NBA

Poole leads Warriors charge as they chase down Embiid's 76ers, Mavs lose again as Lakers win

By Sports Desk March 25, 2023

The Golden State Warriors stormed home to rally back from an 11-point fourth-quarter deficit to down the Philadelphia 76ers 120-112 despite Joel Embiid's 46 points on Friday.

Jordan Poole was clutch with 33 points off the bench including six three-pointers, while Stephen Curry added 29 points on 10-of-18 shooting from the field with eight rebounds at the Chase Center.

Poole made a pivotal three-pointer for a 115-110 lead with 1:18 remaining in the last as the Warriors improved to 39-36 to sit sixth in the Western Conference.

The 76ers had led by 11 points with 11:32 remaining in the fourth quarter after Shake Milton laid off for Paul Reed's alley oop layup, but the Warriors launched their comeback with Poole and Curry at the heart of it.

Poole scored 19 of his 33 points in the fourth period, while Curry stepped up with eight points in the final four minutes.

Klay Thompson added six triples in his 21 points, while Draymond Green had 10 points, seven rebounds and 10 assists in a busy display.

MVP candidate Embiid was huge with 46 points on 13-of-23 shooting from the field with nine rebounds and eight assists.

Tobias Harris added 23 points for the 76ers, with Tyrese Maxey contributing 21. James Harden was absent with Achilles soreness.

Embiid scored 13 straight points for the 76ers in the fourth quarter after checking back in with 8:26 left.

Mavericks slip out of play-in spots

The Dallas Mavericks suffered their third straight loss as their playoff hopes took another hit with a disappointing 117-109 loss to the short-handed Charlotte Hornets.

Luka Doncic scored a game-high 34 points with 10 rebounds and eight assists, while Kyrie Irving added 18 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, but the Mavs were undone after a slow first half, with Hornets forward P.J. Washington managing a team-high 28 points.

The loss leaves the Mavs outside the play-in tournament spots in 11th in the Western Conference with a 36-38 record.

Lakers up to .500 for first time this season

The Los Angeles Lakers squared their ledger at .500 and moved up to eighth in the West with a 116-111 triumph over the Oklahoma City Thunder securing three consecutive wins.

Anthony Davis had 37 points and 14 rebounds for the Lakers, while Lonnie Walker impressed in his return with 20 points and Denis Schroder added 13 of his 21 points in the second half.

The Lakers improved to 37-37 with the win, getting to .500 for the first time this season, with LeBron James' return form injury reportedly not far away. LA are 8-5 during James' latest absence.

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    Derrick White's tie-breaking 3-pointer with 45 seconds left sent the Boston Celtics into the NBA Finals for the second time in three years with a 105-102 win over the Indiana Pacers in Monday's Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals.

    The top-seeded Celtics, who were ousted in seven games by the Miami Heat in last year's East finals, completed a sweep of this best-of-seven series by rallying from a nine-point deficit with under nine minutes left.

    Jaylen Brown led Boston's comeback by scoring 10 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter and coming up with a key late block that preceded White's winning shot. The Celtics also received 26 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists from Jayson Tatum, as well as another strong performance from their backcourt duo of White and Jrue Holiday.

    Holiday totalled 17 points and nine rebounds while White had 16 points on 7-of-14 shooting along with a game-high five steals.

    The sixth-seeded Pacers were unable to extend the series while playing a second straight game without All-Star guard Tyrese Haliburton, who injured his hamstring in Thursday's Game 2.

    Andrew Nembhard led Indiana with 24 points and 10 assists, while Pascal Siakam posted 19 points and 10 rebounds.

    The Celtics will face the winner of the Western Conference finals between the Dallas Mavericks and Minnesota Timberwolves, and will host Game 1 on Thursday, June 6. The Mavericks lead that series 3-0 and can advance at home in Tuesday's Game 4. 

    A tightly contested game saw neither side lead by more than eight points until the Pacers put forth a 5-0 run, capped by Nembhard's 3-point play with 8:57 left to play, to take a 94-85 advantage.

    Indiana led 98-90 with under six minutes to go before the Celtics began catching fire. After Brown hit two free throws and Tatum knocked down a 3-pointer, Holiday drove the lane and was fouled while getting a layup to go down following a made basket by Nembhard. Boston's veteran guard calmly hit the ensuing free throw to bring the Celtics within 100-98 with 3:54 left.

    It remained a two-point game until Brown knocked down a floater with 2:40 left to tie the score at 102-102. Shortly thereafter, the All-Star forward rejected Nembhard in the lane as Boston's Al Horford grabbed the rebound with the contest headed towards the final minute of play.

    Brown then found an open White in the right corner, and the valued guard drained a 23-footer to send the Celtics ahead.

    Indiana had one final chance to force overtime, but Nembhard's 3-point try missed the mark and the Pacers failed to get another shot off. 

     

     

     

  • NBA legend Walton dies at 71 NBA legend Walton dies at 71

    Basketball legend Bill Walton died Monday at the age of 71.

    The NBA announced he passed away following a prolonged battle with cancer.

    During a 10-year professional career, Walton won a pair of NBA titles and was named the 1977-78 league MVP. He was also included on the NBA's 50th anniversary and 75th anniversary teams.

    He was the No. 1 overall pick of the 1974-75 NBA draft by the Portland Trail Blazers following a brilliant collegiate career that saw him win a pair of national titles at UCLA and earn three national player of the year awards.

    "Bill Walton was truly one of a kind," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement.

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    He led Portland to the 1976-77 NBA title, while being named Finals MVP, and later won a championship with Boston in 1985-86.

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  • 'He's born for clutch situations' - Doncic salutes 'Mr Fourth Quarter' Irving 'He's born for clutch situations' - Doncic salutes 'Mr Fourth Quarter' Irving

    Luka Doncic says Kyrie Irving was "born for the clutch situations" as the Dallas Mavericks produced another late show to deny the Minnesota Timberwolves.

    The Mavs, who overcame a late two-point deficit, prevailed 116-107 in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals series, becoming the first NBA side in history to take a 3-0 series lead despite trailing in the final five minutes of the fourth quarter in each game.

    Dallas had the second-best clutch record (23-9) and best clutch offence (127.1 points per 100 possessions) during the regular season, and have continued that momentum into the playoffs.

    Indeed, they also came from behind late on in Game 6 of their conference semi-final series victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

    Irving scored 14 points in the fourth quarter in Game 3, and now has 31 such points this series; the most by any player in this year's conference finals.

    "Unbelievable. That's why some people call him Mr Fourth Quarter, right?" Doncic said of his team-mate. "Just amazing. He's born for these situations. He's born for the clutch situations, so we just get the ball to him."

    "Down the stretch, that's where we make our money," Irving added. "I think we have that poise now, and we're just showcasing our skill sets out there that a lot of teams have to guard, the depth that we have. A lot of teams have to guard each one of us, and you got to pick your poison."

    Irving and Doncic scored 33 points apiece to become the first starting backcourt to each register at least 30 points in three playoff games over the past 50 seasons.

    "I feel like we're both born for this if you ask me, but it's just basketball. You've got to give the game what it needs at times," said Irving, who called for focus in his franchise's quest for a second NBA title.

    "It doesn't mean anything if we don't win a ring together. Right now, I want to show a lot of respect to the guys that have come before us and have actually done it. And our time will come."

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