LeBron James return ends in loss after ‘frustrating’ COVID expertise


LOS ANGELES — LeBron James returned from a frustrating stint in the NBA’s health and safety protocols simply in time for yet one more irritating loss for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Luke Kennard scored 17 of his 19 factors within the second half and hit two clutch 3-pointers within the closing minutes, sending the Los Angeles Clippers to a 119-115 victory over the Lakers on Friday night time.

James had 23 factors and 11 rebounds in his first recreation again since a constructive COVID-19 check stored him out of the Lakers’ blowout win over Sacramento on Tuesday. He obtained a sequence of damaging subsequent checks that allowed him to play in opposition to the Clippers for less than the twelfth time within the Lakers’ 24 video games this season, however he couldn’t cease the Lakers’ fourth straight loss to their metropolis rivals.

“Just confused, frustrated and angry,” James stated. “I was sitting at the house and hadn’t been able to do anything. Today was the first time I’d been able to catch a basketball since Sunday. … I felt like I was getting into a really good rhythm offensively, defensively. It’s been very frustrating, not being able to get into a flow for myself. Hopefully it will lead to good things later.”

LeBron James
LeBron James

James stated he needed to discover his personal approach dwelling from Sacramento after the check, and his household had to enter isolation together with him till he bought sufficient damaging checks. James was asymptomatic all through, which he discovered significantly irritating though he understands the logic behind the NBA’s protocols, which he believes have been good for the sport.

“We’ve all been doing exactly what the protocol told us to do,” James stated. “Unfortunately you get a false positive and get put right into isolation.”

Paul George scored 19 factors for the Clippers, who by no means trailed and by no means pulled away within the groups’ first assembly of the season. They performed a uneven, chippy recreation applicable for 2 golf equipment hovering round .500 whereas coping with main harm issues which have slowed the event of two rosters harboring NBA title ambitions.

“The Lakers, if you let them be themselves comfortably, it’s going to be a long, tough game,” George stated. “We stuck to our game plan, but we just had to match up and compete. They’re going to be themselves, but our job is to make it as tough as possible.”

The Clippers have been blown out by New Orleans and Sacramento at dwelling earlier within the week, however they nonetheless snapped their three-game dropping streak with clutch taking pictures from Kennard and Marcus Morris, who scored 21 factors and hit six 3-pointers. Reggie Jackson added 16 factors and eight assists.

The Clippers have crushed the Lakers 4 straight occasions — and haven’t trailed in three of these victories — since former Lakers guard Tyronn Lue turned the Clippers’ head coach in October 2020.

“Overall I thought we did a good job on Bron and AD,” Lue stated. “We know when they can score points and get going, they’re a tough team to beat. We just had to do a better job taking those other guys out.”

Anthony Davis had 27 factors and 10 rebounds, whereas Malik Monk scored all of his 20 factors within the second half for the Lakers, who dropped to 12-12.

Carmelo Anthony’s 3-pointer with 2:15 to play trimmed the Clippers’ result in 110-109, however the Lakers then blew two possibilities to take their first lead on consecutive possessions, and Kennard hit his fourth 3-pointer with 1:12 left.

He added his fifth with 38 seconds remaining, pounding his chest and popping his jersey — and Morris nailed his sixth of the night time to seal it with 7.6 seconds left.

“I thought we kind of controlled the game throughout the entire night, but they were able to put some runs together,” Kennard stated. “I thought we kept our composure, stayed the course. I thought everybody responded from the other night, from the last few games. It’s just something we need to build off, keep trusting each other and what we want to do, and start to put together some wins.”

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