Russell Westbrook has moved into sole possesion of third place on the NBA’s all-time triple-double list.
His 108th career triple-double, which came against Brooklyn on Wednesday night, surpasses Jason Kidd.
The All-Star point guard now trails Oscar Robertson (181) and Magic Johnson (138).
NBA.com will have more on this shortly.
Ingram to miss Lakers next two games with sprained ankle
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) — Brandon Ingram is staying home from the Los Angeles Lakers’ upcoming two-game road trip due to his sprained left ankle.
Ingram will have a precautionary MRI exam Thursday night.
Ingram injured his ankle early in the Lakers’ 121-113 victory over San Antonio on Wednesday night when Spurs center LaMarcus Aldridge flagrantly fouled him.
Ingram is the Lakers’ starting shooting guard and their third-leading scorer with 15.2 points per game. The No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 draft also averages 4.0 rebounds and 2.2 assists.
The Lakers (15-9) visit San Antonio on Friday night and Memphis on Saturday before returning home to face Miami on Monday.
The Lakers have won 13 of their last 17 during their first season with LeBron James.
LeBron responds to recent chatter about his game, workload
The Los Angeles Lakers are in the midst of a decided surge, having won four straight games after last night’s 121-113 victory against the San Antonio Spurs. As the Lakers collected their seventh win in their last 10 games, the storyline was the same: LeBron James did the heavy lifting and set the tone in victory.
He finished with a game-high 42 points (on 15-for-24 shooting) to go with five rebounds, six assists and two steals. Over that 10-game stretch, James is averaging 29.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, 5.8 assists and shooting 53.7 percent. Still, James has heard some comments over the past week from Lakers legends Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson — and some comments from Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant — on how he should play his game.
After last night’s win, though, James was asked if his performance was fueled at all by the talk surrounding him of late.
“No, for what? I’m past the [taking things] personal stage,” James said after the game. “I can do whatever. I can have a huge workload, I can have a not so huge workload. … It doesn’t matter for me. What’s most important is seeing my teammates make huge shots in the fourth quarter. … That’s what’s most important to me. I can care less about the narrative about me. It doesn’t matter. I’m a staple in this game.”
In a story published by Bleacher Report on Wednesday, both Durant and now-Lakers teammate Tyson Chandler both were quoted about why some star players might perhaps be hesitant to play alongside James. Per Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher, Chandler said:
“If you’ve got LeBron, you’ve got to make it all about LeBron. You’ve got to be able to [coexist] with that and fit with that. Who are you, where are you in your career, and how do you fit in? It’s a sacrifice, but it’s a sacrifice for winning.”
Chandler made the comments to Bleacher Report a few days before he was waived by the Phoenix Suns and then signed with the Lakers.
As for Durant, he said. “It depends on what kind of player you are. If you’re Kyle Korver, then it makes sense. Because Kyle Korver in Atlanta was the bulk of the offense, and he’s not a No. 1 option at all, not even close. So his talents benefit more from a guy who can pass and penetrate and get him open.
“If you’re a younger player like a Kawhi [Leonard], trying to pair him with LeBron James doesn’t really make sense. Kawhi enjoys having the ball in his hands, controlling the offense, dictating the tempo with his post-ups; it’s how he plays the game. A lot of young players are developing that skill. They don’t need another guy.”
Chandler said he spoke to James about his comments to Bleacher Report, which he felt were taken out of context.
“What I said was, when you have a great player like LeBron, I said I’ve only played with one other player like that, and like Dirk, you have to make it about them because of how talented they are and where they can lead you,” Chandler told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “And of course all of that wasn’t put in. It was just, ‘When you have a player like LeBron you got to make it about LeBron,’ or something like that. However it read. But that wasn’t the full statement.
“And I just think I don’t like when negative articles come out like that, even if it’s not about my teammate, but about my teammate, somebody who carries teams the way he does, I just think we’re nitpicking. We’re trying to find something negative about something that’s great instead of just leaving it alone.”
As for Durant’s comments, James said he wanted to instead see what the reigning Finals MVP said in full.
“I would love to see the whole transcript of what was asked of him, the context it was asked of him, why it was asked and the whole thing,” James said. “So I’m not gonna comment on it because I don’t know the whole thing. That would be stupid on my part. I’m a veteran.”
About Last Night: Thunder stars shine in comeback
Much like a pair of superheroes teaming up to wreak havoc on their foes, Russell Westbrook and Paul George proved unstoppable in the face of a seemingly insurmountable deficit Wednesday at Barclays Center.
Just how bleak was the Thunder’s situation against the Nets?
Down 23 midway through the third quarter and as many as 20 in the fourth, they were given less than a 1 percent chance of rallying for victory by ESPN’s Game Probability model.
But much like Brooklyn’s defense, those odds meant nothing to the Thunder — and more specifically, Westbrook and George.
Westbrook continued his march up the career triple-double chart, passing Jason Kidd for third with 21 points, 15 rebounds and 17 assists. It was triple-double No. 108 for Westbrook, marking only the 34th time in NBA history that a player has totaled at least 20, 15 and 15 in those categories.
George’s 47 points and 15 rebounds weren’t as rare, but might have been even more impressive. More than half his scoring output (25) came over the final 7:11, including the go-ahead 3-pointer — off a Westbrook assist, naturally — with 3.1 seconds left.
Per ESPN Stats, George had previously been 0-for-14 in his career on go-ahead shots in the final 10 seconds. But having watched George torch his team throughout the fourth, Nets reserve Jared Dudley knew it was down before it left his hand.
— The Render (@TheRenderNBA) December 6, 2018
Westbrook then essentially killed the Nets’ final possession with a deflection that left them just 0.1 second to attempt the last shot, completing a remarkable 114-112 triumph for the Thunder. It was a fitting piece of dirty work by Westbrook, who took only two shots while dishing out five assists in the fourth as he gave George plenty of space to sizzle.
Driven by their two superstars, the Thunder outscored the Nets 39-19 in the final period to register the largest comeback since the team moved to Oklahoma City in 2009. Of more immediate concern, it was also their 16th win in 19 outings following an 0-4 start.
“This was a special night,” said George, who missed his career scoring high by one point. “We came together when our backs were against the wall and we showed who we are.”
OKC’s dynamic duo highlighted a score of monster performances:
* LeBron James scored 20 of his 42 points in the fourth, leading the Lakers past the Spurs 121-113.
* Stephen Curry lit up the Cavaliers for 42 points, including 25 in the first half.
* Jimmy Butler outscored Kawhi Leonard 38-36, but Leonard got the last laugh with a 113-102 victory.
* Bradley Beal picked up the slack for the absent John Well with 36 points and nine assists against the Hawks.
* Karl-Anthony Towns overpowered the Hornets for 35 points, 12 rebounds and six blocks.
And that’s just scraping the surface. Check out NBA.com/stats for a complete rundown on Wednesday’s top performers.
Four straight Finals matchups etched the Warriors-Cavaliers rivalry among the best in NBA history.
”It was historical,” said Curry, whose team claimed three of those four Finals battles, including the final two. ”I’ll definitely sit back on the couch in 10 or 12 years when it’s all over and think about what it was like to play (in Cleveland), and how high the stakes were every time we came into this building.”
But with LeBron James having departed for L.A. over the offseason, there were no stakes to speak of as the Warriors visited Quicken Loans Arena outside another date on the 82-game schedule.
And the defending champions played like it during the first half, trailing by six at the break despite Stephen Curry’s 25 points.
But as they’re wont to do, the Warriors awoke with devastating results. Curry added 17 more in the second, and Kevin Durant hit a flurry of 3s en route to 25 points for the game as the Warriors outscored the Cavaliers by 30 over the final 24 minutes.
Despite the impressive finish, the Warriors couldn’t help but look back at the way things were.
”It’s not a rivalry, it’s another game,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said wistfully. ”Part of me is a little nostalgic for that.”
Plagued by injuries in recent years and jobless after being waived by the Knicks in October, former All-Star Joakim Noah wasn’t sure if he would ever play in the NBA again.
That moment finally came with the Grizzlies in their 96-86 win over the Clippers, more than 11 months after his most recent outing in January. Noah scored only four points in 13 minutes, a far cry from his peak. But at this point, after seeing his career flash before his eyes, he’s just glad to be back on the court in any capacity he can.
“I’m really happy,” an emotional Noah said. “I don’t expect anything anymore. I’ve been in this league for a while now. Sometimes you take it for granted because there are so many games. Then you (can’t play), it just feels good to be here in a locker room after a win, and feel that energy.”
Joakim Noah, searching for the right words in the locker room after playing his first NBA game since Jan. 23.
I asked him if he expected to play 13 minutes tonight. “I don’t expect anything anymore. I don’t expect anything.” pic.twitter.com/VcPmOfUVXB
— Omari Sankofa II (@omarisankofa) December 6, 2018
Quote of the Night
“Have you watched LeBron play before?” — Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, asked what makes James so difficult to guard.
Living it up
No one can accuse Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry of not enjoying his job.
Raptors keeping it light before tonight’s big game. 😂😂😂
— Yahoo Sports NBA (@YahooSportsNBA) December 6, 2018
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