NBA

Warriors bank first road win since January, Randle explodes for 57 in Knicks loss

By Sports Desk March 20, 2023

The Golden State Warriors snapped a run of 11 consecutive road losses by defeating the Houston Rockets 121-108 on Monday.

Entering the game with the third-worst road record in the league (7-29), the Warriors had not won away from home since January 30 against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

After a back-and-forth first three quarters, the Warriors called on the Splash Brothers, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, to close the show, igniting a 37-28 final period to pull away.

The duo combined for 21 points in the fourth quarter, and they finished with remarkably similar games.

Curry top scored with 30 points on 10-of-23 shooting, hitting five-of-15 from deep with seven rebounds, five assists, two steals and a block. Meanwhile, Thompson posted 29 points on 11-of-21 shooting, hitting five-of-13 from deep with seven rebounds, a steal and a block.

With promising young Rockets center Alperen Sengun out, it was an opportunity for first-round rookie Tari Eason to earn his fourth start of the season, and he capitalised with 21 points (nine-of-16), 12 rebounds and four steals. Third overall pick Jabari Smith Jr added 17 points (seven-of-15) and 11 rebounds.

With the win, the Warriors pulled above .500 at 37-36, and combined with the Dallas Mavericks' 112-108 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, they have climbed out of the play-in tournament placings and up into the sixth seed in the West.

Knicks waste Randle's career night

New York Knicks forward Julius Randle scored a career-high 57 points as his side went down in a 140-134 shoot-out against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Randle had never previously scored more than 47 in a game, but he shot 19-of-29 from the field, eight-of-14 from three-point range and 11-of-13 from the free-throw line to set a new benchmark.

Unfortunately for him, the Timberwolves also could not miss, shooting 14-of-24 (58.3 per cent) from three-point range as a team, as they were buoyed by an outrageously efficient night from veteran wing Taurean Prince. 

Prince shot 12-of-13 from the field and a perfect eight-of-eight from three for 35 points, while veteran point guard Mike Conley ran the show with 24 points (six-of-11) and 11 assists.

The Timberwolves (36-37) sit eighth in the West, just a game behind the Warriors.

Embiid fouls out in double-overtime loss

Joel Embiid led both teams in scoring and rebounding but crucially fouled out in double-overtime as his Philadelphia 76ers fell 109-105 against the Chicago Bulls.

Embiid, now the favourite to win his first MVP, scored a game-high 37 points (11-of-22 shooting), grabbed a game-high 16 rebounds, and blocked a game-high three shots before picking up his sixth foul early in the second extra period.

Zach LaVine top scored for Chicago with 26 points (eight-of-20), seven assists and three steals, while DeMar DeRozan was just as good with 25 points (10-of-22), eight rebounds and three steals.

The win gives the Bulls (34-37) a two-game buffer on the Washington Wizards (32-39) in the race for the East's final play-in spot.

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    Myles Turner scored a season-high 33 points and the Indiana Pacers pulled away in the fourth quarter to end the Dallas Mavericks' seven-game winning streak with Sunday's 133-111 victory.

    Tyrese Haliburton added 17 points and 10 assists for Indiana, which broke open the game with a 20-4 run in the fourth quarter to earn a third consecutive win and hand Dallas its first defeat since Feb. 3.

    The Mavericks got 33 points from Luka Dončić and 29 from Kyrie Irving, but failed to get late stops as the Pacers shot a sizzling 63.2 per cent from the field over the final 12 minutes.

    Dallas cut an 11-point deficit early in the fourth quarter down to four when Irving got a jumper to fall with 8:56 to go to bring the Mavs within 104-100. 

    The Pacers then caught fire from beyond the arc, as they hit 5 of 7 attempts from 3-point range during the pivotal spurt Haliburton capped with a layup that gave Indiana a commanding 124-104 lead with 4:15 to go.

    Rookie Ben Sheppard scored nine of his 15 points in the fourth quarter and went 5 of 5 on 3-point attempts to lead Indiana's reserves. The Pacers also received a 14-point, 11-rebound double-double from Bennedict Mathurin, while Turner grabbed eight rebounds in addition to finishing 10 of 15 from the field. 

     

    Bucks cruise past 76ers in Rivers' return to Philadelphia

    Giannis Antetokounmpo finished just short of a triple-double while amassing 30 points as the Milwaukee Bucks made head coach Doc Rivers' return to Philadelphia a triumphant one by rolling to a 119-98 win over the host 76ers.

    Rivers coached the 76ers for three seasons before being fired at the conclusion of the 2022-23 campaign after the team lost in the second round of the playoffs for the third consecutive year. The accomplished veteran was hired by Milwaukee after the Bucks dismissed Adrian Griffin on Jan. 26.

    Antetokounmpo added 12 rebounds and nine assists to help the Bucks keep pace with first-place Cleveland in the Central Division. The Bucks remain a game behind in the standings after the Cavaliers defeated the Washington Wizards on Sunday.

    Damian Lillard scored 11 of his 24 points in the first quarter as Milwaukee opened up a 35-21 lead after 12 minutes. Bobby Portis had 11 of his 17 points in the second as the Bucks stretched their advantage to 69-48 at half-time.

    The 76ers, still without reigning NBA MVP Joel Embiid due to a knee injury, cut into their deficit early in the second half and closed the gap to 93-82 near the end of the third quarter. They never got any closer, however, and dropped to 4-11 since Jan. 25.

    Philadelphia shot just 37.1 per cent from the field for the game, while the Bucks connected on 54.1 per cent of their field goal attempts.

    Tyrese Maxey paced the 76ers with 24 points and seven assists, while De'Anthony Melton had 16 points off the bench.

     

    Jokic extends triple-double streak, leads Nuggets over Warriors

    Nikola Jokić compiled 32 points, 16 rebounds and 16 assists for his third consecutive double-double to help the Denver Nuggets earn a season sweep of the Golden State Warriors with a 119-103 win.

    Behind another massive performance from Jokic and 27 points from Jamal Murray, the Nuggets recorded their fourth victory over Golden State in as many meetings in the season series between teams that have won the last two NBA titles.

    The Nuggets overcame a 16-point second-quarter deficit in this latest matchup, as the Warriors failed to hold on to a 56-40 lead they held 5 1/2 minutes before half-time and saw their three-game winning streak snapped.

    Denver got back in it by outscoring Golden State by a 21-5 margin to close out the first half. Murray accounted for 10 points during the surge, and his 3-pointer with 15.8 seconds left forged a 61-61 tie at the intermission.

    The game remained tight into the fourth quarter before the Nuggets broke things open with a 10-2 flurry - capped by 3-pointers from Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Christian Braun - that turned a three-point edge into a 105-94 advantage with six minutes remaining.

    Golden State shot just 29.4 per cent in the final period as the Nuggets maintained a lead of at least nine points the rest of the way.

    Klay Thompson led the Warriors with 23 points off the bench and Stephen Curry had 20 for Golden State, though the two-time NBA MVP made just 1 of 10 tries from three-point range on the night. 

     

     

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    The team said Young sustained the injury in Friday's loss to the Toronto Raptors and an MRI on Saturday revealed a tear.

    It’s a devastating loss for the playoff-hopeful Hawks, who at 24-32 lead the Brooklyn Nets by three games for 10th place in the Eastern Conference and a berth in the NBA Play-In Tournament.

    Young leads Atlanta with 26.4 points per game (11th in the NBA) and ranks second in the league with 10.8 assists per contest.

    He was named an All-Star for the third time in his career this season and led the East with seven assists in a 211-186 win over the Western Conference last Sunday.

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    Minnesota came out on top 101-86 to claim a fifth win in the space of six games, bouncing back from a defeat to the Milwaukee Bucks last time out.

    The Timberwolves are now clear at the top of the Western Conference with a 40-17 record, one win better than the 39-17 Oklahoma City Thunder.

    But coach Finch said his team "desperately" needed a victory.

    "We needed a win desperately," Finch said. "Still not playing really sharp basketball, particularly on the offensive end. But defensively, we were really strong."

    Anthony Edwards led the Timberwolves with 29 points, while Karl-Anthony Towns added 28 to Milwaukee's total.

    "It was ugly, sloppy. I think by both teams, actually," said Timberwolves center Naz Reid.

    "But we [were] able to buckle down in the last quarter and handle business."

    The Nets dismissed coach Jacques Vaughn over the All-Star break, though are now 0-2 under interim Kevin Ollie.

    "I thought we did a great job coming together as a team and facing adversity," Ollie said. "But we've got to make shots."

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