NBA

Davis enjoys winning return to New Orleans as Lakers stay hot, Walker scores 39

By Sports Desk November 28, 2019

Anthony Davis came back to haunt his former team as the streaking Los Angeles Lakers prevailed 114-110 over the New Orleans Pelicans.

Back in New Orleans for the first time since his blockbuster trade to the Lakers ahead of the 2019-20 NBA campaign, Davis posted a season-high 41 points on Wednesday.

Davis – who was selected by the Pelicans with pick one in the 2012 Draft – overcame an elbow problem in the final quarter to lead the Lakers (16-2) to their ninth successive win.

LeBron James finished with 29 points and 11 assists, while Jrue Holiday (29 points, 12 assists) top scored for the Pelicans (6-12).

Kemba Walker returned from a neck sprain to help the Boston Celtics top the Brooklyn Nets 121-110.

In Walker's first game back after leaving last week's loss to the Denver Nuggets with his neck in a brace, Walker posted a season-high 39 points in Boston.

"I've been over it. I could have played last game, honestly," Walker said. "If I'm on the court, I'm on the court. I wasn't thinking about anything [but] wanting to win."

The Nets were without former Celtics guard Kyrie Irving for the seventh consecutive game due to shoulder soreness.

 

Embiid bounces back from horror show

After finishing scoreless against the Toronto Raptors last time out, Joel Embiid put up 33 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Philadelphia 76ers past the Sacramento Kings 97-91. The result preserved Philadelphia's perfect home record at 8-0.

Giannis Antetokounmpo posted his 18th consecutive double-double as the Milwaukee Bucks extended their winning streak to nine games with a 111-102 victory over the Atlanta Hawks. The reigning MVP posted 30 points and 10 rebounds.

James Harden and Russell Westbrook combined for 61 points in the Houston Rockets' 117-108 win against the Miami Heat. Harden scored 34 and Westbrook contributed 27 as the Rockets snapped a three-game skid.

It was a franchise-record night for the Toronto Raptors. The defending champions eased past the lowly New York Knicks 126-98 for their eighth straight home win to begin the season.

 

Oh no for O'Neale

It was a tough 27 minutes for Royce O'Neale. The 26-year-old did not score a point, going 0 for four from the floor and 0 of three from beyond the arc. His Utah Jazz lost 121-102 to the Indiana Pacers.

Coby White managed just two points in the Chicago Bulls' 104-90 defeat to the Golden State Warriors. White was 0 of seven from the field, while he missed all four of his three-point attempts.

 

Harrell ensures Clippers stay hot

Montrezl Harrell's tip-in with 2.3 seconds remaining gave the Los Angeles Clippers a 121-119 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies and a seventh straight win.

Wednesday's results

Orlando Magic 116-104 Cleveland Cavaliers
Indiana Pacers 121-102 Utah Jazz
Boston Celtics 121-110 Brooklyn Nets
Philadelphia 76ers 97-91 Sacramento Kings
Charlotte Hornets 102-101 Detroit Pistons
Toronto Raptors 126-98 New York Knicks
Milwaukee Bucks 111-102 Atlanta Hawks
Los Angeles Clippers 121-119 Memphis Grizzlies
Houston Rockets 117-108 Miami Heat
Portland Trail Blazers 136-119 Oklahoma City Thunder
Los Angeles Lakers 114-110 New Orleans Pelicans
Golden State Warriors 104-90 Chicago Bulls
Washington Wizards 140-132 Phoenix Suns
Minnesota Timberwolves 113-101 San Antonio Spurs

 

Clippers at Spurs

After the Thanksgiving break, the in-form Clippers will head to San Antonio to face the Spurs on Friday. It will be another Spurs reunion for Leonard, who left Gregg Popovich's team for the Raptors ahead of the 2018-19 season before landing in Los Angeles. San Antonio have only won one of their past 11 games.

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    Kobe Bryant was a man whose influence reached far further than the basketball court, though his extraordinary numbers in the NBA are what made him such a legendary figure.

    The Los Angeles Lakers hero was tragically killed in a helicopter crash at the age of 41 on this day in 2020.

    It was an event which led to an outpouring of tributes for one of the all-time greats.

    "I don't think any of us will ever forget that day," Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr said, reflecting on when his team were starting a practice as the tragic news broke.

    "Everything stopped. The music stopped. The players stopped. Nobody said a word.

    "A lot of guys dropped to the floor and started crying. Nothing happened for 10 minutes. We all just sat there in silence. It was one of the worst moments of all our lives."

    Bryant's list of achievements over a 20-year career with the Lakers are the stuff of legend and his numbers stack up against the best to have played the game.

    Here we take a look at Bryant's scarcely believable statistics with the help of Stats Perform data.

     

    5 - Bryant won the NBA championship five times with the Lakers, in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009 and 2010.

    2 - He was twice named MVP in the NBA Finals, in 2009 and 2010.

    18 - Bryant was a fixture in the NBA All-Star team, named to that side in 1998 and then each year from 2000 to 2016, the year that he retired. Those 18 appearances put him second on the all-time list, with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar playing in 19 of the games.

    4 - Bryant was four times the NBA All-Star Game MVP, in 2002, 2007, 2009 and 2011.

    1 - He received his lone NBA MVP award for the 2007-08 season, during which he became the youngest player to reach 20,000 career points, at the age of 29 years and 122 days.

    33,643 - He sits fourth on the NBA all-time list of points-scorers with 33,643 from 1,346 games. Only Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone and LeBron James are ahead of him on the list.

    35.4 - In the 2005-06 season, Bryant recorded his highest points-per-game average for a single campaign, with 35.4. He led the NBA in scoring in that season and in 2006-07.

    81 - On January 22, 2006, Bryant scored 81 points in a 122-104 victory over the Toronto Raptors at Staples Center. That is the second highest individual score in an NBA game, behind Wilt Chamberlain's 100 for the Philadelphia Warriors against the New York Knicks in 1962.

    60  - In his final game, on April 13, 2016, Bryant scored 60 points for the Lakers in a 101-96 win over the Utah Jazz.

    15 - Bryant received All-NBA honours in 15 seasons, being named in the first team on 11 occasions. Only LeBron, with 13 appearances in the first team, beats Bryant's total.

    9 - He was named nine times to the NBA All-Defense first team, matching the all-time high. Kevin Garnett, Michael Jordan and Gary Payton achieved the same total.

    17 - Bryant was an NBA player of the month 17 times, and 32 times the player of the week.

    2 - Bryant's success was not limited to NBA action either. He won Olympic gold medals with the United States in 2008 and 2012.

    1 - He won an Oscar too, after his playing career ended, landing the Best Animated Short Film prize at the 2018 Academy Awards for Dear Basketball.

  • Kobe Bryant: A shooting record and a prolific finish - the Lakers great's final NBA game Kobe Bryant: A shooting record and a prolific finish - the Lakers great's final NBA game

    It was something only Kobe Bryant could have done.

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    After Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea's bizarre rendition of the United States' national anthem, the 18,997 fans inside Staples Center were treated to something far more familiar.

    Bryant racked up 60 points against the Jazz, which was the most scored by a player in a single game in the NBA that season. However, it was the first time he had gone past 50 since 2009, when he poured in 61 against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

    Bryant was 6-of-21 from three-point range and had plenty of joy in the paint, where he accumulated 22 points. He scored a total of 16 unassisted points, with his final seven baskets coming via his own work.

    SHOOT YOUR SHOT

    If you don't shoot you don't score, and Bryant did his utmost to get points on the board. His 50 field goal attempts eclipsed the record of 49 set by the great Michael Jordan against the Orlando Magic in 1993. The 2008 MVP took 15 more shots than the rest of his team-mates combined.

    Bryant nailed 18 of 40 shots with a defender within 3.5 feet against the Jazz and despite his record-breaking number of attempts he still took care of the ball, committing just two turnovers.

    SLOW START, STRONG FINISH

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    Kobe Bryant forged a legacy in the NBA that will forever stand the test of time.

    A year has passed since the Los Angeles Lakers legend and 13-year-old daughter Gianna were among those to tragically lose their lives in a helicopter crash.

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    65 points - March 16, 2007 v Portland Trail Blazers

    Against the Trail Blazers at Staples Center, Bryant came close to reaching the career-high 81 points he had recorded just over a year earlier. The superstar guard lit up the Blazers with 65 points as the Lakers won 116-111. Bryant shot 23-of-39, including 11-of-12 from the free throw line, while he also made eight three-pointers.

    Nate McMillan coached Portland that day and after Bryant's passing, he told reporters: "I've seen it first-hand. He lit us up and I remember, he was shooting threes and just on fire, and we had him in a trap, deep corner, he had nowhere to go, should have passed the ball. He's facing his bench and he just turns and shoots it and it goes in. He really became like Michael [Jordan], in the sense that when you watched him play, could he do it again? Could he create that magic again in the fourth quarter? And he did."

    61 points - February 2, 2009 v New York Knicks

    Madison Square Garden hosted one of Bryant's greatest performances almost 12 years ago. At the world-famous arena in New York, 'the Black Mamba' posted 61 points - a venue record for a visiting player - against the Knicks, who lost 126-117 to the Lakers. On 19-of-31 shooting, Bryant finished with three assists and one block. He scored 34 points in the first half alone en route to the record, which was matched by Houston Rockets star James Harden in 2019.

    "Tonight was one of the nights he kind of showed why he's going to go down in history," Lakers team-mate Lamar Odom said after the game.

    62 points - December 20, 2005 v Dallas Mavericks

    Three quarters were all that Kobe needed to embarrass the Mavericks. Bryant outscored Dallas 62-61 at the end of the third quarter in Los Angeles as the Lakers eased to a 112-90 victory. The Mavericks were one of the best teams that season, going on to reach the NBA Finals before succumbing to the Miami Heat. However, the Mavericks were schooled by the unstoppable Bryant, who shot 18-of-31 from the field and 22-of-25 from the free-throw line. He sat out the entire fourth quarter.

    "It was just one of those nights," Bryant told reporters as he reflected on the game in 2016. "Yes [I could have scored 80 points that night]. It sounds funny to say, but yes, I could have."

    60 points - April 13, 2016 v Utah Jazz 

    Bryant said farewell to basketball in the only way he knew how, with an exclamation mark. It was a true Hollywood goodbye as Bryant capped an illustrious career by scoring 60 final-game points in a 101-96 victory over the Utah Jazz at Staples Center. Bryant drained 23 points in the fourth quarter, posting his first 50-point game since February 2009.

    "It's hard to believe it happened this way," Bryant, who played 42 minutes and attempted a career-high 50 shots, said. "I'm still shocked about it… The perfect ending would have been a championship. But tonight was [me] trying to go out, play hard and try to put on a show as much as I possibly could. It felt good to be able to do that one last time."

    81 points - January 22, 2006 v Toronto Raptors

    The highlight of a stellar career and the night Bryant threatened to surpass Wilt Chamberlain. Kobe played 1,346 NBA games but he was well and truly in the zone against the Raptors, scoring 81 points - just 19 short of Chamberlain's legendary 100-point outing in 1962. Bryant produced 42 minutes of pure brilliance to lead the Lakers past the Raptors 122-104. It was a display of efficiency as Bryant's outburst featured a 60.9 shooting percentage from the field and 53.8 per cent from beyond the arc.

    "Not even in my dreams," Bryant said. "That was something that just happened. It's tough to explain. It's just one of those things."

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