Watch Lillard hit clutch 3, Grant hit game-winner lifting Trail Blazers past 0-3 Lakers – NBC Sports

Dame Time is back.
But when Portland needed a game-winner it turned to summer acquisition Jerami Grant, who went right at LeBron James and got a shot up around Anthony Davis with :03 left on the clock.
GRANT. GAME. WINNER.#RipCity | @JeramiGrant pic.twitter.com/uDqxZgcdwo
— Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) October 23, 2022

The Trail Blazers closed the game on an 11-2 run and picked up the win 106-104, improving Portland to 3-0 and keeping the Lakers winless at 0-3.
Lillard finished the game with 41 points, and his pull-up 3-pointer with :12.4 left gave the Trail Blazers a late lead.
#YKWTII ⌚️#RipCity | @Dame_Lillard pic.twitter.com/rhrv3gOglb
— Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) October 23, 2022

LeBron James — 31 points, eight rebounds and eight assists on the night — tied the game when he drove past Jusuf Nurkic out high and no Trail Blazer came to help, giving LeBron the easiest clutch dunk he’s ever had. Then it was Grant’s turn to steal the spotlight. LeBron missed a tough fadeaway as time expired, and that was the ballgame.
It was another frustrating loss for the Lakers, who led 102-95 with 1:56 to play but didn’t execute and had missed shots by Davis, LeBron and Westbrook (a pull-up jumper with :27 seconds left in the game, 18 seconds on the shot clock and the Lakers still ahead by one, he said after the game he wanted to go for a two-for-one). The Lakers’ late-game execution was sloppy, letting down another solid defensive performance. The Lakers also missed 17 of their first 18 3-pointers on the night (6-of-33 for the game).
One of the season’s better stories is John Wall‘s return. He had played 40 games over the three seasons prior to this due to a combination of injuries and being in Houston at the wrong time. This season he has been solid in a backup role with the Clippers, averaging 11.4 points and 5.8 rebounds a game, being a quality floor general with the reserves.
However, the Clippers need a spark — and their two best players to be on the court consistently, but that’s another issue entirely — and Shams Charania of The Athletic reports they are willing to trade Wall to get it in the form of a backup big.
The Clippers are searching for depth in the frontcourt and have discussed guard John Wall in potential deals, league sources say. Behind Ivica Zubac, the Clippers have relied heavily on two-way big man Moses Brown but have also looked into a more accomplished center.
The Clippers also reportedly have interest in Jazz point guard Mike Conley, which would change the pecking order at the one in L.A.
Wall is making $6.5 million on a two-year contract with the Clippers (his $6.8 million is a team option).
There are name bigs available such as Jakob Poeltl or John Collins, but the Clippers might be looking more at someone like Nerlens Noel (also reportedly available from the Pistons, and the Clippers could get him with Wall and a player on a minimum).
Halfway into the fourth season of the Kawhi Leonard/Paul George era with the Clippers, there is still a “let’s see what we’ve got when everyone is healthy” feeling around this team, but at this point are we ever going to see it? If we do later this year, will it be with enough time to build good habits, such as sharp defensive rotations that they will need in the postseason — this is not a “flip the switch” team with a reservoir of good habits they can dip into (like the Warriors), the Clippers have never built that with this unit. There are games, even stretches of games with Leonard playing where you can see the potential of this team, but at this point it’s hard to imagine them sustaining that level.
A trade would help bring a spark, even if it’s just for a backup big man. But it will take more than that in Los Angeles, where the Clippers will head into the summer with some big questions to answer — starting with what to do with Wall.
It may be a debate about Michael Jordan being the GOAT on the court, but what goes unquestioned is his influence around the game — from the still sky-high sales of Air Jordan’s to the branding and commercials, not to mention a generation of loyal fans that worship him to this day.
Steve Kerr saw that up close. Now he coaches Stephen Curry and sees the same thing — like MVP chants in Washington, D.C.
“He’s the modern MJ”
Coach Kerr with the ultimate praise for Steph 🐐 pic.twitter.com/ffkevnJEWq
— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) January 16, 2023

“He’s the modern MJ. I used to see this playing with the Bulls. Half the crowd’s got red 23 jerseys on and now half the crowd’s got blue and yellow 30 jerseys.
“Steph transcends the game. He elicits an emotion from people, I think, because he’s so awe-inspiring with his play that, no matter where we go, there are people cheering for him and can’t wait to see him perform because we’ve never seen anything like him. And I think people can relate to him because he’s not this superhero, in terms of his size and strength. He’s 6-foot-3, 185 [pounds]. There’s a lot of people out there that size but none who can do what he can do. He’s incredibly inspiring and as a result, we get a ton of support on the road.”
Kerr is the person best suited to make this comparison, Curry was asked about Kerr’s comments and had this response, via Ali Thanawalla of NBC Sports Bay Area.
“I think everything you take the floor and you feel that energy, I don’t ever take that for granted because it wasn’t always like that,” Curry said. “And that’s what we play the game for, in a sense of fans being a part of the journey, coming out and spending their hard-earned money on tickets, and creating the atmosphere like we had tonight, it was, from the time we ran out on the floor for warmups, throughout the whole game, it was amazing.
“Fortunately, we feel that most nights on the road and at home, obviously. That means a lot. So I’ll leave that to him to make the comparison but it is special knowing what our accomplishments have done in terms of bringing that atmosphere night after night, even on the road.”
On the influence level, Curry can get mentioned in the same breath as Jordan (and maybe passed LeBron James in some ways, although LeBron’s influence with players off the court in terms of branding and how he handles his business has changed a generation). Kerr is not wrong, see the Warriors play on the road anywhere and the arena is filled with Curry jerseys — often on the youth at the game, fans ages 10 to 16 who then head play in local leagues, or for their junior high or high school, and try to emulate what Curry does. Those fans fill the arenas where the Warriors will play more than an hour before game time to watch him warm up.
Kerr also hit the nail on the head with Curry being more relatable. It’s one of the reasons that Allen Iverson and Derrick Rose reached such levels of fame — it’s hard to imagine yourself as LeBron, a massive 6’9″ human being touched by the gods and bestowed historic athleticism. Same with Kevin Durant or Giannis Antetokounmpo — we admire and appreciate their greatness, but the fandom feels slightly different. Curry is much more normal human-sized. Fans can envision themselves in his shoes.
It also only works because he wins — if Curry didn’t have four rings, it would all feel hollow. But he has won, and with that turned the Warriors into a national brand for a generation of fans.
Three Things To Know is NBC’s five-days-a-week wrap-up of the night before in the NBA. Check out NBCSports.com every weekday morning to catch up on what you missed the night before plus the rumors, drama, and dunks that make the NBA must-watch.

1) “Old man” LeBron drops 48 on Rockets

Rockets rookie Jabari Smith had the highlight of the night. Mic’d up, he went up to LeBron James early in the game and reminded the Lakers star just how old he is — his first NBA game was against Smith’s dad.
“You feel old, don’t you?” 🤣
Jabari Smith Jr. had a fun fact for LeBron 😂#CenterCourt pic.twitter.com/0HCJ5N8nAH
— NBA TV (@NBATV) January 17, 2023

“It made me feel extremely old when junior said that…” LeBron said with a smile postgame. “I’ve been extremely blessed to be able to play this game to touch multiple generations, I mean Kenyon Martin Jr. was out on the court tonight and I played against his dad.”
LeBron didn’t look old in the final game of Martin Luther King day, scoring 48 points — all of which the Lakers needed to beat the Rockets 140-132, snapping a three-game losing streak for Los Angeles. He also had eight rebounds and nine assists.
LeBron dropped a season-high in the Lakers W.
48 points
8 rebounds
9 assists
5 threes
👑 pic.twitter.com/E6oZ1S5wtt
— NBA (@NBA) January 17, 2023

It was the second night of a back-to-back for the Lakers, and in an ideal world it might have been a night LeBron got off — he admitted to being sore after the Lakers’ loss to the 76ers the night before. But his team was five games below .500, it can’t wait on wins anymore, so LeBron suited up.
“I could have very easily took tonight off, but I don’t feel like the momentum of our ball club could use me taking a night off tonight,” LeBron said. “I don’t feel like I wanted to sit on that loss to Philly last night, I wanted to get that out of my tastebuds and see if we could win a ballgame tonight.”
Russell Westbrook scored 24 off the bench for the Lakers (and reportedly had some words with the Lakers coaches during the game, although it got downplayed when everyone was asked postgame). Alperen Şengun led the Rockets with 33 with 15 rebounds, while Jalen Green added 23.
The Lakers can’t sustain winning if it takes 48 from LeBron to beat the lowly Rockets. The good news is Jared Greenberg of NBA TV reports he was told Anthony Davis is on pace to return before the end of the month. That would be the boost the Lakers need.
Anthony Davis is out getting a little pregame sweat in. Darvin Ham said there is no timeline for his return yet, he’s limited to work in the halfcourt and hasn’t been running fullcourt yet. pic.twitter.com/wH0fD7gKD2
— Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk) January 16, 2023

There was a time that the best player on the best team was the automatic MVP frontrunner. This season, that would be Jayson Tatum, but in an East deep with frontcourt talent he might not even start the All-Star Game.
Monday he went out against the Hornets and made an MVP statement.
Watch: Jayson Tatum drops 51 points over the Hornets for the Celtics seventh straight win ☘️#BleedGreen pic.twitter.com/gA4DkxgJIK
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) January 16, 2023

Tatum said postgame that he had gotten close to 50 earlier in the season but the Celtics had that game in the bag so he didn’t push for it. After that game, NBA legend Jamal Crawford texted him and said when you have a chance for a historic 50, you do it. So Tatum drained a 3-pointer with :38 seconds left to get to 51. That’s seven 50-point games in Tatum’s career.
The Celtics beat the Hornets130-118 (the second time they played in three days, and the second Celtics win). Derrick White had 19 points and eight assists, while Malcolm Brogdon added 16 for the Celtics. That’s seven straight wins for the Celtics.
Stephen Curry is a walking cheat code.
UNREAL, STEPH 😱 pic.twitter.com/EUIMpsehCq
— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) January 16, 2023

He put up 41 on the Wizards on Monday in the nation’s capital and is back to drawing MVP chants on the road with his play.
MVP chants for Steph in D.C. 🐐 pic.twitter.com/ljy09cs3XA
— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) January 16, 2023

The Warriors picked up a needed road win 127-118 behind Curry and Jordan Poole‘s 32 (he started and stepped up with Klay Thompson resting on a back-to-back). This win was needed because things get wild from here for Golden State: They visit the White House to celebrate their title, then have to face the Celtics and Cavaliers in a back-to-back.
The win moved the Warriors to .500 and into seventh place in the West, within striking distance of the safety of the top six. If the Warriors can get in that top six and get to the playoffs healthy — and with some good habits built up, like the ones they showed against the Wizards — they are a threat in a still wide-open conference.
The Wizards have dropped five of six and sit 12th in the East, but they should get Bradley Beal back soon and are hoping that will key a turnaround.
The fact that Lonzo Ball spoke to reporters for the first time since media day at the Bulls’ first practice since arriving in Paris for the NBA’s Paris Game — Thursday against the Detroit Pistons — says more than any words he would speak. Only a handful of team media would be on hand, meaning fewer reporters, a shorter scrum and fewer headlines.
What Ball said about his recovery from a second knee surgery — he has not played a game for the Bulls in over a calendar year — was not new: He hopes to return to play this season but there is no timetable for his return. K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago was one of those reporters in Paris.
“I mean, naturally, yeah, everything is on a time schedule,” Ball said, when asked about the possibility of running out of time [to play this season]. “But I’m trying to stay positive, keep my hopes up. I would love to play. I would never count that out. It’s a long year, I feel like we’re hitting our stride right now. So hopefully I can keep getting better, the team will keep getting better and we can meet up.”
Ball also acknowledged that he has not been cleared for running full speed daily or cutting, so there is still a lot of ramping up to do. However, there had been optimism in the wake of Ball posting videos of him running on Instagram.

A post shared by Lonzo Ball ✪ (@lonzoball)

Ball was asked about those videos.
“Just that the process was starting. To be able to do something, getting back on the floor a little bit, starting to run on the treadmill,” he said. “Obviously, there’s still some discomfort and some hitching in there. But it’s the process of getting everything started.
“That was my first time running in pretty much a year. So just for me it was positive just to get on a treadmill and do something. It’s not my normal gait. Obviously, I’ve got to work through that. There’s going to be pain there because of the surgeries and I’m getting back in and moving things. But I’m just trying to stay positive and move forward.”
Ball had his first knee surgery in January 2022 and the hope — even expectation — was he would return for the playoffs. However, when Ball’s knee didn’t respond well during rehab things were slowed down, and when it still wasn’t improving he had a second knee surgery before the season. That recovery is going slowly as well.
Chicago has played better of late, but it’s still easy to see where they miss Ball on defense (where he was most valuable), in transition, and as a floor general. The Bulls were 22-13 with him last season, and he averaged 13.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 5.1 assists, a game.
Hopefully, we see him this year, but at what point do the Bulls just shelve that idea?

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