James jaws with Atlanta fans, leads Lakers past Hawks 107-99
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) is restrained by an official as he reacts to a fan in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks, Monday, Feb. 1, 2021, in Atlanta. Anthony Davis scored 25 points and James dominated down the stretch as the Lakers held off the Atlanta Hawks 107-99 on Monday night. There was a socially distanced crowd of 1,341 for the lone Atlanta visit by the reigning NBA champions. Atlanta appeared to be taking control, ripping off eight straight points late in the third for a 76-70 lead. AdCARUSO'S ROLECaruso again had the best plus-minus rating on the Lakers, who outscored Atlanta by 13 points while he was the court.
'Explosive' Durant scores 15 in 1st preseason game with Nets
Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) passes during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in New York. Durant played just under 24 minutes as Brooklyn beat the Washington Wizards 119-114 on Sunday night in its preseason opener. Durant scored 11 points on 3-for-3 shooting during that stretch while Irving scored 12 points on 5-for-6 shooting to help the Nets take a 30-18 lead. Late in the first half, Irving threw a long pass to Durant, whose reverse layup gave the Nets a 58-35 lead. Danilo Gallinari added 17 points and De’Andre Hunter added 15 for Atlanta, which made 17 3-pointers.
The NBA preseason begins, with empty arenas as the stages
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. Friday’s games:KNICKS 90, PISTONS 84At Detroit, R.J. Barrett scored 15 points and Toppin finished with 11 points and seven rebounds in his debut as the Knicks won their preseason opener. Julius Randle scored 11, while Elfrid Payton and Nerlens Noel each scored 10 for New York. Svi Mykhailiuk and Saddiq Bey led the Pistons with 14 points apiece.
Coaching can wait: Rondo plots future, but stays in present
For the first time in his long career, Rondo is the oldest guy on the team. “To be honest, I’ve been doing that for the last five or six years of my career,” Rondo said. I've been working to understand young talent, understand the (collective bargaining agreement). This is a young team with so much upside and versatility. ... We're on the the upswing for great things here in the city of Atlanta.”His future career can wait.
Rockets edge Thunder to win wild Game 7, move on to Lakers
The Rockets pulled out a tense final game of the first round that lasted long past the final basket as replays and fouls were sorted out. These are the games, you want to win a championship or win playoff games, you've got to do it with your heart, D'Antoni added. Covington had 21 points and 10 rebounds, and Eric Gordon also scored 21 points for the Rockets. Rockets: Houston is 7-5 in Game 7s, including 1-1 under D'Antoni. The Rockets had lost their two other Game 7s in the first round, against Utah in 2007 and Dallas in 2005.
Paul has 28, helps Thunder force Game 7 against the Rockets
Oklahoma City Thunder's Dennis Schroder (17) is forced to pass the ball as Houston Rockets' Russell Westbrook, bottom center, Jeff Green (32) and P.J. Paul gave the Thunder at least one more game at Disney, scoring 15 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter for a 104-100 victory over the Houston Rockets on Monday night in Game 6 of a Western Conference first-round series. But they combined for 12 of the Rockets' 22 turnovers, saying Houston has lost the close games more than Oklahoma City won them. Houston got its most dominant playoff victory in Game 5, winning 114-80 after holding Oklahoma City to 31.5% shooting. Oklahoma City extended it to eight, but Houston wiped that out with an 18-4 run that provided a 98-92 lead.
Harden's 37 points lead Rockets past Thunder in Game 1
Houston All-Star Russell Westbrook, who played his previous 11 years with the Thunder, was out with a quad injury. Jeff Green scored 22 points and Eric Gordon added 21 for Houston, which isn't sure how long it will be without Westbrook. Chris Paul, who joined the Oklahoma City in the trade that sent Westbrook to Houston, finished with 20 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. Gordon scored 16 points and Harden had 15 in the first half to help the Rockets take a 68-52 lead. Oklahoma City cut its deficit to 10 at one point in the third quarter, but the Rockets pulled away and led 104-83 heading into the fourth.
CP3 leads Thunder's rout of cold-shooting Lakers, 105-86
Oklahoma City pulled even with Houston for the fifth seed in the Western Conference playoff picture with five games left. Los Angeles, which has already clinched the top seed in the West and the Pacific Division title, never held a lead for the first time all season. Los Angeles dropped two games behind Milwaukee for the NBA's best overall record, which won't provide a real home-court advantage in the NBA Finals this year. Dion Waiters scored 14 points for the Lakers, whose poor perimeter shooting in the bubble still hasn't been fixed. ... Los Angeles got a scare in the third quarter when Paul elbowed Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in the ribs, forcing Caldwell-Pope to leave the game.
Here's 10 things to know about the NBA season restart
The games start Thursday night at Walt Disney World, and here's 10 things to know as the season enters its restart phase. SHORTER SEASONIf all the seeding games get played, then this NBA season would include 1,059 games a drop of 171 from what was planned when the season began. Its now on pace for somewhere around 25,700 3-pointers which would be just shy of the second-most in a season in NBA history. That would be the record; the NBA had 12 teams finish there in the 2009-10 season. REDICKS STREAKNew Orleans guard JJ Redick has played 13 previous NBA seasons, going to the playoffs in all of them.
Kawhi Leonard and Paul George reportedly joining Los Angeles Clippers
NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard is reportedly headed to the Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers also reportedly traded for Paul George of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Yahoo Sports first reported news of Leonard's decision, which solidifies the Clippers as one of the top contenders in the league. Meanwhile, ESPN reported that the Clippers are sending five first-round draft picks and swapping two picks for George, who was a finalist for the league's 2019 MVP award. The move helps renew the rivalry between the Clippers and LeBron James' Los Angeles Lakers, who recently traded young stars and picks for super star forward Anthony Davis.cbsnews.com