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US men bounce back, rout Iran 120-66

(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

SAITAMA, Japan (AP) It wasn't just that the U.S. had been losing. It was that the level of play was practically un-American.

Playing passively and passing up open shots isn't the way its players became basketball's best. And when it resulted in them dropping their Olympic opener, the Americans decided to do something about it.

"After that loss we came together," guard Damian Lillard said. "It was a lot of communication between then and now where it's like, 'All right. It's time to start looking like Team USA.'"

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D'Antoni leaves assistant job with Nets

NEW YORK (AP) Mike D'Antoni is leaving the Brooklyn Nets, forcing Steve Nash to make another change on his coaching staff.

Nash announced the 70-year-old D'Antoni's decision in a statement Wednesday, saying having the two-time Coach of the Year was "invaluable" in his first season as a coach.

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Cunningham expected to be No. 1 pick

Cade Cunningham spent years honing his game for a shot at becoming the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft.

The Oklahoma State one-and-done star could accomplish that goal Thursday night as the headliner of a class that includes scorers, playmakers and potentially elite defenders at the top.

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NBA play-in tournament back for 2022

The NBA's play-in tournament is back for at least one more season.

As expected, the league's board of governors gave approval Tuesday to the plan that would bring back the event in April 2022. The format will be the same as it was this past season: the teams that finish seventh, eighth, ninth and 10th in each conference will play to determine the No. 7 and No. 8 playoff seeds.

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Green feels Pelicans primed to contend

METAIRIE, La. (AP) New Pelicans coach Willie Green sees New Orleans as a team on the cusp of contending - a conclusion he explains by referencing his past two years with the Phoenix Suns.

"This situation actually reminds me a lot of Phoenix," Green said during his formal introduction on Tuesday, highlighting "really high-talented players" such as 2021 All-Star Zion Williamson and 2020 All-Star Brandon Ingram.

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Grizzlies trade Valanciunas to Pelicans

NEW ORLEANS (AP) The Memphis Grizzlies have agreed to trade center Jonas Valanciunas to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for center Steven Adams, guard Eric Bledsoe and a swap of multiple draft choices, a person familiar with the situation said.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity on Monday because no trade can become official until Aug. 6.

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Thunder arena renamed Paycom Center

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) The Oklahoma City Thunder have announced an exclusive 15-year naming rights partnership to rename the city's downtown arena after Paycom, a local company that offers online payroll and human resources services to employers.

The arena was renamed to the Paycom Center effective Tuesday, according to The Oklahoman. Terms of the deal were not released.

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Obama acquires stake in NBA Africa

JOHANNESBURG (AP) Former U.S. President Barack Obama has acquired a stake in the NBA's Africa business through his foundation, the NBA said Tuesday.

Obama will have a minority equity stake in NBA Africa, a new entity set up this year to run all the league's business on the continent.

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Cavs extend qualifying offer to C Allen

CLEVELAND (AP) The Cavaliers extended a qualifying offer Friday to center Jarrett Allen, making him a restricted free agent.

The team had until Aug. 1 to make the offer to Allen, a 23-year-old acquired last season in a trade from Brooklyn and viewed as one of Cleveland's core pieces.

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Fans celebrate Bucks' title with parade

MILWAUKEE (AP) Thousands of fans lined downtown Milwaukee streets on Thursday to catch a glimpse of their beloved Bucks in a parade to celebrate the city's first NBA championship in half a century.

Six police officers on horseback clopped past cheering fans at the head of a procession that included a hook-and-ladder fire truck, occasionally blaring its horn, and open-air buses and flatbed trucks carrying Bucks stars including Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday, as well as the trophy they captured Tuesday night with a Game 6 victory over Phoenix.

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