NBA

Jokic double-double not enough for Nuggets, Spurs sink Heat

By Sports Desk January 20, 2020

Nikola Jokic's double-double proved in vain as the streaking Indiana Pacers pulled off a 115-107 heist against the Denver Nuggets in the NBA.

The Pacers outscored the Nuggets by 15 points in the fourth quarter to snatch the eight-point victory on Sunday, their fifth in succession.

Jokic had a game-high 30 points and 10 rebounds for Denver (29-13), while Domantas Sabonis led Indiana (28-15) with 22 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists – his first career triple-double.

TJ Warren and Malcolm Brogdon also chipped in with 22 points apiece for the Pacers, while Doug McDermott added 24 in 21 minutes.

LaMarcus Aldridge (21) and DeMar DeRozan (20) combined for 41 points to help the San Antonio Spurs to a 107-102 victory over the Miami Heat.

Bam Adebayo had 21 points and 16 rebounds in a losing cause for Miami, beaten for the first time in three games.

 

Mills makes history on special occasion

Patty Mills celebrated San Antonio's inaugural Indigenous Night in fitting style, contributing 18 points and five rebounds from the bench against the Heat.

The 31-year-old guard drained four shots from beyond the arc to become the first Australian to register 1,000 three-pointers in NBA history.

Lamb labours in Denver

Indiana overcame the Nuggets despite receiving little assistance from Jeremy Lamb, who managed zero points and a solitary assist in 23 minutes on the floor.

 

Dozier dazzles and dishes

PJ Dozier produced a neat crossover and pass for Mason Plumlee as the Nuggets tried unsuccessfully to streak clear at Pepsi Center.

Sunday's results

San Antonio Spurs 107-102 Miami Heat
Indiana Pacers 115-107 Denver Nuggets

 

Lakers at Celtics

LeBron James leads the Los Angeles Lakers (34-8) to Boston on Monday for a date with the Celtics (27-14), who will be eager to snap a three-game losing streak.

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    Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James refused to get carried away with his team's blow-out win over the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, insisting there is much more work to do.

    The Lakers humbled the Heat 116-98 in the opening game of the showpiece showdown at Walt Disney World Resort on Wednesday.

    James' Lakers led by as much as 32 points after trailing by 13 early in Orlando, Florida, where the Heat were no match for the Western Conference top seeds midweek.

    Anthony Davis posted a game-high 34 points, while James – making his 10th Finals appearance – had 25 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists.

    Despite outclassing the Heat as the Lakers eye their first championship since 2010, James told reporters: "We have so much more work to do.

    "The job is not done. We are not satisfied with winning one game. It's that simple."

    "I don't think at the beginning we were physical enough," said three-time NBA champion James, who recorded his 31st career double-double in the Finals to move outright fourth in league history, after the Lakers went on a 75-30 run.

    "You have to get a feel for how hard Miami play and I think they smacked us in the mouth. We had a sense of that, so we knew how hard we had to play to make it a game.

    "From that moment when it was 23-10, we started to play to our capabilities. We started flying around, getting defensive stops, sharing the ball a lot better offensively and got into a really good groove."

    Davis produced a huge performance in his first Finals appearance following a blockbuster trade from the New Orleans Pelicans at the start of the season.

    He became the first Lakers player to post 30-plus points in the Finals since Kobe Bryant's 38 in Game 5 of the 2010 Finals.

    Davis and James also became the first Lakers duo to each record 25-plus points in the same Finals game since Bryant (33) and Shaquille O'Neal (29) in Game 2 of the 2004 Finals.

    "I expect it out of him. I didn't give him any advice. We have been preparing for this moment all season, he has been preparing all season," James said.

    "I'm happy to be on the same floor and same uniform as him. Once again, he was a force in every facet of the game, both offensively and defensively."

    The NBA Finals are taking place behind closed doors without fans amid the coronavirus pandemic, but James said: "It felt great, I've been preparing for this moment for quite a while.

    "Fans or no fans, the inner challenge for myself and the way I prepare myself, it felt amazing to be playing the Finals once again."

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    Anthony Davis credited Kentavious Caldwell-Pope for helping the Los Angeles Lakers recover from a slow start against the Miami Heat.

    Davis (34 points) and LeBron James (25 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists) saw the Lakers thrash the Heat 116-98 in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday.

    But Miami led 25-12 in the first quarter before Caldwell-Pope hit back-to-back three-pointers for the Lakers, starting a 19-3 run.

    Davis said those shots were huge for the Lakers, who are eyeing a first title since 2010.

    "We know they're a great team, they're here for a reason. This team plays hard and plays scrappy and they've got a lot of guys who can make plays for them," he told ESPN.

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    Anthony Davis and LeBron James starred as the Los Angeles Lakers crushed the Miami Heat 116-98 in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday.

    It was a reunion for Lakers superstar James and the Heat, who teamed up for two championships in 2012 and 2013, at Walt Disney World Resort.

    The top-seeded Lakers – eyeing their first title since 2010 – put the Heat to the sword after edging the opening quarter 31-28, leading by as many as 32 points, having trailed by 13 early.

    James, making his 10th Finals appearance searching for his fourth championship, had a double-double of 25 points and 13 rebounds to go with nine assists in Orlando, Florida midweek.

    The four-time MVP, who missed the playoffs in his first season with the Lakers last term, moved up to fourth on the all-time Finals double-double list.

    All-Star team-mate Davis, meanwhile, put up a game-high 34 points to extinguish the Heat in his maiden Finals appearance following a blockbuster trade from the New Orleans Pelicans at the start of the season.

    The Heat, who trumped the Indiana Pacers, Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics en route to the showpiece, simply had no answer in the Finals opener.

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    Butler appeared to twist his ankle just seconds before half-time and hobbled off the court, but he played out the game, leading the Heat with 23 points.

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