Poole shines in playoff debut, Curry back as Warriors win
Jordan Poole shined in his long-awaited playoff debut scoring 30 points, staying in the starting lineup as Stephen Curry returned from a foot injury by coming off the bench initially, and the Golden State Warriors’ defense smothered Nikola Jokic to beat the Denver Nuggets 123-107 in the opener of their first-round playoff series.
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
Trade deadline passes, and Kyle Lowry remains with Raptors
Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) celebrates a three-point basket during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets Wednesday, March 24, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)Kyle Lowry wound up staying with Toronto after all. The trade deadline has come and gone. “Anytime you trade a player like Nikola, it is a tough decision to make," Magic President Jeff Weltman said. But Lowry — a free-agent-to-be and considered perhaps the biggest prize on this year's trade market — did not get traded, the Raptors apparently unable to find enough assets to their liking. Questions swirled around Lowry all the way to the 3 p.m. EST deadline, and there were signs that the Raptors were positioning themselves to make the move.
Spurs dominate second half to beat short-handed Magic, 104-77
Orlando Magic forward Gary Clark (12) and San Antonio Spurs guard Dejounte Murray (5) scramble for the ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game in San Antonio, Friday, March 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)SAN ANTONIO – Rudy Gay had 19 points, Dejounte Murray and Derrick White each added 17 and the San Antonio Spurs overcame a sluggish start to beat the short-handed Orlando Magic 104-77 on Friday night. San Antonio held an opponent under 80 points for the first time since beating Golden State 89-75 on March 19, 2018. San Antonio closed the first half on a 14-2 run and took its first lead and extending it to 47-39 to close the second quarter. Orlando was held to 10 points in the second quarter, the 19th lowest output in any quarter by a San Antonio opponent under Popovich.
VanVleet sets Raptors mark with 54 in 123-108 win at Orlando
Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet, left, drives around Orlando Magic guard Cole Anthony (50) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)ORLANDO, Fla. – Fred VanVleet set a franchise record with 54 points and hit a career-best 11 3-pointers as the Toronto Raptors beat the short-handed Orlando Magic 123-108 on Tuesday night. AdNorman Powell had 23 points for Toronto, and Kyle Lowry posted a triple-double with 14 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Orlando, which has lost 12 of 14, tried almost every guard on its roster against the 6-foot-1 VanVleet with little to no success. AdMagic: Orlando was without Gordon, who severely sprained his left ankle later in Sunday’s game against Toronto. Magic: Orlando hosts Chicago on Friday and Saturday in a two-game set.
'Explosive' Durant scores 15 in 1st preseason game with Nets
Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) passes during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in New York. Durant played just under 24 minutes as Brooklyn beat the Washington Wizards 119-114 on Sunday night in its preseason opener. Durant scored 11 points on 3-for-3 shooting during that stretch while Irving scored 12 points on 5-for-6 shooting to help the Nets take a 30-18 lead. Late in the first half, Irving threw a long pass to Durant, whose reverse layup gave the Nets a 58-35 lead. Danilo Gallinari added 17 points and De’Andre Hunter added 15 for Atlanta, which made 17 3-pointers.
The NBA preseason begins, with empty arenas as the stages
Orlando Magic coach Steve Clifford talks to players during a timeout in the first half of the team's NBA preseason basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks on Friday, Dec. 11, 2020, in Atlanta. The NBA preseason — a truncated 49-game, nine-day sprint — opened Friday with a five-game slate, action returning to NBA arenas for the first time in exactly nine months. Friday’s games:KNICKS 90, PISTONS 84At Detroit, R.J. Barrett scored 15 points and Toppin finished with 11 points and seven rebounds in his debut as the Knicks won their preseason opener. Julius Randle scored 11, while Elfrid Payton and Nerlens Noel each scored 10 for New York. Svi Mykhailiuk and Saddiq Bey led the Pistons with 14 points apiece.
Lakers, Bucks look to clinch second-round berths Wednesday
(AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)It was only a week ago when the sky was falling on the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers. The Bucks lead the Orlando Magic 3-1; the Lakers lead the Portland Trail Blazers 3-1. The bottom line is weve come out and competed so much harder.The wake-up call helped the Lakers as well. James teams went 5-5 in his first 10 series-clinching opportunities; theyre 30-5 in those situations since. NEED TO KNOW: If the Bucks win, the Eastern Conference first round would be completed in just 17 games.
Middleton comes alive in 4th quarter; Bucks take 3-1 lead
Middleton scored 18 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter and finished with 10 rebounds after being held to one field goal in the first three quarters on 1-of-9 shooting. Wesley Matthews added 12 points for the Bucks, who can close out the Magic on Wednesday. ... We had to pick up our intensity.Nikola Vucevic continued his strong play for the Magic, finishing with 31 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. Terrence Ross had 19 points and seven rebounds off the bench. The top-seeded Bucks led by three entering the fourth quarter before Middleton came alive.
Disney is nice but for NBA's top teams, no place like home
But right now it's more hurting the teams that should be playing in front of rowdy fans, not virtual ones. With Domantas Sabonis lost to injury, the Pacers need Turner to do even more on the inside to pick up the slack. Game 2, 9 p.m. ESPN NEED TO KNOW: These teams are seeded No. 8 based on what they did over the entire season, but there is no such difference in the bubble. Vogel said he believes in adjusting when necessary and may decide the Lakers need more speed on the floor and go smaller.
At the NBA restart, team equipment is a challenge to manage
So, when it came time to figure out what was getting packed for Disney, Pimental came to a realization. All 22 teams in the NBA restart had to pack more than ever, for a road trip like none other. The challenges for players and coaches are obvious, but the challenge for equipment managers among the unsung heroes of this restart plan arent anywhere near as visible to those watching games from afar. This is what equipment managers were built for, honestly, Orlando Magic equipment manager Jacob Diamond said. ... Were all going to be involved in every aspect of it.Days will be long for equipment managers.