NBA Wrap: Pacers scuffle with Warriors in win


NBA Wrap: Pacers scuffle with Warriors in win

The Sixers showed minimal effort in a 98-84 loss to the Magic on Tuesday and head coach Doug Collins let everyone know he wasn't pleased with the performance.

Now, let's take a look at some other action from around the league.

Pacers, Warriors scuffle
INDIANAPOLIS -- David West had 28 points and seven rebounds, and the Indiana Pacers overcome the ejection of Roy Hibbert following a fourth-quarter scuffle to beat the Golden State Warriors 108-97 on Tuesday night.

West also was called for a technical foul, along with the Warriors' David Lee, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, for the altercation that began with 6:10 remaining in the game.

George Hill had 23 points and seven assists, and Paul George had 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Pacers (36-21), who have won five straight.

Curry scored a season-high 38 points and Thompson had 13 for the Warriors (33-24), who had a three-game winning streak snapped (see full recap).

Heat outlast Kings
MIAMI -- LeBron James had 40 points and 16 assists, Dwyane Wade scored 39 and the Miami Heat pushed their winning streak to 12 games by outlasting the Sacramento Kings 141-129 in double overtime on Tuesday night.

Ray Allen added 21, Chris Bosh finished with 15 and Chris Andersen had 10 for the Heat, who remained six games clear of second-place Indiana in the Eastern Conference standings.

Miami's 12-game winning streak is the longest in the NBA and matches the second-longest in franchise history.

Marcus Thornton scored 36 points for Sacramento, the most by any reserve in the NBA this season. DeMarcus Cousins finished with 24 points and 15 rebounds, Tyreke Evans added 26 points, John Salmons 15 and Isaiah Thomas 14 for the Kings (see full recap).

Irving-less Cavs top Bulls
CHICAGO -- Dion Waiters scored 25 points to help make up for the absence of Kyrie Irving, and the Cleveland Cavaliers snapped an 11-game losing streak against the Chicago Bulls with a 101-98 victory on Tuesday night.

While Irving rested a sore right knee in street clothes on the sideline, Waiters converted a fadeaway jumper and a layup before Tyler Zeller drove along the baseline for a layup that helped Cleveland open an 87-78 lead with 7:33 left in the game.

The Bulls were down two when they got the ball back with 37 seconds left, but Luol Deng missed a long jumper.

Shaun Livingston, starting in place of Irving, finished with 15 points as improving Cleveland held on for its third win in the last four games, bouncing back from a difficult 109-105 loss at Miami on Sunday (see full recap).

Nets hold off Hornets
NEW ORLEANS -- Deron Williams scored 33 points, Brook Lopez added 20 while playing against his twin brother, Robin, and the Brooklyn Nets snapped a two-game skid with a 101-97 victory over the New Orleans Hornets on Tuesday night.

Williams did not score for much of the second half, but drained a timely 3-pointer with 1:24 left, then added a fadeaway jumper, followed by six free throws in the final 18.7 seconds to seal it.

Keith Bogans added 12 points for Brooklyn, hitting all four of his shots, including three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, when New Orleans nearly erased a deficit that had been as large as 22 points in the second quarter.

Greivis Vasquez scored 20 and Robin Lopez 14 for New Orleans, which has lost four of five (see full recap).

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Jahlil Okafor eager for more minutes as knee heals

Jahlil Okafor eager for more minutes as knee heals

CAMDEN, N.J. — Jahlil Okafor has been patient with his right knee. He was disciplined with restrictions and recovery during the preseason, recognizing the goal of being ready for opening night. 

At the same time, once he got back on the court he wanted more. Okafor played eight minutes Friday against the Heat, his first game since Feb. 28 before undergoing surgery to repair a right meniscus tear. 

“I don’t think I’m going to do eight again,” Okafor said Sunday. “They kind of heard me complain about that a lot. I think it’ll definitely be more than eight, but it won’t be much more.” 

Okafor has been limited since reaggravating his knee during the final day of training camp. He practiced “to tolerance” on Sunday, according to the Sixers. Okafor did not participate in the team scrimmage and worked out individually with assistant coach/head of strength and conditioning Todd Wright. 

The second-year big man did not feel soreness on Saturday following the game. On Sunday, he felt “kind of stiff” during practice. Brett Brown has been watching Okafor’s movement closely. While Okafor considered it to be “good,” Brown was a tougher critic. 

“I think he looked OK,” Brown said. “He didn’t look great to me today. I’ll give him a B-minus … It’s always how do you move? East, west, north, south, how do you move?” 

Okafor scored four points, one rebound, one assist, one block and one turnover in Miami. He focused on his defense during the game. When he subbed out, he checked in with Elton Brand on the bench to receive feedback from the now-retired veteran. Okafor plans to continue to tap into him for advice throughout the season. 

With opening night three days away, Okafor still plans to be on the floor for it.

“I am optimistic about it,” he said. “I should be ready to go.” 

Robert Covington sprained his right ankle in Friday’s game and did not practice Sunday. Brown anticipates Covington, who has been starting at small forward, also will be ready to go Wednesday. 

“I do (expect him to play),” Brown said. “But we won’t know that for sure yet.” 

Sixers waive retired Elton Brand
The Sixers waived Brand on Sunday, making his retirement official. Brand announced his intentions to walk away from the game Thursday. The Sixers' request of waivers was a procedural step. The roster currently stands at 19. 

“It’s been an honor, it’s been a privilege to play this game, the game that I love, and I’m certainly going to miss it,” Brand said last week (see story). “But it’s definitely time now.” 

Brand celebrated his career with his teammates at Komodo in Miami on Thursday night ahead of their preseason finale against the Heat. 

Report: Nerlens Noel expected out 3-5 weeks after left knee surgery

Report: Nerlens Noel expected out 3-5 weeks after left knee surgery

It appears the Sixers' frontcourt logjam may not be an issue early on.

Nerlens Noel, who is having surgery Monday for an inflamed plica in his left knee, will miss the first three to five weeks of the season, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Noel suffered a left groin injury in the first preseason game against the Celtics and missed the rest of the preseason. While undergoing treatment, Noel reported left knee soreness, which led to the discovery of the inflamed plica.

It's been an odd start to the season for Noel. The big man was outspoken about his displeasure with the Sixers' frontcourt situation early in camp. With the deadline for Noel's rookie contract extension approaching on Oct. 31, the team has not had conversations about it, according to a report.

The Sixers are already without No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons as he recovers from surgery to repair a Jones fracture in his right foot. The team will also be without their starting point guard Jerryd Bayless who is dealing with a ligament issue in his left wrist. Bayless won't require surgery and will be reevaluated in two weeks.