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Silas Walker/Lexington Herald-Leader/TNS

Mark Story: You know who deserves an apology? Kentucky basketball's much-maligned Rupp Arena fans.

Sports / Basketball /

LEXINGTON, Ky. — In the run-up to Saturday’s SEC showdown between No. 17 Kentucky and No. 13 Alabama, I overheard a sportswriter on hand to cover the Crimson Tide saying it would be his first game at Rupp Arena.

“I hear the atmosphere isn’t that great,” he said.

What followed, of course, was one of the more electric game environments...Read more

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No. 15 Baylor's zone defense shuts down TCU in ugly defeat, 62-54

Sports / Basketball /

TCU couldn’t complete the season sweep of No. 15 Baylor as the Bears shut down the Horned Frogs’ offense in an ugly 62-54 loss at Schollmaier Arena Monday night.

TCU won the first matchup in Waco, a 105-102 triple-overtime thriller on Jan. 27.

Despite a tightly contested first half Monday night, there was no fantastic finish this time ...Read more

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Amid suspensions and injuries, short-handed Heat survive for impressive win over Kings. Takeaways

Sports / Basketball /

Amid suspensions and injuries, the Heat played without a chunk of its roster against a Kings team at full strength. But the Heat turned in an inspiring performance to continue its winning ways.

The Heat was without Thomas Bryant (league suspension), Jimmy Butler (league suspension), Tyler Herro (left knee hyperextension), Nikola Jovic (league ...Read more

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Kristian Winfield: Judge Knicks in April, not in February during nail-biting win against league-worst Pistons

Sports / Basketball /

NEW YORK — Judging the Knicks on games played in February is a moot mission.

Reserving judgment for the end of the regular season into the playoffs is a far more appropriate course of action.

It’s easy to get goaded into unreasonable expectations given the bright Madison Square Garden lights blaring onto a team looking to make a deeper ...Read more

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RJ Davis sets a Smith Center record with 42 points. And UNC needed every one of them.

Sports / Basketball /

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Standing roughly on Bryson City on the outline of the state on the Smith Center floor — a figurative 280 miles from Chapel Hill and a literal 28 feet from the basket — R.J. Davis put to the test the theory that he could score from just about anywhere Monday night.

And he did. From the left wing. From the right wing (...Read more

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Kansas Jayhawks basketball coach Bill Self on court storming: 'I don't like it'

Sports / Basketball /

LAWRENCE, Kan. — University of Kansas men’s basketball coach Bill Self has watched replays of Saturday’s court-storming incident at Wake Forest that resulted in a knee injury to Duke’s Kyle Filipowski.

“That was one of the quickest ones I’ve ever seen,” Self said Monday.

Demon Deacon students poured from the stands and flooded ...Read more

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Celtics reveal they 'begged' Blake Griffin to return this season, but veteran 'enjoying life'

Sports / Basketball /

While Blake Griffin didn’t play significant minutes for the Celtics last season, his value as a veteran presence and core member of the locker room was unquestioned. And when their playoff run ended in May, there was hope he would return.

During an appearance on the popular podcast “Pardon My Take” that aired on Monday, Payton Pritchard ...Read more

Duke basketball coach Jon Scheyer provides latest update on Filipowski, Foster injuries

Sports / Basketball /

DURHAM, N.C. — Duke star forward Kyle Filipowski’s availability for the Blue Devils’ next game remains uncertain, with head coach Jon Scheyer saying Monday the full extent of the apparent knee injury that occurred during a court-storming incident after a loss to Wake Forest on Saturday is unclear.

Scheyer confirmed Monday that Filipowski ...Read more

Dieter Kurtenbach: The Warriors were hit with a harsh reality check by the defending champions. They can't afford to ignore it.

Sports / Basketball /

SAN FRANCISCO — The Denver Nuggets hit the Warriors with a reality check Sunday night at Chase Center.

The Dubs came into the game riding high, having won three straight games amid a larger stretch that has returned the team to respectability and the fringe of the Western Conference’s top six.

Golden State was starting to think they could ...Read more

Yong Kim / Staff Photographer/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

Patrick Beverley doesn't think Sixers' front office wants to win a title this season

Sports / Basketball /

Patrick Beverley is far from shocked that the 76ers traded him.

The Milwaukee Bucks’ new backup point guard believes the Sixers’ front office doesn’t want to win a title this season.

And Sixers guard De’Anthony Melton looked good in his second game back from a spine injury.

Those are three things that came out of the Sixers’ 119-98 ...Read more

Chris Paul set to return for Warriors tomorrow vs. Wizards

Sports / Basketball /

The Warriors will begin their four-game trip to the East Coast with a full roster.

Chris Paul, the 12-time All-Star point guard, is listed as available to play on Tuesday in Washington after missing almost two months with a broken hand. Head coach Steve Kerr will have a complete array of rotation players to deploy to begin a stretch of away ...Read more

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Tyronn Lue aiming to fix what ails Clippers after another double-digit loss

Sports / Basketball /

After seeing so much decline in his team’s recent play, Clippers coach Tyronn Lue is determined to find a fix.

His team will practice this week — and practice some more.

The Clippers’ 123-107 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Sunday night will give Lue even more reason to push his players in the days ahead.

The Clippers have struggled ...Read more

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Nikola Jokic dominates as Nuggets rally for seventh consecutive win over Golden State Warriors

Sports / Basketball /

SAN FRANCISCO — Maybe the Nuggets have bigger fish to fry than this final chunk of the regular season, like coach Michael Malone emphasized after the All-Star break. But when the defending champions encounter an opponent desperately trying to capitalize on a hot streak and climb back into contention, their natural instinct will always be to ...Read more

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Setback in Atlanta ends trip as Magic's Banchero sits

Sports / Basketball /

Paolo Banchero missed the first game of his sophomore season Sunday night at Atlanta in a 109-92 loss by the Magic (32-26).

The Magic forward, who lifted Orlando over the Pistons on the first night of a back-to-back Saturday in Detroit by hitting a jumper in the closing seconds, has been battling an illness.

Although Banchero was able to play ...Read more

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Lakers can't match the Suns at the finish in loss on the road

Sports / Basketball /

PHOENIX — The road through the Western Conference is a narrowing path and, ultimately, there will be room for the Lakers or the Suns. Not both.

Maybe because of the familiarity — Kevin Durant and LeBron James battling for parts of three decades, a Suns coaching staff that owns championship rings with the Lakers or an unconventional fifth ...Read more

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Duke star Kyle Filipowski's collision with fan further fuels court-storming debate

Sports / Basketball /

Duke center Kyle Filipowski, one of college basketball’s most high-profile players, didn’t hide his frustrations after Saturday’s collision with a court-storming Wake Forest fan left him with an injured knee.

Neither did his coach, Jon Scheyer.

A little over a month ago, Iowa star Cailtin Clark was similarly upset after an Ohio State fan...Read more

Silas Walker/Lexington Herald-Leader/TNS

John Clay: For one shining Saturday, this inconsistent Kentucky basketball team was simply brilliant

Sports / Basketball /

LEXINGTON, Ky. — They lose focus sometimes, and they don’t always guard, and they don’t always fight for loose balls, and they can make the kind of basic mistakes that can drive even the most hardcore member of Big Blue Nation to the edge of the nearest ledge.

But when they’re on, oh man, when these young Kentucky Wildcats are ripping ...Read more

Michigan basketball shows fight, but not enough against Zach Edey, No. 3 Purdue

Sports / Basketball /

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — When the Wolverines and Boilermakers squared off in late January, it was an absolute bloodbath.

The second encounter wasn’t another 32-point bludgeoning, but the matchup between teams at opposite ends of the Big Ten standings wasn’t pretty.

Poor defensive rebounding. Too many fouls with limited depth. No answer for ...Read more

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St. John's defeats No. 15 Creighton for first ranked win of the Rick Pitino era

Sports / Basketball /

NEW YORK — It took more than three months, but St. John’s on Sunday delivered the first signature win of the Rick Pitino era.

It came in the form of a commanding 80-66 victory at Madison Square Garden over a surging No. 15 Creighton team that was only five days removed from a 19-point win against No. 1 UConn.

Daniss Jenkins, the Red Storm�...Read more

Dylan Hernández: Mick Cronin makes his last-ditch effort to try to salvage UCLA's season

Sports / Basketball /

LOS ANGELES — Mick Cronin was to the point.

"It's a simple game," he said. "Team that plays harder usually wins."

Cronin paused for a beat.

"They played much harder than us. They were more physical. They had humility. They came in looking for redemption."

Cronin paused again.

"We had no humility, and show me somebody that's not humble and...Read more