Adelaide 36ers defeat New Zealand Breakers, Josh Giddey near triple-double, Isaac Humphries


Josh Giddey set the table while Isaac Humphries threw down the hammer as the Adelaide 36ers recorded a clean sweep of their miniseries with the New Zealand Breakers.

Five days on from their overtime win over the Breakers, the 36ers got the job done in regulation with an 88-78 victory at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre in front of a crowd 5,706 on Wednesday night.

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Giddey showed why NBA scouts are watching his every move, the 18-year-point guard going within two assists of his first professional triple-double, finishing with 13 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.

Humphries was the main beneficiary of Giddey’s passing, scoring 21 points, his third straight game with at least 20 points, while he also controlled the defensive end with four blocks.

Captain Daniel Johnson (17 points), Tony Crocker (14) and Sunday Dech (11) were among five 36ers in double figures.

Corey Webster threatened to steal the game with back-to-back three pointers to close the margin to 73-77, but the 36ers – who led at every break – successfully closed out the game to move to 3-2 for the season ahead of Saturday night’s game with the Sydney Kings.

Young guns bounce off each other

Emerging star Giddey’s combination with Humphries is going to be a nightmare for opposition teams to defend all season. Time and time again, Giddey and Humphries worked beautifully in tandem in the half-court, the big man setting screens, rolling to the bucket and receiving the ball back near the rim. Giddey’s game is developing nicely as NBA scouts carefully note the Next Star’s all-round skillset. Humphries left the NBL a developing big and, after his NBA chance, returns a complete centre. If he continues this form, another call up to the big league looms.

Holy guacamole, Webster returns in style

After an avocado-related knife through the hand delayed Corey Webster’s NBL campaign, the Breakers star turned it on the fourth quarter. Webster – who made his return on the bench – hit back-to-back three pointers late in the game to keep the visitors within reach. Webster will only get better for the game, as will his potent back-court combination with younger brother Tai. The Webster brothers combined for 32 points, while Finn Delany led the Breakers with 19 points.

Sloan calls home after long-range bomb

36ers guard Donald Sloan whipped out the phone call celebration for the second game in a row after another clutch three pointer. With the clock winding down in the third quarter, Sloan dribbled the ball over the half-court line and let it fly. Nothing. But. Net. The sensational long-range shot came five days after Sloan drained a three-pointer to send Friday night’s game against the Breakers into overtime.

Delany makes DJ pay with rare five-point play

36ers captain Daniel Johnson lost his cool with a bump on Breakers forward Finn Delany that was deemed to be an unsportsmanlike foul near the end of the second quarter. Delany hit the two free throws along with a three-pointer for a five-point play from the possession, turning an 11-point deficit into a 39-33 game at halftime. Johnson’s frustrations had boiled over after the undersized Delany got away with holding, pushing and shoving when trying to defend the 36ers’ leading scorer.

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LaMelo Ball triple-double, Anthony Davis downs James Harden, Heat-Celtics postponed


LaMelo Ball has made history as the youngest player in the NBA to record a triple-double as the No. 3 Draft pick continues to make his mark.

Ball was in Australia last year to play in the NBL and showcased his all-round talents with a rare triple-double down here but he’s done it on the biggest stage possible.

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While the talk of the town in Australia last year was whether the NBL provided a good professional pathway for draftees, it clearly seems to have done the job.

Ball beat previous record holder Markelle Fultz by 177 but it could have been 179 days after he missed out on the milestone just two days ago in the win over the New Orleans Pelicans.

But playing the Atlanta Hawks, Ball hit 22 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists on Saturday night.

“A 19-year-old rookie does not look like this,” Hornets coach James Borrego said. “This is rare what you’re seeing.

“He’s not rattled by the moment. It’s like he’s been doing this for a number of years.”

Ball said he was still trying to comprehend what he had done.

“I live my life and I know what I’m capable of, so stuff like doesn’t move me like that,” Ball said. “I know that’s supposed to happen.”

He also got plenty of praise from Atlanta star Trae Young who believes there’s a big future ahead of him.

“He’s a tall PG who can pass, can rebound and he’s a smart player,” Young said. “Things are going to become even easier for him in this league as he plays more and more games.”

NBA fans were going equally mad for LaMelo.

The Observer’s Charlotte Hornets beat writer Rick Bonnell said: “I thought through 30-some years of the NBA in Charlotte for a @MELOD1P comparison; the only @hornets rookie that feels similar in talent and impact: Larry Johnson.”

Johnson was a two-time NBA All-Star, 1992 Rookie of the Year and decade-long player in the NBA.

AD EXPLODES IN NBA BLOW OUT

Anthony Davis scored a game-high 27 points as the Los Angeles Lakers delivered a dominating all-around performance on Sunday with a crushing 120-102 defeat of the Houston Rockets in Texas.

The Lakers finally hit their stride in the new NBA season, running the Rockets ragged on offence and bottling up their top scorers on defence, especially three-time league scoring champion James Harden, who was held to 20 points and committed seven turnovers.

LeBron James scored 18 points as he and fellow all-star Davis had plenty of help from the bench.

Talen Horton-Tucker (17 points), Montrezl Harrell (16) and Kyle Kuzma (13) all came off the bench to reach double figures for the Lakers, who are now a perfect 5-0 on the road to start the season.

The defending NBA champions scored a whopping 32 fast break points and 62 points in the paint, finally looking like the juggernaut team that many had envisioned at the start of the season.

But where they really excelled Sunday was on defence, grabbing 39 defensive rebounds and forcing 13 steals.

“We’ve got to be a team who lead games with defence,” Davis said, who returned to the line-up Sunday after sitting out with a sore groin. “Tonight we made shots, but there are going to be nights when we don’t make shots and we can’t control that.

“What we can control is how we play defence. The coach came in at halftime and said our defensive effort was off the charts.”

With both James (ankle) and Davis nursing nagging injuries, getting 54 points from their bench and holding the Rockets to just 46 points in the first half is good sign for the future.

— AFP

COVID REARS ITS UGLY HEAD

It’s never too far from the spotlight but COVID-19 has reminded the NBA it will arguably be the biggest player in the 2020-21 season.

The Boston Celtics’ home game against the Miami Heat didn’t even get on court, the contest postponed because of COVID-19 safety measures.

Miami did not have the required number of available players to play the game while the Celtics were down to the NBA minimum of eight.

Also, Nikola Jokic posted another double-double by finishing with 22 points and 10 rebounds for the visiting Denver Nuggets, who cruised to a 114-89 win over the New York Knicks.

— AFP



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NBA 2021: 76ers Vs Wizards, wild game, Bradley Beal 60, loss, Ben Simmons, Steven Adams, triple-double


The Philadelphia 76ers and Washington Wizards have put on a show in their NBA clash but not even a franchise record was enough for a win.

It’s not often in the NBA when a player can explode with 60 points in a brilliant individual performance — and even rarer when it’s not enough to win the game.

That happened in the Philadelphia 76ers’ 141-136 win over the Washington Wizards as Bradley Beal hit exactly 60 but still lost the game.

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The individual performance saw Beal tie Gilbert Arenas’ franchise record set on December 17 2006 while the move to give Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons perimeter shooters has paid off.

Danny Green hit five from eight from three point range and Embiid and Tobias Harris hit three each, but Seth Curry hit six from seven as the 76ers shot 62.1 per cent from outside the arc.

But it was Beal’s game as he piled on 57 points in the first three quarters.

Matisse Thybulle was on the star as he was restricted to just three points in the fourth quarter and came up with a key stop.

Despite Ben Simmons being seen as a potential Defensive Player of the Year candidate, he stayed on Russell Westbrook with Philadelphia coach Doc Rivers said Simmons was doing what he needed to do.

“I guess after 60 we probably could’ve made the change,” he said. “We liked what Ben was able to do as a roamer with Westbrook. We thought he could get a lot of easy baskets.”

Westbrook even left the game with 26 seconds left with the Wizards new star reportedly dislocating his finger.

Philadelphia led 82-67 at the main break it appeared as though former NBA star Kendrick Perkins could have jinxed the side when he tweeted at halftime as the Wizards came back to pull level at 131-all with four minutes left.

The Wizards were 21 points down at one point.

But after that, Embiid hit eight straight points to close it out.

“They pay me to take over the game,” Embiid said. “They pay me to dominate. That’s my job.

“I always give credit to my teammates. [But] I finished.”

Embiid finished with 38 points, eight rebounds, five assists three steals and three blocks, while Simmons had 17 points, 12 assists and six rebounds, as well as two steals.

Despite his game, Beal was frustrated by the loss.

“I’m pissed off,” Beal said. “I’m mad. I don’t count (them) … Any of my career highs, they’ve been in losses. So I don’t give a damn. You can throw it right out the window with the other two or three I’ve had.

“I just want to win. Sometimes you might be able to score 40, 50, 60, whatever the case may be, but I just want to win, whatever that looks like. We came up a little bit short tonight.”

KIWI’S STATEMENT NOT ENOUGH

The Oklahoma City Thunder got the better of Steven Adams and the New Orleans Pelicans this afternoon, but the Kiwi big man had a silver lining in the form of a career-first achievement.

Adams finished the 111-110 loss with a triple-double, scoring 10 points to go with 11 rebounds and a career-high 10 assists. Coming into the game, Adams’ career high in assists was six – a number he set while playing for Oklahoma City last season.

It’s the latest in a string of strong performances for Adams since joining the Pelicans this year.

While the season is only eight games deep, Adams has made his mark on his new team across the floor, shooting at a career-best 65 per cent success rate from the field.

Pelicans coach Stan Van Gundy said it wasn’t hard to see how much of a difference the 27-year-old is making on the team.

“If you look at our on-court and off-court numbers and our plus-minus, he’s been carrying us all year,” Van Gundy said.

“If Steven’s on the court we’re a really good team; if Steven’s off the court, we’re not. It’s because the guy plays [hard] every possession, and that’s what we need to get everybody doing.”

New Zealand Herald

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76ers Vs Wizards, wild game, Bradley Beal 60, loss, Ben Simmons, Steven Adams, triple-double


It’s not often in the NBA when a player can explode with 60 points in a brilliant individual performance — and even rarer when it’s not enough to win the game.

That happened in the Philadelphia 76ers’ 141-136 win over the Washington Wizards as Bradley Beal hit exactly 60 but still lost the game.

Watch Live coverage every week of the NBA Regular Season with ESPN on Kayo. New to Kayo? Get your free trial now & start streaming instantly >

The individual performance saw Beal tie Gilbert Arenas’ franchise record set on December 17 2006 while the move to give Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons perimeter shooters has paid off.

Danny Green hit five from eight from three point range and Embiid and Tobias Harris hit three each, but Seth Curry hit six from seven as the 76ers shot 62.1 per cent from outside the arc.

But it was Beal’s game as he piled on 57 points in the first three quarters.

Matisse Thybulle was on the star as he was restricted to just three points in the fourth quarter and came up with a key stop.

Despite Ben Simmons being seen as a potential Defensive Player of the Year candidate, he stayed on Russell Westbrook with Philadelphia coach Doc Rivers said Simmons was doing what he needed to do.

“I guess after 60 we probably could’ve made the change,” he said. “We liked what Ben was able to do as a roamer with Westbrook. We thought he could get a lot of easy baskets.”

Westbrook even left the game with 26 seconds left with the Wizards new star reportedly dislocating his finger.

Philadelphia led 82-67 at the main break it appeared as though former NBA star Kendrick Perkins could have jinxed the side when he tweeted at halftime as the Wizards came back to pull level at 131-all with four minutes left.

The Wizards were 21 points down at one point.

But after that, Embiid hit eight straight points to close it out.

“They pay me to take over the game,” Embiid said. “They pay me to dominate. That’s my job.

“I always give credit to my teammates. [But] I finished.”

Embiid finished with 38 points, eight rebounds, five assists three steals and three blocks, while Simmons had 17 points, 12 assists and six rebounds, as well as two steals.

Despite his game, Beal was frustrated by the loss.

“I’m pissed off,” Beal said. “I’m mad. I don’t count (them) … Any of my career highs, they’ve been in losses. So I don’t give a damn. You can throw it right out the window with the other two or three I’ve had.

“I just want to win. Sometimes you might be able to score 40, 50, 60, whatever the case may be, but I just want to win, whatever that looks like. We came up a little bit short tonight.”

KIWI’S STATEMENT NOT ENOUGH

The Oklahoma City Thunder got the better of Steven Adams and the New Orleans Pelicans this afternoon, but the Kiwi big man had a silver lining in the form of a career-first achievement.

Adams finished the 111-110 loss with a triple-double, scoring 10 points to go with 11 rebounds and a career-high 10 assists. Coming into the game, Adams’ career high in assists was six – a number he set while playing for Oklahoma City last season.

It’s the latest in a string of strong performances for Adams since joining the Pelicans this year.

While the season is only eight games deep, Adams has made his mark on his new team across the floor, shooting at a career-best 65 per cent success rate from the field.

Pelicans coach Stan Van Gundy said it wasn’t hard to see how much of a difference the 27-year-old is making on the team.

“If you look at our on-court and off-court numbers and our plus-minus, he’s been carrying us all year,” Van Gundy said.

“If Steven’s on the court we’re a really good team; if Steven’s off the court, we’re not. It’s because the guy plays [hard] every possession, and that’s what we need to get everybody doing.”

— New Zealand Herald



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Ben Simmons, triple-double record, John Wall, James Harden, Dante Exum shuts down Trae Young


The Philadelphia 76ers have maintained a 5-1 start with a 127-112 win over the Charlotte Hornets with Ben Simmons claiming his first triple-double of the season.

Simmons has put up 29 triple-doubles in his regular season career and is racing up the leaderboard in record time, taking just 223 games to reach the mark.

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While Dallas Mavericks wunderkind Luka Doncic is looking to eclipse Simmons’ record with 25 in his 138 game career so far, it’s a stunning record for the Australian.

Only Magic Johnson, who took 186 games and brought his 29th up in 1982, and Oscar Robertson, who did it in 74 games by 1961, have more triple-doubles in less time than Simmons.

Only Russell Westbrook, LeBron James and Nikola Jokic have more triple-doubles than Simmons since the Aussie started his career, but since Magic, Simmons 223 games beats Jokic’s 310 games, Grant Hill’s 336 games, Jason Kidd’s 372 and LeBron James with 556 games.

Westbrook took 570 games to get 29 triple doubles but exploded after that and has now tallied 150 in his career.

Simmons said the 76ers are developing into a handful for any team.

“You see the way we’ve been playing, we like to move the ball, share it, it doesn’t matter who gets the ball in the game in terms of the points, but when we play like that it’s tough,” he said.

He added that the addition of shooters at the perimeter has helped the side with all the players buying in.

Simmons had 15 points 12 rebounds and 11 assists while Joel Embiid added 19 points and 14 boards, while Tobias Harris’ 24 points and Seth Curry’s 21 were the pick of the 76ers.

Simmons is getting the relationship going with his new teammates as well with Curry dishing a no look alley-oop to Simmons for a dunk.

Before the game, Simmons gave the credit all to new coach Doc Rivers who has freed him up to play as he likes.

Rivers has been dismissive of any of the talk around Simmons’ jump shot this season and despite hitting a three in his last game, has said it doesn’t matter.

“I think that’s the good thing with Doc, he allows me to make the right reads,” Simmons said.

“He’s gonna tell me if there’s a certain spot he thinks I should get to. If I don’t do something whether it’s cut or slash, or just spacing-wise. I think I have that freedom.”

WALL DOES IT WITHOUT HARDEN

John Wall delivered a game-high 28 points as the Houston Rockets won their second straight game over the Sacramento Kings 102-94, despite playing without NBA all-star James Harden.

Eric Gordon replaced Harden and scored 21 points, while Christian Wood finished with 20 points and 15 rebounds for the Rockets, who also beat the Kings 122-119 on New Year’s Eve.

‘‘I just put in a lot of hard work and dedication to get to this point,” Wall said. ‘‘I couldn’t ask for a better start to be 2-0 in my first two games.”

It will give Rockets fans some joy knowing the side could be OK without Harden as the trade talk continues.

Harden had 33 points in the New Year’s Eve game but was a late scratch Saturday. The disgruntled American, who has asked for a trade, sat out with a sore ankle, although he has not been placed on the injury list.

Without Harden, Wall carried the offensive load for the Rockets. He had missed their first two games of the new season because of COVID-19 restrictions and was out all of last season because of injuries.

Sterling Brown came off the bench to score 11 points in the win. Rockets coach Stephen Silas said he is pleasantly surprised with the immediate impact from Wall.

“Whatever expectations I had, he’s obviously exceeded them,” he said.

The Rockets seized their first double-digit lead of the game, 92-81, early in the fourth quarter when David Nwaba and Gordon drained back to back threes.

The Kings got to 92-83 with just over eight minutes left, but then cold shooting and turnovers resulted in them going scoreless for five minutes.

De’Aaron Fox led the Kings with 23 points, while Buddy Hield chipped in 17 points in the loss.

AFP

DANTE EXUM COMES UP BIG

The Atlanta Hawks’ Trae Young is one of the NBA’s most exciting talents but Aussie star Dante Exum has shown how to shut the young gun down.

His Cleveland Cavaliers are fourth in the Eastern Conference having a 4-2 record but claimed a massive scalp against the Hawks.

While Exum had just six points and five rebounds in 35 minutes on the floor, the 96-91 win was set up as he shut down Young.

Young averages 28.2 points for the season as well as 8.3 assists but he was kept to 16 points and 10 assists.

Cleveland even had to battle back from 15 points down halfway through the third quarter, before outscoring the Hawks 26-17 to come over the top of the Hawks.

Cavs star Larry Nance Jr. was blown away by the team’s defence.

“They put up 35 on us in the first quarter and then for the rest of the three quarters of the game, for 36 minutes of basketball, we held them to 53 points,” he said. “That’s unheard of. That’s unheard of. Like we keep saying, that’s what we gotta hang our hats on every night. If you play defence, there’s no game you’re out of.”

But social media was behind Exum’s performance.



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NBA play-offs: Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Doncic makes 40-point triple-double


Doncic is playing in his first NBA playoffs

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic became the youngest player in NBA play-off history to make a 40-point triple-double as he hit a buzzer-beater against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Doncic’s 43 points helped the Mavericks win 135-133 to level the series.

The Slovenian joins Charles Barkley and Oscar Robertson as the only players to score at least 40 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists in a play-off game.

“I can’t explain the emotions I had when I saw the ball go in,” he said.

“When I saw the whole team coming towards me that was one of the best feelings I have ever had as a player.”

A triple-double is achieved when a player records a double-digit total in three of the following categories: points, total rebounds, assists, steals and blocks.

In addition to his 43 points, 21-year-old Doncic made 17 rebounds and 13 assists despite playing with a sprained ankle.

With the series tied at 2-2, game five is on Tuesday.

Elsewhere, Donovan Mitchell and Jamal Murray both scored 50-plus points as Mitchell’s Utah Jazz beat Murray’s Denver Nuggets 129-127 to take a 3-1 series lead.

It is the first time in NBA play-off history that opponents have both scored 50-plus in one game, with Mitchell scoring 51 – including four three-pointers – while Murray made 50.

Mitchell also joins Michael Jordan and Allen Iverson as only players to score 50-plus twice in the same play-off series.

Defending champions the Toronto Raptors and the Boston Celtics both completed 4-0 sweeps over the Brooklyn Nets and the Philadelphia 76ers respectively and will meet each other in the next round.



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