76ers

Oladipo's 38 points lead Pacers to overtime win

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Oladipo's 38 points lead Pacers to overtime win

INDIANAPOLIS — Victor Oladipo dug the Indiana Pacers out of a hole again.

He scored 38 points and was perfect from the free-throw line, helping the Indiana Pacers escape with a 123-119 overtime victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday night.

"For whatever reason, it was tough for us in the first half," Oladipo said. "In the second half, things started going our way. We picked it up and played at a high level on both ends."

Myles Turner had 23 points and nine rebounds and tied his career high with six blocks, and Bojan Bogdanovic finished with 17 points and six rebounds for the Pacers (19-14), who came back from down 19 to take an 85-84 lead on Lance Stephenson's free throw with 8:29 remaining in regulation.

Spencer Dinwiddle led the Nets (12-20) and tied his career high with 26 points. He made three free throws with 19 seconds left in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 111 and force overtime (see full recap).

Nuggets stop Warriors' 11-game winning streak
OAKLAND, Calif. — Warriors coach Steve Kerr didn't see much passion from his team Saturday.

Golden State better find some fast for Christmas Day, when LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers come to town for a prime-time holiday rematch of the past three NBA Finals.

Gary Harris scored 19 points to lead a balanced Denver offense and the Nuggets stopped the Warriors' 11-game winning streak with a second impressive road victory in two nights, beating Golden State 96-81.

"It didn't feel like we were into it emotionally tonight. Sometimes after a long winning streak, whatever reason, you let your guard down a little bit. It wasn't there," Kerr said. "The biggest concern for me tonight, I didn't see a lot of joy. ... We weren't having much fun." (see full recap).

Schroder scores 27 in second half as Hawks beat Mavericks
ATLANTA — Dennis Schroder matched his career high with 33 points, including 27 in the second half, to help the Atlanta Hawks beat the Dallas Mavericks 112-107 on Saturday night in a matchup of last-place teams.

After missing Friday night's loss at Oklahoma City with a sprained ankle, Schroder hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 1:21 left to put Atlanta ahead 110-107.

Ersan Ilyasova added 19 points and seven rebounds for the Hawks (8-25), who got 13 points off the bench from rookie John Collins and won for just the second time in eight games.

Harrison Barnes led the Mavericks (9-25) with 22 points. Dirk Nowitzki scored 18, and J.J. Barea had 15 points and 12 assists off the bench as Dallas lost for the eighth time in 10 games (see full recap)

Westbrook's triple-double leads Thunder to win over Jazz
SALT LAKE CITY — The Oklahoma City Thunder got the kind of night they envisioned when they brought in Paul George and Carmelo Anthony to join reigning MVP Russell Westbrook.

Westbrook had 27 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, and the Thunder won their fourth in a row with a 103-89 victory over the Utah Jazz on Saturday night.

Utah had no answer for Westbrook, George and Anthony, who were playing the second night of a back-to-back.

"We're just finding it," Anthony said. "Everybody's doing what they're supposed to do. Everybody's playing their game. We're not playing as tense and thinking so much out there on the basketball court as we were a couple weeks ago. The flow of the game is starting to become better and better for everybody. Guys are starting to be comfortable with what's being asked of them and kind of just accepting it." (see full recap).

Sixers reportedly rebuffed in attempt to hire Rockets GM Daryl Morey

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Sixers reportedly rebuffed in attempt to hire Rockets GM Daryl Morey

Well, you can’t say the Sixers aren’t aiming high.

According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, the Sixers “have been rebuffed in their attempt to hire away Houston's Daryl Morey to take over as their new general manager.” Stein added that the team had great interest in Morey, but he couldn’t be lured away from the Rockets.

Morey, who has served as the Rockets’ general manager since 2007, was named the NBA’s Executive of the Year after Houston secured the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference with a franchise-best 65-17 record during the 2017-18 regular season.

Morey obviously fits the Sixers from a surface standpoint with his analytics background, commitment to building a pace-and-space roster and desire to chase stars. However, what makes the Sixers’ desire in him really interesting is that Morey is the mentor of former Sixers front office executive Sam Hinkie.

Bryan Colangelo, the man who replaced Hinkie in the Sixers’ front office, resigned in June after a scandal involving multiple secret Twitter accounts rocked the franchise. Head coach Brett Brown took over as interim general manager following Colangelo's resignation.

The Sixers have been patient throughout their search as managing owner Josh Harris recently said there is no timetable to select a candidate.

“We’re just getting focused on it now, given everything with free agency and the draft, and also the other GMs are in the same place. We’re looking for the right person,” Harris told NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Amy Fadool last week (see story). “One of the things that Bryan Colangelo did really well was we built a great staff, whether it be (vice president of basketball operations and chief of staff) Ned Cohen or (vice president of analytics and strategy) Alex Rucker or (vice president of player personnel) Marc Eversley or (Delaware Blue Coats general manger) Elton Brand, we have a lot of great people. It’s very consensus-oriented, there’s a lot of people in the dialogue, and we want to make sure we find the right fit for that. 

“It’s not going to be easy. My guess is it’s going to take awhile. And we’re obviously focused on doing it as quickly as possible, but at the same time I don’t want to set unrealistic expectations — it could take a little while. So we’re just starting that.”

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Sixers officially bring back Amir Johnson on 1-year contract

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Sixers officially bring back Amir Johnson on 1-year contract

The band is back together.

The Sixers are still making their offseason moves official, which is what happened on Monday when the team officially announced a one-year deal to bring back Amir Johnson. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it is reportedly worth the veteran’s minimum, which would be $2.39 million for the center.

“Our experience with Amir last year confirms to us, on so many levels, that he is a perfect fit for our young and developing team,” Brett Brown said in a statement. “His work ethic, leadership and buy-in to team-first basketball all comes to mind when I think of his value to our ball club and his acceptance of a backup role to All-Star Joel Embiid is priceless. We are thrilled to have Amir and his family back in our program and I know this feeling is a shared by all of his teammates.”

Johnson, the last player drafted into the NBA straight from high school, spent his 13th professional season with the Sixers in 2017-18. The 31-year-old averaged 4.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 15.8 minutes a night.

However, it was the little things Johnson did that really added up for the Sixers. The big man had the highest aggregate hustle score, which measures screen assists, deflections, loose balls recovered, charges drawn and contested shots per contest, to win the league’s second-ever Hustle Award. 

“This is definitely an honor,” Johnson said after receiving the award. “I pride myself on doing the little things on the court and I just want to say thank you to my teammates and coaches. This award means a lot.”

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