NBA

Suns hand 76ers first loss, short-handed Warriors beat Blazers

By Sports Desk November 05, 2019

Devin Booker inspired the Phoenix Suns as the Philadelphia 76ers suffered their first defeat of the NBA season, while the injury-ravaged Golden State Warriors prevailed.

Booker scored 40 points to lead the Suns past the previously undefeated 76ers 114-109 in Phoenix on Monday.

Ricky Rubio chipped in with 21 points and 10 assists for the Suns (5-2), who are on a three-game winning streak.

The 76ers (5-1) – playing without suspended star Joel Embiid – were led by Al Horford's 32 points on the road.

Meanwhile, the Warriors claimed just their second victory of the season after upstaging the Portland Trail Blazers 127-118.

Without injured stars Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and D'Angelo Russell, the Warriors improved to 2-5 thanks to 36 points and 13 rebounds from rookie Eric Paschall.

Damian Lillard's 39 points and a double-double from Hassan Whiteside (22 points, 11 rebounds) were not enough for the visiting Trail Blazers in San Francisco.

 

Giannis ignites Bucks as Irving and Harden star

Giannis Antetokounmpo posted 34 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Milwaukee Bucks past the Minnesota Timberwolves 134-106. The reigning MVP has recorded a double-double in all seven games this season.

Kyrie Irving put up 39 points and nine assists as the Brooklyn Nets withstood Brandon Ingram's career-high 40 points for a 135-125 victory against the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Houston Rockets topped the Memphis Grizzlies 107-100 behind James Harden's 44 points in the absence of rested star Russell Westbrook.

 

Simmons silenced

It was a quiet night for Ben Simmons, who was limited to just six points on two-of-eight shooting from the floor against the Suns.

 

Giannis with the coast-to-coast slam!

There was just no stopping 'The Greek Freak' against the Timberwolves in Minnesota.

 

Monday's results

Washington Wizards 115-99 Detroit Pistons
Brooklyn Nets 135-125 New Orleans Pelicans
Houston Rockets 107-100 Memphis Grizzlies
Milwaukee Bucks 134-106 Minnesota Timberwolves
Phoenix Suns 114-109 Philadelphia 76ers
Golden State Warriors 127-118 Portland Trail Blazers

 

Lakers at Bulls

LeBron James and his in-form Los Angeles Lakers will look to extend their winning streak to six games when they visit the struggling Chicago Bulls on Tuesday.

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    Star guard Victor Oladipo has chosen not to join the Indiana Pacers for the restart of the 2019-20 NBA season in Orlando, Florida, saying that he would not be comfortable playing.  

    Oladipo announced his decision on Friday in an article with The Athletic.  

    The two-time All-Star – who has played just 13 games this season after taking the floor only 36 times in 2018-19 – cited his lengthy injury history when explaining why he has opted out of the rest of the season.  

    "I feel like I'm at a great place in my rehab and getting closer and closer to 100 percent," Oladipo said. 

    "With all the variables, from how I have to build my 5-on-5 workload back up, to the increased risk of a soft tissue injury which could delay my rehab, and the unknown exact set up of the bubble, I just can't get my mind to being fully comfortable in playing." 

    The Pacers are fifth in the Eastern Conference at 39-26 this season as they prepare for the NBA's 22-team plan to finish the 2019-20 season in Orlando starting on July 30. 

    The first of Indiana's eight seeding games is on August 1 against the Philadelphia 76ers.  

    The team is also without guard Jeremy Lamb, who tore the ACL in his left knee in February.  

    "I really want to play, and as a competitor and team-mate this is tearing me apart," Oladipo said. 

    "I have to be smart and this decision hasn't been easy, but I truly believe continuing the course I'm on and getting fully healthy for the 2020-21 season is the right decision for me." 

    The second overall pick in the 2013 draft, Oladipo's best season was his first with the Pacers, averaging 23.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.4 steals over 75 games in 2017-18.  

    It looked as if Oladipo had finally blossomed into a player worthy of his draft slot but rupturing tendons in his quadriceps twice has prevented the 28-year-old from making consistent contributions over the last two seasons.  

    Oladipo joins a growing list of players who have opted out of the restart, including Washington Wizards forward Davis Bertans, Los Angeles Lakers guard Avery Bradley and Portland Trail Blazers forward Trevor Ariza.  

  • Celtics' Hayward will leave Orlando in September for child's birth Celtics' Hayward will leave Orlando in September for child's birth

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    Hayward's wife is due to give birth to the couple's fourth child in September. The NBA's current plans for its restart have the Eastern Conference semi-finals beginning no later than August 30 and the conference finals starting by September 15. 

    At the time of the NBA's stoppage on March 11 due to the coronavirus outbreak, Boston occupied the third seed in the East, three games behind the first-place Toronto Raptors in the Atlantic Division.  

    "There'll be a time if and when we're down [in Orlando] and she's going to have the baby, I'm for sure going to be with her," Hayward said of his wife, Robyn. "We'll have to cross that bridge when we get there." 

    The NBA has put in stipulations for players who have received permission to leave the Walt Disney World Resort complex. If a player is gone for less than seven days and continues to test negatively for COVID-19, he would be required to quarantine for four days after returning. 

    "I know the NBA has a protocol for that type of thing, and hopefully I can do the quarantining and testing the appropriate amount of time and then be back with the boys," he said.  

    Hayward was in the midst of his best season with the Celtics at the time of the league's shutdown. The former Utah Jazz star is averaging 17.3 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game while shooting 39.2 percent from three-point range in 2019-20.  

    The 30-year-old added that the time off has been beneficial for him physically, but admitted that he still deals with occasional pain in his left foot. Hayward fractured his left ankle in the 2017-18 season opener, his first game as a Celtic after leaving the Jazz to sign a four-year max contract. 

    "Everything is definitely a lot better. There is no doubt about that," said Hayward. "For sure, I'm feeling great, it's just the foot still is a little sore. It is what it is." 

     

  • Coronavirus: Spurs' DeRozan unhappy with NBA bubble rules Coronavirus: Spurs' DeRozan unhappy with NBA bubble rules

    San Antonio Spurs star DeMar DeRozan expressed his displeasure with the rules the NBA has put in place for the resumption of the season following the coronavirus-enforced break.

    The NBA is set to resume via a 22-team format at Orlando's Disney World complex on July 30 after the 2019-20 campaign was postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis in March.

    The league included a 113-page health and safety handbook as part of its restart plan later this month in Orlando. It covers a wide array of topics such as social distancing outside of games and practices to prohibiting doubles in ping-pong (table tennis).

    "The ping-pong this is ridiculous, to be honest," Spurs guard DeRozan said on Thursday. "Guys can't do this, but we can do this and battle over each other? That part just don't make no sense to me.

    "I got through 10 lines of the handbook and just put it down because it became so frustrating and overwhelming at times, because you just never thought you'd be in a situation of something like this. So it's hard to process."

    Another area of concern for DeRozan specifically is the mental well-being of the players.

    DeRozan has been a vocal advocate for players' mental health and the isolated nature of the bubble could be a challenge for players from a mental standpoint.

    "It's tough. You're taking guys that have been with their families every single day for the last few months and all of a sudden, separating everybody into this one confined space and taking away a lot of the joyful things we do outside of basketball that we won't be able to do," the four-time All-Star said. "It'll be something for every single player when it comes to mental health."

    DeRozan is not the first player to voice his feelings over the NBA's restart plan.

    Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard jokingly said on Wednesday that some players will break rules in the league's handbook, despite warnings or restrictions.

    Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal said during a videoconference call that living in the bubble will be challenging for players used to having few rules on the road.

    San Antonio head to Orlando in 12th place in the Western Conference, four games behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the final playoff spot.

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