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NBA League

October 13, 2023 | 9:58am
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NBA League
October 13, 2023

NBA says Houston Rockets swingman Dillon Brooks was fined $25,000 for striking Indiana Pacers center Daniel Theis in the groin in a home pre-season victory on Tuesday.

The league says Brooks "recklessly making contact" with Theis with his left hand while moving around a pick in the first quarter, a blow that left Germany's Theis doubled over.

Brooks was assessed a flagrant foul 2 on the play and ejected with 4:33 elapsed in the first period of Houston's 122-103 triumph over the Pacers. — AFP

October 3, 2023

Adding All-Star guard Jrue Holiday and Latvian big man Kristaps Porzingis has given the revamped Boston Celtics new belief they can contend for their first NBA crown since 2008.

The Celtics have lost in the Eastern Conference finals in four of the past seven seasons as well as being defeated by Golden State in the 2021 NBA Finals.

But two major off-season deals have changed the lineup around core stars Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum to provide new confidence in another title run, the latest move coming for Holiday on Sunday. — AFP

September 30, 2023

Damian Lillard and Giannis Antetokounmpo have both found change bittersweet but the NBA superstars are ready to unite to bring the Milwaukee Bucks another crown.

A Saturday welcome rally is set in Milwaukee for seven-time NBA All-Star guard Lillard, obtained in a trade deal Wednesday, to celebrate what is expected to be an epic partnership with Greek center Antetokounmpo, who sparked the Bucks to their first title in 50 years in 2021.

Lillard sent a farewell message to Portland supporters on social media saying "Dame Time has run out" but also hinting he might one day return to the team where he spent his first 11 NBA seasons, earning the 2013 NBA Rookie of the Year award. — AFP

September 29, 2023

Eight-time NBA All-Star guard Kyrie Irving says it was a relatively easy decision to re-sign with the Dallas Mavericks after briefly exploring free agency.

Irving, speaking to reporters for the first time since the final week of last season, said Dallas just felt like a good fit, despite the fact that he and teammate Luka Doncic didn't immediately gel when he arrived via a mid-season trade from Brooklyn in February.

A free agent at the end of last season, he inked a three-year, $126 million deal with the Mavs in June. — AFP

September 26, 2023

Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr says he is confident of remaining with the club despite not yet signing an extension to his existing contract.

Kerr, who has led the Warriors to four NBA championships since taking over as coach in 2014, is entering the final year of his contract when the 2023/2024 season tips off at the end of October.

The 57-year-old told reporters on Monday however that he is relaxed about inking a new deal in the future, confident he can come to an agreement with owner Joe Lacob and new general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. — AFP

August 26, 2023

Giannis Antetokounmpo says he needs to see more proof the Milwaukee Bucks will remain an NBA title contender before he signs a contract extension, according to a report.

The 28-year-old Greek center, who led the Bucks to their first title in 50 years in 2021, is eligible to sign an extension next month but told the New York Times he wants a greater commitment from the club to keep a competitive roster before agreeing to such a deal.

"Next summer it would make more sense for both parties. Even then, I don't know," Antetokounmpo tells the Times. — AFP

August 5, 2023

ESPN reports that NBA All-Star forward Anthony Davis has agreed to terms on a three-year maximum contract extension worth $186 million, a deal with the NBA's richest-ever annual extension at $62 million.

When completed, the agreement would link Davis to the Lakers through 2028 at a cost of $270 million, according to the agent for Davis, Rich Paul.

Davis, who helped the Lakers win the 2020 NBA crown alongside four-time NBA Most Valuable Player LeBron James, was a key factor in the Lakers' run to last season's Western Conference finals, where they were swept by eventual champion Denver. — AFP

July 5, 2023

The NBA says it will test an in-game penalty for flopping during the upcoming summer league.

A flop, or dive to simulate a foul, will be punished by a free throw and possession of the ball.

The new penalty will be in effect for the summer league games but the NBA's board of governor's will vote on any rule changes for the next season later this month. — AFP

July 1, 2023

According to multiple reports, Kyrie Irving agreed to a three-year deal to stay with Dallas and Draymond Green came to terms on a four-year deal to stay with Golden State, as NBA free agency dealmaking began Friday.

Eight-time All-Star guard Irving, who won a title with Cleveland in 2016 but was dogged by off-court controversy in Brooklyn, was traded to Dallas last February and agreed to stay with the Mavericks for $126 million, with a player option for the final season, The Athletic and ESPN reported.

Irving missed more than 50 games with the Nets because of not being vaccinated for Covid and eight more for refusing to apologize for promoting an anti-Semitic film on social media. He averaged 27 points in 20 games with Dallas but the Mavs missed the NBA playoffs. — AFP

June 20, 2023

New Golden State Warriors general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. said Monday the club wants four-time NBA champion Draymond Green to return after reports he will opt out of his contract.

Green will decline his player option for a $27.6 million deal next season, ESPN and The Athletic reported, in order to become an unrestricted free agent.

Dunleavy Jr., a former Warriors player whose father was an NBA player and coach, was named Friday to replace Bob Myers, who said last month he was stepping down after assembling a squad that won NBA titles in 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2022.

"Until we get the paperwork and the file, we can't really comment or say too much," said Dunleavy, who then made it clear that keeping Green is a priority, something Warriors coach Steve Kerr has already declared. — AFP

June 17, 2023

NBA's Charlotte Hornets say basketball legend Michael Jordan has agreed to sell his majority stake in the team to an investment consortium.

The buyer group is led by Gabe Plotkin, chief investment officer at Tallwoods Capital LLC, and Rick Schnall, co-president of private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice.

The group also includes musicians J. Cole and Eric Church, says a press release from Hornets Sports & Entertainment that did not disclose financial terms. — AFP

June 2, 2023

Commissioner Adam Silver says the NBA has investigated Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant's latest gun-flashing video on social media but won't announce any action on the matter until after the NBA Finals.

Speaking before game one of the championship series between the Denver Nuggets and Miami Heat, Silver said the league had discovered "a fair amount of additional information" about Morant.

"We probably could have brought it to a head now, but we made the decision — and I believe the players association agrees with us — that it would be unfair to these players and these teams in the middle of this series to announce the results of that investigation," Silver says. — AFP

May 30, 2023

Miami Heat advance to NBA Finals by routing the Boston Celtics in Game 7, with final score 103-84.

The Miami Heat will face off with Denver Nuggets, led by Nikola Jokic.

May 28, 2023

The Milwaukee Bucks plan to hire Toronto Raptors assistant Adrian Griffin as their new head coach, multiple US media outlets reported on Saturday.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said it had confirmed the report that first appeared on ESPN and The Athletic.

The hiring, after the Bucks sacked Mike Budenholzer on May 4, will bring the 48-year-old Griffin back to the team where he began his NBA coaching career as an assistant under head coach Scott Skiles in 2008. — AFP

May 27, 2023

For the Denver Nuggets, their 4-0 sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Final, has left them with something rarely experienced in the NBA - time on their hands.

While Miami and the Boston continue to battle it out in the West, with the Heat 3-2 up heading into Saturday's game six, for Denver, heading into their first ever Finals, there is a 10-day wait for the series to begin.

"You're playing every other day, every other day for so long and now all of a sudden you have a eight, nine, ten day break" says Nuggets head coach Michael Malone in a news conference. — AFP

May 26, 2023

Boston poured in 16 three-pointers in a dominant 110-97 victory over the Miami Heat hat kept the Celtics alive in the NBA championship chase.

For the second straight game the Celtics fended off elimination, cutting the deficit in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference finals to 3-2 with the wire-to-wire triumph.

Miami will try again to close it out when they host game six on Saturday. The Celtics will be trying to take one more step toward becoming the first NBA team to rally from a 3-0 deficit to win a best-of-seven playoff series. — AFP

May 24, 2023

The Boston Celtics kept their Eastern Conference finals hopes alive with a 116-99 victory over the Miami Heat on Tuesday to reduce the series deficit to 3-1.

Jayson Tatum inspired the Celtics to the victory with 34 points, 11 rebounds and assists, while five other players reached double figures in what was a determined display from Joe Mazzulla's team.

After the Heat's 128-102 win on Sunday, the Celtics were facing the possibility of a humiliating 4-0 exit but they will now be looking to put further pressure on Miami in Thursday's clash back in Boston.

While no team in NBA history has ever come back from 3-0 down to win a best-of-seven playoff series, Boston will have drawn belief that they can now deliver a comeback and reach the Finals where the Denver Nuggets await. — AFP

May 24, 2023

The Boston Celtics keep their Eastern Conference finals hopes alive with a 116-99 victory over the Miami Heat on Tuesday to reduce the series deficit to 3-1.

Jayson Tatum inspired the Celtics to the victory with 34 points, 11 rebounds and assists, while five other players reached double figures in what was a determined display from Joe Mazzulla's team.

After the Heat's 128-102 win on Sunday, the Celtics were facing the possibility of a humiliating 4-0 exit but they will now be looking to put further pressure on Miami in Thursday's clash back in Boston. — AFP

May 24, 2023

Los Angeles Lakers team chief Rob Pelinka says he hoped LeBron James would continue his NBA career but says the NBA superstar had "earned the right" to retire.

James, 38, stunned the basketball world late Monday after telling ESPN he was considering calling time on his glittering 20-season career in the NBA.

His comments came after a 40-point display in the Lakers' 113-111 defeat to the Nuggets, who advanced to the NBA Finals after completing a 4-0 sweep of the 17-time champions. — AFP

May 23, 2023

Denver Nuggets oust Los Angeles Lakers to reach NBA Finals for the first time.

May 21, 2023

Jamal Murray scored 37 points as the Denver Nuggets routed the Los Angeles Lakers 119-108 on Saturday to move within one win of reaching the NBA finals for the first time in the team's history.

A dazzling first-half shooting performance from Denver point guard Murray laid the foundation for a deserved road win that leaves the Nuggets with a commanding 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference finals series.

After claiming back-to-back victories at home in games one and two, Denver delivered a performance of ruthless precision to dispatch LeBron James and the 17-time champion Lakers at the Crypto.com Arena.

Murray finished with 37 points, seven rebounds and six assists while Nikola Jokic added 24 points -- including 15 in the fourth quarter -- to steer Denver to victory. — AFP

May 20, 2023

Denver coach Michael Malone thinks the world should wake up to the greatness of two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Nikola Jokic and his Nuggets teammates -- who incidentally have a 2-0 lead over the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference finals.

But if a media spotlight on the Lakers motivates his team, that's OK too.

"Whatever we can use for motivation," Malone says after the Nuggets erased an 11-point deficit to beat the Lakers 108-103 in game two at Ball Arena in Denver. — AFP

May 19, 2023

Jamal Murray scored 23 of his 37 points in the fourth quarter as a furious finale carried the Denver Nuggets to a 108-103 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday and a 2-0 lead in their NBA Western Conference final series.

Two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Nikola Jokic racked up another triple-double with 23 points, 17 rebounds and 12 assists for the Nuggets, but it was Murray who starred when it mattered most.

He made six of seven shots, including four of five from three-point range, playing all 12 minutes of a final period in which Jokic and fellow starters Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Aaron Gordon went scoreless. — AFP

May 18, 2023

Jimmy Butler's 35 points and a scorching third quarter propelled the eighth-seeded Miami Heat to a 123-116 victory over the Celtics in game one of the NBA Eastern Conference finals in Boston.

The Heat erased a 13-point second-quarter deficit to snatch home court advantage from the Celtics, out-scoring Boston 46-25 in the third period to seize control.

Jayson Tatum, the 51-point hero of Boston's game-seven victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday, scored 30 points, but he coughed up two crucial turnovers in the final minutes as the Heat turned the defensive screws. — AFP

May 17, 2023

Nikola Jokic produced a dominant display as the Denver Nuggets held off a late Los Angeles Lakers fightback to win their NBA Western Conference finals opener 132-126.

Two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Jokic finished with 34 points, 21 rebounds and 14 assists to give top-seeded Denver a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Jokic received offensive support from Jamal Murray, who finished with 31 points, while four other Denver players posted double-digit points tallies. — AFP

May 16, 2023

LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers will attempt to overcome the formidable challenge posed by Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets as the Western Conference playoff finals get under way on Tuesday.

After struggling through the regular season, the Lakers are within four wins of returning to the NBA Finals after ousting the defending champion Golden State Warriors on Friday.

Now James and Lakers defensive star Anthony Davis are plotting an ambush of the top-seeded Nuggets in game one of their best-of-seven Western Conference finals series on Tuesday.

The showdown is a rematch of the Lakers-Nuggets 2020 playoff series in the NBA's Covid-19 bubble in Orlando, when the Lakers won 4-1 before going on to win their 16th championship. — AFP

May 14, 2023

Monty Williams, last season's NBA Coach of the Year, has been fired as coach of the Phoenix Suns after their second-round playoff loss to Denver, according to multiple reports Saturday.

Williams went 194-115 in four seasons with the Suns, but ESPN and The Athletic reported he was dumped, citing unnamed sources, only two days after the Denver Nuggets ousted the Suns 4-2 in their best-of-seven series.

The visiting Nuggets prevailed 125-100 in a must-win game for the Suns, who trailed by 30 points at halftime.

New Suns owner Mat Ishbia made the decision to fire Williams on Saturday, ESPN reported. — AFP

May 13, 2023

The Los Angeles Lakers ran defending champions Golden State out of the NBA playoffs in dominant style on Friday, beating the Warriors 122-101 to advance to the Western Conference finals.

LeBron James delivered a masterful 30-point performance as the Lakers won the semi-final series four games to two and booked a clash with Nikola Jokic and the top-seeded Denver Nuggets for a place in the NBA Finals. — AFP

May 13, 2023

The Miami Heat punches their ticket to the NBA Eastern Conference finals, clawing out a 96-92 victory over the New York Knicks to win their playoff series four games to two.

Jimmy Butler scored 24 points and Bam Adebayo added 23 to lead the Heat, who are in the conference finals for the second straight year and the third time since 2020.

They're the first eighth-seeded team to reach the conference finals since the 1999 Knicks, dispatching the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks in the first round before battling past the Knicks in a series epitomized by the hard-fought game six. — AFP

May 12, 2023

Los Angeles Lakers coach Darvin Ham says that star big man Anthony Davis is showing no signs of concussion and he expects Davis to play Friday when the team tries to close out the Golden State Warriors in the NBA playoffs.

Davis departed game five on Wednesday in the fourth quarter after taking an inadvertent blow to the head from Golden State's Kevon Looney.

Davis had to be helped to the locker room and it was feared he could have suffered a severe enough head injury to sideline him for game six in Los Angeles. — AFP

May 11, 2023

The Golden State Warriors kept their NBA title defense alive with a 121-106 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, who saw star center Anthony Davis depart after taking a blow to the head.

The Warriors cut the deficit in their Western Conference semi-final series to 3-2.

The New York Knicks also stayed alive as Jalen Brunson scored 38 points in a 112-103 victory over the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden that pushed their Eastern Conference semi-final series to a sixth game. — AFP

May 11, 2023

Jalen Brunson scored 38 points and the New York Knicks held off the Miami Heat 112-103 to push their NBA Eastern Conference semifinal series to a sixth game.

Miami, looking to put the series away at Madison Square Garden, whittled a 19-point third-quarter deficit to two with 2:37 remaining, but the Knicks held on to pull within 3-2 in the best-of-seven set.

"You've got to give them credit, that's a hard team to play," Brunson told broadcaster TNT after playing all 48 minutes. "But we just came out to fight. — AFP

May 9, 2023

Jimmy Butler scored 27 points as the Miami Heat outmuscled the New York Knicks to take a commanding 3-1 lead in their best-of-seven NBA Eastern Conference playoff series on Monday.

Butler was one of five Miami players to finish in double digits as the Heat edged to a 109-101 victory that leaves the eighth seeds just one win away from a place in the Eastern Conference finals.

It was another ruthlessly clinical performance from Miami, who looked hungrier and sharper throughout at both ends of the court.

Miami hauled down 13 offensive rebounds to New York's eight and out-hustled New York defensively with 31 defensive rebounds to the Knicks' 27. — AFP

May 8, 2023

A resurgent James Harden scored 42 points, including a last-gasp three-pointer to lift the Philadelphia 76ers over Boston 116-115 in overtime on Sunday to level their NBA playoff series.

But in Phoenix, not even a career playoff-high 53 points were not enough for Nikola Jokic to spark the Denver Nuggets to a victory over the Suns. — AFP

May 6, 2023

Jayson Tatum scored 27 points to lead six Boston players in double figures on Friday as the Celtics beat the Philadelphia 76ers 114-102 to take a 2-1 lead in their NBA Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Jaylen Brown added 23 points and Al Horford scored 17 for the Celtics, who regained home court advantage with a second straight victory after dropping game one in Boston.

They kept the momentum going on an emotional night in Philadelphia, where Sixers center Joel Embiid accepted his Most Valuable Player trophy from NBA commissioner Adam Silver in a pregame ceremony. — AFP

May 5, 2023

Klay Thompson caught fire, drilling eight of Golden State's 21 three-pointers in a crushing 127-100 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers that leveled their NBA Western Conference semi-final at one game apiece.

Thompson scored 30 points in three quarters for the defending champions, who put on an offensive clinic while limiting Anthony Davis, engine of the Lakers' game-one victory, to 11 points and seven rebounds.

Thompson's hot-shooting night let Stephen Curry focus on directing the Warriors' silky offense. Curry scored a modest 20 points -- including a trio of tough three-pointers -- and handed out 12 assists, his most in the playoffs since 2014. — AFP

April 29, 2023

The Los Angeles Lakers punch their ticket to the NBA Western Conference semi-finals in emphatic style, mauling the Memphis Grizzlies 125-85 to win their first-round series 4-2.

LeBron James and the Lakers will have to wait to see who they'll face in the Western Conference semi-finals after the Sacramento Kings fended off elimination, beating the NBA champion Golden State Warriors 118-99 to force a game seven in their series.

The Lakers, who earned the Western Conference seventh seed via the play-in tournament, rebounded with a vengeance after failing to lock up the series in Memphis on Wednesday. — AFP

April 29, 2023

Despite an early exit from the NBA playoffs, the Cleveland Cavaliers are confident they are on the way back to becoming a title contender for the first time since the departure of LeBron James.

Koby Altman, the Cavaliers' president of basketball operations, says the team won't be making major adjustments after being eliminated from the NBA playoffs by the New York Knicks on Wednesday.

"There's no sweeping changes. No one is going to panic off this first-round loss," Altman says. — AFP 

April 27, 2023

Jimmy Butler scored 42 points as the Miami Heat staged yet another stunning comeback to send the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks crashing out of the NBA playoffs in overtime on Wednesday.

Butler, who scored 56 points in a dazzling game four win on Monday, conjured another virtuoso display as eighth seeds Miami completed a 4-1 series triumph with a 128-126 victory.

It is only the sixth time in NBA history that an eighth seeded team has eliminated the No.1 seeds from the playoffs. — AFP

April 27, 2023

The NBA and National Basketball Players Association announce they have ratified a new collective bargaining agreement that will carry the league through the rest of the decade.

"The National Basketball Association and National Basketball Players Association announced today that the new Collective Bargaining Agreement has been ratified by the NBA Board of Governors and the NBA players," the league and union say in a statement.

"The seven-year agreement will take effect on July 1, 2023, and run through the 2029-30 season." — AFP

April 26, 2023

The Orlando Magic's Paolo Banchero is named NBA rookie of the year after a dazzling debut season in the league.

Banchero, the No.1 pick in last year's draft, earned 98 out of 100 first place votes in the preferential ballot to determine the award.

The 20-year-old averaged 20 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists in his maiden season and was a key figure in Orlando's resurgence. — AFP

April 23, 2023

The Philadelphia 76ers shook off the absence of Joel Embiid to sweep Brooklyn out of the NBA playoffs on Saturday as the Phoenix Suns closed in on a second-round berth and the Los Angeles Lakers made a statement against Memphis.

The Sixers romped into the next round of the playoffs with a dominant 96-88 victory over the Nets that completed their 4-0 triumph in the best-of-seven series.

Philadelphia trailed by 11 points early in the third quarter but transformed the contest with an 18-4 run to take the lead before closing out victory with a fourth-quarter rally.

The Sixers' win was all the more impressive given the absence of Most Valuable Player candidate Embiid, who suffered a right knee sprain in Thursday's 102-97 game three win. — AFP

April 23, 2023

Milwaukee star Giannis Antetokounmpo has been ruled out of the third game of the Bucks' NBA playoff series against the Miami Heat on Saturday an hour before tip-off.

The two-time NBA Most Valuable Player will miss a second straight game with a lower back contusion, suffered in a bad fall of the opening game of the best-of-seven Eastern Conference first-round series.

Head coach Mike Budenholzer had indicated Friday that Antetokounmpo might be ready to take the floor, but said in his pre-game remarks to reporters that it's not clear when he will return. — AFP

April 22, 2023

The Denver Nuggets, fueled by a Nikola Jokic triple-double, beat Minnesota 120-111 to take a 3-0 stranglehold on their NBA Western Conference playoff series as the New York Knicks and Atlanta Hawks notched big home wins.

The Knicks had Madison Square Garden rocking with a dominant 99-79 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers that put New York up 2-1.

The Hawks clawed back to 2-1 after dropping the first two games against the Celtics in Boston with a 130-122 triumph. — AFP

April 22, 2023

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James declines to be drawn into a war of words with Memphis Grizzlies forward Dillon Brooks as he prepares for game three of the teams' NBA playoff series.

"The game is won in between the four lines," James says at a media availability when asked about Brooks's brash remarks after the Grizzlies tied the series at 1-1 with a game-two win.

"Always has (been), always will be." — AFP

April 21, 2023

The Philadelphia 76ers push the Brooklyn Nets to the brink of elimination on as the Golden State Warriors claw back in their NBA playoff series against Sacramento with a 114-97 rout of the Kings.

A rugged clash in Brooklyn featured two ejections and a controversial kick from Joel Embiid, who nevertheless remained in the game.

Philadelphia's MVP candidate scored just 14 points but pulled down 10 rebounds and produced a crucial block with eight seconds remaining that helped the Sixers hang on for a 102-97 victory. — AFP

April 19, 2023

Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green was hit with a one-game suspension after stamping on Sacramento Kings player Domantas Sabonis during the NBA champions' game two playoff defeat.

The suspension means Green will be ruled out of the Warriors' game three against the Kings in San Francisco on Thursday.

Green was ejected from Monday's stormy clash with Sacramento after stomping on Sabonis after the two players tangled following a rebound. — AFP

April 16, 2023

Joel Embiid and James Harden sparked a Philadelphia 76ers romp while the Boston Celtics cruised to victory behind Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum in NBA playoff openers on Saturday.

NBA scoring champion Embiid scored 26 points while NBA assists champion Harden added 23 points and 13 assists in the Sixers' 121-101 rout of visiting Brooklyn.

The host Sixers, who led the NBA in 3-point shooting percentage, sank a club playoff record 21 3-pointers in 43 attempts to seize a 1-0 lead in the Eastern Conference best-of-seven opening series, which continues Monday in Philadelphia.

The Celtics meanwhile ripped visiting Atlanta 112-99 behind 29 points and 12 rebounds from Brown and 25 points and 11 rebounds from Tatum. — AFP

April 15, 2023

Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat caught fire down the stretch to beat the Chicago Bulls 102-91 and reach the NBA playoffs, as the Minnesota Timberwolves dominated the Oklahoma City Thunder to book their postseason berth.

Miami, smarting from a loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday, clinched the Eastern Conference's eighth and final seed to set up a meeting with the top seeded Milwaukee Bucks starting on Sunday.

Minnesota meanwhile will face Western Conference top seeds Denver in the first round of the playoffs after a comprehensive 120-95 blowout of Oklahoma City. — AFP

April 15, 2023

The NBA says the Dallas Mavericks have been fined $750,000 fine after controversially fielding a weakened team in their loss to the Chicago Bulls earlier this month.

The league says the Mavericks abrupt decision to hold out five key players in a game they had to win in order to have a chance of reaching the postseason represented "conduct detrimental to the league."

"The Dallas Mavericks' decision to restrict key players from fully participating in an elimination game last Friday against Chicago undermined the integrity of our sport," says Joe Dumars, NBA executive vice president and head of basketball operations. — AFP 

April 10, 2023

The Golden State Warriors roared into the NBA playoffs with a 157-101 blowout of Portland on Sunday, ensuring the Los Angeles Lakers will battle in the play-in after a 128-117 victory over the Utah Jazz.

Every team was in action on the final day of the regular season, but all eyes were on the Western Conference where more than a dozen potential seeding outcomes rested on the results of four games.

The reigning champion Warriors moved quickly to simplify matters for themselves, exploding for an NBA first-quarter record of 55 points in the opening frame. — AFP

April 9, 2023

The Dallas Mavericks' abrupt decision to hold out five players from a game on Friday, when they still had a chance of reaching the NBA play-in tournament, will be investigated, the league says.

"The NBA commenced an investigation today into the facts and circumstances surrounding the Dallas Mavericks' roster decisions and game conduct with respect to last night's Chicago Bulls-Mavericks game, including the motivation behind those actions," NBA spokesperson Mike Bass says in a statement.

League rules include measures against "tanking" which stipulate an owner may not "attempt to lose or control the score of any game." — AFP

April 8, 2023

The Brooklyn Nets booked an NBA playoff berth as the Eastern Conference puzzle pieces fell into place, but suspense remained in the wild West with wins for Golden State, New Orleans and the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Nets beat the Orlando Magic 101-84 and clinched the sixth seed in the East, avoiding the play-in tournament in which the seventh- through 10th-placed teams will fight for two remaining playoff berths.

The Nets actually knew they had secured the spot in the fourth quarter of the contest -- when the Miami Heat fell 114-108 to the Washington Wizards to finish seventh in the East. — AFP

April 6, 2023

The Milwaukee Bucks downed the Chicago Bulls 105-92 to clinch top seeding throughout the NBA playoffs s the Los Angeles Lakers' charge towards the postseason stumbled in a defeat to the Los Angeles Clippers.

Bobby Portis scored 27 points while Brook Lopez added 26 points as the Bucks bagged their 58th win of the season to seal top spot in the Eastern Conference.

The win means Milwaukee will have home-court advantage through the playoffs as owners of the best record in the NBA. — AFP

April 1, 2023

The NBA says Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert was fined $25,000 and T-Wolves head coach Chris Finch was fined $15,000 by the league on Friday for criticizing officials.

Gobert and Finch made their comments to reporters after Minnesota's 107-100 loss at Phoenix on Wednesday.

"It's really not fair," Gobert said of officiating calls, which sent the Suns to the free throw line 27 times to only 12 for Minnesota. — AFP

March 31, 2023

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown combine for 70 points as the Boston Celtics crush the Milwaukee Bucks 140-99 in a one-sided clash of the NBA's best two teams.

Tatum produced a scintillating performance that included eight three-pointers in a 40-point haul, while Brown shot 13-of-20 to finish with 30 points as Milwaukee were sent spinning to their heaviest loss of the season.

The defeat was a sobering reality check for the Bucks, who are leading the Eastern Conference and expected to claim top seeding in the playoffs. — AFP

March 30, 2023

Joel Embiid leads a fourth-quarter rally as the Philadelphia 76ers put a huge dent in the Dallas Mavericks' hopes of reaching the playoffs with a 116-108 victory.

Sixers star Embiid led the scoring with 25 points, nine rebounds and four assists as Philadelphia outscored the Mavericks 27-17 in the final quarter to snap their three-game losing streak.

James Harden added 15 points with 12 assists on his return from injury while Tyrese Maxey finished with 22 points for the Sixers. — AFP

March 29, 2023

Kevin Durant will return to the NBA's Phoenix Suns on Wednesday against Minnesota after missing the past three weeks with a sprained left ankle, according to multiple reports.

The 34-year-old American forward slipped on the floor during pre-game warmups on March 8 to suffer the injury and has missed Phoenix's past 10 games.

But The Athletic and ESPN, citing unnamed sources, report Durant has healed and will finally make his home debut with the Suns after being hurt following only three games with Phoenix after a blockbuster trade from Brooklyn. — AFP

March 26, 2023

Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets made a statement Saturday, downing Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks 129-106 in a battle of NBA conference leaders.

In a game touted as a potential NBA Finals preview, two-time and reigning NBA MVP Jokic scored 31 points, handed out 11 assists and pulled down six rebounds and the Nuggets held East leaders Milwaukee to 40 second-half points with the kind of dominant defensive display they've been accused of lacking this season.

Jamal Murray, who made five three-pointers and scored 26 points for Denver, said it all started on the defensive end -- and not just in a third quarter in which the Nuggets out-scored the Bucks 34-19. — AFP

March 25, 2023

The Memphis Grizzlies clinches an NBA playoff berth in emphatic style, with Luke Kennard leading a dazzling display from three-point range in a 151-114 rout of the Houston Rockets.

Kennard set a franchise record with 10 three-pointers -- on just 11 attempts -- as Memphis set a franchise record with 25 from beyond the arc.

Their 25 treys came on just 42 attempts. Eight Grizzlies players converted from beyond the arc and Kennard was the most ruthlessly efficient of all. — AFP

March 25, 2023

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic was fined $35,000 by the NBA for making a gesture implying a payoff to a referee for a non-call against Golden State's Draymond Green.

The punishment for "directing an inappropriate and unprofessional gesture toward a game official" came for the Slovenian star's actions with 1.7 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter of a 127-125 home loss on Wednesday to the reigning NBA champions.

Four-time NBA All-Star Doncic, 24, rubbed his left thumb and forefinger together in a "money" motion directed at an official. — AFP

March 23, 2023

The Golden State Warriors boosts their hopes of an automatic playoff berth with a crucial road victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday as Ja Morant made a smooth return from suspension for the Memphis Grizzlies.

Steph Curry finished with 20 points as the Warriors clinched only their ninth away win of the season to edge past the Mavericks 127-125 at Dallas's American Airlines Center.

A see-saw battle saw the lead change hands 14 times, with Curry eventually giving Golden State a 125-122 lead with 8.5 seconds remaining from a superb layup. — AFP

March 23, 2023

Los Angeles Clippers swingman Paul George will miss the next two to three weeks of the NBA season with a sprained right knee, the club announces.

The injury, suffered in Tuesday's 101-100 loss to Oklahoma City, means the 32-year-old US playmaker will miss at least seven games and could be sidelined for the remainder of the regular season.

George is averaging 23.8 points, 6.1 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 1.5 steals a game for the Clippers this season. — AFP

March 19, 2023

Jalen Brunson returns from injury on Saturday and leads the New York Knicks to a 116-110 NBA victory over Western Conference leader Denver.

The Memphis Grizzlies beat the Golden State Warriors 133-119 while the Chicago Bulls defeated the Miami Heat 113-99 and the Orlando Magic defeated the Los Angeles Clippers. — AFP

March 17, 2023

Retired NBA legend Michael Jordan is in talks to sell his majority stake in the NBA's Charlotte Hornets, but no deal is imminent, ESPN reports.

The deal would see Jordan sell the largest stake in the club to Hornets minority shareholder Gabe Plotkin and Atlanta Hawks minority owner Rick Schnall, with Jordan expected to keep a minority stake in the Hornets, unnamed sources told ESPN.

Forbes magazine rated the Hornets with a value of $1.7 billion last October, fourth-lowest among the NBA's 30 clubs. — AFP

March 16, 2023

Joel Embiid starred again with 38 points as the Philadelphia 76ers picked up a sixth straight win with a 118-109 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The 76ers, third in the East just a place ahead of the Cavs, were in a close contest until the end when Tyrese Maxey sunk a three-pointer and Philadelphia put away five free throws in the final 51 seconds to secure the win.

That all came after Embiid was initially ejected after being called for his sixth foul for pushing off on Evan Mobley with four minutes 12 seconds left on the clock. — AFP

March 15, 2023

The Milwaukee Bucks became the first team to clinch an NBA playoff place on Tuesday after holding off a late rally from the Phoenix Suns to complete a 116-104 road victory in Arizona.

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 36 points with 11 rebounds and eight assists as the Bucks brought up their 50th win of the regular season to cement their grip on first place at the top of the Eastern Conference.

Antetokounmpo was backed by 21 points from Brook Lopez while three other Milwaukee players finished in double figures. 

The Bucks now lead the Eastern Conference by three games from Boston with a 50-19 record as the regular season enters its final stretch. — AFP

March 9, 2023

Kevin Durant's long-awaited home debut for the Phoenix Suns was put on hold after the NBA superstar suffered an ankle injury during warm-ups.

Durant, who joined Phoenix in a blockbuster trade from Brooklyn last month, fell heavily as he drove for the basket ahead of the Suns' game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Video footage appeared to show Durant rolling his left ankle in the incident. — AFP

March 8, 2023

The Milwaukee Bucks shrug off the injury absence of Giannis Antetokounmpo to tighten their grip on top spot in the Eastern Conference with a 134-123 defeat of the Orlando Magic.

The Bucks moved 2.5 games clear of the Boston Celtics at the top of the standings with a clinical offensive display that saw Brook Lopez, Khris Middleton and Jevon Carter share the scoring around.

Lopez finished with 26 points after shooting 64.3% from the field while Middleton and Carter both chipped in with 24 points apiece for Milwaukee. — AFP

March 6, 2023

Kevin Durant produced a 37-point masterpiece as the Phoenix Suns defeated the Dallas Mavericks while Steph Curry's return from injury was not enough to prevent Golden State falling to the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA on Sunday.

In the Eastern Conference, the New York Knicks made it nine straight wins with a thrilling victory in double overtime against the second-placed Boston Celtics.

A packed slate of NBA games featured two heavyweight fixtures in the Western Conference, with Durant going up against former Brooklyn team-mate Kyrie Irving as the Suns traveled to Dallas, where they claimed a nail-biting 130-126 victory.

In Los Angeles, Curry's return was a further boost to the in-form Warriors but it was the Lakers who claimed a precious 113-105 win to keep their playoff hopes on track. — AFP

March 5, 2023

Memphis Grizzlies NBA star Ja Morant was suspended by his team for at least two games on Saturday after posting a video where he appeared to display a gun in a nightclub.

The Grizzlies issued a statement saying that Morant "will be away from the team for at least the next two games".

That will mean Morant will not play on Sunday against the LA Clippers or Tuesday against the Los Angeles Lakers. — AFP

March 4, 2023

The Brooklyn Nets stun the Boston Celtics 115-105, rallying from 28-point deficit to beat the Eastern Conference contenders on their home floor in the biggest comeback win of the NBA season.

Mikal Bridges scored 38 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and Cameron Johnson, celebrating his 27th birthday, added 20 points for Brooklyn, who have struggled to find their form since the February trades that saw stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant depart.

They'd lost four straight, including a blowout loss to the New York Knicks on Wednesday and looked to be heading for another lopsided defeat when the Celtics took a 51-23 lead with 7:23 left in the second quarter. — AFP

March 2, 2023

Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant was accused in police reports last year of punching a 17-year-old, US media report, his agent saying the rising NBA star acted in self defense.

No criminal charges were filed against Morant in the incident, which took place during a pickup basketball game at Morant's Tennessee house in July 2022.

In police records obtained by the Washington Post , the unnamed teenaged boy accused Morant of punching him "12-13 times" during a pickup basketball game at Morant's Tennessee house in July 2022.

In interviews with police the teen said that after their altercation Morant went into his house and "re-emerged with a gun visible in the waistband of his pants." — AFP

March 1, 2023

The Los Angeles Lakers offer no firm timeline for LeBron James's return from a right foot injury, but coach Darvin Ham says their "mission is still the same" with their superstar sidelined.

The Lakers, 12th in the Western Conference, are trying to claw their way into the post-season, with the 10th placed team in each conference gaining a spot in the play-in tournament.

Ham says he'd met with players and emphasizes three things: "We've got to continue to play the right way, we've got to continue to be together, and we've also got to continue on with the mission. — AFP

February 28, 2023

LeBron James could face multiple weeks on the sidelines after suffering a foot injury, US media say, dealing a blow to the Los Angeles Lakers hopes of forcing their way into the playoffs.

The Lakers confirmed that the NBA's all-time leading scorer would play no part in the game against Memphis on Tuesday due to "right foot soreness".

However, multiple US media reported that the Lakers feared James would be sidelined for multiple weeks after injuring his foot in Sunday's comeback win over the Dallas Mavericks.

James played on after landing awkwardly on his foot in the third quarter but was later seen limping away from the venue following the game. — AFP

February 25, 2023

The Milwaukee Bucks shook off the first-quarter exit of superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo to beat the Miami Heat 128-99 and push their NBA winning streak to 13 games.

Antetokounmpo, who started despite concern over a wrist injury he suffered in the Bucks' final game before the All-Star break, departed late in the first quarter with a right knee injury.

The Bucks, who out-scored the Heat 42-32 in the first to seize control, didn't miss a beat as Jrue Holiday scored 24 points to lead six Milwaukee players in double figures. — AFP

February 24, 2023

NBA conference leaders Boston and Denver were pushed to the limit, with the Celtics escaping in a 142-138 overtime triumph over Indiana and the Nuggets edging the Cavaliers in Cleveland.

Boston star Jayson Tatum, coming off a record-setting 55-point performance in the All-Star Game, scored 31 points, including the Celtics' last four in overtime.

Denver, meanwhile, held off the tenacious Cavaliers 115-109, while the Philadelphia 76ers erased a 17-point deficit to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 110-105. — AFP

February 23, 2023

Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry is making "good progress" but will miss at least one more week as he recovers from left knee and leg injuries, the NBA team says.

Curry suffered partial tears to his knee ligaments and membranes and a lower leg contusion in a February 4 game against the Dallas Mavericks.

He missed five games before the All-Star break. The team said in a statement posted on Twitter that he would be sidelined another week before he is re-evaluated, meaning he will miss the Warriors' next four games.

The team resumes action in the wake of the All-Star break with a game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday. — AFP

February 22, 2023

The Chicago Bulls announce that its guard Lonzo Ball, sidelined for more than a year by a left knee injury, will miss the entire NBA season with nagging discomfort.

The 25-year-old American, selected second overall by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2017 NBA Draft, also played for New Orleans before a 2021 trade to the Bulls.

But Ball played only 35 games for Chicago before the injury in January 2022. He has undergone two surgeries since the setback, most recently in September, but has been unable to resume basketball-related activities without discomfort. — AFP

February 21, 2023

NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Jayson Tatum is turning his attention to the Boston Celtics' bid for an NBA title after scoring an All-Star Game record 55 points.

Tatum made 22-of-31 shots from the floor, 10-of-18 from 3-point range, and added 10 rebounds and six assists to spark Team Giannis over Team LeBron 184-175.

But with the showcase showdown behind him, the 24-year-old forward who is averaging 30.6 points, 8.6 rebounds and 4.5 assists is now focused on sparking the NBA overall-leading Celtics to a crown. — AFP

February 20, 2023

Jayson Tatum scored an All-Star record 55 points and Team Giannis Antetokounmpo defeated Team LeBron James 184-175 to win Sunday's 72nd NBA All-Star Game, the first loss for James in six times as captain.

Both namesake captains made early exits with injuries, James after bruising his right hand on the rim making a dunk and Greek star Antetokounmpo with a right wrist sprain suffered three nights earlier.

That left the starring roles up for grabs and the All-Star Game Most Valuable Player award went to Boston star Tatum, who broke the old NBA All-Star Game record of 52 points scored by Anthony Davis in 2017.

"It means the world," Tatum said. "You think of all the legends and great players that have played this game.

"Records are made to be broken so I'll hold it for as long as I can but I'm certain somebody will come along in a couple years and try to break it." — AFP

February 19, 2023

Portland's Damian Lillard won the Three-Point Contest and unheralded Mac McClung captured the Slam Dunk Contest crown on Saturday at NBA All-Star Game weekend festivities.

Seven-time NBA All-Star Lillard, a member of the US Tokyo Olympic gold medal team, was a college star at nearby Weber State, adding to his joy at winning the long-range shootout in his third attempt.

"It makes it that much more special," Lillard said. "They say the third time is the charm and I'm happy that it happened here. It's a perfect situation. I'm happy I could do it in my homecoming here to Utah." — AFP

February 14, 2023

NBA says Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal was fined $25,000 on Monday for making contact with a game official after knocking a referee into an empty front-row seat.

Beal made a leaping deflection of a long pass attempt with 8:26 remaining in the third quarter of Washington's 127-113 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Saturday.

When Beal landed near the sideline, he bumped into referee John Butler, sending the official into a vacant front-row chair. — AFP

February 11, 2023

The NBA says Brooklyn Nets guard Cam Thomas has been fined $40,000 after using "derogatory and disparaging" language in a television interview.

Thomas was sanctioned after comments made in a postgame interview with TNT television following Brooklyn's 116-105 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Thursday.

Thomas was interviewed alongside new team-mate Spencer Dinwiddie. — AFP 

February 10, 2023

The Los Angeles Lakers celebrated LeBron James's ascent to the top of the NBA's all-time scoring list but their on-court struggles continued with a loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday.

"King" James, nursing a sore left ankle, didn't play in the Lakers' 115-106 loss to the Bucks, but he was feted before the contest with a video tribute two days after he overtook Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who had topped the career scoring list for 39 years.

James took the opportunity to thank his family once again.

"This is my starting five," James said of his mother Gloria, wife Savannah, sons Bronny and Bryce and daughter Zhuri. "I wouldn't be able to do what I do on a day to day basis, I wouldn't be able to come on this court and showcase my talents to you guys every single night if I didn't have the support and the commitment that I have from my family."

James was later a spectator as Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 38 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead the Bucks to a come-from-behind victory. — AFP

February 9, 2023

NBA superstar forward Kevin Durant is headed to the Phoenix Suns in a blockbuster trade from the Brooklyn Nets, ESPN reports.

The Nets were trading Durant and TJ Warren in exchange for Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder and four first-round draft picks, according to US outlets, including ESPN, which cited unnamed sources.

The move, on the eve of the NBA's trade deadline on Thursday, follows Brooklyn's trade of Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday, after Irving requested a move. — AFP

February 9, 2023

ESPN reports that the Los Angeles Lakers are poised to trade Russell Westbrook to the Utah Jazz in a three-team deal that will bring Minnesota's D'Angelo Russell to the Lakers.

ESPN says that the Lakers will also land Minnesota's Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt while the Timberwolves will receive Jazz guards Mike Conley and Nickeil Alexander-Walker as well as draft picks.

The Jazz will receive Westbrook along with Juan Toscano-Anderson, Damian Jones and a future Lakers first-round draft pick, ESPN reported, saying all players had been notified of the deal. — AFP

February 8, 2023

Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James surpasses Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the NBA's new all-time leading scorer.

February 6, 2023

Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry will be sidelined indefinitely with a left knee injury, the NBA champions say.

In a statement, the Warriors says an MRI exam had confirmed Curry "suffered partial tears to his superior tibiofibular ligaments" in the left knee, as well as a torn interosseous membrane and a contusion to his lower leg.

Amid reports that Curry could miss "multiple weeks," the Warriors says only that he "will not play in (Monday's) game and additional clarity on a potential timeline will be established in the coming days."

Curry was hurt in a collision with Dallas guard McKinley Wright in the third quarter of the Warriors' home win on Saturday. — AFP

February 4, 2023

The Athletic reports that Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving has asked the team to be traded, citing league sources.

The report says Irving has told the team he would like to move before Thursday's trade deadline or he will leave as a free agent in July.

Irving was selected as an NBA All Star for the eighth time this season after averaging 27.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.2 assists during the regular season so far. — AFP

February 3, 2023

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid and Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant headlined the reserves for the NBA All-Star Game.

Embiid, who barely missed out in voting for All-Star starters announced last week, was joined by Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown, Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo, Milwaukee Bucks guard Jrue Holiday, Chicago Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan, New York Knicks forward Julius Randle and Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton as reserves from the Eastern Conference.

In the West Morant was joined by Sacramento Kings center Domantas Sabonis, Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, Los Angeles Clippers guard Paul George, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen and Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr. — AFP

February 1, 2023

Paolo Banchero leads a second-half fightback as the Orlando Magic overturned a 21-point deficit to upset the Philadelphia 76ers 119-109.

Rookie Banchero, the number one pick in last year's draft, scored 29 points from 11-of-22 shooting with nine rebounds and three assists to give Orlando another notable scalp after last week's defeat of league-leading Boston.

Banchero was backed with scoring support from German brothers Franz Wagner and Moritz Wagner, who combined for 41 points as Orlando silenced Philadelphia's home crowd with a second-half scoring blitz. — AFP

January 30, 2023

Ja Morant posted a triple-double as the Memphis Grizzlies halted their slide with a come-from-behind victory over Indiana on Sunday as Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 50 points in Milwaukee's NBA win over New Orleans.

The Bucks were already on their way to a blowout when Antetokounmpo drained a wide-open three-pointer with 1:38 to play to take his tally to 50 points in Milwaukee's 135-110 victory over the Pelicans.

It was one of two wire-to-wire victories on the night, with the Cleveland Cavaliers leading all the way in a 122-99 rout of the short-handed Los Angeles Clippers.

Morant scored 27 points, pulled down 10 rebounds and handed out 15 assists as the Grizzlies got back in the win column after dropping five straight on the road. — AFP

January 30, 2023

Los Angeles Lakers stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis will sit out Monday's NBA game against the Nets in Brooklyn, the Lakers announce on Sunday.

On the first night of back-to-back games, James will be held out with a sore left ankle, the Lakers said on their injury report.

Davis, recently returned from a 20-game absence with a stress injury in his right foot, will be sidelined as the team continues to manage his return. — AFP

January 28, 2023

Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo celebrates his confirmation as an NBA All-Star team captain by pouring in 41 points to propel the Bucks to a 141-131 NBA victory over the Indiana Pacers as the Memphis Grizzlies' slide continued.

The Bucks scored a season-high 85 first-half points and led by as many as 33 before fending off a late Pacers rally in Indianapolis, notching a third straight victory.

Indiana had sliced the deficit to eight points with just over four minutes remaining, trying to make the most of Antetokoumpo's troubles at the free-throw line by fouling him repeatedly. — AFP

January 27, 2023

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James and Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo will captain the NBA All-Star Game teams next month after final voting that saw Philadelphia star Joel Embiid fail to earn a starting spot.

James will tie Kareem Abdul-Jabbar -- the man he is on track to overtake as the NBA's all-time leading scorer -- for most All-Star Game appearances with 19.

The four-time NBA champion, who is averaging 29.9 points, 8.5 rebounds and 7.0 assists this season, has now served as a captain -- as the top vote-getter from his conference -- in each of the six years that the league has used the format of captains selecting their teams from among all the available players.

Antetokounmpo, the Bucks' two-time NBA Most Valuable Player, will be a captain for the third time in his career, having led a team in 2019 and 2020. — AFP

January 25, 2023

LeBron James takes another stride towards the NBA's all-time scoring record with a dazzling 46-point performance but could not stop the Los Angeles Lakers falling to a 133-115 blowout against the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday.

The 38-year-old basketball icon rolled back the years with the latest in a string of virtuoso performances, draining a career-best nine three-pointers in what was ultimately a futile effort against a Clippers side led by Paul George and Kawhi Leonard.

James left the court immediately after the Clippers completed a wire-to-wire victory that saw them lead by as much as 23 points at half-time. — AFP

January 21, 2023

Dennis Schroder grabs a steal and drives for the go-ahead basket with 7.6 seconds left as the Los Angeles Lakers edge Memphis 122-121 to end the Grizzles' 11-game NBA winning streak.

Russell Westbrook led Los Angeles with 29 points off the bench and superstar LeBron James added 23 for a Lakers team that has struggled to find consistency amid injuries -- including the foot trouble sidelining Anthony Davis.

But it was German guard Schroder who starred late, serenely draining a pair of free throws to pull the Lakers within one -- at 120-119 -- with 13.2 seconds left. — AFP

January 20, 2023

The Celtics put Boston in the NBA spotlight with a gritty 121-118 overtime win over reigning champions Golden State as the league polished its global credentials with a glitzy game in Paris.

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown came alive late for the Celtics, whose eighth straight win -- this one against the team that bested them in last season's NBA Finals -- pushed their league-leading record to 34-12.

Even as Tatum and Brown struggled to make shots early, the Celtics built a 10-point lead midway through the second quarter. — AFP

January 14, 2023

The Golden State Warriors are the stars of the party in San Antonio, cruising to a 144-113 NBA victory over the Spurs before a record crowd at the Alamodome.

Jordan Poole led the defending champion Warriors with 25 points off the bench, and Donte DiVincenzo added 22 as Golden State's reserves came up big.

They weren't the names that attracted a raucous crowd of 68,323 to the Alamodome -- the Spurs' home from 1993 to 2002 before their move to the AT&T Center arena. — AFP

January 7, 2023

Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry took part in full practice on Friday for the first time since suffering a partially dislocated left shoulder, and could be back in NBA action next week.

Curry, who was hurt in a game against the Indiana Pacers on December 14, told reporters at the Warriors' Chase Center his first "no-limits" training session with teammates felt good.

"It was nice to break a sweat," Curry said.

"Today was the first day of practicing with everybody and being around the guys in terms of getting up and down, five-on-five with contact. 

"It's been, what, three and a half weeks? I feel like I haven't lost too much." — AFP

December 25, 2022

Four-time NBA champion Stephen Curry, sidelined since suffering a partially dislocated left shoulder, will be out for at least another two weeks, the reigning champion Golden State Warriors said Saturday.

Curry, who suffered the injury December 14 at Indiana while trying to make a steal, has missed the team's past four games.

The Warriors said Curry was recently reevaluated and the exam indicated Curry is "making good progress" in his recovery and "will be re-evaluated again in two weeks," the team said in a statement.

The 34-year-old guard, a two-time NBA Most Valuable Player and last season's NBA Finals MVP, will miss at least six games in the next two weeks, starting with Golden State's home showdown Sunday against Memphis. — AFP

December 13, 2022

The Los Angeles Clippers dealt the Boston Celtics another setback Monday, beating the top team in the NBA in decisive style, 113-93.

Paul George scored 26 points and Kawhi Leonard scored a season high of 25 points with nine rebounds and six assists as the injury-plagued Clippers showed how good they can be at full strength.

Jalyen Brown scored 21 points and Jayson Tatum added 20 with 11 rebounds for the Celtics, who were coming off a 123-107 loss to the NBA champion Golden State Warriors in an NBA Finals rematch on Saturday.

It's the first time since October that the Celtics have dropped two games in a row, their league-best record falling to 21-7. — AFP

November 11, 2022

NBA superstar LeBron James says that Brooklyn guard Kyrie Irving should be allowed back on court after the anti-semitism furore that saw the Nets suspend him.

Fallout for Irving continues two weeks after he posted a social media link to a film widely denounced as anti-semitic, with Nike co-founder Phil Knight saying in an interview with CNBC on Thursday that the apparel giant's relationship with Irving is likely severed for good.

"I would doubt that we go back," Knight told CNBC in an interview that aired on Thursday. "But I don't know for sure." — AFP

November 4, 2022

The Brooklyn Nets says it has suspended Kyrie Irving for at least five games, saying they were "dismayed" by the NBA star's response after he was criticized for posting a link to anti-semitic material.

The Nets says in a statement they had made repeated efforts to work with Irving on the issue, but finally felt that his "failure to disavow anti-semitism when given a clear opportunity to do so is deeply disturbing, is against the values of our organization, and constitutes conduct detrimental to the team." — AFP

Stay up to date on the latest NBA news.

Photo courtersy of Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images/AFP

 

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