Chan­dler’s de­but with home­town Lak­ers a big one

The News & Observer - - Sports -

Tyson Chan­dler sa­vored the ova­tions when he first took the court in down­town Los An­ge­les. The cheers at the end were even sweeter.

The Lak­ers’ newest big man got to rep­re­sent his home­town Wed­nes­day night for the first time in his 18 NBA sea­sons, and he came up big­ger and bet­ter than even he ex­pected in a hard-fought win over the Min­nesota Tim­ber­wolves in which he pro­vided de­fense, re­bound­ing and hard picks in 23 min­utes.

Chan­dler’s nine re­bounds in­cluded two enor­mous of­fen­sive boards in the last minute. He then con­tested Der­rick Rose’s fi­nal 3-point at­tempt, forc­ing a miss that es­sen­tially sealed the win.

“It’s hon­estly all love,” Chan­dler said. “I love this city the way they love me. When you’re home­grown from here and go­ing to high school and all that and you’ve had th­ese same fans, and now you rep­re­sent the jer­sey that ev­ery­body has been cheer­ing for their en­tire lives, you kind of be­come one.” Rap­tors 114, Kings 105: Kawhi Leonard isn’t mak­ing a big deal out of Toronto’s NBA-best 11-1 start. He’s try­ing to stay fo­cused on the nu­ances of coach Nick Nurse’s of­fense. Once that hap­pens, Leonard says, the Rap­tors will re­ally get rolling.

Leonard had 25 points and 11 re­bounds in his re­turn from an an­kle in­jury, and Toronto beat the Kings in Sacra­mento.

“This isn’t our ceil­ing,” Leonard said. “With me not even know­ing some of the of­fense, we have Kyle (Lowry) in the game most of the time. Once I start learn­ing the of­fense, I can give him a lit­tle break and let him get some eas­ier shots.”

Toronto has won five straight since its lone loss this sea­son at Mil­wau­kee on Oct. 29.


Heat: Guard Dwyane Wade missed Wed­nes­day’s win over the Spurs be­cause of per­sonal rea­sons. That rea­son has now been made pub­lic. Wade and his wife, ac­tress Gabrielle Union, an­nounced the ar­rival of their daugh­ter Thurs­day. She was born Wed­nes­day via a sur­ro­gate.

It’s Wade’s fourth child and Union’s first.

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