Basketball

LeBron James gets uneasy over bubble talk as NBA tightens measures

LeBron James guided the Los Angeles Lakers to the NBA Championship inside a bio-secure environment in Orlando last year, but said just the thought of being stuck inside a bubble again gives him the shakes.

The 2019-20 season was hit with a four-month delay due to the Covid-19 pandemic and was completed in October with teams competing in a bubble at Walt Disney World.

The Lakers captured a record-tying 17th NBA Championship on Oct 12 with a victory over the Miami Heat.

"Well, the bubble was a success from a performance standpoint as far as our league getting back on," said James, whose side beat Houston Rockets 117-100 at Toyota Center in Houston yesterday morning (Singapore time).

"I haven't thought about the bubble much after I left. You continue to give me PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) every time you ask me about the bubble. I started shaking thinking about 96 straight nights in that place."

The NBA has told players to remain at their residences when they are at home, and in hotels when on the road, for at least the next two weeks as part of its new health protocols.

The league postponed one game on Sunday and three this week due to the virus, but has said it had no plans to put the shortened season on hold.

James scored 22 of his game-high 26 points in the first half against the Rockets and the Lakers posted their second runaway victory over the Rockets in as many games.

In New York, Kevin Durant poured in 34 points and handed out 13 assists as the Brooklyn Nets rallied from an 18-point deficit to beat the Denver Nuggets 122-116.

Durant shot 12-for-18 from the floor overall.

He scored 14 points in the third quarter, when the Nets erased a 79-61 lead in the final nine-plus minutes, and secured Brooklyn's biggest comeback of the season by hitting a short shot with 1:14 remaining in the game and a three-pointer to give the Nets a 120-113 lead with 27.9 seconds to go. - AFP, REUTERS

Basketball