NBA

Irving's winning start as Mavericks edge Clippers, Celtics fend off 76ers

By Sports Desk February 09, 2023

Kyrie Irving got off to a winning start as the Dallas Mavericks fought out a 110-104 win at the home of the Los Angeles Clippers.

Fresh from his trade from the Brooklyn Nets, Irving shot a team-high 24 points on debut for Dallas.

The Mavs were without Luka Doncic, but the addition of Irving to their ranks meant they had sufficient firepower to overcome the Clippers and rise to fourth in the Western Conference.

Tim Hardaway Jr. weighed in with 19 points, six assists and five rebounds, and his three-pointer with 26.8 seconds remaining effectively slammed the door shut on the prospect of a late Clippers fightback.

It meant Norman Powell's 24-point game off the bench for the Clippers came in vain.

Celtics sink Sixers but suffer Brown blow

Behind 19-of-35 shooting from three-point range, the injury-hit Boston Celtics had too much for the Philadelphia 76ers, with the Eastern Conference leaders scoring a 106-99 win.

Despite Joel Embiid scoring a game-high 28 points and James Harden weighing in with a 26-point game and 11 assists, the 76ers were sunk by a Boston side who had six players in double figures, led by Derrick White and Malcolm Brogdon who both hit 19 points.

Worryingly, Jaylen Brown suffered what the Celtics described as a "facial contusion" when banging into team-mate Jayson Tatum as both went after a rebound in the closing stages of the second quarter.

It forced Brown out of the game and could see him sidelined for an extended spell, with reports claiming he suffered a fracture. That came as a fresh blow to a Celtics side who came into the game without starters Marcus Smart, Al Horford, and Robert Williams.

Brown's injury meant he and Tatum combined for only 16 points. Tatum managed just 12 points but added nine assists and eight rebounds.

It ended the double act's streak of 55 straight regular-season games combining for 40 or more points in games played together. That was the longest streak by a pair of team-mates in the NBA since a 60-game run from the 76ers' Wilt Chamberlain and Hal Greer from 1965 to 1966.

Lillard heroics see Blazers blunt Warriors

Damian Lillard's triple-double helped the Portland Trail Blazers see off the Golden State Warriors, who were again without the injured Stephen Curry.

In Curry's continuing absence, Jordan Poole weighed in with 38 points and Klay Thompson collected a 31-point haul, but reigning NBA champions Golden State went down 125-122 at Moda Center.

Lillard finished with 33 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds in a game that was locked at 95-95 heading to the fourth quarter.

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