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Now that coaches are talking again during this week’s swath of mandatory minicamps, we’re finding out about all sorts of injury updates across the league.

That applies to Tennessee, where Titans coach Mike Mularkey broke news on a pair of key offensive players, running back DeMarco Murray and second-year receiver Tajae Sharpe.
Murray recently underwent a hand procedure on a minor, nagging injury, but should be out of a cast by Monday, per Mularkey. The 29-year-old runner will be “fine” for training camp.

“You know, like I said [it’s] just a little lingering issue that, you know, [we] thought, might as well just get it done now,” said Murray, who added that he initially suffered the injury during Week 2 of the 2016 season.

Sharpe also went under the knife and is currently recovering from foot surgery. Like Murray, last year’s fifth-round draft pick is expected to be ready for camp.

We could spend another five paragraphs telling you what this means for the Titans, but it ultimately means nothing if both players are ready to roll come July.

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CLEVELAND — Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue is digging in his heels on his approach to coaching his team despite trailing the Golden State Warriors 0-2 heading into Wednesday’s Game 3.

Lue announced Tuesday that he will keep J.R. Smith as his starting shooting guard, even though Smith combined for just three points on 1-for-6 shooting, two rebounds and zero assists, steals and blocks in Games 1 and 2.

The Warriors took Game 2 in impressive fashion. We have you covered with the latest news and analysis entering Game 3 (Wed., 9 ET on ABC/WatchESPN). 2017 Finals »

A Cavs source told ESPN following Game 2 that the team would consider starting Iman Shumpert over Smith after Shumpert had some success guarding Kevin Durant and played aggressively on offense. Lue, however, is sticking with Smith, who started 35 of the 41 games in which he played this season.

Shumpert, who required an IV after Game 2, appeared Tuesday to have recovered from the cramps that plagued him Sunday. He and Smith engaged in a spirited game of 1-on-1 during the portion of the practice that was open to the media and Shumpert could be heard encouraging Smith to bring the same mindset he displayed in practice to the rest of the series.

Lue also remained steadfast in the Cavs playing with a frenetic pace, even though the Warriors have outscored them 245-204 in the series so far. The Cavs were average, at best, in terms of pace during the regular season, ranking 16th in the league.

“I think taking good shots when we’re playing with pace and not turning the basketball over, letting them get out in transition,” Lue said. “So, that’s our game. We’re not going to change our game because of who we’re playing. And I’m confident that we can play that way, and we did it last year. A lot of people said we couldn’t. But that’s our game. That’s who we are. And we’re not going to change just pause we’re playing Golden State.”

The Cavs are playing at a quicker pace than LeBron James has ever played before. James has played with an average pace of 90.6 possessions per game in his 14-year career, according to ESPN Stats & Information. In the Finals, the Cavs are averaging 105.5 possessions per game so far.

In the first quarter of Game 2, the Cavs played with the fastest pace of any quarter of the 1,275 games James has played — regular season or postesason. Despite the extra possessions, Cleveland trailed 40-34 heading into the second. The quickened pace was not sustainable in Game 2, as the Cavs had 59 possessions in the first half and 49 possessions in the second half.

James rejected a reporter’s call for more of a halfcourt-oriented game from the Cavs on Wednesday.

“That’s not our game. We don’t play slowdown basketball,” James said. “We play at our pace. We play our game. We got to this point playing our way. We have won a lot of games playing the way we play, so we’re not going to change.”

Lue acknowledged one adjustment, saying that starting center Tristan Thompson could continue to play reduced minutes.

“It’s not anything Tristan isn’t doing,” Lue said. “I just think that against this team you have to score the basketball.”

If it’s not Thompson, the Cavs will likely go more to Channing Frye, who was 1-for-5 for two points in Game 2. He is not the only role player struggling. Smith, of course, has yet to make an impact, and Deron Williams is 0-for-9 in the Finals so far.

“We have done a great job of getting everyone involved and making sure that everyone feels comfortable, but now we need everything and everybody,” Kyrie Irving said. “And I know they know how important they are. And it’s our job, my job to exude as much confidence as I can in them in order to get the very best, and I will do that.”

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Miami Heat guard Dion Waiters intends to decline his 2017-18 player option to enter unrestricted free agency on July 1, league sources tell ESPN.

Waiters, 25, will turn down an option worth a little more than $3.2 million. His consistent production this past season bodes well for a considerable salary increase.

June 29 is Waiters’ official deadline date. Sources say the Heat are aware of his intentions.

He had a breakout season under head coach Erik Spoelstra. In his lone season with the Heat, Waiters registered career highs in rebounds (3.3), assists (4.3) and 3-point percentage (40%). His 15.8 points per game average was the third highest on the team and his second highest career mark.

Waiters has repeatedly expressed his desire to return to Miami, where he experienced a career rejuvenation.

He was selected fourth overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2012 draft and traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder in a three-team deal in January of 2015. He signed with the Heat as a free agent last offseason.

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OAKLAND, Calif. — If Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr feels well over the next few days without any setbacks, there remains some optimism he could coach Sunday in Game 2 of the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, sources told ESPN.

“He may coach Sunday. He’s feeling better,” a source close to Kerr told ESPN’s Marc Spears.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who has been out since the middle of the first round of the playoffs due to effects from back surgery almost two years ago, is feeling better, a source said. Noah Graham/NBAE/Getty Images
Kerr had been feeling well enough earlier this week to be hopeful that he would be able to coach in Game 1 on Thursday, but according to team sources, after he had a bad day Wednesday, he decided it was best for acting head coach Mike Brown to continue leading the team.

Brown urged Kerr to wait until game time to make a final decision about coaching Game 1, but Kerr felt he needed to string together several good days in a row before returning.

Kerr watched Game 1 with Los Angeles Lakers coach Luke Walton as Brown tallied his 11th consecutive victory with a 113-91 rout of his former team at Oracle Arena.

2017 NBA Finals: Full coverage
We have you covered with the latest news, analysis and more. 2017 NBA Finals »

Kerr implied earlier in the week that he was aiming to make a definitive decision on his status if unable to coach the opening game.

However, general manager Bob Myers told ESPN on Thursday that the Warriors are “not closing the door” on Kerr’s return this series and will remain patient to allow him the necessary time to recover, even it happens to occur deep into the series.

Kerr doesn’t want to be a distraction, but the team doesn’t view this situation as such and is committed to seeing the process through.

The 2015-16 coach of the year took an indefinite leave of absence during the middle of the first round to find a remedy for the migraines and nausea he has experienced stemming from back surgery almost two years ago.

Golden State is a perfect 13-0 in these playoffs, matching the longest winning streak in postseason history.

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PITTSBURGH — Prosecutors are dropping charges filed against a Tennessee man for throwing a catfish onto the rink in Pittsburgh during Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Jacob Waddell, 36, was charged in Allegheny County with disorderly conduct, possessing instruments of crime and disrupting meetings or processions after tossing the dead fish over the glass surrounding the rink Monday night during the Nashville Predators-Pittsburgh Penguins game.
The Penguins ice crew removes a catfish from the ice during the second period in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire
District Attorney Stephen Zappala said in a Facebook post Wednesday that Waddell’s actions “do not rise to the level of criminal charges” so the charges “will be withdrawn in a timely manner.”

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry had called for the charges to be “quickly dismissed.”

In an interview Tuesday with 104.5 The Zone in Nashville, Waddell described all that went into the catfish toss:

He paid $350 for a pair of upper-level tickets to the game, then bought “an entirely too big” catfish at a Tennessee market. He said his wife was “tentatively OK with it.”

He sprayed it down with Old Spice cologne and threw it into a cooler for the trip to Pittsburgh.

On Monday night, before Game 1, he filleted the fish at a relative’s house, cut out half its spine, and then ran it over with his truck in an attempt to better conceal it.

He stashed the fish over his underwear, then under a pair of compression shorts and baggy shorts.

He entered the arena, then staked out a lower-bowl section where he could heave the catfish over the glass. Sure enough, during a stoppage of play, Waddell made the move.

Recalling how it unfolded, Waddell told 104.5 The Zone: “I thought, ‘Man, wouldn’t it be awesome to get to go to that game?’ And then, like an ignorant redneck, I thought ‘Wouldn’t it be awesome to throw a catfish on the ice at this game?’”

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CLEVELAND — After going scoreless in the fourth quarter and totaling only 11 points in a 111-108 Game 3 loss to the Celtics on Sunday, Cavaliers forward LeBron James said he just “didn’t have it” as Boston battled back from a 21-point hole to win the game at the buzzer.

“I had a tough game, period — not just in the second half,” James said after the fourth-lowest-scoring playoff game of his career, which has spanned 210 postseason games. “Me personally, I didn’t have it. My teammates did a great job of keeping us in the game, building that lead. But me personally, I didn’t have it. That’s all I’ve got to say about my performance.”

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James’ frustration was exacerbated by a confrontation with an adult male fan as the Cavs star made his way to his postgame news conference. The fan heckled James for his low scoring total, which caused James to advance in the fan’s direction.

“What did you do?” James said in response, prompting the fan to rattle off his playing experience on the basketball team at a local liberal arts college before security intervened to usher the fan away from the hallway where James was walking.

James’ agitation carried into his postgame remarks, in which he challenged a local radio reporter for a perceived pattern of asking negative questions. The same reporter bothered Toronto Raptors coach Dwane Casey in the second round for suggesting that the Cavs “dominated” the Raptors when phrasing a question.

“I was just pretty poor,” James said. “What else do you want me to say? It seems like you only ask questions when we lose. … You always come around when we lose, I swear.”

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With star player Isaiah Thomas done for the playoffs, the Celtics received clutch contributions from Marcus Smart and reserve swingman Jonas Jerebko to pull out an improbable last-second win over the Cavaliers in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals.
Bradley hits last-second shot, Celtics stun Cavs 111-108
Avery Bradley’s 3-pointer dropped in with less than a second left as the Boston Celtics, blown out in the first two games of the Eastern Conference finals and playing without star Isaiah Thomas, stunned the Cleveland Cavaliers 111-108 on Sunday night.
Cleveland was dominating Boston until midway through the third quarter, when the Celtics stormed back, thanks in large part to Marcus Smart’s scoring 19 of his 27 points after halftime. James’ second half, meanwhile, saw him shoot 1-for-8 with one rebound, one assist, one steal and three turnovers as he scored three points in 22 minutes.

After scoring 68 total points through the Cavs’ 2-0 start to the series, James was asked if the Celtics’ defensive adjustments caused him trouble in Game 3.

“No, no, they didn’t mix up the coverage,” James said. “They did a good job of sprinting back, leveling to the ball, doubling me a little bit more in the post. But like I said, my performance personally was all on me.”

The record books show it was one of James’ least-productive playoff games:

• His 11 points were his fewest in 107 career home playoff games.

• They were his fewest points overall since May 28, 2014, when he scored seven points against the Indiana Pacers with the Miami Heat.

• It was the second time in his playoff career that he was held scoreless in a fourth quarter in which he played the entire period. The first was the Heat’s Game 4 loss to the Dallas Mavericks in the 2011 NBA Finals, in which he finished with eight points.

• It was his first playoff game with fewer than 15 points and five or more turnovers (he had six) since May 6, 2008, which also came against the Celtics. He played 169 playoff games between those two games.

• It was the second time in the past 10 seasons that he scored the fewest points among his team’s five starters (the other was Game 5 of the 2014 East finals, in which he was held to seven points due in large part to foul trouble).

• The Cavaliers’ 21-point blown lead was the largest of James’ postseason career. His teams were previously 49-0 after leading by 20 points or more.

“I mean, he’s human, so he’s going to have a night like this,” Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. “He didn’t shoot the ball well, and we still had a 20-point lead.”

Celtics coach Brad Stevens was not about to bury James for the off night.

“He’s such an unselfish player,” Stevens said. “He made so many great plays, some that people will talk about that led to extra passes, some that led to assists. He’s the best player in the world. I’m not going to criticize him one bit. I don’t know what to say other than he’s a handful.”

Multiple Cavs sources summed up James’ night to ESPN as simply a product of his riding Kyrie Irving (who scored 17 of his 29 points in the first half) and Kevin Love (who scored 22 of his 28 in the first half) and then having difficulty turning it on late.

“He kept feeding them and tried to let the game come to him, and he got out of rhythm a little bit,” Lue told ESPN.

Tristan Thompson blamed the downfall on the Cavs’ defense, which gave up 61 points in the second half.

“It doesn’t matter what Bron’s numbers were tonight,” Thompson said. “Defensively, we’ve got to be better. It starts with multiple efforts, taking the challenge one-on-one and making those adjustments and just playing harder.”

The loss snapped the Cavs’ perfect 10-0 start to the postseason, which James said can be a good thing in preparing Cleveland for its ultimate goal of back-to-back championships.
“I think it’s great,” James said. “What happened hurts — it’s a loss in the postseason. But I’m glad it kind of hurt, that it happened the way it did: let our foot off the gas a little bit, didn’t keep the pressure on them like we have been accustomed to. But we have to play a lot better in Game 4.”

James, asked to elaborate, said “some adversity” is simply part of the playoff process.

“I feel like you have to have some type of adversity in order to be successful,” James said. “If it was going to happen, let it happen now. Let us regroup. Let us regroup, and all the narrative and everything that was going on, let’s regroup, and let’s get back to playing desperate basketball, which they did tonight. So we’ve got to be a lot better, for sure.”

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PITTSBURGH — Ottawa Senators star defenseman Erik Karlsson, who has been battling leg injuries, left Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals in the second period Sunday after his left ankle twisted awkwardly when he collided with Pittsburgh Penguins forward Scott Wilson along the boards.

Senators coach Guy Boucher said after the game — a 7-0 Pittsburgh victory — that he decided not to play Karlsson in the third period with the Senators trailing 5-0. He expects him to be ready for Game 6 on Tuesday.

Karlsson already has played through hairline fractures in the same foot during this playoff run for the Senators, a revelation he shared following the first-round win over Boston.

Ottawa forward Derick Brassard and defenseman Cody Ceci also were not on the bench for the third period. Brassard had a collision with Penguins forward Chris Kunitz that kept him face down on the ice for several moments. Ceci has battled injuries down the stretch this season. Boucher said they also could have played if the game was close.

The Penguins lead the series 3-2.

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OAKLAND, Calif. — San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard reinjured his left ankle Sunday during the second half of the Spurs’ 113-111 loss to the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals.

He is expected to undergo an MRI.

“I don’t know. The game just ended,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said when asked about the injury postgame. “I don’t know what Kawhi’s status is. I know he got his foot stepped on again. So he hurt the same foot.”

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The left ankle injury originally kept Leonard out of the Spurs’ clinching Game 6 victory over the Houston Rockets in their Western Conference semifinal series.

Then the forward tweaked the injury Sunday twice in a span of approximately five minutes; he stepped on the foot of teammate David Lee and then landed on the foot of Warriors center Zaza Pachulia, going down for the game.

“Just very painful,” Leonard said. “I tweaked it before, the last shot I shot. But it’s hard to tell right now. I definitely couldn’t go in that third quarter, with six minutes left.”

After taking a corner jumper, Leonard took a spill near the Spurs bench after landing on Pachulia’s foot with 7:54 left in the third quarter and San Antonio leading 76-55. Pachulia was whistled for a foul, and Leonard knocked down the ensuing free throws.

Leonard appeared to signal to the bench that he needed to leave the game in between his two foul shots. After Leonard connected on the free throws, Spurs athletic trainer Will Sevening walked onto the court, put an arm around the forward and escorted him to the locker room.

The club announced Leonard would not return to action.

“I just did what I was supposed to do and challenged his shot. I turned around, and there was a call,” Pachulia said. “I didn’t notice that he was down until I turned back, actually. So I didn’t see what happened there.”

Leonard dismissed the notion that his latest injury came as a result of dirty play on Pachulia’s part.

“Did he step under it? Like, on purpose?” Leonard asked. “No. He was contesting the shot. The shot clock was coming down. I’ll have to see the play.”

The Warriors, too, were asked about Pachulia’s play — and Kevin Durant defended his teammate.

“Zaza’s not a dirty player. You’ve got to time that perfectly if you want to hurt somebody,” Durant said. “We’re not that type of team. Kawhi’s an unbelievable player. We’ve got nothing but respect for him. We wish that he gets healthy. We just tried to contest a shot. Guys are playing hard. It was an unfortunate situation. I wish it didn’t happen, but I don’t think it was intentional. You can’t listen to people on Twitter; they’re irrational.”

At the time of his exit, Leonard had 26 points, eight rebounds and three assists, and the Spurs led 78-55. The Warriors went on an 18-0 run after Leonard left the game until LaMarcus Aldridge sank a jumper to snap the streak.

Leonard said he tuned in to the game from the locker room once Golden State had cut San Antonio’s lead to eight points.
Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard — who will have an MRI on his left ankle — doesn’t think Warriors center Zaza Pachulia was trying to intentionally injure him when he landed on Pachulia’s foot. Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images
“It was pretty tough, but I still had faith,” Leonard said. “They pulled out the last one in the fourth quarter when we were at home. So I just kept faith.”

Still, the Warriors ended up outscoring the Spurs 56-30 after Leonard’s departure.

Asked about Leonard leaving the game, Spurs guard Manu Ginobili called it “huge.”

“He means a lot to this team and we were doing really well, and when he went down, the Warriors were starting to pick up, to feel good about themselves, to increase the pressure on everybody else, and that’s when we struggled because we couldn’t have the guy that runs those plays and get them off their pressure. We struggled a lot without him, and it’s a tough break. He’s coming from an injury on the ankle and he tweaked it twice in the last minute he played, so we couldn’t react to his absence,” Ginobili said.

Leonard initially hurt his ankle in Game 5 of the conference semifinals against the Rockets on Tuesday.

A source told ESPN that Leonard could have played in Game 6 on Thursday night, but the Spurs decided they’d rather have him healthy for Sunday.

Leonard sat out much of the fourth quarter of Game 5 against Houston and didn’t take the court for overtime after he came down on the foot of James Harden while turning to run up the court with 5:37 left in the third quarter.

Leonard said his spirits are “good” after this latest setback.

The plan now is to “get back healthy,” Leonard said. “I have faith in my teammates, and we’re going to see what happens in Game 2.”

San Antonio could head into Game 2 without Leonard and starting point guard Tony Parker, who ruptured a quadriceps tendon in the conference semifinals. But inside the locker room, the team remained encouraged by the opportunity versus the Warriors.
“You obviously want to be as healthy as you can,” guard Patty Mills said. “I think the best thing that we can do is not get discouraged from that, and understand that we’ve still got an amazing opportunity with the guys that are able to go. I think we’ve done a decent job of not being discouraged. We can’t cry about it. It’s not gonna help us at all. We’ve got to dig deep, dig even deeper with the guys that we do have, find answers, play hard and play smart, especially here on the road. We’ve got the guys to be able to get the job done. We’ve just got to do it all together.”

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WASHINGTON — Wizards forward Kelly Oubre Jr. was ejected after shoving Boston Celtics big man Kelly Olynyk in the second quarter of Game 3 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series on Thursday.

After Olynyk got whistled for an offensive foul for an illegal screen that left Oubre on the court, Oubre jumped up and rushed at Olynyk and shoved him as Olynyk argued the original call to a nearby referee.

Oubre reached across referee Monty McCutchen to deliver the shove that knocked Olynyk onto the floor. Oubre continued barking at Olynyk as McCutchen held him back before teammates separated the two players.

Oubre was assessed a flagrant 2 and ejected from the game, a 116-89 win that closed the Wizards’ deficit in the series to 2-1.
Washington’s Kelly Oubre Jr., left, was ejected for shoving Boston’s Kelly Olynyk in Game 3. EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDS
The two players were immediately separated by players and security after the Oubre shove. Fans inside the Verizon Center chanted Oubre’s name as the referees reviewed the video.

The league reviews all flagrant fouls, and Oubre could face a suspension or fine for his actions.

Oubre’s incident with Olynyk came after Washington’s Ian Mahinmi got into a brief scuffle with Jonas Jerebko of the Celtics. Both players received technical fouls for their involvement, part of the eight total that were handed out Thursday night.

Prior to Game 3, Wizards stars John Wall and Bradley Beal both talked about being more physical in their series against Boston.

“We get fouled a lot, but it’s the playoffs,” Beal said. “We can’t complain, can’t be passive. We gotta push back.”

Wall’s backup, Brandon Jennings, made sure he kept pushing, as he got into a spat with Celtics reserve point guard Terry Rozier that ended with both men being ejected on double technicals in the fourth quarter.

The two had a brief flare-up near the Boston bench and kept barking at each other as play continued. Brad Stevens, the typically stoic coach of the Celtics, picked up a technical during the sequence for arguing the original technical call against Rozier. It was just the fifth technical foul in Stevens’ four-year NBA coaching career.

Not to be outdone, Wizards coach Scott Brooks also picked up a fourth-quarter technical.

Thursday’s game marked the first time since 2013 that an NBA playoff game featured at least eight technicals. The Bulls (six) and Heat (three) combined for nine total technicals in a game the Heat won 115-78.

The Wizards’ 27-point victory may be noted by all the extracurricular activity, but Celtics forward Gerald Green has only one thing in mind for the teams’ next game on Sunday.

“We gonna beat their ass in Game 4,” Green said.

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The Calgary Flames have signed general manager Brad Treliving to a multiyear contract extension.

“We are striving to create a level of continuity and stability, as all successful teams do,” Flames president of hockey operations Brian Burke said in a statement. “Today’s announcement is another step forward for our organization on that path. Under Brad’s leadership, we have seen progress over the past three seasons and look forward to building on that growth in the coming years.”

The Flames have gone 125-108-18 over three seasons since Treliving’s hiring, including playoff appearances in 2014-15 and this past season. Calgary was swept by the Anaheim Ducks in the first round last month.

Treliving was vice president of hockey operations for the Arizona Coyotes before joining the Flames.