NBA

Giannis leads Bucks past Celtics, Harden stars

By Sports Desk July 31, 2020

Giannis Antetokounmpo starred in a win for the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA on Friday, while the Houston Rockets edged the Dallas Mavericks.

Antetokounmpo's double-double of 36 points and 15 rebounds helped the Bucks past the Boston Celtics 119-112.

The reigning NBA MVP went 14-of-20 from the field in the Bucks' victory.

Marcus Smart scored 23 points off the bench for Boston, while Jaylen Brown contributed 22 points.

James Harden starred with 49 points in the Rockets' 153-149 overtime win against the Dallas Mavericks.

Kristaps Porzingis (39 points and 16 rebounds) led the Mavericks, but they fell short.

 

Fantastic Fournier, Portland trio shine

Evan Fournier went 10-of-15 for 24 points in the Orlando Magic's 128-118 win over the Brooklyn Nets.

The Portland Trail Blazers overcame the Memphis Grizzlies 140-135 after overtime thanks to CJ McCollum (33 points), Damian Lillard (29) and Carmelo Anthony (21).

 

Terrible Tatum

Jayson Tatum struggled badly in the Celtics' loss. The forward went two-of-18 from the field for just five points in 32 minutes.

 

Harden's hot start

Harden made a fast start with 23 points in the first quarter for the Rockets.

Friday's results

Orlando Magic 128-118 Brooklyn Nets
Portland Trail Blazers 140-135 Memphis Grizzlies
Phoenix Suns 125-112 Washington Wizards
Milwaukee Bucks 119-112 Boston Celtics
San Antonio Spurs 129-120 Sacramento Kings
Houston Rockets 153-149 Dallas Mavericks

 

Lakers face Raptors

In another battle between two championship contenders, the Los Angeles Lakers (50-14) face the Toronto Raptors (46-18) on Saturday.

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  • Magic forward Isaac suffers torn ACL Magic forward Isaac suffers torn ACL

    Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in Sunday's 132-116 win over the Sacramento Kings.

    Isaac dropped to the floor after driving between two defenders and was treated on court before being wheeled away accompanied by Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman.

    In a statement released on Sunday, Magic confirmed an MRI scan showed the 22-year-old had torn the ACL in his left knee.

    "Isaac will be out indefinitely and his return to the court will depend on how he responds to treatment and rehabilitation," the statement said.

    Isaac had only recently recovered from a knee injury sustained on January 1 against the Washington Wizards, when he landed awkwardly and was diagnosed with a "posterior lateral corner injury and medial bone contusion".

    It was expected he would miss the remainder of the season, but the delay caused by the coronavirus pandemic gave him the chance to recover in time for the restart in Orlando.

    "That was tough, man," team-mate Aaron Gordon said, the Magic bench having been clearly downcast despite their resounding victory.

    "That one brought me to tears, and instantly, just because I know how good of a guy J.I. is and how hard he works and how hard he has worked to get back since hurting himself in D.C. That was tough."

  • Westbrook helps Rockets edge Bucks, Celtics win Westbrook helps Rockets edge Bucks, Celtics win

    The Houston Rockets edged the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA on Sunday, while the Boston Celtics also claimed a narrow win.

    The Rockets rallied past the Bucks 120-116 on the back of a standout performance from Russell Westbrook at the Walt Disney World Resort.

    Westbrook finished with 31 points, eight assists and six rebounds, while James Harden had 24 points.

    Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo scored a game-high 36 points, to go with 18 rebounds and eight assists.

    The Celtics claimed their first win since the restart by overcoming the Portland Trail Blazers 128-124.

    Jayson Tatum bounced back to form, going 11-of-22- from the field for 34 points.

     

    Mavs clinch playoff spot, Morant marvellous

    After the Memphis Grizzlies' loss to the San Antonio Spurs, the Dallas Mavericks reached the playoffs for the first time since 2015-16.

    They later fell to a 117-115 defeat to the Phoenix Suns despite 40 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds from star Luka Doncic.

    Ja Morant had 25 points on 10-of-18 shooting, plus nine rebounds and nine assists, in the Grizzlies' 108-106 loss to the Spurs.

     

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    Sunday's results

    Brooklyn Nets 118-110 Washington Wizards
    Boston Celtics 128-124 Portland Trail Blazers
    San Antonio Spurs 108-106 Memphis Grizzlies
    Orlando Magic 132-116 Sacramento Kings
    Houston Rockets 120-116 Milwaukee Bucks
    Phoenix Suns 117-115 Dallas Mavericks

     

    Raptors face Heat

    Following a win over the Los Angeles Lakers, defending champions the Toronto Raptors (47-18) face another test when they take on Eastern Conference rivals the Miami Heat (42-24) on Monday.

  • Zion Williamson frustrated with minutes restriction as Pelicans slide Zion Williamson frustrated with minutes restriction as Pelicans slide

    New Orleans Pelicans sensation Zion Williamson said it is "very tough" to watch his team-mates lose with his minutes restricted.

    The Pelicans have lost both of their games since the 2019-20 NBA season resumed on July 30 at Walt Disney World Resort, after the league was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    New Orleans went down to the Utah Jazz on the opening night of the NBA's return before falling to the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday, with Williamson on restricted minutes due to his interrupted preparation in the Orlando bubble.

    Williamson, who made his long-awaited debut in January, had to leave the Walt Disney complex to attend to an "urgent family matter", which led to the number one pick spending four days in quarantine.

    Having completed just 29 minutes of basketball through two games since the restart, Williamson told reporters on Sunday: "It's very tough, to be honest, because as soon as I start to break that sweat, I look over and that horn is for me and I have to come out the game.

    "Also, when I do catch the flow of the game, like I said, that horn goes off and it's for me."

    "It's still fun but I guess, like you said, it's not to that full extent as y'all are used to seeing," Williamson added. "I'm a competitor, I want to stay on the court.

    "When I'm coming out of the game, my competitive side of me that I want to stay in. I guess that does affect the fun a little bit, but not too much."

    Williamson only played 15 minutes and scored 13 points in the Pelicans' 106-104 defeat to the Jazz, while he featured for just 14 minutes as New Orleans were beaten 126-103 by the Clippers.

    On the game against the Clippers, which saw the Pelicans trail by as many as 37 points heading into the final quarter, head coach Alvin Gentry explained his decision not to put Williamson back on the court.

    "We definitely would have saw him in that situation," Gentry said when asked if Williamson was set to play the fourth quarter originally.

    "Obviously in a 30-point game, I'm not going to stick him back in in those situations even though some people think it would give him an opportunity to be on the floor and play. I just didn't feel like that made sense in that situation."

    "We talked to him about that," Gentry said. "You just have to be smart in those situations. Everyone wants to play and play right now. We try to spend time as coaches and medical people trying to let him understand that this is going to be for the best short-term and long-term really."

    The Pelicans are 12th in the Western Conference with a 28-38 record, adrift of the eighth-placed Memphis Grizzlies (32-34) in the race for the playoffs.

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