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Nerlens Noel leads 76ers past Wizards, 89-81 (February 28, 2015)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

PHILADELPHIA,PA - FEBRUARY 27: Nerlens Noel #4 of the Philadelphia 76ers runs up the court against the Washington Wizards at Wells Fargo Center on February 27, 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

PHILADELPHIA -- Nerlens Noel had 14 points and 13 rebounds in the Philadelphia 76ers' 89-81 victory over the Washington Wizards on Friday night.

Robert Covington added 13 points and Jason Richardson had 12 to help Philadelphia snap a five-game winning streak and win for the first time since trading Michael Carter-Williams.

John Wall scored 21 points on 7-of-26 shooting for Washington. Otto Porter added 19 and Ramon Sessions had 14. The Wizards have lost six in a row and 11 of 13.

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Surging Pacers hold off short-handed Cavaliers 93-86 (February 28, 2015)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

INDIANAPOLIS - FEBRUARY 27: George Hill #3 of the Indiana Pacers attempts a free throw against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on February 27, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Mandatory Copyright Notice: 2015 NBAE (Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS -- With LeBron James and Kyrie Irving sidelined, Rodney Stuckey scored 19 points and George Hill had his first career triple-double Friday night in the Indiana Pacers' 93-86 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Hill finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists as Indiana won for the seventh time in nine games -- including twice over the Cavaliers in the past three weeks.

James sat out with soreness in his lower back, while Irving stayed home after hurting his left shoulder. So the Cavs relied on J.R. Smith, who had 21 points, and Kevin Love, who finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds.

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Manny Pacquiao of Kia Carnival. Sports5/Paul Ryan Tan

The Kia Carnival try to give playing coach Manny Pacquiao a nice send-off as they clash with Blackwater Elite in PBA Commissioner’s Cup action Saturday at The Arena in San Juan.

Kia is playing its last match with Pacquiao before he flies to the United States later in the day to prepare for his megafight with Floyd Mayweather.

As a treat to fans who want to see Pacquiao on the court one last time before the fight, the PBA is giving away no more than 2,000 free tickets to the general admission and the upper box section on a first-come, first-served basis.

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Larry Sanders' battle with anxiety and depression (February 28, 2015)
Kevin Arnovitz [ Source: ESPN ]

Sanders (in suit), who was been suspended twice for marijuana use, said he's putting basketball aside for now. AP Photo/Aaron Gash

"We don't do a very good job with mental health," said an NBA team executive as he looked down at the sad contents of his boxed lunch and sighed. "We don't have any answers, and we're not doing a good job looking for them."

This was three years ago at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics conference in Boston. I'd asked about the status of a player who had had some early success but had fallen off the NBA map after a short stint with the exec's team.

He lamented that, too often, he and his head coach were charged with the job of evaluating and counseling guys who, in his estimation, were likely suffering from mental health conditions that professionals should be diagnosing, then treating. The exec said that he had taken it upon himself to read up on current trends in brain research but that he was in far over his head.

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Asi Taulava of NLEX. Sports5/Paul Ryan Tan

Asi Taulava, the oldest player in the PBA at 41, was one among the star players who were not included in last year’s All-Star Game.

Given an opportunity to return and appear in a record-tying 12th All-Star Game appearance with Alvin Patrimonio, Taulava is determined to make up for the opportunity he lost last season.

“I know the feeling from last season when I didn’t make it to the All-Star Game. I told myself that if given the opportunity to do it again, I will go out there and play my heart out, especially for the fans,” Taulava told sportswriters after the game.

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Rajon Rondo said that communication problems he has had with coach Rick Carlisle are a thing of the past. Danny Bollinger/NBAE/Getty Images

DALLAS -- Mavericks point guard Rajon Rondo declared himself ready to move on after serving a one-game suspension that stemmed from a heated dispute with coach Rick Carlisle.

"Everything is back to normal now," Rondo told reporters after Friday's practice, the first time he publicly addressed the incident.

Rondo and Carlisle got in a profane shouting match over play-calling responsibilities with 8:10 remaining in the third quarter of Tuesday's win over the Toronto Raptors. It started after Rondo ignored a play-call from Carlisle, prompting the coach to call a timeout, storm out on the court and shout at the point guard.

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NLEX notches first win streak, zooms past Meralco (February 28, 2015)
Bong Lozada [ Source: Inquirer ]

NLEX import Al Thornton had another strong performance vs. Meralco. Sports5/Paul Ryan Tan

MANILA, Philippines—Zooming to their first win streak of the conference is the NLEX Road Warriors after they dispatched the Meralco Bolts, 89-76, in their PBA Commissioner’s Cup showing on Friday evening at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

NLEX notched back-to-back wins after taking care of San Miguel on Saturday and gained a 3-4 win-loss card.

Niño Canaleta hit the dagger three from the left corner with 43.5 remaining to put the Road Warriors up 82-74.

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Luol Deng's path of righteousness (February 28, 2015)
Michael Wallace [ Source: ESPN ]

Deng, niece Chier and sister Akon, who helped raise the family while their parents sought asylum. Luol Deng

MIAMI -- On good days, the worst hurled at Luol Deng in grade school were the racist slurs a Sudanese refugee child was far too young to comprehend yet never quite able to forget.

Samara, meaning black.

Hunga bunga, mockery for ape.

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Rain or Shine import Wayne Chism evades the defense of Barako Bull's Jake Pascual. Sports5/Paul Ryan Tan

Wayne Chism had 32 points while JR Quiñahan added 12 as the Rain or Shine Elastopainters leaned on a strong second quarter to defeat the Barako Bull Energy, 103-91, on Friday.

"We knew coming into this game that Barako is the best defensive team," said Rain or Shine head coach Yeng Guiao.

"We just wanted to draw out [Solomon] Alabi and create some space in the middle. We hit our threes; Chism is quicker than their import. It's been good with Wayne. That's what we expected."

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NBA to release last 2 minutes reports on crunch-time calls (February 28, 2015)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]


NEW YORK -- The NBA will begin revealing whether it determined referees' crunch-time calls to be right or wrong.

Starting Monday and continuing throughout the playoffs, the league will release play-by-play reports of all calls and relevant no-calls in the final minutes of close games. Such information had been shared only internally.

The assessments will be released by 5 p.m. the day after each game and will stand as the league's comment on whether the most-disputed calls were correct. The reports will focus on the last two minutes of games that were within five points at the two-minute mark and all of any overtime periods.

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