NBA

Raptors, 76ers advance as Lillard's buzzer-beater sends Blazers through

By Sports Desk April 24, 2019

The Toronto Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers set up an Eastern Conference semi-final showdown, while the Denver Nuggets moved ahead of the San Antonio Spurs.

Kawhi Leonard posted 27 points as the Raptors topped the Orlando Magic 115-96 in Game 5 on Tuesday.

The Raptors sealed a 4-1 series victory, with the 76ers next up in the second round in the east.

Philadelphia blew away the Brooklyn Nets 122-100 after a dominant first quarter at home.

The 76ers led 14-0 to start Game 5 and never looked back – Joel Embiid scoring 23 points and 13 rebounds in just 20 minutes of action to secure a 4-1 triumph.

Meanwhile, the Nuggets lead the Spurs 3-2 following Tuesday's 108-90 victory against San Antonio.

Denver became the first team in the Western Conference series to win two straight games and did so in a dominant fashion.

Jamal Murray finished with a game-high 23 points on nine-of-16 shooting, while LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan both contributed 17 points for Spurs.

 

Lillard eliminates Thunder

Portland Trail Blazers star Lillard scored a franchise-record 34 first-half points and finished with 50 to secure a dramatic 118-115 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder and a 4-1 series success. Lillard made a ridiculous buzzer-beating three-pointer over Paul George for the victory.

George scored 36 points and helped pull the Thunder back from a 12-point deficit, but the Trail Blazers' made all the right plays down the stretch to reclaim the lead.

Pascal Siakam totalled 24 points in Toronto's win.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson tallied 21 points for the beaten Nets.

Nikola Jokic had a quality night all around, racking up 16 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists for the Nuggets.

 

No magic for Isaac or Orlando

Jonathan Isaac scored three points on one-of-seven shooting in the Magic's loss.

D'Angelo Russell had eight points on three-of-16 shooting for the Nets.

 

Simmons shows no mercy

Ben Simmons ended Philadelphia's first quarter with a slam at the rim.

Marc Gasol with the big block of D.J. Augustin's floater, which helped the Raptors get out on the break.

 

Jazz at Rockets

The Houston Rockets missed an opportunity to sweep the Utah Jazz on Monday. But now, they will get a chance to finish things off at the Toyota Center. Should the Rockets and Golden State Warriors win on Wednesday, the much-anticipated matchup between the two could get underway soon.

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    Team USA won the first exhibition 102-86 at Marvel Stadium on Thursday, but the hosts responded with a 98-94 victory in front of 52,079 fans two days later.

    Australia came from 10 points down in the second half, with San Antonio Spurs guard Mills scoring 30 – including the last 10 for the Boomers – to see out a historic triumph.

    "It's a building block for us. We've been taking it step by step and understanding that this is process. But it's good to get everyone back and get everyone on the floor," said Mills in an on-court interview.

    "This is just one step towards our progress and ultimate goal of creating history and winning a medal, so we're locked in on that focus for sure.

    "The support has been amazing. We've been through a lot of adversity as a team, as a programme.

    "We're very proud to represent these colours and represent them the right way and we're doing it as a team, as a group, as best mates."

    Kemba Walker scored 22 points off the bench for Gregg Popovich's USA side, while Harrison Barnes had 20 points and six rebounds in 26 minutes.

    Team USA conclude their tour in Sydney on Sunday when they face Canada, who will meet Australia in their FIBA World Cup opener in China on September 1.

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    Kelli Tennant, a former Spectrum SportsNet reporter, sued Walton on April 22, accusing him of sexual assault, verbal and physical harassment and unwanted physical contact over a three-year period.

    A day later, Tennant held a press conference and recounted an alleged incident at a Los Angeles hotel in 2014 during which, she said, Walton pinned her to a bed.

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    Her allegations prompted the NBA and Kings to launch a joint investigation. Almost two-dozen people were interviewed during the investigation, but despite "repeated attempts" to interview Tennant, she did not participate on the advice of her legal team, according to an NBA statement.

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    Tennant's civil suit is believed to still be active. Tennant's attorney, Garo Mardirossian of Los Angeles, did not immediately respond to a request for comment by the Sacramento Bee.

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    "I am 100 per cent focused on coaching the Sacramento Kings and energised to work with this incredible group of players and coaches as we start this preseason," Walton said in a statement on Friday. "I will have no further comment."

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