NBA Wrap February 3rd
IMAGE: Report Door
BROOKLYN’S BIG THREE SHINES AS NETS PUSH BY CLIPPERS
Brooklyn’s big three all had major production which in turn led to beat a Championship contender.
Kyrie Irving posted a season-high 39 points, Kevin Durant had 28 points and 9 rebounds, while James Harden posted his fourth triple-double as a Net: 23 points, 11 rebounds and 14 assists and Brooklyn defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 124-120.
Kawhi Leonard put up 33 points for the Clippers, while Paul George finished with 26 points and 6 assists as the team is currently 3-2 on a six-game Eastern trip which ends against Cleveland tomorrow.
The Clippers took the early incentive building a 20-8 lead midway through the first as Leonard began scorching from the floor making his first four shots, while George had an early impact including a driving dunk.
Having trailed for the entire first half Brooklyn would take its first lead at 59-58 on a Irving pull-up baseline jumper, and would build its largest lead at 10 with 1:55 left in regulation when Durant walked into a triple after receiving the pass from Joe Harris who initially missed his shot.
The Clippers found a way, and would string together nine successive points which was capitalised when George in the corner swished through a three despite being well-contested by Harris.
On Brooklyn’s next possession, Durant was fouled by George to head to the charity stripe making both free throws before intentionally fouling Leonard to deny the three point opportunity.
After Leonard an excellent foul shooter made a pair, Jeff Green who was all alone at the Nets’ offensive end was assisted brilliantly by Harden on the inbounds who made a touch pass finding him, creating a ball fake to the rim where Reggie Jackson made the cardinal sin of fouling him.
Although the 14-year veteran didn’t convert the three point play, Irving would seal the result with two free throws with 1.9 seconds left.
TATUM AND WALKER HELP CELTICS QUELL SCORCHING CURRY AND THE WARRIORS
Boston’s starters did their part to help lift by the red-hot Stephen Curry.
Jayson Tatum had a team-high 27 points and 9 rebounds while Kemba Walker scored 19 and the Celtics kept its composure in the final four minutes to beat Curry and the Golden State Warriors 111-107.
Curry was a torcher flame all game finishing with 38 points, 11 rebounds and 8 assists for the three point assassin who made seven giving him 89 triples for the season.
Golden State burst out of the blocks led by by hot-hand of Curry who had 17 points in the opening 12 minutes as the Warriors took a 35-24 lead. The second quarter saw the Celtics start to attack the undersized Warriors using a 16-4 run capped by Tatum’s long three to claim its first lead of the contest.
The duration of the second half remain close until Jaylen Brown who couldn’t quite find his shooting radar scored six points in the fourth including a fast break transition dunk to give the green team a 10 point lead.
Golden State though wouldn’t surrender using a 15-1 run capped off by Curry driving baseline on the Celtics defence kicking out the pass to Juan Toscanini-Anderson who swirled home a three to slice the deficit to four.
The Warriors would get no closer as Boston bounced back from a wild finish home loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. Golden State heads to the Lone Star for a two game mini-series with the reeling Dallas Mavericks who have lost six straight games.
In other results around the Association:
Fred VanVleet was unconscious from all parts of the floor especially from three on route to a franchise scoring record delivering 54 points and 11 triples as the Toronto Raptors piled on further pain for the Orlando Magic 123-108.
The diminutive guard broke a record for most points scored by an undrafted player and in the process broke the franchise record held for most single-game points by a Raptor since DeMar DeRozan who scored 52 against the Milwaukee Bucks on January 1st 2018.
Nikola Vucevic led Orlando with 21 points and 18 rebounds and Evan Fournier too scored 21 who are without Aaron Gordon for the next 4-6 weeks after suffering a severe ankle sprain in the previous game between the teams.
Domantas Sabonis put in a brilliant display finishing with 32 points and 13 rebounds, while Malcolm Brogdon had 23 points, 7 assists and Myles Turner with 22 points and 11 rebounds as the Indiana Pacers took total command bursting the Memphis Grizzlies seven game winning streak 134-116.
Damian Lillard was rolling finishing with 32 points and 8 assists as the short-handed Portland Trailblazers beat the Washington Wizards 132-121 despite season leading-scorer Bradley Beal scoring 37.
Carmelo Anthony would celebrate a milestone passing Atlanta Hawks legend Dominique Wilkins (26,668) into 13th in the NBA’s all-time scoring list with now 26,671 points.
Donovan Mitchell had his fourth 30 point game finishing with 32 points as the Utah Jazz quelled a fourth-quarter surge from the Detroit Pistons to win 117-105.
By Juri Bilcich