NBA

Simmons and 76ers spoil LeBron celebration, Jazz overhaul Mavs

By Sports Desk January 26, 2020

Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers ruined a memorable moment for Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James, while the Utah Jazz defused Luka Doncic on Saturday.

Four-time MVP James passed Kobe Bryant and rose to third for all-time NBA points during the third quarter in Philadelphia, but the Lakers failed to crown the occasion in style as they lost 108-91.

Simmons stole the limelight, scoring 28 points on 12-of-15 shooting to go with 10 rebounds and eight assists.

The 76ers, still missing Joel Embiid, withstood a fourth-quarter Lakers recovery before sealing their fifth victory in six games.

The Dallas Mavericks, meanwhile, led for three quarters before collapsing to a 112-107 loss to the Jazz, who have now won four straight.

Rudy Gobert registered a double-double with 22 points and 17 rebounds, while Donovan Mitchell's 25-point haul included two clutch three-pointers in Utah's fourth-quarter comeback.

 

Irving ignites the Nets

Kyrie Irving snapped the Brooklyn Nets out of a five-game losing streak as he put up 45 points in 121-111 overtime win against the Detroit Pistons.

Brooklyn rallied back from a double-digit deficit to take a late lead, only for Derrick Rose to force an extra period with a brilliant finish at the basket with 1.9 seconds left on the clock.

The Nets, though, eventually pulled away in OT thanks to strong performances from Irving and Jarrett Allen (20 points, 15 rebounds).

Karl-Anthony Towns dropped 37 points but the Minnesota Timberwolves suffered a 113-104 defeat against the streaking Oklahoma City Thunder, while Zach LaVine (40 points, 10 rebounds) guided the Chicago Bulls to a 118-106 victory over the struggling Cleveland Cavaliers.

 

Doncic goes cold beyond the arc

MVP candidate Doncic had 25 points for the Mavs but the new All-Star struggled from three-point range against the Jazz, hitting just two of his 10 attempts.

 

LeBron betters the Black Mamba

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387) and Karl Malone (36,928) were the only men left leading James (33,655) on the all-time points tally following his third-quarter layup at Wells Fargo Center.

 

Saturday's results

Utah Jazz 112-107 Dallas Mavericks
Brooklyn Nets 121-111 Detroit Pistons (OT)
Chicago Bulls 118-106 Cleveland Cavaliers
Oklahoma City Thunder 113-104 Minnesota Timberwolves
Philadelphia 76ers 108-91 Los Angeles Lakers

 

Rockets at Nuggets

The Denver Nuggets (31-14) have the chance to avenge Wednesday's road loss to the Houston Rockets (28-16) when the teams square off at Pepsi Center on Sunday.

Related items

  • Kawhi Leonard feeling good but Clippers plan to be 'smart' about usage Kawhi Leonard feeling good but Clippers plan to be 'smart' about usage

    Los Angeles Clippers star Kawhi Leonard said he is feeling good but head coach Doc Rivers insisted the team will take a cautious approach ahead of the NBA playoffs.

    Leonard's arrival for the resumption of the 2019-20 season was delayed after being excused due to a family matter, with the Clippers flying to Orlando last week.

    The two-time NBA champion and Finals MVP trained with his team-mates on Monday – his first practice session since the league was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic in March – as the Clippers prepare for the season to restart on July 30.

    The Clippers and Western Conference leaders the Los Angeles Lakers will headline the NBA's comeback on July 30 at the Disney World complex, and Leonard is ready.

    "Has it been four months?" Leonard said when asked about his health following a four-month break.

    "I mean, I feel good. You know, was able to work out, get strong and prepare for this moment now that we're in. It's about to be the first practice today, so I'm excited."

    In his first season with the Clippers after guiding the Toronto Raptors to their first championship, Leonard has been averaging 26.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game.

    The Clippers, however, have managed a knee issue in 2019-20, with Leonard not playing in the second of back-to-back games this season.

    Asked about the Clippers (44-20) and their plans for Leonard leading into the postseason, Rivers – whose team are second in the west – said: "I don't know that yet. But no limits. Kawhi is healthy for the most part.

    "That still doesn't mean that we don't want to maintain him and get him through the first eight games and get ready for the playoffs. We want to be smart about this."

  • 76ers coach Brown excited to see Simmons at power forward ahead of NBA restart 76ers coach Brown excited to see Simmons at power forward ahead of NBA restart

    Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown is thrilled with Ben Simmons in the power forward position as the championship hopefuls look to change things up when the coronavirus-affected NBA season resumes.

    The 2019-20 NBA campaign is set to restart via a 22-team format at the Disney World complex in Orlando, Florida on July 30 after the season was postponed due to COVID-19 in March.

    Philadelphia will return to action against Eastern Conference rivals the Indiana Pacers on August 1, boosted by the comeback of All-Star Simmons.

    Simmons – averaging 16.7 points, 8.2 assists and 7.8 rebounds per game this season – is back to full fitness after a back injury sidelined him in February, showcasing his ability at power forward, having played as a point guard.

    "He's so dynamic," Philadelphia's Brown said on a conference call with reporters on Monday. "Let's just talk about running. There's nobody faster in the NBA. So to always have the ball and dribble it up against five guys ... to do that dilutes some of his potent weapons.

    "So, watching him fly up the floor, watching him and Joel [Embiid] play off each other, has been a really good look. I think they've been fantastic together."

    Brown, whose 76ers (39-26) are sixth in the Eastern Conference, added: "You take somebody and say, 'Here's the ball.' It's not like Ben came in and we had Chris Paul on the team or Damian Lillard on the team. We were young, and really not that good, so it was my decision, 'You take the ball. We're going to make you the point guard.' It's not like there was an established point guard that he had to bump out.

    "[And] how has he responded to that? Like a star. Just a mature, 'Whatever it's going to take to get this team to be the best it can be with the pieces that we have that can be, I don't know, just designed into a smooth thing' ... that is one of the pieces he has to offer. He's been great accepting that, and really killing it in the environment that I just said."

    With the 76ers trialling Simmons at power forward, it means Shake Milton is set to replace the Australian as point guard, leaving Al Horford on the bench following his struggles since arriving from the Boston Celtics.

    Milton has averaged 9.5 points, 2.2 assists and 2.1 rebounds per game in 2019-20, while he scored a career-high 39 points against the Los Angeles Clippers prior to the coronavirus outbreak.

    "He's been amazing," All-Star Joel Embiid said of Milton. "He's been the starting point guard, and I think he has a huge opportunity to help us accomplish what we believe we can.

    "He's been doing an amazing job and he's running the team and we're going to need him to knock down shots, which he did, before the league got shut down. He was on a roll so we're going to need him to keep it going. But it's great."

  • Kings forward Richaun Holmes in quarantine after leaving Disney bubble for food Kings forward Richaun Holmes in quarantine after leaving Disney bubble for food

    A takeout order for food has landed Sacramento Kings forward Richaun Holmes under a mandatory 10-day quarantine. 

    The 26-year-old admitted on Monday via Twitter that he left the NBA bubble at Walt Disney World over the weekend to pick up some food, and will not be able to participate in team activities until being cleared. 

    "After the initial quarantine period, I briefly and accidentally crossed the NBA campus line to pick up a food delivery," Holmes posted.

    "I am currently in quarantine and have 8 days left. I apologize for my actions and look forward to rejoining my teammates for our playoff push."

    Meanwhile, the NBA announced that two of the 322 players that tested for COVID-19 upon arrival at the Disney bubble on July 7 have returned positive tests while in quarantine. 

    Those two players have since left the bubble to isolate at home or in isolation housing. 

    Holmes should be ready to join the Kings before they restart their season against the San Antonio Spurs on July 31. 

    The five-year veteran is averaging a career-best 12.8 points and team-high 8.3 rebounds for a Sacramento team that currently has the 11th-best record in the Western Conference. 

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.