NBA News Wire

NBA roundup: James, Irving have healthy exchange

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Cleveland Cavaliers stars LeBron James and Kyrie Irving exchanged words in what was termed a healthy discussion in the locker room following Tuesday’s loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, reported.

Irving left without speaking to the media following the game.

“There’s a lot of bad habits, a lot of bad habits been built up the past couple years,” James told the media after Tuesday’s game. “When you play that style of basketball, it takes a lot to get it up out of you.”

According to the report, James told Irving on Tuesday of his concerns regarding the direction of the Cavs’ offense. James scored 11 points against the Blazers and did not score in the second half.

James and Irving discussed the fact that Irving, the team’s point guard, has dominated the ball in games this season. Irving is averaging 3.8 assists this season. He scored 34 points in the 102-100 loss Wednesday to the Jazz but had no assists in 45 minutes of court time.

The Cavs had assists on only six of their 30 field goals Wednesday, the lowest assist percentage by a James team in his career.

— Cavaliers backup point guard Matthew Dellavedova has been diagnosed with a Grade II MCL sprain in his left knee and could miss up to six weeks, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.

Dellavedova was injured in Tuesday’s loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. If he is out for six weeks, Dellavedova will miss about 17 games.

—San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich decided to keep guard Manu Ginobili and forward Tim Duncan out of the lineup for Thursday’s game against the unbeaten Houston Rockets.

Three other Spurs players — guard Marco Belinelli (mild strain, right groin), guard Patty Mills (right shoulder surgery) and Tiago Splitter (tightness, right calf) — are listed as being out for the game as well.

Duncan and Ginobili are also on the list of players out for Thursday’s game, and in both cases “rest” is the reason the Spurs reported for their Thursday absence.

—Golden State Warriors forward David Lee will not to play in the team’s next two games against the Houston Rockets and the Phoenix Suns after aggravating his strained left hamstring Wednesday, coach Steve Kerr said. Lee might miss additional games as well.

–The NBA has granted the Oklahoma City Thunder a hardship exemption, which is expected to lead to the signing of guard Ish Smith, multiple media outlets reported.

Smith, 26, probably will be in uniform for Friday’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies. He was waived by the Houston Rockets on Oct. 27.

— The Indiana Pacers gave up trying to sign guard Gal Mekel because of complications with Mekel’s visa and instead signed free-agent guard A.J. Price.

The Pacers have a need for backcourt help with injuries to guards Rodney Stuckey (foot), George Hill (knee) and C.J. Watson (foot).

The Pacers were granted a hardship exception to sign a 16th player to their roster, and the Pacers had Mekel in mind, according to an report. But the team learned the Israeli point guard’s visa likely would not be renewed until Friday.