NBA

LaMelo Ball makes more NBA history, Giannis returns in Bucks win

By Sports Desk January 12, 2021

LaMelo Ball made more history as the Charlotte Hornets defeated the New York Knicks 109-88 in the NBA on Monday.

Ball became the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double on Saturday, and he was at it again for the Hornets – who won their fourth straight game.

The Hornets rookie became the first player aged 19 or younger in league history to lead his team in both rebounds and assists in three consecutive games.

Ball finished with eight points, a career-high 14 rebounds and seven assists as star Hornets team-mate Gordon Hayward posted 34 points, including 28 in the first half.

Two-time reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo returned to help the Milwaukee Bucks past the Orlando Magic 121-99.

Antetokounmpo was in action following a one-game absence due to a minor back injury and scored 22 points, while Bucks team-mate Khris Middleton led the way with 20 points and 10 rebounds.

 

Brilliant Beal helps snap skid

The Washington Wizards ended their three-game losing streak and claimed their first home win of the season thanks to Bradley Beal's 34 points and a 128-107 victory over the Phoenix Suns. Devin Booker had 33 points for the Suns.

Nikola Vucevic put up 28 points and 13 rebounds for the beaten Magic in Orlando.

The shorthanded Philadelphia 76ers lost 112-94 at the Atlanta Hawks, but Joel Embiid had 24 points and 11 rebounds. Hawks star Trae Young scored 26 points.

Pascal Siakam recorded a triple-double of 22 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists but the struggling Toronto Raptors still lost 112-111 to the Portland Trail Blazers. CJ McCollum (30) and Damian Lillard (23) combined for 53 points.

Harrison Barnes (game-high 30 points) fuelled the Sacramento Kings' 127-122 win against the Indiana Pacers. Domantas Sabonis posted 28 points and 11 rebounds for the Pacers.

 

Knicks struggle

It was a forgettable outing for the Knicks, who were just 39.1 per cent from the field and 24.3 per cent from three-point range. New York's Immanuel Quickley made just one of 10 field goals, while he missed all six attempts from beyond the arc for three points in 29 minutes.

 

Clutch CJ!

McCollum nailed the game-winning shot with 9.6 seconds remaining to lift the Trail Blazers.

 

Monday's results

Charlotte Hornets 109-89 New York Knicks
Memphis Grizzlies 101-91 Cleveland Cavaliers
Milwaukee Bucks 121-99 Orlando Magic
Washington Wizards 128-107 Phoenix Suns
Atlanta Hawks 112-94 Philadelphia 76ers
Portland Trail Blazers 112-111 Toronto Raptors
Sacramento Kings 127-122 Indiana Pacers
New Orleans Pelicans-Dallas Mavericks (postponed)

 

Lakers at Rockets

LeBron James and defending champions the Los Angeles Lakers (8-3) will face James Harden's Houston Rockets (3-5) again on Tuesday.

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    Carlo Ancelotti believes Vinicius Junior has "something special" after his stunning late strike sealed a 2-1 win for Real Madrid against Sevilla on Sunday.

    Karim Benzema had cancelled out Rafa Mir's opener before half-time at the Santiago Bernabeu, setting the stage for Vinicius to secure maximum points in the 87th minute with a thunderous drive from 22 yards.

    The Brazil international has now scored nine goals in 14 LaLiga appearances this season – one more than in his previous 82 games for Los Blancos in the competition.

    Ancelotti has long been impressed with the forward's all-round play, but he is delighted that the 21-year-old has added goals to his game.

    "Vini has something special," Ancelotti said. "His goal was extraordinary; a spectacular shot.

    "He did not have the opportunity to make a difference with dribbling, he could not do what he wanted, but he has focused on being effective in the game.

    "It's another step towards being one of the best. I knew his quality in one on one situations, in dribbling, but he did not have that ability to score goals in the past. He has shown another quality; he had never shown it."

    The result moved Los Blancos four points clear of Atletico Madrid and Real Sociedad at the top of the table, with Sevilla a further point back in fourth.

    It meant Madrid have now won more points from losing positions than any other team in LaLiga this season (10).

    "The rival was very strong and they showed all their qualities in the first half," Ancelotti said. "After their goal it was difficult for us to press up; we became unbalanced and we gave them opportunities.

    "After our first goal, though, we controlled the game. We finished the game well."

    Madrid are in action again on Wednesday when Athletic Bilbao travel to the capital, and Ancelotti revealed he will likely have to shuffle his pack.

    "Those who have come off the bench, like Eduardo Camavaniga and Federico Valverde, brought a lot of energy," he said.

    "I can think of some changes I will make as the team is tired – we play every three days. Valverde – we need him because he is a player who puts all his energy into the game."

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    New England went into Sunday's heavyweight clash having won five successive games, and their ability to produce turnovers proved key in extending that streak to six.

    Tennessee, minus their top offensive playmakers in injured running back Derrick Henry and wide receiver A.J. Brown, committed four giveaways while the Patriots produced a flawless game in that regard, rookie quarterback Mac Jones recording his second 300-yard passing game of a stellar first season.

    Both teams now stand at 8-4, with the Patriots' victory giving them the tiebreaker, with another test of New England's Super Bowl credentials to come a week on Monday when they face AFC East rivals the Buffalo Bills (7-4) on the road.

    Nick Westbrook-Ikhine's touchdown reception and a 68-yard rushing score from Dontrell Hilliard meant the Titans only trailed 16-13 at half-time.

    But their first two drives of the second half, sandwiched by a field goal for New England, ended in a fumble and a punt and Tennessee's slow start to the third quarter was exacerbated when Kendrick Bourne's 41-yard catch and run for his second touchdown of the day gave the Patriots a 26-13 lead.

    The Titans drove to New England's two-yard line in response, only for Ryan Tannehill to see a fourth-down pass to Cody Hollister tipped and intercepted by J.C. Jackson.

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    Defending Super Bowl champions the Tampa Bay Buccaneers trailed by 10 points at the end of the half in a see-saw battle with the Indianapolis Colts.

    But five Colts turnovers tipped the balance in the favour of the Bucs, Leonard Fournette's fourth touchdown securing a 38-31 victory and a 51st game-winning drive for Tom Brady, putting him three shy of Peyton Manning's all-time record, despite a late 71-yard kickoff return from Isaiah Rodgers that almost forced overtime.

    The Bucs (8-3) have a commanding lead atop the NFC South, with the Carolina Panthers' defeat to the Miami Dolphins dropping them to 5-7. The 6-6 Colts remain firmly in the Wild Card picture in the AFC.

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    Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger endured a miserable day, throwing two interceptions and suffering three sacks to drop Pittsburgh to 5-5-1. The 7-4 Bengals will end the day atop the division if the Baltimore Ravens lose to the Cleveland Browns later on Sunday.

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    Vinicius Junior's stunning late strike helped Real Madrid to a 2-1 win over Sevilla at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday.

    Sevilla, led by former Los Blancos boss Julen Lopetegui, could have moved a point clear of Madrid at the top of the table with victory, and they got off to a fine start thanks to Rafa Mir's early header.

    Karim Benzema pulled the hosts level shortly after the half-hour mark, before Vinicius secured maximum points three minutes from full-time with a wonderful long-range drive.

    The result moved Carlo Ancelotti's men four points clear of Atletico Madrid and Real Sociedad at the top of the table, with Sevilla a further point back in fourth.

    Sevilla went ahead in the 12th minute when an unmarked Mir headed Marcos Acuna's corner past Thibaut Courtois from 12 yards.

    The striker should have scored again just minutes later, but David Alaba cleared his initial effort off the line and Courtois got down well to block the follow-up.

    Lucas Ocampos hit the crossbar from distance as Sevilla sought to consolidate their lead, but Madrid pulled level when Benzema slotted into an empty net after Yassine Bounou had spilled Eder Militao's long-range strike onto the post.

    Marco Asensio whipped wide from 25 yards shortly before the hour mark, while Vinicius wastefully blazed over after a rapid counter-attack. 

    The Brazil international had the final say, though, cutting in from the left and fizzing a strike past Bounou from 22 yards to seal an important win.

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