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Lakers bid farewell to Staples Center with tough loss to Spurs

In the run-up to the NBA Christmas break, the Los Angeles Lakers suffered a resounding 138-110 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday before the Staples Center changed its name.

The court in downtown Los Angeles, one of the most iconic in the NBA, will be renamed Arena from Saturday, in the first name change since its opening in 1999., a cryptocurrency exchange based in Singapore, acquired the headquarters name from the Lakers and Clippers for the next 20 years in exchange for about $ 700 million, according to US media.

The new name will become effective on Christmas Day, one of the most followed by NBA fans, when the Los Angeles team will host the Brooklyn Nets.

The Lakers organized a full farewell ceremony for the name Thursday inviting prominent former players such as Robert Horry and Gary Payton and broadcasting a video with some of the best moments lived at the Staples Center, including the titles won by the late Kobe Bryant.

Once the game started, the Los Angeles team were totally outmatched by the Spurs despite 36 points from LeBron James, who remains in excellent form this month.

‘King James’, who has exceeded thirty points in five of the last seven games, was only seconded by point guard Russell Westbrook, with 30 points.

The Spurs came to dominate by 22 points midway through the fourth quarter when hundreds of Lakers fans chose to leave the court early.

In San Francisco, the Golden State Warriors beat the Memphis Grizzlies 113-104 with an exhibition of 46 points and 8 3-pointers by Stephen Curry.

The point guard, who this month became the greatest tripler in NBA history, thus achieved his fifth game with at least 40 points of the season and the 54th of his career.

The Grizzlies, with 21 points from Ja Morant and 20 from Jaren Jackson Jr., got to put the tie 102 with two minutes remaining but Curry and the Mexican-American Juan Toscano-Anderson (6 points and 6 assists) they commissioned to settle the clash for the locals.

Kemba claims 44 points

Veteran Kemba Walker excelled with 44 points for the New York Knicks in a 124-117 loss to the Washington Wizards.

Walker, a four-time All-Star, put on one of his best performances in recent years to vindicate himself at the most difficult moment of his career.

The 31-year-old point guard was separated from the rotation for nine games by coach Tom Thibodeau, in a decision that signaled him because of the franchise’s bad sports drift.

Last week, Thibodeau had to re-fish Walker due to numerous casualties from covid-19 and the point guard responded by signing 29, 21 and 44 points in the last three games, his highest score since April 2019.

Walker, who also had 9 rebounds and 8 assists on Thursday, had already 28 points at the break for the Knicks who were winning 64-57.

Despite the absence of star Bradley Beal, who entered the coronavirus protocol on Thursday, the Wizards rallied in the second half with 21 points and 12 assists from Spencer Dinwiddie.

“I felt very good. It was a good moment but I would have liked to win, to be honest,” acknowledged Walker. “It is always tough when you play so well and you are not victorious.”

“He played a monster game, but we ended up losing,” Thibodeau said of his point guard. “It’s a shame to waste that kind of effort with a game like this.”

The NBA will interrupt its activity on Friday for the Christmas holidays amid a wave of covid-19 infections that has affected more than a hundred players this month.

Among the latest basketball league stars to go into quarantine is Dominican-American center Karl-Anthony Towns (Timberwolves), who in 2020 lost his mother and other family members to the virus.

Results of Thursday’s day in the NBA:

Indiana Pacers 118-106 Houston Rockets

Orlando Magic – New Orleans Pelicans 104-110

Philadelphia 76ers – Atlanta Hawks 96-98

Miami Heat – Detroit Pistons 115-112

New York Knicks 117-124 Washington Wizards

Dallas Mavericks – Milwaukee Bucks 95-102

Denver Nuggets 107-115 Charlotte Hornets

Phoenix Suns 113-101 Oklahoma City Thunder

Utah Jazz 128-116 Minnesota Timberwolves

Golden State Warriors 113-104 Memphis Grizzlies

LA Lakers – San Antonio Spurs 110-138

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