Kyle Lowry, Chris Paul move quickly in NBA free agency
Point guards were the immediate focus when the NBA’s free agency window opened Monday night, with Kyle Lowry headed to the Miami Heat, Lonzo Ball on his way to the Chicago Bulls while Chris Paul and Mike Conley landed lucrative deals to remain with their current teams.
Murray scores historic 50 as Nuggets down crumbling Cavs
Denver Nuggets' Jamal Murray (27) drives to the basket against Cleveland Cavaliers' Cedi Osman (16) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Feb. 19, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)CLEVELAND – Not himself of late, Jamal Murray got a lecture from Nuggets coach Michael Malone about being more aggressive and not passing up open shots. Following the game, Murray was unaware that he had done something unique. “With the exception of Murray, we took some steps in the right direction,” Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. They made their first 12 shots, opened a 22-point lead in the second half and then let Murray close out the Cavs.
Middleton, Antetokounmpo lead Bucks past Nuggets 125-112
Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, right, moves to the rim as Denver Nuggets forward JaMychal Green defends in the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Feb. 8, 2021, in Denver. Middleton had 29 points and a career-high 12 assists, Antetokounmpo scored 30 points and the Milwaukee Bucks won their fifth straight game by beating the Denver Nuggets 125-112 on Monday night. “We still find ourselves trying to figure out how to be a team that plays a lot better in the second half,” Malone said. “We’ve lost three in a row because we haven’t defended anybody.”TIP-INSBucks: The Bucks outrebounded the Nuggets 50-38. “Hope that he's going to be well.”MAIN ATTRACTIONAsked about the marquee matchup between Jokic and Antetokounmpo, Malone feigned hurt feelings.
Jokic has 47 points, Nuggets end Jazz winning streak at 11
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, right, fights for control of a rebound with Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic in the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Jan. 31, 2021, in Denver. It’s just a game,” Jokic said. I’m going to score however much I need just to win the game.”Jokic matched his career high with 47 points and the fast-starting Nuggets beat the Jazz 128-117 on Sunday to end the NBA’s longest winning streak of the season. Bojan Bogdanovic led the Jazz with 29 points, and Donovan Mitchell had 13 in 31 minutes after missing two games while in concussion protocol. JaMychal Green had all nine of his points in the fourth quarter when the Nuggets got the lead back to 20.
Chris Paul helps Suns hold off Nuggets, improve to 5-1
Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul, right, looks for a shot over Denver Nuggets guard Facundo Campazzo during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 1, 2021, in Denver. Moments like this are precisely why the Suns acquired Paul in a deal with Oklahoma City. “Him being able to knock down shots, and the ability and will to take those shots, is huge for us,” Suns coach Monty Williams said. But on the advice of Paul, Williams decided to challenge the play. The Denver big man is posting big numbers but his production isn’t translating into wins as the Nuggets fell to 1-4.
Leonard leaves bloodied, but Clippers beat Nuggets 121-108
(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)DENVER – Kawhi Leonard was hurt and the Denver Nuggets were mounting a rally like they did three months ago. Leonard had 21 points before taking an elbow to the face in the fourth quarter, Paul George scored 23 points and had nine assists, and Los Angeles beat the Nuggets 121-108 on Friday night. It was the second straight big win for LA, which beat the Lakers on Tuesday night. SCROOGED AGAINDenver was playing on Christmas night for the second straight season, with both ending in double-digit losses. Last year the New Orleans Pelicans beat the Nuggets 112-100 in Denver, stopping a seven-game winning streak.
McGruder's late 3 helps Clippers edge Trail Blazers 122-120
Portland led by as much as 10 in the first quarter and was up 37-34 at the end of the quarter. They also outshot the Trail Blazers outside the arc hitting 15 of 34 (44.1%) compared to 17 of 43 (39.5%). Trail Blazers: Outscored Los Angeles 46-38 in the paint. HEY YOUThe Trail Blazers had some regional support with Blitz the Seahawk, mascot for the NFLs Seattle Seahawks, sitting in the virtual seats, for the early afternoon game. Trail Blazers: Play Philadelphia on Sunday.