Associated Press

Stephen Curry’s hot hand sends Warriors past Oladipo-less Pacers for 11th in row

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Stephen Curry‘s first-half shooting clinic was virtually flawless.

His championship teammates pitched in, too.

Curry scored 23 of his 26 points in the first half Monday and Golden State ran away with a 132-100 rout at Indiana for its league-leading 11th consecutive victory. The two-time defending champions still aren’t satisfied.

“I feel like we can,” Curry said when asked if the Warriors can get even better. “We’re not playing perfect basketball, by any stretch, but we’re playing consistent, focused basketball and we’re still working out some kinks with rotations and stuff like that.”

It’s a scary thought for the rest of the league, especially after the two-time MVP turned in another head-turning performance.

Curry made his first eight shots and his first six 3-pointers, including a demoralizing 27-foot buzzer-beater that gave the Warriors a 69-48 halftime lead. He finished 10 of 13 from the field with six rebounds, three assists and two steals in just 27 minutes. About the only thing he didn’t do well was celebrate Klay Thompson‘s huge dunk.

DeMarcus Cousins had a season-high 22 points on a night five players scored in double figures and the Warriors had 39 assists.

And all that came on the final leg of a five-game road trip without Draymond Green, who rested, and against the league’s No. 1 scoring defense.

“I was a little worried about this game. Everybody’s anxious to get home,” coach Steve Kerr said. “But we finished off the trip the right way. We’ve been more dialed in the last month than we have all season.”

Golden State has won a league-high 10 consecutive road games and swept a five-game trip for the first time since November 2014.

The Pacers played without All-Star guard Victor Oladipo, who had season-ending surgery on his right knee Monday, and Tyreke Evans, Oladipo’s replacement, because of a sore back. But even at full strength, they may have struggled to weather the Warriors’ flurry.

Indiana gave up a season-high 40 points in the first quarter, and never got closer than 16 after Curry broke a 16-16 tie by scoring eight points to start a decisive 24-6 quarter-closing run en route to its most lopsided loss this season.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that this team is going on the up track,” Pacers guard Darren Collison said. “I think we saw tonight, playing against a team like that, how to execute and we can take something from that.”

Myles Turner scored 16 points and Bojan Bogdanovic had 15 but Indiana lost for the second straight time since Oladipo was injured last week. It was the Pacers’ worst loss this season.

Magic Johnson congratulates Lakers, Rob Pelinka, on Anthony Davis trade

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Magic Johnson left the Los Angeles Lakers under inauspicious terms. Turn the last game of the season, the Lakers great announced that he would be resigning his position effective immediately. In an extended hallway interview, Johnson said that he hadn’t even informed close friend and Lakers owner Jeanie Buss.

Now Magic is back to his old tricks, flashing his pearly white smile on television and tweeting banal observations about the NBA.

Johnson was supposed to be part of the team that got New Orleans Pelicans big man Anthony Davis to Staples Center. He couldn’t get the deal done, and things reportedly got testy between the two organizations during the regular season.

The Lakers were able to finally trade for Davis in an agreed-upon deal on Saturday. The trade reportedly won’t be completed until July 6th, but all indications are that Davis will be a Laker.

To that end, Johnson is apparently quite happy. He took to social media to congratulate Buss and the organization on Saturday. Eventually — surprisingly — he even gave props to Rob Pelinka.

Via Twitter:

The Pelicans got a great haul for Davis, and the Lakers got what they wanted in another star to pair with LeBron James.

It’s unclear if Los Angeles will be able to build a roster around their two stars enough to contend deep into the Western Conference playoffs. That’s still up for debate, and health will be a serious question as they try to rely on an aging James and a shaky Davis.

Still, the Lakers are headed in the direction they would like and with the West now more in question than ever. We don’t know what’s happening with the Golden State Warriors, and the Houston Rockets could be in full teardown mode as they look to ditch Chris Paul.

We’re headed into the summer and there’s a bit of daylight for fans in L.A.

Report: Celtics wouldn’t include Jayson Tatum in Anthony Davis trade talks

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Anthony Davis is headed to the Los Angeles Lakers. The New Orleans Pelicans got a significant haul in exchange for their beleaguered star, and LeBron James is openly happy his team finally got the player they wanted all along.

Other favorites to land Anthony Davis this offseason were the Boston Celtics and the New York Knicks. Danny Ainge had to wait until after July 1 to make a trade for Davis thanks to some special CBA rules regarding Kyrie Irving‘s contract.

But that no longer appears to be on the table, in part because Boston decided not to offer Jayson Tatum in any deal for Davis. Thought to be the crown jewel of any potential Celtics-Pelicans trade, there was also concern by Ainge that Davis would not re-sign in Beantown.

Via Twitter:

This runs contrary to everything we’ve heard about Boston going after Davis. Ainge has always been one to leverage his assets in a way that’s less conservative than other team execs. Plus, the reports have been that the Celtics were not concerned about Davis re-signing. Perhaps Davis gave them a little extra information, telling them directly that he would not re-sign? Davis’ agent Rich Paul said as much publicly, but what’s posturing and what’s negotiating isn’t one in the same.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Pelicans and Lakers will complete the deal on July 6. There’s a lot of time before we hit that date, and Pelicans leader David Griffin won’t back out of his deal with L.A. But the fact there’s still time on the table and the Celtics didn’t change their tune on Tatum tells us all the information we need to know.

Rumor: LeBron James hoping Kyrie Irving might join Lakers despite Nets talk

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The Anthony Davis trade saga is finally over. The deal between the New Orleans Pelicans and Los Angeles Lakers hasn’t been completed yet, and is expected to be done on July 6.

For now, L.A. can move its attention elsewhere to look for another star. The Lakers will have significant cap space — $23.7 million, according to Adrian Wojnarowski and Bobby Marks — and they’ll need another star.

Talk recently has been that former LeBron James running mate Kyrie Irving is headed to the Brooklyn Nets. But no deal is officially in place, and free agency hasn’t started. According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, there are folks in LeBron’s camp who are hopeful that Irving could still join L.A.

Via The Athletic:

Just days before the Davis deal was done, a source close to James indicated some optimism that – Nets noise be darned – Irving was still in play for the Lakers.

Remember, Irving and James had a heart-to-heart talk earlier in the season. They hashed out what happened in Cleveland, with Irving apologizing to James for how he acted as a younger man.

That sparked speculation that Irving could be looking to join LeBron with the Lakers this summer when he had the ability to opt out of his contract with the Boston Celtics.

We haven’t even reached the 2019 NBA draft yet, and already free agency is ramping up and getting crazy. This July is going to be wild, and until the music stops and the butts are in the seats, don’t count anyone as being a sure thing for any team just yet.

There’s already an Anthony Davis Lakers mural up in Los Angeles (PHOTO)

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Anthony Davis isn’t in Los Angeles yet. In fact the trade between the Los Angeles Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans hasn’t been completed, and reportedly won’t be completed until July 6.

But that doesn’t mean that Lakers fans aren’t already anticipating his arrival.

On Instagram Sunday, Venice muralist Gustavo Zermeño Jr. posted an incredible new rendering of Davis, draped in Forum blue and gold.

Via Twitter:

Zermeño is the artist who painted one of the LeBron James murals that was defaced in L.A. last summer.

The Lakers did nothing right last season, and are a train wreck of an organization. Despite that, they have landed one of the best players in the NBA and if he can stay healthy they should be able to find their way back to the playoffs next season. There’s lots of work to do on this Lakers roster, and as much as people want to jump to conclusions, it’ll take some filling out before they’re contenders.

Davis is a step in the right direction, but this whole thing could go in the direction of “Now This Is Going To Be Fun” very quickly.

Never put it past Lakers fans to go all in. Less than 24 hours from the announcement of the trade and we already have a mural of Davis.