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76ers’ Joel Embiid, Bulls’ DeMar DeRozan lead NBA in clutch scoring this season

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In the NBA, the word “clutch” is thrown around a lot, and understandably so. On any given night, various players from across the league’s landscape make game-altering plays down the stretch for their respective squads. However, some players are more consistently clutch than others, and this season a handful of players have separated themselves as the league’s elite when it comes to clutch-time scoring. 

As a quick reminder, the NBA defines clutch time as any game time when the score is within five points in the final five minutes of the fourth quarter or any overtime period. With that said, here’s a look at the NBA’s leaders in clutch scoring this season*, all of who happen to play in the Eastern Conference. 

*Stats accurate as of Jan. 4

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1. Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers — 96 clutch points 

Sixers center Joel Embiid has been the NBA’s most productive player in clutch time this season, and it isn’t particularly close. Through Jan. 4, Embiid scored 96 clutch points — 24 points more than the second player on the list, Bulls guard DeMar DeRozan. Embiid doesn’t just lead the league in total clutch points either. He also leads in clutch points per performance with six. 

Embiid has spent a considerable amount of time around the perimeter on the offensive end this season, but when it’s winning time he has made it a point to get to the low post, and that has made it extremely difficult for opposing defenses to limit his production in the closing minutes of games. Defenses don’t want to leave Sixers shooters open with the game hanging in the balance, which often results in one-on-one opportunities for Embiid — situations that he can exploit easily, as he did against Enes Freedom and the Celtics late last month: 

Embiid’s ability to draw fouls and knock down the resulting free throws has also helped him jump to the top of the league’s clutch scorers list. Embiid has attempted 37 clutch free throws this season and made 28 of them. Both of those numbers lead the league. 

2. DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls — 72 clutch points 

While Embiid has been doing his damage in the clutch largely from post position, Bulls guard DeMar DeRozan has been doing his work from the perimeter. In just his first season in Chicago, DeRozan has quickly established himself as the Bulls’ go-to guy down the stretch of games, and it’s a role that he appears to be extremely comfortable in. Earlier this week, DeRozan made NBA history by becoming the first player ever to hit game-winning buzzer-beaters on consecutive days. 

First, he ended 2021 with this epic finisher in Indiana: 

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Then, the first next night, DeRozan kicked off 2022 by sinking the Wizards with this contested corner 3-pointer: 

It’s not just 3-pointers either. DeRozan also has a knack for getting to the line late in games. He’s knocked down 28 clutch free throws so far this season, which ties him with Embiid for the most in the league. Clutch play is nothing new for DeRozan, who finished third in the league in total clutch scoring as a member of the Spurs last season, he’s just getting a bit more exposure on a contending Bulls team this season. 

T-3. Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets — 66 clutch points 

When the Nets are in a close game, their offensive game plan often resembles something along the line of “give the ball to Durant and get out of his way,” and it has worked out pretty well. Durant is third in the NBA in total clutch scoring this season. He’s also second in clutch points per game (4.4 — tied with Grizzles guard Ja Morant) and his play has helped to mitigate the fact that the Nets have been without Kyrie Irving all season. 

Durant established himself as an elite clutch scorer during his days in Oklahoma City, but he didn’t need to score much in the clutch in Golden State given how good the team was as a whole. Now in Brooklyn, he’s re-establishing himself as one of the league’s premier go-to guys. From NBA.com

Durant ranked in the top five in clutch scoring six times during his time in Oklahoma City, leading the league in both 2013-14 (his MVP season) and 2011-12. He is on pace for his highest clutch ranking in six seasons, mostly due to lack of clutch minutes during his three seasons in Golden State as the Warriors played a league-low 348 clutch minutes over that stretch.

If the Nets are going to reach their lofty potential this season, they’ll continue to need Durant to produce points when the pressure is on. 

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T-3. Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls — 66 clutch points 

DeMar DeRozan isn’t the only Bulls player that has been extremely productive in crunch time this season. Zach LaVine is tied with Durant for third in the league in total clutch points, and he has provided the Bulls with a secondary late-game scorer. 

LaVine is shooting an extremely impressive  50-40-90 in clutch situations this season  — 51.3 percent from the floor (20-39), 41.7 percent from long range (5-12), and 95.5 percent from the foul line (21-22). He’s also the only player in the NBA to score more than 30 clutch points while shooting 50-40-90. Together, he and DeRozan have formed the most clutch duo in the league, and their ability to generate late game production is an enormous part of the reason that the Bulls are having a resurgent season. 

5. Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics — 59 clutch points 

Celtics forward Jayson Tatum rounds out the list of the five most productive clutch scorers so far this season. Tatum hasn’t shot well at all from the floor in clutch situations (34 percent, only 11 percent from long range), but he has been automatic from the foul line (21-for-21). Obviously, the efficiency needs to improve, but Tatum clearly isn’t afraid of the moment, and that’s a plus for Boston.



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Barcelona activate fourth ‘lever’ with €100 million sale of stake in club’s media arm

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Barcelona have sold a 24.5 percent stake in their media arm, activating the fourth of the so-called “economic levers” that they need to fulfil La Liga’s financial regulations and potentially register their new signings.

Orpheus Media, owned by Jaume Roures, have acquired their share in Barça Studios for the sum of €100 million with Barcelona having made the same deal with fan token platform Socios earlier this month. The club had also sold stakes in their television rights to Sixth Street in June and July as they bid to raise the cash that will ease their finances and allow them to incorporate new players into Xavi’s squad.

Barcelona have embarked on an ambitious overhaul of their playing staff this summer despite the crippling debts that president Joan Laporta estimated to be €1.3billion last year. Six new signings were made but the club headed into this weekend’s season opener against Rayo Vallecano unable to register those players, as well as the re-signed Sergi Roberto and Ousmane Dembele, due to La Liga regulations.

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The club did not confirm that this fourth lever would allow them to register every new recruit with La Liga, though this cash injection will naturally make it easier for some new players to formally be available for selection.

A club statement said: “FC Barcelona announces the sale of 24.5% of Barça Studios to the company Orpheus Media, managed by Mr. Jaume Roures, an audiovisual production company with a long history of producing content, for €100 million. The agreement complements the one signed on 29 July with Socios.com and will help to accelerate the growth of the club’s digital, NFT and Web 3 strategy.

“The sale was conducted under authorization of the General Assembly of FC Barcelona Members last October 23. With this investment the strategic partners in Barça Studios show confidence in the value of the project and the future of digital content in the world of sport.”

Want to hear more from Barca’s president? Listen to an exclusive interview below and follow ¡Qué Golazo! A Daily CBS Soccer Podcast where we take you beyond the pitch and around the globe for commentary, previews, recaps and more.

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A further sale of the Studios had been widely expected but in recent days it had been reported that it would be GDA Luma, run by the president of Cirque du Soleil, Gabriel de Alba, that would be stumping up the nine figure sum. Instead it is Roures, owner of Mediapro, who has taken the stake. The Catalan media mogul reportedly provided the guarantees Laporta needed for his successful bid for the Barcelona presidency in 2021.

A statement on the Medium page of Socios said that, following the sale, Barça Studios would be renamed Barça Digital and Entertainment “to reflect its focus on accelerating the growth of the club’s NFTs and metaverse projects.” Socios added: “The addition of experience of growing global entertainment brands will allow FC Barcelona to accelerate its blockchain and Web3 strategies to provider greater connectivity with its global fan base and continue to grow the club’s network of fan communities and produce revenue streams in new geographies.”

In the more immediate term it could also allow Barcelona to sign Marcos Alonso. The veteran Chelsea left back would join the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, Jules Kounde and Franck Kessie after a summer in which Laporta has committed to new signings worth over €150 million. The club would also like to sign Bernardo Silva from Manchester City while their own midfielder Frenkie De Jong is a target for Chelsea and Manchester United.

Speaking to CBS Sports earlier this month, Laporta insisted that selling off long term stakes in the club to facilitate an overhaul of the first team was the right thing to do. “The players we have signed this summer are investments not expenses. And our existing players understand this perfectly. The new signings adjust their salaries to the new structure that we have created and all we ask is the current squad, where possible, do the same.

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“People outside the club don’t have all the information. We have to act this way or the club will probably disappear. We are not risking the club. On the contrary. I love Barcelona. So you can imagine, I don’t take any decisions that risk the future of the club and our 122 years of history.”



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Three Stars from Day 3 of WJC: Canada’s McTavish joins elite company – Sportsnet.ca

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Canada and the U.S. dominated in their second game of the tournament while Czechia and Finland went toe-to-toe and needed a shootout to determine a winner on Day 3 of the World Junior Hockey Championship.

The Canadian team rebounded from a sluggish performance with an 11-1 win over Slovakia, a game in which captain Mason McTavish added his name to the country’s record books.

Against Switzerland, the United States took their game to another gear that their opponent could not match as they cruised to a 7-1 victory to improve to 2-0 at the tournament.

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Finland dropped a crucial point as they had to overcome a 2-0 deficit but were able to pick up the shootout win over their rival Czechia.

Here is a look at the top performances from Day 3 of the world juniors.

3rd Star: Luke Hughes, USA

Coming from a great hockey family, Luke Hughes is making most of his opportunity as one of the top defencemen for the U.S. 

The younger brother of Quinn and Jack displayed his mobility and vision against Switzerland with a three-point effort. He now has five points in his first two games of the tournament — more than either of his brothers ever achieved at this event in fewer games.

Hughes leads all defenceman in scoring so far in the tournament and is tied for fourth overall.

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The 18-year-old played 21:18 against the Swiss to lead the U.S. in ice time playing on the top pairing with Brock Faber. His play from this point will be a crucial part of his team’s success given the creativity he displayed, especially on Matt Coronato’s goal in the second period.

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He made another top-notch set up on Thomas Bordeleau’s power-play goal in the third period as he delayed enough to get the defenders to pull towards his side of the ice.

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2nd Star: Carter Mazur, USA

Coming into the tournament, Carter Mazur is looking to build off an impressive season at the University of Denver. 

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While he was in a scoring slump in his first NCAA season, the Detroit Red Wings prospect made a call to his NHL team’s assistant director of player development, Daniel Cleary. After that, he would go on to finish with 14 goals and 38 points in 41 games.

Those tips have now turned Mazur into a scoring machine as he accounted for two of the team’s seven goals and was also named the player of the game as the top line of Mazur, Landon Slaggert, and Thomas Bordeleau had an impressive performance against Switzerland

After a scoreless first period, Mazur wasn’t going to make any mistake on a point-blank chance in front of the net with Mackie Samoskevich making a great pass from behind the net.

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With the Americans looking to add to their lead, Mazur was once again the beneficiary of a great pass from Slaggert as he made no mistake from the front of the net.

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He added another assist on Slaggert’s goal later in the period for his third point of the game. Through his first two games at the world juniors, Mazur has four points and is tied for sixth in scoring.

1st Star: Mason McTavish, Canada

On a night where Canada dominated from start to finish, Mason McTavish joined some elite company with a night he’ll certainly remember for a long time.

The 19-year-old joined Mario Lemieux, Simon Gagné, Brayden Schenn, Taylor Raddysh, Maxime Comtois and teammate Connor Bedard as the only players to score four goals in a single world junior game for Canada. The tournament record for goals in a single game is held by Sweden’s Ola Rosander who had six back in 1987.

With his performance against Slovakia in a dominant win for Canada, McTavish now sits atop the scoring lead with eight points in two games after registering six points in this game.

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McTavish scored his first goal of the game on a breakaway — with Canada already leading 5-0 midway through the second — making no mistake to beat Tomas Bolo, who came into the game after starter Simon Latkoczy was pulled going into the second period.

His second goal came off a great play by Joshua Roy who flipped the puck in the air to Brennan Othmann who then set up McTavish as he finished with a backhander to put Canada up 7-1. McTavish would complete the second-period hat trick, a day after Alexander Blank did the same for Germany, after a selfless pass from Roy on a 2-on-0 break.

Canada would capitalize on a turnover on McTavish’s fourth goal as Othmann set him up alone in front of the net and he made no mistake.

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There was some doubt about whether McTavish would suit up for Canada after playing a fair amount of hockey last season. Making his NHL debut with the Anaheim Ducks, the third overall pick from the 2021 NHL Draft played in a total of 72 games between the NHL, AHL, OHL, Memorial Cup and the Olympics.

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Instead, McTavish decided to join the team in Edmonton and take on the role as captain where he has excelled centring Canada’s top line with Bedard and and a rotation of Roy and Othmann.

Canada will now look forward to a matchup against Czechia with a chance to improve to 3-0.

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Field of Dreams Game 2022: A celebration of baseball memories in an Iowa cornfield

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The Field of Dreams is an opportunity for fans and players alike to reflect on the people and places that taught them to love baseball, Jake Mintz writes.



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