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LeBron James, Austin Reaves power Lakers over Trail Blazers

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Generally it’s a fast look again over his shoulder earlier than spinning the opposite method. Different instances it’s a pretend with the ball or possibly along with his head.

No matter it’s, the outcome, more and more, has been the identical — Austin Reaves determining a technique to create sufficient house to make a play.

Borrowing from the playbooks of NBA greats like Hakeem Olajuwon on one possession and Steve Smith on the following (he even channeled a two-handed Charles Barkley dunk), Reaves’ offensive acumen has established himas a constant risk for the Lakers’ offense.

“Austin is simply … he simply likes to hoop,” coach Darvin Ham stated. “Only a actual versatile offensive participant — he can do a ton of issues on that finish.”

In a sport the crew wanted to win earlier than it heads out on a tough six-game journey, Reaves scored a season-high 22 factors within the Lakers’ 128-109 win towards the Portland Path Blazers on Wednesday evening at Crypto.com Enviornment.

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LeBron James scored 31 factors, Anthony Davis had 27, Thomas Bryant had 14 and Russell Westbrook ended the second and third quarters with buzzer-beating three-pointers as a part of his 10 factors.

For Reaves, it’s the eighth time within the final 9 video games he has scored not less than 10 factors, and for Davis it was his eighth straight sport with not less than 20 factors and 10 rebounds.

It was the Lakers’ sixth win of their final eight video games, giving them some momentum as they go away for his or her longest journey of the season with stops in Milwaukee, Washington, Cleveland, Toronto, Philadelphia and Detroit.

For the second straight sport, the Lakers constructed an enormous second-half lead and, oddly sufficient, for the second straight sport, the crew celebrated with a fan who gained a half-court shot contest earlier than the beginning of the fourth quarter.

Lakers guard Austin Reaves throws down a dunk towards the Portland Path Blazers within the first quarter at Crypto.com Enviornment on Wednesday.

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(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Occasions)

However not like the sport with the Indiana Pacers when the Lakers coughed up a 17-point lead, the Lakers held off Portland because of their stars.

Towards the Path Blazers, who have been enjoying with out Damian Lillard and ex-Laker Josh Hart, James was in excellent rhythm offensively. He made his first seven pictures, powerfully slamming dwelling the final in that stretch. He ended with six threes, seven rebounds and eight assists — a bounce again after a tricky fourth quarter within the Lakers’ loss Tuesday when he shot two for eight.

He scored 9 factors within the fourth quarter, but it surely was Davis — who took solely two pictures towards the Pacers within the ultimate 12 minutes — discovering one other gear late. He made 5 of seven from the sphere and went to the free-throw line 4 instances on his technique to 14 factors within the fourth quarter.

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And although 5 Path Blazers scored in double figures, led by Jerami Grant’s 27, just one different Portland participant made a number of area targets.

The Lakers have been down two starters with guards Lonnie Walker IV and Troy Brown Jr. each scratched earlier than the sport due to left foot soreness.

It compelled the Lakers, who obtained Patrick Beverley again from a three-game suspension, to make use of their twelfth completely different beginning lineup.

“I feel it’s indicative of circumstances, for probably the most half,” Ham stated earlier than the sport.

“I imply, we’ve had guys provide you with accidents. We’ve had guys provide you with diseases. I imply, it’s been a wide range of causes and so within the strategy of looking for a constant rotation, you’re going to undergo that. Particularly, it’s not simply me, us, having these completely different lineups and everyone seems to be wholesome. You’re compelled to do various things at completely different instances.”

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One fill-in to Wednesday’s the beginning lineup, Reaves once more confirmed his worth to the Lakers, a gentle hand with the flexibility to shake free when the crew wanted a bucket.

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Chiefs’ Travis Kelce to the Cincinnati mayor: ‘Know your role and shut your mouth’

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Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval did some trash-talking on Friday, proclaiming Sunday “They Gotta Play Us Day” to rejoice the Bengals taking over the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs whereas throwing shade at Patrick Mahomes and supporting the “Burrowhead” saying from his staff. 

After defeating the Bengals within the AFC Championship, Chiefs tight finish Travis Kelce stored his receipts and had some phrases to say. 

Whereas holding the Lamar Hunt Trophy for successful the convention but once more, Kelce used his mic time to name out Pureval. 

Jan 29, 2023; Kansas Metropolis, Missouri, USA; Kansas Metropolis Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) gestures earlier than the snap towards the Cincinnati Bengals throughout the third quarter of the AFC Championship sport at GEHA Discipline at Arrowhead Stadium.
(Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports activities)

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“I’ve received some sensible phrases for that Cincinnati mayor. Know your function and shut your mouth, you jabroni!” he screamed to a raucous crowd of cheering followers. 

Kelce, then, screamed, “You gotta combat in your proper to occasion!” which he did once they went to Tremendous Bowl LIV, which gave him and Mahomes their first profession rings after defeating the San Francisco 49ers. 

CINCINNATI MAYOR RIPS PATRICK MAHOMES IN PROCLAMATION, JOKES JOE BURROW IS MAHOMES’ FATHER AHEAD OF TITLE GAME

“Burrowhead” was thrown out by the Bengals after beating the Buffalo Payments within the divisional spherical, which is a play on the Chiefs’ Arrowhead Stadium. Joe Burrow hasn’t misplaced to the Chiefs in his profession main as much as this contest, together with a come-from-behind victory within the AFC Championship final 12 months to advance to the Tremendous Bowl. 

However Mahomes even had some phrases for that nickname after being pulled over for his post-game interview. 

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I used to be with this staff, man. We performed collectively. I stated it from the start, after we have been within the locker room, I stated we gotta be collectively and this staff stepped up. It’s an excellent soccer staff and we confirmed this place that it’s Arrowhead, it’s not Burrowhead out right here,” he stated. 

Travis Kelce #87 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates with teammate Marquez Valdes-Scantling #11 after scoring a touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals during the second quarter in the AFC Championship Game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium on January 29, 2023 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Travis Kelce #87 of the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs celebrates with teammate Marquez Valdes-Scantling #11 after scoring a landing towards the Cincinnati Bengals throughout the second quarter within the AFC Championship Recreation at GEHA Discipline at Arrowhead Stadium on January 29, 2023 in Kansas Metropolis, Missouri.
(David Eulitt/Getty Photographs)

Pureval additionally ripped Kansas Metropolis as an entire, saying it was “simply form of bizarre” that town is known as after a neighboring state – it’s in Missouri, not Kansas. 

The reality of the matter is Kansas Metropolis has been the host of 5 straight AFC Championships, the place the Chiefs are actually 3-2. 

TRAVIS, JASON KELCE’S PARENTS SHARE CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP PLANS, BRACE FOR BROTHERLY MATCHUP IN SUPER BOWL

Regardless of taking part in with a high-ankle sprain, Mahomes was electrical on this sport, throwing for 326 yards and two touchdowns to paved the way on offense. Kelce had a type of touchdowns, which was the primary of the sport, whereas Marquez Valdes-Scantling hauled within the different. 

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In the meantime, Burrow threw two interceptions to at least one landing move, ending the sport 26 of 41 for 270 yards. 

Burrow might need the general successful file on this budding rivalry, nevertheless it’s the Chiefs heading again to the Tremendous Bowl. 

Travis Kelce #87 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates after catching a pass for a touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals during the second quarter in the AFC Championship Game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium on January 29, 2023 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Travis Kelce #87 of the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs celebrates after catching a move for a landing towards the Cincinnati Bengals throughout the second quarter within the AFC Championship Recreation at GEHA Discipline at Arrowhead Stadium on January 29, 2023 in Kansas Metropolis, Missouri.
(David Eulitt/Getty Photographs)

Mahomes and Kelce wasted no time rubbing it in. 

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Patrick Mahomes showcases his generational talent as Chiefs reach Super Bowl again

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Patrick Mahomes was alleged to be hobbled, or on the very least restricted.

A proper ankle sprain suffered every week earlier than the AFC championship recreation made the trash-talking Cincinnati Bengals favorites over Mahomes and a Kansas Metropolis Chiefs workforce enjoying host to the convention title recreation for the fifth yr in a row.

However on Sunday evening, Mahomes confirmed as soon as once more why he’s considered maybe the NFL’s finest quarterback and a generational expertise.

Mahomes made the important thing play when he scrambled for a primary down — and absorbed a late hit — to arrange Harrison Butker’s 45-yard area objective with three seconds left that gave the Chiefs a 23-20 victory earlier than 73,426 at Arrowhead Stadium.

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The Chiefs ended a three-game dropping streak in opposition to the Bengals, who defeated them in final season’s AFC championship recreation, and superior to the Tremendous Bowl for the third time in 4 years.

“We wished to play this workforce, and we obtained ’em at Arrowhead Stadium and we have been capable of end the job this time,” Mahomes stated. “And the job’s not completed for us.”

The Chiefs will play the NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles, 31-7 winners Sunday over the San Francisco 49ers, in Tremendous Bowl LVII on Feb. 12 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.

For anybody conversant in NFL historical past, it would as properly be dubbed the Andy Reid Bowl.

Kansas Metropolis Chiefs coach Andy Reid celebrates with defensive finish Frank Clark after the workforce’s win over the Cincinnati Bengals.

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(Brynn Anderson / Related Press)

The Chiefs coach is in his tenth season in Kansas Metropolis after 14 with the Eagles, whom he led to the Tremendous Bowl in 2004.

“I had a good time there,” Reid stated of his years in Philadelphia. “I’m pleased for them. Joyful for the town.”

Nobody was happier than Mahomes to return to the Tremendous Bowl. He received the NFL’s Most worthy participant award in 2018 and received the Tremendous Bowl the following season.

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However he fell in need of successful back-to-back titles when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Chiefs in Tremendous Bowl LV. And he endured three straight defeats by the Bengals and quarterback Joe Burrow.

“After I first obtained within the league, all of it occurred so quick,” he stated. “I received MVP. I received the Tremendous Bowl.

“I assumed that’s simply form of the way it went. … Now that I’ve handled failure, dropping the AFC championship, dropping the Tremendous Bowl, I understand how a lot arduous work and each day grind it takes.”

Mahomes and his teammates didn’t want further motivation going into Sunday’s recreation. However the Bengals supplied it.

Cornerback Mike Hilton dubbed Arrowhead Stadium “Burrowhead.” The mayor of Cincinnati even obtained in on the act.

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“Burrowhead my ass,” tight finish Travis Kelce stated throughout a tv interview after the sport.

Mahomes stated he and his teammates heard the barbs.

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow carries the ball against the Kansas City Chiefs in the second half.

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow carries the ball in opposition to the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs within the second half.

(Brynn Anderson / Related Press)

“Guys have been in all probability as pumped up as I’ve ever seen them going right into a soccer recreation,” Mahomes stated. “A whole lot of trash discuss coming from plenty of totally different locations.”

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Mahomes shook off the discuss and the harm and performed a recreation that was quick on magic however lengthy on clutch play.

On a day that featured a temperature of twenty-two levels at kickoff and a wind chill of 10, Mahomes accomplished 29 of 43 passes for 326 yards, together with landing throws to Kelce and Marquez Valdes-Scantling.

He appeared restricted only some instances. Within the third quarter, Mahomes rolled to his left and threw again to his proper to finish a move. However as he ran again to the huddle, he was noticeably limping for the primary time.

“It positively didn’t really feel good,” he stated.

The ache was worse the following collection when he tried to retrieve a ball that slipped out his hand and was recovered for a fumble by the Bengals.

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Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker celebrates after the team's victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.

Kansas Metropolis Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker celebrates the workforce’s victory over the Cincinnati Bengals within the AFC championship recreation.

(Brynn Anderson / Related Press)

Burrow additionally was absorbing photographs. A Chiefs protection led by deal with Chris Jones and Frank Clark sacked Burrow 5 instances — 4 within the first half — and rookie cornerbacks Jaylen Watson and Joshua Williams intercepted passes.

Burrow accomplished 26 of 41 passes for 270 yards and a landing.

And the Chiefs stored giving him alternatives to repeat final season’s championship recreation efficiency, when he led the Bengals again from a 21-3 deficit to win in time beyond regulation.

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After Kansas Metropolis took a 13-6 halftime lead on two area objectives and Kelce’s landing catch, the Chiefs’ incapacity to totally capitalize on alternatives appeared to set them up for an additional disappointing outcome in opposition to the Bengals.

Burrow’s landing move to huge receiver Tee Higgins early within the third quarter tied the rating, 13-13. Bengals operating again Samaje Perine’s landing run early within the fourth quarter tied the rating, 20-20.

“The tide was turning our means,” Burrow stated. “It felt like we have been simply going to discover a option to win this recreation.”

Williams’ interception with simply lower than seven minutes left gave Mahomes an opportunity, however the Chiefs didn’t take benefit. The protection, nevertheless, pressured the Bengals to punt, and Skyy Moore’s 20-yard return gave Mahomes the ball on the Chiefs’ 47-yard line with 30 seconds left.

On third and 4, Mahomes scrambled for a primary down after which was hit late by Bengals linebacker Joseph Ossai. A 15-yard penalty for pointless roughness moved the ball to the 27, and Butker’s kick cleared the objective submit for the victory.

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“It was pure grit,” Reid stated of Mahomes’ efficiency. “For Pat to do what he did, and that run on the finish, I can’t say sufficient. He’s the MVP in my eyes.”

Stated common supervisor Brett Veach: “Folks don’t understand how damage he was. … It simply provides to his already nice legacy.”

Apprised of Veach’s feedback, Mahomes indicated he nonetheless has work to do.

“My objective is to win a Tremendous Bowl,” he stated. “To me, the job’s not completed.”

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How Patrick Mahomes Led Kansas City Back to the Super Bowl

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas Metropolis Chiefs have the perfect file within the N.F.L. prior to now 5 seasons, profitable 64 video games.

But for all that profitable, the Cincinnati Bengals had proved to be Kansas Metropolis’s kryptonite. The Bengals had overwhelmed the Chiefs thrice in a row, together with in final 12 months’s A.F.C. championship recreation.

The groups met once more on Sunday in a rematch that may decide who would face the Philadelphia Eagles within the Tremendous Bowl on Feb. 12 in Glendale, Ariz. And the Bengals appeared on the verge of upsetting the Chiefs but once more, simply as that they had executed the earlier thrice.

However Kansas Metropolis quarterback Patrick Mahomes took over with 30 seconds remaining within the fourth quarter. On a hobbled proper ankle, he scrambled 5 yards for a primary down on the Cincinnati 42-yard line and was shoved after he was out of bounds. The following 15-yard penalty was the distinction maker for kicker Harrison Butker, whose 45-yard game-winning subject aim simply handed the cross bar with three seconds remaining, giving the Chiefs a 23-20 victory.

“In some unspecified time in the future in video games, it’s important to put all of it on the road,” Mahomes stated about his late scramble.

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Kansas Metropolis will now head to the Tremendous Bowl for the third time in 4 seasons. The sport will characteristic the highest seeds from each conferences for the 14th time in Tremendous Bowl historical past. Kansas Metropolis Coach Andy Reid will face his previous workforce, the Eagles, and Kansas Metropolis tight finish Travis Kelce will play in opposition to his older brother Jason, the middle on Philadelphia.

The Chiefs have been solely slight favorites heading into the sport; Mahomes was recovering from a excessive ankle sprain he sustained per week in the past in opposition to Jacksonville within the divisional spherical, and Travis Kelce had again spasms. Mahomes didn’t scramble for a lot of yards, however he was in a position to run out of the pocket to purchase time to search out receivers.

“I didn’t have that burst I often have,” Mahomes stated. “However I used to be in a position to do sufficient to get out of bounds.”

Although he wasn’t comfy planting his proper foot at instances, Mahomes completed the sport 29 for 43 passing for 326 yards and two touchdowns.

He led Kansas Metropolis on three scoring drives within the first half, together with a 14-yard landing strike to Kelce on fourth-and-1. Kansas Metropolis’s protection sacked Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow 4 instances within the first half after notching none when the groups met in December.

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“It was pure grit for him and Kelce,” Reid stated of Mahomes and his tight finish.

However the Bengals didn’t panic. They’d trailed by 7, 14 and 18 factors of their final three video games in opposition to Kansas Metropolis, and so they received every time by 3 factors. After gaining no yards on offense within the first quarter, the Bengals got here alive within the second quarter, notching two subject objectives and heading into halftime behind by only one rating, 13-6.

Burrow, who in his third season has emerged as one of many league’s high passers, went 26 for 41 for 270 yards, one landing and two interceptions. He additionally had a team-high 30 yards dashing.

On the Bengals’ first drive of the second half, Burrow picked up the place he left off, main the Bengals on a 62-yard drive that ended with receiver Tee Higgins leaping over a defender to seize a 27-yard go close to the pylon ultimately zone to tie the rating at 13.

Like in final 12 months’s A.F.C. title recreation, the 2 rivals traded blows for a lot of the second half and appeared destined for time beyond regulation once more.

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Mahomes, who had been visibly limping as he ran to his left on the earlier possession, led Kansas Metropolis on a powerful 11-play drive. It ended with Mahomes, beneath stress within the pocket, throwing a 19-yard go to receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling on the aim line.

On their subsequent drive, the Chiefs tried to construct a cushion that the Bengals wouldn’t have the ability to overcome. However Mahomes, out of the shotgun, misplaced management of an tried go that was dominated a fumble and recovered by Cincinnati defensive finish Sam Hubbard on the Kansas Metropolis 45-yard line.

The Bengals cashed in on the chance. On a fourth-and-6, Burrow threw a 35-yard go to receiver Ja’Marr Chase in double protection. Two performs later, working again Samaje Perine crossed the aim line to tie the sport once more at 20.

The Bengals’ protection appeared to close down Mahomes twice on the following drive, however one play was referred to as again as a result of the referee stopped the clock earlier than the snap. On the do-over play, the Bengals have been referred to as for defensive holding, which gave Kansas Metropolis an computerized first down.

The Kansas Metropolis drive fizzled. However Burrow tried to do an excessive amount of on the following drive. He threw to receiver Tee Higgins in double protection, and the go was tipped by security Bryan Cook dinner and intercepted by cornerback Joshua Williams.

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With just below seven minutes remaining, Kansas Metropolis appeared poised to seize the lead after Mahomes related with working again Isiah Pacheco, who broke free from a sort out and scrambled 16 yards down the sideline. However once more, the Bengals shut down the drive. Reid selected to punt and that pressured the Bengals to begin their final drive deep in their very own finish of the sector.

With two and a half minutes remaining, the Bengals got down to steal one other recreation from Kansas Metropolis. However penalties undid their drive, and Kansas Metropolis, after a 29-yard punt return, took over with 30 seconds and two timeouts.

That was on a regular basis Mahomes and the Chiefs wanted to rewrite the script in opposition to the Bengals, and earn one other journey again to the Tremendous Bowl.

“I’m using a wave proper now,” Reid stated of the chance to face his previous workforce.

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