NBA

Nets edge Blazers with late O'Neale tip-in, Kawhi returns as Clippers win

By Sports Desk November 18, 2022

Royce O'Neale tipped in the game-winner with 0.7 seconds left as the Brooklyn Nets edged the Portland Trail Blazers 109-107 to improve their overall record to 7-9 on Thursday.

Kevin Durant, who finished with a game-high 35 points, missed his turn-around jumper but O'Neale was on hand with a tip-in to help the Nets snap their two-game skid.

Durant went 13-of-22 from the field with eight rebounds, three assists and a block, clocking up his 26,000th career NBA point along the way, becoming the 19th player to achieve that feat.

The Nets got strong contributions off the bench as Yuta Watanabe added 20 points with seven rebounds, while Ben Simmons had a double-double with 15 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists.

Game-winner O'Neale, who was in the starting line-up, had 11 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists for the game.

The victory comes after Durant's stinging public criticism of the Nets' starting quality in the continued absence of the suspended Kyrie Irving, who may return for Sunday's game with the Memphis Grizzlies.

Damian Lillard top scored for Portland, who fall to 10-5, with 25 points along with 11 assists. Anfernee Simons added 24 points and Jusuf Nurkic had 17, including a three-point play to tie the game up with 6.5 seconds to go.

Kawhi returns as Clippers shoot down Pistons

Kawhi Leonard had minimal impact on his return after 12 games out as the Los Angeles Clippers rallied from a 12-point deficit to win 96-91 over the Detroit Pistons.

Leonard scored six points with five rebounds and four assists after not playing since October 24 due to knee stiffness. The two-time NBA Finals MVP, who was in the starting lineup, shot two-of-eight from the field.

Reggie Jackson scored a team-high 23 points in a low-scoring game, while Ivica Zubac pulled down 18 rebounds with nine points.

Kings remain hot as Fox fires

The Sacramento Kings improved to 8-6 with their fifth straight victory, winning 130-112 over the San Antonio Spurs.

De'Aaron Fox scored a team-high 28 points on 11-of-15 shooting along with eight assists, while Malik Monk added 26 points off the bench. Spurs guard Devin Vassell top scored with 29 points, including four triples.

The Kings' five-game win streak is their first since the 2020-21 season, while it comes after they started the season 0-4, winning eight of their past 10 games.

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  • Doncic 'getting boring' after latest 40-point triple-double masterclass, jokes Mavericks coach Kidd Doncic 'getting boring' after latest 40-point triple-double masterclass, jokes Mavericks coach Kidd

    Luka Doncic's dazzling NBA feats are "getting boring", joked Dallas Mavericks coach Jason Kidd, after the point guard posted his third 40-point triple-double of the season.

    The Slovenian scored 41 points alongside 12 rebounds and 12 assists to help his side snap a four-game losing run in spectacular style, as they edged a 116-113 win over the Golden State Warriors.

    It takes Doncic to three for the number of 40-point triple-doubles in the NBA this season, while no other player has yet managed one.

    Kidd jested that it was not enough for a player of his calibre and stressed the 23-year-old remains a generational talent.

    "It's getting boring," he quipped. "I mean, let's see something different. Maybe [he can] do it with his left hand. I'm just joking.

    "Look, he's one of the best in the world, and that's what he does. Some of us can take him for granted. The man is special."

    Doncic, who leads the NBA scoring charts this season, was exhausted but delighted to help the Mavericks turn matters around after a tough end to November.

    "I just participated, giving everything I got," he added. "I was really tired at the end, but we needed this game. I think we deserved this win, and we for sure needed this win."

    The Warriors came close to forcing overtime, with Klay Thompson missing a late three-point opportunity after the ball rimmed out, to Doncic's relief.

    "I was scared, I'm not going to lie," he added. "It's Klay. He's not going to miss many open shots. I was really happy when it didn't go in."

  • Luka Doncic posts 42-point triple-double to take down the Warriors, Powell catches fire for Clippers Luka Doncic posts 42-point triple-double to take down the Warriors, Powell catches fire for Clippers

    The NBA's leading scorer Luka Doncic increased his average with a stunning 42-point triple-double to defeat the Golden State Warriors 116-113 at home on Tuesday.

    Averaging 33.1 points per game this season, Doncic eclipsed 40 points for the fifth time in 19 outings, hitting 14-of-27 from the field while adding 12 rebounds, 12 assists and four steals.

    He finished with a plus/minus of plus 22 in 39 minutes, meaning his team was outscored by 19 in the nine minutes he was on the bench.

    Doncic received strong support from Tim Hardaway Jr, hitting five-of-11 from long range for his 22 points, while their 2020 first-round draft pick Josh Green showed signs of life with three three-pointers and impressive defense off the bench.

    For the Warriors, Stephen Curry continued his MVP-calibre season with another 32 points (11-of-24 shooting), five rebounds and five assists, while last year's seventh overall draft pick Jonathan Kuminga had 14 points (six-of-eight), 10 rebounds and two blocks.

    The Mavericks came into the contest on a four-game losing streak, but pulled their record even at 10-10, while the Warriors are in the same boat at 11-11.

    Powell shines in revenge game

    Norman Powell enjoyed his most productive game of the season to deliver the Los Angeles Clippers a 118-112 comeback win on the road against the Portland Trail Blazers.

    Playing on the road against his former club, Powell scored a team-high 32 points off the bench in just 26 minutes, going 10-of-16 from the field, four-of-five from deep and eight-of-10 from the free throw line.

    He had 22 of his points in the fourth quarter to overcome a 95-82 deficit at three-quarter time, with the Clippers winning the final period 36-17.

    Anfernee Simons was at his sharpshooting best for the Blazers, finishing 13-of-24 from the field and nine-of-16 from three-point range for his 37 points, marking the fourth time in the 23-year-old's career that he has hit nine threes in a game.

    Randle has a birthday to remember

    Julius Randle turned 28 on Tuesday, and he celebrated with a season-high 36 points in a one-sided 140-110 New York Knicks blowout of the Detroit Pistons.

    Randle shot 14-of-24 from the field and six-of-13 from deep, raising his true shooting percentage – which accounts for and weights three-pointers and free throws – to 58.4 per cent.

    That figure is more efficient than his 2020-21 season (56.7 per cent true shooting), where he became an All-Star and second-team All-NBA selection, after struggling mightily this past campaign (50.9 per cent).

    The Knicks are now one game below .500 at 10-11, and boast the league's 10th-best offense.

  • Warriors HC Kerr brushes off loss, focuses on Kuminga's 'best game' Warriors HC Kerr brushes off loss, focuses on Kuminga's 'best game'

    Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was unfazed by his side's narrow 113-116 road loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday, instead choosing to focus on what he called Jonathan Kuminga's best game as a professional.

    There were warning signs early that this was not going to be the Warriors' night as they quickly fell down 23-6 after eight minutes of action, and despite fighting back well, they were unable to overcome the brilliance of Luka Doncic.

    The 23-year-old MVP favourite scored 41 points on 14-of-27 shooting with 12 rebounds, 12 assists and four steals – posting a game-high plus/minus of plus 22 in his 39 minutes.

    That means in the nine minutes he was on the bench, the Mavericks were outscored by 19 points, and Kerr acknowledged after the game that there was nothing they could do about the Slovenian when he is playing like that.

    "Luka is Luka, he is just a tremendous shot-creator and shot-maker, and we just couldn't get the ball to go down tonight," he said.

    "I love the effort, and I told the guys we're in a really good spot. We have kind of rounded into form, our bench has an identity, and we very easily could've won that game – but the ball has to go in the hoop, and sometimes it doesn't.

    "Just an off night, you could see right away we fell down 23-6. We had plenty of good looks, it's just part of the season. This happens, no big deal."

    A big part of the Warriors' fightback was Kuminga's play when both teams had their second-units on the floor, with the former lottery pick hitting six-of-eight from the field for 14 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks in his 26 minutes.

    "It was the best game I've ever seen 'JK' play," he said. "Everything he did contributed towards making an impact on winning.

    "His defense on Luka was fantastic, he was disciplined, he stayed down, he challenged shots, and I think he had a couple blocks. 

    "He stayed patient offensively, he took the shots that were there, he knocked down a big three. JK has been fantastic, he's really coming into his own and that's exciting.

    "It's exciting, because it's not easy. It's not easy for him to be thrown into a high-pressure environment, and to have to be counted on to win.

    "A lot of guys, a lot of his colleagues, guys who were drafted near him are being given 30 minutes every night and there's not nearly as much pressure to win, because they're not on championship teams.

    "He's handled everything really well, I think the way he is playing is a direct reflection of his attitude and approach these last few weeks."

    Kuminga's sophomore season has got off to a rocky start, with the 20-year-old's minutes, points, rebounds, assists, field goal percentage and three-point percentage all lower than his marks as a rookie.

    The seventh overall pick from the 2021 NBA Draft is beginning to figure it out, now posting back-to-back games with at least 20 minutes played while shooting over 60 per cent from the floor, and his status as the Warriors' most athletic wing gives him the upside to be a factor as they attempt to defend their title.

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