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Padres remain meek at plate, waste Nick Martinez's strong effort in loss to Rockies

Sports / Basketball /

SAN DIEGO — Not all that often has there been a collection of hitters at the top of one team’s lineup like Xander Bogaerts, Juan Soto and Manny Machado.

Eventually, it will matter.

And it will matter on a night like Friday, when a pitcher like Nick Martinez deserved better than he got from the defenders behind him and the hitters ...Read more

Down four starters, Nuggets nearly pull off 27-point comeback vs. Suns

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DENVER — Technically, the Denver Nuggets lost.

But Phoenix’s 100-93 win on Friday evening couldn’t have felt great for the victors.

Denver, which was missing four starters, cut a 27-point lead to just four on multiple occasions in the fourth quarter and nearly snatched their most improbable win of the season. On the second night of a ...Read more

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Warriors rally past Spurs with fourth-quarter surge

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SAN FRANCISCO — Two days after overcoming a 20-point deficit to stun the New Orleans Pelicans, the Golden State Warriors faltered early again Friday night, but overcame the slow, sloppy start against the San Antonio Spurs to pull out a 130-115 victory.

Stephen Curry scored 33 points, Klay Thompson had 31 and Jordan Poole added another 27 off ...Read more

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Pistons lose battle of teams with worst records, fall to Rockets, 121-115

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Friday's slate of NBA games included several matchups with playoff implications, but there was a battle between the teams with the worst records in the league being held in Houston.

Both franchises will be in line this summer to secure a top-five pick to add to their young rosters, but their latest meeting was about coming away with a victory. ...Read more

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Jalen Brunson leads Knicks past Cavs in potential playoff preview

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CLEVELAND — If this was a preview of a first-round playoff matchup, expect a mountain of points and a thrilling battle of guards.

Jalen Brunson won his matchup against Donovan Mitchell and the Knicks outlasted the Cavaliers on Friday night, 130-116, running away in the fourth quarter in their first game without injured Julius Randle.

...Read more

Sixers hold off Raptors, 117-110, as postseason rotation could be materializing

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PHILADELPHIA — One would assume the 76ers’ playoff rotation has been decided.

The team had its full complement of players available Wednesday night, and went with a telling 10-man rotation. Then Tobias Harris missed Friday’s 117-110 victory over the Toronto Raptors with a non-COVID illness. That led to sixth-man De’Anthony Melton ...Read more

Lakers beat Timberwolves to improve record above .500 for first time this season

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MINNEAPOLIS — Anthony Davis writhed in pain in the paint across from his team’s bench, everything feeling like it was about to fall apart again in Minnesota.

A season ago, Davis suffered a knee injury here that helped submarine the team’s season. Friday, it was his left ankle that twisted, the Lakers' recent momentum strained.

Yet after...Read more

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Celtics shake off travel woes, hold off Jazz for hard-fought victory

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BOSTON — Less than 24 hours after one of their best wins of the season, the Celtics could have made excuses.

Travel issues made the Celtics stay an extra night in Milwaukee after their blowout win over the Bucks, and they didn’t land in Boston until about six hours before tip-off for their game against the Jazz. The visitors’ top players ...Read more

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Clippers falter after halftime without Kawhi Leonard and lose to Grizzlies

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — To reach the Memphis locker room after his pregame warmup Friday, the Grizzlies’ Luke Kennard had to first pass by a Clippers bench populated by a few of his former assistant coaches. Stopping to chat, Kennard playfully asked whether the Clippers, whose suffocating defense two nights earlier limited him to attempt three 3-...Read more

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Ahead of Sixers' tilt, Raptors coach Nick Nurse opens up about uncertain future, Toronto turmoil

Sports / Basketball /

PHILADELPHIA — On paper, the Toronto Raptors were supposed to join the 76ers as one of this season’s Eastern Conference’s elite teams.

The Raptors’ season, however, has been a difficult one for their coach, Nick Nurse, from a number of standpoints.

“Early on, [Toronto] had some pretty serious injuries with some key guys,” Nurse ...Read more

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Cole Anthony taking advantage of midrange opportunities as Magic beat Wizards

Sports / Basketball /

WASHINGTON — The Orlando Magic have a clear hierarchy in the type of field-goal attempts they want: shots near the rim, free throws and feet-set 3-pointers.

The Magic are mostly successful in these desires, being top 10 in shot frequency at the rim (10th) and free-throw rate (6th). Orlando doesn’t take many 3s.

But most modern defenses are...Read more

Zach LaVine finds his way to the rim once again as he leads Bulls' postseason push: 'I'm able to do everything I need to'

Sports / Basketball /

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Few forces are strong enough to withstand the momentum of Zach LaVine when he picks up steam on the way to the basket.

It could be easy for the casual viewer to sum up LaVine’s scoring around the basket as an act of pure physicality. But once he’s in the air, LaVine’s finishing is elevated to something close to an art ...Read more

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Dom Amore: Good vibrations pour from UConn men's basketball team, but this work of art is not quite done yet

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HOUSTON — The band blared and the fans filled the lower bowl at NRG Stadium as the UConn men put on a show during their open practice Friday; there were smiles and laughter. Dan Hurley, hands behind his back, just watched and smiled like an artist admiring his finished painting.

The prep work is about done, and so is the building. The UConn ...Read more

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Timberwolves' Naz Reid suffers broken wrist from fall during loss in Phoenix

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MINNEAPOLIS — Naz Reid continued to play even after he fell hard on his left wrist in the fourth quarter of Wednesday's loss to the Suns in Phoenix. The Timberwolves backup center and power forward even shot the two free throws he earned after he tried to dunk on Suns center Bismack Biyombo.

But Reid kept grabbing at his wrist the rest of the...Read more

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Dave Hyde: Can Miami and FAU shock the basketball world again at Final Four?

Sports / Basketball /

HOUSTON — Among the thousand-odd texts filling Miami coach Jim Larrañaga’s phone in the moments after making the Final Four last Sunday, one stood out for its uniqueness.

“Congrats, see you in Houston!” Florida Atlantic University men’s basketball coach Dusty May wrote.

Larrañaga texted back, “Looking forward to it!”

Here they...Read more

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UConn's Adama Sanogo is dominating the NCAA Tournament ... while fasting for Ramadan

Sports / Basketball /

About eight minutes before Connecticut’s encounter with Miami in the Final Four on Saturday, Huskies big man Adama Sanogo will down some coconut water and oranges.

It will be Sanogo’s first nourishment of the day.

Sanogo, a practicing Muslim, is one of three UConn players who observe Ramadan, a month of spiritual discipline that includes ...Read more

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FAU coach Dusty May to sign long-term deal; Miami's Omier won't be the next Jimmy Graham

Sports / Basketball /

HOUSTON — Before the NCAA Tournament, Dusty May said a new contract with Florida Atlantic probably would have been completed and signed if he hadn’t been “too busy” coaching the team.

Nothing’s changed after the team’s improbable run to the Final Four raised his national profile. The deal is expected to be “north of $1 million” ...Read more

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With down-to-earth Brian Dutcher leading the way, San Diego State builds Final Four program on humility, hard work

Sports / Basketball /

HOUSTON — Interstate 15 can be a bear on weekday afternoons, a mass of brake lights commuting north into the suburbs.

Brian Dutcher, the coach of San Diego State's basketball team, leaves practice and drives home to Rancho Bernardo about that time every day, heading west on I-8 from campus and then north into the I-15 quagmire. Once you get ...Read more

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Michigan star Hunter Dickinson to enter transfer portal

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Each of the past two offseasons, Hunter Dickinson weighed his professional options and elected to return to Michigan.

This time around, Dickinson made a jarring move and entered the transfer portal on Friday to explore other opportunities elsewhere after three seasons with the Wolverines.

The 7-foot-1 center has been a key cog and racked up ...Read more

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Knicks confident about handling games without Julius Randle: 'We always step up in focus'

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CLEVELAND — Jalen Brunson acknowledged the “terrible timing” of Julius Randle’s injury, but the point guard — along with teammate RJ Barrett — are confident the roster can handle the absence of the All-Star.

For Barrett, it’s a belief rooted in the roster’s improvement from last season, specifically the addition of Brunson and ...Read more