Home » Aussie’s epic career-high as stunning NBA rise hits new level; Dame dazzles: NBA Wrap

Aussie’s epic career-high as stunning NBA rise hits new level; Dame dazzles: NBA Wrap

Australian Duop Reath drained a career-high 26 points for the Portland Trail Blazers, the 27-year-old rookie continuing his remarkable NBA surge just weeks after having his two-way contract upgraded to a three-year deal.

Reath nailed 5-of-6 from beyond the arc – also a career-best – and added three rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block in his third-straight start with Deandre Ayton.

But Portland fell 119-114 to the Minnesota Timberwolves after a hard-fought contest.

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French international Rudy Gobert led Minnesota’s scoring with 25 points, hauling in 16 rebounds with three blocks.

Anthony Edwards finished with 13 off the bench on a night when six Minnesota players posted double-digit points tallies.

Anfernee Simons was the pick of the Portland shooters with 34 points, including 5-of-13 from three-point range.

D’Angelo Russell scored 26 points as the Los Angeles Lakers produced a dominant defensive display to upset the Oklahoma City Thunder 116-104 on Monday.

Russell and Anthony Davis (24) combined for 50 points while LeBron James added 19 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists in an ultimately comfortable win for the 17-time NBA champions.

Oklahoma City went into the game as leaders of the Western Conference and they started smoothly, opening up a 12-point lead early in the first quarter.

But some stubborn defending and Russell’s hot hand hauled the Lakers back into contention, and a big second-quarter — outscoring the Thunder 27-18 — gave them a lead they held for the remainder of the contest.

“Early on they made some shots and we turned the ball over, but we didn’t totally collapse,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said.

“We continued to defend. I told the team at half-time: ‘That’s the best defensive half I’ve seen all season.’

“Kudos to our guys — they stepped up and defended really, really well.” The Lakers defense restricted Thunder star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to 20 points, while Chet Holmgren finished with 15 and Josh Giddey 13. The Aussie had five rebounds and four assists.

The defeat knocked Oklahoma City (42-19) out of top spot in the West, with the Minnesota Timberwolves taking over first place. The Lakers improved to 34-29 to sit in ninth.

The Lakers overpowered Josh Giddey’s (L) Thunder.Source: Getty Images


Elsewhere, Damian Lillard produced a dazzling 41-point display as the Milwaukee Bucks shrugged off the injury absence of Giannis Antetokounmpo to defeat the Los Angeles Clippers 113-106 on Monday.

With Antetokounmpo ruled out just before tip-off with a sore Achilles, and Khris Middleton also out injured, Lillard led from the front to help in-form Milwaukee claim a sixth straight victory.

The Clippers looked to have the measure of their opponents, opening up a 15-point lead at one stage in the third quarter.

But Lillard and Bobby Portis caught fire in the fourth as the Bucks outscored the Clippers 40-25 to pull clear and seal the win before a fired-up Milwaukee crowd.

Lillard finished with four rebounds and four assists along with his 41 points, while Portis stepped up with 28 points and 16 rebounds.

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Patrick Beverley was the only other Milwaukee player in double figures, adding 12 points.

The win saw Milwaukee improve to 41-21, leaving them in second place in the Eastern Conference standings behind leaders Boston (48-12).

“We’re just playing together on both sides of the ball,” Lillard said afterwards.

Bucks coach Doc Rivers accused some members of his team as being in holiday-mode prior to last month’s All-Star game mid-season break.

But Lillard revealed the Bucks were now reaping the benefits from a clear-the-air meeting that has sparked the team’s unbeaten streak.

“Coming out of the break we had a big talk as a team, Doc addressed a lot of things, challenged us to do some things differently — and I think we embraced it as a team,” Lillard said.

“Leading into the break there were a lot of things that we just weren’t fully committed to doing together; but now I think everybody is seeing the success of us being all-in on both sides.” The only down note for the Bucks on Monday came with Antetokounmpo’s injury. The Greek star appeared for a pre-game warm-up but hobbled away in visible discomfort with a left Achilles problem as he went through shooting drills.

The Clippers meanwhile saw Paul George and James Harden finish with 29 points apiece, with Kawhi Leonard adding 16.

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