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LeBron James, Cavs rout Hawks to take control of East finals (May 23, 2015)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) reacts after making the basket and drawing a foul against the Atlanta Hawks during the second half in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals of the NBA basketball playoffs, Friday, May 22, 2015, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

ATLANTA -- Forget the Big Three.

One is enough for the Cleveland Cavaliers, as long as it's the King.

LeBron James scored 30 points and the Cavaliers took total command of the Eastern Conference final even without injured star Kyrie Irving, beating the Atlanta Hawks 94-82 on Friday night for a 2-0 lead with the series heading to Ohio.

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With his return to coaching expected in NBA circles, Jeff Van Gundy is now being considered for the Pelicans' opening. Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Van Gundy has emerged as a candidate for the New Orleans Pelicans' head-coaching position, according to league sources. ‎Sources told this week that the ESPN analyst has expressed interest in the opening and is under consideration for the job, which opened when the Pelicans dismissed Monty Williams earlier this month.

Van Gundy joins Golden State associate head coach Alvin Gentry and Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau as confirmed candidates for the position, according to NBA coaching sources.

Gentry is the only candidate known to have formally interviewed for the post, with sources saying the uncertainty surrounding Thibodeau's contractual situation with the Bulls has prevented the Pelicans and Orlando Magic from formally requesting to interview him. ‎ reported Monday that the Pelicans had been granted permission to interview Gentry before the Warriors began play in the Western Conference finals.

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Jordan Clarkson; Russell Westbrook. Photos by AFP

Filipino-American Jordan Clarkson has been compared by his teammate to Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook, and his boss at the Los Angeles Lakers couldn’t agree more.

“If there’s a player in the league that plays like him, it’s Russell Westbrook,” Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak told ESPN radio host Colin Cowherd. “Now, I’m not saying for a second that Jordan Clarkson is the next Russell Westbrook, but he’s that kind of a ball-handling guard.”

Just last month, Clarkson’s Lakers teammate Carlos Boozer regarded the young guard as “Baby Westbrook” after a surprisingly impressive rookie season.

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Former NBA player found positive on doping in Greece (May 23, 2015)
Agence France-Presse [ Source: Interaksyon ]

International Basketball

AEK Athens’ British center Pops Mensah-Bonsu has tested positive for amphetamine use by the National Anti-Doping Council, his Greek Basketball League club announced Friday.

The team said it will wait for a second test before deciding on the 31-year-old former NBA player’s fate for the club.

Mensah-Bonsu tested positive after a league game between AEK and Trikala on April 18 at the Athens Olympic indoor stadium.

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Mark Caguioa. Sports5/Pranz Kaeno Billones

Barangay Ginebra San Miguel treated their overseas fans with an impressive showing after a 93-81 victory over Commissioner’s Cup runner-up Rain or Shine on Friday night in Dubai, UAE.

Orlando Johnson led the way with 25 points but the Kings’ local performers had the chance to show their stuff in this one.

Mark Caguioa scored 21 – 16 of those in a sizzling hot first quarter – while LA Tenorio had a nice all-around line of 20 points, 11 rebounds, and four assists.

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Lions, Bombers bounce back from Filoil losses (May 23, 2015)
Jasmine W. Payo [ Source: Inquirer ]

Local Basketball

SAN BEDA and Jose Rizal University came back strong after a first loss as the two squads whipped separate opponents in the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup yesterday at Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.

Ola Adeogun dropped 20 points and nine rebounds and Art dela Cruz poured in 16 markers as the Red Lions routed University of the Philippines, 96-71, to reclaim a share of the lead in Group B.

The Lions forged a three-way tie at 4-1 with idle University of the East and Centro Escolar University, which dealt the NCAA champions a huge 80-69 upset last week.

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Arizona Reid of San Miguel Beer. Sports5/Pranz Kaeno Billones

MANILA – San Miguel coach Leo Austria believes his team's playoff mentality will keep the Beermen's win streak going in the PBA Governors’ Cup.

The Philippine Cup champions opened the tournament with a pair of losses and seemed headed south just like in the recent Commissioner’s Cup.

But the Beermen sprang with back-to-back victories over Rain or Shine and GlobalPort and breathed life to their campaign.

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Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak said that Kobe Bryant continues to indicate next season will be his last with the Lakers, and that it's up to Kobe if has a farewell tour. Stacy Revere/Getty ImagesLos Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said star guard Kobe Bryant has told the GM that the 2015-16 season will be Bryant's last with the Lakers.

"He has indicated to me that this is it," Kupchak said Thursday in a radio appearance with SiriusXM NBA Radio.

Bryant is scheduled to make a league-high $25 million in his final contract season -- his 20th -- with the Lakers. But there's speculation that Bryant could play beyond next season, and Bryant said he hasn't ruled out that possibility.

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Meralco's Andre Emmett escapes the defense of Star's Marc Pingris and Joe Devance. Sports5/Pranz Kaeno Billones

MANILA – Import Andre Emmett said he has no problem carrying the scoring load for the Meralco Bolts since this is what he does best.

“I’m comfortable. I’ve been scoring for my whole career, but what’s important for me is to use my abilities to make my teammates better,” he said in the PBA website.

Meralco has won twice in its four tries. The most recent was the Bolts’ 83-81 squeaker against the Purefoods Hotshots.

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Kupchak: 'Looks as though' Lakers will use No. 2 pick (May 23, 2015)
Baxter Holmes [ Source: ESPN ]


Will the Los Angeles Lakers keep or trade the No. 2 pick in the NBA draft on June 25?

Will they select either Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns or Duke’s Jahlil Okafor – or will they avoid one of the top two centers highly expected to be drafted first and second overall in some order and instead take a dynamic young guard?

Already, these questions and more are swirling among Lakers fans even though it has been only a few days since their team landed some very good luck in Tuesday’s NBA draft lottery held in New York.

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