NBA

Embiid stars on return, Bucks win again as Kobe tributes continue

By Sports Desk January 29, 2020

Joel Embiid starred for the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA on Tuesday, while the Milwaukee Bucks recorded a resounding win.

Embiid made his return from a finger injury and had 24 points and 10 rebounds in the 76ers' 115-104 win over the Golden State Warriors.

The forward also wore a number 24 jersey to honour the late Kobe Bryant, who made it famous during his glittering career with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Al Horford chipped in with a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds for the 76ers, who improved to 31-17.

The Bucks extended their winning streak to nine by thrashing the Washington Wizards 151-131.

Without Giannis Antetokounmpo (shoulder), the Bucks had no problems against the struggling Wizards.

Khris Middleton contributed a career-high 51 points to go with 10 rebounds, while Eric Bledsoe poured in 34.

Super Siakam, Hayward steps up

Pascal Siakam's 24 points and nine rebounds helped the Toronto Raptors past the Atlanta Hawks 130-114. The Raptors have won eight straight.

Gordon Hayward guided the Boston Celtics to a 109-101 victory over the Miami Heat with 29 points and nine rebounds.

Jonas Valanciunas' 23 points and 12 rebounds saw the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Denver Nuggets 104-96.

 

Bad Bullock

Reggie Bullock went two-of-seven from the field for just six points in 28 minutes in the New York Knicks' 97-92 loss to the Charlotte Hornets.

 

Kobe tributes continue

The tributes to Bryant continued after his death in a helicopter crash in California on Sunday.

The Dallas Mavericks and Phoenix Suns took an eight-second backcourt violation and 24-second shot-clock violation in honour of the Lakers great, who wore those two numbers during his career.

The 76ers and Warriors did likewise.

Tuesday's results

Charlotte Hornets 97-92 New York Knicks
Philadelphia 76ers 115-104 Golden State Warriors
New Orleans Pelicans 125-111 Cleveland Cavaliers
Toronto Raptors 130-114 Atlanta Hawks
Boston Celtics 109-101 Miami Heat
Memphis Grizzlies 104-96 Denver Nuggets
Milwaukee Bucks 151-131 Washington Wizards
Phoenix Suns 133-104 Dallas Mavericks

 

Rockets at Trail Blazers

Sitting fifth in the Western Conference, the Houston Rockets (29-17) visit the Portland Trail Blazers (20-27) on Wednesday.

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    Basketball came to a halt in the United States and Canada due to the COVID-19 pandemic in March, but the 2019-20 NBA campaign is set to resume on July 30.

    Orlando's Disney World complex will host 22 teams, with the Los Angeles Lakers headlining the league's comeback against rivals the Los Angeles Clippers on July 30 after the New Orleans Pelicans face the Utah Jazz on the same day.

    Prior to the NBA returning, all 22 teams in Orlando will play three inter-squad scrimmages between July 22 and July 28.

    Kawhi Leonard's Clippers will play the Orlando Magic on July 22, with the Washington Wizards-Denver Nuggets, Pelicans-Brooklyn Nets and Sacramento Kings-Miami Heat scrimmages also taking place that day.

    The Milwaukee Bucks led the NBA with a 53-12 record prior to the coronavirus crisis, ahead of the Lakers (49-14), defending champions the Toronto Raptors (46-18) and Clippers.

     

    Scrimmage schedule:

    Wednesday, July 22

    Orlando Magic v Los Angeles Clippers
    Washington Wizards v Denver Nuggets
    New Orleans Pelicans v Brooklyn Nets
    Sacramento Kings v Miami Heat

    Thursday, July 23

    San Antonio Spurs v Milwaukee Bucks
    Portland Trail Blazers v Indiana Pacers
    Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Lakers
    Phoenix Suns v Utah Jazz

    Friday, July 24

    Memphis Grizzlies v Philadelphia 76ers
    Oklahoma City Thunder v Boston Celtics
    Houston Rockets v Toronto Raptors

    Saturday, July 25

    Los Angeles Lakers v Orlando Magic
    Milwaukee Bucks v Sacramento Kings
    Miami Heat v Utah Jazz
    Brooklyn Nets v San Antonio Spurs
    Los Angeles Clippers v Washington Wizards
    Denver Nuggets v New Orleans Pelicans

    Sunday, July 26

    Philadelphia 76ers v Oklahoma City Thunder
    Phoenix Suns v Boston Celtics
    Indiana Pacers v Dallas Mavericks
    Portland Trail Blazers v Toronto Raptors
    Houston Rockets v Memphis Grizzlies

    Monday, July 27

    Washington Wizards v Los Angeles Lakers
    Sacramento Kings v Los Angeles Clippers
    Utah Jazz v Brooklyn Nets
    Orlando Magic v Denver Nuggets
    New Orleans Pelicans v Milwaukee Bucks

    Tuesdays, July 28 

    Memphis Grizzlies v Miami Heat
    Toronto Raptors v Phoenix Suns
    San Antonio Spurs v Indiana Pacers
    Oklahoma City Thunder v Portland Trail Blazers
    Boston Celtics v Houston Rockets
    Dallas Mavericks v Philadelphia 76ers

  • Coronavirus: Raptors ready to defend NBA title – Ibaka Coronavirus: Raptors ready to defend NBA title – Ibaka

    Serge Ibaka warned the Toronto Raptors are "locked in" and ready to defend their NBA title following the coronavirus-enforced break.

    The NBA season is set to resume on July 30 after the 2019-20 campaign was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in March.

    Orlando's Disney World complex will host 22 teams, with the Los Angeles Lakers headlining the league's comeback against rivals the Los Angeles Clippers on July 30 after the New Orleans Pelicans face the Utah Jazz on the same day.

    Defending champions the Raptors – second in the Eastern Conference and trailing the NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks (53-12) with a 46-18 record – will restart their season against the Lakers on August 1.

    Raptors star Ibaka said his team-mates are ready to return, telling reporters via a conference call on Saturday: "I saw just how everyone is in great shape. 

    "They came here in great shape and as soon as we got here everyone was starting to put in work.

    "I've been in the league for 11 years. You can see when people's locked in and they are ready mentally, and when they are not.

    "So I can tell you right now, mentally, everybody is ready. Everybody is ready."

    Ibaka, who helped the Raptors win their first championship last season, added: "It's been a little bit weird [this season] with everything that's going on. But one thing we know is that it's over.

    "Whatever happened last season is over, and we've got to try to put our mindset so that it's ready to go for this one.

    "We know it's going to be hard, it's going to be a challenge, and everyone is going to come for us because we are the champs, so we have to be ready."

    Meanwhile, the 30-year-old center admitted he is worried about the rising number of coronavirus cases in Florida.

    "Honestly it's really concerning," he said. "Hopefully everybody has to follow the rules, every player, when we get in the bubble in Orlando, we can respect all the notes that they're going to give us.

    "But I have my daughter who lives here in Orlando, and it's kind of scary a little bit. It's something where you have to make sure you look at it."

  • Pacers' Oladipo opts out of NBA restart Pacers' Oladipo opts out of NBA restart

    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.  

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