Nets beat 76ers, ‘embarrassing, Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, quarantine, Seth Curry COVID-19 positive, Kyrie Irving


Fresh off a shock 122-109 loss to the Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving-less Brooklyn Nets, the Philadelphia 76ers have been forced into quarantine after shooter Seth Curry tested positive for COVID-19.

Luckily for both sides Curry was already ruled out of the game with an ankle injury and missed the game.

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ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Curry immediately went to an isolation room and left the arena separately to the team.

He did spend the first quarter on the bench however and the game against the Nets was also the 76ers’ third in four days.

But his teammates have been forced into quarantine in New York after The Athletics’ Shams Charania revealed the team had learned of Curry’s positive test as the game went on and will stay in New York to undergo contact tracing.

ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne revealed that Joel Embiid, who sat next to Curry on the bench, would quarantine with his family until he’s sure he didn’t catch the virus.

It could cause havoc around the league if Sixers players are required to quarantine and miss games due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols around COVID-19.

The Nets and the Wizards, who the 76ers played yesterday, could also be forced to quarantine and contract trace, which could throw the NBA schedule into chaos.

It continued the worst day the team has had this season after capitulating to a 13-point loss to the Nets without their superstars.

In one of the weirdest absences of the season so far, Nets coach Steve Nash had no idea why Irving wasn’t available or where he was.

But according to Heavy.com senior writer Brandon Robinson, Irving said via a close source that “I just didn’t want to play” following the events in the Washington.

Entering the game 7-1 on the season, the 76ers’ problems of old appeared to have resurfaced with Embiid and Simmons combining for 11 from 27 from the floor.

But it was an improvement on the first half when the pair shot four from 15 combined with the Sixers down by 14 at the break.

NBA legend Charles Barkley labelled the performance “embarrassing”.

Embiid finished with 20 points and 12 boards, with Shake Milton leading the way for Philly with 24 points.

Simmons had a horrible night, with 11 points, four rebounds and two assists.

76ers coach Doc Rivers was scathing in his assessment of this game.

“We didn’t come to play is what I saw,” Rivers said. “It was just one of those games. It was disappointing.”

Asked what his focus will be from here, Rivers replied: “Nothing really, other than being awake.”

Joe Harris scored 28 points, while Caris LaVert hit 22 points with 10 assists to lead the Nets to the win.

Despite the 7-1 start before the game being the Sixers’ best record over eight games since 2000-01, fans were quick to turn on Philly.



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Steph Curry 62 points, career-high, The Last Dance, Michael Jordan, Brooklyn Nets, Kyrie Irving, disconnect


After a horror start to the season, the Golden State Warriors are back on track as Steph Curry reminded the world of how big a superstar he really is.

The 32-year-old old went on an all-time rampage against the Portland Trail Blazers, with 62 points and eight threes as he monstered the side.

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Arguably one of the greatest shooters in NBA history, Curry went nuts as he claimed the career high tally, finishing with 18 from 31 from the field and eight from 16 from three.

It was the 10th 30-point half of his career.

After the game, Curry hit back at the criticism he and his team have been copping with a sensational reminder of how good he actually is.

“Cue the Jordan meme, right?” Curry said during a postgame video conference with reporters. “I take all that personally.

“It was just an opportunity to assert my will on the game early and try to create some energy and get off on the right foot. As crazy as it sounds after the game, all we really wanted to do was win the first quarter and take it from there.

“We’ve got a winning spirit, we’ve just to work out how to do it consistently and against the good teams in the league.”

It’s a reference to Michael Jordan in The Last Dance.

The only downside of the incredible night was that his franchise record 80 straight free throws, dating back to March 29, 2019 was broken in the first quarter with coach Steve Kerr having some fun.

“And then he just choked. It’s just incredible,” cracked coach Steve Kerr.

But when speaking about the achievement of his 62 points, Kerr was blown away.

“We’ve seen Steph do so many things here over the years, so many amazing nights at Oracle and now here at Chase. It’s just a privilege to coach him, it really is,” he said.

He wasn’t the only one as Twitter blew up with the praise.

“A career high 62 points for Steph Curry! STILL proving he’s the greatest shooter we’ve ever seen and a MVP candidate along with LeBron, AD, KD, Kyrie, Luka Doncic, Kawhi, and Giannis,” Magic Johnson wrote.

KYRIE HITS BACK AS NETS SLAMMED

Kyrie Irving has hit back at talk of a disconnect between himself and fellow superstar Kevin Durant after missing a clutch play to lose 123-122 to the Washington Wizards.

Thomas Bryant stuffed the go-ahead dunk with 14.9 seconds left but neither Durant or Irving could hit the winner in the final possession.

Asked about the disconnect between the bench and the players after Irving took it into his own hands to call a time-out with 7:35 remaining, the star hit back.

“Disconnect? I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he snapped. “This is basketball. It’s pretty simple.”

Durant said he didn’t notice the issue.

“I didn’t even see that,” Durant said. “But Steve knows when to call time-outs. He knows what he’s doing over there. We all trust him. He’s only going to get more comfortable as time goes on.”

Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 27 points and 10 rebounds.

Irving, who led all scorers with 30 points, missed a three-pointer with less than six seconds remaining. Brooklyn corralled the rebound, but Durant’s last-gasp effort also missed.

“We’ve got two of the best players ever to touch a basketball on the other side, so it’s a tough task, man, but I think we did an excellent job of accepting that challenge,” Beal said of the Wizards defence.

Russell Westbrook finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds for the Wizards.

with AFP



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Kyrie Irving Says He Won’t Play ‘Hero Ball’ Anymore, Focused On Winning A Championship With Brooklyn


Kyrie Irving says he was caught up in playing “hero basketball” earlier in his NBA career.

Irving, 28, feels he was concerned with individual accolades as much as, or more than, team success, even though he won an NBA title alongside LeBron James in 2016 with Cleveland.

“As a young player you think that scoring a bunch of points and doing a bunch of things, getting individual accolades are great, and I definitely was going after those things,” Irving said after the Nets’ emphatic 125-99 season-opening win over the Golden State Warriors in which he went for 26 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists.

Now that he’s paired with his close friend Kevin Durant on a Nets team that has all the ingredients to contend for an NBA title, Irving says he will no longer play hero ball and will instead celebrate team success.

“It’s been a long journey to get here and to be able to master this craft, and to learn that it’s not just about hero basketball, it’s about how great the team is,” Irving said.

“I think I got caught up in that in my career a few times of just trying to play hero basketball where the team’s success is really going to dictate how great you are as an individual and how great you play your role.”

On June 30, 2019, Irving, Durant and DeAndre Jordan made a pact at 4:16 a.m. to join forces in free agency and try to win a title in Brooklyn.

Eighteen months later, they finally played a game that mattered and dominated Steph Curry and the Warriors. In Durant’s first game since going down with an Achilles injury in Game 5 of the 2019 Finals with the Warriors, he looked like his old self, scoring 22 points while driving for dunks, elevating for jumpers in the paint and swishing threes.

“I got so many calls and texts about playing again,” Durant said. “I’ve been playing this game since I was 8 years old so I just gotta revert back to what I know.”

Durant is at 12/1 odds to win MVP honors despite coming back from a horrific injury, and he looks like his old self early on.

“I didn’t know what to expect given that it’s been really a year and a half since his last game,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “But I could not tell one difference between seeing him 18 months ago and seeing him the other night.”

Still, he’s not trying to win any MVP awards. He’s concerned with a series of building blocks throughout the season that prepare him to play his best when it matters most.

“I think he has an eye for the long game,” Nets coach Steve Nash said after coaching his first regular-season game. “He realizes there are a lot of steps still to be taken. I think he s just enjoying the process. He’s really grateful to be back on the floor. He’s missed it tremendously, the amount of love and passion he has for the sport. He’s attacked his rehab that way…

“He’s not out here trying to win a scoring title, he’s just trying to play the right way so we’re fortunate to have a player of his caliber but also a player of his character.”

As for Irving, he has reversed course from his media boycott to once again being talkative and unencumbered while Zooming with reporters.

Unlike Durant, he’s not afraid to talk about the team’s championship goals.

Plenty of things could derail the Nets along the way — a trade for James Harden or even just the continued specter of a trade, injuries to key players, locker room disharmony.

But right now this team is cooking on all cylinders and has all the earmarks of a team that could go deep in the postseason.

Irving said this is “just the right time, right situation, right environment” for him to thrive in the team concept.

“I don’t care for any of those individual accolades or goals. it really doesn’t matter to me,” he said. “I know I’m validated culturally. I don’t need All-NBA, I don’t need MVP, I just want a championship with a great team and say we could look back on history and say we did it our way and we had fun doing it.

“I’m in year 10, all I want to do is enjoy every single day I’m playing basketball and coming into work. Other than that, I live my life with my family.”

No more “hero ball” for now, he says.



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