Lou Williams, Patrick Beverley praise Kevin Durant after 50-point game

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LOS ANGELES — What can be done to stop Kevin Durant?

After he dropped 95 points in two games on the Clippers — eliminating Los Angeles with the second performance and sending Golden State on to the second round against Houston — the question was posed to Lou Williams and Patrick Beverley of the Clippers.

“What you think?” Beverley said, to laughter, but challenging the reporter. “You played basketball before? What you think? That’s an honest question. What you think?”

“I promise we tried,” Williams said.

Then came high-level praise from an elite scorer himself in Williams, something that sounded almost like a recruiting pitch to a free agent to be.

“Like sometimes… sometimes you come across special people and it doesn’t matter what you send to them. There’s no scheme,” Williams said. “There’s no nothing that you can do with special people. He’s one of them. And he showed it tonight. He put them guys on his shoulders.

“Even the game he came out, he was, like, I’m Kevin Durant; y’all know who I am. That’s like a bold statement to make when you’re about to go see some guys that’s extremely competitive. And he came out that game and he said, I can really shoot over these guys and he did it. It wasn’t lack of effort on our part.

“He’s an all-world professional and he proved himself. He proved exactly who people think he is, who he thinks he is himself and he did it. And you tip your hat off to a guy like that.”

A “guy like that” is exactly what the Clippers need. An elite player who can take a strong core — something the Clippers showed they have this season then pushing the Warriors six games — and turn them into contenders.

Los Angeles is going big game hunting this season, and their playoff performance against the Warriors was part of that recruiting pitch — “look how good we are, look how much fun we have playing, how hard we go every game, don’t you want to be a part of that?

The Clippers have been most often linked to Kawhi Leonard, and most people around the league think if Leonard leaves the Raptors it will be for the Clippers. However, Durant’s name has come up as a Clippers’ target as well (even though most sources think he is bound for New York). Never hurts to make a little recruiting pitch early.

WNBA suspends Riquna Williams 10 games for domestic violence

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NEW YORK (AP) The WNBA has suspended Los Angeles Sparks guard Riquna Williams 10 games for a domestic violence incident.

The WNBA handed down the suspension Tuesday. Williams was arrested on April 29 and charged with two felony counts, one involving the assault of an individual with whom she was in a relationship and the other involving a threat to another person with a firearm. Her criminal case is ongoing.

The league conducted its own investigation and consulted with a panel of experts in the field of domestic violence. Among other factors, the WNBA said it took into account the nature and seriousness of the allegations, including the involvement of a gun.

The WNBA also will require Williams to participate in counseling.

Williams’ suspension will begin with Thursday’s game against the Dallas Wings.

Report: Bulls signing Luke Kornet for guaranteed $4.5M over two years

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Just three 7-footers have averaged 3.5 3-pointers per game and made 35% of them each of the last two seasons:

The Bulls will now have most of them.

Markkanen is Chicago’s top young player. Kornet will join him with the Bulls next season.

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

I’m a little surprised Kornet got more than his minimum ($3,383,360 over two years). But it’s worth taking a flier on him.

In addition to his outside shooting, Kornet has shown good timing as a shot-blocker in two seasons with the Knicks. The 24-year-old must get stronger and improve as a rebounder to play major minutes.

But the Bulls won’t have to press him into action. They also have Thaddeus Young, Markkanen, Wendell Carter Jr., Daniel Gafford and Cristiano Felicio as bigs.

Pistons claim Christian Wood off waivers

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The Bucks waived Christian Wood late last season to ensure avoiding the luxury tax. The Pelicans claimed him. Wood had played well in limited minutes with the 76ers, Hornets and Bucks and in the NBA’s minor league since going undrafted in 2015.

New Orleans gave him his biggest opportunity yet. In 24 minutes per game over eight games, he averaged 17 points and eight rebounds.

But the Pelicans filled their roster for next season and waived Wood.

Detroit will take advantage.

Pistons release:

The Detroit Pistons announced today that the team has claimed forward/center Christian Wood off waivers.

Wood’s $1,645,357 minimum salary is unguaranteed until the regular season. So, Detroit could still waive him before the season. But it seems he’ll at least go to training camp and get a shot at a regular-season roster spot.

The Pelicans also could’ve kept him through the preseason then waived him before the regular season. They seemingly did him a favor of allowing him to get somewhere he has a realistic chance of sticking.

Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond will start in the frontcourt for the Pistons. Markieff Morris and Thon Maker appear to be first in line is backups.

But don’t be surprised if Wood earns playing time. At minimum, the 23-year-old should provide nice depth at both power forward and center.

The Pistons have also now acquired four members of last year’s Bucks – Tony Snell, Thon Maker, Tim Frazier and now Wood.

Knicks: Reggie Bullock has spine injury

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Reggie Bullock had his agreed-upon salary cut by more than half with the Knicks. He’ll reportedly miss at least a month of the regular season.

All because of a mysterious health issue.

The Knicks have finally disclosed what’s happening.

Knicks release:

Reggie Bullock underwent successful surgery today at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York for a cervical disc herniation. The team will plan to provide an update on his rehab and progress around the start of training camp.

Bullock is a good shooter from the wing. New York could use him. Many teams could use him.

But Bullock must get healthy first.

At this point, we probably shouldn’t expect much from him any time soon. The best indication: how eagerly his agent praised the Knicks for their handling of this situation. Again, Bullock settled for less than half his initially agreed-upon salary.