Portland pulled away in the second half to beat Dallas 94-75 on Thursday, as the Trail Blazers extended their lead in the NBA Northwest Division.
The Blazers widened their advantage over Oklahoma City, who lost a close contest against Chicago in the day’s other game.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Portland Trail Blazers.
It was Portland’s fifth straight win, but it was costly: Starting guard Wesley Matthews had to be helped off the court with a left foot injury early in the third quarter.
Matthews did not return and the extent of the injury was uncertain.
Nicolas Batum added 15 points and a season-high 12 rebounds for Portland.
The Trail Blazers had four players scoring double figures, despite coming off back-to-back games.
Monta Ellis and Amare Stoudemire each had 12 points for the Mavericks, who saw the return of veteran center Tyson Chandler after a three-game absence.
BULLS 108, THUNDER 105
In Chicago, Illinois, E’Twaun Moore sank a go-ahead three-pointer with 2.1 seconds remaining as the Bulls rallied to beat Oklahoma City 108-105, ending Russell Westbrook’s triple-double streak at four games.
Westbrook had 43 points on 14-of-32 shooting and added seven assists and eight rebounds. On Wednesday night in Oklahoma City, he had career highs with 49 points and 16 rebounds and added 10 assists in an overtime win over Philadelphia.
Westbrook scored 19 points in the third quarter to help the Thunder take a 79-72 lead into the fourth. The Bulls pulled within one on Nikola Mirotic’s two free throws with 2 minutes, 16 seconds remaining. Westbrook then split two with 1:07 to play, and Enes Kanter rebounded the miss and scored to give Oklahoma City a 103-99 lead.
Mirotic made a three-pointer, and Westbrook hit a jumper with 37.1 seconds left. Mirotic made two free throws with 28.9 to go, pulling Chicago within one. Westbrook then had an air-ball with the shot-clock expiring, and Moore followed with his three-pointer.
Mirotic finished with 26 points, Pau Gasol had 21 points and 12 rebounds, Mike Dunleavy also had 21 points, and Moore added 19. Joakim Noah had 12 rebounds, putting him over 5,000 for his career.
Serge Ibaka had 25 points and nine rebounds for Oklahoma City.
KEY GOAL: Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei is now free to focus on taking her fourth doubles title of the year with Barbora Strycova; they are due to face Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya Taiwanese No. 1 Hsieh Su-wei on Monday returned to the court for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the WTA Tour, falling to a 6-3, 6-1 defeat to US Open quarter-finalist Elise Mertens, who made a solid transition from the hard courts in New York to the clay at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. “I’m not sure how well I adapted, to be honest,” Mertens told the WTA Web site. “I just feel like I might still be struggling a little. It was also [Hsieh’s] first match of the week, so that was a bit of an
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
‘FUN TIME’: Denver’s Nikola Jokic said that his team would not accept that anyone else is better than them and the opposition need to play much better than they do Just about everyone had LA versus LA written in for the NBA’s Western Conference finals, but the resilient Denver Nuggets have crashed the party. Behind Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 2009 to face LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Game 1 is scheduled to be played tomorrow. This was no ordinary road. The Nuggets fell behind 3-1 in their first-round series against the Utah Jazz before bouncing back with three straight victories. Then they went down 3-1 to the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round before winning in Game 7
Neymar on Sunday claimed that he had been the victim of racism as he was one of five players sent off in a mass brawl at the end of Olympique de Marseille’s 1-0 win over Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain. PSG’s Brazilian star appeared to accuse Alvaro Gonzalez of calling him a “monkey” in a series of furious tweets after he was sent off in stoppage-time for slapping the Marseille defender on the back of the head. “Look at the racism. That’s why I hit him,” Neymar, who was returning from COVID-19 quarantine, said as he left the pitch. “The only regret I