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Sources: Houston Still Top Priority for Carmelo Anthony

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Kyrie Irving informed the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier this month that the New York Knicks were one of the teams he would be willing to join. But it seems unlikely at this point that Irving will land in New York.

Here’s why: Carmelo Anthony’s top destination in any trade, per league sources, is the Houston Rockets. Nothing really has changed since ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported more than a week ago that Anthony still expected the Knicks to carry out their previous plan to trade him to Houston.

Now things can evolve quickly in the NBA. Anthony can shift his thinking on his no-trade clause and where he would like to end up at any time. But as of Tuesday night, landing in Houston remained his top priority over all other potential destinations, including the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Source: Ian Begley of ESPN

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LeBron James, Cavaliers Advance to NBA Finals

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For the eighth straight year, [LeBron] James’ team will represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals. But this may have been one of his more remarkable accomplishments.

James helped Cleveland overcome a 3-2 series deficit, winning twice even after Kevin Love — maybe the most capable of his otherwise underwhelming supporting cast — was lost to a concussion early in Game 6.

The Celtics had been a spotless 10-0 this postseason at TD Garden before James & Co. delivered a lone season-ending blemish.

James now has won six straight Game 7s. The Cavaliers are the first team since the 2008 Celtics to win multiple Game 7s to get to the Finals.

Source: Chris Forsberg of ESPN

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Report: Chris Paul Likely Game-Time Decision for Game 7

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Houston Rockets star guard Chris Paul’s status for Monday’s Game 7 of the Western Conference finals will likely be a game-time decision, coach Mike D’Antoni said.

Paul missed the Rockets’ Game 6 loss to the Golden State Warriors due to the right hamstring strain he suffered in the final minutes of Houston’s Game 5 win.

“If I get the nod from the trainers, Chris and the doctors, then he’ll be ready to go,” D’Antoni said in a conference call Sunday evening. “Probably if any of those three disagree, he’s probably not going. So I think it’s a game-time decision, whatever it is, probably doubtful or however they listed it or questionable. They will eventually test it and see if there’s any possibility whatsoever.”

D’Antoni said Paul’s recovery is “going good” but acknowledged that the nine-time All-Star has not attempted to test the hamstring by running or working out since he was injured.

Source: Tim MacMahon of ESPN

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Marcus Smart: ‘I’m worth more than 12-14 million’

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Marcus Smart walked out of the TD Garden, perhaps for the final time, lamenting squandered opportunities and wondering aloud whether he has played his last game as a Boston Celtic.

Smart, who will be a restricted free agent this summer, was told that Boston might not be able — or willing — to afford the $12-14 million a year price tag that he reportedly has been seeking.

“To be honest, I’m worth more than 12-14 million,” Smart told ESPN. “Just for the things I do on the court that don’t show up on the stat sheet. You don’t find guys like that. I always leave everything on the court, every game. Tell me how many other players can say that.”

Source: Jackie MacMullan of ESPN

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