Poole shines in playoff debut, Curry back as Warriors win
Jordan Poole shined in his long-awaited playoff debut scoring 30 points, staying in the starting lineup as Stephen Curry returned from a foot injury by coming off the bench initially, and the Golden State Warriors’ defense smothered Nikola Jokic to beat the Denver Nuggets 123-107 in the opener of their first-round playoff series.
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.
Jokic powers Nuggets by Lakers, Davis re-aggravates Achilles
(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)DENVER – The sight of Anthony Davis limping off the court was hard for the Los Angeles Lakers to shake. Nikola Jokic recorded his sixth triple-double of the season and the Denver Nuggets beat the Lakers 122-105 on Sunday night in a game in which Davis re-aggravated his sore right Achilles. Now, the only thought for the Lakers is the result of Davis' MRI on Monday for what the team called a strain. For his big game, Jokic credited a new mindset. Entering the game, Davis was questionable with what was described as right Achilles tendinosis.
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.
Durant scores 34, Nets charge back from 18 down, top Nuggets
(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)NEW YORK – Kevin Durant had 34 points, 13 assists and nine rebounds, Bruce Brown made a huge contribution while starting for the absent Kyrie Irving, and the Brooklyn Nets rallied from 18 down to beat the Denver Nuggets 122-116 on Tuesday night. Durant followed with Brooklyn's next six points, including a 3-pointer that essentially put it away at 120-113 with 27 seconds to play. They want to come out and compete, and everybody came with it tonight, especially in the second half,” Durant said. Nets: Before the game, coach Steve Nash wasn't sure if Durant would play Wednesday at New York. “We have to judge these things day to day and moment to moment.” Durant said afterward he planned to play.
Denver tops short-handed 76ers hit with virus, injuries
The team met the minimum eight active players by including injured forward Mike Scott, who was not actually able to play. Gary Harris scored 21 points for the Nuggets, who played without Michael Porter Jr. (19.5 points per game) because of health and safety protocols. Danny Green was the only regular in Philly's starting lineup, joined by backups Dakota Mathias, Dwight Howard, Joe and Maxey. “I don’t know enough about any of this.”Sparked by Maxey, the undermanned, feisty Sixers stuck with Denver throughout the first half. Nuggets: Play Saturday in New York.
Clippers set to try, again, to reach the conference finals
“Just winning a game in the NBA is hard,” the Los Angeles Clippers’ coach said. For the Clippers, winning a game at this point in the season has been impossible — forever. Game 6 is Sunday, when the Clippers will once again try to get to a level of the playoffs that they’ve never reached before. — KEEP AN EYE ON: How the Clippers finish. There will be an absolute urgency from the Clippers to finish the job on Sunday.
Doncic and Mitchell reaching new heights in the postseason
The dynamic Doncic made sure of that with a buzzer-beating, 3-pointer in overtime Sunday to cap another triple-double. Not to be outdone in the nightcap, Mitchell erupted for 51 points in Game 4 to give the sixth-seeded Utah Jazz a 3-1 lead over Denver. Mitchell is playing out of this world right now, Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. Both Doncic and Mitchell are accomplishing rarely seen postseason feats inside the bubble. Whats more, his 28-foot buzzer-beat to win was the second-longest in postseason history, the Mavericks announced on social media.
Donovan Mitchell scores 30 points, Jazz rout Nuggets 124-105
He helped the Jazz break open the game in the third quarter and increase the lead to 31 in the fourth. His performance was on the heels of scoring a Jazz playoff-record 57 points in a 135-125 overtime loss in Game 1. Jordan Clarkson scored a personal playoff-best 26 points on a day the Jazz shot 51.7% from the floor. We need the same energy and intensity.Nuggets rookie Michael Porter Jr. had 28 points, and Nikola Jokic added 28 points and 11 rebounds. All of our games are usually close games and this one got away from us, Nuggets coach Michael Malone said.
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.
Butler, Adebayo score 22 each as Heat top Nuggets 125-105
Kelly Olynyk scored all of his 20 points in the fourth quarter for the Heat, who shot 56% from the field. But we started playing a lot harder in the second.Nikola Jokic and Jerami Grant each scored 19 points for Denver. ... F Jae Crowder made his second start of the season. Nuggets: The 1 p.m. Eastern start time -- 11 a.m. in Denver -- was the Nuggets second earliest of the season. Nuggets: Play the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday.