NBA Wrap February 28th
IMAGE: Sixers Wire - USA Today
SEXTON, GARLAND HELP CAVALIERS KNOCK OFF 76ERS IN OVERTIME
Doom and gloom when the Cavaliers were mired on a 10 game losing streak.
Well not anymore.
Collin Sexton had a team-high 28 points, while Darius Garland put up 25 points and 9 assists as the Cleveland Cavaliers won for a third straight game beating the East-leading Philadelphia 76ers in overtime 112-109.
Cleveland withstood a superior performance from Joel Embiid who had 42 points, 13 rebounds and 6 assists, while Aussie Ben Simmons had 24 points and 8 assists as the 76ers lost for only the third time at home this season.
Cleveland controlled the game for the first three quarters with Sexton and Garland dominating pushing their lead out to double-digits at various stages before Philadelphia worked their way back behind the attacking Simmons and Embiid.
The 76ers took its first lead of the game (75-74) when Furkan Korkmaz made a layup with 10:34 to play. For the duration of the fourth, both teams traded buckets with Embiid stamping his authority with the contest up for grabs making two driving dunks – including one to even the game at 92.
Philadelphia after a Sexton miss from distance, would have the chance for victory. Getting the ball into Embiid at the high post, the athletic big drove to his left with Jarrett Allen tightly guarding him letting go a baseline jumper which missed forcing the contest into the extra frame.
Overtime would be time for the Cavaliers three players of the franchise’s future to take over: Sexton, Garland and Issac Okoro. The trio relished the challenge answering every 76ers basket with conviction to seal the result.
Cleveland makes the trip to Texas next for a matchup with the reeling Houston Rockets – losers of 11 straight. Philadelphia continues a three game home stand with the slumping Indiana Pacers coming to town.
RANDLE, KNICKS BEAT PACERS, GET BACK TO .500
It was like old times during the 1990s with the Knicks and Pacers doing battle.
This time the Knicks got the bragging rights.
Julius Randle had a game-high 28 points, to go with 10 rebounds and 6 assists as the New York Knicks got back to an even .500 record defeating the Indiana Pacers 110-107 at Madison Square Garden.
R.J. Barrett finished with 21 points, while veteran Derrick Rose starting for a second straight game in place of Elfrid Payton (hamstring) had 17 points and 11 assists.
Doug McDermott led Indiana with 20 points, while T.J McConnell starting for team’s leading-scored Malcolm Brogdon (sore right knee) had 17 points and 12 assists.
The long-time rivals went back and forth, each making important buckets deep in regulation, including one from Edmond Sumner who made a three of a Reggie Bullock turnover to bring the Knicks lead down to one with 1:18 left.
Indiana would get the chance to either tie or take the lead on a three after Barrett missed its free throws to put New York ahead by four.
The game ultimately came down to a fateful Pacers turnover from the inbounds when Domantas Sabonis’ pass was way too errant for McConnell to handle spilling out of his hands straight to his opposing Point Guard Frank Ntilikina. He would make both free throws to ice the game.
Indiana right from the tip had the tempo on their terms scoring the first eight points, eventually extending its lead out to 16, (46-30) behind Justin Holiday’s three free throws with 7:01 left in the opening half.
Then the League’s best defensive team began to string together consistent stops finishing the remainder of the second quarter on a 24-6 capped off by Rose’s triple right on the buzzer to head into intermission up 54-52.
The tough defence continued in the third with New York heading into the fourth up by three.
Indiana travels to the City of Brotherly Love for a matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers, the second meeting between the teams.
In other results around the Association:
Bradley Beal had 34 points and 6 assists, while Russell Westbrook put up 19 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists as the Washington Wizards won for the seventh time in eight games defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves 128-112.
DeMar DeRozan had a game-high 32 points and 11 assists, including the game-sealing dunk and the San Antonio Spurs beat the New Orleans Pelicans 117-114 for a sixth win in eight games.
Pelicans All-Star duo of Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram combined for 52 points in the loss.
The Utah Jazz bounced back from its loss to the Miami Heat accounting for the Orlando Magic 124-109 behind Donovan Mitchell’s 31 points and 6 assists, while Nikola Vucevic had 34 points and 8 rebounds for Orlando.
The Dallas Mavericks broke the Brooklyn Nets eight-game winning streak behind a scorching shooting performance to win 115-98 at Barclays Centre.
Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic had 27 points and 7 assists, while James Harden led the Nets with 29 points and 6 assists – playing without Kyrie Irving (shoulder).
Jamal Murray finished with 26 points and 5 assists, Michael Porter Jr had 20, while Nikola Jokic posted 19 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists as the Denver Nuggets blew apart the Oklahoma City Thunder 126-96.
By Juri Bilcich