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LeBron James, James Harden Named Players of the Month

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The Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James and the Houston Rockets’ James Harden today were named the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month, respectively, for games played in October and November.

James ranked third in the NBA in scoring (28.0 ppg) and fourth in assists (8.5 apg) for the Cavaliers (15-7), who finished November on a 10-game winning streak.  The 13-time All-Star shot 58.4 percent from the field, the second-highest mark of his career through 22 games of a season.  James also shot 42.5 percent from three-point range, his third-best percentage through 22 games.  The 6-8 forward, who also averaged 8.1 rebounds, was the only player in the league to average at least 25.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 8.0 assists.  In a 130-122 victory at the Washington Wizards on Nov. 3, the four-time Kia NBA MVP became the seventh player in NBA history to reach the 29,000-point mark, as well as the youngest at 32 years and 308 days.

Harden paced the NBA in scoring (31.5 ppg), assists (9.8 apg), three-pointers made (94) and free throws made (168) for the Western Conference-leading Rockets (17-4), who produced the third-best start in franchise history.  The 2016-17 Kia NBA MVP runner-up shot 45.1 percent from the field, 40.3 percent from three-point range and 86.6 percent from the free throw line.  Harden scored at least 20 points in all 21 games, the longest season-opening streak since James in 2012-13 (first 33 games).  On Nov. 5, the 28-year-old guard scored a career-high 56 points in a 137-110 win over the Utah Jazz.

Source: NBA.com

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Dirk Nowitzki: ‘It’s looking like’ a Return Next Season

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Losing is no fun for Dirk Nowitzki. But waking up and going to the gym still is.

Heck, even watching film? Still is.

While the losses have mounted in a season that has been hard to watch at times, but promising at other moments, Nowitzki opened up on Thursday and said that the 8-20 record going into Thursday’s game at Golden State has not dampened his enthusiasm.

Not for this season. Or next season.

“I’m not going to say 100 percent I’ll be back — but it’s looking like it,” Nowitzki said after the Mavericks had a morning walk-through at the Olympic Club in downtown San Francisco. “I feel fine so far. I’ve played every game. I’d love to play all 82. That would be amazing at [age] 39. We’ll see how the body feels. But so far, it’s been fine.”

Source: Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News 

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Jahlil Okafor: ‘I feel like I got drafted all over again’

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Jahlil Okafor understands the importance of timing.

It’s been a year since he’s had consistent playing time, but appreciates the patient approach the Nets staff is taking towards getting him acclimated with the team. The former No. 3 pick of the 2015 NBA Draft explained that it’s on him to show that he’s ready to contribute.

“Just preparing as hard as I can, working as hard as I can, so I know when my time comes, I’ve prepared in every way,” Okafor explained on Wednesday after practice. “It’s kind of a mental thing, you feel good about yourself. You feel good about the work you put in. Hopefully, that translates to the floor.”

“I feel like I got drafted all over again,” he said. “They’re really invested in me. That just makes me feel wanted, it makes me feel a part of this team.”

Source: Brooklyn Nets

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Report: Mirza Teletovic Out Indefinitely with Pulmonary Emboli in Both Lungs

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Milwaukee Bucks forward Mirza Teletovic will be sidelined as a result of pulmonary emboli in both lungs. Teletovic’s condition was discovered when consulting with Bucks team physicians after he experienced unusual fatigue earlier this week. Following a 10-day rest period, Teletovic will begin his supervised rehabilitation program and updates on his condition will be provided when appropriate.

Teletovic, 32, has missed the last 16 games, including 10 after successful arthroscopic surgery to repair cartilage in his left knee on Nov. 21. The surgery was performed by Dr. David Altchek at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York under the supervision of Bucks team physician Dr. William Raasch.

In 10 games this season, Teletovic is averaging 7.1 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.0 assist in 15.9 minutes per game while shooting 46.7 percent from 3-point range.

Source: Milwaukee Bucks

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