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Updated Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at 3:15 a.m. ET

The Los Angeles Lakers' 101-93 win over the Charlotte Hornets gave L.A. -- still without superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis -- a 4-3 record to finish a seven-game road trip, but something was missing in the middle. Andre Drummond, signed from the buyout market last month, scored just four points on 2-for-7 shooting against the Hornets on Tuesday. This coming a night after the 6-10, 279-pound center scored just three points in a loss to the New York Knicks. "Offensively, this is probably the worst I've played in my career," Drummond said after Tuesday's game at Spectrum Center in Charlotte. "I'm still trying to figure it out here. I'm not allowing it to take me out of my game. I know why I'm here, which is to help this team defensively. Offensively, it will come for me." -

The Thunder took 23 shots within four feet of the rim tonight. They only made nine. In other words, they shot 39% on layups and dunks. It’s not too terribly difficult to figure out why this occurred. It’s because Rudy Gobert is a very good rim protector. When you add that together with the Thunder’s NBA players essentially being at the level of a G-League All-Star team, you get a lot of clueless collisions at the rim; collisions that Gobert is going to win really often. - Salt Lake Tribune

Raptors head coach Nick Nurse felt a real lack of energy in his group, maybe not from the opening tip, but early on in the game that was a foreboding of bad things to come. “We started the game — I thought we were really flying around on some of the defensive possessions but then we weren’t after a bit,” Nurse said. “Didn’t think our offense was run very well tonight either, a lot of (un)assisted baskets. I think we ended up with 16 … So I didn’t think there was a lot of life.” The Raptors were just into their spiral coming out of the all-star break when Atlanta previously played here and had a game ripped away from them when Tony Snell hit a buzzer-beating three at the final horn to win.

Rare is the 20-point loss when you breathe a sigh of relief. But with Jimmy Butler writhing on the court after twisting his right ankle midway through the fourth quarter of the Miami Heat’s 106-86 loss Tuesday night to the Phoenix Suns, it was a night that could have been worse. “I rolled my ankle,” Butler said. “But I’ll be OK.” Butler bounced back from his adversity to return later in the final period during his 18-point night. - Sun Sentinel


When Jamal Murray crashed to the floor with less than a minute remaining in Monday’s loss to Golden State, his reaction suggested he knew something devastating had just happened. Murray suffered a torn left ACL, The Denver Post first reported and was later anounced by the team early Tuesday morning, ending his season and compromising the Nuggets’ title hopes barely a month out from the postseason. His recovery, according to a league source, is expected to be anywhere from 9 to 12 months. Not only is Murray’s injury devastating to the Nuggets this season, but his recovery is expected to come near the end of next year’s regular season, when the NBA is back on its normal schedule. - Denver Post

Denver Nuggets star point guard Jamal Murray went down in immediate pain after injuring his left knee on a drive to the basket in the final minute of a 116-107 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Monday night. In what appeared to be a noncontact injury, Murray crumpled to the ground in pain, clutching his left knee and pounding the court with his hand after trying to split two Warriors defenders on a drive with 50.6 seconds remaining and the Nuggets trailing 111-104. -

Stephen Curry is the all-time points leader in Golden State Warriors history, passing Wilt Chamberlain's previous record of 17,783. Curry's record-setting basket came on a driving layup with 1:40 left in the first quarter of Monday's game against the Denver Nuggets. Needing just 19 to surpass Chamberlain, Curry finished with 21 points in the first quarter, receiving congratulations from teammates and coaches after heading to the bench at the end of the quarter. He didn't stop there. Curry would go on to finish the night with 53 points in Golden State's 116-107 victory, becoming the seventh player in NBA history to record multiple seasons with three or more 50-point games. -

Buddy Hield was ruled out due to a non-COVID-19-related illness shortly before tipoff, bringing an end to his streak of 272 consecutive games. Hield had not missed time since Nov. 20, 2017, when an ankle injury forced him to miss two games at the start of the 2017-18 season. This was just the third game Hield has missed in his five-year NBA career. - Sacramento Bee

On Monday, Knicks starting point guard Elfrid Payton faced Dennis Schroder, the Lakers point guard who will be a free agent this summer. Wednesday, Payton will face Pelicans playmaker Lonzo Ball, also a free agent this summer. The Knicks are expected to have interest in both point guards in August. But when Payton plays like he did against the Lakers on Monday, who’s to say he won’t be back with the club next season? Especially with Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau’s constant praise for Payton, lauding him Monday for his “terrific’’ outing. - NY Post

One player the Knicks had internal talks about signing last week was Anthony Tolliver, who inked a 10-day deal with the Sixers on Monday. He’s more of a 3-4 and the Knicks were looking for a power forward-center. Still, he’s an a solid 3-point shooter, and Thibodeau coached him in Minnesota. - NY Post


Former UConn Huskies coach and 13-year NBA veteran Kevin Ollie has been hired as head coach and director of player development for the Overtime Elite, a new professional basketball league for top prospects between 16 and 18 years old. "I'm ready to get back to what I was born to do: empowering and encouraging and supporting young people, and helping them grow," Ollie said in a statement. "There's no better place for me to do that than OTE, an extraordinary league for extraordinary young men. I consider it my mission to help these elite athletes realize their dreams." -

The OTE's plan is to offer six-figure financial packages and an academic tutoring component for high school players to compete against prep school and international teams in a year-round training program. The league's model would allow for players to share in prospective revenue from name, image and likeness and sales of custom jerseys, trading cards and non-fungible tokens. These players would lose college eligibility but be able to advance toward the G League and NBA draft in a more basketball-intensive environment.

Phoenix Suns wing Cam Johnson couldn't have been happier to talk about two of his strongest ties to the University of North Carolina last week. Roy Williams and Hubert Davis. Johnson wished Williams well in his retirement as men's head basketball coach earlier this month and was happy to see North Carolina hire Davis to take over the program. "It was an honor to play for Coach Williams," said Johnson, who played two seasons at UNC (2017-19). Incredible coach. You just look at his track record. Unbelievable. So just happy to have the opportunity to play for him." - Arizona Republic

The Orlando Magic have signed free agent forward Robert Franks to a 10-day contract, President of Basketball Operations Jeff Weltman announced today. Franks (6’7”, 255, 12/18/96) played in 14 games this season (12 starts) with Lakeland of the NBA G League, averaging 12.1 ppg., 6.6 rpg. and 1.5 apg. in 24.5 minpg., while shooting .508 (60-118) from the floor and .356 (21-59) from three-point range. - Inside Hoops


According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski via Twitter, “former Major Leaguer Alex Rodriguez and billionaire Marc Lore are finalizing a deal to purchase the Minnesota Timberwolves from majority owner Glen Taylor, sources tell ESPN. Taylor will continue full control of team for two years before Rodriguez and Lore take over in 2023.” - Inside Hoops

Spencer Dinwiddie is rehabbing at Phenom Sports Performance in Los Angeles’ Westlake Village. He has been bullish on his chances of returning to play since undergoing the MRI that revealed only a partial ACL tear: “No other structural damage, minimal swelling and cartilage intact,” Dinwiddie wrote in an Instagram caption one day after his injury. “If anything I’m excited because I’ve made a living off beating the odds. And these odds say AT WORST I’ll be more than 100% by next season. “Next question: Will I miss the road to a Brooklyn Nets 2021 championship? My response: As we’ve seen before. Crazier things have happened.” - NY Daily News

The Orlando Magic plan to sign free-agent forward Robert Franks to a 10-day contract, NBA sources confirmed Saturday to the Orlando Sentinel. The Magic have one open roster spot after waiving center Khem Birch last week, but the team also is set to sign forward/center Donta Hall to a 10-day contract. NBA teams get 15 roster spots for players on regular NBA contracts, while players on two-way deals do not count toward that number. So to make room for both Franks and Hall, the Magic will have to release a player on a regular contract. - Orlando Sentinel

Canadian centre Khem Birch is joining the Toronto Raptors. The 28-year-old Birch joins fellow Montrealer Chris Boucher on the Raptors’ roster after the Orlando Magic waived the undrafted Canadian earlier this week. - Canadian Press/Toronto Star


Chris Boucher played a game that was better statistically than any ever before by a Raptors big man. Better by numbers than anything Chris Bosh ever did, or Pascal Siakam, or Antonio Davis, or Jonas Valanciunas, or any of the many other frontcourt players — good and bad — in the first 2,044 games of the franchise’s existence. It was a wonderful night: 38 points and 19 rebounds in a loss to the Chicago Bulls on Thursday, one rebound shy of the first 30-20 game ever by a Raptor and the first time anyone has reached those numbers in the same game. - Toronto Star

All it took for the Boston Celtics to end their season-long seven-game homestand with a victory Friday night was a 17-point comeback to force overtime -- and the best game of Jayson Tatum's career. The 23-year-old All-Star finished with a career-high 53 points -- including 35 in the second half and overtime -- to lead the Celtics to a 145-136 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves, allowing Boston to escape from a game it trailed in for most of regulation, only to give away a late lead to send the game into overtime. Tatum, 23, became the youngest Celtics player to score 50 in a game, surpassing Larry Bird, who did it at age 26. -

Vanderbilt sophomore guard Scotty Pippen Jr. has declared for the 2021 NBA draft but will retain his college eligibility, he announced on social media Saturday. Pippen, the son of the Chicago Bulls Hall of Famer, led the Commodores in scoring (20.8 PPG), assists (4.9 APG) and steals (1.8 SPG) last season. -


With COVID-19 testing becoming more available and more vaccines being administered, the NBA expects all arenas to be at full capacity next season and is hopeful that it can safely welcome additional fans into arenas this season, league sources said. A key aspect toward that effort is the NBA's new multiyear leaguewide partnership with Clear, a biometric screening company known for its expedited security process at hundreds of airports worldwide. The partnership makes Clear's COVID-19 health screening technology available to all 30 teams in their NBA arenas, and it's expected to help facilitate more fans returning to games, though it's up to each team how to use the technology. -

Marc Gasol might have just turned in his best effort since joining the Los Angeles Lakers in Tuesday's 110-101 win over the Toronto Raptors, but L.A. coach Frank Vogel remained resolute: Andre Drummond is the team's starting center. "No, we're going to start Andre. That's what we signed him here for," Vogel said. "We need to get [Drummond] a ton of minutes to get him acclimated to our system with only X amount of games before the playoffs, and he'll be our starter. ... [Gasol's performance] doesn't change that." Vogel made his remarks after being asked if Gasol's performance Tuesday gave him anything to reconsider. Gasol had a season-high 13 points and tied his season highs with nine rebounds and four blocks, helping the Lakers build a 34-point lead. -

After missing all of last season, DeMarcus Cousins returned and played in 25 games with the Houston Rockets this season before he was released. It has been a grueling and long road back. "I've put an incredible amount of work to get to this place," Cousins said. "I feel great, my body feels great. I'm in probably the best shape I've been in my entire career. At this point, it's about going out there and just putting everything together and just trying to continue to show that I'm healthy and I'm here to play this game at a high level. "I understand the situation that I'm in. Whatever opportunity is given to me, I plan on just taking full advantage of it, just controlling what I can control." -

Tennessee freshman Keon Johnson will enter the 2021 NBA draft and forgo his remaining college eligibility by hiring an agent, he announced Wednesday. Johnson, the No. 6 prospect in the ESPN 100, was named to the SEC's all-rookie team after averaging 11.3 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 25 minutes per game. -


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