Garland, Mitchell lead Cavs past Lakers to 8th straight win
Donovan Mitchell scored 33 points and Darius Garland added 24 in the dynamic Cleveland backcourt’s return from injury absences, and the Cavaliers rolled past LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers 114-100 for their eighth consecutive victory.
Grizzlies rout Timberwolves 124-96 to tie series at 1 apiece
Ja Morant scored 23 points and handed out 10 assists as the Memphis Grizzlies looked much more like the team that posted the NBA’s second-best record, routing the Minnesota Timberwolves 124-96 to even up their first-round Western Conference series at 1 apiece.
Timberwolves stun Grizzlies, grab Game 1 with 130-117 win
Anthony Edwards scored 36 points in his postseason debut, and the seventh-seeded Minnesota Timberwolves stunned the No. 2 seed Memphis Grizzlies 130-117 to grab home-court advantage in the opener of their first-round Western Conference series.
Nets hold on to edge Clippers, win season-best 6th in a row
Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden, left, shoots as Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)LOS ANGELES – James Harden scored 37 points and the Brooklyn Nets held off a furious fourth-quarter rally to edge the Los Angeles Clippers 112-108 on Sunday night for their season-best sixth victory in a row. The Nets wrapped up a 5-0 trip, beating Golden State, Sacramento, Phoenix, and both Los Angeles teams to complete their longest undefeated single trip in franchise history. “Winning six in a row, all it does is keep the world silent for a bit,” Kyrie Irving said. Irving scored 12 points — matching his total from the first half — to send the Nets into the fourth leading 89-79.
Clippers edge Jazz 116-112, snap Utah's 9-game win streak
Los Angeles Clippers guard Patrick Beverley, right, celebrates with forward Kawhi Leonard during the second half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz in Los Angeles, Friday, Feb. 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)LOS ANGELES – Kawhi Leonard scored 29 points, reserve Lou Williams had 19 and the Los Angeles Clippers edged Utah 116-112 on Friday night, snapping the Jazz's nine-game winning streak. Los Angeles played without a center in the fourth, when Morris was added to the rotation and scored 10 points. “We got our guys back and we wanted to win this game,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said. His pair of free throws sent Los Angeles into the fourth leading 79-75.
Nuggets crash LA party, will face Lakers in West finals
Behind Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 2009. They will face LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers starting Friday in Game 1. The Nuggets fell behind 3-1 in their first-round series against Utah before bouncing back with three straight victories. “We love it.”The last time the Nuggets were in the conference finals they faced the Lakers as well, losing in six games. The Lakers were led by the late Kobe Bryant and would go on to win the NBA title over Orlando.
Nuggets do it again, taking Clippers to Game 7 in West
The never-say-die Nuggets pulled off another season-saving comeback — and, after rallying from 19 points down with 22 minutes remaining, they’ll see the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 7 on Tuesday night for a berth in the Western Conference finals. Nikola Jokic had 34 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists, and the Nuggets topped the Clippers 111-98 on Sunday to even their West semifinal series at three games apiece. They saved themselves again in Game 5 of this series, getting down by 16 before coming back to save the season again. Over the next 10 minutes, the Nuggets outscored the Clippers 30-8. SCHEDULES SETWith Denver's win, the Western Conference finals — Clippers or Nuggets vs. the Los Angeles Lakers — are now certain to start on Friday, with games every other day until someone wins the series.
Millsap helps Nuggets rally, stun Clippers 111-105 in Game 5
Denver — down 16 in the first half — trailed 61-46 with 9:42 remaining in the third before rallying behind the 35-year-old Millsap. The Nuggets took their first lead on Nikola Jokic's 3-pointer with 7:06 left and extended it to eight. After the Clippers pulled within a basket, Porter hit a deep 3-pointer with 1:11 remaining to all but wrap it up. Jamal Murray finished with 26 points, and Jokic added 22 points and 14 rebounds to help the Nuggets pull to 3-2 in the best-of-seven series. 9/11 MEMORIESClippers coach Doc Rivers and Nuggets coach Michael Malone reflected on their memories on the 19th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001.
Leonard, Clippers beat Nuggets 96-85, take 3-1 series lead
Reserve Montrezl Harrell added 15 points to help the Clippers take a 3-1 lead. After building an 18-point lead in the second quarter, Los Angeles saw Denver storm back and tie it at 48 early in the third. Nikola Jokic had 26 points and 11 boards for a Nuggets team that finds itself in an all-too-familiar situation. They were down in their first-round series against Utah before becoming the 12th team in NBA history to overcome a 3-1 deficit. Nuggets: F Michael Porter Jr. scored 13 of his 15 points in the second quarter.
George, Leonard lead Clippers to 113-107 win over Nuggets
Clippers coach Doc Rivers called a timeout to calm down the Clippers with 8:29 left and trailing 97-90. Denver was cruising along in the second quarter, leading by 12 points with 3:34 left before halftime, before the Clippers roared back. ... F Marcus Morris had 12 points. Nuggets: Denver outscored the Clippers by a 58-42 margin in points in the paint. He played a little more than 12 minutes in Game 1 and 15 minutes in Game 2.
Nuggets lead wire-to-wire, top Clippers to tie series at 1
Gary Harris and Paul Millsap each added 13 points to help Denver knot the series at a game apiece. Paul George scored 22 points for the Clippers, who got 15 from Ivica Zubac and endured a rare off night offensively from Kawhi Leonard. The Clippers trailed by 23 and got as close as five in the fourth quarter, but no closer. The Clippers' best run eventually came in the fourth, with George going on a personal 7-0 spurt to get the Clippers within 91-86 the smallest lead for the Nuggets since it was 7-2. It was the second-best scoring quarter in Nuggets NBA playoff history, after scoring 47 in the fourth against the Los Angeles Lakers on May 14, 1985.
Leonard scores 29 points; Clippers rout Nuggets in Game 1
Nikola Jokic scored 15 points for the Nuggets, who were coming off a seven-game series with Utah that just ended Tuesday. The Clippers took charge in the second quarter, outscoring the Nuggets 38-20 to take a 69-51 lead at halftime. Los Angeles held Denver to 25% shooting into the second quarter. Los Angeles' biggest lead in the quarter was 29 points. ... F Jerami Grant scored 11 points on 4-for-4 shooting in the first quarter but scored one point the rest of the game.
Raptors-Celtics prep for Game 4, Nuggets-Clippers for Game 2
Game 4 of Celtics-Raptors is Saturday night, followed by Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinal matchup between the Denver Nuggets and the Los Angeles Clippers. Leonards shot became iconic because the Raptors won it all. He played most of the first quarter and then the entirety of the final three quarters of Game 3 without a rest. The 46:29 of court time was the most by any player in a non-overtime game this season. INJURY WATCH: It was a good sign for the Clippers that Patrick Beverley (calf) not only returned to the lineup in Game 1 but reported after the game that he felt fine.
Leonard leads Clippers past Doncic, Mavs to reach 2nd round
Los Angeles began putting the ball in Leonards hands and he delivered with eight straight Clippers points before consecutive 3-pointers by Reggie Jackson pushed it to 105-89. TIP-INSClippers: Patrick Beverley had a pregame workout before sitting out for the fifth straight game with a left calf strain. Mavericks: Porzingis missed his third straight game with torn cartilage in his right knee. It was the first game Rivers attended in the bubble but hardly his first time watching his son play at Disney. I just kind of sat and watched the game, Rivers said.
Mavs pull away while Doncic sits, beat Clippers 127-114
Two nights after scoring 42 points in the highest-scoring debut in postseason history, Doncic played just nine minutes in the second half. They beat the Clippers for the first time in five meetings this season and earned their first playoff victory since 2016. Kawhi Leonard had 35 points and 10 rebounds, but Paul George had a mostly miserable performance for the second-seeded Clippers. Clippers: Reggie Jackson started in place of Beverley and scored 11 points. The Clippers noticed the guard wasn't moving well at their shootaround and decided to scratch him.
Clippers hold off Doncic, Mavs after Porzingis is tossed
Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 18 points adn Porzingis finished with 14, along with Seth Curry. The Clippers knocked around Doncic, the 21-year-old superstar who led the NBA in triple-doubles, whenever they could. The Clippers swarmed Doncic from the outset, forcing him into three turnovers in the first two minutes while racing to a 10-0 lead. Morris was eager to grab the ball and ended up grabbing Doncic, who sought to push his way free. Clippers: Reserve Montrezl Harrell returned after leaving the team for his grandmother's death and had six points in 15 minutes.
Doncic's debut good enough for history, but not for a win
Doncic is out for wins, not stats, and the Dallas Mavericks weren't good enough to get one in the opener of their series against the Los Angeles Clippers. They climbed back from a dismal start caused in part by Doncic's carelessness, but ended up losing 118-110 on Monday night. Both players were hit with technical fouls and because it was Porzingis' second of the game, he was automatically ejected. Doncic bettered John Williamson's 38 points in 1979 for most in an NBA playoff debut and was the first 21-year-old to score 40 since LeBron James in 2006. "I thought as good as he played tonight, we could have limited some of the stuff.
Mavs' Luka Doncic set to begin his first NBA playoff run
For the first time since 1990, the Dallas Mavericks are going to the playoffs without Dirk Nowitzki on the roster. The German great retired after last season, officially passing the torch as leader of the Mavs to Doncic the Slovene who nearly averaged a 30-point triple-double in just his second NBA season. So, no, he hasnt seen what the NBA playoffs are like. Behind Doncic, they only assembled the greatest year in NBA history in terms of offensive efficiency. He can make those incredible plays.And now Doncic gets the chance to make those plays on the NBAs best stage: The playoffs.
George, Leonard lead Clippers past Nuggets for No. 2 seed
The Clippers took control with 13 straight points midway through the third quarter and barely let the Nuggets get back in it. Jerami Grant, who missed Denver's last game due to injury, led the Nuggets with 25 points. Clippers: Patrick Beverley and Montrezl Harrell have both returned to the NBA's bubble, although neither could play as yet. ... Ivica Zubac had 15 points and a team-high 12 rebounds for Los Angeles. Clippers: Play Oklahoma City on Friday.
George, Clippers rain 3s on Pelicans in 126-103 blowout
Kawhi Leonard and Beverly kept the barrage going for six straight 3s before Leonard had the Clippers first miss. With the Clippers well on their way to a blowout win, it was an opportunity for the Pelicans to get Williamson out of the game. We had a rough start, Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. The Clippers have already clinched a playoff spot in their first season with Leonard and George playing together. Clippers: L.A. led 103-63 late in the third quarter when George and Leonard were taken out.
Clippers' Williams will serve 10-day quarantine, miss games
He will miss at least two of the Clippers' seeding games, including their July 30 opener against the Los Angeles Lakers. It's possible he could miss more than two since his likely release will be Aug. 4, the day of the Clippers' third seeding game. Williamson received the shorter quarantine because was tested daily during his absence and continually was negative, plus satisfied other NBA requirements. Williams is a Sixth Man of the Year candidate this season, averaging 18.7 points this season for the Clippers. The Clippers have secured a playoff spot and enter the restart sitting second in the Western Conference, 5 1/2 games behind the Lakers and 1 1/2 games ahead of third-place Denver.
Family issues outside bubble calling some NBA players home
The key is can we finish, said Clippers coach Doc Rivers, Austin Rivers father. Whether it be a family problem, a kid problem, a wife problem, anything, there are issues that come in these guys life. Doc Rivers said in a weird way, there can be a positive to seeing players dealing with various issues. I think in a good way in this, the public actually sees that the NBA players actually are human and they do have regular life issues going on, the Clippers coach said. The problem is usually with the life issues you can come back to the team and play the next day.