NBA

NBA: Maxey's 50 points help 76ers win eighth straight

By Sports Desk November 13, 2023

Tyrese Maxey erupted for a career-high 50 points as the red-hot Philadelphia 76ers extended their winning streak to eight games with Sunday's 137-126 victory over the Indiana Pacers.

Maxey finished 20 of 32 from the field and 7 of 11 from 3-point range to help Philadelphia remain unbeaten since a season-opening loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Oct. 26. The fourth-year guard added five assists and blocked three shots in a superb all-around effort.

Joel Embiid contributed 37 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists, though the reigning NBA MVP yielded the spotlight on this night to teammate Maxey, who scored 16 of his points in the fourth quarter to help the Sixers prevail after Indiana grabbed a 105-104 lead with 10 1/2 minutes left.

The 76ers went ahead for good with a 10-2 run that put them up 114-107 with under seven minutes remaining.

Tyrese Haliburton had 25 points and 17 assists for the Pacers, who entered the contest on a three-game winning streak. Myles Turner recorded 22 points in defeat.

 

Surging Rockets down champion Nuggets for sixth straight win

Fred VanVleet had 26 points and the Houston Rockets overcame another dominant performance from Nikola Jokić in a 107-104 victory over the Denver Nuggets that extended their winning streak to six games.

Alperen Sengun added 23 points and eight rebounds as the upstart Rockets recorded their longest stretch of consecutive wins since a six-game run from Jan. 22-Feb. 2, 2021. Houston went just 22-60 in 2022-23, tied for the second-lowest win total in the NBA last season. 

The Rockets had to withstand Jokic's fourth triple-double of the season, as the two-time league MVP racked up season highs of 36 points and 21 rebounds along with 11 assists.

Reigning NBA champion Denver had cut a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit down to one when Jokic's 3-pointer with 19.5 seconds left brought the Nuggets within 103-102. VanVleet then made two free throws on the ensuing possession, and Denver then turned it over before Jalen Green went 1 of 2 from the foul line to give Houston a four-point advantage with 9.1 seconds remaining. 

Michael Porter Jr. had 25 points and 10 rebounds as Denver lost for only the second time in 10 games this season. The Nuggets had won four straight coming in.

 

Timberwolves get past Warriors to extend winning streak

The Minnesota Timberwolves are also on a six-game winning streak following their 116-110 victory over the Golden State Warriors behind Anthony Edwards' 33 points and seven assists.

Karl-Anthony Towns chipped in 21 points and 14 rebounds to help the Timberwolves improve to 7-2 and deal Golden State a third consecutive defeat.

The Warriors got 38 points from Stephen Curry but had an overall off-shooting night, connecting on just 12 of 43 attempts (27.9 per cent) from 3-point range.

Minnesota, on the other hand, shot 66.7 per cent from the field in the third quarter and outscored the Warriors by a 35-22 margin for the period to build an 89-73 lead into the fourth. The Timberwolves maintained a double-digit advantage into the final minute.

The game was the first of two straight meetings between the teams in San Francisco, where the Warriors will host Minnesota again Tuesday.

 

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    The Boston Celtics return to the NBA Finals as a different team to that beaten by the Golden State Warriors two years ago, says their Eastern Conference finals hero Jaylen Brown.

    Brown won the Larry Bird Trophy as Eastern Conference finals MVP on Monday, having helped the top-seeded Celtics complete a 4-0 series sweep of the Indiana Pacers.

    In Game 4, Brown sank 10 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter as the Celtics recovered from a nine-point deficit with under nine minutes left for a 105-102 victory.

    The Celtics have reached the Eastern Conference finals six times in the last eight years but this is just the second time they have progressed to the NBA Finals in that run. They last did so in 2021-22, only to be beaten 4-2 by the Warriors.

    Brown believes they have become a better team for that experience, however.

    "We feel like we're a different team than we were last year and the year before that," Brown said. 

    "I know everybody wants to continue to pigeonhole us with what was happening in the past but we've had a different team every single year, different coaches, we've had like three coaches in the last five years. 

    "Still people want to make it seem like it's the same, it's the same, it's the same.

    "Time has gone by, experience has been gained and I think we are ready to put our best foot forward."

    Jayson Tatum supported Brown with 26 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists on Monday, while Jrue Holiday had 17 points and Derrick White tacked on 16.

    "It's special," Tatum said. "Even though we've been there before, most of us have, you don't take it for granted. We were excited.

    "It was a hell of a team we just played, they made us earn every single game and we're extremely grateful to move on to the Finals."

  • Celtics sweep Pacers to reach NBA Finals Celtics sweep Pacers to reach NBA Finals

    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.

    He helped redefine the centre position, but his career was cut short by foot injuries.

    After averaging 17.1 points and 13.5 rebounds in his first four seasons with the Trail Blazers, he averaged 10.2 points and 8.1 boards in his final six seasons with the Clippers and Celtics.

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

    He retired after playing just 10 games in the 1986-87 season, and was inducted into the basketball Hall of Fame in 1993.

    Following his playing career, Walton became a star broadcaster for decades. He became known for his colourful broadcasting style, where he enthusiastically offered high praise and also blunt criticism.

    "What I will remember most about him was his zest for life," Silver said. "He was a regular presence at league events – always upbeat, smiling ear to ear and looking to share his wisdom and warmth. "

     

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