Team LeBron took home a victory in the 2019 NBA All-Star Game, beating Team Giannis 178-164 on Sunday. 

Kevin Durant is happy Kristaps Porzingis is in "a better spot" after being traded by the New York Knicks but remained guarded on questions about his own future.

Two-time NBA champion Durant stopped talking to the media following the deal that sent Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks, which led to claims the Knicks will try to sign him as one of two max-contract additions in the offseason.

The Golden State Warriors forward last week issued a heated response to persistent questions about his impending free agency, telling reporters to "grow up".

When asked about the Porzingis trade during his media availability as part of the 2019 NBA All-Star weekend, Durant said: "I play basketball for the Warriors and my main concern is to be the best basketball player I can be every day.

"I have no concern about trade moves or transactions throughout the season with other teams. That does not concern me and has nothing to do with me.

"I'm glad Porzingis is in a better spot, for him, in Dallas. I'm looking forward to seeing him and Luka [Doncic] play together for years to come."

On people who think he will leave Warriors, Durant added: "That's on them. I'll figure it out once we get to that point."

Durant is averaging 27.6 points and seven rebounds per game this season, helping the Warriors, who are top of the Western Conference, reach a 41-16 record.

The 2019 All-Star Game is almost here.

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James and Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo completed the draft last week. James selected Kevin Durant with his top choice and Antetokounmpo followed by picking Stephen Curry.

Three of James' first four picks were impending free agents while Antetokounmpo chose multiple first-time All-Stars.

The game will be played at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina on Sunday. Here are some Opta numbers to know about the matchup.

 

Complete rosters

Team LeBron: Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, James Harden, Anthony Davis, Klay Thompson, Damian Lillard, Ben Simmons, LaMarcus Aldridge, Karl-Anthony Towns, Bradley Beal, Dwyane Wade.
Team Giannis: Stephen Curry, Joel Embiid, Paul George, Kemba Walker, Khris Middleton, Nikola Jokic, Russell Westbrook, Blake Griffin, D'Angelo Russell, Nikola Vucevic, Kyle Lowry, Dirk Nowitzki.

Team comparison (Team LeBron-Team Giannis)

Combined All-Star appearances: (81-52)
Combined points: (15,923-14,326)
Combined rebounds: (4,783-5,159)
Combined assists: (3,360-3,681)
Field goals attempted: (11,681-10,881)
Field goals made: (5,703-5,116)
Three-pointers attempted: (3,694-3,829)
Three-pointers made: (1,409-1,394)

– James will be playing in his 15th All-Star game. He will tie Kobe Bryant and former San Antonio Spurs star Tim Duncan for the second most appearances in NBA history.

– James will enter Sunday's contest with 343 All-Star game points. That is already the most by any player. He also holds the record for most field goals made and attempted.

– Dwyane Wade needs three steals to become just the fourth player ever to tally 30 or more in their All-Star careers. Bryant, Michael Jordan and Isiah Thomas are the only three others to reach that mark.

– The players with the top six individual scoring averages in All-Star history will appear in the game on Sunday. They are: James (24.5), New Orleans Pelicans forward Davis (24.5), Oklahoma City Thunder guard Westbrook (24.4), Golden State Warriors forward Durant (24.3), Detroit Pistons forward Griffin (21.8) and Thunder forward George (20.8).

– James was also a captain in last year's game, which was the first that did not feature the East against West format. He scored 29 points to lead his squad to a 148-145 victory over Team Curry. The 293 combined points were the fewest since the 2013 game.

– Warriors sharpshooter Curry has made just 33.9 per cent of his three-point attempts in All-Star games. Celtics guard Irving is fourth all-time in that category at 48.4 per cent.

Golden State Warriors stars Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant empathised with Steve Kerr after the head coach was ejected during the loss to the Portland Trail Blazers having thrown a clipboard in response to a flagrant foul call.

Kerr was enraged late in the fourth quarter when Draymond Green was called for a flagrant foul after he stopped Zach Collins from approaching the rim as he went up for a shot.

That drew Kerr's ire and after ranting in one referee's face, he slammed a clipboard down to earn an ejection, with Durant having to escort his head coach back off the court.

The Warriors lost the game 129-107 but will still head into the All-Star break with the best record in the Western Conference.

"It was an emotional game. We fought really hard for 43 minutes," Curry told reporters afterwards.

"One questionable decision - the flagrant - obviously the fire came out. You see coach go and throw a clipboard. At that point you try to get us over the hump. An eight-point swing, it's tough to overcome."

"I looked at the replay and the amount of ball [Green] got, there was nothing excessive about it, he got all the ball.

"There was a lot of chirping, with Zach involved. There was probably a sensitivity to it, trying to put out some fires, but I thought it was a terrible call. We obviously paid the price for it with how everything unfolded after that."

Durant shared that sympathy having been the one to pull Kerr away from the referees as he continued to rant at them.

"I felt for him, I understand his anger and his rage, especially for that call," he said.

"I thought we should have just kept playing, It was a common foul, I thought. Refs looked at it differently. 

"I understand why coach was a little frustrated."

Kerr explained that it was the disbelief at the call that had triggered his reaction.

"I was just shocked that that was called a flagrant foul," he said. 

"I'm not sure how it's determined - if it's in New York or the officials on the call - but that was head-scratching: that that could be called a flagrant foul.

"The guy's going to go in for a dunk, you've got to make sure he doesn't dunk it.

"So, I told Kenny [Mauer] that I beg to differ. There might have been a couple of other words in there too!

"I'll have to ask the owner if the clipboard broke when I threw it down. I got a little anger out so that was good. I was too busy yelling to ask for an explanation."

Dwyane Wade does not believe there has ever been a better starting five than the Golden State Warriors' formidable quintet.

The Warriors signed four-time All-Star DeMarcus Cousins after retaining their NBA title last year and are favourites to be crowned champions for a third season in a row.

Wade's Miami Heat side suffered a 120-118 defeat to the Warriors in his final game at Oracle Arena on Sunday and the retiring star rates Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Cousins as five of the best.

Asked about the Warriors' starting line-up, Wade said: "That's as good as it gets. I know DeMarcus is working his way back, but they play off each other very well.

"It's as good as it gets in our game and any team that ever played this game. That's as good as it gets, that starting five.

"That's why they are who they are, that's why they are champions and to be able to add a guy like DeMarcus to it.

"That's what great teams do, they add a piece and keep adding the right pieces."

Kevin Durant declared he was not surprised to be selected by LeBron James with the first pick for the NBA All-Star Game.

For the second successive year, James made sure he will play alongside Durant in the league's exhibition fixture, taking the Golden State Warriors forward at the start of Thursday's televised draft.

Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard and James Harden complete the starting five for Team LeBron, who will take on Team Giannis at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte on February 17.

Asked about James' decision following Golden State's 117-107 win over the Phoenix Suns on Friday, Durant said: "What else is he supposed to do?"

The 2014 MVP was a little more forthcoming on his thoughts about the new-style selection process and also poked fun at rival captain Giannis Antetokounmpo for his selections.

While James went first when choosing the starters, Antetokounmpo - given the honour of leading a team after topping the All-Star voting in the Eastern Conference - had first option when it came to the reserves.

The pair also completed the first All-Star trade, as LeBron sent Russell Westbrook to Team Giannis in exchange for Ben Simmons.

"I think it's cool. It's great that the fans get to be more involved with it, the excitement of it," Durant said of the draft format, which was introduced in 2018 but broadcast live for the first time this year. "To have those guys picking teams, it's kind of self-explanatory, but it's pretty cool to see, because it hasn't happened before.

"No matter where you get picked, it's nothing but respect. It's just good to be an All-Star."

Antetokounmpo selected Steph Curry, Kemba Walker, Paul George and Joel Embiid to join him as starters on Team Giannis, but Durant feels the Greek's drafting skills require some work.

"Giannis is not from here, so I understand next year he'll be better picking his team," he joked.

Stephen Curry has defended Golden State Warriors team-mate Kevin Durant after a rant at the media, saying the forward is right to want to focus on his basketball.

Durant scored 23 points in the Warriors' 141-102 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday before facing reporters.

But amid continued links with a move to the New York Knicks as free agency looms, Durant was irked by repeated questions on the matter and told one journalist to "grow up".

It had been put to the Golden State star that the Knicks now had cap space after they sent Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks as part of a seven-player trade last week.

Yet Curry had no issue with Durant's response, believing his team-mate simply wants to set the speculation aside and concentrate on matters on the court.

"Honestly, I think it's him not being able to control his own voice," Curry told reporters. "He's focused on basketball and that's what he should do.

"We want to see that KD every day. What he can't control is stuff that happens in the media or people making the decision for him or all this other stuff.

"In terms of him just playing basketball, focusing on what happens out there on the 94 feet, being there for us as team-mates, and us being there for him, that's what he can control. And I think he's doing a great job of that.

"All that other stuff - I wouldn't call it a distraction, but from his standpoint - is frustrating. The way he plays basketball and the way he is as a team-mate and all that type of stuff, that's all we’re worried about."

Durant has helped the Warriors to two NBA titles since moving from the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2016.

Kevin Durant told the media to "grow up" as the frustrated Golden State Warriors star broke his silence and dismissed links with the New York Knicks.

Durant had not spoken to reporters since the Knicks sent Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks as part of a seven-player trade last week.

The 10-time All-Star let his basketball do the talking on Wednesday, scoring 23 points in the 141-102 rout of the short-handed San Antonio Spurs.

While Durant finally addressed the media post-game, he was not a happy man amid speculation over his future.

Asked what his silence related to, Durant – who swapped the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Warriors in 2016 – replied: "Why do you care?"

When a reporter continued to press Durant on free agency, the Warriors star dismissed those questions by saying: "Those are the conversations you're gonna have. I don't think about that type of stuff. That's your job."

Asked if the free agency talk was bothering him, Durant pointed out one reporter and said: "It's unnecessary. You have one dude come in here and give his whole opinion on stuff and make it seem like it's coming from me.

"He's walking around here, not talking to anybody, just walk in here and survey, then write something. Now you guys are piling on me because I don't want to talk about that.

"I have nothing to do with the Knicks. I don't know who traded Porzingis. It has nothing to do with me. I'm trying to play basketball. Y'all come in every day, ask me about free agency, ask my team-mates, coaches and rile up the fans about it. Let us play basketball. That's all I'm saying.

"Now that I don't want to talk [to the media] there's a problem with me. Grow up, yeah you grow up. I come to work every day. I don't cause problems. I play the right way, well I try to play the right way. I try to be the best player I can be."

When a reporter attempted to say Durant was speaking to the media before the Porzingis trade, the two-time NBA Finals MVP cut him short.

"So? Who are you? Why do I have to talk to you? Tell me? Is that going to help me do my job? I didn't feel like talking," Durant said.

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said Kevin Durant "just does not feel like talking right now" amid the star's media silence.

Durant has not spoken to reporters since the New York Knicks traded Kristaps Porzingis and other pieces to the Dallas Mavericks on February 1.

The two-time NBA champion and Finals MVP is rumoured to be considering signing with the Knicks in free agency after the 2018-19 season concludes.

Kerr told the media to "give him some space" ahead of Golden State's matchup with the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday.

"We all have things that go on in our life. ... Sometimes you just want to curl up and you know, most of us of us are allowed to do that," Kerr said.

"But not in the NBA. Kevin has been unbelievable with the media since he's been here. He's always accountable and here. So he just doesn't feel like talking right now.

"We're functioning as a team, we're doing our thing, we're playing, he's coming in and competing and working at practice."

Durant – who arrived from the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2016 – is averaging 27.5 points, 7.1 rebounds and six assists for the Warriors this season.

Golden State's 37-15 record is the best mark in the Western Conference. The Warriors have won three NBA championships in the last four seasons.

Warriors general manager Bob Myers does not believe any of the team's stars want to leave Golden State after the season.

Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson could both enter free agency following 2018-19.

Myers was asked at a news conference on Monday if he thought both players would re-sign with the Warriors.

"I feel like all of our players are happy and want to stay with us and continue with us," Myers said, via the Mercury News. "That's how I feel. But again, I've only worked in the NBA as an agent and in this capacity."

The New York Knicks are reportedly preparing to make an offer to Durant this offseason while Thompson has been linked to the Los Angeles Lakers.

But, Myers said he was focusing on the present.

"I don't think you can honestly answer anything. That goes for players, too, until the season is over," Myers said. "You can ask anybody in the organisation and say, 'What kind of season are you having?' They'll say, 'Ask me when the season is over.' I don't know. It's hard to say."

Myers said he believes the team are doing a good job of paying attention to the present, as well.

"I honestly think all of our guys really like the game of basketball," Myers said. "As much as it goes around that, it's still basketball. If you can find the focus, direct it there and enjoy your team-mates and be competitive, our guys are competitive. I think that allows you not to be distracted."

The Warriors will enter their game against the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday in a tie for first place in the Western Conference standings with a 37-15 record.

Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving has distanced himself from his previous comments about re-signing with the franchise.

Irving will be one of the top free agents on the market if he opts out of his contract at the end of the season.

Reports have linked him with a potential reunion with ex-Cleveland Cavaliers team-mate LeBron James at the Los Angeles Lakers for 2019-20, while teaming up with Kevin Durant at the New York Knicks - who the Celtics face on Friday - has also been suggested as an option.

Irving signalled his intent to re-sign with Boston prior to the start of the campaign, but when asked on Friday if his mindset had shifted he responded: "Ask me July 1 [when free agency begins]."

On whether there had been a change in his outlook, Irving said: "I'm just going to do what's best for me, that's what it really comes down to.

"Obviously it's become like an entertainment thing for everybody…I'm not worried about a reputation, not worried about a legacy to leave, I'm just trying to be a human being, trying to make the best decision for my family."

Irving reiterated family will come first in any decision he makes, adding he does not "owe anybody s***".

"I think it was just the excitement, feeling emotionally invested coming off an injury last season and trying to prove something, trying to be a team-oriented player, which I am naturally," he said of announcing his desire to stay in October.

"But at the end of the day I spent the last eight years trying to do what everybody else wanted me to do, in terms of making my decisions and trying to validate through the media, through other personnel, managers, anybody in this business and I don't owe anybody s***.

"I think with the confidence I have in myself and my abilities, I want to be able to control what I want to control."

Irving is averaging 23.7 points and 6.9 assists per game this season, his second with the Celtics.

The NBA All-Star reserves were announced on Thursday, with Ben Simmons and Anthony Davis leading the list.

While the starters were selected by a collection of fan, player and media voting, the reserves are picked by the coaches.

Each coach had to make two backcourt, three frontcourt and two wild-card selections and the Philadelphia 76ers' Simmons and New Orleans Pelicans star Davis were among them.

Here is the list of all of the players selected:

Eastern Conference

– Victor Oladipo (2nd selection)
– Kyle Lowry (5th selection)
– Blake Griffin (6th selection)
– Khris Middleton (1st selection)
– Ben Simmons (1st selection)
– Bradley Beal (2nd selection)
– Nikola Vucevic (1st selection)

Middleton's selection gives the Milwaukee Bucks their first season with multiple selections since 2000-01 (Ray Allen, Glenn Robinson).

Simmons' selection gives the 76ers their first season with multiple All-Stars since 2001-02 (Allen Iverson, Dikembe Mutombo).

Western Conference

– Russell Westbrook (8th selection)
– Anthony Davis (6th selection)
– Nikola Jokic (1st selection)
– Damian Lillard (4th selection)
– Klay Thompson (5th selection)
– LaMarcus Aldridge (7th selection)
– Karl-Anthony Towns (2nd selection)

Starters for the NBA All-Star Game on February 17 at the Spectrum were announced last week:

– LeBron James (4,062,089 votes)*
– Giannis Antetokounmpo (4,375,747)*
– Kyrie Irving (3,881,766)
– Stephen Curry (3,861,038)
– Kawhi Leonard (3,580,531)
– Kevin Durant (3,150,648)
– Paul George (3,122,346)
– James Harden (2,905,488)
– Joel Embiid (2,783,833)
– Kemba Walker (1,395,330)

*Captains

Teams will be picked on February 7.

Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant supports Anthony Davis.

The streaking Golden State Warriors beat the Boston Celtics 115-111 in NBA action on Saturday.

Kevin Durant led all scorers with 33 points and nine rebounds as reigning champions the Warriors extended their winning streak to 10 games.

Stephen Curry missed his first three shots from deep, but went on to nail five in a row on his way to 24 points.

Kyrie Irving continued his hot streak with 32 points and 10 assists for the Celtics, but his team could not hit a big shot down the stretch to take the lead.

The Celtics had their five-game winning streak snapped at home.

 

Okafor enjoys career night

Jahlil Okafor posted a career-high 24 points and 15 rebounds for the New Orleans Pelicans in a 126-114 loss to the San Antonio Spurs.

Mike Conley amassed 22 points and 11 assists to help the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Indiana Pacers 106-103.

Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic dominated with 32 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists in a 126-110 win over the Philadelphia 76ers, who were without Joel Embiid and Jimmy Butler.

 

Morris highlights Celtics' struggles

Marcus Morris scored nine points on three-of-12 shooting in a Celtics loss.

Elfrid Payton scored six points on three-of-13 shooting for the Pelicans.

 

Harris slices through 76ers

Gary Harris pulled out this elusive move on the break to finish with a slam against the 76ers.

New Orleans were not ready for this touch pass from Marco Belinelli to Pau Gasol.

 

Saturday's results

San Antonio Spurs 126-114 New Orleans Pelicans
Memphis Grizzlies 106-103 Indiana Pacers
Golden State Warriors 115-111 Boston Celtics
Denver Nuggets 126-110 Philadelphia 76ers
Portland Trail Blazers 120-111 Atlanta Hawks

 

Bucks at Thunder

The Milwaukee Bucks will take their six-game winning streak to Oklahoma City on Sunday. The Thunder are riding a four-game winning streak of their own. Both sides are gaining steam, so the game should make for a competitive contest between two top playoff contenders.

Tracy McGrady thinks Kevin Durant leaving the Golden State Warriors would be "great" for the NBA.

Golden State have dominated the league and won back-to-back titles since Durant joined the team in July 2016. But, there are rumours circulating that the 30-year-old star may become a free agent and leave the Warriors this offseason.

McGrady, a seven-time All-Star who is an analyst for ESPN, said on Tuesday on The Jump that Durant signing elsewhere would help "parity" in the NBA.

"[That would be] great for the league," McGrady said. "Although I love seeing these guys play on the big stage every year, I think we just need some more parity … Kevin Durant just completely changed everything when he went there and made it not fair for the league."

McGrady said Durant could help another team become relevant again.

"I would love for KD to spread the love around … so a team like the New York Knicks can come back in the fold and be competitive in the Eastern Conference," McGrady said. "Like, how awesome would that be? KD joins another player or two and make New York exciting again."

Durant is averaging 28 points, 7.4 rebounds and six assists in 35.5 minutes per game for Golden State this season. He is shooting 51.1 per cent from the field and 38.5 per cent from three-point range.

The Warriors also made two NBA Finals appearances and won a title in 2014-15 before adding Durant.

McGrady averaged 19.6 points and played for six NBA teams during his 15-year career. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2017.

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