NBA

Wall shines on Rockets debut, 76ers' fine start continues

By Sports Desk January 01, 2021

John Wall impressed on his Houston Rockets debut, while the Philadelphia 76ers' fine start to the NBA season continued.

In his first regular-season appearance since December 2018, Wall helped the Rockets to their first win of the season with a 122-119 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Thursday.

Wall posted 22 points, nine assists and six rebounds on his Rockets debut after being traded from the Washington Wizards at the start of December.

James Harden again starred, finishing with 33 points, eight assists and six rebounds.

The 76ers improved to 4-1 and handed Orlando their first loss of the season, beating the Magic 116-92.

Joel Embiid was seven-of-11 from the field for 21 points, while he also pulled down nine rebounds.

 

Westbrook's Wizards fall again as Booker shines

Russell Westbrook posted another triple-double with 22 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds, but the Washington Wizards dropped to 0-5 after a 133-130 loss to the Chicago Bulls. Westbrook joined Oscar Robertson as the only players in NBA history to open a season with four triple-doubles in their first four games.

Thomas Bryant had 28 points for the Wizards after going 10-of-11 from the field.

Devin Booker's game-high 25 points helped the Phoenix Suns past the Utah Jazz 106-95. The Suns are 4-1.

Domantas Sabonis had a double-double of 25 points and 11 rebounds in the Indiana Pacers' 119-99 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Sabonis has posted at least a double-double in all five of his games this season.

 

Terrible Thunder

The Oklahoma City Thunder shot at just 37.5 per cent from the field in a 113-80 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans.

 

Harden, Wall power Rockets

Harden and Wall finished with 55 points and 17 assists between them against the Kings.

Thursday's results

Indiana Pacers 119-99 Cleveland Cavaliers
Chicago Bulls 133-130 Washington Wizards
Philadelphia 76ers 116-92 Orlando Magic
Houston Rockets 122-119 Sacramento Kings
Toronto Raptors 100-83 New York Knicks
New Orleans Pelicans 113-80 Oklahoma City Thunder
Phoenix Suns 106-95 Utah Jazz

 

Lakers at Spurs

The Los Angeles Lakers (3-2) and San Antonio Spurs (2-2) will meet again on Friday. LeBron James powered the Lakers to a win over San Antonio on Wednesday.

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    Novak Djokovic cruised past Pablo Andujar to reach the quarter-finals of the Tel Aviv Open on Thursday, showing no signs of rustiness on his first Tour-level outing since July.

    Djokovic had not featured in an ATP-level match since his final victory over Nick Kyrgios at Wimbledon, having been forced to miss the US Open due to his COVID-19 vaccination status.

    But the Serbian needed little time to find his feet in Israel, winning the first seven games of the match and breaking the Spaniard's serve four times en route to a 6-0 6-3 victory.

    Speaking on court afterwards, Djokovic said: "Fantastic atmosphere here tonight, thank you very much. I like the court, it's very intimate and it's very loud. 

    "The crowd here is very passionate about the sport, about tennis and I'm really, really happy to be here and to perform here in front of you, so thank you for your support."

    The 21-time grand slam winner will face Canada's Vasek Pospisil in the last eight after he beat home hopeful Edan Leshem 6-3 6-2.

    Two of Djokovic's fellow seeds fared less well, however, with Diego Schwartzman and Botic van de Zandschulp both being ousted after three-set contests.

    Third seed Schwartzman failed to capitalise on a third-set match point in his 6-3 2-6 7-6 (9-7) loss to Arthur Rinderknech, while Britain's Liam Broady teed up a clash with Marin Cilic by beating Van de Zandschulp 6-4 4-6 6-3.

    The Sofia Open also saw a couple of seeds fall to surprise defeats on Thursday, although Jannik Sinner avoided any drama in his 6-3 6-4 win over Nuno Borges.

    Sinner now has a perfect 10-0 record at the event, which he won in both 2020 and 2021, and will face Australia's Aleksandar Vukic for a place in the final four.

    Holger Rune also progressed to the last eight, though he was forced to rally after losing the opener against Lorenzo Sonego, but Pablo Carreno Busta and Oscar Otte were both dumped out.

    Second seed Carreno Busta fell to a 6-3 3-6 6-2 reverse against Switzerland's Marc-Andrea Huesler, who will face Poland's Kamil Majchrzak in the quarter-finals after he came back to beat Otte 4-6 6-2 6-4.

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    Galtier joined Nice ahead of the 2021-22 campaign after winning the Ligue 1 title with Lille, but he stayed at the Allianz Riviera for just one year before making the move to PSG.

    Speaking on RMC show 'After Foot' on Wednesday, ex-Nice director of football Fournier suggested Galtier's exit came down to more than just football reasons.

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    "He is pretentious," Galtier told reporters. "I am not surprised at the way he expressed himself. I don't want to get tired of debating on everything that was said.

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