Durant's sensational performance sends Nets to 3-2 lead
Kevin Durant had 49 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists in one of the best performances in postseason history, sending the Brooklyn Nets back into the lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals with a 114-108 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 5.
Nets lose Harden but beat Rockets, move into first in East
Houston Rockets' Kevin Porter Jr. (3) and Jae'Sean Tate (8) defend against Brooklyn Nets' Kyrie Irving during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, March 31, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)NEW YORK – Kyrie Irving had 31 points and a season-high 12 assists, and the Brooklyn Nets overcame the loss of James Harden to beat the Houston Rockets 120-108 on Wednesday night and move into first place in the Eastern Conference. Harden sat out the fourth quarter against his former team with right hamstring tightness, finishing with 17 points, eight rebounds and six assists. The Rockets jumped to a 24-6 lead, with an 8-for-9 start that included makes on all five 3-point attempts. The Rockets listed the injury as a left knee effusion and it's unknown whether it will keep him out longer.
Lakers add center Andre Drummond for postseason push
FILE - In this Feb 5, 2021, file photo, Cleveland Cavaliers' Andre Drummond drives the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)LOS ANGELES – Andre Drummond is joining the Los Angeles Lakers for the playoff push. The Lakers announced the signing of the two-time All-Star center less than an hour before Sunday night's game against the Orlando Magic. AdThe Lakers currently rank ninth in the NBA in rebounds per game (45.1), but just 17th in offensive rebounds (9.6). Ad___AP Sports Writer Joe Reedy in Los Angeles contributed to this report___More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
AP source: LaMarcus Aldridge to sign with Brooklyn Nets
New Orleans Pelicans guard Eric Bledsoe (5) is blocked by San Antonio Spurs center LaMarcus Aldridge (12) as he tries to score during the first half of an NBA basketball game in San Antonio, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)NEW YORK – The Nets aren't finished bringing big names to Brooklyn. LaMarcus Aldridge is next after deciding Saturday to sign with the Nets for the remainder of the season, a person with knowledge of the details said. After reaching a buyout agreement with the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday, the veteran forward quickly became a coveted free agent for contending teams. AdAn All-Star in three of his seasons in San Antonio, Aldridge fills one of the few holes for the potent Nets.
Harden, Griffin help Nets hold off Pistons 113-111
Brooklyn Nets forward Blake Griffin (2) is defended by Detroit Pistons forward Sekou Doumbouya during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, March 26, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)DETROIT – James Harden scored 44 points and Blake Griffin added 17 in his return to Detroit, lifting the Brooklyn Nets to a 113-111 victory over the Pistons on Friday night. Brooklyn was still without Kevin Durant (left hamstring strain) and Kyrie Irving (personal reasons), but the Nets had enough to hold off the last-place Pistons. Griffin spent three-plus years with the Pistons, but he reached a buyout agreement with Detroit earlier this month and went to the contending Nets. The Pistons went 34 for 47 on free throws.
Mitchell scores 27, Jazz rout short-handed Nets 118-88
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) drives around Brooklyn Nets forward Joe Harris (12) in the first half during an NBA basketball game Wednesday, March 24, 2021, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)SALT LAKE CITY – Donovan Mitchell scored 27 points and the Utah Jazz routed the short-handed Brooklyn Nets 118-88 on Wednesday night. This matchup between Eastern and Western Conference contenders lost some luster when the Nets James Harden was scratched due to a sore neck. At halftime, the Jazz led 63-38 – the lowest scoring first half of the season for Brooklyn. Even with all their stars, the Nets have struggled defensively this season and relied on their supercharged offense to get their wins.
Blake Griffin expected to make debut with Nets vs. Wizards
Brooklyn Nets Blake Griffin cheers on his team against the Boston Celtics during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, March 11, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)NEW YORK – Blake Griffin is expected to make his debut for the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday night against Washington. The Nets signed the six-time All-Star on March 8 but wanted to gradually prepare him to play after he had been inactive during his final weeks in Detroit. Griffin has been working out with the Nets but has sat out five games due to what the team called left knee injury management. The Nets upgraded Griffin from probable to available on the injury report before the game.
Gordon’s 38 points lift Magic past Nets, 121-113
Aaron Gordon scored a season-best 38 points, Evan Fournier added 31 and the Magic held off a furious fourth-quarter rally to beat the Brooklyn Nets 121-113 on Friday night. On Friday, Fournier and the Magic did little wrong while shooting 51.2% and making a season-best 21 3-pointers. However, Brooklyn would get no closer than 104-100 after Gordon and Fournier revived the Magic offense. Harden snapped a streak of 14 straight games with at least 20 points when he finished with 19. Gordon made all five of his third-quarter shots and had 33 points by the start of the fourth.
USA Basketball picks 57 players for men's Tokyo Games pool
USA Basketball is a step closer to choosing the team that will play in this summer’s rescheduled Tokyo Olympics, releasing the names Thursday of 57 players who are part of the pool to fill the squad. It’s also already drawing major interest from some NBA stars who have yet to taste Olympic gold. USA Basketball will pare the list to a 12-person Olympic team by early summer. Jordan, who now plays for Brooklyn, is also a newcomer to the pool even though he was on the 2016 Olympic team. “But for USA Basketball to receive the commitment of so many outstanding players remains an indicator of the great honor of representing your country means to these men.”
AP source: Blake Griffin agrees to deal with Nets
FILE - Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin plays during overtime of of an NBA basketball game in Detroit, in this Friday, Jan. 8, 2021, file photo. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)NEW YORK – Blake Griffin is joining the collection of stars in Brooklyn. The six-time All-Star agreed to sign with the Nets, a person with knowledge of the details said Sunday. Griffin became a free agent Friday when he completed a buyout agreement with the Detroit Pistons. The 31-year-old Griffin is a six-time All-Star who has averaged 21.4 points and 8.7 rebounds since being the No.
AP source: Blake Griffin, Detroit Pistons agree to buyout
Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin (23) looks to pass over Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Feb. 5, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)DETROIT – Blake Griffin's time in Detroit is over, another significant step in a rebuilding process that has the Pistons at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. The veteran forward and the Pistons have agreed to a contract buyout, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Friday because the move was not yet official. Griffin, who turns 32 later this month, came to Detroit in a trade during the 2017-18 season. Detroit traded big man Andre Drummond around this time last year, and the team's offseason reshuffling left Griffin as one of the few holdovers.
Draymond Green slams NBA over star players on trading block
Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) reacts after being called for a technical foul during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks in San Francisco, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)SAN FRANCISCO – Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green sharply criticized the NBA following Monday night's win over Cleveland, saying players put on the trading block by teams are being treated unfairly. Green spoke out after news broke of the Cavaliers sitting two-time All-Star center Andre Drummond because they’re looking to deal him. “As a player, you’re the worst person in the world when you want a different situation,” Green said. Bickerstaff also said the decision to sit Drummond came only after consulting both Drummond and his agent about the situation.
Pistons holding out Griffin amid trade, buyout consideration
Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin (23) looks to pass over Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Feb. 5, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)DETROIT – The Detroit Pistons are taking another step in their rebuilding process, planning to part ways with Blake Griffin. Detroit is 8-19 this season, and Griffin has already missed seven games. “I am grateful to the Pistons for understanding what I want to accomplish in my career and for working together on the best path forward," Griffin said. Griffin, who had knee surgery last year, played just 18 games last season.
LeBron takes charge in 2nd OT, Lakers edge Pistons 135-129
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) is defended by Detroit Pistons forward Saddiq Bey (41) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)LOS ANGELES – LeBron James scored eight of his 33 points in the second overtime, Anthony Davis added 30 points and the Los Angeles Lakers narrowly avenged a loss in Detroit last month with a 135-129 victory over the undermanned Pistons on Saturday night. The Lakers committed a season-high 23 turnovers, blew a 17-point lead and wasted several chances to win in regulation. “There’s so many learning situations for young players and our guys to play against a great team like the Lakers. Lakers: Vogel got a technical foul in the second quarter for arguing about a blocking call on Marc Gasol.
With Davis out, Lakers fall to Pistons 107-92
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) looks to shoot as Detroit Pistons center Mason Plumlee (24) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)DETROIT – LeBron James made his first seven shots from the field and looked plenty capable of leading the Lakers to a victory with Anthony Davis sidelined. James scored just two points after halftime, and the Detroit Pistons handed Los Angeles its second straight loss, 107-92 on Thursday night. "We just didn’t have a great rhythm that second half in any way.”Wayne Ellington added 20 points for the Pistons. Pistons: Detroit made all 13 of its free throws.
Embiid hits late free throws, 76ers beat Pistons 114-110
(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)DETROIT – Joel Embiid had 33 points and 14 rebounds, and his two free throws with 7.2 seconds left helped the Philadelphia 76ers seal a 114-110 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Saturday night. Ben Simmons added 20 points, nine rebounds and seven assists for the 76ers, and he made a couple big free throws of his own in the final minute. Detroit trailed 110-108 after Jerami Grant made a 3-pointer with 28.5 seconds left, but Simmons calmly made two free throws to push the lead to four. “Especially late game.”Delon Wright's layup made it 112-110, but Embiid closed the game out with his free throws and finished 12 of 17 from the line. “Just having that confidence to knock those free throws down in a close game is big right now," teammate Tobias Harris said.
The Latest: 76ers-Thunder game postponed
(Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___The Oklahoma City Thunder's scheduled home game Sunday night against the Philadelphia 76ers has been postponed. ___The Green Bay Packers are making 6,500 tickets available to season-ticket holders for the NFC championship game. That marked the first home game this season that the Packers played in front of any paying spectators. The Cornhuskers’ home game against Minnesota on Wednesday and game at Iowa next Sunday have been postponed. Abdul-Jabbar revealed in a magazine article last month that he's had prostate cancer, leukemia and heart bypass surgery.
Tatum lifts Celtics past Pistons for weekend split
Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown, right, drives against Detroit Pistons center Mason Plumlee during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Jose Juarez)Jayson Tatum hit a fallaway as Blake Griffin stumbled with 2.9 seconds left, then tied up the Detroit veteran on the other end to help the Boston Celtics beat the Pistons 122-120 on Sunday for a weekend split. Mykhailiuk scored eight straight Detroit points, and the Pistons took a 118-117 lead on Mason Plumlee’s free throws with 42.2 seconds left. Grant scored 22 points for the Pistons, netting at least that mark for a career-best fifth straight game. … Griffin returned for the Pistons after missing a game in the NBA’s concussion protocol.