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Damian Lillard (ankle) doubtful to play against Houston Rockets

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Portland Trail Blazers All-Star guard Damian Lillard is unlikely to play in a showdown of Western Conference contenders on Thursday night.

Lillard suffered a left ankle sprain in the fourth quarter of the Blazers’ 115-109 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night. He played the entire fourth quarter and scored nine of his 29 points in the final three-plus minutes of the game. After the game, though, Lillard was carted from the locker room to the team bus and seemed to be cautious about playing in the future.

The Blazers have listed Lillard as doubtful for tonight’s game against the Houston Rockets (8 ET, TNT) and according to Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports, Lillard is day-to-day with his injury.

Portland is in the midst of a four-game road trip as it visits Houston tonight, then San Antonio on Saturday (9 ET, NBA League Pass) and Denver on Monday (9 ET, NBA League Pass). The Blazers are No. 3 in the Western Conference and, at 48-30, have logged their most wins in a season since 2014-15 (when they went 51-31).



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Report: Pau Gasol to join Trail Blazers

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Free agent center Pau Gasol has agreed to a one-year deal with the Portland Trail Blazers, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Gasol, 39, who was limited to just 30 games last season because of a variety of injuries, has career averages of 17.0 points and 9.2 rebounds over 17 NBA seasons.



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Report: Furkan Korkmaz returning to 76ers

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Free agent forward Furkan Korkmaz has agreed to a two-year contract to return to the Philadelphia 76ers, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Free agent forward Furkan Korkmaz has agreed to a two-year contract to return to the Philadelphia 76ers, agent Mike Lindeman of Excel Sports tells ESPN.

Korkmaz, 21, brings back a rotational forward with the ability to spread the floor with his shooting. The loss of JJ Redick in free agency – and Kyle Korver’s decision to choose Milwaukee over Philadelphia – brought some increased urgency to keep Korkmaz on the Sixers roster.

 The 21-year-old Korkmaz, who was the 26th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, averaged 5.8 points and 2.2 rebounds in 14.1 minutes last season.

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Report: Kevin Love to withdraw from World Cup

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Cavaliers forward Kevin Love is the latest player expected to withdraw from Team USA’s training camp for the FIBA World Cup, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

This news comes just one day after Damian Lillard reportedly withdrew from the World Cup. Love, who played in just 22 games last season because of a shoulder injury, averaged 17.0 points and 10.9 rebounds in 2018-19.

During the previous two weeks, James Harden, Anthony Davis, Eric Gordon, Zion Williamson and CJ McCollum reportedly decided not to compete in the World Cup this year.

Although the guard ranks will be somewhat depleted of NBA stars, Team USA continues to have a deep pool of players available.



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