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  • NBA notebook: Durant doubtful for Game 1
    By Field Level Media / Friday, May 24, 2019

    Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant is unlikely to play in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday against either the Toronto Raptors or Milwaukee Bucks.

    • Durant has missed the past five games with a right calf injury and he told reporters on Friday that he was initially worried that he had torn his Achilles tendon.

      "I've seen the clip on the screen and it's like 'That's the Achilles, that's the Achilles,' " Durant told reporters. "Obviously, everybody is going to be a little nervous until someone reassured me that it's not."

      The news was better for Warriors swingman Andre Iguodala (left calf) and big man DeMarcus Cousins (quadriceps). Coach Steve Kerr said Iguodala will be available for Game 1. Cousins scrimmaged on Friday and also has a chance at being ready for the opener.

      --The NBA free agency period will open six hours earlier this summer, the league and the National Basketball Players Association announced.

      Teams and free agents now will be able to open their negotiations on June 30 at 6 p.m. ET instead of July 1 at 12:01 a.m. The two sides may talk solely to schedule meetings beginning June 29 at 6 p.m. ET but can't talk numbers until 24 hours later.

      The 2019 free-agent class has a number of big-name players, including Golden State stars Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, Kawhi Leonard (Toronto), Kemba Walker (Charlotte), Tobias Harris and Jimmy Butler (Philadelphia), Kyrie Irving (Boston) and Khris Middleton (Milwaukee).

      --The Portland Trail Blazers and president of basketball operations Neil Olshey agreed to a contract extension that will keep him with the team through the end of the 2023-24 season, ESPN reported.

      Olshey, 54, joined the team as general manager in June 2012 and was promoted in 2015. The Trail Blazers have made the playoffs six consecutive seasons and advanced to the Western Conference finals this season for the first time since 2000.

      Olshey's first task will be to secure the Portland futures of guards Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, both of whom he selected in the draft.

      --Field Level Media

  • Durant talks injury, says team not better without him
    By Field Level Media / Friday, May 24, 2019

    Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant is unlikely to play in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday against either the Toronto Raptors or Milwaukee Bucks.

    • Durant has missed the past five games with a right calf injury and he told reporters on Friday that he was initially worried that he had torn his Achilles tendon.

      "I've seen the clip on the screen and it's like 'that's the Achilles, that's the Achilles,'" Durant told reporters. "Obviously, everybody is going to be a little nervous until someone reassured me that it's not.

      "... I started walking and I realized I could put some weight on it and it wasn't as bad as I thought. I was pretty relieved."

      Asked to compare the current injury to previous calf injuries he's sustained, Durant said that this one was much different.

      "This is worse," Durant said of the injury sustained against the Houston Rockets on May 8 in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals.

      The news was better for swingman Andre Iguodala (left calf) and big man DeMarcus Cousins (quadriceps).

      Coach Steve Kerr said Iguodala will be available for Game 1. Cousins scrimmaged on Friday and has a chance at being ready for the opener, as well.

      Meanwhile, Durant is miffed at the recent narrative that the Warriors are a better team without him. Golden State is 5-0 since losing the 10-time All-Star.

      Durant was averaging 34.2 points in the postseason prior to the injury against the Rockets.

      "It's hard to get away from that because I watch the games (when Golden State is on the road) and I saw the lead-up to the game and I saw everybody talking about it," Durant said. "... As a player, I think about that and I'm just like 'That's not true, that's not the facts' when it comes from a basketball perspective."

      Durant, who could leave as a free agent after the season, also feels outsiders are trying to drive a wedge between him and his teammates.

      "It's been that way since I got here, It's the Warriors and K.D. I understand that," said Durant, who joined the Warriors in the summer of 2016. "I feel the organization knows exactly what I've done on and off the court to become part of this culture and stamp my flag on this organization.

      "The last two years, I've done pretty much everything that they asked me to do from player, ambassador to the community to working hard every single day in shootarounds and practices.

      "I know what I bring to the team but I also know a lot of people on the outside don't like to see us together. I get it."

      Star guard Stephen Curry said he doesn't understand why there isn't a general feeling of happiness when a team or players do well.

      "We're a great team because everybody in the room who put on the uniform goes out and competes at a high level," Curry said. "We look out for each other. There is sacrifice. At the end of the day, it's all about winning."

      Toronto holds a 3-2 lead in the East and can close out its series on Saturday when it hosts the Bucks.

      --Field Level Media

  • Raptors aim to top Bucks for NBA Finals berth
    By Field Level Media / Friday, May 24, 2019

    TORONTO -- The Toronto Raptors will be looking to move on and the visiting Milwaukee Bucks will be hoping to stay alive Saturday night in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals.

    • The host Raptors lead the best-of-seven series 3-2 after winning Game 5 in Milwaukee 105-99 on Thursday night. Another win will put them into the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history.

      The Bucks have an immediate goal of forcing a Game 7 Monday night on their home court.

      The Raptors are approaching Game 6 warily, not trying to get ahead of themselves.

      "Listen, this is a great team we're playing," Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. "They are really good and deep and athletic and long and all kinds of stuff. This was a super hard win (Thursday), super hard. And we have to play with a tremendous amount of effort. Again, I think our keys are this: We've got to play good offense, not turn it over and score the basketball, because if you don't, they're getting what they want, which is downhill basketball in a hurry.

      "If we can score it, if we can take care of it, we can get our defense set up, for the most part we get down and guard them and make the shots a lot tougher. We have to rebound the basketball. They're a great rebounding team."

      Bucks center Brook Lopez is aware of the task at hand.

      "We're just on to the next game," Lopez said. "We're not thinking about winning two right now, obviously. We just want to go out there and get Game 6."

      Milwaukee star Giannis Antetokounmpo was emphatic.

      "I'm (ticked), I'm not going to lie to you," Antetokounmpo said. "We've got two more games to go and we can do this. ... We're the best team in the league, man. We're not going to fold. We're going to go and give everything we've got. We're not going to go there and even (if) they set a great tone and come out and hit us in the mouth first -- we can't fold. We're going to come back to Milwaukee being (ticked), like, you cannot fold. You've got to go out there and give everything you've got. If we lose, we lose. OK, cool. But we're not going to fold as a team. That's not what we do."

      As usual, Kawhi Leonard led Toronto's scoring Thursday with 15 of his 35 points coming in the fourth quarter. He also added seven rebounds and a career-best nine assists.

      "Just got to give credit to my teammates," Leonard said. "They knocked down shots (Thursday) when I gave it to them, and I'm not a guy that really controls the ball the whole game."

      The Raptors have an advantage in playoff experience over the Bucks, and that could have been a factor already in this series and could be again in Game 6.

      "Experience helps a lot," Leonard said. "You know, just from my input, I've been here before. I've been to the finals, and it's pretty much nothing new that I'm seeing out there. You just have to have fun with it and enjoy it. Like I told them (Thursday), we were down 10, I told them to enjoy the moment and embrace it, and let's have fun and love it. This is why we're here."

      Bucks forward Ersan Ilyasova said it's a mental game.

      "I think it's going to be about us showing our strength -- not just physically," Ilyasova said. "Mentally, because we have to be ready. They will come out full force, and not just them -- the fans and everything. We have to stick together and play our best game."

      --By Larry Millson, Field Level Media

  • Report: Blazers, team president Olshey agree to contract extension
    By Field Level Media / Friday, May 24, 2019

    The Portland Trail Blazers and president of basketball operations Neil Olshey agreed to a contract extension that will keep him with the team through the end of the 2023-24 season, ESPN reported Friday.

    • Olshey, 54, joined the team as general manager in June 2012 and was promoted in 2015. The Trail Blazers have made the playoffs six consecutive seasons and advanced to the Western Conference finals this season for the first time since 2000.

      The Blazers were swept by the Golden State Warriors.

      Olshey's first task will be to secure the Portland futures of guards Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, both of whom he selected in the draft.

      Coach Terry Stotts also signed a multi-year contract extension earlier this week.

      --Field Level Media

  • NBA free agency period to start six hours earlier
    By Field Level Media / Friday, May 24, 2019

    The NBA free agency period will open six hours earlier this year, the league and the National Basketball Players Association announced Friday.

    • Teams and free agents now will be able to open their negotiations on June 30 at 6 p.m. ET instead of July 1 at 12:01 a.m.

      The two sides may talk solely to schedule meetings beginning June 29 at 6 p.m. ET but can't talk numbers until 24 hours later.

      The 2019 free-agent class has a number of big-name players, including Golden State stars Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, Kawhi Leonard (Toronto), Kemba Walker (Charlotte), Tobias Harris and Jimmy Butler (Philadelphia), Kyrie Irving (Boston) and Khris Middleton (Milwaukee).

      --Field Level Media

  • Hobbled Giannis: Bucks will be back in Milwaukee for Game 7
    By Field Level Media / Friday, May 24, 2019

    Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks went from a 2-0 series lead to a 3-2 deficit and face elimination Saturday in Toronto. The MVP candidate had a message for Milwaukee fans on Thursday night after the Raptors took a third consecutive game in the best-of-seven series.

    • "We're not gonna fold," Antetokounmpo said. "We're the best team in the league. We're gonna go in, give it everything we got. We can't fold. We're gonna come back to Milwaukee being pissed."

      After the 105-99 loss Thursday in Game 5, Antetokounmpo received treatment for a right ankle injury. He said there was no particular play when his ankle was hurt, but added it wouldn't be a problem when the team takes on the Raptors in Toronto in Game 6.

      "I just want to win," Antetokounmpo said. "I think we had a chance to win it, but we didn't. Obviously, I'm pissed. I am not gonna lie to you. We got two more games to go."

      Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer took Antetokounmpo out of the game with 1:12 remaining. He said he noticed the injury when Antetokounmpo attempted a backcourt steal against Kawhi Leonard.

      Budenholzer said the Bucks will all be ready to roll Saturday.

      "I think we talk about the character of the group and the toughness and competitiveness of the group," Budenholzer said. "It's first of four. We've got to go to Toronto, get a game, and I think the group will be ready. They'll fill their cup up and be ready to go."

      --Field Level Media

  • NBA notebook: Durant doubtful for Finals opener
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, May 23, 2019

    The Golden State Warriors announced Thursday it is unlikely forward Kevin Durant will be ready for the start of the NBA Finals, but they are hopeful he can return during the series.

    • The Finals begin on May 31, pitting the two-time defending champion Warriors against either Milwaukee or Toronto. The Raptors lead the best-of-seven Eastern Conference finals 3-2 after defeating the Bucks 105-99 Thursday night in Milwaukee.

      Sidelined with a right calf strain, Durant has not been cleared to begin on-court activities but continues to make good progress with his rehabilitation, according to the team. He missed Game 6 against the Houston Rockets in the second round of the playoffs, then all of Golden State's sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference finals.

      The Warriors also provided an update about center DeMarcus Cousins, who hasn't played since April 16 because of a torn left quadriceps muscle. Cousins practiced with the team Thursday for the first time since sustaining the injury, and he is expected to return at some point during the Finals.

      --Milwaukee forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and Houston guard James Harden were unanimous selections to the 2018-19 All-NBA first team. Golden State guard Stephen Curry, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George and Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic also made the first team.

      The All-NBA second team features Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid, Golden State forward Kevin Durant, Portland guard Damian Lillard, Toronto forward Kawhi Leonard and Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving.

      Oklahoma City guard Russell Westbrook, Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James and Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker make up the All-NBA third team.

      --Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson wasn't selected to an All-NBA team, making him ineligible to sign a five-year, $221 million supermax contract this summer in free agency.

      The Collective Bargaining Agreement of 2017 allowed some veterans to earn supermax salaries, based on making an All-NBA team.

      Thompson now will be eligible to ink a five-year deal worth $191 million, about $30 million less than he could have received had he made All-NBA. Warriors owner Joe Lacob said he is confident the team will be able to re-sign Thompson.

      --Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons will lead a contingent of eight NBA players named to Australia's 2019 FIBA World Cup squad.

      Simmons was born in Australia and lived there until he moved to the United States in 2013 to play high school basketball.

      Other NBA players on the team are Deng Adel (Cleveland Cavaliers), Aron Baynes (Celtics), Andrew Bogut (Warriors), Jonah Bolden (76ers), Matthew Dellavedova (Cavaliers), Joe Ingles (Utah Jazz) and Patty Mills (San Antonio Spurs).

      --Field Level Media

  • Warriors G Thompson misses out on supermax contract
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, May 23, 2019

    Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson wasn't selected to an all-NBA team, making him ineligible to sign a five-year, $221 million supermax contract this summer in free agency.

    • The Collective Bargaining Agreement of 2017 allowed some veterans to earn supermax salaries, based on making an all-NBA team.

      Thompson seemingly took the news in stride.

      "I didn't? It already came out?" Thompson asked reporters after practice Thursday when he learned he had just missed out on being a third-team selection. "I mean, that's cool and all, but like when you go to five straight Finals -- I respect those guys -- but when you go to five straight it takes more than just a couple All-NBA guys. It's like an all-time team, but whatever, I'd rather win a championship than be third-team All-NBA, so it's all good."

      Thompson now will be eligible to ink a five-year deal worth $191 million, about $30 million less than he could have received had he made All-NBA. Warriors owner Joe Lacob said he is confident the team will be able to re-sign Thompson.

      "I can't control it," Thompson said of the connection between All-NBA selection and contracts. "Do I think there's that many guards better than me in the league? No. But that's the reason we're still playing, so I don't even want to get into it, honestly."

      His backcourt teammate, Stephen Curry, was named first-team All-NBA, and Golden State forward Kevin Durant made the second team.

      Also missing out on a supermax contract by not making the all-NBA team is Washington guard Bradley Beal. The Portland Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard (second team) and the Charlotte Hornets' Kemba Walker (third team) now are eligible for the max contract.

      --Field Level Media

  • Warriors' Durant, Cousins unlikely for start of Finals
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, May 23, 2019

    The Golden State Warriors said Thursday it is unlikely forward Kevin Durant will be ready for the start of the NBA Finals, but they are hopeful he can return during the series.

    • The Finals begin on May 31, pitting the two-time defending champion Warriors against either Milwaukee or Toronto. The Bucks and Raptors are tied 2-2 in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference finals entering Thursday night's game in Milwaukee.

      Sidelined with a right calf strain, Durant has not been cleared to begin on-court activities but continues to make good progress with his rehabilitation, according to the team.

      "At this point, it is unlikely that he will play at the beginning of the 2019 NBA Finals, but it's hopeful that he could return at some point during the series," the team said.

      A two-time Finals MVP, Durant sat out Golden State's close-out Game 6 win against the Houston Rockets on May 10 and missed all four games of the Western Conference finals sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers.

      The Warriors also provided an update about center DeMarcus Cousins, who hasn't played since the first-round series against the Los Angeles Clippers because of a torn left quadriceps muscle.

      Cousins practiced with the team Thursday for the first time since suffering the injury on April 16.

      "It's anticipated that he will play at some point during the 2019 NBA Finals, but the exact date is to be determined and depends on his progress," the team said.

      The Warriors will provide an update for both players again next Wednesday.

      --Field Level Media

  • Giannis, Harden are unanimous All-NBA first-team picks
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, May 23, 2019

    Milwaukee forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and Houston guard James Harden were unanimous selections to the 2018-19 All-NBA first team, released Thursday.

    • The two MVP finalists were named on all 100 ballots. It marks the first first-team selection for Antetokounmpo and the fifth in the past six seasons for Harden.

      Golden State guard Stephen Curry (91 first-team votes), Oklahoma City forward Paul George (71) and Denver center Nikola Jokic (59) joined them on the first team. It was the third first-team honor for Curry and first for George and Jokic.

      The All-NBA second team features Philadelphia center Joel Embiid (40 first-team votes), Golden State forward Kevin Durant (29), Portland guard Damian Lillard (eight), Toronto forward Kawhi Leonard and Boston guard Kyrie Irving.

      Oklahoma City guard Russell Westbrook and Utah center Rudy Gobert each received one first-team vote. Joining them on the All-NBA third team are Detroit forward Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James and Charlotte guard Kemba Walker.

      This is the 15th All-NBA selection for James, matching the NBA record shared by Kobe Bryant, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Tim Duncan. It is his first time on the third team, following 12 selections to the first team and two to the second team.

      --Field Level Media

  • 76ers' Simmons among eight NBA players on Team Australia
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, May 23, 2019

    Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons will lead a contingent of eight NBA players named to Australia's 2019 FIBA World Cup squad.

    • The 17-man roster for the team, known as the Boomers, was announced on Thursday.

      Simmons was born in Australia and lived there until he moved to the United States in 2013 to play high school basketball.

      Other NBA players on the team are Deng Adel (Cleveland Cavaliers), Aron Baynes (Boston Celtics), Andrew Bogut (Golden State Warriors), Jonah Bolden (76ers), Matthew Dellavedova (Cavaliers), Joe Ingles (Utah Jazz) and Patty Mills (San Antonio Spurs).

      Team Australia will compete in four warmup games, including two against USA Basketball, in Melbourne in August. The World Cup will be played in China from Aug. 31 through Sept. 15.

      Seven teams will qualify directly from the World Cup for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The next 16 best teams will compete in a FIBA Olympic qualifying tournament in 2020.

      The Boomers finished fourth in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

      --Field Level Media

  • Knicks president: Porzingis threatened return to Europe
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, May 23, 2019

    When the Knicks decided to trade injured All-Star Kristaps Porzingis in January, New York was facing trade-me-or-else pressure to make the move.

    • Team president Steve Mills said Wednesday that it wasn't the Knicks' preference to part with Porzingis, but he made it clear through an ultimatum that New York was no longer his preferred home.

      "(Porzingis) point-blank said to us, 'I don't want to be here,'" Mills said Wednesday at a public speaking engagement. "(He said): 'I'm not going to re-sign with the Knicks and I'm going to give you seven days to trade me, or I'm going back to Europe.' Fortunately for us, through that process we (started) in September, we had a number of deals lined up, and we started the trade calls as soon as he walked out of the office."

      Trading Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks helped create two supermax contract slots the Knicks could use to score a pair of big-ticket free agents in a class headlined by Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson and Jimmy Butler.

      Porzingis, 23, did not play in 2018-19 while recovering from a knee injury. He averaged 22.7 points in 48 games in 2017-18.

      Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Porzingis have said publicly the two sides are pushing forward on a contract extension.

      --Field Level Media

  • NBA notebook: Rapper Drake accused of trolling Bucks
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, May 22, 2019

    Is rap star Drake getting into the heads of the Milwaukee Bucks, especially star player Giannis Antetokounmpo?

    • The recording artist and Toronto Raptors fan might take credit for having something to do with the Eastern Conference finals being tied at 2-2 after the Bucks dropped Games 3 and 4 in Toronto.

      On Wednesday, a tweet from a senior executive for Octagon, the agency representing Antetokounmpo, called out Drake for his repeated trolling of the Bucks in general and specifically their superstar power forward.

      "Imagine a gig & an athlete on VIP seats, right next to the band, stands up on the stage just to show off during the entire game, knowing cameras are on him, occasionally even massaging the singer," wrote Georgios Dimitropoulos, Antetokounmpo's former European agent before he was named senior director for Octagon Basketball Europe. "Security&him both allow it. Never seen anything as disrespectful as this before ..."

      --Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob intends to re-sign Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant when they become unrestricted free agents this summer, even though Durant's agent said the superstar is undecided.

      With the Warriors in the midst of a nine-day break before the NBA Finals as they await the winner of the Toronto Raptors-Milwaukee Bucks series, Lacob answered questions about the futures of Thompson, 29, and Durant, 30, from The Athletic.

      "The season is still ongoing," Lacob responded. "We are not finished. I have no new ideas or data for you. We love Klay and KD and intend to attempt to re-sign them. Period. I am confident about BOTH of them. But it is their choice to do what is best for them. They have earned that right. Our goal is to keep our team together. We are pretty good."

      --Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard's health is just fine, while point guard Kyle Lowry is fighting through significant pain, head coach Nick Nurse told reporters.

      "He's feeling good," Nurse said of Leonard, who has shown an occasional limp during the Eastern Conference finals against the Milwaukee Bucks. "No concerns at this point. He's good."

      Leonard had his workload managed during the regular season and did not play on back-to-back nights, but he has logged 38.2 minutes per game through 16 postseason games, averaging 31.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.5 steals. Lowry has been playing with an injured left (non-shooting) thumb since hurting it in Game 7 of the second round of the playoffs, wearing an oversize, padded glove to aid the healing process.

      --The Bucks' Antetokounmpo, Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert and Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George -- the three finalists for the 2018-19 NBA Defensive Player of the Year award -- highlight the All-Defensive first team, announced by the league.

      They were joined by Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart and Bucks guard Eric Bledsoe.

      Antetokounmpo, Gobert and George are repeat awardees; this is the first time on the All-Defensive team for Smart and Bledsoe.

      --Field Level Media

  • Raptors' Nurse: Leonard 'feeling good,' Lowry 'not great'
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, May 22, 2019

    Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard's health is just fine, while point guard Kyle Lowry is fighting through significant pain, head coach Nick Nurse told reporters Wednesday.

    • "He's feeling good," Nurse said of Leonard, who has shown an occasional limp during the Eastern Conference finals against the Milwaukee Bucks. "No concerns at this point. He's good."

      Leonard had his workload managed during the regular season and did not play on back-to-back nights, but he has logged 38.2 minutes per game through 16 postseason games, averaging 31.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.5 steals. He had a modest 19 points in Tuesday's Game 4 as the Raptors equaled the series at 2-2.

      Lowry has been playing with an injured left (non-shooting) thumb since hurting it in Game 7 of the second round of the playoffs, wearing an oversize, padded glove to aid the healing process. He struggled in Games 3 and 4 but managed 25 points, six assists and five rebounds in Game 4.

      "Kyle's hand is not great," Nurse told reporters. "You know, he's -- it's hurt and it's sore and it causes him a lot of pain. But he seems to be able to manage it through the game and do what he can do.

      "He's obviously scoring and playing great on top of the other things he always does."

      Nurse also said forward OG Anunoby remains without a timetable for a return after having an emergency appendectomy last month.

      "He's moving pretty good, he's shooting, but still a ways away from being able to take hits and contact in the areas that he needs to test out," Nurse said.

      Anunoby averaged seven points and 2.9 rebounds in 67 regular-season games this year.

      Game 5 of the series is Thursday in Milwaukee.

      --Field Level Media

  • Agent blasts Drake over trolling of Antetokounmpo
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, May 22, 2019

    Is rap star Drake getting into the heads of the Milwaukee Bucks, especially star player Giannis Antetokounmpo?

    • The recording artist and Toronto Raptors fan might take credit for having something to do with the Eastern Conference finals being tied at 2-2 after the Bucks dropped Games 3 and 4 in Toronto.

      On Wednesday, a tweet from a senior executive for Octagon, the agency representing Antetokounmpo, called out Drake for his repeated trolling of the Bucks in general and specifically their superstar power forward.

      "Imagine a gig & an athlete on VIP seats, right next to the band, stands up on the stage just to show off during the entire game, knowing cameras are on him, occasionally even massaging the singer," wrote Georgios Dimitropoulos, Antetokounmpo's former European agent before he was named senior director for Octagon Basketball Europe. "Security&him both allow it. Never seen anything as disrespectful as this before ..."

      The tweet subsequently was deleted.

      Drake responded Wednesday night on Instagram. He posted a photo of himself cheering on the Raptors, adding emojis of a smiling face, a salt shaker and a person shrugging.

      He then "liked" a post from a follower that read: "Sports media needs to accept the simple rule the Miami Hurricanes signed into law back in the 80s: if you don't want the opposing team to celebrate and dance, prevent them from scoring, winning, or achieving their objective. Get over it and keep it moving."

      Sitting in his usual seat near the Raptors bench throughout Game 4 on Tuesday night when Toronto beat the Bucks 120-102, Drake made his presence felt. He laughed when free throws were missed by Antetokounmpo, who hit only 6 of 10 (including an airball) but still scored 25 points.

      In a double-overtime loss in Game 3, Antetokounmpo made 2 of 7 free throws and scored only 12 points.

      On Wednesday, Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer spoke out about the so-called trolling.

      "You can't help but occasionally see Drake just going into timeouts or in and out of timeouts, whether he's encouraging or cheering for Toronto," he said. "You know, trying to talk to referees. To say I don't see it at all would be inaccurate, but to say I give it much or any thought, you know, it's kind of 'same answer, same mantra.'

      "I just tend to ignore and focus on our team, focus on whatever it is we need to be doing."

      How much Drake gets away with might depend on his celebrity status, according to the coach.

      "I don't know how much he's on the court," Budenholzer added. "It sounds like you guys are saying it's more than I realize. There's certainly no place for fans and, you know, whatever it is exactly that Drake is for the Toronto Raptors. You know, to be on the court, there's boundaries and lines for a reason, and like I said, the league is usually pretty good at being on top of stuff like that."

      Bucks fans don't believe Drake is getting a bum rap, though. And neither does the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, with a headline that read: "Milwaukee totally hates Drake, somehow allowed to roam the court and troll Giannis."

      Last year, the NBA reportedly warned the world-famous artist about "the use of bad language" after he traded barbs with Cleveland Cavaliers center Kendrick Perkins in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. The pair exchanged words as the Raptors and Cavaliers headed to the tunnels at halftime, and another harsh exchange followed at the end of the game.

      --Field Level Media

  • Bucks look to reclaim momentum from Raptors in Game 5
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, May 22, 2019

    The Toronto Raptors have the momentum, but the Milwaukee Bucks will be playing on their home court Thursday night in the pivotal Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

    • The Raptors will try to maintain the energy they showed in winning the past two games at home to even the best-of-seven series at 2-2.

      "Each game is its own entity," Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. "Let's see. ... if we can go do it in Milwaukee, we need to take this challenge of playing in a hostile environment, right? We're going into a tough, loud place to play, and let's see if those guys can bring that same pop and focus, determination on the road."

      The Bucks, meanwhile, will be trying to find the defense that was lacking in the Raptors' 120-102 Game 4 victory on Tuesday.

      "I think (Tuesday) is probably the first night defensively where I don't feel like we were close to where you need to be to give ourselves a chance," Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. "So, credit to Toronto. They obviously played well, had a lot of guys step up and play well. Their bench was very good."

      The Bucks started the game aggressively -- led by Giannis Antetokounmpo, who scored the first five points of the game -- and led 12-5. But Toronto eventually took over and led 32-31 after one quarter and dominated the rest of the way.

      "We had a great start the first few couple of minutes, we started aggressive -- especially Giannis," said Nikola Mirotic, who scored 11 points. "But then I think we allowed a lot of points, especially that first quarter after those few minutes ... our defense was not the way we should be (Tuesday). We're going to learn from it and try to bounce back next game."

      Mirotic said the defensive problem "was a little bit of everything."

      "Rotation, defensive transition as well, we didn't show the crowd as we usually do," the Bucks forward said. "They beat us on the boards (44-40), a lot of offensive rebounds (10) so it was just not the best game. But listen, nobody said it was going to easy. We're 2-2. We need to go back to Milwaukee and do the same what they did with us. They punched us here and we're going to do the same there."

      "We just came out in the third quarter flat," Antetokounmpo said. "It's something we can get better at, it's something we can fix, it's something we've been doing all season. Usually in the third quarter we come out and we're aggressive, we're making shots, we're moving the ball. ... Hopefully when we get back home we can shoot better in the third quarter and throughout the whole game."

      With Kawhi Leonard favoring his left leg after playing 52 minutes in Sunday's double-overtime win by Toronto, others stepped up. Kyle Lowry scored 25 points in Game 4 and the bench -- led by Fred VanVleet (13 points), Norman Powell (18 points) and Serge Ibaka (17 points, 13 rebounds) -- was vital.

      "It was big time," said Leonard, who had 19 points, seven rebounds and four steals. "Everybody contributed (Tuesday), knocking down shots, playing great

      defense. (Ibaka was) making plays, getting rebounds, blocking shots and making shots on the other end. You know, when he does things like that everybody just gets energy and just the whole team flows at that point."

      Leonard played 34 minutes Tuesday.

      "I feel good," he said. "Keep going and keep fighting and we have a chance to make history."

      --Field Level Media

  • Gobert, George, Giannis headline All-Defensive team
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, May 22, 2019

    Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert and Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George -- the three finalists for the 2018-19 NBA Defensive Player of the Year award -- highlight the All-Defensive first team, announced Wednesday by the league.

    • They were joined by Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart and Bucks guard Eric Bledsoe.

      Antetokounmpo, Gobert and George are repeat awardees; this is the first time on the All-Defensive team for Smart and Bledsoe.

      Selected to the second team were guards Jrue Holiday of New Orleans and Klay Thompson of Golden State; center Joel Embiid of Philadelphia; and forwards Draymond Green of Golden State and Kawhi Leonard of Toronto.

      This was Thompson's first selection to an All-Defensive team. The others are repeat selectees.

      --Field Level Media

  • Warriors' owner 'confident' of keeping Thompson, Durant
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, May 22, 2019

    Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob intends to re-sign Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant when they become unrestricted free agents this summer, even though Durant's agent said the superstar is undecided.

    • With the Warriors in the midst of a nine-day break before the NBA Finals as they await the winner of the Toronto Raptors-Milwaukee Bucks series, Lacob answered questions about the futures of Thompson, 29, and Durant, 30, from The Athletic.

      "The season is still ongoing," Lacob responded. "We are not finished. I have no new ideas or data for you. We love Klay and KD and intend to attempt to re-sign them. Period. I am confident about BOTH of them.

      "But it is their choice to do what is best for them. They have earned that right. Our goal is to keep our team together. We are pretty good."

      Keeping Thompson and Durant - and signing forward Draymond Green to a contract extension - likely are the team's top priorities as they prepare to move into Chase Center in San Francisco next season.

      It still isn't a certainty Durant will move across the bay with the Warriors. His name often has been linked with the New York Knicks, as well as a number of other teams.

      His agent, Rich Kleiman, told the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday night that nothing is firm and that Durant is focused on returning from a strained right calf injury and helping the Warriors to their third straight NBA title.

      "I'm waiting on Kevin. That's the truth," Kleiman said. "I think there's a feeling that this thing is like war games and everybody is playing chess years out.

      "But when somebody gets to the level of basketball that he's at, you can't juggle focus like that. There's so many things he's juggling too. He's not scripting his future while he's playing the way he plays and practicing the way he's practicing."

      --Field Level Media

  • NBA notebook: Trail Blazers' Stotts rewarded with extension
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, May 21, 2019

    The Portland Trail Blazers said Tuesday that they have signed coach Terry Stotts to a multi-year contract extension.

    • General manager Neil Olshey informed reporters of the extension when asked a question about Stotts during a press conference. The length of the extension wasn't immediately known.

      Stotts' previous contract reportedly ran through the 2019-20 season. Stotts ranks second on Portland's all-time regular-season wins list with 325, trailing only Hall of Famer Jack Ramsay (453 from 1976-86).

      Stotts guided the Trail Blazers to a 53-29 record this season and playoff series wins over the Oklahoma City Thunder and Denver Nuggets. Portland's season ended Monday in the Western Conference finals as Golden State finished off a four-game sweep with a 119-117 victory.

      --Dallas Mavericks swingman Luka Doncic and Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young were unanimous selections to the 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie first team.

      Joining them on the first team were Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton, Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr. and Sacramento Kings forward Marvin Bagley III.

      It's the first time since 1984-85 that the top five picks in the draft made the first team. That season, Hakeem Olajuwon, Sam Bowie, Michael Jordan, Sam Perkins and Charles Barkley were honored.

      Making up the All-Rookie second team were Los Angeles Clippers guards Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Landry Shamet, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton, New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson, and Hawks guard Kevin Huerter.

      --The Denver Nuggets expect to keep power forward Paul Millsap in 2019-20, president of basketball operations Tim Connelly told reporters.

      Millsap has a $30.15 million team option for 2019-20 as part of a three-year, $91.3 million contract he signed as a free agent in 2017, but it sounds like the sides could collaborate on a new deal for the 34-year-old.

      Millsap, a 13-year veteran and four-time All-Star, averaged 12.6 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 70 games (65 starts) last season, while serving as the key piece for a much-improved defense. He also shot 36.5 percent from 3-point range, the best single-season mark of his career (min. 25 attempts).

      --The Portland Trail Blazers and All-Star guard Damian Lillard are expected to agree to a four-year, $191 million supermax contract extension, Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes reported.

      Lillard, 28, has two years and approximately $62 million left on the five-year, $120 million extension he signed in July 2015. Lillard averaged 25.8 points, a career-high 6.9 assists and 4.6 rebounds in 80 games this season. He broke his own Portland record by making 237 3-pointers.

      The four-time All-Star would qualify for a supermax deal if he is voted to one of the three All-NBA teams. He made the first team in 2017-18, the second team in 2015-16 and the third in 2013-14.

      --For a team with the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft, the New Orleans Pelicans are still living in the past, so says vice president of basketball operations David Griffin.

      The franchise is not entirely rear-focused, but since a shocking stroke of luck left the Pelicans with the top pick in the June 20 draft and the inside track to Duke freshman Zion Williamson, Griffin has been locked in on selling six-time All-Star Anthony Davis on sticking around.

      Davis requested a trade before the All-Star break and then told media he would consider all options if the Pelicans were willing to move him. Griffin's goal is a reversal from Davis, convincing him the Pelicans are ready to build a winner with staying power around Davis and presumptive No. 1 pick Williamson.

      "We'll probably sit together in Los Angeles at some point around the draft workouts that take place there," Griffin said on a team conference call. "And I think that's the next step -- really to look each other in the eye and talk about what's important to us. And we're very optimistic from previous conversations with Rich Paul, his agent, and with all of the people here that know Anthony and know what he's about, we're very confident that we have a compelling situation for him here."

      --Pausing to reflect on their historic fifth consecutive Finals appearance should be an easy task for the Warriors.

      After Golden State put away the Portland Trail Blazers in a 4-0 sweep of the Western Conference finals on Monday, Golden State kicked off an extended idle period. With the Eastern Conference finals scheduled through May 27, Game 1 of the NBA Finals will be May 30 at either Milwaukee or Toronto. The Bucks entered Tuesday's Game 4 with a 2-1 series lead.

      Playing down two starters, the Warriors are optimistic the R-and-R window will be plentiful enough for rest and relaxation for -- and the returns of -- forward Kevin Durant and center DeMarcus Cousins. Durant missed the past five games with a calf strain and could resume on-court activities at the end of the week. Cousins hasn't played since the opening series of the playoffs because of a quadriceps injury.

      Andre Iguodala did not play in Game 4, but is pegged to be back on the court any day and a "sure thing" for the Finals.

      --Field Level Media

  • Trail Blazers' Stotts signs contract extension
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, May 21, 2019

    The Portland Trail Blazers said Tuesday that they have signed coach Terry Stotts to a multi-year contract extension.

    • General manager Neil Olshey informed reporters of the extension when asked a question about Stotts during a press conference.

      The length of the extension wasn't immediately known. Olshey declined to divulge specifics and said details would be revealed in the team's forthcoming press release announcement.

      Stotts' previous contract reportedly ran through the 2019-20 season.

      "Obviously I'm pleased with the season and pleased that we came to an agreement," Stotts said during the press conference. "I'm very happy here. I'm happy with the team. This year was probably the most enjoyable year as a head coach as far as the group of guys that we had.

      "Personally, we've gone through peaks and valleys over my tenure and his is another peak. I couldn't be more happy that things have turned out the way they have personally and for the team."

      The extension comes one day following the end of the Trail Blazers' season. Golden State finished a four-game sweep of Portland in the Western Conference finals with a 119-117 victory on Monday.

      The deal was reached during a day of exit interviews.

      Stotts ranks second on Portland's all-time regular-season wins list with 325, trailing only Hall of Famer Jack Ramsay (453 from 1976-86).

      Stotts is 325-249 as coach of the Trail Blazers. He is 19-32 in the postseason with the club.

      Stotts guided the Trail Blazers to a 53-29 record this season and playoff series wins over the Oklahoma City Thunder and Denver Nuggets.

      Portland has made the playoffs in six straight seasons and has recorded three 50-win seasons in Stotts' seven campaigns as coach.

      Stotts also has coached the Atlanta Hawks (2002-04) and Milwaukee Bucks (2005-07). He has an overall mark of 440-417 in 11 seasons.

      --Field Level Media

  • Nuggets expect Millsap back in 2019-20
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, May 21, 2019

    The Denver Nuggets expect to keep power forward Paul Millsap in 2019-20, president of basketball operations Tim Connelly told reporters Tuesday.

    • "Our goal and Paul's goal is to have him back with us," Connelly said at an end-of-season press conference.

      Millsap has a $30.15 million team option for 2019-20 as part of a three-year, $91.3 million contract he signed as a free agent in 2017, but it sounds like the sides could collaborate on a new deal for the 34-year-old.

      "We both want the same thing," Connelly said. "We'll figure out the best way for the organization and Paul to make sure that's achieved. I fully expect Paul to be back in a Nuggets uniform."

      Millsap, a 13-year veteran and four-time All-Star, averaged 12.6 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 70 games (65 starts) last season, while serving as the key piece for a much improved defense. He also shot 36.5 percent from 3-point range, the best single-season mark of his career (min. 25 attempts).

      He averaged 14.6 points and 6.7 assists in 14 playoff games, as the Nuggets fell in Game 7 of the second round to the Portland Trail Blazers.

      Millsap missed time in December with a broken toe, after missing 44 games in 2017-18 with a wrist injury that required surgery.

      A second-round pick of the Utah Jazz in 2006, Millsap played seven seasons in Utah before earning four All-Star appearances in as many seasons for the Atlanta Hawks from 2013-17.

      --Field Level Media

  • Pelicans VP pictures future with Davis, Williamson
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, May 21, 2019

    For a team with the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft, vice president of basketball operations David Griffin confesses the New Orleans Pelicans are still living in the past.

    • The franchise is not entirely rear-focused, but since a shocking stroke of luck left the Pelicans with the top pick in the June 20 draft and the inside track to Duke freshman Zion Williamson, Griffin has been locked in on selling six-time All-Star Anthony Davis on sticking around.

      Davis requested a trade before the All-Star break and then told media he would consider all options if the Pelicans were willing to move him.

      Griffin's goal is a reversal from Davis, convincing him the Pelicans are ready to build a winner with staying power around Davis and presumptive No. 1 pick Williamson.

      "We'll probably sit together in Los Angeles at some point around the draft workouts that take place there," Griffin said Tuesday on a team conference call. "And I think that's the next step -- really to look each other in the eye and talk about what's important to us. And we're very optimistic from previous conversations with Rich Paul, his agent, and with all of the people here that know Anthony and know what he's about, we're very confident that we have a compelling situation for him here.

      "And if winning is what he is indeed all about, which we have every reason to believe, we feel confident that we can create -- and are creating -- the right environment for Anthony and frankly for high-caliber players of all types to want to be a part of. This is something that we hope creates an energy that recruits itself, and Anthony would just be one step in that process."

      Davis reportedly was unmoved by the Pelicans landing the No. 1 pick and is ready to dig in his heels to force a trade to a bigger market with win-now resources.

      Griffin, who was available Tuesday to introduce general manager Trajan Langdon, said the Pelicans are very comfortable knowing the top prospects in the draft are excited by the prospect of being Pelicans. A lottery-night report from ESPN that Williamson was outraged by the outcome of the ping-pong ball draw was dispelled by Williamson's stepfather.

      "I'm certain that's a false narrative relative to the players that could potentially be the No. 1 pick," Griffin said. "We've sat with multiple players that we're looking at for that first pick. In fact, in the case of Zion Williamson, (head coach) Alvin Gentry and I sat with he and his parents the night of the lottery. And Alvin and I were also together in interviewing Ja Morant in Chicago as well. And I think because we sat with those kids who are both incredible human beings and all about all the right things, we know unequivocally that either one of them would be thrilled to join us in New Orleans. And they're both very much excited about the concept."

      Davis might remain steadfast in his trade request, but that could also wind up working in the Pelicans' favor.

      The teams most often connected to Davis, the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers, are slated to pick No. 3 (Knicks) and No. 4 (Lakers). Connecting the dots on a rapid rebuilding plan, the Pelicans could restock on the fly by landing Williamson and either college teammate RJ Barrett or Murray State's Morant, the consensus top three players in the 2019 draft.

      --Field Level Media

  • Reflective Warriors welcome extended break before Finals
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, May 21, 2019

    Pausing to reflect on their historic fifth consecutive Finals appearance should be an easy task for the Warriors.

    • After Golden State put away the Portland Trail Blazers in a 4-0 sweep of the Western Conference finals on Monday, Golden State kicked off an extended idle hour. With the Eastern Conference finals scheduled through May 27, Game 1 of the NBA Finals is May 30 at either Milwaukee or Toronto. The Bucks lost to the Raptors on Tuesday and head back to Milwaukee with the series tied 2-2.

      "Get outside," Warriors All-Star Klay Thompson said of his plans for the nine-day hiatus. "Hopefully it's good weather in the Bay finally. Just enjoy -- just enjoy the downtime, because the NBA Finals, having experience with it, it's such an emotional roller coaster, that it's nice to get away from the game a little bit before it starts because emotions run high, and it takes a lot out of you."

      Timing couldn't be more clutch for Steve Kerr's team, a pause in the chase for a fourth Larry O'Brien Trophy in five tries.

      The Warriors' next game will be No. 99 since beating the Oklahoma City Thunder in the regular-season opener on October 16.

      Playing down two starters, the Warriors are optimistic the R-and-R window will be plentiful enough for rest, relaxation and returns -- of forward Kevin Durant and center DeMarcus Cousins. Durant missed the past five games with a calf strain and could resume on-court activities at the end of the week. Cousins hasn't played since the opening series of the playoffs because of a quadriceps injury.

      Andre Iguodala did not play in Game 4, but is pegged to be back on the court any day and a "sure thing" for the Finals.

      "You know, when you're missing Kevin Durant, you can't replace Kevin with one guy. We had to replace him with three or four, night after night, and then (Monday in Game 4) without Andre, we had to find more minutes," Kerr said. "I just can't say enough about the competitive desire about the group of players that we have here and the culture that they have built together. You know, playing together regardless of injury. Being without Kevin (Durant) these last five games has put us in a really tough spot, and our guys stepped up in a big way."

      Curry roasted the Blazers on the heels of an MVP-type performance in the closeout game to eliminate the Houston Rockets. He has scored 30-plus points in five consecutive games, an epic run that piggybacks similar output by Durant for the first two rounds of the playoffs.

      Curry called Monday night a "special moment" to walk off the court with another fancy hat and a ticket to the Finals.

      "There's a different intensity in the playoffs just naturally because it's win-or-go-home. We know how to find that next gear, and it comes with the experiences that we've been through," Curry said. "It's so hard over 82 games to elevate to that level on a nightly basis, but when it matters most, we have nights like tonight where we just find a way and take teams' best shots and run with it. So proud of everybody that helped make this a reality to be back in the Finals, and four more wins, and you know, get back to celebrating."

      Kerr hopes the team and outsiders equally appreciate the current run from Golden State. The Warriors are the first team since Bill Russell captained the Boston Celtics to crash the championship series five consecutive years.

      "I hope it doesn't go unnoticed or underrated," Kerr said. "You know, five straight Finals hasn't been done since the '60s, since Bill Russell's Celtics. Hasn't been done for a reason: It's really, really difficult."

      Draymond Green said he will skip the retrospective angle for now and focus on getting another ring. He implored the Warriors to be ready to toggle out of their celebratory status and back to championship focus.

      "We know we still have more work to do. The goal is never to get to the Finals; the goal is to go win the Finals," Green said. "With these nine days off, we definitely want to get our guys back healthy. We want to get DeMarcus (Cousins) and Kevin (Durant) and Andre (Iguodala), need those guys, going into the Finals and that's our hope that we can get all of those guys back moving forward.

      "Saying that, we've had guys step up all along this entire time and we're going to look forward to those guys continuing to step up, no matter what happens with the injuries that we have. You know, we're trying to go win this thing. Never the goal is just to get there. I've been to a Finals and lost; it's no fun, so trying to get it done."

      --Field Level Media

  • Doncic, Young unanimous All-Rookie picks
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, May 21, 2019

    Dallas Mavericks swingman Luka Doncic and Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young were unanimous selections to the 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie first team announced Tuesday.

    • Joining them on the first team were Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton, Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr. and Sacramento Kings forward Marvin Bagley III.

      It's the first time since 1984-85 that the top five picks in the draft made the first team. That year, Hakeem Olajuwon, Sam Bowie, Michael Jordan, Sam Perkins and Charles Barkley were honored.

      Doncic and Young were named on all 100 ballots submitted by media members and are the leading contenders for Rookie of the Year honors, to be announced at the 2019 NBA Awards on June 24. Ayton, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 draft, is also a finalist.

      Doncic, 20, was a five-time Western Conference Rookie of the Month. He averaged 21.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 6.0 assists and registered eight triple-doubles in 72 games.

      Young, 20, was a four-time Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month. He averaged 19.1 points, 8.1 assists and 3.7 rebounds and knocked down 156 3-pointers in 81 starts.

      Making up the All-Rookie second team were Los Angeles Clippers guards Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Landry Shamet, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton, New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson and Hawks guard Kevin Huerter.

      --Field Level Media.

  • Warriors installed as Finals favorite over TBD Bucks-Raptors winner
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, May 21, 2019

    Golden State clinched a spot in a fifth consecutive NBA Finals and sportsbooks installed the Warriors as the favorites against an opponent to be determined from the Eastern Conference.

    • The Bucks and Raptors take the court Tuesday night in Toronto for Game 4 of their seven-game series with Milwaukee holding a 2-1 edge.

      Bookmakers give the Finals edge to the Warriors, who are -180 against the Bucks according to Sports Book USA.

      Golden State swept the Portland Trail Blazers with an overtime series capper Monday night, with Steph Curry delivering a triple-double in his fifth consecutive 30-point effort. The Warriors played the entire series without ailing forward Kevin Durant, who will have plenty of time to rest his injured calf.

      A Game 7 in the Eastern Conference finals would be played May 27, giving Golden State seven full days off while that series plays out.

      Game 1 of the NBA Finals will be played May 30.

      --Field Level Media