NBA

Leonard lifts Clippers into series lead as Celtics, Raptors go up 3-0

By Sports Desk August 21, 2020

The Los Angeles Clippers took the lead in their series against the Dallas Mavericks, while the Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors are 3-0 up.

Kawhi Leonard starred as the Clippers posted a 130-122 win over the Mavericks.

Leonard finished with 36 points, nine rebounds and eight assists as the Clippers grabbed a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference first-round series.

Mavs star Luka Doncic had a triple-double of 13 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, but also suffered an ankle injury.

Meanwhile, Kristaps Porzingis managed a double-double of 34 points and 13 rebounds, going 11-of-18 from the field for Dallas.

The Celtics and Raptors are each one win away from setting up an Eastern Conference semi-final.

Boston moved into a 3-0 lead over the Philadelphia 76ers thanks to a 102-94 win, while the Raptors beat the Brooklyn Nets 117-92 to be a victory away from advancing.

 

Kemba lifts Celtics, special Siakam

Kemba Walker had 24 points, eight rebounds and four assists in the Celtics' victory.

The 76ers are on the verge of a first-round exit, but Joel Embiid finished with a double-double of 30 points and 13 rebounds.

Pascal Siakam's 26 points helped the Raptors to their comfortable win.

A double-double of 24 points and 14 rebounds from Rudy Gobert helped the Utah Jazz past the Denver Nuggets 124-87. The Jazz lead the Western Conference first-round series 2-1.

Jazz guard Mike Conley went seven-of-eight from three-point range to post 27 points.

 

Terrible Temple

Garrett Temple struggled for the Nets. The forward was two-of-12 from the field, managing just five points in nearly 36 minutes.

 

Wonderful Walker

Walker contributed 14 of his 24 points in the second half for Boston.

Friday's results

Toronto Raptors 117-92 Brooklyn Nets
Utah Jazz 124-87 Denver Nuggets
Boston Celtics 102-94 Philadelphia 76ers
Los Angeles Clippers 130-122 Dallas Mavericks

 

Lakers face Trail Blazers

Having drawn level in the Western Conference first-round series, the Los Angeles Lakers face the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 3 on Saturday.

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  • It's winning time – Irving aiming to build on hard-earned Nets victory It's winning time – Irving aiming to build on hard-earned Nets victory

    Kyrie Irving revelled in a hard-fought victory for the Brooklyn Nets over the Miami Heat after he went into a "winning" zone in the fourth quarter.

    The Nets got back on track after consecutive defeats to the Cleveland Cavaliers by overcoming the Heat 128-124 on Saturday.

    Up against an inspired Bam Adebayo, who scored a career-best 41 points, Brooklyn relied on the star power of Irving, Kevin Durant and James Harden to get them over the line.

    "It's not every day you see this collection of guys playing together in NBA history, so we want to take full advantage of that," Irving told reporters.

    Irving proved decisive, with 18 of his 28 points coming in the fourth quarter, including three three-pointers.

    "It's winning time," Irving told reporters while explaining his mentality in the final quarter.

    "I've always said that throughout my career. When it gets down to that point, obviously you just want to buckle down on the defensive end, get stops, and I felt like we did that.

    "We had two losses where we had to learn a lot very quickly and we just moved on to the next night. I feel like we gave the effort in spurts, and obviously we want to have more consistency in that, and that'll take time. I'm happy with the effort."

    While Durant topped the Nets' scoring with 31 points, Harden also stepped up to the plate, posting 12 points and 11 assists with seven rebounds.

    "It feels good not to have to score so much to give ourselves a chance to win a game," eight-time All-Star Harden said.

    "I can go out there and just be a playmaker and shoot my shot when it's available and still get guys involved, and still have a chance to win the game.

    "That's a change. But for me just being the player that I am, impacting the game in other ways other than scoring."

    Durant, meanwhile, hailed Irving as the difference-maker.

    "You've seen how special and talented and hard-working Kyrie is," Durant told reporters. "He works on all of those shots every day and he comes in with that mentality that especially late in the games he'll have to knock those down for us.

    "He's an all-world player, he's a great team-mate but when the ball is in his hands late in the game, our team is just so unpredictable because he can make the pass, he can score in the mid-range, score in the three-point area, get to the basket and we've got weapons around him that makes it tough to guard.

    "We're going to need that from him going forward and he was phenomenal in the fourth."

    Though the Nets' star trio ultimately claimed the win, Miami's Adebayo was at his best, finishing with five rebounds and nine assists in addition to his 41 points.

    "It was about time Bam had 40 in terms of getting a lot of those moves that he's been working on in the offseason," said Irving, who – against coronavirus protocols – attempted to swap jerseys with Adebayo on the court before a Heat official intervened.

    "Just watching him grow since high school, be able to take over at this point for kind of an undermanned Miami team, it's good to see."

  • Reggie Miller lauds inspirational Stephen Curry after three-point feat Reggie Miller lauds inspirational Stephen Curry after three-point feat

    Reggie Miller hailed Stephen Curry as an inspiration after the Golden State Warriors guard went past him on the NBA's all-time three-pointers list.

    The Warriors lost 127-108 to the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena on Sunday but Curry had a moment to savour when he sunk his 2,561st effort from deep.

    It leaves only Ray Allen ahead of Curry on 2,973 and Miller joined the Warriors' postgame media call via Zoom to pass on some warm words.

    "Congratulations, this is an unbelievable achievement," he said, accompanied on the call by his son - a self-confessed huge fan of Curry.

    "I know the work is not done, I know you're chasing Ray, but you are an inspiration to so many little ones, like mine.

    "I'm so proud of all the work because I know what goes into that.

    "I know the countless hours, when it's easy to go hang with your boys, hit the clubs, sleep, do other things.

    "But you're in the lab getting your work done."

    Curry said going past Miller was "pretty special" and "something I've been looking forward to for a very long time".

    "That means a lot, Reg. I appreciate it," he replied.

    "Like you said, I know I have a lot more to take.

    "That competitive juice, the work that goes in, the appreciation of every game I get to play - to shoot the ball at this level and follow your footsteps in that regard means a lot.

    "You and Ray, to have two guys to have reached back and encouraged me the way you have means a lot. I appreciate you, man."

    Even though he still needs more than 400 three-pointers to make up the ground on Allen, Curry's rate of scoring means his move to the top of the pile should only be a matter of time.

    Over the course of a 715-game NBA career, he averages 3.6 per game and boasts a 43.3 per cent success rate from beyond the arc.

  • Davis stars as Lakers win on the road again, Nets edge Heat Davis stars as Lakers win on the road again, Nets edge Heat

    The Los Angeles Lakers eased to a win in the NBA on Saturday, while the Brooklyn Nets overcame the Miami Heat.

    Anthony Davis posted 37 points in 28 minutes as the Lakers brushed past the Chicago Bulls 101-90 to improve to 9-0 on the road.

    LeBron James had a double-double of 17 points and 11 rebounds in the comfortable win.

    The Lakers (13-4) sit top of the Western Conference ahead of the red-hot Utah Jazz (12-4).

    The Nets returned to winning ways after back-to-back losses, overcoming the Heat 128-124.

    Kyrie Irving had 18 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter, while Kevin Durant (31 points), Joe Harris (23 points) and James Harden (12 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds) were also key contributors.

    Heat star Bam Adebayo was in impressive form with 41 points.

     

    Jazz win eighth straight, Embiid and Jokic star again

    The Jazz made it eight straight wins as Donovan Mitchell recorded 23 points, seven rebounds and six assists in a 127-108 victory over the Golden State Warriors.

    Warriors star Stephen Curry (24 points) passed Reggie Miller to move into second place for most three-pointers made in NBA history.

    The Philadelphia 76ers improved to 12-5 as Joel Embiid had a double-double of 33 points and 14 rebounds in a 114-110 win against the Detroit Pistons.

    Nikola Jokic's impressive season continued. The center had 29 points, 22 rebounds and six assists as the Denver Nuggets beat the Phoenix Suns 120-112 after overtime.

     

    Grant struggles

    Jerami Grant struggled from the field for the Pistons. He went three-of-19 for just 11 points in 35 minutes in the loss to the 76ers.

     

    Curry passes Miller

    Curry moved past Miller after making his 2,561st three-pointer in the NBA. Only Ray Allen (2,973) has made more.

    Saturday's results

    Minnesota Timberwolves 120-110 New Orleans Pelicans
    Philadelphia 76ers 114-110 Detroit Pistons
    Brooklyn Nets 128-124 Miami Heat
    Houston Rockets 133-108 Dallas Mavericks
    Utah Jazz 127-108 Golden State Warriors
    Los Angeles Lakers 101-90 Chicago Bulls
    Denver Nuggets 120-112 Phoenix Suns

     

    Hawks at Bucks

    The Milwaukee Bucks (9-6) have dropped back-to-back games ahead of hosting the Atlanta Hawks (8-7) on Sunday.

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