Jaylen Brown

AP

Team World beats Team Africa in 2017 NBA Africa Game, 108-97

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Chalk up another win for Team World.

Saturday’s 2017 NBA Africa Game was the second straight win for Team World, pushing them to 2-0 over Team Africa.

Boston Celtics wing Jaylen Brown lead the way for the World team with 15 points, three rebounds, and three assists. New Orleans Pelicans big man DeMarcus Cousins had 11 points to go along with 10 rebounds and two assists, while Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry scored 13 points in addition to seven rebounds and five assists.

Team Africa was led by Victor Oladipo and Emmanuel Mudiay. Oladipo scored 28 points along with nine rebounds, five assists, and a steal. Mudiay had 22 points, nine assists, and eight rebounds.

The game was a welcome respite from the dog days of Summer, with NBA fans getting a taste of real stars playing in the middle of August. Team World jumped out to a lead in the first half thanks to a 33-point first quarter. Africa made up the difference, winning quarters two and three to draw it to a 77-77 tie at the end of the third quarter.

World came back with a 31-20 final period, with Lowry scoring five points late in the game to help the World team win, 108-97.

Although the World team won the game, Oladipo won MVP honors thanks to his game-leading scoring effort.

Celtics’ Isaiah Thomas will not need hip surgery, according to Danny Ainge

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With Boston watching the foundation crumble in Cleveland, the Celtics need to keep their own house in order — and healthy — to have a shot to dethrone LeBron James and reach the NBA Finals.

One step along that road, having a healthy Isaiah Thomas. Back in May, Thomas visited a specialist about his right hip injury, which he first suffered in March then aggravated in the playoffs, ending his playoffs early. Surgery was on the table as an option.

It’s off now, Celtics president Danny Ainge told the Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach.

Hip surgery has been ruled out for Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas, president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said….

“Isaiah is making good progress,” Ainge said. “He’s out on the court; he’s shooting. He’s full-speed ahead on the stationary bike and working in the swimming pool. He’s progressing nicely.”

This is good news for Boston, Thomas should be ready to start the season. This is also good news for Thomas, who is heading into a contract year.

Thomas had a career year last season, averaging 28.9 points and 5.9 assists per game, while shooting 37.9 percent from three. Thomas made his first All-NBA team last season (second team), as well as being an All-Star for the second time.

Thomas’ name has popped up in trade rumors for Kyrie Irving, but that deal incredibly unlikely. First off, the Celtics would have to send Thomas, Jae Crowder, and a young player such as Jaylen Brown (or Jason Tatum) to the Cavaliers in a trade, and that price is too steep. More importantly, why would Ainge and the Celtics want to help the Cavaliers stay elite? Fans will speculate online, but no way Ainge would send out a lot of quality to help the Cavs.

Jaylen Brown’s #drivebydunkchallenge video is awesome

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I love the drive by dunk challenge (if you prefer, the #drivebydunkchallenge), it would be the best thing on NBA Twitter this summer, if it wasn’t for Kyrie Irving.

But the best one yet comes from Boston’s Jaylen Brown.

He steals the ball, and the best part is the guy who comes over like he’s going to stop Brown from throwing it down.

Was it staged… I don’t want to know.

Paul Pierce wore Nets shorts to final Celtics signing

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Paul Pierce signed with the Celtics to retire, a nice moment.

He made it much more fun.

Jackie MacMullan of ESPN:

He showed up at his old haunt, the Boston Celtics practice facility in Waltham, Massachusetts, wearing a throwback Inglewood T-shirt and a pair of Brooklyn Nets basketball shorts.

“Hey Danny, see this?” said Paul Pierce, tugging at the silver and black of the Nets. “This is where you sent me!”

When the Celtics retire Pierce’s number, I hope Danny Ainge points out Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum to Pierce. Heck, I hope Ainge brings back James Young for the ceremony.

DeMarcus Cousins, Kristaps Porzingis, six All-Stars to play in NBA Africa Game

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NEW YORK (AP) — DeMarcus Cousins of the New Orleans Pelicans, Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors and Kristaps Porzingis of the New York Knicks will play for Team World in the NBA Africa Game.

Dirk Nowitzki and Kemba Walker had already been chosen as captains for Team World. The squad includes Portland’s CJ McCollum, Detroit’s Andre Drummond, Boston’s Jaylen Brown, Denver’s Wilson Chandler, New York’s Courtney Lee and Leandro Barbosa, who most recently played with Phoenix.

The rosters were announced Thursday for the second game featuring players born in Africa and second-generation African players against a team from the rest of the world. It will be played Aug. 5 in Johannesburg.

Team Africa, captained by Luol Deng and Thabo Sefolosha, will be rounded out by Indiana’s Victor Oladipo, Atlanta’s Dennis Schroder, Orlando’s Bismack Biyombo, Houston’s Clint Capela, Minnesota’s Gorgui Dieng, Toronto’s Serge Ibaka, Luc Mbah a Moute, most recently with the Clippers, Denver’s Emmanuel Mudiay and Dallas’ Salah Mejri. Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid, from Cameroon, is on the roster but won’t play because he is recovering from injury.

The game will be played in support of UNICEF, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and SOS Children’s Villages South Africa.