DE’AARON Fox set career highs with 31 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds for his first career triple-double, and the Sacramento Kings beat the Atlanta Hawks 146-115 for their fifth straight win.
The 20-year-old became the youngest player in NBA history to rack up at least 30 points, 10 rebounds and 15 assists in a game. He also joined LeBron James as the only other player with a 30-point triple double before turning 21.
In rare air…
De’Aaron Fox joins LeBron James as the only two players in NBA history with 30-point triple-doubles before their 21st birthdays. pic.twitter.com/Nbjf5ld1kU— ESPN Australia & NZ (@ESPNAusNZ)
Buddy Hield scored 27 points and Nemanja Bjelica had 19 for the Kings (6-3), whose winning streak includes four straight against Eastern Conference teams, including the last three on the road.
The Kings averaged 110.8 points over the first four games of the streak. They moved past that number with a full period remaining, carrying a 115-87 lead into the final quarter.
After leading by only five points at halftime, the Kings outscored the Hawks 46-23 in the third. Fox had 21 points in the period.
Sacramento maintained its up-tempo pressure in the final period. Fox, Hield and other starters didn’t leave for good until the final few minutes. The Kings scored at least 31 points in every quarter.
Jeremy Lin scored 23 points for the Hawks, who have lost four straight. Atlanta rookie Trae Young recovered from a slow start to post a double-double with 14 points and 10 assists. Young had four turnovers with two points in the first period and finished with eight of the Hawks’ 22 turnovers.
Atlanta closed to 65-64 when Tyler Dorsey’s basket capped an 8-0 run in the second quarter. The Kings answered with back-to-back baskets from Hield and Marvin Bagley III to close the half.
Hawks guard Kevin Huerter departed after he sprained his right ankle with 4:27 remaining in the first period. The rookie got hurt when Hield crashed into the back of his leg while diving for a loose ball.
EMBIID GOES BIG FOR SIXERS
Joel Embiid had 41 points and 13 rebounds, helping the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Los Angeles Clippers 122-113 on Friday (AEDT).
It was Embiid’s sixth game already this season with at least 30 points and 10 rebounds and he became the first Sixers player to rack up 40 points at home since Allen Iverson 12 years ago.
“I want to be dominant. I want to be the best player in the league. I’m trying to be the defensive player of the year,” he said after the game.
Make that 41+13 for Embiid. Hell of a night for him, and a good win for the Sixers. https://t.co/kUn2NBsTbH— Kyle Neubeck (@KyleNeubeck)
Aussie Ben Simmons played second fiddle to the powerhouse centre but still added 14 points and 11 assists, bouncing back nicely from one of his worst games as a pro in his last start against Toronto.
Markelle Fultz provided a spark late in the third quarter and finished with 12 points, nine rebounds and five assists while helping Philadelphia improve to 5-0 at home.
Lou Williams scored 26 points for the Clippers, and Danilo Gallinari had 25. Tobias Harris finished with 24 points.
Philadelphia led by as many as 11 in the final quarter on Embiid’s dunk, but the advantage was just three with 6:16 remaining.
Embiid then scored nine of the next 12 points, including an emphatic dunk over Boban Marjanovic with 1:39 remaining that gave Philadelphia a 117-109 lead. After Embiid made the second of two free throws with 1:14 to play, Philadelphia fans began chanting: “MVP! MVP!”
The Clippers trailed by as many as 22 points in the opening half and were down 72-57 entering the third quarter. But Los Angeles slowly chipped away at the deficit, going in front for the first time on Gallinari’s three-pointer from the right wing that made it 81-80 with 3:58 left in the period.
Another Gallinari three put the Clippers up 84-80 before Fultz showed flashes of why Philadelphia drafted him first overall in 2017.
Fultz scored on a goaltending call, and then assisted on Mike Muscala’s four-point play before converting consecutive coast-to-coast layups, helping the 76ers end the quarter on a 10-2 run that put them ahead 90-86 entering the fourth.
Philadelphia shot 57.4 per cent from the field and made seven of 10 three-point attempts in a strong opening half. Simmons had 10 points and eight assists at the break after he tied his career high with 11 turnovers in Tuesday’s 129-112 loss to the Raptors.
Kyrie Irving scored 28 points, making six of Boston’s franchise record 24 three-pointers, as the Celtics knocked off the last unbeaten team in the NBA with a 117-113 win over the Milwaukee Bucks.
Gordon Hayward added a season-high 18 points, Al Horford also scored 18 and Marcus Morris had 17 points for the Celtics, who held off the Bucks in the final minute and put an end to Milwaukee’s unbeaten start.
Giannis Antetokounmpo returned to the lineup after missing one game while in the NBA’s concussion protocol and led Milwaukee with 33 points and 11 rebounds. Down 15 entering the fourth quarter, the Bucks opened the final period on a 12-0 run and were within a point in the final minute, but the Celtics held on for their fourth straight win.
Khris Middleton and Malcom Brogdon scored 16 apiece and Eric Bledsoe had 13 points and seven assists for the Bucks.
The Celtics, whose previous record for three-pointers in a game was 19, came one short of tying the NBA record of 25, set by the Cleveland Cavaliers in a win over the Atlanta Hawks on March 4.
Boston didn’t score in the fourth quarter until Jayson Tatum hit a three-pointer with 9:13 left in the game. Milwaukee continued to push and pulled within 113-112 when Bledsoe made one of two from the foul line with 13 seconds.
That was as close as the Bucks would get as the Celtics sealed it from the foul line.
Irving hit back-to-back three-pointers late in the second quarter and Boston led 55-53 at halftime. He opened the second half with three straight from beyond the arc and the Celtics appeared to be cruising with a 93-78 lead entering the fourth quarter.
Juancho Hernangomez scored 23 points, Paul Millsap added 16 and the Denver Nuggets rolled past the Cleveland Cavaliers 110-91 to improve to 7-1.
Jordan Clarkson led Cleveland with 17 points and Cedi Osman added 13. Collin Sexton, the No. 8 overall draft pick, had 12 points. The Cavaliers dropped to 1-7. They have split two games under “acting” coach Larry Drew.
Denver shot six for 17 in the first quarter and fell behind 29-17. After cutting it to 38-34, the Nuggets finished the second period on 16-4 run that included 13 straight points. Hernangomez had 12 points in the quarter, including three three-pointers.
Denver led 50-42 at halftime and dominated the second half. The Nuggets’ biggest lead was 26 points at 106-76.
The Nuggets won despite an off night from leading scorer Nikola Jokic, who had averaged 21.6 points a game. The 2.1m giant scored four points in 22 minutes and didn’t play in the fourth quarter.
The Cavaliers had another busy day off the court. Drew said contract negotiations with the team are going in a positive direction. Drew replaced Tyronn Lue, who was fired on Sunday, but wants the Cavs to restructure his contract if he’s going to become the team’s interim coach.
Guard J.R. Smith said he wants to be traded after being dropped from the rotation. The 15-year veteran has played in four of Cleveland’s eight games. A few fans began a “We want J.R.” chant as Denver built the lead in the second half.