NBA

Matthews' last-second put-back keeps Pacers in front of 76ers

By Sports Desk March 15, 2019

The signing of Wesley Matthews was worth it for the Indiana Pacers for at least one game after a surprise win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday.

With the game tied at 106 with less than 10 seconds to play, Matthews capitalised on a put-back off a Bojan Bogdanovic miss to give the Pacers a 108-106 win over the Thunder.

Indiana now lead the Philadelphia 76ers by half a game in the race for the third playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Matthews scored 16 points on six-of-15 shooting and is averaging 12.6 points since joining Indiana in free agency after he was bought out by the New York Knicks.

The Pacers are 44-25 on the season, while Philadelphia are 43-25.

George gigantic for Thunder

Thunder star Paul George scored 36 points while adding six rebounds and five assists in the loss to the Pacers.

Kyrie Irving had a 31-point triple-double with 12 assists and 10 rebounds in the Boston Celtics' 126-120 win over the Sacramento Kings. Buddy Hield had 34 points, seven assists and four rebounds in the game for the Kings as well.

LeBron James had 29 points, six assists and four rebounds, but the Los Angeles Lakers fell to the Toronto Raptors 111-98.

Karl-Anthony Towns had 26 points and 12 rebounds, though the Minnesota Timberwolves fell 120-100 to the Utah Jazz.

 

Caldwell-Pope struggles

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope could not find the range from the three-point line as he went one-of-eight from beyond the arc with nine points and five rebounds in the Lakers' loss to the Raptors.

 

Mitchell magic

Donovan Mitchell threw one down on the baseline in the Jazz's win over the Timberwolves.

Thursday's results

Indiana Pacers 108-106 Oklahoma City Thunder
Orlando Magic 120-91 Cleveland Cavaliers
Boston Celtics 126-120 Sacramento Kings
Toronto Raptors 111-98 Los Angeles Lakers
Utah Jazz 120-100 Minnesota Timberwolves
Denver Nuggets 100-99 Dallas Mavericks

 

Kings at 76ers

The Kings were unable to make up ground on the eighth playoff spot in the Western Conference as they fell to the Celtics on Thursday. Philadelphia fell behind Indiana by half a game with the Pacers' win over the Thunder. Both teams at the least want this game. The Kings need it.

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  • Not in a million years! - Hornets' Lamb in disbelief over game-winner Not in a million years! - Hornets' Lamb in disbelief over game-winner

    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."

  • McGee explains Lakers' mentality after playoff elimination McGee explains Lakers' mentality after playoff elimination

    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.

  • Aldridge powers Spurs over Celtics to continue hot streak Aldridge powers Spurs over Celtics to continue hot streak

    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.

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