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Dublin: 5°C Thursday 25 February 2021
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Young stars in shock win, Clippers honour Lakers legend Bryant and Raptors roar on

A wrap of Thursday’s NBA action.

The Los Angeles Clippers stand for a video tribute to Kobe Bryant.
The Los Angeles Clippers stand for a video tribute to Kobe Bryant.
Image: Kelvin Kuo

TRAE YOUNG ALMOST single-handedly stunned the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA overnight, while the Los Angeles Clippers paid tribute to Kobe Bryant.

Named an All-Star starter ahead of Ben Simmons, 21-year-old guard Young outshone his fellow Eastern Conference star as the Atlanta Hawks topped the 76ers 127-117.

Young had a double-double before the first quarter ended and finished with 39 points and a career-high 18 assists in the upset, while Simmons went 10-of-15 from the field for a team-high 31 points.

The Clippers set rivalries aside before their clash with the Sacramento Kings to honour Los Angeles Lakers legend Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and the other seven people killed in Sunday’s helicopter crash.

Paul George narrated a moving video that was broadcast before 24 seconds of silence while Bryant’s old Lakers jerseys, normally covered during Clippers games at Staples Center, were left visible.

kings-clippers-basketball Kobe's retired jerseys. Source: Kelvin Kuo

Sacramento went on to win 124-103 as Kawhi Leonard, who was involved in the warm-up, failed to play a minute due to lower back tightness.

Elsewhere, newly-named all-stars Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam combined for 42 points as the reigning NBA champion Toronto Raptors won their ninth straight game with a 115-109 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Lowry scored 14 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter, and Siakam added 19 as the visiting Raptors extended their season-best winning streak. 

Lowry, who is headed to the All-Star Game for the sixth straight season, was named as one of seven reserves from the Eastern Conference to join teammate Siakam, who was chosen as a starter last week.

Serge Ibaka scored a team-high 26 points in the win as the Raptors completed a three-game sweep of the season series with the Cavaliers. 

Source: NBA/YouTube

In the late game, Nikola Jokic had 28 points and 10 assists, and Will Barton scored 18 as Denver Nuggets pulled out a 106-100 win over the Utah Jazz.

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And Jayson Tatum returned after three games out with a groin injury and celebrated his first All-Star nod in fitting fashion, contributing 20 points, six rebounds and two assists as the Boston Celtics topped the Golden State Warriors 119-104.

Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal proved a point to those who overlooked him for a place in the All-Star Game in Chicago, posting 34 points, nine rebounds and nine assists in a 121-107 win over the Charlotte Hornets.

Thursday’s results

  • Toronto Raptors 115-109 Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Washington Wizards 121-107 Charlotte Hornets
  • Atlanta Hawks 127-117 Philadelphia 76ers
  • Boston Celtics 119-104 Golden State Warriors
  • Sacramento Kings 124-103 Los Angeles Clippers
  • Denver Nuggets 106-100 Utah Jazz

- reporting from AFP and OmniSport

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