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  • NBA roundup: Clippers complete season sweep of Lakers
    By Field Level Media / Friday, May 7, 2021

    Paul George scored 24 points as the host Los Angeles Clippers completed a three-game season-series sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers with a 118-94 win Thursday.

    • Kawhi Leonard totaled 15 points, eight rebounds and six assists for the Clippers, and Ivica Zubac added 14 points and eight rebounds. The Clippers moved past the Denver Nuggets by a half-game into the No. 3 spot in the Western Conference.

      Kyle Kuzma led the Lakers with 25 points, but the team lost Anthony Davis due to an ankle ailment and back spasms in the first quarter. Davis said postgame that he hopes to play Friday when the Lakers visit Portland.

      The Lakers and Trail Blazers are now tied for sixth place in the West.

      Warriors 118, Thunder 97

      Stephen Curry padded his NBA scoring lead with 34 points in just 31 minutes and Golden State moved up a spot on the Western Conference playoff ladder with a win over Oklahoma City in San Francisco.

      Curry shot 11-for-21 overall and 6-for-13 from 3-point range for the Warriors. Mychal Mulder had 25 points, Andrew Wiggins 18, Jordan Poole 14 and Kent Bazemore 13 for the Warriors.

      Ty Jerome came off the bench to pace the Thunder with 23 points. Darius Bazley added 22 and Theo Maledon 15.

      Bulls 120, Hornets 99

      Nikola Vucevic scored 29 points, shot 5 of 7 from behind the 3-point line and grabbed 14 rebounds as Chicago led wire-to-wire in Charlotte.

      Seven Bulls scored in double figures, including Garrett Temple with 12 and Markkanen with 10 off the bench.

      All five Chicago starters finished in double figures. Coby White recorded 14 points, Patrick Williams had 11 points and nine rebounds, and Daniel Theis scored 12.

      Wizards 131, Raptors 129 (OT)

      Russell Westbrook had 13 points, 17 assists and 17 rebounds to record his 180th career triple-double and visiting Washington defeated Toronto in overtime in Tampa, Fla.

      Westbrook, who fouled out with 15.5 seconds remaining in overtime, needs one more triple-double to tie Oscar Robertson's NBA record. Bradley Beal added 28 points for the Wizards.

      Pascal Siakam tied his career best with 44 points for Toronto. Gary Trent Jr. added 25 points, Fred VanVleet scored 22, Khem Birch 17 and DeAndre' Bembry 10.

      Mavericks 113, Nets 109

      Luka Doncic finished with 24 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists to lead host Dallas to a victory over Brooklyn.

      The Mavericks won their second in a row and fifth in their past six games. Dallas took over fifth place in the Western Conference -- a game ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland.

      The Nets lost their fourth in a row despite Kyrie Irving's season-high 45 points. Brooklyn remained in second place in the Eastern Conference, but fell to 2 1/2 games behind first-place Philadelphia and are now only half a game ahead of third-place Milwaukee.

      Pistons 111, Grizzlies 97

      Cory Joseph engineered a balanced attack with 18 points and 11 assists and host Detroit snapped a four-game losing streak by defeating Memphis.

      Wayne Ellington also scored 18 points, all on 3-pointers. A handful of other Pistons reached double digits. Isaiah Stewart had 15 points, seven rebounds and three blocks.

      Ja Morant's 20 points led the Grizzlies, but he also had five turnovers. Jonas Valanciunas had 19 points and secured 16 rebounds, and Jaren Jackson Jr. had 17 points and five rebounds.

      Pacers 133, Hawks 126

      Caris LeVert scored nine of his 31 points in the final three minutes to help Indiana hold off visiting Atlanta.

      The Pacers also got 30 points, eight rebounds and nine assists from Domantas Sabonis and 19 points from reserve T.J. McConnell.

      The Hawks were led by Trae Young's 30 points and 10 assists. Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 28, including six 3-pointers, and John Collins added 25 points.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: LeBron James (ankle) to return next week
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, May 6, 2021

    Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James is expected to miss the next three games and return next week for the team's final four regular season games, The Athletic reported Thursday.

    • James was already expected to miss the next two games -- Thursday vs. the Los Angeles Clippers and Friday at Portland -- with Sunday's home game against the Phoenix Suns added to give the superstar more time to heal, per the report.

      The Lakers play two sets of back-to-back games next week, home vs. the Knicks and Houston, then on the road at Indiana and New Orleans to end the regular season. That means James would likely play in only two of those games to get game-ready for the playoffs.

      The Lakers entered Thursday's action as the sixth seed in the West at 37-28. Remaining in the top six is imperative in order to avoid the play-in tournament.

      This season, the four-time NBA MVP is averaging 25.0 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game.

      --Field Level Media

  • Pacers suspend coach Greg Foster, fine C Goga Bitadze for spat
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, May 6, 2021

    The Indiana Pacers suspended assistant coach Greg Foster for one game and fined center Goga Bitadze for their tense in-game argument during Wednesday's 104-93 home loss to the Sacramento Kings.

    • The incident occurred during the third quarter of the team's seventh setback in the past 11 games.

      "This is an internal team matter and no further details will be released," the Pacers said in their statement to announce the discipline.

      By various accounts, Foster requested that Bitadze protect the lane better. Bitadze then made a 3-pointer and reportedly used profanity while telling Foster to sit down.

      During the next stoppage, Foster rushed toward Bitadze and the two had to be separated by players and other coaches.

      Foster is expected to serve his suspension Thursday night when the Pacers (30-35) host the Atlanta Hawks.

      The incident comes in the same week that reports surfaced that Indiana first-year coach Nate Bjorkgren could lose his job after the season due to poor relationships with many players and others in the organization.

      Foster played 13 NBA seasons (1990-2003) as a player before turning to coaching. He is in his first season with the Pacers.

      Bitadze is averaging 5.1 points and 3.3 rebounds in 38 games (two starts) in his second NBA campaign.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: Pelicans signing F Naji Marshall to 3-year deal
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, May 6, 2021

    The New Orleans Pelicans agreed to a three-year, $5.3 million deal with undrafted rookie forward Naji Marshall, The Athletic reported Thursday.

    • His salary for the remainder of this season and next season are fully guaranteed, per the report.

      Marshall, 23, has averaged 6.4 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 19.8 minutes in 26 games (four starts) for the Pelicans through Wednesday.

      He has scored in double figures seven times, including 10 points to go with seven rebounds in Tuesday's 108-103 win against the Golden State Warriors.

      The 6-foot-7 Marshall was not drafted after playing three seasons at Xavier, where he averaged 12.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 99 games (82 starts) from 2017-20.

      --Field Level Media

  • NBA roundup: Bucks eke out win over Wizards
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, May 6, 2021

    Jrue Holiday recorded 29 points, six assists and five rebounds to help the Milwaukee Bucks post a 135-134 victory over the visiting Washington Wizards on Wednesday night.

    • Giannis Antetokounmpo added 23 points, nine rebounds and eight assists as the Bucks won their fourth consecutive game. Milwaukee, which played without Khris Middleton (knee), has defeated the Wizards eight straight times.

      Bradley Beal scored 42 points for Washington, which lost for just the fourth time in the past 17 games. Russell Westbrook contributed 29 points, 17 assists and 12 rebounds for his 179th career triple-double, two shy of the all-time record held by Oscar Robertson.

      Beal hit a 3-pointer with 5.3 seconds to go to get Washington within one. After a Bucks turnover, Washington's Garrison Mathews saw his 55-foot heave hit the backboard and carom off the rim as time expired.

      76ers 135, Rockets 115

      Joel Embiid posted his 29th double-double as visiting Philadelphia extended its winning streak to six games by routing short-handed Houston.

      Embiid paired 34 points with 12 rebounds to pace an efficient offensive effort for the 76ers, who shot 53.2 percent from the floor, including 15 of 35 from 3-point range.

      Shake Milton scored 19 points off the Philadelphia bench. Kelly Olynyk led the Rockets, who used just seven players, with 27 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists. Kenyon Martin Jr. paired a career-high 23 points with 10 rebounds and six assists.

      Jazz 126, Spurs 94

      Jordan Clarkson scored 30 points and Bojan Bogdanovic chipped in with 24 as Utah crushed San Antonio in Salt Lake City for its third consecutive win.

      Combined with the Phoenix Suns' loss, Utah regained first place in the Western Conference and the top record in the NBA. The Jazz are up a game on the Suns with six games remaining. San Antonio remains in the No. 10 spot in the West, in the final position to make the NBA's new play-in tournament.

      Luka Samanic scored a team-high 15 points for the Spurs, who only shot 40.2 percent from the floor. The Jazz shot a blistering 55.7 percent of their field-goal attempts and hit 18 of 41 (43.9 percent) from 3-point range.

      Celtics 132, Magic 96

      Kemba Walker led all scorers with 32 points in his return from injury to help Boston strengthen its playoff positioning by beating host Orlando.

      Walker, who missed four games because of a left oblique strain, scored 18 of his points in the first half. Jayson Tatum scored 27 points, and Evan Fournier had 18 in his first game back in Orlando after the Magic dealt him to Boston prior to the trade deadline.

      Dwyane Bacon and former Celtics big man Moritz Wagner had 20 points apiece and R.J. Hampton added 18 and 10 rebounds for the Magic. Mo Bamba scored 19 points and grabbed 15 boards.

      Trail Blazers 141, Cavaliers 105

      Damian Lillard scored seven of his game-high 32 points in a game-breaking run in the final 2:10 of the third quarter as Portland routed host Cleveland.

      Enes Kanter (18 points) and Carmelo Anthony (16) came off the bench as part of an offensive attack that featured six players with 10 or more points. The Trail Blazers moved within a half-game of the idle Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers in their three-team duel for the fifth and sixth playoff spots in the Western Conference.

      Portland native Kevin Love paced the Cavaliers with 18 points. Dean Wade had 16 points off the bench for Cleveland, which lost its eighth straight.

      Hawks 135, Suns 103

      The Atlanta reserves, sparked by 16 points apiece from Lou Williams and Danilo Gallinari, overpowered visiting Phoenix in the fourth quarter of a blowout win.

      The Hawks, with the second unit on the floor, scored the first 16 points of the fourth quarter. Atlanta's backups, who totaled 74 points, didn't allow Phoenix to score its first field goal in the fourth quarter until 2:33 was left in the game.

      The Hawks' starting unit was led by 18 points and 10 rebounds from Clint Capela plus 16 points and 12 assists from Trae Young. Devin Booker scored 30 points for the Suns, whose five-game winning streak ended.

      Nuggets 113, Knicks 97

      Nikola Jokic had 32 points and 12 rebounds, Austin Rivers tied his season high with 25 points against his former team, and host Denver beat New York.

      Michael Porter Jr. scored 17 points and Facundo Campazzo had 16 points, nine rebounds and, for the second straight game, five steals for Denver. The Nuggets tied the Los Angeles Clippers for third in the Western Conference.

      Immanuel Quickly scored 18 points and Julius Randle, Derrick Rose, RJ Barrett and Reggie Bullock scored 14 each for New York. The Knicks lost for just the second time in 14 games.

      Grizzlies 139, Timberwolves 135

      Ja Morant scored 37 points, Desmond Bane hit a pair of clutch 3-pointers in the final minute and Memphis weathered 42 points from Anthony Edwards to hold off Minnesota in Minneapolis.

      Memphis scored 73 first-half points and took a 10-point lead into halftime, but Minnesota battled back on the strength of 8-of-10 shooting from 3-point range in the third quarter. Bane wound up with 22 points and Kyle Anderson added 20 for the Grizzlies.

      Karl-Anthony Towns and D'Angelo Russell netted 22 points apiece for Minnesota, and Russell added 14 assists.

      Kings 104, Pacers 93

      Marvin Bagley III finished with 31 points and 12 rebounds to help Sacramento cap a perfect four-game road trip with a victory over Indiana in Indianapolis.

      Delon Wright had 23 points, seven rebounds, six assists and six steals for the Kings, and Buddy Hield added 16 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.

      Domantas Sabonis finished with 17 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists to lead the Pacers.

      --Field Level Media

  • Pelicans' Brandon Ingram (ankle) to miss at least one game
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, May 5, 2021

    New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram was diagnosed with a sprained left ankle and will miss at least the team's Friday game against the host Philadelphia 76ers.

    • The Pelicans said the severity of the injury was detected through an MRI exam performed Wednesday.

      The 23-year-old forward was injured during the second quarter of Tuesday's 108-103 home win over the Golden State Warriors. He did return to start the third quarter but left the game for good later in the stanza.

      After Friday's game, Ingram will be listed as "day to day," according to the team.

      Ingram is averaging 23.8 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.9 assists in 61 games (all starts) this season.

      --Field Level Media

  • Mavs rule out Kristaps Porzingis, Maxi Kleber vs. Nets
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, May 5, 2021

    The Dallas Mavericks will play the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday without frontcourt starters Kristaps Porzingis and Maxi Kleber.

    • Porzingis has missed the Mavs' past three games and six of their last seven. Right knee soreness will force him to miss Thursday's contest, while a left ankle sprain sidelined him for three games in late April.

      Kleber missed Tuesday's win over the Miami Heat with an Achilles issue that he's played through for weeks.

      Porzingis has averaged 20.2 points, 9.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 40 games this season. Kleber is scoring 7.2 points and pulling down 5.2 rebounds per game over 48 appearances.

      The Mavericks (37-28), who are trying to stay above the cut line for the postseason play-in tournament featuring seeds seven through 10, face the Nets (43-23) at a time when every win is essential for their own playoff seeding atop the Eastern Conference.

      --Field Level Media

  • NBA fines Kyrie Irving, Nets over interview access
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, May 5, 2021

    The NBA fined guard Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets $35,000 each for violating league rules about interview access.

    • "The fines result from Irving's repeated refusal to participate in team postgame media availability," the league said in a release.

      Irving was also fined $25,000 during the preseason for refusing to speak with the media, which athletes in both the NBA and other professional leagues are obligated to do.

      At the time, Irving held his ground, responding with a social media post that ended with the line, "I do not talk to Pawns. My attention is worth more." Eventually, he relented and began to speak with reporters, for a time.

      --Field Level Media

  • Knicks C Nerlens Noel returns to action vs. Nuggets
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, May 5, 2021

    Knicks center Nerlens Noel was back in action Wednesday night for New York's road game against the Denver Nuggets.

    • The Knicks listed Noel as questionable on their injury report due to a sprained left ankle, but he was in the starting lineup. He finished with five points, five rebounds and six blocked shots in 30 minutes as Denver defeated New York 113-97.

      Noel left the Knicks' Sunday game at Houston after playing just 11 minutes when he crashed knees with Rockets center Christian Wood and injured his ankle. New York won 122-97.

      Noel did not play in the Knicks' 118-104 victory over Memphis on Monday.

      The 27-year-old seven-year veteran is the only player in the league averaging two blocks (2.2) and a steal (1.1) per game.

      --Field Level Media

  • Four NBA players test positive for COVID-19
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, May 5, 2021

    Four unidentified NBA players tested positive for COVID-19, the league and the National Basketball Players Association said Wednesday.

    • In all, 492 players were tested in the most recent reporting period, which began April 28.

      In the period from April 21-28, two new players returned confirmed positive tests of 488 tested.

      Anyone who returns a confirmed positive test, or is identified as having been in close contact with an infected person, is isolated or quarantined until cleared under the rules established by the NBA and the Players Association in accordance with CDC guidance.

      --Field Level Media

  • Agent: Knicks signing Argentina's Luca Vildoza to 4-year deal
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, May 5, 2021

    The New York Knicks and Argentine point guard Luca Vildoza have agreed in principle on a four-year, $13.6 million deal, the player's agent told ESPN.

    • Alex Saratsis of Octagon Sports said his client will fly to New York from Spain, where he plays for Baskonia in the Spanish ACB League, once he clears the immigration process.

      One of Europe's premier playmakers, the 25-year-old Vildoza was expected to be one of the top free agents available after the 2020-21 season. According to the report, the Knicks had both the salary-cap room and the open roster space needed to get a jump on the competition and sign him now.

      New York has reportedly negotiated a buyout with Baskonia to acquire the 6-foot-3 Vildoza, who led his team to a championship was named MVP of the 2020 Spanish ACB finals.

      Internationally, Vildoza has helped Argentina win a gold medal at the 2019 Pan American Games and silver medals at the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup and 2017 FIBA AmeriCup.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: Pistons F Jerami Grant (knee) returning Saturday
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, May 5, 2021

    Detroit Pistons forward Jerami Grant, who has missed the last four games with a sore right knee, will return to the lineup Saturday against the host Philadelphia 76ers, according to Yahoo Sports.

    • Grant, who hasn't played since April 26, is expected to miss Detroit's home game Thursday against the Memphis Grizzlies.

      After acquiring Grant from the Denver Nuggets last Nov. 22 in a sign-and-trade for 2015 second-round pick Nikola Radicevic and cash considerations, the Pistons signed him to a three-year, $60 million deal.

      Grant, 27, is averaging a career-high 22.5 points per game along with 4.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 53 games (all start) this season.

      The 39th pick of the 2014 NBA Draft by the 76ers, Grant spent his first two NBA seasons with Philadelphia, which traded him to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Ersan Ilyasova and a 2020 first round draft pick on Nov. 1, 2016.

      In 507 career games (222 starts) with Philadelphia, Oklahoma City (2016-19), Denver (2019-20) and Detroit, Grant has averaged 10.7 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.3 assists while shooting 45.6 percent from the field and 34.8 percent from beyond the arc.

      The Pistons (19-47) have the worst record in the Eastern Conference and the second-worst mark in the league ahead of only the Houston Rockets (16-49).

      --Field Level Media

  • Kings rookie Tyrese Haliburton likely done for season
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, May 5, 2021

    Sacramento Kings rookie point guard Tyrese Haliburton is expected to miss the rest of the regular season with a hyperextended left knee.

    • Haliburton suffered the injury in Sunday's 111-99 road win over the Dallas Mavericks.

      The team said Haliburton won't need surgery after an MRI revealed no ligament damage. He's expected to make a full recovery.

      Haliburton, 21, was the No. 12 overall pick out of Iowa State by the Kings in the 2020 NBA Draft.

      In 58 games, Haliburton averaged 13.0 points, 5.3 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.3 steals.

      The Kings (28-37) have seven games left in the regular season.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: Zach Lavine returning for Bulls vs. Hornets
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, May 5, 2021

    The Chicago Bulls will have All-Star guard Zach LaVine back when they face the Charlotte Hornets on the road on Thursday night, according to NBC Sports Chicago.

    • Lavine has missed the past 11 games after entering the NBA's COVID-19 health and safety protocol.

      LaVine, 26, was averaging a career-best 27.5 points per game when he was sidelined, along with 5.1 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game.

      Coach Billy Donovan said Lavine had rejoined the team for practices on Tuesday and Wednesday.

      "He's excited to be back playing," Donovan said. "I think for him getting in the gym was good."

      The Bulls (26-39) went 4-7 without Lavine, falling to four games behind the 10th-place Washington Wizards in the Eastern Conference. This season's play-in tournament will feature the seventh- through 10th-place teams competing for the final two playoff spots in each conference.

      It's unclear whether LaVine tested positive for COVID-19 or was exposed to someone who did.

      --Field Level Media

  • NBA roundup: Tim Hardaway Jr. ties Mavs' record with 10 treys
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, May 5, 2021

    Tim Hardaway Jr. matched the franchise record with a career-high 10 3-pointers as part of a 36-point effort to help the Dallas Mavericks rally for a 127-113 victory over the host Miami Heat on Tuesday night.

    • Luka Doncic registered 23 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists as the Mavericks won for the seventh time in the past nine games. Jalen Brunson scored 19 points and Jason Richardson added 17 for the Mavericks, who trailed by 11 in the opening minutes before outscoring the Heat 68-38 over the middle two quarters.

      Goran Dragic and Duncan Robinson tallied 19 points for Miami, which was without five-time All-Star Jimmy Butler (illness). The Heat had a three-game winning streak snapped.

      Suns 134, Cavaliers 118 (OT)

      Devin Booker's 31 points and Chris Paul's 23 points and 16 assists helped Phoenix hold off host Cleveland. The Suns moved back into a tie with the Utah Jazz for the top spot in the Western Conference with their fifth consecutive victory.

      Rookie Isaac Okoro scored a career-high 32 points and added six assists, nearly helping the Cavaliers avoid their seventh consecutive defeat. Collin Sexton tallied 29 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.

      After failing to pull away throughout regulation, Phoenix opened overtime with a 15-0 run fueled by eight points from Mikal Bridges, who totaled 22 points to go with five rebounds, four assists and three steals.

      Clippers 105, Raptors 100

      Paul George scored 22 points and grabbed nine rebounds, helping Los Angeles rally late to defeat visiting Toronto.

      Marcus Morris Sr. also had 22 points as the Clippers ended a three-game losing streak. Los Angeles overcame a six-point deficit in the last six minutes.

      Patrick Beverley returned to the Los Angeles lineup for the first time since April 9 and scored eight points in 15 minutes. Fred VanVleet had 27 points and 13 assists for the Raptors, who ended a Western trip at 1-3.

      Hornets 102, Pistons 99

      LaMelo Ball scored 23 points to lead Charlotte to a win at Detroit.

      Terry Rozier scored 18 points and Caleb Martin added 17 points for Charlotte, which moved 1 1/2 games ahead of the idle Indiana Pacers for eighth place in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

      Hamidou Diallo scored a career-high 35 points and Sekou Doumbouya contributed a season-high 20 points for Detroit, which lost its fourth game in a row and fell for the seventh time in eight contests.

      Bucks 124, Nets 118

      Giannis Antetokounmpo scored a team-high 36 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, and host Milwaukee scored its second win over Brooklyn in as many games.

      The Bucks dominated the interior with advantages of 44-30 scoring in the paint, 62-50 rebounding and 20-9 on second-chance points. Coupled with an overwhelming defensive effort in the fourth quarter, Milwaukee completed the two-game sweep to gain ground in the Eastern Conference chase with Brooklyn.

      The Nets' Kyrie Irving scored a game-high 38 points, which included 6-of-12 shooting from 3-point range. Kevin Durant scored 32 points to move past Charles Barkley to No. 26 on the NBA's all-time scoring list.

      Pelicans 108, Warriors 103

      Lonzo Ball scored 33 points and Zion Williamson had a double-double as host New Orleans held off Golden State.

      Ball made 11 of 23 shots, including 7 of 13 from beyond the 3-point arc. Williamson tallied 23 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists for New Orleans, which closed with a 13-5 run.

      One night after scoring 41 points in a win at New Orleans, Stephen Curry tallied 37 to lead the Warriors. However, he recorded just two points in the fourth quarter. Curry grabbed nine rebounds, and teammate Andrew Wiggins had 26 points.

      Kings 103, Thunder 99

      Buddy Hield compiled 18 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Kings to a win at Oklahoma City.

      Delon Wright came up with a pair of big blocks in the game's closing moments to help the Kings hold off a furious Thunder run. Wright, starting in place of Tyrese Haliburton (knee), scored the Kings' only two field goals in the final 5:40.

      Darius Bazley scored 24 points to lead the Thunder, which lost a fourth consecutive game and fell for the 21st time in 23 games.

      --Field Level Media

  • Heat's Jimmy Butler (illness) out against Mavericks
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, May 4, 2021

    Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler missed Tuesday night's home game against the Dallas Mavericks due to an illness.

    • Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said the five-time All-Star was scratched after exhibiting flu-like symptoms. He also said Butler tested negative for COVID-19.

      Andre Iguodala replaced Butler in the starting lineup.

      Butler, 31, is averaging 21.5 points, 7.2 assists and 7.0 rebounds in 48 games this season. He also has an even 100 steals, reaching that mark for the eighth straight season.

      Dallas big man Kristaps Porzingis (knee) sat out for the sixth time in the past seven games.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: LeBron James (ankle) to miss at least next two games
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, May 4, 2021

    Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James is expected to sit out the team's next two games -- on the road against the Los Angeles Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers -- to rest his injured ankle, ESPN reported Tuesday.

    • After missing 20 games because of the injury, James returned to play in the Lakers' loss to Sacramento on Friday and their loss to Toronto on Sunday. He had 16 points, eight rebounds and seven assists against the Kings; and added 19 points, seven rebounds and six assists against the Raptors.

      He didn't play the last 6 minutes, 42 seconds of the Raptors game, and then sat out Los Angeles' win over Denver on Monday.

      ESPN added that James could miss more games in order to be better prepared for the postseason.

      This season, the four-time NBA MVP is averaging 25.0 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game.

      The fifth-place Lakers, who have seven games left in the regular season, are 37-28, a half-game ahead of the sixth-place Dallas Mavericks and one game ahead of the seventh-place Trail Blazers. The top six teams in the Western Conference qualify for the playoffs without having to compete in the play-in tournament between the teams seeded seventh through 10th.

      --Field Level Media

  • Celtics G Jaylen Brown (ankle) out Wednesday vs. Magic
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, May 4, 2021

    Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown, who sprained his ankle in a collision with teammate Jayson Tatum on Sunday, will miss Wednesday's game at the Orlando Magic.

    • Brown, who went through a full practice Tuesday, had to be helped off the court with 40.4 seconds remaining in Sunday's 129-119 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers after colliding with Tatum. Celtics coach Brad Stevens doesn't think Brown will miss too much time.

      "He's very much day-to-day after that," Stevens said after Tuesday's practice.

      Tatum, who suffered a leg injury in Sunday's collision, also practiced fully on Tuesday and is on track to face the Magic.

      Brown, who earned the first All-Star nod of his career in February, is averaging career-highs in points (24.7) and assists (3.4) per game while also grabbing 6.0 rebounds per contest.

      Second in scoring to Tatum (26.5 points per game) on the Celtics, Brown is also shooting a career-best 48.4 percent from the floor and 39.7 percent from 3-point range

      In 337 career games -- 230 starts -- with the Celtics, Brown, 24, is averaging 15.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists while shooting 47.3 percent from the field and 37.8 percent from 3-point range.

      The Celtics (34-31), who are seventh in the Eastern Conference, have seven regular-season games remaining.

      --Field Level Media

  • Clippers upgrade health status of G Patrick Beverley
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, May 4, 2021

    The Los Angeles Clippers upgraded the injury status of veteran guard Patrick Beverley to questionable, with the possibility that he could play Tuesday night for the first time since April 8.

    • The Clippers will host the Toronto Raptors as they try to end a three-game losing streak, tied for the team's longest this season.

      Beverley, the Clippers' defensive standout and inspirational leader, was out almost all of April with a metacarpal fracture in his left hand, missing the last 12 games. He had just returned after missing 12 games because of a knee injury and played in only two games before going down again.

      The 32-year old has averaged 8.0 points with 3.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 31 games this season, but his value is measured by how much of a disruptive force he is on the defensive end. He is a three-time NBA All-Defensive player.

      Beverley has averaged 8.9 points with 4.3 rebounds and 3.4 assists over his nine-year NBA career with the Houston Rockets (2012-17) and Clippers.

      The Clippers have clinched a playoff berth despite their recent struggles, doing so on Sunday when the Los Angeles Lakers were defeated.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: Hornets F Miles Bridges out due to health, safety protocols
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, May 4, 2021

    Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges is out for Tuesday night's road game against the Detroit Pistons due to health and safety protocols, and could miss multiple games, ESPN reported.

    • Hornets forward P.J. Washington is also out for Tuesday night's game because of personal reasons.

      Bridges is in COVID-19 quarantine, per the ESPN report. He's averaging 12.4 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 64 games (18 starts) for the Hornets but has averaged 21.2 points per game over his past six contests. He's playing 29.0 minutes per game.

      Washington is averaging 12.8 points, 6.2 boards and 2.5 assists per game.

      The Hornets, who have lost three of their past four, enter Tuesday's action eighth in the Eastern Conference. The Hornets' game at Detroit is their lone road game sandwiched between seven home games.

      --Field Level Media

  • Cavaliers sign Anderson Varejao to 10-day contract
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, May 4, 2021

    The Cleveland Cavaliers signed free agent center Anderson Varejao to a 10-day contract Tuesday, bringing back a player who was extremely popular with their fans during his 591-game stint with the team from 2004-16.

    • "Andy embodies all that the city of Cleveland stands for and beyond, and we couldn't be more excited to bring his experience, leadership and character back into this locker room," Cavs general manager Koby Altman said in a statement on the team's website. "His infectious work ethic and commitment to our community have earned him his rightful place in the fabric of this organization and all of Northeast Ohio, and have established a genuine admiration that resonates strongly throughout our passionate fan base. There are not many athletes who can impact the game of basketball the way Andy has over his career, and I feel that our players will benefit greatly from their daily interaction with him. We are thrilled to welcome Andy and family back to the Cavaliers."

      The 38-year-old native of Brazil was a first-round pick (30th overall) of the Orlando Magic in 2004, and one month after the draft he was traded to Cleveland.

      In his 12 seasons with the Cavs he averaged 7.6 points and 7.5 rebounds, but he was known as much for his hustle and his wild, curly hair as his production.

      Cleveland traded him to the Portland Trail Blazers during the 2015-16 season. After he was waived by Portland, he signed on with Golden State and played 36 games over two seasons with the Warriors.

      Starting in 2017, he played for Flamengo in Brazil's pro league for two seasons but has been out of basketball since.

      Cleveland was awarded a hardship exception from the NBA to sign Varejao because it has seven players out injured.

      --Field Level Media

  • NBA roundup: Russell Westbrook goes wild in 154-141 Wizards win
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, May 4, 2021

    Russell Westbrook recorded his 32nd triple-double of the season with 14 points, a career-high 21 rebounds and 24 assists to lead the host Washington Wizards to a 154-141 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Monday night.

    • Westbrook's assist total matched a franchise record and his career high. The Wizards, who hold the 10th seed and final spot in the Eastern Conference play-in round, won for the 13th time in 16 games and pulled to within a half-game of the Pacers for ninth place and secured the head-to-head tiebreaker between the teams.

      Domantas Sabonis scored 32 points and totaled 19 rebounds and nine assists to lead the Pacers, while Caris LeVert had 33 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

      Nine Wizards scored in double figures, including five reserves, and Washington outscored Indiana by a staggering 96-60 margin in the paint. Rui Hachimura finished with 27 points and seven rebounds and Bradley Beal totaled 26 points, six assists and five rebounds for the Wizards.

      Warriors 123, Pelicans 108

      Steph Curry had his NBA-best ninth 40-plus scoring game, finishing with 41 as Golden State bolstered its play-in chances by defeating host New Orleans.

      Curry made 14 of 26 field goal attempts, including 8 of 18 from 3-point range. Draymond Green added 10 points, 15 assists and 13 rebounds, and Andrew Wiggins scored 26 points. The victory kept Golden State ahead of 10th-place San Antonio in the Western Conference.

      Zion Williamson scored 32 points and Brandon Ingram added 19 for the Pelicans, who were pushed closer to elimination. They trail the Spurs by three games with seven left to play.

      Knicks 118, Grizzlies 104

      Julius Randle scored 28 points, Derrick Rose added eight of his season-high 25 points in the fourth quarter and surging New York recorded a double-digit victory over host Memphis.

      Randle sank five 3-pointers, including two in the final four minutes after Memphis got a 17-point deficit down to five. New York won for the 12th time in 13 games, a stretch that began with them overcoming a 15-point deficit to post a four-point overtime win over Memphis on April 9.

      Dillon Brooks led Memphis with 25 points but went 0-for-5 in a scoreless fourth quarter. Desmond Bane added 22 for the Grizzlies, who dropped into ninth place in the Western Conference by losing for the fourth time in five games.

      Hawks 123, Trail Blazers 114

      Danilo Gallinari and Bogdan Bogdanovic combined for 53 points and 14 3-pointers to help Atlanta defeat visiting Portland.

      Gallinari came off the bench to score 28 points, hitting 7 of 10 from 3-point range, and added eight rebounds and two steals. Bogdanovic scored 25 points, including seven 3-pointers -- all in the first half. The Hawks have won six straight home games and are 14-2 over their past 16 home games.

      Portland got 33 points from Damian Lillard, who had six 3-pointers and eight assists. Carmelo Anthony scored 14 points and moved up to No. 10 on the NBA's all-time scoring list. Anthony has 27,318 points, passing Hall of Famer Elvin Hayes, who had 27,313.

      Lakers 93, Nuggets 89

      Anthony Davis had his best game since returning a week ago from a right calf strain, as host Los Angeles, playing without LeBron James, grinded out a win over Denver. Davis finished with 25 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots.

      Davis also came up with a key block at the end of the game on a Facundo Campazzo attempted 3-pointer to seal the win. Alex Caruso, who started in place of Dennis Schroder, added 11 points. Lakers coach Frank Vogel said Schroder will miss the next 10 to 14 days due to the NBA's health and safety protocols.

      Nikola Jokic paced the Nuggets with 32 points and nine rebounds. Michael Porter Jr. contributed 19 points. On the night he received his NBA championship ring for playing with the Lakers last season, JaVale McGee scored 10 points.

      76ers 106, Bulls 94

      Tobias Harris recorded 21 points and nine rebounds while Seth Curry scored 20 points to lead Philadelphia over host Chicago for its fifth straight win.

      The 76ers also increased their lead in the Eastern Conference to one game over the Brooklyn Nets. Ben Simmons registered 15 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals for Philadelphia, which went 3-0 against Chicago this season and stretched its series winning streak to seven.

      Coby White recorded 23 points and five assists for the Bulls, who have lost four straight games and five of six. The Bulls were without Zach LaVine for the 11th straight game due to health and safety protocols. Nikola Vucevic (adductor) missed his second consecutive game.

      Jazz 110, Spurs 99

      Bojan Bogdanovic scored 25 points and Rudy Gobert amassed 24 points, 15 rebounds and three blocked shots as Utah defeated San Antonio in Salt Lake City. Utah regained the No. 1 overall seed in the NBA, moving a half-game ahead of the idle Phoenix Suns.

      Jordan Clarkson added 16 points, Joe Ingles put up 13 with nine assists and Georges Niang contributed 11 points to help Utah once again overcome the absence of injured All-Star guards Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley.

      DeMar DeRozan returned after taking a day off to rest to score 22 points for the Spurs, who lost in overtime to Philadelphia at home on Sunday night. The Spurs visit the Jazz again on Wednesday.

      Magic 119, Pistons 112

      Mo Bamba reached career highs with 22 points and 15 rebounds off the bench as Orlando downed host Detroit.

      Chasson Randle supplied 18 points while R.J. Hampton contributed 16 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds. Ignas Brazdeikis tossed in 14 points as Orlando's bench scored 70 points. The Magic moved two games ahead of Detroit, the last-place team in the Eastern Conference.

      Saddiq Bey's 26 points and nine rebounds topped the Pistons. Frank Jackson had 19 points off the bench.

      --Field Level Media

  • Carmelo Anthony moves to 10th in all-time NBA scoring
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, May 4, 2021

    Carmelo Anthony cracked the top 10 in all-time NBA scoring in style Monday.

    • The Portland Trail Blazers forward sank a 3-pointer while getting fouled early in the second quarter of a road game against the Atlanta Hawks, moving him past Hall of Famer Elvin Hayes on the career scoring list.

      Anthony, who turns 37 later this month, completed the four-point play. He finished the night with 14 points, giving him 27,318 points in his 18-year career.

      Hayes compiled 27,313 points in 16 seasons for the San Diego/Houston Rockets and the Baltimore/Washington Bullets.

      Anthony, a 10-time All-Star, was the NBA's scoring champion in 2012-13. He has averaged 23 points over 1,186 games for the Denver Nuggets (2003-04 to 2010-11), the New York Knicks (2010-11 to 2016-17), Oklahoma City Thunder (2017-18), Houston (2018-19) and Portland (2019-20 to 2020-21).

      The Hawks beat the Trail Blazers 123-114 on Monday.

      --Field Level Media

  • Reports: LeBron James (ankle) out Monday vs. Nuggets
    By Field Level Media / Monday, May 3, 2021

    Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James will sit out Monday's game against the Denver Nuggets after re-aggravating an injury to his right ankle, multiple outlets reported.

    • James sprained the ankle during a game against the Atlanta Hawks on March 20 and missed the next 20 games. He returned to action Friday and played in the weekend losses at home to the Sacramento Kings and Toronto Raptors.

      Monday is the second half of a back-to-back for Los Angeles after Sunday night's 121-114 loss to Toronto. James left the game with seven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter due to what the Lakers called a sore ankle.

      The Lakers have lost six of their last seven and entered Monday in a three-way tie for fifth place in the Western Conference with the Dallas Mavericks and Portland Trail Blazers. All three teams are 36-28 with eight games to play.

      This season, the top six teams in each conference make the standard playoff bracket, while the seventh- through 10th-place teams will compete in a play-in tournament for the final seeds.

      With the defending champion Lakers now in danger of dropping out of the top six in the West, James ripped the playoff format after Sunday's loss.

      "Whoever came up with that s-- needs to be fired," he said.

      James, 36, is averaging 25.0 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7.8 assists in 43 games this season, his 18th in the league.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: Lakers G Dennis Schroder out 10-14 days
    By Field Level Media / Monday, May 3, 2021

    Los Angeles Lakers guard Dennis Schroder is expected to miss 10-14 days due to the NBA's health and safety protocols, The Athletic reported Monday.

    • Schroder, 27, was listed as inactive for the Lakers' 121-114 loss to the visiting Toronto Raptors on Sunday.

      He is averaging 15.5 points, 5.8 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 59 starts this season.

      "I mean obviously he's a heavy usage player for us, so it's a big loss," Lakers coach Frank Vogel said Sunday about Schroder. "But we've got plenty of guys who can step up in his place and carry that load."

      The defending champion Lakers (36-28) have dropped six of their past seven games and slipped to sixth place in the Western Conference with eight games remaining, including Monday night's home contest against Denver.

      Schroder joined the Lakers in a November 2020 trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

      A first-round pick by Atlanta (17th overall) in 2013, he has averaged 14.3 points, 4.7 assists and 2.9 rebounds in 555 games (236 starts) with the Hawks (2013-18), Thunder (2018-20) and Lakers.

      --Field Level Media