NBA

Embiid's near miracle as Suns edge 76ers, while Knicks extend their winning streak

By Sports Desk April 21, 2021

Joel Embiid almost pulled off a miracle on the buzzer as the Philadelphia 76ers went down 116-113 to the Phoenix Suns in the NBA on Wednesday night.

The 76ers, top of the East, hosted the Suns, second in the West, and Phoenix appeared home when up by six points with 13 seconds to play.

But Philadelphia stayed alive after Furkan Korkmaz's three-pointer, before Chris Paul missed a free-throw, with Embiid grabbing rebound and firing off a long-range shot immediately which came remarkably close only to rim out.

Earlier, Embiid had scored 38 points and collected 17 rebounds for the 76ers, while Suns guard Paul had 28 points and eight assists.

The Suns improve to 41-16 while the 76ers are 39-18 but remain top in the Eastern Conference after the Brooklyn Nets lost 114-103 to the Toronto Raptors.

Still missing their star pair Kevin Durant and James Harden, the Nets relied on Kyrie Irving with 28 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists.

However, the Raptors all contributed led by Pascal Siakam with 27 points, nine rebounds and six assists, as they reeled in a 36-23 quarter-time deficit to win by 11.

 

Curry streak ends, Knicks streak extends

Stephen Curry's 11-game streak of 30-plus points came to an end at the hands of the Washington Wizards who won over the Golden State Warriors 118-114.

Russell Westbrook produced another triple-double with 14 points, 10 assists and an outstanding 20 rebounds, while Bradley Beal had 29 points. Curry could only manage 18 points for GSW.

On the topic of streaks, the New York Knicks extended their winning run to seven games with a 137-127 triumph over the Atlanta Hawks after Bogdan Bogdanovic forced over-time with a clutch three.

Julius Randle was exceptional with 40 points, 11 rebounds and six assists, including six three-pointers, while the Hawks lost Trae Young to a sprained left ankle.

The Utah Jazz reinforced top spot in the Western Conference with a comfortable 112-89 win over the Houston Rockets with Rudy Gobert having 19 points and 18 rebounds.

The Los Angeles Clippers kept up the pressure with a 117-105 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies, with shooting guard Luke Kennard adding 28 points and seven rebounds.

 

 

Curry covered at every turn

Curry was not afforded any time or space against the Washington Wizards and subsequently shot two-from-14 beyond the arc.

 

OMG from OG

Up by two in the third, OG Anunoby made a big statement for the Toronto Raptors with a block down one end and then a monster right-hand dunk over Joe Harris after Fred VanVleet's assist down the other in the same play.

 

Wednesday's results:

Toronto Raptors 114-103 Brooklyn Nets
Indiana Pacers 122-116 Oklahoma City Thunder
Washington Wizards 118-114 Golden State Warriors
Phoenix Suns 116-113 Philadelphia 76ers
Cleveland Cavaliers 121-105 Chicago Bulls
Utah Jazz 112-89 Houston Rockets
New York Knicks 137-127 Atlanta Hawks
Miami Heat 107-87 San Antonio Spurs
Dallas Mavericks 127-107 Detroit Pistons
Denver Nuggets 106-105 Portland Trail Blazers
Sacramento Kings 128-125 Minnesota Timberwolves
Los Angeles Clippers 117-105 Memphis Grizzlies

 

76ers at Bucks

Joel Embiid's Philadelphia 76ers (39-18) will look to bounce back from Wednesday's loss to the Phoenix Suns when they travel to Giannis Antetokounmpo's Milwaukee Bucks (35-22) in a bumper East clash.

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    Dwight Howard's row with Anthony Davis is already squashed, with the Los Angeles Lakers duo exuding a calm that was not present during their on-court confrontation in a loss to the Phoenix Suns.

    The Lakers, aiming to regain the title they won in the NBA bubble in 2020, fell to 0-2 as they were beaten 115-105 by last season's Western Conference champions.

    Their defeat was highlighted by a disagreement between Howard and Davis in the first half, which saw the latter shove his team-mate during a timeout.

    However, both men were quick to insist the incident had been put behind them.

    "We just had a disagreement about something that was happening on the floor," said Howard. 

    "We're both very passionate about winning. We didn't want to lose this game. We got it out of the way. We're grown men. Things happen.

    "But we already talked. We squashed it. There's no issues between me and him. And that's my brother. That's my team-mate."

    "It's over with," Davis added. "After the situation happened, me and DH talked about it ... and we left it in the locker room at half-time."

    Meanwhile, LeBron James made it clear there is no panic among the Lakers after following up their opening-night loss to the Golden State Warriors with another disappointing display.

    "There's a process along with building something to become the team you want to become, and I know it firsthand," James said.

    "It doesn't happen overnight, as much as you want it. It just takes time, and we'll know when that time is. Right now, we've got to continue to just push."

  • Nash after Nets claim first win: It won't be pretty for a while Nash after Nets claim first win: It won't be pretty for a while

    Steve Nash said "it's not going to be pretty for a little while" after the Brooklyn Nets rallied past the Philadelphia 76ers 114-109 for their first win of the season.

    The Nets had never led or tied the 76ers until LaMarcus Aldridge's dunk levelled Friday's NBA clash at 108-108 with 48 seconds remaining in Philadelphia.

    Brooklyn, who were blown out by reigning champions the Milwaukee Bucks in their season opener, relied on superstars Kevin Durant and James Harden to eventually see off Eastern Conference rivals the 76ers.

    Durant had a triple-double of 29 points, 15 rebounds and 12 assists, while Harden finished with 20 points for the Nets, who closed out the contest on a 16-1 run.

    "It's not going to be pretty for a little while here," said Nets head coach Nash in the continued absence of Kyrie Irving (unvaccinated).

    "We just got to continue to fight, play for each other and figure out ways to compete and stay engaged while we figure out rotations and combinations and what we are all about."

     

    On Durant and Harden, Nash added: "I think they are excited for their new team-mates. But it takes time to find that rhythm and combinations. And also we lost a big piece [Irving].

    "It is not just the new pieces, it's the void that we are used to playing with. It is, it is a lot for us to take on at this moment in time. But hopefully in the weeks coming, we start to clear some of the debris so to speak and figure out how we can best play together."

    Nets recruit Patty Mills (three-of-three shooting from beyond the arc) became the first player in NBA history to open a season 10-10 from three.

    Durant recorded his 13th career triple-double and the former MVP said of playing without Irving: "We wasn't planning on having to do this, but you know, it's good for us to make adjustments.

    "It's good for guys who wasn't expecting to play bigger roles to step into those roles and see who we are. This is the situation we were in, and I think a lot of guys have taken advantage of it.

    "For James and myself, it feels like each game may be different and we may have to do different things than we thought coming into the season. But it's all good. It's always gonna help us get better."

    Harden added: "We're the best at what we do, we'll figure it out. Me personally, I've been through a lot where I had different team-mates, different line-ups and playing small ball, so I'm used to trying to figure it out and just go with the flow and making it work. We have a really good team and we'll figure it out.

    "Kevin is the same way and one of the best to ever touch a basketball. So we just got to go out there and do what we do and things will work out."

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    The Phoenix Suns soared to a 115-105 victory as LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers were condemned to back-to-back defeats to start the 2021-22 NBA season.

    Chris Paul fuelled the Suns with 23 points and 14 rebounds in Los Angeles, where the Lakers were no match for last season's NBA Finals participants and fell to 0-2.

    Paul became the first player in NBA history with 20,000 points and 10,000 assists.

    Devin Booker (22 points) and Mikal Bridges (21 points) also impressed for the Suns, while double-doubles from Anthony Davis (22 points and 14 rebounds) and Russell Westbrook (15 points and 11 rebounds) were not enough for the Lakers.

    James finished with 25 points in front of the likes of Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Justin Bieber at Staples Center.

    The Lakers' woes were compounded by a row between team-mates Davis and Dwight Howard on the bench during the second quarter as the pair had to be separated.

     

     

    Durant's Nets spoil 76ers' opener

    The Philadelphia 76ers looked in control and on track for victory but they were upstaged 114-109 by Eastern Conference rivals the Brooklyn Nets. Kevin Durant posted a triple-double of 29 points, 15 rebounds and 12 assists as the Nets used a 16-1 run to stun the 76ers in their first home game of the season in Philadelphia. James Harden had 20 points, while LaMarcus Aldridge added 23 points off the bench on 10-of-12 shooting. Seth Curry made all four of this three-pointers to finish with 23 points, the same amount as 76ers team-mate Tobias Harris.

    Reigning MVP Nikola Jokic showed why he was crowned the league's best player last season, scoring 32 points, collecting 16 rebounds and supplying seven assists in a 102-96 win against the San Antonio Spurs. It was his eighth 30/15/5 game, doubling the rest of the Nuggets franchise history combined.

    The Chicago Bulls' new-look team improved to 2-0 thanks to a 128-112 triumph over the New Orleans Pelicans. Lonzo Ball inspired the win behind his triple-double (17 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds), while Zach LaVine (32 points) and DeMar DeRozan (26 points) also came up big.

    The Utah Jazz stayed unbeaten courtesy of dominant displays from All-Star duo Donovan Mitchell (27 points) and Rudy Gobert (17 points and 20 assists) in the 110-101 road win at the Sacramento Kings.

    Myles turner joined James, Harden, Durant, DeMarcus Cousins, Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady as the only players in NBA history to score 40 points, 10 rebounds, five three-pointers and three blocks in a game. The Indiana Pacers still lost 135-134 to the Washington Wizards in overtime.

     

    Celtics lose again

    The Boston Celtics were booed off the court at half-time and throughout the second half in their 115-83 defeat against the Toronto Raptors. Jaylen Brown was three-for-13 shooting for nine points and five turnovers, while Marcus Smart ended the game scoreless on 0-for-six shooting in 29 minutes as the Celtics fell to 0-2.

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