NBA

Nuggets crush Spurs, edge closer to Warriors

By Sports Desk April 03, 2019

The Denver Nuggets thrashed the San Antonio Spurs 113-85 in the NBA on Wednesday.

Both the Spurs and Nuggets entered the game with a chance to improve their playoff seeding.

Yet things went south for the Spurs just 63 seconds into the game when coach Gregg Popovich was ejected after picking up his second technical for arguing a call.

Denver went on to win comfortably, with the outcome never in doubt.

The only way Popovich could have made a difference for the Spurs would be if he had suited up and started knocking down three-pointers. San Antonio were dreadful from behind the arc, hitting only five-of-27 attempts.

Nikola Jokic scored 20 (with 11 boards and nine assists) to lead six players in double-figures for the Nuggets, who improved to 52-26. That leaves them only 1.5 games behind the idle Warriors for the number one seed in the Western Conference. Denver have four games remaining, while Golden State have five.

At the other end of the playoff field, the Spurs (45-34) dropped from seventh to eighth in the standings, a half-game behind the idle Oklahoma City Thunder. As the final week of the season plays out, those potential one-eight and two-seven first-round playoff matchups bear a close watch.

 

Drummond dynamic for Detroit

Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond narrowly missed another 20-20 game, scoring 28 and collecting 19 rebounds in a loss to the Indiana Pacers.

Center Nikola Vucevic had 29 points and 13 rebounds in the Orlando Magic's 114-100 win over the New York Knicks.

Knicks forward Mario Hezonja scored 29 points and added nine rebounds in the loss to the Magic.

Chicago Bulls guard Walt Lemon Jr. scored 24, had eight assists and won the game with two late free throws in a 115-114 victory over the Washington Wizards.

Portland Trail Blazers wing Evan Turner came off the bench for a triple-double (13/12/11) in a 116-89 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. 

 

Evans wayward

Pacers guard Tyreke Evans hit only one of 13 shots and scored six points in a win against the Pistons.

 

Harden class

Houston Rockets star James Harden makes even difficult shots look easy, as he showed against the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Minnesota Timberwolves' Karl-Anthony Towns drove the lane not once, but twice, for thunderous dunks in the first quarter against the Dallas Mavericks.

Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris went up strong to dunk, but the Atlanta Hawks' John Collins had other ideas.

Wednesday's results

Indiana Pacers 108-89 Detroit Pistons
Orlando Magic 114-100 New York Knicks
Chicago Bulls 115-114 Washington Wizards
Atlanta Hawks 130-122 Philadelphia 76ers
Toronto Raptors 115-105 Brooklyn Nets
Boston Celtics 112-102 Miami Heat
Charlotte Hornets 115-109 New Orleans Pelicans
Minnesota Timberwolves 110-108 Dallas Mavericks
Denver Nuggets 113-85 San Antonio Spurs
Utah Jazz 118-97 Phoenix Suns
Portland Trail Blazers 116-89 Memphis Grizzlies
Houston Rockets 135-103 Los Angeles Clippers

 

Bucks at 76ers

This could be a preview of the Eastern Conference Finals. The 76ers expect star Joel Embiid back in the lineup after a three-game break. But even with Embiid on the floor, the 76ers recently lost games to the Hawks and Magic – they lost again to the Hawks on Wednesday – so they need to rediscover their form before the playoffs begin.

Related items

  • Vince Carter re-signs with Hawks for 22nd NBA season Vince Carter re-signs with Hawks for 22nd NBA season

    Vince Carter has re-signed for the Atlanta Hawks to begin his record-breaking 22nd NBA season aged 42.

    The eight-time All-Star has been in the league since 1998, having been drafted fifth overall by the Toronto Raptors.

    Carter was the Rookie of the Year in his first season and is set to become the first NBA player to feature in 22 campaigns.

    He will also be the first to play in four different decades when he steps on the court in 2020, while his 1,481 career games put him first among active players and fifth all-time.

    After lengthy stints with the Raptors and the Brooklyn Nets - then the New Jersey Nets - Carter has had short stops with the Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies and Sacramento Kings.

    He joined the Hawks ahead of the 2018-19 season and averaged 7.4 points in 17.5 minutes per game across 76 appearances.

    Carter, who won gold with the United States at the 2000 Olympic Games, confirmed in May he would be looking to return for the coming campaign.

  • Stephen Curry: Playing in 2020 Tokyo Olympics 'is the plan, for sure' Stephen Curry: Playing in 2020 Tokyo Olympics 'is the plan, for sure'

    Stephen Curry plans to make his Olympics debut for the United States in Tokyo next year.

    The Golden State Warriors star revealed he had designs on the 2020 Games, which is good news for the USA after the nation's seventh-placed finish at the recent FIBA World Cup. 

    "That is the plan, for sure," Curry said in an interview with ESPN. "You know, obviously knock on wood, you don't want any injuries or things like that to interfere."

    Curry played for Team USA in the 2010 and 2014 FIBA World Cup tournaments, winning the title both times, but this would be his first Olympics appearance.

    "[I] definitely want to go," said Curry. "I've never been on the Olympic team. I've been on two World Cup championship gold-medal teams. But the Olympics is the experience that I want. And next year will hopefully be it."

    While Curry is the first NBA star to commit to the squad, Warriors team-mate Draymond Green told CNBC last week that he also hopes to play. Meanwhile, LeBron James told The Athletic in April that playing for Team USA in 2020 could happen.

    A USA squad shorn of their best talents due to a plethora of withdrawals produced their worst showing at a World Cup.

    Curry, though, is understandably confident USA can reassert their dominance at the Olympics if their big names do decide to play.

    "We're still the best," said the 31-year-old. "If we get the guys that are supposed to be there, in terms of, you know, representing us on the Olympic stage and the commitment's been there, and I think it'll be there next year."

  • Rockets star Harden: I want to be one of those basketball players you won't forget Rockets star Harden: I want to be one of those basketball players you won't forget

    James Harden wants to be unforgettable as he eyes multiple NBA championships and looks forward to joining forces with new Houston Rockets team-mate Russell Westbrook.

    Harden has been one of the best players in the NBA since he joined the Rockets, averaging 29 or more points per game in each of the last four seasons.

    The Rockets star was also named MVP in 2017-18, though seven-time All-Star Harden is yet to win a championship.

    "I still haven't accomplished half of what I want to accomplish," Harden told Bleacher Report. "Like, multiple championships.

    "I want to be one of those basketball players that you won't forget. And obviously, we all remember the Kobes [Kobe Bryant] and the Jordans [Michael Jordan] and the D-Wades [Dwyane Wade] and all those guys.

    "I want to be in that same conversation, obviously, in championships and all that good stuff, and best shooting guards to ever play the game."

    Harden's hopes of winning a title have been boosted by the arrival of Westbrook, who he played alongside during his time with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

    The Rockets retooled their roster this offseason when they sent Chris Paul, along with multiple draft picks, to the Thunder in exchange for All-Star and former MVP Westbrook.

    The deal reunited Westbrook and Harden, who previously played together in Oklahoma City from 2009-12. 

    "[There will be] a lot of ups and downs," Harden added. "But I'm more excited to go into war, postseason, with somebody that is, like, a dog. Somebody that's a killer, for real."

    Harden believes the Rockets – who reached the Western Conference semi-finals last season – have a chance to compete for a title, especially with the addition of Westbrook. 

    "Of course it [not having a championship] matters to me," Harden said. "I've been thinking about it maybe the last year-and-a-half, two years. I'm on the right path. You can't rush winning a title. Some win it early, some win it late. It's perfect timing.

    "The time is going to happen when the time happens. I've just got to be patient, continue to work my butt off, continue to be a great leader, great team-mate, and just try to bring as much talent and as much guys that have that same drive that I have. I think we all have it right now."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.