NBA

Nets win without Harden in Aldridge debut, Curry and Westbrook light it up

By Sports Desk April 02, 2021

The Brooklyn Nets have made it 20 wins from their past 23 matches with a 111-89 victory over the Charlotte Hornets without injured star pair Kevin Durant and James Harden on Thursday.

LaMarcus Aldridge impressed in his Nets debut, as Brooklyn blew away the Hornets, who were without the injured LaMelo Ball, in the first quarter with a 32-11 start.

Kyrie Irving had 15 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists but it was Jeff Green who top scored with 21 points including five three-pointers.

The Nets may have been missing James Harden due to hamstring tightness but improved to a 34-15 record to sit top of the Eastern Conference.

The Philadephia 76ers are still right behind them, having overcome the Cleveland Cavaliers 114-94 on Thursday.

The 76ers were also without their star man Joel Embiid, who has now missed 10 games, but they shot 40 per cent from three-point range.

Shake Mitton was the leading exponent with five threes in his match-high 27 points as the 76ers tied with the Nets for most road wins in the East with 14.

 

Curry on fire, another Westbrook triple-double

Stephen Curry scored 36 points and had 11 rebounds in his second game back but it was not enough as the Golden State Warriors lost 116-109 to the Miami Heat.

The Heat, who had Victor Oladipo debut with six points and five assists, end their four-game home losing streak.

The Los Angeles Clippers suffered their second straight defeat, going down to the Denver Nuggets 101-94 with guard Jamal Murray impressing again with 23 points and eight rebounds.

Center Nikola Jokic scored 14 points along with seven rebounds and seven assists for Denver as the Clippers were always playing catch-up after a 20-31 opening quarter.

Kawhi Leonard was a lone hand with 24 points, 12 rebounds and four assists as the Clippers slipped to a 32-18.

The Orlando Magic got past the New Orleans Pelicans 115-110 in over-time, along with the Atlanta Hawks 134-129 against the San Antonio Spurs in OT.

Russell Westbrook got another triple-double as the Washington Wizards lost 120-91 to the Detroit Pistons.

 

Wayward Clippers

It was not a good night for the Clippers, losing back-to-back games and shooting less than 30 per cent from three-point range, including two-from-seven from guard Paul George, while Reggie Jackson went at 20 per cent from beyond the arc.

 

Aldridge's delightful debut

After missing the last two games with a sore foot since his recruitment from the San Antonio Spurs, veteran LaMarcus Aldridge did a bit of everything on his Brooklyn debut with 11 points, nine rebounds, two steals and six assists.

 

Thursday's results:

Philadelphia 76ers 114-94 Cleveland Cavaliers
Detroit Pistons 120-91 Washington Wizards
Brooklyn Nets 111-89 Charlotte Hornets
Orlando Magic 115-110 New Orleans Pelicans
Miami Heat 116-109 Golden State Warriors
Atlanta Hawks 134-129 San Antonio Spurs
Denver Nuggets 101-94 Los Angeles Clippers

 

Bucks in Portland

Damian Lillard's Portland Trail Blazers (29-18) play host to the Giannis Antetokounmpo's Milwaukee Bucks (30-17) in the highlight Friday fixture.

Related items

  • Warriors owner Lacob fined $50k for Simmons comments Warriors owner Lacob fined $50k for Simmons comments

    The NBA fined Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob $50,000 for violating the team's anti-tampering rule following his comments about Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons.

    Simmons' future is dominating headlines after 76ers head coach Doc Rivers confirmed on Wednesday that the three-time All-Star wants to leave Philadelphia.

    The Warriors have emerged as a possible destination for Simmons since his forgettable 2020-21 playoff campaign with the 76ers.

    But Lacob cast doubt over a Simmons trade during an interview, prompting a sanction from the NBA.

    "In some ways, it doesn't really fit what we're doing," Lacob told the San Francisco Chronicle.

    "He makes a lot of money. And, can he finish games? I don't know. He's very talented. The problem is: We have Draymond [Green].

    "Draymond and him are very similar in the sense that neither one really shoots and they do a lot of the playmaking. That's one issue. The salary structure is another."

     

    Rivers, midweek, told ESPN the 76ers will try to convince Simmons to stay with the franchise amid trade talk.

    Simmons and his shooting problems were laid bare during the 2021 postseason with the top-seeded 76ers.

    Former number one draft pick Simmons had no fourth-quarter field-goal attempts in his last four games of the playoffs last season. He is the only NBA player in the last 20 seasons to have four consecutive postseason games with no field-goal attempts in the fourth quarter during a season in which he was an All-Star.

    Simmons averaged just 10.1 field-goal attempts in 2020-21 – a career low, which dropped to 7.9 in the playoffs. It is the same story with his scoring as it dropped to a career worst 14.3 points per game and 11.9 in the postseason – both career lows.

    Then there is Simmons and free throws. He was exposed by rival teams as they regularly sent him to the line, with the Melbourne-born guard making just 25 of 73 shots in the 2020-21 playoffs. His 34.2 free-throw percentage is the lowest ever in a single postseason.

  • 76ers and Doc Rivers want to convince Ben Simmons to stay amid trade talk 76ers and Doc Rivers want to convince Ben Simmons to stay amid trade talk

    Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers said the championship contenders will try to convince Ben Simmons to stay after confirming the disgruntled All-Star wants to leave the NBA franchise.

    Rivers was speaking on Wednesday, in response to reports Simmons told the 76ers he will not attend training camp next week and does not plan to play for the team again.

    It comes after Simmons' forgettable playoff campaign with the 76ers last season – the 25-year-old Australian failed to impress in the shock Eastern Conference semi-final loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

    Amid reported interest from the likes of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets and Portland Trail Blazers, Rivers discussed Simmons' future in Philadelphia.

    "I mean it was a good conversation," Rivers told ESPN when asked if Simmons had made it known that he wanted out of Philadelphia.

    "He gave his reasons, which we obviously didn't agree with. But you know, in sports, there's been so many times this has happened that hasn't been reported and the guy comes back.

    "Listen, we're going to go through it, we're going to always do what's best for the team, but I can tell you up front, we would love to get Ben back.

    "And if we can, we're going to try to do that. You know, Ben has a long contract. It's in our hands and we want him back."

     

    A three-time All-Star and elite defender, Simmons and his shooting problems were laid bare during the 2021 postseason with the top-seeded 76ers.

    Former number one draft pick Simmons had no fourth-quarter field-goal attempts in his last four games of the playoffs last season. He is the only NBA player in the last 20 seasons to have four consecutive postseason games with no field-goal attempts in the fourth quarter during a season in which he was an All-Star.

    Simmons averaged just 10.1 field-goal attempts in 2020-21 – a career low, which dropped to 7.9 in the playoffs. It is the same story with his scoring as it dropped to a career worst 14.3 points per game and 11.9 in the postseason – both career lows.

    Then there is Simmons and free throws. He was exposed by rival teams as they regularly sent him to the line, with the Melbourne-born guard making just 25 of 73 shots in the 2020-21 playoffs. His 34.2 free-throw percentage is the lowest ever in a single postseason.

    Rivers also tried to clarify comments he made following Philadelphia's elimination at the hands of the Hawks in June.

    After the 76ers' failed run at a first NBA title since 1983, Rivers was asked if he thought Simmons could be a guard on a championship team, and he replied: "I don't know the answer to that right now."

    On Wednesday, Rivers said: "I want to correct that. I would love you guys to play what I said, because, and I've told you this before Stephen A. [Smith], I never said what was reported.

    "The question was asked about Ben, it was the first question after we just lost Game 7, my answer was, 'I'm not answering any of that stuff right now guys, I don't even know how to answer that.' That had nothing to do what's about Ben, I was basically just saying, 'I'm not answering that crap, those questions.'

    "It was being portrayed that I was out there saying I don't think we can win with Ben, and I do. I told Ben that the next day. What really disappointed me was the next day I went on and said, 'Guys, y'all knew exactly what I was talking about,' and no one heard it.

    "They just kept running their narrative. I've been in sports a long time, and I'm not misrepresented very often, but in that case, I was. But it is what it is. Ben knows, [agent] Rich [Paul] knows, and I know."

  • Towns stunned after Timberwolves fire president of basketball ops Towns stunned after Timberwolves fire president of basketball ops

    Karl-Anthony Towns posted a single-word explicit tweet apparently in response to the Minnesota Timberwolves' decision to fire Gersson Rosas.

    The Timberwolves parted company with Rosas on Wednesday after just over two years with the NBA team as president of basketball operations.

    Reports said Rosas was holding meetings within the organisation as recently as Wednesday morning, meaning his dismissal prompted shock throughout the team – including from two-time All-Star Towns.

    Owner Glen Taylor said: "As an organisation, we remain committed to building a winning team that our fans and city can be proud of."

    Taylor is in the process of selling the team, with Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore set to arrive.

    The Timberwolves have played only one postseason series since 2004 and showed few signs of progress on the court with Rosas at the helm.

    As well as Towns, Minnesota have 2020 first overall pick Anthony Edwards on their roster, but a big front office restructure comes as a surprise as training camp approaches.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.