Associated Press

Disgruntled Anthony Davis scores just 3 points, rips team after game

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Anthony Davis doesn’t want to play for New Orleans anymore (he, through his agent, has requested a trade). In a blowout loss Tuesday night, he noticed his teammates might have felt the same way.

“We sucked,” Davis said. “Nobody was interested in playing, is what it looked like.”

Davis scored just three points on 1-of-9 shooting and was thoroughly outplayed by Orlando center Nikola Vucevic as the Magic beat the listless Pelicans 118-88.

“Obviously I missed a lot of shots, a lot of easy shots — layups and stuff that I normally make — early in the game,” Davis added. “But they came out more desperate. They played like they were playing for something, and they showed it.”

Davis played 24 minutes in his third game since his agent told New Orleans the six-time All-Star wanted to be traded to a championship-contending team and won’t sign an extension with the Pelicans.

It was also his third game since returning from an injured left index finger. In his first game back, he had 32 points in a win over Minnesota, but he has averaged 8.5 points over the two games since.

Davis’ scoring output Tuesday was the lowest of his career in any game where he played at least 21 minutes.

The reeling Pelicans (25-33), who’ve lost six of seven, sit in 13th place in the West, six games behind Sacramento for that conference’s final playoff spot with 24 games left.

While the Magic (26-32) remain below .500, they’ve won four straight — including three straight on the road by 16 or more — to pull within a two games of the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spot as the All-Star break approaches.

Vucevic had 25 points and 17 rebounds, Evan Fournier scored 22 points, and Jonathan Isaac scored a career-high 20 points, including 16 in the first quarter, when Orlando raced to a 39-11 lead.

The normally up-tempo Pelicans, who came in averaging almost 116 points per game, shot 38.3 percent (36 of 94) en route to their lowest single-game point total this season.

E'Twaun Moore, who has struggled with injuries this season, scored 19 points in his first start since Jan. 22. Jrue Holiday had 16 for the Pelicans, who briefly got as close as 14 in the middle of the second quarter but trailed by 63-46 at the half.

“It’s definitely embarrassing,” Holiday said of the 30-point loss. “You don’t want to do that anywhere but especially at home.”

Davis’ decision appears to have affected the team.

“What we’re trying to do is just move on from it,” coach Alvin Gentry said. “We need to bury it.

“Whatever our new normal is, we want to get back to that and put all the other stuff behind us and just start playing and trying to win basketball games, and trying to compete and try to get our young players better,” Gentry continued. “That’s all I want to do. That’s it. And I’m not going to talk about it anymore. I’m done talking about it.”

Rumor: Patrick Beverley may meet with five teams before Clippers

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The Los Angeles Clippers want to bring Patrick Beverley back next season, his spark was at the heart of why this team made the playoffs and impressed with their potential.

First, however, the Clippers are going big game hunting for the likes of Kawhi Leonard and/or Kevin Durant (even with the Achilles injury). Beverley isn’t just going to sit around and wait for them, reports longtime NBA reporter Sean Deveney Tweeted.

The Bulls need a point guard and Beverley — a Chicago native — has said he is interested.

The Lakers also are reportedly big game hunting, but Beverley is the kind of guard they could use around LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Phoenix and other teams have been mentioned.

Beverley is going to have options, but he loved his time with the Clippers last season, and that means something.

Pelicans reportedly pick up option year on coach Alvin Gentry

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David Griffin, the guy with the hammer in New Orleans, likes Alvin Gentry. They have a relationship that goes back to Phoenix, where Gentry was the coach and Griffin was in the front office (and was eventually GM).

Gentry also has a style of play — he wants to run and be up-tempo. That should fit very well with soon-to-be No. 1 draft pick Zion Williamson.

So it shouldn’t be a surprise the Griffin and the Pelicans want to keep Gentry around, as reported by Malika Andrews of ESPN.

This is another smart, stabilizing move by Griffin. The Pelicans want to build an athletic, fast-paced team and Gentry is the right coach for that style.  Maybe it doesn’t pan out, maybe the Pelicans ultimately need to go another direction with their coach, but right now this seems a good fit.

Report: Utah “frontrunner” to land Mike Conley Jr. if Memphis trades him this week

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Utah feels like it is close — a 50-win team two seasons in a row, an elite defense, an All-NBA center in Rudy Gobert and an elite shot creator in Donovan Michell. They look at the West next season, with a depleted Warriors team, and see an opening.

Yet when Utah fell to Houston 4-1 in the first round of the playoffs this year, it was reminded of what is keeping the team from being truly elite, and another shot creator and shooter is at the top of that list.

Enter Mike Conley Jr. He averaged 21.1 points and 6.4 assists per game last season, shot 36.4 percent from three, and plays strong defense. Conley would be an upgrade over Ricky Rubio at the spot.

The almost All-Star point guard out of Memphis is available via trade. He’s the kind of veteran floor general, shooter, and shot creator Utah could use. The Jazz and Grizzlies talked but couldn’t come to an agreement at the trade deadline, but the sides are talking again and conversations are “intensifying” in the run-up to the NBA Draft Thursday, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The Grizzlies are intensifying talks to potentially move franchise cornerstone Mike Conley Jr., league sources told The Athletic. Memphis has been in conversations with the Jazz and Utah is a frontrunner to acquire Conley should the Grizzlies trade the point guard during draft week, league sources said.

What would be in a trade package? Certainly the No. 23 pick in this draft, plus some young players the Grizzlies like (maybe Grayson Allen, Royce O’Neal, and even someone like Jae Crowder. Reports say Derick Favors is not part of the discussion.

While anything can happen the week of the draft — and things change quickly — don’t be surprised if some version of this trade gets done.

Kawhi Leonard wins day with last laugh — his viral laugh — at end of speech

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Kawhi Leonard just won again.

He won his second NBA title leading the Toronto Raptors to the franchise’s first crown. He earned his second Finals MVP in the process.

Then on Monday he had the last laugh and won the Raptors’ championship parade in Toronto by ending his speech with his laugh, the same one that went viral at the start of the season.

Of course, what Leonard will do on July 1 was a cloud hanging over the parade, Leonard is a free agent this summer. Kyle Lowry at one point started a “five more years” chant during the parade, which is the maximum number of years Toronto can re-sign Leonard for.

Leonard, exactly as we all should have expected, dodged the question, while praising his time in Toronto.

Unfortunately, this was a parade marred by more serious concerns.