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Updated Friday, April 12, 2024 at 10 a.m. ET

Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns, who hasn't played since March 4 because of a meniscus tear in his left knee, is expected to make his return at home vs. the Atlanta Hawks on Friday, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. - ESPN.com


RECENT NBA RUMORS

Minnesota Timberwolves' Karl-Anthony Towns isn't planning to play Wednesday night after being cleared for full-contact activity, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, but a return this weekend is possible. Towns has been out since March 4 and underwent surgery for a meniscus tear in his left knee four weeks ago. - ESPN.com

Atlanta Hawks All-Star guard Trae Young is nearing a return and could play as soon as Wednesday night against the Charlotte Hornets, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Young had been sidelined since surgery to repair a torn ligament in a finger on Feb. 27. He resumed practicing this week. - ESPN.com

Anthony Davis aggravated a left eye injury and was ruled out of the second half of the Los Angeles Lakers' 127-117 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday. Davis was inadvertently hit in the face by Wolves forward Kyle Anderson late in the first quarter when scoring off an offensive rebound. Davis immediately went to the floor after the play and covered his face with his hands. The putback dunk gave L.A. a 35-30 lead with 24.2 seconds remaining in the first. - ESPN.com

Khris Middleton left the Milwaukee Bucks' 122-109 loss to the New York Knicks on Sunday after getting hit in the mouth midway through the second quarter. Middleton fell to the floor after New York's Donte DiVincenzo inadvertently hit him in the face. As Middleton was lying on his stomach, Knicks center Isaiah Hartenstein fell after hitting a shot and landed on the Bucks forward's back. - ESPN.com

The 13-member [Basketball Hall of Fame] class announced Saturday includes former Lakers, Grizzlies and Warriors executive Jerry West, who was already inducted as a player and as a member of the 1960 U.S. Olympic team. Also in the class: players Seimone Augustus, Michael Cooper, Walter Davis, Dick Barnett and Michele Timms; coaches Charles Smith, Harley Redin and Bo Ryan; broadcaster/coach Doug Collins; and owner Herb Simon. The 2024 class will be enshrined into the Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts, in August. "It's mind-blowing for me," Carter said. "I enjoyed playing the game of basketball every day. I'm just overjoyed." Carter, 47, was an eight-time All-Star and the NBA Rookie of the Year in 1999 with the Toronto Raptors. He had the longest career in NBA history, playing 22 seasons for the Raptors, Nets, Mavericks, Grizzlies, Hawks, Magic, Kings and Suns, and finished with 25,728 career points, good for 21st in league history. - AP via ESPN.com

The 76ers would have had the final 10 days of the regular season to prepare for the 7-8 play-in game, one they would have been playing either back here on the shores of Biscayne Bay or in Indianapolis against Tyrese Haliburton and the Pacers. But in a game that featured several wild swings, including multiple double-digit runs in both directions and Miami outscoring Philadelphia by a combined 21-4 over the final minute of the first three quarters, it was the 76ers -- led by Tyrese Maxey's 37 points, 9 rebounds and 11 assists, plus 29 from Embiid and 18 from Kelly Oubre Jr. -- who found a way to pull it out in the end. As a result, Embiid -- who played 32 minutes Thursday after playing 29 in his first game back in Tuesday's win over the Oklahoma City Thunder -- could have a chance to get a full week off before the playoffs, presuming Philadelphia is able to get up to the sixth spot in the standings. The added benefit: Philadelphia avoiding the Boston Celtics until the Eastern Conference finals. - ESPN.com

Golden State Warriors players Draymond Green and Klay Thompson stood, faced the crowd in Houston and yelled, "Warrrriors, come out to play!" The phrase was the same one Rockets forward Tari Eason wore on his shirt before Thursday's game. But after the Warriors beat the Rockets 133-110 -- a game with massive play-in implications -- Eason exited the arena shirtless, with a vest and a big diamond chain on. "That's pretty lame, especially if you're not even playing," Thompson said. "It's one thing if you are out there playing, out there competing and you can back it up. But you're just going to be trolling from the sideline? What are you doing? The time we talk smack, we're out there competing. That's all I have to say about that." - ESPN.com

After two months of rehabilitation to attempt a return to the New York Knicks, All-NBA forward Julius Randle will undergo season-ending right shoulder surgery, the team announced Thursday. Randle, who has been out since dislocating his shoulder on Jan. 27, had been relentlessly rehabilitating to resume playing prior to the Eastern Conference playoffs. Doctors warned him recently that continued instability in the shoulder made it unsafe for him to play again this season, sources told ESPN. - ESPN.com

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson did not play the final 7:24 of Wednesday night's 117-108 loss to the Orlando Magic because of a finger injury on his left hand. Williamson had the middle finger of his left shooting hand taped up as he took questions from reporters following the game, but didn't want to speculate on the extent of the injury. "I don't want to say anything that's not right, to be honest," Williamson said. "But yeah, I tweaked it a little bit. I'll have more information on it [Thursday] morning and I'm going to get it looked at and go from there." - ESPN.com

Detroit Pistons reserve point guard Malachi Flynn gave a rare 50-point performance in Wednesday night's 121-113 loss to the Atlanta Hawks. It was just the third game of 50 points or more by a player off the bench since starters were first tracked in 1970-71. Jamal Crawford scored 51 for the Phoenix Suns in a loss to the Dallas Mavericks in 2019, and Nick Anderson had 50 for the Orlando Magic in a win over the New Jersey Nets in 1993. - ESPN.com

Steve Clifford is stepping down as the Charlotte Hornets' coach at the end of the season and is working to finalize a front office role with the franchise, sources told ESPN. Clifford, who informed his assistants and players of the news Wednesday morning, will coach the Hornets' final seven games beginning Wednesday night against the Portland Trail Blazers, sources said. Charlotte's new executive vice president of basketball operations Jeff Peterson and co-owners Rick Schnall and Gabe Plotkin were open to bringing him back as coach next season, but Clifford, 62, decided he wasn't prepared to commit to the year-round grind of head coaching for the 2024-2025 season, sources said. - ESPN.com

When Joel Embiid barreled down the court inside the final 30 seconds of Tuesday night's game against the Western Conference-leading Oklahoma City Thunder, the sellout crowd inside Wells Fargo Center rose to its feet. Meanwhile, 76ers coach Nick Nurse held his breath. "Go faster?" Nurse said postgame, when asked what was going through his mind when he saw Embiid driving the paint in the closing moments of a one-point game after swiping the ball from Thunder guard Josh Giddey. Seconds after the steal, Embiid, in his first game in eight weeks after undergoing a procedure on the lateral meniscus in his left knee, jumped into Thunder center Chet Holmgren at the rim. The collision sent the rookie into the photographers behind the basket and Embiid to the free throw line. "Man, I was trying to get the and-one," Embiid said postgame. - ESPN.com

LA Clippers star Kawhi Leonard has been ruled out for Tuesday's game against the Sacramento Kings due to right knee soreness. Leonard returned home to Los Angeles on Monday to receive more treatment. Coach Ty Lue said the team first learned of Leonard's right knee soreness after a 130-118 win over Charlotte on Sunday. His status for Thursday's game against Denver, which is the start of a home back-to-back for the Clippers, is uncertain. - ESPN.com

Rajon Rondo officially announced his retirement from the NBA after 16 seasons. During an appearance on the "All the Smoke" podcast, Rondo was quick with a response when asked by host Matt Barnes if the NBA has seen the last of him. "Absolutely," the 38-year-old point guard said. "Yeah, I'm done. I can't. I'd rather spend time with my kids." - ESPN.com

Sacramento Kings guard Malik Monk -- one of the frontrunners for NBA Sixth Man of the Year -- has suffered a sprained right MCL and is expected to miss four-to-six weeks, sources told ESPN on Saturday. Monk, who was injured after Luka Doncic landed on his knee in a loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Friday, will likely need the Kings to advance in the Western Conference playoffs to return this season. - ESPN.com

Indiana had a clever troll aimed at Los Angeles fans in attendance at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. The Pacers camera put a crying filter on Lakers fans, posting the clip after their win. The two teams faced off twice this season before Friday -- once last Sunday and in the in-season tournament championship in December. Los Angeles was victorious each time, but struggled offensively this time around, snapping its five-game winning streak. - ESPN.com

On Wednesday, Boston Celtics guard Jayson Tatum said he feels for fans when he doesn't hit their parlays. "I guess I do feel bad when I don't hit people's parlays. I don't want them to lose money," Tatum told reporters at the Celtics' shootaround. When money is on the line, fans don't have an issue reminding the player they've betted on what they must accomplish for a big payday. Tatum said he hears it all from the crowd while in action. "Fans yell s--- all the time, 'shoot one more 3, get one more rebound, get 25 before the half is over,'" Tatum said. - ESPN.com

Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor is no longer selling his controlling stake in the franchise to minority owners Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez, he announced Thursday. Taylor alleges Lore and Rodriguez failed to meet certain contractual deadlines and obligations of the sale process, which began in 2021. Sources told ESPN that the relationship between Taylor and his successors -- Lore and Rodriguez -- disintegrated over the past two years. - ESPN.com

Golden State star Draymond Green on Thursday expressed regret for again being ejected -- this time, less than four minutes into the game -- in the Warriors' victory against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night. "It just can't happen," Green said on "The Draymond Green Show" podcast Thursday. "I said what I said. I deserved to be kicked out at that point. If I'm all the way honest with y'all, kind of was trying to turn my body and angle it to go to the bench, but I said what I said a little too soon before angling my body. ... But, yeah, it just can't happen." - ESPN.com

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry watched from the bench as his team took blow after blow from the Minnesota Timberwolves in the fourth quarter of their eventual 114-110 loss on Sunday night. He was ready and expecting to come back in, but he remained on the bench for 11 straight minutes. After being subbed out of the game with four minutes left in the third quarter, Curry didn't re-enter until just over six minutes left in the fourth. He gave them a push, but the damage was already done. "I want to play as many minutes as I'm fresh and able to, so I'm a little bit [surprised] knowing that they were going on a run," said Curry, who ended up playing just 30 minutes. "Our lead was withering away." - ESPN.com

The NBA on Sunday suspended Utah Jazz guard Kris Dunn for two games and Houston Rockets forward Jabari Smith Jr. for one, the result of a fight the two had during a game the previous night. In a statement, NBA head of basketball operations Joe Dumars said Dunn was disciplined for "initiating an altercation and throwing a punch" at Smith, who was suspended the one game for fighting. - ESPN.com

The Trail Blazers started five rookies in Saturday's 114-111 loss to the Denver Nuggets, only the second time that has happened since starters were first tracked on NBA box scores more than 50 years ago. Scoot Henderson, the No. 3 pick in the draft, was in the lineup along with Duop Reath, Kris Murray, Toumani Camara and Rayan Rupert against the reigning NBA champions. - ESPN.com

LA Clippers point guard Russell Westbrook will return to the lineup some time next week, coach Ty Lue said before his team's 125-117 win at Portland on Friday night. Westbrook could be back to game action as soon as Monday against the Indiana Pacers, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Monday's game against the Pacers will mark three weeks from when Westbrook underwent surgery to repair a fractured left hand he suffered March 1 against Washington. - ESPN.com

The G League Ignite will not play after this season. The league made the announcement Thursday, saying it was shutting down the Henderson, Nevada-based Ignite because of "the changing basketball landscape, including the NCAA's Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) policy and the advent of collectives and the transfer portal" as its primary reasons. - AP via ESPN.com

Bucks two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo will miss Wednesday's game against the Boston Celtics with a left hamstring injury, sources confirmed to ESPN. Antetokounmpo was not with the team at shootaround Wednesday morning and did not travel to Boston. He will rejoin the team back in Milwaukee on Thursday, where the Bucks are playing the second game of a back-to-back against the Brooklyn Nets. - ESPN.com

Former baseball star Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore have lost the financial backing of the Carlyle Group with one payment left to claim majority ownership of the Minnesota Timberwolves, according to current owner Glen Taylor. That payment was set to close a process that began in April 2021 for Lore and Rodriguez to purchase the Timberwolves in installments. Lore and Rodriguez previously purchased two installments of 20% at a $1.5 billion valuation for the franchise. They exercised their rights to buy an additional 40% of the franchise earlier this year. - ESPN.com

The San Antonio Spurs put on quite the show Sunday night in one of their homes away from home. Playing at the Moody Center just 80 miles up Interstate 35 from the Frost Bank Center, the Spurs stormed back from a 10-point deficit with just under six minutes to play to force overtime and come away with a 122-115 win over the Brooklyn Nets. Victor Wembanyama had 33 points, 15 rebounds, 7 blocks, 7 assists and several clutch plays for San Antonio. He had the go-ahead dunk in overtime as well as a crucial block on Nets guard Dennis Schroder with 25.4 left to help preserve the lead. - ESPN.com

Forward Khris Middleton, playing in his first game after a 16-game absence, found his rhythm right away, scoring 22 points as the Milwaukee Bucks -- sans star Giannis Antetokounmpo -- beat the Phoenix Suns 140-129 on Sunday. Middleton, who hadn't played since Feb. 16 because of a sprained ankle, also had seven assists in 25 minutes. He knocked down his first field goal attempt -- a 3-pointer with 11:10 left in the first quarter -- and rolled from there as the Bucks were able to win without Antetokounmpo, who was a late scratch before Sunday's game with left hamstring soreness. "For a guy that missed that many games to look that good was pretty impressive," Bucks coach Doc Rivers said of Middleton after the game. - ESPN.com

The last two minutes of the game clock in the Golden State Warriors' 128-121 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night took more than 20 minutes of real time to play out thanks to a series of replay reviews and shot-clock malfunctions. The delays began with 1:50 remaining in the fourth, with the Lakers trailing 124-120, when L.A. coach Darvin Ham challenged an out-of-bounds call that granted the Warriors possession while Lakers center Jaxson Hayes and Golden State forward Andrew Wiggins both went for the rebound. While the officials were reviewing the out-of-bounds call, they determined that the corner 3-pointer LeBron James made on the previous trip down the court with 2:07 remaining did not count. The Lakers ended up winning the challenge -- Hayes and Wiggins faced off for a jump ball -- but lost points in the process. - ESPN.com

Joel Embiid has been reevaluated by doctors and they are "happy with the progress" the 76ers center is making following meniscus surgery on his left knee, Philadelphia head coach Nick Nurse said Saturday. "I think there's always stages of how these things progress," Nurse said before the Sixers' 109-98 win over the Charlotte Hornets. "Everyone wants to know 'Well how long is it going to be?" And they give a wide range because of that, because everyone heals differently. We're just trying to take it as it comes, get him healthy and get him back when he's ready to go." - ESPN.com

The Minnesota Timberwolves have signed forward T.J. Warren to a second 10-day contract. Since signing an original 10-day contract on March 6 with the Timberwolves, Warren is averaging 4.8 points on 47.4% shooting (9-of-19) and 2.0 rebounds in four games (16.1 minutes per game). - InsideHoops.com

In a meeting with the NBA's competition committee on Tuesday, the league office outlined an increased officiating focus on offensive players hunting out fouls and veering off pathways to the basket into defenders -- and how those points of emphasis have impacted a decrease in league scoring, according to a memo shared with teams and obtained by ESPN on Friday. Those officiating focuses -- that were outlined in January and February point of emphasis memos that the league shared with referees and team officials -- are believed to have contributed to a recent decline in league scoring. In the memo, the league describes itself as continuing to "evaluate the state of offensive vs. defensive balance with a focus on legal guarding position and level of contact on pathway plays to the basket." - ESPN.com

Veteran forward Taj Gibson is signing a deal for the rest of the season with the Detroit Pistons, his agent, Mark Bartelstein of Priority Sports, told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Friday. - ESPN.com

The Philadelphia 76ers are planning to sign former Charlotte Hornets first-round pick Kai Jones to a 10-day contract Friday, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. - ESPN.com

Ben Simmons has had back surgery for the second time in three years, with he and the Brooklyn Nets hoping this procedure will provide the relief he needs to complete a full season. The Nets said Simmons had a microscopic partial discectomy Thursday to alleviate the pinched nerve in his lower back. The surgery was performed at UHealth Jackson Memorial Medical Center by Dr. Timur Urakov, in consultation with Dr. Barth Green. - AP via ESPN.com

Toronto Raptors guard RJ Barrett is mourning the death of his younger brother, Nathan Barrett. The Barrett family said in a statement that Nathan died Tuesday. The statement, released Thursday by the Raptors and Canada Basketball, did not disclose a cause of death or Nathan's age. - ESPN.com

Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic's streak of seven straight triple-doubles was snapped Wednesday, when he exited a 109-99 win over the Golden State Warriors early due to left hamstring soreness. Doncic finished with 21 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists before checking out with 6:46 remaining in the game. The Mavs announced soon afterward that he would not return. Doncic had a heating pad on his left hamstring prior to checking into the game 22 seconds earlier. He exited during the timeout after he threw an alley-oop to center Daniel Gafford, wincing when he landed awkwardly. He informed coach Jason Kidd that he needed to leave the game and headed to the locker room. - ESPN.com

Amid a considerable franchise turnaround, Orlando Magic coach Jamahl Mosley has agreed on a four-year contract extension that'll take him through the 2027-28 season, it was announced Tuesday. "Jamahl and his staff have done a tremendous job not only this season, but since we hired him back in 2021," Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman said in a statement. "His preparation, work ethic, ability to connect with the players, and passion he brings to the job every day brings positive results, both on the court and off. We are very happy to have Jamahl lead the Magic for years to come." - ESPN.com

The Houston Rockets beat the Sacramento Kings on Sunday but lost leading scorer Alperen Sengun to injury. The star big man hurt his right knee injury when he landed awkwardly while challenging a shot by the Kings' Domantas Sabonis with under a minute to play in the fourth quarter of an eventual 112-104 win in Sacramento, California. - ESPN.com

Kawhi Leonard and Paul George sat out the LA Clippers' 124-117 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks in their second early-afternoon game in two days. The NBA scheduled the Clippers to tip off at noon Pacific time Sunday after they beat Chicago 112-102 with a 1 p.m. start time Saturday. Factoring in the hour lost to daylight saving time, that was two tipoffs in 22 hours for the Clippers (41-22), who decided not to put those demands on the lingering injuries nursed by Leonard and George. "Very extreme," Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said. "That's why we're just so excited to get to the Intuit Dome next year, get our own place." - ESPN.com

The NBA on Sunday fined Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert $100,000 for making a money gesture at an official and criticizing officiating on Friday night. NBA executive vice president and head of basketball operations Joe Dumars announced that "the fine takes into account Gobert's past instances of conduct detrimental to the NBA with regard to publicly criticizing the officiating." - ESPN.com

Indiana Pacers guard Bennedict Mathurin will undergo season-ending surgery to repair a torn right labrum, the team announced Saturday. Mathurin's loss is a significant blow to the bench of the NBA's top-rated offensive team. The surgery will be performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles next week, the team said. - ESPN.com


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