Now 21 games into the 2016-17 season, Russell Westbrook continues to average a triple-double with a line of 31.0 points, 10.8 rebounds and 11.3 assists. Layne Murdoch Sr./NBAE via Getty Images

Milwaukee Bucks coach Jason Kidd, one of the foremost triple-double artists in NBA history, believes Russell Westbrook can average a triple-double this season.

Kidd, who is third of all time in triple-doubles with 107, told ESPN that he could only dream of doing what Westbrook is doing right now. He has been most impressed with Westbrook's ability to win during his streak of five straight triple-doubles -- and do it all without Kevin Durant.

"It can be done," Kidd said of averaging a triple-double in a season, a feat that hasn't been matched since Oscar Robertson did it in 1961-62. "I have always said I think it could be done. You got to have a special player and I think we are looking at a special player."

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Al Horford said it wasn't easy letting his dad know that he chose the Celtics over the Rockets. Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

HOUSTON – Boston big man Al Horford said he was impressed with the Houston Rockets' free-agency pitch over the summer.

It was a difficult decision for Horford, whose dad wanted him to play for the Rockets.

Horford, who eventually signed a four-year, $113 million deal with the Celtics, had one of his first free-agent meetings with the Rockets, with Hall of Famers Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler among those in attendance.

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The Block has been immortalized as one of the signature plays in NBA history, but it wasn't the first glimpse of vintage LeBron the world witnessed during Cleveland's run to the title. James' 43 dunks during the postseason eclipsed his previous high of 30. At age 31, he consistently appeared to be the spryest player on the floor against younger opponents on Golden State, Toronto and Detroit.

There's little mystery as to why a transcendent superstar subjected to playing as many as five games in a week during the regular season would enjoy a spring revival: In the postseason, that workload was reduced to fewer than a single game every three days. Under the current playoff format, a team never plays on consecutive days, and that format is an admission by the league that at the moment when all eyes are on the NBA and its best talent, the more rest, the better.

The poor methodology tolerated in crafting the regular-season schedule -- the lockout-shortened 2011 postseason notwithstanding -- doesn't fly when the world is watching.

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Jeron Teng (Manila Bulletin)

Jeron Teng and Ben Mbala vowed to not rest on their laurels even after La Salle earned a passing grade from coach Aldin Ayo in Saturday’s 67-65 win over Ateneo in Game 1 of the best-of-three series for the UAAP basketball championship.

Ayo praised his players for their desire in performing well in the series opener, but Teng and Mbala believe that there are still lapses that need to be fixed ahead of tomorrow’s possible clincher at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“I told the team that we have to play better, better than this game,” said Teng, whose go-ahead layup and block on Aaron Black in the dying seconds sealed La Salle’s victory.

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Paul Desiderio. Tristan Tamayo/

University of the Philippines duo of Paul Desiderio and Jett Manuel were caught off guard when they were introduced as part of the Gilas pool on Monday in the Chooks To Go-Gilas Pilipinas Manok ng Bayan press conference at Makati Shangri-la.

“I didn’t know about it,” said Desiderio.

“I’m unaware of it, but (being a part of the national team) has always been my dream ever since,” Manuel said.

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 La Salle rookie Aljun Melecio (11) fires a three-pointer over Ateneo's Adrian Wong in Game 1 of the UAAP Season 79 Finals. Arvin Lim, ABS-CBN Sports

MANILA, Philippines – The pressure-packed atmosphere of a De La Salle University-Ateneo de Manila University Finals barely fazed Green Archers guards Kib Montalbo and Aljun Melecio, who delighted in quieting the "blue" side in their Game 1 victory last Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Nearly 17,000 fans watched as the Green Archers came away with a nervy 67-65 win over the Blue Eagles, as the favored La Salle team needed a game-winner from Jeron Teng with 15 seconds left to finally put away the young Ateneo squad in the first game of the best of-three UAAP Season 79 Finals series.

Montalbo was instrumental in the win, as it was his crucial steal on Ateneo's Thirdy Ravena that led to Teng's go-ahead shot. Meanwhile, the rookie Melecio had six of his 12 points in the fourth quarter, built on a couple of three-pointers that helped La Salle temporarily hold off the Ateneo rally.

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Sources told ESPN that the 2017-18 campaign is earmarked to start in the Oct. 15 to Oct. 20 range -- up from Oct. 25 this season -- to create additional wiggle room that allows the league's schedule makers to further reduce the number of back-to-backs and four-games-in-five-nights sets on the current schedule.

To achieve this change will require a reduction in the preseason‎ schedule. Sources say the current eight-game maximum of exhibition games per team will be reduced to five or six preseason games per team in the new collective bargaining agreement.

‎Officials on both sides of the negotiating table have been optimistic for weeks that a new deal will be agreed to in advance of the Dec. 15 deadline for either the league or the union to opt out of its current 10-year labor pact.

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