NBA

Nets Stumble Again As 76ers And Bucks Take Control Of NBA East

It may well have been Super Bowl weekend across the United States, but there were some potentially huge games in the NBA on Saturday too. In one of those, the Philadelphia 76ers tightened their grip on the Eastern Conference with a huge win over the Brooklyn Nets.

After acquiring James Harden in a trade from the Houston Rockets a few weeks back, the Nets were many people’s favourites to not just win the East, but to win the NBA Championship too. However, after two defeats in a row they are now third in the Conference with a 14-11 record.

Ahead of them are the Milwaukee Bucks, whose fourth win in a row moved them to 15-8 and the 76ers who have a 17-7 record to top the division.

Great Team Effort From 76ers

Coming into the game on the back of a 121-105 defeat to the Portland Trai Blazers, the 76ers needed a big night from their key players and they got it. The Nets, without the injured Kevin Durant, only mustered 108 points, Harden top scoring with 26.

Led by center and NBA MVP candidate Joel Embiid, the 76ers took an early lead in the game and barely looked troubled throughout. They took full control of the game in the third quarter when they outscored the Nets by 13 points. Maintaining the 16-point advantage they had established previously in the game throughout the fourth quarter to claim the win.

Embiid finished with 33 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists but he was ably assisted by Tobias Harris who hit 21 points, 12 rebounds and 6 assists, while Ben Simmonds weighed in with 16 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists.

The Bucks held onto second spot in the conference with a 124-99 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday combining for 64 points between them in a solid all-round display.

With the Pacers and Celtics also losing, it was a good weekend for 76ers and Bucks fans.

Jazz And Lakers Continue Winning Ways

In the Western Conference, it was a positive Saturday for Lakers and Jazz fans, with the Clippers dropping a second game in a row against the Sacramento Kings by a 110-113 scoreline.

The Lakers took full advantage earning a 135-129 win over the Detroit Pistons in overtime with LeBron James netting 33 points and Anthony Davis 30 in a crucial victory.

However, the Lakers could not usurp the Utah Jazz who defeated the Indiana Pacers 103-95 with Domantas Sabonis top scoring with 20 in what was a very close battle between the two teams.

That win leaves the Jazz top of the conference with a 19-5 record, the best in the NBA. The Lakers are now second with an 18-6 record with the ailing Clippers third on 17-8. The Phoenix Suns are next with a 13-9 record followed by the 13-10 San Antonio Spurs.

Strength Of The Western Conference?

One interesting point to note between the two conferences is that in the Western Conference, there are eleven teams with a 0.5 or better record, stretching down to the Memphis Grizzlies in 11th place in the table.

In the Eastern Conference though only the top five teams have a .500 or better record. Which does tend to suggest that the Western Conference is perhaps the better quality of the two.

Top games to enjoy on Monday night include the Milwaukee Bucks taking on the Denver Nuggets, the Los Angeles Lakers facing the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Phoenix Suns taking on the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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