Giannis Antetokounmpo said the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks have adopted the tag of "underdogs", despite claiming a series lead over the Orlando Magic in the NBA playoffs.

Antetokounmpo's double-double helped the Bucks defeat the Magic 121-107 in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference first-round matchup in Orlando on Saturday.

The reigning MVP posted 35 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists as the Bucks earned a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series at Walt Disney World Resort, where Milwaukee were stunned in Game 1.

Milwaukee – eyeing their first championship since 1971 – are one of the favourites to win the title, but Antetokounmpo and the Bucks are playing with a different mindset.

"We have high confidence about ourselves," Antetokounmpo said post-game. "We believe in ourselves, our team, our game plan and coach.

"But not the end of the day, we're not the champions… if you don't go out there and take it or if you don't play with a chip on your shoulder and play hard every second, it's not going to happen. That's life. There's no way to work around it.

"For me and for the team, we're gonna go out there and play hard. "We're not gonna play like the favourites, we're gonna play like the underdogs. From now on, that's how we're gonna be. If we make it till then, great. If we don't, that doesn't matter. We're gonna be ourselves."

"I think we're all hard on ourselves," Antetokounmpo told reporters. "But basketball isn't what you did in the past or what you're going to do in the future. It's about what you're doing right now.

"That's my whole mindset, my whole life. Right now, we played good. Hopefully we can carry this onto the next game. Play good defence, keep playing together and playing good basketball."

It was a physical battle between the Bucks and eighth seeds the Magic following a second-quarter scuffle involving Milwaukee's Marvin Williams and Orlando forward James Ennis.

Both players were ejected after exchanging shoves.

The Bucks, though, were not to be stopped after leading 70-43 at half-time and by as many as 34 points in the third period.

"I was just trying to play hard," said Antetokounmpo, who went 12 of 14 from the field in 31 minutes.

"Obviously it was an early game today, we played at 1 p.m., [when] usually we're not as focused, when the game starts, we're kind of a little bit lazy. I was trying to set the tone, play hard, guard my guy, take that individual challenge with my guy, trying to be active. I was just trying to be all over the place."

"There's going to be times that I'm not going to play well, and Khris [Middleton] is going to carry the team," Antetokounmpo continued. "There's going to be times when we're both not going to play well, and Brook and Bled are going to carry the team.

"Khris is really important to this team, obviously. I can say it. Coach can say it, the team. Everybody knows that."

Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer added: "All of us feed off of Giannis and his leadership and his energy and his competitiveness. I think when he's showing it and sharing it with all of us, toughing all of us, it's great. He's our leader. We needed it."

Game 4 between the Bucks and Magic is on Monday.

Nick Nurse has been named NBA Coach of the Year after an impressive second season with the Toronto Raptors.

The reigning NBA champions posted a 53-19 record in a shortened 2019-20 campaign despite the departure of Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, who is now with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Toronto's win percentage of .736 set a new franchise record, while they also triumphed in 15 straight games between January 15 and February 10, the longest streak in the team's history.

The Raptors finished second in the Eastern Conference behind the Milwaukee Bucks, posting a 7-1 record in the league's Orlando bubble following the restart.

Nurse, who led the team to the title in his first year in the top job, is the third Toronto head coach to scoop the individual honour, following on from Dwane Casey (2017-18) and Sam Mitchell (2006-07).

"When you see Nick on the sidelines, that's who he is as a person. Relaxed, but so hard-working. Creative and dynamic. Always setting the tone for our team – attacking our next championship, rather than defending our last," Raptors president Masai Ujiri said.

"That is who Nick is, that is why we believe in him. His journey to this tremendous honour has been a long one – we are so happy to see him recognised this way."

A global panel of sportswriters and broadcasters voted for the award. Only games up until March 11, when the season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, were taken into consideration.

Toronto averaged 112.8 points per game and also excelled defensively, holding opponents to fewer than 100 points on 22 occasions.

The Canadian franchise have made a strong start in the defence of their championship in the postseason too, moving into a 3-0 lead against the Brooklyn Nets in the opening round of the playoffs.

Doc Rivers praised the composure of Kawhi Leonard after the Los Angeles Clippers star guided his team into a 2-1 series lead over the Dallas Mavericks.

Leonard shone in a 130-122 victory for the Clippers in Game 3 as they edged ahead in the Western Conference first-round battle.

His performance yielded 36 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, and coach Rivers stressed it was the clear mind of the two-time NBA Finals MVP that proved telling.

"He's just smart," Rivers said. "He kind of sees the game, it's amazing.

"That was a fast-paced game, but for Kawhi … he can see the game. Even though it's fast and he goes fast, he's never in a rush and he knows where to go.

"I thought his playmaking was incredible.

"Obviously his scoring, his defence, but I thought his playmaking set the tone for everybody else."

Less effective was Paul George, the Clippers guard who shot just 3-for-16 and admitted he is susceptible to such off-nights.

George said, quoted by ESPN: "I'm no James Harden. That's not my knack ... to just shoot the ball, score the ball. I can and I pride myself on being effective on both ends.

"But there's going to be nights like this where I just can't make a shot, and I can't allow that to affect my game."

It was a second straight game where George has struggled to put points on the board, but Rivers said: "I'm not worried about it.

"He's a great player. He's human. I can guarantee you this, he has not forgotten how to shoot. It will fall for him."

Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic insisted his ankle injury was "not that bad" after a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.

Doncic sprained his ankle in the third quarter of the 130-122 defeat in Game 3 of the Western Conference first-round series on Friday.

The guard briefly returned before being forced off, finishing with 13 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists as the Mavs fell 2-1 behind in the series.

Doncic insisted the setback was not serious, but he will undergo an MRI on Saturday.

"I mean I saw the video. I don't know how it happened, but it's not that bad," he told a news conference.

"Honestly, I had luck it's my left ankle, it's not my right so, it's a little sprain.

"We'll know more tomorrow."

Doncic was unsure whether he would be available for the Mavericks in Game 4 on Sunday.

The Slovenian said he felt restricted after returning to the court.

"I just wanted to get in you know. I know we still had a chance to win, help my team-mates, but obviously I could run a little bit, but I couldn't push off my left leg," Doncic said.

"It was better to go out and let somebody play."

Doncic, 21, became the third-youngest player to record a triple-double in the playoffs, behind only Magic Johnson and LeBron James.

The Los Angeles Clippers took the lead in their series against the Dallas Mavericks, while the Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors are 3-0 up.

Kawhi Leonard starred as the Clippers posted a 130-122 win over the Mavericks.

Leonard finished with 36 points, nine rebounds and eight assists as the Clippers grabbed a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference first-round series.

Mavs star Luka Doncic had a triple-double of 13 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, but also suffered an ankle injury.

Meanwhile, Kristaps Porzingis managed a double-double of 34 points and 13 rebounds, going 11-of-18 from the field for Dallas.

The Celtics and Raptors are each one win away from setting up an Eastern Conference semi-final.

Boston moved into a 3-0 lead over the Philadelphia 76ers thanks to a 102-94 win, while the Raptors beat the Brooklyn Nets 117-92 to be a victory away from advancing.

 

Kemba lifts Celtics, special Siakam

Kemba Walker had 24 points, eight rebounds and four assists in the Celtics' victory.

The 76ers are on the verge of a first-round exit, but Joel Embiid finished with a double-double of 30 points and 13 rebounds.

Pascal Siakam's 26 points helped the Raptors to their comfortable win.

A double-double of 24 points and 14 rebounds from Rudy Gobert helped the Utah Jazz past the Denver Nuggets 124-87. The Jazz lead the Western Conference first-round series 2-1.

Jazz guard Mike Conley went seven-of-eight from three-point range to post 27 points.

 

Terrible Temple

Garrett Temple struggled for the Nets. The forward was two-of-12 from the field, managing just five points in nearly 36 minutes.

 

Wonderful Walker

Walker contributed 14 of his 24 points in the second half for Boston.

Friday's results

Toronto Raptors 117-92 Brooklyn Nets
Utah Jazz 124-87 Denver Nuggets
Boston Celtics 102-94 Philadelphia 76ers
Los Angeles Clippers 130-122 Dallas Mavericks

 

Lakers face Trail Blazers

Having drawn level in the Western Conference first-round series, the Los Angeles Lakers face the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 3 on Saturday.

Giannis Antetokounmpo says the Milwaukee Bucks did not have a fear factor as they drew level in their playoff series against the Orlando Magic but conceded there was an urgency about the team.

The Bucks were shocked in Game 1 of the series when Nikola Vucevic's 35 points inspired the Magic to a 122-110 triumph in the NBA's Orlando bubble.

Vucevic was a thorn in the Bucks' side again on Thursday, finishing with 32 points and 10 rebounds, but it was a quiet night from his Magic team-mates as Milwaukee ran out 111-96 victors.

Antetokounmpo was typically influential and in scoring 28 points and picking up 20 rebounds he became just the second Bucks player after Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to have a 20-point, 20-rebound game in the playoffs.

The 25-year-old said defeat would not have been fatal to the Bucks but recognised the team was extra focused not to go two games down in the series.

"There's an urgency. I'm not going to say there's a fear factor – being down – but you know you have to be urgent," he said.

"I think the whole team was ready for this game. You've got to understand, you don't want to be down 2-0.

"We can still get back, but you don't want to put yourself in that position, especially early in the playoffs.

"We knew that we had to come out and just play hard, try to get a win, and as a team, we knew for us to get a win we gotta play hard.

"We cannot talk about it; we gotta play about it."

Antetokounmpo added that a message from head coach Mike Budenholzer also elicited a response from the Bucks.

"He told us if we want to win and if we want to go far and if we want to be us, we've got to play defense, and we didn't do that in the first game," Antetokounmpo said.

"I think everybody took that personally. Nobody liked that. Nobody wants to hear that he's not playing hard enough, so I think the whole team came out playing hard. Everybody was playing hard."

LeBron James hailed Anthony Davis as a "unicorn" who can do things his other team-mates cannot as the Los Angeles Lakers tied up their playoff series with the Portland Trail Blazers.

Superstar James put up just 10 points on a rare off-night as the Lakers made it 1-1 in their first-round meeting at the NBA's bubble in Orlando.

Davis was in inspired form, though, contributing 31 points and 11 rebounds in the 111-88 victory, leading to big praise from James.

"I've had some great team-mates in my career," James said.

"AD is one of those unicorns [a term in basketball to describe a player who is versatile and dynamic] and he does things what some of my other great team-mates are not capable of doing.

"Tonight, AD was magnificent."

Davis scored 28 points in the opening-game defeat but said he did not feel as though he performed to his best level.

A few choice words from James, a three-time NBA champion, encouraged Davis to see the bigger picture, though.

"I was really down on myself after Game 1," Davis said. "I didn't feel like I performed to the level I needed to. And he let me have my moment and kind of get on myself, and then he talked to me and said I was fine.

"He said it's one game, and as a guy who's won multiple championships and been in these situations before, he knows what to expect. He knew what to expect from his team-mates and he kind of just was there for me to kind of encourage me and keep me level-headed. Because it was just one game.

"Our relationship has been great the entire season. I've kind of just been leaning on him this entire season, just trying to figure out the tricks [of the] trade of playing with a guy like him and a team like this.

"He kind of has been there for me and supporting me and kind of guiding me through this entire process."

The win was the Lakers' first in a playoff game since May 18, 2012, and James says a tough season off the court has proven the mettle of the team.

James said: "I mean, it started from training camp, to preseason, traveling abroad, to entering the New Year, the tragic death obviously of Kobe [Bryant] and those victims on that helicopter, to the stop of the season, to players getting injured, [Rajon] Rondo going down for a big piece of the year, to the restart, not having our brother Avery Bradley here.

"And so on and so on. I don't even know, it just feels like it's been three or four different seasons [in one], so I know what we're capable of, I know how we're built."

Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard insisted he would continue playing despite dislocating his finger.

Lillard dislocated his finger as the Trail Blazers fell to the Los Angeles Lakers 111-88 on Thursday, leaving their Western Conference first-round series at 1-1.

The star guard had 18 points on six-of-14 shooting and admitted to some discomfort with the finger.

However, Lillard said: "I'm playing."

He earlier said: "It's just sore, a little bit tender to the touch and dislocated it so it's just sore, a little bit swollen and uncomfortable."

Anthony Davis' double-double of 31 points and 11 rebounds led the Lakers, with Game 3 to be played on Saturday.

Lillard felt Portland were simply below their best offensively in Game 2.

"I wouldn't say we were due, but I do think that the game balances itself out," he said.

"Some guys come out and have a huge night and then the next night they can be cooled off. Some teams play really well for stretches and then they have that game where they cool off.

"I think we've played really well offensively since we've been here so I wouldn't say we were due, but it happens."

The Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks drew level in their respective NBA playoff series on Thursday.

Coming off surprise Game 1 losses, the Lakers and Bucks responded against the Portland Trail Blazers and Orlando Magic respectively.

The Lakers drew level at 1-1 in their Western Conference first-round meeting with the Trail Blazers courtesy of a 111-88 win.

Anthony Davis posted a double-double of 31 points and 11 rebounds as the Lakers won their first playoff game since 2012.

While Davis went 13-of-21 from the field, LeBron James was below his best, but still managed 10 points, seven assists and six rebounds.

Red-hot Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard had 18 points, but the guard was one-of-seven from three-point range.

In the Eastern Conference, the Bucks are back to 1-1 against Orlando after a 111-96 victory.

Giannis Antetokounmpo lifted Milwaukee with 28 points and 20 rebounds, while Brook Lopez had 20 points.

Harden guides Rockets as Robinson shines for Heat

James Harden had 21 points and nine assists as the Houston Rockets took a 2-0 series lead over the Oklahoma City Thunder courtesy of a 111-98 win.

Danuel House Jr. contributed 19 points, nine rebounds and three assists for the Rockets.

Duncan Robinson was in impressive form as the Miami Heat went 2-0 up against the Indiana Pacers thanks to a 109-100 win. Robinson was seven-of-eight from three-point range for 24 points in 25 minutes.

Heat star Goran Dragic posted 20 points.

 

Miserable Melo

Carmelo Anthony struggled badly for Portland. He was one-of-six for just two points in 26 minutes.

 

Davis delights

Davis showed his class during the Lakers' series-levelling win.

Thursday's results

Miami Heat 109-100 Indiana Pacers
Houston Rockets 111-98 Oklahoma City Thunder
Milwaukee Bucks 111-96 Orlando Magic
Los Angeles Lakers 111-88 Portland Trail Blazers

 

Clippers face Mavericks

With their Western Conference first-round series locked at 1-1, the Los Angeles Clippers and Dallas Mavericks do battle in Game 3 on Friday.

The Minnesota Timberwolves secured the number one pick in the 2020 NBA Draft after the lottery on Thursday.

The Timberwolves, Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers each had a 14 per cent chance of winning the top pick, and Minnesota got lucky.

It marks the second time in six years that the Timberwolves have the top pick after they chose Karl-Anthony Towns in 2015.

Minnesota finished the 2019-20 season with a 19-45 record, with only the Cavaliers (19-46) and Warriors (15-50) worse.

The Warriors will pick second, ahead of the Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls, Cavaliers, Atlanta Hawks, Detroit Pistons, New York Knicks, Washington Wizards and Phoenix Suns, who round out the top 10.

Georgia's Anthony Edwards is the favourite to be the number one pick in the draft, which is due to be held on October 16.

After he struggled in the Los Angeles Clippers' loss to the Dallas Mavericks, Paul George insisted his team are up for the challenge of a competitive series. 

George had an outing to forget as the Clippers went down to a 127-114 defeat on Wednesday that levelled their first-round NBA playoffs series at 1-1. 

The former Oklahoma City Thunder forward went four for 17 shooting and had missed his first five shots before finally converting a three-pointer four minutes into the second half. 

Despite many rating the Clippers as favourites to be crowned NBA champions, George does not think a challenging series against the seventh-seeded Mavs should come as a surprise to fans and analysts. 

"We expect a tough matchup, we expect a tough challenge, but the good thing about it is we are up for the challenge," said George, per ESPN. 

"They are a good team and it just goes to show you the West is tough. 

"The eight seed [the Portland Trail Blazers] just beat the one seed [the Los Angeles Lakers], so it tells you the West is tough.  

"It is a tough conference. Any given night, any team, especially here [in the Orlando NBA bubble], can win. And we full on seen that.  

"So it is no surprise. What you have to do is come to play and this was their night." 

Kawhi Leonard had a game-high 35 points and, like George, felt the Mavs represented impressive opposition.  

"Give them guys credit, they played hard," said Leonard. "They are the reason why we didn’t come back. They knocked down big shots at the right times." 

Patrick Beverley was out with a calf injury for the Clippers, who saw Luka Doncic score 28 points for the Mavs despite spending much of the second half on the bench having got into foul trouble. 

Kristaps Porzingis had 23 for the Mavs, the same total as Lou Williams produced for Los Angeles, while three Dallas players scored double figures from the bench. 

"Their bench outplayed our bench and our starters," added Clippers coach Doc Rivers, who outlined areas for improvement ahead of Game 3 on Friday. 

"They were just looking us in the eye and taking us off the dribble and playing draw and kick basketball. 

"They played together. They moved the ball and I thought that stood out. At halftime we had seven assists, our starters had two assists at halftime. 

"I think we ended up with four assists from our starters – that is not how we have played all year. And if we play like that we cannot win."

Luka Doncic feels pundits have to start taking the Dallas Mavericks seriously after they shocked the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 2 of their series in the NBA playoffs.

The Mavs triumphed 127-114 on Wednesday to level the first-round series at 1-1 against a team many oddsmakers have listed as favourites to become champions.

Doncic had 28 points, eight rebounds and seven assists but was restricted to only 28 minutes on court, spending much of the second half on the bench after getting into foul trouble.

The Slovenian previously recorded 42 points in the highest-scoring debut in postseason history as the Mavs narrowly lost in Game 1.

And he feels it is time his team, seventh seeds in the Western Conference, are considered to be a real danger to Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and the Clippers.

"They should be saying we got a chance in this first round," Doncic said when asked what high-profile NBA pundits would be making of their victory.

"A lot of people counted us out. I know a lot of people didn't count us in. But I know they should be saying we got a chance.

"The thing about us is we are going to give everything 100 per cent and leave our hearts on the court. That's the point for us.

"We've just got three [wins] left. I think we can fight with them. Any series we go in, we're going to believe we can win, for sure. If you don't believe it, you're not supposed to be here. You've got to believe it."

Doncic found watching from the sidelines as the game was on the line an initially difficult experience.

"I was frustrated for like 15 seconds, I was p****d. Then I was focused on supporting my team-mates," he said.

"They did a great, great job. Being on the bench, it's hard for me. I want to help my team, but we won the game. Maybe if I don't pick up that foul, we don't win the game.

"I just want to get out there and help my team. I did some unnecessary things I shouldn't do. But we got a win and that is all that matters. A lot of guys showed up and we played great defense."

Kristaps Porzingis added 23 points and Tim Hardaway Jr had 17, while there were key contributions from Trey Burke, Seth Curry and Boban Marjanovic, who all had double figures from the bench.

Game 3 at the Disney Bubble in Orlando takes place on Friday.

The Dallas Mavericks levelled their Western Conference first-round series after defeating the Los Angeles Clippers 127-114 in the NBA playoffs.

Luka Doncic starred as the Mavericks bounced back against Kawhi Leonard's Clippers in Game 2 at Walt Disney World Resort on Wednesday.

Doncic posted 28 points to go with eight rebounds and seven assists, while fellow star Kristaps Porzingis had 23 points in Orlando, Florida.

Leonard's game-high 35 points and 10 rebounds were not enough as Paul George (14 points and 10 rebounds) struggled shooting – the Clippers All-Star was just four of 17 from the field, and two of 10 from beyond the arc.

Game 3 between the Mavericks and Clippers is on Friday.

The Boston Celtics, meanwhile, took a commanding 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference first-round matchup after beating the Philadelphia 76ers 128-101.

Jayson Tatum led the way again with a career playoff-high 33 points to fuel Boston against rivals Philadelphia in Game 2.

The 76ers stormed out of the blocks, taking a 14-point lead early in the first quarter before the Celtics overpowered their opponents – Kemba Walker adding 22 points to go with Jaylen Brown's 20.

Joel Embiid's 34 points and 10 rebounds were not enough for the 76ers, who are under pressure as they fight to avoid an early exit.

The Celtics and 76ers will meet again on Friday in Game 3.

 

Raptors roar as VanVleet stars

Fred VanVleet impressed again as defending champions the Toronto Raptors earned a 2-0 lead over the Brooklyn Nets with a 104-99 victory. VanVleet had a double-double of 24 points and 10 assists in the first-round Eastern Conference clash. Norman Powell scored 24 points off the bench, while Kyle Lowry posted 21 points and nine rebounds.

After a playoff-record 57 points in Game 1, Donovan Mitchell registered 30 points and the Utah Jazz topped the Denver Nuggets 124-105 to level the series. Mitchell was big in the third quarter, scoring 21 of his 30 points to take down the Nuggets. Jazz team-mate Jordan Clarkson finished with a career playoff-best 26 points.

Nikola Jokic's double-double of 28 points and 11 rebounds were not enough for the Nuggets, who also had 28 points from rookie Michael Porter Jr.

 

Horford's woes continue

Al Horford and his move to the 76es has not paid off, and the former Celtics star struggled again. Back on the bench, Horford scored just four points in 23 minutes, while collecting two rebounds.

The player who started in his place, Matisse Thybulle, managed only two points in 25 minutes of action. Alec Burks was one of eight from the field and missed both of his three-point attempts.

While the Raptors won, Marc Gasol was scoreless through 17 minutes of court time. He also had three turnovers.

 

Brown's 360!

Brown produced a highlight moment – this spin and slam against the 76ers.

 

Wednesday's results

Boston Celtics 128-101 Philadelphia 76ers
Utah Jazz 124-105 Denver Nuggets
Toronto Raptors 104-99 Brooklyn Nets
Dallas Mavericks 127-114 Los Angeles Clippers

 

Trail Blazers face Lakers

The Portland Trail Blazers can take a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference first-round matchup when they meet the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday.

Jayson Tatum said he was playing with confidence after leading the Boston Celtics to another win over the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA playoffs.

Tatum posted a playoff career-high 33 points as the Celtics beat the 76ers 128-101 on Wednesday to take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference first-round series.

The forward has 65 points, 18 rebounds and six assists in the series, while he went eight-of-12 from three-point range in Game 2.

"I'm playing confident. Just trying to be aggressive and trying to make the right play," Tatum told reporters.

"I say that a lot but that's as easy as I can break it down."

Without Gordon Hayward (ankle), the Celtics proved too good for the 76ers again, although Philadelphia opened up a 14-point lead in the first quarter.

Enes Kanter (10 points and nine rebounds), Grant Williams (nine points and six rebounds) and Brad Wanamaker (seven points and four assists) were important contributors off the bench for Boston.

"It was big. We knew Philly was going to come out really aggressive and they did," Tatum said.

"I think we were down 13 or something and the way the bench played at the end of the first and throughout the second quarter really just brought the physical toughness back.

"That was a big reason we got back into the game and eventually took the lead."

James Harden lauded the Houston Rockets' display in Tuesday's 123-108 Western Conference first-round series-opening win against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Rockets were without injured star Russell Westbrook but still controlled proceedings in Orlando, where All-Star guard Harden contributed 37 points.

But Harden's focus was on the team performance as the Rockets issued an early statement of intent in the 2020 NBA playoffs.

"Our ball movement was excellent," he said. "We were just playing off the catch.

"Guys were just very confident in their shots. I think we had a lot of opportunities that we missed that were really good shots.

"We did a really good job of not turning the basketball over, which would've given them opportunities to get out in transition."

Jeff Green was also influential for Mike D'Antoni's team, scoring 22 points in his 32 minutes off the bench, during which the Rockets were +28.

Harden reserved special praise for Green and his ball-handling skills in particular.

"It's huge for us," said Harden. "Now I don't have to just dribble the basketball up. Those guards can kind of pressure me.

"He's able to dribble the ball up and get us in our offense."

Green added: "I'm just trying to find ways to impact the game, be that defensively or offensively.

"On the offensive end, we're playing together, and we're playing for each other. That's what's important, and that's how we're going to succeed."

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