Adam Silver says player safety a top priority for NBA

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in London that the safety and security of players will always be paramount for the league after New York Knicks center Enes Kanter did not travel to London for his team’s game against the Washington Wizards.

Kanter said he feared he could be attacked or killed over his opposition to Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan if he were to travel to London. An Istanbul newspaper, Daily Sabah, reported that an arrest warrant was issued for Kanter by Turkish prosecutors on Wednesday.

“There are significant issues that he is dealing with, and I recognize that for the NBA, by virtue of the fact that we’re a global business, we have to pay a lot of attention to those issues as well,” Silver said. “I will say there’s nothing more important to me, as the commissioner of the league, than the safety and security of our players, and so we take very seriously the threats that he has received, (even if) it’s just people on social media.”

Thursday’s games

Lakers 138, Thunder 128: Kyle Kuzma scored 32 points to help visiting Los Angeles win in overtime without injured LeBron James. Ivica Zubac scored 26 points and Lonzo Ball added 18 for the Lakers, who improved to 5-7 without their star. Paul George scored 27 points and Terrance Ferguson added 21 for Oklahoma City. Russell Westbrook, who had 26 points, 13 assists and nine rebounds for the Thunder, was fouled on a 3-point attempt with 2.9 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter and made all three foul shots to send the game into overtime. The Thunder lost despite making a franchise-record 21 3-pointers and leading by 17 in the first half. They have dropped five of six.

Nuggets 135, Bulls 105: Jamal Murray scored 22 of his 25 points in the third quarter, Nikola Jokic finished two rebounds shy of a triple-double (18 points, eight rebounds, 11 assists) and Denver recovered from Tuesday’s 142-111 drubbing at the hands of the Warriors with a rout of Chicago. Lauri Markkanen scored 27 points for the Bulls, who have lost nine a row.

Wizards 101, Knicks 100: Allonzo Trier was called for goaltending on a layup attempt by Thomas Bryant with 0.4 of a second remaining, giving Washington the win at The O2 Arena in London. Bradley Beal scored 26 points and had nine rebounds and Otto Porter Jr. had 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Wizards, who outscored the Knicks 24-11 in the fourth quarter. Emmanuel Mudiay scored 25 points for New York, which lost its fifth straight. Silver said the NBA is considering moving the annual London game to Paris next year.

Hornets 114, Kings 95: Kemba Walker scored 23 points, surpassing 11,000 for his career, and host Charlotte beat Sacramento. The Hornets entered the game looking to make up ground in the Eastern Conference after a 2-4 West Coast trip, which included a 104-97 loss at Sacramento on Saturday. Buddy Hield led the Kings with 24 points.

Raptors 111, Suns 109: Pascal Siakam scored the winning basket just before time expired for Toronto. Siakam had 10 points and 12 rebounds and Serge Ibaka scored 22 points for the Raptors, who have won eight straight at home and six of seven overall. Devin Booker scored 30 points and Deandre Ayton had 15 points and 17 rebounds for Phoenix.

76ers 120, Pacers 96: Joel Embiid had 22 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists to lead visiting Philadelphia to its seventh win in nine games. Jimmy Butler added 27 points, eight assists and five boards. Ex-Sixer Thaddeus Young had 27 points and six rebounds for Indiana.

Briefly: The NBA’s All-Star Game draft will be Feb. 7, and broadcast on TNT. The leading vote getter in each conference will select the teams from the pool of players who will be picked as starters and reserves from each conference. The All-Star Game is Feb. 17 in Charlotte, N.C. … Rockets center Clint Capela underwent surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb and will be out at least four weeks.

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