NBA

Kuzma's game winner lifts Lakers, Bucks make unwanted NBA history in loss to Raptors

By Sports Desk August 10, 2020

Kyle Kuzma was the hero as the Los Angeles Lakers trumped the Denver Nuggets 124-121 in the NBA on Monday.

Kuzma nailed a three-pointer with 0.4 seconds remaining to see the Lakers past Western Conference rivals the Nuggets at Walt Disney World Resort.

The Lakers forward finished with 25 points in Orlando, while LeBron James put up a double-double of 29 points and 12 assists as Anthony Davis contributed 27 points.

The Milwaukee Bucks were missing key players, but the Eastern Conference's top seed still made unwanted NBA history.

In the absence of reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee went down 114-106 to defending champions the Toronto Raptors, who were also without Kyle Lowry, Serge Ibaka and Fred VanVleet.

With the loss, the Bucks – who went 52-8 in their first 60 games of the season – fell to 3-8 from their past 13 outings.

The Bucks became the first team in NBA history to have as many or more losses over their final 13 games as they did the entire season prior to that, per STATS.

 

 

Booker stars again as Suns stay perfect

The Phoenix Suns improved to 6-0 inside the Orlando bubble since the league's restart after defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder 128-101. Devin Booker led the way again with 35 points, including 14-for-14 from the free throw line.

Jimmy Butler (19 points and 11 rebounds) posted a double-double in his return from a foot injury as the Miami Heat closed in on the Eastern Conference fourth seed by topping the Indiana Pacers 114-92.

 

O'Neale headlines Jazz's woes

Utah Jazz forward Royce O'Neale was scoreless in a 122-114 loss at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks. O'Neale was 0 of four from the field, while he missed all three of his attempts from beyond the arc in 14 minutes. Jordan Clarkson (18) was the only Jazz starter to shoot double-digit points.

It was a tough outing for the Thunder, who were held to just 17 points in the third quarter against the Suns. Oklahoma City managed just 37 points in the second half.

 

CP3 the architect

Chris Paul provided the lob for Thunder team-mate Darius Bazley to dunk emphatically.

 

Monday's results

Phoenix Suns 128-101 Oklahoma City Thunder
Dallas Mavericks 122-114 Utah Jazz
Toronto Raptors 114-106 Milwaukee Bucks
Miami Heat 114-92 Indiana Pacers
Los Angeles Lakers 124-121 Denver Nuggets

 

Suns face 76ers

The Suns will look to stay hot when they take on the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday. The 76ers will be without All-Star pair Joel Embiid (ankle) and Ben Simmons (knee).

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  • Adebayo takes blame for Heat's Game 5 loss to Celtics Adebayo takes blame for Heat's Game 5 loss to Celtics

    Bam Adebayo took the blame for the Miami Heat's Game 5 defeat to the Boston Celtics on Friday, though Jimmy Butler did not agree with his assessment.

    The Heat failed to close out the Eastern Conference finals as they blew a 12-point lead to lose 121-108, meaning their series advantage was cut to 3-2 ahead of Game 6 on Sunday.

    Adebayo, who played with a sleeve on his left arm after supposedly suffering an injury late in Game 4, contributed 13 points on 5-for-11 shooting, eight rebounds and eight assists but felt he lacked intensity on the defensive end.

    "I played like s***. Bottom line. I put that game on me. It's not my team-mates' fault, it's not my coaches' fault, it's me. I missed too many shots I should have made. Put that one on me," said Adebayo.

    "I wasn't being the defensive anchor that I should have been. I don't think I was communicating fast enough. I feel like I was a step behind today.

    "I got to be better. That's the bottom line. That's it. There's no excuses to this ... this game is on me. I played terrible and that can't happen."

    Butler insisted the defeat was "on everybody" and said he would attempt to lift Adebayo's spirits ahead of Game 6. 

    "It's not [on Adebayo]. It's on everybody. He does so much for us that it could feel like that at times, but it's definitely not on him. It's on us as a whole," said Butler. 

    "We all understand that because nobody was playing the way we're supposed to play, the way we have to play in order for us to win. Nobody. And for him to say that, I respect it, I love him for it. But he can't do it by himself – we've got to be there with him. 

    "I will [speak to him] but I think he knows you can't get stuck on this game now. We learn from it, it's something of the past. But we're going to need him to be who he is on Sunday. 

    "We need everybody to be that way. We're gonna watch film, we're gonna learn from it, not saying we already don't know what went wrong, but we'll be ready to go. We will fix it." 

  • Klay Thompson in first full Warriors practice since ACL tear Klay Thompson in first full Warriors practice since ACL tear

    Klay Thompson took part in his first full practice with the Golden State Warriors since tearing his anterior cruciate ligament last year. 

    Five-time All-Star Thompson underwent surgery last year after going down with the injury in Game 6 of the NBA Finals. 

    He joined the Warriors minicamp on Friday and trained with the rest of the team for the first time, 470 days after suffering the ACL damage. 

    "It was great to have him out on the floor, in the locker room," said Warriors coach Steve Kerr. 

    "Just his presence alone gave us a jolt of energy and excitement. Practice went well. This is the first practice coming off an ACL injury and a year-and-a-half absence, so I didn't expect him to be in top shape, in top form, and he was not, but he moved well and it's a good first step. 

    "We didn't scrimmage. We haven't had a five-on-five scrimmage yet. We're trying to ease into it because of the long lay-off. But Klay got a lot of good work in and I think he was able to gauge kind of where he is right now and what needs to do going forward." 

    With Stephen Curry and Draymond Green excused from the camp – branded 'the Dubble' – for family reasons, Kerr hopes Thompson will be ready to scrimmage with his team-mates when the time comes. 

    "It kind of depends how he reacts and what Rick [Celebrini, the Warriors' director of sports medicine and performance] says and what Klay says. Just kind of have to take it step by step. So we'll kind of see where he is tomorrow [Saturday] and make a decision accordingly." 

    Thompson signed a five-year, $190million extension with the Warriors last offseason but missed the entire 2019-20 campaign as Golden State registered a league-worst 15-50 record

  • Stevens pleased with Celtics' tenacity in comeback Stevens pleased with Celtics' tenacity in comeback

    Brad Stevens felt improved defense helped the Boston Celtics turn Game 5 against the Miami Heat to stay alive in the NBA playoffs.

    The Celtics rallied for a 121-108 victory over Miami on Friday to cut the Heat's Eastern Conference finals lead to 3-2.

    But Boston struggled early, trailing by 12 points, before a 41-25 third quarter helped them turn the game.

    Celtics head coach Stevens said improvement defensively was key for Boston.

    "I just thought we played with great tenacity defensively, and our offense followed suit," he told a news conference.

    "But they're very hard. It's easy for me to sit up and say to be at our very best and get stops on every possession.

    "This is a heck of an offensive team, a heck of a well-coached team and hard to guard."

    Celtics star Jayson Tatum scored 17 of his 31 points in the third quarter, with Boston going on a 20-3 run.

    Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra lamented his side's inability to slow the Celtics down.

    "We missed some open shots to start the quarter and then those turned into run-outs that got them going, those easy ones. This is a team that has great offensive firepower," he said.

    "When they see the ball go in the basket they started to get more aggressive and putting a ton of pressure on us in the paint, much like they did in Game 3 and we weren't able to shut that off, and they just carried that through."

    Game 6 is on Sunday.

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