LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo unanimous First Team, All-NBA teams named


LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo were the best players on the best regular-season teams in each conference. It’s fitting they were the only two unanimous selections to the All-NBA First Team.

The league announced the All-NBA teams on Wednesday, and LeBron had his defensive-minded teammate Anthony Davis with him on the First Team, even if it is at a position Davis played just 40% of the time in the regular season. Here are the All-NBA teams, as voted on by a select group of media members.


First team

G: Luka Doncic, Mavericks
G: James Harden, Rockets
F: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks
F: LeBron James, Lakers
C: Anthony Davis, Lakers

Second team

G: Chris Paul, Thunder
G: Damian Lillard, Trail Blazers
F: Kawhi Leonard, Clippers
F: Pascal Siakam, Raptors
C: Nikola Jokic, Nuggets

Third team

G: Ben Simmons, 76ers
G: Russell Westbrook, Rockets
F: Jayson Tatum, Celtics
F: Jimmy Butler, Heat
C: Rudy Gobert, Jazz

Some notes on the selections:

• Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton was next in line at the forward spot to make the team, but he was well behind Butler for the final spot.
Joel Embiid received the fourth most votes at center.
Bradley Beal was next in line for a guard spot, but despite averaging 30.5 points a game (second in the league), finished seventh among guards.
• LeBron, at age 35, becomes the third-oldest player to make an All-NBA team (Karl Malone at 36, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar at 36 and 38).
• This could be big money for Jokic: If he makes an All-NBA team next season he will be eligible for a super-max extension. And the Nuggets would have to pay it.
• The starting salary in Pascal Siakam’s extension will now be worth 28% of the salary cap, not just 25%.
• Oklahoma City has had a player on the All-NBA team for 11 straight seasons, the longest current streak in the league.
• Voting, by 100 members of the media, was based solely on games before the league shut down in March. None of the bubble games counted towards this award.

Watch Dinwiddie get ejected for elbow to Poole’s face; Mavs still win behind Doncic 41 points


Dallas has gotten in trouble this season because of a lack of secondary shot creation behind Luka Doncic, so when Spencer Dinwiddie got ejected for an elbow to the face of Golden State’s Jordan Poole, it seemed like the Mavericks might be in danger of falling to the Warriors.

Doncic had other plans — and a 41-point triple-double.

The ejection happened early in the fourth quarter, when Dinwiddie drove the lane on Poole and, bringing the ball up, elbowed Poole in the face.

That was reviewed by the referees who ruled it a Flagrant 2. The league has cracked down on blows to the face and head — intentional or not — the past couple of seasons.

Dinwiddie being out just meant more Luka — and that was bad news for the Warriors.

Despite Doncic and his triple-double, the Warriors had a couple of chances in the final seconds. First, Stephen Curry got called for a travel.

The Warriors argued that call but got nowhere with the referees. But they got one more chance on a Klay Thompson 3 to tie, but it was just not their night.

The Mavericks got the 116-113 win. Tim Hardaway Jr. pitched in 25 points, including five 3-pointers for Dallas. Curry led the Warriors with 32.

Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns out 4-6 weeks with calf strain

Minnesota Timberwolves v Washington Wizards
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It’s not good news, but it looked like it could have been much worse.

Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns is out for weeks with a right calf strain, the team announced Tuesday following an MRI exam. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports it is likely 4-6 weeks.

The injury occurred midway through the third quarter Monday when Towns started to run back upcourt and went to the ground without contact, grabbing his knee and calf. It looked scary — Achilles scary — and he had to be helped off the court.

Towns has averaged 21.4 points and 8.5 rebounds a game, and while his numbers are down this season — just 32.8% on 3-pointers — the team has struggled at times without him, particularly lineups with Rudy Gobert and Anthony Edwards together, an -11.8 net rating (in non-garbage time minutes, via Cleaning the Glass).

Kevin Durant on chasing MVP: ‘Not really, I’ve been there, done that’

Orlando Magic v Brooklyn Nets
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Kevin Durant carried the Nets to another win Monday night, scoring 45 points on 19-of-24 shooting, plus seven rebounds and five assists.

If you’re having an MVP conversation a quarter of the way into the NBA season, Durant has to be part of it: 30 points per game on 54.8% shooting (and a ridiculous 65.9 true shooting percentage), 6.6 rebounds and 5.5 assists a game, plus playing solid defense and being the anchor of the Nets. After his 45-point outing to get Brooklyn a win over Orlando, Durant was asked about MVP chants and the chase for the award and was clearly not interested.

Durant has MVP numbers, but so do Stephen Curry, Luka Doncic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jayson Tatum and others. If Durant is going to move to the front of the conversation, the first thing that has to happen is Brooklyn has to win a lot more games — 11-11 is not going to cut it when Tatum’s Celtics and Antetokounmpo’s Bucks have the two best records in the NBA. Winning games and finishing on a top-three team in the conference matters to some voters (and traditionally is one measure of an MVP).

Watch Herb Jones inbound off Pokusevski’s back, seal win for Pelicans

Oklahoma City Thunder v New Orleans Pelicans
Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images

With 2.3 seconds left in the game and the Thunder down 2, they needed to steal the inbounds pass from New Orleans to have a real chance. That’s why when Aleksej Pokusevski walked on the court it looked like he was going to guard the inbounder, Herbert Jones.

Instead, Pokusevski turned his back to Jones, putting himself in position to step in front of anyone cutting to the ball to catch the inbounds. Except, Jones made the clever play to seal the game.

Pokusevski fouled Jones, who sank both free throws and sealed the 105-101 Pelicans win.

The Pelicans got 23-8-8 from Zion Williamson and picked up a win without CJ McCollum or Brandon Ingram in the lineup. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander continued his dominant start to the season and scored 31.