NBA

LeBron James not surprised by high-flying 76ers

By Sports Desk February 10, 2019

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James said he has not been surprised by the Philadelphia 76ers, who loom as a serious NBA contender in the Eastern Conference.

James experienced the 76ers first hand on Sunday - the Lakers outclassed in a 143-120 defeat at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

Already boasting All-Star duo Joel Embiid (37 points, 14 rebounds) and Ben Simmons (8 points), as well as Jimmy Butler (15 points) and JJ Redick (21 points), the 76ers are now seen as genuine championship challengers after acquiring Tobias Harris (22 points) in the blockbuster trade from the Los Angeles Clippers before Thursday's deadline.

Mike Scott, Boban Marjanovic, Jonathon Simmons and James Ennis were also brought in to strengthen Philadelphia's depth.

After the 76ers improved to 36-20 in the Eastern Conference, James - who was pursued by Philadelphia before he joined the Lakers in the offseason - told reporters: "I thought they were going to be very good anyway before they made any moves, before the season even started.

"And they've made a bunch of moves to improve their club."

Lakers president Magic Johnson was in attendance and the Hall of Famer had a message for the east.

"The East better watch out," said Johnson. "This is a stacked team."

Kyle Kuzma starred for the Lakers on the road, posting 39 points - 23 of those coming in the first quarter.

James, meanwhile, finished with 18 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists as the Lakers dropped to 28-28 to be 10th in the Western Conference and two and a half games outside the playoff spots.

"We had too many breakdowns," James said. "Way too many breakdowns. I mean we scored the ball as well as you can score the ball, especially in that first quarter, but we gave up too many paint points.

"We didn’t keep the floor shrunk and make them make many outside jumpers to begin the game, and once they started getting to the paint it kind of opened up everything else."

Related items

  • Trail Blazers confirm compound leg fractures for Nurkic Trail Blazers confirm compound leg fractures for Nurkic

    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."

  • Nurkic carried off on stretcher after sickening injury Nurkic carried off on stretcher after sickening injury

    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.

  • Magic shock 76ers, Nurkic suffers gruesome leg injury Magic shock 76ers, Nurkic suffers gruesome leg injury

    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.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.