Harden, Griffin help Nets hold off Pistons 113-111
Brooklyn Nets forward Blake Griffin (2) is defended by Detroit Pistons forward Sekou Doumbouya during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, March 26, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)DETROIT – James Harden scored 44 points and Blake Griffin added 17 in his return to Detroit, lifting the Brooklyn Nets to a 113-111 victory over the Pistons on Friday night. Brooklyn was still without Kevin Durant (left hamstring strain) and Kyrie Irving (personal reasons), but the Nets had enough to hold off the last-place Pistons. Griffin spent three-plus years with the Pistons, but he reached a buyout agreement with Detroit earlier this month and went to the contending Nets. The Pistons went 34 for 47 on free throws.
Pistons hand Rockets franchise-worst 19th straight loss
Houston Rockets guard Victor Oladipo (7) shoots as Detroit Pistons center Isaiah Stewart (28) defends during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 19, 2021, in Houston. (Troy Taromina/Pool Photo via AP)HOUSTON – Frank Jackson had a season-high 23 points and the Detroit Pistons handed the Houston Rockets their franchise-record 19th straight loss, 113-100 on Friday night. The injury-plagued Rockets were playing just their fourth game of the season where Christian Wood, Victor Oladipo and John Wall were all available. Wall had 21 points and seven assists, Oladipo had 19 points, and Wood 18 points and 11 rebounds. Rockets: Wall was charged with a flagrant foul on a second-quarter collision with Frank Jackson and later received a technical foul for arguing with officials in the third quarter.
USA Basketball picks 57 players for men's Tokyo Games pool
USA Basketball is a step closer to choosing the team that will play in this summer’s rescheduled Tokyo Olympics, releasing the names Thursday of 57 players who are part of the pool to fill the squad. It’s also already drawing major interest from some NBA stars who have yet to taste Olympic gold. USA Basketball will pare the list to a 12-person Olympic team by early summer. Jordan, who now plays for Brooklyn, is also a newcomer to the pool even though he was on the 2016 Olympic team. “But for USA Basketball to receive the commitment of so many outstanding players remains an indicator of the great honor of representing your country means to these men.”
Pistons holding out Griffin while resolving his future
Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin (23) looks to pass over Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Feb. 5, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)DETROIT – The Detroit Pistons plan to keep Blake Griffin out of the lineup while he and the organization work out a decision on his future, a sign the star forward's days with the team could be numbered. Detroit is 8-19 this season, and Griffin has already missed seven games. “I am grateful to the Pistons for understanding what I want to accomplish in my career and for working together on the best path forward," Griffin said. AdWith so many new faces, Griffin has been an afterthought at times, averaging 12.3 points — a career low.
LeBron takes charge in 2nd OT, Lakers edge Pistons 135-129
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) is defended by Detroit Pistons forward Saddiq Bey (41) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)LOS ANGELES – LeBron James scored eight of his 33 points in the second overtime, Anthony Davis added 30 points and the Los Angeles Lakers narrowly avenged a loss in Detroit last month with a 135-129 victory over the undermanned Pistons on Saturday night. The Lakers committed a season-high 23 turnovers, blew a 17-point lead and wasted several chances to win in regulation. “There’s so many learning situations for young players and our guys to play against a great team like the Lakers. Lakers: Vogel got a technical foul in the second quarter for arguing about a blocking call on Marc Gasol.
Embiid hits late free throws, 76ers beat Pistons 114-110
(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)DETROIT – Joel Embiid had 33 points and 14 rebounds, and his two free throws with 7.2 seconds left helped the Philadelphia 76ers seal a 114-110 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Saturday night. Ben Simmons added 20 points, nine rebounds and seven assists for the 76ers, and he made a couple big free throws of his own in the final minute. Detroit trailed 110-108 after Jerami Grant made a 3-pointer with 28.5 seconds left, but Simmons calmly made two free throws to push the lead to four. “Especially late game.”Delon Wright's layup made it 112-110, but Embiid closed the game out with his free throws and finished 12 of 17 from the line. “Just having that confidence to knock those free throws down in a close game is big right now," teammate Tobias Harris said.
Heat rally from 19 down, top Pistons 113-107 to end slide
Bam Adebayo of the Miami Heat blocks a shot by Jerami Grant of the Detroit Pistons during the fourth quarter at American Airlines Arena on January 18, 2021 in Miami, Florida. MIAMI – Bam Adebayo had 28 points and 11 rebounds and the short-handed Miami Heat got their biggest comeback win of the season, rallying from 19 down to beat the Detroit Pistons 113-107 to snap a three-game slide. Goran Dragic scored 22 for the Heat, who got 18 apiece from Duncan Robinson and Kendrick Nunn. Miami was again without Jimmy Butler and Avery Bradley because of virus protocols and Tyler Herro and Meyers Leonard with injuries. Wayne Ellington made seven 3-pointers and scored 24 for the Pistons.
Tatum lifts Celtics past Pistons for weekend split
Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown, right, drives against Detroit Pistons center Mason Plumlee during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Jose Juarez)Jayson Tatum hit a fallaway as Blake Griffin stumbled with 2.9 seconds left, then tied up the Detroit veteran on the other end to help the Boston Celtics beat the Pistons 122-120 on Sunday for a weekend split. The Celtics shot a season-best 57%. “It seems like they made every shot, especially Brown,” Pistons coach Dwane Casey said. Mykhailiuk scored eight straight Detroit points, and the Pistons took a 118-117 lead on Mason Plumlee’s free throws with 42.2 seconds left.
James, Lakers beat Nuggets in Game 5 to reach NBA Finals
Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James (23) talks with players as confetti falls after the Lakers beat the Denver Nuggets in an NBA conference final playoff basketball game Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The Lakers won 117-107 to win the series 4-1. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
James, Lakers beat Nuggets in Game 5 to reach NBA Finals
Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James (23) talks with players as confetti falls after the Lakers beat the Denver Nuggets in an NBA conference final playoff basketball game Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. James finished with 38 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists to become the fourth player to reach 10 NBA Finals. So, this is what I came here for.”The Lakers will face either Miami or Boston in their 32nd NBA Finals appearance, most in league history. Anthony Davis added 27 points and will end his first season with Los Angeles by playing in his first NBA Finals. SEASONS CHANGENBA teams usually start training camp near the end of September and Vogel said it was strange to be playing conference finals games, which usually happen near the end of May.
Davis, Lakers beat Nuggets to take 3-1 lead in West finals
Anthony Davis scored 34 points, LeBron James had 26 and the Lakers beat the Nuggets 114-108 on Thursday night in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals. James added nine rebounds and eight assists, and the Lakers had 12 offensive rebounds for a whopping 25-6 advantage in second-chance points. We had too many empty possessions tonight.”Game 5 is Saturday night, when the Lakers can reach the NBA Finals for the first time in a decade. With an array of short jumpers, Davis made his first six shots before anyone else on the Lakers made a basket. The Nuggets shot 59% in the first half but the Lakers had an 18-2 advantage in second-chance points.
Murray, Nuggets hang on in Game 3, cut Lakers' lead to 2-1
Jamal Murray had 28 points, 12 assists and two late 3-pointers to halt a Lakers charge, helping the Nuggets to a 114-106 victory Tuesday night that cut Los Angeles' lead to 2-1 in the Western Conference finals. It would grow to 18 and could have been worse if not for Davis, who scored nine straight Lakers points. The Lakers got the first five points of the third to cut the lead in half, but Denver regained control and led 93-75 after three. Nuggets: Denver's last halftime lead had been a 59-57 edge over the Clippers in Game 3 of the West semifinals. THE AIR UP THEREThe Lakers came into the game 4-0 in the playoffs as the designated road team.
Murray, Jokic help Denver stun Clippers 104-89 in Game 7
Murray scored 40 points, Jokic had a triple-double by the third quarter and Denver again overcame a double-digit deficit to shock the Los Angeles Clippers 104-89 in Game 7 on Tuesday night. Denver became the first team in NBA history to rally from a 3-1 series deficit twice in the same postseason. The 7-foot Jokic had a monster game with 16 points, 13 assists and 22 rebounds, which were the most by a Nuggets player in an NBA playoff game. Murray helped the Nuggets pour it on down the stretch to give coach Michael Malone a 49th birthday present. The team also rallied back from double-digit margins in their last two games as well to stun the Clippers.
George, Leonard lead Clippers to 113-107 win over Nuggets
Clippers coach Doc Rivers called a timeout to calm down the Clippers with 8:29 left and trailing 97-90. Denver was cruising along in the second quarter, leading by 12 points with 3:34 left before halftime, before the Clippers roared back. ... F Marcus Morris had 12 points. Nuggets: Denver outscored the Clippers by a 58-42 margin in points in the paint. He played a little more than 12 minutes in Game 1 and 15 minutes in Game 2.
Nuggets lead wire-to-wire, top Clippers to tie series at 1
Gary Harris and Paul Millsap each added 13 points to help Denver knot the series at a game apiece. Paul George scored 22 points for the Clippers, who got 15 from Ivica Zubac and endured a rare off night offensively from Kawhi Leonard. The Clippers trailed by 23 and got as close as five in the fourth quarter, but no closer. The Clippers' best run eventually came in the fourth, with George going on a personal 7-0 spurt to get the Clippers within 91-86 the smallest lead for the Nuggets since it was 7-2. It was the second-best scoring quarter in Nuggets NBA playoff history, after scoring 47 in the fourth against the Los Angeles Lakers on May 14, 1985.
Leonard scores 29 points; Clippers rout Nuggets in Game 1
Nikola Jokic scored 15 points for the Nuggets, who were coming off a seven-game series with Utah that just ended Tuesday. The Clippers took charge in the second quarter, outscoring the Nuggets 38-20 to take a 69-51 lead at halftime. Los Angeles held Denver to 25% shooting into the second quarter. Los Angeles' biggest lead in the quarter was 29 points. ... F Jerami Grant scored 11 points on 4-for-4 shooting in the first quarter but scored one point the rest of the game.
Murray scores 42, Nuggets beat Jazz 117-107 in Game 5
The Nuggets trail the sixth-seeded Jazz 3-2 with Game 6 on Thursday. With the game tied at 101, Murray scored nine straight for Denver to help the Nuggets gain some separation. Hes the third player in the series to have five in a quarter, joining Murray (fourth quarter in Game 4) and Mitchell (third in Game 2). He had six by in the second quarter on April 28, 2002. His last NBA game was March 11.
George, Leonard lead Clippers past Nuggets for No. 2 seed
The Clippers took control with 13 straight points midway through the third quarter and barely let the Nuggets get back in it. Jerami Grant, who missed Denver's last game due to injury, led the Nuggets with 25 points. Clippers: Patrick Beverley and Montrezl Harrell have both returned to the NBA's bubble, although neither could play as yet. ... Ivica Zubac had 15 points and a team-high 12 rebounds for Los Angeles. Clippers: Play Oklahoma City on Friday.
Murray returns to power Nuggets past Jazz 134-132 in 2 OTs
The Nuggets overcame Donovan Mitchell's 35 points for Utah, including a 3-pointer with 4.2 seconds remaining in the second overtime. Murray played 39 minutes and remained in the game despite showing obvious signs of fatigue as Denver gained momentum for the playoffs. Denver coach Michael Malone said his team plays a different kind of basketball, a different brand of basketball with Murray on the court. Mitchell drove through Denver's defensive breakdowns for a tying uncontested layup with less than 1 second remaining in regulation. REGRETSMitchell's jumper gave Utah a 119-117 lead with 3.4 seconds remaining in the first overtime.
Butler, Adebayo score 22 each as Heat top Nuggets 125-105
Kelly Olynyk scored all of his 20 points in the fourth quarter for the Heat, who shot 56% from the field. But we started playing a lot harder in the second.Nikola Jokic and Jerami Grant each scored 19 points for Denver. ... F Jae Crowder made his second start of the season. Nuggets: The 1 p.m. Eastern start time -- 11 a.m. in Denver -- was the Nuggets second earliest of the season. Nuggets: Play the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday.
Murray scores 21 points, Nuggets beat Heat 109-89
Will Barton III #5 of the Denver Nuggets is guarded by Goran Dragic #7 and Kendrick Nunn #25 of the Miami Heat. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)DENVER - Jamal Murray scored 21 points, Will Barton and Jerami Grant had 15 each, and the Denver Nuggets pulled away in the second half to beat the Miami Heat 109-89 Tuesday night. The Nuggets held Miami to 36.4 percent shooting from the floor while converting 52.3 percent of their shots. The Nuggets closed the last 5:04 of the second quarter on a 16-5 run to take a 58-48 lead at halftime. Nuggets: Barton returned to the starting lineup after missing the past two games with a swollen left toe.