When LeBron James’ name was called when the Cleveland Cavaliers’ starting lineup was introduced, Los Angeles Lakers fans greeted the superstar with a warm applause.

While this wasn’t anything close to erecting billboards around the Los Angeles area trying to lure James as one longtime Lakers season-ticket holder did last week, the Staples Center crowd clearly wanted James to know that they’d love to see him here again next season and preferably in a purple and gold No. 23 jersey.

Patrik Laine, 19, has never played in the NHL postseason. Sure, they’ve both appeared in the same number of championship games, which is none. But the Jets are clearly a team building toward a title with a young core, while the Capitals are using an industrial-strength tire jack to keep their Stanley Cup window open.

Taylor Hall and Brad Marchand are among the guys who have significantly stepped up their game this season, from establishing themselves as impact players to morphing from stars into supernovas. Plus, the NHL has a China problem — and more Jersey Fouls.

An autopsy report released Tuesday by the El Paso County Coroner said that 53-year-old Jim Johannson’s death was natural and caused by heart disease.

According to USA Hockey, Johannson died in his sleep on Jan. 21 at his home in Colorado Springs.

Johannson worked for USA Hockey for decades; at the time of his death, he was general manager of the U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team. USA Hockey officials have said Johannson relished the chance to put together the men’s team that competed in South Korea.

Goran Dragic scored 23 points for the Heat, who were without two key players in starting center Hassan Whiteside and sixth man Dwyane Wade.

The Blazers closed the first quarter on a 14-4 run to take a 34-25 lead, capped by a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from rookie Zach Collins that was accompanied with some guard-like dribbling.

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Lakers’ Josh Hart out 4-6 weeks after undergoing hand surgery

Los Angeles Lakers rookie Josh Hart is expected to miss four to six weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a fractured fourth metacarpal in his left hand on Friday, according to the team.

Hart, who suffered the injury on Wednesday in practice, had the surgery performed by Dr. Steven S. Shin. According to the team’s timetable, Hart could potentially return as early as March 30 against Milwaukee.

At that point the Lakers would have eight games remaining in the season. Head coach Luke Walton said on Thursday that if Hart returns with “a couple of weeks left [in the season] then yeah we’ll get him back on the court.”

Wiggins added 21 points for the Timberwolves. Towns has had a double-double in a league-high 55 games this season.

Timberwolves: The Timberwolves waived forward Shabazz Muhammad before the game. “He wasn’t playing as much as he would have liked and we told him we’d try to do the right thing for him,” coach Tom Thibodeau said. Muhammad averaged 3.8 points and 1.4 rebounds in 32 games this season. … The Timberwolves arrived in Portland early and Thibodeau was able to attend Portland’s 116-99 victory over Sacramento on Tuesday.

Portis had 15 in the second half and Chicago used a 16-4 run in the final five minutes to end a five-game losing streak.

The game featured two of the worst teams in the league, both entering with 10-game losing streaks and looking more at their draft position than any long-lost hope of the postseason. The Suns victory gave them 19 wins, one more than Memphis, but Phoenix has two more losses in the race to the bottom. Some statistics were reflective of both teams’ troubles. Memphis committed 20 turnovers Cheap Jerseys Wholesale China and shot 38 percent for the game, while the Suns had 16 miscues and connected on 46 percent.

The Grizzlies are not only losing, but really not getting Cheap Kids Football Jerseys close. They have lost their last four by an average of 17 points.

“We haven’t really been on track all season,” Harrison said. “We’ve got to continue to play better.”

Portis leads late rally, Bulls beat Mavs 108-100

Bobby Portis and the Chicago Bulls finally broke through with a late burst that made the difference.

There obviously aren’t a lot of fade options on a four-game slate, but I’m not willing to pay top dollar for a rookie who figures to see plenty of LeBron James. Sure, Simmons is impressive and I love his long-term outlook, but “The King” will be looking to send a message to a city that is shamelessly recruiting him. I fear that could mean a long night for Simmons.

In two games against Cleveland, Simmons has totaled just 24 points, 12 assists (11 turnovers), and 14 rebounds — numbers that simply aren’t appealing at his current price point. Furthermore, the Cavaliers are in the midst of a five-game homestand and have off-days on both sides of this game, making this a good spot for a rested James to impose his will. If you’re “trusting the process” tonight, Joel Embiid is far-and-away the best member of the 76ers to roster in this spot.

Simmons has played very well of late. He’s seemingly gotten through his rookie wall, and his good play is reflected with near-max level pricing in DFS. However, he is coming off three straight solid, but by no means monster outings. He also has had two performances of relative insignifigance in his meetings against the Cavaliers this season. I simply do not expect him to live up to his price tag on Thursday.

So … what gives with the shortfall? Where is the ding in Antetokounmpo’s numerical portfolio? What’s keeping him from fulfilling his top-two ADP?

Becoming a top-three player requires a special brand of statistical domination. A player might be able to crack 18-19 Player Rater points with one mediocre-to-bad category. LeBron is a substandard free throw shooter (73.8 FT% on 6.0 attempts per game). James Harden hits a boatload of 3s but pays a small price in his field goal percentage (44.9 FG% on 20.6 attempts).

“I feel like I will get out of it, man,” Ball said at the time. “It is still early in the season. We have a long season to go, just keep working.”

Since the start of December, Ball has shot 43 percent from the field and 38 percent from the 3 line, despite not playing for a six-game stint and then a 15-game stretch due to injuries to his shoulder and knee, respectively. He also sat out one game — against the Sacramento Baseball Jerseys For Sale Kings on Saturday — as the team held him out of his first back-to-back since returning Cheap NFL Jerseys Nike from his sprained MCL injury.