Associated Press

Zach Randolph’s 1st triple-double leads Grizzlies past Clippers

Leave a comment

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Zach Randolph recorded his first career triple-double with 28 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists, Tony Allen added 22 points and the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Los Angeles Clippers 113-102 on Saturday night.

Randolph, returning from a seven-game absence due to a sore knee, was 10 of 19 from the floor, while Allen was 7 of 10. Ray McCallum added 14 for Memphis, including seven in the fourth quarter. Lance Stephenson had 12 points and JaMychal Green finished with 11 as Memphis snapped a four-game losing streak.

Chris Paul had 25 points and six assists for the Clippers, while DeAndre Jordan added 16 points and seven rebounds. Paul Pierce contributed 12 points and Austin Rivers finished with 10.

The Clippers have lost three of four.

Randolph recorded his 10th assist while hitting Allen on a cut to the basket with 1:26 left. He left the floor with about 35 seconds remaining in the game to a standing ovation as he pumped his fist.

The win was an emotional lift for Memphis, which had lost its last two games to Minnesota and Milwaukee while dealing with an array of injuries.

The Clippers, who trailed by 11 with 8:23 left in the game, cut into the advantage at the free throw line, making six straight. Paul’s 13-footer completed an 8-0 run and Memphis’ advantage was down to 91-88 with just under 7 minutes left.

Randolph and McCallum took over at that point, combining for all but two of Memphis’ points in an 11-2 rally for a 102-90 lead, ending the Clippers’ chances.

Memphis hit its first seven shots for an early 10-point lead. The Clippers countered with 3-point shooting, including a pair from Wesley Johnson and a third from Jamal Crawford.

Midway through the second, both teams were still well above 50 percent shooting.

After a first half with eight ties and 10 lead changes, it was appropriate that they were deadlocked 58-all at the break. Randolph had 14 points and Allen 13 for Memphis, while Jordan and Pierce had 11 points each for Los Angeles, with Jordan converting all five of his shots and Pierce going 3 of 4 from outside the arc.

The teams stayed close early in the third before Memphis created a bit of a buffer behind Stephenson, who got to the rim, and a Grizzlies defense that caused a handful of Los Angeles turnovers by the 3-minute mark of the frame.

Memphis pushed the lead back to double-digits, eventually reaching 85-70 as Los Angeles’ miscues reached seven for the quarter.

The Clippers were able to score the last five points of the third, leaving Memphis with an 85-75 lead entering the fourth.

TIP-INS:

Clippers: F Jeff Green, dealt by the Grizzlies at the trade deadline, received a lukewarm reception when he was introduced. Green left the game near the midway point of the third quarter with a cut on his head and did not return. … Los Angeles is 12-6 when Pierce has multiple 3s. … Los Angeles had won the last three matchups in the overall series, including a 94-92 home victory on Nov. 9.

Grizzlies: Memphis played without F Matt Barnes, who was suspended by the league earlier Saturday for his actions at the end of Thursday’s loss at Milwaukee. … In addition to Randolph, Vince Carter returned to action after missing four games with left calf strain. … Randolph’s 10 assists were a career high, topping his previous best of eight in 2005. … Memphis’ win tied the overall series at 39.

 

Bucks pull away in second half behind 31 from Giannis Antetokounmpo, rout Sixers

AP Photo/Morry Gash
Leave a comment

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Milwaukee Bucks turned a tight game with the Philadelphia 76ers into a mismatch immediately in the second half, led by the reigning league MVP.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 31 points and 17 rebounds, Khris Middleton scored 25 points and the Bucks beat the 76ers 119-98 on Saturday night in a matchup of Eastern Conference rivals.

Antetokounmpo scored Milwaukee’s first 11 points in the third quarter as the Bucks took advantage of the absence of Philadelphia big man Joel Embiid, who went to the bench less a minute into the period after picking up his fourth foul, and quickly put the game out of reach.

“We came out the third quarter and played fast,” Antetokounmpo said. “We were able to rebound the ball and just attack them. Joel had four fouls. That worked in our favor. We tried to be aggressive in the third quarter and set the tone.”

Antetokounmpo added eight assists as Milwaukee won for the 16th time in its last 18 games to improve its NBA-best record to 48-8.

The Bucks led 56-50 at the half before Antetokounmpo’s scoring outburst put the Bucks in control. Milwaukee would go on to outscore the 76ers 37-23 in the period.

Embiid, coming off a 39-point performance on Thursday night, had 17 points and 11 rebounds but shot just 5 for 18. Furkan Korkmaz and Shake Milton also scored 17 points apiece for the 76ers, who fell to 9-20 on the road.

“I liked what I was seeing in the first half, and the death knock was Joel sitting,” 76ers coach Brett Brown said. “We just didn’t respond well to Milwaukee playing their tails off, and they shot the heck out of the ball.”

Philadelphia lost All-Star point guard Ben Simmons early in the first quarter. Simmons, who missed the 76ers’ previous game with lower back tightness, headed to the locker room after making consecutive driving layups, the second with a little more than 7 minutes left in the opening quarter. He didn’t return after the injured flared up.

“We never got in a rhythm. Losing Ben, then foul trouble, not making shots and some calls that could have gone a different way,” Embiid said. “But it’s on us.”

The 76ers shot just 35%, while the Bucks connected on 53% of their shots.

The Bucks got off to a scorching start, taking a 12-2 lead sparked by seven points from Antetokounmpo. Milwaukee led by as many as 11 in the quarter and held a 31-21 lead at the end.

Philadelphia pulled within 37-36 in the second before the Bucks used a 10-2 spurt to push the lead back to double digits.

Watch Dwyane Wade have his number retired by Heat

Leave a comment

Dwyane Wade is the greatest Miami Heat player ever.

He was at the heart of every championship the Heat won, he was active and beloved in the community, he was the face of the franchise.

Now his legacy is forever part of the American Airlines Arena — the Heat have retired his number.

Wade is a three-time champion, and 8-time All-NBA player, a 13-time All-Star, and a Finals MVP who averaged 22 points a game over his 16 year NBA career.

Next stop: Hall of Fame.

Stephen Curry cleared for contact, goes through full scrimmage with Warriors

Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Stephen Curry is not sitting out the rest of the season. He wants back on the court — he’s targeting the first week of March — and the Warriors are not holding him out.

That got a step closer on Saturday when Curry went through a full scrimmage with the Warriors. Warriors coach Steve Kerr said this after practice, via NBC Sports Bay Area.

“Yeah he scrimmaged today, first day of scrimmaging,” Kerr told reporters at the Chase Center practice facility. “We only had seven other healthy players, so there were two coaches out there scrimmaging too, it was not pretty, but Steph looked great.”

The March return for Curry seems on track. Klay Thompson will not return to the court this season.

The Warriors are not playoff bound, but there is no reason to sit out Curry and tank, either.

First, that’s not the kind of culture the Warriors have built, coming off three titles in five years. Second, the fan base could use the boost of watching Curry drain deep threes after a disheartening season to this point. Third, and maybe most important, what exactly would they need to tank for, better draft position? This is a down draft to begin with, so anyone the Warriors select likely can’t help them much next season anyway (which is why there’s a lot of speculation the Warriors may try to trade the pick). Also, with the flattened out lottery odds, they don’t gain much anyway. The Warriors have the worst record in the NBA, but the three worst teams all have a 14 percent chance at the top pick, and the fourth worst is at 12.5 percent, fifth is 10.5 percent. Curry’s return for a month isn’t lifting the Warriors to the point teams will not want the pick.

We could all use to be reminded just how special Curry is as a player. Hopefully, we get to see that in a couple of weeks.

Kings return to Staples Center, beat Clippers for second time in a month

Leave a comment

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kent Bazemore scored a season-high 23 points, Bogdan Bogdanovic added 20 and the Sacramento Kings beat the Los Angeles Clippers on the road for the second time in less than a month, winning 112-103 on Saturday.

De’Aaron Fox had 20 points and eight assists for the surging Kings. They have won two straight out of the All-Star break and eight of 12 overall.

Sacramento blew a 14-point lead in the second half to a Clippers lineup missing injured stars Paul George and Patrick Beverley. But the Kings then shut out Kawhi Leonard and the Clips for more than five straight minutes down the stretch, making a decisive 10-0 run capped by Harry Giles’ percussive dunk with 58 seconds left.

Leonard scored 31 points in his return from his MVP performance in Chicago, but the Clippers returned from the All-Star break with their first three-game losing streak of the season. Lou Williams added 24 points, and Montrezl Harrell had 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Sacramento had a big lead late in the third quarter, but the Clippers took their first lead of the day on Harrell’s leap-and-lean bucket with 8:30 to play.

The Kings reclaimed the lead on Harry Giles’ putback score with 4:17 left, and Bogdanovic hit a clutch 3-pointer two minutes later.

With the Clippers comfortably in third place in the Western Conference, George and Beverley are both getting extra time off to rest persistent injuries.

Reggie Jackson scored eight points in his Clippers debut two days after the Pistons bought him out, while Marcus Morris had six points and five turnovers in 32 minutes in his home debut nearly two weeks after the Clippers acquired him in a three-way trade.

With George and Beverley sidelined, Clippers coach Doc Rivers used his 28th starting lineup in 56 games, putting newcomers Morris and Jackson in the mix. Perhaps unsurprisingly, these unfamiliar Clippers returned from eight days off and missed 13 of their first 14 shots on their way to a 4-for-24 first quarter with five turnovers.

Sacramento wasn’t much better, but Bazemore scored 15 points in the first half. Los Angeles had more turnovers than field goals until late in the half, but Jackson’s first basket for the Clippers was a 3-pointer in the final second before halftime.