J.J. Redick

Watch Jayson Tatum score career-high 41 as Celtics snap three-game losing streak

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BOSTON — Jayson Tatum made six 3-pointers and scored a career-high 41 points as the Boston Celtics cruised past the short-handed New Orleans Pelicans, 140-105 on Saturday night.

Tatum’s first career 40-point performance helped the Celtics snap a season-high, three-game losing streak. He became the second-youngest Celtic to score 40+ points in a game (Antoine Walker).

Enes Kanter added 22 points, Gordon Hayward had 19 and Kemba Walker finished with 17 points and seven assists.

Boston shot 14 of 29 from the 3-point line and tied a season high for points.

Frank Jackson scored 22 points for the Pelicans. Jaxson Hayes added 20.

New Orleans played without Derrick Favors because a right hamstring strain, Jrue Holiday sat his fourth straight game with a left elbow contusion, Kenrich Williams missed his third consecutive game with back soreness and J.J. Redick sat with a left hamstring strain.

Hayes and E'Twaun Moore started in place of Williams and Favors.

The Celtics exploited the absences early. Tatum was active from a variety of spots on the floor, connecting on eight of his first nine shots. He scored 22 points in the the first half to help the Celtics build as much as a 22-point lead.

Sixers rumored to be looking for shooters to go around Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons

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The Philadelphia 76ers are a good team: 24-14 record, +4.1 net rating differential, which has them on pace to win 52 games (stats via Cleaning the Glass, which filters out garbage time). On Christmas Day, we saw the potential of their long, defensive-minded roster in a win over Milwaukee.

Are the Sixers title contenders? Halfway through the season, it doesn’t feel like it, and the lack of floor spacing is a key reason. Joel Embiid can force defenders to respect him at the arc, but he’s a beast in the paint — he’s shooting 70.7 percent at the rim and taking nearly 30 percent of his shots there — and that’s where Philly wants him operating. Ben Simmons has taken only 17 shots outside the key all season (hitting six of them). While Tobias Harris, Josh Richardson, and others can hit some threes, this team did not exactly replace J.J. Redick.

This is why Philadelphia GM Elton Brand is looking for shooters at the trade deadline, reports Kevin O’Conner at The Ringer.

The Sixers have expressed interest in a long list of wings, including Malik Beasley (Nuggets), Glenn Robinson III (Warriors), Davis Bertans (Wizards), E’Twaun Moore (Pelicans), and Andre Iguodala (Grizzlies), according to multiple league sources. Most interestingly, sources say the Sixers inquired about Robert Covington, whom they dealt to the Timberwolves in 2018 in the Jimmy Butler trade.

That all sounds great until one starts to break down what the Sixers have to offer in a trade.

The Sixers are loaded with picks, including their own first rounders after 2021, but matching salaries is hard unless Philly wants to give up quality parts of their rotation, such as Richardson or Mike Scott. Which they are not.

Other teams want rookie Matisse Thybulle, Philly is wisely rejecting those calls. Philly is trying to steer the conversation toward Zhaire Smith, but other teams look at his G-League play and reject that effort.

Brand will try to make another deadline move, but if the Sixers are going to be title contenders it will be more about internal improvement.

New Orleans mad at referees (again) after no-call at end of loss to Utah

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No New Orleans sports team can catch a break from the referees. Over the weekend, the Saints got screwed — again — by a bad pass interference no-call at the end of the game (let’s not even get into the Saints/Rams from a year ago).

Monday night, down two with time running out, Brandon Ingram drove the length of the court, went right at two-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert, got hit on the arm as the shot went up, but no call. Utah won 128-126.

The referees went to replay, but they could only look and see if the shot was taken in time and if seconds should have been added to the clock. Because there was no foul call, there was nothing for the referees to review and rule on with the shot attempt.

Ingram’s drive was coast-to-coast, he had gotten the rebound off a Bojan Bogdanovic miss, and when he did both coach Alvin Gentry and J.J. Redick tried to call timeout, and the officials did not see the request.

It’s the kind of play that should lead to a discussion of how instant replay is used. Unless you ask J.J. Redick.

 

Watch J.J. Redick silence the Sacramento crowd with layup game-winner

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Sacramento needed a miracle to tie the game, down four with 5.6 seconds left. Then Nemanja Bjelica delivered them one.

The Golden 1 Center was rocking. Then J.J. Redick quieted it down with the game-winner.

Watch the down screen Derrick Favors sets on Trevor Ariza to free Redick up — that was better than the blocking than Deshaun Watson got most of Saturday. Kings fans wanted a foul call on Favors, but you’re not getting that call at that point in the game. Sorry.

Richaun Holmes tried to help, but Redick is a veteran who knows how to use his body to create a little space and hit the difficult shot. That’s why the Pelicans got the win.

Lonzo Ball had 24 points and 10 assists to lead the Pelicans. Harrison Barnes had 30 for the Kings in the loss.

Anthony Davis drops 46 against former team, sparks Lakers past Pelicans

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LOS ANGELES — Anthony Davis isn’t having any sympathy when it comes to facing his former team.

The Lakers forward had 46 points and 13 rebounds as Los Angeles rolled to a 123-113 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans.

It was Davis’ fifth 40-point game this season and second straight against the team he played seven seasons for after he was the top overall pick in 2012.

“I felt like we force-fed him much less in this game. I thought he got most of it in flow. Diverse attack, free throws, the 3-point line, transition, rolls to the basket, post,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “He just scored in every way that you can, so it was definitely a different feel than last game.”

Davis said this felt more like a normal game compared to this season’s first meeting, when he scored 41 points in a Nov. 27 win at New Orleans.

“The first game in New Orleans was definitely a lot more emotional, not only going against my former team but playing in that arena again,” said Davis, who is tied for fifth in the league in scoring at 27.8 points per game. “Tonight, I think my teammates just gave me great opportunities and put me in great positions to score the basketball. I don’t think I did anything, especially I didn’t prepare any differently. Just came out and played basketball.”

Danny Green added 25 points and LeBron James had 17 points and 15 assists for the Lakers, who have won four straight following a season-high, four-game losing streak.

“”I don’t think he had one play where it looked stressed,” James said of Davis. “He was efficient from the outset, hitting his jumpers in the low post. Made all, what, 13 of his free throws. Just another great performance.”

The Lakers led by as many as 24 during the third quarter as Davis scored 19 in the period. They were up 105-83 at the end of the third quarter but the Pelicans rallied in the fourth quarter to get within 116-109 with 2:25 remaining on Brandon Ingram’s dunk. A 3-pointer by Green and Davis’ jumper following a turnover ended any hopes of New Orleans drawing closer.

“We’re familiar with him. He’s a tough matchup,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said of Davis. “I thought we did a good job of taking it to the basket. We scored 68 points in the paint and had only seven free throws.”

Former Lakers Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram led New Orleans in their return to Staples Center. Ball scored a team-high 23 points and Ingram added 22 as the Pelicans had their four-game winning streak snapped.

It is the first time in Ball’s three seasons he has had back-to-back, 20-point games.

“My body feels good and my confidence is where it is supposed to be,” Ball said.

J.J. Redick’s 3-pointer drew the Pelicans within 74-67 less than 2 minutes into the second half before Los Angeles went on a 26-9 run to take its largest lead of the game. Davis had 17 points during the spurt, including three 3-pointers.

Green had 17 points in the first quarter, including five 3-pointers as the Lakers led by 18 late in the quarter.

Los Angeles was up 64-51 when New Orleans ran off nine straight points to get within 64-60 with 1:50 remaining in the first half. The Lakers would outscore the Pelicans 10-2 down the stretch, including seven by Davis, to lead 74-62 at halftime.

“They’re a really good team. Anthony is a matchup problem for a lot of teams,” Ingram said.