Charles Barkley donated $45,000 to Malcolm Brogdon’s charity to build clean water well in East Africa

Ryan Young | Yahoo Sports

The Milwaukee Bucks cruised to a dominant 125-103 win against the Toronto Raptors in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals on Friday night, easily picking up a 2-0 series lead behind a 30-point night from Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Shortly after the dominant win at Fiserv Forum, Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon joined TNT’s NBA crew to talk about the game.

After discussing the win, Brogdon — who finished with 14 points off the bench for the Bucks, shooting 5-of-10 from the field — was asked about his Hoops2O charity, which “recruits players from across the NBA to raise funds and awareness for clean water initiatives in East Africa.”

“We basically build clean water wells in East Africa and Tanzania,” Brogdon explained on the postgame show. “Every summer I go over there. I raise money throughout the season. I have four guys in the NBA that are helping me raise money on different teams. I’m trying to just raise as much money as I can to build more wells, and then I go visit the people in Africa and see sort of the impact that it has.”

Charles Barkley was extremely intrigued.

“How much does it cost for a well?” Barkley asked.

“$45,000,” Brogdon quickly answered.

“I’ll give you $45,000. I’ll give you $45,000 right now,” Barkley said.

Not only did Brogdon walk away from the Fiserv Forum with a 2-0 lead in the series on Friday night, but he raised enough money for the new “Charles Barkley well,” too.

Bravo, Chuck.

Brogdon thrilled to be back after injury

Brogdon missed the end of the regular season and nearly all of the Bucks’ first two playoff series this postseason after suffering a minor plantar fascia tear in his right foot in March.

The 26-year-old averaged 15.6 points per game for the Bucks this season, too, and was a huge part in leading them to the top spot in the playoffs.

Finally, though, it seems as if Brogdon is nearly back to full strength.

Brogdon made his return in Game 5 of the Bucks’ Eastern Conference semifinals series against the Boston Celtics earlier this month, but scored just 10 points in 16 minutes. While he’s still coming off the bench in this series, Brogdon has played 25 and 30 minutes in the first two games and is starting to look like his old self again — something that will undoubtedly help Milwaukee through the rest of their series against the Raptors.

“I feel great,” Brogdon said on TNT after the game. “It’s a blessing to be back out here. I’m super grateful to be back on the court playing, especially at this level.”

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Kevin Durant responds to Seth Curry saying Warriors harder to guard without him

Ali Thanawalla | NBC SPORTS 

Ever since Kevin Durant strained his right calf during the third quarter of Game 5 against the Rockets, the Warriors haven’t lost.

So naturally, the national narrative has shifted to “The Warriors are better without Durant” and “The Warriors don’t need Durant.”

Portland Trail Blazers guard Seth Curry offered a different perspective, saying the Warriors are “harder to guard” without KD.

SEE RELATED: Blazers’ Seth Curry thinks Warriors are ‘harder to guard’ without Kevin Durant

As you might imagine, Durant doesn’t agree, and he voiced his opinion in the most Durant way possible: A comment on an Instagram post.

All Durant wrote in response to a graphic of Curry’s quote was “Hell no.”

Before Game 2 against the Blazers on Thursday, the younger Curry brother spoke to The Athletic and was asked about facing a Warriors team sans Durant.

“I think they are harder to guard [without Durant],” Seth told Sam Amick. “They move around faster when he’s not out there. They’re definitely not a better team, but they’re harder to guard. Obviously, they play a different style of basketball when Steph and Klay [Thompson] are the focal points offensively, and we haven’t played that team in a while.”

Durant’s teammate, Draymond Green, on Friday addressed the assertion that the Warriors are better without Durant, and was emphatic in his answer.

“That’s idiotic,” Green told The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami. “It’s very idiotic. I don’t think there’s one person in this locker room, one person in this organization that thinks that. And I know for damn sure that any idiot that does possibly [say] it don’t believe it.”

Without Durant, who likely will miss the entire Western Conference finals against the Blazers, the Warriors have a 2-0 lead as the series shifts to Portland for Game 3 on Saturday night.

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HOOP HANGOUT • NBA PLAYOFFS • GAMEDAY POST • May 18th 2019

SportsLine

Green, Warriors beat Blazers for 3-0 lead in West finals

Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Draymond Green had 20 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists, and the Golden State Warriors beat the Portland Trail Blazers 110-99 on Saturday night for a 3-0 lead in the Western Conference finals.

Green had his seventh career postseason triple-double and Stephen Curry scored 36 points for Golden State, which moved a win away from a fifth straight trip to the NBA finals with Game 4 set for Monday.

CJ McCollum had 23 points for the Trail Blazers, who led by 18 points in the second quarter. Damian Lillard added 19 points, but Portland was hurt at the line, making just 20 of 33 attempts.

After trailing 66-53 at the half, the Warriors mounted a third-quarter comeback to lead 82-79 going into the fourth. Jonas Jerebko’s jumper pushed the lead to 90-82 with 7:26 left.

Curry’s 3-pointer made it 98-87 with just under five minutes to go, and Portland struggled to catch up — similar to their fourth-quarter fade in Game 2.

Game 3 was the first conference finals game in Portland since 2000. The Blazers lost that series to the eventual champion Los Angeles Lakers in seven games.

No team has ever come back from an 0-3 deficit to win in the playoffs. Only three series have gone to a seventh game after one team opened with a 3-0 lead.

On Thursday, the Blazers were up 15 at halftime and led by eight with 4½ minutes left before the Warriors rallied — boosted by Kevon Looney’s dunk with less than a minute left, and a game-sealing steal from Andre Iguodala — for a 114-111 Game 2 victory.

Both teams switched up their lineups for Game 3, with Portland’s Meyers Leonard making his first start of the playoffs at center. Enes Kanter, despite sustaining a separated shoulder in the first-round series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, started in all the previous games. Leonard provided a spark and finished with a career playoff-high 16 points.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr started Damian Jones, who hadn’t started since December and had made just two previous appearances in the playoffs. Jones, who played in just 24 games in the regular season because of a torn pectoral muscle, collected three fouls in the game’s opening three minutes and headed to the bench.

The Warriors remained without Kevin Durant, and it’s unlikely he’ll return during the conference finals. The two-time reigning NBA Finals MVP is still out with a right calf injury and isn’t set to be re-examined until next week.

Durant, who didn’t travel with the team to Portland, averaged 34.2 points in the playoffs before he was injured in the third quarter of Golden State’s Game 5 victory over Houston.

Portland was boosted by the home crowd at the start, going up by 10 points in the first quarter. Seth Curry’s jumper made it 60-42 with 2:28 left until halftime.

The Warriors roared back, closing within 76-75 on Alfonzo McKinnie’s basket and pulling ahead on Looney’s layup to cap a 10-0 run.

TIP-INS

Warriors: Jones was making his first career postseason start. … The Warriors have used six different starting lineups in the 2019 playoffs. Jerebko was handed a flagrant I for a foul on Zach Collins in the second quarter.

Trail Blazers: Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll was among the fans at the game. Also there was Sabrina Ionescu, who was on the Oregon team that went to the Final Four this season, and former Blazer Scottie Pippen (1999-2003).

UP NEXT

Game 4 is set for Monday night in Portland.

Report: Lakers interested in trading for Kyle Lowry

William Lou | Yahoo Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers are desperate to pair a second star alongside LeBron James, and they’ll explore other options in the event that their bumbling pursuit of Anthony Davis falls through.

One potential target would be trading for Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry, who will be entering the final year of his three-year, $90-million contract next season, according to Sean Deveney of The Sporting News.

Deveney notes that Lowry may become available if Kawhi Leonard were to leave in free agency, and that the Lakers could potentially secure Lowry without surrendering as many valuable assets as it would for a younger star.

Lowry would make sense on several fronts for the Lakers. In terms of ability, Lowry’s team-first mentality would fit perfectly on a roster full of scorers. Lowry’s playmaking would create easier shots for the likes of LeBron James and Kyle Kuzma, and Lowry is also happy to play off the ball as a floor spacer. Lowry would even give the Lakers a much-needed boost on defense, as the veteran guard remains quick with his hands and routinely is among the league leaders in charges.

It would also make sense financially. The 33-year-old Lowry is entering into the last year of his contract, which would allow the Lakers to roll over their cap room to 2020 if they strike out on their free agency targets this summer. In the meantime, Lowry would at least help the Lakers be more competitive in the immediate future, as Lowry has led the Raptors to six-straight playoff appearances.

Having said that, it’s no guarantee the Raptors would even want to part with Lowry. If Leonard were to stay, there would be no point in flipping Lowry for prospects as it would only make the team less competitive in the short run. And even if Leonard walked, the Raptors may want to retain their franchise cornerstone to oversee the transition.

However, if the Raptors did decide on a full-scale rebuild, flipping Lowry for a younger player would make sense. The Lakers own all their first-round picks moving forward, and have a host of promising pieces such as Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart.

Lowry averaged 14.2 points, 8.7 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 1.4 steals in 65 appearances with the Raptors this season.

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