NBA

Adebayo backed to 'hit another level' after match-winning display against Nets

By Sports Desk April 19, 2021

Bam Adebayo was backed to "hit another level" after his buzzer-beater snatched a 109-107 victory for the Miami Heat over the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday.

Adebayo stepped up to inspire the Heat at the AmericanAirlines Arena to a thrilling win in the absence of Jimmy Butler, who was ruled out with a sprained ankle.

The 23-year-old centre settled a pulsating contest when he took a pass from Goran Dragic with time almost up and was on target with a baseline jumper from around 12 yards out.

Adebayo finished with 21 points, 15 rebounds, five assists and two steals in a brilliant all-round performance against a 38-19 Nets side occupying second place in the Eastern Conference.

Dragic said of Adebayo: "He has great potential. I still feel he's not done yet. He's going to hit another level."

The Heat are seventh in the Eastern Conference and Adebayo believes they can put a run together following such a dramatic win.

He said: "A season can turn around after a game. Crazier things have happened in this league."

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra says Adebayo's all-round contribution should be recognised.

He said: "It's just not about scoring. That's the hard thing in this league, that the main thing people look at is how many points people score.

"Bam has so many things that he does for us that are important for us to be successful."

The Nets also lost Kevin Durant in the opening quarter due to a left thigh contusion.

Related items

  • He's always spectacular these days - Curry brilliance endures in latest MVP-level showing He's always spectacular these days - Curry brilliance endures in latest MVP-level showing

    Perhaps the most incredible aspect of Stephen Curry's enduring brilliance is that nobody is surprised by it, not least Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr.

    Kerr had the best seat in the house at Chase Center as Curry produced another remarkable showcase of his unparalleled shooting ability in the Warriors' 136-97 rout of the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday.

    It was a deluge of points from Curry, who scored 49 points in just 29 minutes, responding magnificently to the 50 points scored by Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal, with whom he is engaged in battle for the NBA scoring title. 

    Twenty-four of those points came in the first quarter and he tallied 22 in the third, marking the eighth time this season he has scored at least 20 in a quarter.

    Curry went 14 of 26 from the field and 11 of 21 from the three-point line. It was the seventh game of the season in which Curry has made double-digit three-pointers. He has achieved that feat 22 times in his career and five times in his last 15 games.

    He is averaging a league-high 31.9 points per game and has racked up at least 30 in 19 of the last 21 games.

    "It seems like he's just always spectacular these days," Kerr said. "And tonight, he topped it. Really spectacular.

    "When he got going in the third, we had about 4,000 fans in the stands and you could just hear every one of them in anticipation of the ball going in the hoop.

    "It's just amazing. The skill level is matched by his confidence level, and magical things happen."

    For all his incredible feats this season, Curry is not the favourite to win what would be a third MVP, with Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets still seen as the frontrunner.

    Asked if he believes Curry is the MVP, Kerr left no room for doubt.

    "Of course, I do," Kerr replied. "I get to watch this show every single night and I have just so much admiration for what Steph does every single night not only on the floor but the way he carries himself and the way he is an example for all of his team-mates."

    Curry was a touch more reserved about his stunning run of form.

    "It's been a great run, obviously, trying to continue it," he said.

    "Nights like tonight when you want to get off to a good start knowing we should win this game, and they were going to come out and try to give themselves some life early, we wanted to take that away.

    "Offensively, just trying to create any type of space. When you see the first two [three-pointers] go down, you start to find another level of confidence even to start the game and try to create an avalanche from there."

    The Warriors will likely need a few more of those avalanches to secure the eighth seed in the play-in tournament for the playoffs. They are a game ahead of the ninth-seeded Memphis Grizzlies, but face the top two seeds in the Western Conference, the Utah Jazz and the Phoenix Suns, on Monday and Tuesday.

    They then take on the New Orleans Pelicans before rounding out the regular season against the Grizzlies on May 16.

  • Westbrook thanks Robertson for 'setting the stage' after tying triple-doubles record Westbrook thanks Robertson for 'setting the stage' after tying triple-doubles record

    Russell Westbrook thanked Oscar Robertson for setting the stage after he tied the NBA legend's record for career triple-doubles on Saturday.

    Westbrook recorded his 181st triple-double to help the Wizards to a 133-132 win over the Indiana Pacers, tallying 33 points, 19 rebounds and 15 assists.

    He hit two clutch free throws to give the Wizards the lead with a second left in overtime and then clinched the win with a stunning block of Caris LeVert's last-ditch three-point attempt.

    In his first season with the Wizards, Westbrook has racked up 35 triple-doubles, 14 of which came last month. The record holder for most in a season with 42 in 2016-17, Westbrook (22 pts, 11.6 rebounds and 11.5 assists) will average a triple-double in a season for the fourth time in his career.

    Westbrook will look to claim the outright record for triple-doubles, which Robertson has owned since 1961-62 when he became the first to average a triple-double across a single campaign, as the Wizards visit the Atlanta Hawks on Monday.

    "I'm so grateful, thankful and blessed," Westbrook said. "I take a lot of pride in doing everything to impact winning as much as I can and leave it on the floor.

    "To be in the conversation with Oscar, for one, I want to thank him because he set the stage and sacrificed a lot of things for us to be able to go out and play.

    "The times he played in and the things he was able to do back in the day has allowed me to be able to do the things I want to do today.

    "I am just grateful for him, his words and appreciative of his support as well."

    "You got to want it more than the other player," Westbrook added of the approach he takes to rebounding. "You can kind of go through the motions and kind of let the game take control of you or you can take control of the game.

    "I always try to find ways to impact and help us and do anything I can to help us win.

    "I want to make sure I leave everything I have on the floor. And when I am all said and done, I can look back and nobody can ever say that I didn't compete at the highest level or cheated the game. I can go out and compete every night and that is all I can do each and every day."

    Team-mate Bradley Beal scored 50 points for the Wizards before leaving the game with a hamstring issue.

    "We were part of Russ' historical night tonight," Beal said. "That kind of takes the cake on everything. From the history of the game to the evolution of the game to where we are now, Russ is one of the best players to ever pick up a basketball.

    "To do that on a nightly basis, it is very tough to do. I think people kind of [give him] side-eye... or whatever the case may be. But you try going out there doing it every single night... And this is Russ' fourth time [averaging a triple-double]? That just speaks volumes."

  • 76ers win eighth straight to move closer to clinching east, Nets end slump and Westbrook equals record 76ers win eighth straight to move closer to clinching east, Nets end slump and Westbrook equals record

    The red-hot Philadelphia 76ers extended their winning streak to eight games after topping the Detroit Pistons 118-104, while Eastern Conference rivals the Brooklyn Nets snapped their skid.

    MVP hopeful Joel Embiid posted 29 points for the 76ers, who took another step towards clinching the Eastern Conference and top seed ahead of the NBA playoffs on Saturday.

    In the absence of Ben Simmons and Seth Curry, rookie Tyrese Maxey added 22 points and Dwight Howard (19 points and 14 rebounds) moved up to 10th on the all-time double-doubles list with his 743rd.

    The 76ers improved to 47-21 for the season and moved three games clear of the Nets (44-24), who returned to winning ways by upstaging the Denver Nuggets 125-119.

    Kevin Durant was nine-for-14 shooting for 33 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists, two steals and two blocks as the rallying Nets ended their four-game losing streak to reclaim second spot ahead of the idle Milwaukee Bucks.

    Nets team-mate Kyrie Irving added 31 points of his own, while MVP candidate and Nuggets star Nikola Jokic put up 29 points, seven rebounds and six assists at home.

     

    Westbrook matches Hall of Famer

    Washington Wizards star Russell Westbrook equalled Oscar Robertson's record after posting his 181st career triple-double. Westbrook moved level with the Hall of Famer thanks to his 33 points, 19 rebounds and 15 assists in a 133-132 overtime win against the Indiana Pacers. The former MVP became the first player in NBA history to record back-to-back games with 15-plus rebounds and 15-plus assists. Team-mate Bradley Beal had 50 points before a hamstring injury forced him to sit out OT. A Domantas Sabonis triple-double (30 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists) and Caris LeVert's double-double of 35 points and 14 rebounds were not enough for the Pacers.

    The NBA-leading Utah Jazz reached 50 victories for the season behind Georges Niang's joint-career high 24 points in a 124-116 win at home to the lowly Houston Rockets.

    Damian Lillard's game-high 30 points fuelled the Portland Trail Blazers' 124-102 victory against the San Antonio Spurs.

    Jonas Valanciunas dominated with his 47th double-double of the season – 18 points and 21 rebounds – in the Memphis Grizzlies' 109-99 triumph over the Toronto Raptors.

     

    Ellington struggles in Philly

    Pistons veteran Wayne Ellington was one-for-seven shooting, while making just one of his six three-pointers for three points in 24 minutes.

     

    The three-point king!

    Stephen Curry put on a show in three quarters of action as the Golden State Warriors crushed the Oklahoma City Thunder 136-97. Curry posted 49 points in 29 minutes, matching his season best with 11 three-pointers, including a deep attempt from beyond the arc in the third period. Curry had his 10th 40-point game of the season and 48th of his career. His performance also marked the fourth time he has posted multiple 20-point quarters in the same game, and the first time since 2018.

     

     

    Saturday's results

    Washington Wizards 133-132 Indiana Pacers (OT)
    Philadelphia 76ers 118-104 Detroit Pistons
    Memphis Grizzlies 109-99 Toronto Raptors
    Utah Jazz 124-116 Houston Rockets
    Golden State Warriors 136-97 Oklahoma City Thunder
    Portland Trail Blazers 124-102 San Antonio Spurs
    Brooklyn Nets 125-119 Denver Nuggets

     

    Suns at Lakers

    The high-flying Phoenix Suns (48-19) will be looking to sizzle against struggling defending champions the Los Angeles Lakers (37-30) on Sunday. The Suns are second in the west, while the Lakers are seventh and on track to feature in the play-in tournament.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.