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Silver: NBA wants normalcy in '21-22

(AP Photo/Nam Huh)

The NBA is expecting arenas to be filled again next season and a return to its normal calendar, Commissioner Adam Silver said Saturday, while cautioning again that every plan is contingent on continued progress in the ongoing fight against the coronavirus.

There are no plans for the league to travel overseas next season for exhibitions or regular-season games, Silver said, meaning recent preseason trips to foreign markets such as China, Japan or India won't be repeated until 2022 at the earliest.

But otherwise, things may largely appear back to normal - with the NBA eyeing a return to the 82-game schedule, starting in October and ending in June.

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Griffin, Pistons agree to buyout

DETROIT (AP) Blake Griffin's time in Detroit is over, another significant step in a rebuilding process that has the Pistons at the bottom of the Eastern Conference.

The veteran forward and the Pistons agreed to a contract buyout.

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Conley replaces injured Booker for ASG

PHOENIX (AP) Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker won't play in the NBA All-Star Game this weekend because of a mild sprain in his left knee, opening up space for Utah's Mike Conley to make his first All-Star appearance.

The Suns announced Booker's injury on Friday. Conley will be making his first appearance in the NBA showcase in his 13th season.

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Atlanta natives to ref NBA All-Star Game

The only instances of NBA referees Tom Washington, Tony Brown and Courtney Kirkland all officiating together are some offseason pro-am games in Atlanta, the city they all call home.

That will change Sunday.

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James teams up with Giannis for ASG

LeBron James has faced Giannis Antetokounmpo as an opponent in the last three All-Star Games.

The Los Angeles Lakers' star got him as a teammate this year.

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Lillard scores 44 as Blazers beat Kings

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) Damian Lillard had 44 points, including 10 straight at a key moment down the stretch, to give the Portland Trail Blazers a 123-119 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Thursday night.

Enes Kanter added 22 points and 21 rebounds for the Blazers, who have won three straight and are 21-14 heading into the All-Star break. It's the Blazers' best start through 35 games since 2015.

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Tatum, Celtics outlast depleted Raptors

BOSTON (AP) Jayson Tatum had 27 points and 12 rebounds and the Boston Celtics won their fourth straight game, outlasting the short-handed Toronto Raptors 132-125 on Thursday night.

Jaylen Brown added 21 points and seven rebounds, and Kemba Walker finished with 15 points.

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Surging Suns rout short-handed Warriors

PHOENIX (AP) Phoenix coach Monty Williams loves saying that he isn't going to get "happy on the farm" because his team's won a few games in a row.

After the Suns won for the 16th time in their last 19 games on Thursday night by cruising past the Golden State Warriors 120-98, even he had to admit things are going pretty darn well in the desert.

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Holiday hits jumper at :02 as Bucks win

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) With seconds remaining, no timeouts and down a point, the Milwaukee Bucks knew they had to push the pace.

Jrue Holiday took care of the rest.

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Butler, Heat beat Zion-less Pelicans

NEW ORLEANS (AP) Jimmy Butler had 29 points and nine assists, and the Miami Heat took advantage of Zion Williamson's absence to beat the New Orleans Pelicans 103-93 on Thursday night.

With a repertoire of strong inside moves and accurate mid-range shooting, Butler made 10 of 14 shots and eight of nine free throws to help the Heat keep the Pelicans at bay. Butler added a late step-back 3 to give him 10 points during an 11-2 run that put Miami up 98-87 with 2:50 to go.

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