NBA

Kobe Bryant inspires LeBron James, Lakers in Game 4 rout of Blazers

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — No longer could Kobe Bryant deliver a win for the Los Angeles Lakers with a dramatic game-winner and unmatched competitiveness. Still, the Lakers benefited from his influence in their 135-115 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday in Game 4 of their first-round NBA playoff series. A day after […]

NBA

Opinion: Why NBA should add play-in tournament in normal seasons

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The games brought unpredictable drama by the day and by almost every possession. The Portland Trail Blazers, Memphis Grizzlies, Phoenix Suns and San Antonio Spurs fought for an appearance in a play-in tournament that did not become decided until the last day of their final regular-season games. With the NBA halting […]

NBA

NBA playoffs bold predictions: Four of the most unexpected first-round upsets

The final eight regular-season games of the 2019-20 NBA season allowed teams to shake off some rust following a four-month stoppage because of the coronavirus pandemic. They also featured surprises as some teams showed flashes of how they could outplay their playoff seed.  With the first-round playoff matchups set, USA TODAY Sports ranks four of the most […]