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Enquirer writers Shelby Dermer, John Snodgrass and Jon Richardson recap Friday night basketball action around Greater Cincinnati.,Shelby Dermer and John Snodgrass and Jon Richardson, Cincinnati Enquirer read more

Nor is it likely to end well for a lot of Lakers, some of whom could be New Orleans-bound in a trade for Anthony Davis … or cut for salary cap space, like the eight of them who are on one-year deals, to bring in more free agents like Klay Thompson … or unemployed like Coach Luke Walton if Magic Johnson holds him responsible for any shortfall.,I don’t see a second-round loss going over well with Johnson, not after he read Walton the riot act seven games into the season, then, in as close as he felt like coming to reassuring everyone publicly, said Luke would, “finish this season unless something drastic happens, which it won’t.”,It’s still emerging with last week’s report by ESPN’s uber-connected Adrian Wojnarowski that Magic has wanted a new coach since he took over, but has yet to convince Jeanie Buss, who is “fiercely loyal” to Walton.,Despite his cachet, James hasn’t been a behind-the-scenes schemer … aside from all his player recruiting … although Riley, whom LeBron left high and dry, late revealed that LeBron hinted that he would like him to fire Coach Erik Spoelstra during LeBron’s first season in Miami without coming out and actually asking him to do it.,A recent report from ESPN’s uber-connected Adrian Wojnarowski indicated that Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson has wanted a new coach since he took over in February of 2017, but has yet to convince team owner Jeanie Buss, who is “fiercely loyal” to Luke Walton, left.

Lacking sufficient students willing and able to pay for costly basketball tickets to fill the new Pauley Pavilion, why should UCLA cough up millions any top-market basketball coach would feel himself to be worth?,How much did it cost UCLA to serve as an uncompensated NBA training camp?My vision of UCLA basketball is somewhat different from Plaschkes: Ticket prices reduced precisely because the coach is not being paid the stellar wage commensurate with a rock star status, and students cheering for actual student-athletes who might go into fields other than pro.,The simple fact is that UCLA does not have someone who knows what he is doing and therein lies UCLAs problem over the past 16 years of Dan Guerreros tenure.Success at the highest level in the two major sports, football and basketball, requires not onlya top-flight coach, but also a top-flight athletic director.,Trump U., for example.Michael JenningVan Nuys::Bill Plaschke, just what was the purpose of your hatchet job description of the UCLA basketball program in your column on New Years Day?,Of course, I was watching the Lady Bruins and their coach, Cori Close.Now that the mens program is looking for someone to take over for coach Alford, perhaps UCLA look no further than its own campus.Mike FeixChino HIlls::For front page news on New Years Day we are offered Bill Plaschkes lament on the failure of basketball at UCLA.

Goshen boys wins first track sectional since 1943 A little over a week after winning the Northern Lakes Conference boys track and field championship for the first time since 1977, the Goshen RedHawks snapped an even longer streak by capturing their first IHSAA sectional title since 1943.,Fairfield girls basketball moves on to semistate for first time The Falcons defeated Hamilton Heights, 40-21, in the championship for the program’s first-ever regional title.,Conner Graber of Northridge wins state wrestling title Raider senior Conner Graber rallied in the third period for a 9-8 win against Brownsburg senior Nathan Walton to win the 182-pound state wrestling championship at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.,NorthWood girls win seventh consecutive NLC crown Led by freshman Cybil Stillson, who was the individual medalist with a 78, the Panthers carded an impressive team total of 339 at Black Squirrel Golf Club to win a school-record seventh consecutive Northern Lakes Conference championship.,Concord boys swimming ends Northridge championship reign Concord was leading by a mere point heading into the final event — thee 400-yard freestyle relay — the Minutemen foursome of senior Garrett Roberts, senior Samuel Lower, junior Matthew Bond and junior Kallaghan Findley blazed their way to a first-place finish in a time of 3:10.28, which was only .32 off the sectional record.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Lakers looked just fine for 3 ½ quarters in their first game without LeBron James.,Bogdan Bogdanovic made a 3-pointer at the buzzer and the Sacramento Kings rallied from 15 points down in the fourth quarter to beat Los Angeles 117-116 on Thursday night.,De’Aaron Fox followed with two free throws for Sacramento, and Kyle Kuzma made one of two for Los Angeles with 4.6 left.,Kuzma had 34 points to help make up for James’ absence, and Lonzo Ball added 20 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds.,COMEBACK KIDS

The Kings are the first team to win three consecutive home games when trailing by 15 points or more since San Antonio did it during the 2016-17 season. read more

It was the third straight home game in which the Kings have come back to win from at least 15-point deficits in the second half.If LeBron James is playing in that game, it probably finishes a little differently, Lakers coach Luke Walton said.,For most of Thursday nights game, they did, after the Kings took a 12-point lead in the first quarter.They stepped up, especially with the way Sacramento came out and punched us early, this is a high-powered offense that can get you going in front of their crowd here, Walton said.,And I thought our guys, mainly Zo early on, responded to that challenge and they were out there playing like veterans.Early during the first quarter, Kings point guard DeAaron Fox soared through the air for a one-handed dunk, then backpedaled from the force of his own score, fell onto his back and did a backward somersault to turn upright again.Moments later Ball answered with a three-pointer.,Missing Bron, missing [Rajon] Rondo, I knew I had to step up personally and the rest of the guys knew as well.Kuzma was always the off-ball scorer, ready to capitalize on any opportunity his playmaking teammates found for him.And Ingram gave the Lakers an early push, scoring 21 points through three quarters.The Lakers lead was commanding for much of the fourth, but as the game neared its close, Sacramento refused to let go.,Ball had to leave the game with 1:42 remaining, leg cramps getting the best of him.With the Lakers leading by three with 59.6 second left, Kuzma fouled Sacramentos Justin Jackson while he was shooting a three-pointer.

That was the dumbest move that the Dodgers have made since dumping Roberto Clemente.Jonathan GoldsteinLa JollaHow low can the Bruins go?I have an idea for future sponsors for the UCLA basketball team.,I suggest Charmin or Pillsbury because their team is as soft as toilet paper and the Pillsbury Dough Boy.Richard KatzLos Angeles::While watching a UCLA basketball team full of elite talent lose at home to Belmont last Saturday, it occurred to me that elite coaches have a special quality that is lacking in Steve Alford.,Neither Alford nor Guererro seems to have the resources to wake up the team.Pauley was empty against a unknown Belmont team that stole a win with the back door wide open.,Knowing how much I learn in a two-hour Walton basketball broadcast, I can only image the breadth of knowledge that will come from a four-hour Academy Awards show.Jeff BlackLos AngelesOld schoolFor anyone who is student of the game, it is useful to recall that when the Dodgers swept the Yankees in the World Series of 1963, they used the exact same lineup each and every game.,But no worries, because irrespective of what they decide, two-thirds of the L.A. fan base will never be able to see the results.Bill WaxmanSimi ValleyFine whinesOne "fan" would not have a parade for the Chargers in Los Angeles if they won the Super Bowl.Others heap scorn and abuse on a Dodgers team that has made the World Series two years in a row.I've been following sports since the Dodgers were in Brooklyn, and I can't recall a bigger bunch of spoiled brats and whiners than some of those who appear on your letters page each week.Steve MehlmanBeaumontTrojan troubleIt seems that Lynn Swann is urgently trying to justify his retention of Clay Helton by doing some recruiting.

James was at risk of missing his first regular season game of the 2018/19 campaign.,“[James] didn't come to shootaround, so he is getting rest right now.,LeBron James scored 22 points, one shy of Kyle Kuzma, and managed 39 minutes of action.,And his perforce and received fears James would be under threat of missing the Lakers’ Christmas games.,Los Angeles don’t play now until Monday, where they face the Grizzlies (02:30am).

James had 22 points, 14 assists and 12 rebounds, and the Lakers beat the New Orleans Pelicans 112-104 on Friday night.,Davis had 30 points and 20 rebounds for the Pelicans, who lost their third straight game.,New Orleans shot 32.6 percent in the second half, leaving Gentry more concerned about his fifth loss in seven games than whether or not James tampered with Davis.,NOT TALKING

Davis took the opposite tact by brushing off James' comments after posting the second game in the NBA this season with at least 30 points, 20 rebounds and five assists.,Lakers: Zubac got the start with JaVale McGee missing his third straight game because of illness and scored eight of the Lakers' first 16 points. read more