NBA

Warren outshines LeBron's Lakers, Doncic wins Giannis duel

By Sports Desk August 08, 2020

TJ Warren overshadowed LeBron James' return as the Los Angeles Lakers slumped to a third successive NBA loss, while Luka Doncic dazzled on Saturday.

Back after a groin injury, Lakers star James had 31 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in 35 minutes but could not stop the Indiana Pacers and their thriving small forward from claiming a 116-111 victory.

Warren, a revelation since entering the NBA bubble, continued his incredible scoring run with 39 points on 15-of-22 shooting.

In the final minute, he hit a floater, a pull-up jumper and a clutch three-pointer over Anthony Davis to earn the Pacers a fourth win from five games at Walt Disney World Resort.

All-Star guard Doncic and reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo did not disappoint in their duel, sharing 70 points between them as the Dallas Mavericks outlasted the Milwaukee Bucks 136-132 in overtime.

Doncic did the business for Dallas, delivering a decisive triple-double with 36 points, 19 assists and 14 rebounds.

 

Pain for Mitchell, better for Booker

Donovan Mitchell's nerveless 35-point performance was not enough to help the Utah Jazz avoid a 134-132 defeat to the Denver Nuggets in double overtime, a thrilling game that included 30 points and 11 rebounds from Nikola Jokic.

Devin Booker's 35 points proved more valuable for the Phoenix Suns, who beat the Miami Heat 119-112 to stay undefeated since the restart.

 

Lillard's let down

After trading taunts with the Los Angeles Clippers, Damian Lillard let his opponents have the last laugh when he wasted two clutch free throws and missed a three-point attempt late in the Portland Trail Blazers' 122-117 loss.

 

Doncic's delicious dime

The Mavericks' main man went between the legs for one of his 19 assists.

Saturday's results

Los Angeles Clippers 122-117 Portland Trail Blazers
Denver Nuggets 134-132 Utah Jazz (2OT)
Indiana Pacers 116-111 Los Angeles Lakers
Phoenix Suns 119-112 Miami Heat
Dallas Mavericks 136-132 Milwaukee Bucks (OT)

 

Trail Blazers face 76ers

Lillard and the Trail Blazers (32-39), ranked ninth in the Western Conference, know they cannot afford any errors when they face the Philadelphia 76ers (42-27) on Sunday.

Related items

  • LeBron James makes NBA history, Nets' Durant joins exclusive club and Doncic matches MJ LeBron James makes NBA history, Nets' Durant joins exclusive club and Doncic matches MJ

    LeBron James made history following his season-high performance as defending NBA champions the Los Angeles Lakers stayed perfect on the road with a 115-108 win at the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    James posted 46 points to lead the Lakers past former team the Cavaliers in Cleveland, where the Los Angeles franchise improved to 10-0 away from home on Monday.

    Lakers superstar James – who had 21 points in the fourth quarter – became the first player in NBA history to tally 46 points, eight rebounds, six assists, two blocks, two steals and seven three-pointers made, per Stats Perform.

    Behind James' mammoth display, the Lakers became the sixth team in history to start the season with a 10-plus game winning streak on the road.

    Anthony Davis contributed a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Andre Drummond led the Cavaliers with 25 points and 17 rebounds.

    Elsewhere, Kevin Durant stayed hot as the Brooklyn Nets took down last season's NBA Finals participants the Miami Heat 98-85.

    Durant registered his 14th consecutive double-double, becoming the fourth player in league history to do so alongside Wilt Chamberlain, Adrian Dantley and Dominique Wilkins.

    Bam Adebayo's double-double of 26 points and 10 rebounds were not enough for the Heat, who have lost three straight.

     

    Red-hot Doncic matches MJ

    Luka Doncic recorded another triple-double (35 points, 16 assists and 11 rebounds) in the Dallas Mavericks' 117-113 loss to the Denver Nuggets. It was his 31st career triple-double. Doncic tied Hall of Famer Michael Jordan (16) for the eighth-most 30-point triple-doubles in NBA history. The 21-year-old Mavericks star also matched Magic Johnson (31) for the second-most triple-doubles before the age of 23.

    Stephen Curry put on a show with a game-high 36 points to fuel the Golden State Warriors' 130-108 victory at home to the Minnesota Timberwolves. He was 11-of-21 from the field, while he made seven of 12 three-point attempts.

    The Indiana Pacers beat the Toronto Raptors 129-114 thanks to Malcolm Brogdon's career-high 36 points.

    Jerami Grant (25 points, eight rebounds and five assists) and Delon Wright (28 points, seven rebounds and nine assists) became the first Detroit Pistons dup to record 25-plus points, five-plus rebounds and five-plus assists in the same game since Rodney Stuckey and Tayshaun Prince in 2012. The Pistons upstaged the Joel Embiid-less Philadelphia 76ers 119-104.

     

    Curry struggles as Philly feel Embiid's absence

    Embiid sat out due to back tightness, and the Eastern Conference-leading 76ers fell. Seth Curry – Philadelphia's best shooter – was just two-of-10 from the field, while he only made one of four shots from beyond the arc for seven points.

     

    From way back!

    Stephen Curry was at his brilliant best against the Timberwolves – a long-range three the icing on the cake for the two-time MVP.

     

    Monday's results

    Detroit Pistons 119-104 Philadelphia 76ers              
    Indiana Pacers 129-114 Toronto Raptors
    Orlando Magic 117-108 Charlotte Hornets
    Brooklyn Nets 98-85 Miami Heat
    Los Angeles Lakers 115-108 Cleveland Cavaliers
    Denver Nuggets 117-113 Dallas Mavericks
    Boston Celtics 119-103 Chicago Bulls
    Golden State Warriors 130-108 Minnesota Timberwolves
    Oklahoma City Thunder 125-122 Portland Trail Blazers
    Sacramento Kings-Memphis Grizzlies (postponed)
    San Antonio Spurs-New Orleans Pelicans (postponed)

     

    Clippers at Hawks

    The Los Angeles Clippers (13-4) will look to make it eight consecutive wins when they visit the Atlanta Hawks (8-8) on Tuesday.

  • NBA Heat Check: Embiid makes MVP run as Drummond drops off NBA Heat Check: Embiid makes MVP run as Drummond drops off

    An intriguing NBA season continued to take shape last week with more shock results in the East.

    The Philadelphia 76ers are at the summit as the teams below them trade wins in a far more balanced conference than the Los Angeles-led West.

    Therefore, the big increases and decreases in production across the NBA were centred on the East, including big displays from one Sixers star while another tailed off.

    We take a look at the best and worst performers of the week with the help of Stats Perform data.

     

    RUNNING HOT...

    Joel Embiid

    Knee and back issues, along with the Philadelphia 76ers' coronavirus crisis, have impacted Embiid's time on the floor already this season, but he is now moving through the gears. The center had scored 45 points against the Miami Heat on January 12, only to then contribute just nine against the same team two days later. But there since looks to be consistency to Embiid's play as he tallied 42, 38 and 33 points in three Sixers wins last week, recording a double-double on each occasion. This weekly average of 37.7 improved the 26-year-old's season scoring from 25.0 points per game to 27.7 and appeared to lift the big man into the early MVP conversation.

    Gordon Hayward

    Staying fit is always likely to be the key for Hayward, given his awful injury record. He has played in 15 of the Charlotte Hornets' 16 games so far, though, and is averaging a career-high 24.1 points for the season. That mark was boosted from 22.2 points per game over the past week as Hayward turned in a pair of big performances against the Chicago Bulls and the Orlando Magic. His 34 points in the first game were not enough for a win, but 39 points at Orlando, along with nine rebounds, helped lift the Hornets to a competitive 7-9. Hayward's big contract has been justified to this point.

    Clint Capela

    The Atlanta Hawks recovered to a .500 record last week and Capela had a huge impact on both ends of the floor. The former Houston Rockets center averaged 21.0 points across three Hawks wins before sitting out the defeat to the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday, but scoring is just one facet of his game; Capela also contributed 20.0 rebounds per game - the biggest increase on a seasonal average across the whole league. Perhaps most notable of all, though, was the 10-block triple-double that saw Atlanta past the Minnesota Timberwolves. His 2.3 blocks per game rank third in the NBA.

    Kendrick Nunn

    COVID-19 protocol kept Nunn on the sidelines for a stretch earlier this month, but the second-year point guard is back in the groove - even if the Miami Heat are still struggling to rediscover their playoff form from last season. Nunn started all 67 of his regular season appearances in 2019-20, only to lose his place in the starting five for the run to the NBA Finals. He is being utilised from the bench again this year but provided a huge scoring boost last week. The 25-year-old averaged 21.5 points across the Heat's four games, his increase of 16.0 from his prior mark of 5.5 per game the biggest such improvement in the league.

    GOING COLD...

    Terry Rozier

    While Hayward stepped up in Charlotte, it was not a vintage week for team-mate Rozier. With 42-point and 35-point games to his name this season, the former Boston Celtics point guard was way off the pace in averaging 8.5 points across two games in which he played 38 minutes on both occasions. That knocked Rozier's season average down from 19.9 to 18.5, with a clear decline in his three-point shooting the obvious cause for concern. He shot 2-of-12 from beyond the arc, making 1.0 threes per game, down from 3.4.

    Andre Drummond

    The Cleveland Cavaliers stole the show last week with a sweep of the Brooklyn Nets in their double-header, but Drummond did not match the standard he had set previously in a monster game against the New York Knicks. Drummond had season-highs of 33 points and 23 rebounds as the Knicks visited Cleveland, yet he then fell short of a double-double for the first time all year in the first Nets game. Sunday's trip to the Celtics then saw Drummond play just 18 minutes, scoring a meagre 11 points, and he finished the week with 9.3 rebounds per game - solid enough but well down on his prior average of 15.8.

    Tyrese Maxey

    The Sixers' COVID-19 issues might have slowed the team's early momentum, but rookie Maxey was flying heading into last week. Outstanding with 39 points in a seven-man rotation against the Denver Nuggets on January 9, the 20-year-old kept his place and was averaging 11.4 points per game prior to Wednesday's meeting with Boston. But Maxey did not score a single point in that win and duly lost his place for the second Celtics matchup. He finished the week with just four points from three games, shooting 2-of-9 from the field.

    LaMelo Ball

    Rookie seasons tend to be rollercoaster affairs and Ball is certainly finding that. He is yet to start for the Hornets this season but was steadily contributing double-figures at the turn of the year, including an outstanding triple-double against Atlanta on January 9. Last week, Ball averaged just 9.0 points and 3.0 rebounds across Charlotte's two games, although he did contribute eight assists in the win over the Magic.

  • Clippers coach Lue hails Leonard: We had to ride him pretty hard Clippers coach Lue hails Leonard: We had to ride him pretty hard

    Tyronn Lue hailed Kawhi Leonard's performance against the Oklahoma City Thunder, acknowledging the Los Angeles Clippers had to "ride him pretty hard" to get the win.

    Leonard stepped up with 34 points, nine rebounds and eight assists to drag the Clippers to a 108-100 triumph in Sunday's contest.

    He became the fifth player in the franchise's history to register those numbers and the first since Ron Harper against the Golden State Warriors in March 1994.

    The Clippers have now won seven straight games and hold the joint-best record in the NBA at 13-4.

    With Paul George sitting out the closing minutes due to hamstring tightness, head coach Lue praised Leonard for stepping up.

    "He's been phenomenal for us, tonight we had to ride him," he said.

    "Kawhi had it going so we played through him a lot, especially in the second half. He created points for himself and for the team as well.

    "We had to ride him pretty hard just so we could continue to keep the lead and play through him a lot, I think he did a good job with that."

    George had 11 points from 33 minutes and Lue explained why he was not involved in the final stages.

    "I benched him…I benched him!" Lue joked, before adding: "No, I'm just joking. He had some tightness going into the game tonight.

    "He got loose when he played but had tightness, that last four and a half minutes he tightened up again so it was just a precaution. Just his hamstring."

    The Clippers are flying in the NBA and Leonard offered his thoughts on why the team are firing.

    "I think our three-point percentage, not allowing threes, making sure the other team isn't getting good looks from three-point line is helping us," he said.

    "We're playing team basketball, sharing the ball, staying level-headed, staying positive, making shots right now. We're trying to get better."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.