NBA

NBA: Knicks, 76ers record key wins

By Sports Desk March 19, 2024

Jalen Brunson scored 34 points, Miles McBride added a career-high 29, and the New York Knicks ran their winning streak to four games with Monday's 119-112 victory over the Golden State Warriors.

McBride, who entered the contest averaging just 6.5 points per game, buried 6 of 9 attempts from 3-point range and totalled 11 first-quarter points in a game the Knicks never trailed. New York also received a 10-point, 11-rebound, 11-assist triple-double from Josh Hart to extend their lead on fifth-place Orlando in the Eastern Conference to one game.

The Knicks opened the game on an 18-4 run and led by as many as 15 points in the first half, though Golden State closed out the second quarter on a 12-3 spurt to cut its deficit to 62-56 at the break.

Despite 15 second-half points from Klay Thompson, the Warriors never got closer than four points behind over the final two quarters as the Knicks continued to keep them at arm's length mainly due to the shot-making of Brunson, who recorded 20 points in the second half.

Golden State lost for the fourth time in six games despite 27 points from Stephen Curry and 18 from Thompson, who added a team-high eight assists. Rookie Trayce Jackson-Davis finished 9 of 9 from the field while compiling 19 points and nine rebounds off the bench for the Warriors. 

76ers fend off Heat to gain ground in standings

Tyrese Maxey tallied 30 points and 10 assists to lead the way as the Philadelphia 76ers earned an important win by holding off the Miami Heat for a 98-91 victory.

The 76ers' second straight win, coupled with Indiana's loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday, moved Philadelphia a half game ahead of the Pacers for sixth place in the Eastern Conference. The top six teams in both conferences are guaranteed to avoid the play-in round and are assured of a quarterfinals series.

Kelly Oubre Jr. also posted a double-double for Philadelphia with 22 points and 11 rebounds, while Kyle Lowry chipped in 16 points in his first meeting with the Heat since being traded by his former team in January.

The Heat took the court again without injured stars Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro but kept the game close until the Sixers began to pull away over the final seven minutes.

Buddy Hield's 3-pointer with 6:34 left snapped an 85-85 tie and ignited an 8-2 Philadelphia run that Oubre finished with a layup to give his team a 93-87 edge with 2:28 remaining.

The Heat missed nine of their final 10 field goal attempts and had their two-game winning streak snapped when the 76ers made three free throws in the final 18.3 seconds.

Philadelphia was clinging to a 53-51 lead early in the second half before ripping off 15 consecutive points - seven of which came courtesy of Maxey - to go up by double digits. 

Miami responded in the fourth, however, by outscoring the Sixers by a 17-4 margin over a 3 1/2-minute stretch. Terry Rozier had eight points during the run along with a steal that led to Caleb Martin's dunk that tied the game at 85-85 with 6:54 left.

Rozier and Bam Adebayo led the Heat with 20 points each, with Adebayo adding 13 rebounds and six assists and Rozier recording eight rebounds.

Resilient Cavaliers pin key loss on Pacers

The Indiana Pacers were leap-frogged by the 76ers in the standings after being dealt a 108-103 loss by the Cleveland Cavaliers, who received big performances from Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen to overcome the absence of several missing pivotal players.

LeVert compiled 23 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds and Allen also had 23 points along with nine rebounds as Cleveland prevailed despite again playing without All-Star Donovan Mitchell and fellow starters Evan Mobley and Max Strus.

Indiana received 19 points and 12 rebounds from Pascal Siakam but had an off-shooting night as a team, as it connected on just 9 of 38 tries (23.7 per cent) from 3-point range.

Tyrese Haliburton, the Pacers' top scorer this season, was held to 14 points on 4-of-14 shooting but did hand out 12 assists.

Indiana did shoot nearly 61 per cent from the field while building a 34-25 lead after one quarter, and was up by 15 points nearing the midway stage of the second before the Cavaliers roared back. 

Cleveland outscored the Pacers by a 22-7 count over the remainder of the first half to tie the game at 54-54 at intermission, and later took a 72-62 advantage in the third quarter behind an 18-6 run.

Indiana rallied in the fourth quarter to knot the score at 103-103 on Haliburton's floater with 2:05 left, but LeVert put the Cavs back ahead with a basket on the ensuing possession. 

The Pacers failed to score the rest of the way, and Isaac Okoro put Cleveland up by two possessions with a layup off a feed from Allen with 26.1 seconds remaining.

 

 

Related items

  • 'Every seed matters' for LeBron James as Lakers outlast Grizzlies 'Every seed matters' for LeBron James as Lakers outlast Grizzlies

    LeBron James said "every seed matters" for the Los Angeles Lakers after he combined with Anthony Davis to power them past the Memphis Grizzlies and go eighth in the Western Conference.

    The Lakers entered Friday's game – their penultimate outing of the regular season – on a two-game losing streak and jockeying for position with the Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors. 

    However, James put up 37 points, nine rebounds and five assists, while Davis added 35 points as the injury-hit Grizzlies failed to hold on after going 118-117 up with one minute and six seconds left.

    James sank six points in the final minute to lift Los Angeles one game clear of Sacramento and Golden State, both of whom suffered defeats later on Friday.

    "Every game matters. Every seed matters. Wherever you fall, you can't play in the past," James said.

    "I can't say I would much rather be where we are today than be the number one seed. That would be a lie. Seeds matter, and wherever you fall, you take that challenge."

    The Lakers emerged from the Play-In Tournament to reach the Western Conference Finals last year before being dispatched by the eventual NBA champions, the Denver Nuggets.

    With coach Darvin Ham plotting a route through the postseason, he left James out on the court for 41 minutes on Friday, while Davis played 43 minutes on his return from a left eye injury which kept him out of Tuesday's loss to the Warriors. 

    Asked about the risks of keeping the duo out there, Ham said: "In the moment, you're not worried about that. You're worried about securing the victory you came to get. 

    "Everyone knows what time it is. It's that time of the year. Everyone knows what's at stake. 

    "Whatever we need, and however long we need to push guys, we've got to have it, and they understand that."

    Memphis are guaranteed to end a frustrating campaign 13th in the West, and Scotty Pippen Jr. said they were simply playing for future opportunities after scoring a career-high 28 points.

    "The emphasis going into the game was to play hard," Pippen said. "We knew they were playing for something, and they probably thought we were playing for nothing. 

    "But a lot of guys here are playing for opportunities. That's our motivation."

  • NBA: Embiid returns from injury scare, scores 32 to lead streaking 76ers NBA: Embiid returns from injury scare, scores 32 to lead streaking 76ers

    Joel Embiid shook off an apparent injury to finish with 32 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists and the Philadelphia 76ers extended their winning streak to seven with a 125-113 victory over the Orlando Magic on Friday.

    Embiid had 21 points, nine boards and seven assists in the first 17 minutes but appeared to land awkwardly on his left knee late in the first half. He limped to midcourt and gave up on the play.

    After coach Nick Nurse called timeout, Embiid went straight to the locker room. But he returned for the second half and promptly hit a 3-pointer on his first touch of the third quarter.

    Orlando, Indiana and Philadelphia are all 46-35 after the Pacers lost to Cleveland and are fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively, in the Eastern Conference.

    Franz Wagner scored 24 points and Paolo Banchero added 22 for Orlando, which dropped its third straight game. The Magic can win the Southeast Division with a victory over Milwaukee on Sunday.

    Spurs rally to stun Nuggets

    Devonte’ Graham scored on a floater in the lane with 0.9 seconds remaining and the San Antonio Spurs rallied from a 23-point deficit for a 121-120 win over the Denver Nuggets, who may have suffered a potentially damaging loss.

    The loss dropped Denver out of sole possession of first place in the Western Conference and into a tie with Minnesota and Oklahoma City. After tiebreakers, the Timberwolves are first, the Thunder and second and the Nuggets are third heading into the final day of the regular season on Sunday.

    Victor Wembanyama had 34 points and 12 rebounds for the West-worst Spurs, who trailed 76-53 early in the third quarter and were still down 17 early in the fourth.

    Jamal Murray scored 35 points and Nikola Jokić had 22 and 12 rebounds for the Nuggets, who close the regular season Sunday at Memphis.

    Thunder handle depleted Bucks

    Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 23 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder boosted their chances at capturing the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference with a 125-107 win over the short-handed Milwaukee Bucks.

    Chet Holmgren had 22 points and nine rebounds and Aaron Wiggins added 19 points for the Thunder, who won their fourth straight and ended the night tied for the top seed in the West after Denver lost to San Antonio and Minnesota beat Atlanta.

    Milwaukee played without superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo (strained left calf) and All-Star Damian Lillard (sore left adductor) and dropped into a tie with the Knicks for the No. 2 seed in the East. The Bucks can still finish second with a win at Orlando on Sunday or a New York loss to Chicago.

  • 'We'll show up when we have to', vows Celtcis' Porzingis 'We'll show up when we have to', vows Celtcis' Porzingis

    Kristaps Porzingis suggested Thursday's defeat to the New York Knicks could be just what the Boston Celtics needed ahead of the playoffs.

    The Celtics went down 118-109 to the Knicks, as New York hunt down the No.2 seed in the Eastern Conference.

    Boston have long since had their playoff berth secured, but have now lost their last two games.

    Porzingis, though, is taking the positives.

    "It stings to have this loss, but maybe we need this before heading into the postseason with a killer mentality," Porzingis said.

    "It's not who we are. This is not the team our fans love. That wasn't on display.

    "You best believe we'll show up when we have to. We know what the goal is and make no mistake about it."

    Jaylen Brown chipped in with 15 points for the Celtics, and like Porzingis, recognises Boston have not been up to scratch as of late.

    "We got out-toughed the last two games and haven't played to our standard," Brown said.

    "The game has shifted and it's going to shift even more in the playoffs."

    Jalen Brunson led the Knicks with 39 points, and New York are now just one game behind the Milwaukee Bucks in the race for the No.2 seed.

    "We made shots and made the right plays," Brunson said.

    "Obviously, we know they're the top dog in the East. Whenever you play against them, it's always a good measuring stick to see where you're at.

    "We played pretty well, but we know what they’re capable of doing. We just had their number tonight."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.