MCW takes valuable lessons from Tony Parker

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MCW takes valuable lessons from Tony Parker

Michael Carter-Williams was coming off the first poor performance of his rookie campaign. Against the Spurs, the rookie point guard was 2 for 11 from the floor and finished with eight points, four assists, three steals and three blocked shots.

Carter-Williams’ eight points was his first single-digit scoring output of the season.

The numbers were OK, but he had little impact on the game while his San Antonio counterpart controlled the show.

“There is a lot for me to take from that game, especially from Tony Parker,” Carter-Williams said. “He runs his team extremely well. I hope to run my team and know my teammates like he knows his someday. He knows where they are at all times. He knows where they are supposed to be. He knows where they like to shoot, and I hope one day to have a team and be on a team like that.”

The thing that Carter-Williams needs to remember is that Parker did not become the perennial All-Star he is overnight. Parker is in his 13th NBA season and has won three NBA championships.

Sixers head coach Brett Brown remembers watching a young Parker become a man among the best basketball players in the world during his days in the Spurs' organization.

“The history with Tony, I saw him at such a young age and I saw him grow,” Brown said. ”I think it is more important when you look at holistic things that you can share with Michael as it relates to Tony.”

When Brown refers to “holistic things” he is talking about taking care of the body and dealing with the likes of this week when the Sixers play four games in five nights.

Carter-Williams did not practice Tuesday because he was experiencing soreness in his left foot. He and Brown both said it was nothing serious, but resting seemed the right way to go with the schedule that is on the horizon.

MCW didn’t take the court Tuesday, but he still managed to work at his craft.

“He is very curious. He is very inquisitive,” Brown said of Carter-Williams. “He wants to know why. He wants to know how. How did Tony Parker do this? What is the best way to guard John Wall? He is always asking really good questions. You will notice he often comes back to the timeout just to make sure he understands what I have drawn, what I have said.

“From a professional standpoint, he is doing well. From a physical standpoint, he is learning how to get through it and take care of his body.”

So which has been the harder adjustment for Carter-Williams: Physical or mental?

“Tough question. Both have been pretty tough, but probably the mental aspect of it,” Carter-Williams said. “We had a little setback versus the Spurs, but I am staying positive and trying to keep working.

“It is a long season and a long grind, so I am just trying to take it one day at a time.”

The Sixers entertain the 5-3 Houston Rockets Wednesday night.

Best of NBA: Rockets overcome Russell Westbrook's 7th straight triple-double

Best of NBA: Rockets overcome Russell Westbrook's 7th straight triple-double

OKLAHOMA CITY -- James Harden scored 21 points, and the Houston Rockets overcame Russell Westbrook's seventh consecutive triple-double to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 102-99 on Friday night.

Harden also had 12 assists and nine rebounds to help the Rockets win their fifth straight. Houston withstood Harden's 6-for-23 shooting effort.

Westbrook finished with 27 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. He has the longest triple-double streak since Michael Jordan had seven straight in 1989. The most in a row is nine by Philadelphia's Wilt Chamberlain in March 1968.

It was Westbrook's 12th triple-double this season and the 49th of his career. He is the NBA's active leader in the category and ranks sixth all-time.

The Thunder had won the previous six games during Westbrook's triple-double binge (see full story).

James moves into 9th on scoring list as Cavs top Heat
CLEVELAND -- LeBron James scored 27 points to move into ninth place on the NBA scoring list, and the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Miami Heat 114-84 on Friday night.

James passed Elvin Hayes on a driving layup with 6:58 remaining and has 27,315 career points. The four-time MVP was removed about a minute later and received a loud ovation from the Cleveland crowd.

Kevin Love, a game-time decision because of back spasms, scored a team-high 28 points and had 15 rebounds for the Cavaliers. He missed the morning shootaround but was in the lineup after warming up on the court about an hour before tip-off.

Kyrie Irving added 23 points for the Cavs, who have won three straight after losing three in a row.

Derrick Williams scored 17 points to lead the short-handed Heat, who have lost four straight (see full story). 

Schroder has career-high 33, Hawks rally past Bucks
MILWAUKEE -- Dennis Schroder scored a career-high 33 points and the Atlanta Hawks rallied from 20 down in the second half to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks 114-110 on Friday night.

Paul Millsap had 23 points and 14 rebounds for Atlanta. Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 18.

The Hawks, who ended a seven-game losing streak Wednesday with a win over Miami, trailed by 20 at halftime. A 40-point third quarter put them back in the game.

Jabari Parker scored 27 for Milwaukee. Giannis Antetokounmpo, in foul trouble throughout the game, had 14.

Atlanta pulled ahead 105-103 on Kyle Korver's jumper with 3:15 remaining, giving the Hawks their first lead since early in the game (see full story). 

Joel Embiid 'shoots the ball with the touch of like Steph Curry'

Joel Embiid 'shoots the ball with the touch of like Steph Curry'

NEW ORLEANS -- Of all the players Joel Embiid could be compared to, a similarity between a 7-foot-2, 270-something-pound center and a 6-foot-3, 190-pound point guard wouldn’t seem like a match.

That’s exactly what Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry sees, however, when looking at Embiid and reigning MVP Steph Curry.

“He’s different than anybody that’s been in this league in a long, long time,” Gentry said Thursday before the Sixers win over the Pelicans. “He’s a tremendous talent, he really is. I’ve never seen a guy that size, and with that kind of strength, that’s got such a soft touch. He shoots the ball with the touch of like Steph Curry. It’s so soft when it leaves his hand.”

Curry is shooting 48.9 percent from the field and 40.1 percent from three. Embiid is 45.8 percent from the floor is 44.2 percent from long range.

Embiid flashed a big smile and paused to react when hearing of Gentry’s praise. He had been feeling hard on himself after going 0 for 5 beyond the arc against the Pelicans (see story).

“Steph is probably one of the best shooters in the league right now," Embiid said. "So that compliment means a lot."