Flynn, Dekker rally Raptors to preseason win over Wizards
LOS_ANGELES (AP), — Steve Kerr, the Warriors’ coach, is as curious as any NBA observer to watch how Russell Westbrook mixes with Lakers stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis in his latest “Big Three” effort to capture a championship in Los Angeles.
Kerr was on the visitors’ bench when the Lakers’ star-studded, veteran trio played together for the first time this preseason on Tuesday night, when all three scored in double digits during the first three quarters of a 111-99 loss to Golden State.
” “It’s an interesting combination and all three of them have been incredible players,” Kerr stated. “To see how it all fits together, I’m sure the whole league will be curious in .”
Kerr recalls being a TV analyst in Miami when James joined the first “Big Three” and how Wade and James played together over the years. Before winning the championships the following two seasons, the Heat lost in finals the first time these three players were together.
” “This stuff takes time,” Kerr stated. “It’s going to look much different at the end of the year than it does now.”
Davis scored 20 in 30 minutes; James added 17 points in 26 minutes; and Westbrook had 10 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in 28-plus minutes.
But James and Westbrook also combined for 11 turnovers.
” This is to be expected when the guys are still learning each other,” Frank Vogel, Lakers coach, said. “We are working together to get on the same page on that stuff but this is their first time playing together. So, I’m more concerned about getting us connected on the defensive end.”
Westbrook wasn’t ready to forecast how long he expected it to take for him, James and Davis to fully adjust to playing together
“I know that’s a question everybody keeps asking. There is no real answer. We will play like any other team, and then we’ll figure out. It doesn’t matter when the first game is, we don’t have to figure it all out. We all have one goal, and that is to win a championship. There will be ups and downs throughout the season. There will also be downs. There will be difficulties. As long as we’re together on the same page is all that matters.”
James, too, preached patience.
” It will take us a while to be the team we are capable of becoming. James stated that it was all about being patient, working through the process and understanding that there will be frustrating moments. “Russell has always been the league leader in speed, so we want him to keep up the pace but also to be smart and not just do it like we have been. This was learning .”
Kerr, which gave stars Stephen Curry & Draymond Green the night off. Klay Thompson is still not ready to return from right-side Achilles surgery. The opportunity to play against the Lakers and the Lakers’ dress rehearsal with most of their veterans stars energized those Warriors in uniform.
Jordan Poole scored 18 points for the Warriors. His driving tomahawk dunk in the final quarter was a highlight. Damion Lee and Otto Porter Jr. each scored 16 points.
The Warriors and Lakers will face off next Tuesday in the first night of the regular season.
RAPTORS 113, WIZARDS 108
WASHINGTON (AP) — Malachi Flynn scored 13 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter and the Toronto Raptors closed out their preseason with a 113-108 victory over the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night.
Sam Dekker scored 12 of his 18 points in the final period to help the Raptors (3-2) erase an eight-point deficit during the final 12 minutes.
Kyle Kuzma made six of the eight 3-pointers that he attempted. The Wizards (0-3) closed out their preseason with a record 24 score in less than 30 minute.
Montrezl Harrell scored 17 and Kantavious Caldwell-Pope scored 15 for Washington, which led by as many as 14 points after Deni Avdija’s 3 late in the third quarter.
Gary Trent Jr. scored 12 points for Toronto, which played without forward OG Anunobi, forward-center Chris Boucher, wing Yuta Watanabe, forward Pascal Siakam and guard Fred VanVleet. Forward Precious Achiuwa, acquired from Miami in a sign-and-trade that sent star guard Kyle Lowry from the Raptors to the Heat, had nine points and 10 rebounds. Scottie Barnes, a top Toronto draft pick, had nine points and seven assists.
Washington guard Scottie Barnes was the first-round draft pick. Corey Kispert played 17 minutes, scoring just two points and assisting with three others.
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