NBA

Mobley scores career high as Cavs down Bucks without Giannis again, Celtics beat Raptors

By Sports Desk January 22, 2023

Evan Mobley scored a career-high 38 points as the Cleveland Cavaliers secured a big win in the Eastern Conference, downing the Milwaukee Bucks 114-102.

The 2021 NBA Draft third overall pick shot 19-of-27 from the field with nine rebounds and three assists for the Cavs, who improved to a 29-19 record to sit fifth in the east, with the Bucks third at 29-17.

Cavs point guard Darius Garland added 21 points, including 10 in the third, with 10 assists.

The Bucks were without Giannis Antetokounmpo who missed his fifth straight game due to knee soreness. Milwaukee are 6-5 on the season when playing without the MVP contender.

Jrue Holiday led the way for Milwaukee with 28 points, four rebounds and 10 assists, while Bobby Portis added 23 points including five three-pointers with 11 rebounds.

In Antetokounmpo's absence, Milwaukee turned to three-point shooting with regularity, but shot 14-of-39 from beyond the arc.

On Antetokounmpo's continued absence, Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer said: "There's still just things he's working on, I think body-wise, to get to that point where; there's a big difference between practicing and playing a game.

"I know I've said it pretty much every day – we continue to be confident and feel like this is kind of the things we've managed and dealt with for most of his career. So we'll just continue to take it day-by-day. He's getting good work in, good lifts."

Celtics win but pick up injuries

The Boston Celtics won 106-104 over the Toronto Raptors but lost guard Marcus Smart and center Robert Williams to ankle and knee injuries respectively.

Jaylen Brown top scored with 27 points, eight rebounds and six assists for Boston, for whom Jayson Tatum sat out the game with a sore left wrist.

Grant Williams and Malcolm Brogdon played increased minutes, scoring 25 and 23 points respectively off the bench, while Pascal Siakam had 29 points and 10 rebounds for the Raptors.

Edwards stars as Rockets sink to new low

Former NBA Draft top overall pick Anthony Edwards scored a season-high 44 points to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves past the struggling Houston Rockets 113-104.

Edwards shot 17-of-29 from the field with eight three-pointers for the Wolves, who improved to a 24-24 record. Edwards also had six rebounds, four assists, three steals and three blocks, while D'Angelo Russell contributed 23 points.

The defeat condemned the Rockets to their 13th straight loss, which is the longest streak this season. Houston gave up 23 turnovers that led to 30 Wolves points.

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    James needed 36 points to break the record against the Oklahoma City Thunder, and he reached that figure in the final seconds of the third quarter, drilling a free throw line fadeaway to eclipse Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's mark of 38,387.

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    After the contest, James was asked a couple of questions from fellow legendary Laker Shaquille O'Neal, with the last being about who he feels is the greatest player in the history of the league.

    "I'm gonna let everybody else decide who that is, or talk about it, but it's great barbershop talk," James said, before O'Neal cut him off and demanded a straight answer.

    "Me personally, I'm going to take myself against anybody who has ever played this game," he said. 

    "But everyone is going to have their favourite, and everyone is going to decide who their favourite is, but I know what I've brought to the table, I know what I bring to the table every single night, and what I can do out on this floor.

    "I always feel like I'm the best to ever play this game, but there's so many other great ones that I'm happy to just be a part of their journey."

    O'Neal also asked if James believes he can go on and continue to add to the record for years to come, and interestingly, James left the door open to perhaps playing for a different franchise before he hangs up his boots.

    "For sure, I know I can play a couple more years," he said. "The way I'm feeling, the way my body has been reacting to me through the course of this season, I know I can play a couple more years.

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    LeBron James gave an emotional speech after surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the all-time regular season scoring record on Tuesday, thanking those who helped him along the way.

    James came into the contest against the Oklahoma City Thunder trailing by 35 points, and he needed only three quarters to get there, nailing a fadeaway jump shot late in the third period to bring up 36 points on 12-of-18 shooting.

    That basket gave him his 38,388th regular season point, while he is already 1,644 points clear of Michael Jordan for the most points in playoff history.

    During a lengthy delay after James broke the record, where Abdul-Jabbar came onto the court for a symbolic passing of the torch, James reflected on the journey to this moment.

    "I just want to say thank you to the Lakers faithful, you guys are one-of-a-kind," he said.

    "To be able to be in the presence of such a legend as great as Kareem means so much to me, it's very humbling – please give a standing ovation to 'The Captain' please.

    "To my beautiful wife, my daughter, my two boys, my friends, my boys, my family, my mother – man, everyone who has ever been a part of this run with me the past 20 years.

    "I just want to say I thank you so much, because I wouldn't be me without y'all. All y'all help, all y'all passion, all y'all sacrifices helped me get to this point. 

    "To the NBA, to Adam Silver, to the late great David Stern, thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of something I've always dreamed about. 

    "I would have never, ever, in a million years have dreamt this even better than it is tonight… thank you guys."

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    "To my beautiful wife, my daughter, my two boys, my friends, my boys, my family, my mother – man, everyone who has ever been a part of this run with me the past 20 years.

    "I just want to say I thank you so much, because I wouldn't be me without y'all. All y'all help, all y'all passion, all y'all sacrifices helped me get to this point. 

    "To the NBA, to Adam Silver, to the late great David Stern, thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of something I've always dreamed about. 

    "I would have never, ever, in a million years have dreamt this even better than it is tonight… thank you guys."

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