Anthony Davis sprains thumb as Nets top Lakers in China

LeBron James responds to backlash to his comments on NBA China crisis

The Nets took down the Lakers in their second preseason game in Shenzhen, China, with a big 91-77 win as controversy continues to brew between the country and the NBA.

Injuries played a role as Los Angeles center Anthony Davis suffered a sprained thumb midway through the first quarter, while Brooklyn’s Kyrie Irving was sidelined with a facial bruise after getting elbowed during Thursday’s (Friday in Manila) game.

Davis tweaked his thumb while going up to block a shot at the rim. He stayed in the game for a bit before going to the locker room for further evaluation. He came back to the sideline with an ice pack taped to his right hand and was ruled out for the rest of the game.

LA’s newest acquisition served as the starting center, finishing the game with six points while shooting 2 of 7 from the field. Both shots came off assists from LeBron James. Davis added three rebounds and two blocks in 12 minutes before leaving due to the injury.

The Lakers kept it close through the first half, but the Nets really started to pull away in the third quarter to seal the win.

Caris LeVert shined for Brooklyn in Irving’s absence, scoring 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting and grabbing four rebounds. Taurean Prince also played a big role off the bench as he gave the Nets 14 points.

The contest was clouded in controversy stemming from a since-deleted tweet by Rockets GM Daryl Morey earlier this week supporting anti-government protesters in Hong Kong that overshadowed what had been expected to be a celebration of the NBA in one of its key international markets.

An NBA spokesman informed reporters hours before Thursday’s preseason game in Shanghai that there would be no media availability of any kind for either team and that commissioner Adam Silver’s previously scheduled pre-game news conference was canceled.

The decision, unidentified sources told ESPN, came after the Chinese government had canceled multiple NBA-related events in the days leading up to the first of two preseason games in the country, leaving some concerned that the games themselves would be canceled.

The Lakers’ next preseason game is set for Monday (Tuesday in Manila) against the Warriors back in the United States at Staples Center. The Nets, on the other hand, will host the Raptors on Friday (Saturday in Manila) at Barclays Center.

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