Stephen Curry scores 40 points as Warriors beat Bulls 119-93
Stephen Curry scored 40 points with nine 3-pointers as his old college coach from Davidson cheered him on, Draymond Green delivered another all-around effort, and the Golden State Warriors beat the Chicago Bulls 119-93 for their seventh straight win.
Poeltl, DeRozan lead Spurs past Bulls in Vucevic’s debut
SAN ANTONIO – Jakob Poeltl scored 20 points, DeMar DeRozan had 17 and the San Antonio Spurs held on to beat Chicago 120-104 on Saturday night in Nikola Vucevic’s debut with the Bulls, snapping a four-game losing streak. San Antonio nearly blew a 36-point lead but held on to win for the first time since defeating Cleveland on March 19. Coming off two disappointing losses to the Los Angeles Clippers, including a 134-101 blowout Wednesday, San Antonio needed a boost and their veterans provided it. DeRozan and Poeltl combined to score the next seven points to give San Antonio a 114-98 lead with 3:23 remaining. San Antonio finished 10 for 25 on 3-poitners.
Spurs officially buyout LaMarcus Aldridge, trade for Warriors forward
SAN ANTONIO – After more than five seasons in San Antonio, veteran power forward LaMarcus Aldridge will be playing for a new team in the near future. MORE ⤵️ — San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) March 25, 2021Aldridge appeared in a total of 376 games for the Spurs and averaged 19.5 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists and 1.25 blocks for San Antonio. While the Spurs were not able to trade Aldridge, they made a deal with the Golden State Warriors before the deadline. San Antonio reportedly traded for forward Marquese Chriss, however, the third-year player was injured earlier this year and has been ruled out for the season. San Antonio sent Cady Lalanne, a 2015 second-round draft pick, to the Warriors and received some cash compensation.
AP source: Vucevic being traded by Magic to Bulls
Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic, right, grabs a pass that was over the head of Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, March 24, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)All-Star forward Nikola Vucevic is being traded from the Orlando Magic to the Chicago Bulls, a person with knowledge of the deal said Thursday. Vucevic and Al-Farouq Aminu are going to the Bulls in exchange for Wendell Carter Jr. and two future first-round selections, the person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal was still pending NBA approval. The deal would appear to be the start of a rebuild for the Magic, with Vucevic unquestionably the team's best player for the past several seasons. He also has two full seasons left after this one on his contract, a four-year, $100 million deal signed in 2019. Vucevic is in his 10th NBA season, the last nine of which have been with the Magic.
Trade deadline passes, and Kyle Lowry remains with Raptors
Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) celebrates a three-point basket during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets Wednesday, March 24, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)Kyle Lowry wound up staying with Toronto after all. The trade deadline has come and gone. “Anytime you trade a player like Nikola, it is a tough decision to make," Magic President Jeff Weltman said. But Lowry — a free-agent-to-be and considered perhaps the biggest prize on this year's trade market — did not get traded, the Raptors apparently unable to find enough assets to their liking. Questions swirled around Lowry all the way to the 3 p.m. EST deadline, and there were signs that the Raptors were positioning themselves to make the move.
Spurs dominate second half to beat short-handed Magic, 104-77
Orlando Magic forward Gary Clark (12) and San Antonio Spurs guard Dejounte Murray (5) scramble for the ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game in San Antonio, Friday, March 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)SAN ANTONIO – Rudy Gay had 19 points, Dejounte Murray and Derrick White each added 17 and the San Antonio Spurs overcame a sluggish start to beat the short-handed Orlando Magic 104-77 on Friday night. San Antonio held an opponent under 80 points for the first time since beating Golden State 89-75 on March 19, 2018. San Antonio closed the first half on a 14-2 run and took its first lead and extending it to 47-39 to close the second quarter. Orlando was held to 10 points in the second quarter, the 19th lowest output in any quarter by a San Antonio opponent under Popovich.
Spurs reportedly have ‘significant interest’ in trading for Orlando Magic all-star center Vucevic
Nikola Vucevic, left, has the ball knocked away from San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills (8). The sports website reported San Antonio has “significant interest” in trading for Orlando All-Star center Nikola Vucevic. Orlando would likely never make a direct Aldridge for Vucevic trade without some other form of compensation, whether it would be draft picks or one of the Spurs young players. Keldon Johnson might be the only Spurs young player who is un-tradable at the moment. San Antonio is 18-14 and currently in seventh place in the Western Conference standings.
Curry sinks final shot, tops Conley for second 3-point title
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry holds the trophy after winning the 3-point contest at basketball's NBA All-Star Game in Atlanta, Sunday, March 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)ATLANTA – Stephen Curry shot his way to another 3-point title and Domantas Sabonis made sure the Skills Challenge still belongs to the bigs. Conley had the lead with 27 points before Curry was the final shooter of the contest. Curry had 26 points before sinking his final shot from the corner for 28 points and the win. In the final, Toppin took off from near the free-throw line, inspiring comparisons to Wilkins' winning form while with the Atlanta Hawks.
NBA All-Star 2021: The game no one seemed to want
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, left, shoots as Phoenix Suns forward Dario Saric defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, March 2, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)ATLANTA – It's the NBA All-Star Game almost no one seemed to want. "It’s the All-Star Game, so there’s going to be some shenanigans out there. Team LeBron will play on behalf of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, while Team Durant represents the United Negro College Fund. Trae Young, a starter in 2020, was snubbed this season despite averaging 26.4 points — the most of any player not selected for the All-Star Game.
James, Durant choose their teams for Sunday's All-Star Game
1 overall pick on Antetokounmpo — the NBA’s two-time reigning MVP from Milwaukee — in the draft for Sunday’s All-Star Game in Atlanta. Kevin Durant, who will not play in the All-Star Game because of injury but still is the captain for Team Durant, took Brooklyn teammate Kyrie Irving with his first pick. This is the fourth year of the NBA's playing captain format for the All-Star Game. It’s the All-Star Game, so there’s going to be some shenanigans out there. AdTHE COACHESRivers, who played in one All-Star Game, is coaching the game for the third time.
NBA reveals All-Star skills, 3-point, dunk participants
(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)Golden State’s Stephen Curry and Phoenix’s Devin Booker have been 3-point champions at All-Star weekend before, and they’ll try to win that trophy again Sunday. The NBA revealed the 15 players Tuesday who will be taking part in the other on-court events besides the All-Star Game in Atlanta, with the overwhelming majority of them pulling double-duty between those competitions and the game itself. They’ll be joined by Portland’s Robert Covington, the only current NBA player who is a graduate of a historically Black college and university. It will be held at halftime of the All-Star Game, while the skills competition and 3-point contest will occur pregame. Atlanta, Charlotte, Cleveland, Detroit, Houston, Memphis, Miami, Minnesota, Oklahoma City, Sacramento, San Antonio and Toronto have no one participating in All-Star night events.
NBA chooses All-Star reserves, with Zion among first-timers
New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) goes to the basket in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Boston Celtics in New Orleans, Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)New Orleans forward Zion Williamson now can be called an NBA All-Star, and only three others in the game’s 70-year history have gotten there at a younger age. Phoenix’s Chris Paul is an All-Star for the 11th time, and Brooklyn’s James Harden is one for the ninth consecutive year. The rest of the reserves include Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons, Boston’s Jayson Tatum and Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic from the Eastern Conference, along with the Los Angeles Lakers’ Anthony Davis, the Los Angeles Clippers’ Paul George, Utah teammates Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, and Portland’s Damian Lillard from the Western Conference. But this will be his first time in the All-Star Game itself.
Booker, Suns roll to 6th straight win, beating Magic 109-90
Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) drives between Orlando Magic forward Dwayne Bacon (8) and center Nikola Vucevic (9) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021, in Phoenix. That made a drama-free blowout over the Orlando Magic a welcome change Sunday night. Devin Booker scored 27 points, Mikal Bridges added 21 and the Suns cruised to their sixth straight victory, beating the short-handed Magic 109-90 in a game that was never particularly close. “We did what we had to do to win the game,” Suns coach Monty Williams said. He shot 10 of 16 from the field against the Magic ... Deandre Ayton added 10 points and 13 rebounds.
Curry goes off again with 10 3s as Warriors hold off Magic
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, left, dribbles against Orlando Magic forward Gary Clark during the first half of an NBA basketball game in San Francisco, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021. Curry knocked down 10 3-pointers on the way to 40 points and also contributed eight rebounds and five assists, leading the Golden State Warriors past the undermanned Magic 111-105 on Thursday night. “I just told him he looks great, he looks quick, he looks healthy, he looks like he’s loving it,” Clifford said. Nikola Vucevic had 25 points, 13 rebounds and five assists as the Magic lost a third straight game, seventh in eight and ninth of 11. ... Golden State hasn't lost two in a row at home this season.
VanVleet sets Raptors mark with 54 in 123-108 win at Orlando
Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet, left, drives around Orlando Magic guard Cole Anthony (50) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)ORLANDO, Fla. – Fred VanVleet set a franchise record with 54 points and hit a career-best 11 3-pointers as the Toronto Raptors beat the short-handed Orlando Magic 123-108 on Tuesday night. AdNorman Powell had 23 points for Toronto, and Kyle Lowry posted a triple-double with 14 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Orlando, which has lost 12 of 14, tried almost every guard on its roster against the 6-foot-1 VanVleet with little to no success. AdMagic: Orlando was without Gordon, who severely sprained his left ankle later in Sunday’s game against Toronto. Magic: Orlando hosts Chicago on Friday and Saturday in a two-game set.
Harden debuts with triple-double, Durant scores 42, Nets win
He had no practice time with the Nets and sure didn't need it, becoming the first player in franchise history to have a triple-double in his debut. Durant made five 3-pointers in his 10th game back following an 18-month layoff after rupturing his Achilles tendon in the 2019 NBA Finals. The Nets might still be even better when they get back Kyrie Irving, who missed his sixth straight game after leaving the team last week for personal reasons. Nikola Vucevic had 34 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists for the short-handed Magic, who lost their fifth straight. Nets: Durant has scored 25 or points in nine straight games, setting a new franchise record.
Fultz tears ACL, out for season; Magic beat Cavs 105-94
The team confirmed after the game that Fultz tore his ACL. “It’s a huge blow for us,” said Magic center Nikola Vucevic, whose team also will be without standout forward Jonathan Isaac this season because of an ACL tear. 1 overall pick in the 2017 draft as he led the Magic to a quick start this season. Terrence Ross scored 20 points and hit five 3-pointers to lead the Magic, who beat the Cavaliers for a second time in three nights. Collin Sexton scored 21 points for Cleveland, his eighth straight game with at least 20 points to start the season.
Magic beat Wizards130-120 despite Westbrook's historic night
Orlando Magic guard Markelle Fultz (20) shoots as Washington Wizards forward Isaac Bonga (17) and forward Deni Avdija (9) defend in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020, in Washington. (Geoff Burke/Pool Photo via AP)WASHINGTON – The Orlando Magic beat Washington 130-120 on Saturday night, overcoming another triple-double by Russell Westbrook in his home debut for the Wizards. Nikola Vucevic had 22 points and 17 rebounds, and Markelle Fultz added 21 points to help the Magic win its second straight to start the season. ... Two-way rookie guard Cassius Winston (hamstring strain) was inactive but has returned to practice…UP NEXTThe Magic and Wizards will complete their back-to-back in Washington on Sunday. It is the only meeting between the two Southeast division foes in the first half of the NBA schedule release.
'Explosive' Durant scores 15 in 1st preseason game with Nets
Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) passes during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in New York. Durant played just under 24 minutes as Brooklyn beat the Washington Wizards 119-114 on Sunday night in its preseason opener. Durant scored 11 points on 3-for-3 shooting during that stretch while Irving scored 12 points on 5-for-6 shooting to help the Nets take a 30-18 lead. Late in the first half, Irving threw a long pass to Durant, whose reverse layup gave the Nets a 58-35 lead. Danilo Gallinari added 17 points and De’Andre Hunter added 15 for Atlanta, which made 17 3-pointers.
The NBA preseason begins, with empty arenas as the stages
Orlando Magic coach Steve Clifford talks to players during a timeout in the first half of the team's NBA preseason basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks on Friday, Dec. 11, 2020, in Atlanta. The NBA preseason — a truncated 49-game, nine-day sprint — opened Friday with a five-game slate, action returning to NBA arenas for the first time in exactly nine months. Friday’s games:KNICKS 90, PISTONS 84At Detroit, R.J. Barrett scored 15 points and Toppin finished with 11 points and seven rebounds in his debut as the Knicks won their preseason opener. Julius Randle scored 11, while Elfrid Payton and Nerlens Noel each scored 10 for New York. Svi Mykhailiuk and Saddiq Bey led the Pistons with 14 points apiece.
Bucks, Heat set to open Eastern Conference semifinal series
Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinal matchup between the top-seeded Bucks and fifth-seeded Heat is Monday night in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Milwaukee needed five games to dispatch Orlando in a series that ended Saturday; the Heat swept Indiana in the first round. Were not reinventing the whole wheel on how we prepare for a game, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. Its going to be a great series, Bucks center Brook Lopez said. REGULAR-SEASON SERIESMiami won the season series 2-1.
Bucks beat Magic 118-104, take series in 5 games
Williams scored all 12 of his points on 3-pointers, and Brook Lopez added 16 points for Milwaukee, which won four straight after dropping the opener. Nicola Vucevic had 22 points and 15 rebounds for Orlando, while Evan Fournier added 18 points. Middleton followed with a fade from the top of the key, Williams added another 3 and Middleton's free throw pushed the Bucks' lead back to 105-93 with 5:24 left. Orlando stayed close into the second quarter and was within six points when Marvin Williams 3 began a 23-12 Bucks run to end the half. Bucks: Outscored Orlando in the paint, 42-32 and finished with 16 3s on 45 attempts.
Lakers, Bucks look to clinch second-round berths Wednesday
(AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)It was only a week ago when the sky was falling on the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers. The Bucks lead the Orlando Magic 3-1; the Lakers lead the Portland Trail Blazers 3-1. The bottom line is weve come out and competed so much harder.The wake-up call helped the Lakers as well. James teams went 5-5 in his first 10 series-clinching opportunities; theyre 30-5 in those situations since. NEED TO KNOW: If the Bucks win, the Eastern Conference first round would be completed in just 17 games.
Middleton comes alive in 4th quarter; Bucks take 3-1 lead
Middleton scored 18 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter and finished with 10 rebounds after being held to one field goal in the first three quarters on 1-of-9 shooting. Wesley Matthews added 12 points for the Bucks, who can close out the Magic on Wednesday. ... We had to pick up our intensity.Nikola Vucevic continued his strong play for the Magic, finishing with 31 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. Terrence Ross had 19 points and seven rebounds off the bench. The top-seeded Bucks led by three entering the fourth quarter before Middleton came alive.
Vucevic, Magic upset top-seeded Bucks in Game 1, 122-110
Terrence Ross scored 18 points, Gary Clark added 15 and D.J. Augustin had 11 points and 11 assists for the eighth-seeded Magic, who took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with 31 points, 17 rebounds and seven assists for Milwaukee, but was held without a field goal over the final 11 minutes. The Bucks came into the postseason as the favorites to win their first NBA title since 1971 despite finishing 3-5 in seeding games. But their sluggish play in the NBA bubble at Disney World carried over into the postseason.
Magic beat Nets 128-118 in restart opener, move up to 7th
They extended their winning streak to four and moved back ahead of the Nets into seventh place in the Eastern Conference. The Magic outscored the Nets 75-43 in the middle two quarters, allowing them to overcome some shaky defense at the start and finish. So Brooklyn started two players who hadn't started an NBA game this season one who never had. Veteran Jamal Crawford, signed as a substitute player after not playing in the NBA this season, did not play. Nets: Play Washington on Sunday.
NBA says races for the season's individual trophies are over
FILE - In this Jan. 15, 2020, file photo, Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, right, shoots as Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game, in Los Angeles. The Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers already have just about guaranteed themselves the top two playoff seeds and face a delicate balancing act when the NBA returns to action. So the postseason races are still going in many cases, but the individual award chases are now complete. Statistical championships, such as the scoring, rebounding, assist and steal titles, are technically up for grabs through the end of the seeding games in mid-August. The league announced that portion of the plan when the schedules for the eight seeding games were released last month.
At the NBA restart, team equipment is a challenge to manage
So, when it came time to figure out what was getting packed for Disney, Pimental came to a realization. All 22 teams in the NBA restart had to pack more than ever, for a road trip like none other. The challenges for players and coaches are obvious, but the challenge for equipment managers among the unsung heroes of this restart plan arent anywhere near as visible to those watching games from afar. This is what equipment managers were built for, honestly, Orlando Magic equipment manager Jacob Diamond said. ... Were all going to be involved in every aspect of it.Days will be long for equipment managers.
LeBron won't wear social justice message on Lakers jersey
FILE - In this Jan. 15, 2020, file photo, Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, right, shoots as Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game, in Los Angeles. The Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers already have just about guaranteed themselves the top two playoff seeds and face a delicate balancing act when the NBA returns to action. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)LeBron James says his thoughts on social justice can't be contained on the back of a basketball jersey. The Los Angeles Lakers superstar won't wear one of the NBA-approved social justice messages on the back of his jersey when the NBA resumes competition later this month in the Orlando bubble. I would have loved to have a say-so on what would have went on the back of my jersey, James said.
Spurs overcome shaky finish to beat Magic, 114-113
Trey Lyles had 20 points and the Spurs overcame a shaky fourth quarter to beat Orlando 114-113 on Saturday night, snapping the Magic’s three-game winning streak. “They don’t tell you how you won, they just show how many you got,” San Antonio guard Derrick White said. San Antonio led by as many as 16 points in snapping a two-game skid but came within seconds of another defeat. The Magic outscored the Spurs 60-53 in the second half to overcome a dismal start. … The Magic swept the season series against the Spurs last season but have lost 16 of 21 overall and nine of 11 in San Antonio.