NBA

LeBron's Lakers roll on against struggling Warriors, Harden upstages Kawhi

By Sports Desk November 14, 2019

LeBron James recorded a double-double as the Los Angeles Lakers continued their fine start to the NBA season with a 120-94 victory against the Golden State Warriors.

James starred in the absence of rested team-mate Anthony Davis, finishing with 23 points and 12 rebounds in 26 minutes of action on Wednesday.

JaVale McGee contributed 18 points and 17 rebounds, while Kyle Kuzma posted 22 points as the Lakers improved to 9-2 midweek.

D'Angelo Russell top scored for the lowly Warriors (2-10) with 21 points away to the Lakers in Los Angeles.

James Harden led the way with 47 points in the Houston Rockets' 102-93 win against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Harden shone as the Rockets extended their winning streak to five games at the expense of the Clippers.

Kawhi Leonard had 26 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists for the Clippers – who saw head coach Doc Rivers ejected during the closing stages in Houston.

 

Wiggins leads Timberwolves

Andrew Wiggins put up 30 points on 12-for-23 shooting as the Minnesota Timberwolves topped the struggling San Antonio Spurs 129-114. Karl-Anthony Towns added 28 points and 11 rebounds to condemn the Spurs to a third straight defeat.

Bradley Beal scored 44 points but the Washington Wizards still lost 140-133 to the in-form Boston Celtics, who have not lost since their season opener – a run of nine successive wins.

Nikola Vucevic registered 25 points as the Orlando Magic outscored the Philadelphia 76ers 32-15 in the final quarter to prevail 112-97.

Pascal Siakam (36) and Fred VanVleet (30) combined for 66 points as defending champions the Toronto Raptors outlasted the Portland Trail Blazers 114-106.

 

Rough night for Westbrook

Westbrook had 17 points and the Rockets won, but it was not a memorable outing for the Houston star. Westbrook was six of 20 from the field and two-for-seven shooting beyond the arc. He has gone six straight games without double digits for rebounds or assists.

 

Morant called game!

Ja Morant produced the game-winning layup with 0.7 seconds remaining to see the Memphis Grizzlies past the Charlotte Hornets 119-117. The rookie and South Carolina native finished with 23 points and 11 assists.

 

Wednesday's results

Orlando Magic 112-97 Philadelphia 76ers
Memphis Grizzlies 119-117 Charlotte Hornets
Boston Celtics 140-133 Washington Wizards
Minnesota Timberwolves 129-114 San Antonio Spurs
Houston Rockets 102-93 Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles Lakers 120-94 Golden State Warriors
Toronto Raptors 114-106 Portland Trail Blazers

 

Clippers at Pelicans

The Clippers travel to the New Orleans Pelicans for what is poised to be Paul George's debut for the Los Angeles franchise. George swapped the Oklahoma City Thunder to team up with Leonard at the Clippers but the All-Star has been recovering from shoulder surgery.

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  • 'Quarterback' LeBron James praised as Lakers escape with win over Magic 'Quarterback' LeBron James praised as Lakers escape with win over Magic

    Frank Vogel highlighted how well LeBron James "quarterbacks the action" for the Los Angeles Lakers after the team avoided a potentially damaging collapse in a road win over the Orlando Magic.

    The Magic (11-13) recovered from 24 points behind to level Wednesday's match at 71-71 in the fourth quarter, but James had a hand in all 10 unanswered points the Lakers produced from there to regain control of the game.

    James finished with 25 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists, his sixth triple-double of the season helping the Lakers to a key 96-87 win.

    That improved the team to 22-3, Vogel's squad having won 15 of their last 16 games to sit level with the Milwaukee Bucks for the NBA's best record.

    Having surrendered such a big lead, going on to suffer a defeat would have come as a heavy blow to the Lakers, with Vogel quick to recognise James' impact in ensuring that did not happen.

    "LeBron was great, especially down the stretch," Vogel said.

    "He quarterbacks the action for us, keeping the lead at a healthy distance and making plays on the defensive end."

    Team-mate Alex Caruso, who connected with a corner three assisted by James as part of that crucial 10-0 run, added: "He is the best in the world for a reason.

    "Him just getting to the paint draws so many bodies that we're open on the backside. He creates a lot of attention so it's up to us to play off that and we did a good job."

    James insisted it was a team game when asked about his starring performance.

    He said: "Everyone is just playing their roles, buying into what the system is and trusting one another. That's what has got us off to a really good start. 

    "We believe in each other and want each other to succeed. We trust what coach Vogel and the coaching staff's gameplan is every single night and we just try to execute that. 

    "I assert my will when I step on the floor. It's all about just trying to make the right plays, the right passes, the right reads as a point guard on the team and do the right things defensively to help us win."

    Anthony Davis recorded 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Lakers, who had Jared Dudley ejected as he attempted to stand up for Dwight Howard when the teams were engaged in a fourth-quarter shoving match. 

    James disagreed with the decision, adding to ESPN: "I mean, that's all it takes to get ejected? These days? Little shove?

    "I've seen a lot more than that. But Duds will do whatever. He told you guys at media day his job is to come in here if somebody goes crazy, do something crazy to me or AD whoever on the team, he's going to be the muscle."

  • Kawhi Leonard 'like Maximus coming back as the gladiator' on triumphant Raptors return Kawhi Leonard 'like Maximus coming back as the gladiator' on triumphant Raptors return

    Los Angeles Clippers star Kawhi Leonard was described as "Maximus coming back as the gladiator" by Doc Rivers as he made a triumphant return to the Toronto Raptors.

    Leonard received his championship ring on his first match back in Toronto since opting to join the Clippers in free agency after he had inspired the Canadian franchise to their first NBA title.

    The Raptors welcomed him back with a tribute video and he was greeted by former team-mates and coaches in the centre of the court, receiving a positive reception from the home crowd.

    Leonard went on to score 23 points, adding six assists and five rebounds as the Clippers won 112-92 on Wednesday to move to 19-7, while the defending champion Raptors dropped to 16-8.

    Clippers coach Rivers praised the Raptors for how they received Leonard and was certain the often-reserved NBA Finals MVP had been touched by the occasion.

    "It's like Maximus coming back as the gladiator," Rivers said just before tip-off.

    "He was the champion and just did everything honourably and the right way. I was joking earlier that would be a great intro."

    After the victory, Rivers added: "Some players just don't let you in. But I can tell you that ovation, to him, was very heartfelt. There's no doubt about that. It meant a lot to him.

    "I thought what the Raptors did overall - the video, the players coming out, all of them who played with him - that's the best that I've seen since I've been in the league.

    "That's a really classy move by the organisation and then by the fans as well."

    Kyle Lowry presented Leonard's ring and the two players shared a moment admiring the memento that contains over 640 diamonds.

    "I was joking with him and just showing him that the ring was nice and like it was shining too bright – we were laughing," Leonard said, according to ESPN.

    "Memories probably just ran through our heads. As far as winning a championship, it pretty much has come full circle now, being able to get the ring and see where the hard work came from.

    "But it's more than that. It's just a journey. For me, as far as playing for the city, the chapter coming closed once I came over with the Clippers, but I still love the city.

    "Those guys on the team, the players, the coaching staff, I still have love for them and wish them the best."

    Asked about the video tribute and fans' reaction when he received his ring, Leonard said: "It was great, it was a great moment.

    "They did a great job putting it together, having all the players out there that won with me, standing there and presenting the ring.

    "It just kind of puts you back in those spots when you were on the floor, or the locker room talk going into the game, and after the game watching those highlights.

    "It was a special season for us, for me and for the whole city and country. I'm just glad we were able to win. It was a blessing."

    The Clippers lost Patrick Beverley to a concussion, while Pascal Siakam had a game-high 24 points for the Raptors, who have now lost four of their last five games.

  • Clippers win in Leonard's Toronto return, Bucks stretch streak Clippers win in Leonard's Toronto return, Bucks stretch streak

    Kawhi Leonard enjoyed a successful return to Toronto on Wednesday, while the Milwaukee Bucks' run continued and James Harden starred in the NBA.

    Back in Toronto, where he won the NBA championship last season, Leonard helped the Los Angeles Clippers past the Raptors 112-92.

    The star received a tribute video and finished with 23 points, six assists and five rebounds as the Clippers improved to 19-7.

    Top of the Eastern Conference, the Bucks clinched a 16th straight win by beating the New Orleans Pelicans 127-112.

    Without Giannis Antetokounmpo (quad soreness), Milwaukee still cruised thanks to Eric Bledsoe's 29 points on 10-of-13 shooting.

    Harden had 55 points, including 20 in the fourth quarter, to see the Houston Rockets past the Cleveland Cavaliers 116-110.

     

    LeBron lifts Lakers, Graham shines

    LeBron James' triple-double of 25 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists saw the Los Angeles Lakers improve to 22-3 by beating the Orlando Magic 96-87.

    Devonte' Graham starred for the Charlotte Hornets as his 40 points saw them past the Brooklyn Nets 113-108.

    A double-double from Rudy Gobert (20 points and 16 rebounds) helped the Utah Jazz claim a 127-116 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

     

    Warriors' woes

    The Golden State Warriors (5-21) are the worst team in the NBA after losing to the New York Knicks (5-20). The Knicks ended a 10-game losing streak with a 124-122 overtime win.

     

    Morant magic

    Memphis Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant, the second pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, produced a nice dunk in a win over the Phoenix Suns.

    Wednesday's results

    Houston Rockets 116-110 Cleveland Cavaliers
    Indiana Pacers 122-117 Boston Celtics
    Los Angeles Lakers 96-87 Orlando Magic
    Los Angeles Clippers 112-92 Toronto Raptors
    Charlotte Hornets 113-108 Brooklyn Nets
    Chicago Bulls 136-102 Atlanta Hawks
    Utah Jazz 127-116 Minnesota Timberwolves
    Memphis Grizzlies 115-108 Phoenix Suns
    Milwaukee Bucks 127-112 New Orleans Pelicans
    Sacramento Kings 94-93 Oklahoma City Thunder
    New York Knicks 124-122 Golden State Warriors

     

    76ers at Celtics

    The Philadelphia 76ers (18-7) have struggled on the road so far this season and face the Boston Celtics (17-6) at TD Garden on Thursday.

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