NBA

Embiid triple-double as 76ers win ahead of Harden debut, Klay scores season-high in Warriors win over Lakers

By Sports Desk February 12, 2022

The Philadelphia 76ers made a statement as Joel Embiid piled on a 40-point triple-double as they won 103-93 over the Cleveland Cavaliers without new acquisition James Harden on Saturday.

Embiid scored 40 points with 14 rebounds and 10 assists for the Sixers, who improve to 34-22. It was only Embiid's fourth career triple-double.

The Cameroonian center's points haul included a highlight-reel dunk, a one-handed throw-down over Jarrett Allen late in the first half.

Embiid also made four of five three-pointers, going at 50 per cent from the field, while he added three steals in an outstanding game as they wait on Harden to be cleared medically to debut.

 

Klay hits season-high

Klay Thompson scored a season-high 33 points, marking a major milestone in his recovery from long-term injury, as the Golden State Warriors won 117-115 over the Los Angeles Lakers. Thompson shot five-of-nine from beyond the arc, with Stephen Curry (24 points, five rebounds, eight assists) taking a backseat. LeBron James had 26 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists for the Lakers.

The Chicago Bulls, sitting second in the Eastern Conference, overcame a sluggish start as DeMar DeRozan scored 38 points with six rebounds and five assists, while Nikola Vucevic added 31 points and 15 rebounds in a 106-101 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Luka Doncic scored 45 points with 15 rebounds and eight rebounds in a losing cause as the Dallas Mavericks went down 99-97 to the Los Angeles Clippers, while the table-topping Phoenix Suns won their fourth straight with a 132-105 win over the Orlando Magic led by Devin Booker's 26 points and Chris Paul's 15 assists.

 

Nets slump to 11th straight loss

Kyrie Irving led a late Brooklyn Nets charge that fell short as they went down 115-111 to the Miami Heat. Irving scored 29 points, including 20 in the final quarter, with five rebounds and five assists as the Nets slumped to their 11th straight defeat. Bam Adebayo had 19 points and 14 rebounds for the Heat who have won five in a row.

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  • Heat anticipating 'dog fight' with 76ers – Martin Heat anticipating 'dog fight' with 76ers – Martin

    The Miami Heat are anticipating a "dog fight" in their play-in matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers, according to forward Caleb Martin.

    The 8th-seeded Heat face the 7th-seeded Sixers - who have listed Joel Embiid as questionable - at Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday.

    Defeat for the Heat would see them in a win-or-go-home contest, but victory would see them open the playoffs against the New York Knicks.

    Speaking ahead of the showdown with the Sixers, Martin is quoted by the Miami Herald as saying: "Everybody knows what's at stake going into that building, including them.

    "We just expect a dog fight. We went through a lot of difficult games this year, over the last couple years, to get us prepared for these types of moments.

    "So we'll definitely come in with the right mentality."

    An injury-ravaged Heat ended the regular season with a record of 46-36, including a run of 7-3 across their final 10 games.

    The Heat hope to have Duncan Robinson back after a four-game absence through a back injury, but Terry Rozier has been ruled out.

    Miami and Philadelphia split the season series, and Heat center Bam Adebayo sees no reason why his side cannot come out on top this time around.

    "We've been in a lot of big games before," he said. "We've all experienced it. We've been to the Finals. We understand what's at stake."

  • Warriors coach Kerr hoping for repeat showing from 'sublime' Curry Warriors coach Kerr hoping for repeat showing from 'sublime' Curry

    Steve Kerr is hoping for more of the same from "sublime" Steph Curry when the Golden State Warriors face the Sacramento Kings in the play-ins.

    Curry produced a career-high 50 points to guide the Warriors to a Game 7 victory in Sacramento in the sides' most recent win-or-bust showdown.

    The two-time MVP became the first player in playoff history to score 20 points or more from behind the arc and in the paint in the same game.

    Asked about that performance on the eve of Tuesday's do-or-die matchup with Sacramento at Golden 1 Center, Kerr told reporters: "He's one of the great clutch players in the history of the league, we know that.

    "That performance did not surprise me because he's 'that guy'. What I remember about that game is that we extended a lead at the end of the third, I think we went into the fourth up by 12 or something and so we had timeouts saved up.

    "And the conversation you're referring to I think I was telling him we can take a timeout anytime you want just to get a couple of minutes of rest. And we were able to control that fourth quarter, but he was so sublime."

    Curry leads the NBA standings across the regular season for average 3-point field goals made (4.8) and is ninth overall in terms of average points per game (26.4).

    If the Warriors are to stay on course for the playoffs, the four-time NBA champion will likely have a major part to play.

    "I think he led the league in player efficiency this year and clutch minutes," Kerr added of what to expect from Curry. 

    "We've seen him win championships, win Finals MVP. I mean Steph Curry is Steph Curry."

  • Griffin announces retirement after 14-year NBA career Griffin announces retirement after 14-year NBA career

    Blake Griffin has dunked in an NBA game for the last time.

    The six-time All-Star announced his retirement on social media on Tuesday after a 14-year pro career.

    The first overall pick of the 2009 NBA draft by the Los Angeles Clippers, Griffin missed the entire 2009-10 season with a broken patella in his left knee sustained in the preseason.

    He made an immediate impact the following year, however, winning the 2010-11 Rookie of the Year Award, the 2011 Slam Dunk Contest and was named to the first of five consecutive All-Star teams while playing for the Clippers.

    A three-time All-NBA Second Team selection and a two-time All-NBA Third Team pick, Griffin made his final All-Star Game appearance in 2019, with the Detroit Pistons.

    The 35-year-old spent the 2023-24 season out of basketball as a free agent.

     

    Griffin's best season came in 2013-14, when he finished third in MVP voting with averages of 24.1 points per game, 9.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists to help the Clippers capture the Pacific Division title.

    In his final NBA season, Griffin averaged career lows of 4.1 points and 3.8 rebounds in 41 games for the Boston Celtics in 2022-23.

    Though injuries slowed him in recent seasons, Griffin, who also played for the Brooklyn Nets, still averaged 19.0 points per game and 8.0 rebounds in 765 career games.

    One of basketball's top dunkers, Griffin may be best remembered for winning the Slam Dunk Contest by dunking the ball after jumping over a parked car on the floor at his home-court in Los Angeles.

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