Davis stars as Lakers halt losing run, assists galore for Westbrook

By Sports Desk May 04, 2021

The Los Angeles Lakers ended their three-game losing run despite being without LeBron James as they defeated the Denver Nuggets 93-89 in the NBA on Monday.

Anthony Davis scored 25 points for the Lakers with seven rebounds and a crucial last-gasp block on Nuggets guard Facundo Campazzo's three-point attempt.

The Lakers, who had lost six of their past seven coming in, were undermanned with James sitting out with a sore right ankle, while Dennis Schroder was absent too.

The win improves the Lakers to 37-28 and moves them back into fifth in the Western Conference.

The Philadelphia 76ers were also winners on Monday, knocking off the Chicago Bulls 106-94 to improve their record to 44-21, holding top spot in the East.

Forward Tobias Harris top scored with 21 points, while Joel Embiid had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

 

Westbrook goes wild again

Russell Westbrook went next level with his latest triple-double with 14 points, 21 rebounds and 24 assists in the Washington Wizards' 154-141 win over the Indiana Pacers.

In a high-scoring game, Westbrook's 24 assists was a career-high. It was also an NBA record five triple-doubles with 20-plus assists, going past Magic Johnson and Rajon Rondo with four.

The Wizards finished with 50 assists against the Pacers, which was the most by a team since 1990.

Danilo Gallinari scored 28 points off the bench as the Atlanta Hawks got past the Portland Trail Blazers 123-114 in a crucial game for playoffs spots.

Rudy Gobert scored 24 points and had 15 rebounds as the Utah Jazz returned to first place in the West with a 110-99 victory over the San Antonio Spurs.

Stephen Curry scored 41 points while Draymond Green had a triple-double as the Golden State Warriors won 123-108 over the New Orleans Pelicans, boosting their play-in hopes.

The Warriors moved past the Memphis Grizzlies into eighth after they went down to the in-form New York Knicks 118-104.

 

Bogdan Bog-down-ovic

There was an amusing moment in the Hawks' win over the Trail Blazers, when Bogdan Bogdanovic stumbled on a fast break upon a pass from Trae Young which clonked him in the head.

 

Melo moves into all-time top 10

Carmelo Anthony's 14 points for the Trail Blazers saw him move into the top 10 all-time scorers in NBA history.

 

Monday's results

Orlando Magic 119-112 Detroit Pistons 
Washington Wizards 154-141 Indiana Pacers 
Golden State Warriors 123-108 New Orleans Pelicans
Atlanta Hawks 123-114 Portland Trail Blazers
New York Knicks 118-104 Memphis Grizzlies 
Philadelphia 76ers 106-94 Chicago Bulls
Utah Jazz 110-99 San Antonio Spurs
Los Angeles Lakers 93-89 Denver Nuggets

 

Nets at Bucks

The Milwaukee Bucks (40-24) and the Brooklyn Nets (43-22) meet for the second time in three days as seedings spots in the East get determined.

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    Monty Williams was still looking at the bigger picture after the Golden State Warriors ended the Phoenix Suns' long winning run at Chase Center on Friday.

    The 118-96 loss snapped the Suns' 18-game winning streak and saw the Warriors return to top spot in the Western Conference with a 19-3 record.

    Phoenix beat Golden State 104-96 on Tuesday, but were unable to pull off a repeat three days later, as they were left in second spot on 19-4.

    Suns head coach Williams insisted on looking at the bright side and praised his players for the focus they have shown since losing three of their first four games of the season. 

    "I'm too in it to reflect on it properly," Williams told reporters when asked about the streak ending. "I think every win is special. To me, it was the collective focus that we've had throughout this season, not just the streak. It's only been 23 games, right? So there's a lot of basketball to be played.

    "When we were 1-3 there was no panic, or 'what are we doing?' We just kinda hung in there and simplified some things and played good basketball.

    "We arguably played the best team in the league tonight, them or us. We're not quite sure who it is but it's good to be in that category.

    "Just the focus and the programme growing, that's what I'll remember."

    The Suns were down 51-48 at half-time, but could not build on a strong second quarter and fell away to eventually lose by 22 points, with Deandre Ayton top scoring for the visitors with 23.

    Williams said: "I thought they did a good job of speeding us up. We did that to them the other day. That's part of the chess match.

    "It was physical. I thought they won that battle tonight. It was just one of those tough games.

    "We learned a ton. Both teams about even in turnovers. It was just a slugfest."

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    James returned in Friday's 119-115 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers having cleared the league's COVID-19 protocols after additional testing confirmed he was not a positive case.

    The four-time MVP and NBA champion, however, was left frustrated by the process that cost him a game and caused him "big-time inconvenience", having recorded a positive test prior to Tuesday's game in Sacramento.

    "Pretty confused, frustrated, angry with not being able to do anything," James said at the post-game news conference.

    James, 36, explained his anger was that he had initially tested negative, before a positive test, which led to immediate isolation rather than a further test to confirm his status.

    "Usually when you have a positive test, they will test you right away to make sure," James said. "There was not a follow-up test after my positive test. It was straight into isolation and you've been put into protocol. That was the part that angered me.

    "I had to figure out a way to get back from Sacramento by myself, no security, no one. I had to put my kids in isolation for the time being. The people in my house into isolation. It was a big- time inconvenience. That was the anger part."

    James added that he always knew he was not COVID-19 positive, having no symptoms, further fuelling his frustration at the process.

    "I knew I was going to get cleared," he said. "I never felt sick at all. I know you can be asymptomatic but if what I had was a positive COVID test, then what are we doing? What are we talking about?

    "I thought it was handled very poorly. Being able to get cleared was a breath of fresh air for me, my family and friends."

    James has not been able to play four straight games this season due to a range of issues including ankle and abdominal injuries along with a one-game suspension and his false-positive test.

    The Lakers forward admitted the season had been "very frustrating" and "very challenging" as he struggled to find a rhythm.

    James, who returned with 23 points, 11 rebounds and six assists against the Clippers, has played 11 games this season, averaging 25.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and 6.8 assists.

    The Lakers are 12-12 following Friday's loss.

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    Stephen Curry says the Golden State Warriors were motivated to correct their own mistakes after reversing Tuesday's defeat to the Phoenix Suns with a 118-96 win on Friday.

    Curry, who only managed 12 points in Tuesday's loss, top scored with 23 points for the Warriors, including six three-pointers.

    The result ended the Suns' 18-game winning streak and saw the Warriors return to top spot in the Western Conference with a 19-3 record.

    The Suns had humbled the Warriors 104-96 on Tuesday, despite Devin Booker going down injured in the second quarter, with Curry kept quiet but they found a way to bounce back.

    "It's all about us right now," Curry told ESPN post-game. "We obviously know they've been on a hot streak.

    "Tuesday didn’t go our way. We've learned a lot in terms of how you beat a great team like that who are Conference champions.

    "We still have a lot of room to grow. We'll see them on Christmas and one more time down the stretch.

    "But it's just about us and how we corrected the mistakes we made earlier in the week."

    Draymond Green had six blocks and three steals along with nine defensive rebounds for the Warriors, earning praise from head coach Steve Kerr.

    "He's the best defender in the world," Kerr said at the post-game news conference. "He does everything for us defensively.

    "He captains the defense. He's the one directing traffic. He guards guards on switches, DeAndre Ayton and everybody in between. I thought Draymond was brilliant tonight."

    Kerr added that the Suns remained the team to the beat in the west, despite snapping their 18-game winning streak.

    "We caught a break tonight with the Suns on a back-to-back so the schedule played in our favour but winning 18 games in a row is incredible," Kerr said.

    "We have huge respect for Phoenix and what they've accomplished. We know we're trying to catch them. We haven’t been in the playoffs for two years. We know they're the best team in the west until somebody knocks them off. It was good to see our team respond after losing to them."

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