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Nuggets hang off Clippers

LOS ANGELES: Eric Bledsoe #12 of the Los Angeles Clippers drives to the basket towards Facundo Campazzo #7 of the Denver Nuggets all the way through the 1/3 quarter at Crypto.com Enviornment on December 26, 2021. — AFP

LOS ANGELES: Denver and their NBA Maximum Precious Participant Nikola Jokic thwarted a livid Clippers rally to emerge with a 103-100 victory in Los Angeles on Sunday. The Nuggets noticed their 17-point third-quarter lead evaporate, falling in the back of through 9 with 9:04 final handiest to rally for the slim victory. Jokic scored 26 issues and pulled down 22 rebounds for the Nuggets. Will Barton added 17 and Austin Rivers and Monte Morris scored 12 issues apiece as Denver have shyed away from the type of cave in that noticed them waste a 19-point lead in a loss to Charlotte on Thursday.

Luke Kennard tired a three-pointer with 19 seconds left to drag the Clippers inside one at 101-100. However Jokic used to be fouled on an inbounds play and made two unfastened throws to push Denver’s result in 3 and Brandon Boston’s three-point try on the buzzer for Los Angeles didn’t fall. Boston and Eric Bledsoe led Los Angeles with 18 issues apiece. Ivica Zubac scored 17 issues and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Clippers, who had been taking part in their first sport since pronouncing that Paul George would pass over no less than 3 weeks with a torn ligament in his proper elbow.

In other places, Jimmy Butler returned from an eight-game damage absence to publish a double-double within the Miami Warmth’s 93-83 victory over the Orlando Magic. Butler, who used to be sidelined with a bruised tailbone, scored 17 issues and pulled down 11 rebounds, handing out 4 assists and bobbing up with 3 steals. It couldn’t were extra well timed after Miami guard Kyle Lowry on Saturday joined the parade of NBA avid gamers sidelined through COVID-19 issues.

Miami had been additionally with out common starters Bam Adebayo and PJ Tucker. Orlando had been much more short-handed and the groups reached halftime with Miami maintaining a slender 42-39 lead, regardless of connecting on simply 37.8 p.c in their photographs from the sector. Six three-pointers in a 30-point 1/3 quarter helped the Warmth draw back. They led through as many as 18 within the fourth length.

Dealing with inevitable accidents has grow to be extra problematic for all groups amid the wave of coronavirus instances within the league that replicate the upward thrust of the Omicron variant in the US. The Magic had six avid gamers within the league’s COVID protocols on Sunday, with every other participant cleared to go back however nonetheless absent as a result of conditioning problems. Any other six avid gamers had been out with accidents. “You are expecting the sudden,” Magic trainer Jamahl Mosley mentioned.

In Cleveland, the Cavaliers thrashed Toronto 144-99 within the Raptors’ first sport since December 18. The Raptors, who had 3 in their previous 4 scheduled video games postponed as a result of loss of to be had avid gamers, had the league minimal 8 on Sunday – 4 on common contracts and 4 signed underneath the league’s hardship laws. “We haven’t carried out a factor since our final sport,” Toronto trainer Nick Nurse mentioned sooner than the sport. Kevin Love and Darius Garland scored 22 issues each and every for the Cavs, who tied a membership file with 46 issues within the 1/3 quarter.

LaVine lifts Bulls

In Chicago, the Bulls had been buoyed through the go back of Zach LaVine from COVID protocols in a 113-105 victory over the Indiana Pacers. LaVine scored 32 issues and DeMar DeRozan added 24 for Chicago, who led many of the method en path to their 1/3 immediately win. LaVine, who hadn’t performed since December 11, admitted he’d been annoyed to be dominated out as a result of COVID issues.

“However that’s the arena we’re residing in at this time,” he mentioned. “Everyone within the league and the arena is coping with it at this time, so I’m no longer doing a poor-me mentality.” It used to be every other lopsided affair in Washington, the place Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid scored 36 issues and grabbed 13 rebounds within the 76ers’ 117-96 victory over the Wizards, who had been with out most sensible scorer Bradley Beal as a result of COVID. The Memphis Grizzlies, who misplaced Dillon Brooks and two different avid gamers to COVID issues on Sunday morning, shook off a sluggish get started towards the Kings in Sacramento to triumph 127-102. — AFP

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