NBA

LeBron James 'frustrated' and 'angry' with covid-19 protocols

The Los Angeles Lakers star was back in action following his pause due to NBA health and safety rules, but couldn't prevent a Clippers win.

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LeBron James 'frustrated' and 'angry' with covid-19 protocols
ANDY LYONS AFP

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James was back Friday night, but he was unable to lift his team to victory over the LA Clippers. His 23 points and 11 rebounds was a decent return, especially after missing Tuesday's contest at Sacramento, something he was ‘angry’ and ‘frustrated’ about.

Lebron angered by NBA covid protocol

"I knew I was going to get cleared because I never, ever felt sick at all," James said after the defeat that ended their short winning streak of two games.

“I just thought it was just handled very poorly."

According to the player, a covid test taken on Tuesday showed up negative, however, a follow-up gave a positive result. James was unhappy with the NBA’s processes.

"Usually when you have a positive test, they will test you right away to make sure. There was not a follow-up test after my positive test. It was straight to isolation and you've been put into protocol.

“That is the part that kind of angered me. I had to figure out a way to get home from Sacramento by myself. They wouldn't allow anyone to travel with me, no security, no anything, when I travelled back from Sacramento.

"And then I had to put my kids in isolation for the time being. The people in my household in isolation for the time being. So it was just a big-time inconvenience. That was the anger part."

Clippers 115-119 Lakers: game re-cap

Marcus Morris had a season-high 21 points and Paul George added 19 as the visiting Los Angeles Clippers held on for a 119-115 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday in the first meeting of the season between the intracity rivals.

Luke Kennard also had 19 points for the Clippers, including two late 3-pointers, while Reggie Jackson added 16 as the Clippers ended a three-game losing streak by winning a "road" game for the first time since 5 November. Anthony Davis scored 27 points with 10 rebounds for the Lakers, while LeBron James, as mentioned, had 23 points with 11 rebounds.

The Clippers pushed their winning streak to four games over the Lakers in the past two seasons and have not lost to their Staples Center co-tenant since the first game of the NBA restart near Orlando at the end of the 2019-20 season.

The Clippers had their biggest lead of the first half at 51-40 with 1:30 remaining before the break, although the Lakers fashioned a quick 10-2 run to pull within 53-50 at halftime.

The Clippers rebounded to outscore the Lakers 34-29 in the third quarter by shooting 7 of 15 from 3-point range, while grabbing an 87-79 advantage.

The Lakers never led, but they pulled within one at 110-109 with 2:15 remaining after a Carmelo Anthony 3-pointer and had the ball to take the lead twice before Kennard hit a 3-pointer for a 113-109 Clippers advantage with 1:12 remaining.

Kennard added another from deep with 38.4 seconds left for a 116-111 advantage.

Malik Monk had 20 points off the bench for the Lakers, while Russell Westbrook had 10 points and nine assists, and Anthony had 13 points.

George added nine assists and eight rebounds for the Clippers, while Ivica Zubac had 12 points.

The Clippers altered their starting lineup to counter the Lakers' size, bringing guard Eric Bledsoe off the bench for the first time. He scored eight points in 18 minutes. Clippers forward Nicolas Batum missed his seventh consecutive game in covid-19 protocol.