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Durant: Refs Made Correct Call on Flagrant Foul, Ejection

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Kevin Durant was called for a flagrant foul 2 and was ejected in the Oklahoma City Thunder’s 119-108 Game 4 win over the Dallas Mavericks, his first career postseason ejection and second career ejection.

With 50.6 seconds left, Durant bit on a pump fake by rookie Justin Anderson and swiped at the ball as Anderson went into his shooting motion. Durant’s forearm hit Anderson in the face, and after review, Durant was tagged with a flagrant 2, which leads to an automatic ejection.

“I wasn’t trying to hurt him,” Durant said after the game. “Plenty of plays this season where I blocked shots like that from behind. Just unfortunate I fouled him over the head. It was a flagrant, even though I wasn’t trying to intentionally foul him. The refs had to make a decision and they made the right one. It was just bad timing. I wasn’t trying to hurt him.”

Source: Royce Young of ESPN

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Sources: Mike Budenholzer Withdraws from Suns Head Coach Search

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Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer has withdrawn from consideration for the Phoenix Suns head coaching job, league sources tell ESPN.

Sources: Among the coaching candidates the Suns are still considering: Interim coach Jay Triano, David Fizdale, Steve Clifford, Kevin McHale, Frank Vogel.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

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Sources: Lakers Expected to Pursue Kawhi Leonard in Offseason

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Former Lakers coach and star Byron Scott, for one, said this week that he believes the team has targeted this summer for a quick jump-start rebuild, suggesting that LA will wind up with both Kawhi Leonard and LeBron James this summer.

Around the league, front-office sources agree with at least half that assessment.

“I think they go in hard for Leonard once the season is over and once the dust settles in San Antonio,” one executive told Sporting News. “[Leonard] wants to go to LA. There probably won’t be public demands on that, but he has leverage. He is going to be a free agent [in 2019]. He’s an LA guy and he can just let teams know he won’t re-sign next year with anyone but the Lakers.”

Source: Sean Deveney of Sporting News

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Sources: Stan Van Gundy to Meet with Pistons Owner to Discuss Future

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Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores and president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy have set a meeting for next week to discuss Van Gundy’s future with the franchise, league sources told ESPN.

The two had initially planned to sit down late this week, but the meeting was pushed back, leaving the Pistons organization to await word on how, if at all, the franchise’s structure could be altered.

Most of Van Gundy’s front-office staff, including general manager Jeff Bower, are in the final year of their contracts and are operating without clarity on whether they’ll be employed beyond the spring.

The Pistons were 39-43 in an injury-plagued season that ended with Detroit missing the playoffs for the third time in four years under Van Gundy’s watch. Nevertheless, Van Gundy inherited a franchise stranded in the lottery with few assets on the roster. He is 152-176 with Detroit, where he was hired after eight seasons as head coach of Orlando and Miami.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN

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