76ers

Bryan Colangelo: Sixers hope to meet with Lonzo Ball before NBA draft

Bryan Colangelo: Sixers hope to meet with Lonzo Ball before NBA draft

CAMDEN, N.J. -- The Sixers have not met with Lonzo Ball, but they hope to do so before the NBA draft on June 22. 
 
“[We] haven’t yet … It’s certainly something that we would like to arrange with Lonzo,” Sixers president of operations Bryan Colangelo said Monday after the team’s first pre-draft workout at their practice facility. 
 
ESPN.com previously reported Ball, whose camp has been selective with the former UCLA guard’s pre-draft meetings, would consider working out with the Sixers. His father, LaVar, has made his desire for his son to play for the Lakers extremely clear.
 
Ball has been the projected second pick behind Washington guard Markelle Fultz. There have been questions as the draft nears, however, if the Lakers would pass on him at No. 2 because of his heavily-involved, outspoken father. The Lakers are reportedly souring on Ball partially because of his father and doubts that the point guard will become a star. The Sixers hold the third overall pick.
 
"I think Ball is a terrific prospect and could have an outstanding NBA future," special advisor Jerry Colangelo said last weekend on 94 WIP. "I think it's going to be challenging with the people around him without being specific, and yet I don't think teams should bypass the player because they have those concerns. I think at the end of the day what wins in this league is talent and this is a very talented young man."
 
The Sixers also have inquired about meeting with Fultz, who seems like a lock to go No. 1 to the Celtics. It is not uncommon for expected top picks to meet with a minimal number of organizations. 
 
“There’s maybe one or two players that have made it known that they’ll probably not visit a lot of teams,” Bryan Colangelo said. “Right now, you can talk about Markelle, I think … will work out for one team at this stage and that’s Boston. But there’s still ongoing discussions with his representatives as it relates to the possibility of stopping by here.”
 
The Sixers have been meeting with plenty other prospects, though. The team traveled to agent-led workouts in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York City, Chicago and Washington, D.C. to watch and meet with players. They also attended private workouts and held interviews. Colangelo did not disclose the names of the participants. 
 
“We certainly have an interest in meeting and talking to all top-10 prospects,” Colangelo said. “We’ve had a chance to meet with several of them already. No individual workouts here, but we’ve had some workouts out on the road. We’re moving along, getting as much information as possible.”
 
The Sixers began their first round of group workouts in Camden on Monday with Kentucky guard Isaiah Briscoe, George Washington forward Tyler Cavanaugh, Tennessee State guard Tahjere McCall, Maryland guard Melo Trimble, Middle Tennessee State forward Reggie Upshaw and Colorado guard Derrick White.

Sixers rearrange schedule because of Eagles fever

Sixers rearrange schedule because of Eagles fever

The Sixers coordinated their flight to Memphis with an important schedule in mind: get there in time Sunday to watch the Eagles' NFC Championship Game.

Once there, they have arranged a room with food to catch the 6:40 p.m. showdown as a team the night before they face the Grizzlies.

“We’re going to enjoy this with the city of Philadelphia,” Brett Brown said. “Stuff like this doesn’t come around very often. So on behalf of our team, we say, like the rest of the city: Go Eagles.”

The Sixers and Eagles have been showing their support for each other all season by attending games. Joel Embiid, in particular, has been a familiar face at Lincoln Financial Field, including this memorable reaction to Jake Elliott’s field goal in September.

Embiid noted the momentum of both the Eagles and Sixers this season and what it means for Philadelphia.

“Every time I go to an Eagles game, they always win,” Embiid said. “I’m going to be pulling for them. I want to say good luck. It would be good for the city … Hopefully, they win and on to the Super Bowl.”

Justin Anderson’s support of the Eagles goes beyond playing in the same city. His friendships with Torrey Smith, Rodney McLeod and Chris Long began before the NBA (see story).

“I talked to them and they were really excited,” Anderson said. “They think they’ve got a really good chance. It’d be huge for the city. Going to the Super Bowl, it’d be good. I’m excited, I’m excited. I hope they pull this one out.”

The Sixers will watch the Eagles fight through the postseason as they hope to be doing in April too. They ultimately have the same goal and have an appreciation for how far the Eagles have come already.

“I hope they win it all,” Ben Simmons said. “I’m an Eagles fan now.” 

Rockets beat Warriors in battle of West's best

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Rockets beat Warriors in battle of West's best

HOUSTON — Chris Paul scored 33 points and 11 rebounds, James Harden had 22 points and the Houston Rockets held off the Golden State Warriors 116-108 on Saturday night to snap their 14-game road winning streak.

Harden stepped back from Stephen Curry for a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired to make it 114-108 with 1:10 left. Harden then blocked Curry's 3-point attempt after a timeout, and Paul made two free throws with 28 seconds left.

Golden State lost away from home for the first time since Nov. 22. The Warriors had won seven straight in Houston.

Kevin Durant led Golden State with 26 points, Draymond Green had 21 and Curry added 19 on a night he went 5 of 15 on 3-point attempts.

The Warriors were wrapping up a five-game road trip and had won the first four games to tie a franchise record for consecutive road wins. But they struggled from the outset Saturday and trailed by double digits for most of the first half (see full recap).

Olynyk's free throw gives Heat win over Hornets
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Kelly Olynyk scored 14 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter, including a free throw with 0.2 seconds left, to help the Miami Heat erase a five-point deficit in the final 34 seconds and stun the Charlotte Hornets 106-105 on Saturday night.

Wayne Ellington had 26 points on six 3-pointers, Joe Johnson had 22 points and Olynyk was brilliant down the stretch.

Nic Batum scored a season-high 26 points and Kemba Walker had 22 for Charlotte, which had a two-game winning streak snapped.

Charlotte led 105-100 when Johnson got free for a dunk. The Hornets inbounded the ball to Batum, but Josh Richardson ripped it from his hands and passed to Johnson, who knocked down a 3-pointer from the wing to tie (see full recap).

Thunder score 148 points, keep Lebron short of 30,000 for career
CLEVELAND — LeBron James came up just short of 30,000 points.

Oklahoma City nearly got there, too.

Unable to stop Paul George, Russell Westbrook or Carmelo Anthony, the Cavaliers were embarrassed 148-124 on Saturday by the Thunder, who not only rolled to their fourth straight win but kept James shy of a historic milestone.

George scored 36 points, Westbrook had 23 and 20 assists and Anthony dropped a season-high 29 points as the Thunder tied the record for the most points given up by a Cleveland team in a regulation game. Philadelphia scored 148 on the Cavs back in 1972.

"I've never in my basketball life gave up 148 points, not even probably playing video games," James said. "They got everything that they wanted. Inside, outside, they had it moving." (see full recap).

Pelicans' stars all contribute in win over Grizzlies
NEW ORLEANS — Jrue Holiday scored 13 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter, DeMarcus Cousins had 24 points and 10 rebounds, and the New Orleans Pelicans beat the Memphis Grizzlies 111-104 on Saturday night.

Anthony Davis had 21 points and 12 rebounds but did not score his first points of the second half until he dunked with 1:15 to go in the game, giving the Pelicans a 108-102 lead.

Darius Miller added 12 points in a reserve role for New Orleans, which never trailed but very nearly blew a 21-point lead.

Trailing by 15 at halftime, Memphis scored the first 13 points of the third quarter, part of a 16-2 run to open the half that trimmed New Orleans' lead to a single point with most of the third quarter remaining (see full recap).