Mavs’ Irving on loss to Lakers: ‘There is no 20-point lead that is safe in this league anymore’

With just over seven minutes left in the second quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers(29-32) on Sunday, the Dallas Mavericks(32-30) took their largest lead of 27 points and were in complete control.

However, the Lakers closed the half strong and cut the lead to 61-47 at the break. Los Angeles would outscore the Mavs 64-47 in the second half and defeat Dallas 111-108 at American Airlines Center.

This season, teams were 0-138 when trailing by 27-plus points, but that changed with the Lakers’ win on Sunday.

Kyrie Irving, who had 21 points, a career-high-tying 11 rebounds, and five assists, says no 20-point lead in the NBA is safe.

“It’s a tale of two halves,” he said. “I think tonight showed it. First half, we were playing incredible, other than the last three minutes of the first half, where I think we came in up 14. We were up 25 or 23 … I’ve been quoted saying this, ‘There is no 20-point lead that is safe in this league anymore,’ just because of pace and style of the game. But for us, I think we showed some great poise in the third quarter. But in that fourth quarter, I have to do a better job of just getting us into some initiated offensive sets and just be aggressive and not kind of force my way into the lane.”

Mavs head coach Jason Kidd said Dallas lost its rhythm and got too caught up with the officials.

“We lost our rhythm in the sense of just playing our game and not worrying about the other elements,” he said. “Our rhythm there in the first two-and-a-half [quarters], we were playing at a high level on both ends offensively and defensively. Then, we just got a little distracted with the whistle. We’ve just got to be better with that.”

Luka Doncic, who had 26 points, nine rebounds, and five assists on Sunday, agreed with Kidd about the team getting distracted by the officials.

“It’s probably true,” he said.

Kidd knows what it takes to win an NBA title; he did it as a player and an assistant. According to Kidd, if the Mavs want to win a championship, he believes the team has to grow up.

“We’ve got to grow up, if we want to win a championship,” Kidd said. “There’s no young team that’s ever won a championship, mentally or physically.”

Dallas was down three with 15 seconds left, and an inbound pass from Irving to Doncic was thrown toward the backcourt, but not knowing the ball could be thrown in the backcourt, Doncic tried to keep the ball in the frontcourt, which caused a turnover. Anthony Davis secured the loose ball for the Lakers, and Dallas was forced to foul.

“I thought Luka needed a little bit more room, so I threw it towards the backcourt because I thought Jarred Vanderbilt did a great job denying him,” Irving said of the play. “I thought he was just going to let it bounce twice and then go grab it, but once I saw him try to save it from halfcourt, I looked at him maybe like a minute later and was like, ‘You know you can go backcourt,’ and he was like, ‘Ah, man. That’s my fault.’”

Doncic added: “That was my bad. I totally forgot you can go backcourt. That was my mistake. That is why I tried to save it.”

Dallas, who has lost four of their last five games, has to execute better late in games, and thus far, Doncic and Irving have struggled together in that area. Fortunately, with 20 games left in the regular season, they have time to fix it.

“I’m glad it’s happening during the season and not during the playoffs,” Kidd said. “When you have those two guys [Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving] out there, it’s about the details. We’ve got to do a better job with the details.”

‘We are Witnesses to History!’ LeBron James becomes the NBA’s All-Time Leading Scorer

It happened! LeBron James has always been “The King,” and he officially became the king of scoring in the NBA on Tuesday. Late in the third, James sank a 14-foot fadeaway shot to surpass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and become the all-time leading scorer in the history of the NBA.

James, who has amassed 38.390 career-points, finished with 38 points, but the Lakers would fall to the Thunder 133-130 at Arena. After surpassing Kareem, James was emotional and was joined on the court by Abdul-Jabbar, Adam Silver, and members of his family. 

There was a short ceremony where Abdul-Jabbar gave a ball to James, and the 19-time All-Star gave a short speech.

Recently, the NBA compiled some scoring milestones from James’ 20-year career.

Here is a few of them:


-He became the youngest player to reach 10,000 career points (23 years and 59 days), achieving the milestone with Cleveland in a game against the Boston Celtics.


-James became the youngest player to reach 15,000 career points (25 years and 79 days), achieving the milestone with Cleveland in a game against the Chicago Bulls.


James became the youngest player to reach 20,000 career points (28 years and 17 days), achieving the milestone with Miami in a game against the Golden State Warriors.


The four-time All-Star became the youngest player to reach 25,000 career points (30 years and 307 days), achieving the milestone with Cleveland in a game against the Philadelphia 76ers.


James became the youngest player and seventh overall to reach 30,000 career points (33 years and 24 days), achieving the milestone with Cleveland in a game against San Antonio.


James became the third player (along with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone) to score 35,000 career points, reaching the milestone with the Lakers in a game against the Brooklyn Nets.

Doncic on third quarter vs. Lakers: ‘I think we just played with pace, played with smiles on our faces’

Christmas Day basketball could have started better for the Dallas Mavericks(18-16) against the visiting Lakers(13-20). In fact, the Lakers led by as many as 14 points in the first half and took a 54-43 lead at halftime.

However, in the third quarter, the Mavs woke up. They scored 51 points in the quarter on 72% shooting, including 61% from deep. The 51 points are tied for the most in a quarter in franchise history and are also the most in a quarter by any team on Christmas Day ever.

Ultimately, the Mavs would defeat the Lakers 124-115 at American Airlines Center.

Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 16 of his 26 points (6-14 3FG) in the third quarter; he felt Dallas was a little nervous early but got comfortable in the third.

“I think we had to get the jitters out of us for a little bit,” he said. “It was some guys’ first time ever playing on Christmas Day. Just being able to appreciate the opportunity for the most part and being able to go out there and get the nerves and the butterflies out of your system. I think that’s what happened, and [we] came out in the second half more aggressive, pushing the pace instead of walking the ball up the floor, and getting the ball moving, and knocking down our shots.”

Luka Doncic, who scored 13 of his franchise-record 32 points in a Christmas Day game, to go along with nine rebounds, and nine assists, battled double teams all game long, says the team played with pace in the third.

“I would say the 51 points we scored,” Doncic said. “I think was a franchise record in a quarter. I think we just played with pace, played with smiles on our faces, and kept going since I was being doubled every possession in this game. We just had to play out of that because it was the right play, and that’s what we did.”

In his Christmas Day debut, Christian Wood scored nine of his 30 points in the third. He also added eight rebounds, seven assists, four steals, and two blocks. Wood felt honored to star on Christmas Day.

“It’s amazing. It’s a blessing,” he said. “I used to be that kid sitting at home watching Kobe [Bryant], watching LeBron [James]. That D-Wade, LeBron pass. Just to be playing against him on Christmas Day, specifically, is a blessing. It’s an honor, so I was happy and ready to go tonight.”

Dallas has now won three straight and has an opportunity to string together some wins as the Knicks and Rockets come to town, and they go on the road for two more against the Spurs and Rockets.

We’ll see if the Mavs can make a push.


Before the game, Dirk Nowitzki’s statue was unveiled. Nowitzki played an NBA record 21 seasons with Mavs and helped lead Dallas to the franchise’s only championship in 2011. After the game, Doncic talked about Dirk’s statue.

“Oh, it was brilliant,” he said. “I’m just really happy for him. He deserves all the things that are happening to him, and it was amazing. The statue looks amazing, and he deserves it.”

The Lakers were led by LeBron James, who scored a game-high 38 points (13-23 FG) to go with 6 rebounds and 5 assists. Today was his 17th career Christmas Day game, passing Kobe Bryant for the most games played on the holiday.

76ers’ Embiid on final 30 seconds of regulation against Lakers: ‘We were just trying to figure out what the hell was going on’

It would not have been pretty if the Philadelphia 76ers(13-12) lost to the Lakers(10-15) on Friday night. Philadelphia led by as many as 18 points in the fourth; they had a 16-point lead with just under five minutes to go, and the Sixers led by nine points with 34.8 seconds left in regulation.

Then, it got crazy. Philadelphia turned the ball over three times in the final 30 seconds of the game. Ultimately, the Lakers had an opportunity to win it in regulation, but Anthony Davis missed one of two free throws, and the game would go into overtime.

In OT, James Harden would score nine of his 28 points to go along with 12 assists, and Philly would outscore the Lakers 13-2 to win 133-122 at Wells Fargo Center. 

“We will take the win, and one thing that I will say is that usually when you give up a lead like that, to gather yourself and play well in overtime is rare,” 76ers coach Doc Rivers said. “I told our guys that we were very proud of that. Just the mistakes we made down the stretch, very similar to the Houston game; we have to fix that.”

Joel Embiid added: “We were just trying to figure out what the hell was going on. Honestly, I think we had a bunch of turnovers, and we should have never been in that position. I’m glad we had another opportunity, and it went to overtime, and we closed it out.”

The first quarter was all about Embiid, who scored 20 of his 38 points in the first quarter. According to Embiid, he wanted to set the tone for the team.

“I tried to send a message to my teammates,” he said. “I often hear a lot about how I’m actually due to be the best offensive player, the best defensive player, playmaking, leadership; it’s a lot to deal with, but you know I like the challenge.”

The third quarter was all about D’Anthony Melton. He scored 16 of his 33 points in the third quarter. In addition, according to Stathead, Melton is the first 76er in franchise history to post 30-plus points, eight-plus three-pointers, and seven-plus steals in a game. He joins Michael Adams as the only NBA players ever to do so in league history. 

“On offense, my teammates were just finding me,” Melton said. “They kept leaving me open, so I just kept shooting it and shooting it with confidence. We got so many guys that draw attention that it opens up space for other players. Tonight, was my night and my teammates kept finding me, and I kept finding the open spot. “

In the future, Philly has to be stronger with the ball. They ended the game with 23 turnovers, and those turnovers almost cost them in the end. Philly’s seven-game homestand, which could help the team string together some wins, continues on Sunday against the Hornets. 

The Great, Not So Great, & Bottom Line of Cavs’ win over Lakers

On Tuesday night, the Cavs(16-9) began a three-game homestand as they welcomed LeBron James and the Lakers(10-13). Cleveland got a little fortunate as Anthony Davis, who had been on a tear, left the game in the first half with the flu and did not return.

Fortunately for Cleveland, they got Jarrett Allen back, and ultimately, they would defeat the Lakers 116-102 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse to sweep the season series. 

With the loss, the Lakers three-game winning was snapped, while the Cavs have won three of their last four.

Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ win over the Lakers.


Donovan Mitchell had a season-high 43 points(17-27 FG) to go along with five rebounds, six assists, and four steals. According to StatMuse, Mitchell became the first Cavalier to have a 40/5/5/4 game since, guess who, LeBron James.

Fourth Quarter: With the game tied at 92, the Cavs took over. They went on a 21-6 run to take their largest lead of the game at 113-98. When the Cavs needed him the most, Mitchell came up big, with 17 points in the fourth. 

Jarrett Allen, who returned after missing five games with a lower back injury, scored 22 of his season-high tying 24 points in the first half and grabbed 11 boards. This is a different team when Allen is on the court, and it showed against the Lakers.

Darius Garland had a double-double with 21 points and 11 assists. This was Garland’s sixth double-double of the season.

Points in the Paint: The Cavs stayed in the Lakers’ paint. They scored 70 of their 116 points in the paint.

Not So Great:

All good for the Cavs

Bottom Line:

The Cavs swept LeBron and the Lakers this season. The Cavs win their seventh straight at home and move to 11-1 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

Last season, LeBron came into Cleveland, had a triple-double, and dominated the fourth quarter, this season, the Cavs have Donovan Mitchell, and he was not going to let that happen.

Mitchell was the one who controlled the fourth.

What’s Next:

Cleveland continues their three-game homestand on Friday night against the Sacramento Kings.

Best of the Rest:

LeBron James led the Lakers with 21 points and a season-high 17 rebounds; Thomas Bryant had season-highs of 19 points and nine rebounds.

James falls to 17-3 against the Cavs in his career. 

In two games against the Lakers this season, Mitchell has averaged 38 points.

Junkyard Dog:

Donovan Mitchell got the “Junkyard Dog” award for his dominating performance against the Lakers.

Bertans on Doncic: ”Everybody understands what he’s doing right now is incredible’

The Dallas Mavericks keep on winning at home, and for the sixth time this season, they led from start to finish as they defeated the LeBron James-less(ankle) Lakers 128-110 Tuesday night at American Airlines Center.

The Mavericks improved to 19-4 in their last 23 games at home. 

Dallas, who shot 52% from the floor, improved to 19-0 when they shoot 50.0% or better from the field. In addition, the Mavericks also had seven players score in double figures.

Luka Doncic made history Tuesday night as he recorded his 21st career 30-point triple-double, tying Wilt Chamberlain for the fifth-most in NBA history, with 34 points, 12 rebounds, and 12 assists. 

After the win over the Lakers, Doncic reacted to tying Chamberlain for fifth-most 30-point career triple-doubles.

“I just hope there are many more,” Doncic said post-game. “I don’t know what to say. I am just grateful to be here. I remember on draft night; I just wanted to be picked in the NBA. I never anticipate, I just keep working and hopefully, one day, will win a championship.”

Doncic has led the Mavericks in points, rebounds, and assists in the same game 29 times this season, and Davis Bertans, who had 14 points, including four threes against the Lakers, says Doncic’s play is making everyone better.

“Of course, everybody understands what he’s doing right now is incredible,” Bertans said. “But at the same, he’s kind of spoiled everybody on this team, but I think all the fans and everybody that loves his game. The game comes to him; it just seems to come so simple. Which is more important, he’s actually making everybody around him better. It’s one thing to put up stats, but the other thing is because of him he’s going to score thirty, but because of him probably guys score another forty, fifty points in a game.”

Lakers head coach Frank Vogel added on Doncic: “The Luka Doncic pick-and-roll is as tough to prepare for and to slow down as any in the league.”

The fourth-seeded Mavs(47-29) are now two games up on the fifth seed, the Utah Jazz(45-31), and one game behind the third-seeded Warriors(48-28), so with six games left, Dallas wants to at least stay at the fourth spot and, if things work out, get as high as three in the West.  

Dallas starts a four-game road trip in Cleveland against the Cavs Thursday night. 

Watch below as Bertans talks win over Lakers, Doncic, and more:




Cavs had no answers for ‘The King’

There was a familiar face back in Cleveland Monday as LeBron James, and the Lakers were in town to battle the Cavaliers.

Cleveland got the start they wanted as they had their largest lead of 14 points in the first, but the Lakers have a King, and behind a James’ triple-double of 38 points, 11 rebounds, and a season-high 12 assists, the Lakers defeated the Cavs 131-120 to sweep the season-series.

James even had this vicious dunk on his former teammate Kevin Love:

Cleveland(41-31) finished their five-game homestand 3-2, while the Lakers(31-41) went 2-2 on their four-game road trip.

Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ loss to the Lakers.

The Great for the Cavs:

-Darius Garland played at an elite level Monday night. He had 29 points and 17 assists, with only one turnover. This was Garland’s third straight game of 24-plus points and 12-plus assists, which ties a team record held by James.

-Lauri Markkanen had 18 points and nine rebounds. Markkanen has been in double figures in seven of the last eight games.

-For the second consecutive game, Lamar Stevens was in double figures as he had 16 points and six rebounds.

-Cavs’ Offense: Cleveland had six players in double figures, including all five starters. In addition, the Cavs shot 52% from the floor. Cleveland had 52 points in the paint and scored 120, which would probably equate to a victory on most nights.

The Not So Great for the Cavs:

Fourth Quarter: Cleveland took a 97-96 lead into the fourth, but the Lakers dominated from there. Los Angeles got 13 points from James and 12 points from Stanley Johnson in the quarter. Also, the Lakers shot 65% from the field, and they got anywhere they wanted on the floor. The Lakers outscored Cleveland 35-23 in the final stanza.

Defense: According to Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff, the defense was “terrible.” The last time the Cavs allowed over 130 points was when they lost to Memphis(132) in the season-opener. The Lakers scored 64 points in the paint and shot 56% from the field. Just like the Cavs, they had six players in double figures.

Coming into this game, Cleveland was third in points allowed, but the defense was lacking Monday night. 

Second Quarter: Cleveland led 35-28 after the first quarter, but the Laker stormed back in the second. Los Angeles shot 71% from the field, including 57% from downtown in the quarter. After the Cavs pushed the lead to eight, Los Angeles went on a 16-7 run to take their first lead of the game(46-45). Cleveland struggled from deep in the second as they shot 3/14 from behind the arc. Los Angeles outscored Cleveland 39-27 in the second and took a 67-62 lead at the break.

Bottom Line:

LeBron James was on another level Monday night, which often happens when he returns to Cleveland. In addition, the Cavs’ defense was just not very good.

This was a very winnable game for the Cavs. Coming into this contest, the Lakers had dropped six of eight and were 10-24 on the road, so again, Cleveland should have won.

With the loss, the sixth-seeded Cavs are now one game up on the seventh-seeded Raptors(40-32), who they will battle in a big one Thursday night.

What’s Next:

Cleveland heads to Toronto to battle the Raptors Thursday night.

Best of the Rest:

-Isaac Okoro was 4/4 from three-point range and scored 12 points for Cleveland; Caris LeVert had 13 points off the bench.

Russell Westbrook had 20 points and 11 assists; D.J. Augustin was 7/7 from the field, including 6/6 from three-point range and finished with 20 points off the bench.

-James, who spent 11 seasons in Cleveland and led the team to their only NBA title, is now 17-1 against the Cavs in his career. In those 18 games, he’s averaging 29.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 7.4 assists per contest.

Watch below as Garland and Stevens react to the loss to Los Angeles:




Lakers’ Anthony on Embiid: ‘His footwork is incredible, Olajuwon-esque, his post game is special’

Philadelphia 76ers All-Star center Joel Embiid had another strong performance with 26 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists as Philly defeated the LeBron James-less Lakers 105-87 at Wells Fargo Center Thursday night.

James missed the game against the 76ers with knee soreness.

Embiid extended his streak of 25-point performances to 16 games, and before the win over the Lakers, Embiid was named a starter in his fifth straight All-Star Game.  

After the game, Embiid reacted to being named an All-Star starter.

“Yeah, you know I could never take that for granted,’ he said. “You know, five times in a row now. You know, blessed, really to be in this position. You know there’s not a lot of guys that get to go through this. So anytime it happens, you know I’m just blessed.”

76ers head coach Doc Rivers added on Embiid: “Obviously, he was gonna make it, you know, but he’s done more than just been an All-Star for us; he’s doing everything for us on and off the floor. That’s why we have the record. I mean, with all the stuff floating around this team, we just keep winning; a lot of that is Joel’s leadership.” 

Carmelo Anthony, who had nine points off the Lakers’ bench, thinks Embiid is a different player this season.

“I’m not the guy that likes to compare players and people because we will never see what that was about; his footwork is incredible, you know Olajuwon-esque, his post game is special,” Anthony said after the game. “He’s seven-two, he’s big, he is hard to guard. I’ll just keep it a hundred with you. He is a very tough guy to check out there on the court. I love the fact that he is playing at his own pace right now; he’s found his pace to play at; he’s taking the game a lot more serious now, as you can see, as we all can see. And that’s why he is able to dominate the way that he is able to do now, and he’s playing at an all-time high right now.”

Embiid is displaying the footwork of Olajuwon and playing with the dominance of Shaq, and right now, he’s carrying the 76ers on his back. Despite all the drama surrounding Ben Simmons, Philadelphia(29-19) is the fifth seed in the East and two games behind the Heat for the top spot in the conference. In addition, they are 26-11 when Embiid is in the lineup, so they’re in a decent spot right now.

We’ll see if they can improve the team before the trade deadline because the East is wide open.


Cavs acquire Rondo in three-team deal

With Ricky Rubio out for the season due to a torn ACL, the Cleveland Cavaliers needed a backup point guard, and on Monday, they got their guy.

The Cavs acquired point guard Rajon Rondo from the Los Angeles Lakers in a three-team trade.

In the deal, the New York Knicks receive guard Denzel Valentine from Cleveland and the draft rights to Wang Zhelin (57th pick in 2016 NBA Draft) and Brad Newley (54th pick in 2007 NBA Draft) and cash considerations from the Lakers. In addition, Los Angeles receives the draft rights to Louis Labeyrie (57th pick in 2014 NBA Draft) from New York.

The 35-year-old Rondo played in 18 games for the Lakers this season.

Over his 16-year NBA career, he has appeared in 936 games (732 starts) with the Lakers, Clippers, Hawks, Pelicans, Bulls, Kings, Mavericks, and Celtics, owning career averages of 9.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, 8.0 assists, and 1.6 steals in 30.1 minutes per contest.

A two-time NBA Champion (2008, 2020) and four-time NBA All-Star (2010-2013), Rondo has been named to the NBA’s All-Defensive Team four times (2009-2012), including two First Team nods (2010, 2011), and was an All-NBA Third Team selection in 2012. Additionally, Rondo has appeared in 134 playoff games (105 starts), averaging 12.5 points, 5.6 rebounds, 8.5 assists, and 1.7 steals in 34.0 minutes per game.

Valentine, 26, signed with the Cavaliers in the offseason and appeared in 22 games this season.

In other news, Cavaliers guard/forward Isaac Okoro left Sunday night’s game against Indiana in the second quarter with a left elbow injury and did not return. Okoro, who underwent an MRI Monday, will be out 2-3 weeks with a left elbow sprain.

Cavs’ Mobley: ‘I feel like I’m pretty ahead of schedule so far’

The Cleveland Cavaliers’ three-game winning streak was snapped on Friday night as they fell to LeBron James and the Lakers 113-101 at Staples Center.

The game was tied at 54 at halftime, but the Lakers(3-3) pulled away in the fourth quarter to get the victory.

Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and Bottom Line of Cleveland’s loss to the Lakers.

The Great for the Cavaliers:

-Evan Mobley is the real deal. The rookie had a team-high 23 points and snatched six rebounds, and three assists in a team-high 36 minutes of action. This kid does not appear to get rattled, and according to him, he’s ahead of schedule, which could be scary for the rest of the league.

“I feel like I’m getting adjusted to the NBA pretty fast,” Mobley said postgame. “I feel like I’m pretty ahead of schedule so far.”

-Darius Garland had a double-double with 18 points and 11 assists(six turnovers). It was Garland’s second double-double of the season. 

-Lauri Markkanen had a season-high 17 points(7/14 FG) on Friday night, which included a season-high three three-pointers. Markkanen has struggled with his shot(30.5 FG%) thus far this season, so it’s good to see him put the ball in the basket.

-Ricky Rubio continues to bring it every night. He had 18 points, six rebounds, and four assists off the bench. What an acquisition for this team.  It’s early, but if Rubio keeps playing at this level, he could be in the discussion for Sixth-Man of the Year.

The Not so Great for the Cavaliers:

-Fourth-quarter: Cleveland trailed 88-85, heading into the fourth quarter. However, they went completely cold in the fourth. They shot 4/18(22%) from the field and were outscored 25-16 in the quarter. The Cavs took their last lead of 91-90 with just under eight minutes left, but the Lakers would go on a 10-0 run, and Cleveland never threatened after that.

-Defense: One of the reasons Cleveland won three straight was their defense. The Cavaliers held teams below 90 points and below 410% shooting from the floor in those three wins. However, the Lakers scored 113 points with 55% shooting. Los Angeles also had 60 points in the paint.

-After scoring 26 points against the Clippers on Wednesday night, Collin Sexton, the team’s leading scorer, was a non-factor against Los Angeles. He scored 9 points on 2/9 shooting.

Bottom Line:

This was not a bad loss for the Cavs. They competed against the Lakers, who you knew would be tough to beat after their loss to the Thunder on Wednesday. In addition, Cleveland kept it close and even had a lead in the fourth. The Cavs can hold their heads up high after this loss.

What’s Next:

Cleveland(3-3) continues their five-game road trip as they travel to Phoenix to battle the Western Conference Champions, the Suns(1-3), on Saturday night; Phoenix, who has lost two straight, is 0-2 at home this season.

Best of the Rest:

In his return from an ankle injury, LeBron James led the Lakers with 26 points, eights assists, and three rebounds; Carmelo Anthony added 24 points, including six three-pointers off the bench.

Watch below as Mobley, Rubio, and Markkanen react to loss against Lakers: