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Durant Defends Westbrook’s Late Game Management

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Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant rejected recent criticism directed at teammate Russell Westbrook’s late-game management during the Thunder’s two recent losses in Durant’s absence.

“Who cares what people say?” said Durant, who missed his fourth straight game Thursday. “[He should] just play his game. From watching the last two games, he’s the reason why we had a chance to win — his aggressiveness, getting his teammates involved.

“Sometimes it’s kind of hard in those situations, knowing exactly what to do when teams are making runs and playing you different ways. But I think he’s handled it well. Of course, he’s not going to be great every game, but that’s how the dice rolls sometimes. I think he’s handled it well to lead the team like he’s been doing.”

via Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN

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Report: Earl Watson Fired as Suns Coach

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Phoenix coach Earl Watson has been fired, league sources tell ESPN.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN

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Sources: Jameer Nelson Signs 1-Year Deal With Pelicans

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Free-agent guard Jameer Nelson has agreed to a one-year deal with the New Orleans Pelicans, league sources told The Vertical.

Nelson entered free agency Wednesday, when the Denver Nuggets waived him to create roster space to sign Richard Jefferson and allow second-year guard Jamal Murray to assume the starting point-guard role.

Source: Shams Charania of The Vertical

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Bobby Portis Apologizes to Bulls for Mirotic Fight

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Bobby Portis has apologized to his Bulls teammates for getting into a fight that left Nikola Mirotic with facial fractures and a concussion. “He didn’t address us today, but he did address the team before so that was taken care of,” Bulls swingman Justin Holiday said after Friday’s practice.

Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg acknowledged that Portis’ apology took place during a team meeting but did not want to go into specific details about his message. “I’ll keep that between the team,” Hoiberg said, “as far as exactly what was said in that meeting.”

Source: Nick Friedell of ESPN

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