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
Cavs buy out Drummond, center eyes signing with contender
Andre Drummond didn't move. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)CLEVELAND – Center Andre Drummond is now a free agent and can sign with a contending team after reaching a buyout with the Cavaliers. Drummond, who hasn't played since mid-February, began negotiating terms of the buyout with the Cavs on Thursday after the club didn't trade the 27-year-old before the deadline. The agreement ends a partnership that became awkward when the Cavs benched Drummond to give young center Jarrett Allen more playing time. Drummond twice made the playoffs with the Pistons, who selected him with the ninth overall pick in 2012.
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.”
Murray scores historic 50 as Nuggets down crumbling Cavs
Denver Nuggets' Jamal Murray (27) drives to the basket against Cleveland Cavaliers' Cedi Osman (16) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Feb. 19, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)CLEVELAND – Not himself of late, Jamal Murray got a lecture from Nuggets coach Michael Malone about being more aggressive and not passing up open shots. Following the game, Murray was unaware that he had done something unique. “With the exception of Murray, we took some steps in the right direction,” Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. They made their first 12 shots, opened a 22-point lead in the second half and then let Murray close out the Cavs.
Cavaliers sitting Drummond while pursuing trade for center
Denver Nuggets forward Paul Millsap, left, fights for position for a rebound with Cleveland Cavaliers center Andre Drummond in the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)CLEVELAND – Andre Drummond is on the trade block — and the bench. Coach J.B. Bickerstaff said the decision to sit Drummond, one of the NBA's leading rebounders at 13.5 per game, was difficult. Drummond will continue to stay on the sideline while the team tries to find a trade partner. But with the NBA's focus on shooting 3-pointers, a player like Drummond — a prototypical center — can be viewed as a liability.
Irving returns, but new-look Nets beaten by Cavs in 2 OTs
Brooklyn Nets' Kyrie Irving (11) drives past Cleveland Cavaliers' Taurean Prince (12) during double overtime of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, in Cleveland. Sexton scored 15 points in the second OT — most of them over Irving — for the Cavs, who outplayed the Nets all night. Before the game, Nets first-year coach Steve Nash admitted being “curious” about how his trio of superstars would align on the floor. In the second quarter, Sexton ran back on defense and cleanly flicked the ball away from Durant as he was going in on a breakaway dunk. Irving's return to the Nets was also just his second game in Cleveland since he was traded by the Cavs after the 2017 season.
Nets GM: Superstars will sacrifice to make Harden trade work
Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) passes the ball against the Los Angeles Lakers during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Houston. But only the commitment from the three players will allow the Nets to fully utilize it and Marks is confident he secured that from his own players and from Harden. “I think he’s looking for a fresh start and I think these guys are going to have to sacrifice without a doubt,” Marks said. The Nets will have to fill out a roster that has holes, though Marks said he won't rush that. If they do, the Nets might meet the expectations that Marks said he won't run from.
Nets, without Irving and Durant, beat NBA-leading 76ers
(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)NEW YORK – The Brooklyn Nets couldn't put Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant into those throwback blue tie-dye jerseys from 30 years ago. Joe Harris scored a season-high 28 points and the Nets shook off the absence of their two superstars to beat the Philadelphia 76ers 122-109 on Thursday night. The Nets already knew they’d be without Durant for a second consecutive game because of the NBA’s health and safety protocols. Nash said he didn't think the strong performance without them sent a message to the rest of his players. Nets; Brooklyn was also without G Tyler Johnson because of the health and safety protocols.
Nets' Dinwiddie to have surgery for partially torn right ACL
Brooklyn Nets head coach Steve Nash, right, talks with Spencer Dinwiddie during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game against the Boston Celtics, Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, in Boston. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)NEW YORK – Spencer Dinwiddie will have surgery to repair a partially torn ACL in his right knee, an early blow to a Brooklyn Nets team that hoped it had left its injury troubles behind. Dinwiddie was hurt Sunday in Charlotte during the third quarter of the Nets' first loss of the season. The Nets said Monday the guard's surgery was scheduled for next week and further updates would be provided afterward. But they couldn't complete a comeback Sunday in Charlotte, falling 106-104 after Dinwiddie was hurt in the third quarter.
Irving scores 37, leads Nets to 123-95 win over Celtics
Brooklyn Nets' Kyrie Irving (11) loses control of the ball against Boston Celtics' Marcus Smart (36) and Jayson Tatum (0) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Dec. 25, 2020, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)BOSTON – Kyrie Irving scored 37 points with eight assists in his return to Boston and Kevin Durant added 29 for Brooklyn on Friday to lead the Nets to a 123-95 victory over the Celtics. Jaylen Brown scored 27 with eight rebounds for the Celtics and Jayson Tatum had 20 points and eight boards. Durant scored 16 points in the third quarter, when the Nets outscored Boston 35-23 to turn a three-point deficit into an 86-77 lead. He scored nine straight Brooklyn points at the beginning of the third when the Nets took the lead for good.
Irving leads rout of Celtics in return to Boston Garden
Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) drives against Boston Celtics center Robert Williams III (44) during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game, Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, in Boston. Irving scored 17 points on 7-of-15 shooting and had seven rebounds, five assists and two steals helping the Nets rout the Celtics 113-89 Friday night in the final preseason game for both teams. There were no fans in the new Boston Garden on Friday night, and his introduction was greeted with a faint, fake cheer. Precious Achiuwa scored 13 points and grabbed 15 rebounds for the Heat, while Bam Adebayo scored 13 points and Tyler Herro scored 10. McCollum led the Blazers with 26 points on 8-of-20 shooting and Gary Trent Jr. added 18 points in the loss.
VanVleet, Powell lead Raptors past Nets 104-99 for 2-0 lead
The victory gave the Raptors a 2-0 lead in the first round plyoff series. Kyle Lowry had 21 points, nine rebounds and forced a big turnover in the closing seconds for the second seeded Raptors. But this game was much closer as the Nets built a 14-point lead in the first quarter. Toronto was in control after that, stretching the lead to eight on Powell's drive and dunk from the right wing. Caris LeVert had 16 points and 11 rebounds, Jarrett Allen and Joe Harris each had 14 points and 15 rebounds for the Nets.
Lillard, Blazers escape Nets, advance to play-in series
The Trail Blazers secured the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference only after Brooklyn's Caris LeVert, who scored 37 points, missed a jumper just before time expired. The winner of the play-in series gets the final spot in the West and a first-round series against the Los Angeles Lakers. Had the Blazers lost, the Suns would have inched ahead of them into ninth. LeVert came back with a three-point play and had a chance to win it after Carmelo Anthony missed a 3-pointer, but his jumper was off.
Giannis watches in 2nd half as Nets beat Bucks 119-116
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 16 points playing only the first half for Milwaukee, which has lost two of three seeding games. Kyle Korver scored 13 points, and Ersan Ilyasova had 12 points and 10 rebounds. Chiozza scored on a reverse layup, then Luwawu-Cabarrot hit a 3 with 2:59 left to put the Nets ahead to stay. Milwaukee appeared ready to clinch from the opening tip as the Bucks scored eight of the first 10 points and hit 7 of 14 beyond the arc. Bucks: G Wesley Matthews sat out with a sore right calf with starting center Brook Lopez also out.
Caris LeVert's 34 lead Nets past Wizards, 118-110
The Nets moved seven games ahead of ninth-place Washington in the Eastern Conference standings, and now the Wizards hopes of forcing a play-in series are fading. Thomas Bryant had a career-high 30 points and 13 rebounds, and Troy Brown Jr. added 22 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists for the Wizards. The Nets are without DeAndre Jordan, Spencer Dinwiddie and Taurean Prince because of positive coronavirus tests before the restart. His 170 jams last season tied Kenyon Martin (2002-03) for the most in a season since the stat first was kept during the 1997-98 season. He is in his first season with the Nets after signing a two-way contract with the team in January.
Magic beat Nets 128-118 in restart opener, move up to 7th
They extended their winning streak to four and moved back ahead of the Nets into seventh place in the Eastern Conference. The Magic outscored the Nets 75-43 in the middle two quarters, allowing them to overcome some shaky defense at the start and finish. So Brooklyn started two players who hadn't started an NBA game this season one who never had. Veteran Jamal Crawford, signed as a substitute player after not playing in the NBA this season, did not play. Nets: Play Washington on Sunday.
Despite virus cases, Nets say no thought to skipping restart
Spencer Dinwiddie is a maybe, with his status unclear after both he and Jordan tested positive for the coronavirus. The Brooklyn Nets don't look ready for a restart, but general manager Sean Marks said Wednesday there was no discussion of the team not traveling to Florida for the resumption of the NBA season. Vaughn had moved Jordan into the starting lineup, but now the job apparently goes back to Jarrett Allen. They eventually decided it was best to first come back to Brooklyn, and both Dinwiddie and Jordan tested positive after returning. He sent his family to Phoenix when the virus struck New York, only to find that Arizona's cases are now rising.