LeBron James’ sendoff for Chris Paul, the architect of the NBA’s restart — Press Telegram

Editor’s note: This is the Friday Sept. 4 edition of the Purple & Bold Lakers newsletter from reporter Kyle Goon, who is among the few reporters in the country with a credential inside the NBA bubble. To receive the newsletter in your inbox, sign up here. LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — When he was asked about Chris…

LeBron James’ sendoff for Chris Paul, the architect of the NBA’s restart — Press Telegram

LeBron James Fires Back After ESPN Analyst Compares Him To Scottie Pippen — The Latest News

[ad_1] LeBron James has been in a league of his own throughout his NBA career. So it wasn’t surprising that he pounced on an ESPN analyst’s suggestion Thursday that he was a star sidekick ― like Scottie Pippen was to Michael Jordan ― when James won two titles with Miami. ESPN’s Jay Williams made the […]

LeBron James Fires Back After ESPN Analyst Compares Him To Scottie Pippen — The Latest News

Inside OG Anunoby’s game-winning 3 that saved Raptors’ season — Portal4News

Jeff Zillgitt USA TODAY Published 11:37 PM EDT Sep 3, 2020 LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The situation was bleak but not hopeless. The Toronto Raptors trailed the Boston Celtics by one point with 0.5 seconds left in the fourth quarter following Daniel Theis’ dunk. The Raptors were in a huddle during the timeout, and […]

Inside OG Anunoby’s game-winning 3 that saved Raptors’ season — Portal4News

Jeff Zillgitt
USA TODAY

Published 11:37 PM EDT Sep 3, 2020

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The situation was bleak but not hopeless. The Toronto Raptors trailed the Boston Celtics by one point with 0.5 seconds left in the fourth quarter following Daniel Theis’ dunk.

The Raptors were in a huddle during the timeout, and coach Nick Nurse designated Kyle Lowry to inbound the ball because “he has guts,” Nurse said, and designed a play with several options.

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“Freddie (VanVleet) comes wheeling off there first, and Marc (Gasol) pins down for Pascal (Siakam), OG (Anunoby) clears out to the weak side, Marc tries to find an open area either at the rim or out, depending on how they played it,” Nurse said.

Anunoby was the fourth of four options. When Lowry got the ball from the referee to pass it in, he surveyed the court with Boston’s 7-foot-6 Tacko Fall guarding the pass.

In the actions Toronto created with Lowry looking for an open player, the Celtics lost track of Anunoby. Jayson Tatum and Theis focused on VanVleet. After Gasol set a screen for Siakam, he also set a screen on Jaylen Brown, leaving Anunoby open on the far side of the court.

With just enough time to catch and shoot, Anunoby did exactly that and drilled a corner 3, giving the Raptors a 104-103 victory in Game 3 on Thursday.

“Give OG his flowers tonight,” Lowry said.

Anunoby barely had a reaction as his teammates mobbed him.

“I don’t shoot trying to miss,” Anunoby said.

Said VanVleet: “I know he was excited. That’s just his nature. Being in those situations, sometimes you don’t know what to do. I don’t think he’s a guy who’s going to run around the court. That was true OG form right there to knock down the biggest shot of his life and act like nothing happened. The rest of us were more excited for him than he was for himself.”

The shot saved Toronto’s season. The Raptors were on the verge of a 3-0 deficit. Now, it’s a much more manageable 2-1 deficit, and they came back from a 2-0 hole in last season’s Eastern Conference finals against Milwaukee and won the series.

“It’s OG’s moment,” Lowry said. “That’s a great moment for that kid. I’m so happy and so proud of him. The pass meant nothing. The shot was everything. … He deserves every ounce of love and celebration that he’s going to get tonight. The kid works extremely hard. That’s his moment. Let him live in it, and I’ll ruin tomorrow when he watches film and I tell him what he messed up on.”

Anunoby finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds, and he helped keep the Raptors close in the first half when Lowry, Siakam and VanVleet continued with their offensive struggles. He had nine points and was Toronto’s second-leading scorer behind Lowry’s 15 in the first half.

Lowry wanted to deflect credit. But his cross-court pass was magnificent in its own right.

“There’s not a lot of times that you probably want a — let’s call him 6-foot-1 — guard taking the ball out of bounds in a late-game situation because you saw they tried to put size on him,” Nurse said.

First off, Lowry had Fall waving his long arms in front of him. To create a little extra space, Lowry backed off the sideline near Boston’s bench. He watched as players set the play in action with screens and movement, and he surveyed the defense.

He noticed Anunoby slipped unguarded to the corner on the opposite side of the court — about 55 feet away. Lowry had to launch the perfect pass — over Fall but not too much air under the ball so that a defender could get to Anunoby and disrupt the play.

“It was a beautiful pass,” VanVleet said. “We don’t give Kyle as much credit as you guys give him. We expect those things from him. So it’s not that amazing from our perspective. I’ve become accustomed to seeing him do those things on a nightly basis.”

The Raptors have struggled offensively in the series and had trouble shooting through the first 2½ quarters on Thursday. But they found just enough offense from Lowry (31 points), VanVleet (17 of his 25 points in the second half) and Siakam (14 of his 16 in the second half).

Their defense remained solid, holding Boston to 46 points in the second half.

Add one great pass and one clutch shot, and the series is a lot closer than it looked after the first 47 minutes, 59.5 seconds of Game 3.

Follow Jeff Zillgitt on Twitter @JeffZillgitt.Tags:Basketball

Jaylen Brown: Celtics’ defense a ‘disgrace’ on Raptors’ game-winner — Portal4News

Matt Eppers USA TODAY Published 1:10 AM EDT Sep 4, 2020 With their season on the line, the Toronto Raptors drew up a play that delivered when they needed it most. OG Anunoby hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Raptors a 104-103 win over the Boston Celtics in Game 3 of their […]

Jaylen Brown: Celtics’ defense a ‘disgrace’ on Raptors’ game-winner — Portal4News

Matt Eppers
USA TODAY

Published 1:10 AM EDT Sep 4, 2020

With their season on the line, the Toronto Raptors drew up a play that delivered when they needed it most. OG Anunoby hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Raptors a 104-103 win over the Boston Celtics in Game 3 of their second-round series Thursday night.

Anunoby caught a cross-court pass with 0.5 seconds left on the clock and got his shot off over the out-stretched hand of a leaping Jaylen Brown.

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Brown tipped his cap to the Raptors afterwards for the slick play design. However, he lamented the Celtics’ defensive lapse that allowed Anunoby to get free and couldn’t hide his frustration.

“It’s a (expletive) disgrace at the end of the game,” Brown said. “That was just terrible. No way we should have lost that game. I take responsibility for that. Not just that play, but a lot of the plays before. It happens. It’s the NBA playoffs. Either you let them gain momentum or you come back and get ready to play next game.”

Brown and the Celtics could have taken a commanding 3-0 series lead and effectively ended the Raptors’ title defense. Instead, Toronto is back in the series down 2-1 with Game 4 on Saturday night.

“Just a miscommunication, the coverage that we were in,” Brown said of the final play. “That’s all that really is. They made a remarkable play at the end.”

Anunoby finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds for Toronto. Kyle Lowry scored 31 points, and Fred VanVleet added 25.

Brown had 19 points and 12 rebounds for Boston. Kemba Walker had 29 points, and Jayson Tatum had 15.

Kiszla: As Nuggets got Clawed in loss to Clippers, Nikola Jokic just stood there and let it happen — Daily News

The Nuggets got Clawed, spindled and mutilated. This NBA playoff series opened with a statement game. There was no mistaking what Kawhi “The Claw” Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers bluntly said Thursday, during a decisive 120-97 victory. Denver is unworthy of being taken seriously as a championship contender. And know what really hurts? Nuggets…

Kiszla: As Nuggets got Clawed in loss to Clippers, Nikola Jokic just stood there and let it happen — Daily News

Lakers prep for James Harden, a unique threat on a unique Rockets team — Press Telegram

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The first morning a then-brand new Lakers coaching staff assembled in the same room last summer in a Beverley Hills hotel, they needed a way to feel each other’s basketball philosophies — a common talking point to start understanding how they each saw the game. Frank Vogel’s ice-breaker with his…

Lakers prep for James Harden, a unique threat on a unique Rockets team — Press Telegram