Your daily Shaq update: Maybe Game 4, maybe not

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UPDATE 3:42 pm: From the Department of Redundancy Department, we have an update on our update:

Shaq traveled with the team to New York, according to A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN New England. Based on what Doc Rivers said before, that makes Shaq questionable for Game 4 on Easter Sunday. Which is a lot better than where he has been (and paves way for easy resurrection headlines in New York tabloids).

12:55 pm: In today’s episode of “as Shaq’s Achilles turns”….

Thursday morning Shaquille O’Neal was going to get another workout today and while he was out for Game 3 for sure, maybe he could play Game 4.

Here’s Doc Rivers as quoted by the Boston Herald:

“He’s going to try to go tomorrow. I just don’t see it,” Rivers said of a scheduled Shaq workout for tomorrow before the team boards its early afternoon charter flight. “I’m just going to be a real doctor right now and say I doubt it. But he is going to try to do some things tomorrow and we’ll see.

“He’s had some improvement but I don’t know how much,” said Rivers. “I just go by what Eddie (trainer Lacerte) and (Dr. Brian) McKeon tell me. They said he’s had some improvement so I’ll relay that onto you guys. I’m not sure yet if he makes the trip. It depends on what’s best. If you see him on a trip that means he’s really close. That means we think he’ll play Sunday.”

If you really want to play connect the dots, Shaq’s girlfriend, Nicole “Hoopz” Alexander, was on WEEI saying the two of them were going to New York. Now, going and going officially with the team are different things, but Celtics fans are grasping at straws.

Ugly as it may be at times, the Celtics can get by the Knicks without Shaq. They need him back for Miami in the next round. Rushing him back too fast and aggravating an injury could cause another setback, which would be worse than waiting a few more days.

But that is where things stand. Now we return you to your regularly scheduled programing.

Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns out 4-6 weeks with calf strain

Minnesota Timberwolves v Washington Wizards
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It’s not good news, but it looked like it could have been much worse.

Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns is out for weeks with a right calf strain, the team announced Tuesday following an MRI exam. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports it is likely 4-6 weeks.

The injury occurred midway through the third quarter Monday when Towns started to run back upcourt and went to the ground without contact, grabbing his knee and calf. It looked scary — Achilles scary — and he had to be helped off the court.

Towns has averaged 21.4 points and 8.5 rebounds a game, and while his numbers are down this season — just 32.8% on 3-pointers — the team has struggled at times without him, particularly lineups with Rudy Gobert and Anthony Edwards together, an -11.8 net rating (in non-garbage time minutes, via Cleaning the Glass).

Kevin Durant on chasing MVP: ‘Not really, I’ve been there, done that’

Orlando Magic v Brooklyn Nets
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Kevin Durant carried the Nets to another win Monday night, scoring 45 points on 19-of-24 shooting, plus seven rebounds and five assists.

If you’re having an MVP conversation a quarter of the way into the NBA season, Durant has to be part of it: 30 points per game on 54.8% shooting (and a ridiculous 65.9 true shooting percentage), 6.6 rebounds and 5.5 assists a game, plus playing solid defense and being the anchor of the Nets. After his 45-point outing to get Brooklyn a win over Orlando, Durant was asked about MVP chants and the chase for the award and was clearly not interested.

Durant has MVP numbers, but so do Stephen Curry, Luka Doncic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jayson Tatum and others. If Durant is going to move to the front of the conversation, the first thing that has to happen is Brooklyn has to win a lot more games — 11-11 is not going to cut it when Tatum’s Celtics and Antetokounmpo’s Bucks have the two best records in the NBA. Winning games and finishing on a top-three team in the conference matters to some voters (and traditionally is one measure of an MVP).

Watch Herb Jones inbound off Pokusevski’s back, seal win for Pelicans

Oklahoma City Thunder v New Orleans Pelicans
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With 2.3 seconds left in the game and the Thunder down 2, they needed to steal the inbounds pass from New Orleans to have a real chance. That’s why when Aleksej Pokusevski walked on the court it looked like he was going to guard the inbounder, Herbert Jones.

Instead, Pokusevski turned his back to Jones, putting himself in position to step in front of anyone cutting to the ball to catch the inbounds. Except, Jones made the clever play to seal the game.

Pokusevski fouled Jones, who sank both free throws and sealed the 105-101 Pelicans win.

The Pelicans got 23-8-8 from Zion Williamson and picked up a win without CJ McCollum or Brandon Ingram in the lineup. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander continued his dominant start to the season and scored 31.

Watch Lakers fan drain half-court shot to win $75,000

Indiana Pacers v Los Angeles Lakers
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It might have been the loudest the crypto.com Arena was all night.

Between the third and fourth quarters, Lakers fan Jamie Murry of Downey won $75,000 draining a half-court shot — and he got to celebrate with Anthony Davis.

Murry’s celebration is the best part — with Anthony Davis coming out to celebrate with him (and seeming a little shocked by the hug).

One other big shot fell at this game, but Lakers’ fans didn’t like it as much — Pacers’ rookie Andrew Nembhard drained a game-winning 3-pointer as time expired.