76ers

Best of NBA: Lou Williams nails game-winning three

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Best of NBA: Lou Williams nails game-winning three

LOS ANGELES — The way things have been going for the struggling Clippers, it figures a wild finish involving an arcane clock rule would be the way they'd finally win again.

Lou Williams hit a go-ahead pull-up 3-pointer with 1.2 seconds remaining, lifting Los Angeles to a 113-112 victory over the Washington Wizards on Saturday to end a four-game skid.

"Nothing has been easy," coach Doc Rivers said.

With Bradley Beal guarding him, Williams unleashed the winner from the top of the key, capping a wild final 12 seconds in which both teams traded leads on clutch plays.

"I made a move and Bradley bit on it," Williams said. "I was able to pull up with one dribble. If I go left, I like my chances." (See full recap).

Dunn hits late free throws, Bulls edge Knicks
CHICAGO — Kris Dunn made two free throws with 2.9 seconds left to give the Chicago Bulls a 104-102 victory over the New York Knicks on Saturday night.

Dunn was fouled by Courtney Lee while driving to the basket.

Following a timeout, the Knicks - who scored 10 straight points to tie it at 102 - had a chance to tie or take the lead, but Kristaps Porzingis missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Nikola Mirotic, in just his second game of the season, had 19 points to help Chicago win its second straight. Dunn finished with 17 points, nine assists and seven rebounds, and Luari Markkanen and David Nwaba had 15 points apiece.

Porzingis had 23 points for New York. The Knicks are 1-8 on the road (see full recap).

Bazemore, Ilyasova lead Hawks past Magic​
ATLANTA — Ersan Ilyasova scored 26 points on 9-for-9 shooting and the Atlanta Hawks overcame Nikola Vucevic's triple-double to beat the Orlando Magic 117-110 on Saturday night.

Vucevic had 31 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists, and Jonathan Simmons added a career-high 29 points for the Magic. They beat the Hawks 110-106 in overtime Wednesday night in Orlando.

Kent Bazemore scored six late points for Atlanta, with two baskets coming on dunks following steals.

With the game tied at 110, Bazemore stole a pass from Simmons to Vucevic and took it two-thirds of the court to dunk for the lead with 36 seconds remaining. He was fouled 21 seconds later after grabbing a rebounding on Shelvin Mack's airball, and made a pair of free throws (see full recap).

Clarkson leads Lakers past struggling Hornets
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Jordan Clarkson scored 14 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter and the Los Angeles Lakers pulled away late to defeat the fatigued and short-handed Charlotte Hornets 110-99 on Saturday night.

Brandon Ingram added 18 points and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 15 for the Lakers, who have won two straight after losing five in a row.

Clarkson got so hot that he played the entire fourth quarter while Lonzo Ball sat out. Ball finished with five points and nine assists after turning in perhaps his most complete game Wednesday night against Philadelphia, when he had 10 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, three steals and four blocks in a 107-104 win.

Kemba Walker scored 23 points and Dwight Howard had 21 points and 12 rebounds for the injury-riddled Hornets, who have lost seven of eight (see full recap).

NBA draft profile: UCLA PG Aaron Holiday

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NBA draft profile: UCLA PG Aaron Holiday

Aaron Holiday

Position: Guard

Height: 6-0

Weight: 187

School: UCLA

Sixers fans should recognize the name. Aaron Holiday is the brother of former Sixers first-round pick Jrue Holiday and Bulls wing Justin Holiday. Aaron is the youngest — and smallest — of the three. 

A three-year player at UCLA, Holiday developed into one of the most prodigious scorers and shooters in Bruins history. He was the first UCLA player to lead the Pac 12 in scoring (20.3 points per game) since some guy named Reggie Miller. For his efforts, he was named to the All-Pac 12 first team.

For his college career, Holiday averaged 14.3 points and 4.7 assists per contest in 101 games (65 starts). He also hit 180 treys, shooting 42 percent from three.

Strengths
Holiday’s most obvious and translatable NBA attribute is his jump shot. He shot over 40 percent in all three of his seasons at UCLA and is capable off the dribble, off screens and in catch-and-shoot opportunities. He also has NBA range and is not afraid to pull up from any spot on the floor.

For his size, he’s a good, creative finisher and features a pretty nice floater. He understands how to attack defenses, especially in the pick and roll. He’s excellent at changing his pace and lulling defenders to sleep. He’s a good and willing passer. Defensively he has excellent instincts. He’s aggressive and does well at getting his hands in passing lanes.

Weaknesses
Size is a huge issue for Holiday. The other big issue is, he’s just an OK athlete that lacks quickness and explosion while driving to the basket. Defense is always going to be an issue as he’ll struggle to guard some of the bigger and more explosive point guards in the league. He also struggled with turnovers.

NBA comparison
Aaron Brooks, most recently of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Both players make up for their size with excellent perimeter shooting. Brooks was more explosive coming out of Oregon, but also has a good change of pace to confuse opponents. Holiday has better feel and vision. Brooks has struggled defensively at the NBA level and Holiday will likely encounter the same issues.

How he'd fit with Sixers
It’s tough to project Holiday to the Sixers. His shooting would play well here and playing with a 6-foot-10 point guard would certainly help his cause, but where would he fit? He won’t be a starter right away and the Sixers already feature T.J. McConnell off the bench. McConnell provides energy and top-notch defense that Holiday cannot.

Draft projection
The modern NBA is all about the three so teams will be interested in Holiday as a backup point guard and shooter off the bench. He could go anywhere from the late teens to the mid-20s.

More on the Sixers and the NBA draft

Sixers' G League affiliate, Blue Coats, name Connor Johnson head coach

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Delaware Blue Coats

Sixers' G League affiliate, Blue Coats, name Connor Johnson head coach

The Sixers’ Gatorade League affiliate, the Delaware Blue Coats, named Connor Johnson head coach for the upcoming season.

Johnson has worked with the Sixers since 2014. He most recently was the Sixers’ director of player development and coaching administration. Johnson began his time with the Sixers as the video coordinator. He also was a graduate assistant at Villanova under Jay Wright for the men’s basketball program.

“Our real goal is to improve the 76ers players,” Johnson said.

The collaboration between the Sixers and Blue Coats will be key as minutes for developing players could be lessened while the Sixers continue to compete for the postseason.

“The fact that the 76ers are growing and becoming a playoff-caliber, championship-contending team, we’re really going to need to use the G League to continue to make the younger players better who might not have the same opportunity,” Johnson said.

With news of Johnson’s hiring, the Blue Coats continue to promote from within the Sixers organization.

“I was thrilled,” Johnson said.