Poll: How many games will the Lakers win next season?

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Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls won 72 games in the first season of his second three-peat, back in 1995-96. The previous record was 69 wins. Granted, the Bulls put up that total against an Eastern Conference that was devoid of many good teams, but 72 wins is 72 wins, right? Well, now that the Los Angeles Lakers have acquired Dwight Howard in one of the most lopsided trades in NBA history, it’s time for folks to weigh in on just how good this Lakers

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Winners and Losers in Dwight Howard trade

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// The blockbuster went down today, and Dwight Howard is going to the Lakers. Who won? Who lost? We’ll take it team-by team: LOS ANGELES LAKERS — They are replacing the best center in the Western Conference with the best center in the Eastern Conference. And let there be no doubt — Dwight is twice the player that ‘Drew is. Howard has 41 career 20-20 games (scoring at least 20 points and grabbing at least 20 rebounds), with his last one coming in what

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Olympics: USA beats Australia behind LBJ, Kobe and K.Love

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csprtContainer(); Can a Molten be split in thirds? Because the game ball for Wednesday’s 119-86 quarterfinal win over Australia should be divided up between Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Kevin Love. You knew there was eventually going to be an eruption from  Kobe, even when he was scoreless at halftime. And erupt he did, going for six 3-pointers and 20 points in the second half, a bunch of those points coming in rapid succession as the U.S. team pulled away with a furious

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Olympics: Argentina beats Brazil 82-77 as Varejao sits

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Ruben Magnano coached a game that made all of his fellow Argentinians happy. Problem was, Magnano was coaching Brazil. Magnano made the curious decision to sit Anderson Varejao for the entire fourth quarter, and Argentina held off a strong fourth-quarter run by Brazil and defeated their South American rivals 82-77 Wednesday in the quarterfinals of the 2012 Olympics. Magnano, who coached Argentina to a gold medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens but then had a falling out with the national federation, was

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Olympics: Spain defeats flagrant France 66-59

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The French went down flagrantly, with a nut shot from Ronny Turiaf on Rudy Fernandez and a felonious foul by Nicolas Batum against Juan Carlos Navarro. France missed 11 consecutive shots before getting a meaningless one with 9 seconds left, and a new chapter of crunch time failure was added to Les Blues’ history book in a 66-59 quarterfinal loss at the Olympics in London. Batum committed an intentional foul that was so flagrant, a hard, long-armed swipe that knocked Navarro to

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Olympic quarterfinals: Russia defeats Lithuania 83-74

Andrei Kirilenko, Russia

Remember when Andrei Kirilenko was young, precocious and was a nightly threat to produce one of those statistical anomalies known as a 5X5 — reaching at least five in five statistical categories? The old AK-47 was back in the Olympic quarterfinals on Wednesday, producing a beastly line of 19 points, 13 rebounds, three assists, three steals and three blocks as Russia defeated a Lithuania team that would not quit, 83-74. Timofey Mozgov also had a very strong game with 17 points, and

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Team USA: What We Learned in Pool Play

LeBron James, Team USA

Unbeatable? Maybe, maybe not. When Team USA is knocking down 3-point shots the way they did against Nigeria and Argentina, then yeah, they’re probably unbeatable. When they go cold from outside the arc, as they did against Lithuania, it is more than fair to say they are vulnerable. They are vertically challenged, and they do not protect the rim — even when Tyson Chandler is getting his dollup of minutes and accumulating more fouls than points. LeBron James has been playing center

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