just will and toughness,'' Williams said.
The Lakers after a long time won two games in a row as they won 117-92 against the Sacramento Kings. The Lakers sent James home early after he was placed in the NBA's health and safety protocol. Davis claimed that James felt good and was asymptomatic but the Lakers will have to play at least a few games without him again this season. For the Lakers, Anthony Davis scored 25 points, Russell Westbrook added 23 as Malik Monk scored 22 points from the bench. The Lakers took over with a dominant third quarter to win back-to-back games for the first time since Nov. 8-10. For the Kings, Richaun Holmes scored 27 points on 12-for-13 shooting in his first game back as De'Aaron Fox added 17 but also had seven turnovers. With this result the Lakers improved their record to 12-11 as they are currently eight in the Western Conference.
“We still have to find ways to win,'' Davis said. ''We can't let that affect us. Obviously, he's a huge part of our team. But we've played a huge amount of games without him. So we kind of know how that is already. We've got to continue to play like we did on the defensive end until he's able to come back.''
''Every now and then, a coach has to light a fire under his team,'' coach Frank Vogel said. ''Today was one of those games. We weren't giving the necessary effort to transition defense and with our pick-and-roll coverages. ... Sometimes you have to let them hear about it.''
The Brooklyn Nets just about edged their city neighbours New York Knicks to 112-110 victory. Harden had 34 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, and Durant heated up after a slow start to finish with 27 points and nine assists. For the Knicks, Alec Burks scored a season-high 25 points in his new role as the Knicks' starting point guard, Julius Randle added 24 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. Harden made history as he surpassed 2,500 3-pointers, joining Ray Allen, Stephen Curry and Reggie Miller. Kevin Durant scored 11 points with 5 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter as James Johnson hit two clutch free throws in the end to improve their record to 15-6 and reclaim their top spot in the Eastern Conference.
''Being here two years now, it doesn't matter who's on that team or who's on this team, I think the energy's always going to be there,'' Harden said. ''Whether it's here or at MSG, the fans are going to be cheering for their respective teams and it's going to be a good game every time, and tonight we're just happy to come out with the win.''
''It's not ideal to have him have such a burden, but I don't know what options we have other than to play him less and lose more,'' coach Steve Nash said.
Also read: NBA: Utah Jazz moved up to third in the Western Conference as Denver Nuggets breeze past the Miami Heat
The other results were:
- Raptors 91 - 98 Grizzlies
- Trail Blazers 110 - 92 Pistons
The fixtures for tomorrow are:
- Pacers vs Hawks
- Magic vs Nuggets
- Wizards vs Timberwolves
- Celtics vs 76ers
- Heat vs Cavaliers
- Bucks vs Hornets
- Pelicans vs Mavericks
- Thunder vs Rockets
- Clippers vs Kings
NBA: Phoenix Suns make it 13 straight wins with a victory over San Antonio Spurs as Nets move to the top of the Eastern Conference
(Basketball news) Suns recorded their 13th straight with a 115-111 victory over the San Antonio Spurs. The Suns matched the third-longest winning streak in franchise history. It's their longest since a franchise-record 17 straight victories from Dec. 28, 2006, to Jan. 29, 2007. Devin Booker scored 23 points, Deandre Ayton had 21 points and 14 rebounds as they had a clutch fourth quarter performance to guide their team to deserved victory. Spurs point guard Dejounte Murray had 18 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds for his seventh career triple-double as they (4-12) have lost eight of 10 for its second-worst start in franchise history. Payne added 20 points off the bench for Phoenix, which had six players finish in double figures. Phoenix finished with 25 assists and went 45 for 87 from the field. With this result Suns improve their record to 14-3, they currently are 2nd in the Western Conference.
''People have to find ways to get (3-pointers),'' Popovich said. ''We have to try to help them. But I would be very disappointed if we weren't getting assists or we were getting murdered on the board or turning it over constantly.''
'I always say the best available shot down every time,'' Booker said. ''I think the dynamic of our team with (Ayton) being a rim threat and he can play out the pocket is also surrounded by a lot of shooters and playmakers. We have the ability to get good shots every time downcourt.We just have to be more sound in just with what works,'' Booker said. ''A team has nothing to lose when they're down 15. They were desperate. They were getting steals and they were getting turnovers. When you're shooting the ball down 15, it's a lot easier.''
The Brooklyn Nets defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 117-112 as they improved their record to 13-5 which is the best in the Eastern Conference. Kevin Durant returned to the lineup and scored 27 points, James Harden added 14 points and a season-high 14 assists, and Thomas gave Brooklyn a needed second-half lift, scoring eight of his 11 in the third quarter. For the Cavs Darius Garland scored 24 and Jaret Allen had 20 points and 15 rebounds, Lauri Markkanen added 22 points in his first game since Nov. 1 for the still short-handed Cavs. Durant (24,367) moved within one point of tying Allen Iverson (24,368) for 25th on the career scoring list.
'Sometimes, it takes a little while for them to get going. I wish it didn't,'' coach Steve Nash said ''They found themselves in a hole, but they're proud and they responded.''
'What's right is right and I thought there were definitely some calls that were missed and that is wrong,'' a hoarse Bickerstaff said. ''Our guys deserve better than that. People need to change the perceived notion of who the Cavaliers are.
The other results were:
- Wizards 103 - 109 Hornets
- Hawks 113 - 101 Thunder
- Celtics 108 - 90 Rockets
- Pelicans 96 - 110 Timberwolves
- Bulls 77 - 109 Pacers
- Bucks 123 - 92 Magic
- Jazz 118 - 119 Grizzlies
- 76ers 102 - 94 Kings
Tomorrow's fixtures are:
- Pistons vs Heat
- Knicks vs Lakers
- Trail Blazers vs Nuggets
- Clippers vs Mavericks
NBA: Giannis drops 47 points against Lakers as Warriors continued their astounding start with a victory over the Nets
(Basketball news) The Lakers suffered their eight loss of the season as Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 47 to win 109-102. Khris Middleton came back from COVID 19 and broke the franchise record for the most 3 pointers made, Middleton made three consecutive 3 pointers in the fourth quarter to put the Bucks ahead.The second of those 3s was his 1,051st with the Bucks to match Ray Allen for first place on the team's all-time list. For the Lakers, Talen Horton Tucker scored 25 points, Russell Westbrook had 19 points as Anthony Davis also couldn’t impact the match with his 18 points. LeBron James missed an eighth straight game for the Lakers due to an abdominal strain. The Lakers have gone 3-5 during that stretch. Los Angeles also is missing Trevor Ariza and Kendrick Nunn, who haven't yet appeared in a game this season. With this result, the Bucks improve their record to 7-8 and as for Lakers their record stands at 8-8.
'That's a very, very special place to be,'' Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. ''I think we all just admire what Khris does every night, his ability to shoot, the different ways he gets 3's and his kind of consistency and longevity here
It's a part of the game,'' said Anthony Davis, who scored 18 points for the Lakers. ''Same thing with the team we just played. They've been hit with injuries as well. It kind of goes with the league, the business of the game. You go out there and put your body on the line every night, God forbid, something is going to happen in the course of a season. Someone's going to get hurt. We've got to adjust and continue to fight until we get everybody back
'I wanted to be the aggressor out there,'' Antetokounmpo said. ''I wanted to initiate the contact, get in the paint, make the right play and just play with an edge out there.''
Warriors continued their fine start to the season with a comprehensive 117-99 victory over the Nets. Curry showed why he’s leading the MVP charts after scoring 37 points, easily winning the matchup between the NBA’s top scorers when Kevin Durant had his worst nights this season. Andrew Wiggins added 19 points as Draymond produced a defensive masterclass over Kevin Durant, he managed only 19, the first time all season he didn't hit 20. He shot 0 for 8 in the decisive third quarter and finished 6 for 19 after sitting the fourth. James Harden scored 24 points as it was not enough for the Warriors to go 12-2 in the NBA, which is the best record in the whole of NBA.
''So it's not the playoffs, but there's an intensity that you have to show up to beat a team like that,'' Curry said. ''You thrive off that competitive atmosphere, knowing that there's a lot of talent on the floor.''
'They got long defenders, guys that can help, so seeing bodies all the time when I had the ball, that's what great defenses do. And then some shots I wish I could've had back,'' Durant said. ''I rushed a few once we got down 15, 20. I'm trying to get it back so fast you end up taking bad shots and rushed shots.''
It was the Phoenix Suns’ 10th straight victory after they beat the in-form Dallas Maverick 105-98, a 37 point outburst helped them secure the victory as it was a shooting slog from the Phoenix Suns. Booker scored 24 points, DeAndre Ayton had 19 points and 13 rebounds as last year’s finalist went on their longest winning streak since 2009-10. The Mavericks were playing their first game this season without star guard Luka Doncic, who suffered sprains to his left knee and ankle in the waning moments of a victory over Denver on Monday. Even without their star they almost won the fixture as Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 22 points, Kristaps Porzingis added 21 and Jalen Brunson had 18. With this victory the Suns improved their record to 11-3 as they stand 2nd in the Western Conference.
We didn't shoot a great number tonight but when we needed it, guys just stepped up,'' coach Monty Williams said. ''We have the mentality of, `Let it fly.'
That wasn't the play,'' Booker said with a grin. ''But we made it work. That's the name of the game, figuring out a way
The guys played hard, gave us a chance to win on the road against the Western Conference champs, who also have won nine in a row,'' Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said. ''Everyone in that locker room executed the game plan. We just missed some shots down the stretch and they didn't.''
The other results were:
- Jazz 120 - 85 76ers
- Clippers 106 - 92 Spurs
- Pistons 97 - 86 Pacers
- Hornets 97 - Wizards
- Hawks 110 - 99 Celtics
- Heat 79 - 70 Pelicans
- Trail Blazers 112 - 107 Bulls
The fixtures for tomorrow are:
- Heat vs Wizards
- Cavaliers vs Warriors
- Timberwolves vs Spurs
- Grizzlies vs Clippers
- Nuggets vs 76ers
- Jazz vs Raptors
Top 5 best remaining free agents in the NBA
(Basketball news) Word has gotten around that the NBA free agency is over, but the reality is far from it. Just because a player is unsigned does not mean he can’t change the fortunes of the club that eventually offers him a contract, and there are always diamonds in the rubble that just need to be unearthed.
Here are our top five picks of free agents in the NBA
1. Langston Galloway
Galloway has been a victim of circumstance and despite there not being a big demand for players on rotation, he would be a solid signing for any team in need of backcourt help. Last season, Galloway played mostly off the ball, shooting 43.8 percent on catch-and-shoot 3s but was stuck behind Chris Paul, Devin Booker and the emerging Cameron Payne. He’s a player that could emerge as a ‘deal’ for any team.
2. Lauri Markkanen
As a restricted free agent, Markkanen finds himself in an unfortunate position where the Bulls can match any offer he receives or negotiate a sign and trade. There have been reports that the New Orleans Pelicans and Charlotte Hornets are interested in Markkanen, who lacks a player of his stature in their teams. Under normal circumstances, a 24 year old of his calibre would be signed in an instant, but Markkanen had not made 3s at an above average rate until shooting 40 percent last season. Teams who would be willing to gamble based on his flashes of brilliance for the Chicago Bulls are the ideal candidate for Lauri Markkanen.
3. Josh Hart
Just like Lauri Markkanen, Josh Hart is a restricted free agent but his quality is much more evident. The 6 feet 5 player is an excellent rebounder and can hold his own guarding bigger players. Being a restricted free agent has complicated Hart’s circumstances as teams love versatile wings but would need to meet New Orleans’ asking price for a sign and trade deal or need cap space to sign him to an offer sheet.
4. Avery Bradley
Thirty one year old Avery Bradley became a free agent after the Rockets rejected his $5.9 million player option. He is expected to be a candidate for Lakers' roster spots after being a part of the team in 2019-2020 and because they need a point-of-attack defensive player and Bradley certainly fits that profile with a decent shoot percentage and smart cutting.
5. Wesley Matthews
Despite having a less than impressive last season where Wesley Matthews had a shoot percentage of 37.5 on catch-and-shoot 3s, the 34 year old remains a solid option for Los Angeles as a switchable defender. It would also be a complete love story if Matthews signs for the Jazz who signed him as an undrafted rookie 12 years ago.
Also read: Virtual development program launched by NBA Academy for top female prospects from outside the US