NBA

LeBron hurt as Lakers slump to fourth straight double-digit defeat, Jazz continue surprise start

By Sports Desk November 10, 2022

The Los Angeles Lakers slumped to their fourth straight double-digit defeat as LeBron James had a late injury scare in a 114-101 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday.

James, who played 32 minutes for 30 points, seven rebounds and five assists, was benched late with "left leg soreness" and did not return after wincing upon drawing a foul.

The Lakers loss was their fifth straight defeat when James has scored 30 points, while it was their ninth consecutive defeat to the Clippers, dating back to 2020. That streak is the second longest in series history.

Paul George fired for the Clippers, with 29 points on 10-of-17 shooting along with six rebounds and two blocks, bringing up his sixth straight 25-point game which is the longest run in his time with the franchise. Norman Powell contributed 18 points off the bench.

Anthony Davis scored 21 points with nine rebounds but was shy on offense, while Russell Westbrook managed 14 points with nine assists in 30 minutes off the bench.

The Clippers, who are still without two-time NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, have won five of their past six games and improved to 7-5, while the Lakers are 2-9.

Short-handed Bucks triumph in 2OT

The Milwaukee Bucks overcame the Oklahoma City Thunder in double overtime 136-132 without Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday to improve their record to 10-1 and bounce back after their first loss of the season.

Antetokounmpo and Holiday sat out with a sore left knee and sprained right ankle respectively, but Jevon Carter stepped up with a career-high 36 points and 12 assists.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who scored 39 points, drained a triple to give OKC a one-point lead with 0.6 seconds remaining in the first overtime.

Bucks center Brook Lopez, who contributed 24 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks, was fouled by Lu Dort on the inbound pass, but missed one of his two free-throws, sending the game to second overtime, where Milwaukee finished the job.

Jazz's surprise start, Doncic's run halted, KD shines

The Utah Jazz continued their surprise start to the season with a 125-119 win over the Atlanta Hawks, moving them to a Western Conference-leading 10-3 record.

The Jazz rallied after blowing a 12-point lead, piling on 40 fourth-quarter points with Lauri Markkanen scoring a season-high 32 points. Malik Beasley scored six three-pointers, including four in the fourth period, for 18 points for the game.

Luka Doncic was held to less than 30 points for the first time this season, scoring 24 points on nine-of-29 field shooting, as the Dallas Mavericks lost 94-87 to the Orlando Magic.

Kevin Durant had a triple-double with 29 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists as the Brooklyn Nets blew out the New York Knicks 112-85 without the suspended Kyrie Irving.

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  • LeBron and Giannis named NBA All-Star captains, Kyrie and Zion among starters LeBron and Giannis named NBA All-Star captains, Kyrie and Zion among starters

    LeBron James is set to tie the record for the most All-Star Game appearances in NBA history after being announced as one of the two team captains on Thursday.

    James, who will match Kareem Abdul-Jabbar when he suits up for his 19th All-Star Game in Salt Lake City next month, will be joined by Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo as the captains. 

    In a league-first, the captains will draft their reserves live in the lead-up to tip-off, as opposed to previous years when the draft was conducted via a pre-recorded segment and aired weeks before the game.

    While most of the expected names were announced as starters – including reigning back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic and Golden State Warriors icon Stephen Curry – there were also some surprises.

    The two head-scratchers were New Orleans Pelicans franchise player Zion Williamson and controversial Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving.

    Williamson is averaging the highest points per game figure (26.0) for any player shooting at least 60 per cent from the field this season, but has only played in 29 of the Pelicans' 49 games so far. He is also scheduled to miss at least two more weeks, meaning he will have only played in roughly half of the possible games by the time All-Star Weekend arrives.

    Meanwhile, Irving has a stronger case as he averages 26.8 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.2 assists, but his addition as a starter in the East means relegating reigning scoring champion and back-to-back MVP runner-up Joel Embiid to the bench.

    After James' 19th appearance, the next-most among the starters belongs to Kevin Durant, who has missed some time with injury in his own right but was playing at an MVP level prior to earn his 13th All-Star nod. Curry will play in his ninth edition, while Irving now has eight and Antetokounmpo has made seven consecutive.

    The full list of starters includes:

    Western Conference 

    LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers

    Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets

    Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks

    Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors

    Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans

    Eastern Conference

    Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks

    Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets

    Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn Nets

    Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics

    Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers

  • Embiid approached Simmons reunion 'just like every single night' Embiid approached Simmons reunion 'just like every single night'

    Joel Embiid found the experience of facing Ben Simmons for the first time no different to any other night as the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Brooklyn Nets in a thriller.

    Embiid came up against his former team-mate Simmons for the first time at Wells Fargo Center on Thursday and the 76ers came out on top, winning 137-133.

    Simmons was traded to the Nets almost a year ago in a deal that saw James Harden make the move to Philadelphia.

    Three-time All-Star point guard Simmons scored 12 points, claimed five rebounds and provided five assists as the Nets slipped to 29-18.

    Embiid finished with 26 points and 10 rebounds for a 76ers side that have won six games in a row and sit second in the Eastern Conference at 31-16 behind the Boston Celtics (35-14).

    Asked how it felt doing battle with Simmons for the first time, he replied: "Nothing. Just like every single night, [I am trying to] just freaking kill whoever is in front of me.

    "My mentality is always about scoring. If I get doubled, make the right pass, but if I get played one-on-one, or I see an opportunity to go score, I'm going to go score."

    Doc Rivers, the 76ers head coach, said: "The first play, Ben is guarding Joel and it was like it was a party.

    "It was hilarious. That's when I turned to our coaches and said, 'This is a boxing crowd tonight. They want to see them drop the basketball, turn and duke it out. And [Simmons and Embiid] went at each other, which is fun and good."

    Despite another win, Rivers felt his players could have handled the occasion better.

    He added: "I thought the team overall did. We got caught up in all the c*** going on tonight.

    "There was a lot of chippiness, and that's good, but play above it, stay above it. Keep playing. I didn't think we did that."

  • Lakers center Davis says foot felt great on return from a 'long five-and-a-half weeks' out Lakers center Davis says foot felt great on return from a 'long five-and-a-half weeks' out

    Anthony Davis felt great on his return from a foot injury but concedes it was a "long five-and-a-half weeks" on the sidelines.

    The All-Star returned for the Los Angeles Lakers for the first time since December 17 as they won 113-104 over the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday.

    Davis, who had been sidelined with a fractured bone spur and stress reaction in his right foot, played 26 minutes off the bench in his return, scoring 21 points with 12 rebounds and four blocks.

    The center had been in near career-best form prior to the injury, averaging 27.4 points per game as well as a career-high 12.1 rebounds, with his successful return a major boost for the Lakers who improved to 23-26 with Wednesday's win.

    "I felt great. I felt good out on the floor," Davis told Spectrum Sportsnet after the game. "The foot feels fine. It was good to be out there with the guys battling. It was good because it was a close game. We really had to battle until the last four, five minutes, it was a good test for me going into this road trip.

    "Overall, I'm happy to be back on the court with these guys. It's been a long five-and-a-half weeks, so it feels good to come back and get the win and ultimately be back out on the floor."

    Davis checked into the game with 4:22 left in the first quarter, playing on a managed workload.

    "Anytime you come back, that first game, that first practice whatever, you're always tender," Davis said. "You want to test it out, see how it feels in live action, in a real game where it matters.

    "That's the ultimate test and for that first 30 seconds to a minute I wanted to see if I felt anything or if anything would flare up. When I didn’t feel anything, my mind was like, 'it's time to go'."

    Lakers head coach Darvin Ham reassured that they were confident Davis has fully recovered from the issue, having endured numerous injuries in recent seasons.

    "He's gone through some rigorous therapy, weight training, weight-bearing exercises, activity on the court - both individually and some group workouts," Ham told reporters prior to the game.

    "We would save him from himself if we thought there was any type of threat or harm that he could do to himself.

    "He had these boxes that he had to check, and he's checked all of them, so we feel comfortable with him appearing tonight."

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