Despite all the problems, the preseason game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets took place in Shanghai. Even though there were some doubts about the entire event, the Chinese authorities allowed the game but had imposed certain restrictions. In the end, the Nets have defeated the Lakers 114-111, following a fierce battle and thrilling match, having more composure in the finishing moments of the game.
It was David Nwaba who slammed the ball into the basket nine seconds before the end to set the final result. That was his only the 6th point of the event for the Nets’ shooting guard, but the most valuable ones. In the next attack, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope tried to tie the game, but his three-point attempt was way wide.
Both teams had their best teams on the court. But unfortunately for the Nets, that didn’t last for too long. Kyrie Irving played just 66 seconds, as he aggravated his face injury after one contact with Rajon Rondo. Uncle Drew was already wearing a mask before getting hit by the Lakers’ guard. We do need to say that Rondo didn’t have any intentions in deliberately hurting Irving.
On the other side, both LeBron James and Anthony Davis played. The superstar dup spent 25 minutes on the floor each and posted solid numbers. LBJ scored 20 points, while Davis had 16. The King added 6 rebounds and hit two threes. AD, strangely had 5 dimes. The two looked good, but there are still so many things to correct until the season starts.
Meanwhile, the Nets are pretty good. That especially goes for their athletic frontcourt, led by DeAndre Jordan and Jarrett Allen. These guys shut down the paint on several occasions, recording 7 rejections combined, Allen four, Jordan three. LeBron was once denied by Allen, who became one of few players to have stopped LBJ twice like that.
As we said earlier, 18,000 spectators had a chance to see one exciting match. Despite what many believed, the game passed without a single problem, even though the relationships between the Chinese government and the NBA are severely damaged. Furthermore, the players were greeted very politely and warmly.
The Lakers won the first period, but the Nets responded and went to the locker room at the halftime with a two-point lead, 59-57. Although the purple and gold played very well, they couldn’t stop the Nets’ three-point shooting, which was amazing. Brooklyn made 20 of 41 attempts, which was an astonishing 48.8%.
Young sophomore Dzanan Musa from Bosnia and Herzegovina scored four of them in 6 tries totaling up to 16 points. Spencer Dinwiddie had three but posted a team-high 20 buckets, along with 7 dimes. Especially noticeable was Taurean Prince with 18 points.
On the other side, besides James and Davis, Alex Caruso’s role off the bench was pretty productive. In 22 minutes, the Lakers’ shooting guard, had 11 points, 8 assists, three steals and 3 for 4 from downtown. Rondo had 18 points and 6 assists with 5 boards, while JaVale McGee grabbed 10 rebounds.
Unfortunately, there were no media sessions before or after the game, so we can’t give you any interviews and thoughts the participants had about this event. The Chinese authorities canceled all the press conferences, including the one Adam Silver supposed to have.
Also, several sponsors pulled out of this match, and there was a strange situation of not having the usual logos on the floor and around the court.
Currently, the tensions between the NBA and China are still very high. According to some of the experts, it is a good thing that the Asian tour is still not over and that there is one more game between these two sides.
That match is scheduled for Saturday morning.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.