Antetokounmpo limps, Greece still rolls into round of 16 at EuroBasket

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MILAN — Greece got another win, and a small scare as well.

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 25 points in 19 minutes before leaving midway through the third quarter with an ankle issue in Greece’s 90-69 win over Estonia in the Group C finale for both teams at the EuroBasket tournament Thursday.

Antetokounmpo was clearly limping after the game, but was able to take part in the postgame on-court celebration and exchanged handshakes with Estonia’s players and coaches.

Greece coach Dimitrios Itoudis said Antetokounmpo got ice and treatment, but did not sound worried.

“It’s all good,” Itoudis said.

Antetokounmpo was 9 for 10 from the field, and in his four group-stage games, he averaged 29.5 points on 58% shooting in 26-1/2 minutes per game.

Kostas Sloukas scored 11 for Greece (5-0).

Siim-Sander Vene led Estonia (1-4) with 19 points. Kerr Kriisa and Janari Joesaar each had 12 and Kristjan Kitsing scored 10.

GROUP C

ITALY 90, GREAT BRITAIN 56

Also at Milan, in a game played about two hours after the death of Queen Elizabeth II was announced, Great Britain’s upset bid was thwarted by a huge closing run from Italy.

Simone Fontecchio scored 18 points for Italy (3-2), which got 13 from Luigi Datome, 11 from Nicolo Melli and 10 from Giampaolo Ricci.

Italy closed the game on a 25-2 run, as Great Britain missed 16 of its final 17 shots over the last 12:43.

Myles Hesson scored 18 points and Carl Wheatle added 12 for Great Britain (0-5).

Italy used 12 players – 11 scored, 11 had a rebound and 11 had an assist.

CROATIA 90, UKRAINE 85

Bojan Bogdanovic’s 3-pointer with 4:19 left put Croatia ahead to stay, and was part of a game-ending 15-6 run for the winners.

Bogdanovic led all scorers with 27 points for Croatia (3-2), while Dominik Mavra scored 13, Krunoslav Simon added 11 and Karlo Matkovic and Ivica Zubac finished with 10 apiece.

Volodymyr Herun led Ukraine (3-2) with 21 points. Bogdan Bliznyuk scored 16, Svi Mykhailiuk added 14 and Issuf Sanon had 11.

GROUP D

CZECH REPUBLIC 88, ISRAEL 77

At Prague, the Czech Republic (2-3) grabbed the last spot in the round of 16 and eliminated Israel (2-3).

Vojtech Hruban scored 25 points, Jan Vesely added 16 and Tomas Satoransky had 14 points and 11 assists for the Czechs, who will meet Greece in the Round of 16.

Yam Madar led Israel with 16 points. Tomar Ginat scored 15, while Deni Avdija and Rafael Menco each had 12.

SERBIA 96, POLAND 69

Nikola Jokic had 19 points in 18 minutes on 7-for-8 shooting, and Serbia (5-0) stayed unbeaten.

Nikola Milutinov scored 16 points, Marko Guduric added 15, Vasilije Micic scored 12, Nikola Kalinic had 11 and Dejan Davidovac finished with 10 for Serbia — which shot 67%.

Michal Michalak scored 17 for Poland (3-2), and Lukasz Kolenda added 10.

FINLAND 88, NETHERLANDS 67

Lauri Markkanen scored 22 points, Shawn Huff scored 14 and Finland (3-2) had no problem in its group-stage finale.

Worthy De Jong capped a strong tournament for him with a 21-point effort for the Netherlands (0-5).

ROUND OF 16 GAMES

SATURDAY: Germany vs. Montenegro, Spain vs. Lithuania, Slovenia vs. Belgium, Turkey vs. France.

SUNDAY: Greece vs. Czech Republic, Finland vs. Croatia, Ukraine vs. Poland, Serbia vs. Italy.

Report: Draymond Green facing potential discipline after fight with Jordan Poole

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Warriors practice got heated on Wednesday and Draymond Green reportedly escalated some chest bumping with Jordan Poole and punches were thrown. The team is now considering internal disciple, according to The Athletic.

When a heated interaction with guard Jordan Poole escalated, Green forcefully struck Poole and needed to be separated swiftly, sources said. Green and Poole came chest-to-chest, with both players pushing and shoving each other prior to Green’s escalation of the physical altercation, those sources said.

The two players had been jawing at each other when it escalated and Green punched Poole, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. There aren’t details of the incident beyond that description (at least so far), although several reporters have confirmed the was a fight and the two had to be broken up. Poole was seen getting up shots after practice when the media was allowed in and reportedly was joking with teammates.

Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports Tweeted out what feels like the Draymond Green camp spin on the incident.

Warriors elder statesman Andre Iguodala Tweeted out this on the situation, wanting to keep it all in the family, and adding that “it broke my heart… but it fixed my vision.”

There is a history of tension between Green and Poole, including a public flare-up between the duo early last season, but the two talked after and smoothed things over. At least for a while.

What punishment Green will face from the team remains to be seen.

Poole is on the verge of an extension to his rookie contract, one where Tylyer Herro just set the market.

Green had hoped for an extension from the Warriors this offseason but there were limited discussions between the parties. Green can opt out of the final year of his contract at the end of this season and become a free agent.

Wizards’ Kispert likely to miss start of season due to sprained ankle

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The Washington Wizards made fewer 3-pointers than any other team in the league last season. They didn’t take a lot (second fewest) and didn’t make the ones they took (fifth lowest percentage). One goal for Wes Unlseld Jr. this season was to change that dynamic, and second-year player Corey Kispert was a big part of that plan.

Now Kispert is out through at least the start of the season, sidelined 4-6 weeks by a sprained ankle, the team announced Wednesday.

The injury happened on a fluke play in Japan against the Warriors, but Kispert shouldn’t miss much time once the real games start. The Wizards are a little short on the wing right now with Kispert joining Deni Avdija (groin injury) in the training room.

Kispert took 62% of his shots from beyond the arc last season and hit 35% of them, both solid numbers but ones Wizards hoped would improve for the 6’6″ wing this season.

Scoot Henderson says he has skills to be No.1 pick but not hung up on it

Metropolitans 92 v G League Ignite
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
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Scoot Henderson came out like a man on a mission Tuesday night against the Metropolitans 92 and Victor Wembanyama — he was in attack mode. He used his explosive athleticism to get to the rim, his impressive body control to get off good shots, and his strength to finish with authority. And if the defender played back, he would drain the jumper over him.

A year ago, Jaylen Brown called him the best 17-year-old he’d ever seen. Scoot is better than that now.

Many years, Henderson would be a clear No.1 overall pick. But, not this year, Wembanyama has that crown because he breaks the mold with his size and skill set (in the NBA, height still wins out).

Kevin O’Conner of The Ringer asked Henderson why he should be the top prospect and got a confident answer.

There will be a lot of people making the Henderson case this season — and with good reason. He could be a franchise cornerstone player for the next decade.

Henderson, however, is trying not to get hung up on No.1 vs. No.2.

There’s a long list of legendary players selected No.2: Bill Russell, Kevin Durant, Jerry West, Jason Kidd, and that is just the tip of the iceberg. Henderson can be one of them.

Unless Wembanyama’s medicals come back with red flags, he is destined to be the No.1 pick next June. That, however, will not be the end of Henderson’s story. Instead, it will be just the beginning.

Doc Rivers says he wants Harden to be ‘a scoring Magic Johnson’

Philadelphia 76ers Media Day
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We’re not in Houston anymore.

James Harden in Philadelphia will not be chasing scoring titles and dominating the game in quite the same way. Instead, he’s been asked to be more of a facilitator — but not too much of one. Doc Rivers told the team at ESPN’s NBA Today he wants scoring to go with the facilitating. Just like one of the all-time greats.

“I think we’ve talked so much about him being a facilitator… I need him to be James Harden too. If I had to combine, I would say a scoring Magic Johnson, I don’t know, but that’s what I want him to be. I want him to be a James Harden, but in that, I want him to also be the facilitator of this basketball team too. So in a lot of ways, his role is growing bigger for our team, and I just want him to keep thinking, ‘Do both.'”

Just play like Magic, no pressure there. For his career, Magic averaged 19.5 points a game (with four over 20 PPG) with 11.2 assists.

Harden can get close enough to Rivers’ lofty goals to make Philly a real threat, so long as defenders still fear his first step and step back. Harden can get his shot and get to the line, and he’s long been a great passer who has averaged 10.5 assists a game over the past two seasons. Now it’s just a matter of finding the balance of when to set up Joel Embiid, when to turn the offense over to Tyrese Maxey, and when to get his own shot.

Philadelphia is a deep team poised to win a lot of regular season games — the Sixers being the top seed in the East is absolutely in play. The questions Harden — and, to a degree, Embiid — have to answer come in May, when the second round of the playoffs start and Harden has faded while Embiid has had poor injury luck. In a deep East with Milwaukee, Boston, and maybe Miami and Brooklyn in the contender mix, there is no margin for error.

A Magic-like Harden would be a big boost for the Sixers in that setting.