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Charlotte Hornets calling Nicolas Batum questionable

The Charlotte Hornets said Nicolas Batum traveled with the team to Cleveland and is listed as questionable for Friday night’s game against the Cavaliers. Batum has an ulnar nerve contusion in his left elbow, the team said. He missed the second half of Charlotte’s 129-124 overtime win against the Washington Wizards on Wednesday. The 28-year-old swingman also missed the Hornets’ first 12 games of the season with a torn ligament in the same elbow. Batum is averaging 11.2 points, 3.8 assists and 3.8 rebounds in five games this season. Source…

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Kevin Durant, mother Wanda, say focus on OKC has gone too far

OKLAHOMA CITY – Kevin Durant and his mother, Wanda, believe the hype surrounding Durant and Russell Westbrook has gone too far. “It’s not about me and Russ,” the small forward told ESPN after the Golden State Warriors lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder 108-91 on Wednesday. “It’s about the Thunder and the Warriors. Myself and Russ are competing out there. That’s part of the game. It’s basketball. It’s not about us. We’re just playing the game, and trash talking is part of it. That’s all it is.” Westbrook finished an…

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Isaiah Thomas makes special connection with young cancer patient at Cleveland Cavaliers charity event

As 5-year old Gavin Heileman stood at the foot of the stage, minutes from his turn in the spotlight, Isaiah Thomas took Gavin’s hand and held it tightly while the pair awaited their cue. Thomas was Gavin’s chaperone at the Cleveland Cavaliers‘ annual “Big Shots and Little Stars” fundraiser for the Flashes of Hope charity, and though each player was randomly matched with a child for the evening, there was something about the two that just fit. “I got little boys, so I know how that is,” Thomas says. “He…

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NBA — De’Aaron Fox and Lonzo Ball meet in Sacramento

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — At the end of their first professional game against each other, Lonzo Ball and De’Aaron Fox met near half court, embraced and shared a few words. The No. 2 and No. 5 overall picks finally played against each other as pros after two Ball injuries prevented him from facing Fox in summer league and the preseason. No one was ducking anyone as far as all those internet trolls are concerned, and the two rookie point guards had their moments before Fox’s Kings shredded the Lakers’ defense for…

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Gregg Popovich of San Antonio Spurs says he’s ‘never’ encountered issue like Kawhi Leonard’s quadriceps injury

NEW ORLEANS — In a storied career spanning more than 40 years at various levels, San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said he has “never” encountered the quadriceps issue that has kept Kawhi Leonard out of the lineup this entire season. “Never, never,” Popovich said when asked whether he has seen such a condition hampering one of his players. “What’s really strange is that [point guard] Tony [Parker] has the same injury, but even worse. They had to go operate on his quad tendon and put it back together or…

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Patrick Beverley of LA Clippers has knee surgery

11:57 AM ET Adrian WojnarowskiESPN LA Clippers starting point guard Patrick Beverley underwent a surgical procedure on his right knee Wednesday, league sources tell ESPN. Although there is no immediate timetable for his return, Beverley is expected to miss a significant amount of time, league sources said. Beverley had missed five straight games with a sore right knee before returning to play 22 minutes in the Clippers’ 107-85 loss to the New York Knicks on Monday. The Clippers, with a record of 5-11 this season, have lost nine straight games…

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NBA — Los Angeles Lakers post big comeback win over Chicago Bulls

LOS ANGELES — Lonzo Ball‘s jersey was untucked and he was snatching rebounds out of the air with an attitude. After grabbing one crucial defensive rebound with authority, Ball immediately flung the ball up court to Kentavious Caldwell-Pope for a 3-pointer that deflated the Chicago Bulls and sent the Staples Center crowd into an unexpected celebration Tuesday night. This was far from the sometimes passive rookie the Lakers have seen at times this season. And the rest of his teammates were every bit as engaged and in battle mode as…

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LaVar Ball wants Los Angeles Lakers to be tougher on Lonzo Ball

LaVar Ball told Bleacher Report that the Los Angeles Lakers‘ staff should take a specific approach to coaching his son, Lonzo: Be tougher on him. “They’re soft. They don’t know how to coach my son,” Ball told the website during a recent interview. “I know how to coach him. I tell him to go get the victory. Stop messing around.” The Lakers rookie has shown historic inaccuracy as a shooter, but he stuffs the box score. Has he been more good than bad? LaVar Ball said he does not take…

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Ray Allen tells Orlando court he was ‘catfished’

ORLANDO, Fla. — Retired NBA star Ray Allen believes he is a victim of “catfishing,” and has asked a court to throw out a case where he is accused of stalking someone he met online. Allen says Bryant Coleman “pretended to be a number of attractive women interested in” him. In documents filed Tuesday, Allen acknowledges he communicated with who he thought were those women and that he eventually entered into an agreement with Coleman to not disclose details of those conversations. Allen says that agreement was violated. It was…

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New York Knicks’ return in Carmelo Anthony trade paid off vs. Clippers – New York Knicks Blog

NEW YORK — Knicks president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry don’t sit near the media at home games, so it’s hard to know exactly how they felt about Monday night’s 22-point win over the LA Clippers. But it’s safe to assume both men walked out of Madison Square Garden in a good mood. And why not? Several Knicks acquired by the executives in the offseason played key roles in New York’s bounce-back 107-85 win. Let’s start with the two who came to New York in the Carmelo Anthony…

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