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Saturday, March 23, 2019

Basketball

DeMarcus Cousins has clean MRI after ankle injury

DeMarcus Cousins

DeMarcus Cousins has been a big contributor for the Golden State Warriors since he made his debut this season, and any injury to his ankle or foot is a concern given that he suffered a torn Achilles last year. Fortunately, Cousins’ latest ailment is not serious.

Cousins has been ruled out for Monday night’s game against the San Antonio Spurs with a right ankle injury, but the Warriors say an MRI on the ankle came back clean.

That’s obviously great news for Golden State, as Cousins has played a big role since he returned two months ago. He’s averaging 15.6 points and 7.9 rebounds while playing 25.8 minutes per game, and he will make the Warriors that much more dangerous in the postseason as long as he’s healthy. Expect them to play it safe with the big man down the stretch.

Pistons coach thinks Andre Drummond can grow into three-point shooter

Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond has improved his game over the past year or so, and that’s given coach Dwane Casey hope that he can take further steps to become even more dangerous.

Drummond, one regarded as the league’s worst free-throw shooter, still is far from elite. But he’s improved from a 35 percent free throw shooter to a 58 percent one, and he’s even gone 21-of-25 this season in league-defined clutch situations.

That improvement has given Casey the belief that, given time, Drummond could even morph into a dangerous shooter from beyond the arc.

“Down the road, he’s going to be able to shoot 3s,” Casey said, via Dana Gauruder of the Detroit Free Press. “People look at me like I’m crazy, but that’s going to come at some point. But it’s got to come in the right way. I thought we experimented with it early in the year and he wasn’t ready for it. So what?”

Drummond has attempted a career-high 37 three pointers this season, but has made just five of them, a miserable 13.5 percent success rate. Obviously he has some way to go. Still, considering that he has become a better free throw shooter after considering some real desperation tactics a few years back, stranger things have happened.

Bulls coach calls Zach LaVine’s offer to pay fine ‘an unbelievable gesture’

Zach LaVine

Chicago Bulls star Zach LaVine appreciated the way head coach Jim Boylen defended his players during a game last week, and he offered to cover the fine Boylen received from the NBA for picking up two technical fouls and being ejected from Friday night’s game during the Los Angeles Clippers. The gesture was not lost on the coach.

Boylen said he was upset with the screens the Clippers were setting, and LaVine later told reporters he appreciates having a coach who is “going to fight for us.” The NBA fined Boylen a total of $7,000 for the two technical fouls and the ejection, and LaVine offered to pay the money. League rules prohibit that, but the offer clearly went a long way with Boylen.

The Bulls got off to an incredibly tough start with Boylen after former coach Fred Hoiberg was fired, and LaVine was one of the players who threw shade at the coaching staff. While Chicago is just 19-52 on the season, his relationship with Boylen has obviously come a long way.

Giannis Antetokounmpo says ankle feels good despite tweak

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis Antetokounmpo says that his ankle is feeling good despite him tweaking it during Sunday’s home loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.

Giannis got hurt after falling when he went up for a layup during the game. He was walking gingerly after the fall.

Antetokounmpo ended up scoring a career-high 52 points with 16 rebounds and 7 assists in the 130-125 defeat. After the game, Giannis was wearing an ankle support and told reporters it felt good despite him tweaking it.

The issue brought up bad memories for Bucks fans. Giannis hurt his ankle almost exactly a year ago and dealt with a sprain.

LeBron James shares early free agent pitch to potential signings

LeBron James dunk

The Los Angeles Lakers have a big offseason ahead of them, and it will likely involve some high-profile free agent pursuits.

LeBron James figures to be a big part of whatever the Lakers are selling. He was asked after Sunday’s loss to the New York Knicks what the message would be to potential signings, and he offered up something of a preview.

James may already have some players in mind to make this pitch to. Whether the message actually sticks remains to be seen.

Russell Westbrook suspended one game for 16th technical foul

Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook’s latest technical foul will cost him.

Westbrook has been suspended one game for incurring his 16th technical foul of the season. He will serve the suspension on Monday according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

Westbrook was called for a tech during the second quarter of the Thunder’s loss to the Golden State Warriors on Saturday. He declined to answer all questions related to the tech.

The suspension will oddly help save the Thunder money.

The 42-28 Thunder host the Heat on Monday.

Watch: Mike Scott takes sip from fan’s drink during game

Mike Scott drink

Mike Scott had some fun after taking a spill into the crowd during the first quarter of Sunday’s Philadelphia 76ers-Milwaukee Bucks game.

Scott was chasing down a loose ball and dived into the front row while chasing it. He ended up in the lap of some fans and took a sip of a drink while he was there.

Whether it’s athletes grabbing a fan’s popcorn or nachos or now helping themselves to a sip of a drink, it’s always fun seeing a fan get casual like that.