NBA

Clippers snap 76ers' winning streak, Jazz stay hot as Spurs coach Popovich joins exclusive club

By Sports Desk March 28, 2021

The Los Angeles Clippers spoiled Doc Rivers' return as they topped the Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia 76ers 122-112 in the NBA.

Rivers reunited with the Clippers for the first time since being fired and joining the 76ers in the offseason, having led the Los Angeles franchise to six playoff appearances.

But Rivers did not have much to celebrate after the 76ers had their four-game winning streak snapped on Saturday.

Kawhi Leonard posted 28 points – 19 in the first half – and Clippers team-mate Paul George added 24 of his own in Los Angeles.

Terance Mann had a season-high 23 points for the Clippers on 10-of-12 shooting from the field, while he made both of his three-point attempts.

The 76ers had a six-game road winning run ended, despite a game-high 29 points from Tobias Harris.

 

Mitchell sparks Jazz

Donovan Mitchell put up 35 points as the NBA-leading Utah Jazz defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 126-110. Mitchell was efficient in Utah, where he was 12-of-17 shooting from the field, to go with his five three-pointers from seven attempts in 28 minutes. All-Star team-mate Rudy Gobert (16 points and 14 rebounds) contributed a double-double.

Gregg Popovich became the third coach in NBA history to reach 1,300 regular-season wins following the San Antonio Spurs' 120-104 victory against the Chicago Bulls. Only Don Nelson (1,335) and Lenny Wilkens (1,332) have had 1,300 wins or more. All-Star Nikola Vucevic had 21 points and nine rebounds in his debut for the Bulls after being traded by the lowly Orlando Magic.

Zion Williamson's 38 points led the New Orleans Pelicans past the Dallas Mavericks 112-103. Tim Hardaway Jr. had 30 points off the bench for the beaten Mavericks.

Russell Westbrook's triple-double of 19 points, 19 rebounds and 10 assists fuelled a 106-92 win for the Washington Wizards against the Detroit Pistons.

The Milwaukee Bucks were upstaged 102-96 by the New York Knicks despite double-doubles from two-time reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo (23 points and 10 rebounds), Jordan Nwora (21 points and 10 rebounds) and Brook Lopez (12 points and 10 rebounds).

 

Awful Richardson

The Mavericks went down to the Pelicans and Josh Richardson struggled. The shooting guard finished one-of-11 from the field. Richardson missed all four of his attempts from beyond the arc for a measly four points in 34 minutes.

Mike Scott – in the starting five for the 76ers – finished with just three points in Los Angeles. He was one-of-six from the field, making just one three-pointer in 29 minutes.

 

Barnes calls game!

With the Sacramento Kings trailing 98-97, Harrison Barnes nailed a buzzer-beating three after catching a full-court pass to sink the Cleveland Cavaliers. De'Aaron Fox's 36 points set the tone for the Kings, who edged the Cavaliers 100-98.

 

Saturday's results

Washington Wizards 106-92 Detroit Pistons
New York Knicks 102-96 Milwaukee Bucks
Houston Rockets 129-107 Minnesota Timberwolves
San Antonio Spurs 120-104 Chicago Bulls
New Orleans Pelicans 112-103 Dallas Mavericks
Boston Celtics 111-94 Oklahoma City Thunder
Utah Jazz 126-110 Memphis Grizzlies
Los Angeles Clippers 122-112 Philadelphia 76ers
Sacramento Kings 100-98 Cleveland Cavaliers

 

Suns at Hornets

The high-flying Phoenix Suns (30-14) – second in the west – will visit the in-form Charlotte Hornets (23-21) on Sunday. Charlotte have won three straight games to sit fourth in the Eastern Conference.

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    Joel Embiid is a "warrior" and is likely to play on through injury as the Philadelphia 76ers aim to turn matters around against the New York Knicks.

    The 76ers went 1-0 down in their playoff series against the Knicks on Saturday, losing 111-104 at Madison Square Garden.

    Embiid, last year's MVP, finished with 29 points, but had to sit out the final 2:37 of the first half after a brilliant play in which he passed the ball to himself off the backboard.

    He landed heavily, however, and headed straight for the locker room before returning for the second half.

    It was Embiid's second injury scare in the space of eight days, but coach Sixers Nick Nurse is confident he will be fit to feature in Game 2.

    "He really is a warrior, and he's battling," Nurse said of Embiid.

    "I think he absolutely wants to play.

    "I knew when I went in at halftime that they were checking him out, and that he was up and moving. 

    "They didn't rule him out yet. They just took him all the way to the end there to get him ruled back in."

    Tyrese Maxey is unsurprised by Embiid's resilience.

    "Nothing with Joel surprises me now," said Maxey, who finished with 33 points.

    "He's always a fighter. He's always going to try and give it his all for his team. So if he thinks he can go, he'll for sure be out there."

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    Leonard missed Los Angeles’ final eight regular-season games due to inflammation in his right knee.

    A three-time First-Team All-NBA selection, Leonard played in 68 games during the regular season – his most since 2016-17 - and averaged 23.7 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.63 steals.

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    The Philadelphia 76ers are hopeful Joel Embiid will be available for Game 2 of their playoff series against the New York Knicks after he suffered an injury scare during their defeat in Game 1.

    Embiid had 29 points, also adding eight rebounds and six assists, as the Sixers succumbed to a 111-104 defeat at Madison Square Garden on Saturday.

    He made one stunning play near the end of the first half, finishing with a one-handed dunk after passing to himself off the backboard, but that came at a cost as he then left for the final two minutes and 37 seconds of the second quarter.

    Embiid seemed to land awkwardly on his left leg after that play and immediately dropped to the ground before getting up and walking straight to the locker room. 

    Embiid rejoined his team-mates on the floor at the start of the second half, but with the reigning MVP recently missing two months after undergoing meniscus surgery, the incident left fans concerned.

    Philadelphia coach Nick Nurse is positive regarding his chances of featuring in Game 2 on Monday, saying: "He really is a warrior, and he's battling.

    "I think he absolutely wants to play. I knew when I went in at halftime that they were checking him out and that he was up and moving. 

    "They did say we are seeing, they didn't rule him out yet. They just took him all the way to the end there to get him ruled back in."

    The Sixers outscored the Knicks by 14 points during Embiid's 37 minutes on the court, being outscored by 21 points during the 11 minutes he spent out of the game. 

    Tyrese Maxey, who led Philadelphia with 33 points and was 14-of-26 shooting, says Embiid will suit up for Monday's contest if physically able to.

    "Nothing with Joel surprises me now," Maxey said. "He's always a fighter. He's always going to try and give it his all for his team. So if he thinks he can go, he'll for sure be out there."

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