Lakers more encouraged with growth than with 110-93 loss to Thunder

first_imgOKLAHOMA CITY >> The cast of characters has changed on the court and behind the scenes. But Magic Johnson’s arrival does not mean the Lakers will show much on-court magic just yet.Johnson witnessed the Lakers experience a 110-93 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday at Chesapeake Energy Arena because of season-long issues.Thunder guard Russell Westbrook may have reminded Johnson of himself. Despite shooting only 4 for 18 from the field, Westbrook (8 for 9 from the foul line) posted his 28th triple-double of the season and second against the Lakers with 17 points, 18 rebounds and 17 assists. Westbrook, Johnson and Rajon Rondo are the only three NBA players in the last 40 years to log at least 17 points, 17 rebounds and 17 assists in a game.Meanwhile, the Lakers struggled once again from the field (40 of 101), from 3-point range (7 of 35) and in the third quarter (Lakers were outscored 28-19). AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with Packers“Obviously it sucks to lose,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said. “But there was good building going on with that.”The Lakers were expected to endure more short-term pain even after they shuffled their front office earlier this week with an eye toward the future. Johnson and Walton saw just that as the Lakers (19-40) lost their third consecutive game. But Walton also saw “a lot of really good things” that left him encouraged about the team’s long-term development.Walton followed through on his pledge to lean more on his young group after trading high-scoring sixth man Lou Williams to Houston this week for a first-round pick and Corey Brewer.Despite shooting only 3 for 12 from 3-point range, Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell scored a team-leading 29 points on 12-of-26 shooting with six assists, four rebounds and a career-high four steals in 35 minutes.Though he believed Russell forced shots at times, Walton also saw Russell showing some “really good moments” in both showing vocal leadership and leading a late fourth-quarter charge that cut a 20-point deficit to single digits with 4:18 remaining. “My teammates did a great job of finding me. But I’m definitely trying to find ways to be aggressive,” Russell said. “I just spoke on what I saw. Guys did the same with me. They spoke on what they saw on what I could’ve done better at or what I could’ve done in certain aspects. I try to do my best.”With Williams no longer there to share ball-handling duties and shots, Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson appeared more assertive and comfortable with 14 points, five assists and five rebounds, though he was just 6 for 17 from the field.Walton liked Clarkson’s defensive effort on Westbrook despite his numbers, noting “that’s what you do on superstars, you make it hard on him.” Meanwhile, Clarkson admitted Williams’ absence made him feel less inclined to shoot on almost every possession.“I just try not to force stuff knowing the ball is going to come back,” Clarkson said. “I was trying to look for my teammates, trying to make plays and when the shots come, you just take them.”Lakers forward Julius Randle had his 12th double-double of the season (13 points, 11 rebounds) despite committing five fouls. Walton liked the decision making from rookie forward Brandon Ingram, who had 11 points, five rebounds and four assists in 39 minutes, including all of the first quarter. Lakers reserve forward Larry Nance Jr. had a season-high 12 rebounds. Rookie center Ivica Zubac had 11 points and six rebounds, while pleasing Walton with his defense on Thunder center Enes Kanter (four points on 2-of-12 shooting).Those developments did not make Walton bear a smile as wide as Johnson’s. But Walton still talked with his players more about their positive developments than their negative ones.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Iowans with disabilities urged to make their votes count

first_imgDES MOINES, Iowa – Iowa will play a pivotal role in the selection of 2020 presidential candidates – but too often, Iowans living with disabilities just don’t vote.About 11% of Iowans report having a disability, but that figure jumps to 30% for people age 65 and older. National Disability Voter Registration Week starts Monday, July 15, an effort to make this bloc of voters more influential.Rik Shannon, public policy manager for the Iowa Developmental Disabilities Council, says barriers faced by people with disabilities will be acknowledged during “Rev Up” week.“‘Rev Up,’ stands for register, educate, vote, and use your power,” says Shannon, “all of which are really applicable to a growing segment of the population. People with disability in 2020 will number about 23% of the vote.”It’s estimated one in four U.S. adults has a disability. A study by Rutgers University found that if people with disabilities voted at the same rate as people without, there would be nearly 2.5 million more votes cast.Democratic presidential hopefuls have been in Iowa for weeks, but Shannon says exposure to the candidates doesn’t necessarily turn into votes. The Rutgers study showed that, although the 2018 midterm elections experienced the highest voter turnout ever among people with disabilities, a nearly 5% gap still existed between them and other registered voters.“That was even more significant in Iowa, where we had 64 percent of people without disabilities turning out, versus only 56 percent of people with disabilities,” Shannon adds. “So, that’s an 8.6 percent gap.”In January next year, Democratic voters in both Iowa and Nevada will be able to caucus through their phones for the first time, after the Democratic National Committee mandated that caucuses find ways to be more inclusive.last_img read more