NBA Playoffs on April 24 - Warriors vs. Nuggets, Bucks vs. Bulls and More
EASTERN CONFERENCE(3) Milwaukee Bucks vs. (6) Chicago Bulls (Bucks lead 2-1)After a pair of close contests at home, where they relinquished home court advantage, the Bucks looked more like the defending champions in the first game of the series in the Windy City. At one points, the Bucks led the Bulls by 37, and were able to easily move their way to the series lead with a 111-81 victory. Watch the NBA Playoffs on FuboTV (7-day free trial)WESTERN CONFERENCE(3) Golden State Warriors vs. (6) Denver Nuggets (Warriors lead 3-0)Golden State is further showing that they look to be a threat in the Western Conference by how they continue to get the job done in their series with Denver. However, the Warriors settled down and came back to take a commanding 3-0 series lead thanks to a 118-113 victory. However, Chris Paul nailed some key buckets in the final frame, helping Phoenix regain the series lead with a 114-111 win.mlive.com
NBA Playoffs on April 22 - Heat vs. Hawks, Suns vs. Pelicans and More
As more of the series shift across the NBA Playoffs, a few top teams are already eyeing the second round. Watch the NBA Playoffs on FuboTV (7-day free trial)WESTERN CONFERENCE(1) Phoenix Suns vs. (8) New Orleans Pelicans (Series tied 1-1)In a real head-scratcher, the Pelicans are still in their series with the Suns. Brandon Ingram had himself a game, scoring 37 points, while grabbing 11 rebounds to lead the Pelicans to victory. CJ McCollum put 23 points, while Jonas Valanciunas registered another double-double, picking up 13 rebounds while scoring 10 points. Booker ended up leading the Suns with 31 points, with Chris Paul putting up a double-double as well, scoring 17 points and snagging 14 boards.mlive.com
Bulls wreak havoc, hand Pistons worst loss of season
But the Chicago Bulls quickly reminded the Pistons why they were the top team in the Eastern Conference. The Pistons fell to the Bulls 133-87, just one night after erasing a 22-point deficit to beat the Utah Jazz. Like the Pistons (9-31) on Monday, the Bulls did much of their damage in the third quarter. The Pistons struggled to get things going and the Bulls continued to stretch their lead well into the fourth quarter. Then Matt Thomas knocked down a three to extend the Bulls’ lead to 40 with 6:45 remaining in the game.mlive.com
Stephen Curry scores 40 points as Warriors beat Bulls 119-93
Stephen Curry scored 40 points with nine 3-pointers as his old college coach from Davidson cheered him on, Draymond Green delivered another all-around effort, and the Golden State Warriors beat the Chicago Bulls 119-93 for their seventh straight win.
Detroit Pistons fade as Zach LaVine, Bulls soar in opener
DETROIT -- The Detroit Pistons kicked off their 2021-22 season with a pretty strong and energetic start. But the offensive power of Zach LaVine and the Chicago Bulls (1-0) spoiled what started as a solid opening night. LaVine carved the Pistons (0-1) up for 15 points in the third quarter Wednesday to hand Detroit a 94-90 loss at Little Caesars Arena.. LaVine ended the night with 34 points to follow up a strong preseason. He had a “quiet” third quarter as the Pistons turned their focus to slowing down LaVine and the Bulls. Chicago averaged 118 points in the preseason and Detroit kept the Bulls under 100.mlive.com
Daywatch: Lightfoot eases COVID restrictions as cases rise, tallying up indoor dining ban fines and Passover restaurant specials and takeout kits
Just like that, the Bulls have another All-Star to go with Zach LaVine. They brought in center Nikola Vucevic from the Orlando Magic ahead of the NBA trade deadline Thursday — a busy day that saw them acquire five players while sending four to other teams. Among those leaving Chicago: Wendell Carter Jr. and Otto Porter Jr.chicagotribune.com
AP source: Vucevic being traded by Magic to Bulls
Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic, right, grabs a pass that was over the head of Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, March 24, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)All-Star forward Nikola Vucevic is being traded from the Orlando Magic to the Chicago Bulls, a person with knowledge of the deal said Thursday. Vucevic and Al-Farouq Aminu are going to the Bulls in exchange for Wendell Carter Jr. and two future first-round selections, the person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal was still pending NBA approval. The deal would appear to be the start of a rebuild for the Magic, with Vucevic unquestionably the team's best player for the past several seasons. He also has two full seasons left after this one on his contract, a four-year, $100 million deal signed in 2019. Vucevic is in his 10th NBA season, the last nine of which have been with the Magic.
Trade deadline passes, and Kyle Lowry remains with Raptors
Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) celebrates a three-point basket during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets Wednesday, March 24, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)Kyle Lowry stayed with the Toronto Raptors, and the Miami Heat got Victor Oladipo instead. And on a trade deadline day where moves were getting made right up until the last possible moment, the Denver Nuggets took a big swing at getting better for a playoff run while the Orlando Magic began a rebuild. Lowry — considered perhaps the biggest prize who was on the market — did not get traded, the Raptors apparently unable to find enough assets to their liking. Questions swirled around Lowry all the way to the 3 p.m. EST deadline, and there were signs that the Raptors were positioning themselves to make the move. “Everything will be fine," Lowry said on Wednesday, when asked about the looming deadline and incessant reports about his trade prospects.
Curry sinks final shot, tops Conley for second 3-point title
(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)ATLANTA – Stephen Curry shot his way to another 3-point title and Domantas Sabonis made sure the Skills Challenge still belongs to the bigs. Conley had the lead with 27 points before Curry was the final shooter of the contest. Curry had 26 points before sinking his final shot from the corner for 28 points and the win. Tatum led off the final round with 17 points while making only one shot from the “money ball” rack. In the final, Toppin took off from near the free-throw line, inspiring comparisons to Wilkins' winning form while with the Atlanta Hawks.
NBA All-Star 2021: The game no one seemed to want
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, left, shoots as Phoenix Suns forward Dario Saric defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, March 2, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)ATLANTA – It's the NBA All-Star Game almost no one seemed to want. "It’s the All-Star Game, so there’s going to be some shenanigans out there. Team LeBron will play on behalf of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, while Team Durant represents the United Negro College Fund. Trae Young, a starter in 2020, was snubbed this season despite averaging 26.4 points — the most of any player not selected for the All-Star Game.
James, Durant choose their teams for Sunday's All-Star Game
1 overall pick on Antetokounmpo — the NBA’s two-time reigning MVP from Milwaukee — in the draft for Sunday’s All-Star Game in Atlanta. Kevin Durant, who will not play in the All-Star Game because of injury but still is the captain for Team Durant, took Brooklyn teammate Kyrie Irving with his first pick. This is the fourth year of the NBA's playing captain format for the All-Star Game. It’s the All-Star Game, so there’s going to be some shenanigans out there. AdTHE COACHESRivers, who played in one All-Star Game, is coaching the game for the third time.
NBA reveals All-Star skills, 3-point, dunk participants
(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)Golden State’s Stephen Curry and Phoenix’s Devin Booker have been 3-point champions at All-Star weekend before, and they’ll try to win that trophy again Sunday. The NBA revealed the 15 players Tuesday who will be taking part in the other on-court events besides the All-Star Game in Atlanta, with the overwhelming majority of them pulling double-duty between those competitions and the game itself. They’ll be joined by Portland’s Robert Covington, the only current NBA player who is a graduate of a historically Black college and university. It will be held at halftime of the All-Star Game, while the skills competition and 3-point contest will occur pregame. Atlanta, Charlotte, Cleveland, Detroit, Houston, Memphis, Miami, Minnesota, Oklahoma City, Sacramento, San Antonio and Toronto have no one participating in All-Star night events.
Saben Lee career night helps snap Pistons’ three-game losing skid
Strong on Sunday with 12 points, five assists and three steals, Lee scored 13 points in nthe first half Tuesday, keying the Pistons’ strong start. Dennis Smith Jr. added 14 points for the Pistons, who shot 46.6% despite 10-for-34 shooting from 3-point range. He returned in the second period and made just 4 of 14 shots in the game. ALL-STAR AGAINVucevic got an emotional lift prior to tipoff when news broke that the center was chosen as a reserve for the March 7 All-Star Game. Vucevic’s biggest area of improvement has been his 3-point shooting.mlive.com
NBA chooses All-Star reserves, with Zion among first-timers
New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) goes to the basket in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Boston Celtics in New Orleans, Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)New Orleans forward Zion Williamson now can be called an NBA All-Star, and only three others in the game’s 70-year history have gotten there at a younger age. Phoenix’s Chris Paul is an All-Star for the 11th time, and Brooklyn’s James Harden is one for the ninth consecutive year. The rest of the reserves include Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons, Boston’s Jayson Tatum and Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic from the Eastern Conference, along with the Los Angeles Lakers’ Anthony Davis, the Los Angeles Clippers’ Paul George, Utah teammates Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, and Portland’s Damian Lillard from the Western Conference. But this will be his first time in the All-Star Game itself.
Takeaways: Dennis Smith Jr.’s first start with the Pistons, Saben Lee makes the most of his minutes
While Lee and Smith showed some sparks, it wasn’t enough. Saben Lee makes the most of the night: With Wright ruled out for two weeks with a right groin strain, the Pistons had to turn to their young guards. While Smith made his first start with the Pistons, Lee guided the second unit and played a season-high 33 minutes. Dennis Smith Jr.’s first start: Roughly two weeks after the Pistons acquired him from the New York Knicks, Smith started in place of Wright. Though Smith is still learning the ropes, he continued to show that he could find a place with the Pistons.mlive.com
Pistons fall to Magic in third-straight loss on the road
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Nikola Vucevic had 37 points and 11 rebounds, Evan Fournier added a season-high 29 points and the Orlando Magic beat the Detroit Pistons 105-96 on Sunday night. The Magic have won three in a row, their longest since opening the season 4-0. Vucevic had his seventh 30-point game of the season, two days after his third career triple-double. Jerami Grant bounced back from his poorest shooting game of the season in Memphis on Friday by scoring 24 points for the Pistons. HEROES HONOREDThe Magic honored 500 frontline workers from AdventHealth and the Orlando community on Sunday as part of their “Healthcare Heroes Night.”mlive.com
Booker, Suns roll to 6th straight win, beating Magic 109-90
Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) drives between Orlando Magic forward Dwayne Bacon (8) and center Nikola Vucevic (9) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021, in Phoenix. That made a drama-free blowout over the Orlando Magic a welcome change Sunday night. Devin Booker scored 27 points, Mikal Bridges added 21 and the Suns cruised to their sixth straight victory, beating the short-handed Magic 109-90 in a game that was never particularly close. “We did what we had to do to win the game,” Suns coach Monty Williams said. He shot 10 of 16 from the field against the Magic ... Deandre Ayton added 10 points and 13 rebounds.
Curry goes off again with 10 3s as Warriors hold off Magic
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, left, dribbles against Orlando Magic forward Gary Clark during the first half of an NBA basketball game in San Francisco, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021. Curry knocked down 10 3-pointers on the way to 40 points and also contributed eight rebounds and five assists, leading the Golden State Warriors past the undermanned Magic 111-105 on Thursday night. “I just told him he looks great, he looks quick, he looks healthy, he looks like he’s loving it,” Clifford said. Nikola Vucevic had 25 points, 13 rebounds and five assists as the Magic lost a third straight game, seventh in eight and ninth of 11. ... Golden State hasn't lost two in a row at home this season.
VanVleet sets Raptors mark with 54 in 123-108 win at Orlando
Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet, left, drives around Orlando Magic guard Cole Anthony (50) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)ORLANDO, Fla. – Fred VanVleet set a franchise record with 54 points and hit a career-best 11 3-pointers as the Toronto Raptors beat the short-handed Orlando Magic 123-108 on Tuesday night. AdNorman Powell had 23 points for Toronto, and Kyle Lowry posted a triple-double with 14 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Orlando, which has lost 12 of 14, tried almost every guard on its roster against the 6-foot-1 VanVleet with little to no success. AdMagic: Orlando was without Gordon, who severely sprained his left ankle later in Sunday’s game against Toronto. Magic: Orlando hosts Chicago on Friday and Saturday in a two-game set.
Harden debuts with triple-double, Durant scores 42, Nets win
He had no practice time with the Nets and sure didn't need it, becoming the first player in franchise history to have a triple-double in his debut. Durant made five 3-pointers in his 10th game back following an 18-month layoff after rupturing his Achilles tendon in the 2019 NBA Finals. The Nets might still be even better when they get back Kyrie Irving, who missed his sixth straight game after leaving the team last week for personal reasons. Nikola Vucevic had 34 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists for the short-handed Magic, who lost their fifth straight. Nets: Durant has scored 25 or points in nine straight games, setting a new franchise record.
Fultz tears ACL, out for season; Magic beat Cavs 105-94
The team confirmed after the game that Fultz tore his ACL. “It’s a huge blow for us,” said Magic center Nikola Vucevic, whose team also will be without standout forward Jonathan Isaac this season because of an ACL tear. 1 overall pick in the 2017 draft as he led the Magic to a quick start this season. Terrence Ross scored 20 points and hit five 3-pointers to lead the Magic, who beat the Cavaliers for a second time in three nights. Collin Sexton scored 21 points for Cleveland, his eighth straight game with at least 20 points to start the season.
Magic beat Wizards130-120 despite Westbrook's historic night
Orlando Magic guard Markelle Fultz (20) shoots as Washington Wizards forward Isaac Bonga (17) and forward Deni Avdija (9) defend in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020, in Washington. (Geoff Burke/Pool Photo via AP)WASHINGTON – The Orlando Magic beat Washington 130-120 on Saturday night, overcoming another triple-double by Russell Westbrook in his home debut for the Wizards. Nikola Vucevic had 22 points and 17 rebounds, and Markelle Fultz added 21 points to help the Magic win its second straight to start the season. ... Two-way rookie guard Cassius Winston (hamstring strain) was inactive but has returned to practice…UP NEXTThe Magic and Wizards will complete their back-to-back in Washington on Sunday. It is the only meeting between the two Southeast division foes in the first half of the NBA schedule release.
'Explosive' Durant scores 15 in 1st preseason game with Nets
Deni Avdija, the ninth overall pick in the 2020 draft, scored 15 points for the Wizards. Danilo Gallinari scored 17 points and De’Andre Hunter added 15 for Atlanta, which made 17 3-pointers. Aaron Gordon scored 15 points and Nikola Vucevic had 14 for Orlando. Alec Burks finished with 15 points for New York, which defeated the Pistons on Friday. Gary Trent Jr. scored 17 points, Derrick Jones Jr. scored 15 and CJ McCollum added 13 for the Trail Blazers.
John Wall back on floor, NBA opens preseason in empty arenas
Orlando Magic coach Steve Clifford talks to players during a timeout in the first half of the team's NBA preseason basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks on Friday, Dec. 11, 2020, in Atlanta. The NBA preseason — a truncated 49-game, nine-day sprint — opened Friday with a five-game slate, action returning to NBA arenas for the first time in exactly nine months. 8 pick Obi Toppin of the Knicks, got their first NBA minutes. Paul George had 10 for the Clippers and Kawhi Leonard managed three in 14 minutes. Both teams shot exactly 30 for 84 from the field, and none of the Clippers' starters logged even 15 minutes.
Bucks, Heat set to open Eastern Conference semifinal series
Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinal matchup between the top-seeded Bucks and fifth-seeded Heat is Monday night in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Milwaukee needed five games to dispatch Orlando in a series that ended Saturday; the Heat swept Indiana in the first round. Were not reinventing the whole wheel on how we prepare for a game, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. Its going to be a great series, Bucks center Brook Lopez said. REGULAR-SEASON SERIESMiami won the season series 2-1.
Bucks beat Magic 118-104, take series in 5 games
Williams scored all 12 of his points on 3-pointers, and Brook Lopez added 16 points for Milwaukee, which won four straight after dropping the opener. Nicola Vucevic had 22 points and 15 rebounds for Orlando, while Evan Fournier added 18 points. Middleton followed with a fade from the top of the key, Williams added another 3 and Middleton's free throw pushed the Bucks' lead back to 105-93 with 5:24 left. Orlando stayed close into the second quarter and was within six points when Marvin Williams 3 began a 23-12 Bucks run to end the half. Bucks: Outscored Orlando in the paint, 42-32 and finished with 16 3s on 45 attempts.
Lakers, Bucks look to clinch second-round berths Wednesday
(AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)It was only a week ago when the sky was falling on the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers. The Bucks lead the Orlando Magic 3-1; the Lakers lead the Portland Trail Blazers 3-1. The bottom line is weve come out and competed so much harder.The wake-up call helped the Lakers as well. James teams went 5-5 in his first 10 series-clinching opportunities; theyre 30-5 in those situations since. NEED TO KNOW: If the Bucks win, the Eastern Conference first round would be completed in just 17 games.
Middleton comes alive in 4th quarter; Bucks take 3-1 lead
Middleton scored 18 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter and finished with 10 rebounds after being held to one field goal in the first three quarters on 1-of-9 shooting. Wesley Matthews added 12 points for the Bucks, who can close out the Magic on Wednesday. ... We had to pick up our intensity.Nikola Vucevic continued his strong play for the Magic, finishing with 31 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. Terrence Ross had 19 points and seven rebounds off the bench. The top-seeded Bucks led by three entering the fourth quarter before Middleton came alive.
Vucevic, Magic upset top-seeded Bucks in Game 1, 122-110
Terrence Ross scored 18 points, Gary Clark added 15 and D.J. Augustin had 11 points and 11 assists for the eighth-seeded Magic, who took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with 31 points, 17 rebounds and seven assists for Milwaukee, but was held without a field goal over the final 11 minutes. The Bucks came into the postseason as the favorites to win their first NBA title since 1971 despite finishing 3-5 in seeding games. But their sluggish play in the NBA bubble at Disney World carried over into the postseason.
Magic beat Nets 128-118 in restart opener, move up to 7th
They extended their winning streak to four and moved back ahead of the Nets into seventh place in the Eastern Conference. The Magic outscored the Nets 75-43 in the middle two quarters, allowing them to overcome some shaky defense at the start and finish. So Brooklyn started two players who hadn't started an NBA game this season one who never had. Veteran Jamal Crawford, signed as a substitute player after not playing in the NBA this season, did not play. Nets: Play Washington on Sunday.
NBA says races for the season's individual trophies are over
FILE - In this Jan. 15, 2020, file photo, Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, right, shoots as Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game, in Los Angeles. The Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers already have just about guaranteed themselves the top two playoff seeds and face a delicate balancing act when the NBA returns to action. So the postseason races are still going in many cases, but the individual award chases are now complete. Statistical championships, such as the scoring, rebounding, assist and steal titles, are technically up for grabs through the end of the seeding games in mid-August. The league announced that portion of the plan when the schedules for the eight seeding games were released last month.