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Boston Drops Fifth Game in Six Tries

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Celtics coach Brad Stevens was asked if he thought his team had a chance to catch the second-seeded Toronto Raptors. “Hey, we’re four games away from ninth [place],” Stevens said, downplaying any thoughts of a surge. Reporters laughed because, as it turned out, Boston actually owned a six-game buffer over the first spot outside the Eastern Conference playoff picture.

Given that Boston projected with a 99.9 percent chance at making the playoffs, the idea that Stevens would worry about a slide seemed a bit preposterous. On Friday night, the Celtics dropped their fifth game in six tries. Looking uncertain and lacking the swagger that oozed during the team’s hot streak, Boston dropped a 105-91 decision to a Raptors team that it now trails by 8.5 games in the standings.

Source: Chris Forsberg of ESPN

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Joel Embiid Not Happy With Early Minutes Restriction

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The Philadelphia 76ers will be cautious with Joel Embiid early on this season, and the star center isn’t thrilled with that plan.

Sixers coach Brett Brown, when asked how much Embiid would play in Wednesday’s season opener against the Wizards, told reporters that he didn’t have a set number of minutes in mind before acknowledging “somewhere like in the teens.” “That’s f—ing bulls—. I wish I was playing more minutes,” Embiid told reporters on Tuesday. “I think I’m ready. I think I’m ready for more than whatever number they have. I don’t know. I wish I was playing more, but we’re going to see how that goes.”

Source: ESPN

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Report: Bulls’ Mirotic, Portis Involved in Serious Practice Altercation

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Chicago Bulls forwards Nikola Mirotic and Bobby Portis engaged in a physical altercation in practice Tuesday that resulted in Mirotic being hospitalized and sidelined indefinitely, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Mirotic was taken to the hospital Tuesday after their shoving altercation during practice ended with an alleged cheap shot from Portis to Mirotic’s face, league sources told The Vertical.

Source: Shams Charania of The Vertical

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Warriors Receive 2017 Championship Rings, Unveil Banner

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The Golden State Warriors held their much-anticipated ring ceremony prior to tipoff against the Houston Rockets on opening night. Commissioner Adam Silver started the event by introducing the 2016-17 champions.

The Larry O’Brien Trophy was stationed at center court, with the players camped around it. The Warriors wore white and gold hoodies, which will be signed by the players and auctioned off with the proceeds going to the Bay Area wildfire relief efforts.

Source: Chris Haynes of ESPN

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