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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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Lakers boast .500 record after win over Kings

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, November 12th, 2018

The Lakers’ LeBron James speaks during a news conference on Monday in El Segundo, California. | USA TODAY / VIA REUTERS

The Los Angeles Lakers have a .500 record for the first time this season after a 101-86 win against the host Sacramento Kings on Saturday night.

LeBron James scored 25 points for Los Angeles, which has won four of five and six of nine. The Lakers have another winnable game Sunday against the visiting Atlanta Hawks.

Brandon Ingram had 12 points and eight rebounds, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Josh Hart and Kyle Kuzma scored 11 apiece for the Lakers. Tyson Chandler had a team-high 12 rebounds off the bench in his second game since joining the Lakers.

De’Aaron Fox scored 21 points to lead Sacramento. Marvin Bagley III had 13 points off the bench and Willie Cauley-Stein had 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Kings, who had won six of eight coming in.

Kuzma made a 3-pointer on the first possession of the second half to extend the lead to 53-44. Los Angeles missed its next seven shots, including three open 3-point attempts on one possession, which would have extended the lead back to double digits.

At the same time, the Kings went on a 7-0 run to get within 53-51 and they pulled as close as one point on two occasions before Lakers backup point guard Rajon Rondo capped a 10-0 run by hitting a wide-open 3-pointer for a 67-56 lead with 3:50 left in the third quarter.

The Lakers took a 76-65 lead into the fourth and Lance Stephenson sank a 3-pointer off a loose ball on the first possession, extending the lead back to 14. They soon went up by 20 on Josh Hart’s 3 with 8:01 left and maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way.

The Lakers led by 16 midway through the second quarter before taking a 50-44 lead into the half.

James led the way with 15 points in the first half for the Lakers.

—Field Level Media

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NBA roundup: LeBron moves up scoring list in Lakers loss

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, October 29th, 2018

Oct 27, 2018; San Antonio, TX, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) goes up for a dunk during the fourth quarter against the San Antonio Spurs at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: John Glaser-USA TODAY Sports

DeMar DeRozan finished with 30 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists to help the San Antonio Spurs post a 110-106 victory over the visiting Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night.

Rudy Gay had 16 points and 10 rebounds, Bryn Forbes also scored 16 points and LaMarcus Aldridge added 15 as San Antonio defeated Los Angeles for the second time in less than a week.

LeBron James registered 35 points and 11 rebounds for the Lakers. His 17-foot jumper with 7:51 left in the third quarter moved him into sixth place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list with 31,202 career points, 14 more than Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks.

In fifth place on the list is Wilt Chamberlain with 31,419 points.

Celtics 109, Pistons 89

Jaylen Brown scored 19 points, and Marcus Morris led a strong bench effort with 18 points as Boston handed host Detroit its first loss.

Boston controlled the game virtually from the opening tap and led by 22 at halftime. Daniel Theis had 17 points and eight rebounds, Gordon Hayward supplied 15 points and Terry Rozier added 14.

Pistons forward Blake Griffin, who entered the game averaging 33.8 points, was held to seven points on 2-of-13 shooting from the field. Andre Drummond led Detroit with 18 points and eight rebounds, while Stanley Johnson contributed a season-high 16 points.

Bucks 113, Magic 91

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds in just 19 minutes as host Milwaukee remained undefeated by routing Orlando.

Milwaukee’s 6-0 start is the team’s best since the 1971-72 squad led by future Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson opened with seven straight wins. The Bucks host the NBA’s only other undefeated team, the Toronto Raptors (6-0), on Monday night.

Khris Middleton had 18 points and seven rebounds, Malcolm Brogdon scored 16 points and Donte DiVincenzo added 15 points off the bench for the Bucks. Nikola Vucevic led Orlando with 16 points and nine rebounds.

Heat 120, Trail Blazers 111

Goran Dragic scored 28 points, and Hassan Whiteside provided 16 rebounds and six blocks in host Miami’s defeat of Portland.

Damian Lillard posted a season-high 42 points and added seven rebounds and six assists. He had 41 points in his previous game Thursday night at Orlando.

Miami blew a 19-point second-quarter lead but put together a 10-0 run late. Dwyane Wade, the Heat’s 36-year-old 12-time All-Star who is a reserve in his final NBA season, scored 18 of his 19 points in the first half.

Grizzlies 117, Suns 96

Wayne Selden and Shelvin Mack came off the bench to spark a 19-3 run to start the second quarter, and host Memphis went on to defeat Phoenix.

Selden scored eight points, and Mack added six as the Grizzlies opened up a 45-21 lead in the first four minutes of the period. A Jamal Crawford 3-pointer accounted for the only points scored by the Suns during the Grizzlies’ run.

Marc Gasol led five Grizzlies in double figures with 19 points. Rookie Deandre Ayton led the Suns with 24 points, eight rebounds and five assists as Phoenix has lost four straight, all by at least 18 points.

76ers 105, Hornets 103

Joel Embiid had 27 points and 14 rebounds, and host Philadelphia turned to defense down the stretch to finish off Charlotte.

Embiid was listed as questionable going into the game because of a sprained ankle, but he played through the pain and was dominant at times. The Sixers snapped a two-game losing streak while the Hornets have lost three of their last four.

Robert Covington finished with 18 points, and JJ Redick scored 15. Kemba Walker finished with 37 points to lead the Hornets, but he was 11 of 31 from the field and 3 of 15 from 3-point range, on a night when the Hornets shot just 38.9 percent collectively.

Pacers 119, Cavaliers 107

Victor Oladipo scored six of his 24 points in the final 7:50 as Indiana handed host Cleveland its sixth straight loss to open the season.

Bojan Bogdanovic had 25 points and combined with Oladipo to hit 20 of their 29 shots, helping Indiana win a second straight game for the first time this season.

The Cavaliers have lost all six of their games by at least seven points in their slowest start since opening 0-7 in 1995. Rodney Hood had 17 points, Larry Nance Jr. 15 and George Hill 14 for the Cavaliers, who were without Kevin Love, out with a sore foot.

Bulls 97, Hawks 85

Zach LaVine scored 27 points, and Jabari Parker came off the bench to score 18 to help Chicago beat host Atlanta.

LaVine was 9 for 19 from the floor, and his step-back jumper with 1:35 remaining was the final nail in Atlanta’s comeback hopes. LaVine then sealed the outcome with a rebound of a missed shot on Atlanta’s next possession.

Chicago also got a season-high 13 points from Ryan Arcidiacono and 12 from former Hawk Justin Holiday. Taurean Prince led Atlanta with 16 points and added five rebounds, three assists and two steals. Trae Young scored 13 points but was 0-for-6 on 3-pointers.

Jazz 132, Pelicans 111

Ricky Rubio scored 28 points as Utah took advantage of the absence of All-NBA forward Anthony Davis to hand host New Orleans its first defeat of the season.

Davis, who averaged 27.3 points and 13.3 rebounds during the Pelicans’ 4-0 start, did not play because of a right elbow strain sustained a night earlier in a victory against Brooklyn.

Rubio added 12 assists and six rebounds, and Rudy Gobert had 25 points and 14 rebounds. Nikola Mirotic led the Pelicans with 25 points and eight rebounds, and Jrue Holiday scored 18 points.

—Field Level Media

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NBA: Lakers’ early struggles are normal, says James

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, October 22nd, 2018

Oct 20, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul (3) guards Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) in the first half of the game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

 

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Los Angeles Lakers’ new forward LeBron James said he was not disappointed with the defeats in the first two games and the early struggles were normal for a side that overhauled their roster in the offseason to bring in the league’s best player.

The Lakers fell 124-115 to the visiting Houston Rockets to spoil James’ debut at Staples Center after dropping their season opener to the Trail Blazers in Portland on Thursday.

“I’m not disappointed at all,” the three-time NBA champion, who signed a four-year, $154 million deal with the Lakers in July, told reporters.

“I understand that we’re going to have some struggles, some early struggles. And nobody said it was going to be easy.

“We had some miscues down the stretch. We had some missed shots. But that’s how the cookie crumbles sometimes. But I’m not disappointed at all.”

The game will be best remembered for a fist fight that broke out in the fourth quarter that led to the ejections of Lakers’ Brandon Ingram and Rajon Rondo and Chris Paul of the Rockets.

James, who stepped in to help break up the melee, said he did not see what caused the brawl, which the Rockets said started when Rondo spit in Paul’s face.

Paul could be seen pressing his fingers into Rondo’s face before Rondo threw a punch at him, leading to a scuffle where Ingram also threw a punch at Paul.

The NBA is expected to announce sanctions on Sunday.

“I didn’t see anything and I didn’t say anything to my team after the game,” James said. “I just tried to calm things down, that’s all. Play basketball.”

James said his focus was on the game against the San Antonio Spurs on Monday.

“We had our chances tonight. I think we take this opportunity tonight to go over the things we could have done better and be frustrated,” he said.

“But when you wake up tomorrow it’s a new day and a new opportunity. You leave things in the past and you get on with the future.”

Editing by Sudipto Ganguly

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