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Florida virus numbers loom over NBA

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, file)

The coronavirus numbers kept climbing Thursday, with a single-day record for new cases being set in Florida and the NBA revealing that the count of players and staff from the 22 remaining teams that have confirmed diagnoses of COVID-19 continues to grow.

The NBA numbers: nine more positive players from tests conducted between June 24-29 to bring the total to 25 who have been positive since mandated testing began June 23, as well 10 positive-testing staff members from the teams that will start arriving at the Disney complex near Orlando, Florida next week for the resumption of the season.

And statewide, health departments around Florida got more than 10,000 new positive cases back on Wednesday, a single-day record for a state that remains very much under siege from the virus and likely a troubling sign for the NBA - which remains hopeful that highly restrictive rules at Disney will keep players and staff safe.

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Davis: Lakers' title chances improved

LOS ANGELES (AP) The sudden suspension of the NBA season was a double disappointment for Anthony Davis.

"It happened on my birthday, which is kind of a bummer because I couldn't do anything," the Los Angeles Lakers' seven-time All-Star big man said with a laugh.

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Nets plan to play despite virus cases

NEW YORK (AP) Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving aren't coming back. DeAndre Jordan and Wilson Chandler aren't going, either.

Spencer Dinwiddie is a maybe, with his status unclear after both he and Jordan tested positive for the coronavirus.

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76ers G Simmons healthy for restart

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Ben Simmons’ back pain threw his postseason status into uncertainty had the NBA season reached its natural conclusion.

Check out Simmons

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Grizzlies' Morant adds 12 pounds

Ja Morant has taken advantage of the NBA's hiatus, adding 12 pounds of muscle to help absorb contact when the NBA's likely rookie of the year fearlessly attacks the basketball.

And the Memphis Grizzlies point guard knows exactly what he wants when he leads his team to Orlando.

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Zion confident in his health, team

NEW ORLEANS (AP) Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson credits his mother’s wisdom with helping him manage life’s unanticipated twists and inevitable assortment of successes and setbacks.

It has served the NBA’s top overall draft choice well during a highly unusual debut season that has gone nothing like he imagined, yet still holds plenty of promise.

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Clippers expecting G Williams to play

LOS ANGELES (AP) Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers says Lou Williams is expected to join the team for the NBA’s restart in Florida.

Williams has described himself as “50-50” on whether he would finish out the pandemic-interrupted season because he didn’t want to distract from the ongoing push for social justice in the wake of George Floyd’s death while in police custody.

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Lakers sign veteran J.R. Smith

LOS ANGELES (AP) J.R. Smith has joined LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers for their championship push.

The Lakers announced their long-anticipated signing of Smith as a substitute player Wednesday, the first day allowed under the rules of the NBA's summer restart.

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Giannis: Pandemic makes title harder

The 2020 NBA champion, if one is crowned, will have emerged as the ultimate winner from a season that lasted more than a full year from start to finish. A season that saw political unrest between the NBA and China, the deaths of David Stern and Kobe Bryant,racial issues across the nation and, if that wasn't enough, a pandemic.

It is a season like none other.

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Mavs add Burke as Cauley-Stein opts out

DALLAS (AP) The Dallas Mavericks signed guard Trey Burke on Wednesday after center Willie Cauley-Stein decided not to rejoin the team for the planned resumption of the season.

Burke spent part of the 2018-19 season with the Mavericks after coming over in the blockbuster trade that also brought Kristaps Porzingis from the New York Knicks.

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