NBA

Embiid lifts 76ers over Jazz in thriller and Harden enjoys winning return to Houston as LeBron-less Lakers lose

By Sports Desk March 04, 2021

Joel Embiid enhanced his MVP credentials with a monster double-double as the Philadelphia 76ers trumped the NBA-leading Utah Jazz in a thrilling battle, 131-123 after overtime.

Embiid hit a game-tying three-pointer with 5.3 seconds remaining to force OT – Eastern Conference leaders the 76ers outscoring the Jazz 13-5 in the additional period to reign supreme in Philadelphia on Wednesday.

MVP candidate Embiid finished with 40 points and 19 rebounds to fuel the 76ers to back-to-back wins heading into the break, with the All-Star Game scheduled for Sunday.

Sixers team-mate Tobias Harris scored 11 of his 22 points in overtime as the 76ers improved to 24-12.

Jazz star Donovan Mitchell, who was ejected with 30.8 seconds remaining in OT, recorded 33 points in the road loss – Utah (27-9) suffering back-to-back losses.

James Harden showed no mercy in his first game against the Houston Rockets since January's blockbuster trade to the Brooklyn Nets.

Former MVP Harden had 29 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds for his eighth triple-double since joining the Nets, who downed the injury-hit Rockets 132-114.

 

McConnell makes history

T.J. McConnell put up 16 points on eight of eight shooting, 13 assists and 10 steals off the bench in the Indiana Pacers' 114-111 win at the Cleveland Cavaliers. McConnell became the first player in NBA history to record 10-plus steals and make 100 per cent of his field-goal attempts in a game, per Stats Perform. He also became only the 10th player with a 10-plus steal triple-double since steals began being tracked in 1973-74.

Trae Young ended the game with 32 points as the Atlanta Hawks edged the Orlando Magic 115-112.

The Chicago Bulls trumped the New Orleans Pelicans 128-124 behind Zach LaVine's 36 points.

Triple-doubles from Mason Plumlee (14 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists) and Dennis Smith Jr. (10 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists) inspired the Detroit Pistons to a 129-105 win over the Toronto Raptors. Norman Powell had a game-high 36 points for the Raptors.

 

Lakers' poor form continues

Playing without LeBron James for the first time this season and with Anthony Davis already sidelined, defending champions the Los Angeles Lakers went down 123-120 to the Sacramento Kings. The Lakers have lost six of their last eight games, falling into a tie for third place in the Western Conference heading into the All-Star weekend.

The Rockets have lost 13 games in a row – the franchise's longest skid since dropping 15 straight in 2001.

 

Lillard sinks Warriors

Damian Lillard (22 points) scored the final eight points for the Portland Trail Blazers, including the game-winning three with 13.7 seconds remaining, in a 108-106 win against the Golden State Warriors. Stephen Curry's 35 points were not enough for the Warriors.

 

Wednesday's results

Indiana Pacers 114-111 Cleveland Cavaliers
Philadelphia 76ers 131-123 Utah Jazz (OT)
Detroit Pistons 129-105 Toronto Raptors
Brooklyn Nets 132-114 Houston Rockets
Atlanta Hawks 115-112 Orlando Magic
Charlotte Hornets 135-102 Minnesota Timberwolves
Chicago Bulls 128-124 New Orleans Pelicans
Dallas Mavericks 87-78 Oklahoma City Thunder
Portland Trail Blazers 108-106 Golden State Warriors
Sacramento Kings 123-120 Los Angeles Lakers

 

Clippers at Wizards

The Los Angeles Clippers (24-13) will look to snap a run of back-to-back defeats before the All-Star break when they visit the lowly Washington Wizards (13-20) on Thursday.

Related items

  • Man Utd target Milinkovic-Savic references Pogba as an inspiration Man Utd target Milinkovic-Savic references Pogba as an inspiration

    Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic cited Manchester United's Paul Pogba as an inspiration as speculation grows over a transfer to Old Trafford.

    Milinkovic-Savic has played an integral role at Lazio since joining from Genk in July 2015, appearing over 200 times in Serie A.

    The Serbia international has again delivered for Maurizio Sarri's side this season, providing 10 goals and 11 assists in the league, while no Serie A midfielder can match his 21 goal contributions.

    Meanwhile, no Lazio player has started more Serie A games than the 27-year-old this term, while he also ranks top for tackles (67) and duels won (247).

    A creative presence as well as a dominant midfielder, only Luis Alberto (64) has created more chances than Milinkovic-Savic (47), but reports in Italy suggest Lazio are ready to sell their star midfielder.

    Paris Saint-Germain and United are among the favourites to sign him, with Lazio's preference not to sell to fellow domestic side Juventus, and Milinkovic-Savic has referenced two Premier League players as his idols.

    Pogba, who appears set to depart United at the end of the season, came under special praise from Milinkovic-Savic, while Thiago Alcantara's creativity for Liverpool was also cited.

    "Comparisons between me and Pogba? I learned a lot from him at the beginning when I arrived in Italy and he was at Juventus," he told DAZN.

    "He is tall like me, has the technique and always makes a difference."

    On Thiago, he added: "Against shorter players, I struggle more because I have to lower myself too. Who do I get my cue from? I always look at Thiago from Liverpool.

    "I developed some body movements thanks to Futsal, a sport I practised as a child."

    Milinkovic-Savic acknowledged he was pleased to continue developing after producing arguably his best season and spoke long term about harbouring Ballon d'Or ambitions.

    "My best year? For a few years, the statistics say, I play a little better," he added. "If I feel undervalued? I don't think about this, when I finish the game if I have time I see it again and then I decide if I did well or not, I'm honest with myself.

    "In the movements without the ball I have grown a lot over the years. Little by little I have worked and this year you can see the results.

    "Five years from now? I don't think so much about the future, I look day by day and I don't think too much about things. Ballon d'Or? Of course, I'd like to win it!"

  • Eriksen dreams of Champions League return as Spurs and Man Utd speculation grows Eriksen dreams of Champions League return as Spurs and Man Utd speculation grows

    Christian Eriksen declared he would "love to play Champions League football again" amid speculation of returning to Tottenham or joining Manchester United.

    Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest when playing for Denmark last June at Euro 2020 against Finland and was brought back to life on the pitch.

    The 30-year-old was then unable to play for Inter, as medical rulings in Italy prevent players from featuring after having a cardioverter-defibrillator fitted.

    The midfielder subsequently joined Brentford on a six-month contract in January and has starred on his Premier League return, scoring once and assisting four in 10 league games.

    Eriksen has also created 26 chances in the league since his Brentford debut at the end of February, with only Son Heung-min (27), Martin Odegaard (30) and Kevin De Bruyne (37) making more in that period.

    However, Eriksen's short-term contract will expire soon after Brentford host relegation-threatened Leeds United on Sunday, leading to questions over his future.

    Brentford manager Thomas Frank has made it clear he wants his compatriot to stay, while reports in England suggest a return to Spurs or a move north to United.

    Meanwhile, Eriksen has hinted that he wants to play in Europe's premier club competition again, which may bolster Tottenham's bid should Antonio Conte's side edge past Arsenal in the top-four race.

    "I do not think that there are some football players who can just pick and choose between clubs, because there are many criteria that come into play," Eriksen told Viaplay.

    "There are also many clubs that need to see one's path before that happens.

    "I have different offers and options, which we are considering, and then we make a decision.

    "I would love to play Champions League football again. I know how much fun it is, but it isn't essential for me."

    Eriksen's mid-season boost has ensured Brentford have already secured their Premier League status for next season, while Spurs will head into the final matchday a point behind Arsenal should the Gunners beat Newcastle United on Monday.

  • Madrid, Man Utd or Liverpool? Monaco star Tchouameni non-committal on his future amid transfer speculation Madrid, Man Utd or Liverpool? Monaco star Tchouameni non-committal on his future amid transfer speculation

    Monaco prospect Aurelien Tchouameni remained non-committal over his future amid growing speculation of interest from Real Madrid, Manchester United and Liverpool.

    Tchouameni came through the Bordeaux academy before joining Monaco in 2020 on a four-and-a-half-year deal.

    The midfielder has appeared 34 times in Ligue 1 this campaign, with only Wissam Ben Yedder (36) and goalkeeper Alexander Nubel (37) featuring more for Philippe Clement's side.

    The 22-year-old Tchouameni represents a threat at both ends of the pitch, leading Monaco's charts for successful opposition-half passes (912), while making the most tackles (84) and winning the most duels (258).

    That presence has led to interest from the likes of Madrid, where fellow France youngster Eduardo Camavinga joined last season, Liverpool and United, who are reportedly also interested in Declan Rice.

    Tchouameni, speaking at the annual Union Nationale des Footballeurs Professionels (UNFP) award ceremony in Paris, where he was named in Ligue 1's Team of the Year, played his cards close to his chest on his future.

    "Good question. I have a contract with Monaco," he said when asked about the transfer speculation.

    "I'm very good there. The most important thing is to finish the season well. We'll do the accounts at the end and we'll see what the future holds for me."

    Tchouameni and Monaco conclude their French top-flight season with a trip to Lens on Saturday, with Clement's side second in the table, ahead of Marseille on a goal difference.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.