As Anthony Davis plays hurt, Lakers focus on long-term health strategy

first_imgLOS ANGELES — All a reporter had to do was start with an observation: Anthony Davis falls down a lot.Avery Bradley jumped in before it could become a question: “I knew you were going to say that.”Davis has a reputation for hitting the deck. It’s a combination of factors: his position, which often puts him in the paint against physical bangers such as Memphis’ Jonas Valanciunas; his verticality, which puts him more at risk when he takes huge leaps; his scoring and driving ability, which puts him more in the line of fire.In a 120-91 win against the Grizzlies, his teammates cringe all the more every time Davis slammed against the hardwood. Laced into each stumble and slide was the knowledge that the 6-foot-10 phenom was already playing with a jammed shoulder – the fear was that he would somehow make it worse. Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with Packers“We did talk about that on the sideline a little bit,” Lakers guard Danny Green said. “You know, (he’s) got to learn how to tuck and roll or fall gracefully. It’s hard to do that in this league when guys are beating you up.”That Davis was somehow able to manufacture a 40-point, 20-rebound game out of his 31 minutes was more stunning given the hindrance in his shoulder. But the game underlined critical truths for the Lakers (3-1), whose hopes are riding on the durability of his frame: Davis is sensitive about his dealings with his health, and no one on the team wants him to push it.On the first front, Davis has a reputation, deserved or not, for getting hurt. This stems from the beginning of his career, when he didn’t play more than 68 games during his first four seasons. The last few years have been more durable – Davis played in 75 games in his fifth and sixth seasons – but he has a propensity for getting dinged up.Midway through last season – before Davis played fewer minutes after his trade demand – The Athletic’s Will Guillory compiled a list of injuries Davis had over the course of the season. Of  the 14 injuries listed, Davis returned to the game in 12 instances, even if he missed time afterward.The latest brush seemed to fit that pattern. While Davis later admitted that he jammed his right shoulder against the rim on Sunday as “I tried to be Superman and dunk the ball,” immediately after the game he denied a report that anything was wrong specifically with his shoulder. The Lakers canceled practice Monday, then Davis declined to speak to the media during Tuesday’s shootaround or pregame. Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “I have a list of (injuries) and I just try to play, fight through them and do what I’ve gotta do to help the team,” he said. “I’m here to be one of the leaders of the team and it’s tough for me to do that on the sideline. So I’d rather just see how I feel, go play and try leading that way.”But the flip side is there are times when it would behoove the Lakers to give Davis a break in favor of keeping him healthy for the long haul. That seemed to be acknowledged when the Lakers pulled Davis out for the entire fourth quarter after he had keyed a 22-0 run.Toughness is good. But keeping an eye on the bigger picture is more important, teammates agreed.“I think we want, for us, we want him to do what’s best for him,” James said. “And if he felt like he could go, which he did, we’re all for it. But this is a marathon, and we understand that.”center_img The first official word from the Lakers that anything was wrong was 90 minutes before Tuesday’s game, when Coach Frank Vogel said Davis was testing it out. Davis said he never thought he would miss Tuesday’s game against Memphis, but he did acknowledge that he wasn’t completely sure he was feeling well enough to play until pregame warmups.“Passing and shooting, dribbling – all basketball plays,” he said. “I hadn’t got a chance to really test it out. I just wanted to test it out see how it felt. Felt good.”James acknowledged he knew Davis was feeling pain the past few days, but other teammates were in the dark. Dwight Howard and Green both said the game was the first time they knew something was up with Davis – Green said when Davis went to the locker room to get re-taped, his reaction was: “Oh shoot, he’s in the back?”Under the circumstances, teammates found it admirable Davis was willing to push himself into the paint to earn all the trips to the free-throw line. No one in the NBA has made 26 free throws since Michael Jordan did in 1987 – not until the Brow did it with a bum shoulder.“He’s been doing everything he can to get ready for tonight, and he did that,” James said. “And obviously nowhere near 100 percent, you have a performance like that, it’s pretty cool.”In the same breath, the Lakers also don’t want to risk Davis’ health this early in the season. While Davis said during his introduction that his intention was to play every game this season – something he’s never done – Vogel said when Davis went back to the locker room in the first half, he was prepared to coach without his star big man. The physicality Davis experienced in the paint against Memphis also validated why the coaching staff has been reluctant to play him at center full-time.Other teammates were circumspect about the risk Davis could put on his body by playing through injury. Bradley said playing without falling down as often is something Davis needs to learn now in his eighth season, but he also said it’s not something the team directly addresses as a group.“We haven’t really brought it up. I’m pretty sure people have,” Bradley said. “But he just has to continue to be aggressive. I don’t think he needs to think about that. It’s our job to just make sure that we put him in great spots so he’s not always putting himself in positions to fall down on the floor. Because we definitely need him out there on the floor at all times.”In just four games, Davis’ impact is readily seen: The Lakers become an elite defense (93.7 defensive rating) when he’s on the floor. Their rebounding and assist percentages increase, and their tempo picks up. Davis’ versatility is an ultimate weapon for a league that thrives on mismatches: He can post up guards, cross over bigs and find his points from the rim to the 3-point line.But to do all that, the Lakers need him healthy. Davis seemed to register this as a need for toughness, something that spurred him into playing Tuesday’s game.Related Articles Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years last_img read more

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Kyle Kuzma’s clutch 3-pointers help Lakers escape Phoenix with a win

first_img“That’s the secret for us,” he said. “If you truly commit to the extra pass offensively and playing for each other, we are going to be near unbeatable.”However, injury concerns arose around another one of the team’s key components.Anthony Davis (24 points, 12 rebounds), who has been experiencing shoulder soreness for two weeks, gave Lakers fans a scare. After a first-quarter blocked shot against Kelly Oubre, Davis winced and grabbed his right side. While the injury was on the same side as his sore shoulder, the Lakers said Davis injured his ribs, which he got taped in the locker room during the third quarter break.He said he would see how his shoulder and ribs feel on Wednesday morning, before the Lakers take on Golden State at Staples Center. It’s possible Davis could miss the game.“I just want to play,” he said. “It’s tough for me to lead from the sideline, so now (I’ll sit) if it makes sense, obviously, but what I can do on the floor to help this team win, that’s what I try to do.”It was hard enough to defend Phoenix’s centers, who were surprisingly frisky from behind the arc. Aron Baynes, a career 33 percent 3-point shooter, was 4 for 6 on deep shots with 20 points, while Frank Kaminsky and Dario Saric were a combined 6 for 9 from 3-point range. Ricky Rubio and Devin Booker were lethal on drive-and-kicks, notching 19 assists between them.The Lakers withstood a withering outside shooting rally, as the Suns knocked down 16 3-pointers for the night, which more than filled up a light-up “3” tracker in the upper tier of the arena.LeBron James (19 points, 11 assists, seven rebounds) looked shaky at times closing out, particularly at the free-throw line where he was just 2 for 7. The Suns pushed ahead 113-111 on Booker’s fastbreak layup with 3:29 left, before James hit a 3-pointer, then Kuzma managed two more on consecutive possessions, to pull away late – bouncing back after just their second loss this season Sunday against Toronto.The Lakers did get some injury luck to go their way, getting Rajon Rondo back after he missed the first nine games of the season. Rondo had five points, seven assists and six rebounds in his Lakers return, and helped on the team’s defense of top scorer Booker (21 points, 9-for-18 shooting).The Lakers (8-2), off to their best 10-game start since 2010, dominated in the paint with 70 points. Dwight Howard came off the bench to score 12 points and grab nine rebounds in 20 minutes. PreviousPHOENIX, ARIZONA – NOVEMBER 12: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers walks off the court past fans following the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena on November 12, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Lakers defeated the Suns 123-115. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)Lakers forward Anthony Davis drives around Suns forward Dario Saric during the first half of Tuesday’s game in Phoenix. Davis had 24 points and 12 rebounds in a 123-115 win. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)PHOENIX, ARIZONA – NOVEMBER 12: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers attempts a three point shot against the Phoenix Suns during the first half of the NBA game at Talking Stick Resort Arena on November 12, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsLos Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo (9) drives past Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges in the first half during an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)PHOENIX, ARIZONA – NOVEMBER 12: Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers drives the ball past Dario Saric #20 of the Phoenix Suns during the first half of the NBA game at Talking Stick Resort Arena on November 12, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma tries to navigate his way to the basket during the first half of Tuesday’s game against the Suns in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)PHOENIX, ARIZONA – NOVEMBER 12: Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns lays up a shot past Danny Green #14 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half of the NBA game at Talking Stick Resort Arena on November 12, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) in the first half during an NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)PHOENIX, ARIZONA – NOVEMBER 12: Dwight Howard #39 of the Los Angeles Lakers slam dunks the ball over Frank Kaminsky #8 of the Phoenix Suns during the first half of the NBA game at Talking Stick Resort Arena on November 12, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma (0) in the first half during an NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)PHOENIX, ARIZONA – NOVEMBER 12: Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers attempts a shot over Kelly Oubre Jr. #3 of the Phoenix Suns during the first half of the NBA game at Talking Stick Resort Arena on November 12, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)PHOENIX, ARIZONA – NOVEMBER 12: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers attempts a shot against the Phoenix Suns during the first half of the NBA game at Talking Stick Resort Arena on November 12, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard (39) in the first half during an NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) in the first half during an NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) and Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) talk in the first half during an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James drives on Phoenix Suns center Aron Baynes (46) in the first half during an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) in the first half during an NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) in the first half during an NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma (0) in the first half during an NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)PHOENIX, ARIZONA – NOVEMBER 12: Dwight Howard #39 of the Los Angeles Lakers attempts a shot over Frank Kaminsky #8 of the Phoenix Suns during the first half of the NBA game at Talking Stick Resort Arena on November 12, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma (0) in the first half during an NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James gets fouled by Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) in the first half during an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)PHOENIX, ARIZONA – NOVEMBER 12: Cody Bellinger of the Los Angeles Dodgers sits near Kyler Murray of the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of the NBA game between the Phoenix Suns and the Los Angeles Lakers at Talking Stick Resort Arena on November 12, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)PHOENIX, ARIZONA – NOVEMBER 12: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers attempts a shot over Cameron Johnson #23 of the Phoenix Suns during the second half of the NBA game at Talking Stick Resort Arena on November 12, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Lakers defeated the Suns 123-115. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)PHOENIX, ARIZONA – NOVEMBER 12: JaVale McGee #7 of the Los Angeles Lakers slam dunks the ball over Aron Baynes #46 of the Phoenix Suns during the second half of the NBA game at Talking Stick Resort Arena on November 12, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Lakers defeated the Suns 123-115. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)PHOENIX, ARIZONA – NOVEMBER 12: Kelly Oubre Jr. #3 of the Phoenix Suns attempts to steal the ball from LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the second half of the NBA game at Talking Stick Resort Arena on November 12, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Lakers defeated the Suns 123-115. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)PHOENIX, ARIZONA – NOVEMBER 12: Anthony Davis #3 and LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers react during the second half of the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena on November 12, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Lakers defeated the Suns 123-115. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)PHOENIX, ARIZONA – NOVEMBER 12: Dario Saric #20 of the Phoenix Suns attempts a three point shot against the Los Angeles Lakers during the second half of the NBA game at Talking Stick Resort Arena on November 12, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Lakers defeated the Suns 123-115. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)PHOENIX, ARIZONA – NOVEMBER 12: JaVale McGee #7 of the Los Angeles Lakers slam dunks the ball over Aron Baynes #46 of the Phoenix Suns during the second half of the NBA game at Talking Stick Resort Arena on November 12, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Lakers defeated the Suns 123-115. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)PHOENIX, ARIZONA – NOVEMBER 12: Head coach Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns reacts during the first half of the NBA game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Talking Stick Resort Arena on November 12, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) scores against the Los Angeles Lakers in the first half during an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)PHOENIX, ARIZONA – NOVEMBER 12: Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers attempts a shot over Dario Saric #20 of the Phoenix Suns during the first half of the NBA game at Talking Stick Resort Arena on November 12, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)PHOENIX, ARIZONA – NOVEMBER 12: Danny Green #14 of the Los Angeles Lakers is fouled by Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns as he drives the ball during the first half of the NBA game at Talking Stick Resort Arena on November 12, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Lakers defeated the Suns 123-115. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)PHOENIX, ARIZONA – NOVEMBER 12: Kyle Kuzma #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers attempts a lay up against Frank Kaminsky #8 and Mikal Bridges #25 of the Phoenix Suns during the first half of the NBA game at Talking Stick Resort Arena on November 12, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Lakers defeated the Suns 123-115. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)PHOENIX, ARIZONA – NOVEMBER 12: Frank Kaminsky #8 of the Phoenix Suns attempts a shot over Alex Caruso #4 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the second half of the NBA game at Talking Stick Resort Arena on November 12, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Lakers defeated the Suns 123-115. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)PHOENIX, ARIZONA – NOVEMBER 12: Danny Green #14 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts after a three point shot against the Phoenix Suns during the second half of the NBA game at Talking Stick Resort Arena on November 12, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Lakers defeated the Suns 123-115. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis scores against the Phoenix Suns during the second half during an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) drives past Los Angeles Lakers guard Alex Caruso in the second half during an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) gets fouled by Los Angeles Lakers guard Avery Bradley in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)Phoenix Suns center Aron Baynes (46) in the first half during an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)PHOENIX, ARIZONA – NOVEMBER 12: Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers talks with LeBron James #23 during the second half of the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena on November 12, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Lakers defeated the Suns 123-115. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) in the first half during an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard (39) shoots over Phoenix Suns forward Frank Kaminsky (8) during the second half during an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)Phoenix Suns guard Ricky Rubio drives past Los Angeles Lakers guard Avery Bradley (11) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)The Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma runs back down the court after hitting a crucial 3-point shot over the Suns’ Cameron Johnson, left, during the final minutes of Tuesday’s game in Phoenix. Kuzma scored 23 points in the 123-115 win. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)PHOENIX, ARIZONA – NOVEMBER 12: Kyle Kuzma #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts after hitting a three point shot against the Phoenix Suns during the second half of the NBA game at Talking Stick Resort Arena on November 12, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Lakers defeated the Suns 123-115. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)PHOENIX, ARIZONA – NOVEMBER 12: Dwight Howard #39 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts after scoring against the Phoenix Suns during the second half of the NBA game at Talking Stick Resort Arena on November 12, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Lakers defeated the Suns 123-115. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma (0) celebrates with teammates after defeating the Phoenix Suns 123-115 during an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)PHOENIX, ARIZONA – NOVEMBER 12: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers walks off the court past fans following the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena on November 12, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Lakers defeated the Suns 123-115. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)Lakers forward Anthony Davis drives around Suns forward Dario Saric during the first half of Tuesday’s game in Phoenix. Davis had 24 points and 12 rebounds in a 123-115 win. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)NextShow Caption1 of 48Lakers forward Anthony Davis drives around Suns forward Dario Saric during the first half of Tuesday’s game in Phoenix. Davis had 24 points and 12 rebounds in a 123-115 win. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)ExpandPHOENIX — As the Lakers sauntered off the court, another tight win in hand, LeBron James and Anthony Davis caught the attention of Kyle Kuzma.James shouted at him. Davis was slightly less forceful. But whatever they said made Kuzma start to giggle as they cleared off the Talking Stick Resort Arena court on Tuesday night after bouncing back, 123-115, against the Suns.It was Kuzma, shooting just 20 percent from 3-point range entering the game, who knocked down back-to-back long balls in the final two minutes to clinch the victory. And Davis and James treated it as a moment to celebrate the comeback of the player most think will be the crucial third scorer for the Lakers (8-2) this season.“It’s only a matter of time,” James said after Kuzma’s 23-point night. “It came at the right time against a tough team.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersAfter suffering a stress reaction in his foot in August while training with USA Basketball, Kuzma, 24, has mostly looked rusty. In five games prior, he was averaging just 10.2 points and shooting below 40 percent – a far cry from the microwave scorer who was second behind James in points per game last season.Coach Frank Vogel said he talked to Kuzma on Monday, trying to get him to welcome back his rhythm. Davis and James had been similarly encouraging. Kuzma, who was 9 for 16, including 3 for 6 from beyond the arc, said it helped him feel patient.“Every single game I felt rhythm and timing getting more and more back,” he said. “I think tonight, just felt like how I usually play.”But Kuzma got going early, notching 13 points in a red-hot first quarter, then later supplying the final key buckets to fizzle out the upstart Suns. On the first, Avery Bradley grabbed an offensive rebound of a missed James 3-point attempt and kicked it out to Alex Caruso, who found Kuzma. Bradley had the assist on the second 3-pointer, which swung a kick-out on a drive by James.It was part of a sharing spirit that led the Lakers to 39 assists, the most they’ve had in a game in 10 years. Vogel said he challenged his team to look for more extra passes after their second loss of the season against Toronto on Sunday.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

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Today’s Daily Fantasy Baseball Rankings: Best starting pitchers, streamers for Monday, June 10

first_imgCheck the  Fantasy Alarm Weather Center closer to lineup lock for the latest reports.MORE MONDAY MLB: DFS picks | Betting picksToday’s Daily Fantasy Baseball Pitcher Rankings: Monday, June 10RankPitcherTeamOpponentOpp. wRC+ vs. LHP (rank)Opp. wRC+ vs. RHP (rank)FDDK1Hyun-Jin RyuDodgers@ Angels102 (T-12th)N/A$10,700$10,4002Chris SaleRed Soxvs. Rangers86 (23rd)N/A$11,800$10,9003Charlie MortonRaysvs. A’sN/A94 (17th)$10,500$9,9004Masahiro TanakaYankeesvs. MetsN/A99 (12th)$8,900$7,9005Mike MinorRangers@ Red Sox90 (T-18th)N/A$9,200$9,4006Michael WachaCardinals@ MarlinsN/A77 (T-28th)$6,300$6,0007Jason VargasMets@ Yankees82 (24th)N/A$6,800$7,6008German MarquezRockiesvs. CubsN/A111 (7th)$7,500$8,7009Anibal SanchezNationals@ White SoxN/A92 (18th)$7,300$8,10010Joe MusgrovePirates@ BravesN/A98 (13th)$8,400$5,20011Jerad EickhoffPhilliesvs. D-backsN/A88 (20th)$7,400$7,10012Griffin CanningAngelsvs. DodgersN/A120 (T-1st)$7,800$8,40013Yu DarvishCubs@ RockiesN/A85 (T-22nd)$7,100$6,20014Taylor ClarkeD-backs@ PhilliesN/A91 (19th)$6,100$6,30015Kevin GausmanBravesvs. PiratesN/A95 (T-15th)$6,000$6,40016Sandy AlcantaraMarlinsvs. CardinalsN/A97 (14th)$7,000$6,90017Tanner AndersonA’s@ RaysN/A115 (T-3rd)N/A$4,00018Odrisamer DespaigneWhite Soxvs. NationalsN/A86 (21st)N/AN/AwRC+ is defined by Fangraphs as “[measuring] how a player’s wRC compares with league average after controlling for park effects. League average for position players is 100, and every point above 100 is a percentage point above league average. For example, a 125 wRC+ means a player created 25% more runs than a league average hitter would have in the same number of plate appearances. Similarly, every point below 100 is a percentage point below league average, so a 80 wRC+ means a player created 20% fewer runs than league average.” For more on the stat, click here. Watch ChangeUp, a new MLB live whip-around show on DAZNIf you’re not willing to pay up for one of the top three-to-five SPs today, it might be smart to settle for Joe Musrove (@ Braves) or Anibal Sanchez (@ White Sox) — which tells you why you should probably pay up for one of the top five SPs. There are nine games, all in the evening, on Monday’s MLB schedule, but there are only a handful of trustworthy pitchers in our daily fantasy baseball rankings. More will ultimately pay off in DraftKings and FanDuel contests, but it won’t be easy identifying those sleepers.Michael Wacha (@ Marlins) will get some looks because of his favorable matchup, but after being demoted to the bullpen, he’s a major risk — both in terms of performance and pitch count. Jason Vargas (@ Yankees) has a decent matchup on paper and has been pitching great lately (1.85 ERA in his past seven outings), but he still feels like a GPP-only play. German Marquez (vs. Cubs) and Yu Darvish (@ Rockies) both have dominating stuff, but they also have shown they have low floors, particularly in Colorado.last_img read more

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MLB All-Star 2019: Yankees’ Aaron Boone ‘thinks it’s a joke’ Gleyber Torres isn’t on AL roster

first_img MLB trade rumors: Yankees may compete with Astros for Marcus Stroman “I think it’s a joke he’s not on that team,” Boone said, via The Athletic. “Gleyber Torres is not an All-Star? You can kick rocks on that. It’s ridiculous. It doesn’t seem right to me that he’s not on that team.”Torres, who is in his second MLB season, is slashing .295/.363/.544 in 77 games so far in 2019. He has also added 19 home runs and 48 RBIs. Related News Yankees injury update: Luke Voit latest to land on IL “It’s a bit of a head-scratcher, and hopefully there’s still a way for them to get on because both of those guys are certainly deserving.”The Yankees enter play Wednesday in first place of the American League East with a 54-29 record. They’re expected to add a starter before the July 31 trade deadline and have been linked to Zack Wheeler, Marcus Stroman and Madison Bumgarner, among others. Boone said Yankees first baseman Luke Voit should have received All-Star consideration, as well. Voit was placed on the 10-day injured list with an abdominal strain earlier this week.“I think if you look at it, the fact that Gleyber Torres is not going to the All-Star Game I think is a joke,” Boone said during an interview with WFAN on Tuesday (via NJ.com). “I know there’s different things that factor in where you have teams that need to be represented. I certainly understand that. But in those two players’ case, Luke and Gleyber, that’s not what got them off this All-Star team. MLB trade rumors: Mets will ‘have no issues’ sending Zack Wheeler to Yankees Aaron Boone believes Gleyber Torres is clearly an All-Star.The Yankees manager told reporters Wednesday he didn’t understand how the 22-year-old infielder was left off the American League roster for the game, which will take place early next week in Cleveland.last_img read more

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Emanuele Blandamura vs. Marcus Morrison fight date, price, how to watch, live stream

first_imgJoin DAZN to watch 100+ fight nights a yearThe co-main event sees Serhiy Demchenko (21-14-1, 14 KOs) take on former French light-heavyweight Champion Hakim Zoulikha (26-10, 11 KOs) for the vacant European Union title and the undercard also features some of the best talent that Rome has to offer. Undefeated former European and WBC silver lightweight ruler Emiliano Marsili (37-0-1, 15 KOs), super welterweight Mirko Natalizi (5-0, 3 KOs), super lightweight Sebastian Mendizabal (2-0), cruiserweight Simone Federici (14-2-1, 6 KOs), super welterweight Vincenzo Bevilacqua (14-0) and 2016 Olympian Valentino Manfredonia will all be in action.  “I’m excited to be involved in my first promotion in Rome after the overwhelming success of our opening shows in Florence and Milan with our friends at Opi Since 82 and DAZN,” Matchroom Boxing’s managing director Eddie Hearn said about the card.Added Veronica Diquattro, the EVP of Southern Europe of DAZN: “After the success of the events in Milan and Florence, we are proud to land in the capital, in one of the most evocative sports locations in the world, with another evening dedicated to the great international boxing. Over the last months, we have worked hard to bring more people closer to this discipline and the event in Rome confirms our desire to continue on this path and keep giving to all fans moments of incredible emotion.”When is the Emanuele Blandamura vs. Marcus Morrison fight?The Emanuele Blandamura vs. Marcus Morrison fight will take place on Thursday, July 11, live and exclusively on DAZN.Where is the Emanuele Blandamura vs. Marcus Morrison fight?The Emanuele Blandamura vs. Marcus Morrison fight will take place at the Stadio Nicola Pietrangeli in Rome, Italy. What time does Emanuele Blandamura vs. Marcus Morrison fight start?The Emanuele Blandamura vs. Marcus Morrison fight undercard is set to begin at 2 p.m. ET, with the main card slated for a 5 p.m. start, both on DAZN.How to watch Emanuele Blandamura vs. Marcus MorrisonEmanuele Blandamura vs. Marcus Morrison is available on DAZN, the global live-sports streaming service.A new subscriber to DAZN can sign up for a monthly subscription or annual pass to watch the fight. The annual pass — which includes access to all of DAZN’s live events, as well as highlights, replays, behind-the-scenes features, original shows and live reports — is $99.99, which averages out to a little over $8 a month. For those who want a monthly-plan instead of the longer-term value, fight fans can sign up for a monthly option for $19.99.For current subscribers, the fight is already included as part of your plan.Emanuele Blandamura record and bioName: Emanuele “Sioux” BlandamuraNationality: ItalianBorn: 04/29/1979Height: 5’ 10”Reach: 70½”Total fights: 32Record: 29-3 with 5 knockouts Emanuele Blandamura looks for his 30th career victory and to wrap the vacant WBC international silver middleweight title around his waist Thursday, when he takes on Marcus Morrison at the Stadio Nicola Pietrangeli in Rome, Italy and live on DAZN.As a former world title challenger, the 39-year-old Blandamura (29-3, 5 KOs) returns to the ring following his win over Nikola Matic in April, while England’s Morrison (20-3, 14 KOs) is coming off a decision victory over Darryl Sharp in April as well. Marcus Morrison record and bioName: Marcus “Sweet MNM” MorrisonNationality: BritishBorn: 03/09/1993Height: 5’ 11”Reach: N/ATotal fights: 23Record: 20-3 with 14 knockoutsEmanuele Blandamura vs. Marcus Morrison fight cardMain cardEmanuele Blandamura vs. Marcus Morrison; Vacant WBC international silver middleweight titleSerhiy Demchenko vs. Hakim Zoulikha; Vacant EBU European light heavyweight titleUndercardEmiliano Marsili vs. Brayan Mairena; LightweightsTommy McCarthy vs. Francesco Cataldo; CruiserweightsMirko Natalizi vs. Antonio Gomez; Super welterweightsSebastian Mendizabal vs. Sebastijan Saciri; Super lightweightsAlen Babic vs. Lazar Stojanovic; HeavyweightsVincenzo Bevilacqua vs. Novak Radulovic; Super welterweightsValentino Manfredonia vs. Sokol Arsic; Light heavyweightslast_img read more

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Knicks free agency rumors: Marcus Morris lands with New York after originally agreeing to deal with Spurs

first_img“I had to make this decision based on the best situation for me and my family,” Morris told The Athletic. “This is no knock on the Spurs. I have respect for them.”The Knicks had more cap space than originally anticipated because they’re in the process of reworking the two-year, $21 million contract they agreed to with wing Reggie Bullock, whose “fitness to play a full season in 2019-20” is in question, according to an earlier report from ESPN.ESPN Sources: The New York Knicks and free agent Reggie Bullock are re-working an original two-year, $21M deal, with both sides motivated to find an agreement with new terms. Agent David Bauman and the Knicks are re-evaluating Bullock’s fitness to play a full season in 2019-20.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 9, 2019New York is still optimistic it will add Bullock, according to a report from SNY.The Knicks were reportedly targeting Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant this summer, but both stars ended up signing with their cross-town rivals, the Nets.New York then went on to sign Wayne Ellington, Elfrid Payton, Julius Randle, Bobby Portis and Taj Gibson, in addition to Morris. Forward Marcus Morris plans to sign a one-year, $15M deal with the New York Knicks, after reopening his agreement with the San Antonio Spurs, source tells @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 11, 2019Morris, 29, originally committed to a two-year, $20 million deal with the Spurs earlier this month. But, he was reportedly reconsidering that contract, leading San Antonio to withdraw the offer, according to ESPN. Spurs have pulled offer to Marcus Morris and agreed to a deal with free agent Trey Lyles, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 11, 2019Morris averaged 13.9 points and 6.1 rebounds while shooting 37.5% from 3-point range for the Celtics last season. Related News Celtics’ Brad Stevens addresses losing Kyrie Irving, Al Horford in free agency Dennis Smith Jr. says he’s going to raise his game to the ‘next level,’ lead Knicks to playoffscenter_img “Our plan wasn’t to create $70 million in room to go after free agents this summer,” Knicks president Steve Mills told the Undefeated last month. “Our plan was to organically build this team through teamwork, drafting well, getting high-character guys that want to compete. The (salary cap) space was a byproduct of that.”The Knicks also selected former Duke star RJ Barrett with the No. 3 pick in the 2019 draft. The Knicks have added one more player to their roster.New York has signed Marcus Morris to a one-year, $15 million contract, according to a report from The Athletic, which cites unidentified league sources. last_img read more

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Kyle Busch on finishing second to brother Kurt: ‘Wrong end of the deal’

first_imgKurt Busch and Kyle Busch battled it out until the very end of Saturday’s Quaker State 400 race at Kentucky Speedway, with the elder brother winning and earning his 31st win in the Cup Series.Kyle was supportive of Kurt after the race, though he admitted, “We were on the wrong end of the deal.”  “It was a thriller,” Kyle said. “It’s obviously cool to put on great races and great finishes, and I’ve been a part of a lot of them and not very many — in fact none — with my brother like that. And so that was a first.”The race came down to the final two laps after a caution gave them overtime laps. It appeared Kyle had the advantage, but Kurt held on and took the lead going into Turn 1 on the last lap. They dueled it out right next to each other as Kurt just barely edged out Kyle to give Chevrolet its first Cup Series win at Kentucky. Related News NASCAR standings 2019: Updated points for Cup Series playoffs after the Quaker State 400 NASCAR at Kentucky: Kyle Busch’s reaction to Brad Keselowski cutting him off is hilariouscenter_img “What a battle with my little brother. To race him side-by-side, try to play the chess game at 180 mph in the side draft,” Kurt said (via USA Today). “As we drove down into Turn 3 on the last lap, I just stared straight at the No. 18 on his door and I never lifted until I heard him lift and then I was like ‘wait a minute, I still gotta miss the wall’ and he gave me just enough room as a true racer would.”The only downside for Kurt was the fact that his brother didn’t wait to give him a ride home back to North Carolina, like he initially promised. “I was supposed to fly home with him and now I’m looking for a plane ride,” Kurt laughed (per ESPN). “That’s Kyle. He won’t even wait.” “No hard feelings, and we move on,” Kyle said.WHAT A FINISH!@KurtBusch holds off @KyleBusch to WIN at @KYSpeedway! #QS400 pic.twitter.com/0kbLBJUxMA— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) July 14, 2019After the race, Kurt explained what was going through his mind during the final few laps as he wanted to defeat his brother.last_img read more

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Tour de France alters Stage 20; rain, land slides could impact close finish

first_imgMother Nature had the final say on today’s stage! #TDF2019 pic.twitter.com/CkGWzc4utm— #TDF2019 on NBCSN (@NBCSNCycling) July 26, 2019MORE: Tour de France standings and winners of each stageThe decision was made to prioritize cyclists’ safety, and as a result, the times for the stage were taken from when the cyclists reached the top of the mountain.Due to damage from the storm, two of the three climbs from Saturday’s Stage 20 have been eliminated, reducing the day’s course from 81 to just 37 miles. There are just two stages remaining in this year’s Tour de France, and with the top of the leaderboard being as close as it has been in recent years, Mother Nature has now thrown another wrench into one of the most unpredicatable finishes in some time.A sudden and violent hail storm in Friday’s Stage 19 brought a sudden and chaotic finish to the day’s cycling. As cyclists began their descent down the Alps from the Tour’s highest elevation of 9,090 feet, the sudden storm caused a landslide further down the valley, covering the road with debris and making it too dangerous for cyclists to continue. Due to the difficult weather conditions expected tomorrow and land slides noticed, the course of the 20th stage of the Tour de France will be modified.— Tour de France™ (@LeTour) July 26, 2019Stage 20 is the penultimate stage of the race before it concludes in Paris on Sunday, but it is typically the last stage in which any jockeying atop the standings is made. Stage 21 is nearly completly flat as it rolls to the ceremonial finish.Friday’s abrupt end created more chaos in the standings as Frenchman Julian Alaphlippe — the owner of the coveted yellow jersey for most of this year’s race — was passed by Colombian Egan Bernal, the youngest rider in the Tour at 22.Bernal takes a 48-second lead over Alaphlippe and a 1:16-lead over reigning Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas into the shortened Stage 20.last_img read more

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Carlos Carrasco pitches strong inning in first rehab appearance since leukemia diagnosis

first_img Three Yankees ejected by multiple umpires during tight game vs. Indians Corey Kluber injury update: Indians ace (broken arm) suffers potential setback in rehab start “When he started thinking about building up as a starter, it kind of seemed a little daunting, a little far away,” Francona told reporters. “This is something he can latch onto and be a part of our team and really help us, and it doesn’t seem so far away.”Carrasco also thanked his team and fans for supporting him throughout the process. “It feels great because those people were behind me the whole way,” Carrasco said. “From day one until now.” Carlos Carrasco is making his first rehab start since being diagnosed with leukemia.(via @MandyBell02)#CookieStrongpic.twitter.com/xJTlMyBBKv— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) August 20, 2019Carrasco threw 16 pitches with a strikeout in one inning of relief Monday for Double-A Akron against Harrisburg, marking his first outing since landing on the injured list in June due to chronic myeloid leukemia.The right-hander recieved a standing ovation from fans at Canal Park when he jogged in from the bullpen. He admitted he was nervous at first, but quickly settled in and felt more comfortable after he threw his first pitch. Related News “Right away, I looked back to the scoreboard because I just wanted to find out what was that pitch, and it was 97 and it feels great,” Carrasco said (per MLB.com). “I was surprised because all my pitches were way different than before.”Indians manager Terry Francona said Carrasco will be kept on a reliever’s program for now to ease back in. Carrasco is scheduled to pitch again for Akron on Thursday, and then the Indians will decide what’s next for the 32-year-old. Indians pitcher Carlos Carrasco returned to the mound Monday for his first rehab appearance since he was diagnosed with cancer in June.”I spent two and a half months away from baseball, just coming back today out of the bullpen feels great,” Carrasco said (via Fox 8 Cleveland).  Carlos Correa injury update: Astros star (back) pulled from game vs. Tigers, sent home to restlast_img read more

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Edin Branković breaking Records and winning Gold Medals for B&H for 14 Years

first_imgThe successful athlete and senior B&H speed skating national team member, Edin Branković, is currently in Baku, where he was elected to be a member of the Organizing Committee of the first European games. He was awarded with this honorable post thanks to strong performances in various international competitions, as well as because of the successfully completed role as a young ambassador at the Youth Olympic Games in 2012 and 2014.For the first European Games, Branković will be in charge of management of the state sports hall. He and his five colleagues are to organize 1,200 people into one great hall where the wrestling, judo, and sambo sports competitions will be held.“I received this responsibility after a month of training at the Games Academy. Now, during the games, it turns out that this is the most famous and most visited hall. A special sign of a successful organization is the fact that the hall was visited by the president of Azerbaijan for the first four days in a row”, said Branković.Branković received support for this role by the Olympic Committee of B&H and the Federation of Skating Sports of B&H for whom, defending the colors of B&H, he won numerous medals and awards. In spite of great responsibility and obligations within the Games, Branković did not neglect his speed skating career.‘’Along with active speed skating training, I am focused on education as well. During this season, I had received support from my manager, and I did not neglect any active performances for the national team of B&H. I achieved remarkable results at the World Cup in Korea (Top 20) and the semi-finals of the European Championship. I am currently dedicated to studying management and learning the language within the Games’’, Branković said.Achievements:*Gold Medal Balkan Championship 2014 (Celje)*Bronze Medal for 1,500 m Balkan Championship 2013 (Izmit)* National Champion of 2014 and the record holder at 500, 1,000, 1,500 m*Top 15 at European Championships and World Cups*European Championship: semi-finalist 2010 (Dresden), 2011 (Herenveen), 2015 (Dordrecht)*World Cup: finalist (Dresden), semi-finalist 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014*Top 10 at the World Junior Championship 2010 (1,500 m)*2004-2009 Gold skater of the region “Alpe Adria Trophy” for the juniors’ category*Holder of the scholarships of the International Skating Federation as a junior with progressive result advancement(Source: klix.ba)last_img read more

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