NBA

Booker stars again as Suns pile on points against Warriors, short-handed Pels down Doncic's Mavs

By Sports Desk October 25, 2022

Devin Booker continued his prolific start to the season as the Phoenix Suns flexed their offensive muscle with a 134-105 win over Western Conference rivals Golden State Warriors on Tuesday.

Booker, who turns 26 on Sunday, became the first player in franchise history to have three 30-point games in the first four of a season, finishing with 34 on 10-of-19 shooting from the field with seven assists and three steals.

Deandre Ayton added 16 points with 14 rebounds, including 11 in the first half, while Chris Paul had 16 points with seven rebounds and nine assists.

The Suns, who improved to 3-1, shot at 41 per cent from the field, making 12-of-29 three-pointers, with Paul draining four-of-five from beyond the arc. Phoenix outscored the Warriors 62-39 in the second half.

The reigning champions, who moved to 2-2, continued their worrying defensive start to the season, having conceded 109 or more points in all four of their games this season, averaging 124 points against per game.

Stephen Curry managed 21 points to end his 30-point run to start the season, shooting seven-of-17 from the field and four triples.

Jordan Poole was productive off the bench with 17 points, including 14 in the first half. Klay Thompson was ordinary again with two points, shooting none-of-five from three-point range.

Pels triumph over Doncic's Mavs despite key outs

The New Orleans Pelicans overcame the absence of Zion Williamson (hip) and Brandon Ingram (concussion) along with a Luka Doncic masterclass to win 113-111 over the Dallas Mavericks.

Doncic scored 37 points on 16-of-30 shooting, with 11 rebounds and seven assists for the Mavs, but the undermanned Pels triumphed, led by Trey Murphy with a team-high 22 points with 100 per cent shooting. 

C.J. McCollum struggled to find his range, shooting six-of-20 for 14 points but eight Pels players reached double-figure scoring as they improved to 3-1 to start the season. 

Doncic became the first Mav to ever open a season with three straight 30-point games. The Slovenian is also only the second player in NBA history with 100-plus points, 25-plus rebounds and 20-plus assists through the first three games of a season.

SGA's OKC down short-handed Clippers

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander produced a dominant all-round display with 33 points as the Oklahoma City Thunder cruised past the short-handed Los Angeles Clippers 108-94.

The Clippers were without former NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard due to knee soreness along with seven-time All-Star Paul George with illness, with the defeat seeing them slip to 1-3.

Gilgeous-Alexander went at 50 per cent from the field, making two-of-two from beyond the arc, with five rebounds, eight assists, three blocks and three steals in a masterful display, while Tre Mann scored 16 of his 25 points in the first half.

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  • Curry leads Warriors to victory at New York to extend road winning streak to seven games Curry leads Warriors to victory at New York to extend road winning streak to seven games

    One game after going without a point in the first half, Stephen Curry had nine points before the New York Knicks even scored.

    Curry finished with 31 points and 11 rebounds and the Golden State Warriors rode a fast start for a 110-99 win at Madison Square Garden on Thursday.

    The Warriors scored the game’s first 14 points, as the Knicks missed their first nine shots until Donte DiVincenzo converted a layup with 6:35 left in the opening quarter. By that time Curry already had nine points.

    After failing to score in the first half in Tuesday's win over the Washington Wizards, Curry opened the scoring at MSG with a 27-foot 3-pointer 20 seconds after the opening tip. He finished 8-of-18 from 3-point range.

     

    Jonathan Kuminga had 25 points and Klay Thompson had 16 points off the bench for the Warriors, who pushed their road winning streak to seven games. This is their longest road winning streak since reeling off 11 in a row in the 2018-19 season.

    Overall, Golden State (31-27) has won 12 of 15 games following a 4-10 stretch.

    New York (35-25), meanwhile, wrapped up a 4-8 February after going an NBA-best 14-2 in January.

    Jalen Brunson led the Knicks with 27 points and DiVincenzo added 16, though he missed 15 of his 21 shot attempts.

    As a team, New York shot 36.8 per cent - its worst shooting performance since shooting a season-worst 34.8 per cent in a 117-100 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on November 20.

     

    Wembanyama stuffs stat sheet as Spurs beat Thunder

    Victor Wembanyama recorded a stat line that had never been seen in an NBA game in the San Antonio Spurs' 132-118 win over Oklahoma City, ending the Thunder's six-game winning streak.

    The rookie sensation finished with 28 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists, five blocked shots and five 3-pointers.

    He is the first player in NBA history with at least 10 boards, five assists, five blocks and five made 3s in a game.

    Wembanyama won the battle of first-year big men, coming up with a huge block of Chet Holmgren in the final minutes.

     

    Although the Spurs (12-48) have the worst record in the Western Conference, they beat a Thunder team that was hoping to move into a tie with the Timberwolves atop the conference.

    Oklahoma City (41-18) had won its last six games by an average of 20.2 points, but shot just 29.0 per cent from 3-point range (9 for 31).

    Shai Gilgeous-Alexander paced the Thunder with 31 points, while Jalen Williams scored 26 and Holmgren added 23.

    Devin Vassell had 28 points and nine assists for the Spurs, who were playing in San Antonio for the first time since February 3 following a 1-8 road swing.

     

    Nuggets hold on to beat Heat in NBA Finals rematch

    Meeting for the first time since Denver captured the franchise's first NBA title last June, the Nuggets held on for a 103-97 win over the Miami Heat.

    The Nuggets looked like they were going to win easily, leading by 16 in the fourth quarter, but the Heat pulled within 99-97 on Jimmy Butler's floating bank shot with 11 seconds to play.

    The Heat would get no closer, however, as Denver (41-19) improved to 5-0 since the All-Star break and moved within 1 1/2 games of the Timberwolves for the best record in the West.

     

    Michael Porter Jr. had 30 points and 11 rebounds, while Nikola Jokic had 18 points, 11 boards and seven assists.

    Denver overcame an injury to Jamal Murray, who sprained his right ankle when he landed on Aaron Gordon's leg just before half-time.

    The Heat (33-26) arrived in Denver riding a five-game winning streak, in which they were averaging 113.0 points, but they had just 70 points through three quarters against the Nuggets.

    Bam Adebayo led Miami with 22 points and eight rebounds, while Butler had 21 points and seven boards.

  • LeBron draws on 'superpower' in career-best fourth-quarter comeback LeBron draws on 'superpower' in career-best fourth-quarter comeback

    LeBron James felt like he had a "superpower" after authoring the best fourth-quarter comeback of his career on Wednesday, leading the Los Angeles Lakers to a stunning win over the Los Angeles Clippers.

    The Lakers found themselves 21 points down in the fourth quarter and heading for a third loss in four games, but the NBA's all-time leading scorer had other ideas.

    James finished with 34 points, single-handedly outscoring the Clippers 19-16 in the fourth quarter, as the Lakers roared back at Crypto.com Arena to improve to 32-28 for the season.

    The 39-year-old hit five of his season-best seven 3-pointers in the final frame, also finding Cam Reddish for the final dunk in a 116-112 success, with the Lakers having trailed 89-77.

    Asked about his mindset during that decisive period, James said: "It's just a zone, and you can't really describe it.

    "You wish you could stay in it forever, but obviously it checks out once the game ends. But during it, you don't feel anything. It's just like a superpower feeling. 

    "If I'm in a lineup, if I'm on the floor, I've got to make plays. Sometimes I've got to make even more plays. 

    "Tonight was one of those moments where I had to make even more plays in order for us to even get back into the game and then ultimately win the game."

    James also added six rebounds and eight assists, and was supported by Anthony Davis (20 points), D'Angelo Russell (18) and Rui Hachimura (17).

    Lakers coach Darvin Ham also compared James to a superhero in his post-game press conference, saying: "He had to take the cape, tuck it under his seat on the bench, I guess. 

    "It was time for him to whip it out. He definitely did that, put the cape on and just got aggressive and got into good rhythm."

    While crestfallen after the defeat, Clippers coach Tyronn Lue acknowledged there was little his team could do to defend James in such form, saying: "I don't think that's ever happened in my career, to lose a 21-point lead in the fourth quarter.

    "But LeBron got hot. We talked about it before the game, you can't turn the ball over against this team because it's deadly."

  • 'I feel 40' – Birthday boy Doncic dispatches Raptors 'I feel 40' – Birthday boy Doncic dispatches Raptors

    Luka Doncic quipped he feels like he is 40 years old after he celebrated his 25th birthday in style.

    Doncic became the first player in NBA history to finish with a triple-double on their birthday as he led the Dallas Mavericks to a 136-125 win over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday.

    He finished with 30 points, 16 assists and 11 rebounds for his 11th triple-double of the season.

    Doncic has now had 39 30-point triple-doubles, which sees him surpass LeBron James in the all-time list for that feat.

    When asked if he considered his 25th birthday as a milestone, Doncic joked: "I feel like [I'm] 40, so no."

    Doncic was 11 for 23 from the field and missed 7 of 8 from 3-point range in his 67th career triple-double.

    "Just a normal game, triple-double," Jason Kidd said.

    "He was really good. I guess 25 means he's still going to be really good as he gets older here."

    Kyrie Irving scored 15 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter and P.J. Washington Jr. added 23 points for Dallas, as they bounced back from back-to-back defeats.

    "Kyrie and Luka, they had such a poise in important moments to make the right plays," said Raptors coach Darko Rajakovic after his team saw a three-game winning streak snapped.

    Doncic added: "We just played aggressive on defense, got out on transition, that's it. 

    "My team knows when I'm engaged. Everybody helps everyone to be engaged.

    "I'm having so much fun. Back-to-back is always tough, a great win today, I've got to get some rest now."

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