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Los Angeles Lakers to unveil 2020 NBA championship banner May 12



Seven months after winning the franchise’s 17th title, the Los Angeles Lakers will finally unveil their 2020 NBA championship banner, the team announced.

Prior to Thursday’s rematch against their 2020 Finals opponent, the Miami Heat, Lakers CEO and president Jeanie Buss revealed the team’s plans to display the banner at long last on May 12 when L.A. plays its final home game of the regular season against the Houston Rockets.

The Lakers beat the Heat in Game 6 to take the title back on Oct. 11 in the NBA bubble in Orlando, Florida.

“There was a couple reasons why we waited,” Buss told Spectrum SportsNet, the team’s regional TV partner, on Thursday. “First of all, on opening night, we didn’t have any fans. So now that we’ve finally gotten the nod that we’re allowed to have some fans, we decided that the last regular-season game would be good because we’ll have as many fans as we can get and hopefully we’ll have a completely healthy team by then and with LeBron James and Anthony Davis on the court.

“And it’s a good sendoff as we prepare to go into the playoffs.”

Including Thursday, James has missed L.A.’s past 10 games with a high ankle sprain, while Davis has been out 24 games with a calf strain and tendinosis in his right leg.

James posted a photo of him and his fellow co-captain to his Instagram page on Thursday, hinting at their imminent return.

The Lakers will welcome back fans for the first time on April 15 against the Boston Celtics. The exact capacity that L.A. County and the state of California will allow the Lakers to host has not been announced yet, however.

“Our aim is to bring in as many fans as possible, but safely as possible,” Buss said.

The Lakers opened up the regular season in December with a black cloak covering the 2019-20 championship banner with the message, “Stay tuned, Lakers family,” printed in gold block letters on it.

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The numbers behind Russell Westbrook’s triple-double records



Oscar Robertson has owned the record for most career triple-doubles since 1961-62.

Now, the Big O will share that record with Russell Westbrook. And that might only last two days because Westbrook will go for sole possession of the record on Monday against the Atlanta Hawks.

It had become an afterthought of when, not if, Westbrook would surpass Robertson this season with his triple-double tear. But the NBA world will celebrate Westbrook’s triple-double greatness tonight and when he breaks the record because milestones like these just don’t change hands often. The last time an NBA all-time record was broken was when Ray Allen passed Reggie Miller on the all-time 3-pointers made list in 2011. That was a decade ago!

This triple-doubles record has been The Big O’s since 1962. Only two men have ever recorded 180 or more triple-doubles. The legendary Magic Johnson never got past 138, Jason Kidd retired at 107 and LeBron James is the next active player with the most triple-doubles at 99. –Ohm Youngmisuk

Westbrook’s path to breaking Robertson’s record

Triple-double No. 1: The first triple-double of Westbrook’s NBA career came on March 2, 2009 with the Thunder — the only one of his rookie season.

Year 1 without Kevin Durant (2016-17): Westbrook recorded 42 triple-doubles to break the Big O’s single-season record set over 50 years prior.

The following year: In a visit to Atlanta, Westbrook joined Robertson, Johnson and Kidd as the only players with 100 career triple-doubles.

2019: Westbrook set the NBA record with 11 straight triple-doubles. Three of the four longest such streaks in league history belong to him. Later that year as a Rocket, Russ’ 28 points, 13 boards and 10 dimes moved him ahead of Magic Johnson on the NBA’s all-time triple-double list

Now? He’s since gone on to become the Wizards’ all-time triple-double leader.

Carving his name into NBA history

  • Westbrook recorded his 10th career triple-double vs the Pacers, his most against a single opponent. He is the fourth player in NBA history to record at least 10 triple-doubles against one team, joining Robertson, Johnson and Wilt Chamberlain.

  • Westbrook has a triple-double against all 30 teams not just once, but multiple times. While he has had never had a quadruple-double in his career, he has recorded a triple-double and at least 10 turnovers in a game five times. That is the most such games since individual turnovers were first tracked in 1977-78.

  • Over his career, only Westbrook and LeBron James rank within the top 10 in points, rebounds and assists. Since his rookie season in 2008-09, his 181 triple-doubles are more than double James’ second-place total over that span; Westbrook led all players on both teams in points, rebounds and assists outright 41 times in his career. That is the most such games in NBA history according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

  • Westbrook has recorded his fourth season with 700 rebounds and 700 assists, passing Robertson for the most in NBA history.

  • He will finish as the league leader in triple-doubles for the sixth time in his career, matching Robertson for the third-most seasons in NBA history. Only Kidd (11) and Johnson (10) have more such seasons.

ESPN’s Stats and Information contributed to this story.

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Washington Wizards’ Bradley Beal scores 50, but absent for OT period due to hamstring strain



Wizards guard Bradley Beal scored 50 points, but was absent for the end of regulation and overtime because of a hamstring strain as Washington edged Indiana 133-132 Saturday night to move into the No. 9 spot in the Eastern Conference, a half-game ahead of the Pacers.

Wizards coach Scott Brooks was uncertain how serious Beal’s injury is, and that it might not be known for a couple of days. But he held him out in overtime as a precaution.

“He tweaked his hamstring,” Brooks said. “Actually, he tweaked his ankle and we didn’t want to push it at the end. He wanted to but our guys told him not to push it. Hopefully, it’s not too serious.”

Beal said during his postgame media availability that the hamstring injury intensified in the second half.

Beal has scored at least 25 points in 71 of his last 82 games and has eight games this season with 40 or more points.

Beal’s teammate Russell Westbrook, who tied Oscar Robertson’s NBA record for triple-doubles with 181, made two free throws with a second left to give Washington the overtime win, and also blocked the Pacers’ final shot.

The Wizards make the fourth stop on a five-game road trip Monday at Atlanta.

ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Russell Westbrook logs his 181st triple-double, tying Oscar Robertson’s record



Russell Westbrook tied Oscar Robertson for most career triple-doubles with 181 and can own the record as soon as the Washington Wizards’ next game at Atlanta on Monday.

Westbrook matched the Hall-of-Fame point guard with 1:39 remaining in the third quarter against the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night. Westbrook has been on an absolute tear in his first season as a Wizard, registering his 35th triple-double this season. He had 14 in the month of April alone, the most in NBA history.

Westbrook, 32, already owns the distinction of having the most triple-doubles in a season with 42 back in 2016-17.

He earned his fourth consecutive triple-double when he dished his 10th assist to Bradley Beal near the end of the third quarter.

The point guard has a triple-double in 21 of his last 25 games and has already clinched averaging a triple-double in the season for the fourth time in his career. Robertson has owned the all-time triple-double record since 1961-62, the same season that Robertson became the only other player to average a triple-double.

The last time an NBA all-time record was broken was when Ray Allen passed Reggie Miller on the all-time 3-pointers made list in 2011.

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