NBA Wrap February 7th
IMAGE: NBC Los Angeles
VINTAGE LEBRON TAKES OVER IN DOUBLE OVERTIME AS LAKERS DEFEAT RESILIENT PISTONS
For the entirety of 58 minutes, the Pistons were right up with the Champions. That is when LeBron came to the fall for the Lakers.
James scored 33 points and 11 assists, including eight points in double overtime including the game sealing step back three over Mason Plumlee as the Los Angeles Lakers quelled a resistant Detroit Pistons 135-129.
Having seen the Pistons rally from a 17 point deficit late in the third to conjure their run in the fourth and in the opening overtime period, LeBron knew he would have to accept the challenge of lifting the purple and gold home.
LeBron began the mission with a driving layup with 2:10 left to re-take the lead for the Lakers. After a Pistons shot-clock violation, the 4-time NBA Champion got the switch with Plumlee taking a couple of dribbles then pulling back to stick home the three to push the margin to four.
The King was not finished there. Detroit were not going to go quietly into the night when Josh Jackson made a driving dunk cutting the lead back to four. But LeBron not the first time on the night found himself on the 6’11 Plumlee using a few dribbles to ever so slightly create room on a step back to swish home a three and thwart any hopes of a Pistons win.
Anthony Davis scored 30 for the Lakers who lost the previous meeting between the teams on January 28 in Detroit 107-92.
Jerami Grant led the Pistons with 32 points and 6 assists for his 4th 30 point game of the season and Josh Jackson coming off the bench had 28 including the game-tying layup in regulation to force Overtime.
Jackson was a major factor in the Pistons’ rally from late third scoring eight points to close out the period and scoring 11 fourth quarter points to get the game into the extra period.
Coming off three lopsided defeats to Golden State, Utah and Phoenix, Detroit stuck firm with the Lakers trailing 63-54 at intermission.
CURRY AND DONCIC IN CLASSIC DUEL AS MAVERICKS DEFEAT WARRIORS
A great duel was witnessed between a third-year superstar and the greatest three-pointer in NBA History.
By the end of 48 minutes, Luka Doncic and the Mavericks won the incredible back and forth scoring barrage.
Doncic had 42 points, 7 rebounds and 11 assists, as the Dallas Mavericks won a nail biter over the Golden State Warriors 144-132.
Warriors superstar Steph Curry unconscious from very section of the floor finishing with 57 points hitting 11 triples joining Portland Trailblazers superstar Damian Lillard (61 points, 11 threes against Golden State on January 20th last year) as the 2nd player in NBA history to achieve the feat.
As witnessed in the Lakers-Pistons game, the contest saw little margin after the first quarter with Dallas making the immediate plays every time Golden State threatened to take the lead.
The Mavericks having gone back and forth for three quarters, seemingly threatened to take the game away from the Warriors when Jalen Brunson made a three to stretch the lead to double-figures. Golden State got within four with under a minute remaining until Kristaps Porzingis initially fumbling the ball got it back to Kleber who in turn found a wide-open Doncic who sunk a three to take the margin to seven.
The Warriors though showed the DNA that won 3 Championships (2015,2017,2018) were not counted out yet, as the scorching Curry bombed home a three after creating separation
on Kleber. Golden State would get the ball back on the next possession after Dallas’ turned it over, putting it in Curry’s hands.
With a mismatch in Kleber, the 2015 MVP took the ball all the way in blowing by for the reverse layup and in the act getting the foul his way, which he dually converted to make it only a one point Mavericks lead.
Still plenty of time remained and with it Kleber who had being stuck in mismatches off brilliant offensive sets from the Warriors, rose to the challenge when presented. With the shot-clock inside five seconds, Doncic with the ball in his hands made the simple play to Kleber in the corner on a catch and shoot as he made the biggest shot of his career.
Earlier in the contest, Dallas raced out to its largest lead of 16 in the opening five minutes with Golden State starting out stone cold missing seven of its first eight attempts.
In other games around the Association:
Julius Randle delivered 22 points and 11 rebounds, while Elfrid Payton also had 22 and the New York Knicks pulled ahead in the last nine minutes to defeat the Portland Trailblazers 110-99.
Damian Lillard after missing the Blazers victory in Philadelphia with an abdominal strain led Portland with 29 points and 9 assists.
Harrison Barnes finished with 28 points, while De’Aron Fox had 24 and Tyrese Haliburton with 23 as the rampaging Sacramento Kings won for the sixth time in seven games beating the Denver Nuggets 119-114.
Nuggets superstar Nikola Jokic posted a career-high 50 points to go with 8 rebounds and 12 assists becoming the third player in franchise history over the past 20 seasons joining Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson to score 50 plus in a game.
Zach LaVine was unstoppable finishing with 36 points and the Chicago Bulls blasted away the porous Orlando Magic after the opening term to cruise home 118-92.
Joel Embiid could not be contained scoring 33 points along with 9 rebounds and the Philadelphia 76ers bounced back from a loss to Portland to beat the Brooklyn Nets 124-108.
James Harden led the way for Brooklyn with 26 points, 8 rebounds and 10 assists who were without its two other superstars Kevin Durant (League Health and Safety Protocols) and Kyrie Irving (sprained right index finger).
The one-two tandem of Trae Young and Clint Capela proved too much as the Atlanta Hawks toppled the Toronto Raptors 132-121.
Young back from a one-game absence with a calf had 28 points and 13 assists, while Capela finished with 23 points and 16 rebounds as the Hawks snapped a four-game home losing streak.
Giannis Antetokounmpo sliced and carved his way to the hoop scoring 24 points along with 11 rebounds as the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Cleveland Cavaliers for the second time in as many games 124-99.
DeMar DeRozan proved pivotal delivering 30 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists as the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Houston Rockets 111-106 to improve to 7-3 away from the AT&T Centre.
John Wall led Houston with 27 points and 7 assists with the team playing its first game without Christian Wood who is week to week after spraining his right ankle in the win over Memphis.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander made his return after missing two games with a sprained left knee scoring 31 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder survived a Naz Reid missed the game-tying layup to prevail 120-118.
Zion Williamson scored 29 points and Brandon Ingram had 27 as the New Orleans Pelicans won for the third straight game using a 18-5 run in the final 5:50 to push past the Memphis Grizzlies 118-109.
By Juri Bilcich