Anthony Davis and Kawhi Leonard headline Team LeBron, while Team Giannis includes Joel Embiid and Pascal Siakam for the NBA All-Star Game.

LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo finalised their teams for the showcase event, which will take place at the United Center in Chicago on February 16.

James used the number one pick to draft Los Angeles Lakers team-mate Anthony Davis to Team LeBron, while reigning MVP Antetokounmpo countered by selecting Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Team LeBron's starting five consists of James, Davis, Los Angeles Clippers superstar Kawhi Leonard, Dallas Mavericks sensation Luka Doncic and Houston Rockets star James Harden.

Antetokounmpo, Embiid, Toronto Raptors star Siakam, Boston Celtics guard Kemba Walker and the Atlanta Hawks' Trae Young are the starters for Team Giannis.

Team LeBron reigned supreme last year – James' squad winning 178-164 over Team Giannis in Charlotte.

 

Team LeBron

Starters: LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers), Anthony Davis (Los Angeles Lakers), Kawhi Leonard (Los Angeles Clippers), Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks), James Harden (Houston Rockets)
Reserves: Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers), Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers), Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets), Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics), Chris Paul (Oklahoma City Thunder), Russell Westbrook (Houston Rockets), Domantas Sabonis (Indiana Pacers)

Team Giannis

Starters: Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks), Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers), Pascal Siakam (Toronto Raptors), Kemba Walker (Boston Celtics), Trae Young (Atlanta Hawks)
Reserves: Khris Middleton (Milwaukee Bucks), Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat), Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz), Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors), Brandon Ingram (New Orleans Pelicans), Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz)

Gregg Popovich quipped all you can do is "get good pictures" when LeBron James is in full flow after the Los Angeles Lakers superstar blew the San Antonio Spurs away on Tuesday.

James scored a game-high 36 points to go with nine assists and seven rebounds in a resounding 129-102 victory for the Lakers at Staples Center.

The four-time NBA MVP was mobbed by his team-mates after landing a fifth three-pointer in the space of just three minutes during the fourth quarter.

Spurs coach Popovich had a short and sharp answer when asked what can be done when James is in that sort of form.

He said: "Make sure you get good pictures? We tried to prevent it. If we could prevent it, we would have."

Anthony Davis lapped up his team-mate's masterclass. 

"When the guy gets hot like that, it's always fun to watch him," said the forward.

He added of the impromptu Lakers celebration: "It wasn't the plan. We all just kind of ran over there and jumped on him."

Defeat for the Spurs came on the back of a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers and DeMar DeRozan is concerned by the impact the defeats will have.

"As a competitor, it's what you want to play against," said DeRozan, who poured in 28 points.

"I don't look at it like it's being tough. It's part of the job, part of the game, and as a competitor you want to compete against the best. You worry about the toll afterwards."

LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo will return as NBA All-Star team captains after leading the vote for February's showpiece contest in Chicago.

Three newcomers – Luka Doncic, Trae Young and Pascal Siakam – will also take the floor for the 69th edition of the annual exhibition game.

Los Angeles Lakers superstar James captained Team LeBron to victory over Team Giannis in 2019 and the pair will renew their rivalry at United Center on February 16.

James, an All-Star for the 16th year of his illustrious career, will have the chance to draft Dallas Mavericks sensation Doncic onto his team for the first time, the MVP contender a walk-up selection amid a brilliant sophomore season in the NBA.

All-Star regulars James Harden, Anthony Davis and Kawhi Leonard round out the Western Conference starter pool.

Atlanta Hawks guard Young topped the count among Eastern Conference backcourt options to secure a start alongside the Boston Celtics' Kemba Walker.

The pair gained selection ahead of four-time All Star Jimmy Butler and the Philadelphia 76ers' Ben Simmons, who scored poorly in the fan portion of the vote.

Siakam's selection comes after averaging a career-best 23.5 points per game for the Toronto Raptors this season, while injury troubles failed to prevent Joel Embiid from sealing a frontcourt berth.

Fan ballots were weighted at 50 per cent, while current players and the media contributed 25 per cent of the starter vote.

Captains James and Antetokounmpo will select their teams from the eight other starters, while NBA head coaches will be responsible for choosing the 14 reserves that will be announced on January 30.

 

Eastern Conference starters:

Trae Young (Atlanta Hawks), Kemba Walker (Boston Celtics), Pascal Siakam (Toronto Raptors), Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks), Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers)

Western Conference starters:

James Harden (Houston Rockets), Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks), Kawhi Leonard (Los Angeles Clippers), LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers), Anthony Davis (Los Angeles Lakers)

Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis said he is nearing a return from a gluteus maximus contusion.

Lakers forward Davis has missed the past three NBA games due to the injury suffered against the New York Knicks last week.

The six-time All-Star escaped serious injury after landing heavily on his backside and he told reporters on Tuesday: "Right now, just talking to you? Zero [pain] right now.

"It's the movement that kind of gets me. But ... I'm getting closer to getting back on the floor with these guys."

"It was very painful," Davis continued. "Hard for me to walk, obviously. It was pretty tough for me to just roll over on my back and on my side at the initial point of contact.

"It was tough. I didn't want any speculation, but I was just praying that it wasn't anything too serious."

Davis – who has been averaging 27.1 points, 9.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game this season – added: "Very relieving knowing that just based on how it felt, a day-to-day thing, [rather] than a fracture or anything like that where you need surgery and you're out weeks or months or whatever. I'm glad [that my return timeline], it's just based on how I feel.

"Every day it's getting better and I'm a lot closer than I was three days ago. Made some more progress today. When I feel like I'm able to get back to my old self and do the moves I've always done and be successful at it, that's when I'll be able to get back on the floor."

The Western Conference-leading Lakers (33-7) have not missed a beat in Davis' absence, extending their winning streak to nine games.

"This is L.A. You know everything I say will be quoted out of context. So I was going to make a joke, but I'm not going to joke because we definitely need Anthony Davis," said Lakers head coach Frank Vogel.

"But we are undefeated this week without him. Something along the lines of, 'Well, if you look at the statistics ...' I don't know what the joke would be. I'm not very funny."

Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis will miss the showdown with Western Conference rivals the Oklahoma City Thunder, the NBA franchise announced.

Having already confirmed superstar LeBron James (illness) and Danny Green as absentees prior to tip-off against the Thunder on Saturday, the Lakers added Davis to the list.

Davis – initially listed as questionable for the clash – missed Friday's win over the Dallas Mavericks due to a gluteus maximus contusion suffered against the New York Knicks on Tuesday.

Flourishing since arriving from the New Orleans Pelicans in a blockbuster trade, Davis has been averaging 27.1 points, 9.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game for the Lakers.

The Lakers are riding a seven-game winning streak as they top the Western Conference with a 31-7 record.

LeBron James was ruled out of the Los Angeles Lakers' game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday, while Anthony Davis was a doubt.

With Davis absent for Friday's meeting with the Dallas Mavericks due to a gluteus maximus contusion, James played through illness to lead the Lakers to a 129-114 victory at American Airlines Center.

However, the team's official Twitter account confirmed the four-time NBA MVP and Danny Green would sit out against the Thunder. Davis was listed as questionable.

The Lakers are on a seven-game winning streak and lead the Western Conference with a 31-7 record.

James has averaged 34.9 minutes, 25.4 points, 10.7 assists and 8.0 rebounds per game this season.

Anthony Davis has been ruled out of the Los Angeles Lakers' clash against the Dallas Mavericks on Friday.

Davis suffered a gluteus maximus contusion during the Lakers' 117-87 thrashing of the New York Knicks on Tuesday after a hard fall.

The superstar forward will miss the clash against the Mavericks as he continues to recover from the injury.

"Anthony Davis is out for tonight's game," the Lakers announced via their Twitter account.

The Lakers are on a six-game winning streak and top the Western Conference with a 30-7 record.

Davis has enjoyed a fine season so far, averaging 27.1 points, 9.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists.

Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis escaped serious injury and will travel with the NBA's Western Conference leaders on their upcoming road trip.

Davis suffered a gluteus maximus contusion in Tuesday's win over the New York Knicks after an MRI on his back returned negative.

The six-time All-Star is set to be listed as questionable for Friday's game against the Dallas Mavericks.

The Lakers were left sweating on the fitness of Davis, who exited the 117-87 victory against the lowly Knicks following a heavy fall.

Lakers head coach Frank Vogel revealed the initial diagnosis was a "bruised tailbone" after the game against the Knicks.

In his first season with the Lakers (30-7), Davis has been averaging 27.1 points, 9.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game.

LeBron James is hopeful Los Angeles Lakers team-mate Anthony Davis will make a quick recovery from the injury he suffered in Tuesday's win over the New York Knicks.

The Lakers made it six wins on the bounce, with James contributing 31 points in a 117-87 success, but victory came at a cost as Davis left the court in the third quarter following a heavy fall.

Coach Frank Vogel revealed the "initial diagnosis is a bruised tailbone" but said further testing would be required to establish the extent of the problem.

James, however, was trying to remain optimistic.

"We're hoping he'll be fine, and we believe he'll be fine," he said.

Vogel struck a similar tone as he lauded Davis' influence at the Lakers.

"Fingers crossed, hope for the best, pray for the best," he said.

"He's one of our pillars. He's our present. He's our future. He's one of the best players in the world, so obviously he means a lot."

The Zone Blitz team analyzes two of the NBA's hottest players LA Lakers Anthony Davis and Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic.

LeBron James has hailed the Los Angeles Lakers' defence after the team made 20 blocks in Sunday's 106-99 victory over the Detroit Pistons.

James starred offensively with 21 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists, although it was the defence that claimed the headlines as they made more blocks than any other NBA team since March 2001.

Their tally of blocks was one shy of the Lakers' franchise record, and James insisted Dwight Howard, Anthony Davis and JaVale McGee made it easy for him to run the show offensively.

"I think it's an unbelievable, remarkable feat. They make it easy on us," James told reporters in the Lakers' locker room when asked about the team's defensive display. 

"We try to contain these small, quick guards and attackers. To know that you have that safety net behind you is a hell of a luxury.

"We can pressure up on a lot of guards. This is a three-point shooting league. You can get beat a lot in this league with three-point shots, so we just try to force them wide.

"I don't think [block shots] is an underrated stat. Any time you can protect the rim or someone can get back and make a block. Some of the greatest block-shotters have dominated the history of the game.

"We have one in Dwight who has done it through the course of his career, JaVale and obviously AD. When you have guys who are able to change the trajectory of the shot and also either block the shot or make guards or forwards change their shot, it's key to the defence.

"When we acquired AD and when we re-signed JeVale we knew we'd be able to impact a lot of shots. When we acquired Dwight we knew we'd be able to add even more, so we know we can do certain things offensively that other teams can't because of the protection we have. We just try to take advantage of it."

"Obviously it was a huge factor in the game," Lakers head coach Frank Vogel told a news conference.

"Our three big guys just played exceptional basketball. I think we as a group were not happy about giving up 68 points on the paint against the Pelicans. Those guys took a lot of pride in protecting our rim, 20 points is pretty special, the guys did a great job."

The Lakers lead the Western conference with a 29-7 record for the season.

Anthony Davis was merciless against his former team and LeBron James played a pivotal supporting role as the Los Angeles Lakers sank the New Orleans Pelicans.

In a stellar show at the Staples Center, Davis plundered 46 points and 13 rebounds in a 123-113 win for the Lakers, who tightened their hold on first place in the Western Conference.

James registered 17 points and 15 assists, with Davis' performance one of his strongest since his trade from New Orleans last July.

Playing for the Lakers on the road against his former team in November took much of the tension out of Friday night's big game for Davis, who said it felt like "just another game for me".

"The first game in New Orleans was definitely a lot more emotional, not only going against my former team but playing in that arena again," he told reporters.

"Tonight I think my team-mates just gave me great opportunities and put me in a great position to score the basketball. I didn't prepare any differently."

Asked about his link-up play with James, Davis said: "We do a great job of finding each other. He does a great job of reading it - when to pass it and when to go finish.

"It's been effective. We're constantly learning from each other and trying to get better. We're finding ways to score other than the pick and roll, but it's been very effective for us.

"I'm finding my way. We're a good team with a lot of players who can score the basketball. We just end up flowing in the groove right now where everybody's clicking.

"When you've got guys like the coaches in my team who constantly tell me to shoot and have a lot of confidence in me, it takes a lot off me to go out there and shoot."

James has no doubt the 26-year-old Davis can go from strength to strength with the Lakers.

"He's efficient, very efficient," James said. "I don't think there was one point where he looked stressed. Just another great performance.

"He's the recipient of our full offense because he's just as fast as anybody on the floor, he's more dynamic than anybody else on the floor with his ability to play on the interior and the exterior. He can do so many things.

"We all have grown and figured out ways we can continue to help each other.

"Any time you come from a different programme, a different franchise or a different system, it takes a little while to understand how you're going to be as best [as you can be] for the better of the team. Every Monday, D has got better and the rest of the team has just filed behind that."

James joked that Danny Green's passing made Davis' finishing at the rim all the more impressive.

"He had some of the best alley-oop finishes off some of the worst passes in NBA history," James said, smiling. "And Danny Green is now up there as one of the worst alley-oop passers now, but it's finished off because you could throw it to AD anywhere.

"For me, I just try to put it there where he can dunk it and he did that."

James Harden and Ben Simmons both had triple-doubles as the Houston Rockets overcame the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA on Friday, while Anthony Davis shone for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Rockets guard Harden posted 44 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds to edge a scintillating showdown with 76ers star Simmons and guide Houston to a 118-108 win in Texas.

Simmons kept Philadelphia in touch with 29 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists, but Joel Embiid's 20 points on seven-of-17 shooting failed to match Rockets centre Clint Capela's 30 points and 14 rebounds.

The 76ers (23-14) have now lost four on the trot, all on the road, ahead of Monday's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Rockets (24-11) sit three places behind the Western Conference-leading Lakers, who downed the New Orleans Pelicans 123-113 at Staples Center.

Davis punished his former team, registering 46 points and 13 rebounds, while LeBron James had a double-double of 17 points and 15 assists.

 

Lillard back in form for Trail Blazers

Kept quiet in Wednesday's disappointing defeat to the New York Knicks, Damian Lillard bounced back to form in Washington.

Lillard had 35 points to help the Portland Trail Blazers snap a five-game losing streak in a 122-103 win over the Wizards, who had Isaiah Thomas ejected in the second minute for what was deemed a shove on an official.

Jimmy Butler's double-double (23 points, 10 rebounds) proved in vain for the Miami Heat as they slipped to a 105-85 loss against the Orlando Magic.

Devin Booker passed 30 points for the fifth successive game to lead the Phoenix Suns to a 120-112 victory over the Knicks.

 

Trouble for Tatum

The Boston Celtics edged the Atlanta Hawks 109-106 despite having little support from Jayson Tatum, the 21-year-old going two-of-16 from the field while missing both of his three-point attempts.

 

Theis says no!

Daniel Theis produced a crucial late block on Atlanta guard Trae Young to see the Celtics home in Boston.

 

Friday's results

Los Angeles Lakers 123-113 New Orleans Pelicans
Orlando Magic 105-85 Miami Heat
Portland Trail Blazers 122-103 Washington Wizards
Boston Celtics 109-106 Atlanta Hawks
Houston Rockets 118-108 Philadelphia 76ers
Phoenix Suns 120-112 New York Knicks

 

Spurs at Bucks

Giannis Antetokounmpo has the chance to record an eighth double-double in as many outings when the Milwaukee Bucks (31-5) take on the San Antonio Spurs (14-19) on Saturday.

Anthony Davis warned the Los Angeles Lakers must be more ruthless after they made hard work of beating the Phoenix Suns on New Year's Day.

The Lakers made a brilliant start to 2020, bossing the Suns to open up a 74-41 half-time advantage at Staples Center.

Phoenix rallied in the second half and although the Western Conference leaders ran out 117-107 winners, Davis says there can be no repeat of their second-half showing.

"You can lose games like that, which is the worst feeling in the world," the forward said.

"You gotta be able to play the same way the entire four quarters. If we're going to continue to play like that then we’re going to lose games like that.

"We don't want to come in and blow a 36-point lead. … When we get leads like that we gotta make sure we continue to play the right way."

Davis added: "We started playing a lot of one-on-one, we completely stopped playing defense.

"They were getting a lot of offensive rebounds, attacking the basket. Nobody was getting open shots."

The Lakers are 27-7 following three consecutive victories and next face the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday.

The Los Angeles Lakers lost in LeBron James' absence in the NBA on Sunday, while the Toronto Raptors rallied from 30 points down to beat the Dallas Mavericks.

James missed the clash with the Denver Nuggets due to a thoracic muscle strain and his absence hurt the Western Conference leaders in a 128-104 loss at Staples Center.

Anthony Davis played almost a lone hand for the Lakers (24-6), posting 32 points and 11 rebounds as he fought through a suspected knee problem sustained after an awkward fall in the third quarter.

Kyle Kuzma added 16 points on his return from an ankle injury but there was no stopping the Nuggets (20-8), who were inspired by Paul Millsap's 21 points and a double-double from Will Barton (14 points, 13 rebounds).

Defending champions the Raptors, meanwhile, set a franchise record with their incredible 110-107 win against the Luka Doncic-less Mavericks.

Kyle Lowry led the way with 32 points and 10 assists as Toronto (21-8) overturned a 30-point third-quarter deficit to record their largest-ever comeback victory.

 

Giannis guides Bucks past Pacers

Giannis Antetokounmpo fell one assist short of a triple-double as his 18 points, 19 rebounds and nine assists helped the Milwaukee Bucks to a 117-89 rout of the Indiana Pacers, who were on a five-game winning streak before Sunday's contest.

Jayson Tatum put up a career-high 39 points on 15-of-29 shooting in the Boston Celtics' 119-93 win over the Charlotte Hornets to stay in touch with the Bucks.

Paul George endured an unhappy return to Oklahoma City as the Los Angeles Clippers, who rested Kawhi Leonard, led for three quarters before slipping to a 118-112 defeat to the Thunder. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, part of the trade that sent All-Star George to the Clippers, posted 32 points for the second time in a week.

 

Brogdon's rough Bucks reunion

Before facing the Bucks, Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon said he would not have left Milwaukee had he been properly "valued". He gave his old team little cause for regret at Fiserv Forum, making five of 19 shots from the floor and going zero-for-four from three-point range.

 

Monk's massive dunk

Malik Monk provided a highlight for the Hornets with a huge dunk over Enes Kanter.

Sunday's results

Toronto Raptors 110-107 Dallas Mavericks
Boston Celtics 119-93 Charlotte Hornets
Oklahoma City Thunder 118-112 Los Angeles Clippers
Milwaukee Bucks 117-89 Indiana Pacers
Denver Nuggets 128-104 Los Angeles Lakers

 

Raptors at Pacers

Toronto will look to carry their momentum into Monday's important Eastern Conference encounter with the Pacers, who have a point to prove after falling well short against the Bucks.

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