NBA

Clippers center Zubac dominates in Kareem-esque fashion, Durant's Nets look sharp

By Sports Desk November 27, 2022

Ivica Zubac was a man possessed in the Los Angeles Clippers' 114-100 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Sunday, recording a stat-line only ever emulated by the great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

With star Clippers duo Kawhi Leonard (ankle) and Paul George (hamstring) both absent, Zubac carried his team on both ends, scoring a season-high 31 points on 14-of-17 shooting, while grabbing a career-high 29 rebounds and blocking three shots.

Abdul-Jabbar is the only other player to offically tally those numbers, although it is widely believed both Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain should also be on that list, having played before the NBA began recording blocks and steals in the 1973-74 season.

Zubac became the first Clipper ever with 25 points and 25 rebounds, and since the 1983-84 season, there have only been 24 instances of a player grabbing at least 29 rebounds in a game, joining Andre Drummond, Nikola Vucevic and Kevin Love as the only active players to accomplish the feat.

He grabbed 12 offensive rebounds with his 17 defensive rebounds, raising his average to 10.8 for the season – the ninth-best figure in the league. He is also top-10 in blocked shots, averaging a career-high 1.8 per game.

For the Pacers, Tyrese Haliburton had 19 points and 11 assists to continue maintaining his career-high and league-leading average of 11.1 assists. He is two assists per game clear of second-placed Trae Young (9.1).

The win improves the Clippers' record to 12-9, leaving them fifth in the Western Conference standings.

Nets machine begins to click into gear

The Brooklyn Nets showed the signs of a potential contender as they pulled away in the fourth quarter to defeat the Portland Trail Blazers 111-97.

With offensive focal points Kevin Durant (31 points) and Kyrie Irving (22 points) combining to shoot 20-of-37 from the field (54 per cent), their perimeter-oriented style was thriving. 

Ben Simmons only attempted three shots and finished with two points, but he played exactly the role envisioned for him, posting team-highs in rebounds (12), assists (eight) and steals (three) to keep the ball moving and the offense functioning.

Seth Curry was spectacular off the bench, hitting 11-of-15 shots for a season-high 27 points, showing off his supreme chemistry with former Philadelphia 76ers teammate Simmons.

Golden State's big-three deliver

Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green turned back the clock as they had full control over the Golden State Warriors' 137-114 road win against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Curry continued his MVP-calibre season with 25 points (seven-of-17 shooting), 11 rebounds and eight assists, while his Splash Brother Klay Thompson contributed an efficient 21 points on eight-of-13 shooting, hitting five-of-eight from deep.

They were both set up by Green, who hit six of his seven shots for 19 points, while leading the game with 11 assists and two blocks.

The Warriors have now won five of their past six games to claw above .500 at 11-10.

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    Haliburton exited in the third quarter of Thursday's 126-110 loss at Boston due to a left hamstring injury, and won't be able to play in the first game in Indianapolis, according to Shams Charania and Joe Vardon of The Athletic.

    Thursday's defeat dropped the Pacers to 0-2 in the series.

    Haliburton experienced pain in the same hamstring earlier this season, missing 10 games in January.

    The two-time All-Star had 25 points, 10 assists and made six 3-pointers in 40 minutes in the series opener before playing only 28 minutes in Game 2. He had 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting and eight assists before departing.

    With Haliburton out, the Pacers will likely again rely on Pascal Siakam for offence and need Andrew Nembhard and T.J. McConnell to step up.

     

     

     

     

  • Kidd lauds 'special' Doncic's love of the big stage after game-winning 3 Kidd lauds 'special' Doncic's love of the big stage after game-winning 3

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    Doncic again displayed his ability to perform in the biggest moments on Friday as he drained a 3-pointer over four-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert to lead the Mavericks to a 109-108 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves, one that leaves them 2-0 up in their Western Conference final.

    The Mavericks came back from an 18-point deficit to tighten their grip on the series, with Doncic leading the way. The five-time All-Star ended the game with 32 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds, becoming just the fourth player in NBA history to manage four triple-doubles across a five-game postseason span.

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    "As you've seen, he loves that stage," Kidd told reporters. "He doesn't run from it. He made a big shot. Luka is special. He loves those type of moments.

    "The play was to get Luka the ball and let Luka do what he does in those moments."

    Doncic believes the comeback, the Mavericks' third-biggest in their postseason history, was down to his team's mindset as he ruthlessly snatched the game away from the Timberwolves.

    "Like I always say, stay together, positive energy," Doncic explained. "We believed until the end.

    "I just saw some space and decided to shoot a 3. Get to my spot, step back. That's it."

  • NBA: Doncic's late 3-pointer gives Mavericks 2-0 lead NBA: Doncic's late 3-pointer gives Mavericks 2-0 lead

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    Doncic had 32 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds for his eighth triple-double in 42 career playoff games for the Mavericks, who erased a 16-point deficit midway through the third quarter.

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    Naz Reid scored 23 points with seven 3-pointers, but his last shot at the buzzer rimmed out as the Timberwolves endured another off night from stars Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns. Edwards had 21 points on 5-of-17 shooting and Towns scored 15 on 4 of 16 from the field.

    Jaden McDaniels, who had 20-plus points in each of Minnesota’s last three games, didn’t make a basket until midway through the third. He finished with two points on 1-of-6 shooting.

    Kyrie Irving scored 13 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, including a 3 from the corner with 65 seconds left that drew Dallas within 108-106.

    Minnesota committed two turnovers, the last one by Edwards, who recklessly threw the ball out of bounds off a drive with 13 seconds to go.

    Doncic took the inbounds pass and dribbled to set up a screen for Dereck Lively II that triggered a switch by the Wolves. Rudy Gobert covered Doncic, but the Mavs superstar sank the 3 and then flexed his arms and yelled at the stunned crowd as his teammates mobbed him.

    The Wolves pushed their lead to 68-52 on Mike Conley’s free throw with 9:07 left in the third quarter, but Dallas scored eight straight points and was within 79-77 on Irving’s basket with 1:22 to play in the quarter.

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