NBA

Giannis' Bucks silence Thunder with devastating defeat, Zion makes history

By Sports Desk February 29, 2020

Giannis Antetokounmpo and the NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks humbled the Oklahoma City Thunder 133-86.

The Bucks showed no mercy as they handed the Thunder their worst loss of the season – a 47-point defeat in Milwaukee on Friday.

Bucks star and reigning MVP Antetokounmpo led the way with 32 points and 13 rebounds at home to the streaking Thunder.

The Thunder had won five straight games, but Oklahoma City were no match for the devastating Bucks – who made a season-high 21 three-pointers as they improved to 51-8.

Chris Paul posted 18 points for the Thunder (37-23), while Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (11) was the only other player in double-digits.

Paul George recorded 24 points and Kawhi Leonard added 19 as the Los Angeles Clippers eased past Western Conference rivals the Denver Nuggets 132-103.

It was the Clippers' 40th win of the season as Doc Rivers' team reigned supreme at Staples Center.

 

Williamson stays hot

Zion Williamson became the first player in NBA history to record 20-plus points in 10 straight games before the age of 20. The New Orleans Pelicans rookie finished with 24 points in the 116-104 win against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Luka Doncic celebrated his 21st birthday on Friday and the Dallas Mavericks star put up 23 points and 10 assists. However, Doncic – playing with an aching thumb – did not have a memorable birthday as the Mavs lost 126-118 at the Miami Heat.

A first career triple-double from Aaron Gordon (17 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists) inspired the Orlando Magic to a 136-125 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. Terrence Ross had a season-high 33 points.

It was another big performance from Bradley Beal. The Washington Wizards guard had 42 points and 10 assists in his team's 129-119 defeat to the Utah Jazz.

Derrick Rose's 31 points helped the Detroit Pistons snap a seven-game skid by topping the Phoenix Suns 113-111.

Jonas Valanciunas scored 13 points and collected a career-high 25 rebounds in the Memphis Grizzlies' 104-101 defeat against the Sacramento Kings.

 

McCaw goes scoreless

Patrick McCaw is a three-time NBA champion – twice with the Golden State Warriors and once with the Toronto Raptors – but he did not look like one on Friday. The 24-year-old did not score a point in Toronto's shock 99-96 loss at home to the Charlotte Hornets. He was 0 of six from the field, while he missed both of his three-point attempts in 20 minutes.

Dallas' Dorian Finney-Smith also struggled. Finney-Smith played 27 minutes, going 0 of four from the field and the same from beyond the arc for just three points as a starter.

 

Spider man!

Donovan Mitchell hammered home the slam against the Wizards. He ended the game with 30 points.

 

Friday's results

Orlando Magic 136-125 Minnesota Timberwolves
Atlanta Hawks 141-118 Brooklyn Nets
Charlotte Hornets 99-96 Toronto Raptors
Miami Heat 126-118 Dallas Mavericks
Sacramento Kings 104-101 Memphis Grizzlies
Milwaukee Bucks 133-86 Oklahoma City Thunder
New Orleans Pelicans 116-104 Cleveland Cavaliers
Detroit Pistons 113-111 Phoenix Suns
Utah Jazz 129-119 Washington Wizards
Denver Nuggets XX-XX Los Angeles Clippers

 

Rockets at Celtics

James Harden and the Houston Rockets (38-20) travel to the Boston Celtics on Saturday, riding a five-game winning streak. The Celtics (41-17) have won back-to-back games.

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    James Harden made NBA history on his Brooklyn Nets debut after dazzling with a triple-double in the 122-115 win against the Orlando Magic.

    Harden became the first player in NBA history to post a 30-point triple-double in his bow for a new team after the Nets outlasted the Magic on Saturday.

    Former MVP Harden – who swapped the Houston Rockets for the Nets in a blockbuster trade on Thursday – finished with 32 points, a franchise-record 14 assists, 12 rebounds and four steals.

    The eight-time All-Star also became the seventh player in NBA history with a triple-double in their team debut, joining Russell Westbrook, Elfrid Payton, Lewis Lloyd, John Shumate, Nate Thurmond and Oscar Robertson.

    Reuniting with former Oklahoma City Thunder team-mate Harden, Durant led the way with a game-high 42 points as the Nets improved to 8-6 following a third consecutive win.

    Durant also made franchise history for most consecutive 25-plus point games with nine.

     

    Lillard inspires Blazers

    Damian Lillard had a game-high 36 points as the Portland Trail Blazers topped the Atlanta Hawks 112-106. Double-doubles from Trae Young (26 points and 11 assists) and Clint Capela (25 points and 15 rebounds) were not enough for the visiting Hawks.

    Shake Milton put up 28 points off the bench in the Joel Embiid-less Philadelphia 76ers' narrow 106-104 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. Ben Simmons fell just short of a triple-double after recording 11 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists.

    Christian Wood scored 24 points and collected 18 rebounds as the shorthanded Rockets went down 103-91 to the San Antonio Spurs.

    Derrick Rose was efficient in the Detroit Pistons' 120-100 upset of the Miami Heat. He was eight-of-12 shooting from the field, while making three of his five three-point attempts for 23 points in 21 minutes.

     

    Covington struggles

    While the Trail Blazers won, Robert Covington failed to get going shooting-wise after collecting 10 rebounds. He was one-of-13 from the field and just one-of-seven from beyond the arc for three points in 28 minutes.

    A championship winner with the Los Angeles Lakers last season, veteran Rajon Rondo was scoreless for the Hawks. Rondo missed all three of his field-goal attempts in nine minutes of action.

     

    Morant returns in style

    Ja Morant sprained his ankle on December 28 but the Grizzlies star made his comeback following an eight-game absence. Morant had 17 points, including this alley-oop.

     

    Saturday's results

    San Antonio Spurs 103-91 Houston Rockets
    Brooklyn Nets 122-115 Orlando Magic
    Toronto Raptors 116-113 Charlotte Hornets
    Detroit Pistons 120-100 Miami Heat
    Memphis Grizzlies 106-104 Philadelphia 76ers
    Portland Trail Blazers 112-106 Atlanta Hawks
    Indiana Pacers-Phoenix Suns (postponed)

     

    Pacers at Clippers

    The Indiana Pacers (8-4) will visit the in-form Los Angeles Clippers (9-4) – who have won three straight games – on Sunday.

  • Harden revels in historic debut as Nets coach Nash hails 'incredible' star Harden revels in historic debut as Nets coach Nash hails 'incredible' star

    Brooklyn Nets superstar James Harden revelled in his record-setting debut, while head coach Steve Nash heaped praise on the former NBA MVP.

    Harden became the first player in NBA history to post a 30-point triple-double in his bow for a new team after the Nets outlasted the Orlando Magic 122-115 on Saturday.

    Eight-time All-Star Harden swapped the Houston Rockets for the Nets in a blockbuster trade on Thursday, and his first game in a Brooklyn jersey resulted in 32 points, a franchise-record 14 assists, 12 rebounds and four steals.

    Afterwards, Harden said: "It felt really good [to get the win]. The guys got after it.

    "Individually, I've got to stop turning the basketball over, but that comes with chemistry, that comes with practice, that comes with watching film.

    "So, first game I'm glad to get a win and we've just got to keep going."

    On the record, Harden was asked what it meant, and he told YES: "Nothing, I'm just happy we came away with the win. Those stats don't mean anything."

    "When you're paying with really, really good players, it's pretty easy," Harden said. "For me, I just gotta learn reads, learn where guys like the ball, just learn our personnel individually so once I get that, the turnovers will cut down, I can be more efficient."

    Disgruntled in Houston as he eyed an exit from the Rockets, Harden arrived in Brooklyn out of form, but the sharpshooter showed what the Nets are getting in a super team that also consists of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

    Harden was eight-of-18 from the field and three-of-10 shooting from three-point range in 40 minutes, while he also had nine turnovers.

    First-year coach Nash, who now leads a genuine championship contender, hailed Harden post-game.

    "I can't say I'm surprised," Nash said. "We had a pretty big simple size of him doing that [for] however many years in he's been in the league. But it's still not easy. He's still not in his best condition yet, he's joined a new group.

    "Basically no practice time, and figured it out on the fly. He had a bunch of turnovers just because he's new to the team and the group and you’re thrown out there in an NBA where the other team is an excellent coached-basketball team....But all the things he did on the floor were incredible for his first game."

    Reuniting with former Oklahoma City Thunder team-mate Harden, Durant led the way with a game-high 42 points as the Nets improved to 8-6 following a third consecutive win.

    Durant also made franchise history for most consecutive 25-plus point games with nine.

    "James, he played the same way he always played, to be honest," Durant said. "He played the same way he was playing in Houston, being a pass-first guard, trying to get guys good looks. He played the same way.

    "Coach put him at the point, I think that's his natural position, is point and combo guard. For him to get 14 assists, 12 rebounds for us at the point guard was key."

  • Harden makes NBA history on debut for Brooklyn Nets Harden makes NBA history on debut for Brooklyn Nets

    James Harden made NBA history in his first game for the Brooklyn Nets, who held on beat to the Orlando Magic 122-115.

    Harden landed in Brooklyn on Thursday to join fellow All-Stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving following a blockbuster trade with the Houston Rockets.

    Former MVP Harden did not disappoint on debut for the Nets on Saturday after becoming the first player in NBA history to post a 30-point triple-double in his bow for a new team.

    Harden – an eight-time All-Star – finished with 32 points, a franchise-record 14 assists, 12 rebounds and four steals for championship contenders the Nets.

    Durant, who has reunited with former Oklahoma City Thunder team-mate Harden, led the way with a game-high 42 points as the Nets improved to 8-6 following a third consecutive win.

    Two-time NBA champion and Finals MVP Durant also made franchise history for most consecutive 25-plus point games with nine.

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