NBA

Curry shines as Warriors beat Clippers, Lakers bounce back

By Sports Desk January 09, 2021

Stephen Curry led the Golden State Warriors past the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday, while the Los Angeles Lakers bounced back.

Curry's fine start to the NBA season continued in the Warriors' 115-105 win over the Clippers.

The guard had a double-double of 38 points and 11 assists as the Warriors (5-4) responded to their loss to the Clippers on Wednesday.

Curry was 13-of-24 from the field and nine-of-14 from three-point range in the win.

Paul George (25) and Kawhi Leonard (24) combined for 49 points for the Clippers, but they slipped to 6-4.

The Lakers bounced back from their loss to the San Antonio Spurs by overcoming the Chicago Bulls 117-115.

LeBron James' 28 points, seven rebounds and seven assists led the Lakers, who were without Anthony Davis (strained adductor).

Zach LaVine finished with 38 points for the Bulls.

 

Bucks fall despite Giannis' display, Celtics win

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 35 points, eight rebounds and four assists, but the Milwaukee Bucks went down to the Utah Jazz 131-118.

Donovan Mitchell led the Jazz, posting 32 points, seven assists and five rebounds.

Jaylen Brown continued his good form with a double-double of 27 points and 13 rebounds in the Boston Celtics' 116-107 win over the Washington Wizards. Brown and Jayson Tatum (32 points) became the third pair of team-mates in the past 20 seasons to each record 250-plus points in their team's first 10 games, joining Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant (2001-02) and Curry and Kevin Durant (three times).

The Wizards slumped to 2-7 despite Bradley Beal's 41 points.

Caris LeVert exploded for 43 points, but the Brooklyn Nets – without Durant and Kyrie Irving – were edged by the Memphis Grizzlies 115-110.

 

Magic misery

The Orlando Magic have made a good start to the season, but they shot at just 38.2 per cent in a 132-90 loss to the Houston Rockets. Orlando are now 6-3.

 

Brotherly battle

LaMelo and Lonzo Ball did battle on Friday. LaMelo had 12 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists in the Charlotte Hornets' 118-110 win over the New Orleans Pelicans.

Friday's results

Detroit Pistons 110-105 Phoenix Suns
Boston Celtics 116-107 Washington Wizards
Charlotte Hornets 118-110 New Orleans Pelicans
Oklahoma City Thunder 101-89 New York Knicks
Houston Rockets 132-90 Orlando Magic
Memphis Grizzlies 115-110 Brooklyn Nets
Utah Jazz 131-118 Milwaukee Bucks
Toronto Raptors 144-123 Sacramento Kings
Golden State Warriors 115-105 Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles Lakers 117-115 Chicago Bulls

 

Cavaliers at Bucks

The Bucks (5-4) will look to bounce back when they take on the Cleveland Cavaliers (5-4) on Saturday.

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    Steve Kerr revelled in the "crazy" luxury of being able to bring Chris Paul and Klay Thompson off the bench as the Golden State Warriors continued their fine form on Tuesday.

    Golden State have hit their stride in February to move back into playoff contention in the West, despite missing veteran point guard Paul.

    The 38-year-old was traded to the Warriors by the Washington Wizards at the start of the season, having previously been moved on by the Phoenix Suns, but had been restricted to 32 games and 11 starts prior to returning against the Wizards.

    Paul made his comeback from the bench following his recovery from surgery on a left hand fracture, and he was joined in the second unit by Klay Thompson.

    Those options in reserve were especially useful to Kerr in this 123-112 win as superstar starter Stephen Curry was held scoreless through the first half.

    Curry finished with 18 points, but he was outshone by Thompson, who had 25, while Paul played a key role in the decisive third quarter in which the Warriors outscored the Wizards 38-17.

    "What a luxury to come off the bench with Chris Paul and Klay Thompson," coach Kerr said. "That's crazy."

    "You've got two Hall of Famers in the backcourt coming off the bench," Thompson added. "That's such a rare feat, so we take pride in that.

    "[Paul] makes my life much easier, much easier. Just his ability to read the game, hit me in stride, on time, on target, he's probably one of the best in history at doing that."

    Kerr continued: "We've been playing pretty well over the last month or so, but we've really been looking forward to getting Chris back.

    "You could see why tonight. He's a plus-17 in 21 minutes, always in control of the game. The way we closed the third quarter was really important, and he was at the helm."

    Paul is not getting carried away just yet but acknowledged that strength in depth and affirmed his commitment to taking on whatever role Kerr asks of him.

    "It's one game, one game," Paul said. "We've still got a lot of work to do as a team, as a unit.

    "We have so much depth, so many different ways that we can play, that it's going to take us a little while to figure it out. But obviously, you want to figure it out and win at the same time.

    "We've got a really good group of guys on this team, and [Kerr is] going to need different things every night.

    "You know one thing about me though: I know who I am and what I'm capable of. You know what I mean? There ain't any question about that. I'll always be ready, and I think he knows that."

  • NBA: Cavaliers’ Strus hits from half court at buzzer to stun Mavericks NBA: Cavaliers’ Strus hits from half court at buzzer to stun Mavericks

    Max Strus connected on a 59-foot heave at the buzzer, lifting the Cleveland Cavaliers to a wild 121-119 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday.

    Strus made five 3-pointers in the final 3:42 of the game and capped a back-and-forth ending, giving the Cavs their 20th win in their last 24 games.

    Dallas’ PJ Washington made a contested layup with 2.6 seconds remaining to put the Mavs up 119-118.

    Without any timeouts to advance the ball, Strus inbounded to Evan Mobley, who quickly returned the ball. Strus took one dribble before launching from behind the half-court line and swishing the game-winning bucket.

    Strus finished with 21 points. Donovan Mitchell also made seven 3’s and led the way for the Cavs with 31 points.

    With the win, Cleveland (38-19) remained alone in second place in the Eastern Conference.

    The Mavericks, who lead by 10 with under four minutes remaining, squandered a signature performance from Luka Dončić, who finished with 45 points, nine rebounds and 14 assists.

     

    Celtics extend season-best winning streak

    Jaylen Brown scored 31 points, Jayson Tatum flirted with a triple-double and the Boston Celtics weathered a rare cold shooting night, beating the Philadelphia 76ers 117-99 for their ninth straight win.

    The Celtics, who lead the NBA in both 3-point makes and attempts this season, shot just 5 of 22 from beyond the arc, both season lows.

    Boston compensated for their cold shooting by attacking the rim and shooting 34 of 37 from the free throw line. Tatum – who finished with 29 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists – was 10 of 11 from the line, while Kristaps Porzingis made all 12 of his free throws.

    The Celtics (46-12) improved to 25-0 at home against Eastern Conference opponents.

    Tyrese Maxey was the high-point man for Philadelphia with 32, but the rest of the 76ers’ starters combined for just 22 points.

     

    SGA powers Thunder to 6th straight win

    Shai Gilgeous-Alexander continued to make his case for league MVP, Jalen Williams scored an efficient 24 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Houston Rockets 112-95 to win their sixth straight game.

    Gilgeous-Alexander finished with 31 points and has scored at least 30 in every game during the Thunder’s winning streak.

    The win kept Oklahoma City (41-17) in a tie with the Minnesota Timberwolves for the best record in the Western Conference.

    Alperen Sengun had a team-high 23 points and 11 rebounds for the Rockets, who are just 6-14 in their last 20 games.

  • Chelsea must invest time in 'world's most unique player' Mudryk, says Shakhtar CEO Chelsea must invest time in 'world's most unique player' Mudryk, says Shakhtar CEO

    Mykhailo Mudryk is "the most talented and unique player in the world", and patient work on the training ground will see Chelsea get the best out of the winger.

    That is the view of Serhiy Palkin, Shakhtar Donetsk's chief executive who struck the £89million deal which took Mudryk from Ukraine to Stamford Bridge last January.

    Like many of the big-money recruits of the Todd Boehly era, Mudryk has struggled for consistency since arriving in west London, after emerging as one of Europe's hottest prospects at Shakhtar.

    Between the start of 2021-22 and his move to the Premier League, Mudryk averaged a goal involvement every 70 minutes in the Ukrainian top flight, scoring nine goals and adding 13 assists in just 23 appearances during that spell.

    However, Mudryk has just three goals and four assists to his name in 34 Premier League appearances, and he attracted more criticism for an ineffective substitute appearance in Sunday's EFL Cup final defeat to Liverpool.

    Palkin, however, remains convinced of the 23-year-old's talent and feels he simply needs close attention from Mauricio Pochettino and his backroom staff. 

    "I can tell you that for me, Mudryk is the most talented and unique player in the world," Palkin told Stats Perform.

    "I believe that in order to get from Mudryk the maximum, as they anticipate, you need to invest in him. These investments are not money. 

    "It's time for the coaching staff to communicate with him and to work closely with him. He is a young boy, he changed from the Ukrainian Championship to the Premier League. 

    "It's a completely different world, with completely different levels, completely different football. 

    "Therefore, I believe that if the coaching staff dedicates him some time, he will return three, four, or five times more."

    One former Shakhtar man who made a far more immediate impact in the Premier League is Roberto De Zerbi, who led Brighton and Hove Albion to Europa League qualification last term while implementing a daring style of play. 

    The Seagulls are in the hunt for European qualification again this season, and they rank second in the Premier League for average passes per sequence (5.01), third for build-up attacks (127) and joint-first for high turnovers resulting in goals (seven).

    After overseeing Brighton's dramatic rise, De Zerbi has been tipped to move on to pastures new, with both Barcelona and Liverpool suggested as possible landing spots for the Italian.

    Palkin has no doubt De Zerbi is destined for the top, saying: "I can tell you that he did a lot for Brighton, he did brilliant work for Brighton. 

    "I believe 100 per cent that he can jump into a top club tomorrow, even today, 100 per cent. The most important thing is he must accept the proposition.

    "I believe he has a lot of propositions, including in Italian football and English football. Therefore, everything, everything, everything depends on him."

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