David Griffin wants people to know he maintains a "positive relationship" with LeBron James.

Griffin received scrutiny after comments regarding the Los Angeles Lakers and former Cleveland Cavaliers star were published in a recent Sports Illustrated story.

Griffin – who spent nearly a decade as an executive in Cleveland's organisation before joining the New Orleans Pelicans – said he was "miserable" during his time with the Cavaliers.

His comments shocked James, according to ESPN, and Griffin said on Friday his feelings were unrelated to the NBA superstar.

"The fact that there was so much scrutiny in everything that we did, when I was speaking about being uncomfortable and being miserable, it was my inability to deal with that media scrutiny," Griffin told ESPN.

"It wasn't the man himself. It was everything that came with a team led by LeBron James. It had nothing to do with being miserable with LeBron. We had and have a very positive relationship."

Griffin thought the article was going to focus on New Orleans as he helped rebuild the roster by sending Anthony Davis to the Lakers in exchange for Josh Hart, Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and three first-round picks as well as the addition of Derrick Favors and JJ Redick and former Duke star Zion Williamson with the top pick in the 2019 draft.

Former Cleveland Cavalier big man Samardo Samuels is expected to return to United States to join the Big 3 basketball league.

The professional 3-on-3 league founded in part by rapper Ice Cube has been attracting several former NBA players since its inception in 2017.  The move will see Samuels, the former Louisville centre, return to play basketball in the United State for the first time since 2013.

The 6’9, 270-pound big man signed for the Cavaliers in 2010 after going undrafted but failed to hold down a spot despite playing for three years with the Cavaliers. 

Since then the much-traveled Jamaica, who has had a tumultuous past several years, had plied his trade all over the globe.  The 30-year-old has stints in the NBA Development League, Israel, Italy, Spain, China, Italy again, Belgrade, and France.

Samuels is expected to join the Trilogy where he has been drafted to replace Patrick O’Bryant.  The competition’s eight-game regular season is scheduled to get underway on August 3.

 

The NBA summer league is winding down, as the preliminary round of games ends on Thursday.

Only the top eight seeds will advance to a single-elimination tournament set to begin on July 13, so quite a few prospects will have to wait until the preseason begins in October to return to the court.

Some players have surpassed expectations in July while others have not. Success in the summer league does not necessarily translate to the regular season, but let's take a look at who is hot and who is not so far.

 

Hot

Tyler Herro, Miami Heat

Herro's criticism ahead of the 2019 NBA draft was based on his poor defense and lack of efficiency, despite his reputation as a sharpshooter. The summer league has allowed him to showcase that he has more to offer than shooting, though.

The 6-5 guard initiated the Heat's offense early and often and helped lead the team to a 3-1 record in the preliminary round. He showcased his playmaking ability out of pick-and-roll sets and has averaged 19.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.5 steals.

Herro probably is not close to becoming a primary option for the Heat, especially since Miami already have Goran Dragic, Jimmy Butler and Justise Winslow on board. But Herro's versatility is a good sign.

Lonnie Walker IV, San Antonio Spurs

Walker had his rookie season derailed by a meniscus tear, but he appears like he is poised to have a great sophomore campaign.

The 6-5 guard entered Thursday tied for first in the summer league in points per game (30.0) and he has been ridiculously efficient. Walker shot 58 per cent from the field in his two appearances.

His team went 2-2, so it is not likely he will play again in the tournament.

The Spurs will have some serious battles in their 2019-20 backcourt, as Walker will compete with the likes of Dejounte Murray, Derrick White and DeMar DeRozan for time after playing in just 17 regular season games last season.

Chris Boucher, Toronto Raptors

The Raptors have found yet another diamond in the rough.

Boucher, 26, has played in 29 regular season games and is routinely dominating the summer league by averaging 22.7 points and 10.7 rebounds per contest. Toronto have the NBA's reigning Most Improved Player in Pascal Siakam, and Boucher could be up next. 

The 6-10 big man is fresh off a season in which he was crowned MVP and Defensive Player of the Year of the G-League, playing for Toronto 905. He won his second straight NBA title with the Raptors in 2018-19, as he played for the Golden State Warriors in 2017-18.

The departure of Kawhi Leonard could clear space for him to break into Toronto's rotation.

Not

RJ Barrett, New York Knicks

New York were initially favoured to win the summer league championship but went an underwhelming 1-3.

Barrett, the third overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, averaged 14.0 points and 8.8 rebounds but shot 30 per cent from the field with genuine rotation players around him.

The Knicks could be in a lot of trouble if his shooting struggles linger.

Nassir Little, Portland Trail Blazers

Many felt Portland got a steal when they selected Little with the 25th pick in 2019 but he definitely has some work to do.

The 6-7 wing has tallied 22 minutes per contest through three games. He is averaging 4.3 points and 4.3 rebounds while shooting 33 per cent from the field. 

Little has shown flashes of his athleticism and is still figuring out how to fit in offensively.

Dean Wade, Cleveland Cavaliers

Wade went undrafted after four years at Kansas State, so there were not lofty expectations for him.

However, the Cavaliers have not received much from him in the 27 minutes he has averaged through three games.

The 6-10 forward is averaging 5.7 points and 5.7 rebounds but is only shooting 26 per cent from the field. That is a big drop off for a player who was the first option in college and hovered around 50 per cent shooting.

The Oklahoma City Thunder appear to have entered rebuild mode - and Russell Westbrook could be the next star out the door.

With Kawhi Leonard having persuaded Paul George to leave the Thunder and join him at the Los Angeles Clippers, eight-time All-Star Westbrook is understood to be open to the idea of ending his stay with the franchise.

The 30-year-old point guard, who has undergone a series of operations on his right knee, could prove difficult to move on, though. He has four years and over $160million remaining on the mammoth contract extension he signed in September 2017.

Still, we take a look at the teams that could offer Westbrook a new home.

 

New York Knicks

After trading away franchise player Kristaps Porzingis, losing out on top free agents Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving to the Brooklyn Nets and missing the chance to draft Zion Williamson, the Knicks will no doubt be keen to get a star on board.

They would have to wait until December to put together a package including players who they have recently signed, however.

 

Miami Heat

Having already signed Jimmy Butler in free agency, Miami is understood to be a destination that appeals to Westbrook.

The Heat have already got Hassan Whiteside off their books and could offer the favourable contracts of talented duo Goran Dragic and Justise Winslow, but a lack of draft capital to offer may prove troublesome.

 

Detroit Pistons

A move for Westbrook would likely require the Pistons' All-Star center Andre Drummond to head the other way. Still, Detroit's issue is the other salaries they could use in any deal; those contracts run for longer than the Thunder will surely have in mind for any new arrivals.

However, combining the former MVP with Blake Griffin would offer them a greater chance of success in a much-changed Eastern Conference.

 

Minnesota Timberwolves

The Timberwolves reportedly narrowly missed out on signing D'Angelo Russell, who joined the Golden State Warriors in a sign-and-trade deal that sent Durant to the Nets.

Exchanging Andrew Wiggins' contract, which has four years and more than $120m remaining, for Westbrook undoubtedly presents them an improved chance of contending this season.

Yet such an agreement would again rely on significant draft picks being offered.

 

Other contenders

Putting Westbrook on a team with two other ball-dominant players in James Harden and Chris Paul sounds like a crazy idea, but that has not stopped the Houston Rockets reportedly taking an interest. The Cleveland Cavaliers are expected to trade Kevin Love and focus on a rebuild at some stage, though they could scrap that and pair him with Westbrook to make themselves relevant once again.

Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert has been released from a Michigan hospital where he was recovering from a stroke he suffered last month.

The team issued a statement on Thursday with an update on Gilbert's health, confirming his release and that he is facing "intensive" in-patient rehabilitation as he continues his recovery.

"The Gilbert family is thankful for the tremendous outpouring of support they have received," Quicken Loans CEO Jay Farner said in the release.

"Yesterday, Dan Gilbert was discharged from the hospital and will now continue focusing on his recovery at an in-patient rehabilitation centre. The entire family is incredibly grateful for the world-class care Dan received from the entire staff of Beaumont Hospital.

"Dan is looking forward to beginning an intensive rehabilitation programme and is eager to continue the progress he has made over the last several weeks."

Gilbert, 57, purchased the Cavs in 2005 and the team has made five NBA Finals appearances since.

Cleveland have the fifth and 26th picks in the first round of the NBA Draft, which takes place on Thursday night.

John Beilein believes he has a great opportunity with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Beilein explained his decision to leave Michigan after 12 seasons to become the next coach of Cleveland at his introductory news conference on Tuesday.

"I left the greatest university in the world, a place that was special to [wife] Kathleen and I and our entire family to come to some place I think was equally as special," Beilein told reporters.

"I see a lot of the potential and the high, high ceiling with the Cavs organisation that I saw at the University of Michigan.

"I love the young roster. I love the draft picks and the potential we have for flexibility now and in the future. I texted Kathleen as we were interviewing a potential candidates at the combine and I just texted her, 'I love this'. I love being a part of this."

Beilein led the Wolverines to the NCAA Tournament nine times and reached the championship game twice during his time at the school.

But, he will take over a Cavaliers team that had much less success last season.

Cleveland were one of the worst teams in the NBA in 2018-19 and finished with a 19-63 record.

"Every single time that we've decided to do this, some people would say with every job, and probably with this one, 'What are you crazy? Why are you doing that?' And I say exactly that, opportunity and challenges go hand in hand," Beilein said.

"So, when we can be in these situations, it's so gratifying [to] turn a program [around].

"Rebuild is not a word we're going to use here, I saw it more as a renaissance. Look at all those banners up there. It's been done before. Why can't it be done again?"

The Cavaliers hold the fifth pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.

Zion Williamson could find a new home in New Orleans after the Pelicans secured the top pick in the NBA Draft.

The draft lottery took place on Tuesday, with the Pelicans (33-49) awarded the rights to select first ahead of the Memphis Grizzlies (33-49) in Brooklyn, New York on June 20.

It is only the second time in franchise history New Orleans will select first. The Pelicans – who are battling to retain wantaway star Anthony Davis – had just a six per cent chance to secure the pick.

Duke sensation Williamson is projected to be taken with the number one pick and New Orleans are in pole position to draft the 18-year-old.

This was the first year that the league's three worst teams in the New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns all had an equal chance (14 per cent) to land the first pick.

In past years, the breakdown looked more like 25 per cent, 19.9 per cent and 15.6 per cent.

But now with the new setup, madness ensued.

The Suns dropped to sixth and the Cavaliers to fifth while the Knicks will select third. All the while, the Los Angeles Lakers — who had only a two per cent chance at the top selection — moved up to fourth.

Williamson is all but assured to go first after his freshman season at Duke. Fellow Blue Devil RJ Barrett and Murray State star Ja Morant – who has been compared to the likes of Russell Westbrook – are also projected to be top selections.

 

Here are the full NBA Draft 2019 lottery results:

1. New Orleans Pelicans
2. Memphis Grizzlies
3. New York Knicks
4. Los Angeles Lakers
5. Cleveland Cavaliers
6. Phoenix Suns
7. Chicago Bulls
8. Atlanta Hawks
9. Washington Wizards
10. Hawks (via Dallas Mavericks)
11. Minnesota Timberwolves
12. Charlotte Hornets
13. Miami Heat
14. Boston Celtics (via Sacramento Kings)

Michigan’s John Beilein has agreed a multi-year contract to become the next head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers

Beilein has reportedly signed a five-year deal following talks over the weekend. 

Before the move was made official, Beilein posted a farewell tweet thanking Michigan for his 12 years as coach. 

"It has been a heck of a ride and I hope you enjoyed our teams and staff as much as I did!" Beilein wrote, in part. "Go Blue Forever!" 

Beilein was interviewed by the Pistons last season, but Detroit instead hired former Toronto Raptors coach Dwane Casey. 

The news comes after the Cavs ramped up their coaching search over the weekend by traveling to Denver to interview Nuggets assistant coach Jordi Fernandez, assistant Wes Unseld Jr., Orlando Magic assistant Steve Hetzel and Portland Trail Blazers assistant David Vanterpool.

The hunt began this past season after the team fired Tyronn Lue and named Larry Drew as interim coach. Under Drew, Cleveland posted just a 19-win season.

Beilein, 66, has led Michigan to two Final Four appearances and four Big Ten titles in his 12-year stint with the Wolverines.

His overall record as a college coach is 754-425 and he leaves the school as the winningest coach in Michigan basketball history.

John Beilein appears set to be appointed as the Cleveland Cavaliers' new head coach after saying goodbye to the University of Michigan.

Reports emerged on Monday that the Cavs, who operated with Larry Drew as interim coach this season after firing Tyronn Lue, had agreed a five-year deal with Beilein.

ESPN claimed the 12-year Wolverines coach had informed his administration and players of the decision and Twitter posts from both Beilein and the team seemed to indicate that.

Cleveland are yet to make an announcement, but Beilein wrote: "Thanks to everyone at the University of Michigan for their incredible support these last 12 years.

"Our fans, alums, leaders, players and students are AMAZING. It has been a heck of a ride and I hope you enjoyed our teams and staff as much as I did! Go Blue forever!"

Michigan listed the coach's notable achievements under the message: "Thank you, John Beilein, for everything you did for Michigan."

Beilein, 66, has led Michigan to two Final Four appearances and four Big Ten titles. His overall record as a college coach is 754-425 and he leaves the school with the most wins in Wolverines history.

The Cavs will be looking for vast improvement on their 2018-19 campaign as they posted just 19 wins after losing LeBron James to the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Cleveland Cavaliers' coaching carousel continues to spin following the departure of Larry Drew.

Cleveland and head coach Drew agreed to mutually part ways, the Cavaliers announced on Thursday.

The Cavaliers fired Tyronn Lue in October and promoted Drew, who was serving as an assistant coach at the time before adding a second year to the 61-year-old's contract.

"I am very proud of what we accomplished over the last several years together and will always cherish our Championship," Drew said in a statement.

"I also want to commend our players this season for the bond that they established, the way they approached their jobs and the hard work and growth they had every day. I am very proud of them and wish them the best as they continue to develop for the future."

Drew's dismissal comes as no surprise considering he compiled a 19-57 record in 76 NBA games this season after taking over for Lue following Cleveland's 0-6 start.

The Cavs failed to make the playoffs and finished with the third-worst record in the league.

It certainly did not help that stars Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson were limited to just 22 and 43 games, respectively, as they dealt with injuries.

"We have great respect and appreciation for Larry and the job that he did as the head coach of the Cavaliers for nearly the entire 2018-19 campaign," Cleveland general manager Koby Altman said in a statement. "He brought professionalism, class and steady leadership both this past season and the prior four years."

Cleveland will enter next month's NBA Draft Lottery with some decent odds of landing the top selection. The event is scheduled to take place on May 14.

Drew launched his coaching career with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1992, serving as an assistant before landing his first head coaching job with the Atlanta Hawks in 2010.

He also served as head coach for the Milwaukee Bucks in 2013 before joining the Cavs in 2014.

Tuesday was a historic day for the NBA.

Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki each played their last home games for their respective teams, as both have plans to retire after the season. The Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks were both able to secure quality wins for their superstars on such an important night.

Wade scored a game-high 30 points for Miami in its 122-99 triumph over the Philadelphia 76ers. After the contest, he gifted jerseys to all of his teammates.

Nowitzki scored 30 points of his own in Dallas. The 40-year-old big man filled it up early, scoring his team's first 10 points in a 120-109 victory over Phoenix Suns. He became the oldest player in NBA history to score at least 30 points in a game.

While neither future Hall of Fame player will be in the post-season, they got the storybook endings they deserved in front of their home crowds.

Crawford goes off on Dallas

Pheonix Sun Jamal Crawford scored a game-high 51 points against the Mavericks.

James Harden recorded 39 points and 10 rebounds in Houston Rockets' 112-111 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Donovan Mitchell posted 46 points in Utah Jazz's 118-108 win over the Denver N.

Six and out for Green

Jeff Green scored six points on 2-of-13 shooting in the Washington Wizards' 116-110 loss to the Boston Celtics.

Wayne Ellington totaled seven points on 1-of-11 shooting in the Detriot Pistons' 100-93 victory against the Memphis Grizzlies.

Caruso almost wins it for the Lakers

Alex Caruso hit a huge shot to put the Lakers up late, but they fell to Portland 104-101.

Paul George hit a game-winner to lift the Thunder over the Rockets.

What's Next?

Orlando Magic (41-40) at Charlotte Hornets (39-42) 8 p.m. ET — Orlando has already punched its ticket to the playoffs. Charlotte, on the other hand, is battling with Detroit for the Eastern Conference's final playoff spot. Steve Clifford coached the Hornets as recently as last season and now he has the opportunity to eliminate his old team from the post-season.

Reigning NBA champions the Golden State Warriors locked up first place in the Western Conference thanks to Sunday's 131-104 blowout win against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Golden State secured the west's number one seed in their last regular-season game at Oracle Arena after 47 years as they prepare to move to Chase Center in San Francisco.

The Warriors marked the occasion by wearing throwback jerseys – famously known as the "We Believe" era uniforms worn during the team's run to the 2007 playoffs, which were used from 2002 to 2010.

It was fitting that the franchise's cornerstone, Stephen Curry, led all scorers with 27 points. Six other Warriors also reached double-figures.

Landry Shamet led the Clippers' well-rounded scoring effort with 17 points.

 

Harden lifts Rockets

James Harden posted 30 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists in the Houston Rockets' 149-113 win over the Phoenix Suns.

Alex Len scored a career-high 33 points as the Atlanta Hawks fell 115-107 to the Milwaukee Bucks.

Karl-Anthony Towns posted 35 points in the Minnesota Timberwolves' 132-126 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

 

Cavs' Clarkson and his shooting woes

Jordan Clarkson scored two points on one-of-eight shooting in the Cleveland Cavaliers' 112-90 defeat to the San Antonio Spurs.

Kyle Lowry scored five points on one-of-eight shooting as the Toronto Raptors downed the Miami Heat 117-109 in overtime.

 

McGee with the slam!

JaVale McGee threw an alley-oop into the hoop with force in the Los Angeles Lakers' 113-109 win against the Utah Jazz.

Elfrid Payton sent the Sacramento Kings' De'Aaron Fox tumbling with a dribble move as the New Orleans Pelicans won 133-129.

 

Sunday's results

Toronto Raptors 117-109 Miami Heat (OT)
San Antonio Spurs 112-90 Cleveland Cavaliers
Oklahoma City Thunder 132-126 Minnesota Timberwolves
Charlotte Hornets 104-91 Detroit Pistons
Brooklyn Nets 108-96 Indiana Pacers
Dallas Mavericks 129-127 Memphis Grizzlies (OT)
Milwaukee Bucks 115-107 Atlanta Hawks
Houston Rockets 149-113 Phoenix Suns
Orlando Magic 116-108 Boston Celtics
New York Knicks 113-110 Washington Wizards
Golden State Warriors 131-104 Los Angeles Clippers
New Orleans Pelicans 133-129 Sacramento Kings
Portland Trail Blazers 115-108 Denver Nuggets
Los Angeles Lakers 113-109 Utah Jazz

 

Hornets at Cavaliers

Charlotte will attempt to keep their playoff dreams alive against Cleveland on Tuesday. The Hornets will likely have to win out to reach the postseason. The Cavaliers could bring the opposition's campaign crashing to a halt.

The Golden State Warriors were given a delay of game warning on Friday, because former star Nick Young spent too long celebrating with his championship ring.

Young, who is without a team at present, returned to Oakland this week to be presented with his ring for last season's NBA title triumph ahead of the game against Cleveland Cavaliers, beaten finalists in 2017-18.

But the 33-year-old took a little too long waving to the Warriors fans and referee Ken Mauer gave the team a delay of game warning.

Star man Stephen Curry was bemused by the call and joked that Young should have instead been punished for the late start before the Cavs were put to the sword 120-114.

"The last two years, we've had probably five or six of those celebrations and it usually spills over," Curry said.

"I wish [Mauer] would have just given it to Nick Young because he was taking his sweet time, for sure, as he should have.

"But it was probably more just entertainment for everybody, trying to get the game started. We did take a long time, for sure."

Draymond Green, who presented Young with his ring, was similarly jovial and described the warning as "very fitting".

"It was very fitting to get a delay of game giving a ring to Nick," Green said. "He actually caused it doing all his little waving and stuff.

"But it was great. I'm really close to Nick. To play with him that year was amazing. I wish he was back.

"But that was a good moment, and obviously Nick's been through a lot in his career. For him to get that ring meant a lot to me for him. So I was thankful to be the guy presenting to him.

"I'm happy he was able to make it here to get the ring because that's something special that nobody can take away from him."

The Orlando Magic could not be stopped in Friday's 149-113 NBA victory over the Atlanta Hawks.

Orlando's ridiculous offensive performance was fuelled by three 25-point scorers.

Nikola Vucevic and Evan Fournier both contributed 25 points as starters. But Terrence Ross pitched in with a surprising 25 more from the bench and connected on six 3-pointers.

Trae Young and John Collins mustered 22 and 20 points respectively for Atlanta, but were simply outmatched from the start.

With the Magic's victory, they moved to sixth in the Eastern Conference standings. Orlando are just a half game ahead of Detroit Pistons and Brooklyn Nets in the playoff race. Things could get tight down the stretch as these teams battle it out for optimal postseason seeding.

Griffin's haul in vain

Blake Griffin scored a game-high 45 points in the Pistons' 123-110 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Delon Wright posted a career-high 26 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists as Memphis Grizzlies took down Dallas Mavericks 122-112.

Kemba Walker totaled 29 points in Charlotte Hornets' 113-111 victory over Toronto Raptors.

 

Blundering Bogdanovic penalises Pacers  

Bojan Bogdanovic scored four points on 1-of-8 shooting as Indiana Pacers fell short to Boston Celtics 117-97.

Damyean Dotson managed seven points on 3-of-14 shooting in New York Knicks' 120-96 blowout loss to Houston Rockets.

 

Layman and Towns make the highlights reel

Portland Trail Blazers' Jake Layman elevated over Denver Nuggets to finish strong with two hands at the rim.

And Karl-Anthony Towns' over-the-shoulder pass made for an easy Minnesota Timberwolves finish against Miami Heat.

Friday's results

Utah Jazz 119-98 Sacramento Kings
Dallas Mavericks 112-122 Memphis Grizzlies
Oklahoma City Thunder 123-110 Detroit Pistons
Minnesota Timberwolves 111-109 Miami Heat
Houston Rockets 120-96 New York Knicks
Indiana Pacers 97-117 Boston Celtics
Washington Wizards 112-129 San Antonio Spurs
Orlando Magic 149-113 Atlanta Hawks
Charlotte Hornets 113-111 Toronto Raptors
Phoenix Suns 133-126 New Orleans Pelicans
Los Angeles Clippers 117-122 Los Angeles Lakers
Golden State Warriors 120-114 Cleveland Cavaliers
Denver Nuggets 119-110 Portland Trail Blazers

 

Nets at Bucks

Brooklyn Nets are tied with Detroit Pistons for the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference. Milwaukee Bucks have the top spot in the conference, so they could end up facing the Nets in the first round of the playoffs. This match-up could be a preview of a high-intensity postseason series.

Giannis Antetokounmpo staked his claim for NBA MVP honours after leading the Milwaukee Bucks to a 128-122 win at the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Bucks came from behind to upstage the 76ers in Philadelphia as they secured the top seed in the east thanks to Antetokounmpo, who posted 45 points and 13 rebounds.

Down five points with less than two minutes to play, Antetokounmpo could not find a way to get a shot off as the 76ers keyed on him, but he influenced so many plays it did not matter on Thursday.

The 24-year-old star tallied three rebounds, three assists and a block during that span as the Bucks finished the game on a 15-4 run.

Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer spoke about Antetokounmpo's MVP candidacy after the game.

"That felt like a statement, especially what he does defensively with five blocks and 13 rebounds, it changes the game," he said.

Antetokoumpo finished with six assists, five blocks and zero turnovers and he needed every single one of those stats as Joel Embiid seemed to match him play for play via 34 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists of his own.

Bucks star Antetokounmpo sent back one Embiid shot late in the game and blocked the All-Star center three times through the 48 minutes.

 

Hield lifts Kings

Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield had a game-high 23 points on nine-of-16 shooting in his team's 117-104 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

DeMarcus Cousins recorded 21 points and 10 rebounds as the Golden State Warriors defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 108-90.

JJ Redick had 29 points on 10-of-15 shooting as the 76ers lost.

 

Knight struggles

Cavaliers guard Brandon Knight had five points on one-of-seven shooting.

 

Giannis says no!

In a titanic tussle against Embiid, fellow All-Star Antetokounmpo came out on top with the block.

 

Thursday's results

Milwaukee Bucks 128-122 Philadelphia 76ers
Sacramento Kings 117-104 Cleveland Cavaliers
Golden State Warriors 108-90 Los Angeles Lakers

 

Playoffs on the line in Eastern Conference

With two to four games left for most teams in the east – the sixth, seventh and eighth playoff spots are still up for grabs. Here are all the games to watch on Friday as 26 of 30 teams are in action.

Raptors (56-23) at Hornets (36-42) – The Charlotte Hornets are all but eliminated, but not mathematically. A loss to the Toronto Raptors would all but knock them out.

Hawks (29-50) at Magic (39-40) — The Orlando Magic are tied with the Brooklyn Nets for the seventh playoff spot with three games to play.

Heat (38-40) at Timberwolves (35-43) — The Miami Heat are on the outside looking in on the eighth playoff position.

Pistons (39-39) at Thunder (45-33) — The Detroit Pistons are currently in sixth in the East Conference.

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