Harden scores 45, hits late 3 as 76ers down Celtics 119-115
James Harden matched his playoff career high with 45 points and hit a go-ahead, step-back 3-pointer over Al Horford with 8.7 seconds left as the Philadelphia 76ers rallied without Joel Embiid to beat the Boston Celtics 119-115 in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal.
Rockets lose team-record 20th straight game, fall to Thunder
(AP Photo/Michael Wyke)HOUSTON – Mired in a long losing streak, the Houston Rockets twice put the ball in John Wall's hands in the waning moments. The Rockets lost their team-record 20th straight game, falling to the Oklahoma City Thunder 114-112 Sunday when Wall missed two shots in the final 10 seconds. This one hurts.”Dort scored 23 points and Isaiah Roby had 18 for the Thunder, who led by as many as 13 points. They shot a sizzling 14 of 21 on 3s in the second quarter, however, and Oklahoma City led 66-62 at halftime. The Rockets hit a franchise-record 28 3s in a win against the Thunder on Feb. 1, just three days before their last win.
AP Interview: Morey embraces challenges of leading 76ers
Morey hasn't had to make any major moves in his first season running the Philadelphia 76ers. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)PHILADELPHIA – Like any top NBA executive this time of the season, Daryl Morey is trying to better his roster. “I just grabbed all the Sixers,” Morey said. “Younger fans want to feel like they’re part of something,” Morey told The Associated Press in an interview this week. “Well, we happen to have the best inside players in the NBA,” Morey said.
Gilgeous-Alexander has 33, helps Thunder rally past Spurs
(AP Photo/Eric Gay)SAN ANTONIO – Oklahoma City and San Antonio are fighting fatigue and injuries, but the Thunder found a way to win a battle of attrition heading into the All-Star break. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 33 points and Oklahoma City rallied in the second half to beat San Antonio 107-102 on Thursday night and snap a two-game losing streak. “Our guys did a heck of a job hanging in there,” Oklahoma City coach Mark Daigneault said. “We’re not a team that gives up 26 points on turnovers,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. TIP-INSThunder: Hill has not played since Jan. 24 after undergoing what Oklahoma City called a “minor procedure” on his right thumb.
Gilgeous-Alexander scores 42 as Thunder top Spurs 102-99
San Antonio Spurs guard Lonnie Walker IV goes to the basket between Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2), Spurs' Jakob Poeltl (25) and Thunder forward Darius Bazley (7) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)OKLAHOMA CITY – Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored a career-high 42 points and Lu Dort hit a 3-pointer as time expired to give the Oklahoma City Thunder a 102-99 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night. San Antonio turned the ball over with 3.9 seconds remaining, giving Oklahoma City the ball with the score tied. San Antonio hadn't played since Feb. 14 because of health and safety protocols, and the Spurs were still depleted. His layup at the end of the third as time expired put Oklahoma City up 76-73.
LeBron leads Lakers past Thunder again in OT, 114-113
Los Angeles Lakers guard Talen Horton-Tucker (5) takes the ball from Oklahoma City Thunder forward Darius Bazley (7) during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)LOS ANGELES – LeBron James hit the tying 3-pointer late in regulation and then broke up the Thunder's final possession in overtime to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to their sixth consecutive victory, 114-113 over Oklahoma City on Wednesday night. James had 25 points, seven assists and six rebounds for the defending NBA champions, who survived their third consecutive overtime game. OVERTIME FEATSThe Lakers became the seventh team in NBA history to win three consecutive overtime games. AdLos Angeles hadn't played three straight overtime games since 1991.
Gilgeous-Alexander leads Thunder past Donovan, Bulls in OT
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) shoots between Chicago Bulls guard Garrett Temple (17) and forward Lauri Markkanen during overtime of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)OKLAHOMA CITY – Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored a career-high 33 points and dropped 10 assists to help Oklahoma City beat the Chicago Bulls and former Thunder coach Billy Donovan 127-125 in overtime Friday night. Donovan knew all too well how good Oklahoma City can be under challenging circumstances. ... Oklahoma City scored 19 points off Chicago's nine turnovers in the third quarter. ... Oklahoma City shot 56% in the third quarter and outscored the Bulls 37-27.
LeBron James scores 26 points, Lakers roll past Thunder
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, left, moves around Oklahoma City Thunder forward Isaiah Roby (22) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)OKLAHOMA CITY – LeBron James scored 26 points and the Los Angeles Lakers routed the Oklahoma City Thunder 128-99 on Wednesday night for their franchise-record seventh straight road victory to start the season. The Lakers led by 24 in the second quarter before the Thunder cut it to 58-46 at halftime. James scored 15 points in the half. James made 4 of 6 shots and scored 11 points in the third quarter to help the Lakers take a 93-71 lead.
Spurs finish strong road trip with 112-102 win over Thunder
OKLAHOMA CITY – Lonnie Walker IV scored 24 points and San Antonio beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 112-102 on Tuesday night, allowing the Spurs to finish a five-game trip with four wins. A road trip like this, we just kept fighting and staying together.”Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led Oklahoma City with 20 points while Hamidou Diallo scored 16. The Spurs led 51-43 at halftime before Oklahoma City started the third quarter on an 11-3 run to tie the game. ... Dejounte Murray received a technical foul with 9:13 left in the third quarter after the Spurs had rebounded a missed Oklahoma City shot. Thunder: Oklahoma City entered the game averaging 13.6 3-pointers per game but went 7 of 26 from behind the arc.
Irving leads rout of Celtics in return to Boston Garden
Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) drives against Boston Celtics center Robert Williams III (44) during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game, Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, in Boston. Irving scored 17 points on 7-of-15 shooting and had seven rebounds, five assists and two steals helping the Nets rout the Celtics 113-89 Friday night in the final preseason game for both teams. There were no fans in the new Boston Garden on Friday night, and his introduction was greeted with a faint, fake cheer. Precious Achiuwa scored 13 points and grabbed 15 rebounds for the Heat, while Bam Adebayo scored 13 points and Tyler Herro scored 10. McCollum led the Blazers with 26 points on 8-of-20 shooting and Gary Trent Jr. added 18 points in the loss.
James, Davis back on court for Lakers as season draws near
The Lakers, who beat Miami to win the championship Oct. 11, start the new season against the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night. Also on Wednesday, Chicago beat Oklahoma City 124-103, and Portland played at Denver. BULLS 124, THUNDER 103At Oklahoma City, the Bulls took control in the second quarter and didn’t let up. LaVine scored 16 points on 6-for-7 shooting in the first quarter while Gilgeous-Alexander scored 11 for Oklahoma City. Oklahoma City couldn’t get into a flow, but part of that was because first-year coach Mark Daigneault gave minutes to 13 players.
Ben Simmons all in on 76ers’ new buzzword: accountability
Simmons says hes 100% healthy following surgery on his left knee in August that kept him from playing in the postseason. “I mean, you can’t just come into a situation like the bubble if you guys aren’t ready and don’t have that chemistry and accountability already,” Simmons said Friday. The same team Rivers coached last season that blew a 3-1 playoff series lead in the Western Conference semis and led him to leaving Los Angeles? Simmons said accountability -- the new buzzword in Philly - starts with the players. I think Doc would say the same thing, I go out there and make plays.”___More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
New 76ers president Morey: Embiid, Simmons can work together
Pressed on Embiid and Simmons, Morey quipped he was low on the tenure board. “I think they absolutely can work together,” Morey said, “but Doc’s been here a little longer than me. “Whatever my role needs to be, I accept that role,” Brand said. “The goal is not to shoot 3-pointers, the goal is to win,” Morey said. Or Morey and Rivers, who bring decades of sustained winning to Philly and will demand players do it their way?
Doc is in: 76ers expect Rivers to lead them to NBA title
PHILADELPHIA – Doc Rivers takes over a team tasked not with leading a Process-type rebuild or massaging the egos of two talented — yet frustrating — All-Stars. Enter Rivers, the 58-year-old former NBA guard who coached the Boston Celtics to the championship in 2008 and another NBA Finals appearance in 2010. Just two days after he split with the Los Angeles Clippers, Rivers was in Philadelphia with ownership and general manager Elton Brand, and on Thursday he accepted the job to succeed Brett Brown. If good things are going to happen in Philadelphia, Rivers needs more than social media support out of the talented 7-footer who has battled injuries and struggled with conditioning. “Embiid is a better scorer, obviously, and does things, and size, you can’t plan for that,” Rivers said at the time.
Sixers GM Brand says Embiid, Simmons won't be traded
PHILADELPHIA The next coach of the Philadelphia 76ers can count on having Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. I would love to see this group with Ben Simmons, but I dont want to make any excuses. The new coach also has got to find that balance on how to push these All-Star players to that next stage. You have a great mix of veteran players, young players learning how to win in this game. Ive grown as a leader and Ive grown as a general manager, Brand said.
Booker's 35 points help streaking Suns beat 76ers 130-117
Booker became the Suns' career leader with his 91st 30-point game, breaking a tie with Walter Davis. Phoenix pulled away late after leading only 105-102 following back-to-back baskets by Alec Burks, who led the 76ers with 23 points. The Suns continued their high-scoring play in the bubble after averaging 120 points in the first six games. The 76ers also were without Joel Embiid (left ankle), Tobias Harris (sore right ankle) and Al Horford (sore left knee). 76ers: Play the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night.
Lillard drops 51 as Trail Blazers top 76ers; Embiid injured
On Saturday, he missed a pair of free throws with 18.6 seconds to go and a 3-pointer with 9.5 seconds left in a 122-117 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. The Trail Blazers increased their chances of qualifying for the play-in series, which will start Saturday. Richardson missed a 3-pointer for Philadelphia, and the 76ers couldn't get another shot off after a scramble for the rebound. Trail Blazers: Lillard scored a basket in the first quarter when he drove to the hoop and his pass bounced off Philadelphia's Tobias Harris, off the backboard and into the basket. Trail Blazers: Play the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday.
Game on: NBA finally set to see games that count again
FILE - In this Feb. 22, 2020, file photo, Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo dunks during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers in Milwaukee. But after 20 weeks of waiting, wondering and worrying, the 2019-20 NBA season is ready to hit the restart button with a champion scheduled to be crowned in October. For the front-runners like the NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks and West-leading Lakers, the eight remaining games before the playoffs are about tuning up their games. The biggest names are here: reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Bucks, LeBron James of the Lakers, scoring champion James Harden of Houston, plus the reigning Finals MVP and All-Star Game MVP in Leonard. The intensity is going to start to pick up with the games just meaning much more, Philadelphia forward Al Horford said.
Down in Disney, Bucks hope to finish the job this season
FILE - In this a Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo reacts to his shot the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers in Milwaukee. If Antetokounmpo can shoot like that in real games, maybe the Milwaukee Bucks can finish the job and win the title this season. The Bucks are too, bringing the NBAs best record into the resumption of the season next week at Walt Disney World. The Toronto Raptors exploited that last season, with versatile, big defenders such as Kawhi Leonard, Pascal Siakam and Serge Ibaka who could keep Antetokounmpo from the rim and make him shoot outside. The Bucks believe this season they have enough to go all the way, even without getting to use the home-court advantage they likely would have earned.