Los Angeles Teams

Chris Forsberg ESPN Staff Writer 

Celtics 98, Clippers 91 (end 3rd): Los Angeles got its deficit as low as 4, but Isaiah Thomas (24 points, 6 assists) trying to keep the Clippers at arm's length. Both teams shooting over 50+ percent from floor and 43+ percent beyond 3-point arc.

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Kevin Love leaves game with apparent shoulder injury (0:46)

Cavs lead by 17 at halftime

Kobe Bryant is just 2-for-9 from the field in his final visit to Cleveland, as his Lakers have fallen in a 64-47 halftime hole. LeBron James leads all players with 17 points and 7 assists. Live on ESPN, WatchESPN

Angels with worst farm system ever?

According to Keith Law, it is by far. They traded their top two prospects in the Andrelton Simmons deal. No one is remotely close to top-100 status. Without huge returns in the 2016 draft, they may need to trade Mike Trout. Ranking all 30 farm systems (Insider)

LeBron passes Pierce ... for now

LeBron James entered the night 7 points behind Paul Pierce on the NBA's career scoring list. James has 14 tonight while Pierce, playing for the Clippers in Boston, has just 6, putting James ahead by 1 with both players still in progress.

Chris Forsberg ESPN Staff Writer 

The Celtics say Kelly Olynyk has a bruised right shoulder and will not return vs. the Clippers.

Chris Forsberg ESPN Staff Writer 

Boston Celtics center Kelly Olynyk, who retreated to the locker room with a team doctor late in the first half, is not on the bench to start the second half. Fellow big man Amir Johnson is wearing a wrap around his back and did not start the second half with Boston going small with Marcus Smart playing alongside Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, and Jared Sullinger.

Chris Forsberg ESPN Staff Writer 

Celtics 71, Clippers 64 (half): For the second time in as many home games, Boston put up 70+ first-half points. Boston shot 53.5 percent from the floor and 44.4 percent beyond the 3-point ac. Marcus Smart and Isaiah Thomas with 13 points apiece to lead five Celtics in double figures for scoring. Clippers shot 57.1 percent overall and 60 percent beyond 3-point arc.

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Dave McMenamin ESPN Staff Writer 

The Cavs honor Kobe Bryant.

Baxter Holmes ESPN Staff Writer 

Kyrie Irving started every game that he played in during his rookie season under then-Cavaliers coach Byron Scott. Why hasn't Lakers rookie point guard D'Angelo Russell, the No. 2 overall pick in 2015, been given the same opportunity under Scott, who is now the Lakers coach? "[Kyrie] was just a little bit more mature," Scott said. "At 19, he was a little bit more business-like at practice and games. D'Angelo still has a playfulness about him, sometimes in practice he's joking around and losing a little bit of focus. But he's 19. I understand that." Scott added, "I didn't say [his playfulness] was a bad thing. But it is a bad thing at times. There's always a time to be serious and there's always a time to joke around. So I'm not saying it's a bad thing, I'm saying he's 19. I understand it, I'm not saying it's bad or good, but Chris Paul wasn't like that and Kyrie was a little bit, but not that much. But like I said, again, they're all different. And I accept that."

LeBron James off to strong start

The Cavs forward had 10 points and 5 assists in the first quarter, helping the Cavaliers take a 35-25 lead over the Lakers in Kobe Bryant's final trip to Cleveland. Live on ESPN, WatchESPN

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Irving dances around Lakers defense (0:12)
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Randle amused at his missed dunk (0:18)

Baxter Holmes ESPN Staff Writer 

As Kobe Bryant receives a video tribute and a hearty introduction from the Cavaliers' PA man prior to Bryant's final game in Cleveland, LeBron James stands and applauds. "Ko-be!" chants then broke out from the crowd, which also gave Bryant a standing ovation.

Chris Forsberg ESPN Staff Writer 

Clippers 37, Celtics 33 (end 1st): Old friend Paul Pierce hit a couple of early 3-pointers and DeAndre Jordan added 11 points (making 3 of 4 free throws, even when the Celtics went to Hack-a-Jordan late in the frame). Jared Sullinger with 10 points on 5-of-6 shooting to pace Boston.

Dave McMenamin ESPN Staff Writer 

D'Angelo on Kobe improved play: "It's great, just to see him finally making them, shots that he was taking earlier in the season that he was missing. Everybody was saying negative things about him. He's taking those same shots and he's making them, so it's a good feeling."

Baxter Holmes ESPN Staff Writer 

Kobe Bryant said he's looking forward to attending the upcoming All-Star Game in Toronto and especially the opportunity to be around all the league's top young players. "Man, I can't wait to be around them and just talk to them and see how far the game has progressed and seeing all this young talent and the different generations of players," Bryant said. "To me LeBron [James[ is still a young kid. I can't even fathom that this is [year] 13 for him. That's crazy to me. And having the generations that come after that. The [Kevin] Durant generation, you have the [Stephen] Curry generation. There's just so many generations in between that. So it's going to be fun for me to be around them. When I first played in the All-Star Game, imagine a 19-year-old kid walking into a locker room and there's John Stockton with his little itty-bitty shorts, still. There's [Charles] Barkley. There's Clyde Drexler. There's Gary Payton. As a 19-year-old kid, that was&.[wow]."

Baxter Holmes ESPN Staff Writer 

LeBron James recently credited Kobe Bryant for providing motivation, saying that he always knew he had to be in the gym because "I knew I had to be better because of Kobe Bryant." Did Bryant feel the same way? "I always felt like there was somebody somewhere [working]," Bryant said. "Even when I was in high school, I always felt like somebody somewhere is working. That would be in the back of my mind. But at the same time, I would say, it's impossible for somebody to work as much as I am. I'm here all the time. It wasn't like I had to force myself to do it. There was no place I'd rather be, and I just don't know if anybody else or any other player at that time in high school had that sentiment. The players that I was around, it was always like, I've got to go punch the clock and do these drills. For me, it was like, there's no place I'd rather be. So I was comfortable in that and I knew that, and because I had that feeling, I knew it just wasn't possible for somebody to outwork me."

Baxter Holmes ESPN Staff Writer 

Are Kobe Bryant and LeBron James rivals? Bryant doesn't think so. "I never looked to see what he was doing or something to kind of push me," Bryant said. "I just felt like we're completely different generations. I just missed that thing completely. It's not a Magic [Johnson] or [Larry] Bird sort of thing. It was more like, from the time he came into the league, it was more helping him, giving him direction and advice. I was so much older by NBA years. So I've never had that [with him.]"

Baxter Holmes ESPN Staff Writer 

Kobe Bryant said he and LeBron James are quite close. "We talk on the phone probably more than people know," Bryant said. "We talk about the game. We talk about different strategies that center around the game. We talk about things off the court, business related, [NBA] Players Association related. We speak with much more communication than people want to know."

Baxter Holmes ESPN Staff Writer 

Each of the last nine NBA Finals matchups has featured either LeBron James or Kobe Bryant, but never both."Our teams just never crossed paths, unfortunately," Bryant said before the two faced each other in Cleveland on Wednesday. "I wouldn't say it was weird or anything like that. It's just the ebb and flow of each season."

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Top 10 NBA Players of all time (1:43)

Dodgers have No. 2 farm system in 2016

If you say they bought this farm-system ranking, you'd be right. But that doesn't do justice to the successful draft picks in 2013 and 2014 that line their top 10 around the high-dollar international signings. Ranking all 30 farm systems (Insider)

Chris Forsberg ESPN Staff Writer 

Paul Pierce on if he ever truly considered the Celtics as free agent this summer: "The Celtics were a rebuilding team. Young and up-and-coming. I think my career here ran its course. I had a great career here, 15 years. What more could you ask for? I was able to win a championship here. I've had my fun."