NBA Today (May 11, 2021): Talen Horton Tucker Game-Winner, LeBron/Harden To Return

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 10: Talen Horton-Tucker #5 of the Los Angeles Lakers shoots a three point basket to win the game against the New York Knicks on May 10, 2021 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Lakers’ Talen Horton Tucker headlines tonight’s 11 games with a game-winning three to defeat the Knicks; Michael Jordan shares his last text messages with Kobe Bryant; LeBron and Harden aim to make a Wednesday return from injury. Read more below.

Video Highlights

Talen Horton-Tucker Hits the Game-Winning 3 to Defeat the Knicks

With the Lakers down 1 in overtime against the Knicks, Talen Horton-Tucker steps up and makes a clutch 3-pointer to put the Lakers up 2, then follows up with clutch lockdown defense on R.J. Barrett on the other end to seal the game.

Anthony Davis gestured “I can’t hear you” to Spike Lee during the Lakers’ celebration.

Facundo Campazzo Pulls the Chair on P.J. Washington, Throws Two Nice Passes to Aaron Gordon

P.J. Washington got the post-up isolation against Facundo Campazzo, but Campazzo was one step ahead. After Washington’s first back down, Campazzo pulls the chair on the 2nd, sending Washington to the ground.

Campazzo immediately turns defense to offense by throwing two beautiful passes to Gordon: a half-court bounce pass that goes around a defender, followed by a full-court hook-pass to the same target, Aaron Gordon.

Ben Simmons Hits 2 Smooth Turnaround Jumpers Vs. Pacers

Ben Simmons scored two smooth fadeaway turnaround jumpers on Caris LeVert. Once with two seconds left on the shot clock, and another after a series of spins.

Cole Anthony and Bobby Portis Synchronized Fall and Stand Up

Cole Anthony tried to split two defenders but collided with Boby Portis instead. They both got up in an oddly satisfying synchronized way that looks similar to an NBA 2K animation.

Bam Adebayo says he Should be the Defensive Player of the Year

Coming off a 121-119 victory over the Celtics, Bam Adebayo joined the post-game interview with the NBA on TNT crew. 

Dwayne Wade asked Adebayo how long he’ll keep his current hairstyle, calling his afro “weak.” Adebayo responded by stating, “It’s getting me defensive player of the year, so let’s talk about that.”

Wade followed by asking Adebayo why he believes he’s the DPOY, and Bam responded, “I do everything on defense, and I’m going to walk out on that one.”

Adebayo finished with 22 points on 10/15 FG, with seven rebounds, five assists, two blocks, and one steal.

Caris LeVert Drills the Dagger 3 to put away the Sixers

With the Pacers up four and the one-minute mark approaching, Caris LeVert gets the switch on Mike Scott, complains to the ref about the previous defender (Ben Simmons) fouling him, takes a look at the clock, fakes a drive, and steps back to put the Pacers up seven to seal the win.

LaMelo Ball Gets a Technical for Moving the Ref’s Hand From His Injured Wrist

LaMelo Ball went for a layup after the whistle, and as he came down, a referee tried to slow his momentum by holding him. It looks like Ball responded by removing the ref’s hand away from his injured wrist.

Refs have been scrutinized all season for giving out unnecessary technical fouls and ejections. However, many fans argue that this call is warranted.

Kyrie Irving Takes an Elbow to the Face from Vucevic and Leaves the Game

While going for a rebound, Vucevic came down with an elbow on Kyrie Irving’s face. Irving was in visible pain and lyed on the ground for some time. 

Teammate Kevin Durant was the first to his side before medical staff and more teammates came to help walk Irving to the locker room. 

Irving was ruled out for the remainder of the game with a facial contusion.

Steve Nash said post-game that Kyrie Irving does not have a concussion, but he will require further scans as X-Rays came back “inconclusive.” 

We could potentially see a return of a Masked Kyrie Irving.

Blazers Roster Surprises Carmelo Anthony with a Custom Backboard and Shirts 

The entire Trailblazers roster surprised Carmelo Anthony at practice with a custom backboard and shirt that read “ME10” to celebrate him reaching 10th on the all-time scoring list.

Anthony has 27,337 for his career, which puts him 73 points away from passing Moses Malone at No. 9 on the list.

News Around the Association

LeBron James Targeting Wednesday Return

Apr 22, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Los Angeles Lakers injured forward LeBron James (23) yells during the fourth quarter against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James is targeting a Wednesday return when the Lakers take on the Rockets. James lasted two games when he returned from a right ankle injury that sidelined him for 20-games.

The Lakers are the 7th-seed and currently matched with the 8th-seed Warriors for the May 18 NBA Playin Tournament.

James Harden is expected to be a game-time decision return vs. San Antonio on Wednesday

Apr 20, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden (13) in street clothes due to injury against New Orleans Pelicans during the second half at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

After missing 18 consecutive games, James Harden is expected to be a game-time decision Wednesday. 

Harden was sidelined with a hamstring strain on April 5. The Nets have three games remaining.

Pacers Clinch a Spot in the 2021 NBA Play-in Tournament

May 11, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indiana Pacers guard Caris LeVert (22) reacts after a three-point basket during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Indiana Pacers have a chance to clinch a playoff berth after a 103-94 victory over the Sixers and a 115-107 Bulls loss to the Nets.

The Pacers are currently tied with the Hornets for 8th in the Eastern Conference and aim to make the playoffs for a 6th straight season.

Michael Jordan’s Last Text Messages to Kobe Bryant

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant(L) and Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan(R) talk during a free-throw attempt during the fourth quarter 17 December at the United Center in Chicago. Bryant, who is 19 and bypassed college basketball to play in the NBA, scored a team-high 33 points off the bench, and Jordan scored a team-high 36 points. The Bulls defeated the Lakers 104-83. AFP PHOTO VINCENT LAFORET (Photo by VINCENT LAFORET / AFP) (Photo credit should read VINCENT LAFORET/AFP/Getty Images)

Micheal Jordan appeared in an interview with ESPN’s Jacki MacMullen. During the interview, Jordan shares final text messages between him and Kobe Bryant from December 8, 2019.

“This tequila is awesome,” Kobe texted, referring to Jordan’s Cincoro Tequila, a bottle of which was sent to Bryant at the launch.

“Thank you, my brother,” Jordan responded.

“Yes, sir. Family good?” Kobe replied.

“All good. Yours?”

“All good.”

Jordan smiled, then decided to have a little fun. “He was really into coaching Gigi,” MJ explains, “so I hit him up about that.”

“Happy holidays,” Jordan texted back, “and hope to catch up soon. Coach Kobe??!”

“I added that little crying/laughing emoji,” Jordan chuckles.

“Ah, back at you, man,” Kobe wrote. “Hey, coach, I’m sitting on the bench right now, and we’re blowing this team out. 45-8.”

Eleven days following that exchange, Bryant learned he had been officially nominated for the Hall of Fame as a first-ballot entry. Forty-nine days later, he was gone.

“I just love that text,” Jordan says, “because it shows Kobe’s competitive nature.”

Michael Jordan will announce Kobe into the NBA Hall of Fame on May 15.

Marc Lore & Alex Rodriguez Miss Key Deadline to Buy Timberwolves

Feb 2, 2020; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Alex Rodriguez on the sidelines before Super Bowl LIV between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez’s 30-day exclusive window to buy the Timberwolves from Glen Taylor has ended without a deal. Negotiations are still ongoing from both sides in an attempt to reach an agreement.

Former NBA player�Arron Afflalo says he plans to launch a renewed purchase bid. Afflalo is heading an ownership group that has pursued the Timberwolves for ten months.

NBA’s Defensive Player Ladder (Week 20)

May 7, 2021; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) blocks the shot of Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) in the fourth quarter at Vivint Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports
Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA has entered the final week of the Defensive Player Ladder, with Rudy Gobert taking the 1st spot from Ben Simmons.

  1. Rudy Gobert
  2. Ben Simmons
  3. Bam Adebayo
  4. Giannis Antetokounmpo
  5. Clint Capela
  6. Matisse Thybulle
  7. Draymond Green
  8. Chris Paul
  9. Jimmy Butler
  10. Jakob Poeltl

NBA Scores � 11 Games

Magic vs. Bucks

Magic – 102 / Bucks – 114

Top Performers

C. Anthony: 18 PTS 4 REB

G. Antetokounmpo: 27 PTS, 12 REB, 5 AST

76ers vs. Pacers

76ers – 94 / Pacers – 103

Top Performers

T. Harris: 27 PTS, 5 REB, 3 AST

C. LeVert: 24 PTS, 7 REB, 5 AST

Mavericks vs. Grizzlies

Mavericks – 104 / Grizzlies – 133

Top Performers

T. Hardaway Jr.: 19 PTS, 5 REB, 2 AST

J. Morant: 24 PTS, 7 REB, 8 AST

Nets vs. Bulls

Nets – 115 / Bulls – 107

Top Performers

K. Durant: 21 PTS, 4 REB, 8 AST

Z. LaVine: 41 PTS, 3 REB, 1 AST

Heat vs. Celtics

Heat – 129 / Celtics – 121

Top Performers

T. Herro: 24 PTS, 11 REB, 3 AST

K. Walker: 36 PTS, 7 REB, 4 AST

Clippers vs. Raptors

Clippers – 115 / Raptors – 96

Top Performers

T. Mann: 20 PTS, 1 REB, 2 AST

C. Boucher: 16 PTS, 7 REB

Timberwolves vs. Pistons

Timberwolves – 119 / Pistons – 100

Top Performers

K. Towns: 28 PTS, 8 REB, 5 AST

S. Lee: 22 PTS, 4 REB, 5 AST

Nuggets vs. Hornets

Nuggets – 117 / Hornets – 112

Top Performers

M. Porter Jr.: 30 PTS, 6 REB, 1 AST

D. Graham: 31 PTS, 4 REB, 5 AST

Thunder vs. Kings

Thunder – 106 / Kings – 122

Top Performers

K. Williams: 20 PTS, 2 REB, 4 AST

T. Davis: 27 PTS, 5 REB, 3 AST

Suns vs. Warriors

Suns – 116 / Warriors – 122

Top Performers

D. Booker: 34 PTS, 7 REB, 4 AST

A. Wiggins: 38 PTS, 7 REB, 3 AST

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