Kyrie Irving scored 26 of his 36 points in the fourth quarter but it was not enough as the fast-finishing Dallas Mavericks lost 124-121 to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday.

Irving and Luka Doncic (33 points) combined for 69 points for the Mavs, who trailed 100-82 at three-quarter time and rallied from a 26-point deficit.

The Mavs point guard, however, lost the ball to Taurean Prince with an errant pass on the final possession, denying Dallas getting a shot away to tie the game after a disrupted play where he exchanged passes with Doncic.

Irving's 26-point fourth quarter was the highest scoring quarter of his career, finishing the game on 15-of-23 shooting with four-of-nine from beyond the arc, along with five rebounds and six assists.

Doncic had 12 rebounds and six assists with his 33 points, while Christian Wood added 24 points off the bench.

For the triumphant Timberwolves, Anthony Edwards scored a team-high 32 points with five rebounds, while Rudy Gobert had 21 points and 14 rebounds.

The defeat means the Mavs have lost both games Doncic and Irving have played together since the latter's trade from the Brooklyn Nets last week.

Lillard leads long-range Blazers blitz over Lakers

Damien Lillard scored 40 points as the Portland Trail Blazers hit 23 three-pointers in a 127-115 win over the Los Angeles Lakers, who were missing LeBron James for the third straight game with a sore left ankle.

The Blazers' 23 triples were a season-best, while they broke their first-half franchise record with 17 three-pointers. Lillard led the way from range, making eight-of-14 three-point attempts.

Malik Beasley came off the bench to top score for the Lakers with 22 points, including six three-pointers, while Anthony Davis scored 19 points with 20 rebounds and three blocks.

Mitchell stars as Spurs lose 13th straight

Donovan Mitchell scored 41 points with five three-pointers as the Cleveland Cavaliers condemned the San Antonio Spurs to a joint franchise record 13th straight defeat.

The Cavs won 117-109 led by Mitchell with Jarrett Allen adding 17 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks, securing their seventh successive victory to improve their record to 38-22.

The loss leaves San Antonio with a 14-44 record, with their run of defeats marking their worst since the 1988-89 season.

Anthony Davis insisted his reluctance to celebrate LeBron James' NBA scoring record was related to the state of Tuesday's game rather than any issue between the two Los Angeles Lakers superstars.

James broke Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's long-time record against the Oklahoma City Thunder, but Davis did not look to join his Lakers team-mates in saluting the new scoring king.

Fan footage posted on social media showed Davis sat on the bench, with his view of the court obscured by standing Lakers, as James made his historic fadeaway jumper.

That reaction prompted puzzlement from those on the outside of the organisation, but Davis provided an explanation on Thursday.

As he pointed out, the Lakers trailed the Thunder at the time of James' history-making bucket, which saw the game paused, and LA were unable to rally later in the 133-130 defeat.

Speaking after another home loss against the Milwaukee Bucks, seeing the Lakers fall to 25-31 in 13th place in the West, Davis appeared irked by mention of the topic as he said: "You all know mine and Bron's relationship. It's nothing.

"It's about the game. We're losing to the Oklahoma City Thunder, a game we needed. And I was p***ed off that we were losing. It's that simple.

"It's nothing that has to do with Bron. He knows that.

"Everybody else is outside looking in, it's their opinion. But I was p***ed off that we were losing the game."

The Los Angeles Lakers "hardly ever discuss" LeBron James' hunt for the NBA points record, according to coach Darvin Ham.

James scored 26 points, added seven rebounds and provided seven assists as the Lakers fought back to beat the Pacers 112-111 on Thursday.

That haul moved James onto 38,325 points across his illustrious career, 62 short of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's all-time record.

It means James is likely to break the record against the Oklahoma City Thunder next week.

Ham, however, says the Lakers do not treat it as too big of a deal.

"I think it's an amazing feat," Lakers coach Darvin Ham told reporters.

"When it happens, kudos to Bron for all his longevity and not just longevity, but longevity at the top of the list at an elite level.

"But our day-to-day, we hardly ever discuss it unless we're asked about it. For us, it's just, how can we get our team in the best position to make a run?"

James, though, did not look to downplay the importance of the record.

"I think it's one of the greatest records in sports, in general. It's like the home run record in baseball," he said.

"It's one of those records that you don't ever see or think will be broken.

"You see guys like Hank Aaron, who had [baseball's home run record] for so long. You see guys like Sammy [Sosa] and Mark McGwire and you start climbing it and it's like, 'Oh, this could really happen.'

"It's a fun thing as a sports person. It was fun watching those guys chasing it."

Anthony Davis led the Lakers with 31 points and 14 rebounds, and it was his 11-foot shot with 35 seconds left put Los Angeles ahead, before he made a crucial block from Tyrese Haliburton.

Davis missed out on selection for the All-Star Game, though that was of little concern.

"I'm here to win, to try to compete for championships, not to get into All-Star Games," Davis said.

"My wife is ecstatic. She already texted me, 'So, where we going [during All-Star break]?'"

The Los Angeles Lakers trailed by 14 early in the fourth quarter before storming back to defeat the Indiana Pacers 112-111 on the road.

Los Angeles' defense let them down early on Thursday as they gave up 35 points in the first quarter and another 32 in the second, heading into the long break trailing 67-54.

The Lakers were finally able to hold the Pacers under 30 points in a 30-29 third frame, before their defense woke up in the final period and kept the home side to just 15.

The visiting team did not claim their first lead of the game until LeBron James drained a three-pointer to jump ahead 108-106 with 2:35 remaining, but a jump shot from rookie Andrew Nembhard put the Pacers up by one with under a minute to play.

With the game on the line, Anthony Davis drained a clutch post fadeaway over elite defensive center Myles Turner to retake the lead, and although the Lakers left the door open with a pair of missed free throws from Pat Beverley, Buddy Hield's potential game-winner was off the mark thanks to Beverley's smothering defense.

It was a gutsy comeback to give the Lakers their second win in a row, led by Davis' 31 points on 13-of-27 shooting with 14 rebounds and two blocks. 

Meanwhile, James was efficient with 26 points on 11-of-19 shooting, adding seven rebounds and seven assists. He is now 62 points away from tying Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's all-time scoring mark.

For the Pacers, Tyrese Haliburton enjoyed a strong return from injury after three weeks on the sideline, leading his team in points (26) and assists (12) after being named to his first All-Star team earlier in the day.

Jokic toys with the Warriors

Reigning back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic continued his march towards a three-peat as he dominated the Golden State Warriors in the Denver Nuggets' 134-117 triumph.

Jokic finished with 22 points on nine-of-13 shooting with 16 assists and 14 rebounds. Over his past 17 games, he has only finished with fewer than nine assists once, and no player is averaging more than his 11.9 assists over their past 15 games.

It was also another strong performance from Nuggets guard Jamal Murray, scoring 33 points on 12-of-23 shooting with eight assists and five rebounds. Over his past five outings, Murray is averaging 27.6 points and 7.2 assists.

The Nuggets sit four games clear atop the Western Conference at 36-16, while the 26-26 Warriors are ninth.

Mavericks hold on as Doncic leaves hurt

The Dallas Mavericks led the New Orleans Pelicans by 31 points during the second quarter, but ended up getting pushed all the way in a 111-106 victory.

Slovenian superstar Luka Doncic had 27 points in the first half, and made his way up to 31 early in the third period before he suffered a heel injury due to a hard fall, ending his night.

The Mavericks led by 28 when he exited the game, and from that point on the Pelicans closed the contest on a 50-27 run. They ultimately came up short after a controversial refereeing mistake in the final seconds robbed them of a chance to shoot for the tie.

It was the Pelicans' 10th loss in a row as they desperately await the return of Zion Williamson from his hamstring injury, while the Mavericks improved to fifth in the West at 28-25.

LeBron James is completely relaxed about breaking Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's record NBA points total after moving another step closer during the Los Angeles Lakers' 129-123 win over the New York Knicks.

James played a starring role on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden, becoming the first 38-year-old to ever record a 20-point triple-double as he finished with 28 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds.

Those 10 assists saw him overtake Steve Nash on the all-time leaderboard for NBA assists, with James now fourth on 10,336.

He remains 908 behind still-active Chris Paul in third, but the record that all eyes are on is overall points.

James' 28 here leaves him 88 off Abdul-Jabbar's record (38,387), meaning he is likely to surpass to his fellow Lakers great either on Saturday against the New Orleans Pelicans, or three days later against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Some athletes might get nervous when approaching such a milestone, but James is utterly at ease with the situation due to it essentially being a formality.

"It's not getting heavier," James said.

"I'm going to do it. I mean, it's just a matter of time when I'm going to do it.

"It's not heavy. I'm not going anywhere. I'm going to be in this league for at least a few more years.

"I'm going to do it. It's not heavy at all."

There is also an element of anticipation from James' team-mates, with it set to be a momentous moment for everyone associated with the Lakers when he does break the record.

That is not lost on Anthony Davis.

"The team is very excited," he added. "It's probably going to be a surreal moment for all of us, but probably more so him... Obviously, whatever game it is, we want to be able to win the game."

But much of the focus around James on Tuesday related to his assists and overtaking Nash.

"It's amazing because that's just what I love to do and get my guys involved," James continued.

"Anytime you link with some of the greats – Mark Jackson played here, was drafted here by the Knicks, so it's a super cool thing. And obviously, we know when Nash was [in the league]; I played against him for many, many years. His ability to pass the ball was very uncanny."

Lakers coach Darvin Ham also paid tribute to James, saluting him for ignoring criticism about his game over the years and continuing to play true to himself.

"He's just a kid who's grown before our eyes. The last 20 years at this level, has done nothing but play the right way and make the play that's in front of him," Ham said.

"Regardless of how much he's been criticised for a while for not taking the last shots and the overpassing, he's just making the right plays. You saw that again tonight."

LeBron James and Anthony Davis have been ruled out of the Los Angeles Lakers' game at the Brooklyn Nets on Monday.

James is dealing with left ankle soreness, while Davis has a right foot stress injury, the team confirmed the day before the game.

Both men played in Saturday's overtime loss to the Boston Celtics, in which James scored 41 points.

For James, his absence in Brooklyn may well mean a historic NBA moment comes in front of a home crowd in Los Angeles.

The four-time MVP now has 38,271 career regular season points, putting him just 116 behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's all-time record.

Averaging 30.2 points per game this season, James would only require four more games to pass Abdul-Jabbar at his current rate of scoring.

The Lakers have four games in this coming week – all on the road.

After that, the Lakers return to Staples Center on February 7 to play the Oklahoma City Thunder in a game in which James will likely be targeting the record.

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."

The Los Angeles Lakers are set to receive a massive boost on the second night of their back-to-back on Wednesday as All-NBA center Anthony Davis returns against the San Antonio Spurs.

Davis has missed the past five-and-a-half weeks after hopping off the floor against the Denver Nuggets on December 16. It was subsequently revealed that he had suffered a fractured bone spur and a stress reaction in his right foot.

During the 20 games he spent on the sidelines, the Lakers have gone 10-10, bringing their overall record to 22-26 after Tuesday's loss to cross-town rivals the Los Angeles Clippers. 

It leaves them with the third-worst record in the tightly bunched Western Conference, but they are only 2.5 games out of the six seed, which is currently occupied by the 25-24 Dallas Mavericks.

The return of Davis – reported by ESPN's Dave McMenamin – is seismic for Los Angeles. The 29-year-old franchise centerpiece was in the midst of his best statistical season in a Lakers uniform before his injury.

He is averaging 27.4 points per game – the most since one of his four All-NBA First Team seasons in 2017-18 – as well as a career-high 12.1 rebounds, which is only bettered by the Sacramento Kings' Domantas Sabonis (12.5).

Davis' eight seasons averaging at least two blocks per game is the most among active players, and he is on track to make it a ninth as his mark of 2.1 this season places him fifth in the league.

After the Spurs come to town, the Lakers head to Boston to take on the Celtics on Saturday, before continuing their tantalising road trip with games against the Brooklyn Nets and a visit to Madison Square Garden against the Knicks.


The return of Los Angeles Lakers center Anthony Davis remains weeks away, but he will reportedly take the next step in his rehabilitation process in the coming days.

Davis has missed the past 13 games due to an injured right foot, dealing with a bone spur fracturing off his navicular bone as well as a stress reaction.

Before he hopped off the floor during the Lakers' December 16 win against the Denver Nuggets, Davis was having his best season in a Los Angeles jersey.

He is averaging 27.4 points and a career-high 12.1 rebounds, while shooting a career-best 59.4 per cent from the field and being one of four players averaging at least two blocks per game (2.1).

A report on Monday from ESPN's Dave McMenamin states Davis "plans to begin the ramp-up process to return to play when the team returns to Los Angeles this week".

The ramp-up process will involve aquatic pool workouts and running on an altered-gravity treadmill to keep most of the weight off the big-man's foot as it continues to heal.

It is believed the ramp-up process will take at least a couple of weeks before the Lakers begin to pinpoint a return date.

Los Angeles lost four of their first five games with Davis sidelined, but an incredible stretch of play from LeBron James ignited a run of six wins from seven prior to Monday's loss against the Nuggets, where James was sitting out for rest reasons.

They began the season 2-10, but have recovered to 19-22 and now sit only 1.5 games behind local rivals the Los Angeles Clippers (21-21), who occupy the sixth seed in the Western Conference.

Los Angeles Lakers' All-Star Anthony Davis says the stress injury in his right foot that has sidelined him since mid-December is "healing pretty quickly".

Davis declined to discuss timelines for a return to play for the Lakers, having originally been ruled out "indefinitely", but was upbeat about the progress of the injury when he spoke to reporters prior to Friday's 130-121 win over the Atlanta Hawks.

The 29-year-old power forward had been enjoying a bounce-back season with the Lakers, averaging 27.4 points, with a career-best 12.1 rebounds and 2.1 blocks, prior to the injury which has halted his campaign.

"Feeling a lot better, pain has subsided tremendously," Davis said. "I think the next step is [the foot] healing right now. I don't want to use timetables because that's a whole different thing, but it's healing pretty quickly.

"When we get back to LA, we'll do another image of the foot, and see how far it's healed."

Davis said that the injury was identified before it turned into a stress fracture which was a "whole different ballgame", while he added that the pain had significantly subsided.

"I'm just really excited to get back on the floor," Davis said.

"[It] hasn't been a 'Man, it's going to take me X amount of games to get back in rhythm,' or, 'Might not be the same.' That's not even been a thought in my mind. My thought has been, whenever that day is, it's go time."

Lakers head coach Darvin Ham was equally bullish about Davis' progress, which would significantly boost the 15-21 Lakers' playoff hopes, having rebounded from a 2-10 start to the season.

"He's trending in the right direction," Ham said.

"Everything he's being asked to do he's done and continues to do. We all feel comfortable, starting with our medical staff."

LeBron James concedes life without the injured Anthony Davis is "very difficult" for the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Lakers fell to a 124-115 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday, after the Mavs piled on 51 third-quarter points.

The defeat left the Lakers with a 13-20 record, having lost their past four games all without Davis after he suffered a foot injury in the 126-108 win over the Denver Nuggets on December 16.

In Davis' absence, Lakers head coach Darvin Ham has trialled a shorter lineup with Patrick Beverley and Dennis Schroder in the backcourt.

"Reality is, without AD, we lose a lot of length, which we don't have already," James told reporters after Sunday's loss.

"We have to make up in ways that, without AD, is very difficult, very challenging. I think at one point we had a lineup of, I think Austin Reaves [6-foot-5] was the tallest guy on the court.

"You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure it out."

Davis had been enjoying an outstanding season prior to the injury, averaging 27.4 points shooting at 59.4 per cent from the field with 12.1 rebounds and 2.1 blocks.

James has lifted in Davis' absence, with his 38 points in the loss to the Mavs marking his seventh consecutive 30-point game.

The four-time NBA MVP is averaging 33.4 points with a 58 per cent field-goal percentage, adding 6.3 rebounds and 7.3 assists across the past seven games.

On the Lakers' lineup without Davis, Ham added: "You throw everything up against the wall and see what sticks. It's one of those types of situations.

"AD's not here, not in the lineup. We're not going to start using that as an excuse. Hell yeah, it's a big hole in our lineup. But now, we're pros. We've got to step up."

Los Angeles Lakers superstar Anthony Davis will remain on the sidelines indefinitely after testing revealed a stress injury in his right foot.

The team announced the news on Friday on Twitter to update the status of their star big man, who has been out since landing awkwardly during a game against the Denver Nuggets on December 16. The Lakers had previously listed Davis on the injury report with right foot soreness.

A stress injury is part of a spectrum of ailments, the most severe of which is considered a stress fracture.

The club did not comment on the severity of Davis' condition or give a timetable for his return, saying only that further updates "will be provided when appropriate."

The news is devastating for a 13-18 Lakers team that faces an uphill battle just qualify for the play-in tournament in the Western Conference.

After a 2-10 start to the season, the Lakers followed with a 10-6 surge, thanks largely to MVP-quality production from Davis. The eight-time All-Star averaged 30.8 points and 13.3 rebounds over that stretch while shooting 63.9 per cent from the floor.

Amid that stretch, Davis scored 55 points in a win over the Washington Wizards, his most since joining the Lakers in 2019 and the second most of his career.

Already with a top-heavy roster, Los Angeles will now rely even more on 37-year-old LeBron James and 34-year-old Russell Westbrook.

The Lakers host the Charlotte Hornets on Fridat and will be part of the NBA's annual Christmas Day lineup when they visit the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday.

LeBron James says replacing the injured Anthony Davis will be a "collective group effort" for the Los Angeles Lakers as he recorded his own fourth straight 30-point game in Sunday's 119-117 win over the Washington Wizards.

The Lakers will reportedly be without All-Star Davis for a month after scans revealed a foot injury having limped out of Friday's win over the Denver Nuggets.

Davis, who has been plagued by injuries in recent seasons, had been enjoying an outstanding campaign, averaging 27.4 points and a career-high 12.1 rebounds per game.

All five of the Lakers' starters scored double figures on Sunday, with Lonnie Walker adding 21 points, while center Thomas Bryant contributed 16 points with 10 rebounds, including the game-winning dunk. Dennis Schroder and Austin Reaves each scored 12 points.

"Whoever is available to play, we have to make plays," James, who scored 33 points with seven rebounds and nine assists, told reporters.

"We're all NBA players and we have to go out and trust the game plan the coaches put out there. Tonight, we were able to do that for the majority of the game."

Davis only played 76 times across the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons due to injury, while James, now 37, regularly missed games last season too.

"It's going to be a collective group effort," James said about covering Davis' absence. "It's always been health with us, since we all joined forces.

"It's always about health. If we can stay healthy or close to and have guys on the floor available, we're going to give ourselves a chance to win because we're going to play hard, play the right way."

James came up with the game-winning play with a pass for Bryant's tie-breaking dunk with 7.1 seconds remaining, although the four-time MVP almost lost the ball in midcourt in the lead-up. Kyle Kuzma missed a three-pointer with 2.1 seconds left.

Lakers head coach Darvin Ham declined to confirm reports on Davis' timeline after the game.

"We'll probably have something out official tomorrow," Ham said. "He saw some doctors tonight, so we'll see."

The Los Angeles Lakers will have to stay afloat without franchise centrepiece Anthony Davis for at least the next few weeks after scans revealed a foot injury that will keep him out indefinitely.

Davis, 28, has been plagued by injuries in recent years, but was enjoying arguably the best season of his career prior to Friday's win against the Denver Nuggets.

Averaging 27.4 points and a career-high 12.1 rebounds per game while playing in 25 of the Lakers' 28 fixtures up to this point, Davis had seemingly rediscovered his best form after only playing a combined 76 games in the past two seasons.

But against the Nuggets, Davis ended up hopping off the floor after a lay-up attempt, briefly returning in the second quarter before sitting out the entire second half.

While the Lakers were hopeful it would only be a minor injury, The Athletic's Shams Charania reported Sunday it will likely cost the eight-time All-Star "at least one month" and that the "Lakers are bracing for an indefinite absence".

With Davis out of the line-up, it remains to be seen if Russell Westbrook returns to the starting group or remains as the designated sixth-man, while backup center Thomas Bryant will undoubtedly see his role expand after impressing with 21 points and six rebounds in 24 minutes after Davis' injury.

Los Angeles Lakers All-Star Anthony Davis is nervously awaiting X-ray results after he suffered a foot injury in Friday's 126-108 home win against the Denver Nuggets.

Davis, who entered the game averaging career-highs in both points (28.1) and rebounds (12.4) this season, came up hopping after a lay-up attempt early in the contest, briefly returning in the second quarter before sitting out the entire second half.

Head coach Darvin Ham told the media after the contest that X-rays were administered at the arena and they expect to have more clarity on the situation on Saturday, while ESPN's Dave McMenamin reported there is hope the injury is not severe and Davis will likely undergo an MRI.

A prodigious talent, Davis has been plagued by injuries in his 11-season career, only reaching the 70-game mark twice while only mustering a combined 76 appearances in the past two regular seasons.

He has played in 25 of the Lakers' 28 outings so far this year, and the Lakers' chances of a playoff push will likely hinge on the length of his potential absence.

However, against the Nuggets they were just fine, led by LeBron James' 30 points on 13-of-20 shooting with nine rebounds, four assists and two steals in 36 minutes.

The Lakers' bench picked up the slack as Russell Westbrook continued to make his case for Sixth Man of the Year, posting a 15-point triple-double with 12 assists and 11 rebounds, while also facilitating Thomas Bryant's best game in a Los Angeles uniform.

Bryant scored a season-high 21 points on nine-of-11 shooting, adding six rebounds and two steals, while fan-favourite Austin Reaves had 16 points of his own and an equal game-high plus/minus of plus 26.

Speaking immediately after the win, James pointed out the efforts of Bryant and rookie Max Christie in helping to bounce back from a disappointing overtime loss to the Boston Celtics.

"That's what this league is all about, you've got to be able to stay even-keel," he said. "Yes, it was a disappointing loss, but there are more games to be played. 

"I loved our effort tonight. The game ball goes to Thomas Bryant, and also rookie Max Christie coming in and giving us gigantic minutes, especially with AD's absence in the second half.

"We were just solid. Not only did we get defensive stops, but we got defensive rebounds and we were able to finish a lot on the break, not having turnovers.

"That's been an Achilles heel for us throughout this season, those unforced turnovers, and I think tonight we did a great job protecting the ball."

The Lakers will next face the visiting Washington Wizards on Sunday, who enter the contest on an eight-game losing streak.

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