NBA Roundup: LA Confidential — Round 1 to LeBron James, Lakers

Published July 31, 2020, 10:00 PM

by Manila Bulletin Sports

Lakers edge Clippers
Kawhi Leonard LeBron James
LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers and Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers look on during a game on July 30, 2020 at The Arena at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida. (Jesse D. Garrabrant / NBAE via Getty Images / AFP)

The Los Angeles Lakers had a good start in the NBA season restart Thursday at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando as it edged co-Staples Center tenant the Los Angeles Clippers, 103-101.

LeBron James showed anew that he is clutch as he made the winning shot.

He got the ball near center court with 12 seconds remaining with the score tied and drove against two Clippers defenders. He put a shot and missed but followed it up and converted to make it 103-101.

In the ensuing play, Kawhi Leonard had possession and tried to drive against LeBron whose tight defense made him pass the ball to fellow Clippers superstar Paul George.

George went up center court to try and drive to the basket but a tight guarding LeBron forced him to put up a shot at the three-point line which missed.

Anthony Davis didn’t show any effects of a poked eye in a scrimmage, leading all scorers with 34 points, grabbed eight boards, and issued four dimes. LeBron scored 16 points on 6-of-19 shooting and had 11 rebounds and seven assists.

Kawhi scored 28 and George had 30 points for the Clippers.

Gobert on clutch mode, leads Jazz past Pelicans
Rudy Gobert Utah Jazz
Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz (Ashley Landis-Pool / Getty Images / AFP)

The opening game between the Utah Jazz and New Orleans Pelicans at the bubble was also a thriller.

Rudy Gobert canned two pressure-packed free throws off a foul while attempting a vicious dunk with seven seconds remaining to lead the Jazz past the Pelicans, 106-104.

Brandon Ingram had the chance to win the game but missed a triple as time expired.

Gobert had a double-double – 14 points and 12 rebounds.

Filipino-American Jordan Clarkson topscored for the Jazz with 23 points. Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley chipped in 20 apiece.

Ingram had 23 points and eight rebounds in a losing effort. Jrue Holiday and JJ Reddick backed Ingram with 20 and 21 points, respectively.

Despite being ready to play, Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry, in a puzzling move, did not play Zion Williamson in the closing minutes of the game due to minutes restriction and many wondered if the latter taking the court during crunchtime would have given NOP the win.

Lakers-Raptors, Jazz-Thunder on Saturday

The Lakers gun for their second win in a row at the expense of the defending champion Toronto Raptors Saturday.

The Jazz take on the Oklahoma City Thunder while the Pelicans tackle Kawhi and company also Saturday.

Friday’s schedule at the bubble

1. Milwaukee Bucks vs. Brooklyn Nets
2. Memphis Grizzlies vs. Portland Trail Blazers
3. Phoenix Suns vs. Washington Wizards
4. Boston Celtics vs. Milwaukee Bucks
5. Sacramento Kings vs. San Antonio Spurs
6. Houston Rockets vs. Dallas Mavericks

NBA on PH TV opens with Lakers-Clippers, Jazz-Pelicans games

The NBA formally returned to Philippine TV Friday with the games between the Jazz and the Pelicans and Clippers-Lakers.

Players take a knee for social justice
NBA bubble kneel
The Los Angeles Lakers and the LA Clippers kneel during the National Anthem prior to a game on July 30, 2020 at The Arena at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex in Orlando (Jesse D. Garrabrant / NBAE via Getty Images / AFP)

Before the Jazz-Pelicans game, players and coaches of both squads, referees, too, took a knee for social justice.

In the next game – Lakers-Clippers – players, coaches, and referees also made the same move.

All the four teams wore T-shirts with “Black Lives Matter.”

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said players who kneel during the Star-Spangled Banner will not be punished under league rules.

“It’s an opportunity to use this platform to spread a lot of positives, a lot of love throughout the course of the whole world,” LeBron said.

“We understand what’s going on in society right now and we’re using this NBA platform as players as coaches and as an organization to stand strong on that. This is a good start.”

Thibodeau named new Knicks coach
Tom Thibodeau
Tom Thibodeau (Photo by EZRA SHAW / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP)

He’s officially on board and will he jumpstart the moribund New York Knicks?

Coach Tom Thibodeau has been introduced as the mentor of Jim Dolan’s team.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to return to this historic franchise as head coach and work alongside a talented front office that I have great trust in and respect for,” said Thibodeau.

“I know what New York is like when the Knicks are successful and there is nothing comparable. I look forward to being a part of what we are building here and can’t wait to get to work.”

“Tom Thibodeau is a proven winner who gets the most out of the players and teams that he has coached,” Knicks president Leon Rose said. “He will bring leadership, accountability and a hard-working mentality to our organization.”

Thibodeau was an assistant coach for the Knicks for eight years. After that, he was coach of the Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves.

Howard sells penthouse for $2M
dwight howard
Dwight Howard #39 of the Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Harry How / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP)

Dwight Howard of the Los Angeles Lakers earned a pretty penny during this pandemic.

Howard sold his penthouse in Washington D.C. for $2 million.

He bought the home for $2.3 million while playing for the Washington Wizards in 2018.

It has a two-story living room, a wet bar, a center-island kitchen, and a custom aquarium in a bathroom shower and was purchased by Brock Pierce, a former actor turned presidential hopeful. (Compiled by Tristan Lozano)

 
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