NBA

Raptors even series with 76ers, Jokic triple-double lifts Nuggets

By Sports Desk May 05, 2019

The Toronto Raptors topped the Philadelphia 76ers 101-96 to level the Eastern Conference semi-final series at 2-2, while the Denver Nuggets beat the Portland Trail Blazers.

Raptors star Kawhi Leonard torched the 76ers for a game-high 39 points and 14 rebounds in Game 4 of the NBA playoff clash on Sunday.

Jimmy Butler was a driving force for Philadelphia once again, finishing with 29 points and 11 rebounds in the losing effort as Joel Embiid struggled due to illness.

Denver stopped the Trail Blazers from going up 3-1 in the Western Conference semis by claiming a 116-112 victory in Portland.

Jamal Murray tallied a game-high 32 points and made all 11 of his free throw attempts while team-mate Nikola Jokic recorded a triple double in the Nuggets' winning effort. 

Damian Lillard poured in 28 points but his fourth quarter efforts were not enough to pull Portland ahead.

The series is all tied up and Game 5 will be in Denver. The Nuggets were one of the best teams at home during the regular season in 2018-19.

 

Redick impresses

JJ Redick totalled 19 points and made four three-pointers for the 76ers.

CJ McCollum finished with a team-high 29 points for Portland.

 

Siakam struggles

Pascal Siakam only managed nine points on two-of-10 shooting.

Monte Morris scored two points on one-of-six shooting for Denver.

 

Kawhi cool under pressure

Leonard was unfazed by the pressure and sank a dagger from behind the arc in the fourth quarter.

Murray elevated over two Trail Blazers for an emphatic slam.

 

Warriors at Rockets

The Houston Rockets defended home court in Game 3 and have a chance to even the series up on Monday. The Rockets squeaked by with an overtime victory at Toyota Center despite a 46-point performance from Kevin Durant. But, Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry probably will not be as bad down the stretch for a second consecutive game.

Related items

  • Pelicans pick up coach Gentry's option for 2020-21 Pelicans pick up coach Gentry's option for 2020-21

    The New Orleans Pelicans' busy start to the offseason has continued with the team picking up their option on coach Alvin Gentry's contract for the 2020-21 campaign.

    New Orleans have reportedly agreed a blockbuster trade to send Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers, with a number of players and picks coming the other way.

    The Pelicans already boast the number one pick in Thursday's NBA Draft, too, with former Duke sensation Zion Williamson seemingly set to join the team.

    And the latest in a series of moves apparently intended to build for the future has seen Gentry - coach since 2015 - handed an extension.

    The 64-year-old is 145-183 since taking over, leading the Pelicans to the playoffs in 2017-18 but falling short last season amid off-court drama involving wantaway star Davis.

    Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin said in a statement on Tuesday: "We couldn't be happier to extend our relationship with Alvin.

    "He is exactly the right coach at the right time for this franchise. As I have mentioned several times previously, the shared vision we have for the future of Pelicans basketball both on and off the floor will enable us to build a roster that fits both culturally and tactically.

    "Perhaps more importantly, the relationship we have built over our many years together will enable us to challenge, empower and further one another and our franchise."

  • Two injured in shooting during Raptors' championship parade Two injured in shooting during Raptors' championship parade

    Two people were injured in a shooting during the Toronto Raptors' championship parade on Monday, police have said.

    The shooting occurred in Nathan Phillips Square near Bay Street and Albert Street.

    Toronto Police said two people suffered "serious but not life threatening" injuries and two people were taken into custody while two firearms were recovered.

    Last week the Raptors won their first ever NBA title, beating the Golden State Warriors in six games of the Finals.

    There were estimated to be over one million people at the championship parade.

     

     

  • LaMelo Ball to play in Australia's NBL LaMelo Ball to play in Australia's NBL

    While Lonzo Ball is on his way from the Los Angeles Lakers to the New Orleans Pelicans, younger brother LaMelo Ball is heading across the globe.

    The 17-year-old announced on Monday he will sign a 'Next Stars' contract with Illawarra Hawks of Australia's National Basketball League (NBL).

    "My agents did a ton of research on the options I had to play this coming season and Australia really made sense for me," Ball told ESPN.

    "They have a really strong league, with excellent coaches and great players, including former and future NBA players, and great strength and conditioning programmes.

    "My goal is to be the top pick in next year's [NBA] Draft and I feel they can help me reach that goal. Also, the timing of the season works well with the timing of next year's Draft."

    NBL CEO Jeremy Loeliger said: "We couldn't be more excited to have LaMelo coming to join the NBL this season. I think it's a real win-win situation for everyone involved.

    "It gives him a fantastic opportunity to play against some hardened professionals, which I think will do wonders in terms of getting him ready for his rookie year in the NBA.

    "He'll get the chance to answer a lot of questions being asked by a lot of people - and everything I've seen makes me think he's going to take a lot of them by surprise."

    Ball returned to high school basketball last season at SPIRE Academy in Ohio after a short stint playing professionally in Lithuania.

    RJ Hampton, a five-star recruit from in the 2019 class, could be the new model for top high school prospects after he turned down the likes of Duke, Kansas, Memphis and the rest of the NCAA to play professionally for the NBL's New Zealand Breakers.

    "I had already decided to play in the NBL prior to RJ's decision, I just hadn't yet narrowed down the team," Ball said. "But having RJ there only adds to the excitement. I think it will be a good experience for both of us to be there at the same time and to be able to play against one another."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.