NBA

Antetokounmpo stars for Bucks, Rockets crush Warriors

By Sports Desk February 21, 2020

Giannis Antetokounmpo starred as the Milwaukee Bucks resumed their NBA season with a comfortable win, while the Houston Rockets cruised on Thursday.

Back in action after the All-Star break, the Bucks improved to 47-8 with a 126-106 victory over the Detroit Pistons.

Antetokounmpo finished with a double-double of 33 points and 16 rebounds, while Khris Middleton poured in 28 points.

Eric Bledsoe went eight-of-14 from the field for his 19 points and Brook Lopez contributed 18 for the Bucks.

The Rockets were untroubled by the Golden State Warriors in a 135-105 thrashing.

James Harden (29 points and 10 assists) and Russell Westbrook (21 points and 10 assists) finished with double-doubles.

All five of Houston's starters finished with double-digits for points, with Robert Covington adding 20.

 

Young red-hot as Embiid lifts 76ers

Trae Young had a career-high 50 points in the Atlanta Hawks' 129-124 win over the Miami Heat.

Joel Embiid's double-double of 39 points and 16 rebounds helped the Philadelphia 76ers past the Brooklyn Nets 112-104 after overtime.

Malik Monk's 25 points off the bench helped the Charlotte Hornets beat the Chicago Bulls 103-93.

 

Bulls' slump continues

The Bulls' loss was their seventh straight as they were left with a 19-37 record and in 11th in the Eastern Conference.

 

Young from deep

Young went eight-of-15 from three-point range in a dazzling display.

Thursday's results

Milwaukee Bucks 126-106 Detroit Pistons
Atlanta Hawks 129-124 Miami Heat
Philadelphia 76ers 112-104 Brooklyn Nets
Charlotte Hornets 103-93 Chicago Bulls
Sacramento Kings 129-125 Memphis Grizzlies
Houston Rockets 135-105 Golden State Warriors

 

Grizzlies at Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers (41-12) resume their campaign against the Memphis Grizzlies (28-27) at the Staples Center on Friday.

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    The NBA is deep into the Conference finals behind closed doors inside the Orlando bubble at Walt Disney World Resort after the 2019-20 campaign resumed in July, having been suspended in March due to COVID-19.

    A December tip-off for the new season was tentatively flagged previously but Silver said the league is set to be pushed back to January.

    "My best guess is even though it'll be the 2020-21 season, that the season won't start until 2021," Silver told CNN.

    "We said the earliest we would start is Christmas of this year. But the more I'm learning and listening to Dr. Anthony Fauci [head of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases] this morning, I continue to believe we're going to be better off going into January. The goal for us next season is to play a standard season.

    "And further, the goal would be to play games in home arenas in front of fans, but there's still a lot that we need to learn."

    A January start date could clash with the rescheduled Olympic Games in Japan, where the United States will defend their gold medal.

    The Tokyo Games are due to be held between July 23 and August 8 and Silver added: "There are a lot of great U.S. players, and we may be up against a scenario where the top 15 NBA players aren't competing in the Olympics, but other great American players are competing.

    "And, obviously, there are many NBA players who participate in the Olympics for other countries. That's something we're going to have to work through."

    "These are highly unique and unusual circumstances," Silver said. "And I think just as it is for the Olympic movement, it is for us as well. And we're just going to have to sort of find a way to meld and mesh those two competing considerations."

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    Terms of the contract were not disclosed but Donovan, 55, arrives after leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder following five seasons in charge at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

    The Bulls had been looking for a new coach since dismissing Jim Boylen in August after finishing the coronavirus-hit 2019-20 season with a 22-43 record.

    "I want to thank Jerry, Michael, Arturas and Marc for the opportunity to coach the Chicago Bulls," Donovan said.

    "I also want to thank them for the time and effort they put into this hiring process. I'm excited to partner with Arturas [Karnisovas] as we work together on behalf of this historic franchise."

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    The Bulls have not reached the playoffs since losing to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference first round in 2016-17.

    "We are very pleased to welcome Billy and his family to the Chicago Bulls. The success that he has sustained over the course of his coaching career puts him on a different level," said Bulls executive vice-president – basketball operations Karnisovas.

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  • Celtics' argument after Game 2 was 'electrifying', says Smart Celtics' argument after Game 2 was 'electrifying', says Smart

    Marcus Smart described the Boston Celtics' argument after their Game 2 loss to the Miami Heat as "electrifying".

    Smart reportedly exploded at his team-mates after the Celtics suffered a 106-101 loss to the Heat to fall 2-0 behind in the Eastern Conference finals last week.

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    Smart said what happened in the Celtics' locker room was normal for a "family".

    "Electrifying, what happened in the locker room," he told reporters on Monday.

    "We're a family. Family fights all the time. I fight with my brothers all the time. But at the end of the day, we can fight with each other, nobody else can. You know, it happens between families, especially a family like ours who's been together for so long. It's going to happen.

    "We've got a lot of guys who we've played with their feelings on their sleeves, play with their heart on their sleeves, play with their heart night in, night out, and we weren't supposed to be happy down 2-0, especially those two games that we gave up. We're playing a great Miami team and we can't have lapses like that.

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    Smart said the incident in the locker room showed to him the love within the Celtics.

    "I knew what type of guys we were. I knew what type of team we had. I knew we were emotional. I knew we were passionate, and I knew we all loved each other," he said.

    "But I also learned a lot of – not just myself but a lot of my team-mates, we also grew up even more through that adversity.

    "I've always been saying that before you see the rainbow it has to storm. For us that was a storm that we had to go through. We found our happy place. Like I said, families fight, but for us to be able to respond like we did and to be able to have that growth, it shows a lot."

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