Barnes shines as Kings hold off Warriors, Lakers top Bulls
Los Angeles (AFP) – The Sacramento Kings, fueled by a career-high 39 points from Harrison Barnes, edged the Golden State Warriors 134-133 on Thursday as Lakers star LeBron James celebrated his record-setting 20th NBA All-Star nod with a win.
Domantas Sabonis’s dunk with 22.1 seconds remaining sealed a dramatic win for Sacramento after back-to-back dunks by Jonathan Kuminga gave the Warriors their first lead of the second half at 133-132.
Golden State had a chance to close it out, but Kuminga was denied by Barnes and superstar Stephen Curry, under fierce pressure from De’Aaron Fox, and lost the ball in the final second.Recent Posts:
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“Feels good,” Barnes said of the win against his former team in San Francisco. “We wanted to start this road trip off right.”
Barnes, coming off a 32-point performance in a victory over Atlanta on Tuesday, said he was “just trying to maximize opportunities.”
“We feel like we have a good team and the ball’s moving … so the ball’s finding me,” he said.
Sabonis posted his 26th-straight double-double with 18 points and 13 assists and Fox added 29 points for the Kings.
Curry scored 33 points to lead the Warriors, who were playing their second game since the death of assistant coach Dejan Milojevic from a heart attack last week.
In Los Angeles, James scored 25 points and handed out 12 assists in the Lakers’ 141-132 victory over the Chicago Bulls, which came hours after James was named an All-Star Game starter for the 20th consecutive year — a streak stretching back to his second season in the league.
D’Angelo Russell hit eight three-pointers on the way to 29 points, leading seven Lakers players in double-figures in the dominant victory.
Elsewhere, Pascal Siakam’s triple-double propelled the Indiana Pacers to a 134-122 victory over Philadelphia that snapped the 76ers’ six-game winning streak.
The Boston Celtics routed Miami 143-110 in an Eastern Conference final rematch, the New York Knicks thumped the defending champion Denver Nuggets 122-84 and Western Conference leaders Minnesota held on for a 96-94 victory over the Nets in Brooklyn.
The Pacers were in charge throughout in Indianapolis, where Siakam scored 26 points with 13 rebounds and 10 assists to lead the charge against the sluggish 76ers.
“He plays with a lot of passion and energy. He fits right into our mold,” Pacers center Myles Turner said of Siakam.
Philadelphia’s reigning NBA MVP Joel Embiid scored 31 points, but coach Nick Nurse pulled Embiid and the rest of his starters for the fourth quarter as the Pacers romped despite the continued absence of injured Tyrese Haliburton.
In Miami, Jayson Tatum scored 26 points to lead seven Celtics players in double figures and the Celtics drilled 22 three-pointers against the team that ended their title hopes last season.
After that agonizing exit, Tatum said the Celtics are fueled by a determination to “get over the hump”.
But he refused to get too excited about the gaudy margin of victory over their Eastern Conference rivals.
“If you win by 30 or two, it just counts as one win,” he said. “We’ve still got a long way to go, but it’s a great way to close out the road trip.”
Timberwolves hang on
At Madison Square Garden, OG Anunoby led the Knicks with 26 points and came up with six steals to help New York withstand a 31-point, 11-rebound double-double from Nuggets star Nikola Jokic.
Jokic hit the floor in pain after getting Knicks guard Donte DiVincenzo’s hand in his left eye late in the first half. He exited briefly but returned to start the second half.
Jokic connected on 13 of 18 shots from the floor but sat out the fourth quarter along with the rest of Denver’s starters with the game out of reach.
In Brooklyn, it came down to the wire, but 27 points from Karl Anthony-Towns and 24 from Anthony Edwards proved enough for the Timberwolves, who were up by 10 midway through the fourth quarter before the Nets closed the gap with an 8-0 run.
It was tied at 94-94 with 1:11 left to play, but an alley-oop dunk by Rudy Gobert with 58.1 seconds remaining proved to be the game-winner.