76ers

Summer League: Sixers fail again to fend off Jayson Tatum, Celtics

Summer League: Sixers fail again to fend off Jayson Tatum, Celtics

LAS VEGAS -- The Sixers’ second-half comeback fell short as the Celtics won Tuesday’s game, 88-83.

The Sixers trailed by as many as 12 in the first half. They fought back from a seven-point halftime deficit to outscore the Celtics 25-11 in the third quarter. The Celtics quickly erased the Sixers’ lead, though, early in the fourth. 

The teams were tied with three minutes to play. Jayson Tatum put the Celtics up 81-77 on a driving basket to beat the shot clock. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot drew a foul but only made one free throw. Semi Ojeleye put the game away with a three-point play.

The Sixers fell to 1-2 in Las Vegas while the Celtics improved to 3-0. 

Inside the box score
• Luwawu-Cabarrot led all players with 16 points along with six rebounds.

• Tatum and Jabari Bird scored 15 points each for the Celtics.

• Ante Zizic posted 12 points and 13 rebounds.

• Jonah Bolden scored 13 points with eight boards.

• Jaylen Brown scored his seven points in the first quarter. Brown later exited the game with a thigh injury.

• Furkan Korkmaz struggled, shooting 2 for 7 from the field (5 points). 

• Melo Trimble scored 13 points off the bench (3 for 5 from three). 

• Mathias Lessort, the 50th overall pick by the Sixers in last month’s draft, received FIBA clearance the morning of the game and made his summer league debut Tuesday. He posted four points, four rebounds, one steal, one block and four fouls in 12 minutes. 

Big man battle
The Sixers didn’t have a defensive answer for the 6-foot-11 center Zizic. They started Bolden at the five, but Zizic had a 20-pound advantage and easily grabbed a double-double. That matchup was interesting to watch as Zizc is a traditional big man and Bolden was stretching the floor knocking down threes. 

Third-quarter tumble
Andrew Harrison and Landen Lucas got tangled up in the third. Harrison looked as if he threw Lucas to the ground on defense. After Tatum scored on the same play, Lucas stepped over Harrison’s head as Harrison stood up. Harrison grabbed Lucas, who fell to the ground. Harrison was issued a technical foul. 

Sixers sightings
Robert Covington, Justin Anderson and Jerryd Bayless were on hand for the game. 

Up next
The Sixers received the No. 18 seed in the tournament portion of play and will face the 15th-seeded Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night (10:30 p.m./ESPN2).

Thunder lose to Knicks in Anthony's homecoming

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Thunder lose to Knicks in Anthony's homecoming

NEW YORK — Carmelo Anthony got the cheers but the New York Knicks got the win, shutting out their former All-Star in the second half and beating the Oklahoma City Thunder 111-96 on Saturday night for their fourth straight victory.

Michael Beasley tied his season high with 30 points in place of injured Kristaps Porzingis, and Doug McDermott, one of the players acquired for Anthony, added 11 of his 13 after halftime to help the Knicks break open the game.

Anthony scored 12 points in the first half but was 0 for 5 after, perhaps low on energy after the Thunder's three-overtime victory at Philadelphia a night earlier.

He made a 3-pointer for the Thunder's first basket of the game after a warm welcome back to the arena where he spent 6 1/2 years, finishing 5 of 18 from the field.

Russell Westbrook had 25 points, seven rebounds and seven assists for the Thunder, who were trying to sweep a three-game trip that began with Paul George's winning return to Indiana on Wednesday (see full recap).

LeBron James has 60th triple-double, Cavs beat Jazz
CLEVELAND — LeBron James had 29 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for his 60th career triple-double and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the short-handed Utah Jazz 109-100 on Saturday night

James had his fifth triple-double of the season and third in his last four games. He had 10 points in the fourth quarter, was 9 of 15 from the field and 10 of 10 at the foul line.

Cleveland has won 17 of 18 overall and 11 straight at Quicken Loans Arena.

Center Rudy Gobert (sprained ligament and bone bruise in left knee) and forward Derrick Favors (left eye laceration) were out for Utah. Both were injured during Friday night in a win in Boston (see full recap).

Former Sixer Canaan hits game-winning free throws in Suns' win over T-Wolves
MINNEAPOLIS — Isaiah Canaan hit three free throws with 6 seconds to play in his first game with Phoenix and the Suns rallied to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 108-106 on Saturday night.

Added to the roster this week after the injury-ravaged Suns received a hardship extension, Canaan finished with 15 points and drew a foul on Jeff Teague on a 3-pointer with Minnesota leading by one. Originally ruled a shot-clock violation, reply officials overturned the call and Canaan calmly sank all three shots amid a loud crowd of neon green-clad fans.

Alex Len blocked Jimmy Butler's layup attempt out of bounds on the ensuring possession. Butler had one more look from the corner, but the attempt rimmed out and the Suns snapped their five-game losing streak.

Dragan Bender and Troy Daniels each scored 17 points for the Suns, whose bench outscored the starters 69-39. T.J. Warren added 15 points for Phoenix, which trailed by as many as 15 (see full recap).

Harden, Paul lead Rockets to 13th straight victory​
HOUSTON — James Harden scored 31 points, Chris Paul had 25 and the Houston Rockets beat the Milwaukee Bucks 115-111 on Saturday night for their 13th straight victory.

The winning streak is the Rockets' longest streak since a franchise-best 22 straight in 2007-08.

Harden hit a step-back 3-pointer over Malcolm Brogdon and was fouled, giving Houston an 11-point lead with less than six minutes remaining. In the last two minutes, Paul hit back-to-back mid-range jumpers on consecutive possessions to put the game out of reach.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 28 points, nine rebounds, five assists and four steals for Milwaukee. Khris Middleton had 23 points, and Brogdon added 20. Milwaukee has lost three straight (see full recap).

Is Joel Embiid's trash talking starting to get old?

Is Joel Embiid's trash talking starting to get old?

Each week, our resident basketball analysts will discuss some of the hottest topics involving the Sixers.

Running the Give and Go this edition are NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com producer/reporters Matt Haughton and Paul Hudrick.

In this edition, we examine whether Joel Embiid’s trash talking is starting to get old.

Haughton
Absolutely not.

First, look at it from a team perspective. The Sixers thrive off of Embiid’s emotion. Look no further than Friday night’s triple-overtime thriller against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Sixers were sleepwalking through that game for much of the night until Embiid mixed it up with Carmelo Anthony following an and-one with a few minutes left in the fourth quarter. Embiid got the crowd juiced up and his teammates fed off that energy during the critical 11-0 run to close out regulation.

When Embiid’s trash talk spills over to social media, he does try to keep things light and playful. That’s his personality and that’s his realm, so none of what he’s doing really comes from a position of genuine malice.

On the bigger scale, this is what the NBA has been about long before Embiid came along. From Larry Bird’s bravado to Michael Jordan’s ruthlessness to Shaquille O’Neal’s blatant disrespect of opponents, the league has a long list of trash talkers.

As LeBron James said when the Cavaliers came through the Wells Fargo Center right after Thanksgiving, players today are just too sensitive.

Hudrick
Let’s just let Joel be Joel.

The guy came over from Cameroon, knowing very little about the game and getting teased by his teammates in high school. After overcoming that and landing at Kansas, injuries took away the end of his only season there and then his first two NBA seasons. He was the brunt of jokes as the Sixers continued to lose and he had to watch from afar. He’s earned the right to feel himself a little bit.

What I see is a kid having fun. I have to give Philly fans credit. Flamboyant characters don’t usually do well here. In a city that (still) obsesses over the play of a quiet, hard-nosed guy like Chase Utley and has fallen head over heels for the humbleness of Carson Wentz, Embiid doesn't fit the mold. But he's been embraced and beloved.

Here’s the other thing: he’s backing it up. If he was out there talking trash but shooting 30 percent from the field and not running down the reigning MVP for a blocked shot in a triple-OT game, that would be a different story. He’s put this team on his back and has them poised for a playoff berth.

Let the man live.