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Who’s the best 3-point shooter on the Lakers? LeBron James, Anthony Davis weigh in

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The Los Angeles Lakers went into Friday with the third-best 3-point percentage in the league and were hot from the outside once again in their 112-95 win over the New Orleans Pelicans, hitting 15 3s at Staples Center.

LeBron James was responsible for two of them, going 2-for-6 from deep, which caused his season percentage to dip ever so slightly to 38.2% — which would be the second-best 3-point shooting season of his 18-year career should he keep it up.

Earlier in the week, Lakers coach Frank Vogel said James was “probably the best shooter on our team,” which begs the question: Does James agree with his coach?

“I mean, we got a lot of great shooters on the team, man,” James said. “KCP [Kentavious Caldwell-Pope], a great shooter. Wes Matthews, great shooter. Kuz [Kyle Kuzma] can shoot the heck out of the ball. Dennis the Menace [Dennis Schroder] can shoot the ball. AD [Anthony Davis] can shoot the ball. So we got a lot of great knock-down shooters.

“Obviously, if someone says, ‘Bet,’ then obviously you guys know, I’m going to take myself. That’s just the competitive nature in me and the work ethic that I put into my shot. But I feel real good with my shot right now, both from the free throw line and also from the 3-point line, and I want to continue that.”

Davis, who lifted his 3-point marksmanship from 33% in his first season in L.A. to 39.4% going into the Pelicans game, slotted James a bit lower.

“I would have to say Kenny is always our guy who we always look to for shots,” Davis said, referring to Caldwell-Pope. “Wes is still struggling to find his consistent 3. He’s been getting open looks, but I still put Wes up there. I put Bron third, just because of this year he’s been able to shoot the ball extremely well. Marc [Gasol] can shoot it. Marc is up there. And then I put myself. Dudz [Jared Dudley]. AC [Alex Caruso].”

For those scoring at home, that is nine different 3-point shooters rattled off by the Lakers’ co-captains — and doesn’t even include guys such as Quinn Cook and Markieff Morris, who live beyond the arc when they’re on the court.

Caldwell-Pope, who shot 4-for-6 from 3 on Friday and moved past Metta World Peace for ninth place on the Lakers’ all-time franchise list for 3-pointers made, was not ready to crown James as the team’s 3-point shooting king so long as he is involved.

“Numbers don’t lie,” he said, alluding to the career-best 55.3% he’s shooting from 3 so far this season. “But I’m really enjoying LeBron shooting the ball. He’s shooting it at a tremendous clip. He’s knocking them down and it’s fun seeing him have [success] shooting the ball as well. But we all know, I’m the real shooter, for sure.”

He might have a legitimate claim there, but, as Davis pointed out, everyone also knows that James gets certain privileges that Caldwell-Pope will never see.

“You know LeBron’s always going to be up there because he shoots a ton of them, especially when he gets hot, and starts shooting halfcourt and things like that,” Davis said. “I don’t think Coach will allow Kenny to do that.”

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Milwaukee Bucks expect guard Jrue Holiday back in lineup on Sunday, sources say, after 10-game absence

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After missing 10 consecutive games, Milwaukee Bucks guard Jrue Holiday is likely to return to the lineup against the visiting LA Clippers on Sunday, sources told ESPN.

The Bucks have been largely inconsistent without Holiday, who has been out for three weeks as part of the league’s health and safety protocols.

Holiday practiced on Saturday with the Bucks, and he has progressed in ramping up his conditioning this week.

After starting the season 15-8, the Bucks have struggled to a 5-5 record without Holiday. The Bucks are down in points per game (121.2 to 117.6), point differential (9.8 to 2.5) and assists per game (27.2 to 23.7).

Holiday has averaged 16.4 points, 5.4 assists and 4.8 rebounds, including shooting 50% from the floor and 38.7% on 3-pointers.

The Bucks acquired Holiday from the New Orleans Pelicans in a blockbuster four-team trade during the offseason.

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Sources — Toronto Raptors’ Pascal Siakam expected to remain in protocol through All-Star break

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Toronto Raptors star Pascal Siakam is expected to remain in the league’s health and safety protocol through the All-Star break, missing the final three games of the first half, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Siakam sat out Friday’s victory over Houston in the protocol.

The Raptors were without Siakam and six coaches, including head coach Nick Nurse, on Friday night because of health and safety protocols. Siakam will miss games vs. the Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons and Boston Celtics in the coming week.

Raptors assistant Sergio Scariolo slid over into the head coach’s chair, leading the team to a 122-111 win over the Rockets in Tampa, Florida.

Siakam is averaging 20.1 points, 7.5 rebounds and 4.8 assists this season.

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Brooklyn Nets without Kyrie Irving (shoulder) vs. Dallas Mavericks

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NEW YORK — Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving missed Saturday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks for what the team has said is “right shoulder injury recovery.”

The Nets were already without Kevin Durant, who has been ruled out through the All-Star break as he rehabs a hamstring strain.

Irving had surgery on his right shoulder last March to relieve an impingement. Prior to getting surgery, Irving had gotten a cortisone shot in December 2019.

Saturday marked the 11th game missed this season by Irving, who was out for an extended personal absence in January. He is averaging 27.4 points, 4.7 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game this season.

Brooklyn entered Saturday’s matchup against the Mavericks (ABC, 8:30 p.m. ET) on an eight-game winning streak.

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