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Knicks’ Derrick Rose Fined For Absence From Team

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New York Knicks point guard Derrick Rose said he left the team before Monday’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans due to “a family issue” involving his mother. “It had nothing to do with the team or basketball,” Rose said after returning to the Knicks on Tuesday. “That’s the first time I ever felt like that emotionally and I had to be with my family.”

Rose said he left the club without permission shortly after morning shootaround on Monday. He flew to Chicago, his hometown. “I didn’t want any distractions to the team, especially what we have going on right now and I apologized to them, just letting them know it will never happen again,” said Rose, who was fined an undisclosed amount for his absence. “This wasn’t me. This never happened to me before and I explained that to the team and the front office.” Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said the organization accepted Rose’s account of the absence. “His explanation with the family is totally understandable,” the coach said.

Source: Ian Begley of ESPN

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Jimmy Butler (Knee) Sits Out T-Wolves Win Over Raptors

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Jimmy Butler sat out Minnesota’s 115-109 victory Saturday night against Toronto with a sore right knee.

Butler is averaging 21.7 points per game for the revamped Timberwolves, who entered with the fourth-best record in the Western Conference. Minnesota had lost two straight before hosting the Raptors. Nemanja Bjelica started in Butler’s place.

Source: ESPN

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Celtics’ Kyrie Irving Set to Return From Shoulder Injury

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Boston Celtics All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving went through the team’s entire off-day practice Saturday and expects to return to game action Sunday against the Orlando Magic after missing one game due to a sore shoulder.

Irving sat out Thursday’s loss to the Philadelphia 76ers after undergoing tests on a shoulder that had been bothering him recently. An MRI revealed no structural damage, but Irving will continue getting treatment even as he returns to game action.

Source: Chris Forsberg of ESPN

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LeBron After Loss to OKC: We Can Get Bounced Early in Playoffs

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Following one of the most inept defensive performances in Cavaliers history, LeBron James said his team looked primed for a short postseason appearance, barring any changes.

The Cavs fell 148-124 to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday, tying a franchise record for most points allowed in regulation. They are 3-9 since Christmas Day. “Playoffs? We can’t even start thinking about that, not the way we’re playing right now,” James said. “We could easily get bounced early in the playoffs if they started next weekend. Haven’t even began thinking about the postseason.”

Source: Dave McMenamin of ESPN

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