Sat, 09 Dec 2023

NBA roundup: Kings halt longest playoff drought in NBA history

Field Level Media
30 Mar 2023, 15:40 GMT+10

Malik Monk scored 19 points off the bench and the Sacramento Kings ended the longest playoff drought in NBA history with a 120-80 thumping of the host Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night.

De'Aaron Fox scored 18 points, Kevin Huerter added 17 and Domantas Sabonis had 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Kings (46-30), who missed the playoffs for 16 consecutive seasons since last qualifying during the 2005-06 campaign.

Sacramento had held the longest active playoff drought among the four major North American professional sports leagues. That dubious distinction now belongs to the New York Jets, who have gone 12 years without reaching the NFL postseason.

Kings forward Keegan Murray scored 13 points and made three 3-pointers to set the NBA rookie record with 188 treys in a season. Murray passed the mark set by Donovan Mitchell (187) in 2017-18 with the Utah Jazz.

Shaedon Sharpe scored a career-high 30 points and also had seven rebounds and seven assists for Portland, which lost for the 10th time in the past 11 games. Kevin Knox II had 12 points and 12 rebounds and Jabari Walker also scored 12 points for the Trail Blazers (32-44).

Suns 107, Timberwolves 100

Devin Booker scored 29 points and Phoenix celebrated Kevin Durant's return to the lineup with its third straight win, beating visiting Minnesota.

Durant was back after missing 10 games due to a sprained ankle, and he logged 16 points, eight rebounds and four assists in 29 minutes while shooting 5-for-18 from the floor. Chris Paul scored 19 points and Cameron Payne added 11 for the Suns, while Deandre Ayton and Josh Okogie chipped in 10 apiece.

Anthony Edwards scored 31 points and Karl-Anthony Towns added 25 for Minnesota, which had its four-game winning streak snapped. Naz Reid scored 15 points and Rudy Gobert had a game-high 15 rebounds.

Bucks 149, Pacers 136

Jrue Holiday poured in a career-high 51 points and Giannis Antetokounmpo posted his fifth triple-double of the season to lead Milwaukee to a win over Indiana in Indianapolis.

Holiday became the sixth player in Bucks franchise history to record 50 points in a game. Antetokounmpo has also accomplished the feat, as has guard/forward Khris Middleton. Holiday went 20-for-30 from the field on Wednesday, also sinking 3 of 6 shot attempts from beyond the arc.

In what was the fastest triple-double of his career, Antetokounmpo finished with 38 points, 17 rebounds and 12 assists for Milwaukee. Indiana was led by rookie Bennedict Mathurin, who supplied 29 points and nine rebounds. Aaron Nesmith chipped in 22 points, and five other Pacers scored in double figures, including former Bucks forward Jordan Nwora (18 points).

Jazz 128, Spurs 117

Talen Horton-Tucker scored a career-high 41 points, including 27 in the first half, as visiting Utah turned it on in the fourth quarter to run away from San Antonio.

The Jazz snapped a four-game losing streak while the Spurs dropped their fifth straight game. Kris Dunn added 17 points for Utah, while Udoka Azubuike scored 12, Ochai Agbaji and Johnny Juzang each hit for 10 and Walker Kessler grabbed 10 rebounds.

Malaki Branham led the Spurs with 21 points while Devonte' Graham, Tre Jones and Sandro Mamukelashvili had 17 points apiece.

Clippers 141, Grizzlies 132

Russell Westbrook scored 36 points and handed out 10 assists as visiting Los Angeles ended Memphis' seven-game winning streak.

Robert Covington scored 27 points while shooting 7-for-7 from 3-point range and Bones Hyland added 20 points as the Clippers won without both of their stars. Kawhi Leonard was out for personal reasons, and Paul George missed his fourth consecutive game due to a knee injury.

Ja Morant logged 36 points and nine assists for the Grizzlies, while Dillon Brooks added 30 points as Memphis lost for just the second time in the past 12 games. Morant returned after a one-game absence caused by right thigh soreness.

Thunder 107, Pistons 106

Jalen Williams scored 27 points, including the game-winner at the buzzer, to lead Oklahoma City to a win over visiting Detroit.

The victory, the Thunder's second in five games, kept Oklahoma City in the 10th spot in the Western Conference. Luguentz Dort added 20 points, Aaron Wiggins scored 19 off the bench on 8-of-11 shooting and Josh Giddey scored 18.

The Pistons have lost seven consecutive games and 18 of their last 19. Jaden Ivey led Detroit with 24 points.

Nets 123, Rockets 114

Cameron Johnson scored 31 points as Brooklyn closed the game on an 18-4 run and handed Houston its seventh straight loss in New York.

Mikal Bridges had 27 points, Spencer Dinwiddie added 20 points and 11 assists and Nic Claxton contributed 18 points and 10 rebounds for Brooklyn, which snapped a four-game home losing streak after shooting 9 of 11 from 3-point range in the fourth quarter.

Kevin Porter Jr. led Houston with 31 points and grabbed nine rebounds, while Alperen Sengun added 21 points and 12 rebounds. Jalen Green hit two free throws with 3:05 left in the contest to put Houston ahead 110-105 before Brooklyn gained control in a game that featured 25 lead changes and 15 ties.

Knicks 101, Heat 92

RJ Barrett hit a tiebreaking jumper with 7:14 left in the fourth quarter to begin a decisive game-ending run for host New York, which solidified its playoff hopes and earned a key tiebreaker by pulling away from Miami.

Immanuel Quickley scored a game-high 24 points off the bench while Quentin Grimes added 23 points for the Knicks, who ended the game on a 17-8 run. With the victory, New York won the season series between the teams 3-1 while extending its lead over the seventh-place Heat to four games.

Gabe Vincent scored 21 points for the Heat, who also fell 1 1/2 games behind the sixth-place Brooklyn Nets by virtue of the latter's win over the Houston Rockets. Quickley hit a technical free throw to tie the score at 84-84 after Cody Zeller was whistled for defensive three seconds with 8:42 left. The teams combined to miss their next four shots before Barrett put the Knicks ahead for good.

76ers 116, Mavericks 108

Joel Embiid scored 25 points, James Harden recorded a double-double of 15 points and 12 assists and host Philadelphia snapped out of a three-game slump with a win over reeling Dallas.

Philadelphia overcame a sluggish start in which it fell behind by 12 points during the first half before ratcheting up the defensive pressure after intermission. The 76ers held the Mavericks to just 17 fourth-quarter points on 7-of-19 shooting from the floor.

Luka Doncic flirted with a triple-double for Dallas, posting team highs of 24 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. The loss is Dallas' fifth in the last six games, contributing to the Mavericks' slide in the Western Conference standings. They are currently outside of the play-in tournament.

Lakers 121, Bulls 110

Anthony Davis had 38 points and 10 rebounds and LeBron James added 25 points to boost Los Angeles to a win against host Chicago.

Davis and James were a combined 23-for-39 (59 percent) from the floor and teamed for 17 boards as Los Angeles avenged Sunday's home loss to Chicago. The Lakers won for the fourth time in five games to tie New Orleans for eighth place in the Western Conference.

Despite losing their second straight, the Bulls maintained a two-game lead on Washington for the No. 10 seed in the East and the final slot in the conference play-in tournament. Nikola Vucevic registered a double-double of 29 points and 12 rebounds for Chicago.

--Field Level Media

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