NBA

LeBron returns from injury with triple-double in Lakers win, Morant stars in Grizzlies rout

By Sports Desk February 06, 2022

LeBron James returned from a five-game injury-enforced absence with a triple-double as the Los Angeles Lakers won 122-115 over the New York Knicks in overtime.

James had missed five games with swelling in his left knee but returned in style, contributing 29 points with 13 rebounds and 10 assists as they rallied from a 21-point second-quarter deficit.

The Lakers had gone 1-4 in James' absence but the four-time MVP was pivotal with his fourth triple-double of the season.

Anthony Davis was excellent for the Lakers with 28 points and 17 rebounds, while Malik Monk added 29 points too.

RJ Barrett netted a career-high 36 points and Julius Randle added 32 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists for the Knicks.

 

Suns bounce back, Morant stars

The table-topping Phoenix Suns bounced back from their loss to the Atlanta Hawks with a 95-80 win over the Washington Wizards led by Deandre Ayton's 20 points and 16 rebounds. Chris Paul added 14 points and nine assists, while Devin Booker was quiet with only 11 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

Jimmy Butler dropped 27 points shooting 10-of-13 while Bam Adebayo added 20 points and 12 rebounds as the Miami Heat won 104-86 over the Charlotte Hornets.

Ja Morant scored 33 points in three quarters as the Memphis Grizzlies claimed their fifth win in six games, routing the Orlando Magic 135-115.

 

Blazers skid extended by Bucks

The Portland Trail Blazers slumped to their fifth straight defeat, leaving them with a 21-33 record as Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 29 points with nine rebounds and six assists in the Milwaukee Bucks' 137-108 win. Bobby Portis also scored 30 points for the Bucks.

Related items

  • Wimbledon: Nadal survives Berankis battle to overtake Navratilova on slam list Wimbledon: Nadal survives Berankis battle to overtake Navratilova on slam list

    Rafael Nadal fended off a second early test of his Wimbledon mettle as he took four sets to see off Ricardas Berankis on Thursday.

    Just as in his opener against Francisco Cerundolo, Nadal dropped the third set of this match, but he regrouped, as he had two days earlier, to finish it in four.

    A 6-4 6-4 4-6 6-3 victory for the 36-year-old will do the job for round two, but it was laboured at times on Centre Court from Nadal, a day after title favourite Novak Djokovic delivered a masterclass against Thanasi Kokkinakis.

    Australian Open and French Open champion Nadal sealed it with an ace, his 16th consecutive win in a grand slam match, and the lack of polish at this early stage can be forgiven, given his lack of preparation on grass as he underwent treatment on his troublesome foot.

    World number 106 Berankis forced breaks to lead early in the second and third sets, and although the Lithuanian was pegged back quickly enough by Nadal on the first occasion, he held his nerve to take the third set.

    A rain delay came when Nadal was 3-0 clear in the fourth set, and that was only an inconvenience, Nadal wasting little time in finishing the job.

    With Matteo Berrettini and Roberto Bautista Agut both pulling out of Nadal's half of the draw due to COVID-19, and Denis Shapovalov losing on Thursday to Brandon Nakashima after reaching the semi-finals last year, it is hard to see who might deny the Spanish two-time champion a place in the final, unless Nick Kyrgios or Stefanos Tsitsipas fancy the task. Italian Lorenzo Sonego will be the next to try.

    Nadal said: "Every day is a challenge. That's the truth. I didn't play much on grass in the last three years. I need to improve, but I think the fourth set was much better. I think it was a good level of tennis in that set and the serve worked much better at the end of the match and I was able to play more aggressive, while at the beginning there were too many mistakes.

    "It's important for me to accept things are not perfect and just keep working, be humble and accept the challenge."

    Data slam: Going past Martina

    Nadal took his total of singles grand slam wins to 307 with this victory, taking him one ahead of Martina Navratilova, the nine-time Wimbledon champion.

    He moves up to fourth place on the all-time list for singles wins in the majors, behind only Roger Federer, who leads the way, Serena Williams and Djokovic.

    Nadal of course leads the men's slam race with an unmatched 22 slams.

    WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
    Nadal – 35/39
    Berankis – 35/35

    ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
    Nadal – 13/4
    Berankis – 3/3

    BREAK POINTS WON
    Nadal – 4/16
    Berankis – 2/5

  • Kevin Durant requests trade away from Nets Kevin Durant requests trade away from Nets

    Kevin Durant has requested a trade away from the Brooklyn Nets, according to widespread reports.

    With free agency due to start later on Thursday, the day's biggest story is certain to centre around the former MVP.

    Durant is under contract until 2026, but ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski said Nets general manager Sean Marks was working with the player and his business manager Rich Kleiman to find a trade.

    The 12-time All-Star forward is now 33 yet would command a huge trade package.

    Wojnarowski described Durant as "one of the most valuable trade assets ever on the market". He added the Nets had taken calls and would expect "a historic return on players and draft picks".

    The Phoenix Suns and the Miami Heat have been listed among potential destinations.

    Murmurings of discontent around Durant, who joined the Nets from the Golden State Warriors in a 2019 sign-and-trade, had emerged in recent weeks.

    Durant had sought to turn the Nets into a contender when he and close friend Kyrie Irving went to Brooklyn, where they were later joined by James Harden.

    But the 'big three' did not deliver, and Harden was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers last season as Irving spent an extended period on the sideline after refusing a coronavirus vaccine.

    Irving eventually returned to play and has opted in to his contract with the Nets, but Durant now appears determined to force his way out.

    The two-time champion and two-time Finals MVP would likely make any suitors a major threat in the 2022-23 season.

  • Pistons buying out veteran PG Walker Pistons buying out veteran PG Walker

    The Detroit Pistons and Kemba Walker are finalising a contract buyout that will allow the four-time All-Star to enter free agency, ESPN reported on Thursday.

    The move was expected after the rebuilding Pistons acquired Walker from the New York Knicks last week as part of a three-team trade that also netted Detroit rookie big man Jalen Duran, the 13th overall pick of this year’s draft.

    Walker was due to earn nearly $9.2million in the final season of a two-year, $18m contract the New York City native signed with the Knicks last summer.

    It is the second straight year Walker has had his contract bought out after being traded. The 32-year-old point guard was dealt from Boston to Oklahoma City in June 2021, with Walker later agreeing to relinquish $20m of the nearly $74m he was owed on his former deal to become a free agent.

    Walker played in only 37 games during his lone season with the Knicks and averaged a career-low 11.4 points per game while shooting just 40.3 per cent from the field.

    He fell out of coach Tom Thibodeau’s rotation in November and did not play at all after the All-Star break due to chronic knee problems that had hampered him in previous years as well.

    The former University of Connecticut standout has not appeared in more than 56 games in any of the past three seasons, though he was an All-Star as recently as 2019-20 when he averaged 20.4 points and 4.8 assists per game in his first of two seasons with the Celtics.

    New York and Detroit have been active trade partners this offseason, with the Knicks also sending veterans Alec Burks and Nerlens Noel to the Pistons in a separate deal.

    The move cleared nearly $20m of cap space for the Knicks, who are expected to make a strong push for Dallas Mavericks point guard Jalen Brunson in free agency.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.