NBA

Harden scores 59 as Rockets win 159-158, Curry breaks hand in Warriors loss

By Sports Desk October 31, 2019

James Harden almost scored 60 points as the Houston Rockets won a high-scoring thriller against the Washington Wizards, while the Golden State Warriors' season went from bad to worse after Stephen Curry broke his hand.

Harden posted 59 points to lead the Rockets to a stunning 159-158 victory over the Wizards in NBA action on Wednesday.

MVP in 2017-18, Harden was 18-of-32 shooting while going 17 of 18 from the free-throw line as the Rockets registered a franchise-record score.

Rockets team-mate Russell Westbrook had another triple-double, scoring 17 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.

Wizards star Bradley Beal had 46 points of his own on 14-of-20 shooting, including seven of 12 from beyond the three-point line.

Curry, meanwhile, suffered a broken left hand in Golden State's 121-110 loss to the Phoenix Suns midweek.

The Warriors star landed heavily on his wrist in the third quarter and did not return as Golden State lost for the first time in four games.

It is another huge blow for the Warriors, who are already without injured All-Star Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant – who left for the Brooklyn Nets.

As for the Los Angeles Clippers, they lost 110-96 to the Utah Jazz after resting superstar Kawhi Leonard.

 

Siakam soars as Raptors roar

Pascal Siakam recorded 30 points for defending champions the Toronto Raptors, who topped the Detroit Pistons 125-113. Andre Drummond had 21 points and 22 rebounds in a losing effort.

Tristan Thompson posted 23 points and 10 rebounds in the Cleveland Cavaliers' 117-111 win over the Chicago Bulls.

Nikola Vucevic had 21 points and 13 rebounds as the Orlando Magic were 95-83 winners against the New York Knicks.

Kemba Walker put up 32 points, six rebounds and six assists as the Boston Celtics overcame a 19-point deficit to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 116-105.

 

Wiggins highlights Timberwolves' woes

Andrew Wiggins had decent offensive numbers with 19 points, but the Minnesota Timberwolves were minus-27 with him on the floor in a 117-95 loss to the unbeaten Philadelphia 76ers.

 

Sabonis sizzles

Domantas Sabonis had 29 points and a nifty move to the basket in the Indiana Pacers' 118-108 win over the Nets.

 

Wednesday's results

Philadelphia 76ers 117-95 Minnesota Timberwolves
Cleveland Cavaliers 117-111 Chicago Bulls
Orlando Magic 95-83 New York Knicks
Toronto Raptors 125-113 Detroit Pistons
Boston Celtics 116-105 Milwaukee Bucks
Indiana Pacers 118-108 Brooklyn Nets
Portland Trail Blazers 102-99 Oklahoma City Thunder
Houston Rockets 159-158 Washington Wizards
Utah Jazz 110-96 Los Angeles Clippers
Charlotte Hornets 118-111 Sacramento Kings
Phoenix Suns 121-110 Golden State Warriors

 

Nuggets at Pelicans

The New Orleans Pelicans are still trying to get their first win of the season and they welcome a talented and deep Denver Nuggets team for the late game on Thursday.

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    Nikola Jokic has become a more aggressive scorer because he was beaten with a pillowcase full of soda cans by Mike Malone, the Denver Nuggets coach joked.

    Nuggets center Jokic had 27 points, 12 rebounds and six assists in three quarters as Denver cruised to a 119-101 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder at Pepsi Center on Tuesday.

    The 25-year-old has had at least a double-double in each of his 14 games this season and is averaging a triple-double of 25.1 points, 11.4 rebounds and 10 assists – all of which represent career highs.

    Jokic's best scoring season was 2018-19 when he averaged 20.1 points per game, and Malone gave a light-hearted response when asked what has motivated the Serbian to become more prolific.

    He replied: "I locked him in my office one day and I beat him with a pillowcase full of soda cans and I said: 'You've got to score more!'"

    In a far more serious tone, Malone continued: "You know how he is, he's a great player, he's playing at an MVP level. You go back to tonight, 27, 12 and six, only one turnover.

    "Early on they were playing him one-on-one, and sometimes I get frustrated because I don't think we give him the ball enough, especially when he's being guarded one-on-one.

    "Nikola has seen every possible double-team, and so have we as a team. We space the floor correctly and he is so willing to find the open man, and we had great possessions against the double-team.

    "He's always going to take what the defense gives him but he is being more aggressive, which is what we need from him."

    The Nuggets are 10-2 against the Thunder since 2017-18, their best record against any Western Conference opponent in that span.

    Denver's latest victory saw them improve to 7-7 on the season, but they are yet to hold a winning record this season after never being .500 or worse after their first game in the previous campaign.

  • Zion needs to 'get in shape' to reach potential, warns Karl Malone Zion needs to 'get in shape' to reach potential, warns Karl Malone

    Zion Williamson needs to "get in shape" if he is to fulfil his potential in the NBA, according to Hall of Famer Karl Malone.

    New Orleans selected Williamson with the first overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft but a meniscus tear in preseason and a season shortened by the coronavirus pandemic meant he played just 24 games in his rookie campaign.

    The Duke product is up to 36 games – still less than half the standard season – but former power forward Malone, a two-time MVP who had All-NBA First Team honours on 11 occasions, thinks he need to improve his physique if he is to maximise his abilities.

    Williamson is listed at six foot, seven inches and 284 pounds, with Malone pointing to Glen 'Big Baby' Davis as an example of someone who did not live up to their billing due to their size – Davis was 6ft 9in and played at 289 pounds.

    "I love Zion Williamson. Zion needs to get into shape. If he doesn't get in shape, we might not ever know his full potential," Malone said on The Players' Tribune's Knuckleheads podcast.

    "There's a young man that played at LSU, 'Big Baby' Davis. Big Baby made a comment about eight months ago, he did an ESPN show … he came on that show and he said, 'Look guys, I'm about to get into trouble now with what I'm about to say. I know everybody loves Zion and I love him too. But Zion has the same body type that I had.'

    "He was talking about himself. And he said if he doesn't get into shape, we'll never know his full potential. And he did get heat from that."

    Williamson had 32 points with five rebounds and three assists as the Pelicans suffered a 118-102 defeat to the Utah Jazz on Tuesday, New Orleans losing for the sixth time in seven games to slip to 5-8 for the season.

    This season the 20-year-old is averaging 23.4 points and 8.0 rebounds in 32.6 minutes per game. That ranks him 44th in minutes per game, with his usage percentage of 29.1 enough for 39th in the league.

    However, he leads in the league in contested three-points shots per game at 5.9.

    Malone added: "I'm still waiting on him to play the whole damn season… and he needs to be averaging 40 minutes per game. Look here, you're a 21, 22-year-old kid. Your a** shouldn't get tired."

  • Nuggets star Jokic with another double-double, Jazz win sixth straight Nuggets star Jokic with another double-double, Jazz win sixth straight

    Nikola Jokic enhanced his MVP credentials with another double-double in the NBA as the Denver Nuggets eased past the Oklahoma City Thunder 119-101.

    Two-time All-Star Jokic led the Nuggets with a game-high 27 points, 12 rebounds and six assists in just three quarters on Tuesday.

    Jokic – averaging a triple-double in 2020-21 – has posted a double-double in every game he has played for the Nuggets this season, a league-high 14.

    The Nuggets outscored the Thunder 66-43 in the second and third quarters to win for the second time in three games, with team-mate Paul Millsap also putting up a double-double of 13 points and 12 rebounds.

    Luguentz Dort had 20 points on eight-of-11 shooting for the visiting Thunder in Denver.

    The Utah Jazz, meanwhile, stayed hot with a 118-102 victory against the New Orleans Pelicans.

    Donovan Mitchell scored 28 points to go with seven rebounds and four assists to lead the Jazz to their sixth successive win.

    Rudy Gobert (13 points and 18 rebounds) and Jordan Clarkson (18 points) also made contributions for the in-form Jazz.

    Zion Williamson's game-high 32 points were not enough for the Pelicans, who have dropped six of their past seven games.

     

    Nets at Cavaliers

    James Harden, Kevin Durant and the star-studded Brooklyn Nets (9-6) will look to stay hot when they visit the Cleveland Cavaliers (6-7) on Wednesday.

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