NBA

LeBron's Lakers snap skid after All-Star break, Embiid injury overshadows 76ers win

By Sports Desk March 13, 2021

The Los Angeles Lakers returned to winning ways in their first game since the All-Star break, LeBron James helping the NBA champions to a 105-100 victory over the Indiana Pacers.

The Lakers had dropped back-to-back games prior to Sunday's All-Star Game in Atlanta, but they snapped their skid at home to the Pacers on Friday.

James – who sat out the loss to the Sacramento Kings before the break – posted 18 points and 10 assists for his 16th double-double of the season.

But it was Kyle Kuzma who top-scored for the Lakers off the bench, putting up 24 points – including 15 in the final quarter – 13 rebounds and two steals.

Eastern Conference leaders the Philadelphia 76ers extended their winning streak to four games after topping the lowly Washington Wizards 127-101.

However, Philadelphia's triumph was overshadowed by a knee injury to MVP candidate and All-Star Joel Embiid.

Embiid will have an MRI after appearing to hyperextend his knee in a scary fall in the third quarter – the 76ers big man hobbled to the locker room in pain.

He had 23 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two blocks prior to the injury in Washington.

 

Westbrook reaches milestone

While Russell Westbrook saw his league-leading streak of 13 double-doubles come to an end, the Wizards star surpassed 21,000 career points. With 25 points, eight assists and five rebounds, Westbrook joined James and Oscar Robertson as the only players with at least 21,000 points, 6,000 rebounds and 7,000 assists in their careers.

The 76ers snapped a 10-game losing streak away to the Wizards. Philadelphia also swept the Wizards for the first time since 2008-09.

Goran Dragic scored 20 of his 25 points in the final period as the Miami Heat defeated the Chicago Bulls 101-90. Jimmy Butler led the Heat with 28 points against his former team.

The Denver Nuggets edged the Memphis Grizzlies 103-102 behind Nikola Jokic's double-double of 28 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists.

 

Cavs crumble, Rockets lose again

It was a forgettable outing for the Cleveland Cavaliers, who were humbled 116-82 by the New Orleans Pelicans. Cleveland scored just nine points in the third quarter. The Cavaliers shot 34.1 per cent from the field. Kevin Love – in his first game back since December – was one-of-four shooting, while he made only one of three attempts from beyond the arc for four points in 10 minutes. Isaac Okoro was one of eight from the field, while he missed both three-pointers for two points in 29 minutes.

The Orlando Magic were also swept aside 104-77 at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs. Michael Carter-Williams finished with five points on two-of-nine shooting, making just one of his three shots from beyond the arc.

The Houston Rockets were no match for the NBA-leading Utah Jazz – 114-99 – in the absence of Victor Oladipo, Christian Wood and Danuel House Jr. Ben McLemore was three-of-14 from the field for eight points. The Rockets guard was also two-of-six from three-point range. It was Houston's 15th straight loss.

 

Rudy says no!

After featuring in the All-Star Game, Utah's Rudy Gobert was back to business with a double-double (14 points and 13 rebounds). He put up six blocks, including an emphatic effort in the third period.

 

Friday's results

Philadelphia 76ers 127-101 Washington Wizards
Denver Nuggets 103-102 Memphis Grizzlies
New Orleans Pelicans 116-82 Cleveland Cavaliers
Miami Heat 101-90 Chicago Bulls
San Antonio Spurs 104-77 Orlando Magic
Los Angeles Lakers 105-100 Indiana Pacers
Utah Jazz 114-99 Houston Rockets

 

Pistons at Nets

The lowly Detroit Pistons (10-27) – bottom of the Eastern Conference – will visit the in-form Brooklyn Nets (25-13) on Saturday. Brooklyn have won three straight, while Detroit have dropped back-to-back games.

 

Related items

  • Cardinals respond to Jones speculation after five-sack showing Cardinals respond to Jones speculation after five-sack showing

    Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim insists his team are "not in the business of getting rid of good players", amid speculation over the future of Chandler Jones.

    Former New England Patriots pass-rusher Jones sat out OTAs and minicamp as well as reportedly requesting a trade as he entered this season, the last of his current contract.

    Last season, three-time Pro Bowler Jones suffered a torn bicep in Week 5 ending his campaign early.

    But the 31-year-old started 2021 with a bang, recording an astonishing five sacks as the Cardinals opened with a big 38-13 win at the Tennessee Titans.

    Ahead of the Cardinals playing the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, Keim was asked whether the team would be able to tie Jones down to a new deal.

    "We are not in the business of moving on and getting rid of good football players," Keim said to Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.

    "You always want to get good players under contract, but there are always a million different moving parts. 

    "I have to continue to look at the roster moving forward, generally from a three-year standpoint."

    Per Stats Perform data, Jones' five-sack showing was just the eighth time this century a player has recorded that number in a single game. 

    The last player to achieve the feat was in fact Haason Reddick, also for the Cardinals, in Week 14 of last season against the New York Giants.

    Reddick has since moved on to the Carolina Panthers, but having Jones back with a point to prove should be of huge benefit.

    While Jones is focused on what takes place on the field, he acknowledges the contract situation is hard to ignore entirely.

    "I'm just playing football, honestly," Jones said. "I just let my agent take care of that – the contract situation – but it is the last year of my contract and I just let that take care of itself.

    "Is it something that, I mean, [I think about] off the field? Yeah, I mean, of course. I don't know where I'm gonna live next year. 

    "But in the same situation, I think, when the season starts, I tell my agent let's put all that to a side, you take care of that.

    "If you want to talk about it, you talk about it. As far as for me, I'm going to play, and I'm going to play my best football, and we'll see what happens then.

    "When it comes to the season, I think doing your job is essential, putting the team first, ignore the noise and just managing expectations.

    "I think I play best when I don't go in thinking about the deal or the contract."

    The Cardinals' Week 1 win was their second largest victory since Kliff Kingsbury became head coach in 2019. 

    They play a Vikings team who suffered a disappointing overtime defeat to the Cincinnati Bengals to begin the season.

  • Solskjaer convinced Sancho will improve after slow Man Utd start Solskjaer convinced Sancho will improve after slow Man Utd start

    Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has backed Jadon Sancho to come good after a slow start with the club.

    The 21-year-old has made five appearances for Untied since signing from Borussia Dortmund for around £73million after a high-profile transfer pursuit that lasted over a year.

    England international Sancho arrived to huge fanfare, though he is yet to register a goal or assist going into Sunday's Premier League trip to West Ham.

    A frustrating start for Sancho continued when he was sacrificed in the first half of Tuesday's Champions League loss to Young Boys, the winger taken off as part of a reshuffle when Aaron Wan-Bissaka was sent off.

    Solskjaer, though, insists nothing has changed in his evaluation of Sancho, who he feels can be a "top forward" for United over more than a decade.

    "He is learning all the time," Solskjaer told reporters before the West Ham clash.

    "As I said in training as well, he is learning our methods, he is learning the Premier League and of course, he knows the Champions League already from being at Dortmund.

    "He is a young boy, he is only 21 and he will improve. 

    "We signed him as we see a top forward for 10, 12, 15 years and I have not changed my mind on that.

    "He is so clean on the ball and is enthusiastic to learn and that is such a big thing when you come to Manchester United.

    "You are always going to get a chance and you play with some of the best players in the world, you are getting some fantastic coaching with the coaches I have got too."

    United will do battle with their former manager David Moyes when they take on West Ham, with Sancho not a certainty to start given Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes, Mason Greenwood and Cristiano Ronaldo are among the options in attacking positions.

    Since his sacking in 2014, Moyes has failed to win any of his seven games against United in all competitions, losing five of those.

    However, in-form Ronaldo has a mixed record against West Ham.

    The Portugal star was involved in six goals in his last four league appearances against them in his first spell in England (five goals, one assist), though he also suffered three top-flight defeats to the Hammers.

    Only against Chelsea (four) has Ronaldo suffered more Premier League losses than he has against West Ham.

  • Jimmy Greaves 1940-2021: English football's greatest ever goalscorer Jimmy Greaves 1940-2021: English football's greatest ever goalscorer

    Jimmy Greaves is among the finest players England has ever produced and remained one of the great entertainers long into retirement.

    Tottenham, Chelsea and England icon Greaves died on September 19 at the age of 81.

    A naturally clinical finisher with both feet, who terrorised defences throughout a record-breaking career, the inside forward is the leading goalscorer in the history of the English top flight.

    The World Cup winner found the back of the net a staggering 357 times in 516 First Division games and ended six seasons as the highest scorer.

    He is also Spurs' record goalscorer, having notched an incredible 266 goals from 379 appearances, and is fourth on the list of England's leading scorers, with 44 from 57 matches – including a record six hat-tricks.

    His status as the highest scorer in the top five European leagues was only lost as recently as 2017, when Cristiano Ronaldo surpassed his haul.

    Greaves glided past opponents with a sharp turn of pace and exhilarating skills, and would caress the ball beyond goalkeepers with ice-cool composure.

    The prolific maestro pounced on opportunities in a flash, could conjure up chances for himself out of nothing and provide assists with moments of magic.

    Born in Manor Park, East Ham, Greaves signed for Chelsea as a junior in 1956 and shattered a club record by bagging 114 goals for the youth team.

    He got his first-team chance on the opening day of the 1957-58 season and grabbed it with both hands, scoring a brilliant solo goal in a 1-1 draw against Tottenham, aged 17.

    Greaves helped himself to 13 hat-tricks for the Blues – within a stunning overall haul of 132 goals in 169 games – before making a switch to Milan, where he also demonstrated his goalscoring prowess but swiftly returned to London with Spurs after failing to settle in Italy.

    The ruthless marksman and his wife, Irene, moved in with his in-laws after sealing a £99,999 transfer to White Hart Lane in December 1961, having headed back to his homeland out of pocket.

    A modest superstar, Greaves would go for a pre-match meal of pie, eels and mash in Canning Town before showing he had not lost his appetite for scoring goals, establishing himself as a massive fans' favourite at Spurs.

    His debut hat-trick against Blackpool was a sign of things to come in an astonishing nine years at White Hart Lane, where the crowds flocked in to see a master at work.

    He won the FA Cup twice, netting in the 1962 final against Burnley and also lifting the famous trophy in 1967 after grabbing a double in the 5-1 1963 European Cup Winners' Cup final demolition of Atletico Madrid.

    Greaves was out of the game for three months in 1965 after contracting hepatitis but recovered to make the England squad for the 1966 World Cup.

    He played in the first three games of the tournament before picking up an injury and watched on as Geoff Hurst, his replacement, scored a hat-trick in a dramatic final victory over West Germany as the hosts were crowned world champions.

    While Greaves was denied the opportunity to feature in what remains England's finest hour, Hurst described him as "the greatest goalscorer ever in the English game" and a "genius".

    A battle with alcoholism followed his top-flight swansong at West Ham, but Greaves overcame his demons and shone brightly in the spotlight during a successful television career with his sharp wit and dry sense of humour.

    He formed a brilliant double act with Ian St John for the must-watch Saint and Greavsie show, which was a national institution, and he was also great value as a newspaper columnist and public speaker.

    Greaves survived a serious stroke in 2015 and declared he wanted to live until he was at least 90.

    A class act on and off the field, Greaves was a phenomenon, hugely respected and one of a kind.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.