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NBA — Klay Thompson, Steph Curry carry Golden State Warriors

CHICAGO — The United Center was raucous, filled with fans roaring as the hometown team fattened its lead over the defending champions, pounding them in the paint and on the break. All the Chicago Bulls‘ momentum resulted in a slim halftime lead, but that edge disappeared in a near heartbeat when the Splash Brothers started raining 3-pointers. Soon after, the NBA-best Golden State Warriors‘ lead ballooned to blowout proportions, and they held on for a 119-112 win, their 14th straight on the road. Klay Thompson scored a season-high 38 points…

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Kawhi Leonard of San Antonio Spurs out indefinitely with quad injury

San Antonio Spurs star forward Kawhi Leonard will be out indefinitely as he continues to recover from a quadriceps injury that sidelined him earlier this season. “Kawhi has made significant progress and continues to move forward in his rehabilitation,” Spurs general manager RC Buford said in a statement released Wednesday by the team. “This is the best approach for the next steps in his return to play.” Leonard missed San Antonio’s first 27 games this season because of right quadriceps tendinopathy, a condition that causes pain and weakness in the…

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Trevor Ariza of Houston Rockets focus of NBA probe into Clippers locker room altercation

2:29 AM ET Adrian WojnarowskiESPN As the NBA gathers information for its investigation into the events surrounding the bombastic LA Clippers–Houston Rockets game on Monday night, forward Trevor Ariza has been further isolated as the person most responsible for the Rockets’ postgame charge into the Clippers’ locker room, league sources told ESPN. Rockets All-Stars Chris Paul and James Harden are increasingly described as working to slow down Ariza’s anger with the Clippers’ Austin Rivers and Blake Griffin, league sources said. Nevertheless, there are those on the Clippers’ side who still…

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LeBron James of Cleveland Cavaliers tops jersey sales in China

LeBron James reclaimed his kingdom in China from Stephen Curry — arguably the most popular current NBA star in China — in terms of jersey sales, according to the latest NBA China jersey and merchandise sales for the 2017-18 season. Curry, whose Golden State Warriors reclaimed the Larry O’Brien Trophy over James and the Cleveland Cavaliers last season, had China’s best-selling jersey a year ago. Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry still tops the NBA in jersey sales, but Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks has surged to fourth for…

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Multiple Cleveland Cavaliers players acknowledge growing discontent, concern about current state of team

CLEVELAND — Following the Cleveland Cavaliers‘ 118-108 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Monday, multiple players acknowledged growing discontent and a strong sense of concern that unlike past seasons, the team does not have the capability to fix its problems and get back on a championship track. Several prominent players, speaking on condition of anonymity to ESPN, Cleveland.com and The Athletic, expressed doubt that the problems — an aging roster, defensively challenged personnel and a glut of redundant role players — could simply be worked out through patience and…

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Mike D’Antoni of Houston Rockets accuses Blake Griffin of intentional contact

LOS ANGELES — Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni accused LA Clippers star forward Blake Griffin of intentionally making contact with him moments before the heated confrontation that led to double technical fouls. The confrontation occurred in front of Houston’s bench with 3:34 remaining in the Clippers’ 113-102 win Monday night. “You mean after he hit me? I didn’t appreciate it,” D’Antoni said. D’Antoni was arguing with a referee about a goaltending no-call on the previous possession when Griffin veered toward him and made contact. After getting fouled seconds later, Griffin…

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Tyronn Lue of Cleveland Cavaliers says team is best in the East with LeBron James

CLEVELAND — Ask Tyronn Lue who is the best team in the Eastern Conference and he’ll tell you it’s his Cleveland Cavaliers, no matter how rough their recent struggles have been. Why? “Because we’ve got the best player in the world,” Lue said before the Cavs hosted the Golden State Warriors on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. He’s referring, of course, to LeBron James, the four-time MVP and three-time champion who is averaging 27.1 points, 8.8 assists and eight rebounds this season. As Lue’s pregame media conference continued, perhaps the…

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Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James comments on Martin Luther King Day

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James used his platform to promote peace and togetherness in the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on MLK Day on Monday. “The state of racism will never die, but what we cannot do is allow it to conquer us as people,” James said after Cavs shootaround in preparation for their NBA Finals rematch with the Golden State Warriors on Monday. “We can’t allow it to divide us. … The guy in control has given people and racism, and negative racism, an…

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New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis helps beat New York Knicks with 48-point performance

NEW YORK — New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis had a simple explanation for his 48-point, 17-rebound performance against the New York Knicks on Sunday. “I just tried to get us going on both ends of the floor. I was able just to continue to make shots,” Davis said. That’s quite an understatement. Davis set a season-high for points on Sunday and compiled a stat line rarely seen in the NBA. In the process, he helped the New Orleans Pelicans rebound from a 19-point third-quarter deficit to beat the Knicks…

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Adam Silver — Donald Trump controversy ‘impetus’ for change

MEMPHIS — After taking an emotional tour of the National Civil Rights Museum, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said President Donald Trump’s reportedly vulgar comments about immigration and the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr’s death are “an impetus to continue pushing forward” toward impacting social injustice. Silver told ESPN that Trump’s reference to Haiti and some African countries as reported by multiple outlets last week “is discouraging” and that it will not “deter” the work of the NBA and NBPA in creating real change in communities. “I think for…

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