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LeBron returns with triple-double, Lakers beat Knicks in OT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — LeBron James returned from a five-game absence due to injury and had a triple-double of 29 points, 13 rebounds, 10 assists, and the Los Angeles Lakers rallied from a 21-point, second-quarter deficit, beating the New York Knicks 122-115 in overtime Saturday night.

James missed the games due to swelling in his left knee, but came back to play in a nationally televised game and with the Lakers . . .

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Knicks end Mavericks’ 6-game win streak with 108-85 victory

NEW YORK (AP) — RJ Barrett scored 32 points, Mitchell Robinson had a season-high 19 and the New York Knicks snapped the Dallas Mavericks’ six-game winning streak with a 108-85 victory Wednesday night.

Robinson threw down three dunks in a powerful third quarter for the Knicks, who won for the fourth time in five games and returned to .500 at 21-21. He shot 9 for 10 from the field and had 10 rebounds.

“I thought RJ, monster game. Mitch, monster game,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. “That may have been the best game of the year for our starters. Really played hard and played well.”

The Knicks said Barrett, 21, became the . . .

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Pitino’s summer job: Trying to get Greece into Tokyo Games

Rick Pitino professes to knowing three Greek words: Kalimera, kalispera and kalinichta, which translate to good morning, good afternoon and good night.

Luckily for the Hall of Famer, basketball is a universal language.

The Iona College coach — formerly of Providence, Louisville, Kentucky, the New York Knicks and the Boston Celtics, among other stops — is also the coach of the Greek men’s national team, which begins play . . .

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New York’s Tom Thibodeau picked as NBA’s coach of the year

NEW YORK (AP) — Tom Thibodeau got the New York Knicks back to the playoffs, guiding the team to its second-best record in 20 years.

And in the eyes of the voters, that coaching job was the best in the NBA.

Thibodeau was revealed Monday as the NBA’s Coach of the Year for 2020-21, as determined by a global panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters who cover the league. The Knicks went 41-31 this season, then . . .

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Young leads Hawks to 113-96 win over Knicks, 3-1 series lead

ATLANTA (AP) — Trae Young led the way for the Atlanta Hawks, as usual. He sure had plenty of help.

Proving they are far more than a one-man team, the Hawks unleashed a dazzling array of weapons to take control of their series against the New York Knicks.

Young scored 27 points, John Collins added 22 despite a smack to the lip and the Hawks frustrated Julius Randle and the Knicks once again, pulling . . .

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Boorish fans have us longing for cardboard cutouts

The good thing about cardboard cutouts: At least you don’t have to worry about them spitting on a player, or dumping a box of popcorn on his head, or breaking into a brawl that leaves a toddler in tears.

As fans begin filling the stands again, we find ourselves longing for all those empty seats that marked the grimmest days of the pandemic. At least it was peaceful.

In just the past few days, we’ve witnessed a disturbing breakdown in social norms and the ominous . . .

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