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Carmelo Anthony of Portland Trail Blazers moves into 10th place all time in NBA scoring

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On an and-1 3-pointer, the Portland Trail BlazersCarmelo Anthony moved into the top 10 all time in NBA scoring Monday night, passing Elvin Hayes.

With 11:09 left in the second quarter against the Hawks in Atlanta, Anthony isolated on the right wing and pulled up from 3, plus the foul. After his trademark move of hitting the side of his head with three fingers, Anthony raised both arms in the air as a quick acknowledgement of the accomplishment.

It was his third 3 of the first half, giving him 12 points. Anthony entered Monday’s game against the Hawks nine points behind Hayes’ career total of 27,313.

“I think after it’s done, whenever it happens, I think I’ll be more in awe of it,” Anthony told ESPN by phone last week. “This is something I never, ever thought about. When you’re young you look up at that list and you’re like, ‘Damn, so-and-so has that many points? I’ll never be able to do that.'” I’m more just in awe of it.”

Moses Malone is next up on the all-time list at 27,409, a reachable number this season if Anthony maintains his current scoring pace.

Anthony’s journey to the top 10 comes with context, with him away from the NBA for a season after being cut by the Houston Rockets after just 10 games early in the 2018-19 season. Anthony continued working out and signed with the Trail Blazers in November 2019, starting all 58 games last season. He agreed to a bench role this season with Portland and entered Monday averaging 13.6 points as a sixth man.

A 10-time All-Star, Anthony is in his 18th NBA season. He won the scoring title with the New York Knicks in 2012-13, averaging 28.7 points. Anthony spent 10 consecutive seasons in the top 10 in scoring and finished as a runner-up for the scoring title twice in that stretch.

Anthony’s point distribution is 13,970 in eight seasons with the Denver Nuggets, 10,186 in seven seasons with the Knicks, 1261 in one season with the Oklahoma City Thunder, 134 with the Rockets and 1740 (entering Monday) in two seasons with the Blazers.

This season, Anthony has moved past Tim Duncan, Dominique Wilkins, Oscar Robertson and Hakeem Olajuwon in scoring.

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Tornado warning forces Portland Trail Blazers to evacuate their Atlanta hotel rooms

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ATLANTA — The Portland Trail Blazers got a bit of a scare before their game against the Atlanta Hawks when a tornado warning forced them to evacuate their hotel rooms.

The warning was issued Monday morning, about seven hours after the Trail Blazers arrived at their hotel a couple of miles north of State Farm Arena in downtown Atlanta. The team had traveled in the early morning hours after a victory Sunday night at Boston.

Coach Terry Stotts said his players and staff were told to go to a lower-level parking garage, where they remained for about 30 minutes.

“I know tornadoes can do anything,” Stotts said. “You have to take the right precautions. The hotel staff was very organized and got everyone down there. We hung out there for about a half-hour, then we went back to our rooms.”

Severe storms moved across the South, spawning multiple tornadoes, damaging homes and uprooting trees from Mississippi to Kentucky. A tornado spotted in Atlanta forced thousands to seek shelter, and one man was killed west of the city when a falling tree brought down power lines onto his vehicle.

Asked if the severe weather disrupted any preparations for his team, Stotts said, “We didn’t get into our rooms until 3:30 in the morning. I’m sure there were some people sleeping and it disrupted their sleep. Hopefully they were able to make it up in the afternoon.”

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Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James to sit out Monday night to rest sore ankle

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LeBron James will sit out the Los Angeles Lakers‘ game against the Denver Nuggets on Monday night at Staples Center to rest his right ankle.

James aggravated the ankle in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 121-114 loss to the Toronto Raptors at Staples Center. He was held out of the final 6 minutes, 42 seconds on Sunday after experiencing soreness in the ankle.

James will now have three days of rest before the Lakers’ next game, against the LA Clippers on Thursday. He had missed six weeks with a high ankle sprain before returning Friday.

James, when asked after the Raptors game if he might have rushed his return, detailed how his ankle was feeling after playing on it for the first time in six weeks.

“You never know until you get out there because honestly some of the sharp pain that I’m feeling, or the pain that I’m feeling on the floor, I didn’t have during my workouts, during my training,” he said. “So the only way to test is to get out on the floor. For one, there ain’t no damn practice time. It’s not like when you get practice time you get 5-on-5, you get lives, this is not the season for it. We’ve known that since the beginning.

“The only opportunity for me to get some live was during the game. I don’t want to say I came back too early, but at the end of the day I had to test it out and see where I was at.”

James also said that whatever hopes the Lakers have at a repeat title will be tied to how healthy he can get before the postseason begins.

“It doesn’t matter at the end of the day if I’m not 100% or close to 100%. It don’t matter where we land [in terms of playoff seeding],” James said. “That’s my mindset.”

The Lakers have lost six of their past seven games. At 36-28, they have the same record as the Portland Trail Blazers, who are currently in the No. 7 spot in the Western Conference. The Lakers are in sixth only because they hold the tiebreaker with Portland from beating the Blazers on Feb. 26.

This season, being No. 7 doesn’t guarantee a team a first-round playoff series. The NBA will hold a play-in tournament in which the Nos. 7 and 8 teams face off and the Nos. 9 and 10 teams also play. The winner of the 7-8 game advances to the first round, and the loser of the 7-8 game plays the winner of the 9-10 game to determine the final playoff berth in each conference.

ESPN’s Dave McMenamin contributed to this report.

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Los Angeles Lakers’ Dennis Schroder to miss extended period of games for health and safety protocols, sources say

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Los Angeles Lakers guard Dennis Schroder is expected to miss an “extended period of games” because of the league’s health and safety protocols, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Schroder sat out L.A.’s 121-114 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Sunday because of the protocols. It was the second COVID-19 related absence for the Lakers’ point guard. He missed four games in February because of a contact-tracing violation.

The Lakers have eight games remaining on their regular-season schedule and host the Denver Nuggets on Monday in the second leg of a back-to-back. L.A. is currently the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference, but has the same record as the Portland Trail Blazers (36-28) who are No. 7, making it a real possibility the defending champions could begin their repeat title bid by participating in the play-in tournament.

LeBron James alluded to Schroder’s absence during his postgame remarks following the Raptors loss.

“I think our team is predicated on health,” James said. “That is the number one thing for our ballclub. We’re a team that we need to be healthy and we need to be full. And if it’s not one thing, it’s the other. And then we show up today and the starting point guard is not in the lineup. So it’s like another blow for us.

“That’s going to be the biggest thing for us down the stretch, more than the games that we’re playing. Just how healthy we’re going to be going into the stretch run.”

The Lakers started Alex Caruso in Schroder’s place against the Raptors.

Schroder, who will be a free agent this summer, has averaged 15.5 points, 5.8 assists and 3.5 rebounds this season, his first as a Laker.

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