NBA

Knicks humble Celtics in blow-out win as Doncic eclipses Jordan

By Sports Desk January 18, 2021

The New York Knicks routed the Boston Celtics 105-75 in a stunning upset in the NBA on Sunday.

Julius Randle (20 points and 12 rebounds) and RJ Barrett (19 points and 11 rebounds) came up big to help the Knicks snap a five-game losing streak.

The Celtics had the best record in the Eastern Conference following five successive wins, but the hosts suffered their biggest loss of the season and had their lowest scoring output in 2020-21.

Luka Doncic posted his 29th career triple-double in the Dallas Mavericks' 117-101 defeat against the Chicago Bulls.

The All-Star moved above Bulls and NBA great Michael Jordan and into 15th position on the all-time triple-double list after finishing with 36 points, 16 rebounds and 15 assists.

Doncic put up the fourth 35-plus point, 15-plus rebound and 15-plus assist game in NBA history, while he joined Oscar Robertson (five times), Wilt Chamberlain (1968) and James Harden (2016) as the only players with that stat line.

 

Career-high night for Fox

The Sacramento Kings lost 128-123 at home to the New Orleans Pelicans, but De'Aaron Fox posted a career-high 43 points and 13 assists. Sacramento team-mate Marvin Bagley III also had a double-double of 26 points and 10 rebounds.

Nikola Jokic (35 points and 14 rebounds) and Jamal Murray (30 points) combined for 65 points, but the Denver Nuggets still went down 109-105 to the Utah Jazz.

 

Walker returns but struggles

Kemba Walker made his season debut after missing the opening 11 games of the 2020-21 campaign due to injury. But the Celtics star was just three of 13 from the field and one of eight from three-point range for nine points in 20 minutes before exiting in the third quarter with a rib problem. Boston team-mate Semi Ojeleye attempted six shots from beyond the arc, however, he missed all of them.

 

Zion flexes his muscles

Former number one draft pick Zion Williamson put on a show. The Pelicans star had 31 points on 13-of-15 shooting from the field, including a couple of monster dunks.

Sunday's results

New York Knicks 105-75 Boston Celtics
Chicago Bulls 117-101 Dallas Mavericks
Utah Jazz 109-105 Denver Nuggets
New Orleans Pelicans 128-123 Sacramento Kings
Los Angeles Clippers 129-96 Indiana Pacers
Cleveland Cavaliers-Washington Wizards (postponed)
Philadelphia 76ers-Oklahoma City Thunder (postponed)

 

Bucks at Nets

James Harden will look to follow up his historic debut when the Brooklyn Nets (8-6) host reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks (9-4) on Monday.

 

Related items

  • Lakers prepared to trade first-round picks to support LeBron – Pelinka Lakers prepared to trade first-round picks to support LeBron – Pelinka

    Rob Pelinka says the Los Angeles Lakers are ready to trade their first-round picks if they have an opportunity to strengthen the roster and provide support for LeBron James.

    Four-time NBA MVP James signed a new contract with the Lakers worth a whopping $97.1million last month.

    Los Angeles failed to make the playoffs last season and Darvin Ham has been charged with the task of turning their fortunes around, having replaced Frank Vogel as head coach.

    Lakers general manager Pelinka says they are prepared to give up picks if it means they can add quality to the ranks.

    He said during a media day: "One thing that needs to be made clear is, there was a lot of speculation, will the Lakers trade their picks? Will they not trade their picks?

    "Let me be abundantly clear: we have one of the great players in LeBron James to ever play the game on our team. He committed to us with a long-term contract, a three-year contract.

    "So of course, we will do everything we can, picks included, to make deals that give us a chance to help LeBron get to the end. He committed to our organisation. That's got to be a bilateral commitment, and it's there."

    There has been talk that Russell Westbrook could be traded ahead of the new season, although he this week declared that he is "all-in" with the Lakers.

    Pelinka said Westbrook is "a great part of our team", but gave no guarantees he will stay by stating: "If we have to continue to upgrade our roster throughout the season, we will."

    The Lakers on Monday confirmed the signings of guard Dwayne Bacon and forward Matt Ryan.

     

  • Pelicans star Zion Williamson 'moving faster, jumping higher' as new season approaches Pelicans star Zion Williamson 'moving faster, jumping higher' as new season approaches

    The New Orleans Pelicans were a pleasant surprise last season playing without their best player, earning a postseason berth in the NBA’s play-in tournament and giving the top-seeded Phoenix Suns a compelling six-game series.  

    But to achieve more, the Pelicans will need a healthy Zion Williamson on the floor.  

    If the star’s comments at the Pelicans' media day are any indication, New Orleans should finally see their roster at full force in 2022-23.  

    "I feel like I'm at my best right now," Williamson said. "I feel like I'm moving faster, jumping higher. I feel great."

    At last year’s media day, the Pelicans announced that Williamson had a broken right foot. The team and fans alike spent all last season waiting for a return that never came due to a series of setbacks.  

    Williamson, who has played 85 career games since being drafted first overall in 2019, last stepped foot on an NBA court on May 4, 2021.  

    "That's a long time without playing a game, but my excitement level is through the roof," Williamson said. "I'm just ready to get back on the court."

    Despite his injury history, the 22-year-old forward said he is confident he will be healthier going forward, crediting the guidance of veteran teammates C.J. McCollum, Garrett Temple and Larry Nance Jr.  

    "I learned a lot from a nutrition standpoint, from working-out standpoint, how long I need to be in the gym and the most efficient way to work out," Williamson said.  

    McCollum, who received a two-year, $64 million contract extension last weekend, was a scoring machine down the stretch for the Pelicans after being acquired at last season’s trade deadline.  

    The 31-year-old guard averaged 24.3 points in 26 games with the Pelicans last season, while Brandon Ingram scored 22.7 points per game.  

    Reincorporating Williamson – who was a 27-point scorer in 2020-21 – to that mix is a challenge that head coach Willie Green welcomes.  

    "I go back and watch film, watch some things that work, and then it's constantly talking with him, talking to the coaching staff and figuring out what works," Green said. "If it works, we will try to make sure we add it. If it doesn't, we move on.  

    "But it'll be a progression with Zion, and it won't be a thing where right away we see the Zion that we're accustomed to seeing. I think it will be a progression based on him missing the time that he missed." 

    While Green may be trying to temper expectations early this season, Williamson is expecting immediate chemistry with his teammates.  

    "I think it's gonna be really easy for me to fit in with my teammates because they play the game the right way," Williamson said. "Nobody's selfish. Everybody wants to see each other succeed.

    "Now, there are things we are gonna have to learn. Like I'll have to learn how to play with C.J. and [Ingram] on the court, learn how to play with Jose [Alvarado], Trey [Murphy], Herb [Jones] because I haven't played with those guys yet, but from watching film, it looks like it is gonna be an easy fit."

  • 'I definitely got a lot stronger' – Kawhi Leonard ready to go after over a year of rehabilitation 'I definitely got a lot stronger' – Kawhi Leonard ready to go after over a year of rehabilitation

    Kawhi Leonard shared that he will be ready for the start of training camp, and that he would have been healthy enough to play in last season's NBA Finals had the Los Angeles Clippers made it that far.

    All eyes were on the Clippers' franchise player during Monday's media day, with Leonard recently being cleared for five-on-five play more than 14 months after tearing his ACL in the 2021 playoffs.

    Oddsmakers have the Clippers as the second-favourites to win the Western Conference, trailing only the reigning champion Golden State Warriors. Their success is ultimately reliant on Leonard's health, with the two-time Finals MVP with the San Antonio Spurs (2014) and Toronto Raptors (2019) trying to become the first player to ever win the award with three different teams.

    Speaking about how he feels physically after such a long rehabilitation period, the two-time Defensive Player of the Year highlighted all the time he has spent in the weight room and how it has him feeling stronger than ever.

    "I feel stronger, for sure," he said. "It's been, what, 14, 15 months of no basketball – well, playing in an NBA season for me, no basketball. 

    "That whole 13-, 14-month process is just lifting weights and getting stronger. I definitely got a lot stronger.

    "Right now I feel good in my workouts, weightlifting. I don't feel like I have a subconscious mind of not jumping off my leg, per se. I feel good. We'll just see how the season goes."

    In what is a good sign for his chances of being at 100 per cent for the opening day of the season, Leonard shared that "if [the Clippers] would have made it to the Finals last year, you would have seen me playing".

    Around Leonard, the Clippers have assembled arguably the deepest roster in the NBA, with running-mate Paul George being joined by a bevy of capable perimeter options, including former All-Star John Wall, starting-quality guards Reggie Jackson and Luke Kennard, starter-level wings Norman Powell and Robert Covington, as well as rotation pieces Marcus Morris Sr, Nic Batum and Terance Mann.

    George compared their wealth of talent to his experience with the United States national team, and said the key will be figuring out how to mesh successfully and find roles for everyone.

    "I think really [we will use] that mindset of Team USA," George said. "You take the best guys, and of course everybody is good and they're all on teams, everybody is the star of their own teams. 

    "But when you put us all together, it's how do I make you better now and how do I shine with this environment.

    "It should be a lot of fun with this team, and there should be a lot of good nights being a Clipper fan."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.