NBA

George and Morris fuel Clippers, Celtics snap Nuggets' eight-game streak with 31-3 run

By Sports Desk April 12, 2021

Paul George and Marcus Morris Sr. combined to lead the Los Angeles Clippers past the Detroit Pistons 131-124 in NBA action on Sunday.

Clippers star George posted 32 points – his third consecutive game of 30-plus points – as the Los Angeles franchise rallied for their fifth successive victory.

Morris put up a season-high 33 points for the Clippers, who capped a nine-game homestand against the lowly Pistons.

Veteran Morris nailed six three-pointers and surpassed 1,000 for his career as star Kawhi Leonard was rested.

Meanwhile, the Denver Nuggets had their eight-game winning streak snapped by the Boston Celtics in a 105-87 defeat.

The Celtics used a remarkable 31-3 run to take down the Nuggets on the road in Denver, where Jayson Tatum (illness) and Jaylen Brown (knee) battled to inspire Boston.

Denver led 79-65 late in the third quarter before capitulating, outscored 31-8 in the final period.

Nikola Jokic's triple-double of 17 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds were not enough for the Nuggets.

 

Zion flexes muscles

Zion Williamson had 38 points as the New Orleans Pelicans rallied past the Cleveland Cavaliers 116-109. Williamson, who scored 25 points in the first half and fell one shy of his career best, made 16 of 22 shots, while collecting nine rebounds and tallying four assists.

Portland Trail Blazers All-Star Damian Lillard (1,983) passed Dirk Nowitzki (1,982) for 11th on the NBA's all-time list for threes. The Trail Blazers lost 107-98 at home to the Miami Heat.

Jonas Valanciunas produced a big performance, but the Memphis Grizzlies went down 132-125 to the Indiana Pacers. He recorded a career-high tying 34 points and 22 rebounds. Valanciunas posted his second career game with 30-plus points and 20-plus rebounds and is the second player in Grizzlies history with multiple 30-20 regular-season games after Zach Randolph (three).

Bogdan Bogdanovic finished with 32 points on a career-high eight three-pointers as the high-flying Atlanta Hawks defeated the Charlotte Hornets 105-101. Clint Capela added 20 points and 15 rebounds for the Hawks, who are fourth in the Eastern Conference.

DeMar DeRozan registered 33 points, including the tie-breaking jump shot with 0.5 seconds remaining, to lift the San Antonio Spurs to a 119-117 win against the Dallas Mavericks.

 

Game to forget for Magic

The Orlando Magic have not had much to celebrate this season and they had a tough time against the Milwaukee Bucks, who won 124-87. All five of Orlando's starters did not reach double-digit points. James Innis III was two-for-seven shooting, while missing all three attempts from beyond the arc for six points in 25 minutes. In total, the Magic were just 22.2 per cent from three-point range.

 

Space Jam?

In a scene reminiscent of iconic 1990s movie Space Jam, Hornets star Miles Bridges channelled his inner Michael Jordan with a thunderous slam against the Hawks.

 

Sunday's results

Atlanta Hawks 105-101 Charlotte Hornets
Boston Celtics 105-87 Denver Nuggets
New Orleans Pelicans 116-109 Cleveland Cavaliers
Milwaukee Bucks 124-87 Orlando Magic
New York Knicks 102-96 Toronto Raptors
San Antonio Spurs 119-117 Dallas Mavericks
Indiana Pacers 132-125 Memphis Grizzlies
Minnesota Timberwolves 121-117 Chicago Bulls
Los Angeles Clippers 131-124 Detroit Pistons
Miami Heat 107-98 Portland Trail Blazers

 

76ers at Mavericks

The Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia 76ers (36-17) will be eyeing back-to-back wins when they face Luka Doncic's Mavericks (29-23) on Monday.

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    Russell was the star of the show for the Lakers in their 116-104 triumph on Monday, sinking five 3-pointers in a 26-point haul.

    Anthony Davis backed Russell up with 24 points and 12 rebounds, while LeBron James added 19 points and 11 rebounds.

    The Lakers have now won 10 of their last 14 games, while the Thunder were knocked off of their perch at the Western Conference summit.

    "They're so well-coached that you can't relax," Russell said of facing the Thunder, who have now lost two of their last three games after going on a six-game winning streak.

    "That team has got everything you need to win and to be efficient at this level. You've got to be ready to play against those guys. It's no fluke [to beat them]."

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    "But any time you can beat a team confidently going into the fourth of that calibre, it speaks to what you did offensively and defensively.

    "Anytime you beat a team like that that’s been playing really good basketball, it feels good and it gives you some momentum going forward."

    The Lakers managed to keep Shai Gilgeous-Alexander under wraps, limiting him to 20 points, ending a run of eight successive 30-point performances for the Thunder's talisman.

    "Our start was good offensively, but our overall sharpness just wasn't there," Thunder coach Mark Daigneault reflected.

    "Defensively, we turned them over a bunch of times, and that kept us in it. But certainly not our fastball tonight.

    "I just didn't think we were as sharp offensively as we needed to be. A team like that that’s got size and physicality, that's a requirement to hit shots against them, but we just didn't do that enough."

    The Thunder were replaced at the top of the West by the Minnesota Timberwolves, who beat the Portland Trail Blazers 119-114.

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    "We absolutely had to have this one," said Timberwolves coach Chris Finch, whose team had lost their previous two games.

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    The Bucks won 113-106 on Monday, despite star man Antetokounmpo missing out due to left Achilles tendinitis.

    Despite trailing by 15 points in the second half, the Bucks rallied, with Lillard finishing with 41 points while Bobby Portis contributed 28 and 16 rebounds.

    Milwaukee have now won six straight games as they settle in under new coach Doc Rivers.

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    Despite Antetokounmpo sitting out with left Achilles tendinitis, the Bucks moved to 6-0 following the break behind Lillard and Bobby Portis, who scored 14 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter after Milwaukee trailed by as many as 15 in the third.

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    D'Angelo Russell recorded 26 points and Anthony Davis had 24 along with 12 rebounds as the Lakers improved to 10-4 since Feb. 1. Los Angeles currently stands in ninth place in the West but is now just two games behind the sixth-place Phoenix Suns, with the top six teams guaranteed a first-round play-off series.

    The Thunder, who were coming off a 118-110 win over Phoenix on Sunday, shot just 39.4 per cent and fell a half-game behind Minnesota for the West's top spot after the Timberwolves registered a 119-114 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday.

    All-Star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led Oklahoma City with 20 points but finished 5 of 13 from the field.

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    Davis then took over in the third quarter, as the All-Star forward netted 15 points in the period as Los Angeles stretched its lead to 89-72 entering the fourth. 

    The Lakers' margin grew to as much as 25 points in the final quarter before the Thunder scored the game's final 13 points with the outcome already determined.

    Bulls stun Kings with furious late comeback

    Coby White put up a career-high 37 points and helped ignite a big second-half comeback that carried the Chicago Bulls to a stunning 113-109 road win over the Sacramento Kings.

    Chicago trailed by 22 points late in the third quarter before outscoring the Kings by a 36-18 margin in the fourth to deal Sacramento a third loss in four games. DeMar DeRozan had 19 of his 33 points in the final period, while White tallied 24 of his points in the second half.

    After closing out the third quarter on a 10-2 run to cut their deficit to 91-77, the Bulls continued to chip away in the fourth. They outscored the Kings by an 18-5 count over the final 5 1/2 minutes and held Sacramento without a point over the last 2:20.

    White's layup off a Sacramento turnover tied the contest at 109-109 with 1:32 left, and after the Kings gave the ball away on their next possession as well, White again drove the lane and scored to put Chicago ahead with 47.6 seconds to go.

    The Bulls would miss their next two shots, but got a late offensive rebound before DeRozan was able to seal the victory with two free throws with 3.5 seconds left.

    De'Aaron Fox led the Kings with 20 points and 10 rebounds in his return from a two-game absence, while Domantas Sabonis grabbed 21 rebounds to go along with 18 points before fouling out with 2:57 remaining.

     

     

     

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