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Moteijunas’ Health Issues May Void Pistons/Rockets Trade

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The deadline trade between the Houston Rockets and Detroit Pistons might be voided because of back issues that have plagued power forward Donatas Motiejunas. The Rockets sent Motiejunas and guard Marcus Thornton to the Pistons on Thursday for a protected 2016 first-round pick. But Motiejunas, who hasn’t played in an NBA game since Dec. 31 because of his recovery from a sore back, is getting looked at closely by Pistons medical officials.

Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy told reporters after Sunday’s loss to the Pelicans that the NBA granted Detroit’s request for an extension to complete the trade. The Pistons had asked the league for an additional 24 hours to the 72-hour trade window to determine if Motiejunas can play for them.

Source: Calvin Watkins of ESPN

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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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Joel Embiid Still Not Cleared for Back-to-Back Games

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Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid said he has not been cleared to play back-to-back games and does not expect to be in the lineup Saturday at Toronto.

Embiid was in the starting lineup for the home opener Friday night against the Boston Celtics, scoring 11 points to go along with 14 rebounds in 28 minutes as Philadelphia lost 102-92. Asked after Friday’s game if he was OK with not playing Saturday night, Embiid replied, “Um I’m not OK with it but we have a plan in place and we have to follow it.”

Source: ESPN

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Dennis Smith Jr. Out for Next Two Games With Knee Injury

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Dennis Smith Jr. will miss at least two games due to swelling in the left knee that the Dallas Mavericks’ prized rookie point guard had surgically repaired two years ago.

Smith was a late scratch before Friday’s loss to the Sacramento Kings and will not travel with the Mavericks for Saturday’s road game against the Houston Rockets.

Source: Tim MacMahon of ESPN

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