NBA

Giannis makes history in Bucks win, Pelicans eclipse Suns

By Sports Desk November 22, 2019

Giannis Antetokounmpo enjoyed an historic performance as the Milwaukee Bucks outlasted the Portland Trail Blazers 137-129 in the NBA.

Reigning MVP Antetokounmpo posted his second triple-double of the season via 24 points, 19 rebounds and a career-high 15 assists on Thursday.

Antetokounmpo became the first Bucks player with a 20-point, 15-rebound and 15-assist game.

Bucks team-mate Eric Bledsoe added 30 points and six assists as Milwaukee improved to 12-3 for the season following six straight wins.

The Trail Blazers – playing without Damian Lillard – lost their third consecutive game, despite a game-high 37 points from CJ McCollum.

After scoring 10 points on debut, 10-time All-Star Carmelo Anthony finished with 18 points and seven rebounds.

Meanwhile, the New Orleans Pelicans upstaged the Phoenix Suns 124-121 on the road.

Brandon Ingram (28), JJ Redick (26) and Jrue Holiday (23) combined for 77 points in Phoenix, where the Pelicans extended their winning streak to three games.

Kelly Oubre Jr. led the Suns with 25 points, while Devin Booker had 19 of his own.

 

Rockets at Clippers

On a day the Los Angeles Lakers travel to the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Boston Celtics take on the Denver Nuggets and the Philadelphia 76ers host the slumping San Antonio Spurs, Friday's showdown in Los Angeles stands out. Barring anymore load management, it will be the Clippers' Kawhi Leonard and Paul George against Houston Rockets pair James Harden and Russell Westbrook.

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    Los Angeles Clippers star Kawhi Leonard is "healthy" and has arrived at Disney World for the NBA season restart, coach Doc Rivers has confirmed.

    Leonard did not fly to Orlando with his Clippers team-mates on Wednesday after being excused due to a family matter.

    Speaking on Saturday, Rivers said the All-Star forward was going through the quarantine procedure put in place as part of the protocols to combat the risk of coronavirus.

    "Kawhi, he is here, he is going through the protocol," Rivers said, with Leonard now expected to quarantine for two days.

    ESPN reported on July 2 that the Clippers had to close their team facility following a positive test for COVID-19, but Rivers says all the players in Orlando are fit, including Paul George, who had been recovering from shoulder surgery.

    "I think everybody's healthy, that is a great thing," he said. "Guys were not as healthy in training camp at the beginning of this year.

    "Now we got Paul George healthy, we have Kawhi healthy, we don't have a guy that's injured right now, knock on wood. Hope that continues."

    Rivers also addressed controversy around Missouri senator Josh Hawley, who wrote to NBA commissioner Adam Silver to question why players will be allowed to wear jerseys with social justice messaging rather than slogans "Support our Troops", "Back the Blue" or "free Hong Kong".

    "They always try to turn it into the military or the police," Rivers said. "There's no league that does more for the military than the NBA. But how about that senator? I'll make up a challenge. We will do things for the troops as long as he acknowledges Black Lives Matter. I think that would be really cool for him to do.

    "It's funny, whenever we talk about justice, people try to change the message. Colin Kaepernick kneels, it had nothing to do with the troops. It had to do with social injustice. And everyone tries to change the narrative. How about staying on what we're talking about and dealing with that instead of trying to trick us or change or trick your constituents? How about being real?

    "I guarantee you that we have done more for the military than probably that senator. And I guarantee you this, we are going to do things for Black Lives Matter, how about him? Maybe he should join into that."

  • LeBron James won't wear social justice message on jersey LeBron James won't wear social justice message on jersey

    Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James said on Saturday he will not wear a social justice message on his jersey during the NBA's season restart in Orlando, Florida.

    Most NBA players have picked a social justice message to wear on the back of their jerseys starting later this month, but James is one of the few that declined to display one.

    "It's no disrespect to the list that was handed out to all the players," James said on a video conference call.

    "I commend anyone that decides to put something on the back of their jersey. It's just something that didn't seriously resonate with my mission, with my goal."

    The NBA and Players Association agreed on several messages for jerseys, including Black Lives Matter, Say Their Names, Vote, I Can't Breathe and Equality. 

    "Everything that I do has a purpose, has a meaning," James said. "I don't need to have something on the back of my jersey for people to understand my mission or know what I'm about and what I'm here to do."

    James and the Lakers begin the season restart in the second game of an opening-night doubleheader against the Clippers on July 30.

    The Lakers lead the Western Conference with a 49-14 record, 5.5 games ahead of the Clippers.

  • Nets sign veteran forward Beasley Nets sign veteran forward Beasley

    The Brooklyn Nets signed former number two overall pick Michael Beasley to fill out their depleted roster.

    The team confirmed the signing with a statement on Thursday, calling Beasley a "substitute player".

    Beasley has not played in an NBA game since February of last season but did play in the Chinese Basketball Association for the Guangdong Southern Tigers later in 2019.

    The signing comes one day after the Nets added another veteran, shooting guard Jamal Crawford, as Brooklyn attempt to field a competitive roster for the NBA's 22-team restart in Orlando, Florida, later this month.

    Beasley, 31, and Crawford, 40, have been added as many of the Nets' best players are either recovering from injury or have opted out of the league's restart due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    Center DeAndre Jordan, forward Taurean Prince and guard Spencer Dinwiddie have tested positive for COVID-19 and said they will not be joining the team in Orlando. Forward Wilson Chandler has also opted out, saying, "the health and wellbeing of my family has to come first".

    Kevin Durant has yet to play in a Nets uniform as he continues to recover from a ruptured Achilles tendon, while Kyrie Irving was shut down for the season after undergoing shoulder surgery on March 3.

    With several key players out, center Jarrett Allen and swingmen Caris LeVert and Joe Harris will be the team's focal points when they take the court on July 31.

    The Nets are 30-34 this season and enter the eight-game seeding schedule seventh in the Eastern Conference, one-half game ahead of the Orlando Magic and six games ahead of the equally depleted Washington Wizards.

    Beasley has averaged 12.4 points and 4.7 rebounds in 609 career NBA games.

    After being selected second overall in the 2008 NBA Draft behind Derrick Rose, Beasley has had a journeyman career with the Miami Heat, Minnesota Timberwolves, Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets, Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers.

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