Harrell, Lakers beat Clippers in preseason
MANILA, Philippines — The NBA returned on Saturday (Manila time) just two months after wrapping up its 2020 season that saw the Los Angeles Lakers capture the title in a bubble environment in Orlando, Florida.
The defending champions headlined day one of preseason, beating the LA Clippers, 87-81, at Staples Center without LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Markieff Morris and Marc Gasol also sat out.
Montrezl Harrell, one of the Lakers’ biggest offseason acquisitions, had a double-double in his preseason debut for the Lakers, putting up 13 points and 12 rebounds against his former team.
The 26-year-old big man, who is the reigning Sixth Man of the Year, spent his last three seasons with the Clippers.
Talen Horton-Tucker led all scorers with 19 points on top of nine rebounds while Kyle Kuzma and Dennis Schroder, the Lakers’ other top addition, added 18 and 10 points, respectively.
Meanwhile, John Wall had 13 points, five rebounds and nine assists for the new-look Houston Rockets, who routed the Chicago Bulls, 125-104.
James Harden, who has reportedly requested to be traded to contending teams like the Milwaukee Bucks and the Miami Heat, did not play.
In other games, the Portland Trail Blazers dumped the Sacramento Kings, 127-102, behind Carmelo Anthony’s hot shooting.
The New York Knicks also won, 90-84, over the Detroit Pistons with rookie Obi Toppin turning heads while the Orlando Magic beat the Atlanta Hawks, 116-112.