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Spurs not counting on Leonard returning

(Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)

SAN ANTONIO (AP) The Spurs are preparing to play without star forward Kawhi Leonard this season, San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said.

Leonard has missed all but nine games this season as he battles right quadriceps tendinopathy.

"We only have X number of games left this season and he's still not ready to go," Popovich said Wednesday. "And if by some chance he is, it's going to be pretty late into the season and it's going to be a tough decision. How late do you bring somebody back? That's why I'm just trying to be honest and logical. I'll be surprised if he gets back this year."

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Cuban fined $600K for tanking comments

DALLAS (AP) The NBA fined outspoken Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban $600,000 on Wednesday for comments about tanking during a podcast with Hall of Famer Julius Erving.

Commissioner Adam Silver said the fine was for "public statements detrimental to the NBA." The league said the podcast with Erving was posted Sunday, the day the All-Star game was played in Los Angeles.

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James opposes changing playoff format

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) LeBron James has only followed an Eastern route to the NBA Finals.

He doesn't want to see that change.

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Mavs probe ex-president for misconduct

LOS ANGELES (AP) Dirk Nowitzki said Wednesday night he was "disgusted" to read about allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct by former team president Terdema Ussery in a Sports Illustrated report that described a hostile workplace for women.

The 20-year player who has spent his entire career with the Mavericks told reporters after the first post-All-Star break practice in Los Angeles that he was glad the franchise was addressing the situation by hiring outside counsel to investigate the allegations.

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Kings want All-Star game in Sacramento

The Sacramento Kings are looking to bring the NBA All-Star game to California's capital for the first time.

Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, Mayor Darrell Steinberg and tourism officials are set to detail plans for the bid for the game in 2022 or `23 on Thursday and submit an application to the league Friday.

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Pistons' Jackson able to do some running

DETROIT (AP) Pistons point guard Reggie Jackson still has no timeframe for a return to practice, nearly two months after spraining his right ankle.

The team announced Wednesday that Jackson was entering the next stage of his rehab and has been "cleared to begin light running, shooting and continued ankle strengthening exercises."

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Blazers sign veteran Rush to 10-day deal

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) The Portland Trail Blazers signed veteran guard/forward Brandon Rush to a 10-day contract Wednesday.

Last season Rush played for the Minnesota Timberwolves, appearing in 47 games and averaging 4.2 points and 2.1 rebounds in 21.9 minutes. The nine-year veteran has also played for Indiana, Golden State and Utah. He was on the Warriors' team that won the 2015 NBA title.

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Cavs' new additions ready for home debut

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) Larry Nance Jr. has run into an unexpected snag since joining the Cavaliers.

"Trying to convince my mom that I'm not living at home," he said, smiling. "We're out looking for rental properties and stuff like that and she's like, `Oh, our basement is pretty nice.' That's probably been the toughest thing."

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Struggling Hornets fire GM Cho

The struggling Hornets have shaken up their front office, firing general manager Rich Cho on Tuesday.

"Rich worked tirelessly on behalf of our team and instituted a number of management tools that have benefited our organization," Hornets owner Michael Jordan said in a release. "We are deeply committed to our fans and to the city of Charlotte to provide a consistent winner on the court. The search will now begin for our next head of basketball operations who will help us achieve that goal."

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Rockets, Raptors enjoying view from top

Golden State and Cleveland are used to looking down at the rest of the NBA, though it's Houston and Toronto enjoying that view at the All-Star break.

The Rockets and Raptors are the conference leaders and will try to keep rolling when play resumes. Houston has won 10 straight to edge past the Warriors, and Toronto is two games up in the East after seven consecutive wins.

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