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Lakers Defeat Nuggets 117-107 to Advance to First NBA Finals Since 2010
09/27/2020 3:41am

In 2013, Indiana Pacers head coach Frank Vogel had his team onewin away from reaching the NBA Finals. Instead, he was thwarted by then-MiamiHeat forward LeBron James and never reached his dream of coaching in theFinals.Seven years later, Vogel is now the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, and instead of staying up all night strategizing on how to stop LeBron James, hes drawing up plays for the superstar who has now become the new face of the franchise. James recorded his 27th career triple-double and the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Denver Nuggets, 117-107, in Game 5 to win the series 4-1, and advance to the NBA Finals.I dont know if Ive ever witnessed a guy takeover a game the way he LeBron James did tonight, said Vogel. It was remarkable. Doing what he did on the defensive end, guarding their hottest player, and then obviously taking over down the stretch tonight.With 4:34 remaining in the game, the Nuggets cut the Lakers 16-point lead down to just four. Thats when James put the Lakers on his back, scoring the teams next nine points to put the game out of reach for the Never Say Die Nuggets. He told us it was his time, said teammate Anthony Davis of James. They cut it to four and then he just took over. Everybody just kind of got out of the way and let him be him. He took it home for us. James had 16 points in the fourth quarter, and finished with a game-high 38 points, 16 rebounds, and 10 assists in the victory. James will now play in his 10th career NBA Finals next week.I channeled it through my teammates. My teammates said bring us home, and Its my responsibility to help us win ball games, said James on the TNT broadcast about taking the game over in the final few minutes. My shoulders are wide enough to carry that load and Im happy to be in this position.After stints in Cleveland, Miami, and Cleveland again, James joined the Lakers as a free agent in the summer of 2018. The King declared that it would be his mission to return the Lakers to championship glory, and he delivered in just his second season.This run is about LeBron James and Anthony Davis, and all the guys that bought into starring in their role, said Vogel. Its about the Lakers family that is used to being in this position used to being in the Finals, used to winning championships. Its been a long time for them.Ironically, James has not even been the primary source of offense for the Lakers throughout the playoffs. That honor has gone to forward Anthony Davis, who finished with 27, but James was simply unstoppable when it mattered most.This is the reason why I wanted to be a teammate of his and why I wanted him here, James said of Davis, who he compared to John C. Reileys character in the movie Stepbrothers. I wanted him to see things that he hasnt seen before in this league.For the first time in his illustrious career, Davis will now see the NBA Finals. It might not be on the floor at Staples Center, or in front of a sold-out arena, but it will be with the Larry OBrien trophy on the line. When I first got here I told him I wanted to get him back to the Finals, and he told me he wanted to get me my first ring, said Davis. I tell him all the time, you got my back, I got your back.In every contest, theres a winner, and theres a loser. In this instance it was the Denver Nuggets who were ever gracious in defeat on Saturday.We came up a little short obviously, but you have to give the Lakers a ton of credit. Frank Vogel and their staff did an amazing job. LeBron took over like great players take over in games like this, said Nuggets head coach Mike Malone. You tip your cap, you give them credit, and you use this as motivation to come back even better and not be satisfied with just making the Western Conference Finals. Our goal still remains to win a championship.The Comeback Kids were not supposed to lose this game. They were a perfect 6-0 in elimination games during their playoff run, and were the first team in NBA history to overcome not one, but two different 3-1 series deficits. Facing their third consecutive 3-1 series deficit should have been old hat for this Nuggets team, but when you flirt with fire, youre gonna get burned, and thats what happened to Denver on Saturday night. Im so proud, said Malone of his team after the loss. What more could you ask from a group What more commitment, sacrifice, just everything in the last 82 days our team has gone through The history that weve made, the adversity that weve faced, I couldnt be more proud.Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets best player, was in foul trouble throughout the night. Jamal Murray, their second best player, and arguably the best guard in the playoffs thus far, suffered a right knee contusion and did not look like his usual dominant self in the second half.I got a bone bruise that hurt me all game. I tried to play through it. I was in pain. I was struggling a little bit today. 82 days in the bubble and a lot of minutes. I didnt have the energy I needed to have for my teammates today, said Murray. We played hard. We played together. We fought for one another. We trusted one another. We stayed with it game after game and we proved that we could come back down 3-1 twice. We proved we could challenge the Clippers, who were the favorites and the Lakers. I wish things went differently, but Im proud of our guys.Jokic and Murray finished with a combined 39 points and fought til the bitter end, but ultimately James and Davis turned out to be too much for them to overcome.Today they were better. said Jokic. They won the game. LeBron was amazing. AD scored a lot of points and hes a really big attraction for us. The Lakers went into Game 5 determined not to give the Nuggets any life in the series. Just as Denver was undefeated when facing elimination, so too were the Lakers when playing with an opportunity to close out the series. Inevitably, something had to give, and it was not going to be the Lakers.After missing the playoffs for the first time since 2005 last season, James vowed he would return this season with a renewed focus, and a new hashtag to boot: WashedKing. James used the pundits who said he was no longer the same dominant player that won three NBA Finals MVP Awards as fuel, and promised to return the Lakers to their rightful place among the Pantheon of the greatest teams in sports history.That promise was validated on Saturday.The Lakers now advance to their 32nd NBA Finals appearance in franchise history, where they will face either the Miami Heat or the hated Boston Celtics in the championship.Regardless of their opponent, history will come full circlein one way or another for the Lakers. The last time the Lakers played in the NBA Finals inOrlando, Florida was in 2009 when Kobe Bryant led the Lakers to their 15thchampionship in team history. A year later, the last time they were in the NBA Finals,they defeated the rival Celtics in seven games, once again led by the BlackMamba for their 16th championship. Bryant tragically passed away in a helicopter crash in January, and LeBron and the Lakers have dedicated their season to him. Now, they will try and honor his legacy in the best way possible: with an NBA record 17th NBA Championship.Every time you put on the purple and gold you think about his legacy and what he accomplished in 20 years, said James of Bryant. What he demanded out of his teammates and what he demanded out of himself. Our games are different, but as far as our mindset and our drive to always want to be victorious, its similar. It stops you from sleeping. Im one of the few who can understand that mindset.

NFL Star Patrick Mahomes, Fiancée Brittany Matthews Expecting Their First Baby
09/30/2020 4:26am

Theres a baby and possibly a future all-star athlete on the way for Patrick Mahomes and Brittany Matthews.Just a few weeks after the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback proposed to his high school sweetheart, the couple announced they are also expecting their first child together. Mom & Dad, taking a small detour to the wedding, Matthews captioned a sweet Instagram photo on Tuesday.In the snapshot, Mahomes, 25, and Matthews, also 25, pose with the babys sonogram. The NFL star shared the same image with a heart emoji. Mahomes proposed to Matthews shortly after the Chiefs Super Bowl LIV ring ceremony on Sept. 1. He led her to a suite inside Arrowhead Stadium, which was decked out in floral arrangements and a lit sign that read WILL YOU MARRY ME.After accepting a massive diamond ring, the personal trainer thanked her future husband and said the proposal left her speechless. 2020 Celebrity BabiesOn a day that was meant to celebrate you, you turned it into celebrating us, she gushed on social media. Its always us, its always you and me. The words you looked into my eyes and said to me at this moment, will NEVER leave my mind You made this day perfect, you took my entire breath away and I could not have imagined anything better. I love you, forever and always Cheers to spending our lifetime together and an inseparable bond.Since getting engaged, Mahomes began a new NFL season with the Chiefs. Not one to ever miss a game, Matthews is also adjusting to the leagues COVID-19 safety protocols as she cheers on her fianc in person. Game Day pics coming at ya a little different this year But thats okay cause GO CHIEFSSSS, she recently shared.This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

Woman Accused of Trying to Kidnap Joe Montana's 9-Month-Old Granddaughter Pleads Not Guilty
09/29/2020 8:03pm

Felony charges were filed Tuesday against a woman who allegedly tried to snatch NFL legend Joe Montanas 9-month-old granddaughter from a Malibu home.Sodsai Predpring Dalzell, 39, pleaded not guilty to one count each of attempted kidnapping of a child under 14 and first-degree residential burglary with a person present, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorneys Office.Montana flagged down deputies from the sheriffs Lost Hills station about 5 p.m. Saturday. He told them his 9-month-old grandchild had been sleeping in a playpen in the living room when an unknown woman entered the home in the 22100 block of Pacific Coast Highway, removed the baby and walked upstairs with the child in her arms.Mr. Montana and his wife Jennifer confronted the female, attempted to de-escalate the situation and asked for the suspect to give back their grandchild. A tussle ensued, and Mrs. Montana was able to safely pry the child out of the suspects arms, according to a sheriffs statement. 202012 hours agoJoe Biden Releases 2019 Tax Returns Ahead of Presidential DebatemalibuSep 27Joe Montana, Wife Thwart Kidnapping of Grandchild From Malibu HomeDeputies found Dalzell nearby and arrested her. Shes being held in lieu of $150,000 bail.The 64-year-old Montana tweeted about the incident Sunday afternoon, saying, Thank you to everyone who has reached out. Scary situation, but thankful that everybody is doing well. We appreciate respect for our privacy at this time.The sheriffs Malibu/Lost Hills station is asking anyone with information regarding the attempted kidnapping to call them at 818-878-1808. Tips can also be made through CrimeStoppers online here.This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

Titans, Vikings Suspend Team Activities After NFL's First COVID-19 Outbreak
09/29/2020 3:07pm

The Tennessee Titans and Minnesota Vikings have suspended in-person activities through Friday after several players and personnel members on the Titans team tested positive for the coronavirus after Sundays game. It marks the first COVID-19 outbreak of the NFL season in Week 4.The outbreak threatened to jeopardize the Titans game this weekend against the Pittsburgh Steelers.The NFL issued a statement Tuesday saying three Titans players and five other personnel tested positive. The Vikings said they had not received any positive results from their testing after Sundays game against the Titans. They also said they followed NFL protocol by closing their facility immediately and were working to determine when they can reopen. The Vikings are scheduled to take on the Houston Texans. Is not yet clear if that upcoming contest will be played. Both clubs are working closely with the NFL and the NFLPA, including our infectious disease experts, to evaluate close contacts, perform additional testing and monitor developments, the league said. The Titans 3-0 are scheduled to host the Steelers 3-0 on Sunday in a matchup of two of the leagues seven remaining undefeated teams. With the Titans not able to practice until Saturday at the earliest, when that game might be played is unknown.All decisions will be made with health and safety as our primary consideration, the NFL said. We will continue to share updates as more information becomes available.Spokesman Burt Lauten said the Steelers have been in contact with the NFL about the Titans positive tests.We have been informed to proceed with our game preparations for Sundays game until we are informed otherwise, Lauten said in a statement.Steelers defensive tackle Cam Heywardwrote on Twitterthat the guys playing the next week now wind up affected.This is wild but this is the world we live in now, Heyward wrote.The Titans initially announced Tuesday morning that they would be working remotely out of an abundance of caution after several test results came back positive. They beat the Vikings 31-30in Minneapolis last weekend withoutoutside linebackers coach Shane Bowen, who did not travel with the Titans following a test result Saturday.Coach Mike Vrabel said Monday that Bowen was not with the team. Rookie offensive lineman Isaiah Wilson, their top draft pick out of Georgia, also has been on thereserve/COVID-19 listfor the Titans since Sept. 6.Last week the NFL reported no positive COVID-19 tests among players, though two players did test positive the week before.At the collegiate level, Notre Dame said on Monday they put 39 players in isolation or quarantine after 18 players tested positive for COVID-19.This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

New California Law Prompted by Crash That Killed Kobe Bryant
09/29/2020 4:42am

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday approved legislation prompted by the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant and eight other people that makes it a crime for first responders to take unauthorized photos of deceased people at the scene of an accident or crime.Reports surfaced after the Jan. 26 crash that killed Bryant, his daughter Gianna and the others that graphic photos of the victims were being shared.Eight deputies were accused of taking or sharing graphic photos of the scene, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said then, adding that he had ordered the images deleted. He said the department has a policy against taking and sharing crime scene photos, but it did not apply to accident scenes.The measure that will take effect Jan. 1 makes it a misdemeanor with fines up to $1,000 per offense to take such photos for anything other than an official law enforcement purpose.Bryants widow, Vanessa Bryant, has sued the department over the photos.

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