Kurt Helin

Watch Lakers’ Brandon Ingram get the first buckets of his career

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Brandon Ingram has real potential, All-Star or better kind of potential, but right now he’s a work in progress for Luke Walton in the Lakers.

Friday night Ingram took one step forward — he got his first professional buckets. There first came off an alley-oop from Marcelo Huertas for a dunk. The Laker bench loved that.

The second bucket came as he stepped into a transition three.

Ingram is going to come off the bench for the Lakers, at least to start the season, but what matters for him — and the entire Lakers young core — is growth this season. The people around the Lakers said they already see that from Ingram. It’s a start.

Watch Phoenix’s Devin Booker drop 34 on Portland

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We know Devin Booker can knock down the three ball. He did that against Portland Friday night.

But what we saw was attack-mode Booker, as he scored 47 percent of his points in the paint as he dropped 34 on Portland in a preseason game. This guy can just get buckets. The Suns have a cornerstone there.

The Blazers still won the game 115-110, with Damian Lillard scoring 18 and Shabazz Napier dropping 20 off the bench.

Rudy Gobert says he’s knocking down free throws now (and he has in preseason)

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Last season, Rudy Gobert shot 56.9 percent from the free throw stripe. For his career, he’s at 58.5 percent. That makes him a prime candidate for hack-a-big.

In Utah’s preseason game the other night against Phoenix, Gobert hit 13-of-14 from the stripe.

It turned heads. Has the Utah big man turned the corner on free throws? He says he has.

We may need to see this over a longer stretch of ground to fully buy in (and he’s not going to hit 90 percent), but maybe the French center has figured it out. If so, he and the Jazz — already everybody’s most likely breakout team this season (even with the Gordon Hayward injury) — just go a little more dangerous.

Derrick Rose testifies in rape trial, says woman was the aggressor

Associated Press
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Derrick Rose took the stand Friday in the $21 million civil rape case against him, and he said on the stand what he has said before — he didn’t do anything wrong.

The day before the alleged victim took the stand and gave graphic, emotional testimony about how Rose and two associates got her so drunk and drugged she could not have consented to sex, and that after she was at his home the three men came to her apartment and raped her. Friday it was Rose’s turn to defend himself. He painted an entirely different picture. Via the New York Daily News.

On the stand for the first time in the civil trial, Rose painted the 30-year-old woman as the aggressor, saying she texted him that she was feeling “horny” before coming over to his Beverly Hills mansion and pouncing on him.

“She came into the room and started to try to grab me, started to try to kiss me, and that’s something I’m not used to,” the 28-year-old NBA star said. “I just don’t like being forced into the issue.”

Rose said the woman, with whom he had previously had a relationship (what the defense described as “friends with benefits), had willingly slept with the other co-defendants.

Much of days trial was focused on text messages from the woman to Rose that day, with the defense trying to argue they showed both coherence and consent. The defense noted the woman had asked Rose to pay for a sex toy she had brought to his rented home in Beverly Hills, plus her ride home.

Rose’s attorneys have asked for a mistrial based on a text from the woman to Rose earlier in the day that had not been previously disclosed to the defense (as is required by law). The lurid text involved the woman questioning why Rose didn’t have sex with a friend of hers. The judge is expected to rule on the mistrial on Tuesday when the trial resumes.

Rose will be back on the stand that day. Rose’s attorney had requested he be excused to play in the Knicks’ game Monday night. It seems unlikely New York’s new point guard will participate in that game.

Amy Schumer was hanging out in LeBron’s locker before Cleveland show

Getty Images
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Comedian Amy Schumer and LeBron James are friends — remember he had a supporting role in her movie “Trainwreck.” He deserved an Oscar, he was robbed.

Schumer is on tour, and she was at Quicken Loan Arena for her latest show this week. And she was hanging out in LeBron’s locker. And LeBron was good with that.

Besties.

(Hat tip Eye on Basketball)