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Number Seven Thousand Two Hundred and Eighty Three - 04 May 2023
Iran Daily - Number Seven Thousand Two Hundred and Eighty Three - 04 May 2023 - Page 5

Davis, James deliver as Lakers top Warriors in Game 1; Embiid named NBA MVP

Associated Press – LeBron James no longer has to do it all against Stephen Curry on the big stage, not even close. Anthony Davis plugs the middle and takes away the easy chances inside. Dennis Schröder has the energy to help chase No. 30 all over the court. D’Angelo Russell can hit a big shot with a hand in his face.
That’s the thing about these new-look Lakers – they take so much pressure off the game’s all-time scoring leader and LeBron believes in them, even with the defending champions on a 14-0 run with their home crowd rocking.
Davis had 30 points, 23 rebounds, five assists and four blocked shots, James added 22 points and 11 rebounds dueling with Stephen Curry in their latest postseason showdown, and Los Angeles held off a late flurry by the Golden State Warriors to win an entertaining Game 1 in the Western Conference semifinals 117-112 on Tuesday night.
“We’ve been playing playoff basketball for about 2 1/2 months now just to punch our clock to be able to play right now in the postseason,” James said. “We were very resilient tonight. ... We know how great they are on their home floor, so to withstand that, it’s another good step for our ballclub.”
James’ 22 points were his third-fewest in 23 playoff games against the Warriors. His previous-low in a win was 27 in Game 7 of 2016 Finals.
Jordan Poole missed a 3-pointer to tie it with 9.7 seconds left as the Warriors’ rally in the closing minutes fell short. Curry’s 3 with 1:38 left tied the game, then Russell answered right back before Davis blocked a shot by Curry moments later. James missed the first of two free throws with 1:05 to go.
Poole’s 3 with 2:48 remaining cut the Lakers’ lead to 112-109, and James was called for traveling with 1:53 left.
For all-time scoring leader James and Curry – who has the most 3-pointers ever and is reigning NBA Finals MVP – this is a new chapter in the long rivalry between the superstars after they faced off in four straight NBA Finals from 2015-2018 while James played for Cleveland.
Curry scored 27 points, Splash Brother Klay Thompson had 25, and Kevon Looney grabbed a career-high 23 rebounds for his fourth game of this postseason with 20 or more. He also had 10 points and five assists. Thompson made a 3 with 5:19 to go that cut the Lakers’ lead to 112-104.
The defending champion Warriors will try to even the series in Game 2 tonight back on their home floor at Chase Center, where LA fans could be heard chanting “Let’s go Lakers!” after the final buzzer.
Elsewhere, Jalen Brunson scored 30 points and keyed the run the New York Knicks needed just in time to get by a Miami Heat team playing without Jimmy Butler, evening the Eastern Conference semifinals at a game apiece with a 111-105 victory.
Julius Randle returned from a sprained left ankle that sidelined him in Game 1 with 25 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists, and RJ Barrett scored 24 points for the No. 5-seeded Knicks.
Caleb Martin scored 22 points in place of Butler for the Heat, who host Game 3 on Saturday afternoon.
Embiid the MVP
Meanwhile, Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid won the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award for the first time, the league announced on Tuesday.
Embiid was chosen over Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, to whom he lost the award in the past two seasons, and Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, who won back-to-back awards in 2019 and 2020.
The Cameroonian big man received 73 first-place votes from a panel of 100 broadcasters and journalists, marking the fifth consecutive win for an international player.
The 29-year-old is only the second African player to become MVP after Nigerian-American Hakeem Olajuwon from the Houston Rockets in the 1993-94 season.
The third overall 2014 draft pick led the league in scoring for a second straight year, averaging a career-high 33.1 points per game on 54.8% shooting from the field, 10.2 rebounds and 4.2 assists in addition to 66 three-pointers.


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