LeBron James racked up another landmark on Friday and cited his 'extra motivation' to recapture his best form after the injury that blighted him last season.

James scored 25 points as the Los Angeles Lakers recorded a seventh win on the bounce, defeating the Miami Heat 95-80.

In doing so, he became only the third player in NBA history to tally 1000 regular-season games in which he has scored 20 points or more, joining Karl Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Having been laid low by a groin injury suffered in December of the previous campaign, James is working harder than ever to achieve greatness.

"It's my personal motivation," he said when asked what was driving him.

"I'm extra motivated to put myself in a position where I belong, so it's my personal motivation every single night I step on the floor to be great."

Over the close season, James was shooting scenes for the film Space Jam 2 and he revealed the lengths he went to in order to manage his increased workload.

"My call time every morning was at 6:30am and I was in the gym at like 3-4 o'clock in the morning before shooting for 12, 13-14 hours," he said.

"If you follow me, you've probably seen it a couple of times. I just know how much I put into my craft. The main thing is, even when I was shooting the movie, I knew what was most important.

"That's me getting ready for the fall. Always had that in the front of my mind. It's my personal pressure that I'm putting on myself. I don't really believe in pressure much, but I believe in myself and what I'm capable of."

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James poked fun at his doubters after posting his third consecutive triple-double in the NBA.

James became the first Laker with three straight triple-doubles in 32 years following Tuesday's 118-112 win over the Chicago Bulls.

The four-time MVP and three-time NBA champion had 30 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists as he became the first Lakers player to achieve the feat since Magic Johnson in 1987.

After a difficult first campaign in Los Angeles ravaged by injury, James is flourishing this season and the 34-year-old had a message for his critics.

Quote-tweeting a post from the Lakers, James wrote "#WashedKing" next to two emojis – one representing a "shh" sign and another being a crown.

James endured a forgettable debut campaign in Los Angeles, where a groin injury restricted him to 55 games in 2018-19 as the Lakers missed the playoffs for a sixth successive season.

But James and the Lakers are flying high thanks to six successive wins following their loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Opening Night.

"Try to be in the right place at the right time," James – whose team rallied from a 19-point deficit in Chicago – said when asked what the keys are to his triple-doubles. "Being a triple threat on the floor.

"I trust my team-mates to make shots. I just try to put the pull in on time and on target. They've been doing that.

"Defensively, trying to rebound as much as I can even though I'm playing a point-guard position. Then scoring, just trying to read the defence and pick my spots – be aggressive.

"It comes with team success for me. A triple-double means absolutely nothing to me if it's not in a win. This is three wins for us and I feel pretty happy about how we have performed."

LeBron James posted his third successive triple-double as the streaking Los Angeles Lakers prevailed 118-112 against the Chicago Bulls.

James stayed hot with 30 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds to lead the Lakers to their sixth consecutive victory in the NBA on Tuesday.

The Lakers trailed the Bulls by 19 points before a fourth-quarter comeback ensured Los Angeles extended their winning run.

Kyle Kuzma helped lead the rally with 11 of his 15 points in the deciding quarter in Chicago.

Zach LaVine had 26 points but the Bulls fell to their fifth loss in six games.

 

Hayward ties career high

Gordon Hayward was the start of the show with 39 points in the Boston Celtics' 119-113 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. It was a career-high night for Hayward, who made all 16 of his two-point attempts.

Devonte Graham scored a career-high 35 points as the Charlotte Hornets outlasted the Indiana Pacers 122-120 in overtime.

Trae Young fuelled the Atlanta Hawks with 28 of his 29 points in the second half as the hosts topped the San Antonio Spurs 108-100.

 

Magic's struggles continue

At 2-5, it has not been an easy season for the Orlando Magic. In 2019-20, the Magic are yet to reach 100 points in a game following their 102-94 defeat away to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

 

Young with the fancy feet

LaMarcus Aldridge, Patty Mills and the Spurs had no answer to Young in Atlanta.

 

Tuesday's results

Charlotte Hornets 122-120 Indiana Pacers (OT)
Boston Celtics 119-113 Cleveland Cavaliers
Atlanta Hawks 108-100 San Antonio Spurs
Oklahoma City Thunder 102-94 Orlando Magic
Los Angeles Lakers 118-112 Chicago Bulls
Denver Nuggets 109-89 Miami Heat

 

76ers at Jazz

Coming off their first defeat of the season, all eyes will be on the Philadelphia 76ers and how they respond. The championship hopefuls had opened the season with five straight wins before falling to the Phoenix Suns. The Utah Jazz also have a point to prove after back-to-back losses.

LeBron James credited his improved health for his inspired start to the NBA season with the streaking Los Angeles Lakers.

James endured a forgettable debut campaign in Los Angeles, where a groin injury restricted the three-time champion to 55 games in 2018-19 as the Lakers missed the playoffs for a sixth successive season.

However, four-time MVP James is fit again and at the forefront of the Lakers' five-game winning streak after Los Angeles dropped their opener against the Los Angeles Clippers.

James posted 21 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds for back-to-back triple-doubles as the Lakers topped the San Antonio Spurs 103-96 on Sunday.

Reflecting on his impressive start to 2019-20, the 34-year-old – who became the first Lakers player with consecutive triple-doubles since 2006 – said: "I'm playing injury free. I'm not injured. My quick twitch is back. My speed is back, my strength is back.

"Playing with a torn groin last year - even when I came back it was still partially torn - it was difficult to be able to move and shift like I'm capable of doing that defensively.

"For me, I just take the challenge. I love being challenged. Head coach [Frank Vogel] challenged me, AD [Anthony Davis] challenged me, I challenged myself.

"I put a lot of hard work into my offseason by getting my quick twitch, getting my bounce back, getting my speed back, my reaction time back. My mind has always been there. That's what it's all about."

On James' performance against the Spurs in San Antonio, Vogel added: "Well it's contagious, and his commitment on that end of the floor has been a great surprise for us in terms of just how proficient he's been.

"He's leading the charge with care factor on that end of the floor. When he's working that hard and caring that much about getting stops, it carries over to everybody else, and you see it on the floor."

LeBron James posted a triple-double as the in-form Los Angeles Lakers topped the San Antonio Spurs 103-96 in NBA action on Sunday.

James record his second successive triple-double courtesy of 21 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds to lead the Lakers to their fifth consecutive victory.

Star team-mate Anthony Davis chipped in with 25 points and 11 rebounds, while Dwight Howard had 14 points and 13 rebounds for the Lakers – who improved to 5-1.

The Spurs were led by Dejounte Murray's 18 points and 11 rebounds in An Antonio, where Rudy Gay added 16 points off the bench.

Kawhi Leonard put up 30 points as the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the visiting Utah Jazz 105-94 – the home team using a 40-point final quarter to get the win.

Meanwhile, Jimmy Butler impressed in the Miami Heat's 129-100 victory over the Houston Rockets.

Butler had 18 points, nine assists, seven rebounds and four steals for the Heat, who raced out to a 46-14 lead after the opening quarter and never looked back to register a third straight win.

James Harden scored 29 points for Houston, while Russell Westbrook was held to just 10 on three-of-11 shooting.

 

Doncic fuels Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic scored 29 and added 15 assists and 14 rebounds — his second straight triple-double — to key a 131-111 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

 

Porter has game to forget

Chicago Bulls forward Otto Porter Jr. hit one of 10 shots in a 108-95 loss to the Indiana Pacers.

 

Windmill!

De'Aaron Fox stole the ball and had plenty of time to plan the perfect dunk for the Sacramento Kings, who beat the New York Knicks 113-92.

 

Sunday's results

Indiana Pacers 108-95 Chicago Bulls
Miami Heat 129-100 Houston Rockets
Sacramento Kings 113-92 New York Knicks
Los Angeles Lakers 103-96 San Antonio Spurs
Dallas Mavericks 131-111 Cleveland Cavaliers
Los Angeles Clippers 105-94 Utah Jazz

 

76ers at Suns

The Phoenix Suns have been a minor surprise, winning their last two despite the suspension of center Deandre Ayton. The Philadelphia 76ers are still perfect, but have had a couple of close calls against the Atlanta Hawks and Portland Trail Blazers.

Luka Doncic described the opportunity to do battle with LeBron James as "crazy stuff", although his Dallas Mavericks were beaten by the Los Angeles Lakers in an overtime NBA thriller.

A gripping encounter went to the additional period after James assisted Danny Green's buzzer-beating three-pointer to complete a 10-point comeback from the Lakers, who eventually prevailed 119-110.

But much of the focus was on basketball's reigning king and potential heir on an historic night.

Doncic and James became the first opponents in NBA history to manage triple-doubles of 30 points, 10 rebounds and 15 assists in the same game, also becoming the youngest and oldest players respectively to achieve this feat.

Dallas star Doncic (31 points, 13 rebounds and 15 assists) revelled in the opportunity to take on an all-time great in this manner.

"That was just some crazy stuff for me," he said. "I've been following him. He was my idol from the beginning. I can play against him and play a game like that."

James (39 points, 12 rebounds and 16 assists) was full of praise for his opponent, although he insisted he did not look at the game as an individual tussle.

"I don't really get into the one-on-one battle," he said. "Obviously he's a great young talent. I love his game, his ability to not only create shots for himself.

"But you guys know I love the fact that he can get great looks for his team-mates. That's what I thrive on, that's what I've always believed in, and he just plays the game the right way."

Doncic responded: "The words that he said after the game were something that were very special for me.

"They [the Lakers] are a championship team. We had a chance to win. We did some great things out there and we should be proud of ourselves."

LeBron James said the Los Angeles Lakers are looking forward to welcoming Kyle Kuzma back from injury.

Kuzma has yet to feature for the Lakers this NBA season due to a stress reaction in his left ankle, missing the team's opening four games.

However, Kuzma – who suffered the injury whilst on duty for Team USA ahead of the FIBA World Cup – is set to make his season debut against the Dallas Mavericks on Friday.

"It's going to take him a little bit to get into game shape," James told reporters of the 24-year-old after Thursday's practice.

"He hasn't played since USA basketball when he had the stress reaction. Obviously he's been training and working out, but like I always tell you guys, there's no substitution for game fatigue and game stamina.

"That will come, though. It's great to have him back on the floor. We definitely missed him."

Kuzma averaged 18.7 points and 5.5 rebounds in 2018-19 as the Lakers missed the playoffs in James' first season in Los Angeles.

"Yesterday [Wednesday] was kind of the most running I've done, so to wake up and not really have too much discomfort was a good sign," Kuzma said.

"Getting out here and doing the same thing [on Thursday], and so hopefully it's the same for tomorrow's game."

Lakers head coach Frank Vogel added: "[The training staff is] saying around 20 minutes. So there'll be a little bit of a restriction there."

 

 

LeBron James believes there is much more to come from Anthony Davis after he posted 40 points and 20 rebounds for the Los Angeles Lakers against the Memphis Grizzlies.

Davis, having moved to Los Angeles as a second superstar alongside James, enjoyed an outstanding night on Tuesday as he led the Lakers to a 120-91 victory.

James was effusive in his praise but suggested Davis still has room for further growth this season.

"I don't even think he's scratched the surface yet," James said. "I think we're all still getting comfortable with one another, he's still getting comfortable out on the floor.

"When he's attacking like that, a guy who shoots 80s, 90s from the free-throw line, that's easy money for him and it's great for our defense as well, our team, to settle our game down like that.

"He was wonderful, spectacular – both offensively and defensively – and we needed it."

Davis was playing through shoulder pain, making his performance even more remarkable, and James was impressed with the way the former New Orleans Pelicans forward dealt with the issue.

"We want him to do what's best for him. If he feels like he can go, which he did, we're all for it," he said. "But this is a marathon for us and we understand that.

"We knew he had a little bit of pain after the last game, so he's been dealing with it the last couple of days, doing everything he can to get ready.

"He did that and obviously to be not even 100 per cent and have a performance like that is pretty cool."

Davis' 40-point haul was greeted with chants of "MVP" from the Lakers crowd, as James highlighted the display as an example of exactly what Los Angeles had hoped to get from the big man.

"We know what we have in AD, and the fans know what they have," he said. "This just solidifies why we went out and got him. [This] was one of those games. He was big-time for us."

Anthony Davis posted a triple-double to lead the Los Angeles Lakers past the Memphis Grizzlies, while the Miami Heat downed the Atlanta Hawks as Jimmy Butler made his debut.

Davis starred with 40 points and 20 rebounds to help the Lakers to a 120-91 win over the Grizzlies in NBA action on Tuesday.

The All-Star – who made a franchise record 26 free throws – recorded his fourth 40-20 career game and became the first Lakers player to accomplish the feat since Shaquille O'Neal in 2003.

LeBron James added 23 points for the Lakers, who improved to 3-1 for the season following three consecutive victories.

Butler made his long-awaited Heat debut in Miami's 112-97 win against the Hawks.

The Miami guard missed the first three games of the year to bond with his newborn daughter but did not miss a beat once he got back on the court.

Butler – who arrived from the Philadelphia 76ers – finished with 21 points, five rebounds, and three steals.

But rookie sensation Tyler Herro also made his presence known with a team-high 29 points and seven rebounds. He scored 19 points off the bench in the second quarter alone.

Unfortunately for Atlanta, Hawks start Trae Young went down with an ankle sprain in the second quarter and was ruled out for the remainder of the game.

 

Dragic helps ignite Heat

Miami's Goran Dragic scored 21 points off the bench.

Paul Millsap tallied a game-high 23 points as the Denver Nuggets fell to the Dallas Mavericks 109-106.

 

Reddish struggles as Heat ground Hawks

Atlanta's Cam Reddish scored six points on two-of-10 shooting.

Mavericks star Luka Doncic was held to 12 points on 12 shots.

 

LeBron says no!

James made a sensational block, leading to an alley-oop for Lakers team-mate JaVale McGee.

 

Tuesday's results

Miami Heat 112-97 Atlanta Hawks
Dallas Mavericks 109-106 Denver Nuggets
Los Angeles Lakers 120-91 Memphis Grizzlies

 

Bucks at Celtics

The Milwaukee Bucks eliminated the Boston Celtics from the playoffs last season, but now the latter have a very different group. Are the Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo still too hot to handle? That remains to be seen.

LeBron James and Anthony Davis starred as the Los Angeles Lakers secured back-to-back NBA wins by topping the Charlotte Hornets 120-101.

James and Davis each posted double-doubles to inspire the Lakers against the Hornets in Los Angeles on Sunday.

Lakers superstar James finished with 20 points and 12 assists, while team-mate Davis had a game-high 29 points and 14 rebounds for the Lakers (2-1).

The Hornets (1-2) were led by Miles Bridges and his 23 points on the road.

Meanwhile, the Golden State Warriors suffered a crushing 120-92 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The departure of Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson's injury have weakened the Warriors significantly as they look to re-assert themselves as title contenders following last season's run to the NBA Finals.

Stephen Curry had 23 points but the Warriors (0-2) still lost to continue their winless start to the season.

 

Irving stars in Nets loss

Kyrie Irving tallied 37 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists as the Brooklyn Nets fell to the Memphis Grizzlies 134-133 after overtime.

CJ McCollum scored 36 points to lift the Portland Trail Blazers past the Dallas Mavericks 121-119.

 

Herro struggles

Tyler Herro made one of his six shots and totalled eight points in the Miami Heats' 116-109 defeat to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

 

Crowder with the buzzer-beating three!

Jae Crowder's overtime game-winner made the FedExForum erupt.

 

Sunday's results

Oklahoma City Thunder 120-92 Golden State Warriors
Memphis Grizzlies 134-133 Brooklyn Nets (OT)
Minnesota Timberwolves 116-109 Miami Heat
Portland Trail Blazers 121-119 Dallas Mavericks
Los Angeles Lakers 120-101 Charlotte Hornets

 

Nuggets at Kings

The Denver Nuggets have had early success, while the Sacramento Kings are trying to find their footing, but both teams are chock full of young talent. There will be exciting matchups to key in on across the board during the game.

Anthony Davis was delighted to be able to mark his Los Angeles Lakers home debut with a victory over the Utah Jazz.

The Lakers were at Staples Center for a second consecutive game but had technically played as the away team when they went down to dangerous rivals the Los Angeles Clippers on the first night of the new NBA season.

Davis led an improved display on Friday, moving to center at half-time to great effect, and revelled in the 95-86 win.

"For sure, we got the win," he said. "You couldn't ask for anything better - especially the first home game, great crowd, great atmosphere. It was great to win in front of our fans."

Davis finished with 21 points, seven rebounds, two assists, two steals and five blocks, with his defensive efforts particularly impressive.

He added: "We took it to them. We were the aggressors - especially on the defensive end. To be able to hold a team like that to 86 points..."

Discussing his deployment at the five, Davis said: "If it makes sense, then obviously I don't mind doing it. And it made sense.

"But the coach is very smart - we're going to pick and choose when he wants me to play the five. It might not be all game. It was just the second half, or really just the third quarter.

"We were able to accomplish some great things out of it. Any time we can do that and it helps the team, I'm all for it."

LeBron James also highlighted the need for the Lakers to be strong defensively, while he suggested the Clippers' big win over the Golden State Warriors shed new light on a comparatively narrow opening defeat.

"That's who we are. That's our defensive staple," said James, who weighed in with 32 points, seven rebounds, 10 assists and a steal. "We want to be that every single night, being able to hold teams to underneath their averages.

"We thought we did a poor job against the Clippers in the opener - they had 112 - and then they end up with 140-something [141 against the Warriors].

"We want to continue to get better and better with our defensive strategies and our gameplan and to just execute that."

Anthony Davis says he and LeBron James are "trying to figure it out" as he outlined areas for improvement after the Lakers lost to Los Angeles rivals the Clippers in his debut for the team.

LeBron James was "ecstatic" to be back in action at the start of the new NBA season, even though he was unable to help the Los Angeles Lakers to victory on opening night.

Kahwi Leonard led the Los Angeles Clippers past LeBron James' Los Angeles Lakers on the NBA's opening night.

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James is excited for the team's NBA season-opener against the Los Angeles Clippers.

James and the Lakers will open their campaign against city rivals the Clippers – led by Kawhi Leonard – in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

Three-time NBA champion James is coming off a difficult first season in LA, where a groin injury restricted him to 55 games as the Lakers missed the playoffs for the sixth successive campaign.

James – who failed to appear in the postseason for the first time since 2004-05 – cannot wait to get started against the Clippers.

"Opening night is great. It's like the first day of school," James, who averaged 27.4 points, 8.5 rebounds and 8.3 assists for the Lakers after arriving from the Cleveland Cavaliers, told reporters on Sunday.

"Laying your clothes out the night before. Just that excitement of getting things back going.

"I love to play the game. I obviously had the longest lay-off of my career, so to be where I'm at physically and mentally, no matter who we opened up against. For everybody, Tuesday is a great day."

Danny Green is one of the new faces at the Lakers, whose offseason was headlined by the recruitment of All-Star Anthony Davis.

Green teamed up with Leonard last season to lead the Toronto Raptors to their maiden NBA championship before moving to the Lakers, while the latter joined the Clippers.

"Everybody's excited to get the season started, but we know we're nowhere near where we want to be at — most teams aren't," Green said. "So, even though it's regular season, these games are going to be very much like preseason games.

"We just try to get better and win as we're getting better and getting to learn each other — learn the systems, learn our identity and also how to play other teams and other team's identity.

"But we're excited from all angles: From the players, to the coaches, to staff to the fans and we're going to have some fun with it but we're not nowhere where we want to be."

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