Anthony Davis scores 50 to lead Lakers past Timberwolves

first_imgPreviousLos Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James (23) is defended by Minnesota Timberwolves’ Robert Covington (33) and Andrew Wiggins (22) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James (23) shoots against Minnesota Timberwolves’ Andrew Wiggins (22) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsLos Angeles Lakers’ Anthony Davis (3) and Minnesota Timberwolves’ Robert Covington (33) fight for a rebound during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James (23) goes to basket while defended by Minnesota Timberwolves’ Andrew Wiggins (22) and Robert Covington (33) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers’ Anthony Davis (3) drives to basket while defended by Minnesota Timberwolves’ Robert Covington (33) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Minnesota Timberwolves’ Andrew Wiggins (22) shoots under pressure from Los Angeles Lakers’ JaVale McGee (7) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers’ Anthony Davis (3) shoots under pressure from Minnesota Timberwolves’ Andrew Wiggins (22) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Minnesota Timberwolves’ Jarrett Culver (23) shoots against Los Angeles Lakers’ Danny Green (14) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers’ Dwight Howard (39) dunks against Minnesota Timberwolves during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers’ Anthony Davis (3) shoots against Minnesota Timberwolves’ Jordan Bell (7) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers’ Danny Green (14) celebrates with teammates Dwight Howard (39) and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (1) after making a 3-pointer during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Minnesota Timberwolves’ Robert Covington (33) goes to basket under pressure from Los Angeles Lakers’ Danny Green (14) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Minnesota Timberwolves’ Jarrett Culver (23) and Los Angeles Lakers’ Dwight Howard (39) fight for a ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Minnesota Timberwolves’ Josh Okogie (20) goes to basket under pressure from Los Angeles Lakers’ Danny Green (14) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James (23) dunks against Minnesota Timberwolves’ Gorgui Dieng (5) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James (23) is defended by Minnesota Timberwolves’ Robert Covington (33) and Andrew Wiggins (22) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)NextShow Caption1 of 15Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James (23) is defended by Minnesota Timberwolves’ Robert Covington (33) and Andrew Wiggins (22) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)ExpandLOS ANGELES — “Well, you know, we’re confident,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel surmised before Sunday’s 142-125 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves at Staples Center.“We’ve been putting up some big numbers. And obviously the plan of having two superstars offensively that are both willing passers, putting shooting around them and lob threats at the rim so far is working for us.“But,” Vogel concluded, in his best coachspeak, “it all comes down to the defensive end.”Turns out, even when the Lakers are not at their sharpest defensively, and even when LeBron James gets himself in foul trouble early and their other floor general Rajon Rondo is out with a tight hamstring — having Anthony Davis counts for a lot. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersHe counted for 50 on Sunday.Davis’ 39-point effort Friday at Portland was just an appetizer for Sunday, when he enjoyed the fourth 50-point game of his career and his first as a Laker, making his first six shots to put his new squad on his back before carrying them the rest of the way with another sterling performance.“My teammates kept giving me the ball,” said Davis, who said they were urging him to go for 50 at halftime. “I was still trying to play the right way, but I was being ultra-aggressive.”Davis delivered what Vogel termed an “old-school, smash-mouth” performance. The Lakers’ 6-foot-10 superstar finished 20 for 29 from the field and 10 for 10 from the free-throw line, where fans serenaded him with “M-V-P” chants.He added seven rebounds, six assists, four steals and a block in 39 minutes (the most this season with the exception of the Lakers’ overtime win Nov. 1 in Dallas). Every time the Lakers (21-3) needed to turn the tide, Davis was there to spin past defenders for a bucket, to throw down a lob, to flick a shot rimward or to back up and bury a jumper.“He’s great,” James said. “I mean, there’s nothing more you can say than that.”Davis’ prolific, proficient output — combined with James’ 32 points in 28 minutes — mitigated a productive night offensively by the Timberwolves, who shot 51.8 percent, had eight players score in double-digits and needed only until the start of the fourth quarter to exceed opponents’ 103.7 points-per-game scoring average against the Lakers.“I yelled at them for giving up 125 points tonight,” Vogel said. “I don’t think anybody really heard me. But, we gotta do better than that at that end of the floor — or if we score 142 points, we don’t.”After trailing by as much as 11 points early, Minnesota took their first lead with 5:46 to play before halftime, 52-51, on a 3-pointer by Andrew Wiggins.And when the Lakers built a 19-point lead in the third quarter, again the T-wolves surged, cutting it to 105-95 with 2:25 to go in the period.But Minnesota never got closer than 112-105 early in the fourth, as the Lakers outscored their guests, 32-22 in the final period. It was the Lakers’ fourth consecutive victory and Minnesota’s fourth straight defeat.James also recorded 13 assists despite being limited by four first-half fouls. He picked up No. 4 when he was called for a block on a Robert Covington drive, returning to the bench because of it with 2:27 to go in the first half.That event might have felt foreboding, especially without Rondo’s services available — except, you know, Davis.Minnesota didn’t score again in the first half after James went to the bench, as the Lakers launched on an 11-0 run — with Davis contributing six of his 27 first-half points in that span. L.A. went into the break in front, 73-65.“Tonight we had a challenge because our two primary quarterbacks, Rondo and LeBron — in foul trouble — were out,” Vogel said. “So we had to figure out how to impact the game, and obviously AD impacted the game on the defensive end, helping us get stops and get out on the break, and then the other guys stepped up. We know how to play through AD when we need to. That was a critical stretch in this victory.”Alex Caruso came off the bench to score 16 points on 6-for-11 shooting, Danny Green had 12 points and eight rebounds and And Dwight Howard celebrated his 34th birthday with eight points, two rebounds.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

53 of employers cannot afford nonperformancerelated benefits

first_imgMore than half (53%) of employer respondents cannot afford to provide non-performance-related benefits because their organisation does not have sufficient budget, according to research by One4all Rewards.Its survey of 1,024 UK employees and 476 UK employers also found that 10% of employer respondents are currently making use of the tax exemption on trivial benefits. Trivial benefits are defined as those where: the cost of providing the benefit does not exceed £50 (or the average cost per employee if a benefit is provided to a group of employees and it is impracticable to work out the exact cost per person); the benefit is not cash or a cash voucher; the employee is not entitled to the benefit as part of any contractual obligation, including under salary sacrifice arrangements; and the benefit is not provided in recognition of particular services performed by the employee as part of their employment duties.The research also found:83% of employer respondents want to give regular bonuses and rewards to their employees in order to boost morale, motivation and loyalty.22% of employer respondents are aware of the tax relief available on trivial benefits, and 11% are planning to make use of them before the end of the current tax year.48% of employee respondents believe that receiving trivial benefits would improve their morale, 35% say it would make them feel more loyal to the organisation, and 31% think receiving these benefits would motivate them to work harder.62% of employee respondents feel that a gift voucher or card which allows them to choose their own reward would have the biggest impact on their attitude towards work.47% of employee respondents say that they would appreciate a bonus or reward which is not linked to their performance at Christmas, 32% would like to receive a bonus after a particularly busy period at work, and 26% would like to be given a bonus or reward on their birthday.Alan Smith (pictured), UK managing director at One4All Rewards, said: “There is lots of potential for British businesses to offer non-performance related benefits to their staff under the latest [HM Revenue and Customs] changes to the workplace benefits rule.“The changes to the workplace benefits rule have been introduced to help businesses similar to those we surveyed, which have limited budgets to reward their employees. We can see from the research that only a small proportion of businesses are currently making use of the tax exemption on trivial benefits, however, 11% of UK bosses are intending to make use of the tax exemption before the end of their tax year.“As Christmas was highlighted as the top season [employees] would like to receive a benefit, now is the perfect time for business leaders to consider making the most of the tax exemptions on non-performance-related trivial benefits.”last_img read more