NBA

Giannis dominates in Bucks win over Pacers, 76ers miss top spot chance again

By Sports Desk May 14, 2021

Giannis Antetokounmpo produced a remarkable individual performance to keep the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference top two hunt with a 142-133 win over the Indiana Pacers on Thursday.

Antetokounmpo scored 40 points, with 15 rebounds and six assists as the Bucks closed in on the second-placed Brooklyn Nets (46-24), improving their record to 45-25.

Milwaukee shot at 57 per cent on the night, boosted by the Greek forward whose 40 points came from 18 shots. Antetokounmpo shot 14-from-18 from the field, going at 77.8 per cent.

Antetokounmpo's display was the first since Charles Barkley in 1988 where a player had at least 40 points, 15 rebounds, five assists and shot at higher than 75 per cent.

At the top of the Eastern Conference, the Philadelphia 76ers missed the chance to claim first seeding again, going down 106-94 to the surging Miami Heat.

The 76ers trailed by 19 at the half with Joel Embiid returning from illness, while Jimmy Butler had 16 points by the main break.

Butler finished with 21 points including four-from-four beyond the arc as the Heat claimed their sixth win from their past seven.

 

Blazers blow buzzer beater, Knicks still in top four hunt

The Portland Trail Blazers left the door open for the Los Angeles Lakers to usurp them in the playoffs race after going down on the buzzer 118-117 to the Phoenix Suns.

C.J. McCollum, who had 27 points, had a shot to win the game on the buzzer but missed, meaning the Blazers move to 41-30, marginally ahead of the Lakers on 40-30 and seventh in the West. Damian Lillard had 41 points for Portland.

The New York Knicks kept up their push for a top four spot in the East with a 102-98 win over the San Antonio Spurs, who qualify for the play-in tournament after the Sacramento Kings lost.

Julius Randle had 25 points with nine rebounds and nine assists for the Knicks, while R.J. Barrett scored 19 of his 24 points in the second half.

MVP favourite Nikola Jokic faced off against Rookie of the Year candidate Anthony Edwards as the Denver Nuggets won 114-103 over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Jokic dominated with 31 points and 14 rebounds, while Edwards had 29 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

The Atlanta Hawks made it 10 consecutive home wins with a 116-93 victory over the Orlando Magic led by Clint Capela with 14 points and 14 rebounds.

 

Kings' long wait extends

The Sacramento Kings' 116-110 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies means they are mathematically out of post-season calculations, which means they long wait for playoffs basketball extends. The Kings have not made the playoffs since 2006.

 

Clippers on-song beyond the arc

The Los Angeles Clippers scored an outstanding 21 three-pointers as a team in their 113-90 win over the Charlotte Hornets. They went at 46.7 per cent from range with Reggie Jackson draining five after coming off the bench.

 

Thursday's results

Los Angeles Clippers 113-90 Charlotte Hornets
Milwaukee Bucks 142-133 Indiana Pacers
Miami Heat 106-94 Philadelphia 76ers
New York Knicks 102-98 San Antonio Spurs
Atlanta Hawks 116-93 Orlando Magic
Chicago Bulls 114-102 Toronto Raptors
Denver Nuggets 114-103 Minnesota Timberwolves
Memphis Grizzlies 116-110 Sacramento Kings
Phoenix Suns 118-117 Portland Trail Blazers

 

Magic at 76ers

The Philadelphia 76ers, after back-to-back losses, will look to seal top seeding in the Eastern Conference when they host the lowly Orlando Magic.

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  • 'I feel 40' – Birthday boy Doncic dispatches Raptors 'I feel 40' – Birthday boy Doncic dispatches Raptors

    Luka Doncic quipped he feels like he is 40 years old after he celebrated his 25th birthday in style.

    Doncic became the first player in NBA history to finish with a triple-double on their birthday as he led the Dallas Mavericks to a 136-125 win over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday.

    He finished with 30 points, 16 assists and 11 rebounds for his 11th triple-double of the season.

    Doncic has now had 39 30-point triple-doubles, which sees him surpass LeBron James in the all-time list for that feat.

    When asked if he considered his 25th birthday as a milestone, Doncic joked: "I feel like [I'm] 40, so no."

    Doncic was 11 for 23 from the field and missed 7 of 8 from 3-point range in his 67th career triple-double.

    "Just a normal game, triple-double," Jason Kidd said.

    "He was really good. I guess 25 means he's still going to be really good as he gets older here."

    Kyrie Irving scored 15 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter and P.J. Washington Jr. added 23 points for Dallas, as they bounced back from back-to-back defeats.

    "Kyrie and Luka, they had such a poise in important moments to make the right plays," said Raptors coach Darko Rajakovic after his team saw a three-game winning streak snapped.

    Doncic added: "We just played aggressive on defense, got out on transition, that's it. 

    "My team knows when I'm engaged. Everybody helps everyone to be engaged.

    "I'm having so much fun. Back-to-back is always tough, a great win today, I've got to get some rest now."

  • NBA: James scores 19 of 34 in 4th quarter as Lakers rally to stun Clippers NBA: James scores 19 of 34 in 4th quarter as Lakers rally to stun Clippers

    LeBron James scored 19 of his 34 points in the fourth quarter and the Los Angeles Lakers erased a 21-point deficit in the final 12 minutes as the Los Angeles Lakers rallied for a 116-112 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday.

    James hit five of his season-high seven 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and outscored the Clippers by himself (19-16). He either scored or assisted on 11 of the Lakers’ 13 baskets in the final period.

    The Clippers held a 98-77 lead in the opening minute of the final quarter, but James led a 29-8 run over the next 7:34. Anthony Davis’ free throws tied it at 106 with four minutes left, and Jamesd found Rui Hachimura for a go-ahead 3 moments later.

    Kawhi Leonard missed a 12-footer with five seconds to go and the Clippers down two before James threw a long pass to Cam Reddish for a dunk that punctuated a stunning win for the Lakers.

    Davis finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds, D’Angelo Russell added 18 points and Hachimura had 17.

    Leonard scored 26 points and James Harden added 23 with nine assists for the Clippers, who have lost consecutive games for the first time since Dec. 21 and 23.

     

    Doncic has triple-double on birthday

    Luka Dončić celebrated his 25th birthday with 30 points, 16 assists and 11 rebounds for his 11th triple-double of the season in the Dallas Mavericks’ 136-125 win over the Toronto Raptors.

    Doncic was 11 for 23 from the field and missed 7 of 8 from 3-point range in his 67th career triple-double.

    He is the first player in NBA history to record a 30-point triple-double on his birthday.

    Kyrie Irving scored 15 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter and P.J. Washington Jr. added 23 points for Dallas, which avoided a third straight loss.

    Scottie Barnes had 19 points and 11 rebounds and Immanuel Quickley scored a season-high 28 points as Toronto said goodbye to a season-best three-game winning streak.

    Doncic scored 11 points in the third quarter and added six assists to help the Mavs take a 106-92 lead into the fourth.

     

    Jokic extends triple-double streak in win

    Nikola Jokić notched his fourth straight triple-double in three quarters and Jamal Murray scored 32 points as the Denver Nuggets won their fourth in a row, 117-96 over the Sacramento Kings.

    Jokic had 14 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists for his 19th triple-double this season, two behind Sacramento’s Domantas Sabonis for the league lead.

    Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 16 points and Aaron Gordon added 15 for Denver, which avoided a four-game season sweep to the Kings.

    Keegan Murray had 21 points and Chris Duarte contributed 18 off the bench as Sacramento had a three-game winning streak snapped.

  • Chris Paul adds to 'crazy' Warriors depth in winning return Chris Paul adds to 'crazy' Warriors depth in winning return

    Steve Kerr revelled in the "crazy" luxury of being able to bring Chris Paul and Klay Thompson off the bench as the Golden State Warriors continued their fine form on Tuesday.

    Golden State have hit their stride in February to move back into playoff contention in the West, despite missing veteran point guard Paul.

    The 38-year-old was traded to the Warriors by the Washington Wizards at the start of the season, having previously been moved on by the Phoenix Suns, but had been restricted to 32 games and 11 starts prior to returning against the Wizards.

    Paul made his comeback from the bench following his recovery from surgery on a left hand fracture, and he was joined in the second unit by Klay Thompson.

    Those options in reserve were especially useful to Kerr in this 123-112 win as superstar starter Stephen Curry was held scoreless through the first half.

    Curry finished with 18 points, but he was outshone by Thompson, who had 25, while Paul played a key role in the decisive third quarter in which the Warriors outscored the Wizards 38-17.

    "What a luxury to come off the bench with Chris Paul and Klay Thompson," coach Kerr said. "That's crazy."

    "You've got two Hall of Famers in the backcourt coming off the bench," Thompson added. "That's such a rare feat, so we take pride in that.

    "[Paul] makes my life much easier, much easier. Just his ability to read the game, hit me in stride, on time, on target, he's probably one of the best in history at doing that."

    Kerr continued: "We've been playing pretty well over the last month or so, but we've really been looking forward to getting Chris back.

    "You could see why tonight. He's a plus-17 in 21 minutes, always in control of the game. The way we closed the third quarter was really important, and he was at the helm."

    Paul is not getting carried away just yet but acknowledged that strength in depth and affirmed his commitment to taking on whatever role Kerr asks of him.

    "It's one game, one game," Paul said. "We've still got a lot of work to do as a team, as a unit.

    "We have so much depth, so many different ways that we can play, that it's going to take us a little while to figure it out. But obviously, you want to figure it out and win at the same time.

    "We've got a really good group of guys on this team, and [Kerr is] going to need different things every night.

    "You know one thing about me though: I know who I am and what I'm capable of. You know what I mean? There ain't any question about that. I'll always be ready, and I think he knows that."

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