NBA

LeBron makes NBA history passing 35,000 points but Harden stars as Nets top Lakers

By Sports Desk February 19, 2021

LeBron James became third player in NBA history to clock up 35,000 points but could not prevent the Los Angeles Lakers falling 109-98 against the in-form Brooklyn Nets.

James needed 15 points to join esteemed company in Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone, and it took him until just before half-time to achieve the feat at Staples Center.

Hours before tip off, the 36-year-old was named a team captain in the 2021 All-Star game, becoming first player to be selected 17 straight times, and he went on to put up 32 points on Thursday.

But it was not enough for the NBA’s number one defense, as the Nets extended their winning run to five games, with Kyrie Irving returning from back tightness to boost the NBA’s number one offense.

James Harden powered up the Nets with his 18th double-double (23 points, 11 assists) of the season, while Joe Harris showed his three-point prowess, dropping six of seven attempts, to clock up 21 total points.

Brooklyn rallied midway through the first half, sinking seven from 11 shots from downtown to open up an 11-point lead. It was one they never relinquished to move to 19-12, while the Lakers fall to 22-8.
 

Red-hot Butler does it again

Jimmy Butler recorded his third straight triple-double (13 points, 13 assists, 10 rebounds) in the Miami Heat's 118-110 win against the Sacramento Kings, while Bam Adebayo also got in on the act with 16 points, 10 assist and 12 rebounds. They are the only teammates to ever record same-game triple-doubles in multiple games.

Related items

  • Will returning stars make a difference for West Indies against Sri Lanka ? Will returning stars make a difference for West Indies against Sri Lanka ?

    On many a Sunday, I realize that people have looked at the stories they've seen throughout the week with different lenses. I have my own personal take on some of these trending issues and I will share them with you. Welcome to #INCASEYOUMISSEDIT the 2021 edition with Mariah

     Big names in Windies T20 and ODI squads; execution will be the key.

    Last Friday, West Indies named T20I and ODI squads as they get ready for the upcoming series against Sri Lanka beginning on March 3 in Antigua. These matches will serve as preparation for the team that hopes to successfully defend the ICC T20 World Cup title in India later this year. On paper, the team looks strong. However, teamwork will be among the keys to success for Kieron Pollard’s men.

    The recall of Chris Gayle and Fidel Edwards did not come as a surprise as the selectors believe both still have a lot to offer. The 41-year-old Gayle last played for the Windies in 2019 when he scored 72 against India in Port of Spain, Trinidad.

    The Universe Boss is heading into the series against Sri Lanka in good form. Before he returned to the Caribbean, Gayle had scores of 39 and 68, playing for the Quetta Gladiators against the Karachi Kings and Lahore Qualanders, respectively.

    Gayle’s experience will prove invaluable to the West Indies having scored 13,691 runs in T20I with 22 hundreds. His influence in the dressing room is also expected to be a significant factor.

    Edwards returns to the team after an absence of nine years but at 39, he is still able to generate 90mph deliveries that CWI will hope he uses to add to his 26 T20I scalps.

    Experience aside, the selectors have included a number of younger players who are expecting to make their debuts during the series. Guyana’s Kevin Sinclair and Trinidad’s Akeal Hosein impressed with recent performances in Bangladesh and during the CG Insurance Super 50 competition.

    Both players played in the finals of the Super 50 tournament on which the 21-year-old Sinclair picked up five wickets and scored 47 runs for the Guyana Jaguars. Hosein impressed for the Trinidad Red Force taking eight wickets at a miserly economy rate of 4.18.

    The mixture of youth and experience will need a strong leader and the West Indies are blessed with that in the form of Kieron Pollard, who in recent months, won the CPL and the Super50 and had a leadership role in the Mumbai Indians winning the IPL late last year.

    His wisdom, experience and will to win will be key to any success the Windies have against the Sri Lankans and future series.

    “Winning is the only thing,” he said after claiming the Super50 title on Saturday. It is imperative his team believes that as well.

     

     Red Force too hot to handle!

    The Trinidad and Tobago Red Force won all seven of their matches to lift the Sir Clive Lloyd Trophy on Saturday after smashing the Guyana Jaguars by 152 runs in the final at the Coolidge Cricket Ground.

    The aptly named Red Force scored an imposing 362-5 and then restricted Jaguars to 210 from 43.5 overs.

    It was an all-around team effort that resulted in the domination of a strong Jaguars team.

    Lendl Simmons saved his best performance with the bat for the final scoring 146, the highest score in a 50-over final and he was supported by Evin Lewis’ 57, 47 from Dwayne Bravo and a quick-fire 39 from Nicholas Pooran.

    Their bowlers, led by Ravi Rampaul’s 4-52 and Jayden Seales, who picked up 3-40 and Anderson Phillip 2-40 decimated the opponent’s batting notwithstanding a courageous unbeaten 97 from Raymon Reifer.

    The team’s dominance came down to the consistency of each member. Jason Mohammed was the highest run-scorer with 327. He scored a century (122) and averaged an excellent 81.75 for the tournament. Lewis, who had a high score of 107, was the second-highest run-scorer with 318 at an average of 45.42.

    Simmons was also among the top-five run-scorer for the 2020 champions and was the only batsman with more than one century in the tournament.

    The veteran Ravi Rampaul’s 14 wickets were the second-best haul for the tournament, just three behind fellow finalist Gudakesh Motie’s 17 for the Jaguars.  However, all their bowlers contributed to the team’s success this season.

    Leave the NBA logo as it is else change it to Michael Jordan!

    The NBA logo is a timeless classic, a representation of love and respect for the game. It remains a silhouette of Lakers great Jerry West since 1969.

    However, in recent times, Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving has called for it to be changed to an image of late Laker great Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash in January 2020, and whose contributions to the game cannot be accurately quantified.

    “Gotta Happen, idc what anyone says,” Irving said on Instagram.

    Irving’s call has been endorsed by Bryant’s widow Vanessa.

     While I understand the call for the change, it must be noted the G.O.A.T discussion in the NBA starts and ends with Michael Jordan, a person who Kobe admired greatly.  Having played 15 seasons and winning six championships with the Bulls, he should be considered as the logo replacement.

    Apart from the statistics which are compelling - 11 All-Star teams, 5 MVP awards, 10 scoring titles – Jordan’s killer instinct and obsession with winning are qualities that embody the NBA.

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • NBA Big Game Focus: LeBron faces in-form old foes Golden State again NBA Big Game Focus: LeBron faces in-form old foes Golden State again

    For four straight years, meetings between LeBron James and the Golden State Warriors decided the NBA title.

    James' Cleveland Cavaliers faced the Warriors in the Finals in consecutive seasons between 2015 and 2018, winning only once as Golden State earned three championships.

    James left Cleveland after the Warriors' most recent triumph, though, and his move to the Western Conference with the Los Angeles Lakers means he can no longer face his old rivals in the title decider.

    But games between James and Golden State remain blockbuster affairs and they will go at it again on Sunday.

    The Lakers swept a threadbare Warriors team in the 2019-20 regular season before James claimed his fourth ring, but Stephen Curry and Golden Stave have already gained revenge once already this year.

    And momentum is with the travelling outfit heading into this clash.

     

    TOP PERFORMERS

    Dennis Schroder - Los Angeles Lakers

    As the 23-11 Lakers lost four straight games prior to beating the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday, the continued absence of Anthony Davies appeared the most obvious factor in their poor form.

    But that wretched run coincided with Schroder's lay-off due to the league's health and safety protocols. He returned against Portland and scored 22 points, improving his personal record to 23-7 on the year.

    A Sixth Man of the Year contender last season with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Schroder has started all 30 of his appearances for the Lakers and provided James with some much-needed help on the offensive end.

    Schroder, who weighed in with a season-high 25 points in January's defeat to the Warriors, leading LA in scoring, has averaged 14.5 points and 4.2 rebounds this term.

    Stephen Curry - Golden State Warriors

    Two-time MVP Curry is putting together another astonishing season, back fit and firing after playing just five games in 2019-20.

    He has averaged 29.9 points per game this season, a mark that sits second in the NBA – behind Bradley Beal's 32.8 on a poor Washington Wizards team – and second in Curry's own career, narrowly trailing the 2015-16 campaign (30.1).

    A remarkable level of consistency has made Golden State a force again in the west at 19-15 and yet Curry is actually improving as the season goes on.

    He has averaged 33.4 points this month, with his lowest return 24 at Indiana, still enough to match the Pacers' top-scoring Malcolm Brogdon.

    KEY BATTLE - LEBRON AND DRAYMOND TO RENEW ACQUAINTANCES?

    The 2019-20 season was a forgettable one for the injury-hit Warriors, but Draymond Green is unlikely to have let the third and final game against the Lakers slip from his memory.

    Green was ejected for two technical fouls in quick succession, departing after less than 10 minutes of action – his fewest minutes in any of the 12 NBA games he has been ejected from.

    James, a direct opponent in many of those Finals battles, was not involved due to injury but was spotted laughing at his furious rival's misfortune.

    Without the distraction of Davis, Green should have the opportunity to go up against James and perhaps serve a reminder of his talents as one of the league's outstanding defensive players of the past decade.
     

    HEAD TO HEAD

    Both teams have had runs as the league's dominant team, but the Lakers boast the superior head-to-head regular-season record, with 255 wins to Golden State's 169.

    Since James moved to Los Angeles, they have met eight times, winning four apiece, although the Lakers' main man has only appeared in four of those games.

    He has a 3-1 record against the Warriors as a Laker, with the sole defeat the 115-113 reverse earlier this season.

  • Doncic rejects Bird comparisons after Mavs end Nets streak Doncic rejects Bird comparisons after Mavs end Nets streak

    Luka Doncic rejected comparisons to Larry Bird after leading the Dallas Mavericks to victory over the Brooklyn Nets.

    Doncic tallied 27 points as the Mavericks beat a Nets team missing both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant 115-98, ending Brooklyn's eight-game winning streak in the process.

    The win improved the Mavericks' record to 16-16, but the race for the playoffs still sees ninth-seeded Dallas on the outside looking in.

    Doncic is averaging over 28 points for the second successive season and will need to continue scoring at that rate if the Mavericks are to reach the postseason.

    His head coach Rick Carlisle is among those to have compared Doncic to Bird, the legendary three-time MVP for the Boston Celtics.

    Speaking to ESPN, Doncic said of those comparisons: "You can't compare me to Larry Bird. The things he's done, [I've got], way ways to go, more games to go, a long time so you can't compare me to Larry Bird.

    "I just want to keep hooping, having fun out there playing basketball."

    The Slovenian is set to play in his second All-Star game next week, surpassing his expectations after being drafted in 2018 following three seasons with Real Madrid.

    "Three years ago I was just hoping to get drafted, I didn't even know," Doncic added.

    "On Sunday I can be on my second All-Star. It's just a dream come true, it's just unbelievable."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.