Celtics edge Lakers amid controversy, Embiid out-duels Jokic

The Boston Celtics edged the Los Angeles Lakers 125-121 in an time beyond regulation battle tinged by controversy on Saturday as Philadelphia 76ers big-man Joel Embiid out-dueled Denver’s Nikola Jokic as NBA rivalries took middle stage.

The league-leading Celtics got here out on high in a recreation that featured 19 lead modifications, snapping a three-game skid.

The Lakers led by seven halfway by means of the fourth quarter, however Jaylen Brown transformed a three-point play to tie it up at 105-105 with 4.1 seconds left.

He went on to attain 11 factors within the further session after LeBron James’s drive to the basket on the finish of regulation led to a miss, with James and the Lakers pleading for a foul name after Jayson Tatum brushed his arm.

The decision did not come and Boston prevailed, withstanding a 41-point efficiency from James — who jumped up and down in frustration on the non-call earlier than kneeling on the courtroom.

“The very best participant on Earth cannot get a name — it is wonderful,” stated Lakers coach Darvin Ham, who spoke of the “agony” of dropping such an enormous recreation.

“I do not perceive it,” James stated, including that he did not assume it was the primary time a non-call proved pricey to the Lakers this season.

Los Angeles star Anthony Davis stated the Lakers have been “cheated,” and officiating crew chief Eric Lewis advised reporters after the sport that the crew had “missed the play.”

“There was contact,” Lewis stated. “On the time, throughout the recreation, we didn’t see a foul.”

Brown most well-liked to focus not on officiating or the rivalry however on Boston’s quest to stay the dominant crew within the East.

“It was a much-needed win,” he stated. “We misplaced the final three, so we needed to come back out and get a win right now.”

Ham famous that any recreation between the Celtics and Lakers — who’ve confronted one another a report 12 instances within the NBA Finals — is “all the time hotly contested.”

Brooklyn Nets coach Jacque Vaughn stated that “generational” rivalry made his crew’s crosstown rivalry with the New York Knicks look puny — an impression that solely elevated when the Nets notched a ninth straight win over the Knicks, 122-115.

With celebrity Kevin Durant and teammate Ben Simmons sidelined by damage, Kyrie Irving scored 32 factors, coming alive with 21 fourth-quarter factors because the Nets held on, even after the Knicks — who trailed by as many as 19 — reduce the deficit to 3 factors with 3:07 to play.

Irving posted his sixth straight recreation of 30 or extra factors.

– 76ers rally –

Issues have been maybe extra private in Philadelphia, however Embiid, who completed runner-up to Jokic in voting for Most Precious Participant honors the previous two seasons, insisted there was no “rivalry” between him and the Nuggets star.

“I really like the massive fella,” Embiid advised broadcaster ABC after pouring in 47 factors to guide the 76ers to a 126-119 victory.

Embiid additionally grabbed 18 rebounds to assist the Sixers erase a 15-point halftime deficit on the best way to a seventh straight win.

Embiid, who additionally missed out on choice as an All-Star Recreation starter this week, stated the competition was concerning the 76ers testing themselves towards the Western Convention’s high crew.

“I feel he is extra of a motivation to exit and attempt to win the entire thing,” Embiid stated of Jokic, who led the Nuggets with 24 factors, eight rebounds and 9 assists. “I suppose that is the one manner I am most likely going to get that respect.”

Elsewhere, Chris Paul scored 31 factors and Mikal Bridges added 25 because the Phoenix Suns spoiled San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich’s 74th birthday with a 128-118 time beyond regulation victory over the Spurs.

Phoenix by no means trailed, however the Spurs compelled time beyond regulation with a late surge in regulation earlier than Bridges and Paul scored eight factors apiece within the further session and the Suns escaped.

In Atlanta, Kawhi Leonard scored 32 factors and Paul George added 23 to guide the Los Angeles Clippers to a fifth straight victory, 120-113 over the Hawks.


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