NBA Wrap February 5th
IMAGE: Yahoo! Movies
ROLLING LEBRON AND LAKERS POWER BY NUGGETS
Even at 36 years of age, LeBron is proving why he is one of the greats.
James posted his second triple-double of the season with 27 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists as the LA Lakers begun its five-game home stand rolling by the Denver Nuggets 114-93.
With the dominant performance, LeBron passed the legendary Wilt Chamberlain (12,681) to move into third spot on the NBA All-time for field goals made now with 12,691.
Dennis Schroder scored 21, while Talen Horton-Tucker who has been playing well recently had 17 for the purple and gold.
Jamal Murray had 20 points and 5 assists, while his back up Point Guard Monte Morris posted 16 for Denver coming off one of its best wins this season toppling the red-hot Utah Jazz.
In the first encounter since last season’s Western Conference Finals matchup, both sides focused on a clear emphasis away from the three to create shots near the rim or from midrange with Denver taking control building a 52-40 lead to cap off a 17-7 run.
Denver lead 58-46 at intermission.
Building behind the dominance of LeBron, the Lakers began to cut away at the lead as the Nuggets’s offence started to stall under the pressure-packed LA defence with Schroder and Harrell having major impacts taking a 83-75 lead into the fourth.
The Lakers rode the third quarter momentum to quash any hopes of Denver getting close as Davis put the exclamation mark with an emphatic alley-oop from LeBron as Nuggets Coach Michael Malone cleared his bench for the remaining three minutes.
Next for the Lakers are the reeling Detroit Pistons. Denver travels to North California for a matchup with the Sacramento Kings for the third time this season having lost the first two encounters.
SHORT-HANDED BLAZERS TAME 76ERS
Without four starters, Portland might have found the chances of beating the East’s best team a mountain to climb too much.
The daunting task ahead was answered in convincing fashion.
Gary Trent Jr scored a team-high 24 points and veteran Carmelo Anthony posted 22 as the undermanned Portland Trailblazers toppled the Philadelphia 76ers 121-105.
Enes Kanter back this season for the Blazers was a battering ram on the glass pulling down 18 rebounds along with 17 points who played without superstar Damian Lillard (abdominal strain), with the team also missing C.J McCollum (left foot), Jusuf Nurkic (broken right wrist) and Derrick Jones Jr (foot).
Joel Embiid put a dominant offensive display posting 37 points, but sent a scare through the 76ers camp when he suffered a lower-body injury after successfully blocking a shot, came down awkwardly on his landing.
However, the mercurial 7 footer was back a few minutes later to give the 76ers important production.
Nothing separated the sides at the end of the opening half locked at 57 apiece with Embiid at his usual influential best for Philadelphia, while Anthony and Trent Jr got off to solid starts for the Blazers.
The third term is when Portland stamped its authority on the contest fuelled by red-hot shooting all beginning with Trent Jr nailing a three on the first possession after intermission leading to the Blazers stringing a 31-9 run to lead 88-66 when Rookie CJ Elleby made both shots from the stripe.
At times this season, Portland has found guarding for extended periods of time an issue where teams have been able to exploit their woes on the perimeter. On this night, the Blazers stuck with the game plan nullifying the 76ers to just 25.9% from deep (7-27) for its third win in the last four games.
Portland heads to the Big Apple for a matchup with the rugged New York Knicks. Philadelphia takes on the Brooklyn Nets at home before heading out on a four-game Western Swing.
In other results around the Association:
Sixth Man front runner Jordan Clarkson scored 23 points, while Bojan Bogdanovic had 21 as the Utah Jazz squeezed the Atlanta Hawks in a 112-91 win.
John Collins lead Atlanta with 17 points and 7 rebounds who were without star Trae Young (calf) with 2-time NBA Champion Rajon Rondo starting in his place.
Kelly Oubre put his best display in his short time with Golden State scoring a career-high 40 points making seven threes as the Warriors drained out the porous Dallas Mavericks
Steph Curry posted 28 points as Golden State shot 57.3% from the field and 51.2% from deep who are banged up playing without Centres Kevon Looney (sprained left ankle) and James Wiseman (sprained left wrist).
Mavericks star one-two tandem of Luka Doncic who had 27 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists and Kristaps Porzingis finishing with 25 for Dallas dropping its seventh game in their last eight.
John Wall scored 22 points dishing out 8 assists, while Eric Gordon had 20 as the Houston Rockets paced by the Memphis Grizzlies 121-105 for its seventh win in eight games.
By Juri Bilcich