Is Kyrie Irving's 50-point game an indicator of a big season to come?

By October 24, 2019
Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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  • NBA regular season concludes as 76ers, Raptors and Clippers win NBA regular season concludes as 76ers, Raptors and Clippers win

    The Philadelphia 76ers, Toronto Raptors and Los Angeles Clippers were all victorious as the NBA's regular season concluded in Orlando on Friday.

    Philadelphia's final game before their Eastern Conference first-round playoff blockbuster against the Boston Celtics on Monday saw the 76ers top the Houston Rockets 134-96.

    Joel Embiid (14 points) overcame a wrist problem and played for the 76ers at Walt Disney World resort, where Tobias Harris (18), Al Horford (10), Alec Burks (16), Shake Milton (11), Mike Scott (10), Raul Neto (14) and Furkan Korkmaz (12) all had double-digit points.

    The Rockets, who are set to meet the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference on Tuesday, were led by James Harden's 27 points and 10 assists.

    Defending champions the Raptors, meanwhile, defeated the Denver Nuggets 117-109 behind Stanley Johnson's season-high 23 points.

    Johnson scored 19 points in the second half, while Paul Watson put up a career-high 22 points for the in-form Raptors – who have won four games in a row and seven of their eight regular-season matchups in Florida.

    The Raptors – second in the east – begin their playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets on Monday, while the Western Conference's Nuggets open against the Utah Jazz.

     

    Mann impresses for Clippers

    With Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Lou Williams rested, rookie Terance Mann stepped up as the Los Angeles Clippers outlasted the Thunder 107-103 in overtime. Mann had 25 points and 14 rebounds for a double-double, including the go-ahead three-pointer with less than three minutes remaining in OT. Amir Coffey contributed 21 points.

    Hamidou Diallo's double-double of 27 points and 11 rebounds led the playoff-bound Thunder.

     

    Robinson scoreless as Pacers cool Heat

    Ahead of their upcoming first-round clash in the Eastern Conference, the Miami Heat lost 109-92 to the Indiana Pacers and Duncan Robinson struggled. Robinson was zero of three from the field, while he missed all three shots beyond the arc to go scoreless in 13 minutes. Trying to stay fit before the playoff matchup as both teams rested stars, the Heat lost Derrick Jones Jr. to a neck strain following a scary collision.

     

    Harden with the behind-the-back pass

    The 2018 MVP produced this assist for Rockets team-mate Jeff Green.

     

    Friday's results

    Toronto Raptors 117-109 Denver Nuggets
    Indiana Pacers 109-92 Miami Heat
    Los Angeles Clippers 107-103 Oklahoma City Thunder (OT)
    Philadelphia 76ers 134-96 Houston Rockets

     

    Grizzlies face Trail Blazers

    The Western Conference play-in clash will see the Memphis Grizzlies and Portland Trail Blazers go head-to-head on Saturday. A win for the Trail Blazers will secure a first-round matchup against the top-seeded Los Angeles Lakers. Memphis have to go 2-0 in the play-in tournament.

  • Chicago Bulls fire head coach Boylen Chicago Bulls fire head coach Boylen

    The Chicago Bulls have fired head coach Jim Boylen after two seasons in charge.

    After working for the team as an associate head coach, Boylen was appointed to the top job in Chicago in December 2018, though he was not able to turn around the franchise's fortunes.

    The Bulls posted a 39-84 record during his tenure, failing to make the playoffs. They were 22-43 when the current campaign was suspended, meaning they missed out on being involved in Orlando when play eventually resumed in late July.

    Arturas Karnisovas, executive vice president of basketball operations, confirmed Boylen had been relieved of his duties on Friday, with the search to find his replacement beginning immediately.

    "After doing a comprehensive evaluation and giving the process the time it deserved, I ultimately decided that a fresh approach and evolution in leadership was necessary," Karnisovas said in a statement.

    "This was a very difficult decision, but it is time for our franchise to take that next step as we move in a new direction and era of Chicago Bulls basketball.

    "Jim is a great human being that cares deeply about this organisation and the game of basketball. I want to thank him for his professionalism and commitment to the franchise."

    As well as serving as head coach at the University of Utah between 2007 and 2011, Boylen has also worked as an assistant at several NBA teams, including being part of the Houston Rockets when they won successive NBA titles in 1994 and 1995.

    The 55-year-old was also part of the championship-winning staff at the San Antonio Spurs in 2014.

  • Popovich not dwelling on past after Spurs' record-tying playoff streak ends Popovich not dwelling on past after Spurs' record-tying playoff streak ends

    Gregg Popovich refused to dwell on the San Antonio Spurs missing the NBA playoffs for the first time in 23 years.

    With the Memphis Grizzlies and Phoenix Suns both winning their final regular-season games on Thursday, the Spurs were eliminated from postseason contention for the first time since 1996-97.

    San Antonio's fate was confirmed even before their 118-112 loss to the Utah Jazz at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.

    Despite missing out on a play-in berth behind the eighth-seeded Portland Trail Blazers and Grizzlies in the Western Conference, Spurs head coach Popovich looked to the future.

    "It means a lot to a lot of people probably but I don't dwell on the past," said Popovich, who has led the Spurs to five NBA championship since replacing Bob Hill in 1996.

    "That stuff's totally [not] important, what's important is the moment you do what you've got to do then you move on, but looking at the past doesn't do much good.

    "Any success we've had has been because we've had some great players."

    San Antonio had won three consecutive games prior to falling to the Jazz inside the Orlando bubble – the Spurs ending their coronavirus-hit 2019-20 campaign with a 32-39 record.

    Popovich added: "I'm more excited about this than anything you guys are talking about right now, successes or non-successes, because the success for streaks or whatever the hell you're talking about ended.

    "I could care less about that. I'm thrilled at the way they played here."

    "They had no shot to get into this thing and basically willed themselves into it to have this opportunity," the 71-year-old continued. "The development of the young kids largely playing the way they did, this is the best we've played all year. I've really enjoyed it."

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