NBA

NBA: Lillard scores 25 in Portland return as Bucks fall to Blazers

By Sports Desk February 01, 2024

Anfernee Simons spoiled Damian Lillard’s return to Portland with a go-ahead floater with 17.1 seconds remaining to lift the Trail Blazers to a 119-116 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday.

Lillard had 25 points on 9-of-23 shooting – 3 of 13 from 3-point range – with seven assists, six rebounds and four turnovers in his first game back in Portland since he was traded to Milwaukee in September.

He was the face of the Blazers’ franchise for his first 11 seasons in the NBA and was treated to a lengthy ovation before the game and tributes played on the video scoreboard during timeouts.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 27 points and eight rebounds and Khris Middleton added 21 and eight assists as the Bucks lost their second straight under new coach Doc Rivers.

Simons finished with 24 points and Deandre Ayton had 20 and 11 rebounds for the Blazers, who won their second straight to close a three-game homestand.

 

Durant leads Suns past Nets in return

Kevin Durant poured in 33 points in his return to Brooklyn and Jusuf Nurkic had 28 with 11 rebounds to lead the Phoenix Suns to a 136-120 win over the Nets.

Durant shot 10 of 16 from the field and added eight assists in his first game in Brooklyn since being traded to Phoenix nearly a year ago.

Devin Booker scored 22 points and Eric Gordon added 17 for the Suns, who won for the ninth time in 11 games.

Cam Thomas scored 25 points and Mikal Bridges, who came to Brooklyn in the Durant trade, had 21 as the Nets failed to win three straight for the first time since early December.

 

Mitchell’s big night keeps Cavaliers hot

Donovan Mitchell scored 20 of his 45 points in the fourth quarter and Darius Garland had 19 in his return from a broken jaw as the Cleveland Cavaliers held off the lowly Detroit Pistons, 128-121.

Jarrett Allen had 14 points and 11 rebounds for his franchise-record 16th straight double-double to help the Cavaliers win for the 11th time in 12 games and improve to an NBA-best 16-4 since Dec. 16.

Danilo Galliari scored 20 points and Cade Cunningham added 19 and seven assists for Detroit, which was seeking consecutive wins for the first time since Oct. 27-28.

Garland was 7 of 12 from the field in 20 ½ minutes in his first action after missing 19 games. He sustained the injury in a collision with Boston’s Kristaps Porzingis on Dec. 14.

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    When Grayson Allen takes the court for the Phoenix Suns in their first play-off game this weekend, he'll be playing with a new contract.

    Allen and the Suns agreed to a four-year, $70million extension on Monday, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

    The six-year veteran is coming off his best NBA season, averaging career highs of 13.5 points per game, 3.9 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 0.92 steals while starting 74 of 75 contests.

    He also shot a league-leading 46.1 per cent from 3-point range and averaged a career-best 2.7 made 3-pointers per game.

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    The 21st overall pick of the 2018 NBA draft by the Utah Jazz, Allen joined the Suns last off-season as part of the three-team trade that saw Damian Lillard go to the Milwaukee Bucks.

    Prior to being acquired by Phoenix, Allen spent one season with the Jazz, two with the Memphis Grizzlies and two in Milwaukee.

    He averaged 9.7 points per game in his first five seasons before becoming an important part of Phoenix's offence in 2023-24.

    In the 30 games Allen scored at least 14 points, the Suns went 22-8, compared to going 27-25 when he scored 13 or fewer.

    Phoenix won 10 of its last 14 games to end the season 49-33, and finish in sixth place in the Western Conference.

    The Suns will face the third-seeded Minnesota Timberwolves in a first-round play-off series, beginning on Saturday.

  • 'No doubt' Davis will face the Pelicans 'No doubt' Davis will face the Pelicans

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    He registered his fifth triple-double of the season, finishing with 28 points, a season-high 17 assists and 11 rebounds.

    "I just read the game and I was just finding my teammates and I just tried to put the ball on time and on target for either jump shots or guys at the rim," James said.

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