Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons made his long-awaited first regular-season three-pointer in the NBA.

The number one pick in the 2016 draft, All-Star guard Simmons had attempted 17 shots from beyond the arc in the league.

Much had been made about Simmons' jump shot and unwillingness to shoot the three following 171 NBA appearances.

However, that changed in the 76ers' clash with the lowly New York Knicks at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on Wednesday.

Early in the opening quarter, Simmons received a pass from team-mate Furkan Korkmaz and hailed the three from the corner as the arena erupted in celebration.

Entering the midweek game, Simmons had been averaging 13.7 points, 7.1 assists and 6.0 rebounds for the 76ers (8-5).

The Portland Trail Blazers waived Pau Gasol as the NBA veteran continues his recovery from a left foot injury.

Gasol suffered a season-ending injury before signing a one-year deal with the Trail Blazers in July, however, the two-time champion's rehabilitation has taken longer than expected.

The 39-year-old six-time All-Star, who played three games for the Milwaukee Bucks having arrived from the San Antonio Spurs last season, is reportedly in talks with the Trail Blazers over a coaching role.

"As of today, I will no longer be member of the Portland Trail Blazers roster," Gasol said in video released via his Twitter account on Wednesday. "The injury I am dealing with, for which I underwent surgery last May, can take anywhere from six to 12 months to heal completely.

"I underwent surgery in hopes it would expedite my return, but unfortunately we have assessed that my recovery will take longer than we originally hoped for.

"When we signed my contract with the Blazers we knew this timeline was a possibility, so we agreed the team could have the opportunity to release me in order to have the flexibility to sign another player who could help on the court right away. This will also allow me to fully focus on my recovery without the pressure of having the team waiting for my return."

Gasol – who won his two titles with the Los Angeles Lakers, while he also played for the Memphis Grizzlies and Chicago Bulls – averaged a career-low 3.9 points and 4.6 rebounds last season.

The Spaniard has averaged 17.0 points, 9.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists over the course of his NBA career.

Steve Kerr was delighted to see his Golden State Warriors players rewarded for their persistence following Tuesday's 114-95 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies.

It has been a season of struggle for the 2019 NBA Finals losers and the victory in Memphis snapped a run of seven consecutive losses.

Kerr's side have only three wins to their name from 15 outings, leaving the Warriors bottom of the Western Conference, but he preferred to focus on the positives.

"I'm happy for the guys," said the coach. "They've been playing hard and working hard and it's good to see them rewarded.

"The great thing with these guys is they've stayed with it every step of the way. They haven't taken a day off, they haven't stopped working."

Forward Draymond Green went close to a triple-double in the win, finishing with 11 assists, 10 rebounds and eight points.

He echoed Kerr's sentiments in citing work rate and desire as being key to securing a positive result this time around.

"I think we just challenged ourselves," he said.

"That's something we've talked a lot about, getting better on the defensive end and we've been stepping up to the challenge.

"You can definitely see that there's some improvement. And with the improvement, we've been talking after each game about, 'We're getting there, we're getting there, just keep on working.'"

LeBron James is so used to making history that his latest landmark initially passed him by, though he later described his milestone triple-double feat as "pretty cool".

The Los Angeles Lakers star became the first player to record a triple-double against all 30 NBA teams as he posted 25 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in Tuesday's 112-107 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Lakers coach Frank Vogel was quick to praise the 34-year-old after his latest impressive outing at the Staples Center but James was not aware of what he had just achieved.

"I had no idea," he said. "Coach Vogel came in here and said congratulations. I was like, I thought he was joking about my seven turnovers because I've been taking care of the ball so much.

"He told me I was the first player in NBA history to have a triple-double versus 30 teams, every team, so I was like, 'Okay. That's pretty cool.'"

While James refused to get carried away with it, Vogel was far more effusive.

"It's unbelievable," he said. "He'll say it's because he's been in the league for so long, but we all know that it's because he's remarkable.

"For him to be doing it for as long as he's been doing it, that's how you knock out all 30 teams with a stat like that.

"I don't know if that will ever get accomplished again."

The win was the Lakers' fifth in a row, improving their record to 12-2.

Carmelo Anthony maintained an optimistic outlook despite tasting defeat on his Portland Trail Blazers debut on Tuesday.

The 10-time NBA All-Star managed just 10 points after going four-of-14 from the field in a 115-104 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans.

But the 35-year-old forward was delighted to be back in the action after a frustrating time with the Houston Rockets.

"It felt great just to be back into the flow of the game, be back on the court, be back to where I think I belong," Anthony said.

"Just being back out there with the guys again. I think most of all the routine – team bus, team lunch, being around the guys in the locker room – just the routine I've been used to for 17 years now ... so getting back into that. As far as the game goes, it felt good to be back out there.

"As far as conditioning, though, I felt absolutely great out there. There were minor things, but it was more of the flow of things, and getting used to how the team plays and sets and getting used to the guys on the team."

Blazers coach Terry Stotts, whose side have lost 10 of their 15 games, was also content with Anthony's maiden outing.

"To be honest, I thought he looked good," he said. "I thought offensively he got looks, he got good looks at the basket.

"I thought he got fouled at least two or three times taking it strong to the basket. He then came away empty, so that kind of affected his [stat] line.

"But I thought, for having a morning shoot-around, I thought it was pretty good."

The Los Angeles Lakers continued their fine form in the NBA, while Carmelo Anthony made his Portland Trail Blazers debut on Tuesday.

The Lakers improved to 12-2 and won their fifth straight with a 112-107 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

They were again led by star duo LeBron James and Anthony Davis at the Staples Center.

James finished with a triple-double of 25 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists, while Davis had 34 points. It marked more history for James, who became the first player to record a triple-double against all 30 NBA teams.

Anthony, 35, made his Trail Blazers debut in Portland's 115-104 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans.

The 10-time All-Star managed just 10 points after going four-of-14 from the field in the defeat.

Burks guides struggling Warriors

The Golden State Warriors claimed just their third win of the season, beating the Memphis Grizzlies 114-95 thanks to 29 points from Alec Burks.

Draymond Green went close to a triple-double in the win, finishing with 11 assists, 10 rebounds and eight points.

Bogdan Bogdanovic (31 points) and Richaun Holmes (20 points and 15 rebounds) helped the Sacramento Kings past the Phoenix Suns 120-116.

 

Ferguson struggles

Terrance Ferguson struggled for the Thunder. A first-round pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, Ferguson went one-of-seven from the field, finishing with just three points in 30 minutes against the Lakers.

 

Rondo sets up LeBron

James dunked a perfect pass from Rajon Rondo during the Lakers' win.

Tuesday's results

Golden State Warriors 114-95 Memphis Grizzlies
New Orleans Pelicans 115-104 Portland Trail Blazers
Sacramento Kings 120-116 Phoenix Suns
Los Angeles Lakers 112-107 Oklahoma City Thunder

 

Celtics at Clippers

It is another early-season blockbuster at the Staples Center as the Boston Celtics (11-2) visit the Los Angeles Clippers (9-5).

The Portland Trail Blazers have confirmed the signing of 10-time NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony - and could hand their latest addition his debut for the team on Tuesday.

Anthony has not featured in the league in over a year, since a short-lived spell with the Houston Rockets came to an end.

However, the 35-year-old has played over 1,000 games in a career that has spanned 16 seasons since he was selected with the third overall pick in the 2003 draft.

Anthony has previously played for the Denver Nuggets - the team who drafted him - as well as the New York Knicks and the Oklahoma City Thunder.

"Carmelo is an established star in this league that will provide a respected presence in our locker room and a skill set at a position of need on the floor," said Neil Olshey, Portland's president of basketball operations.

Anthony will wear number 00 for the Trail Blazers, who reached last season's Western Conference Finals but are struggling at 5-9 this year.

The NBA's scoring champion for the 2012-13 campaign has been activated in time to feature against the New Orleans Pelicans.

Carmelo Anthony says joining the Portland Trail Blazers feels like the "perfect opportunity" to resurrect his NBA career.

The veteran forward is expected to join the Trail Blazers ahead of their road match-up with the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday.

Anthony, 35, has been out of the league since he was waived by the Chicago Bulls back in February and last played a game in November 2018 for the Houston Rockets.

The 10-time All-Star is determined to grasp his opportunity now he has secured his return.

The veteran forward said in a YouTube clip: "I always kept my eye on Portland. It just didn't work out at other times. But now it seems like a perfect opportunity.

"I just look at that team and say, 'This is what I can bring, this is where I can help'. It can only work if all parties see it the same way.

"What happened before is the past; I can't dwell on that. I learned from that.

"This happened at a point of time in my life where I do have a lot of clarity and understanding of different situations, just life. My approach is totally different."Portland made the Western

Conference Finals last season but are struggling at 5-9 this time around and lost 132-108 to the Rockets on Monday.

 

Rick Carlisle declared Luka Doncic "can do anything he wants on a basketball court" after he inspired the Dallas Mavericks to a 117-110 defeat of the San Antonio Spurs.

The Slovenian prodigy conjured up a career-high 42 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists in a magnificent display at American Airlines Center on Monday.

Doncic became the second-youngest player in NBA history to rack up a 40-point triple-double, with only his idol LeBron James having achieved the feat earlier in his career.

Mavericks coach Carlisle said: "This guy can do anything he wants to on a basketball court. He's having one of those magical runs right now.

"It's a phenomenal thing to watch. It's a phenomenal thing to be a part of."

Forward Doncic said: "It feels like every day there are stats you don't know about, stats that you read about. It's great to hit."

Dallas are 8-5 after winning two in a row, while the struggling Spurs have now lost six on the spin and are languishing at 5-9.

Spurs shooting guard DeMar DeRozan said: "When adversity hits, you can't run from it, you can't shy away from it, you can't let it get you down.

"Try to channel that energy and put it in the right place so we can understand why we got beat."

 

Luka Doncic stole the show in the NBA on Monday, while the Los Angeles Clippers edged to victory.

Doncic, 20, finished with a triple-double of 42 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds in the Dallas Mavericks' 117-110 win over the San Antonio Spurs.

The Slovenian became the second youngest player in NBA history to record a 40-point triple-double, with LeBron James the only other 20-year-old to manage the feat.

Kawhi Leonard was sidelined again with a knee injury as the Clippers overcame the Oklahoma City Thunder 90-88.

Paul George finished with 18 points, but it was Montrezl Harrell's 28 points and 12 rebounds off the bench that led the Clippers (9-5).

 

Harden, Westbrook guide Rockets to eighth straight win

James Harden had 36 points, six rebounds and five assists in the Houston Rockets' eighth straight win – a 132-108 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.

He got plenty of support from Russell Westbrook, who posted a triple-double of 28 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists.

Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Milwaukee Bucks past the Chicago Bulls 115-101 with 33 points and 10 rebounds.

 

Horrible Hornets

The Charlotte Hornets (6-8) were destroyed by the Toronto Raptors, blown out in a 132-96 defeat.

 

George hits key three

George stepped up when the Clippers needed him, sinking a go-ahead three-pointer with less than 30 seconds remaining.

Monday's results

New York Knicks 123-105 Cleveland Cavaliers
Indiana Pacers 115-86 Brooklyn Nets
Toronto Raptors 132-96 Charlotte Hornets
Milwaukee Bucks 115-101 Chicago Bulls
Houston Rockets 132-108 Portland Trail Blazers
Dallas Mavericks 117-110 San Antonio Spurs
Boston Celtics 99-85 Phoenix Suns
Minnesota Timberwolves 112-102 Utah Jazz
Los Angeles Clippers 90-88 Oklahoma City Thunder

 

Thunder at Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers are 11-2 and return to action against the Thunder (5-8), who will be out to rebound from their narrow loss to the Clippers.

Marcus Smart was absolutely convinced his buzzer-beating attempt had landed but felt the Boston Celtics paid the price for a slow start in their defeat to the Sacramento Kings.

The Celtics guard went to the hoop with a last-gasp effort that seemed destined to land but hit the rim and trickled to safety as Boston saw a 10-match winning streak in the NBA snapped in a 100-99 reverse.

It capped a difficult evening for Smart, who went two-for-16 from the floor and made just one of eight three-point attempts.

Speaking about the late near miss, he said: "I thought it was going in.

"I think everybody thought it was going in and it just rolled out. It's one of those games, but that's not what lost us the game. 

"What lost us the game was the early start for me and everybody else in that starting unit. We allowed those guys to get very, very comfortable, and as we know in this league, especially with great guys like those are over there, when they get comfortable it's kind of hard to get a stop to get going."

Prior to that moment, Smart opted to shoot with 15 seconds remaining, having earned an offensive rebound and missed.

"I came up with the offensive rebound, and instead of kicking it back out I lost track of time," he added. 

"I thought I had a quick layup, instead of kicking it out and letting them foul us and controlling the game. And then I got called for the foul. He made two big free throws and got the bounce on one of them to go in.

"And then Kemba [Walker] made a great play. They stopped him, my man turned around to help and he kicked it. I drove it, just like anybody else would do. The ball felt like it sat on the rim forever."

Coach Brad Stevens hopes his side can learn from the mistakes they made.

"There were a lot of controllables that we missed, but they had to also make some incredible shots," Stevens said. 

"So, I think it was a mixture of those two, and we'll get to work from a film standpoint on those controllables and hopefully be better in those scenarios tomorrow. 

"But also credit them. I thought a couple of those shots were awfully well contested and those go in and it makes a big difference."

LeBron James said he wanted to give Kobe Bryant a reason to attend another game after the Los Angeles Lakers great watched the win over the Atlanta Hawks.

Bryant sat courtside as his former team the Lakers beat the Hawks 122-101 at Staples Center, where James shared an embrace with the five-time NBA champion.

James, who posted 33 points and 12 rebounds on Sunday, acknowledged Bryant in the opening quarter as the past met the present before nailing a three-pointer in Los Angeles.

"He is one of the greatest players to have played this game," James told reporters post-game. "I'm just trying put on a show for him.

"I know he came to a game last year and just having him in the building, just knowing what he meant to this franchise, to L.A., and for me and my team-mates, what it means to be a part of Laker Nation and Laker family, is a beautiful thing.

"I grew up watching him, admiring him. I was one of the kids obviously who had the chance to come straight outta high school. He did it.

"It's just so surreal for me. Just for a kid from Akron to have a guy like Kobe, just take time out of his day, even at this point of my career, it's still special."

James – a three-time NBA champion and four-time MVP – also used Instagram to hail Kobe, who is not known for attending many Lakers games in LA.

"I'm just trying to continue the legacy you left behind in the purple and gold," James wrote. "At the same time make you proud!! #TheBlackMamba #LakeShow."

James continued his stunning start to the season against the Hawks, with the 34-year-old averaging 25.0 points, 11.2 assists and 7.6 rebounds per game this season.

His performance helped the Lakers – who have missed the playoffs for the past six consecutive seasons – improve to 11-2.

Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said: "He's playing at an extraordinarily high level and dominating. His effort on the defensive end has really spread throughout the group, and the group has bought into being dominant on the defensive end of the floor.

"We saw that in the first quarter, with how we just controlled the game from the start. Offensively, his shot-making, his decision-making, zero turnovers, 12 assists… Are you kidding me?"

James Harden felt it would have been easy for the depleted Houston Rockets to "chalk it up" against the Minnesota Timberwolves and hailed the collective effort in their comprehensive 125-105 win.

The Rockets were without the quality of Russell Westbrook, Clint Capela, Danuel House Jr and Eric Gordon but a Harden-inspired Houston chalked up a seventh straight victory.

Harden posted 49 points from 41 shots – the most he has attempted in his NBA career – as the Rockets outclassed the Timberwolves.

But the seven-time All-Star was keen to hail the collective effort in Minnesota.

"We just know how much depth we have," said Harden. "Guys like Chris [Clemons] and Isaiah [Hartenstein], Tyson [Chandler], who started the last two games, Thabo [Sefolosha], just everybody – it was a collective effort.

"We've got six, seven guys out. So, it could have been an easy game, where we just chalked it up and got ready for next game. We wanted to come here and win this game and we showed it.

"We can't take any game for granted. We showed that. I think the first half we gave up too many points. Second half we locked back in. 

"They barely got over 100 points. That's pretty much the goal every single game. Guys didn't look around. We manned up and got a win."

Los Angeles Clippers star Paul George savoured his memorable home debut after inspiring a humiliating win over the Atlanta Hawks.

George posted 37 points in just 20 minutes as the Clippers humbled the Hawks 150-101 at Staples Center in NBA action on Saturday.

After scoring 33 points in Thursday's first Clippers appearance, which had been postponed due to a pair of offseason shoulder operations, George was at it again against the Hawks.

George led the way in the absence of team-mate Kawhi Leonard and the six-time All-Star revelled in the experience as the Clippers scored the second most points in franchise history.

"It means everything. I couldn't wait to get in front of this crowd. I couldn't wait to be home," George told Fox Sports. "I could get used to it."

George labelled his Clippers bow against the New Orleans Pelicans as "terrible" following a 132-127 defeat during the week.

Asked about Saturday's performance, George replied: "I thought I was better. I had a better flow. My body felt better, my legs felt better. I was actually able to just move. The first game was just so fast-paced. Whereas this game I felt conditioned, I felt ready. My guys helped me along the way.

"Long process. I've been rehabbing since the middle of May. It's been long and hard but I had a great team around me."

The star-studded Clippers improved to 8-5 for the season, despite playing without Leonard, Patrick Beverley (calf) and Landry Shamet (ankle).

Prized recruits George and Leonard are yet to play together after the latter sat out back-to-back games due to a left knee contusion.

"Really dangerous," George said when asked how dangerous the Clippers can be this season. "We have three guys in our starting group who are out right now. This is a team who are looking to play deep into the season. It's about taking care of our bodies."

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