NBA

NBA: Timberwolves erase 22-point deficit in win over Clippers

By Sports Desk March 13, 2024

Anthony Edwards scored 37 points and the Minnesota Timberwolves rallied from a 22-point deficit for a 118-100 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker added a season-high 28 points and Mike Conley scored 23 with five 3-pointers for the Wolves, who bounced back from consecutive losses to pull within one game of the Northwest Division lead.

Kawhi Leonard left with back spasms between the first two quarters, the Clippers said. He played the entire first quarter, but he was seen leaving the arena during the second quarter.

Faced with a 57-35 deficit midway through the second quarter, Minnesota cut the Clippers’ lead to 63-55 at halftime and took control in the second half for the team’s largest comeback since November 2012.

Paul George scored 22 points for Los Angeles, which has dropped two straight for only the second time since Christmas.

Minnesota’s Rudy Gobert returned from a one-game absence with a right hamstring injury but then apparently injured his ribs or sternum at some point in the second half, heading to the locker room in pain.

Kings finally beat Bucks

De’Aaron Fox scored 29 points and Domantas Sabonis had 22 with 11 rebounds as the Sacramento Kings defeated the Milwaukee Bucks, 129-94, for their first win in the series in over eight years.

Sacramento posted its first win over Milwaukee since Feb. 1, 2016, with the 15-game losing streak being the longest active streak for any team.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 30 points and 13 rebounds as the Bucks finished a 1-3 California swing.

Hart stars in Knicks’ rout of 76ers

Josh Hart registered his fourth triple-double of the season and OG Anunoby scored 14 points in his return from an 18-game absence as the New York Knicks rolled to a 106-79 drubbing of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Hart had 20 points, a career high-tying 19 rebounds and 10 assists, and Jalen Brunson added 20 points and nine assists for the Knicks, who bounced back from Sunday’s loss to the 76ers.

Anunoby played his first game since Jan. 27 due to a right elbow injury that required surgery. New York improved to 13-2 in games that he has played in since his acquisition from Toronto on Dec. 30.

Kelly Oubre Jr. had 19 points and Tyrese Maxey added 17 after missing the previous four games due to a concussion. Philadelphia has lost four of its last five games.

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    The Cavaliers decided to dismiss Bickerstaff from his position on Thursday, according to a statement made by the team.

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    In 2023-24, Bickerstaff helped direct Cleveland to a 48-34 record and the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference play-offs.

    The Cavs then beat the Orlando Magic in the first round for the franchise's first play-off series win since the team lost to the Golden State Warriors in the 2018 NBA Finals. It also marked Cleveland's first trip to the conference semi-finals without LeBron James on the roster since 1992-93.

    The Cavs' season ended in the conference semis, where they lost to the NBA-best Boston Celtics in five games.

    Bickerstaff's team, however, was significantly undermanned with five-time All-Star Donovan Mitchell missing the final two games against the Celtics with a left calf strain and fellow All-Star Jarrett Allen missing the last eight play-off games due to a right rib contusion.

    "J.B. is a well-respected NBA coach and an incredible human-being," Cavaliers president of basketball operations Koby Altman said in a statement. "Over the past four years, he helped establish a culture that progressively drove players to become the best versions of themselves. Decisions like these are never easy, particularly when you look back at where this franchise rebuild started under his leadership. The NBA is a unique business that sometimes requires aggressive risk-taking to move a franchise forward and ultimately compete for championships. We owe a ton of gratitude for everything J.B. has contributed to the Cavaliers and his engagement in the Cleveland community. We wish J.B., his wife Nikki and their three children the best in their future endeavours."

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    "I think we haven't been tested like this where we've had to trade basket to basket, late-game free throw situations or fouling situations, stuff that we have to be better at," Conley said.

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