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LeBron James of Cleveland Cavaliers joins 30,000-point club

SAN ANTONIO — For a player who never identified himself as a “scorer,” LeBron James has sure found himself in elite company among the most potent offensive threats in NBA history. James’ jumper with 1.1 seconds remaining in the first quarter of the Cleveland Cavaliers‘ game against the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday gave him eight points for the game and 30,001 points for his career. He is the seventh player to enter the 30,000 point club and also the youngest at 33 years and 24 days, besting Kobe Bryant’s…

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LeBron James congratulates himself for 30K points before he gets it

LeBron James has never lacked for confidence, so it makes sense that he would congratulate himself for reaching 30,000 career NBA points before he’s actually reached the milestone. A post on James’ Instagram account that included a photo of a young James in his high school uniform starts: “Wanna be one of the first to Congratulate you on this accomplishment/achievement tonight that you’ll reach!” Since he’s seven points shy of the mark, James received some blowback for the move ahead of Tuesday night’s Cavaliers game at San Antonio. One user…

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Doc Rivers of Los Angeles Clippers ejected — ‘Ref told me I couldn’t talk’

LOS ANGELES — Clippers coach Doc Rivers became the latest in a long line of players and coaches to voice his displeasure with the referees this season after a 126-118 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night. After watching his team rack up four technical fouls in the fourth quarter, which included the ejections of Rivers and assistant coach Mike Woodson, the head coach sounded off in frustration. “Listen, we don’t want to get fourth-quarter techs,” Rivers said. “My tech, by that time, the game was over. I literally…

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Giannis Antetokounmpo offered to intervene before Milwaukee Bucks fired Jason Kidd

Jason Kidd said that Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo called him about 15 minutes before Kidd was officially notified he’d been fired by the Bucks and offered to help save his job. “He called me and said, ‘Coach, this isn’t right what they’re about to do, but [they] are gonna let you go,’” Kidd said Antetokounmpo told him. Kidd said he replied, “I had a feeling that was gonna take place.” To which Antetokounmpo responded, “‘What can I do? I’ll call the owners, I’ll call my agent.” Jason Kidd has…

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Kawhi Leonard’s relationship with San Antonio Spurs becoming strained

12:07 PM ET Adrian Wojnarowski Michael C. Wright Close ESPN Staff Writer Joined ESPN in 2010 Previously covered Bears for ESPN.com Played college football at West Texas A&M Months of discord centering on elements of treatment, rehabilitation and timetables for return from a right quadriceps injury have had a chilling impact on San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard‘s relationship with the franchise and coaching staff, league sources told ESPN. Under president and coach Gregg Popovich and general manager RC Buford, the Spurs have a two decades-long history of strong relationships…

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LeBron James says Cleveland Cavaliers would get eliminated early if playoffs began today

CLEVELAND — Following one of the most inept defensive performances in Cavaliers history, LeBron James said his team looked primed for a short postseason appearance, barring any changes. The Cavs fell 148-124 to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday, tying a franchise record for most points allowed in regulation. They are 3-9 since Christmas Day. “Playoffs? We can’t even start thinking about that, not the way we’re playing right now,” James said. “We could easily get bounced early in the playoffs if they started next weekend. Haven’t even began thinking…

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Kyrie Irving says slumping Celts need to learn to ‘weather the storm’

BOSTON — Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving says his team was overdue for a bit of adversity and wants the Celtics to embrace one of the few rough patches the team has encountered this season. After sitting out Thursday’s loss to the Philadelphia 76ers due to shoulder soreness, Irving returned Sunday to score a game-high 40 points, but the Celtics couldn’t rally out of a 19-point hole while falling to the Orlando Magic 103-95 at TD Garden. Told that teammate Al Horford had suggested that the Celtics need to play…

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Clint Capela says Houston Rockets ‘better’ than Golden State Warriors

HOUSTON — Superstar guard James Harden called the Houston Rockets’ 116-108 win over the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night important “for our swag,” which was soaring after the Rockets claimed the regular-season series over the defending NBA champions. “We’re confident because we know if we’re doing what we’re supposed to do, we’re going to beat them,” Rockets center Clint Capela told ESPN. “We’ve got to keep playing. We know that they’re going to come back if we have the lead, and we’ve just got to keep that mindset. Sometimes…

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Warriors aren’t worried about Rockets despite losing season series

HOUSTON — The Golden State Warriors are not concerned with the Houston Rockets after losing the season series tiebreaker in a 116-108 loss Saturday night at Toyota Center. Houston won the series 2-1. If both teams end the season with identical records, the Rockets would get the higher seed and home-court advantage should they meet in the postseason. “No,” Kevin Durant responded when asked if it mattered. “The season starts over when you’re in the playoffs anyway, so it doesn’t matter. You’re going to have to get through these teams…

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Stephen Curry evolved into a better scorer by being less breathtaking

The greatest shooter of all time is having the most efficient shooting season of his career. When Stephen Curry became the first unanimous MVP in league history two seasons ago, he did it mostly thanks to delivering what was easily the best shooting season ever. Although the 3-point shooting gets most of the attention — rightfully so given the manner in which he obliterated his own record for made 3s while finishing second in the league in 3-point accuracy — it was far more than simply dialing in from downtown….

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