Philadelphia 76ers (0-16) rookie Jahlil Okafor was reportedly involved in a street fight in Boston following the Sixers loss to Celtics on Nov. 25. TMZ released video earlier (Nov. 26) that showed a man it identified as Okafor verbally sparring with several individuals and a scuffle broke out, and the man identified as Okafor is seen punching a man. ESPN’s Jeff Goodman confirmed that it was indeed Okafor.
“Apparently, they said: ‘The 76ers suck and you guys are all losers. You’ll never win a game,’ ” a source close to Okafor told Goodman.
“I was around the corner when it happened. I saw him a minute after he knocked the dude out,” the source said. “I think the guy was just talking s—. Saying the Sixers suck.”
Okafor, who is having one of the best seasons of all NBA rookies, poured in 19 points and grabbed nine boards in Philadelphia’s 84-80 loss. Okafor has scored in double-figures in 15 of the team’s 16 and is averaging 18.4 points to go along with 8.1 caroms and 1.8 blocks.
The Sixers (0-16) have lost 26 straight games dating to last season and are the first team in NBA history to start 0-16 in consecutive seasons.
Other NBA news:
- Kobe Bryant is in the midst of his worst professional campaign but Los Angeles Lakers coach Byron Scott has no plans to rest him, Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times reported.
“I have not considered that yet. It’s too early in the season,” said Scott. “I think he’s [Bryant]averaging about 30 minutes a game. He’s still getting plenty of rest. I don’t think so — maybe [he] is, but in my opinion watching it, I don’t think so. Obviously he’s struggling right now with his shot. In the last few days, he said he feels great. I don’t think it’s a matter of him being tired, or his legs behind tired, I think it’s just a matter of his timing being a little off.”
Bryant is coming off a season-low four point, six rebound and two assist performance in the Los Angeles’ 111-77 loss to Golden State on November 24. He was just 1-of-14 from the floor and 1-of-7 on his three-point attempts.
Bryant has played 11 in the Lakers (2-12) 14 games thus far and is averaging 15.2 points along with 4.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 30.5 minutes of action. He is shooting 31.1 percent from the field and 19.5 percent from beyond the arc — both of those numbers would be all-time lows for the future Hall-of-Famer. Bryant has tallied double-figures in 10-of-his-11 appearances but has topped the 20-point plateau only once.
The Lakers, who have lost four straight, are struggling in nearly all facets. Los Angeles is averaging 96.7 points (No. 27 in the league) and has tallied 100-points on five occasions though just once in the past nine games. The Lakers rank No. 29 in point differential, tied-for No. 29 in field goal percentage, No. 24 in three-point shooting, No. 26 in assists, No. 26 in opponents scoring and No. 21 in rebounding.
- The Brooklyn Nets fell to 1-9 on the road this season after falling to the Oklahoma City Thunder 110-99 on Wednesday night. Brook Lopez led the Nets (3-12) with 26 points. Brooklyn had won three straight in Oklahoma City and were looking to join the San Antonio Spurs as the only team to win four straight there , per ESPN.
- Head coach Steve Clifford recently signed a four year contract with the Charlotte Hornets.Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer tweeted that the first-three years of his extension are guaranteed while 2019-20 season is a team option.
- The New York Knicks dropped their final two contests after starting their four-game road trip with two victories. The Knicks, who saw their first four-game winning streak since the end of the 2013-14 season snapped earlier this week, are 8-8 on the season.
- 20-year old Kristaps Porzingis is having an outstanding rookie campaign. The 7-foot-3 center has been dominant on the defensive end, particularly in the last five games. He is averaging 18.0 points, 10.6 caroms and 3.4 blocks while knocking down 50.0 percent of his three-point attempts over that stretch.Porzingis also picked up three of his seven double-doubles over that five-game span.
- The Cleveland Cavaliers (11-4) held a players only meeting following their 103-99 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday. The loss was the Cavs third in the last six games.
- Jon Leuer has been a key member off the bench for the Phoenix Suns according to Ben York of NBA.com. Leuer, who was acquired from Memphis on draft day, scored season-high 20 points and 12 rebounds in the Suns loss 120-114 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday. He was 9-of-15 from the field and 2-of-4 from beyond the arc.
Leuer is averaging 6.6 points while shooting 52.0 percent from the field and 50.0 percent from beyond the arc in the past five games. The 6-foot-10 “stretch-four” is averaging 6.5 points along with 5.3 caroms and 1.0 assist this season. He is shooting 43.5 percent from the floor and 50.0 percent on three-point attempts.
- The Arizona Republic reports that Phoenix (7-8) called-up Bryce Cotton from the D-League to add depth to their backcourt as well as provide scoring punch off the bench. Cotton was averaging 22.0 points, 4.5 assists and 1.5 steals in his first four D-League games this season for San Antonio D-League affiliate Austin.
- The Los Angeles Clippers (7-8) are still trying to find some consistency as head coach Doc Rivers continues to experiment with his lineup. Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times reports that Wesley Johnson may earn more starts at small forward due to the energy he brings. Lance Stephenson and Paul Pierce have also started at small forward.
- Portland Trail Blazers reserve guard Gerald Henderson has struggled since returning to the lineup following hip surgery in July and has told Jason Quick of CSNNW.com that he needs more time to round into form.
Henderson, who was acquired from Charlotte in the Nicolas Batum trade, is averaging 4.6 points and 2.0 rebounds in eight games this season. He is shooting 32.6 percent from the floor and 30.8 percent from beyond the arc.
- Damian Lillard has developed into one of the best facilitators in the NBA. Lillard, in his fourth NBA season, is averaging a career-best 25.1 points and 7.2 assists a game through 16 games for Portland (6-10).
- While George Karl is still acclimating himself to the Kings newcomers, he believes Sacramento has more talented roster than they did a year ago according to Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee.
- Denver Nuggets point guard Emmanuel Mudiay is second among rookies in minutes played. The 19-year-old is averaging 12.5 points and 6.3 assists in 30.0 minutes per contest through 15 games.
- Orlando Magic head coach Scott Skiles juggled his starting lineup on Wednesday against the New York Knicks and was rewarded with a superb performance by Victor Olidipo, who started the game on the bench for the first time this season. Olidipo scored a season-high 24 points as he made 13-of-his-15 free throw attempts as the Magic won the game 100-91. Olidipo, who is shooting just 36.7 percent from the field and 21.4 percent from the three-point line, made 5-of-15 shots from the field including 1-of-4 from beyond the arc.
- Orlando is averaging 90.07 field goal attempts per game, highest in the NBA.
- New York is third-worst shooting team in the NBA at 41.5 percent.