NBA

Embiid triple-double as 76ers win ahead of Harden debut, Klay scores season-high in Warriors win over Lakers

By Sports Desk February 12, 2022

The Philadelphia 76ers made a statement as Joel Embiid piled on a 40-point triple-double as they won 103-93 over the Cleveland Cavaliers without new acquisition James Harden on Saturday.

Embiid scored 40 points with 14 rebounds and 10 assists for the Sixers, who improve to 34-22. It was only Embiid's fourth career triple-double.

The Cameroonian center's points haul included a highlight-reel dunk, a one-handed throw-down over Jarrett Allen late in the first half.

Embiid also made four of five three-pointers, going at 50 per cent from the field, while he added three steals in an outstanding game as they wait on Harden to be cleared medically to debut.

 

Klay hits season-high

Klay Thompson scored a season-high 33 points, marking a major milestone in his recovery from long-term injury, as the Golden State Warriors won 117-115 over the Los Angeles Lakers. Thompson shot five-of-nine from beyond the arc, with Stephen Curry (24 points, five rebounds, eight assists) taking a backseat. LeBron James had 26 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists for the Lakers.

The Chicago Bulls, sitting second in the Eastern Conference, overcame a sluggish start as DeMar DeRozan scored 38 points with six rebounds and five assists, while Nikola Vucevic added 31 points and 15 rebounds in a 106-101 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Luka Doncic scored 45 points with 15 rebounds and eight rebounds in a losing cause as the Dallas Mavericks went down 99-97 to the Los Angeles Clippers, while the table-topping Phoenix Suns won their fourth straight with a 132-105 win over the Orlando Magic led by Devin Booker's 26 points and Chris Paul's 15 assists.

 

Nets slump to 11th straight loss

Kyrie Irving led a late Brooklyn Nets charge that fell short as they went down 115-111 to the Miami Heat. Irving scored 29 points, including 20 in the final quarter, with five rebounds and five assists as the Nets slumped to their 11th straight defeat. Bam Adebayo had 19 points and 14 rebounds for the Heat who have won five in a row.

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    Bobby Gray scored 45 points as Horizon successfully defended its title after thrashing Storm by 113-89 in the final of the Elite 1 Caribbean Basketball Winter League on Sunday at the National Arena in Kingston.

    Meanwhile, Waves copped third place by delivering a similar thrashing to the Rivers who ended the competition without a victory from their eight games.

    The final was competitive right up to two minutes before the end of the first quarter when Horizon went on a 10-2 run to open up a 12-point lead.

    After that, it was basically one-way traffic as Horizon increased their lead in each subsequent quarter leading 59-47 and 83-68, before emphatically retaining their title.

    Gray was named MVP but he was supported by Asaad Woods and Rasheed Maynard Woods who scored 18 and 17 points, respectively.

     Da'Rell Dominek scored 30 points and Jayrn Johnson 22 for the Storm, but could have done with a big game from their best player Brandon BDot Armstrong, who scored only six points in what was his worst game of the tournament.

    "(I) feel pretty elated tonight. We had done it in the summer and this is the winter league and we are able to pull off another championship again,” said Horizon head coach Cleon Morgan.

    “We came out tonight looked a little bit smoother even though we started off a little sloppy but regardless of that we picked up back the pace and we maintained the lead all the way till the end of the game."

    Storm’s head coach, Oneil Brown, said his team did not play to win.

    "Actually, a lot of us struggled. I think the guard play; Horizon had better guard play than us tonight,” he said.

    “Their guards outscored us and you can see the score at the end. I am disappointed in my team. If it wasn't for Da'Rell we'd by down by 40 and the game would be long over but it has been a good season, ups and down and we looking forward for next year."

    In the playoff for third, Waves came prepared to close out the championship with a win after narrowly missing out on a place in the final.

    They dominated Rivers in every quarter and category - three-pointers, blocks, free throws and defense. They led 30-12, 52-33, 82-67 before closing out the victory 110-86.

    Lushane Wilson scored 27 points and Cameron Burhannon 26 points for Waves while Ricky Shuford had a game-high 35 points and the dependable Anthony Ottleym 14, for Rivers.

    "It was a good game but it was one of the toughest games of the season for us mentally. I am really proud of the guys because I was worried,” said Waves coach Rohan Robinson afterwards.

    “They said they wanted to finish it off strong, they’re not going out like losers. They are looking forward again to the next tournament in the summer."

    After leading Rivers to yet another disappointing loss, Ludlow Barker hopes to get another chance at coaching in the league.

    "I think if we going to have the rosters and we can select some more of the players then. If we can choose the kind of team we need then we will get a chance but if you have to play with those you are given then you have to work with it," he said.

    League owner Wayne Dawkins was pleased with the tournament stating that the league was here to stay.

    "The level of talent we were able to attract down here was extremely high,” he said.

    “Our coaching staff did a phenomenal job, our table staff and everybody else, because we really have to get that down in order to be able to scale and grow this thing and so that I was very pleased with."

  • Middleton at ease with bench role after helping Bucks to victory over Hornets Middleton at ease with bench role after helping Bucks to victory over Hornets

    Khris Middleton is unconcerned by his bench role after his best game of 2023 during the Milwaukee Bucks' win over the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday.

    The small forward posted 18 points, three rebounds and three assists to help his side pull away in the third quarter en route to a 124-115 victory.

    Having struggled with soreness in his right knee that led him to missing 18 games, the three-time All-Star has worked his way back in recent weeks.

    After delivering the best performance of his latest comeback spell, Middleton stressed he remains untroubled by performing a role that requires him to come off the sidelines.

    "I started my career coming off the bench, so it doesn't really bother me at all," he said. "I've been on the bench before, not playing games.

    "Sometimes, [I am] coming in [the] first quarter, [the] second quarter or not until the second half. I just know I have to stay ready and have to be loose.

    "Right now, I'm trying to be as aggressive as I can. I know it sounds simple, but that's just the mindset I'm trying to come up with, especially with my limited minutes.

    "Hopefully as my minutes keep going [up], I keep the same mindset, because it's been working."

    Middleton featured for 20 minutes as team-mate Giannis Antetokounmpo guided the Bucks to victory with 34 points and 18 rebounds.

    They next play the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday and then the Miami Heat two days later in a double home stand.

  • LeBron relaxed about breaking Kareem's points record: 'I'm going to do it, it's not heavy' LeBron relaxed about breaking Kareem's points record: 'I'm going to do it, it's not heavy'

    LeBron James is completely relaxed about breaking Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's record NBA points total after moving another step closer during the Los Angeles Lakers' 129-123 win over the New York Knicks.

    James played a starring role on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden, becoming the first 38-year-old to ever record a 20-point triple-double as he finished with 28 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds.

    Those 10 assists saw him overtake Steve Nash on the all-time leaderboard for NBA assists, with James now fourth on 10,336.

    He remains 908 behind still-active Chris Paul in third, but the record that all eyes are on is overall points.

    James' 28 here leaves him 88 off Abdul-Jabbar's record (38,387), meaning he is likely to surpass to his fellow Lakers great either on Saturday against the New Orleans Pelicans, or three days later against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

    Some athletes might get nervous when approaching such a milestone, but James is utterly at ease with the situation due to it essentially being a formality.

    "It's not getting heavier," James said.

    "I'm going to do it. I mean, it's just a matter of time when I'm going to do it.

    "It's not heavy. I'm not going anywhere. I'm going to be in this league for at least a few more years.

    "I'm going to do it. It's not heavy at all."

    There is also an element of anticipation from James' team-mates, with it set to be a momentous moment for everyone associated with the Lakers when he does break the record.

    That is not lost on Anthony Davis.

    "The team is very excited," he added. "It's probably going to be a surreal moment for all of us, but probably more so him... Obviously, whatever game it is, we want to be able to win the game."

    But much of the focus around James on Tuesday related to his assists and overtaking Nash.

    "It's amazing because that's just what I love to do and get my guys involved," James continued.

    "Anytime you link with some of the greats – Mark Jackson played here, was drafted here by the Knicks, so it's a super cool thing. And obviously, we know when Nash was [in the league]; I played against him for many, many years. His ability to pass the ball was very uncanny."

    Lakers coach Darvin Ham also paid tribute to James, saluting him for ignoring criticism about his game over the years and continuing to play true to himself.

    "He's just a kid who's grown before our eyes. The last 20 years at this level, has done nothing but play the right way and make the play that's in front of him," Ham said.

    "Regardless of how much he's been criticised for a while for not taking the last shots and the overpassing, he's just making the right plays. You saw that again tonight."

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