NBA

Lakers set franchise record and Doncic makes history as Lillard and McCollum ignite Blazers

By Sports Desk January 14, 2021

The Los Angeles Lakers set a franchise record after winning again on the road, while Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic made NBA history.

LeBron James posted 26 points and defending champions the Lakers defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 128-99 on Wednesday.

The streaking Lakers (10-3), who have won four successive games, improved to 7-0 away from home this season – surpassing the 1985-86 team for the best start on the road.

James has had at least 15 points, five rebounds and five assists in all 13 games this season. In the last 30 years, the only NBA player to have a longer streak of 15/five/five games to start a season was James himself in 2011-12 (22 straight), according to Stats Perform.

Lakers team-mate Montrezl Harrell had 21 points, while Anthony Davis put up 18 points and seven rebounds in Oklahoma City midweek.

Doncic became the first player in NBA history to post 34 points, 13 rebounds, nine assists, four blocks, two steals and five threes made, per Stats Perform.

The Mavericks went on to win 104-93 and snap the Charlotte Hornets' four-game winning streak.

Mavericks star Kristaps Porzingis returned from a knee injury and scored 16 points in his first appearance since undergoing surgery in October.

 

Red-hot Giannis fuels Bucks

Giannis Antetokounmpo's triple-double guided the Milwaukee Bucks past the Detroit Pistons 110-101. The two-time reigning MVP finished with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for his 20th career triple-double.

Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum put on a show as the Portland Trail Blazers prevailed 132-126 against the Sacramento Kings. Lillard (40 points and 13 assists) and McCollum (28 points and 10 assists) became the first team-mate duo in NBA history to have 25-plus points, 10-plus assists and five-plus three-pointers made in the same game, per Stats Perform. They are also the first duo in the NBA to have 25-plus points, 10-plus assists and one or fewer turnovers in the same game since 1987.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker starred with 37 points, but the New Orleans Pelicans still lost 111-106 to the Los Angeles Clippers. Kawhi Leonard (28) and Paul George (27) combined for 55 points in the Clippers' win.

The Memphis Grizzlies topped the Minnesota Timberwolves 118-107 behind Jonas Valanciunas' 24 points and 16 rebounds.

 

Knicks duo struggle

The New York Knicks did not get much support from their two starting point guards in a 116-109 loss to city rivals the Brooklyn Nets. Austin Rivers was three-of-10 shooting from the field and two-of-five from three-point range for eight points in 34 minutes. Elfrid Peyton was just three of 11 from the field, while making just one of three-point attempts as he finished with seven points in 33 minutes.

 

Nurkic says no!

There was no way past Jusuf Nurkic as the Trail Blazers big man denied Glenn Robinson III in the fourth quarter.

 

Wednesday's results

Dallas Mavericks 104-93 Charlotte Hornets
Milwaukee Bucks 110-101 Detroit Pistons
Brooklyn Nets 116-109 New York Knicks
Memphis Grizzlies 118-107 Minnesota Timberwolves
Los Angeles Lakers 128-99 Oklahoma City Thunder
Los Angeles Clippers 111-106 New Orleans Pelicans
Portland Trail Blazers 132-126 Sacramento Kings
Utah Jazz-Washington Wizards (postponed)
Orlando Magic-Boston Celtics (postponed)
Atlanta Hawks-Phoenix Suns (postponed)

 

Rockets at Spurs

As James Harden reportedly heads to the Nets, the Houston Rockets (3-6) will look to cast the chaos aside when they face the San Antonio Spurs (6-5) on the road on Thursday.

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    D’Angelo Russell added 21 points with five 3-pointers and Anthony Davis had 20 points and 15 rebounds for the Lakers, who advanced to face the defending NBA champion Denver Nuggets in a rematch of last season's West finals.

    Williamson shot 17 of 27 and had 11 rebounds and five assists in his postseason debut before he went to the locker room after tying the game at 95 on a driving layup with 3:19 remaining. He threw a towel to the floor in disgust as he walked into the tunnel with what coach Willie Green called “left leg soreness.”

    Williamson didn’t get much help, as Brandon Ingram scored 11 points on 4-of-12 shooting and CJ McCollum was limited to nine on 4 of 15, including 1 of 9 from 3-point range.

    Soon after Williamson’s injury, James hit a jumper, Davis dunked on an alley-oop, Russell drained a 3 and Davis grabbed a crucial offensive rebound, then hit two key free throws.

    New Orleans will take on Sacramento on Friday for the final playoff spot in the West.

     

    Kings roll to eliminate Warriors

    Keegan Murray scored 32 points with eight 3-pointers and every Sacramento starter scored in double figures as the Kings cruised to a 118-94 victory to eliminate the Golden State Warriors and stay alive in the play-in tournament.

    Harrison Barnes scored 17 points, Domantas Sabonis added 16, 12 rebounds and seven assists and Keon Ellis contributed 15 points as the Kings moved on to a matchup with New Orleans on Friday with a chance to return to the playoffs as the eighth seed in the Western Conference.

    Golden State was kept out of the playoffs for the third time in five seasons, including two eliminations in the play-in tournament. The Warriors committed 16 turnovers, gave up 15 offensive rebounds and missed 23 of 33 from long range.

    Stephen Curry had 22 points, but Klay Thompson didn’t score and missed all 10 shots from the field.

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    The 8th-seeded Heat face the 7th-seeded Sixers - who have listed Joel Embiid as questionable - at Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday.

    Defeat for the Heat would see them in a win-or-go-home contest, but victory would see them open the playoffs against the New York Knicks.

    Speaking ahead of the showdown with the Sixers, Martin is quoted by the Miami Herald as saying: "Everybody knows what's at stake going into that building, including them.

    "We just expect a dog fight. We went through a lot of difficult games this year, over the last couple years, to get us prepared for these types of moments.

    "So we'll definitely come in with the right mentality."

    An injury-ravaged Heat ended the regular season with a record of 46-36, including a run of 7-3 across their final 10 games.

    The Heat hope to have Duncan Robinson back after a four-game absence through a back injury, but Terry Rozier has been ruled out.

    Miami and Philadelphia split the season series, and Heat center Bam Adebayo sees no reason why his side cannot come out on top this time around.

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    Curry produced a career-high 50 points to guide the Warriors to a Game 7 victory in Sacramento in the sides' most recent win-or-bust showdown.

    The two-time MVP became the first player in playoff history to score 20 points or more from behind the arc and in the paint in the same game.

    Asked about that performance on the eve of Tuesday's do-or-die matchup with Sacramento at Golden 1 Center, Kerr told reporters: "He's one of the great clutch players in the history of the league, we know that.

    "That performance did not surprise me because he's 'that guy'. What I remember about that game is that we extended a lead at the end of the third, I think we went into the fourth up by 12 or something and so we had timeouts saved up.

    "And the conversation you're referring to I think I was telling him we can take a timeout anytime you want just to get a couple of minutes of rest. And we were able to control that fourth quarter, but he was so sublime."

    Curry leads the NBA standings across the regular season for average 3-point field goals made (4.8) and is ninth overall in terms of average points per game (26.4).

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    "I think he led the league in player efficiency this year and clutch minutes," Kerr added of what to expect from Curry. 

    "We've seen him win championships, win Finals MVP. I mean Steph Curry is Steph Curry."

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