Nikola Jokic notches triple-double as Nuggets top Warriors
Nikola Jokic had a triple-double of 26 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists playing with a sore right wrist he had taped, and the Denver Nuggets beat Golden State 128-123 in a rematch of the teams’ first-round playoff series won by the Warriors in five games on their way to the title.
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.
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.
A very rare NBA day: Curry, Jokic score 50 in losses
Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry instructs teammates during an offensive possession in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks in Dallas, Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)Stephen Curry and Nikola Jokic were part of history Saturday. The NBA had two 50-point scorers in losing efforts on the same day for only the third time. Jokic scored 50 points in Denver’s loss to Sacramento, and Curry scored 57 points as Golden State fell in Dallas. There have been five 50-point efforts in the NBA so far this season, including Curry’s season-high, 62-point in the win over Portland.
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.
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.
NBA coaches attire: Masks are in, jackets are optional
FILE - In this Aug. 2, 2020, file photo, San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich reacts during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. For NBA coaches, masks are required this season. Suit jackets or sport coats will not be required but coaches wont be able to wear the short-sleeved shirts that most donned for games in the bubble, either. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool, File)MIAMI – For NBA coaches, masks are required this season. “That’s why I continued to wear masks during the playoffs, during the finals, even when we were not required to wear them during our media sessions,” Spoelstra told The Associated Press. The league, with limited exceptions, also will require coaches to wear masks “at all times” inside their team facility, while traveling and during practices.
Another NBA Finals await James if Lakers can finish Nuggets
Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James (23) celebrates with Los Angeles Lakers' Rajon Rondo (9) and Los Angeles Lakers' Alex Caruso (4) during the final moments of their 114-108 win over the Denver Nuggets in an NBA conference final playoff basketball game Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Another NBA Finals await James if Lakers can finish Nuggets
Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James (23) celebrates with Los Angeles Lakers' Rajon Rondo (9) and Los Angeles Lakers' Alex Caruso (4) during the final moments of their 114-108 win over the Denver Nuggets in an NBA conference final playoff basketball game Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)LeBron James can reach a 10th NBA Finals, done by only three greats of the game. The final step for the Los Angeles Lakers shapes up as the toughest. “You can never be comfortable around this team,” Davis said. One more win, and James ties NBA career scoring leader Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for third on the career list with 10 NBA Finals appearances. James and Davis have been the unquestioned catalysts of this run, and they're good strong support from some playoff-tested veterans.
For NBA players, Taylor grand jury decision 'not enough'
A grand jury in Kentucky had finally spoken. And James was letting his team know that NBA players, who have spent months seeking justice for Breonna Taylor, did not get what they wanted. “Yeah, there was a grand jury and yeah, they went through the information and yeah, they have facts to support whatever the claims may be,” Pierce said. ... What currently is happening isn’t good enough.”National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts went a step further. We’re going to continue fighting, we’re going to continue to push, we’re going to continue to use our voices.”___More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Lakers try to regain control vs confident Nuggets in Game 4
Denver Nuggets' Jamal Murray (27) looks on as Los Angeles Lakers' Anthony Davis (3) grabs his wrist after falling to the floor during play in the second half of Game 3 of the NBA basketball Western Conference final Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Lakers try to regain control vs confident Nuggets in Game 4
If the Los Angeles Lakers don't start playing better, the Nuggets might be right. Outplayed for much of the last 1 1/2 games, the top-seeded Lakers look to regain control of the series when the teams play Game 4 on Thursday night. The Lakers were careless with the ball and not disciplined enough on defense in Game 2, when they needed Anthony Davis' 3-pointer as time expired to avoid a loss. We have control of the series,” Davis said. The Nuggets then scored 25 points in Game 3 off the Lakers' turnovers — with James committing a game-high six of them in his 26th playoff triple-double.
Murray, Nuggets hang on in Game 3, cut Lakers' lead to 2-1
With Denver's lead down to four, Murray made a 3-pointer with 2:16 remaining. It would grow to 18 and could have been worse if not for Davis, who scored nine straight Lakers points. The Lakers got the first five points of the third to cut the lead in half, but Denver regained control and led 93-75 after three. Nuggets: Denver's last halftime lead had been a 59-57 edge over the Clippers in Game 3 of the West semifinals. THE AIR UP THEREThe Lakers came into the game 4-0 in the playoffs as the designated road team.
Lakers roll past Nuggets 126-114 in West finals opener
The top-seeded Lakers opened a double-digit lead in the first half that they easily extended in the third quarter. The Lakers quickly knocked off any rust for another long layoff in the bubble against a Denver team that's had things much tougher. Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray each scored 21 points for the Nuggets, playing in the conference finals for the first time since the Lakers beat them in 2009. The Nuggets fell to 7-22 against the Lakers in the postseason. ... Denver's 16 fouls in the second quarter tied the most by any team in a quarter this season.
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.
Murray, Jokic help Denver stun Clippers 104-89 in Game 7
Murray scored 40 points, Jokic had a triple-double by the third quarter and Denver again overcame a double-digit deficit to shock the Los Angeles Clippers 104-89 in Game 7 on Tuesday night. Denver became the first team in NBA history to rally from a 3-1 series deficit twice in the same postseason. The 7-foot Jokic had a monster game with 16 points, 13 assists and 22 rebounds, which were the most by a Nuggets player in an NBA playoff game. Murray helped the Nuggets pour it on down the stretch to give coach Michael Malone a 49th birthday present. The team also rallied back from double-digit margins in their last two games as well to stun the Clippers.
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.
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.
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.
NBA will allow team staff to bring guests to Disney bubble
Those guests could then enter the so-called bubble at Walt Disney World on Sept. 21, about a week before the scheduled start of the NBA Finals. Some players were able to bring family into the bubble following quarantines and other health certifications starting on Aug. 31. Other coaches, such as Denvers Michael Malone and Miamis Erik Spoelstra, have spoken out publicly about their hope that the league would allow team staff to have the opportunity to bring family into the bubble. The cost, $550 each day for each guest, would have to be covered by the team or individual staff member. And as is the case with player guests, including children, none of the staff guests will be able to leave the NBAs bubble.
Raptors beat Celtics 100-93 to even East semifinals at 2-2
Two days after winning Game 3 on OG Anunobys 3-pointer as time expired, the Raptors didnt need any big shots. Jayson Tatum had 24 points and 10 rebounds for the Celtics. 7-UPWhen Lowry and Brown fouled each other, it caused some headaches for the public address announcer, who mixed up his No. When Brown fouled Lowry in the first quarter, he announced the foul was on Lowry, saying my bad after a moment of confusion. Lowry hacked Brown in the second and it was announced as a foul on the Celtics player.
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.
Murray scores 42, Nuggets beat Jazz 117-107 in Game 5
The Nuggets trail the sixth-seeded Jazz 3-2 with Game 6 on Thursday. With the game tied at 101, Murray scored nine straight for Denver to help the Nuggets gain some separation. Hes the third player in the series to have five in a quarter, joining Murray (fourth quarter in Game 4) and Mitchell (third in Game 2). He had six by in the second quarter on April 28, 2002. His last NBA game was March 11.
Frustrated NBA players wonder again whether they should play
But its not working, so obviously something has to be done and right now our focus really shouldnt be on basketball, Celtics guard Marcus Smart said. Players are trying to figure out not only how to revive them, but keep them going long after they leave the bubble. James has focused on the need to vote, not only in November but long after, no matter who wins the presidential election. He said being in the bubble gives a feeling of helplessness, because he isn't able to do that again. Things have kind of diminished.
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.
Kuzma's 3-pointer lifts Lakers to 124-121 win over Nuggets
(AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. Kyle Kuzma hit a 3-pointer with .4 seconds left and the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Denver Nuggets 124-121 Monday night to snap a three-game losing streak. Dozier had a chance to put the Nuggets up by one with 4.4 seconds left but missed the second of two free throws. Kuzma rebounded and the Lakers called timeout to set up the winning play. James had given the Lakers a 121-119 lead by converting a 3-point play with 45.7 seconds to go. Lakers: Play the Sacramento Kings on Thursday in their final bubble game.
Murray returns to power Nuggets past Jazz 134-132 in 2 OTs
The Nuggets overcame Donovan Mitchell's 35 points for Utah, including a 3-pointer with 4.2 seconds remaining in the second overtime. Murray played 39 minutes and remained in the game despite showing obvious signs of fatigue as Denver gained momentum for the playoffs. Denver coach Michael Malone said his team plays a different kind of basketball, a different brand of basketball with Murray on the court. Mitchell drove through Denver's defensive breakdowns for a tying uncontested layup with less than 1 second remaining in regulation. REGRETSMitchell's jumper gave Utah a 119-117 lead with 3.4 seconds remaining in the first overtime.
NBA going with shorter games for Disney exhibition openers
(AP Photo/Nell Redmond, File)LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. The first exhibition games of the NBA restart will go a little more quickly than usual. The NBA is tweaking the rules for those initial matchups, going with 10-minute quarters instead of the usual 12 minutes. Plans call for all 33 exhibitions to be televised by some combination of local TV, national TV, NBA TV or NBA League Pass. The Heat and Jazz will not play in a seeding game and couldnt meet in a game that counts at Disney until the NBA Finals. I think the vast majority of the 22 teams will approach it the same way.___More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Kings' Barnes isn't at NBA restart, says he has coronavirus
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. Harrison Barnes of the Sacramento Kings became the latest NBA player to reveal that he has the coronavirus, making the announcement Tuesday and saying he has hopes to join his team for the leagues restart later this summer. Barnes is the only player who has started all 64 of the Kings games this season. Prior to the team leaving last week, I tested positive for Covid-19, Barnes wrote on social media. The league said Monday that 19 players tested positive during in-market testing after July 1, those tests being done before teams began arriving at Disney on July 7. Houstons Russell Westbrook said Monday that he has tested positive and has yet to join the Rockets at Disney.
Asterisk on the NBA title? Coaches, players say not a chance
To the teams in the NBA, this championship might be the toughest one ever claimed. And only one of the 22 teams headed to Disney will be able to say it was absolutely worth the trouble. You win an NBA championship anytime, its a hell of an accomplishment. This NBA season will see the 22 remaining teams all play between 71 and 75 games before the playoffs, and the leagues plan is for a full four-round, best-of-seven-throughout postseason. If you think about the mental toughness its going to take ... its going to come down to talent.
As Florida test numbers rise, the NBA prepares for Disney
When the virus wanes enough to allow the games to begin again, the very essence of these events will likely be missing. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)The rate of positive coronavirus tests in the Orlando, Florida, area has been soaring in recent days. But if NBA players arent venturing out among the public, the hope is that no matter whats going on beyond Disneys fences that the quasi-bubble for basketball wont be affected. The rate of positive tests in the Orlando area in the seven-day period ending Monday was nearly 6%. My solace is that our guys are not going to be out and about in the city of Orlando, Roberts said.