NBA Wrap January 8th
NO DURANT NO IRVING NO PROBLEMS FOR NETS
The Brooklyn Nets might have been without its two superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, but it mattered little as it handled the East’s top seed: Philadelphia 76ers 122-109 at Barclays Centre.
Sharp shooter Joe Harris coming off the bench for the second game in a row put up a team and game high 28 points draining six threes.
Caris LeVert who is playing as the team’s sixth man came into the starting lineup in Irving’s absence to score 22 points despite a paltry 9 of 25 shooting but dished out 10 assists.
Irving the team’s second-leading scorer missed the contest due to personal reasons and won’t be able travelling with the team to face the Memphis Grizzlies.
Durant is out for the week undergoing the League’s strict Health and Safety protocols after being in close contact with a person who had the Coronavirus.
Philadelphia who were coming off last night’s shootout 141-136 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers were led by Shake Milton who had 24 points starting in the place of Seth Curry.
The Nets next game is against the Memphis Grizzlies, the second and final meeting between the teams with Memphis winning 116-111 in Overtime on December 29. Philadelphia faces Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets back home.
DRUMMOND’S DOUBLE-DOUBLE PUSHES CAVS BY GRIZZLIES
League’s leading rebounder Andre Drummond put up 22 points and 15 rebounds as the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Memphis Grizzlies 94-90 at FedExForum.
For the duration of the contest both teams couldn’t generate an consistent offensive flow as tight defence made it hard to knock down consistent shots.
But it was close and one pivotal play defined the outcome.
With under a minute left and leading by one, the Memphis Grizzlies were streaking the other way for a Tyus Jones’ layup before rookie Issac Okoro came from behind to block the attempt.
Initially the call stood as a basket to give Memphis a one point lead before Cavaliers Coach J.B Bickerstaff successfully took a Coach’s challenge and the initial result was overturned.
The Cavaliers were playing without its top-scorer Collin Sexton who sat out with a left ankle sprain.
Jonas Valaniciunas led the Grizzlies with 17 points and 10 rebounds his eighth double-double of the season.
MAVERICKS TOPPLE NUGGETS IN OVERTIME
Dallas superstar Luka Doncic had a near second triple-double finishing with 38 points, 9 rebounds and 13 assists as the Mavericks ran over the Denver Nuggets 124-117 in Overtime.
The Mavericks who began slowly offensively in the opening half, picked up the scoring having trailed by double-digits in the first half.
As the second half progressed it became obvious the sides would be playing right down to the final possession.
A roller coaster fourth quarter saw both Nuggets and Mavericks trade crucial buckets, then Maxi Kleber who was stationed by himself behind the arc received a Luka Doncic feed to calmly drain a 27 footer to give Dallas the lead by two.
Now it was Denver turn, and star Nikola Jokic (38 points and 11 rebounds) who delivered getting the inbounds pass from Will Barton, taking one dribble before sinking a difficult 19-footer over the athletic Willie Cayley-Stein as the buzzer sounded to send the contest into Overtime.
The extra period would follow the same trajectory as the fourth, then Luka came through.
Doncic with the ball in his hand and Gary Harris (one of the League’s best defensive guards) all over him drained a step-back jump shot from the foul line to seal a Mavericks win.
In other results around the Association:
LaMarcus Aldridge delivered 28 points as the San Antonio Spurs led all game to defeat the Los Angeles Lakers 118-109.
The win over was the Spurs first over the Lakers since a 143-142 Overtime win on October 22, 2018.
Lakers superstar duo of LeBron James 27 points, 6 rebounds and 12 assists and Anthony Davis 23 points and 10 rebounds led the Purple and Gold.
Portland superstar Damian Lillard put up 39 points, including seven threes and the Portland Trailblazers breezed by the Minnesota Timberwolves 135-117.
His backcourt partner C.J McCollum had 20 points.
For Minnesota who dropped its sixth straight after starting 2-0, D’Angelo Russell had 26 points.
By Juri Bilcich.
IMAGE: Bleacher Report