NBA

Lakers humbled in Boston, Simmons and Lillard star in victories

By Sports Desk January 21, 2020

The Los Angeles Lakers suffered their heaviest loss of the NBA season on Monday, while Ben Simmons and Damian Lillard inspired victories with stunning performances.

LeBron James and Anthony Davis featured from the start but the Lakers never got going in a heavy 139-107 defeat to the Boston Celtics.

Jayson Tatum registered a game-high 27 points to help Celtics team-mate Kemba Walker celebrate his first career win against superstar James at the 29th attempt.

Joel Embiid's absence through injury failed to hurt the Philadelphia 76ers as Simmons shone in a 117-111 road victory over the slumping Brooklyn Nets.

Simmons enjoyed one of the best games of his career, posting a triple-double with 34 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists, plus five steals.

There was similar joy elsewhere for Damian Lillard, who erupted for a career-best 61 points – including 11 three-pointers – as the Portland Trail Blazers overcame the Golden State Warriors 129-124 in an overtime thriller.

 

Westbrook heroics not enough as OKC complete comeback

Russell Westbrook's 32 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds went unrewarded as the Houston Rockets squandered a big lead to lose 112-107 to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Rockets were overrun after taking a 16-point advantage into the fourth quarter, as Chris Paul and Danilo Gallinari shared 53 points for OKC.

Giannis Antetokounmpo (28 points, 14 rebounds, 10 assists) also recorded a triple-double, the reigning MVP reaching 10,000 career points as the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Chicago Bulls 111-98.

The Miami Heat resumed their charge in the Eastern Conference, outlasting the Sacramento Kings 118-113 in overtime.

Meanwhile, in Minnesota, the Denver Nuggets bounced back to winning ways, topping the Timberwolves 107-100 thanks to double-doubles from Nikola Jokic and Michael Porter Jr.

 

Lowry misses out in Atlanta

The Toronto Raptors claimed a 122-117 win against the Atlanta Hawks but it was still a game to forget for five-time All Star Kyle Lowry, who went three-of-11 from the floor and missed each of his five three-point attempts.

 

Brown posterises LeBron!

Celtics guard Jaylen Brown had 20 points and a huge dunk on an NBA superstar at TD Garden.

Monday's results

San Antonio Spurs 120-118 Phoenix Suns
Portland Trail Blazers 129-124 Golden State Warriors (OT)
Utah Jazz 118-88 Indiana Pacers
Washington Wizards 106-100 Detroit Pistons
Toronto Raptors 122-117 Atlanta Hawks
Philadelphia 76ers 117-111 Brooklyn Nets
Miami Heat 118-113 Sacramento Kings (OT)
Milwaukee Bucks 111-98 Chicago Bulls
Oklahoma City Thunder 112-107 Houston Rockets
Orlando Magic 106-83 Charlotte Hornets
New Orleans Pelicans 126-116 Memphis Grizzlies
New York Knicks 106-86 Cleveland Cavaliers
Boston Celtics 139-107 Los Angeles Lakers
Denver Nuggets 107-100 Minnesota Timberwolves

 

Clippers at Mavericks

Kristaps Porzingis could return from a knee injury when the Dallas Mavericks (27-15) entertain the Los Angeles Clippers (30-13) in Tuesday's only game.

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    James scored 38 points and tallied 16 rebounds and 10 assists as the Lakers saw off the Denver Nuggets 117-107 in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals to clinch the series.

    The four-time MVP is attempting to win his fourth NBA title, having won two with the Miami Heat and another with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    Having tasted the disappointment of Finals defeat six times in his career, James knows the conference title will have little value if the Lakers fail to claim a first NBA crown since 2010.

    "Right now, it don't mean s*** unless I get it done," James said to ESPN of reaching the Finals for the 10th time. "I got to get it done.

    "We understand we have bigger fish to fry. We understand there's a bigger goal, but we can't take this for granted because this doesn't happen every year to anybody."

    James and the Lakers have had to deal with extremely trying circumstances in his second season with the team.

    The NBA world was shaken by the tragic death of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant in January before the campaign was stopped for four and a half months because of the coronavirus pandemic.

    "I've been fuelled all year," James added. "All year. Even during the shutdown. I was still training."

    James has the chance to become the first player to win Finals MVP with three different franchises having claimed the award with the Heat in 2012 and 2013 and the Cavs in 2016.

    "I just want to travel my own journey, because it is my journey. I've appreciated everything that's happened along the way. I mean, throughout -- the ups, the downs, the ups on the court, the downs on the court, the wins and losses," said James.

    "But I've been able to, I guess as Frank Sinatra would say, 'I did it my way.'"

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    LeBron James insisted the "job is not done" after guiding the Los Angeles Lakers to the NBA Finals for the first time in 10 years.

    James posted a triple-double as the top-seeded Lakers beat the Denver Nuggets 117-107 on Saturday to seal a 4-1 series victory in the Western Conference finals.

    The three-time NBA champion had 38 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists to lead the Lakers back to the Finals, having not featured in the showpiece since winning their last title in 2010.

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    "The job is not done," said James, whose Lakers will face either the Miami Heat or the Boston Celtics. "But it's great to appreciate the moments throughout the course of a journey.

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    All-Star team-mate Anthony Davis contributed 27 points for the Lakers, who will make their 32nd Finals appearance.

    "In a closeout game, I am just as desperate as the team that we are trying to closeout. I don't want to play another game," James said.

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    Not since winning their last championship in 2010 had storied franchise the Lakers reached the NBA showpiece.

    But James helped end that drought as the top-seeded Lakers topped the Nuggets 117-107 on Saturday to seal a 4-1 series victory in the Western Conference finals.

    James posted 38 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists to lead the Lakers at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, where he will contest his 10th NBA Finals – the fourth player in history to do so.

    It was James' 27th career playoff triple-double as the 35-year-old eyes a fourth championship ring, with the Miami Heat or Boston Celtics awaiting in the Finals.

    All-Star team-mate Anthony Davis contributed 27 points for the Lakers, who will make their 32nd Finals appearance.

    The third-seeded Nuggets became the first team in NBA history to overcome a 3-1 deficit to win a series twice in the same postseason en route to the Conference finals.

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