The encouraging signs behind Kawhi and Paul George’s imperfect debut

LOS ANGELES — When the LA Clippers moved heaven and earth last summer to acquire a pair of the league’s most lethal small forwards, the early glimpses of their ugly 107-104 overtime win over the Boston Celtics were what they imagined. In the game’s opening possession, the Celtics opted to trap Paul George on his pick-and-roll with center Ivica Zubac. And why not, given that George scored an obscene 88 points in 73 minutes in his first three games as a Clipper over the past week. When George delivered the…

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How Rick Carlisle learned to stop worrying and love Luka Doncic

Luka Doncic crosses the half-court line and surveys the defense, setting up a high ball screen on the right wing by using a nifty crossover and hesitation dribble to leave the defender on his heels. Time for a highlight. It is Nov. 11 and the Dallas Mavericks are trailing by five points late in the first quarter against the 7-1 Boston Celtics. With 3:05 left in the frame, Doncic, who already has seven points on 2-of-5 shooting, drives into the teeth of the defense. He fakes a pass to Dorian…

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Glen Rice Jr. pleads not guilty to injuring with intent in New Zealand

AUCKLAND, New Zealand — Former Washington Wizards guard Glen Rice Jr. pleaded not guilty to a single charge of injuring with intent when he appeared in an Auckland court on Wednesday. The son of three-time NBA all-star Glen Rice was released on bail and is to appear in court again in February. Rice was arrested last week after an incident outside an Auckland bar. His lawyer lodged the not guilty plea to a charge of injuring with intent to injure and elected a trial by a judge, rejecting a jury…

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Paul George again comes up clutch for Clippers against former team

LOS ANGELES — Paul George knows the narrative used to be that he isn’t clutch. That hasn’t been true of late, and on Monday, the All-Star swingman proved that for the first time as a member of the LA Clippers. In his third game back from offseason surgeries on both of his shoulders, George beat his old team in the final seconds. He buried a catch-and-shoot, go-ahead 3 off a curl with 25.9 seconds left before adding a free throw late to lift the Clippers to a 90-88 win over…

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Heat’s Dion Waiters seeking advice from Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim

Suspended Miami Heat guard Dion Waiters is in Syracuse to “try to find solutions” by talking with Jim Boeheim, his college coach. Waiters was suspended without pay for 10 games earlier this month for conduct detrimental to the team after an incident on the team charter. It is his second suspension of the season. Waiters attended Syracuse’s game against Seattle on Saturday and said he planned to spend a few days at his alma mater. “I just wanted to come up and talk to Coach (Boeheim),” Waiters told Syracuse.com. “I…

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Celtics vs. Kings – Game Recap – November 17, 2019

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Buddy Hield scored a season-high 35 points, Richaun Holmes hit two free throws with 13.3 seconds remaining to give Sacramento the lead, and the Kings snapped the Boston Celtics’ 10-game winning streak with a 100-99 victory Sunday. Marcus Smart had a chance to win it for Boston, but his runner in the lane hung on the rim before trickling off as the buzzer sounded. Harrison Barnes added 13 points and Bogdan Bogdanovic had 12 points and 10 assists for the Kings (5-7), who lost a similarly close…

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Trail Blazers vs. Spurs – Game Recap – November 16, 2019

SAN ANTONIO — Tim Duncan was back in charge in San Antonio and the Spurs were flourishing under his leadership again. Duncan was directing players on defensive assignments, encouraging them and providing needed leadership. But in the end, he couldn’t provide the same late-game heroics from the bench that he long did on the court. CJ McCollum scored 32 points and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Spurs 121-116 on Saturday night to spoil Duncan’s first shot at coaching following Gregg Popovich’s ejection. Duncan took over just 13 games into…

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Rim protection from Anthony Davis won a game for the Lakers

LOS ANGELES — LeBron James destroyed Nemanja Bjelica with a dunk in the first half on Friday. Obliterated him. Might as well have turned Bjelica’s No. 88 uniform on its side and sent him off to infinity, and beyond. It was a career highlight reel-worthy throwdown for James on the same day he declared at shootaround that he, at 34, is like New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, at 42: timeless. “Me and Tom Brady are one in the same,” he said. “We’re going to play until we can’t walk…

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Bill Russell accepts Hall of Fame ring 44 years after induction

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Bill Russell says he’s finally ready to be a Hall of Famer. The 11-time NBA champion, five-time MVP, Olympic gold medalist and two-time NCAA champ said on Twitter on Friday that he was presented with his Hall of Fame ring in a private ceremony that came four decades after he was first selected for the shrine at Springfield, Massachusetts. Russell didn’t attend his induction ceremony in 1975. He says he didn’t deserve to be the first black player inducted. He tweeted that “I felt others before me…

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Sources — Blazers signing Carmelo Anthony to non-guaranteed deal

Carmelo Anthony, who has been out of the NBA for over a year, will sign a non-guaranteed deal with the Portland Trail Blazers, league sources told ESPN. The Blazers have tried at different times in the past to add Anthony and made an attempt to acquire him when he was with the New York Knicks. Blazers president of basketball operations Neil Olshey and Anthony’s agent, Leon Rose of CAA Sports, stayed in contact about Anthony since the preseason, sources said. Conversations picked up over the past two days, and Olshey…

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