NBA

Sexton sizzles in historic outing as Cavs tame star-studded Nets again, 76ers' Embiid dominates

By Sports Desk January 23, 2021

Collin Sexton made history after helping the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Brooklyn Nets for the second time in three days, 125-113 in the NBA on Friday.

After scoring 42 points in a double-overtime upset of the Nets on Wednesday, Cavaliers star Sexton was at it again with 25 points and nine assists against Brooklyn in Cleveland.

Sexton became the first player in Cavs history to post 20-plus points in each of his first 10 games of the season.

It was another tough outing for the star-studded Nets, who crashed to a second consecutive loss since Kyrie Irving returned following a seven-game absence.

In the absence of Kevin Durant (Achilles rehab), Irving had a game-high 38 points, while James Harden put up 19 points and 11 assists – his fourth double-double in four games since joining the Nets in a blockbuster trade from the Houston Rockets.

Joel Embiid produced another MVP-calibre performance as the Philadelphia 76ers overcame Eastern Conference rivals the Boston Celtics 122-110.

Embiid dominated with 38 points and 11 rebounds, after his 42-point double-double against the Celtics midweek. The three-time All-Star was 11-of-15 from the field, while he made both of his three-point attempts.

Jaylen Brown led the Celtics with a game-high 42 points in Philadelphia.

 

Young and Capela soar for Hawks, Kawhi fuels Clippers

Trae Young posted a season-high 43 points and Clint Capela recorded 13 points, 19 rebounds and 10 blocks to guide the Atlanta Hawks past the Minnesota Timberwolves 116-98. Capela became the third player in Hawks history with 10 blocks in a game, joining Dikembe Mutombo and Josh Smith.

The Los Angeles Clippers beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 120-106 for their sixth straight win behind Kawhi Leonard's 31 points in LA. Paul George added 29 points of his own for the in-form Clippers, who are tied with defending champions the Los Angeles Lakers for the NBA's best record at 12-4.

Another game, another double-double for Nikola Jokic. The Denver Nuggets star tallied his 15th double-double (31 points and 10 rebounds) in 15 games this season to help secure a 130-126 OT victory at the Phoenix Suns.

Luka Doncic fell just short of a triple-double after posting 36 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds in the Dallas Mavericks' 122-117 win against the San Antonio Spurs.

Gordan Hayward finished with 34 points but the Charlotte Hornets still lost 123-110 at home to the Chicago Bulls.

 

Collin in Young's shadow

Hawks power forward John Collins has reportedly been unhappy with Young running the team's offense, but he did little to stake his own case. Collins was just two-of-eight shooting from the field for four points in 28 minutes. The rookie has been averaging 15.9 points per game this season.

The Miami Heat boast some great three-point shooters in Duncan Robinson and Kendrick Nunn, but last season's NBA Finals participants struggled from beyond the arc in their 101-81 rout at the hands of the Toronto Raptors. Miami were just 22.6 per cent from three-point range – three of 31.

 

Brogdon calls came

Trailing 118-117, Malcolm Brogdon nailed a three-pointer with 2.8 seconds remaining as the Indiana Pacers topped the Orlando Magic 120-118 in overtime.

 

Friday's results

Chicago Bulls 123-110 Charlotte Hornets
Houston Rockets 103-102 Detroit Pistons
Indiana Pacers 120-118 Orlando Magic (OT)
Cleveland Cavaliers 123-115 Brooklyn Nets
Philadelphia 76ers 122-110 Boston Celtics
Toronto Raptors 101-81 Miami Heat
Atlanta Hawks 116-98 Minnesota Timberwolves
Dallas Mavericks 122-117 San Antonio Spurs
Denver Nuggets 130-126 Phoenix Suns (OT)
Los Angeles Clippers 120-106 Oklahoma City Thunder
Sacramento Kings 103-94 New York Knicks
Washington Wizards-Milwaukee Bucks (postponed)
Memphis Grizzlies-Portland Trail Blazers (postponed)

 

Heat at Nets

The Nets (9-8) will look to snap a run of back-to-back defeats when they host Eastern Conference rivals the Heat (6-8) on Saturday.

Related items

  • Sheffield United 0-2 Liverpool: Reigning champions end losing streak Sheffield United 0-2 Liverpool: Reigning champions end losing streak

    Liverpool ended their dismal run of Premier League defeats as Curtis Jones and Kean Bryan's own goal secured a much-needed 2-0 victory over Sheffield United.

    Jurgen Klopp's side went to Bramall Lane on the back of four successive top-flight losses, but finally got back to winning ways on Sunday.

    With Aaron Ramsdale in superb form, Chris Wilder's strugglers switched off shortly after the interval when Trent Alexander-Arnold got to the byline, and Jones profited to become Liverpool's youngest Premier League goalscorer away from home since Raheem Sterling in December 2014.

    Oli McBurnie spurned a golden chance to haul United level and was duly punished – Bryan diverting Roberto Firmino's effort over Ramsdale to send the points back to Merseyside.

    Liverpool were behind inside three minutes in the Merseyside derby and would have been a goal down early on this time out if not for Adrian's save from David McGoldrick's header.

    McGoldrick called Adrian into action again with a low strike in the 17th minute, though it came after Ramsdale spread himself to deny Firmino.

    Ramsdale came to United's rescue twice in quick succession around the half-hour mark, first denying Mohamed Salah before he parried Alexander-Arnold's effort over, though Ozan Kabak got lucky when he turned into Liverpool's net, only for McBurnie to be flagged offside.

    Georginio Wijnaldum was the next to test Ramsdale, with Firmino failing to convert the rebound.

    Yet Ramsdale was beaten three minutes after the restart, Alexander-Arnold just managing to scoop in a cross which deflected to Jones, who slammed home.

    Sadio Mane swept in from Andrew Robertson's incisive pass soon after, though he was offside.

    McBurnie should have restored parity before the hour, yet inexplicably directed a free header wide.

    United were made to pay when Firmino was given far too much time and space in the box to get off a shot that spun into the net via Bryan and condemned the Blades to a 21st defeat in 26 league matches.

  • Low hints Muller, Hummels could return from Germany exile for Euro 2020 Low hints Muller, Hummels could return from Germany exile for Euro 2020

    Germany head coach Joachim Low is considering a dramatic U-turn that would see Thomas Muller and Mats Hummels invited back to the national team.

    With the delayed Euro 2020 finals coming up in June, Low wants Germany to be as strong as possible, and a 6-0 thrashing by Spain in November was a result that pointed to a need for a change in direction.

    Low's own future has come in for scrutiny, and there have even been suggestions Bayern Munich's treble-winning boss Hansi Flick could replace him.

    The 2014 World Cup-winning coach declared in March 2019 that it was time for Germany to move on from the old guard, stating that Muller, Hummels and Jerome Boateng – all world champions themselves – would no longer be part of his plans.

    It was a decision that Muller at the time said left him "dumbfounded", and Bayern were also critical, with all three players belonging to the Bavarian giants at that time.

    Hummels has since moved on to Borussia Dortmund where the 32-year-old defender remains one of German football's star performers. Only Arminia Bielefeld's towering striker Fabian Klos (146) has won more balls in the air this season than Hummels (118) and just two players have made more blocks than his 22, taking all competitions into account.

    Bayern midfielder Muller is one of only two players from the Bundesliga to reach doubles figures for goals and assists in all competitions this term, posting 13 and 12 respectively, with Dortmund's Jadon Sancho the other.

    "Special circumstances can justify an interruption in the upheaval," Low said in an interview with Kicker magazine.

    On the specific matter of Hummels, Boateng and Muller, Low said: "That will be a difficult and important question, also for me

    "The character of Thomas Muller and Mats Hummels is that they do not oppress others."

  • Big zero six: Man Utd cannot win the title if they don't start scoring against the best Big zero six: Man Utd cannot win the title if they don't start scoring against the best

    There was an enticing Italian appetiser to Chelsea and Manchester United's lukewarm main course on Sunday.

    Antonio Conte's Inter stretched their lead at the top of Serie A to seven points, beating Genoa 3-0 at San Siro thanks to goals from three former United players. They've now won 14 of their previous 17 league games and failed to score just once in that run. They will more than likely become champions for the first time since 2010 under Jose Mourinho, the last manager to deliver trophies at United and the most successful modern coach Chelsea have had.

    Assessing the match at Stamford Bridge through the lens of another game in another country probably tells you enough about the quality of the contest.

    With Leicester City having lost to Arsenal and Manchester City beating West Ham, this was a chance for United to consolidate second place in the table, and just maybe keep their title hopes from sputtering into ash. For Chelsea, earlier results meant this represented an opening into the top four and a means to close the gap to the Red Devils to three points, all while prolonging the Thomas Tuchel unbeaten streak to nine games.

    They may not sound like the loftiest of ambitions, but this was not a game of ambition, or excitement, or precision. It was the coronavirus football calendar made flesh: frenetic, apprehensive, with a permeating feeling that things would, eventually, get better.

    That Inter reference was not meant as a 'what if'. Conte's time at Chelsea was a success but the relationship had soured long before they parted ways. As for United, nobody could honestly claim they should have kept Matteo Darmian and Alexis Sanchez, scorers of Inter's second and third goals. And while Romelu Lukaku continues to rampage through Serie A defences, United have become leading goalscorers in the Premier League this season without their old number nine, who had wanted to leave anyway.

    Still, under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this season, United have swapped potency for pragmatism when it comes to facing the 'big six'. It's made for soporific viewing: 0-0 twice against Chelsea, 0-1 and 0-0 against Arsenal, 0-0 against Liverpool, 0-0 and 0-2 (in the EFL Cup) against City. All their previous four such games have ended goalless. At least that 6-1 battering at home to Tottenham in October saw them score a penalty.

    Solskjaer highlighted the need for more in "tighter games" in the build-up, but his message – and Tuchel's – was still contain first and attack later. Marcus Rashford's whirligig of a free-kick was as close to a goal as they came in the first half, beyond a penalty shout for a Callum Hudson-Odoi handball. Chelsea were scarcely more enterprising, but at least Olivier Giroud was a centimetre or two of scalp from heading a Hudson-Odoi cross on target.

    There were flashes after the break. Mason Greenwood cracked a shot narrowly over, Scott McTominay planted one in Edouard Mendy's midriff, a curling right-foot shot from Fred drew an amused thumbs-up from his manager. At least he was smiling; even a grin seems beyond Anthony Martial at the moment, the striker touching the ball six times in his 11 minutes on the pitch.

    Perhaps a goalless draw really was Solskjaer's plan all along: perhaps even the baby-faced assassin accepts City have long since killed the title competition. In that sense, moving a point above Leicester, maintaining the gap to Chelsea and stretching the club-record unbeaten away run to 20 league games is no disaster.

    But is this the way to win titles again? The way to get at City at the Etihad Stadium next week? The so-called United Way?

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.