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Team LeBron and Team Giannis pick squads for NBA All-Star Game

In last night’s action, Russell Westbrook scored 41 points as the Houston Rockets defeated the LA Lakers 121-11

Giannis Antetokounmpo and LeBron James.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and LeBron James.

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. 

Source: ESPN/YouTube

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)

*********

The Houston Rockets, fueled by 41 points from Russell Westbrook, surged late to shock the NBA’s Western Conference-leading Los Angeles Lakers 121-111 on Thursday.

Anthony Davis shook off a sprained right index finger to lead the Lakers with 32 points.

LeBron James added 18 for Los Angeles, who trailed much of the night but took a 108-105 lead on Avery Bradley’s pull up jumper with 4:57 remaining.

But the Rockets closed the game with a 16-3 scoring run to seal their fourth straight victory.

rockets-lakers-basketball Westbrook dunks as Lakers center JaVale McGee and forward Anthony Davis watch on. Source: Mark J. Terrill

Their small-ball lineup — featuring no one taller than 6-foot-6 (2m) — proved more than a match for Los Angeles.

Sharp-shooting forward Robert Covington, acquired by the Rockets from the Timberwolves this week, drained two three-pointers and produced a key block as Houstonpowered to the finish.

Eric Gordon added 15 points for the Rockets, James Harden had a relatively quiet night with 14 points and Covington added 14. Six Houston players scored in double figures.

“They hit some tough shots down the stretch,” said Davis, who added 13 rebounds for the Lakers. “We made some costly turnovers, we didn’t complete passes that we normally complete and it hurt us when they got out in transition and we didn’t match up well — they were able to make us pay.”

James added 18 points, 15 assists and nine rebounds and Danny Green and Bradley scored 15 apiece for Los Angeles, whose Western Conference lead over the LA Clippers is now just 2 1/2 games.

In Milwaukee, reigning NBA Most Valuable Player Giannis Antetokounmpo delivered a dominant 36-point, 20-rebound performance as the Bucks avenged a Christmas Day loss to the Philadelphia 76ers with a 112-101 victory.

Antetokounmpo, who also handed out six assists, had 19 points and 10 rebounds before halftime as the league-leading Bucks powered to their 12th victory in 13 games.

The “Greek Freak” notched his fifth straight game of at least 30 points and 15 rebounds — the first NBA player since the 1985-86 season to put together such a streak.

“It’s crazy,” Antetokounmpo said. “I’m happy that we’re winning and we’re playing good.

“But I can get a lot better. I can be smarter. I can be sharper. I can make better passes on time, make three-point shots and two-point shots. That’s the mindset I have.”

76ers-bucks-basketball Giannis Antetokounmpo is fouled by Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid. Source: Morry Gash

Khris Middleton added 20 points, and Eric Bledsoe chipped in 14 points, eight rebounds and six assists for the Bucks, who improved to 44-7 and notched their 29th double-digit win of the season.

Tobias Harris led Philadelphia with 25 points.

Joel Embiid added 19 points and 11 rebounds but never found a good offensive rhythm — making just six of 26 shots from the field.

Ben Simmons had 11 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists, but the Sixers’ road struggles continued.

With a 31-21 overall record, the 76ers are just 9-19 away from home.

- Pelicans beat Bulls -

New Orleans rookie Zion Williamson had another impressive outing in his injury-delayed debut season, connecting on nine of 11 shots from the field on the way to 21 points in the Pelicans’ 125-119 victory over the Bulls in Chicago.

Williamson was a force in the paint against a Bulls team missing their two two defenders in Wendell Carter and Kris Dunn.

The Pelicans shot 56.3 percent from the field and led 103-81 heading into the fourth quarter and their biggest concern of the night was a right ankle injury to Brandon Ingram, who scored 15 points in 21 minutes but departed the game midway through the third period.

The Knicks won a nail-biter in New York, where RJ Barrett returned from a nine-game injury absence to score 12 points in a 105-103 victory over the Orlando Magic.

The Knicks led by as many as 13 in the first half but trailed by as many as 10 in the fourth quarter.

Julius Randle, who led the Knicks with 22 points, put New York ahead for good with 4:59 remaining with a jump shot that made it 98-96.

© – AFP, 2020   

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