NBA roundup: Atlanta Hawks seal 5th seed in Eastern Conference; Victor Oladipo sinks Minnesota Timberwolves
Despite missing Russell Westbrook, Thunder were inspired by Victor Oladipo as the guard knocked down 20 points and the game-winner with 6.3 seconds left to lift them over the Timberwolves.
New York: The Hawks confirmed the fifth seed in the East when they overwhelmed a hapless Hornets squad that could only muster 76 points. A strong 38-point first quarter meant that the Hawks were in pole position for a W. Dwight Howard with 19 points and 12 rebounds was the Hawks’ main offensive weapon. They have now won their last four and are set to face the Washington Wizards in the playoffs.
The Hornets bench outscored their starters with 51 points coming from the reserves and 21 of those points being dropped by Jeremy Lamb in the loss.
Oklahoma City Thunder edge past Timberwolves
A Russell Westbrook-less OKC had to turn to Victor Oladipo for the thrills and chills as the guard knocked down 20 points and the game-winner with 6.3 seconds left to lift the Thunder over the Timberwolves. Oladipo also had nine rebounds and six assists on Russ’ first night off since the start of the season.
Oladipo was backed by a 19-point, nine-rebound performance from rookie Domantas Sabonis. For the Timberwolves, it was the day their new team logo was unveiled. Yet, the occasion did not turn out to be a happy one on the court, despite 26 points and 12 rebounds by Karl-Anthony Towns.
Here are the best dunks of the day:
Triumph for Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Lakers, Sacramento Kings
Elsewhere, the Nuggets rode on the back of Gary Harris’ 20 points, eight rebounds and eight assists to beat the Mavericks on the road. Jamal Murray chipped in with 10 points and 10 assists while Malik Beasley added 16 points in the win as well. The Nuggets shot 48.8% from the field and 42.9% from beyond the arc.
The Lakers continued their hot streak at the fag end of the season, winning their 5th game in a row, this time at the expense of the Pelicans. Metta World Peace, in what could be his final game for the Lakers, posted a team-high 18 points. The Pelicans had no Anthony Davis or DeMarcus Cousins in the starting lineup and had to rely on Cheick Diallo’s 19 points and 11 rebounds off the bench.
Buddy Hield dropped a career-high 30 points and Ty Lawson notched his first career TD as the Kings triumphed over the Suns at home. Lawson finished the game with 22 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds for the win. The Kings added 101 points in the final three quarters to blow the Suns out.
For Phoenix, Tyler Ullis recorded 27 points while Marquese Chriss added 22.
(Text and video published with permission from NBA.com)
Tokyo Olympics 2020: US basketball team member Bradley Beal out of Games for health and safety reasons
Beal will miss the Olympics after being placed into health and safety protocols and USA Basketball said Thursday it will replace him on its roster at a later date.
Tokyo Olympics 2020: USA men's basketball team bounces back, tops Argentina 108-80 in pre-Games tune-up
Americans shot 51%, scored 33 first-quarter points to get off and running and beat Argentina for the 10th consecutive time
Middleton scored 40 points, including 10 straight for the Milwaukee Bucks down the stretch to send them past the Phoenix Suns, 109-103 on Wednesday night to tie the series 2-2.