NBA playoffs 2020, LA Clippers vs Denver Nuggets, result, score, video, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Lakers, Western Conference finals


The story was already written at the start of the season.

Kawhi Leonard vs LeBron James, Paul George vs Anthony Davies, the Clippers vs the Lakers in a battle for LA and for the West.

It was a script fit for Hollywood.

LeBron, AD and co. held up their end of the story and were sitting impatiently waiting for the Clippers to get through the Denver Nuggets and at half-time in Game Six earlier this week it must have seemed like it was finally showtime.

Wednesday September 16th

But the way the Clippers relinquished their commanding lead to the see the Nuggets force a winner-take-all shootout on Wednesday morning (AEST) suggested that the script was about to get rewritten.



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NBA play-offs: Boston Celtics beat Toronto Raptors to reach conference finals


Boston Celtics last won a conference title in 2010

The Boston Celtics reached the Eastern Conference finals after a 92-87 win against defending champions the Toronto Raptors in the series’ deciding game.

Raptors’ Fred VanVleet missed a chance to tie the game at 90-90 with 12 seconds left and Celtics’ Kemba Walker made his free throws at the other end to seal victory in game seven.

Jayson Tatum impressed with 29 points and 12 rebounds for Celtics.

They will face Miami Heat in the conference finals.

Game one of that series – Celtics’ third conference finals appearance in the last four seasons – will take place on Tuesday.

Raptors had come back from 2-0 down to tie the series against Celtics at 3-3, but VanVleet’s 20 points were not enough to help them to victory.



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Australian Director of Performance Phil Coles lifts the lid on life in the NBA bubble with the Boston Celtics


Whoever wins this year’s NBA championship is going to create history as the mentally toughest team to lift the Larry O’Brien trophy.

That’s the opinion of respected Australian Director of Performance Phil Coles, who has been locked in the NBA bubble in Disney World in Orlando with the championship contending Boston Celtics for the past two months.

The Celtics are a legitimate chance of winning this year’s NBA championship, tied at 2-all in a tense Eastern Conference semi-final series against defending champions, the Toronto Raptors.

Coles has worked alongside some of the world’s best athletes and coaches at clubs from Liverpool in the English Premier League, NBA powerhouse the San Antonio Spurs as well as in the NRL.

He has seen the sacrifices and grind in the bubble after joining the Celtics this season and is convinced this year’s championships will be like no other.

“Because the challenge to win the title is just as difficult, if not more difficult than ever before,” Coles told the NCA Newswire from Orlando.

“It is definitely a unique experience living in the bubble because most of us are away from our families and are locked and focused on one goal.

“It will be a fantastic achievement for whatever team goes on to win the championship given the demands.

“The fact that all the teams are spending so much time together, means that the teams are more united because they are literally living together.

“But there are also challenges of being in the one place for such a long time.”

One of the biggest challenges for players and staff, is being away from family.

Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone called it “criminal” that NBA policy didn’t allow coaches to bring family into the bubble.

Coles said he desperately missed his wife Karli and two sons, Cooper and Max, who are back in Boston.

It’s why he rarely checks the calander inside the bubble.

“Because it is depressing, mate,” he says frankly.

“I miss my family so much, so I’d prefer not to look at how long we’ve been here.”

Being locked in a bubble, Cole, who has worked with some of the world’s best athletes throughout his career including NBA stars Tim Duncan and Tony Parker, has seen Celtics stars Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum close up.

He has such a high opinion of the young pair, he thinks they could be the best he’s worked with.

“I think both Jaylen and Jayson are incredibly talented and driven,” he says.

“When you combine those two things, they have got that ability to become superstars of the game.

“And it would be something special for them if they can do it together.

“Watching from afar they have improved every season, but this year has been a breakout season for both of them.

“Tatum probably gets more publicity, and rightly so because he could be one of the superstars of the NBA by the completion of this playoffs.

“But I think Brown is right up there as well.”

Cole has also had his eyes opened to the significant of the Black Live Matter movement, which has been ever-present in this NBA campaign.

He said it was clear just how much the push for change mattered to the players, and how much winning an NBA Championship would mean in the current environment.

“When you work and now live with players like Jaylen every day, you get to see them as people, and you see how important this situation is to them,” Coles said.

“That gives me a greater appreciation of why things need to change and improve. As driven as they are to succeed in their career and the NBA, it doesn’t mean as much as the bigger picture of being a part of a more just society and creating a better environment for their family.It is about people.

“It makes me proud to be a part of that because it makes me think not only are the players managing the bubble and this global pandemic, but they are also attacking the social justice issues in the country.”



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NBA Playoffs: Miami Heat defeat Milwaukee Bucks, Mike Budenholzer slammed


The Milwaukee Bucks looked unstoppable during the regular season, now they look like they don’t know how to win as they sit on the brink of playoff elimination.

In their second round series against the Miami Heat, the Bucks have sunk into a 0-3 hole as the fifth seeded Heat run rampant.

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As Game 3 entered the fourth quarter, the Bucks held a 12 point lead and looked to be on their way to securing their first win of the series.

But Jimmy Butler and the Heat had other ideas as they exploded to outscore the Bucks 40-13 in the final 12 minutes to run away with the 115-100 victory.

The blow out in the fourth quarter is the worst point differential (27) in a fourth quarter of a playoff game in the shock clock era (1955), per ESPN Stats & Info.

To put that into an even uglier context for the Bucks, Butler single-handedly outscored them down the stretch 17-13.

Fans simply couldn’t believe what they were watching unfold in front of their eyes, with many putting Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer under the microscope.

One decision in particular drew the ire of fans with reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo sitting on the bench as the Heat started to shift the momentum.

Antetokounmpo’s playing time has come under heavy fire of late and after turning his ankle in the first quarter he sat on only 28 minutes in the fourth quarter.

Despite being hampered by his turned ankle, Antetokounmpo had still dragged the Bucks to the 12 point lead after three.

But with the momentum slipping out of their hands, fans couldn’t believe Budenholzer didn’t call time to get his superstar back into the contest.

“Honestly wonder if there is some unreported Giannis injury or something that is causing Bud to sit him right now. It’s totally unforgivable if there isn’t,” The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie wrote.

“You have one of the most dominant two-way players on the planet and your team is trailing 0-2 with a loss surely sealing your fate … and you sit him for what equates to just over one full quarter??? Mike Budenholzer has lost his mind,” basketball reporter Chris Walder wrote.

“Mike Budenholzer should be fired before he gets to the locker room. This was unjustifiable coaching malpractice,” Manhattan Institute’s Brian Riedl wrote.

After the game however Budenholzer said the ankle injury early in the game had no bearing on how he played Antetokounmpo during the game.

Yahoo’s Vincent Goodwill reported Budenholzer saying that playing Antetokounmpo 35+ minutes is “pushing the ceiling”.

The fourth quarter capitulation puts the Bucks with their backs well and truly up against the wall. No team in NBA history has ever overcome a 0-3 deficit in a playoff series.

Game four will be played on Monday morning at 5:30am (AEST).



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NBA 2020: Steve Nash announced as new coach of Brooklyn Nets


Two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Steve Nash was named coach of the Brooklyn Nets on Friday, taking charge of a team with All-Star playmakers Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

Nash takes on his first coaching job after five years as player development co-ordinator for the Golden State Warriors, where he served as a consultant for a team that won two NBA crowns and made four consecutive trips to the NBA Finals.

“Coaching is something I knew I wanted to pursue when the time was right and I’m humbled to be able to work with the outstanding group of players and staff we have here in Brooklyn,” Nash said.

“I am as excited about the prospects of the team on the court as I am about moving to Brooklyn with my family and becoming impactful members of this community.”

The 46-year-old Canadian will try and revive a Nets team that has won only one playoff series since 2007. The Nets made first-round playoff exits the past two seasons.

Nash worked with 2014 league MVP and 2017 and 2018 NBA Finals MVP Durant while with the Warriors. Durant missed the entire 2019-20 season while healing from a torn Achilles tendon suffered in last year’s NBA Finals before he left Golden State for Brooklyn.

Reuniting with the superstar could provide the boost team owner Joe Tsai and general manager Sean Marks seek for the Nets.

“Steve shares our vision for the future of this franchise and his character exemplifies the core principles of our organisation in working to serve our communities,” Tsai said.

media_cameraSteve Nash (seated) has a great relationship with Kevin Durant from their time at Golden State. (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

Nash was an eight-time NBA All-Star guard who played 18 seasons with the Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers, capturing back-to-back MVP awards in 2005 and 2006 playing for Phoenix.

He ranks third on the all-time assists list with 10,335.

“In Steve, we see a leader, communicator and mentor who will garner the respect of our players,” Marks said. “One of the great on-court leaders in our game, I have witnessed first-hand his basketball acumen and selfless approach to prioritise team success.

“His instincts for the game, combined with an inherent ability to communicate with and unite players towards a common goal, will prepare us to compete at the highest levels of the league.”

Nash, inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018, will have Jacque Vaughn return as his top assistant coach.

The Nets, who had only 20 games this season from oft-injured Irving, went 5-3 in the NBA’s bubble restart under Vaughn — who replaced coach Kenny Atkinson in March — before being swept by Toronto in the first round of the playoffs.

Nash served as general manager of the Canadian national team from 2012-2019.

— AFP

Originally published as MVP shocks NBA by taking coach job



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NBA playoffs 2020: Donovan Mitchell breaks Steph Curry’s three-point record


Denver has held on for a 80-78 game seven win against Utah to progress to a second-round series against the LA Clippers.

It wasn’t as free-flowing or high scoring as the rest of the series, but game sevens rarely are.

Donovan Mitchell and Jamal Murray had been historically good from three-point range in games one to six and entered Wednesday’s decider locked on 31 three-point makes for the series.

But they both failed to connect from deep in a low-scoring first half, which the Nuggets dominated to lead 50-36 at halftime.

Mitchell found his groove as the Jazz rallied in the second half, hitting a pair of triples to break the NBA record of 32 set by Stephen Curry for Golden State against Oklahoma City in the 2016 Western Conference Finals.

The Jazz recovered from an 18-point third quarter deficit to tie the game at 70-70 with five minutes remaining.

But Nikola Jokic, who had been overshadowed by the stunning guard play earlier in the series, hit a tough hook shot over Rudy Gobert with 27 seconds left before a buzzer-beating three-point attempt by the Jazz’s Mike Conley rimmed out.

Jokic was the star of the game finishing with 30 points and 14 rebounds. Murray struggled with his shot all game and had just 17 points on 7/21 shooting.

Gobert was immense for Utah, especially in the fourth quarter, as he recorded 19 points and 18 rebounds and Mitchell finished with 22 points and nine boards.

CELTICS TOO SMART FOR RAPTORS

Jayson Tatum scored a career playoff high 34 points and Marcus Smart drained five three pointers in the fourth quarter as the Boston Celtics rallied to beat Toronto 102-99 in game two of their Eastern Conference series.

Kemba Walker finished with 17 points and Jaylen Brown had 16 points and eight rebounds for the Celtics, who grabbed a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semi-final series. Game three is Friday.

“Marcus Smart has been a winner since he’s gotten here,” said Celtics coach Brad Stevens of Smart, who finished with 19 points and six threes. “We’ve been in the playoffs every year since he’s been here and that’s not a coincidence.”

The teams were tied 28-28 at the end of the first quarter but the defending NBA champion Raptors led 78-70 heading into the fourth.

O.G. Anunoby scored 20 points, Fred VanVleet finished with 19 points and seven assists and Pascal Siakam tallied 17 points for the Raptors, who had chances to pull even but made some uncharacteristic mistakes down the stretch.

media_cameraJayson Tatum and Marcus Smart were dominant. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Kyle Lowry made a pair of free throws with 61 seconds remaining to cut the Celtics lead to just one, 100-99, but that was as close as Toronto would get.

With three seconds left, VanVleet launched a desperation three-pointer that would have tied it and forced overtime but his shot missed.

Losing has been an unfamiliar feeling for the Raptors in the NBA bubble. Toronto had only lost one game during the seeding round, a 122-100 setback to the Celtics.

Toronto had an eight-game winning streak heading into the start of this series but have now lost both games to Boston.

— AFP

Originally published as Star breaks record as comeback falls short



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NBA: Playoff schedule following boycott, Patrick Beverley under fire


NBA playoff games will resume on Sunday after the league and players agreed Friday on plans for greater social justice and racial equality measures following the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver and National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts said in a joint statement that “All parties agreed to resume NBA playoff games on Saturday.”

Watch the best of the NBA Playoffs, including every game of the Conference Finals and Finals LIVE on ESPN with Kayo. New to Kayo? Get your free trial now & start streaming instantly >

The move came on a third day of postponed NBA playoff games after the Milwaukee Bucks refused to take the court on Wednesday for a scheduled Eastern Conference first-round matchup against Orlando in the COVID-19 quarantine bubble at Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

The move led to postponements in support of social justice over the past two days in Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, the Women’s NBA and the National Hockey League.

While players weren’t on the court, they were talking with NBA club owners about their desire to see the league undertake broader measures for social change, frustrated by video of Blake, a black man, being shot in the back seven times by a policeman in Kenosha, Wisconsin, as he tried to get into a car where his three children were seated.

“We look forward to the resumption of the playoffs and continuing to work together — in Orlando and in all NBA team markets — to push for meaningful and sustainable change,” the joint statement said.

“We had a candid, impassioned and productive conversation yesterday between NBA players, coaches and team governors regarding next steps to further our collective efforts and actions in support of social justice and racial equality.” Players and the NBA established a social justice coalition, with representatives from players, coaches and team owners to focus on a broad range of issues, including increasing access to voting, promoting civic engagement and advocating meaningful police and criminal justice reform.

The meetings, however, were not without controversy with fiery Los Angeles Clippers star Pat Beverley called out by fellow stars over an ugly clash with Roberts.

According to Chris Haynes from Yahoo Sports, Roberts was discussing the financial ramifications of the players choosing to abandon the season when Beverley

interrupted in disagreement.

“Roberts asked politely if she could continue with her point, and Beverley responded, “No, I pay your salary”,” Haynes reported.

Fellow players, among them Chris Paul, intervened and made it clear to Beverley that disrespect would not be tolerated.

In cities where the NBA team owns and controls its own arena, team owners will work with local elections officials to convert the facility into a voting location for the 2020 US general election, allowing safe in-person voting options in communities fearful of COVID-19.

If that option won’t work, NBA team owners will try to find another election-related use for the arena, such as for voter registration or ballot counting.

The league vowed to work with players and broadcast partners on advertisements in each playoff telecast dedicated to promoting greater civic engagement in elections.

“These commitments follow months of close collaboration around designing a safe and healthy environment to restart the NBA season, providing a platform to promote social justice, as well as creating an NBA Foundation focused on economic empowerment in the Black community,” the statement said.

Silver had told league employees the measures were coming as he expressed full support for the players’ walkout.

“We are dedicated to driving the sustainable change that is long overdue,” Silver wrote in an open letter to NBA employees posted on the league’s website.

“I wholeheartedly support NBA and WNBA players and their commitment to shining a light on important issues of social justice.

“I understand the pain, anger and frustration that so many of us are feeling in this moment. These are incredibly challenging times.

“While I don’t walk in the same shoes as Black men and women, I can see the trauma and fear that racialized violence causes and how it continues the painful legacy of racial inequity that persists in our country.”

NBA PLAYOFF SCHEDULE

Sunday

Milwaukee Bucks vs Orlando Magic (3-1) — 5:30am (AEST)

Oklahoma City Thunder vs Houston Rockets (2-2) — 8:30am

Los Angeles Lakers vs Portland Trail Blazers (3-1) — 11am

Monday

Boston Celtics vs Toronto Raptors (0-0) — 3am

Los Angeles Clippers vs Dallas Mavericks (3-2) — 5:30am

Utah Jazz vs Denver Nuggets (3-2) — 10:30am



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Belgian Grand Prix: Formula 1 News, Lewis Hamilton, NBA Boycott, Black Lives Matter


Lewis Hamilton will not boycott this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix in sympathy with American sports protests following the shooting of Jacob Blake in the United States, but said he felt unified with their cause.

The world championship leader and six-time champion told reporters via an official video news conference that he was impressed by the athletes taking action, which had led to the postponement of events.

“I stand unified with them and trying to do what I can over here (in Europe),” he explained.

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Teams boycott NBA Playoffs

Teams boycott NBA Playoffs

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NBA Playoffs Resume Saturday As League Vows More Social Support



NBA playoff games will resume on Saturday after the league and players agreed Friday on plans for greater social justice and racial equality measures following the police shooting of Jacob Blake. NBA commissioner Adam Silver and National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts said in a joint statement that “All parties agreed to resume NBA playoff games on Saturday.” The move came on a third day of postponed NBA playoff games after the Milwaukee Bucks refused to take the court on Wednesday for a scheduled Eastern Conference first-round matchup against Orlando in the COVID-19 quarantine bubble at Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

The move led to postponements in support of social justice over the past two days in Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, the Women’s NBA and the National Hockey League.

While players weren’t on the court, they were talking with NBA club owners about their desire to see the league undertake broader measures for social change, frustrated by video of Blake, a black man, being shot in the back seven times by a policeman in Kenosha, Wisconsin, as he tried to get into a car where his three children were seated.

“We look forward to the resumption of the playoffs and continuing to work together — in Orlando and in all NBA team markets — to push for meaningful and sustainable change,” the joint statement said.

“We had a candid, impassioned and productive conversation yesterday between NBA players, coaches and team governors regarding next steps to further our collective efforts and actions in support of social justice and racial equality.”

Players and the NBA established a social justice coalition, with representatives from players, coaches and team owners to focus on a broad range of issues, including increasing access to voting, promoting civic engagement and advocating meaningful police and criminal justice reform.

In cities where the NBA team owns and controls its own arena, team owners will work with local elections officials to convert the facility into a voting location for the 2020 US general election, allowing safe in-person voting options in communities fearful of COVID-19.

If that option won’t work, NBA team owners will try to find another election-related use for the arena, such as for voter registration or ballot counting.

The league vowed to work with players and broadcast partners on advertisements in each playoff telecast dedicated to promoting greater civic engagement in elections.

“These commitments follow months of close collaboration around designing a safe and healthy environment to restart the NBA season, providing a platform to promote social justice, as well as creating an NBA Foundation focused on economic empowerment in the Black community,” the statement said.

Silver had told league employees the measures were coming as he expressed full support for the players’ walkout.

“We are dedicated to driving the sustainable change that is long overdue,” Silver wrote in an open letter to NBA employees posted on the league’s website.

“I wholeheartedly support NBA and WNBA players and their commitment to shining a light on important issues of social justice.

Promoted

“I understand the pain, anger and frustration that so many of us are feeling in this moment. These are incredibly challenging times.

“While I don’t walk in the same shoes as Black men and women, I can see the trauma and fear that racialized violence causes and how it continues the painful legacy of racial inequity that persists in our country.”

Topics mentioned in this article



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Kenosha Shooting: NBA Cancels Thursday’s Games


Kyle H. Rittenhouse, of Antioch, Ill., was accused in a criminal complaint of first-degree intentional homicide in the death of Anthony M. Huber, the most serious of the charges; first-degree reckless homicide in the death of Joseph D. Rosenbaum, and attempted first-degree intentional homicide in the shooting of Gaige P. Grosskreutz, in addition to related charges.

Under Wisconsin law, a 17-year-old defendant is charged as an adult. The complaint, filed in Circuit Court in Kenosha County by the District Attorney’s Office, states that the sentence for first-degree intentional homicide is life imprisonment, and the penalty for first-degree reckless homicide is up to 60 years.

In one of several videos of the shootings, Mr. Rittenhouse can be heard saying into his cell phone, “I just killed somebody,” according to the complaint.

The complaint, based partly on a review of multiple videos, states that Mr. Rosenbaum, 36, threw a plastic bag and approached Mr. Rittenhouse, who fired several shots from a Smith & Wesson AR-15-style rifle. It quotes a witness saying that Mr. Rosenbaum, who was fatally wounded, had tried to grab the gun.

From that point, the complaint describes a chaotic scene, with Mr. Rittenhouse running through the streets in the middle of the night, sometimes being chased by people who are yelling for someone to stop him, as he fired shots. Then he fell to the ground.

In the videos, Mr. Huber, a skateboard in his hand, can be seen approaching Mr. Rittenhouse as he lay on the ground.

“Huber appears to be trying to pull the gun away from the defendant,” the complaint said. Mr. Rittenhouse rolled away from him and fired one round at him, it said. “Huber staggers away, taking several steps, then collapses to the ground.”



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