NBA

NBA playoffs 2021: Mitchell fuels Jazz to Game 1 win over Clippers, 76ers level series thanks to Embiid

By Sports Desk June 09, 2021

Donovan Mitchell starred and Rudy Gobert produced a game-clinching block as the Utah Jazz drew first blood against the Los Angeles Lakers in their Western Conference semi-final opener.

Mitchell dropped 32 of his 45 points in the second half to guide the top-seeded Jazz to a thrilling 112-109 win at home to the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 1 on Tuesday.

Fellow All-Star Gobert – who finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds – came up big at the death, denying Marcus Morris Sr. and his potential game-winning three-pointer.

Kawhi Leonard (23 points) and Paul George (20 points and 10 rebounds) were unable to lift the fourth-seeded Clippers in Utah.

Earlier in the day, a disappointed Joel Embiid had a point to prove as he fuelled the Philadelphia 76ers' 118-102 win over the Atlanta Hawks in Game 2.

Embiid's MVP hopes were dashed by Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic, who was crowned the league's Most Valuable Player on Tuesday.

Already frustrated following a shock loss to the Hawks in the Eastern Conference semi-final opener, Embiid came out and scored 40 points with 13 rebounds to help level the series.

Embiid became the first 76ers player with 40 points and 10 rebounds in a playoff game since Hall of Famer Billy Cunningham in 1970, while his postseason career-high points haul saw him become the first Philadelphia player with 40-plus points in a playoff contest since Hall of Famer Allen Iverson in 2003.

Tobias Harris chipped in with 22 points, six rebounds and four assists for the 76ers at Wells Fargo Center, where he had 16 first-quarter points on eight-for-nine shooting.

It was not all smooth sailing after a fast start as Philadelphia squandered a 21-point advantage – Trae Young's pair of free throws giving Atlanta their first lead in the third quarter, 80-79.

But Shake Milton – who did not play in the first half – stepped up to the plate, scoring 14 points to help withstand Young (21 points and 11 assists) and visiting the Hawks.

 

Nuggets at Suns

In the only game on Wednesday, the second-seeded Phoenix Suns will look to claim a 2-0 lead over the Nuggets in the Western Conference second round.

Related items

  • NBA: Heat down Kings to extend win streak NBA: Heat down Kings to extend win streak

    Bam Adebayo compiled 28 points and 10 rebounds as the Miami Heat overcame the absence of several key players to record a 121-110 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Monday and extend their winning streak to four games.

    Miami moved a half-game ahead of the Orlando Magic for first place in the Southeast Division despite missing two of its stars in Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro, as well as starting point guard Terry Rozier. Herro and Rozier sat out due to injuries, while Butler was serving a one-game suspension for his role in an on-court altercation in the Heat's win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday.

    Rookie Jaime Jaquez helped fill the void by producing 26 points on 12-of-17 shooting, and the Heat also got key contributions from reserves Kevin Love and Haywood Highsmith.

    Love poured in 19 points in just 15 minutes, while Highsmith scored 15 first-half points to help Miami take a 65-62 lead into the break.

    Jaquez then put up 13 points during a dominant third quarter in which the Heat outscored Sacramento by a 36-19 margin. Miami took the lead for good with a 10-2 run that snapped a 71-71 tie, then later scored the final 10 points of the period to build a commanding 101-81 advantage entering the fourth.

    The Kings had a three-game winning streak snapped despite Domantas Sabonis registering his league-leading 21st triple-double with 14 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists.

    Keegan Murray led Sacramento, which was coming off a 16-point road win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday, with 28 points. De'Aaron Fox finished with 27 in the loss.

     

    Barnes' triple-double powers Raptors past Pacers

    Scottie Barnes recorded his fourth triple-double of the season with 21 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists to lead the Toronto Raptors to a 130-122 win over the weary Indiana Pacers.

    Toronto also received big efforts from RJ Barrett and rookie Gradey Dick en route to its season-high third consecutive win. Barrett delivered 24 points on 11-of-16 shooting, while Dick had 11 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter and finished 7 of 9 from the field while making all four of his 3-point attempts.

    Playing for the second straight night, the Pacers had a three-game winning streak snapped despite Bennedict Mathurin matching a career-high with 34 points to go along with nine rebounds. Former Raptors All-Star Pascal Siakam had 27 points, nine rebounds and six assists in his second meeting with his ex-team since being traded to Indiana on Jan. 17.

    The Pacers got an off night from leading scorer Tyrese Haliburton, however, as the All-Star guard misfired on nine of 11 shot attempts while being held to nine points.

    Indiana did manage to battle back from a 12-point third-quarter deficit, however, to tie the game at 102-102 with just over eight minutes left in the fourth.

    The Raptors then regained control with a 13-2 run, which Dick started and finished with 3-pointers, to take a 115-104 lead with 6:21 remaining.

    Indiana closed the gap to four points entering the final three minutes, but a jumper by Toronto's Gary Trent Jr. followed by a Barrett 3-pointer helped end any comeback hopes.

     

    Hart's late basket lifts Knicks over Pistons

    Josh Hart scored the go-ahead layup with 2.8 seconds left as the New York Knicks held off a determined upset bid from the Detroit Pistons and came away with a controversial 113-111 victory.

    The Pistons fought back from a 13-point deficit in the third quarter to take a 111-110 lead on former Knick Quentin Grimes' layup with 37.3 seconds remaining. New York's Jalen Brunson misfired on a 3-point try on the ensuing possession, but Detroit's Ausar Thompson had the ball stolen away after colliding with the Knicks' Donte DiVincenzo to set up Hart's basket off a feed from Brunson.

    Hart missed the free throw for a potential three-point play, but the Knicks collared the rebound and Hart was fouled again with 1.3 seconds left. He made 1 of 2 from the line to prevent a potentially damaging home loss to a Detroit team with an NBA-worst 8-49 record.

    Game officials acknowledged afterward that a loose-ball foul should have been called on DiVincenzo during the collision that preceded Hart's basket.

    Brunson finished with 35 points and 12 assists and Hart had 23 points and eight rebounds as the playoff-hopeful Knicks won for the second time in three outings following a four-game losing streak. DiVincenzo contributed 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting.

    Detroit was dealt a sixth straight loss despite Cade Cunningham's 32 points and eight assists and an 11-point, 16-rebound effort from Jalen Duren. 

    The teams were facing one another for the first time since collaborating on a six-player trade on Feb. 8 that sent veterans Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks to New York, with Grimes among the return pieces to the Pistons.

    Grimes finished with 14 points while Bogdanovic recorded 13 points and six rebounds off the bench. 

     

  • Warriors point guard Paul set to return from injury Warriors point guard Paul set to return from injury

    The playoff-chasing Golden State Warriors will have Chris Paul back in the lineup on Tuesday night when they visit a Washington Wizards team that’s mired in an 11-game losing streak.

    Paul has not played since he sustained a fractured left hand on Jan. 5 against the Detroit Pistons and underwent surgery three days later.

    The 38-year-old Paul is averaging 8.9 points, 7.2 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.13 steals in 32 games in his first season with Golden State.

    The Warriors went 12-9 after Paul’s injury and are 29-27 on the season.

    Golden State leads the Utah Jazz by three games for 10th place in the Western Conference and a berth in the NBA Play-In Tournament.

  • Lakers fume at officiating in loss to Suns Lakers fume at officiating in loss to Suns

    LeBron James and Darvin Ham were left frustrated with the officiating after the Los Angeles Lakers went down to the Phoenix Suns.

    The Lakers lost 123-113 in Arizona on Sunday, with Los Angeles awarded just eight free throws in contrast to Phoenix's tally of 19.

    It was a season-low for the Lakers, who averaged 24.7 free throws per game heading into the game.

    Of those eight free throws, none came in the second half, and James was left exasperated.

    "A lot of people, a lot of coaches, a lot of teams are like, 'That's all the Lakers do is get to the free throw line,'" James said.

    "It's like this narrative out there that that's all we do is get to the free throw line. I mean, we have attackers. That's what we do. We have attackers. Yeah, we shoot the ball from the perimeter, but we're not shooting 40 to 50 3s a game. We're not that team. We don't have the luxury of being that team. So, working it into the paint, that's what we're really good at.

    "To have eight free throw attempts is definitely not us. I know, definitely, I got hit a couple of times when I got to the paint tonight that wasn't called. But it is what it is."

    Lakers coach Ham, though, was left reserved.

    "I'm not one to use referees as an excuse," he said.

    "But it's becoming increasingly tough because of the inconsistency. I'm seeing our guys get the same contact on them as we're supposedly committing. And the whistle is not being blown."

    Anthony Davis did not record a single free throw attempt for the first time in a game this season.

    He added: "We live on getting to the line. We attack the basket.

    "Especially how much we struggle from the 3, we're kind of up and down, so we try to live in the paint and get to the line.

    "I'm not sure if it was just the refs missing it or they weren't fouling. I felt I got fouled a couple of times. But that's part of our identity, our DNA, is getting to the line and guys catching rhythms like that and then playing from there."

    While the Suns are sixth in the Western Conference after the win, the Lakers are in ninth, with a 31-28 record.

    In other news on Sunday, the NBA banned five players – including Jimmy Butler – for their involvement in an on-court spat in Friday's meeting between the Miami Heat and the New Orleans Pelicans.

    Butler, Nikola Jovic and Naji Marshall were each suspended for one game without pay, while Jose Alvarado and Thomas Bryant were slapped with three-game bans.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.