NBA

Grizzlies stun Jazz with late outburst, Nets hold off Cavaliers

By Sports Desk November 23, 2021

The Memphis Grizzlies scored the final seven points of the game for a stunning 119-118 road defeat of the Utah Jazz on Monday.

After Bojan Bogdanovic made a pair of three-pointers to give Utah a 108-112 lead with 1:28 to play, Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. combined to make four free throws and Jackson hit the go-ahead three-pointer with 5.7 seconds to play as Memphis (9-8) pulled out the win.

Utah (11-6) missed their final four shots of the game and also turned the ball over twice in the final 20 seconds. 

Morant had 32 points to lead all scorers and added seven assists, while Desmond Bane scored 28 and Jackson finished with 26. 

Bogdanovic led the Jazz with 24 points and Rudy Gobert contributed 23 on nine-of-10 shooting while grabbing a game-high 13 rebounds and blocking five shots. 

 

Durant, Nets hold off Cavaliers

Kevin Durant had 27 points and nine rebounds while James Harden chipped in 14 points and 14 assists for the Brooklyn Nets in a 117-112 road victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers. LaMarcus Aldridge added 21 points on 10-of-14 shooting off the bench for Brooklyn (13-5) as Darius Garland led Cleveland (9-9) with 24 points and 11 assists as he made only nine of 27 shots from the field. 

Tyrese Maxey scored 24 and Andre Drummond collected 23 rebounds as the Philadelphia 76ers (10-8) pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 102-94 defeat of the Sacramento Kings (6-12) despite playing without Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris and Seth Curry. De'Aaron Fox led the Kings with 23 in Alvin Gentry's first game as interim head coach. 

Jaylen Brown scored 19 points in 23 minutes as he returned to the Boston Celtics lineup after missing the previous eight games with a right hamstring strain. Jayson Tatum led all scorers with 30 as the Celtics (10-8) defeated Houston 108-90, sending the Rockets (1-16) to their 15th consecutive loss as they fell to 0-11 on the road. 

The Phoenix Suns held off a late charge by the San Antonio Spurs to prevail 115-111 for their 13th consecutive win. Devin Booker had 23 points to lead the Suns (14-3) while Deandre Ayton added 21 points and 14 rebounds. 

 

Bulls draw blanks from field

The Chicago Bulls entered Monday level with the Nets for the best record in the Eastern Conference but could not find their shooting touch in an ugly 109-77 home defeat against the Indiana Pacers. The Bulls (12-6) made 31 of 85 shots from the field (36.5 per cent), including just six of 28 (21.4 per cent) from three-point range. They scored 30 points in the second quarter but just 47 in the other three combined as Indiana (8-11) built an earl lead, then ran away with it in the second half. 

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    Billy Donovan says the Chicago Bulls' "margin for error is not great" after losing for a fourth straight game in the absence of several key players.

    Without the likes of Lonzo Ball, Zach LaVine and Alex Caruso, the Bulls were beaten 119-106 by the in-form Memphis Grizzlies on Monday.

    Despite losing to the Grizzlies, the Boston Celtics, the Golden State Warriors and the Brooklyn Nets in successive games, Chicago are top of the Eastern Conference.

    The Nets are now 27-15 for the season and have allowed an average of 127 points across those past four defeats, following a run of 14 wins from their previous 17.

    And after committing 18 turnovers in an error-strewn performance against the Grizzlies, Donovan accepts an improvement is required.

    "For us right now, our margin for error is not great," he said. "Turnovers here, offensive rebound, a couple easy transition points – we're going to have to eliminate those things.

    "We've got to be really meticulous and good at taking care of the ball, defensive rebounding and getting back."

    DeMar DeRozan led the Bulls with 24 points on 10 of 24 shooting, on top of his five assists, while Coby White finished with 16 points, six rebounds and five assists.

    While the shorthanded Bulls are going through a rough patch, White believes there could be long-term gains for his side.

    "I feel like this is a chance for us to grow," he said. "We're getting the opportunity now.

    "I feel like we're just taking it day-by-day and trying to just grow and develop and get better for the team."

    The Grizzlies have won 12 of their last 13 games and are third in the West ahead of a four-game road trip that begins against the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday.

    "I thought our guys came out ready," Memphis interim coach Darko Rajakovic said. 

    "I thought we did a really good job defensively. To be honest with you, I thought we were supposed to score even more. 

    "We missed a couple of chippies, a couple of open looks that we usually make."

  • Irving will not change vaccine stance despite Durant layoff: I'm standing rooted in what I believe in Irving will not change vaccine stance despite Durant layoff: I'm standing rooted in what I believe in

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    The seven-time NBA All-Star has refused to be vaccinated against coronavirus and is therefore banned from playing in home games due to New York's vaccine mandate.

    Irving was left off the Nets' initial roster for the 2021-22 season, but that decision was reversed last month when the 29-year-old was included as a part-time player.

    He has been restricted to four road games so far and has averaged 20 points, which is down on his career average of 22.8.

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    "That's what I think comes into a lot of this culture and basketball and sport and entertainment," he said. "You bring in teams and you bring in situations. 

    "Kev's going to heal, Kev's going to be okay, and we're going to have to deal with that as his team-mates. 

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    Irving was speaking after leading Brooklyn with 27 points in their 114-107 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday – his best tally since returning to action this month.

    The Nets are once again denied the chance to partner star trio James Harden, Durant and Irving, but head coach Steve Nash is hopeful others can step up.

    "It's a great opportunity for guys and our team to grow," he said. "We can't rely on Kevin in ways we could, and we have to find ways and solutions to be competitive without him."

    The Nets' 'Big Three' have played only 16 games together, going 13-3 across that period.

    "It's a great challenge for us," Nash added. "I don't spend time dwelling on it. It wouldn't do us any good. It wouldn't do me any good. 

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  • LeBron James scores 25 points as Lakers snap losing streak against Jazz LeBron James scores 25 points as Lakers snap losing streak against Jazz

    LeBron James scored 25 points as the Los Angeles Lakers snapped their three-game losing streak by beating the Utah Jazz on Monday.

    A superb late show from Stanley Johnson, who hit 10 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter, saw the Lakers respond to their loss to the Denver Nuggets two days ago by winning 101-95.

    Utah were hoping that size mattered, with Rudy Gobert playing his second game back following a positive coronavirus test and Anthony Davis still sidelined.

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    Adebayo's 14 points and a triple-double from Jimmy Buttler of 19 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds helped the Heat move into a virtual tie for the lead in the Eastern Conference with the struggling Chicago Bulls.

    The Dallas Mavericks made it three wins in a row, a triple-double from Luka Doncic helping them to hold off a second-half comeback from the Oklahoma City Thunder in a 104-102 victory.

    CJ McCollum, back from a 17-game absence caused by a collapsed lung, scored 16 points as the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Orlando Magic 98-88 – their 10th straight victory over the East's bottom side.

     

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