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Heat, Lakers set for Game 1 of Finals

(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

For Miami to knock off the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday near Orlando, the Heat need to be at the top of their game.

Heat forward Jimmy Butler said even that might not be enough.

"We're going to have to play damn near perfect because they're such a good team and they do so many things well," Butler said after the Heat's series-clinching 125-113 win Sunday over the Boston Celtics in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals.

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Rondo, Howard return to Finals as Lakers

Last time the Los Angeles Lakers ruled the NBA, Rajon Rondo and Dwight Howard were trying to beat them.

Howard fell short with Orlando in the 2009 NBA Finals. Rondo lost with Boston in Game 7 in 2010.

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Clippers, Rivers part ways after 7 years

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) Doc Rivers would easily be considered the best coach in Los Angeles Clippers history. Most wins. Most playoff appearances. Top winning percentage.

And now he's out.

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Celtics focused on future, not ending

BOSTON (AP) Jayson Tatum emerged as a bona fide star, Jaylen Brown showed he can be a consistent presence in the lineup and Kemba Walker helped the Celtics put the failed Kyrie Irving experiment behind them.

But following their Eastern Conference finals loss to Miami, it's clear there is still work to do in Boston after the Celtics squandered their best opportunity yet under coach Brad Stevens to make it to the NBA Finals.

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Champion with Kentucky ties guaranteed

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) The Lakers primarily wear purple and gold. The main Heat colors are red and black.

And these NBA Finals seem tinged in blue - Kentucky blue, to be precise.

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Nuggets head home with newfound respect

DENVER (AP) With bags on his back, Nikola Jokic playfully swerved his way through the crowd of family and friends gathered at the airport terminal.

The Denver Nuggets finally returned home after their longer-than-many-anticipated stay inside the NBA bubble.

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Wolves G Beasley arrested on 2 charges

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Minnesota Timberwolves guard Malik Beasley was in jail Sunday on charges of drug possession and receiving and concealing stolen property, after his arrest the night before.

The Athletic first reported Beasley's arrest Saturday night at his home in Plymouth, a suburb of Minneapolis. ESPN reported that police obtained a search warrant for Beasley's home after a complaint that he brandished a weapon at a person and officers found marijuana and guns in the home.

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Non-Disney clubs start team workouts

Kevin Love was back on the court in Cleveland. Karl Anthony-Towns got to work in Minnesota and his old coach started to mold his new team in New York.

After six months without one, it felt so good for some NBA teams to practice again that even Allen Iverson might've enjoyed it.

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New Kings GM commits to Walton as coach

New Sacramento Kings general manager Monte McNair said he is looking forward to working with coach Luke Walton to revive a franchise that has the longest current playoff drought in the NBA.

McNair was hired last week after a long tenure as an executive in Houston to replace Vlade Divac. He backed Walton publicly during his introductory news conference Wednesday.

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New Calif. law prompted by Bryant crash

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday approved legislation prompted by the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant and eight other peopls that makes it a crime for first responders to take unauthorized photos of deceased people at the scene of an accident or crime.

Reports surfaced after the Jan. 26 crash that killed Bryant, his daughter Gianna and the others that graphic photos of the victims were being shared.

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