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Paul George scores 26 as Pacers beat Pistons, 105-90

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AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) Paul George scored 26 points, Jeff Teague had 19 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, and the Indiana Pacers beat the Detroit Pistons 105-90 on Saturday.

The Pacers had six players score in double figures and shot 48 percent from the field while stopping a two-game slide. Glenn Robinson III had 12 points and 12 rebounds, and Thaddeus Young also scored 12 points on 6-for-8 shooting.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 20 points for Detroit, and Reggie Jackson finished with 19 points and 10 assists. Tobias Harris added 13 points, and Andre Drummond grabbed 15 rebounds.

The Pistons shot 38 percent from the field in their third loss in four games.

Detroit jumped out to an early nine-point lead, but George hit a 3-pointer to help Indiana to a 27-26 lead after one.

The Pacers kept up the pressure in the second quarter and led 55-44 at the break. George and Teague each scored 14 in the first half.

Indiana opened a 64-45 lead on Teague’s jumper in the third. Detroit cut the deficit to 11 late in the period, but George’s 3-pointer gave Indiana an 83-69 advantage heading to the fourth.

TIP-INS

Pacers: Rodney Stuckey (sore left hamstring) and Monte Ellis (right groin strain) did not play.

Pistons: Detroit allowed an opponent to score more than 100 points at the Palace for the first time this season, snapping a 12-game streak. It was the Pistons’ longest such stretch to begin a season since 2003-04. … Reggie Bullock (left knee) did not play. … Detroit is 8-5 at home after starting the season 5-0.

UP NEXT

Pacers: At home Monday vs. Washington.

Pistons: At Chicago on Monday.

LeBron James: ‘I still got Pandora with commercials’

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Dwyane Wade revealed last year that LeBron James refuses to use his phone internationally unless he’s on Wi-Fi.

LeBron’s friend and new Cavaliers teammate again brought up that claim, and LeBron confirmed – then went even further about his own cheapness.

LeBron in a joint interview with Wade on ESPN:

No. I’m not doing that. I’m not turning on data roaming. I’m not buying no apps. I still got Pandora with commercials.

LeBron – he’s just like us!

As funny as that line is, keep watching to see LeBron hilariously explain how his hairline affects his interviews.

PBT Extra: LeBron as MVP and other NBA postseason award predictions

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Last year, Russell Westbrook had a historic season on his way to the MVP award, with James Harden and Kawhi Leonard right on his heels. But heading into this season, the dynamic for MVP — and many of the NBA awards — feels very different and wide open.

In this latest PBT Extra, I lay out my preseason predictions for every award — LeBron James for MVP, Ben Simmons for Rookie of the Year, and on down the list. There are a few leaps and surprises in there (predicting Most Improved or Sixth Man before the season is a crap shoot, so why not gamble).

Now the predictions season is over, let’s get on to the games.

Jazz: Dante Exum undergoing surgery after shoulder injury

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Jazz point guard Dante Exum hurt his shoulder in a preseason game – an injury that immediately looked like it could be season-ending.

Though Utah doesn’t outright say Exum is done for the year, this doesn’t engender much hope.

Jazz release:

The following is a medical update on Utah Jazz guard Danté Exum who suffered a separated left shoulder on October 6 vs. Phoenix.

After further evaluation, Exum (6-6, 190, Australia) has elected to undergo surgery to stabilize the AC joint of his left shoulder. The surgery is scheduled to take place Tuesday, October 24 in Los Angeles. Further updates will be provided when appropriate.

Exum (obviously) didn’t receive a contract extension before today’s deadline, so he’ll become a free agent next summer. After one full missed season already and two years of limited effectiveness, it’s not even clear Utah will extend Exum a qualifying offer to make him a restricted free agent. The former No. 5 pick almost certainly won’t meet the starter criteria, which means his qualifying offer would be worth $4,333,931 (down from $6,619,903 based on his draft slot).

The Jazz will start Ricky Rubio, and Raul Neto will be the primary point guard behind him. Wings Rodney Hood, Alec Burks, Donovan Mitchell and Joe Ingles can all share facilitating duties.

Utah will probably be just fine without Exum this season, which speaks to his marginal place long-term.

Sprained ankle has LeBron James questionable for opener vs. Celtics

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INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) — LeBron James‘ playing status for Tuesday’s season opener against Boston remains unclear.

James has been slowed by a sprained left ankle for more than two weeks and it’s still not known whether he’ll be on the floor when the Cavaliers take on the Celtics and Kyrie Irving, who asked to be traded by Cleveland this summer.

Following Monday’s practice, Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said “I really don’t know” when asked if James will play.

James took part in some post-practice shooting drills with teammates. He did not speak with the media as the Cavaliers prepared for their opener, a rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference finals.

James has never missed an opener in his NBA career, and teammate J.R. Smith doesn’t expect him to miss this one.

“Oh, he’s going to go,” Smith said. “He’s going to go, trust me that. I don’t care what he’s got to do, he’s going to play.”