NBA

LeBron James questionable as Lakers return home to face Trail Blazers on Sunday

By Sports Desk November 12, 2023

LeBron James is questionable for the Los Angeles Lakers' home game against the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday after suffering a left calf contusion, the team have announced.

James sustained the injury during the first quarter of Friday's 122-119 in-season tournament road win over the Phoenix Suns, taking a blow from Kevin Durant's knee as he drove to the basket.

The NBA's all-time leading points scorer received treatment on the bench, but composed himself to finish with 32 points, 11 rebounds and six assists as Los Angeles ended a three-game losing run.

However, James was seen limping after the win, which brought the curtain down on the Lakers' four-game road stretch, and he subsequently told reporters his shin was sore.

 "It never loosened up," James said of his shin after Friday's game. 

"[It] pretty much locked up right then and there. So I tried to keep my composure, make sure I was okay and try to keep it stretched out and as loose as possible and play the game and be effective.

"[It's] pretty sore right now. Obviously because the adrenaline is calming down and I've iced it, now it's pretty sore."

James was listed as questionable on the Lakers' injury report ahead of Portland's visit to Crypto.com Arena, while Anthony Davis and Jaxson Hayes were deemed as probable.

Injuries have hampered Los Angeles during an underwhelming start to the season, with Friday's victory lifting them to 4-5 after a run of three successive road losses against the Orlando Magic, Miami Heat and Houston Rockets.

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    Detroit Pistons head coach Monty Williams hit out at his team's lack of fight and said they were failing to honour the franchise's jersey after they slipped to a 14th consecutive defeat on Monday.

    The Pistons suffered another heavy loss at Little Caesars Arena as the Washington Wizards claimed a 126-107 win, Kyle Kuzma leading the way with 32 points and 12 rebounds.

    While Washington ended their own nine-game losing streak, Detroit now have the worst record in the league after slipping to 2-15, losing three of their last four games by at least 19 points.

    In a post-game media appearance lasting just one minute, Williams accused his team of failing to compete while acknowledging he is ultimately responsible for turning things around.

    "That wasn't fight on the floor. That wasn't Pistons basketball by any stretch of the imagination," Williams said. 

    "That's what this is, we have to have people that honour the organisation and the jersey by competing at a high level every night. I'm not talking about execution, just competing. That wasn't it, and that's on me."

    Asked what needs to improve as the Pistons prepare to face LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday, Williams added: "It's just a level of growing up on this team, maturity, understanding what game-plan discipline is. All the stuff we talk about all the time. It's enough talking."

    Guard Cade Cunningham echoed his coach's thoughts, saying the team needed to improve physically. 

    "We all want to win really bad," Cunningham said. "Everybody's doing it out of the spirit of that; wanting to win, wanting to do what's best for the team.

    "I think we need more aggressive mess-ups. Where we're struggling right now is slip-ups where we're not physical enough or not aggressive enough. That's what we need to lean towards instead of trying not to press.

    "We play great stretches, and then we've had crazy bad stretches where we dig ourselves in too deep of a hole. 

    "That's it right there, it's just holding each other accountable and when we do feel it start to slip, having the mental stamina to stay together, stay connected."

  • LeBron James shrugs off minutes milestone after suffering heaviest career defeat LeBron James shrugs off minutes milestone after suffering heaviest career defeat

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    That is because it came in what was James' heaviest career defeat – a 138-94 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday.

    In his 21-year NBA career, James' previous worst loss came by 42 points in a 136-94 reverse to the Indiana Pacers in February 2019.

    As Joel Embiid racked up 30 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in the Sixers' rout, James accumulated another 30 minutes on the court.

    That took his career total, across both regular season and postseason games, to 66,319 minutes in his career, passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's 66,297 minutes.

    But the record was of little solace to the 38-year-old, who told reporters: "That doesn't mean much to me."

    Asked about what the Lakers need to do to ensure heavy defeats do not become a common occurrence, James said: "What needs to change in order for that not to happen again? Um, a lot.

    "I don't know how a team [should respond]. I can only speak for myself, and I don't like it."

    James' teammate Anthony Davis said: "Feel like we just weren't together. A lot of quick shots, one-pass shots, no-pass shots.

    "They started making a lot of shots. And when their lead kind of opened up a little bit – 15, 20, 25 – I think we all tried to be the hero to make the team come back instead of just sticking with it.

    "We've got to look at it, embrace it, own it. Guys don't take it personally for whatever's said in the film, and then move on from it."

    It was a bad day for both Los Angeles teams, with the Clippers also losing. 

    They went down 104-113 to a Denver Nuggets team that was shorn of Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray and Aaron Gordon.

    Former Laker Russell Westbrook became embroiled in a debate with a fan.

    "I mean, it's unfortunate," Westbrook said.

    "Fans think they can say whatever they want. I'm not going to say [what was said] now because it's not appropriate, but I'm just protecting myself.

    "It's just unfortunate fans think they can get away with saying anything and, personally, I won't allow it. I've [taken] a lot of people saying anything and getting away with it, but I won't stand for it."

  • 76ers hand LeBron James worst loss of career 76ers hand LeBron James worst loss of career

    Joel Embiid racked up 30 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists as the Philadelphia 76ers rolled to a 138-94 rout of the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday, giving LeBron James the most lopsided loss of his 21-year NBA career.

    Tyrese Maxey complemented Embiid's sixth career triple-double with 31 points and eight assists, and the 76ers dominated from the 3-point line to also record their largest margin of victory in 290 all-time regular-season meetings with the Lakers.

    James' previous worst loss came by 42 points, a 136-94 defeat to the Indiana Pacers on Feb. 5, 2019, in his first season with the Lakers. The NBA's all-time leading scorer finished with 18 points and five assists but failed to register a rebound.

    Philadelphia finished 22 of 46 from 3-point range compared to 7 of 28 for Los Angeles, which trailed by double digits since late in the first quarter and were outscored by a whopping 40-14 margin in the fourth despite the 76ers resting Embiid and fellow starters Tobias Harris and De'Anthony Melton the entire period.

    Anthony Davis ended with 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Lakers, who have dropped two of three since a 6-1 stretch from Nov. 10-21.

    Nuggets handle Clippers despite Jokic resting

    DeAndre Jordan filled in well for a resting Nikola Jokić as the Denver Nuggets rallied for a 113-104 win over the Los Angeles Clippers.

    Jordan posted 21 points, 13 rebounds and five assists starting in place of Jokic, who was held out with Denver playing for the second consecutive night. Reggie Jackson had 13 of his game-high 35 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Nuggets back from an 11-point deficit to start the period.

    Jackson, who spent parts of four seasons with the Clippers before being traded away in February, added 13 assists. Jordan played his first 10 NBA seasons with Los Angeles from 2008-18.

    The Nuggets trailed 88-77 after three quarters before outscoring the Clippers by a 36-16 margin in the fourth. They went ahead for good when Jackson capped a 15-2 run to start the period with a short floater that gave Denver a 92-90 lead with under 7 1/2 minutes left.

    Los Angeles, which had won four of five following a 3-7 start, went just 4 of 17 from the field in the fourth quarter and got just six points on 2-of-13 shooting from star Paul George.

    Kawhi Leonard led the Clippers with 31 points and eight rebounds, while Ivica Zubac recorded 23 points and 14 boards. 

    Wizards halt nine-game losing streak, extend Pistons' skid to 14

    Kyle Kuzma compiled 32 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists to lead the Washington Wizards to a 126-107 victory over the Detroit Pistons in a matchup of the NBA's two worst teams.

    Washington, which entered the game with an identical 2-14 record to Detroit, halted a nine-game losing streak. The Pistons have now lost 14 consecutive games, tied for the longest skid in franchise history within a single season.

    The Wizards led by just one early in the third quarter before Kuzma took over, as the veteran forward scored 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting for the period to help extend Washington's advantage to 94-83 entering the fourth.

    Washington maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way while shooting 50.6 per cent from the field for the game. Deni Avdija and Danilo Gallinari each contributed 16 points to the victory.

    Cade Cunningham led Detroit with 26 points and seven assists, while Jalen Duren finished with 12 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks.

     

     

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