NBA

Kidd frustrated again as 'no one else showed' to help Doncic

By Sports Desk May 05, 2022

Jason Kidd repeated his plea for the rest of his Dallas Mavericks players to do more to help Luka Doncic after they fell 2-0 behind to the Phoenix Suns in the NBA playoffs.

Game 2 of their Western Conference semi-final was taken away from Dallas by the Suns in the second half on Wednesday, with the hosts scoring 71 points after half-time to eventually run out 129-109 victors at Footprint Center.

A sensational performance from Chris Paul was the catalyst for the number one seeds in the West, with 28 points as well as eight assists and six rebounds.

Paul was more than ably assisted by Devin Booker, who helped himself to 30 points on the night, but the game's top scorer Doncic (35) received less support.

The Slovenian added seven assists and five rebounds, with the next highest Dallas scorer, Reggie Bullock, only managing 16, while first-round star Jalen Brunson could only add nine.

Doncic is averaging 33.5 points per game for his playoff career – the most of all time – but coach Kidd accepts he cannot beat a team as good as the Suns on his own.

"He had a great game, but no one else showed," Kidd said. "We've got to get other guys shooting the ball better.

"We can't win with just him out there scoring 30 a night – not at this time of the year. And we're playing the best team in the league, so we've got to get other guys going.

"We need to do a better job of helping him. [The Suns are] bringing him up into everything. We knew that coming into the series. We knew that in the last series. We did a better job of protecting one another, not just Luka. We've got to get back to protecting one another for Game 3 back at home."

Doncic did not absolve himself of blame, though, adding: "I've just got to play better defense. That's it."

Mavs coach Kidd was also full of praise for Paul and Booker, acknowledging the Suns' gameplan worked to perfection.

"When you look at CP and Book, they took turns," Kidd said. "One took the third quarter, the next one took the fourth quarter, and we had no answers.

"They got the shots that they wanted. CP got to his spots and he made layups and made jump shots. Book made threes. They're really good. They understand the situation. They've seen it all. We've just got to be better."

Related items

  • Embiid aiming to return this season, targets Paris Olympics Embiid aiming to return this season, targets Paris Olympics

    Joel Embiid is aiming to return to action before the end of the NBA season, as he targets making an appearance at the Paris Olympics.

    Embiid, the reigning NBA MVP, underwent surgery on a knee injury in early February.

    The Philadelphia 76ers star was averaging 35.3 points, 11.3 rebounds and 5.7 assists prior to sustaining the injury in a loss to the Golden State Warriors at the end of January.

    While there is no firm timeline on his return, Embiid is confident he will be back for the end of the campaign.

    "That's the plan," Embiid said.

    "Obviously everything has to go right, as far as getting healthy and being as close as I'm supposed to be. But yeah, that's the plan."

    Embiid suggested playing at the Olympics influenced his decision to have surgery.

    "I think when you look at what unfolded and what we saw, there was only one decision, and it was to go the route that I did," he added.

    Embiid looked well in with a shot of retaining the MVP crown, though that now looks unlikely.

    "That's why it was extremely disappointing," Embiid said. "I was on a roll and I felt like I wasn't even close to where I wanted to be, body-wise and basketball-wise, because I wasn't at my best, so I felt like there was still another level that I could go to. It was very disappointing. But I was having fun, playing, getting a lot of wins, dominating.

    "The 70-point game was fun. I never would've thought that I could be in a position to score 70 in a basketball game and having the dominance that I was doing. It was fun, but it's not over. The mindset is 'come back if everything goes well, go from there.'

    "My mindset is playing basketball, playing as much as I can.

    "For two months, I was not at 100 per cent, I was not even close to it. And I just felt the need to give my all to the team and just wanting to win. Because I know I can, you know, I can add that to this basketball team.

    "So there's nothing different I would've done. This was very depressing. But the way I also look at it is that's another way to work on myself, on my body, and just get as healthy as possible."

  • Spurs 'don't want to change' Wembanyama Spurs 'don't want to change' Wembanyama

    The San Antonio Spurs are not looking to change Victor Wembanyama, so says teammate Tre Jones.

    Wembanyama recorded a stat line that had never been seen in an NBA game in the Spurs' 132-118 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday.

    The rookie sensation finished with 28 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists, five blocked shots and five 3-pointers. He is the first player in NBA history with at least 10 boards, five assists, five blocks and five made 3s in a game.

    And Jones says the Spurs are just letting Wembanyama do his own thing.

    "I think just let him be him," Jones said. "We don't want to change that. Look where it's gotten him to this point."

    Spurs coach Gregg Popovich added: "He obviously is not afraid to put himself out there.

    "He will take shots and he is not afraid. He is not worried if he misses it or what the consequences are or anything like that. He likes those moments."

    Wembanyama, meanwhile, channeled the words of the late, great Kobe Bryant.

    "It's a lot [to do with] mentality," he said. "You know Kobe said to win a game, it mostly takes shots, big shots, because they don't call like any fouls.

    "It's not as much the physical battle. Even though in defense it's 90 per cent effort, but offensively it's a lot of mental."

    Wembanyama came out on top in the tussle of the rookies against Chet Holmgren, who finished with 23 points as the Thunder saw a six-game winning run come to an end.

    "It's just another reminder that this is the NBA," Holmgren said.

    "No team is in the NBA for no reason. No player is in the NBA for no reason. Any team can beat another on any given night regardless of record or anything. They came out confident. Part of that was them, part of that was us. We should be better [in] the next one. A lot of guys stepped up and hit big shots. Credit to them for coming ready to play."

  • Curry leads Warriors to victory at New York to extend road winning streak to seven games Curry leads Warriors to victory at New York to extend road winning streak to seven games

    One game after going without a point in the first half, Stephen Curry had nine points before the New York Knicks even scored.

    Curry finished with 31 points and 11 rebounds and the Golden State Warriors rode a fast start for a 110-99 win at Madison Square Garden on Thursday.

    The Warriors scored the game’s first 14 points, as the Knicks missed their first nine shots until Donte DiVincenzo converted a layup with 6:35 left in the opening quarter. By that time Curry already had nine points.

    After failing to score in the first half in Tuesday's win over the Washington Wizards, Curry opened the scoring at MSG with a 27-foot 3-pointer 20 seconds after the opening tip. He finished 8-of-18 from 3-point range.

     

    Jonathan Kuminga had 25 points and Klay Thompson had 16 points off the bench for the Warriors, who pushed their road winning streak to seven games. This is their longest road winning streak since reeling off 11 in a row in the 2018-19 season.

    Overall, Golden State (31-27) has won 12 of 15 games following a 4-10 stretch.

    New York (35-25), meanwhile, wrapped up a 4-8 February after going an NBA-best 14-2 in January.

    Jalen Brunson led the Knicks with 27 points and DiVincenzo added 16, though he missed 15 of his 21 shot attempts.

    As a team, New York shot 36.8 per cent - its worst shooting performance since shooting a season-worst 34.8 per cent in a 117-100 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on November 20.

     

    Wembanyama stuffs stat sheet as Spurs beat Thunder

    Victor Wembanyama recorded a stat line that had never been seen in an NBA game in the San Antonio Spurs' 132-118 win over Oklahoma City, ending the Thunder's six-game winning streak.

    The rookie sensation finished with 28 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists, five blocked shots and five 3-pointers.

    He is the first player in NBA history with at least 10 boards, five assists, five blocks and five made 3s in a game.

    Wembanyama won the battle of first-year big men, coming up with a huge block of Chet Holmgren in the final minutes.

     

    Although the Spurs (12-48) have the worst record in the Western Conference, they beat a Thunder team that was hoping to move into a tie with the Timberwolves atop the conference.

    Oklahoma City (41-18) had won its last six games by an average of 20.2 points, but shot just 29.0 per cent from 3-point range (9 for 31).

    Shai Gilgeous-Alexander paced the Thunder with 31 points, while Jalen Williams scored 26 and Holmgren added 23.

    Devin Vassell had 28 points and nine assists for the Spurs, who were playing in San Antonio for the first time since February 3 following a 1-8 road swing.

     

    Nuggets hold on to beat Heat in NBA Finals rematch

    Meeting for the first time since Denver captured the franchise's first NBA title last June, the Nuggets held on for a 103-97 win over the Miami Heat.

    The Nuggets looked like they were going to win easily, leading by 16 in the fourth quarter, but the Heat pulled within 99-97 on Jimmy Butler's floating bank shot with 11 seconds to play.

    The Heat would get no closer, however, as Denver (41-19) improved to 5-0 since the All-Star break and moved within 1 1/2 games of the Timberwolves for the best record in the West.

     

    Michael Porter Jr. had 30 points and 11 rebounds, while Nikola Jokic had 18 points, 11 boards and seven assists.

    Denver overcame an injury to Jamal Murray, who sprained his right ankle when he landed on Aaron Gordon's leg just before half-time.

    The Heat (33-26) arrived in Denver riding a five-game winning streak, in which they were averaging 113.0 points, but they had just 70 points through three quarters against the Nuggets.

    Bam Adebayo led Miami with 22 points and eight rebounds, while Butler had 21 points and seven boards.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.