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The Los Angeles Lakers beat their rivals the LA Clippers on NBA’s reopening night. It was revenge for the loss they suffered on the initial opening night back in October. Anthony Davis was the hero for the Lakers, but it was LeBron James who finished it off. Three-time NBA champion Dwyane Wade was impressed and praised the star duo of James and Davis.

Davis bullied the Clippers, scoring 34 points and racking up eight boards. He was continuously fouled, and as a result, got 17 attempts from the free-throw line and only missed once. Wade said if Davis can continue this, it will be scary for the other teams.

Los Angeles Lakers need their stars to keep performing

Despite struggling for most of the game, LeBron stepped up when it mattered. He got the crucial go-ahead bucket and then also defended Kawhi Leonard and Paul Goerge on the final play.

Wade loved the defensive effort from LeBron and joked about LeBron being old later. But he also recollected LeBron’s similar defensive play from 2011.

Wade referred to the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals when he and James were on the Heat. They were battling the Chicago Bulls for a place in the NBA Finals. Miami led the series 3-1 and were up by three points with seconds left. Derrick Rose attempted a three to tie, but LeBron pounced and swatted it away. That secured the win and they proceeded to the NBA Finals with a 4-1 victory over the Bulls.

It has been a while since we have seen such defensive energy from LeBron. Fans will be hoping he can keep it going while also improving offensively after having an off night, shooting 6/19. The Lakers will also need Davis to keep the tempo up and dominate on the inside. When your two best players perform, it certainly gives a boost to the rest as well.

The Lakers now play the Toronto Raptors tonight and will have to be at their best to keep the defending champions at bay.

Sources:

Dwyane Wade on Twitter

Dwyane Wade on Twitter

LeBron Blocks Rose’s Chance to Tie

Los Angeles Clippers at Los Angeles Lakers Box Score, July 30, 2020

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Trump praises hockey players but deems NBAs anti-racism protests nastiness

As COVID-19 cases continue to increase throughout the country, President Donald Trump is apparently off prioritizing racist dog whistles. He could be heard in an interview Tuesday morning on Fox Sports Radio’s “Outkick the Coverage with Clay Travis,” describing what he deemed “nastiness” in the NBA while praising ice hockey players for respecting “the mores.”

The president’s words followed a renewed interest in supporting athletes taking a stand against racism and police brutality in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death May 25. Floyd, a Black man, died in police custody after an officer kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes. Since then, the NBA has held true to its promise to print "Black Lives Matter" on the game court used since the professional sport reopened in a restricted “bubble” in Orlando. Players, supported by NBA personnel, were also allowed to kneel during the national anthem and to have a phrase of their choosing printed on the back of their jerseys. The actions in support of the Black Lives Matter movement obviously didn’t sit well with the commander in chief.

“And there was a nastiness about the NBA the way it was done too. So I think that the NBA’s in trouble,” Trump said. “I think it’s in big trouble, bigger trouble than they understand, and frankly ice hockey, which is doing very well, they didn’t do that. They respected the mores. They respected what they’re supposed to be doing, and they’re actually doing very well as I understand it.”

Changing gears to answer a question about the likelihood that the NFL reopens Sept. 10 as planned, Trump said the league wants to "open badly" and has been working with the government. "I would say this, if they don't stand for the national anthem, I hope they don't open, but other than that I’d love to see them open,” he said. “And we’re doing everything possible for getting them open. They can protest in other ways. They shouldn't protest our flag or our country.”

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Following nationwide protests regarding Floyd’s death, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell vowed to allow players to peacefully protest even though years earlier free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick was all but banned from the league for kneeling during the national anthem to protest racism and police brutality. “We were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest," Goodell has since said, earning condemnation from the president.

Trump doubled down on criticism of Black Lives Matter support during his recent Fox Sports Radio interview. “I think it’s been horrible for basketball. Look at the basketball ratings. They’re down, they’re down to very low numbers, very very low numbers,” the president said. “People are angry about it. They don’t realize. They don’t want. They have enough politics with guys like me. They don’t need more as they’re driving down, going up for the shot. You know they don’t need it.”

That analysis, of course, is based on nothing substantive. TNT’s coverage of the NBA Restart attracted an average of 3.4 million viewers, more than twice that of the network's average viewership during a regular-season game, according to an NBA release. That’s compared to the NHL, which restarted with an average of 1.3 million viewers on NBC Sports August 1, CNBC reported.

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