NBA

Harden makes Nets history, Giannis follows in MJ's footsteps and LeBron's triple-double fuels Lakers

By Sports Desk March 16, 2021

James Harden made history as the Brooklyn Nets earned bragging rights against rivals the New York Knicks following their 117-112 win in the NBA on Monday.

Harden posted a triple-double of 21 points, 15 assists and 15 rebounds to fuel the in-form Nets to their fifth consecutive victory.

The former MVP became the first Nets player in franchise history to have a 15-plus point, 15-plus assist and 15-plus assist game.

Kyrie Irving scored a game-high 34 points for the star-studded Nets, who won for the 13th time in 14 games.

A 33-point and 12-rebound double-double from All-Star Julius Randle was not enough for the Knicks in the Battle of the Boroughs.

Giannis Antetokounmpo recorded his third straight triple-double to lead the Milwaukee Bucks past the lowly Washington Wizards 133-122.

Two-time reigning MVP Antetokounmpo had 31 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists as the Bucks extended their winning streak to four games.

Antetokounmpo became the first reigning NBA MVP with three consecutive 20-point triple-doubles since Hall of Famer Michael Jordan in 1988-89, while he is the first Bucks player with three successive triple-doubles.

Big games from Bradley Beal (37 points) and Russell Westbrook (23 points and 17 assists) were not enough to inspire the Wizards.

 

LeBron lifts Lakers, Curry makes history

LeBron James produced another dominant display as defending champions the Los Angeles Lakers routed the Golden State Warriors 128-97. James put up his fourth triple-double of the season – 22 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds.

Warriors star Stephen Curry finished with 27 points, three rebounds, two assists and three steals. With his second assist of the night, Curry (4,856) surpassed Guy Rodgers (4,855) as the franchise's all-time assists leader. He also nailed a three-pointer in his 100th consecutive game, the third three-point streak of at least 100 games in NBA history. Curry holds the record with a 157-game three-point run between 2014 and 2016.

MVP candidate Nikola Jokic put up 32 points and 14 rebounds in the Denver Nuggets' 121-106 win at home to the Indiana Pacers – his 35th double-double of the season.

Luka Doncic recorded a triple-double of 25 points, 16 assists and 10 rebounds, but the Dallas Mavericks lost 109-99 to the Los Angeles Clippers. With his 34th career triple-double, Doncic moved ahead of Bob Cousy for 11th on the all-time list.

 

Morant and George lack efficiency

Both Ja Morant and Paul George tallied double-digit points for their respective teams, however, it was far from convincing. Morant was four-of-12 shooting for 15 points in 29 minutes as the Memphis Grizzlies went down 122-99 to the Phoenix Suns, while Clippers star George had 15 points on five-of-18 shooting.

 

Poetry in motion

James was at his brilliant best against the Warriors, highlighted by a driving run to the basket in the second quarter.

 

Monday's results

Charlotte Hornets 122-116 Sacramento Kings
Milwaukee Bucks 133-122 Washington Wizards
Brooklyn Nets 117-112 New York Knicks
San Antonio Spurs 109-99 Detroit Pistons
Los Angeles Clippers 109-99 Dallas Mavericks
Denver Nuggets 121-106 Indiana Pacers
Phoenix Suns 122-99 Memphis Grizzlies
Los Angeles Lakers 128-97 Golden State Warriors

 

Knicks at 76ers

The Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia 76ers (27-12) will put their five-game winning streak on the line when they host the Knicks (20-20) on Tuesday.

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    Robert Lewandowski scored a stunning goal and Serge Gnabry also got on the scoresheet against his former club as Bayern Munich beat Hoffenheim 4-0 on Sunday.

    Julian Nagelsmann's side were threatening from the off and Gnabry lashed in from an acute angle after making a good run into space in the box, but free-scoring striker Lewandowski stole the show, bending a powerful effort high into the net from long range to leave Hoffenheim goalkeeper Oliver Baumann with no chance.

    Substitutes Eric Choupo-Moting and Kingsley Coman made the scoreline comfortable late on as the visitors succumbed to Bayern's relentless pressure.

    The result keeps Bayern top of the Bundesliga, one point ahead of title rivals Borussia Dortmund with nine games played.

    Lewandowski and Gnabry both came close to opening the scoring inside the first eight minutes, with the former dinking just wide from seven yards and the latter finding the net but seeing it disallowed following a VAR check due to a foul from Jamal Musiala in the build-up.

    Not to be denied, Gnabry rifled a low shot into the bottom-left corner from a tight angle on the right in the 16th minute after being found by Musiala and Lewandowski unleashed a ferocious strike into the top-right corner from outside the box on the half-hour mark after good work from Thomas Muller. 

    Bayern had several more good chances at 2-0 up, but did not find the net again until Andrej Kramaric's poor clearance ricocheted off the back of Dayot Upamecano and into the path of substitute Choupo-Moting, who slotted home in the 82nd minute.

    Fellow Bayern substitute Coman added further gloss to the scoreline five minutes later, racing onto a long ball in behind and lashing emphatically past Baumann to make it 4-0.

  • Tuchel tells Chelsea to prove Norwich thrashing was not a one-off Tuchel tells Chelsea to prove Norwich thrashing was not a one-off

    Thomas Tuchel wants Chelsea's players to continue proving their quality after watching them run riot against Norwich City.

    Shorn of the injured Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner, Chelsea made light work of lowly Norwich at Stamford Bridge, with Mason Mount scoring a hat-trick in a 7-0 win.

    It was the fourth time Chelsea have won a Premier League game by seven or more goals and the first time since December 2012 against Aston Villa (8-0), with only Manchester United netting seven or more goals in more Premier League games.

    Mount opened and rounded off the scoring, with strikes from Callum Hudson-Odoi, Reece James, Ben Chilwell and an own goal from Max Aarons wedged in between.

    Chelsea's win lifted them four points clear at the top for at least a few hours, and though pleased with the display, Tuchel wants the same level of performance when the Blues take on Southampton in the EFL Cup on Tuesday.

    He told BT Sport: "Yes, a good performance, we were sharp, put in a lot of effort.

    "High-pressing, [we] played a high rhythm and created a lot of chances and we were very precise. It was a deserved win. To score seven you need a bit of luck and momentum, but a good game.

    "This will not stop, this is only one game and the next one follows on Tuesday here, up for a challenge again and they will have to prove it again. All the credit, but it's only one game."

    Mount had not scored since netting in a 2-0 Champions League win over Real Madrid in May, but he was the star of the show against the hapless Canaries, who also had Ben Gibson sent off.

    He had more shots (five) and efforts on target (four) than any other player, while his tally of three key passes trailed only Mateo Kovacic (six).

    Tuchel said: "It's good, because no matter what the coach says and how many good opportunities you have, how satisfied the coach is, the offensive guys need goals to feel fully happy, full confidence.

    "He waited long, too long, and it was good that he got some goals today."

    Tuchel had concerns about fatigue with Mount, and he added: "I don't think it was a matter of now he is fresh and yesterday he was tired. For now it's a process, we are still in between international breaks, I think it's normal. It's a status that will not change from one game to the other.

    "I agree that today he looked fresh and it was good to put him on the pitch. We need to be careful with these players ... who play important roles in their national teams and have a lot of competitions."

    Mount added: "Before the game I was putting pressure on myself to get on the scoresheet because it's been quite a long time since I did, and then three come around in the same game.

    "I don't think I've ever scored more than one in a game for Chelsea, so it's obviously a massive moment for me to get three, I'll remember this for a long time.

    "You put pressure on yourself. I was always getting in the positions to score, but I just wasn't putting it in the back of the net, and I just thought there'd be a game where it was going to come off and today was the day.

    "It was my luck today, and obviously the team as well, not just me. The way we played today, I spoke before about intensity, an early kick-off, being at it from the beginning and we were like that today."

  • If you're not afraid, you face the lion thinking it's a cat – Ancelotti says pre-Clasico nerves can be a good thing If you're not afraid, you face the lion thinking it's a cat – Ancelotti says pre-Clasico nerves can be a good thing

    Carlo Ancelotti has urged his Real Madrid players to use any pre-Clasico nerves to their advantage when they take on Barcelona at Camp Nou on Sunday.

    Madrid face Barca in a key early season showdown in LaLiga, with the visitors two points better off than their fierce rivals heading into the much-anticipated game.

    Los Blancos thrashed Shakhtar Donetsk 5-0 in the Champions League in midweek, but they have taken just one point from the last six on offer in LaLiga.

    After suffering a shock 1-0 loss to Espanyol three weeks ago, Madrid risk suffering back-to-back league defeats for the first time since the final two games of the 2018-19 season.

    Ancelotti has experience of facing Barcelona as Madrid boss from his first stint in charge and is fully aware of the magnitude of the contest.

    "Worrying is a normal emotion. Sometimes even fear – they are positive feelings," he said at Saturday's pre-match news conference.

    "If you are not afraid, you face the lion thinking that it is a cat. I have a strong team, a team with real quality.

    "Fear is not a bad feeling. Fortunately, I am never scared because I think there are worse things in life than to lose a game."

     

    Ancelotti was responding to comments made by opposite number Ronald Koeman earlier on Saturday when insisting Barca's players do not fear Madrid.

    Madrid have won their last three games against Barcelona in all competitions and are looking to win four in a row for the first time since a run of seven in 1965.

    The Catalans may no longer have record all-time goalscorer Lionel Messi in their ranks, but Ancelotti does not doubt the quality of the opposition.

    "I don't like evaluating the squads of others," the Italian said. "But they have maintained that identity of playing good football. There's no Messi, but their youngsters are fantastic.

    "It is tough to say who arrives in this game in better shape because Barca have played good games lately. In this type of match, there can be no favourite."

    This will be the first season since 2004-05 that neither Messi nor Cristiano Ronaldo will make a Clasico appearance, with many suggesting the fixture has lost some of its lustre.

    But Ancelotti, who has not won any of his five away managerial games against Barcelona in all competitions, does not see it that way.

    "This is a special match for those who experience it," he said. "The feelings are the same as when Cristiano and Messi were involved.

    "You don't have to look at the individuals. You have to look at the teams because there will always be Barca-Madrid before those and after those who are here now."

     

    Having lost both previous games at Camp Nou as Madrid boss, Ancelotti could become just the second Los Blancos chief to lose his first three away El Clasicos after Leo Beenhakker, who suffered four defeats in a row between 1987 and 1988.

    "I have never won at Camp Nou and now is the time to do it," Ancelotti said when that fact was put to him. "That said, it is never easy.

    "There are three points on the line and if we want to win the league then we have to target them."

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