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LeBron James agrees to four-year, $154 million deal with Lakers

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, July 2nd, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Jan 23, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) reacts late in the fourth quarter of a game against the New Orleans Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center. The Pelicans defeated the Cavaliers 124-122. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) – Three-time NBA champion LeBron James bid farewell to Cleveland on Sunday after agreeing to a four-year $154 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers.

The 33-year-old forward leaves the Cavaliers to join an iconic franchise that has won 16 NBA titles but is rebuilding after posting a losing record for five consecutive seasons.

James bid farewell to Cleveland via his Instagram account.

“Thank you Northeast Ohio for an incredible four seasons,” the four-time NBA most valuable player, and 14-time All Star, said on his “This will always be home.”

His agency revealed he was heading for Los Angeles.

“LeBron James, four-time NBA MVP, three-time NBA finals MVP, 14-time NBA All Star, and two-time Olympic gold medalist has agreed to a four year, $154 million contract with the Los

Angeles Lakers,” Klutch Sports Group said on Twitter.

The decision by the game’s best all-around player to leave his native Ohio for Los Angeles, where he has a home, will make the Lakers an instant contender in the Western Conference where the Golden State Warriors have won three of the last four NBA titles, defeating Cleveland each time.

The other title, for the 2016 season, went to the James’ led Cavaliers.

Originally signed by the Cavaliers in 2003, James, who grew up in Akron, left Cleveland in 2010 to join the Miami Heat and led them to four consecutive NBA Finals, winning in 2012 and 2013.

He returned home to the Cavaliers the next season and ended a championship drought for Cleveland with the NBA title in 2016.

But despite claiming the Eastern Conference crown for a fourth straight year, James was given a blunt reminder of how far short the Cavs are of a championship caliber team when they were swept 4-0 by the Warriors in the Finals.

Speculation about James’ future began in advance of last season with the 76ers and Rockets rumored to be suitors, while the Cavs had hoped to keep him in Cleveland.

The Knicks and Clippers were also mentioned as possible destinations but in the end James opted for Los Angeles, who are run by former Lakers great Magic Johnson.

James enjoyed perhaps his most influential season in Cleveland to carry the team to the Finals, and finished the regular season averaging 27.5 points per game, 9.1 assists and 8.6 rebounds while playing in all 82 contests.

Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina/Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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Lue to meet with Lakers’ Walton about LeBron

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, July 9th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Jun 22, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James celebrates during the NBA championship parade in downtown Cleveland. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue had a brief chat with Los Angeles Lakers coach Luke Walton during summer league action in Las Vegas on Saturday and plans to have dinner with him soon, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The topic of discussion? LeBron James, who jumped from the Cavaliers to the Lakers in free agency last week to sign a four-year, $154 million deal.

Lue will reportedly meet with Walton and Lakers assistant Brian Shaw to tell them what he knows about coaching James.

Apparently, it will be a short conversation.

“I’ll just tell them LeBron’s easy,” said Lue, per the Times. “People get this whole thing built up like he’s hard to coach. It’s not. LeBron’s not the problem. It’s the outside tension that’s the problem. Just put added pressure immediately on the coaches, on his teammates. Now everything you do is under a microscope. … So it’s going to be a totally different change for the Lakers. They’ll be able to handle it.

“LeBron is easy to play with, very unselfish. LeBron can bring guys along, make sure they’re doing the right thing. It’s going to be good. The outside is what you’ve gotta be able to block out.”

James, 33, is the latest — and one of the greatest — legends to play for the Lakers. He has averaged 27.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.2 assists per game in 1,143 career contests.

This marks the first time James will play for a team in the hotly contested Western Conference, which includes heavyweights such as the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets. James spent his first seven seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers, his next four seasons with the Miami Heat, and his last four seasons back at home with Cleveland.

Shortly after James’ decision was announced, the Lakers landed free agent swingman Lance Stephenson for one year and $4.5 million, free agent point guard Rajon Rondo for one year and $9 million and they re-signed guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to a one-year, $12 million deal. The Lakers also agreed with free agent center JaVale McGee on a one-year, league-minimum contract.

The Cavaliers had hoped to re-sign James, who has appeared in eight consecutive NBA Finals. The Philadelphia 76ers reportedly also had strong interest in the 6-foot-8, 250-pound superstar who entered the league directly out of St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron, Ohio.

—Field Level Media

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Top-scorer Harden out for at least two weeks

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018

Dec 31, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) drives to the basket while Los Angeles Lakers guard Tyler Ennis (10) defends during the second quarter at Toyota Center. Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) – The NBA’s leading scorer James Harden will miss at least two weeks with a left hamstring strain, the Houston Rockets said onMonday.

Harden suffered the injury while driving for a layup in the fourth quarter of a game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.

The Rockets said he will be re-evaluated in two weeks.

Harden is averaging 32.3 points per game along with 9.1 assists and is a leading candidate for the league’s MVP Award.

Houston (26-9) have lost five of their last six games to fall to second in the Western Conference.

Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Greg Stutchbury

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Highlights of Saturday’s NBA games

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, January 1st, 2018

December 30, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) shoots the basketball against Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol (33) and guard Andrew Harrison (5) during the third quarter at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated the Grizzlies 141-128. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

(The Sports Xchange) – Highlights of Saturday’s National Basketball Association games:

Warriors 141, Grizzlies 128

Stephen Curry returned from an 11-game absence due to an ankle injury and set an NBA season-high by hitting 10 three-pointers as the Golden State Warriors beat the Memphis Grizzlies 141-128 on Saturday.

In his first game since Dec. 4, Curry scored 38 points on 13-of-17 shooting. He made 10-of-13 as Golden State (29-8) shot 54.5 percent (18-of-33) from behind the arc and 58.8 percent overall.

Klay Thompson added 21 and hit five three-pointers while Kevin Durant contributed 20 for the defending champions.

Marc Gasol led the Grizzlies (11-25) with 27 points while Tyreke Evans added 22 as Memphis shot 52.1 percent and 71.4 percent (15-of-21) from three-point range.

Jazz 104, Cavaliers 101

Rookie Donovan Mitchell scored 29 points and Utah held off Cleveland.

Derrick Favors added 19 while Ricky Rubio totaled 16 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists as Utah (16-21) beat Cleveland for the fourth straight time.

LeBron James turned 33 and played for the seventh time on his birthday. James finished 29 points, eight rebounds and six assists but Cleveland (24-12) lost for the fourth time in five games.

Jeff Green added 22 while Kevin Love finished with 20 and 10 rebounds for Cleveland.

Knicks 105, Pelicans 103

Jarrett Jack made two free throws with 9.1 seconds left and Kristaps Porzingis scored seven of his team-high 30 points in a critical late-game stretch to lift New York to a victory over New Orleans.

The Knicks, who won for just the third time on the road this season, erased an eight-point deficit in the final three minutes.

The Pelicans led 99-91, but Porzingis scored seven consecutive points to get the Knicks (18-18) back in the game. Anthony Davis’ three-pointer at the buzzer was no good for New Orleans (18-18).

New Orleans was led by Davis, who scored 31 points, and by DeMarcus Cousins, who had 29 points and 19 rebounds.

Pistons 93, Spurs 79

Reggie Bullock scored a career-high 22 points and Detroit beat San Antonio.

Bullock, who is averaging 13.6 points in his last eight games, shot 9-of-14 from the field and scored more than 20 points for the first time in his career.

Rookie Luke Kennard added a career high 20 points while Andre Drummond posted a double-double of 14 points and 21 rebounds for Detroit (20-15)

Kawhi Leonard led the Spurs (25-12) with 18 points but 4-of-11 from the field. LaMarcus Aldridge added 15 and 11 rebounds as San Antonio set a season low in points.

Heat 117, Magic 111

Tyler Johnson scored 22 of his season-high 31 points as Miami rallied to beat Orlando.

Johnson shot 10-of-11 in the third quarter as Miami (19-17) overcame an 18-point deficit. Goran Dragic added nine of his 25 points in the final 3 1/2 minutes.

Aaron Gordon led all scorers with 39 points but Orlando (12-25) dropped to 4-21 in its last 25 games.

Hawks 104, Trail Blazers 89

Dennis Schroder scored 22 points as Atlanta beat Portland.

Reserve Marco Belinelli scored 14 points as Atlanta (10-26) won for the third time in fourth wins. The Hawks also posted their third straight home win.

Portland star Damian Lillard sat out with a right hamstring injury. Shabazz Napier (18-17) led Portland with 21 points.

76ers 107, Nuggets 102

Jerryd Bayless scored eight of his 14 points in the first 1:06 of the fourth quarter to start a decisive run and the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Denver Nuggets 107-102.

Dario Saric had 20 points and nine rebounds, J.J. Redick scored 18 points and Robert Covington had 15 points and 10 rebounds for Philadelphia.

Jamal Murray led the Nuggets with 31 points, Nikola Jokic had 19 points, 13 rebounds and six assists and Gary Harris added 17 points for Denver (19-17).

Trey Lyles added 16 points and eight rebounds for the Nuggets.

Editing by John O’Brien

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