first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersThat’s led to some questions, particularly when it comes to minutes. While he got off to a rough shooting start on Sunday missing his first five attempts, Kuzma averaged more than 21 points in his first three games returning from injury, which LeBron James said was encouraging as the Lakers look for a third scorer to compliment him and Anthony Davis.Related Articles Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed LOS ANGELES >> On Sunday night, Kyle Kuzma was on a minutes restriction as he continues to work his way back from an ankle injury. The Lakers didn’t want to play him more than 28 minutes.The way Kuzma has played since coming back has made that a harder impulse to control. Frank Vogel was asked on Sunday before the Mavericks game what the third-year forward has to do to play more minutes.“If he plays the way he has for the last two games,” he said. “There’s not much more he needs to do.”The Lakers are just a few games removed from a Milwaukee loss in which the Lakers bench scored just four points. But after scoring 72 points against Portland with a few new bodies (including Kuzma) in the mix, there’s a renewed confidence in the Lakers’ reserves. Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error From The Decision to The Return to the Lakers, no athlete had a more impactful decade than LeBron James.That was the determination of the Associated Press, which named James its Male Athlete of the Decade after a 10-year span that saw him play in three Finals and win three championships.During the 2010s, no one scored more points than James, who now is fourth on the NBA’s all-time scoring list after passing Michael Jordan earlier this year. James was also given the honor to reflect his cultural influence in entertainment, education and social justice issues.His decision to go from his hometown Cleveland to Miami was largely criticized at the time, but influenced a decade that saw players take more control of where they play. After voicing his opinion on the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, James became a central figure in encouraging athletes to speak out on social issues.“You add another 10 years of learning and adversity, pitfalls, good, great, bad, and any smart person who wants to grow will learn from all those experiences,” James said to the Associated Press. “A decade ago, I just turned 25. I’m about to be 35 and I’m just in a better (place) in my life and have a better understanding of what I want to get out of life.”Part of the appeal is that he continues to produce 17 years into his career. James will turn 35 on Monday, and no player has ever averaged more than 25 points, 10 assists and 7 rebounds for a full season at James’ age.The runner-up among AP voters was New England quarterback Tom Brady, who James has publicly admired for his similar longevity.center_img “More importantly, it’s just the efficiency right now that I love,” James said of Kuzma after the Portland game. “He’s just been very efficient mixing it up with his 3s, with his paint touches. You saw it tonight on the break as well, just mixing it up.”Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has been coming off the bench since Avery Bradley returned from minutes restriction, but has played well in his bench role. After scoring 13 points in each of his games against the Clippers and Trail Blazers, Vogel noted that he’s been a key player of late after a rough start to the season.“He’s really settled in,” he said. “Several times this year, in particular last night in Portland, he hit big shots in critical moments.”AP names James athlete of the decade How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers last_img

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