NBA

Irving top scores for Nets but Durant hurt, Harden triple-double leads 76ers to victory

By Sports Desk January 09, 2023

Kevin Durant went down injured before Royce O'Neale scored the game-winning two-pointer with 3.2 seconds left as the Brooklyn Nets edged the Miami Heat 102-101 on Sunday.

Durant exited late in the third quarter with a right knee issue after Jimmy Butler fell on him, but the Nets did enough without him to improve to 27-13 overall and second spot in the Eastern Conference. Brooklyn have won 18 of their last 20 games.

Butler put the Heat ahead 101-100 with a dunk with 1:12 remaining, but O'Neale had the final say with a putback after Kyrie Irving had missed a 30-foot three-point attempt.

Irving top scored for Brooklyn with 28 points, including six-of-15 from three-point range with six assists, while Nic Claxton contributed strongly again with 13 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks.

Durant managed 17 points on five-of-11 shooting from the field with five rebounds in his 30 minutes on the court.

Butler top-scored for the Heat with 26 points, but shot nine-of-21 from the field with two turnovers, while Tyler Herro finished with 24 points before limping off late.

Bam Adebayo was also limited by a right-hand contusion, scoring 10 points with eight rebounds.

Harden records triple-double in 76ers win

James Harden recorded a triple-double and became the 27th NBA player with 24,000 career points as the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Detroit Pistons 123-111.

Harden finished with 20 points on seven-of-14 shooting, including three-of-five from beyond the arc, 11 rebounds and 11 assists.

Tyrese Maxey also came to the fore for the Joel Embiid-less 76ers, while Pistons guard Killian Hayes had a game-high 26 points, with four three-pointers.

Suns slump to sixth straight loss

The Cleveland Cavaliers consigned the short-handed Phoenix Suns to their sixth straight defeat with a 112-98 victory as Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland scored 22 points each.

Mitchell, who scored a season-high 71 points in last weeks' OT win over the Chicago Bulls, made seven-of-12 from the field, while Garland dished off seven assists in a fine display.

The Suns were missing their backcourt of Chris Paul and Devin Booker but were within one point at three-quarter time before fading.

Duane Washington top scored for Phoenix in 25 minutes off the bench with 25 points including five triples.

Related items

  • NBA announces Jokic, Gilgeous-Alexander and Doncic as MVP finalists NBA announces Jokic, Gilgeous-Alexander and Doncic as MVP finalists

    The 2023-24 NBA MVP award will be won by either the Denver Nuggets' Nikola Jokic, the Dallas Mavericks' Luka Doncic or Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

    The NBA announced the three finalists for the top individual honour with Jokic, Gilgeous-Alexander and Doncic being the top three vote-getters for the Michael Jordan trophy.

    Jokic won back-to-back awards in 2020-21 and 2021-22, and should he win again he'll become the ninth player to win three or more MVPs, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (six), Jordan and Bill Russell (five), Wilt Chamberlain and LeBron James (four), and Moses Malone, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson (three).

    Jokic led the Nuggets to the franchise's first NBA title last season and the second seed in the Western Conference play-offs in 2023-24 after averaging 26.4 points, 12.4 rebounds and 9.0 assists.

    Gilgeous-Alexander helped the Thunder to the West's top seed with an average of 30.1 points - third highest in the NBA while also leading the league with 150 steals.

    Doncic averaged an NBA-best 33.9 points per game, while also ranking second in assists per game (9.8) and 3-pointers made per game (4.1).

    Neither Gilgeous-Alexander nor Doncic have won the MVP award before.

     

    Victor Wembanyama of the San Antonio Spurs is the runaway favourite to win the league rookie of the year after averaging 21.4 points, 10.6 rebounds, 3.9 assists and an NBA-best 3.6 blocked shots per game.

    Oklahoma City's Chet Holmgren and the Charlotte Hornets' Brandon Miller are the other finalists.

  • 'Warrior' Embiid unlikely to miss out for 76ers despite injury scare 'Warrior' Embiid unlikely to miss out for 76ers despite injury scare

    Joel Embiid is a "warrior" and is likely to play on through injury as the Philadelphia 76ers aim to turn matters around against the New York Knicks.

    The 76ers went 1-0 down in their playoff series against the Knicks on Saturday, losing 111-104 at Madison Square Garden.

    Embiid, last year's MVP, finished with 29 points, but had to sit out the final 2:37 of the first half after a brilliant play in which he passed the ball to himself off the backboard.

    He landed heavily, however, and headed straight for the locker room before returning for the second half.

    It was Embiid's second injury scare in the space of eight days, but coach Sixers Nick Nurse is confident he will be fit to feature in Game 2.

    "He really is a warrior, and he's battling," Nurse said of Embiid.

    "I think he absolutely wants to play.

    "I knew when I went in at halftime that they were checking him out, and that he was up and moving. 

    "They didn't rule him out yet. They just took him all the way to the end there to get him ruled back in."

    Tyrese Maxey is unsurprised by Embiid's resilience.

    "Nothing with Joel surprises me now," said Maxey, who finished with 33 points.

    "He's always a fighter. He's always going to try and give it his all for his team. So if he thinks he can go, he'll for sure be out there."

  • Clippers forward Leonard will not return for Game 1 against the Mavericks Clippers forward Leonard will not return for Game 1 against the Mavericks

    The Los Angeles Clippers still won’t have injured leading scorer Kawhi Leonard in the lineup Sunday when they host the Dallas Mavericks in Game 1 of the team’s first-round playoff series.

    Leonard missed Los Angeles’ final eight regular-season games due to inflammation in his right knee.

    A three-time First-Team All-NBA selection, Leonard played in 68 games during the regular season – his most since 2016-17 - and averaged 23.7 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.63 steals.

    Los Angeles went 51-31 to earn the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.