Edwards’ threes help send Celtics to perfect preseason

Boston Celtics guard Carsen Edwards shoots a three-point basket in the third quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers. (Reuters)
Updated 16 October 2019

Edwards’ threes help send Celtics to perfect preseason

  • Edwards made eight 3-pointers and scored 26 points in the third period

NEW YORK: From Larry Bird to Ray Allen, the Boston Celtics have suited up some of the best perimeter shooters in NBA history.

None of them ever had a hotter hand from behind the arc in a quarter than rookie Carsen Edwards on Tuesday night.

Edwards made eight 3-pointers and scored 26 points in the third period, leading the Celtics to a 118-95 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers to complete an unbeaten preseason.

The Philadelphia 76ers also are 4-0, though their success isn’t surprising because they’re expected to be one of the best teams in the league.

Edwards’ performance was a surprise, because there have been few like it in any game, no matter whether it counted in standings.

The second-round pick from Purdue was 8 for 11 behind the arc in the third quarter, all in just under nine minutes.

Bird has raved about some of Klay Thompson’s shooting performances, and the Golden State All-Star is the only player who ever made more 3s in one quarter. He hit nine during his 37-point third quarter — also a record — against Sacramento on Jan. 23, 2015.

Edwards finished 9 of 15 from 3-point range and scored 30 points.

Celtics 118 Cavaliers 95

Tremont Waters added 24 points, matching Edwards from the field at 10-of-16 shooting, and seven assists while Boston rested most of its regulars. Collin Sexton led the Cleveland (1-3) starters with 20 points. Darius Garland, the No. 5 overall pick in June, added 16.

76ers 106 Pistons 86

Joel Embiid scored 20 of Philadelphia’s 51 first-half points and finished with 24 points and eight rebounds as the 76ers and Pistons played short-handed.

Ben Simmons (back), James Ennis (calf) and Al Horford (rest) did not play for Philadelphia (4-0). Blake Griffin (hamstring), Andre Drummond (rest) and Markieff Morris (bronchitis) all sat out for Detroit (2-2).

Tobias Harris added 10 points, all in the first half, for Philadelphia, and rookie Matisse Thybulle had seven points, six rebounds, four steals and two blocks. 

Norvel Pelle added five blocks. Christian Wood scored 19 points for Detroit and Tony Snell added 17. The teams combined to make just 12 of 50 from 3-point range.

Timberwolves 119 Pacers 11 

Karl-Anthony Towns had 33 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and three blocks to lead Minnesota. Robert Covington added 10 points and 19 boards, and each Minnesota (2-2) starter scored at least nine points.

Domantas Sabonis had 11 points and 13 rebounds in the first half for Indiana (3-1). No other starter for the Pacers reached double-digit scoring.


Roger Federer outclasses Novak Djokovic to reach ATP Finals semis

Updated 15 November 2019

Roger Federer outclasses Novak Djokovic to reach ATP Finals semis

  • Defeat spells the end of Djokovic’s bid to overtake Rafael Nadal as No. 1
  • Federer, making his 17th appearance at the ATP Finals, reached his 16th semifinal

LONDOM: Roger Federer produced a serving masterclass as he avenged his Wimbledon defeat by Novak Djokovic and qualified for the last four of the ATP Finals on Thursday with a 6-4, 6-3 victory.
The Swiss, playing near-flawless tennis, broke once in the first set and twice in the second to beat his rival for the first time since 2015.
Roared on by a raucous packed house at London’s O2 Arena, the six-time champion dropped just seven points on his serve in the first set.
Defeat spells the end of Djokovic’s bid to overtake Rafael Nadal and finish as year-end number one.
The third-seeded Federer, making his 17th appearance at the ATP Finals, reached his 16th semifinal.
Djokovic needed to win the title to have a chance at knocking Nadal off the top spot, but now the Spaniard is guaranteed to finish the year as the top-ranked player for the fifth time, tying him with Federer, Djokovic and American Jimmy Connors.
“Great atmosphere, great opponent,” said Federer. “It was definitely incredibly special. I enjoyed it from the beginning.
“I played incredible and I knew I had to because that’s what Novak does. It was definitely magical. You guys made it super special, I can’t thank you enough.”
Speaking about what was different from Wimbledon, he said: “I won match point I guess. It was so close at Wimbledon. It was a privilege to play that match, so many ups and downs. I couldn’t be more happy right now.”
Federer finishes second in Group Bjorn Borg, behind Dominic Thiem, who beat both Federer and Djokovic earlier this week. The Swiss will face the Group Andre Agassi winner on Saturday.
Djokovic looked nervy at the start of the winner-takes-all contest, double-faulting twice in the third game, in which he was broken to love.
As cries of “Let’s go Roger, let’s go” rang around the cavernous stadium, Federer was dead-eyed on his serve, hitting eight aces, including a second-serve ace, in the first set.
Federer’s service level dipped in the second set and Djokovic earned his first break point of the match in the fourth game, which the Swiss saved.
He broke Djokovic again in the fifth game to take an iron grip on the match and repeated the trick to take the second set 6-3.
It was the 49th time Federer and Djokovic had met.
Djokovic, who now holds a 26-23 advantage, had won their past five meetings, including their epic five-set battle in the final at Wimbledon in July, during which he saved two championship points.
In Thursday’s early match in Group Bjorn Borg, which was a dead rubber, eighth seed Matteo Berrettini beat Thiem 7-6 (7/3), 6-3.
In doing so, the 23-year-old became the first Italian to win a match at the season-ending championships.
Berrettini arrived in London at a career-high number eight in the ATP rankings after starting the season outside of the top 50.
Fifth seed Thiem did not hit the heights he reached during his three-set win against Djokovic, notching just 12 winners compared with 50 against the Serbian.
Stefanos Tsitsipas has already qualified for the semifinals from Group Andre Agassi, leaving Nadal, defending champion Alexander Zverev and Daniil Medvedev to scrap it out for the other spot on Friday.