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Los Angeles Lakers, Utah Jazz make winning returns in Orlando

Los Angeles Lakers, Utah Jazz make winning returns in Orlando
© Reuters
The league has restarted in Orlando after a Covid-19 suspension of more than four months.

The NBA resumed from its coronavirus suspension with two games on Thursday, with the Los Angeles Lakers and the Utah Jazz scoring two-point wins.

With both games featuring Western Conference teams, the first-placed Lakers beat their second-placed local rivals the LA Clippers by 103-101, while the fourth-placed Jazz beat the 11th-placed New Orleans Pelicans 106-104.

The season has had to be drastically reshaped after a hiatus of more than four months.

Twenty-two of the NBA's 30 teams have gone into a bio-secure bubble at Walt Disney World, Orlando, to play out the season, with teams most likely in contention for the play-offs being invited.

The teams will play eight regular-season seeding games before the standard 16-team play-offs will get under way.

The Lakers bounced out to a strong start against the Clippers, taking a 12-point lead at quarter time, before the Clippers bit back to lead by one point heading into the last quarter.

The Lakers kept cooler heads in the dying moments, a 27-24 last quarter lifting them to the victory, with Anthony Davis showing the way with 34 points and eight rebounds. LeBron James had 16 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists, and played a crucial role defensively at the death.

Paul George took 30 points for the Clippers while Kawhi Leonard had 28.

New Orleans led 87-78 at three-quarter time but were blown away in a 27-17 last quarter.

Utah had many contributors, with Jordan Clarkson taking 23 points, and Mike Conley and Donovan Mitchell scoring 20 points each.

Brandon Ingram scored 23 for the Pelicans, while Jrue Holiday had 20.

Players wore Black Lives Matter shirts before the game started and all took a knee during the anthem, linking arms as they did so.

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Team LeBron forward LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrates in the fourth quarter of the 2020 NBA All Star Game at United Center on February 17, 2020
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States25312379
Great BritainGreat Britain15181548
Today's Olympic highlights header

Thursday's key events

· The women's heptathlon continues with the long jump, javelin and 800m, with Katarina Johnson-Thompson now out of contention following an injury (1.10am-1.40pm)
· Andrew Pozzi pursues his dream of an Olympic medal in the men's 110m hurdles final (3.55am)
· Tom Bosworth and Callum Wilkinson are among the British hopes in the men's 20km race walk (8.30am)
· Holly Bradshaw aims to improve on fifth in Rio to challenge Greece's Katerina Stefanidi and Anzhelika Sidorova of Russia for an unlikely medal in the women's pole vault (11am)
· London 2012 champion Kirani James goes up against current world champion Steven Gardiner in the men's 400m final (1pm)

· One of the toughest Olympic events takes place in Tokyo Bay as GB's Hector Pardoe takes on the men's 20km marathon swim (10.30pm Wed)

· Galal Yafai takes on takes on Kazakhstan's Saken Bibossinov for a spot in the gold medal bout of the fly (48kg-52kg) class (6.48am)

· Lois Toulson and Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix (daughter of First Dates' Fred Sirieix) line up for the women's 10m platform (semi-final 2am; final 7am)

· Australia face Belgium in the men's final (11am)

> Today's schedule in full
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