NBA

Embiid extends scoring streak in 76ers win, Pacers debutants defeated

By Sports Desk February 11, 2022

Joel Embiid extended his scoring run as the Philadelphia 76ers won their first game since trading for James Harden on Friday.

The 76ers have been busy in trade action this week, finally moving on Ben Simmons to the Brooklyn Nets and receiving Harden in exchange, but focus returned to the court against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Former MVP Harden is yet to make his 76ers bow, but Embiid – perhaps the best performer of this NBA season – continued to perform without him.

The Cameroonian center had 25 points, 19 rebounds and five blocks in the 76ers' 100-87 win, which also saw Tyrese Maxey score 24.

This was Embiid's 22nd straight game with 25 or more points in a sequence only three players – Kevin Durant (twice), new 76er Harden and former 76er Allen Iverson – have topped this century.

Embiid, who shows no sign of slowing, had already secured the best streak by a foreign-born player of the past 50 years when Giannis Antetokounmpo's 20-game run ended against the Phoenix Suns on Thursday.

Pacers new boys beaten

The 76ers next play the Cleveland Cavaliers, who will be on a high after a dramatic late show against the new-look Indiana Pacers.

The Pacers, fired by debutants Tyrese Haliburton (23 points) and Buddy Hield (16 points, nine rebounds, eight assists), did not trail at any point until late in the fourth quarter at home to the Cavs.

But Rajon Rondo's three-pointer swung momentum in the Cavs' favour, and their own recent signing Caris LeVert had a key role late on as he finished with 22 points in a 120-113 win.

More debutants deliver

Haliburton and Hield were not alone in making an instant impression.

Montrezl Harrell had 15 points as the Charlotte Hornets routed the Detroit Pistons 141-119, also boosted by 31 from LaMelo Ball and a triple-double for Terry Rozier. Meanwhile, Derrick White's 15 from the bench helped the Boston Celtics see off the Denver Nuggets despite Nikola Jokic's triple-double.

It was not all about those who have been on the move this week, though, as Jokic showed.

Dejounte Murray had a 32-point triple in the San Antonio Spurs' defeat of the Atlanta Hawks, while DeMar DeRozan's remarkable season continued with his fifth straight 30-point game.

DeRozan reached 35 as a blistering fourth quarter took the Chicago Bulls past the Minnesota Timberwolves 134-122.

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    Arne Slot appears to be at the front of the queue to replace Jurgen Klopp as Liverpool manager.

    Klopp confirmed in January that he would be leaving the Reds at the end of the season.

    Xabi Alonso, who has led Bayer Leverkusen to their first Bundesliga title, was swiftly established as a leading candidate to take the helm at Anfield, where he starred as a player for the Reds between 2004 and 2009.

    The 42-year-old, however, is staying put in Germany, and Liverpool's search for Klopp's successor has taken them to Feyenoord's door.

    Slot has been previously linked to jobs in the Premier League. Leeds United wanted to appoint him last season before their relegation to the Championship, while he was targeted by Tottenham before they appointed Ange Postecoglou.

    The Dutchman intimated when linked with Spurs: "A normal next step would be to go abroad and I've always said that the best league in the world is the Premier League."

    Ideally, Liverpool will be aiming for a coach who can come close to replicating Klopp's style of play, and in particular has a flair for working with and developing young players.

    Slot has enjoyed fantastic success in Rotterdam. He became Feyenoord head coach in December 2022, after leaving AZ, and went on to win the Eredivisie title in 2022-23, having reached the Europa League final in the previous season.

    The 45-year-old has a 64.4 per cent win record from 146 games in charge, winning 94, drawing 29 and losing just 23.

    His Feyenoord team have scored 329 goals, an average of 2.2 per match, conceding 147 in return. Slot's points per game is a hugely impressive 2.13.

    Feyenoord are, though, set to relinquish their Eredivisie crown, as they trail leaders PSV by nine points. They have, however, won the KNVB Cup this term. 

    As there is no break clause in the Dutchman's contract, it has been reported that a compensation fee in the region of €10million (£8.5m) could prise him away from Feyenoord.

    Sporting CP boss Ruben Amorim is another coach who has been heavily linked with the Liverpool job, albeit he is reportedly in talks with West Ham.

  • Clippers feel good about Leonard return despite loss to Mavericks Clippers feel good about Leonard return despite loss to Mavericks

    The return of Kawhi Leonard was enough to ensure there was positivity from the Los Angeles Clippers despite their loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday.

    Luka Doncic had 32 points, nine assists and six rebounds and the Mavs secured a 96-93 win to even their Western Conference first-round playoff series at a game apiece.

    Kyrie Irving added 23 points and PJ Washington had 18 for the Mavericks, who take the series back to Dallas for Game 3 on Friday.

    Leonard had 15 points and seven rebounds in 35 minutes in his first game since March 31. He had not played or engaged in any contact practices during that stretch because of inflammation in his surgically repaired knee.

    He shot 7-of-17 but missed all five of his 3-point attempts as the Clippers fell short, but his return to action still came as a significant boost.

    "Kawhi is one of the best in the world," said Paul George, per ESPN. 

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  • Haliburton says younger brother was racially abused at Game 1 of Pacers-Bucks series Haliburton says younger brother was racially abused at Game 1 of Pacers-Bucks series

    Tyrese Haliburton says a fan directed a racial slur at his younger brother while he was in attendance for Game 1 of the Indiana Pacers' playoff series with the Milwaukee Bucks at Fiserv Forum.

    The Pacers guard made the claim during his post-game news conference after Indiana returned to Milwaukee for Game 2 on Tuesday, levelling up the series with a 125-108 win.

    Haliburton, who was born in Wisconsin, has made his first two playoff appearances in his home state, with the Pacers dropping the first contest by a 109-94 scoreline on Sunday.

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    He then added: "The team did a good job of handling this environment. The conversation… it's friendly during the regular season because I'm the hometown kid, but it's a little different when you're visiting in this environment."

    The Bucks were asked about the incident after Tuesday's game, with a team spokesperson saying the accused individual denied the accusation. 

    "An arena guest services representative reported that during Sunday's game a few guests were not sitting in their correct seats," a Bucks spokesperson said.

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    Pascal Siakam was the star of Game 2 as his 37-point haul helped the Pacers overcome another fast start from Bucks guard Damian Lillard, who had 26 first-half points in the absence of two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.

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