NBA restart: Lakers hold on late to defeat Clippers

LeBron James brings the ball up court against Reggie Jackson.
(Mike Ehrmann via AP)

LeBron James makes a put-back layup of his own missed shot to provide the winning margin in the Lakers’ 103-101 victory over the Clippers.

Lakers hold off Clippers for the win

Lakers coach Frank Vogel talks with LeBron James during the fourth quarter.
(Mike Ehrmann via AP)

LeBron James put back his own missed pull-up jumper in the final minute to give the Lakers a 103-101 victory over the Clippers on Thursday night in the second game of the NBA restart doubleheader.

George had tied the score at 101-101 when he sank a three-pointer at The Arena on the Disney World sports campus in Orlando, Fla.

James drove into the lane on the ensuing possession but was forced by the Clippers defense to pull up to take a shot. He missed it, but ran to the front of the rim to collect the rebound and sink a layup for the winning margin.

George had a desperation three-pointer from the left wing under heavy Lakers pressure that caromed away as the buzzer sounded.

Anthony Davis led all scorers with 34 points and grabbed eight rebounds for the Lakers. James finished with 16 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists.

George had a team-high 30 points while Clippers teammate Kawhi Leonard had 28 points.

The game was choppy at times, with the teams combining for 57 fouls and 36 turnovers, 20 by the Clippers.

The Lakers shot 39% from the field and had Kyle Kuzma and Dion Waiters in double figures with 16 and 11 points, respectively.

Highlights from the Lakers’ win over the Clippers on Thursday.

The Clippers shot 42.3% from the field. Patrick Beverley and Reggie Jackson hit double figures with 12 and 10 points, respectively.


Lakers cling to lead in final minutes

The Lakers are clinging to a slim lead late in the fourth quarter tonight against the Clippers.

Kawhi Leonard cut the Clippers’ deficit to four points, 96-92, when he made a pair of free throws with 3:38 left to play.

After Alex Caruso made one of two free throws to extend the Lakers’ lead to 97-92, Leonard made one of two free throws himself with 3:06 left to keep it a four-point game.

Anthony Davis was fouled at the other end and made a pair of free throws to increase the Lakers’ lead to 99-93.


Lakers have seven-point lead midway through fourth quarter

Kyle Kuzma (0) is defended by Amir Coffey (7) during the third quarter.
((Mike Ehrmann via AP)

The Lakers took a timeout with 5:38 left to play with a 94-87 lead over the Clippers.

Kyle Kuzma made a three-pointer, giving him 16 points, with 6:29 left for a 94-85 Lakers lead.

The Clippers answered when Patrick Beverley made a floating shot in the lane.


Lakers reclaim lead early in fourth quarter

Kyle Kuzma and Dion Waiters made back-to-back three-point shots to give the Lakers an 85-80 lead with 9:05 left in the fourth quarter. It was part of a 17-3 run.

Waiters’ shot answered a three-pointer by Patrick Beverley that gave the Clippers an 80-79 lead.

James assisted on both of the Lakers’ three-pointers, giving him seven assists for the game.

The Lakers extended the lead to 91-80 with 7:57 left in the game when James and Danny Green knocked down three-pointers.


Clippers have one-point lead over Lakers entering fourth quarter

The stars shined in the third quarter of the Clippers-Lakers game.

Anthony Davis helped the Lakers close their deficit to 77-76 after three quarters. He had 12 points in the quarter and has a game-high 32.

Paul George made three three-pointers to help the Clippers claim the lead.


Lakers cut deficit to four points

LeBron James looks to pass against the defense of Marcus Morris during the third quarter.
(Mike Ehrmann via AP)

The Lakers have now cut their double-digit deficit to four points, 68-64, when Kyle Kuzma found a cutting Alex Caruso for a layup with 4:21 left, forcing the Clippers to call a timeout.

LeBron James started the rally with a three-point shot and Anthony Davis added a bucket. Caruso then a pair of free throws before eventually making the layup when Kuzma occupied a couple of defenders on a drive,

The Clippers had a chance to stave off the run, but Landry Shamet missed three-point shots on back-to-back possessions


Clippers take lead on three long-range shots by Paul George

Paul George attempts a shot over Anthony Davis.
(Mike Ehrmann via AP)

After a ragged start to the second quarter, during which Paul George knocked down a three-pointer, the Clippers took a 61-55 lead with 9;07 left in the third quarter after the All-Star forward knocked down deep shots on back-to-back possessions.

It was part of a 14-1 run by the Clippers.

The Lakers immediately took a timeout.

George now has 20 points on seven-of-12 shooting. He’s made four of his eight three-pointers.

The Lakers were forced to take another timeout after the Clippers stretched their lead to 66-55 with 7:05 left in the third quarter when Kawhi Leonard sank a three-pointer. Leonard also found Ivica Zubac for a dunk in transition to help extend the lead.


Lakers lead at halftime after Clippers cut double-digit deficit

Lakers forward LeBron James drives to the basket.
(Mike Ehrmann via AP)

The Clippers had a chance to claim the lead in the final minute of the second quarter, but Reggie Jackson missed a driving layup in transition and the Lakers held a 54-52 lead at halftime.

Kawhi Leonard, who has 19 points, missed an opportunity on the Clippers’ final possession to tie the score when he missed a fadeaway jumper over tight defense of LeBron James.

The Lakers have been led by Anthony Davis, who has a team-high 20 points on four-of-10 shooting from the field while making 12 of 13 free throws.

LeBron James has six points, five assists and one turnover. He’s made only two of nine shots from the field, missing both of his three-pointers but making both of his free throws. Kyle Kuzma has 10 points, making two of his five three-pointers.

Paul George (four-of-nine shooting) has 11 points while Jackson has 10 points (three-of-six shooting) for the Clippers, who had 19 fouls and 12 turnovers.

The Lakers have 16 fouls and only seven turnovers. They are shooting 38.1% (16 of 42) from the field and 20% (3 of 15) from long range.

The Clippers are shooting slightly better — 42.1% (16-of 38) from the field and 26.7% (4 of 15) from deep.


Clippers mount rally but Lakers keep the lead

Kawhi Leonard leads the Clippers on a comeback against the Lakers.
(Mike Ehrmann via AP)

Kawhi Leonard made a mid-range jump shot to close the Clippers’ deficit to 41-38 with 7:45 left in the second quarter.

But Kyle Kuzma sank a three-pointer from the left corner to stave off the run. The Lakers re-establish a comfortable lead when Dion Waiters made a spinning layup off a drive and then LeBron James sank three out of four free throws for a 48-38 lead.


LeBron James starts fast in second quarter

LeBron James opened the second quarter with a thunderous dunk and added a driving layup with 10:51 left for his first buckets of the game, giving the Lakers a 39-27 lead.

The Clippers have cut their deficit to 41-36 when Kawhi Leonard made a pair of free throws with 8:40 left in the second quarter. Leonard now has 14 points.


Anthony Davis leads Lakers to double-digit lead after first quarter

Lakers forwards Anthony Davis (3) and LeBron James (23) high-five during the first quarter.
(Mike Ehrmann via AP)

Anthony Davis has 14 points on three-of-eight shooting from the field while making all eight of his free throws to lead the Lakers to a 35-23 lead over the Clippers at the end of the first quarter.

LeBron James has five assists while Kyle Kuzma has seven points by making one of three three-pointers and four of five free throws.

The Clippers ran into foul trouble early with Kawhi Leonard, Ivica Zubac, Marcus Morris, Patrick Beverley, JaMychal Green and Joakim Noah all collecting two.

Paul George leads the Clippers with eight points on three-of-seven shooting, although he’s missed all three of his long-range shots. The Clippers have six turnovers as well.


Lakers expand lead, with big assist from LeBron James

Lakers forward LeBron James sets up the offense while defended by Clippers guard Reggie Jackson.
(Mike Ehrmann via AP)

The Lakers opened an 18-9 lead with six minutes left in the first quarter when LeBron James found JaVale McGee for a dunk down the lane.

That’s five assists for James, who has missed both of his shots from the field.

JaMychal Green’s three-pointer from the corner pulled the Clippers to within 20-16.

Davis continues to be a force, eventually drawing a technical foul on the Clippers for illegal defense. He makes the free throw for a 23-16 lead with 3:31 left in the quarter.

Davis has 11 points, making all seven of his free throws.


Anthony Davis scores six in a row to give Lakers lead

The Lakers opened an 11-5 lead when Anthony Davis scored six consecutive points.

Kawhi Leonard beat LeBron James down the left side of the lane to close the Clippers’ deficit to two points, 11-9, before a JaVale McGee layup in transition increased the Lakers’ lead to four, 13-9.

Davis then takes a charge against a driving Leonard, who now has two fouls as the game goes to a break with 7:08 left in the first quarter.


Lakers and Clippers are underway at The Arena

Centers Ivica Zubac (40 ) and JaVale McGee (7) go for the tip to start the game Thursday.
(Mike Ehrmann via AP)

The Lakers and Clippers have tipped off. LeBron James fed JaVale McGee for an interior shot to open the scoring for the Lakers.

After Paul George knocked down a mid-range bank shot to tie the score, the Lakers reclaimed the lead, 5-2, on a Danny Green three-pointer.

Kawhi Leonard, who made one of two free throws, has picked up the defensive assignment to start the game.

And at the first break, Lakers lead, 5-3.


Compton Kidz Club performs splendid rendition of “Star-Spangled Banner”

The Clippers and Lakers took a knee for the national anthem, as the Jazz and Pelicans did in the doubleheader opener.

The “Star-Spangled Banner” was performed via recording by the Compton Kidz Club.


If you know their number, you know their message

Players can choose to replace their name on the back of their jersey with an NBA-approved social justice message. Here are the Clippers:


Lakers take the court

As the Jazz-Pelicans game goes down the wire, the Lakers have taken the court.

And with some crowd noise.


Is AD going with the goggles? More like glasses

It appears that Lakers forward Anthony Davis, who was poked in the eye during a scrimmage Saturday, will be wearing protection during the game against the Clippers tonight.

The Lakers believe he looks like the goggled Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Kind of, right?

We’ll know more in a few minutes. The Jazz-Pelicans game is coming to a close.


It’s not quarantine, but Brian Sieman is in isolation

Broderick Turner, our longest tenured NBA reporter at The Times, found this gem of a tweet from Clippers broadcaster Brian Sieman.

The Clippers broadcast crew is calling the game from an air-conditioned trailer outside of Staples Center.


The boss is in the building

Clippers owner Steve Ballmer has shown up at The Arena, where his club will take on the Lakers in the nightcap of the NBA restart doubleheader.

OK, my eyes are not the greatest and squinting and adjusting my reading glasses makes it no easier to see Ballmer.

Andrew Greif, our Clippers reporter, says look for Ballmer behind the glare in his tweet. Good luck!

Dan Woike, The Times’ national basketball reporter who will be heading to the NBA bubble next month, has his own take on Ballmer behind glass.

It’s not good.


Teammates, very socially distanced

The Times has sent two of our basketball reporters, Tania Ganguli and Andrew Greif, to Orlando for the restart of the NBA season.

Tania, who covers the Lakers, is inside the bubble on the Disney World campus. Andrew, who covers the Clippers, is in the second wave of reporters staying off campus with limited access, but at least he can attend the games.

They crossed paths today, as Tania notes in her tweet.


UPDATE: Clippers’ Patrick Beverley will play tonight against Lakers

Clippers guard Patrick Beverley, one of the team’s top defenders and rebounders, will play tonight against the Lakers.

Beverley had been listed as questionable but coach Doc Rivers said he is a go when he held his media session before the game.

Beverley left the NBA bubble in Orlando to deal with the death of a close friend and just cleared quarantine.

The Clippers, who were 7-9 this season with Beverley sidelined, will be without reserve center Montrezl Harrell, who has not returned to Orlando to deal with a family matter, and reserve guard Lou Williams, who is in quarantine after returning from an excused absence.


Paul George: Clippers to show unity on social justice

Clippers forward Paul George celebrates during a win over the Heat in February.
(Associated Press)

With the NBA season officially resuming Thursday in Orlando, Fla., Clippers star Paul George expects players to present a unified front as a symbol of their focus on efforts to address racial injustice.

The league did not play either the American or Canadian national anthem before scrimmages in the last week, but that will change during Thursday’s official reopening-night doubleheader that features Utah vs. New Orleans and, later, the Lakers vs. Clippers.

“I think you’ll see a unity, I think you’ll see the league stand as one,” George said at the team’s shootaround Thursday. “You’ll get a glimpse of that shortly of what our message will be going forward.”

By rule, the NBA requires that players, coaches and trainers “must stand and line up in a dignified posture along the foul lines” during the American and Canadian anthems. But players plan to kneel during anthems, as The Times’ Broderick Turner reported July 24.

Coaches wore “Coaches for Racial Justice” pins during scrimmages and could take more action during the eight-game seeding portion of the schedule that precedes the playoffs.

“I really believe this — and I believe this for all of us what I call ‘old folks’: We need to follow the youth on this movement,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said Monday. “We need to follow what they want to do and listen to what they want to do and say, and then follow them. And so as a coach, I’m going to do that. I’m going to let my players lead, and I’ll follow.”



More Than a Vote is more than a statement for LeBron James and other athletes

Lakers forward LeBron James helped create More Than a Vote, a nonprofit organization devoted to supporting Black voters.
Lakers forward LeBron James helped create More Than a Vote, a nonprofit organization devoted to supporting Black voters.

(Getty Images)

When LeBron James and other high-profile athletes and entertainers combined to create More Than a Vote, a nonprofit organization devoted to supporting Black voters, plenty of observers took a wait-and-see approach.

Ethan Scheiner, a political science professor at UC Davis, was among them. His research focuses on the intersection of sports and politics, and he’s seen other well-intentioned efforts go into a quick stall.

But that’s not what he’s seen from More Than a Vote, which, according to people with knowledge of the negotiations, is engaging in conversations to add sports venues in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Denver and Miami as polling locations for the presidential election in November. Previously, the organization reached similar agreements with NBA arenas in Atlanta, Detroit, Sacramento and Charlotte.

On Thursday, as James and the Lakers prepared to restart the NBA season in Orlando, Fla., against the Clippers, More Than a Vote announced it was forming a bipartisan advisory committee of current and former election administrators to guide future initiatives.

Last week, the organization said it would donate $100,000 to a grassroots group in Florida that is working to mitigate a law that requires felons who’ve served their prison sentences to pay all outstanding restitution fees before they are eligible to vote.

“They aren’t just saying, ‘Hey, everybody, let’s go out and vote,’” Scheiner said. “They are actually thinking carefully about the underlying issues of voter suppression in the United States.”



Lakers’ Anthony Davis says emotion of playing again is key tonight

Lakers head coach Frank Vogel talks with forward Anthony Davis during a game in March.
(Associated Press)

There’s a sense of anticipation that comes with the start of the regular season for players, and the NBA has tried to recapture that feeling in Orlando as it resumes a season that was interrupted by the first surge of the coronavirus.

As the pandemic continues to rage, the league’s attempt to create a safer environment on the Disney World campus has meant that some of what makes the season opener special won’t be here.

“It’ll feel good to get back on the floor,” said Lakers star Anthony Davis, who is planning to play as he recovers from an eye injury he suffered Saturday during a scrimmage. “Especially since I didn’t play much in this preseason, but to be able to get back on the floor and compete again, especially when it counts now, I guess that’s gonna be the emotion, but to be nervous or anxious or anything like that, I won’t say I have that. But the emotion I have is just excited to be back on the court playing basketball.”

No team has a clean slate by which they can begin to control their future. No team will have its own fanbase, or the opposing fans against them.

The eight games teams play to conclude the regular season will complete the process of seeding them for the playoffs. They are critically important games for teams at the bottom of each conference that could be knocked out of the playoffs or make it in based on these games.

For teams more securely in their positions, this part of the season begins Thursday with much more pedestrian goals.