Winslow Townson/Getty Images North America/TNS

Kristaps Porzingis looks sharp in return as Celtics hold on against Knicks

Sports / Basketball /

BOSTON — While it was not ideal that Kristaps Porzingis injured his calf, his four-game absence allowed the Celtics to play and grow in different ways. Others stepped up into bigger opportunities as the C’s continued to win, something that could benefit them in the long run.

But there’s no question, the Celtics are at their best when ...Read more

Steven M. Falk/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

Sixers win back-and-forth affair against Trae Young-less Atlanta Hawks

Sports / Basketball /

PHILADELPHIA — Of course, the game had some intrigue. That’s the 76ers’ way.

The struggling Atlanta Hawks came into Wells Fargo Center without two-time All-Star point guard Trae Young. They also were losers of four of their last five games.

Meanwhile, the Sixers had their full allotment of players on what is one of the league’s deepest...Read more

John McCall/South Florida Sun Sentinel/TNS

Heat stumble to the finish in 111-99 loss to Cavaliers

Sports / Basketball /

MIAMI — Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro and Haywood Highsmith again were out. This time, it also was as if Jimmy Butler wasn’t there.

For the Miami Heat, even after an early 16-point lead Friday night at Kaseya Center, that was too much to overcome.

So no traction after Wednesday night’s road victory over the Toronto Raptors. Instead, a 111-99...Read more

Al Bello/Getty Images North America/TNS

Mikal Bridges scores 21 as Nets beat Wizards, 124-97

Sports / Basketball /

NEW YORK — There is a reason why Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn was intent on not overlooking the Washington Wizards.

After winning one of the most seesaw contests in NBA history on Wednesday night in Atlanta, Friday’s Eastern Conference matchup at Barclays Center had all the makings of a trap game for Brooklyn, who entered the night as ...Read more

Elsa/Getty Images North America/TNS

Pistons overwhelmed by Magic, 123-89, in 19th straight loss

Sports / Basketball /

ORLANDO, Fla. — Another one bites the dust.

The Pistons were overwhelmed by the Orlando Magic in an ugly 123-89 loss on Friday night, which extended their franchise-record single-season losing streak to 19 games.

For seemingly every missed shot, there was a turnover made shortly after that made matters worse for the Pistons. For missed ...Read more

Steph Chambers/Getty Images North America/TNS

Clippers' Josh Primo will not be charged after indecent exposure investigation

Sports / Basketball /

LOS ANGELES — The Texas district attorney's office investigating whether Clippers guard Josh Primo exposed himself while playing for a previous team said it has declined to bring charges, citing a lack of evidence.

Primo, a first-round pick by San Antonio in the 2021 NBA draft, had been accused by the Spurs' former team psychologist of ...Read more

Ethan Miller/Getty Images North America/TNS

Lakers-Pacers preview: Tyrese Haliburton ready to face idol LeBron James

Sports / Basketball /

LAS VEGAS — Indiana coach Rick Carlisle, who played in the NBA as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar neared retirement and coached as Michael Jordan ended his playing days with Washington, doesn’t view LeBron James through the same lens, apparently.

“LeBron James is in his prime still. I’m watching the guy last night, and it’s phenomenal,” ...Read more

Matt Kelley/Getty Images North America/TNS

Hornets' LaMelo Ball re-evaluated after injury

Sports / Basketball /

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — That unmistakable, boisterous laugh was audible in Spectrum Center’s underbelly hallways again Friday morning, and it can only mean one thing.

LaMelo Ball is on the mend and feeling much, much better.

The Charlotte Hornets star point guard received good news during his re-evaluation on Thursday, signaling steady ...Read more

Jamie Squire/Getty Images North America/TNS

Vahe Gregorian: Nearly 25 years later, Kansas coach Bill Self reflects on Missouri hiring Quin Snyder over him

Sports / Basketball /

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Inbounding the basketball near the Missouri bench during a 1985 game at Gallagher-Iba Arena, an Oklahoma State guard by the name of Bill Self heard ever-fiery Mizzou coach Norm Stewart cussing him out for a perceived infraction.

“The dirtiest SOB in the league,” Self remembered Stewart calling him — though he added ...Read more

Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Bronny James is expected to make his USC debut Sunday

Sports / Basketball /

LOS ANGELES — Bronny James stood on the Galen Center court Thursday, not far from where he'd collapsed last summer, firing one long jumper after another from the wing. It had been less than five months since he suffered sudden cardiac arrest, and in the weeks that followed it was fair to wonder if James, the son of Lakers star LeBron James, ...Read more

Andy Lyons/Getty Images North America/TNS

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

Ethan Miller/Getty Images North America/TNS

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

HYOSUB SHIN/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS

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

Yong Kim/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

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

John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune/TNS

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

Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images North America/TNS

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

Ariana Ruiz/PI/Zuma Press/TNS

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

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images North America/TNS

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

Nic Antaya/Getty Images North America/TNS

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

Hector Vivas/Getty Images North America/TNS

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