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Harden to make Brooklyn debut vs. Magic

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

NEW YORK (AP) James Harden will start Saturday night in his Brooklyn Nets debut against the Orlando Magic.

The three-time NBA scoring champion became available to play earlier in the day after all the players in the blockbuster trade that sent him from Houston to Brooklyn completed their physicals.

Nets coach Steve Nash immediately put Harden into the starting lineup. He said he would determine as the game goes along whether he needed to limit the All-Star guard's minutes, saying the Nets "don't want to run the batteries down on our new Christmas present this early."


Towns says he tested positive for COVID

Another three NBA games were postponed Friday, including one in Minnesota only a couple hours before game time, as the league's struggle with increasing coronavirus numbers continued

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Memphis-Wolves ppd. for contact tracing

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NBA fines Irving $50K for health breach

NEW YORK (AP) Kyrie Irving's absence from the Brooklyn Nets has become a costly one.

The NBA fined the point guard $50,000 on Friday for violating its health and safety protocols, and said he could return to team activities Saturday - though he won't play in the Nets' game that night.


Drummond has 33 and 23 in Cavs' win

CLEVELAND (AP) Andre Drummond tied his career high with 33 points and grabbed 23 rebounds, and Cedi Osman scored 25 points in leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 106-103 win over the New York Knicks on Friday night.

Drummond posted the Cavaliers' first 30-20 game since Carlos Boozer had 32 points and 20 rebounds against Seattle on Jan. 20, 2004. He also had three assists, two blocks and two steals as Cleveland snapped a three-game losing streak.


6 Wizards players test positive

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Celtics rip Magic after week-long hiatus

BOSTON (AP) Jaylen Brown had 21 points and eight assists, Semi Ojeleye added 18 points and the Boston Celtics rolled to an 124-97 win over the Orlando Magic on Friday night in their return to action following a virus-related week-long hiatus.

Jeff Teague finished with 17 points and rookie Payton Pritchard had 16 points to help Boston post its fifth straight victory.


Lakers rout Pelicans for 5th win in row

LOS ANGELES (AP) LeBron James had 21 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds, and Anthony Davis added 17 points against his former team in the Los Angeles Lakers' fifth consecutive victory, 112-95 over the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope hit four 3-pointers while scoring 16 points, and Montrezl Harrell also had 16 for the defending NBA champions. Los Angeles fell behind by 15 points early, but rallied ferociously in its first game back at Staples Center after a perfect three-game trip.


Giannis 1 of 10 from line but Bucks win

MILWAUKEE (AP) Khris Middleton made a couple of huge 3-pointers and the Milwaukee Bucks overcame poor free-throw shooting to snap the Dallas Mavericks' four-game winning streak.

Middleton scored eight points of his 25 points in the final 2 1/2 minutes of the Bucks' 112-109 victory Friday night. Middleton took over after James Johnson's corner 3-pointer with 3:09 left put Dallas ahead 104-103 - the Mavericks' first lead since the opening five minutes.


Clippers win 15th straight in Sacramento

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) Kawhi Leonard had 27 points and six assists in three quarters, Paul George scored 26 and the short-handed Los Angeles Clippers manhandled the Sacramento Kings 138-100 on Friday night.

The Clippers have won 15 consecutive road games against the Kings. Los Angeles hasn't lost in Sacramento since March 19, 2013.