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Indonesian shuttlers eye group stage wins at Thomas and Uber Cup

first_imgTopics : An official with the Indonesian Badminton Association (PBSI) has said that the Indonesian teams competing in the Thomas and Uber Cup have the advantage over their opponents following the Badminton World Federation’s announcement of the draw results.The Indonesian men’s team will be in Group A of the Thomas Cup with Malaysia, the Netherlands and England while the women’s team will square off against Korea, Malaysia and Australia in Group B of the Uber Cup.“We have been spending the last month competing internally so we can maintain their skills, fighting spirit and also stamina. The coaches have also issued their evaluations for all players so they could improve. Overall, we are in a better condition, [we are] up and ready,” PBSI secretary-general Achmad Budiharto told The Jakarta Post on Monday. However, he said he firmly expected the team would not underestimate its opponents and stay focused on training.“We still have time to practice and improve,” he added.When asked about the current pandemic and how it could pose a problem to the athletes and the tournament, Achmad acknowledged that the PBSI had a big concerns and therefore was doing everything it could to keep its athletes healthy.“There will be tight safety and health protocols to follow during the tournament, including the no-spectators rule. From our side, we have been applying strict protocol, as well maintaining our athletes’ condition,” he said.center_img A total of 16 men’s and 16 women’s teams will compete in the tournament, the world’s most prestigious group badminton tournament. The event will take place at the Ceres Arena in Aarhus, Denmark, from Oct. 3 to 11 without spectators.Head of PBSI development and achievements Susy Susanti concurred with Achmad’s statement on Indonesia’s strong chances, saying both the men’s and women’s team had good shots at winning the group stage.“We are focusing on reaching the quarterfinals first. Our target will be to bring home the Thomas Cup back to Indonesia. The opponent countries are going to be tough but we are optimistic,” Susy, an Indonesian badminton legend, said as reported by badmintonindonesia.org.“The toughest opponent in the group will be Malaysia. We might be in a better position than the Netherlands and England but that does not mean that we should underestimate them.”She said the women’s team might have to work harder than the men to be able to come out as the winners of the group stage. The Korean team, she said, had tough women players and would surely put up a fight.“The Korean team will be the toughest opponent in the women’s group but we still have a chance. However, Malaysia and Australia could be a threat as well. Especially when we are playing in the group category, anything is possible. Being vigilant is a must,” she said.The most important thing, she added, was that all players maintain focus and a fighting spirit while out on the court.Indonesia has won the most Thomas Cup titles of any country with 13 wins, followed by China with nine wins. Indonesia last won the championship in 2002 when it beat Malaysia in the finals. Indonesia’s Uber team has won three cups but faces a title drought, having last won in 1996.last_img read more

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Canadian regulator calls for bids on 18 offshore parcels

first_imgThe Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) has issued calls for bids for exploration and production licenses in the Eastern Newfoundland and Jeanne d’Arc regions.The C-NLOPB said last Thursday that the calls involve 17 exploration licenses and one production licenses.Namely, the call for bids NL18-CFB01 consists of 16 parcels while calls for bids NL18-CFB02 and NL18-CFB03 consist of one parcel each.The board added that interested parties must submit sealed bids for the parcels until November 7, 2018.For call for bids NL18-CFB01 and NL18-CFB02, the sole criterion for selecting a winning bid will be the total amount of money the bidder commits to spend on exploration of the parcel during Period I, which is the first period of a nine-year license. The minimum bid for the parcels offered is $10 million in work commitments.As for NL18-CFB03, the sole criterion for selecting a winning bid will be the highest drilling deposit bid with a minimum of $25 million.The calls for bids are included in the 2014 Eastern Newfoundland Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA). The SEA examines the environmental effects which may be associated with a plan, program or policy proposal and allows for the incorporation of environmental considerations at the earliest stages of program planning.SEA involves a broader-scale environmental assessment (EA) that considers the larger ecological setting and consultation with a wide array of stakeholders.“Assessments of regional and site-specific issues will be completed before any work can begin within the license area. The timing, spatial extent, and nature of proposed oil and gas activities, in addition to mitigations already prescribed by legislation, will determine the level of additional restriction or mitigation that may be required. Any additional measures would be determined during the project-specific environmental assessment and other regulatory approval processes,” C-NLOPB said.last_img read more

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Pellegrini hails four-star Aguero

first_img Press Association Aguero scored all of City’s goals as the champions ran out 4-1 winners over 10-man Spurs in a breathless Barclays Premier League encounter at the Etihad Stadium. The Argentinian also missed a number of other chances, including one of the three penalties he stepped up to take during the game. Pellegrini said: “Joe is the number one keeper of England. He made important saves. “You will all remember the penalty, which was a good save, but he also made a good save early in the first half. “But when we win the game it’s not just because of one of two players. It’s about the whole team performance. “When you score four goals as Kun did or you make so many good saves as Joe did, then of course it’s very important to our team, but it’s not fair if you don’t talk about what James Milner did or (Vincent) Kompany or (Bacary) Sagna.” Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino had almost pre-empted Aguero’s devastating display by comparing his play to the genius of Mozart in the build-up to the game. It was also a performance that proved fit for a king – with Juan Carlos, Spain’s former monarch, among the VIP guests. Pochettino said: “Kun Aguero had a very good day. He scored it was a very good performance from him. “It was a great game but I’m disappointed with the result. It was tough for us but we need to take the positives and improve. “The third penalty finished the game for us because at the time we had possibilities to score. “But the first key moment of the game was City’s first penalty – for me it wasn’t a penalty. “The next was our penalty miss and the big save from Joe Hart just after. That was a big moment.” Last season Pellegrini suggested Aguero was behind only Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo among the world’s best players and, now he has apparently overcome the numerous injuries that have plagued him ever since, the City boss is again of similar opinion. Pellegrini said: “It was not easy for Kun last year when he had too many injuries. You can’t put in performances like he did today when you’re not 100 per cent fit. “But now he’s working very well. Maybe he will not score four goals in a game again but he will demonstrate why everyone says he’s one of the best players in the world. “I have said before he could be a Ballon d’Or player. “I have known him a lot of years. I saw his career in Argentina and Spain before he came to England and that’s why I say he’d one of the three or four most important strikers in the world – not (just) because he scored four goals (today).” Aguero’s first goal was cancelled out by a Christian Eriksen strike but he restored City’s advantage from the spot. He then had another penalty saved by Hugo Lloris but made sure with his third attempt from 12 yards after Federico Fazio was sent off. He completed the scoring with a second crisp strike after 75 minutes but City’s performance was not all about the Argentinian. Goalkeeper Joe Hart also had a fine game, making a number of saves in an open encounter, including a penalty stop from Roberto Soldado. Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini hailed the performance of Sergio Aguero after the striker’s four-goal demolition of Tottenham.last_img read more

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FL woman hospitalized after bitten by alligator

first_imgA Florida woman is recovering at a Brevard County hospital after being bitten by an alligator on Saturday.According to witnesses, around a dozen people were swimming in a lake near Fay Lake Wilderness Park in Port Saint John when the alligator attacked 26-year-old Nichole Tilman.Tilman was pulled to safety by other swimmers and transported by a medical helicopter to a nearby trauma center with significant bite injuries.The alligator seemingly fled the scene, but days later FWC officials captured the 8’6″ long creature was captured in a pond three miles west of Fay Lake Wilderness Park in Port St. John.Brevard County District Fire Chief Thomas Uzel says alligator attacks are rare in this area.Officials have not said what happened to the alligator after it was removed.last_img

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CONCACAF lauds GFF/Government partnership

first_imgHOWARD McIntosh, Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) senior manager for the regional football governing body’s One CONCACAF and Caribbean Project, lauded the collaborative work between the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) and the Government of Guyana, specifically their recent ‘MOU’ and the allocation of a plot of land at D’Urban Park.The GFF, represented by its president Wayne Forde, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Minister of State Joseph Harmon on February 9 at Ministry of the Presidency (MoTP).The project will house an international quality full-size pitch, two mini-pitches and a new headquarters for GFF. The mini-pitches will be fully accessible to the general public for community football tournaments and recreational games.Minister Harmon said the signing was a turning point for youths as they would have access to high-quality public infrastructure which would cater to the development of talents in the sporting field – a sentiment that was echoed by McIntosh.McIntosh, who is on a two-day visit to Guyana, along with Forde and Director of Sport Christopher Jones, visited the D’Urban Park site yesterday and told reporters that “this type of development must lead to more returns in terms of football and in sports generally.There’s nothing like seeing the manifestations of possibilities become a reality, such as the performance in the Nations League … and also the qualification to the Gold Cup.”According to the Jamaican, “What this can do to change sports generally and football, particularly in Guyana, it is infinitesimal; grassroots development, youth football development – boys and girls – and of course the elite football development in terms of the training pitches. When you have your own facilities, you govern your own training time. It means you can have grassroots development on an ongoing basis.”Meanwhile, Jones pointed out that the Government of Guyana is more than willing to make lands available to the various sports association, providing that it’s available.FIFA president Gianni Infantino visited Guyana in 2017 and met with President David Granger, Minister Harmon said, after which a commitment was made to help Guyana to achieve organisational goals.Minister Harmon explained that President Granger also committed to ensuring that at the level of government the necessary partnership for the development of the sport is maintained.last_img read more

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Beat writers predict No. 4 Syracuse to break two-game losing streak against Maryland

first_img Published on February 24, 2014 at 6:03 pm Facebook Twitter Google+ David Wilson: Syracuse 69, Maryland 60Baltimore’s finestThe No. 4 Orange will be fired up after the loss to then-No. 5 Duke and respond with one of its best offensive performances of the season. C.J. Fair has been excited to return to his home state, so what better time for a breakout performance than Monday in College Park?Trevor Hass: Syracuse 64, Maryland 53Terra-pinnedMaryland simply doesn’t have the weapons to hang with Syracuse. The fact that the Orange lost at Cameron isn’t all too surprising, but SU is way too talented to lose three in a row. Tyler Ennis and Trevor Cooney return to form, and Syracuse gets its elusive 26th win.Stephen Bailey: Syracuse 67, Maryland 59Slow and steadySyracuse dictates the pace and gets back on track with a victory over the Terps. Maryland has firepower and a slew of productive offensive players, but the SU zone will force turnovers and give the Orange extra possessions. Look for an improved performance from the SU backcourt, which shot just 3-of-18 against Duke on Saturday. Commentslast_img read more

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In DC, city of gridlock, tarp stymies Nationals grounds crew

first_img Written By When it rained in the top of the sixth inning of the Washington Nationals’ game against the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday, it really poured on the infield dirt, because the grounds crew had trouble unrolling the giant tarp used to protect the diamond.The cover got twisted, so the 15 members of the Nationals Park crew needed more than 15 minutes to get the entire thing spread out over the dirt — and even then, it was upside-down, with a sponsor logo facing the ground.There were large puddles between the bases, a result of the sort of gridlock with which the nation’s capital is all too familiar.In all, a process usually completed in just a couple of minutes took more than 20 for the tarp to be properly put in place. And by then, the shower was done, anyway, leaving the sun was peeking through the clouds.Once the tarp was removed, then began the job of trying to make the infield dirt dry enough to allow for a Major League Baseball game resume. Trucks were driven out so that workers could shovel the wet ground into the flatbeds. As the delay stretched past an hour in length — even though it rained for about a third of that time — there were still patches of puddling in the basepaths.The Orioles were leading 5-2 when the rain came and the delay began. They did all of their scoring in the fifth inning against Stephen Strasburg, the World Series MVP who returned from a nerve issue in his pitching hand to make his season debut. FOLLOW US First Published: 10th August, 2020 04:08 IST LIVE TV WATCH US LIVEcenter_img Last Updated: 10th August, 2020 04:08 IST In DC, City Of Gridlock, Tarp Stymies Nationals Grounds Crew When it rained in the top of the sixth inning of the Washington Nationals’ game against the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday, it really poured on the infield dirt, because the grounds crew had trouble unrolling the giant tarp used to protect the diamond. SUBSCRIBE TO US COMMENT Associated Press Television News last_img read more

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Two PSG fans stabbed

first_imgOn Wednesday night, two PSG supporters were stabbed close to the Camp Nou stadium. One of the victims is still in Barcelona’s Hospital Clínic with a chest injury, while the other has been released.The first incident took place at around eleven o’clock near the Camp Nou. A French citizen coming away from the game was attacked in Calle Felipe de Paz by two individuals dressed in dark clothes and balaclavas. One of them stabbed the fan with a knife.The victim, who was at the time accompanied by other PSG fans, had to be rushed to a nearby hospital. He is still being cared for.A little later in the evening and not far from the first attack, a similar assault occurred in Barcelona’s Avenida Madrid. Three youngsters, who had also recently just seen the match, were set upon by various individuals.One of the victims was wounded with a knife and also had to be taken to hospital. After his injury was treated, he was released.Police investigators are analysing security camera footage taken in the area in the hope that the authors of these two serious crimes may be identified and apprehended.last_img read more

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Clippers knock out Lakers, likely ending their playoff dreams

first_imgPreviousLos Angeles Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma (0) is lifted by teammates after going down with an injury against the Los Angeles Clippers during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, March 4, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Clippers Lou Williams, #23, looks for a way around Lakers Moe Wagner, #15, during first half action at Staples Center Monday, March 4, 2019. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Lakers JaVale McGee , #7, and Clippers Ivica Zubac, #340, go after a rebound during first half action at Staples Center Monday, March 4, 2019. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsLakers LeBron James , #23, is fouled on the way to the basket by Clippers Garrett Temple, #17, during first half action at Staples Center Monday, March 4, 2019. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Lakers LeBron James , #23, drives past Clippers Garrett Temple, #17, during first half action at Staples Center Monday, March 4, 2019. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Clippers JaMychal Green, #4, gets a rebound in front of Lakers Rajon Rondo, #9, during first half action at Staples Center Monday, March 4, 2019. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Lakers Kyle Kuzma, #0, is blocked on the way to the basket by Clippers Danilo Gallinari , #8, during first half action at Staples Center Monday, March 4, 2019. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Lakers LeBron James , #23, goes around Clippers Shai Gilgeous-Alexander , #2, for two points during first half action at Staples Center Monday, March 4, 2019. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Lakers LeBron James , #23, drives to the basket through Clippers Patrick Beverley, #21, and Montrezl Harrell, #5, during first half action at Staples Center Monday, March 4, 2019. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Lakers LeBron James , #23, rises above Clippers Patrick Beverley, #21, for two points during first half action at Staples Center Monday, March 4, 2019. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Lakers LeBron James , #23, drives past Clippers Garrett Temple, #17, during first half action at Staples Center Monday, March 4, 2019. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Lakers Kyle Kuzma, #0, comes down after making two points during first half action at Staples Center Monday, March 4, 2019. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Los Angeles Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma (0) shoots over Los Angeles Clippers’ Montrezl Harrell (5) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, March 4, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James (23) scores against the Los Angeles Clippers during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, March 4, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)The Clippers’ Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, center, looks to pass while being defended by the Lakers’ LeBron James, second from left, and Mike Muscala, second from right, during the first half of Monday’s game at Staples Center. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)t,Los Angeles Clippers’ Landry Shamet, left, shoots over Los Angeles Lakers’ Rajon Rondo (9) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, March 4, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James (23) is defended by Los Angeles Clippers’ Patrick Beverley during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, March 4, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Los Angeles Lakers’ JaVale McGee (7) blocks a shot from Los Angeles Clippers’ Tyrone Wallace (9) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, March 4, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Los Angeles Clippers’ Montrezl Harrell (5) celebrates after scoring next to Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, March 4, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Los Angeles Lakers’ Josh Hart (3) shoots over Los Angeles Clippers’ Patrick Beverley during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, March 4, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Los Angeles Clippers’ Montrezl Harrell (5) dunks between Los Angeles Lakers’ JaVale McGee (7) and Rajon Rondo (9) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, March 4, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Los Angeles Clippers’ Ivica Zubac (40) drives to the basket as Los Angeles Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma, center, and JaVale McGee, right, defend during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, March 4, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Clippers Patrick Beverley, #21, goes up for two points as Lakers LeBron James , #23, defends during second half action at Staples Center Monday, March 4, 2019. The Clippers defeated the Lakers 113-105. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Clippers Montrezl Harrell, #5, shoots past Lakers Josh Hart, #3, for two points during second half action at Staples Center Monday, March 4, 2019. The Clippers defeated the Lakers 113-105. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Clippers Danilo Gallinari, #8, goes up for two points as Lakers Josh Hart, #3, defends during second half action at Staples Center Monday, March 4, 2019. The Clippers defeated the Lakers 113-105. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Clippers Montrezl Harrell, #5, commits an offensive foul on Lakers LeBron James , #23, during second half action at Staples Center Monday, March 4, 2019. The Clippers defeated the Lakers 113-105. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Clippers Shai Gilgeous-Alexander , #2, eyes a two point shot as Lakers Alex Caruso, #4, defends during second half action at Staples Center Monday, March 4, 2019. The Clippers defeated the Lakers 113-105. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Clippers Montrezl Harrell, #5, drives up two points as Lakers Josh Hart, #3, defends during second half action at Staples Center Monday, March 4, 2019. The Clippers defeated the Lakers 113-105. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Los Angeles Clippers’ Montrezl Harrell, right, collides with Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, March 4, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Los Angeles Clippers’ Danilo Gallinari, center shoots over Los Angeles Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma, left, during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, March 4, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Los Angeles Clippers’ Danilo Gallinari, center, drives past Los Angeles Lakers’ Josh Hart, right, during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, March 4, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Los Angeles Clippers’ Lou Williams, right, scores past Los Angeles Lakers’ Josh Hart during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, March 4, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Los Angeles Clippers’ Montrezl Harrell, right, shoots over Los Angeles Lakers’ Josh Hart during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, March 4, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Los Angeles Clippers’ Landry Shamet, right, shoots over Los Angeles Lakers’ Josh Hart during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, March 4, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Los Angeles Lakers’ Rajon Rondo (9) drives to the basket as Los Angeles Clippers’ Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, March 4, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James (23) shoots over Los Angeles Clippers’ JaMychal Green (4) and Montrezl Harrell (5) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, March 4, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Los Angeles Lakers’ Rajon Rondo, right, scores against the Los Angeles Clippers during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, March 4, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Los Angeles Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma (0) walks off the court after getting injured during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers Monday, March 4, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Los Angeles Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma (0) is lifted by teammates after going down with an injury against the Los Angeles Clippers during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, March 4, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Clippers Lou Williams, #23, looks for a way around Lakers Moe Wagner, #15, during first half action at Staples Center Monday, March 4, 2019. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)NextShow Caption1 of 38Clippers Lou Williams, #23, looks for a way around Lakers Moe Wagner, #15, during first half action at Staples Center Monday, March 4, 2019. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)ExpandLOS ANGELES — Just over a month ago, LeBron James made a triumphant return against the Clippers – the franchise that’s so often played second fiddle in their own town.Monday night, the Clippers paid him back, delivering what might just be the decisive body blow in the barrage the Lakers’ playoff ambitions have taken in the last few weeks.There was a clear delineation in the Clippers’ 113-105 victory over their Staples Center co-tenants. The Lakers (30-34) looked like they were laboring for so much of the night, punching up after losing one of their key scorers before tipoff and then another in the fourth quarter. The Clippers (37-29) looked deep, engaged and passionate – the hallmarks of a team on track for the postseason.And the postseason now looks plainly out of reach for the Lakers, despite a 27-point night from LeBron James and a triple-double (24 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists) from Rajon Rondo. The steam ran out in the fourth quarter, as Danilo Gallinari (23 points) and Lou Williams (21 points) carried the Clippers home. They might have been urged along by a mid-fourth quarter injury: Kyle Kuzma sprained his right ankle as he tried a layup at the backboard. He hobbled off to the locker room under his own power, but he left an already limited Lakers offense with one less weapon. Coach Luke Walton said X-rays were negative on Kuzma’s ankle, though he expressed doubt for the forward’s availability for Wednesday’s game against Denver.That injury was added to an already substantial pile: Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Lance Stephenson and Tyson Chandler all missed the game. The Lakers could have used all of them and any of them – they simply needed more bodies.“That’s the story of the season,” Rondo said. “I wish we’d have saged the locker room a long time ago but it just didn’t work out that way.”Without the services of Ingram – a late scratch due to shoulder soreness – Walton said pregame he would need someone to step up to replace that production. It turned out to be Rondo, who recorded his highest-scoring game as a Laker while rediscovering a lethally quick first step into the lane.Josh Hart also scored 17 points off the bench, but the Lakers received just 10 other points from their reserves and lost for the ninth time in 12 games since they beat the Clippers on Jan. 31. It was also the Lakers’ 23rd loss in their last 27 games against the Clippers.Two days after an embarrassing road loss to NBA-worst Phoenix put a huge dent in their playoff chances, the Lakers started off as the more urgent team, taking a 10-point lead in the first quarter as the Clippers slowly rounded into form.The “visitors” got their energy where it has come from for much of the season: the bench tandem of Montrezl Harrell (14 points, 11 rebounds) and Williams, who ran a tough-to-stop pick-and-roll attack.Patrick Beverley, who took on the task of guarding James for much of the night, was also a scourge. He finished with five steals to go with his 13 points and nine rebounds as the Clippers took sole possession of seventh place in the Western Conference standings with their sixth win in eight games.Beverley took particular delight in the victory, taunting the reporters lining up outside the Lakers’ locker room postgame that the players they needed to talk to were in the locker room down the hall. He recalled a quiet scene at Clippers media day in September, as he boasted then that he was on the superior L.A. team.“Watch at the end of the year, like I said about us being the best team in L.A., a lot of people don’t believe me,” he said. “It’s fine. Women lie, men lie, numbers don’t.”The Clippers have taken two of three heading into the final meeting this season on April 5, but they have already locked up the tiebreaker between the two. If the teams split the four games, the tiebreaker defaults to division record, where the Clippers are already 11-3 to the Lakers’ 7-6. The Lakers have just three division games left and cannot catch the Clippers, who also own the tiebreaker over ninth-place Sacramento.That didn’t dampen the fire of Hart, who promised to approach Wednesday’s game against the Nuggets as if the playoffs are still within reach – which they technically, if not realistically, are.Related Articles Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook and other NBA stars pay tribute to Kobe Bryant For all the warmth the Clippers seemed to feel about furthering their own playoff quest, there was a coldness as well. When asked if it meant anything to deliver a dagger to the Lakers, Williams held the same icy edge he reserves for knocking down 3-pointers.“That’s they business,” he said. “I (couldn’t) care less.”Waves of boos descended to the court throughout the drudging march of defeat during the fourth quarter – a verdict delivered by a restless Lakers fanbase that expected a return to prominence this season. Now five games behind their crosstown rivals in the loss column with just 18 games left, the only hope that remains for the Lakers to push their way back in the playoffs is the irrational kind.That seemed to settle in during the closing minutes as the Lakers gave up a double-digit gap, failing to get back on defense against the more energized Clippers and surrendering late rebounds with little fight. It was beaten out of them throughout the course of the game as they shot 42 percent and scored just 20 points in the final frame.“They just had more energy at the end; for us, we basically played six guys,” James said. “Obviously the injuries is taking a toll on us. I thought defensively we were pretty dang-gone good under the circumstances. But offensively we just couldn’t make a shot.” On Mamba Night, the Lakers make short work of Blazers to take 3-1 series lead center_img Video: What LeBron James said about Jacob Blake … ‘Black people in America are scared’ Portland star Damian Lillard (knee) to miss Game 5 vs. Lakers “Everyone’s counting us out,” he said. “We’re probably the most criticized team in the NBA. If that doesn’t motivate you, if that doesn’t get you up in the morning, get you ready to go out there and compete, nothing will.”Others quietly seemed to pivot more toward the possibility that the Lakers’ ambitions are shifting to next season. James acknowledged that he could have a conversation with Walton in the coming weeks about whether it makes sense for him to play so many minutes down the stretch. Walton himself called the playoffs “a longshot,” and said he expected the Lakers to stay motivated because: “One, it’s our job. Two, we should all love this game.”The scaled-back expectations are normal for a team as far back in the standings as the Lakers, even if it still registers as strange that James could miss the playoffs for the first time since the 2004-05 season. But for himself, James said he will still set a high standard for the final 18 games, no matter what fate they bring.“Continue to be a professional, and be as great as you can be every single night, no matter the circumstances,” he said. “Cause someone is always watching.” For Lakers’ LeBron James, Jacob Blake’s shooting is bigger issue than a big Game 4 victory last_img read more

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Even with Kobe Bryant, Lakers are a work in progress

first_imgThey have spent the fourth quarter in two games expecting Bryant to shoot on every possession. Against Toronto, Bryant missed all three of his attempts. Against Phoenix, Bryant made two of four shots, but he largely looked for teammates who weren’t ready to shoot. “We find ourselves watching Kobe take over in the fourth,” said Lakers forward Nick Young, the former Cleveland High and USC product who grew up idolizing Bryant. “We have to realize we have to wait until he gets a couple of more games under his belt. Then he’ll take over. Right now we have to help him out. The more games we play, the more comfortable we’ll be. We’re still getting used to playing with him.”It also doesn’t help some of the Lakers’ long-term strategies in expediting Bryant’s acclimation took some short-term hits. D’Antoni overlooked Bryant’s rustiness and played him in the fourth quarter against Toronto, but the move disrupted the bench’s chemistry that featured five players scoring in double figures. Against Phoenix, D’Antoni started Shawne Williams and Jodie Meeks in hopes of adding speed and 3-point shooting around Bryant. But without two solid defenders in Robert Sacre and Wesley Johnson, Lakers forward Pau Gasol played a large part in conceding 56 points in the paint. The Lakers also went only 2 of 7 from 3-point range.“We’re struggling and I knew that could happen,” D’Antoni said. “It’s going to be up to the coaching staff and players to figure this out. Individually, each guy has to do his part and get better individually. Then we as a coaching staff have to figure out combinations and get the chemistry back.“We’re struggling with our psyche and who we are and it’s a little understandable. But we have to get over this quickly.”How?“Every single day, we have to make sure we get better at something with Kobe in the lineup,” Lakers forward Xavier Henry said. “By the time it’s halfway through the season, it will be clockwork.”But as engaged couples can attest, staying patient amid an endless parade of to-do lists can become tiresome. For the Lakers, they’re learning the hard way that their success doesn’t directly correlate with Bryant’s steady progression. Instead, it involves how they adjust to his commanding presence. “It’s more just executional things in terms of reading the defense and thinking the game. You have to look and see what’s going on and then be able to adjust all five players, Bryant said. “I have to be able to communicate to them what the adjustments and reads are and they have to be able to learn, listen and go out on the floor and execute it.” Kobe Bryant’s return to the Lakers after rehabbing his left Achilles tendon for the past eight months has nearly mirrored a typical engagement.Both parties appear ecstatic over the life-changing event, but what’s followed has entailed an endless amount of logistics to sort out. The Lakers aren’t shopping for tuxedos and gowns, completing the registry and filling out a guest list, though. The Lakers (10-11) have other unsettled issues that sparked two consecutive losses toward a 12th-place standing in the Western Conference since Bryant stepped on the court that he once dominated. What are the issues? Not much for Bryant, other than keeping his left Achilles tendon healthy, sharpening his explosiveness, reducing his turnovers, expanding his scoring touch, and ensuring team balance. Not much for Bryant’s teammates, other than learning when they should or shouldn’t defer to him, adapting to shuffling rotations, increasing their scoring workload and shoring up their season-long defensive lapses.“It’s a process,” Bryant said. “You continue to figure out what you can and can’t do. Every game you try to step out and do a little bit more and go from there.” Within two days, Bryant morphed from flunking toward becoming an honors student. He scored nine points on 2-of-9 shooting, four assists and nine turnovers in the Lakers’ 104-96 loss Sunday to the Toronto Raptors in what marked his first game in eight months. In his second act in the Lakers’ 114-108 loss Tuesday to the Phoenix Suns, Bryant rebounded with 20 points on a 6-of-11 clip, three assists and three turnovers. That’s why Bryant slid his self-imposed grading system from an F to a B.Bryant reported dropping from 225 pounds to 220 simply by playing one game. He relinquished ball-handling responsibilities both to put less pressure on his Achilles, accommodate Steve Blake’s playmaking and open up scoring opportunities through off-the-ball cuts and screens. Bryant even showed a flash of athleticism Tuesday against Phoenix with a one-handed dunk and a layup. It also helps Bryant has relied on a dependable mid-range game, thanks to his superior fundamentals and post work. “I didn’t expect to shoot the ball as well,” Bryant said. “Normally in the preseason is where I get my legs going. I shoot horrendously during the preseason because you’re trying to get your game legs back. But I put in a lot of work in the day after the game. I shot quite a bit and got my legs ready.”Some uncertainty awaits on how Bryant will handle the rigors of the Lakers’ upcoming four-game trip in five nights with stops in Oklahoma City (Friday), Charlotte (Saturday), Atlanta (Monday) and Memphis (Tuesday). He maintains he will play on the second night of back-to-backs, but Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said he hasn’t determined whether Bryant will still play slightly under 30 minutes per game. Bryant also downplayed sitting on the bench with a heating pad on his feet considering he nursed soreness in that area in past seasons.But the Lakers’ issues go beyond Bryant shedding his rustiness. center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more