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NBA notebook: Pacers’ George could return this year

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After suffering a gruesome leg injury last summer, Indianapolis expected Paul George to miss the entire 2014-15 campaign. On Tuesday, team president Larry Bird wasn’t so definite that George wouldn’t play this season.

George recently has participated in light practice and even has been able to dunk.

Bird said he had no clue if George will play, but if George is healthy and says he can play, fans can expect to see him back in action.

George was injured on Aug. 1 during a Team USA scrimmage in Las Vegas. He suffered a compound fracture after crumpling in a heap as he landed awkwardly and crashed into a stanchion at the bottom of the basket as he tried to defend James Harden.

—Los Angeles Clippers guard J.J. Redick is sidelined indefinitely while recovering from back spasms.

Redick left Monday night’s game against the Brooklyn Nets after four minutes when his back began bothering him. He initially injured his back on the last play of a game against the Denver Nuggets a week earlier. Redick sat out last Wednesday’s game against the Utah Jazz and returned to start games against the New Orleans Pelicans and the San Antonio Spurs before the back problem flared up against the Nets.

Redick is averaging 14.4 points per game and shooting 43.2 percent on 3-pointers this

season. He’s scheduled to take part in the 3-point shooting contest at the NBA All-Star Game.

—Kevin Love is struggling lately with his shooting and Cleveland Cavaliers teammate LeBron James believes he know why.

“I think Kev had some shots that he passed up on,” James said. “Maybe he felt that he just wasn’t in a good rhythm. … I think his confidence maybe shooting the ball is a little down.”

During the Cavaliers’ 11-game losing streak, Love is shooting 37 percent from the field and 29 percent on 3-point attempts. He averaged 26.1 points per game last season, which ranked fourth in the NBA, and is at 16.9 this season.

“I’m just doing what’s being asked of me,” Love said. “I think I’ve kind of been doing that all year. I’ve been keeping my head up and keeping positive, glass half-full. And I’m just trying to impact the game in other ways as best I can.”

—NBA commissioner Adam Silver says he has discussed legalized sports gambling with commissioners in other American professional sports.

So far, Silver is the only leader of a major pro sports league to express his support for the legalization of gambling on pro sports in the country.

“I have talked to the commissioners in the other leagues about (legalizing sports betting),” Silver told ESPN The Magazine. “I leave it to them to make any public statements they want to make on it. “I will say that certainly all of them are interested in having a better understanding of the issue, and I know have assigned people in their organizations to study intensively the issue as well.”

–The Oklahoma City Thunder signed veteran forward Nick Collison to a contract extension on Tuesday.

Yahoo Sports reported the deal to be for two years and approximately $7.5 million. Collison’s salary is $2.243 million this season.

The 34-year-old Collison, who was with the franchise before it moved to Oklahoma City from Seattle, is averaging 3.8 points and 3.4 rebounds this season in 16 minutes per game.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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