NBA

Doncic-inspired Mavericks rally to hold off Lakers, wounded Warriors lose again

By Sports Desk March 02, 2022

Luka Doncic stepped up to help the Dallas Mavericks recover and overcome the Los Angeles Lakers 109-104 in Tuesday's topsy-turvy encounter.

The Mavericks blew a 21-point lead in the space of 12 minutes spanning half-time at Crypto.com Arena and trailed 100-94 with seven minutes to play.

But 11 consecutive points ensured Jason Kidd's side claimed an eighth win in 10 outings, while the out-of-form Lakers slid to a season-worst seven games below .500.

While not at his best, Doncic led the scoring for the Mavericks with 25 points – seven of those in the final quarter – as he went 9 of 21.

LeBron James scored 26 points for the Lakers and Carmelo Anthony had 20, but it was not enough to prevent the hosts from tasting a sixth loss in seven outings.

 


Timberwolves inflict another defeat on Warriors

The Golden State Warriors (43-19) have the second-best record in NBA, but they lost for a sixth time in eight games with a 129-114 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Karl-Anthony Towns had 39 points and nine rebounds, while going 14 for 22 from the floor, as the Timberwolves made it back-to-back victories.

"We're going to be fine long-term. I'm excited about our team and excited about where we can go, but we've just got to weather this storm," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.


Clippers' run goes on, Nets downed by Raptors

The Los Angeles Clippers beat the Houston Rockets 113-100 thanks to Ivica Zubac's 22 points and 12 rebounds for their fourth win in a row as they went 33-31 for the season.

Elsewhere on Tuesday, the struggling Brooklyn Nets lost to the Toronto Raptors for a second time in two days, going down 109-108 in a tight contest at Scotiabank Arena.

Jayson Tatum's 33 points, eight rebounds and seven assists inspired the Boston Celtics to a 107-98 win against the Atlanta Hawks, while the Washington Wizards beat the Detroit Pistons 116-113.

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    LeBron James believes it is beginning to come together for the Los Angeles Lakers after Saturday's 143-138 win over the San Antonio Spurs making it five wins in their past six games.

    The Lakers started the season with five straight defeats following an offseason where Darvin Ham took over as head coach from Frank Vogel, after missing the playoffs in the 2021-22 campaign.

    LA's latest run of results has seen them rally back to a 7-11 record, albeit sitting 13th in the Western Conference.

    "I think we're more and more on a string," James told reporters after scoring a season-high 39 points against the Spurs on Saturday. "We're continuing to learn each other.

    "As I said earlier in the season, we're a new group, with a new system, new coaching staff, trying to implement things on the fly. Our teaching moments was during games and unfortunately losing.

    "It's just a sense of you're not really sure of each other, we don't know each other but I think over the last couple of weeks, we continue to learn one another, we continue to play some good ball, share ball."

    Tempers flared in the third quarter of the game when Russell Westbrook was left bloodied after being struck on the forehead by a stray elbow from Zach Collins.

    Westbrook fell to the ground after the blow and immediately got up in retaliation but was pulled away by James. Ham said James' actions showed the brotherhood of the team.

    "You don’t want to escalate the situation, you want to try and calm him down," Ham said. "You've got a guy with blood all over his face who is understandably upset.

    "Having Bron there shows a brotherhood that we need. That image, that action and that belief in one another, we need that to represent our team."

    James not only pulled away Westbrook, who played on after receiving treatment, but helped apply a towel to stem the bleeding.

    "I actually saw the cut right when it happened on the floor," James said. "As far as the foul, it was a tough blow obviously.

    "I didn’t want it let Russ escalate it any further, especially with him bleeding like that. I just tried to step in there and diffuse it as much as possible."

  • LeBron scores season-high 39 points in Lakers win, Ayton shines for Suns LeBron scores season-high 39 points in Lakers win, Ayton shines for Suns

    LeBron James scored a season-high 39 points with seven three-pointers to lift the Los Angeles Lakers to their fifth win from their past six games, beating the San Antonio Spurs 143-138 on Saturday.

    James, in his second game back from a groin injury, scored 23 of his 39 points in the second half, shooting seven-of-12 from beyond the arc along with having 11 rebounds and three assists. The four-time MVP's seven three-pointers was a joint career high.

    The Lakers were without Anthony Davis due to a minor calf contusion, with guard Dennis Schroder contributing 21 points and six assists.

    Russell Westbrook also came off the bench to add 11 points, seven rebounds and six assists, linking up with James to set up a one-handed dunk just before half-time.

    Westbrook was left bloodied after he suffered a deep cut to his forehead in the third quarter after an elbow from Zach Collins but played on.

    The win improved the Lakers' record to 7-11, while it consigned the Spurs to their eighth-straight defeat, slumping to 6-15 overall.

    The Spurs' losing streak is their equal fourth worst in franchise history. Their worst is 13 straight from 1989.

    Keldon Johnson top scored for San Antonio with 26 points and 10 rebounds, while Tre Jones added 23 points with 13 assists.

    DA and Booker lift Suns past Jazz

    Deandre Ayton scored 29 points with 21 rebounds as the Phoenix Suns held off the Utah Jazz 123-122 for their fourth consecutive victory to improve to 13-6.

    Devin Booker contributed 27 points on eight-of-27 field shooting, scoring 10-of-11 from the free-throw line, with 11 rebounds and seven assists for the Suns, who trailed by 10 at quarter-time. Nine of Ayton's 21 rebounds were offensive as he brought up a rare 20/20 double-double.

    The Suns only managed six-of-22 from beyond the arc but the Jazz could not capitalise, giving up 12 turnovers. Jordan Clarkson top scored for Utah with 22 points.

    Doncic's Mavs beaten by Raptors

    The Dallas Mavericks lost their third straight game as Luka Doncic was kept to 24 points in a 105-100 loss to the Toronto Raptors.

    Raptors small forward O.G. Anunoby scored 12 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter, top scoring alongside Fred VanVleet with 26, while Chris Boucher added a season-high 22 points with 13 rebounds.

    NBA leading scorer Doncic shot eight-of-15 from the field and two-of-four from beyond the arc for the Mavs, with seven rebounds, nine assists and two steals.

  • Lakers go 'cautious' with Davis ruled out due to calf injury Lakers go 'cautious' with Davis ruled out due to calf injury

    Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham downplayed the calf injury that kept All-Star Anthony Davis out of Saturday's game against the San Antonio Spurs.

    Davis had played 16 out of the Lakers' 17 games prior to Saturday's game where the power forward was ruled out with a left calf contusion.

    He played a key role during LeBron James' recent five-game absence with a groin injury, averaging 26.3 points and 12.8 rebounds this season.

    "He was kicked at some point in the second half [on Friday] night and it's a little irritated, a little bruising," Ham told reporters pre-game. "So just trying to stay ahead of it and be a little cautious and take our time with it but he's out."

    During James' five-game absence, Davis averaged 33.4 points on 64.4 per cent shooting, 17.6 rebounds and 2.6 blocks.

    "Just it being a back-to-back, the load he was carrying, specifically with [James] out, it's just the smart and right thing to do," Ham said.

    "We don't want to push him this early in the season. And when you're talking about different muscles and ligaments, it's something that can easily turn into a year-long issue. So just to avoid that, we don't want to put any additional strain on the area.

    "The medical people decided it was the right thing to do and I totally agree."

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