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Mark Story: For Kentucky basketball fans, a familiar worry comes back again

Sports / Basketball /

LEXINGTON, Ky. — If you listened to John Calipari’s weekly radio show Monday night, you heard the Kentucky men’s basketball coach in animated form describing the “turn your legs to jelly” drills the UK players had been subjected to in practice that day as part of a plan to create more defensive toughness.

“We did some ‘wall sits�...Read more

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LeBron James masterclass lifts Lakers into NBA in-season tournament final

Sports / Basketball /

LAS VEGAS — LeBron James had just gotten knocked to the floor by Zion Williamson, New Orleans’ door-frame shaped power forward, when the refs blew the whistle and signaled for a first-quarter charge.

James sprang to his feet and sprinted — like, really sprinted — down the floor to the far corner where he was the first player back ready...Read more

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Michael Cunningham: Hawks still stuck in the middle

Sports / Basketball /

ATLANTA — Maybe you’re just now checking in on the 2023-24 Hawks. If so, you didn’t miss much. The same goes for anyone who last watched the Hawks during their run to the 2021 NBA Eastern Conference finals.

A few of the names have changed. Coach Quin Snyder has the Hawks playing a different style. Yet the team’s strengths, weaknesses ...Read more

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Joel Embiid's 50-point night even impresses Sixers teammates: 'I take my hat off to him'

Sports / Basketball /

PHILADELPHIA — When Joel Embiid walks onto the court, even players on the opposing NBA team stop and take notice.

A lot of times, that’s the result of seeing his 7-foot, 280-pound stature in person for the first time. And once the game begins, folks become amazed at the 76ers center’s footwork, power, athleticism, and shooting touch.

And...Read more

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Zach LaVine says 3-4 extra weeks of recovery are unrelated to potential trade from Bulls: 'I'm committed here'

Sports / Basketball /

CHICAGO — Zach LaVine likely won’t play for the Chicago Bulls again until 2024.

The two-time All-Star guard knows how this looks. When the team announced after Wednesday’s game that LaVine will require three to four more weeks of treatment to address right foot soreness — which already has sidelined him intermittently for the last two ...Read more

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LeBron James calls out gun laws after UNLV mass shooting kills 3 near venue of Lakers' next game

Sports / Basketball /

LOS ANGELES — LeBron James' tone was passionate, yet weary. Another shooting, this time in Las Vegas, more innocent people dead, and the Lakers superstar seemed to recognize that his plea for gun control sounds like a broken record.

"It just goes back to what I said before about guns in America," he said. "I think it's such a longer ...Read more

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Clippers return to .500 with rare win over Denver Nuggets

Sports / Basketball /

LOS ANGELES — One-quarter of the way through the Clippers’ regular-season schedule, taking stock of the team is like looking into a funhouse mirror – each glance revealing something different, even contradictory.

Their roller-coaster ride continued Wednesday when Los Angeles, one of the worst performers in close games this season, had ...Read more

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Behind Curry and Kuminga, Warriors flip flat start into win over Portland

Sports / Basketball /

SAN FRANCISCO — The Warriors overcame a flat first half and turned out a 110-106 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night at Chase Center.

After being down by as many as many as 11 to the bottom-feeding Trail Blazers, Golden State’s turning point came late in the third quarter. Portland’s young stars Anfernee Simons and ...Read more

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Same old story: Pistons' losing streak hits 18 games with 116-102 loss to Grizzlies

Sports / Basketball /

DETROIT — Desperately seeking their first win in 39 days, the Pistons hosted another struggling team in the Memphis Grizzlies but were again unable to capitalize when the moment presented itself.

The Pistons maintained control of the game for the majority of the night and led by as many as eight points in the third quarter, but couldn't slow ...Read more

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Paolo Banchero's 42 points not enough as Magic fall to Cavs

Sports / Basketball /

Magic forward Paolo Banchero scored 42 points in Cleveland on Wednesday night but it wasn’t enough as the Cavaliers prevailed, 121-111, over Orlando, for which forward Jonathan Isaac (right ankle sprain) missed his second straight and fourth game of the last five.

Entering the Magic’s first regular-season meeting with the Cavaliers, Orlando...Read more

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Joel Embiid scores 50 points, propels Sixers to victory over Wizards

Sports / Basketball /

WASHINGTON — Joel Embiid collected the ball that had slipped out of his grasp, then drew the contact underneath the basket.

And with boos raining from the Capital One Arena crowd, the 76ers superstar swished both free throws.

That all but secured the Sixers’ victory over the Washington Wizards. But the reigning NBA Most Valuable Player ...Read more

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A pair of Robinsons help guide short-handed Heat past Raptors, 112-103

Sports / Basketball /

TORONTO – This time, the track meet only lasted for the first two quarters.

And then a grind.

As seemingly always is the case when the Miami Heat play the Toronto Raptors.

So even after going up 15 in the first quarter, 14 in the third quarter and 10 early in the fourth, the Heat found themselves again fighting to the finish against the ...Read more

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Mikal Bridges hits game-winner as Nets top Trae Young, Hawks in nail-biting victory

Sports / Basketball /

For reasons only the basketball Gods can grasp, matchups between the Nets and Hawks have been wildly entertaining this season.

While neither team shot the ball particularly well at times in their latest meeting on Wednesday, the game was still a back-and-forth affair that went down to the wire. Entering the night, Brooklyn’s last six games in...Read more

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Rudy Gobert, Timberwolves salvage victory with big fourth quarter against Spurs

Sports / Basketball /

MINNEAPOLIS — In a refreshing turn from a year ago, the Timberwolves haven't turned in too many clunkers this season, and they have made sure to take care of the teams who are down in the standings.

They saved one of those down nights for Wednesday's national TV audience on ESPN, perhaps trying to throw the rest of the league off the scent ...Read more

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The Bulls suddenly are playing with pace. How did that happen? Can they keep it up when Zach LaVine returns?

Sports / Basketball /

CHICAGO — The Chicago Bulls finally are picking up the pace.

Through the first quarter of the season, the Bulls have been the slowest team in the NBA. Their average pace of 96.61 — measured by the number of possessions in a 48-minute game — is nearly eight fewer than the Indiana Pacers, who lead the league with their up-tempo offense.

...Read more

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Austin Reaves' three-pointer lifts Lakers past the Phoenix Suns

Sports / Basketball /

The joke, publicly and privately, among the Lakers leading up to and during the NBA’s inaugural In-Season Tournament was the amazement at how badly a room of rich people could want to win the $500,000 prize waiting for each winning player Las Vegas.

“The bag,” they said was an amazing motivator, the kind that could turn regular season ...Read more

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No. 5 UConn beats No. 9 North Carolina, 87-76, in Jimmy V Classic battle of blue bloods

Sports / Basketball /

NEW YORK — Four players scored in double figures as the fifth-ranked UConn men’s basketball team defeated No. 9 North Carolina, in a battle between blue bloods at Madison Square Garden Tuesday night.

It was UConn’s first win in five appearances in the Jimmy V Classic and first over North Carolina since 2002.

Cam Spencer put his shooting ...Read more

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Grand Canyon wreaks havoc with No. 25 San Diego State in 79-73 win

Sports / Basketball /

PHOENIX — The contractual buyout on the home-and-home series to avoid coming to one of the nation’s loudest, craziest, wackiest college basketball venues was $150,000.

San Diego State opted to play.

It paid for not paying.

The 79-73 loss Tuesday night at Grand Canyon University will most certainly knock the No. 25 Aztecs from the ...Read more

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Three takeaways from Kansas State's thrilling overtime victory against Villanova

Sports / Basketball /

MANHATTAN, Kan. — Call him Mr. Clutch.

Kansas State point guard Tylor Perry once again showed off his uncanny ability to make important shots when he drained a step-back 3-pointer with 3.9 seconds remaining in overtime to lift his Wildcats to a 72-71 victory over Villanova in the Big 12/Big East Battle.

Perry’s game-winning bucket Tuesday ...Read more

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Knicks eliminated from In-Season Tournament in blowout loss to Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks

Sports / Basketball /

MILWAUKEE — Julius Randle will have to find another reason to go to Las Vegas.

Randle packed an additional set of clothes in anticipation of defeating the Milwaukee Bucks in the In-Season Tournament quarterfinal on Tuesday.

After earning Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors in the opening week of December, Randle turned in his best ...Read more