Jusuf Nurkic suffered compound fractures to his left tibia and fibula on Monday, the Portland Trail Blazers have confirmed.

The Bosnian center sustained the gruesome injury late in the second period of overtime against the Brooklyn Nets as he fell awkwardly after going up for a rebound.

Nurkic was stretchered off court at a hushed Moda Center before the Trail Blazers won 148-144 to clinch a playoff spot.

Portland described the injury as "season-ending" and added: "There is no timetable for his return to basketball activity."

Nurkic had contributed 32 points and 16 rebounds in a superb individual display against the Nets. He averaged 15.6 points, 10.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists this season.

The player's team-mates were understandably shaken by the injury, with Enes Kanter lost for words before the extent of Nurkic's ailment was announced.

"It's tough. Seeing one of your brothers go down like that, I just don't know what to say," Kanter said.

"But tonight I'm just going to go home and just pray for him because this is way bigger than basketball."

Damian Lillard said the blow would motivate the team down the stretch in 2018-19.

"He wouldn't want us to say, 'alright, let's feel sorry for ourselves, feel sorry for Nurk and not care as much'," Lillard said. "We're going to finish the job."

Jusuf Nurkic suffered a gruesome leg injury in the Portland Trail Blazers' 148-144 double-overtime victory against the Brooklyn Nets.

Trail Blazers center Nurkic went up for a rebound in the second overtime of Monday's NBA game before coming down awkwardly and collapsing to the floor.

Nurkic was carried off on a stretcher as the arena fell silent and did not return.

Portland fans gave Nurkic a standing ovation as the Bosnian was taken back to the locker room.

The Trail Blazers later sent out a message of support on Twitter. 

Nurkic recorded 32 points, 16 rebounds and five assists in the win over the Nets in Portland.

The Orlando Magic routed the high-flying Philadelphia 76ers 119-98 in the NBA on Monday.

Orlando pulled away in the second half and claimed a 21-point win thanks to a game-high 28 points and 11 rebounds from Nikola Vucevic.

Evan Fournier contributed 24 points in the victory at home to the 76ers in Orlando.

Ben Simmons sat out for the 76ers with an illness, and the Philadelphia just did not look their best.

Joel Embiid led the way for the 76ers, posting 20 points and 10 rebounds.

Ninth-seeded Orlando are jockeying to get into playoff position, while Philadelphia sit firmly in third in the Eastern Conference standings.

Meanwhile, the Portland Trail Blazers' 148-144 double-overtime victory against the Brooklyn Nets was overshadowed by a serious knee injury to Jusuf Nurkic.

 

Booker shines as Suns set

Devin Booker scored 59 points in the Phoenix Suns' 125-92 loss to the Utah Jazz.

Paul George's 30 points and 12 rebounds were not enough for the Oklahoma City Thunder, who fell to the Memphis Grizzlies 115-103.

 

Redick cold from the field

JJ Redick tallied eight points on two-of-10 shooting in Philadelphia's loss.

 

Ayton slams over Gobert

Phoenix's Deandre Ayton threw down a big dunk over Rudy Gobert.

Dennis Schroder dished a quick touch pass to George on the break for an emphatic finish.

 

Monday's results

Orlando Magic 119-98 Philadelphia 76ers
Memphis Grizzlies 115-103 Oklahoma City Thunder
Utah Jazz 125-92 Phoenix Suns
Portland Trail Blazers 148-144 Brooklyn Nets (2OT)

 

Rockets at Bucks

The two front-runners for MVP, James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo, are going head-to-head on Tuesday. This matchup between the Milwaukee Bucks and Houston Rockets could have a playoff feel to it.

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert broke the NBA record for most dunks in a single season.

Gobert recorded his 270th dunk of 2018-19 in the second quarter of the Jazz's 125-92 win over the Phoenix Suns.

It saw Gobert break Washington Wizards center Dwight Howard's record of 269 dunks set in 2007-08.

Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo has the second-most dunks in the league this season with a mark of 262, while Clint Capela of the Houston Rockets ranks third with 205.

Jason Kidd said it would be an honour to coach LeBron James as he discussed the possibility of joining the Los Angeles Lakers.

Kidd, who was fired by the Milwaukee Bucks in January 2018, has been linked to the Lakers job if Luke Walton is fired after the NBA season.

The 2011 NBA champion also could head to the collegiate ranks as he is reportedly the leading candidate to replace Wyking Jones at California.

"I think Cal is a great institution. We'll see what happens," Kidd told ESPN. "Right now, it's nice to be wanted.

"And it just tells me I'm doing the right thing. And I think the year off helps clean up some things too, just to refocus and have that energy.

"We'll wait until the season's over to see what opportunities come about and hopefully, there's one that fits."

Kidd said the Lakers were one of the best franchises in the "world" but added Walton has done an "incredible job".

"If you ever have the opportunity to wear the purple and gold, you can't turn that down, as a coach, as a player, because they're all about championships," Kidd said. "They have a process."

LeBron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers and signed a four-year, $153.3million contract with the Lakers in July 2018.

The three-time NBA champion is averaging 27.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and 8.1 assists during his first season in Los Angeles, where the playoff drought continues.

"When you talk about the best player in the world [in James], you always are going to say yes because as a coach or as a team-mate, he's always going to make you better because you're going to work," Kidd said. "As a coach, X and Os, you’ve got to be on point.

"As a team-mate, you're going to work extremely hard because you know he's going to need you to make that shot or come up with a defensive play. So, that would be a great honor to coach any elite basketball player."

Kidd, who was a 10-time All-Star as a player, registered a 139-152 record and made two playoff appearances during his time with Milwaukee. He also coached the Brooklyn Nets for one season.

Pelicans owner Gayle Benson recently addressed the rumors indicating the team could move to Seattle or another interested market.

The New Orleans Pelicans will not be relocating to Seattle or any other markets, according to owner Gayle Benson.

There have been rumours the Pelicans could be uprooted from New Orleans to Seattle.

However, Benson insisted she is not interested in selling the NBA franchise.

"There is no way that I am going to sell that team — ever," Benson announced during a press luncheon on Monday.

"I value the Pelicans as much as I do the Saints, and I don't look at myself as an owner of the teams. I feel like it is an asset that I am protecting for the city."

Benson inherited ownership of NFL team the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans when her husband Tom died in March 2018.

Day-to-day operations of the franchises are handled by Pelicans team president Dennis Lauscha and Mickey Loomis, the executive vice president and general manager of the Saints.

But, Benson plans to establish a succession for both team's day-to-day operations, which she has not yet revealed.

As for Benson, herself, she is "not going anywhere."

"The owners of both leagues needed to know what we were going to do," Benson said. "[NFL and NBA officials] have been involved, and they know what it is. It's all under lock and key and it's going to be great…

"People are going to talk and there's really nothing you can do about that. Time will take care of it. They'll see that I'm sincere."

 

Stephen Curry spoke of his admiration for the Golden State Warriors' culture after they reached 50 regular-season wins for a sixth straight season by beating the Detroit Pistons 121-114 on Sunday.

The back-to-back NBA champions responded in style to their 35-point loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday as the returning Curry, rested the previous night, led the team with 26 points.

Golden State, top of the Western Conference standings and already assured of a playoff place, now boast a 50-23 record with nine games still to play before the postseason begins.

"It's kind of surreal, to be honest," Curry told reporters.

"You talk about the history of the organisation, how hard it is to win NBA games, win championships and string together [wins] year after year after year....it takes a collection of talented guys, a commitment to trying to put together the best team possible every year.

"That's front office, coaching staff, all the way down. So, I think I have a true appreciation for what we've been able to do and want to continue it for as long as we can."

Despite boasting a roster stacked with All-Star talent, Warriors coach Steve Kerr feels there is not a true appreciation for how consistent his team is game after game and year on year.

"It's hard for anybody to understand what these guys go through - physically, emotionally, spiritually, trying to defend the crown, trying to win the title, trying to stay on top of the mountain. It's hard," he said.

"And [Saturday] night, they had nothing, we had nothing in the tank.

"The great thing about this team is they always bounce back because they have so much pride.

"But what they've accomplished - this team has the best record over the last four seasons of any four-year period in the history of the NBA. What they've done is just remarkable."

LeBron James vowed to "never cheat the game" after starring for the already-eliminated Los Angeles Lakers with a triple-double in their 111-106 victory over the Sacramento Kings.

The Lakers' hopes of reaching the playoffs were extinguished last week, meaning James will not be involved in the postseason for the first time since the 2004-05 season.

Having appeared in each of the previous eight NBA Finals series for either the Miami Heat or the Cleveland Cavaliers, James could be forgiven for easing off as the Lakers' disappointing season winds down.

Yet after scoring 29 points, making 11 rebounds and providing 11 assists against the Kings on Sunday, James said his passion for the sport meant his effort level would remain high.

"I would never cheat myself," James said in his on-court with Spectrum SportsNet.

"I know we're out the playoff race, but if I'm on the court, I'm going to play how I play, and I play to win. So I will never cheat the game.

"There's such a thing called 'game gods' - and they're watching no matter what you're doing. It's our obligation to go out and be a professional, and that's what I'm about."

Lakers coach Luke Walton believes James' attitude stems from the fact he is one of the NBA's leading figures.

"I've talked to 'Bron sporadically throughout the season," Walton said in his post-game news conference. 

"He knows it and I think he takes it very serious.

"He's been the face of the NBA for however many years now. He's aware of that and I think he takes that responsibility very seriously."

Jeremy Lamb "never in a million years" thought his incredible shot from beyond half-court at the buzzer would prove to be a game-winner for the Charlotte Hornets against the Toronto Raptors

The swingman lost possession after taking an inbounds pass with 3.1 seconds remaining, but chased the ball down into the backcourt, turned and fired a hopeful effort that somehow dropped in to earn the Hornets a 115-114 victory.

Those inside the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto reacted in disbelief and Lamb was equally astounded.

"When I first shot it, it felt good, but in my head I was thinking, 'It's too good to be true if it goes in'," he told reporters.

"I never in a million years thought it would go in. I thought it would get close but to see it go in, it was unreal."

Lamb admitted it had been some time since he last nailed a buzzer-beater from such a distance.

"In my driveway growing up, counting down by myself," he said of the last time.

"Throwing it up, missing five times, I got the rebound and they put more time on the clock! That's the last time I did that.

"It feels great. We fought so hard the whole game. Everybody who came in contributed and played well. They made a big run late. It just feels good to get that win and cap it off like that."

Three-time All Star Kemba Walker felt deities must have favoured Charlotte in the contest.

"I know he threw up a prayer," Walker said.

"I guess the basketball gods were on our side tonight! That was an unbelievable shot."

The victory was crucial for Charlotte's playoff aspirations, with the Hornets now having won three straight to move two games behind the eighth-placed Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference standings. 

"It's a big win," Walker added.

"That's an unbelievable team over there. They're going to be a force to be reckoned with in the playoffs. That was impressive."

JaVale McGee wants the Los Angeles Lakers to continue competing.

Los Angeles were officially eliminated from playoff contention with a 111-106 loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Friday.

McGee, however, does not believe that should change the team's mindset, and they posted a 111-106 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Sunday.

"It's extremely unfortunate that we're not making the playoffs, something I really wanted to do," McGee said, via the Los Angeles Times. "But, some of the times it happens."

McGee said the Lakers will continue to focus on getting wins and playing hard.

"That's what our mentality is. There is no slacking," McGee said. "As a team that's not making the playoffs, I'm planning on playing teams that are supposed to make the playoffs and knocking them out too. Might as well."

Lakers coach Luke Walton said his message to the team will not change over the final few weeks of the season.

"It's still about players getting better," Walton said. "It's still about going out there and respecting the game and giving everything we have to try to win. We owe that, like I said, to ourselves, our team-mates, our organisation, to the fans.

"So, it will be a lot of that and I fully expect our guys to continue to give that."

The Lakers began the season with a 20-14 record before star LeBron James suffered a strained groin on December 25. He missed the next 17 games and the team never recovered.

Los Angeles also dealt with injuries to key role players throughout 2018-19, which McGee described as "astonishing".

"I don't think I've seen anything like this in my life," McGee said. "It was just so many injuries … It was just a lot of things happening this season that it was just like somebody put a juju on us."

McGee is averaging 11.4 points and seven rebounds during his first season with Los Angeles. He will be a free agent this offseason.

San Antonio Spurs star LaMarcus Aldridge exploded against the Boston Celtics in the NBA on Sunday.

The Spurs big man totalled 48 points, 13 rebounds and six assists in San Antonio's 115-96 win. He showcased his signature mid-range game along the way.

San Antonio have now won 10 of their last 12 games. The Spurs are eighth in the Western Conference, but are just a half game behind the Oklahoma City Thunder and Utah Jazz and only one game behind the fifth-placed Los Angeles Clippers so they have a great chance to move up the standings.

Boston, who have lost four straight games, are fifth in the Eastern Conference.

The Celtics had a cold outing offensively, as Marcus Smart led the team with 14 points.

Brilliant Bogdanovic

Bojan Bogdanovic scored a game-high 35 points in the Indiana Pacers' 124-88 win over the Denver Nuggets.

Lou Williams tallied 29 points and seven assists to help the Clippers top the New York Knicks 124-113.

James Harden's 28 points led the Houston Rockets to a 113-90 victory against the New Orleans Pelicans.

 

Misery for Monk

Malik Monk scored three points on one-of-five shooting in the Charlotte Hornets' 115-114 win over the Raptors in Toronto. 

 

Ludicrous Lamb

Jeremy Lamb knocked down a ridiculous half-court buzzer-beater to seal the deal for Charlotte.

Giannis Antetokounmpo eluded Larry Nance Jr. with a spin move and finished with authority in the Milwaukee Bucks' 127-105 thrashing of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Sunday's results

Los Angeles Clippers 124-113 New York Knicks
Milwaukee Bucks 127-105 Cleveland Cavaliers
Indiana Pacers 124-88 Denver Nuggets
Charlotte Hornets 115-114 Toronto Raptors
Houston Rockets 113-90 New Orleans Pelicans
San Antonio Spurs 115-96 Boston Celtics
Golden State Warriors 121-114 Detroit Pistons
Los Angeles Lakers 111-106 Sacramento Kings

 

Nets at Trail Blazers

This matchup features two All-Star point guards in D'Angelo Russell and Damian Lillard. Brooklyn and Portland are both in the playoff picture. Each team have dangerous backcourts that can fill it up in a hurry.

Washington Wizards head coach Scott Brooks joked the Miami Heat should be fined for allowing Dwyane Wade to retire after this season. 

Three-time NBA champion Wade, 37, has already confirmed that the 2018-19 season will be his 16th and final campaign. 

Yet he showed there was no sign of his ability greatly declining as he contributed a team-high 20 points off the bench in Miami’s 113-108 victory over the Wizards on Saturday. 

Brooks said performances like that were evidence that Wade should not be calling it a day - and he quipped the Heat should be punished for the guard's impending retirement, too. 

"I'm not so sure why he retires," Brooks told reporters. 

"The NBA need to just fine the Miami Heat for allowing him to retire! 

"Just fine them, just flat out fine the whole team. They should not allow him to retire. He's too good. He's too fun to watch.

"Look at the crowd; he draws the crowd wherever he goes. He's a winner, man.

"The guy competes. His spirit is always in the right spot. You can see all the joy that he plays with.

"He's a multiple-time champion. He's too good to retire. I hope he changes his mind."

Kevin Durant insisted it was not time to press the panic button after the Golden State Warriors were beaten heavily by the Dallas Mavericks at Oracle Arena. 

With two-time MVP Stephen Curry rested, the back-to-back NBA champions suffered their biggest loss since 2007 by going down 126-91 to the Mavs, who are second bottom of the Western Conference standings. 

Steve Kerr's team have been on the wrong end of other heavy defeats at home this term too, losing 128-95 to the Boston Celtics earlier this month and being beaten by at least 20 points in games against the Los Angeles Lakers, Toronto Raptors, Oklahoma City Thunder and Milwaukee Bucks earlier in the campaign. 

However, with the Warriors still second in the Western Conference standings and bound for the playoffs, Durant saw no reason to dissect the latest reverse in any great detail. 

"It's not odd at all," he told reporters. 

"I think everybody in the locker room has gotten their a**** beat at home before.

"I know this experience is different, how much winning we've done the last few years. But we're still in the NBA - guys have been a part of terrible games, along with great games as well. 

"The good thing about it, we play tomorrow night [Sunday] too." 

The Warriors made just 13.3 per cent of their shots from beyond the arc, where they are typically so efficient. 

Three-time All Star Draymond Green thought his team struggled to get motivated to face such a lowly opponent. 

"I don't know...we just got punched," he said. 

"You kind of sensed the energy wasn't there. That's kind of normal in a game like that. I didn't really sense we'd lose by 40 [they lost by 35]. 

"Sometimes you have games where playing against that team isn't going to get you up. You got to find the energy somewhere else. We didn't. 

"It is weird. Games you're supposed to win at home, you expect to win them. We've had quite a few let-downs this year." 

The Hornets shocked the Boston Celtics in the NBA on Saturday, overcoming an 18-point deficit in the final eight minutes to claim a 124-117 victory in Charlotte.

Boston entered the game having lost two straight, and the Hornets extended their recent slide.

Kemba Walker dominated the contest, totalling 36 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists for Charlotte.

He even shared the ball with style, rewarding Miles Bridges' defensive efforts by throwing him a lob on the break.

Kyrie Irving had a respectable night in his own right for Boston. The point guard tallied 31 points, seven rebounds and six assists.

The Hornets are just 2.5 games back from the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Celtics are firmly in fifth place.

Charlotte will need to string together a few more signature wins to get into the postseason.

 

Towns tremendous for Timberwolves

Karl-Anthony Towns racked up 33 points and 23 rebounds in the Minnesota Timberwolves' 112-99 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies.

Trae Young poured in 32 points and 11 assists as his Atlanta Hawks topped the Philadelphia 76ers 129-127.

Rudy Gobert had 21 points and 14 rebounds in the Utah Jazz's 114-83 trouncing of the Chicago Bulls.

 

Dunn struggles for Bulls

Kris Dunn scored four points on one-of-eight shooting in the Bulls' loss.

 

Young winner

Trae Young ended Philadelphia's night with a game-winning floater in Atlanta.

DeMarcus Cousins showcased his handles and blew by Dallas' Luke Doncic for a slam in the Golden State Warriors' loss to the Dallas Mavericks.

Saturday's results

Charlotte Hornets 124-117 Boston Celtics
Miami Heat 113-108 Washington Wizards
Atlanta Hawks 129-127 Philadelphia 76ers
Utah Jazz 114-83 Chicago Bulls
Minnesota Timberwolves 112-99 Memphis Grizzlies
Dallas Mavericks 126-91 Golden State Warriors
Portland Trail Blazers 117-112 Detroit Pistons
Sacramento Kings 112-103 Phoenix Suns

 

Spurs at Celtics

San Antonio were just one of the hottest teams in the NBA, but they have lost their last two games. Boston are still struggling to find consistency, as they enter Sunday having lost three straight. Both squads have All-Star calibre talent and are looking to get back on track.

The Boston Celtics blew an 18-point lead in the final eight minutes in a loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday, but Kyrie Irving notched an impressive milestone.

The Boston guard scored 31 points, his fifth straight game with 30 or more.

Only Larry Bird, Paul Pierce and John Havlicek have managed that feat for the Celtics.

It seemed the Celtics had the game well in hand and Irving would enjoy a nice 27th birthday present with the 30-point milestone.

But the feel-good atmosphere took a bad turn when the Hornets went on a 30-5 run to end the game en route to a 124-117 victory.

Hornets guard Kemba Walker led the way with 36 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds.

Afterwards, Irving, who had his hands full defensively with the Hornets' All-Star guard, questioned the Celtics' defensive strategy.

"We should have probably trapped him a little bit more like every other team does in the league," Irving said (via the Boston Globe ).

"He torches us every time. It's no surprise."

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