NBA

Embiid leads red-hot 76ers past Lakers without LeBron, Curry leads Warriors rally

By Sports Desk January 28, 2022

Joel Embiid scored 26 points as the Philadelphia 76ers continued their hot form with a 105-87 win over the Los Angeles Lakers without LeBron James on Thursday.

James missed the game with left knee soreness but Anthony Davis, in his second game back after an MCL sprain, scored a game-high 31 points with 12 rebounds in his absence.

But the 76ers were too good, clinching their 13th win from their past 16 games, to improve to 29-19 and fifth in the Eastern Conference.

Embiid, matched up on Davis, was not at his best but still had 26 points with nine rebounds and seven assists. The 76ers center's haul marked 16 straight games with 25 or more points.

Tobias Harris scored 23 points for Philadelphia who were always in control, while second-season guard Tyrese Maxey contributed 14 points, seven rebounds and 10 assists.

 

Curry and Klay lead Warriors second-half rally

Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combined for 11 three-pointers as the Golden State Warriors clinched their fourth straight win, triumphing 124-115 over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Curry finished with 29 points including six triples, eight rebounds and six assists, while Thompson added 23 points, five rebounds and four assists as the Warriors rallied from a three-point half-time deficit with a 38-20 third quarter to improve to 36-13, with the best home record (23-4) in the NBA.

Former Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins, on the same night he was named an All-Star for the first time, contributed 19 points, five rebounds and four assists.

Karl-Anthony Towns had 31 points, 12 rebounds and six assists and Anthony Edwards added 27 points with six rebounds and six assists.

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    The playoff-chasing Golden State Warriors will have Chris Paul back in the lineup on Tuesday night when they visit a Washington Wizards team that’s mired in an 11-game losing streak.

    Paul has not played since he sustained a fractured left hand on Jan. 5 against the Detroit Pistons and underwent surgery three days later.

    The 38-year-old Paul is averaging 8.9 points, 7.2 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.13 steals in 32 games in his first season with Golden State.

    The Warriors went 12-9 after Paul’s injury and are 29-27 on the season.

    Golden State leads the Utah Jazz by three games for 10th place in the Western Conference and a berth in the NBA Play-In Tournament.

  • Lakers fume at officiating in loss to Suns Lakers fume at officiating in loss to Suns

    LeBron James and Darvin Ham were left frustrated with the officiating after the Los Angeles Lakers went down to the Phoenix Suns.

    The Lakers lost 123-113 in Arizona on Sunday, with Los Angeles awarded just eight free throws in contrast to Phoenix's tally of 19.

    It was a season-low for the Lakers, who averaged 24.7 free throws per game heading into the game.

    Of those eight free throws, none came in the second half, and James was left exasperated.

    "A lot of people, a lot of coaches, a lot of teams are like, 'That's all the Lakers do is get to the free throw line,'" James said.

    "It's like this narrative out there that that's all we do is get to the free throw line. I mean, we have attackers. That's what we do. We have attackers. Yeah, we shoot the ball from the perimeter, but we're not shooting 40 to 50 3s a game. We're not that team. We don't have the luxury of being that team. So, working it into the paint, that's what we're really good at.

    "To have eight free throw attempts is definitely not us. I know, definitely, I got hit a couple of times when I got to the paint tonight that wasn't called. But it is what it is."

    Lakers coach Ham, though, was left reserved.

    "I'm not one to use referees as an excuse," he said.

    "But it's becoming increasingly tough because of the inconsistency. I'm seeing our guys get the same contact on them as we're supposedly committing. And the whistle is not being blown."

    Anthony Davis did not record a single free throw attempt for the first time in a game this season.

    He added: "We live on getting to the line. We attack the basket.

    "Especially how much we struggle from the 3, we're kind of up and down, so we try to live in the paint and get to the line.

    "I'm not sure if it was just the refs missing it or they weren't fouling. I felt I got fouled a couple of times. But that's part of our identity, our DNA, is getting to the line and guys catching rhythms like that and then playing from there."

    While the Suns are sixth in the Western Conference after the win, the Lakers are in ninth, with a 31-28 record.

    In other news on Sunday, the NBA banned five players – including Jimmy Butler – for their involvement in an on-court spat in Friday's meeting between the Miami Heat and the New Orleans Pelicans.

    Butler, Nikola Jovic and Naji Marshall were each suspended for one game without pay, while Jose Alvarado and Thomas Bryant were slapped with three-game bans.

  • 'I didn't even hear it' – Rivers laughs off hostile 76ers reception after big Bucks win 'I didn't even hear it' – Rivers laughs off hostile 76ers reception after big Bucks win

    The Philadelphia 76ers supporters may have jeered Doc Rivers, but the Milwaukee Bucks coach took the hostile reception in his stride as his new team won big on Sunday.

    Rivers was dismissed by the Sixers eight months ago following a disappointing end to a season in which Joel Embiid was named the NBA's MVP.

    Yet Rivers came out smiling after his return to Philadelphia on Sunday, with the Bucks having run out 119-98 victors.

    Giannis Antetokounmpo (30) and Damian Lillard (24) combined for 54 points as the Bucks followed up their win over the Minnesota Timberwolves with a statement victory over a rival in the East.

    And while Rivers received a frosty reception, he was all smiles after the game.

    "I didn't even hear it, to be honest. That means I was back at home," he quipped.

    "It was awesome. Really. I had three good years here, not talking about basketball, just in life. I enjoyed my stay here and made friends for life here.

    "The fans were good, too. There were a couple of hilarious comments. One guy told me that Larry David was looking for me to golf. I thought that was pretty funny."

    Reflecting on his tenure in charge of the Sixers, Rivers added: "I'm happy with it overall, I just wish we could've gone further.

    "I wish we could have had a chance to have Joel healthy in the playoffs.

    "But overall, Joel became an MVP, and we established this team as a championship contender. That wasn't said the year before.

    "You think about it, we had the James Harden trade, the Ben [Simmons] stuff. Some was under my control, some was out of my control, but overall, for me, if you don't win a title, you're never exactly happy. That's why we all do this."

    The Bucks are 5-7 under Rivers, who replaced Adrian Griffin in January. Antetokounmpo, though, is relishing the challenge under his new coach.

    "I love him," Antetokounmpo said. "It's been incredible playing for him. He just explains to me, what he wants from me.

    "You respect him because he's been 25 years in the league. You've got to respect what he's done in the league, won a championship, won a lot of games, but when he comes in the locker room, he keeps it simple."

    The Bucks are third in the East, four wins ahead of the 76ers with a 37-21 record.

    "I thought we were consistent," Lillard said. "We got into the paint, we were willing to make the extra pass to find the open guy and we got quality looks.

    "To play good offense you find quality shots and have a lot of mix. I thought that’s what we did."

    Rivers added: "We had been putting such an emphasis on defense.

    "The last few games we’ve been terrific. When you have Giannis on your team, if you can get stops and get him in transition, Giannis in transition is a problem for everybody."

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