Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant will miss Game 1 of the Western Conference finals against the visiting Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday due to a right calf strain, ESPN said Monday.
ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reported that the two-time NBA Finals MVP will not be reevaluated until Thursday, leaving his status for Thursday night’s Game 2 up in the air.
Injured during Wednesday’s Game 5 win against Houston, the 30-year-old forward did not travel to Texas for Game 6 on Friday when Golden State finished off the Rockets with a 118-113 victory.
A 10-time All-Star, Durant is averaging a league-high 34.2 points this postseason with 5.2 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 1.2 steals in 11 games.
–The Cleveland Cavaliers signed John Beilein to a reported five-year contract to be their new head coach, ending his 12 years at the University of Michigan.
The 66-year-old coach informed players and staff at Michigan he was moving on in a meeting Monday morning, prompting a message of thanks from the Wolverines’ athletic department after guiding the program to four Big Ten titles and a pair of Final Fours.
The Cavaliers are back in the NBA draft lottery on Tuesday seeking another cornerstone for the franchise after narrowly missing the worst record in the league in their first season without LeBron James since his return from Miami. The Cavaliers, Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks all have a 14-percent chance to land the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft.
–Head coach Brett Brown and forward Jimmy Butler shook off questions about their long-term plans with the Philadelphia 76ers in the immediate aftermath of a Game 7 loss Sunday to the Toronto Raptors.
Brown, rumored to be on the hot seat if the 76ers didn’t advance to the conference finals, invited reporters to address general manager Elton Brand and team ownership about anything “internal,” including his standing with the 76ers. Team owner Josh Harris was noncommittal in April when asked about Brown’s hold on the job, sparking speculation the franchise was ready to move in another direction.
Whether Butler, a pending free agent, will be around for the next phase of the “process” is up in the air. “I’m not worried about that right now,” Butler said. “I don’t want to talk about anything besides basketball.”
–Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr., who missed the 2018-19 season while recovering from a second surgery on his lumbar spine in July, told NBA.com he is ready to play in the NBA Summer League this year.
The 6-foot-10 Porter was considered a potential No. 1 overall pick when he signed with Missouri for the 2017-18 season, but a back injury cost him most of his freshman season and he slid to No. 14 in the 2018 draft. The 20-year-old did not participate in the 2018 Summer League.
The Nuggets were eliminated in the Western Conference semifinals on Sunday night, falling 100-96 in Game 7 to the Portland Trail Blazers. The NBA Summer League will be held July 5-15 in Las Vegas.
–Phoenix Suns forward Josh Jackson is facing a felony charge of escape after being arrested at a weekend music festival in Miami Gardens, Fla.
Jackson, who averaged 11.5 points and 4.4 rebounds per game in 79 games (29 starts) during his second season with the Suns in 2018-19, allegedly attempted to enter the VIP area at the Rolling Loud festival multiple times without a proper pass, reported Andy Slater of 640 The Hurricane in Miami. After police handcuffed the 6-foot-8 Jackson, he ran away, per the report.
Miami-Dade County police records obtained by Arizona Sports confirm that the 22-year-old was arrested Saturday on a felony charge of escape and a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest without violence. He was released after posting a $1,000 bond that same day and has a hearing date scheduled for June 10.
–Field Level Media