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Arsenal relax about fighting Norwich

Arsenal secure their fourth consecutive Premier League win as struggling Norwich has comfortable winners. (Author: Gardener)

NorwichLast updated on. From the Premier League category Arsenal secured their fourth consecutive Premier League win when they made a comfortable winner on Carrow Road and inflicted even more suffering on bottom-bottom Norwich. The impressive Martin Odegaard, who got Saka opener to the point, then sent Kieran Tierney through to score the away team's second goal just before the break. Saka added a good third ahead of Alexandre Lacazette's penalty and substitute Emile Smith Rowe's stoppage-time goal ensured a stress-free win for Mikel Arteta's side. The win meant the Gunners kept their six-point lead over fifth-placed Tottenham, while Norwich had to regroup after a twelfth loss of the season. Canary Islands boss Dean Smith admitted he "didn't see this coming" after watching his side play "toe-to-toe" in their defeats to Manchester United and Aston Villa. The game marked two years since Arteta first took charge of the Gunners and the Spaniard can be satisfied with his side ahead of the home game against the Wolves on Tuesday. Arsenal looked sharp from the start and were quickly rewarded when Tierney pounced on Ozan Kabak's bad pass, allowing the guests a clean passing play between Gabriel Martinelli, Lacazette and Odegaard, which was ended by Saka. Despite Arsenal's dominance, Norwich looked like they were only catching up one residue at break before Martinelli's enthusiasm to reclaim the ball allowed the Brazilian to find Odegaard in the room piercing Tierney through the woodwork to the goal. Saka rubbed Norwich's wounds with salt as he defeated Gunn from outside the box and while the English attacker burst shortly afterwards, Arsenal's goals continued to flow when Lacazette scored a penalty after being fouled by Kabak before Smith Rowe for the fourth league hit game in a row. Norwich played for the first time since December 14th after their trip to West Ham was postponed due to Covid cases and injuries on their squad. Prior to visiting Arsenal on Carrow Road, Smith described the Premier League's busy festive schedule as "insane" amid the recent spike in Covid cases, with his side back in action at Crystal Palace on Tuesday. And Norwich was hit by more Covid issues ahead of the Arsenal game when goalkeeper first choice Tim Krul had to sit out after a positive test. They have now failed to score in each of their last four games and have only scored eight goals for the entire season, while top scorer Teemu Pukki only scored 23 goals against the Gunners. The Arsenal game was another daunting watch for Norwich supporters, and with the trip to Selhurst Park imminent, time is not on Smith's side as he tries to halt the club's current losing streak and put their hopes off the foot of the To raise the table, to rekindle. "Unfortunately, the standards have dropped massively since the Manchester United game. * Our coverage of your Premier League club is bigger and better than ever - everything you need to know to make sure you don't miss a moment is here

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Manchester City survives Leicester's Boxing Day setback; Arsenal, Spurs win big

Manchester City beat Leicester 6-3 while Arsenal scored five against Norwich (Author: Gardener)

Manchester CityThe Premier League served their usual football festival on Boxing Day, scoring 22 goals in four early games. Four goals for a rampant Manchester City, with the most flimsy defenses to keep the score low, certainly questioned how many Leicester would lose. Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling had both scored penalties, with Kevin De Bruyne scoring the goal and Ilkay Gundogan scoring as he did so many times in 2021. After 25 minutes of play, City were four times good, apparently destined to take a six point lead at the top of the Premier League. Ten minutes in the second half and James Maddison, combined with Kelechi Iheanacho on the counterattack with devastating final results. Getting anywhere near City still looked like a long way off, but when the creators of the Foxes 'First Gate repeated the trick to release Ademola Lookman shortly after Brendan Rodgers' exhausted crew started believing. When Iheanacho hit the net in a bizarre way against his ex-club - Ederson parried Maddison's shot on the crossbar just so that it landed at the feet of the Nigerian international - one could almost believe that a comeback was in sight. City released the pressure three minutes later, Aymeric Laporte headed Mahrez's corner kick for the eighth goal of the game. Still, Leicester did not give up, Luke Thomas flashed a cross from the line that Marc Albrighton should at least have hit, although in reality the fifth goal gave the hosts a bit more serenity on their way to victory. Ultimately, Sterling would complete the win with his seventh Premier League goal of the season and steer Ruben Dias' header over Schmeichel. For the defending champions, this could have been a much more pleasant afternoon, but they confidently go to the top of the table, their goal difference increased again. There was no such drama for the two north London teams, both of whom acted in an empathic manner as they scored eight goals between them. Five of them went to Arsenal, who beat bottom Norwich on Carrow Road in a one-sided game as the Premier League will see this season. Bukayo Saka scored the first goal early with a fine low drive on the left foot and a brief display of the hosts' fighting spirit was halted shortly before the break when Kieran Tierney struck Arsenal's second goal after a pass from Martin Odegaard. Saka's fifth of the season - now one more goal contribution than last season's eight with 1,158 minutes less - took the three points, but there was still time for the Gunners to improve their goal difference. An awkward duel between Ozan Kabak and Alexandre Lacazette gave the French a chance to add fourth place on penalties before substitute Emile Smith Rowe increased his Premier League record for the season to eight and converted a Nicolas Pepe cross at the far post. Arsenal stay firmly in fourth place but will be aware of the Tottenham ghost in the rearview mirror. With the rescheduling rescheduled, Antonio Conte's side have three games to go after beating Crystal Palace 3-0 at home to catch up six points on their big rivals. Palace had requested the game be postponed following COVID-19 cases in their squad, forcing manager Patrick Vieira to miss a disappointing breakdown on his part that resulted in a two-minute double from Harry Kane and Lucas Moura stuck in the competition It seemed like the game swung in favor of the Spurs. A second yellow card for Wilfried Zaha shortly after leaving Palace will have little hope of fighting back as Spurs finished the game with ease. Heung-min Son scored in the second half as Spurs moved up to fifth. West Ham is slipping under Tottenham, after a 3-2 defeat by Southampton they have only won one win from their last seven top division games. After the 0-1 in the break after Mohamed Elyounoussi's lead in the eighth minute, the introduction of Michail Antonio during the break quickly equalized the hosts at the London stadium. In the end, the game was decided after nine minutes, with James Ward-Prowse re-establishing Southampton's lead from the penalty spot before Said Benrahma found space in the penalty area to volley Jarrod Bowen's cross. Ward-Prowse's delivery was usually excellent, falling just below Craig Dawson for Jan Bednarek to drive home. A first top division win since November 5 puts Southampton in 14th place but West Ham have now slipped to sixth place, seven points behind Arsenal with one game in hand.

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Premier League result, full time score and reaction today

Follow the action live from Carrow Road (Author: Gardener)

todayWatch the action as Norwich City host Arsenal in the Premier League on Boxing Day. Dean Smith's squad was torn from injury and illness, with the Norwich head coach voicing concerns about the welfare of his players earlier this week and condemning the schedule as "insane". Norwich's previous game against West Ham has been postponed but the Canaries are still faced with a large number of absenteeism and have lost their last three straight league games. They are only three points behind safety, however, and despite those difficult circumstances, have still improved since Smith took command. Mikel Arteta's side were in good shape, with three straight league wins that put the Gunners back into the top four before a midweek strike against Sunderland in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals helped maintain that momentum. Although Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang remains bitterly sidelined, Arsenal have succeeded in his absence and have relatively few absences compared to the Canaries. * 67 minutes: Individual brilliance from Saka to add the third. 77 minutes: Saka gets a break when Pepe comes in for the final 15 minutes or so. What an afternoon it was for the 20-year-old. 74 minutes: A rare chance for Norwich! White gives the ball away and plays in Pukki, but Holding and Ramsdale rush out to close the room before Partey clears up the danger. It is also the midfielder's last post of the afternoon when he makes way for Elneny. 71 mins: The "Oles" are now ringing from the far end on Carrow Road - Arsenal is in full cruise control. Arsenal have a very quick turn before taking on Wolves on Tuesday night. It's breathtaking from Saka! He's had a sustained fight with Brandon Williams all afternoon but he ended it here by beating the left-back for fun on the edge of the box before firing a brilliant shot past Gunn into the far corner. 65 minutes: Norwich makes the first move in the afternoon when Lees-Melou replaces Dowell. Arsenal looks pretty comfy here. They didn't play as well as they did in the first half, but Norwich has yet to test them seriously. 62 minutes: Kabak steps out of the defense and is pulled to the ground by Partey - who is booked. 60 mins: Arsenal calm down after that Norwich spell as they toss the ball around before White switches play to Martinelli on the left. He cuts inward and his shot is deflected and looped into the net, but the Brazilian was offside when the white pass played. 59 minutes: Gilmour then tries his luck from 20 yards after Arsenal couldn't cope. It takes a diversion and almost catches Ramsdale on his near post. 57.Min .: Norwich wins a corner, which is beheaded flawlessly by Holding. Martinelli chases Gilmour, who is under pressure under the bouncing ball, and intercepts the Brazilian as he tries to break. 53 minutes: Placheta was Norwich's best outlet with balls in the top left. Holding looks good to hold off his flank as he looks for Pukki in the center. 50 minutes: Arteta is furious after Williams catches Saka from behind. Xhaka put the ball out of play, but Saka can continue. In fact, he then intercepts Williams from behind when the defender tried to see the ball over the byline. 48 minutes: Arsenal start the second half exactly as they ended the first when Partey pushes Tierney into the penalty area on the left. He takes a shot on goal, but is blocked by Aarons. It's a long road for Norwich, but they urgently need an answer. Elsewhere in the Premier League, here are the halftime results: as one-sided a half as you are likely to see in the Premier League this season, apart from what is currently happening in the Manchester City v Leicester game. Arsenal have been really good and fully deserve their two-goal lead. They got the ball through Norwich with no problems and both goals came from fluid movements, both prepared by Odegaard, finished by Saka and then Tierney. Norwich has to be more aggressive in this second half. It was way too easy for Arsenal, 45 minutes away from their fourth straight Premier League win. Arsenal doubled their lead at halftime and Tierney scored the goal! It comes again from Odegaard, who cuts Norwich open with a beautiful pass to the left. Tierney takes it in hand and delivers a great finish on the run to find the inside of the post and defeat Gunn. It's a deserved second goal for Arsenal - they were at the top. 43rd Minute: Gilmour crosses the ball towards Pukki and Ramsdale is forced to parry after Gabriel heads the ball. 39 mins: It's getting hot on Carrow Road - this time White and Williams get into each other's faces after a tackle, and Placheta is booked after he also interferes. 38 mins: Dowell intercepts Martinelli with a late challenge - and that sparked a bit of a confrontation between the teams after Norwich kept the ball out of play. 36 mins: Frustration for Norwich when McLean kicks the ball straight out of play - at the other end, Partey splits Norwich when he finds Martinelli slipping into the overlapping Tierney. Arsenal had numbers in the middle, but Tierney's ball was behind everyone. Martinelli then tries his luck from a distance, but it goes straight to Gunn's throat. 32 mins: Norwich breaks forward through Placheta - a little reminder that they are still in this game despite the overall flow of the game saying otherwise. 29.Min .: Martinelli plays a quick one-two with Xhaka, but can't cut the ball back to Saka. Arsenal breaks forward again - they cut Norwich really easy - and Martinelli's deflected shot loops up to Saka. 26 minutes: chance! Brilliant play from Saka, who dances past Williams before swinging the ball in and finding Lacazette six yards away. Lacazette should score, but he heads wide! 24 minutes: Another nice move by Arsenal - Odegaard and Lacazette run the show - but Tierney's cross is outdone. 22 minutes: McLean gets a tough challenge at Odegaard - he briefly triggers the counterattack, but Arsenal quickly recovers. It takes Odegaard a second to collect himself, but he seems to be able to move on. 18 mins: Arsenal are able to work the ball through Norwich under light pressure, with Odegaard and Lacazette finding some nice spaces to get possession of. Odegaard tries his luck from 20 meters, but is blocked by Gibson. 15 mins: Norwich gets their first possession in the Arsenal half, but it ends when Gilmour's choppy pass runs forward to Placheta to Ramsdale. 13.Minute: Arsenal has settled in well and knocks the ball over with ease. An Arsenal corner from the right hits Partey at the near post. It almost surprises him when he walks a few meters away. Bad Norwich defense but they can get away with it. Kabak plays a loose pass that is picked up by Tierney - and suddenly Arsenal shifts into gear. It is played by Martinelli, Lacazette and then on to Odegaard, who is feeding Saka to his right. Saka cuts inward and places a finish behind Gunn and in the corner. 3 minutes: Partey plays a nice ball to Xhaka inside - which Martinelli has in front of him. However, Xhaka's pass pushes him too far away, the chance is wasted. 2 minutes: Odegaard plays a loose pass towards Holding - and Pukki gets a collision from behind when the defender heads the ball away. 1 minute: It's a lazy day in Norwich as the hosts get us going - and play straight into the game from kick-off. Martinelli looks confident the first time he hits the ball. Arsenal are aiming for their fourth straight Premier League win to maintain their top four push. Any victory would be enough for Norwich. A year ago today, Arteta made a meaningful team selection by taking the youth to the Premier League meeting with Chelsea on Boxing Day and handing over the starts to Saka, Smith Rowe and Martinelli in a 3-1 win. Arsenal moved into 15th place on the Premier League table after a terrible run of form, but it was a turn of luck for Arteta. Arsenal could consolidate their fourth place with three points on Carrow Road today. Norwich manager Dean Smith has seen his side go five Premier League games without a win this afternoon as they try to get relegated from bottom of the table. A void is starting to open with the teams ahead of Norwich, and Smith said the 2-0 loss to former Aston Villa was the poorest of his side since taking office in November. Norwich host fourth-placed Arsenal today and Smith said his side on Carrow Road will be confident as they see all but the top three Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea as "beatable" in their struggle for survival. "The games we played before (Villa loss) were really good," said Smith. Charlie Patino got off to a dream start to his Arsenal career when he came off the bench in Tuesday's 5-1 win over Sunderland and scored a goal. The 18-year-old made his Arsenal debut and was reappointed to the bench for the trip to Carrow Road today. With Arsenal facing the Wolves in just over 48 hours, the youngster could make his Premier League debut sometime this week. "Charlie is more and more in training sessions with us. [Tuesday] was his first competitive game, that was a wonderful day for him and everyone involved in the club and we will take it slowly," said Arteta in his prelude press conference. Today it is two years since Mikel Arteta first took over the helm at Arsenal in a 1-1 draw against Bournemouth. What is certain, however, is that Arsenal's roster has been revamped, led by emerging talent young players like Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli - which, according to Arteta, suggests a brighter future. Arsenal has confirmed that Takehiro Tomiyasu, Cedric Soares and Ainsley Maitland-Niles all tested positive for Covid-19. Arsenal are only making the one change from last weekend's 4-1 Premier League win over Leeds, with Rob Holding replacing Takehiro Tomiyasu, who will see Ben White switch to his right back. Emile Smith Rowe is assisted on the bench by Charlie Patino and the returning Albert Sambi Lokonga. It has been almost two weeks since Norwich's last game. Goalkeeper Angus Gunn is making his first Premier League start for Tim Krul, while Josh Sargent and Kieran Dowell fill in for Jacob Sorensen and Todd Cantwell, who sits on their bench. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will not play for Arsenal following the loss of Arteta, while Sead Kolasinac is excluded. Welcome to The Independent's live coverage as Norwich host Arsenal in the Premier League. Dean Smith is still struggling with multiple absences following a severe Covid outbreak on his squad that resulted in the Canaries' game against West Ham being postponed last weekend. Norwich will now play twice within 48 hours, starting with Arsenal this afternoon, with Smith condemning the schedule as "insane". Meanwhile, Arsenal are arriving on Carrow Road in good shape after winning three straight league games to return to the top four, while a strike against Sunderland in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals during the week kept the club's positive momentum going reinforced.

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Which 10-day contracts should LA extend?

With several Lakers on the verge of getting back from COVID-19 logs, LA faces a potential roster crisis. (Author: Gardener)

LAYour Los Angeles Lakers are staggering. Losing five games in a row, the Lakers have fallen to a 16-18 record and are facing an intimidating schedule once the NBA calendar changes to 2022. LA is also still without six players at the time of this writing, including all-star Big Man Anthony Davis and launch guardian Avery Bradley. The same goes for the three Lakers who are still on the NBA's COVID-19 logs. Of course, the club was given some relief from its various player absences when they began adding new players through 10-day hardship exemptions. There are currently four new LA players in these deals. The Lakers have 13 players with guaranteed contracts, two essentially role-playing players who have signed non-guaranteed deals and who are likely to see those contracts guaranteed as soon as possible, and two two-way squad slots. The team could forego a guaranteed minimum veteran contract that has proven to be a failure, a la Rajon Rondo, Kent Bazemore or DeAndre Jordan. LA could also drop one or both of its two-way players and sign one of the 10-day players into a two-way contract. Any of the four 10-day players can sign another 10-day deal before LA has to make such a decision. The 5'9-inch veteran Point Guard signed his first 10-day deal with the Lakers on the 17th, which means LA can sign him again on a second 10-day deal on the 27th. Given the ongoing struggles to close off secondary ball handlers and helpful shooters, it seems worth a longer look, though it has proven inconsistent on offense and occasionally demotivated on defense.Thomas, 32, a former two-time all- Star showed strong numbers in his first appearance two games with LA. Then his performance fell off a cliff when he averaged 2.5 points in his next two competitions in shooting 2-of-16 from the ground. It was a DNP CD written by David Fizdale in his 122-115th Christmas Day loss to the Nets in what would have been his fifth game with LA. Unfortunately, Thomas's comeback story seems to end with just a ten-day LA deal. He scores an average of 9.3 points per night and shoots 30.8% from the ground (22.7% of which from the depths) and 72.7% from the free-throw line. He also chips in 2.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists in four Play. The Lakers officially announced the signing of forward Jemerrio Jones on the 21st, as did Thomas another ex-Laker. While LA may have a little more time to see what Jones can do on the floor before making a decision, it seems he has already fallen out of favor with David Fizdale. Together with Thomas Jones was also a DNP CD last night. Jones, 26, enjoyed a cup of coffee with the Lakers over six games at the end of the 2018-19 NBA season. With Rob Pelinka's front office seem determined not to look beyond the players he has already brought to the Staples Center / Crypto.com arena, Jones's signing might have come as no surprise to Lakers fans who were paying attention meant to be. In 7.5 minutes a night, Jones holds an average of just 2.0 points and 1.5 rebounds. Darren Collison decided to retire at the age of 31 in the summer of 2019 instead of receiving a lucrative new free agent contract near $ 40 million to $ 50 million. He'd apparently found a niche in the NBA as a reliable shooter with some defensive moxie, and the decision came by surprise to many. The next season, Collison, a native of LA, openly flirted with a comeback on one of his two home teams before finally choosing to stay on retirement. However, this year even Joe Johnson gets dusted and pulled out for a 10-day deal. Collison finally decided to get into the action and make his mild hints come true in Los Angeles by signing with the Lakers on Christmas Eve. On the way to last night's game, Collison, now 34, held a career average of 12.5 points (with a .471 / .394 / .853 slash line), 5.0 assists and 2.7 rebounds in 708 games in 10 years of the NBA -Action. Last night the 6'0 "vet hadn't played an NBA game in two and a half years. Assuming he can get closer to the player he was with a little more run, Collison seems worth a long look. Since he's not a jump Chicken and has missed so much time that it is unrealistic to expect anything more than a role as secondary ball handler and the occasional spot shooter. Stanley Johnson may be the smartest of the Lakers' four signings to date. A clear need for The club, however, was one tall, defense-focused striker. The athletic, switchable Johnson can play both strikers and is fast enough to guard shooting guards. The Arizona-born 25-year-old may not have much of a jumper (he's a 37.5% Shooter from the field), but the 6'6 "vet still seems to have untapped advantages. Johnson signed his deal with LA on Christmas Eve and was immediately thrown into the deep end against the Nets. Johnson played 27:24, the team's sixth highest minute in defeat. He shot 2 for 4 from the ground and 2 of 2 from the foul line to score seven points. He played significantly more minutes than Wayne Ellington or the two-way striker Mason Jones. Trevor Ariza, who was signed as the Lakers' primary defensive big forward this summer, is 35 and has faced injuries and coronavirus issues this young season. Johnson may miss Ariza's shot on goal (despite going 1 out of 3 from outside at Christmas), but he's a better defender. He seems to be destined for at least a second 10-day deal, but could (and should) actually stay a little longer if he can keep it up.

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Lakers LeBron James applauds Russell Westbrook amid brutal losses on Christmas Day

LeBron James made sure to back up teammate Russell Westbrook after another loss. (Author: Gardener)

LeBron JamesOn Saturday evening, the Lakers finally competed against the Nets to experience their eagerly awaited matchup on Christmas Day. Questions about the Lakers performance were floating around, especially considering L. When the game time finally came it seemed that the Lakers were there to do anything. That slowly faded, however, as the Lakers kept running into deficits, which inevitably led to their loss on Christmas Day. One player who continues to be blamed for all of these losses is Russell Westbrook and tonight was no different. Westbrook shot 4 for 20 and was 0-for-3 on threes. Hope seemed lost in the second half of the game when the Lakers fell behind by 20, but they eventually fought their way back. After some impressive defensive games from Westbrook, L.A. was able to finish the game and even take the lead. After the game, LeBron James spoke to the media and talked about how impressed he was with Westbrook, even if he made a few mistakes. “I think he had an off-shoot night. He missed so many shots around the edge that he was used to throughout his career and all season so didn't worry about that, ”said James. "I think his decision-making tonight was spectacular. He gave us extra possessions, he just missed a lot of glances in the basket that I know he can't take that well. Many are questioning Westbrook and his abilities, while he continues to do. " little bugs out there on the pitch. This can be a big deal, however, because these mistakes can cost the game, especially with a nail biter like this one. Westbrook had a free night and he knows it. No player wants to perform badly and it's clear that Westbrook is just as frustrated as everyone else. On the other hand, Westbrook was able to add another triple-double to his career statistics despite multiple misses. The Lakers still have so much potential, they just have to find it. With that in mind, the Lakers have a few more days to themselves before they face the Rockets in Houston on Tuesday.

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Malik Monk shines for Lakers after enduring the COVID protocol mayhem

Malik Monk played on the NBA's COVID logs in his first game after a confusing period, scoring 20 points off the bench for the Lakers in the Christmas Day loss to Nets. (Author: Gardener)

Malik MonkLakers Guard Malik Monk shoots the Brooklyn Nets in the first half of a 122-115 Christmas defeat at the Crypto.com Arena. Monk scored 20 points from the bench. Finally, Lakers sniper Malik Monk was removed from the NBA's health and safety protocols and was able to play. But when he went to court on Saturday at the Crypto.com Arena, Monk was a ray of hope for the Lakers during their 122-115 loss to the Brooklyn Net in one of the NBA's Christmas Day marquee games. Monk had missed the previous five games on the logs, but the reserve guard still looked sharp. He scored 20 points off the bench in eight-on-13 shooting. He scored 10 points in the fourth quarter when the Lakers rebounded from 23 points and the score tied late in the game. I also tried to create for others, ”said Monk. When asked how it went, from clearing to non-clearing, Monk tried his best. "I really don't know what happened, man," he said. Yes i don't know Said it wasn't me and then just switched back and forth. I don't know. "I don't know." Monk was asked if he flew to Dallas with the Lakers on December 14th to start a three-game trip, which would have meant he would beat on December 15th Malik Monk celebrates after a three against the Nets on Saturday. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times) (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times) But once in Dallas, Monk was put on the logs and he didn't fly back immediately Los Angeles. Before the Lakers flew there Minnesota for a game on December 17th, Monk had been evacuated and flew there with the team, but once in Minnesota Monk got back on the logs. "Yeah," said Monk, "I was five Days in Minnesota. "On December 21, Monk finally flew back to Los Angeles but wasn't allowed to play until Christmas. When he got back on the field, Monk gave the Lakers a big boost, even if it didn't result in a win he did us tonight really given a huge boost, "said Lakers assistant coach David Fizdale, who is the interim coach while Frank Vogel is on the logs. A day after the Lakers striker Stanley Johnson was on a 10-day contract using the NBA's hardship exemptions, all they asked him to do was spend time defending Brooklyn's James Harden. Now Harden is one of the deadliest weapons in the NBA, and he showed it with 36 points. But Johnson, having played his first NBA game since May, was working for his points when the 6-foot-7 forward was asked to guard three teams in six seasons. It just does my job, like any other day in the office. ”Johnson added seven points and was a plus-six in the plus-minus division in his 27 minutes 25 seconds of play. "I was in quarantine a day ago, about 36 hours ago ... and I barely have time to do anything, and they throw me into the game and I play for many minutes."

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Which 10-day contracts should LA extend?

With several Lakers on the verge of getting back from COVID-19 logs, LA faces a potential roster crisis. (Author: Gardener)

LAWith several Lakers on the verge of getting back from COVID-19 logs, LA faces a potential roster crisis. Your Los Angeles Lakers are staggering. Losing five games in a row, the Lakers have fallen to a 16-18 record and are facing an intimidating schedule once the NBA calendar changes to 2022. LA is also still without six players at the time of this writing, including all-star Big Man Anthony Davis and launch guardian Avery Bradley. The same goes for the three Lakers who are still on the NBA's COVID-19 logs. Of course, the club was given some relief from its various player absences when they began adding new players through 10-day hardship exemptions. There are currently four new LA players in these deals. The Lakers have 13 players with guaranteed contracts, two essentially role-playing players who have signed non-guaranteed deals and who are likely to see those contracts guaranteed as soon as possible, and two two-way squad slots. The team could forego a guaranteed minimum veteran contract that has proven to be a failure, a la Rajon Rondo, Kent Bazemore or DeAndre Jordan. LA could also drop one or both of its two-way players and sign one of the 10-day players into a two-way contract. Any of the four 10-day players can sign another 10-day deal before LA has to make such a decision. The 5'9-inch veteran Point Guard signed his first 10-day deal with the Lakers on the 17th, which means LA can sign him again on a second 10-day deal on the 27th. Given the ongoing struggles to close off secondary ball handlers and helpful shooters, it seems worth a longer look, though it has proven inconsistent on offense and occasionally demotivated on defense.Thomas, 32, a former two-time all- Star showed strong numbers in his first appearance two games with LA. Then his performance fell off a cliff when he averaged 2.5 points in his next two competitions in shooting 2-of-16 from the ground. It was a DNP CD written by David Fizdale in his 122-115th Christmas Day loss to the Nets in what would have been his fifth game with LA. Unfortunately, Thomas's comeback story seems to end with just a ten-day LA deal. He scores an average of 9.3 points per night and shoots 30.8% from the ground (22.7% of which from the depths) and 72.7% from the free-throw line. He also chips in 2.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists in four Play. The Lakers officially announced the signing of forward Jemerrio Jones on the 21st, as did Thomas another ex-Laker. While LA may have a little more time to see what Jones can do on the floor before making a decision, it seems he has already fallen out of favor with David Fizdale. Together with Thomas Jones was also a DNP CD last night. Jones, 26, enjoyed a cup of coffee with the Lakers over six games at the end of the 2018-19 NBA season. With Rob Pelinka's front office seem determined not to look beyond the players he has already brought to the Staples Center / Crypto.com arena, Jones's signing might have come as no surprise to Lakers fans who were paying attention meant to be. He still has to crack the rotation of the Lakers in a meaningful way. In 7.5 minutes a night, Jones holds an average of just 2.0 points and 1.5 rebounds. Darren Collison decided to retire at the age of 31 in the summer of 2019 instead of receiving a lucrative new free agent contract near $ 40 million to $ 50 million. He'd apparently found a niche in the NBA as a reliable shooter with some defensive moxie, and the decision came by surprise to many. The next season, Collison, a native of LA, openly flirted with a comeback on one of his two home teams before finally choosing to stay on retirement. However, this year even Joe Johnson gets dusted and pulled out for a 10-day deal. Collison finally decided to get into the action and make his mild hints come true in Los Angeles by signing with the Lakers on Christmas Eve. On the way to last night's game, Collison, now 34, held a career average of 12.5 points (with a .471 / .394 / .853 slash line), 5.0 assists and 2.7 rebounds in 708 games in 10 years of the NBA -Action. Last night the 6'0 "vet hadn't played an NBA game in two and a half years. He didn't score when he left the 0 of 2 field in 12:05. Provided he can get close to the player Jumping is and has wasted so much time, it's unrealistic to expect anything other than a role as second ball carrier and the occasional spot shooter. Stanley Johnson is possibly the smartest of the Lakers' four signings to date. The athletic, reversible Johnson can play either striker and is quick enough to guard shooting guards. The 25-year-old from Arizona may not have quite a jumper (he's a 37.5% shooter off the field), but the 6'6 "vet still seems untapped to have. Johnson signed his deal with LA on Christmas Eve and was immediately thrown into the deep end against the Nets. Johnson played 27:24, the team's sixth highest minute in defeat. He shot 2 for 4 from the ground and 2 of 2 from the foul line to score seven points. He played significantly more minutes than Wayne Ellington or the two-way striker Mason Jones. Trevor Ariza, who was signed as the Lakers' primary defensive big forward this summer, is 35 and has faced injuries and coronavirus issues this young season. Johnson may miss Ariza's shot on goal (despite going 1 out of 3 from outside at Christmas), but he's a better defender. He seems to be destined for at least a second 10-day deal, but could (and should) actually stay a little longer if he can keep it up.

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Browns ’Myles Garrett plays through the pain and frustration of losing Packers

- Myles Garrett knows he doesn't have to say it. After the 24.-22. Saturday's Christmas loss to the Green Bay Packers is familiar to anyone who cares for the Cleveland Browns from afar, the frustration Garrett wore after another narrow loss in Cleveland in a year that began full of promise. "It's frustrating for everyone to watch," said Garrett. (Author: Gardener)

Myles GarrettThe Green Bay Packers celebrate a first down rush that secured their victory as Myles Garrett (C) kneels in the grass in the fourth quarter of Lambeau Field. - Myles Garrett knows he doesn't have to say it. After the 24.-22. Saturday's Christmas loss to the Green Bay Packers is familiar to anyone who cares for the Cleveland Browns from afar, the frustration Garrett wore after another narrow loss in Cleveland in a year that began full of promise. Green Bay Packers offensive tackle Yosh Nijman (73) keeps Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett away from Packers quarterback Aaron Rogers during a passing game in the first half at Lambeau Field. "It's frustrating for everyone to watch," said Garrett. “When you're a Browns fan, you get frustrated. When you are a Browns player you get frustrated. Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers pumps his fist on a first down rush that secured their victory as Myles Garrett, the defensive end of the Cleveland Browns, kneels in the grass in the fourth quarter of Lambeau Field. The Browns (7-8) have now lost six games with six points or less this season. Two of those losses came in the past six days after Cleveland lost 4:14 at home to the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday to a final field goal from Daniel Carlson. In the 24-22 defeat on Saturday, the Packers benefited from the interceptions of Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield. The three picks Mayfield threw in the first half equated to 21 points for Green Bay as quarterback Aaron Rodgers turned the takeaways into three touchdowns. The fourth and final Mayfield interception came with less than a minute of play on what could have been the game win for the Browns. The Browns defense kept Rodgers from finding the end zone in the second half when he didn't have those short fields. During the fourth quarter, the defense also forced two threesomes that kept Cleveland in the game until the last minute. Despite the frustration, Garrett was naturally unwilling to point a finger after the game. He said he would support Mayfield as long as he was the team's quarterback, adding that there is always something that defense can do better too. "I mean, it's frustrating as hell," said Garrett. This is not our side of the ball in defense. But at the end of the day, when you start blaming someone else, you can't focus on yourself and what to do better. “So for now we're going back to the drawing board on the defensive side of the ball and see how we can fix what we did wrong in the first half and how we can take the ball away because if we do it will be another Game. "Adding to the frustration for Garrett this week is the groin injury he is going through, largely responsible for his tackling and quarterback hit on Saturday. The defensive end came during the fourth quarter injured of Monday's Raiders game but stayed in the game and even jumped high enough to nearly block the game-winning Carlson kick. After that game, Garrett said, "You have to kill me to get me off this field, or you gotta break my leg, ”so it's not surprising that Garrett wanted to fight through his injury for this match with the AFC North rating as close as it is and the season is almost over s game of the Packer, Garrett's injury was serious enough to keep him off the training field all week. On Thursday coach Kevin Stefanski said Garrett was likely to play "50/50". Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett leaves the field after their loss to the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. He said the injury felt "like s ---" but felt an obligation to play. "When I got out and took my stance for the first time, I knew it was going to be pretty tough," Garrett said. I do it for my teammates, my coaches, everyone who is part of the Browns organization. The defensive end of the Cleveland Browns, Myles Garrett, is slow to come off the pitch after a leg injury in the first half against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. "If I can go out and play and try to be a force in defense, I'll try to give the last bit of energy I have." Garrett's attitude to playing through an injury of this caliber has not gone unnoticed by his teammates. "We know the Myles, the 100% healthy - and shoot, even if he's not healthy, he's still a superman," said Walker. “For him, standing out there fighting with us, that nagging injury, that's a tough man. At this point in his career, Garrett feels comfortable having high standards not just of himself but of everyone around him. Because of this, he highlighted the Browns' lack of adjustment in their 7-45 loss to the Patriots last month. So after saying goodbye to Brown's Week 13, he said her focus could be better. The same high standards are why he broke the Browns' single season sack record with 15.0 and count this year. The Browns may no longer be in the driver's seat when it comes to their own fate, but Garrett will continue to have those high standards when it comes to controlling what this team can do. "Pittsburgh wins," Garrett said. It's not up to us, like you said, but we have to go out and see what we can do with it. ”Browns lose 24-22 to the Packers as Baker Mayfield throws four interceptions. Rate Baker Mayfield's performance against the Packers Week 16 (poll) against Packers were terrible, but the Browns can still win AFC North if it rebounds: Mary Kay Cabot Brown's offensive shows a sign of life despite losing to Packers: Scott Patsko Chubb tries to be the hero for the Browns But losing to Packers isn't enough: Ashley Bastock Watch Baker Mayfield throws a 5-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Schwartz vs.

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Christmas game shows Nets, Lakers in opposite directions

James Harden got help from his teammates while LeBron was a one-man show in Brooklyn's win over L.A., writes Melissa Rohlin. (Author: Gardener)

ChristmasAt the start of this season, the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets were the teams. They had enough star power to put together an all-star roster that could beat any combination of players from the other 28 teams in the NBA. But the marquee Christmas game on Sunday showed the opposing paths that the teams have taken since the beginning of their season. Despite the odds, the Nets excelled while the Lakers refueled. Sunday had all the hallmarks of a Christmas drama at prime time. Lakers Governor Jeanie Buss wore a necklace made of Christmas lights. Seven Nets players were sidelined due to health and safety protocols, including superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Meanwhile, the Lakers were missing three players for the same reason, as well as superstar Anthony Davis, who recently sustained an MCL sprain in his left knee. But in the 122-115 victory of the Nets against the Lakers it was crystal clear why they are the best team in the Eastern Conference with a record of 22: 9, while the Lakers are in seventh place in the west on the field with 16 -18 . The Nets play like a team. The Lakers often play like superstar LeBron James ... James was spectacular, finishing with 39 points and 56% shooting, nine rebounds and seven assists in 40 minutes. It was the fourth game in a row that he scored more than 30 points, but his team lost. The Lakers had two members of their Big Three on the court, but it didn't seem that way. Russell Westbrook only had 13 points in 4v20, including missing all three of his shots from beyond the arc, although he also ended up with 12 rebounds and 11 assists in 37 minutes. When James was on the court, the Lakers outperformed the Nets by nine points. When Westbrook was on the court, the Lakers were beaten by 23 points. The Lakers' reigning head coach David Fizdale had a suggestion on how the team could improve when James is not on the field. "We can clone him," said Fizdale. It goes without saying that the Lakers have had a lot of bumps this season, so their record should be treated with caution. James has missed 12 games with abdominal and ankle injuries. Davis narrowly missed his seventh game and is expected to be sidelined for at least another month. Westbrook is in his first season in the squad. And several other players were in and out of the line-up due to COVID-19 and injuries. But the nets also had a lot of bumps. And for whatever reason, they managed to succeed despite their challenges. In fact, the Nets have lost a member of their Big Three all season because of Irving's vaccination status. The team recently announced that it will bring him back as a part-time player for street games. Additionally, the Nets have 10 players in the league on health and safety logs. Their last three games were postponed because they didn't have the minimum eight players required. This was her first game in a week. Harden returned for Christmas after being quarantined for 10 days after testing positive for COVID-19. In his first second leg he shone with 36 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. He never missed a beat, even though, in his words, he spent that time doing "a lot of nothing", including video games and binge-watching shows. On Christmas night, he did what a superstar should do in one of the most important games of the season. And considering he was the only available member of the Big Three of the Nets, his teammates also did their part. Patty Mills had 34 points in 11v17, including 8v13 from beyond the arc and ended up with seven assists. Bruce Brown and DeAndre 'Bembry combined for an efficient 31 points in 12v17 shooting, despite having returned from health and safety logs on Saturday as well. And then there was Nic Claxton, who arguably made the game of the game by jamming James from a Lob from Harden with a score of 115-115 and 45 seconds to go. He was fouled and took his free throw to complete the three-point game. "They gave me everything they give every night," said Harden of these three players. Meanwhile, the team on the other coast didn't get that kind of help for its superstar. James, who is in his 19th season and will turn 37 next week, was spectacular. Nobody could help him permanently. "Oh my god, I kick my head for he's trying so hard," said Fizdale. The Lakers fought their way back from a 23-point deficit in the fourth quarter of James' spectacular game. During this time he got help from Malik Monk, who had 10 of his 20 points in the last 12 minutes. It was not too late for the Lakers. They didn't have enough juice to complete the Christmas miracle. The two teams, widely viewed as championship contenders at the start of the season, have had contrasting experiences. The Lakers continue to sink in the quicksand, though James valiantly tries to pull himself and everyone around him out of the hole. Meanwhile, the nets somehow manage to help each other navigate the landmines around them. At Christmas, Nets coach Steve Nash was able to leave the arena with the best feeling a coach can have. It's a statement that the Lakers haven't got anywhere near enough to say this season.

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James Harden, Patty Mills come to the rescue after LeBron James leads the comeback

Findings from an exciting Christmas matchup (Author: Gardener)

James HardenWhile many stars were absent from the game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday night, the players who took the floor put on quite a show. After falling up to 23 points in the fourth quarter, the Lakers put on a furious rally to level things out in the last minute of the regulations. In the end, however, it was not enough, because the Nets were able to escape Los Angeles with a 122-115 victory. It was the fifth straight loss for the Lakers, who drop to 16-18 in the season, while the Nets improve to a 22-9 Eastern Conference best. LeBron James and James Harden were almost unstoppable for their respective teams as James finished with 39 points to go with nine rebounds and seven assists, while Harden scored a triple-double of 36 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in victory. Patty Mills was also masterly for Brooklyn when the Veteran Guard put down eight shots from beyond the bow to end on a career high of 34 points. Whether or not this ultimately ends up being the kind of NBA Finals preview fans thought the season started remains to be seen, but for tonight at least, the Nets and Lakers didn't disappoint. That didn't stop Saturday's matchup from being a star-studded affair as Harden and James went back and forth demonstrating why they're perennial all-stars and former MVPs. In his first game in over two weeks, Harden finished health and safety protocols in classic form and orchestrated the offensive during Brooklyn's scoring explosion in the first three quarters. In the fourth play, however, he seemed to be running out of gas, possibly due to his stamina, as he only scored four points and did not score a field goal in the last frame. After the Lakers were 20 points behind early in the fourth quarter, James broke out with 13 points and six assists in the 3v5 3-point shootout in the final frame to score a 17-0 run that would be his Team right back into the mix. He's done a bit of everything - besides his offensive orchestration, shooting, and deadly transition play, he's cut, screened, and propelled his way to the basket. He also overtook Kobe Bryant and became the NBA's top scorer on Christmas Day. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough for the Lakers, which was also due to the other outstanding artist of the evening: Patty Mills. Mills isn't usually considered a star (unless you see him competing for Australia internationally) but he certainly shone on Christmas Day. He shot career highs in points (34) and 3-pointers (eight, most ever for an NBA game on Christmas Day) and brought the Nets to victory after the devastating Lakers run. Mills' 3-pointer at 1:34 before the game gave Brooklyn a five-point cushion and some much-needed air to breathe. The Nets did a great job from Harden and certainly missed Durant, but if they get games like this from Mills - which has happened more often this season - they will be in good shape. The box score tells you that he had a triple-double (13 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists) which may seem like a good game until you find out that he was 4:20 off the field and being team worst ended minus-23. He also failed on several marginal opportunities, including a devastating missed dunk that would have put the Lakers on one point, 26 seconds behind. With LeBron dominant and Carmelo Anthony filling the stat (17 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, three blocks, two steals), the Lakers basically needed an average game from Westbrook on offense and they just didn't get it. Thanks to Westbrook for not being affected by his bad night of shooting - he led the team with five offensive rebounds that earned some of the Lakers' 20 second chance points, but he just has to do better with Davis out of the lineup, when the Lakers put together some victories. There were a ton of huge shots during this game, but none bigger than Nic Claxton's and a dunk just over 40 seconds to give the Nets a head start they weren't going to give up. Claxton finished with 15 points, six rebounds, three assists, and a career high of five blocks. With Blake Griffin falling out of rotation before the Nets roster was ravaged by logs, Claxton will be an integral part of Brooklyn's attack on both ends of the court. Harden and Mills were fantastic, but the Nets couldn't have won without great support from their supporting cast. We mentioned Claxton earlier, but Bruce Brown (16 points, six rebounds, four assists), DeAndre 'Bembry (15 points, five rebounds) and James Johnson (eight points, four rebounds, three assists) all made a big impact on that Game at both ends. With the dynamic of Harden and the shooting of Mills, the Lakers often left Bembry open in the corner, and he made them pay by knocking down all three of his attempts from behind the arch. After all, he had only made three or more threesomes five times in his entire six-year career when he stepped into the game on Saturday. The Nets won by seven points and Bembry had nine on those three 3-pointers alone, so he certainly made the Lakers pay that night. The furious late comeback was great and all, but it doesn't hide the fact that, defensively, the Lakers were absolutely terrible - once again - for the first three quarters of the game when they took 102 points for the Nets. Los Angeles has allowed 114 points per 100 possessions during its five-game losing streak, which the way the team struggles to put the ball in the basket just can't match. Yes, Bembry had a good night of shooting, but there's just no excuse for leaving the red hot mills to try and contest a Bembry corner 3-pointer. This was just one example of the lack of attention to detail (and sometimes effort) that led to the Lakers' poor defense during their losing streak.

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