NBA

Nuggets win first NBA title in franchise history

By Sports Desk June 12, 2023

Bruce Brown scored the go-ahead layup with 1:30 remaining and the Denver Nuggets held on for a 94-89 win over the Miami Heat on Monday to clinch the first NBA championship in franchise history.

Denver overcame a 10-point second-quarter deficit to oust the underdog Heat in five games and secure the first title in the team's 47-year NBA tenure. Nikola Jokić led the second-half rally and finished with 28 points and 16 rebounds, while Michael Porter Jr. added 16 points and 13 rebounds. 

Miami was seeking to become the first No. 8 seed out of a conference to win a championship and had guard Tyler Herro active for the first time since he broke his right hand in the team's playoff opener on April 16. The 2021-22 NBA Sixth Man of the Year did not play, however. 

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    The Philadelphia 76ers supporters may have jeered Doc Rivers, but the Milwaukee Bucks coach took the hostile reception in his stride as his new team won big on Sunday.

    Rivers was dismissed by the Sixers eight months ago following a disappointing end to a season in which Joel Embiid was named the NBA's MVP.

    Yet Rivers came out smiling after his return to Philadelphia on Sunday, with the Bucks having run out 119-98 victors.

    Giannis Antetokounmpo (30) and Damian Lillard (24) combined for 54 points as the Bucks followed up their win over the Minnesota Timberwolves with a statement victory over a rival in the East.

    And while Rivers received a frosty reception, he was all smiles after the game.

    "I didn't even hear it, to be honest. That means I was back at home," he quipped.

    "It was awesome. Really. I had three good years here, not talking about basketball, just in life. I enjoyed my stay here and made friends for life here.

    "The fans were good, too. There were a couple of hilarious comments. One guy told me that Larry David was looking for me to golf. I thought that was pretty funny."

    Reflecting on his tenure in charge of the Sixers, Rivers added: "I'm happy with it overall, I just wish we could've gone further.

    "I wish we could have had a chance to have Joel healthy in the playoffs.

    "But overall, Joel became an MVP, and we established this team as a championship contender. That wasn't said the year before.

    "You think about it, we had the James Harden trade, the Ben [Simmons] stuff. Some was under my control, some was out of my control, but overall, for me, if you don't win a title, you're never exactly happy. That's why we all do this."

    The Bucks are 5-7 under Rivers, who replaced Adrian Griffin in January. Antetokounmpo, though, is relishing the challenge under his new coach.

    "I love him," Antetokounmpo said. "It's been incredible playing for him. He just explains to me, what he wants from me.

    "You respect him because he's been 25 years in the league. You've got to respect what he's done in the league, won a championship, won a lot of games, but when he comes in the locker room, he keeps it simple."

    The Bucks are third in the East, four wins ahead of the 76ers with a 37-21 record.

    "I thought we were consistent," Lillard said. "We got into the paint, we were willing to make the extra pass to find the open guy and we got quality looks.

    "To play good offense you find quality shots and have a lot of mix. I thought that’s what we did."

    Rivers added: "We had been putting such an emphasis on defense.

    "The last few games we’ve been terrific. When you have Giannis on your team, if you can get stops and get him in transition, Giannis in transition is a problem for everybody."

  • NBA: Pacers halt Mavericks' winning streak NBA: Pacers halt Mavericks' winning streak

    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. 

     

     

  • Hawks point guard Young to undergo surgery on left hand Hawks point guard Young to undergo surgery on left hand

    Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young is scheduled to have surgery Tuesday to repair a tear of the radial collateral ligament in the fifth finger of his left hand. He will re-evaluated in four weeks.

    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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