By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Irving aggravates injury, Nets hold off Lakers in Shanghai
AP LOGO 3.jpg

The Associated Press

Kyrie Irving flew halfway around the world to play for 66 seconds.

Irving aggravated his facial fracture shortly after tip-off in his preseason debut for the Brooklyn Nets, who beat the Los Angeles Lakers 114-111 in the opener of this year’s two-game NBA China Games series on Thursday in Shanghai.

Spencer Dinwiddie, who replaced Irving, led the Nets with 20 points and Taurean Prince finished with 18 for Brooklyn.

LeBron James scored 20 points for the Lakers, who got 18 from Rajon Rondo and 16 from Anthony Davis.

A schedule of games that included a 40-point performance from Stephen Curry and the Clippers debut of Kawhi Leonard featured an unusual scene in Shanghai.

The game was played after several events to promote the NBA’s annual appearance in China were called off because of the rift between China’s government and the league — started by a since-deleted tweet from Houston general manager Daryl Morey that supported anti-government protesters in Hong Kong.

The U.S. and Chinese national anthems were not played before the game. All media events Thursday at Mercedes-Benz Arena — including pregame availabilities, postgame news conferences and a long-scheduled media session with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver — were canceled.

The Chinese state broadcaster CCTV said it was not going to show the Lakers-Nets games on Thursday or in Shenzhen on Saturday. NBA broadcast partner Tencent also said it was changing its coverage plans for the league.

But fans came in droves, nearly every seat in the 18,000-seat arena appeared filled and they cheered for James loudest of all — as usual. James has made almost-annual visits to China during his NBA career to promote the game and his personal brand, and his popularity there is enormous.

Given fan reaction to James there this week, including being mobbed by well-wishers who chanted and snapped countless pictures with their phones as he walked through a Shanghai mall on Wednesday, not even the politically charged unrest between China and the NBA could dampen how revered he is in the world’s most populous country.



Curry scored 40 points in 25 minutes, Jordan Poole added 19 points and D’Angelo Russell had 16 for Golden State (1-1).

Curry made 14 of 19 from the field and 6 of 9 from 3-point range. The Warriors were 19 of 36 from the arc.

Jake Layman and rookie Jarrett Culver led Minnesota (0-2) with 17 points apiece. Naz Reid had 14 points and 10 rebounds.



Malik Beasley had 16 points and Nikola Jokic added 10 points and 11 rebounds for Denver (2-0).

Paul Millsap had 13 points and Michael Porter Jr. scored 12 for the Nuggets.

Montrezl Harrell led Los Angeles (1-2) with 15 points. Leonard finished with seven points and six assists in 10 minutes.



In Tokyo, Russell Westbrook and James Harden each scored 22 points to lead Houston.

Neither of the Rockets’ starting guards shot particularly well — combined, they were 13 of 33 from the field and 4 for 19 from 3-point range — and Harden missed his last six 3-point attempts. But the Rockets started fast, getting out to a 22-8 lead, and then overcame a 13-point, second-half deficit after both sides pulled most of their starters.


Steven Adams had 19 points on 9-of-12 shooting and grabbed 10 rebounds for Oklahoma City (2-0).

The Thunder scored 72 points in the paint and never trailed. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander added 18 points and Hamidou Diallo scored 16. Danilo Gallinari and Nerlens Noel did not play.


Anfernee Simons hit four 3-pointers and scored 22 points for Portland (1-1).

Zach Collins added 16 points and nine rebounds, and Skal Labissiere grabbed 15 boards. Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum and Hassan Whiteside sat out as a coach’s decision. Pau Gasol (left foot) and Jusuf Nurkic (left leg) did not play due to injuries.

KINGS 105, SUNS 88

De’Aaron Fox scored 18 points to lead Sacramento over Phoenix in a matchup featuring Marvin Bagley III and Deandre Ayton, the top two picks of the 2018 draft.

Bagley, last year’s No. 2 overall pick, had 12 points and 13 rebounds for the Kings (1-2). Buddy Hield and Yogi Ferrell each added 14 points.