James’ free throw gives Lakers win over Mavericks
LEBRON James walked into Staples Center on Halloween dressed as Jason from the “Friday the 13th” movies. Five hours later, he saved the Los Angeles Lakers from a horrifying ending.
The four-time MVP scored 29 points and made the game-winning free throw with 2.1 seconds left Wednesday night as the Lakers held on for a 114-113 win over the Dallas Mavericks.
“I don’t like the way we closed out the game, but for the majority of the game we played well,” James said.
Los Angeles led nearly throughout and was up 111-98 with 3:42 to go before the Mavericks went on a 15-2 run to pull even.
Luka Doncic tied it at 113 with 7.2 seconds remaining on a jumper from the corner, but on the next trip down the floor James was fouled by Wesley Mathews while shooting a jump shot.
James missed the first free throw but made the second. J.J. Barea missed a 3-pointer for Dallas as time expired, and the Lakers (3-5) stopped a two-game skid.
“NBA games are never over and you have to play the game a certain way,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said. “If you mess with the game, the game will mess with you and I thought we did that a little bit. Hopefully we can learn the same lesson even if it was a win.”
Javale Mcgee added 16 points and 15 rebounds, Kyle Kuzma scored 18 and Brandon Ingram had 17 for the Lakers.
Matthews led Dallas with 21 points and Harrison Barnes scored 19. The Mavericks (2-6) have lost five straight.
“I love the fight. Our first quarter was very disappointing but we battled back,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “We were able to get stops in the fourth quarter and we were getting some momentum on offense.”
The Lakers scored the first eight points and led by 18 in the first quarter as they went 15 of 23 from the field and made six 3-pointers.
Dallas trimmed the margin to 6659 by halftime.
Matthews’ driving bank shot pulled the Mavericks to 70-64 before the Lakers went on a 17-4 run — which included 10 points by James — to open their largest lead at 87-68 with 4:40 remaining in the third.
The closest the Mavericks got in the first eight minutes of the fourth was 98-90 with 8:12 left.
REAL Madrid began life without Julen Lopetegui with a comfortable win in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday, when it was Barcelona that struggled to defeat a third-division opponent.
Barcelona needed an injury-time goal to win 1-0 at Cultural Leonesa, while Madrid cruised to a 4-0 victory over third-tier Melilla in a first-leg match in the round of 32.
Interim coach Santiago Solari was on the bench as Madrid won with goals from Karim Benzema, Marco Asensio, Alvaro Odriozola and Cristo Gonzalez in a match played in Spain’s small enclave in Africa.
It was Madrid’s first game since Lopetegui was sacked on Monday, a day after the team was crushed 5-1 by Barcelona at Camp Nou Stadium for its fifth loss in seven matches in all competitions.
“I’m happy because the team worked hard and showed character,” Solari said. “The players showed they are fully committed.”
Benzema scored his sixth goal of the season from close range after a low pass by Odriozola in the 28th minute, and Asensio added to the lead with a one-timer from near the penalty spot after a nice set up by youngster Vinicius Junior on the final play of a rainy first half.
Vinicius Junior helped set up Odriozola’s 79th-minute goal, his first with the club. Odriozola then made the cross for the injury-time goal by Gonzalez, also his first with the main squad.
Benzema was one of the few regular starters on the team, along with captain Sergio Ramos and goalkeeper Keylor Navas. Benzema and Ramos played only the first half, being replaced by Federico Valverde and Nacho Fernandez, respectively.
Solari, who hasn’t been ruled out as a permanent replacement for Lopetegui, pleased fans in his debut by including Vinicius Junior in the lineup. Lopetegui had seldom used the 18-year-old Brazilian forward who arrived amid high expectations in the summer but had played mostly in the “B’’ squad.
One of the best players in the match, Vinicius Junior nearly scored in the 72nd with a powerful shot that struck the crossbar.
Solari, who had been coaching Madrid’s B team, is a former Argentina midfielder who played for Madrid in the early 2000s. He helped the team win the 2002 Champions League, being involved in the play that led to Zinedine Zidane’s superb winner in the final.
“We are working as if Solari will be our coach for the rest of the season,” Madrid defender Fernandez said. “He knows the club, has experience. We are not the ones making these decisions, so let’s see how it goes. But he is a great coach.”
Among the other possible candidates to replace Lopetegui are former Chelsea manager Antonio Conte and Belgium manager Roberto Martinez.
BARCELONA SURVIVES Ousmane Dembele led Barcelona’s reserves in a difficult match in northern Spain, and it was his cross from a set piece that led to Clement Lenglet’s winning header a minute into stoppage time.
Cultural Leonesa challenged the four-time defending champions throughout the match and had a few good chances to break the deadlock.
“We made some mistakes, but what was important was to win,” Lenglet said. “It’s was a good away result.”
The hosts had midfielder Sergio Marcos sent off with a second yellow card after Barcelona’s goal.
OTHER MATCHES Girona conceded in the 88th but equalized six minutes into injury time to earn a 2-2 draw at Alaves in a match between top-tier teams.
Valladolid, owned by former Brazil striker Ronaldo, cruised to a 2-1 win at second-division club Mallorca, while Getafe netted late to secure a 2-1 victory at Cordoba, another second-tier club.
The return matches in the round of 32 are scheduled for December.
a series would feature cyclists touring different countries for criterium races, which will elevate the competitive level of road cycling in Asia.
“We are thrilled to be hosting the first Criterium Bike Race in Myanmar. This event will be another noteworthy milestone for MCF as we look to continue enhancing the vibrancy of the local cycling scene. Our goal is to create a high-level event that will introduce the criterium cycling competition format, engage the community and ultimately promote cycling to more people. It will also provide up-and-coming cyclists an opportunity to gain racing experience in a safe, closed-road course. We invite the Mandalay community to come out on the morning of 11 November to experience the event, as our venue will allow easy viewing of the races”, U Khin Maung Win was quoted as saying in the statement.
U Khin Maung Win is the President of Myanmar Cycling Federation and Chairman of Myan Shwe Pyi Group (MSP CAT), the leading supporter of cycling development in the country.
Being a cycling enthusiast Dr. Zaw Myint Maung, Chief Minister of Mandalay Region has endorsed the Criterium Bike Race.
He will participate in a bike ride to inaugurate the event, together with other officials and representatives from partner organisations. In addition, 5,000 students will be in attendance at the event to cheer the participants. A selection of students will also participate in a bike ride to share the positive message of “Ride for Peace”, the statement further said.
Up to six each from Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, India and Myanmar will participate in the Men U-23 and Men Junior (U-19) Categories.
More than 100 local cyclists are expected to participate in the Open (aged under 40) and Masters Categories (aged 40 and above).
Prize money will be awarded to the first three winners of each race category. – The Myanmar Times