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Kyrie Irving says slumping Celts need to learn to ‘weather the storm’

BOSTON — Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving believes that his team was overdue for a bit of adversity and wants the Celtics to embrace one of the few rough patches the team has encountered this season. After sitting out Thursday’s loss to the Philadelphia 76ers due to shoulder soreness, Irving returned Sunday to score a game-high 40 points but the Celtics couldn’t rally out of a 19-point hole while falling to the Orlando Magic 103-95 at TD Garden. Told that teammate Al Horford had suggested that the Celtics need…

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Clint Capela says Houston Rockets ‘better’ than Golden State Warriors

HOUSTON — Superstar guard James Harden called the Houston Rockets’ 116-108 win over the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night important “for our swag,” which was soaring after the Rockets claimed the regular-season series over the defending NBA champions. “We’re confident because we know if we’re doing what we’re supposed to do, we’re going to beat them,” Rockets center Clint Capela told ESPN. “We’ve got to keep playing. We know that they’re going to come back if we have the lead, and we’ve just got to keep that mindset. Sometimes…

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Warriors aren’t worried about Rockets despite losing season series

HOUSTON — The Golden State Warriors are not concerned with the Houston Rockets after losing the season series tiebreaker with a 116-108 loss Saturday night at Toyota Center. Houston won the series 2-1. If both teams end the season with identical records, the Rockets would get the higher seed and home court advantage should they meet in the postseason. “No,” Kevin Durant responded when asked if it mattered. “The season starts over when you’re in the playoffs anyway, so it doesn’t matter. You’re going to have to get through these…

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Thunder offense finds unstoppable groove against LeBron and the Cavaliers

0:27 Steven Adams cleans up Carmelo Anthony’s miss for a potential 3-point play. CLEVELAND — As much as the Thunder have struggled and stumbled through the first half of the season, one thing they’ve been consistent with is they get up to play the best teams, especially when the world is watching. The tone was set from tipoff, and the Thunder really never took their foot off the gas, blasting by the Cavaliers 148-124 as their big three played their most complete game of the season. Paul George scored 36…

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LeBron James’ path to 30,000 career regular-season points

6.23.03 Drafted No. 1 overall by Cleveland Cavaliers 10.29.03 at Kings Baseline midrange jumper over Brad Miller for first NBA basket 8:57 left in first quarter Career point total: 2 Everything was ready. The players were on the court, the referees had the ball, and the fans were in their seats. But the start of James’ first game was halted because the earlier nationally televised game on ESPN had run long. In those moments of limbo, James sat on the scorer’s table and chewed his nails, every eye in Arco…

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Kelly Oubre Jr. leads Wizards to a road win against the Pistons

4:27 When Kelly Oubre Jr. isn’t on the basketball court, he quiets his mind by practicing different forms of art at Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington D.C. while spreading the message of positivity to the younger community. DETROIT — Anthony Tolliver came running at him, trying to block Kelly Oubre Jr.’s 3-pointer late Friday night. He didn’t get there in time, colliding into Oubre instead. Tolliver turned around. Oubre went flying. The shot went in, plus the foul. When Oubre landed in front of the Detroit Pistons…

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New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis infers that players’ vote suggests he should be starter in 2018 NBA All-Star Game

NBA players voted Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis as an All-Star starter over Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid, but Embiid won the overall vote with support from fans and media. Porzingis stated clearly how he felt about the voting when asked about it on Friday. “Players know,” Porzingis said, according to published reports. “That’s all I’m going to say.” Kristaps Porzingis is averaging 23.6 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in 39 games for the Knicks this season.¬†Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports Starters were determined by a vote from fans, players and a select…

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Charlotte Hornets open to trading Kemba Walker

9:54 AM ET Adrian WojnarowskiESPN Overloaded with bad contracts and untradable assets, the Charlotte Hornets have made All-Star point guard Kemba Walker available in trade discussions, league sources told ESPN. Charlotte has been encouraging teams to make offers and appear eager to discuss attaching Walker to a larger trade where another team takes on one of the Hornets’ several far less desirable contracts, sources said. Walker, 27, who makes $12 million per season through 2018-19, has developed into something rare among Charlotte’s cornerstone players: a talent whose production outperforms his…

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Joel Embiid celebrates All-Star nod with a monster effort for the Philadelphia 76ers against the East-leading Boston Celtics

BOSTON — When word emerged that Joel Embiid had been voted an Eastern Conference All-Star starter before Thursday’s game in Boston, Philadelphia 76ers coaches and teammates flocked to his locker stall to celebrate the moment. That parade of well-wishers included Sixers coach Brett Brown, who came over from the coaches’ room to offer a congratulatory handshake then gushed about what Embiid’s nod means to the Sixers franchise as a whole. LeBron James received the most votes in the Eastern Conference, while Stephen Curry was tops in the West. They will…

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Arron Afflalo of Orlando Magic suspended 2 games for throwing punch

The NBA has suspended Orlando Magic guard Arron Afflalo for two games for throwing a punch at Minnesota Timberwolves for Nemanja Bjelica on Wednesday night, the league announced Thursday. Afflalo will forfeit $32,119 in salary in the two games. Afflalo and Bjelica were ejected with 7:58 left in the second quarter when they got into a fight while the game was being played. Afflalo threw one punch in the fight, which came four minutes after both players had been assessed technical fouls. “I don’t want to feel like a victim…

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