NBA

LeBron James achieves NBA first, Durant puts up season-high in Nets win

By Sports Desk March 13, 2022

LeBron James became the first player in NBA history to reach 10,000 points, rebounds and assists respectively, in the Los Angeles Lakers' 140-111 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Sunday.

James notched up his 10,000th assist during the second quarter, with a cross-court pass to Carmelo Anthony for an open three.

The Suns were dominant at home to the Lakers, though, putting up 48 points in the first quarter alone on their way to a commanding win.

Having already secured a playoff berth, despite losing at home to the Toronto Raptors on Saturday, Phoenix faced conveniently light work heading into a road back-to-back this week.

Devin Booker continued to shoulder the burden without Chris Paul, putting up 30 points and 10 assists.

With the loss, meanwhile, the Lakers move to 29-38 and teeter dangerously close to touching distance for the San Antonio Spurs and Portland Trailblazers, in the race for the final two Western Conference play-in spots.

Durant leads Nets with Irving in the building

Kevin Durant put up an individual season-high 53 points, including a game-breaking three to give the Brooklyn Nets a 110-107 win over the New York Knicks.

The shorthanded Nets were at least able to have Kyrie Irving in the building for the win, with New York mandates now enabling those unvaccinated for Covid-19 to spectate. However, the mandate still requires the vaccination for people who work there, meaning Irving is still unable to suit up.

At the end of the game, Irving walked off the Barclays Center floor arm-in-arm with Durant, who finished with nine assists and six rebounds to go with the 53 points - one point off his career-high.

Joel Embiid had his 30th 30-point game of the season as the Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Orlando Magic 116-114 in over-time. Embiid finished with 35 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists, while Tobias Harris came up with a crucial late three-pointer to finish with 26 points.

Ja Morant had a quiet game by his standards with 17 points, five rebounds and 10 assists as the Memphis Grizzlies improved to 47-22 with a 125-118 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

 

Doncic dagger propels Mavs to road win

The Dallas Mavericks claimed an impressive win on the road, edging the Boston Celtics 95-92 at the TD Garden. Despite leaving the floor with a hamstring scare in the first half, Luka Doncic’s fingerprints were all over the game’s dying moments - he hit the game-tying three-pointer with 1:21, before being called for fouling Marcus Smart on the potential tying three.

It was overturned on review however, and along with the win, Doncic put up 26 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. On a night where Kevin Garnett's No. 5 jersey was to be retired by the Celtics post-match, the Mavs moved to 42-26 for the year, half a game behind the Western Conference’s fourth-placed Utah Jazz.

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    The injury occured in the first quarter of the Wizards' loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday, with Beal exiting after only three minutes of action.

    Beal, 29, is second on the Wizards' franchise leaderboard for total points scored, with his 14.643 career points for the team that drafted him third overall in 2012 trailing only Elvin Hayes (15,551). Based on his scoring average this season, he will overtake Hayes' record in 42 more games.

    He is averaging 22.9 points and 5.4 assists per game this campaign, shooting a career-high 52.2 per cent from the field, although the Wizards are 7-11 in the 18 games he has featured in.

    Sporting an 11-13 record overall, the Wizards will need Kristaps Porzingis and Kyle Kuzma to run the show in Beal's absence, with the team stating he has been ruled out of their next three games and will be re-evaluated in one week, although it is far more likely his return will be closer to two weeks.

  • Former MVP James Harden set for 76ers return against the Rockets on Monday Former MVP James Harden set for 76ers return against the Rockets on Monday

    James Harden will return to the Philadelphia 76ers starting line-up on Monday after five weeks on the sideline recovering from a right foot tendon strain.

    The 10-time All-Star and six-time First Team All-NBA honouree missed 14 games after suffering the injury on November 2, with his team going 4-5 in the nine games he has featured in, averaging 21.8 points, 10.0 assists and 7.3 rebounds.

    His absence did not kill the 76ers' season, as they went 8-6 without him, thanks in large part to the stellar play of Tyrese Maxey and Shake Milton in expanded roles.

    For the month of November, Maxey averaged 22.4 points and 5.6 assists per game – similar to his stats with Harden in the side – but Milton took a massive step up, going from two points per game in October up to 14.2 points, 4.2 assists and 4.2 rebounds.

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    Monday will be Harden's second time playing against his former team the Houston Rockets since joining the 76ers. In the 2017-18 season, Harden became the first Rocket since Hakeem Olajuwon (1993-94) to be named league MVP.

  • Hawks All-Star Trae Young frustrated by media leaks after clash with head coach Hawks All-Star Trae Young frustrated by media leaks after clash with head coach

    Trae Young made it clear he is not happy that details about friction between himself and Atlanta Hawks head coach Nate McMillan became public, but insisted things were "all good".

    A report from The Athletic's Shams Charania detailed an incident where McMillan had not approved Young's decision to skip a team shootaround to focus on treatment for his minor shoulder injury.

    It is said to have resulted in an ultimatum, with McMillan telling Young he would have to come off the bench if he wanted to play against the Denver Nuggets on Friday, with the 24-year-old two-time All-Star instead deciding to not show up altogether.

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    "It's hard for people who don't know the full situation to understand it," he said on Monday. "Like I said, it's a private matter made public, which was unfortunate. If it stayed private it probably wouldn't have been as big of a deal. 

    "It's unfortunate. My job and my goal is to win a championship, and that's all I'm focused on.

    "When you're an outside guy like [reporters] are, and you don't understand a private matter and private situation, you should probably stay on the outside.

    "It's unfortunate that everybody has to understand and know a little bit of the details that went on inside. I mean, inside here we're all good. 

    "If you've got any more questions about that you can talk to somebody else about it. That's all I've got to say about it."

    The Hawks ended up with an impressive win against the Nuggets, with rookie A.J. Griffin taking advantage of his opportunity in the starting line-up to score a career-high 24 points.

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