x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Lakers holding it together without injured stars Kobe, Nash

Pau Gasol had 24 points and 10 rebounds and Nick Young added 21 on Saturday in a 102-95 win over the Golden State Warriors.

Pau Gasol had 24 points on Saturday as Kobe Bryant continues to work his way back from injury. Jeff Gross / Getty Images
Pau Gasol had 24 points on Saturday as Kobe Bryant continues to work his way back from injury. Jeff Gross / Getty Images

LOS ANGELES // Pau Gasol and Nick Young did a remarkable job keeping the Los Angeles Lakers together without their two injured stars.

The Golden State Warriors had better take notes, because their injury problems just got worse.

Gasol had 24 points and 10 rebounds, Young scored 14 of his 21 points in the second half and the Lakers took advantage of Stephen Curry’s absence for a 102-95 victory over Golden State on Friday night.

Jordan Farmar and Steve Blake scored 14 points apiece as Los Angeles returned from four days off to win consecutive games for the first time all season.

Jordan Hill added 10 points and nine rebounds as the Lakers clicked even without Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash, hitting 11 3-pointers and outworking the prolific Warriors down the stretch. Los Angeles calmly maintained a big lead throughout the fourth quarter of their 11th straight home win over their upstate rival since March 2008.

“We’re finally finding some consistency,” Gasol said. “We’re finally putting good efforts mentally and physically together.”

Gasol had a big offensive game at an opportune time: The Spanish 7-footer pledged $1,000 (Dh3,673) for every point he scored against the Warriors to UNICEF disaster relief in the Philippines.

Gasol acknowledged thinking about his pledge with every basket, and he began the evening with another concern after hearing news of his brother Marc’s sprained left knee in Memphis.

“I had too many things on my mind,” Gasol said. “I definitely had that motivation of scoring tonight for the Philippines. Once I started knocking down those outside shots, it opened things up for me.”

David Lee had 21 points and 13 rebounds, and Harrison Barnes scored 20 points in the Warriors’ second straight loss without Curry, who missed both games with a concussion.

Golden State then lost Andre Iguodala, who replaced Curry as the Warriors’ point guard. Iguodala had six points and six assists before limping to the locker room in the third quarter with a left hamstring injury.

“Once I heard a pop, I knew it was serious,” Iguodala said. “This one kind of worries me a little bit. I’ll take it serious, I’m sure. ... I’m not even walking right now, so we’re going to have an MRI (on Saturday).”

Klay Thompson scored just two of his 19 points in the fourth quarter for Golden State, who struggled to find an offensive flow in Curry’s absence. Barnes made his third start of the season in Curry’s absence, with Iguodala moving over to be Golden State’s offensive playmaker. Andrew Bogut added 12 points and 13 rebounds.

“We had enough to get it done, and we did not get it done,” Golden State coach Mark Jackson said. “We’re a no-excuse basketball team, and it’s just disappointing right now. We cannot walk away with a good taste with how we played and the effort we put forth.”

Curry banged his head on the court Monday at Utah, forcing him out of Wednesday’s game against Memphis and this one.

The Lakers know all about injury absences: Bryant still hasn’t played since tearing his Achilles tendon during Golden State’s last visit to Staples Center in April, while Nash is out for at least another week with nerve root irritation.

While Young’s second-half offensive burst propelled his team, the Lakers also had one of their better defensive games of the young season, holding the Warriors well under the 103.8 points-per-game average put up by Los Angeles’ opponents so far this season.

“The biggest thing for me is everyone is accepting of the guy in front of him or beside him,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said. “Everyone is rooting for everyone, and we just didn’t have that last year. Obviously we are not as talented, but it’s a lot better team.”

Bryant returned to practice with his teammates this week, but wasn’t quite ready to begin his 18th NBA season against the team he was facing when his 17th ended.


Pacers 97, Celtics 82

The powerful Indiana Pacers toyed with the Boston Celtics, then exploded after halftime en route to a 97-82 victory.

The win, the second straight after their first loss of the season, moved the Pacers to 11-1 on the season.

They entered the game tied with the San Antonio Spurs for the NBA’s best record. The rebuilding Celtics lost their sixth game in a row to fall to 4-10.

Forward Paul George led the Pacers with 27 points, 22 in the second half.

Raptors 96, Wizards 88

Guard DeMar DeRozan and forward Rudy Gay scored 17 points each as the Toronto Raptors defeated the Washington Wizards 96-88 for their second win in a row.

The Raptors had to overcome a season-best 37 points by Wizards (4-8) guard John Wall.

The Raptors (6-7) lead the NBA Atlantic Division for the first time since 2007.

Suns 98, Bobcats 91

Forward Channing Frye scored 20 points and the Phoenix Suns snapped a four-game losing streak with a 98-91 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats.

The Suns raced to a 55-44 halftime lead, pushed the margin to 14 in the third quarter and led by as many as 21 points in the fourth quarter.

The Bobcats got as close as five in the final 15 seconds as play got sloppy in the final few minutes, but they never seriously threatened.

Phoenix is 6-6 and Charlotte fell to 6-7.

76ers 115, Bucks 107 (overtime)

Guard-forward Evan Turner scored eight of his 27 points in overtime as the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Milwaukee Bucks 115-107 to snap a four-game losing streak.

Center-forward Spencer Hawes added 25 points and 12 rebounds for the Sixers (6-8), who erased a 10-point deficit in the final 2:08 of regulation.

Hawes’ three-pointer from the left corner with 1.7 seconds left, a shot he made while jumping off one foot with Milwaukee’s (2-9) Gary Neal draped all over him, forced the extra period.

Hawks 96, Pistons 89

Point guard Jeff Teague had 18 points and nine assists to lead the Atlanta Hawks to their second victory over the Detroit Pistons in three nights, 96-89, at The Palace.

Center Al Horford supplied 17 points and 11 rebounds while forward Paul Millsap and guard Kyle Korver added 14 points apiece. Forward DeMarre Carroll added 12 points for the Hawks (8-5).

Second-year forward Kyle Singler had a career-high 22 points for Detroit (4-8) while center Andre Drummond notched his seventh consecutive double-double with 15 points and 16 rebounds.

Timberwolves 111, Nets 81

Forward Corey Brewer and point guard Ricky Rubio scored five points each during a game-icing 16-0 third-quarter run as the Minnesota Timberwolves cruised past the Brooklyn Nets 111-81.

Guard Kevin Martin and forward Kevin Love led the Wolves with 17 points each, the duo combining for the other six points in Minnesota’s decisive run.

All five Wolves starters scored in double figures, with Brewer and center Nikola Pekovic chipping in 15 each and Rubio adding 12.

Pelicans 104, Cavaliers 100

Guard Eric Gordon hit a three-pointer from the left baseline with 31.7 seconds left and the New Orleans Pelicans used a 14-2 fourth-quarter run to erase a 12-point deficit in the final 4:44 to defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers 104-100.

Gordon’s long-range jumper, which gave him 19 points, came with the Pelicans trailing 98-97 and transformed a cold-shooting night. Gordon had missed his first four three-point shots until that point.

Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving led all scorers with 22 points, but the Cavs dropped their seventh of nine games to drop to 4-9.

Spurs 102, Grizzlies 86

The San Antonio Spurs extended their winning streak to nine games with a 102-86 win over the Memphis Grizzlies.

The Grizzlies’ All-Star center, Marc Gasol, left the game with a knee injury.

Point guard Tony Parker led the Spurs (11-1) with 20 points. Center Tiago Splitter finished with 17 points, guard Manu Ginobili scored 15 and forward Kawhi Leonard had 12.

The Spurs’ bench out-scored the Grizzlies’ (7-6) bench 45-18.

Mavericks 103, Jazz 93

Monta Ellis had 26 points and Samuel Dalembert pitched in 18 and 12 rebounds as Dallas (9-4) cruised past league-worst Utah (1-13).

The journeyman center Dalembert was a perfect 8-for-8 from the field. Dirk Nowitzki scored 18 on 5-of-14 shooting.

Marvin Williams has 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting to lead the Jazz.

Trail Blazers 98, Bulls 95

Portland (11-2) continued one of the NBA’s best starts by beating Chicago (6-5), who will hope that Derrick Rose is alright after leaving the game in the third quarter after injuring his right knee. The 2011 MVP sat out all of last season after surgery on his left knee.

Despite stars LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard combining to shoot only 10-for-34, Wesley Matthews scored 28 on 12-of-19 shooting and Robin Lopez had 13 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Blazers.

Rose had 20 points, but shot only 6-for-19, before exiting to lead the Bulls in scoring.