NBA round-up: Harden double-double as Westbrook matches Magic Johnson
Joel Embiid led the Philadelphia 76ers as Doc Rivers cracked the NBA's top 10 for regular-season victories on Saturday while Westbrook turned magic.
The Philadelphia 76ers made it two wins from two games under Doc Rivers, while Washington Wizards star Russell Westbrook recorded his second straight triple-double.
Joel Embiid fuelled the 76ers with a double-double of 27 points and 10 rebounds away to the Knicks in New York on Saturday.
Ben Simmons recorded 15 points, nine rebounds and six assists as he nullified Knicks star RJ Barrett, while Tobias Harris and Seth Curry each had 17 points apiece for the championship-chasing 76ers.
76ers head coach Rivers – who replaced Brett Brown in the offseason – also earned his 945th regular-season victory to move 10th all time, surpassing Bill Fitch.
The 76ers have won 13 consecutive games against the lowly Knicks (0-2).
James Harden registered 44 points and 17 assists, but the Houston Rockets still lost 128-126 to the Portland Trail Blazers in overtime.
Houston were playing for the first time after their season opener was postponed due to coronavirus, and Harden – reportedly eyeing a trade to the 76ers or Brooklyn Nets – almost guided the Rockets to victory in Portland.
The Trail Blazers (1-1) were spearheaded by CJ McCollum (44 points) and Damian Lillard (32 points).
Westbrook matches Magic
Russell Westbrook is the first player with back-to-back triple-doubles to open a season since Magic Johnson in 1982-83. pic.twitter.com/46nLbB5SzP— ESPN (@espn) December 27, 2020
Former MVP Westbrook became the first player since Magic Johnson in 1982 to post triple-doubles in his team's first two games of the season. Westbrook put up 15 points, 15 rebounds and 12 assists in Washington's 130-120 loss to the unbeaten Orlando Magic. Acquired from the Rockets, Westbrook became the fourth player in NBA history to achieve the feat, along with Johnson (twice), Jerry Lucas and Oscar Robertson, though the nine-time All-Star is the first player to do it with a new team.
The San Antonio Spurs rallied past the Toronto Raptors 119-114 thanks to DeMar DeRozan, Dejounte Murray and Patty Mills. DeRozan scored 27 points and Murray added 11 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds for his first ever triple-double – becoming just the 14th player in franchise history to accomplish the feat. Mills was eight of nine from the field and five of six from three-point range for 21 points off the bench.
Trae Young posted 36 points to lead the Atlanta Hawks past the Memphis Grizzlies 122-112. Kevin Huerter added 21 points off the bench, while Deandre Hunter had a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds. Grizzlies star Ja Morant finished with 28 points as team-mate Kyle Anderson (20 points and 14 rebounds) also impressed.
The Indiana Pacers took down the Chicago Bulls thanks to Domantas Sabonis' triple-double (22 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists), Victor Oladipo (22 points) and TJ Warren (23 points).
Collin Sexton (32 points), Andre Drummond (23 points and 16 rebounds) and Darius Garland (21 points and 12 assists) combined to inspire the Cleveland Cavaliers' 128-119 overtime victory at the Detroit Pistons.
Barrett struggled to get going under the watchful eye of Simmons. The Knicks star was just two-of-15 shooting from the field, while he missed all six of his three-point attempts. Barrett finished with 10 points, six rebounds and four assists in a team-high 37 minutes.
Gilgeous-Alexander lands buzzer-beater
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander nailed a clutch jumper with 1.4 seconds remaining to lift the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 109-107 win against the Charlotte Hornets.
Saturday's NBA results
Atlanta Hawks 122-112 Memphis Grizzlies
Oklahoma City Thunder 109-107 Charlotte Hornets
Cleveland Cavaliers 128-119 Detroit Pistons (OT)
Orlando Magic 130-120 Washington Wizards
Philadelphia 76ers 109-89 New York Knicks
Indiana Pacers 125-106 Chicago Bulls
San Antonio Spurs 119-114 Toronto Raptors
Minnesota Timberwolves 116-111 Utah Jazz
Sacramento Kings 106-103 Phoenix Suns
Portland Trail Blazers 128-126 Houston Rockets (OT)
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