NBA Notes: Isaiah Thomas says being traded by Celtics 'still hurts'

USA Today Images

NBA Notes: Isaiah Thomas says being traded by Celtics 'still hurts'

BOSTON -- Isaiah Thomas' two sons had different reactions to his trade from the Celtics to the Cavaliers.

His older son, James, is excited that his dad will get to play alongside LeBron James. Thomas' younger son, Jaiden, had fallen in love with Boston and was afraid that Cleveland won't have any skate parks.

Thomas said in a 3,500-word post on The Players Tribune that he himself was also of two minds about the deal that sent him to the Cavaliers, along with two other players and a first-round draft pick, for fellow All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving.

He says hearing about the trade in a call from Celtics boss Danny Ainge "still hurts." But he's also excited about playing with James, a four-time MVP, and Kevin Love, a former AAU teammate . Thomas says he won't have to worry about being double- or triple-teamed any more.

Says Thomas: "You are not going to want to mess with the Cavs this year" (see full story).

Pacers: Owner denies report about possibly suing Lakers
INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana Pacers owner Herb Simon is denying a report that the team might sue the Los Angeles Lakers for tampering with Paul George.

The NBA fined the Lakers $500,000 last week for violating league rules and there was a report that the Pacers were considering legal action, too.

In a statement issued Wednesday, Simon said the Pacers agreed with the league's decision and that the team simply wanted to move on.

Indiana traded George to Oklahoma City for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis after George's camp let it be known that the four-time All-Star intended to sign as a free agent with the Lakers in July 2018.

Simon acknowledged those sentiments put Indiana "in a tough position" but the Pacers acquired two good players.

Hawks: Team signs 3 players to contracts
ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Hawks have signed guards Quinn Cook and Josh Maggette and forward Tyler Cavanaugh.

Cook, from Duke, played five games with Dallas and nine games with New Orleans as a rookie last season. He averaged 5.6 points and 1.9 assists.

Cook is a two-time All-Star in the NBA G League. He was the 2016 G League Rookie of the Year.

Magette signed a two-way contract that will allow him to primarily play for the team's NBA G League affiliate, the Erie BayHawks, while also spending up to 45 days with Atlanta.

Magette spent time during the 2016 preseason with the Hawks and was part of the team's summer league roster this year.

Cavanaugh also played for Atlanta's summer league team this season.

Cavaliers: Plans for $140M arena makeover renewed
CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Cavaliers are reviving a $140 million renovation of Quicken Loans Arena just over a week after the project was scrapped.

The team announced Wednesday it'll also extend its lease at the facility for seven extra years, until 2034.

The Cavaliers, who won the 2016 NBA title, hoped to upgrade the 22-year-old downtown arena with more dining spaces and a glass exterior but had faced opposition from community groups objecting to the use of taxpayer money.

The Cavaliers canceled the renovation on Aug. 28 after a referendum petition submitted by the Greater Cleveland Congregations, a religious coalition, gained more than 13,000 valid signatures and threatened to delay the project.

But the coalition withdrew the petition after county officials cut a deal and promised to look into constructing two mental health and substance abuse clinics, allowing renovation plans to move forward again. The Cavaliers will fund half the project as previously planned, while the other half will come from public funding.

Other groups opposed to the project say they weren't consulted before the petition was withdrawn.

"This isn't what the majority of Cleveland citizens wanted," said Steve Holecko, of the Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus, which has been leading the fight to stop the renovation. "This is corporate welfare at its worst" (see full story).

LeBron continues triple-double tour

USA Today Images

LeBron continues triple-double tour

CLEVELAND -- LeBron James scored 40 points as part of his third triple-double in four games and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Milwaukee Bucks 124-117 on Monday night as coach Tyronn Lue began his leave of absence to address health issues.

Lue said Monday in a statement he been dealing with chest pains and loss of sleep, and that tests have offered no conclusion about what the issue is. Associate head coach Larry Drew will run the team in Lue's absence.

James scored 17 points in the third quarter and finished with 12 rebounds and 10 assists for his 16th triple-double this season and 71st of his career.

The four-time MVP took over in the third beginning with back-to-back 3-pointers. After not getting a foul called on a third attempt, he finished Cleveland's next possession with a massive dunk. He was fouled attempting another dunk and made both free throws the following time down.

Milwaukee cut a 17-point lead to 117-109, but James drove the length of the floor for a dunk with just over a minute left.

Cavaliers All-Star forward Kevin Love returned after missing six weeks because of a broken left hand and scored 18 points in 25 minutes. He sparked a 10-0 run in the second quarter with two 3-pointers

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 37 points and went 11 for 11 at the foul line for Milwaukee, which is seventh in the Eastern Conference. Khris Middleton had 30 points, making 11 of 16 from the field (see full recap).

Heat set franchise scoring mark in 2OT win
MIAMI -- James Johnson scored a career-high 31 points, Kelly Olynyk added 30 off the bench and the Miami Heat set a franchise single-game scoring record by beating the Denver Nuggets 149-141 in double overtime Monday night.

Miami's total was also an NBA season-high and helped the Heat get back to the No. 7 spot in the Eastern Conference standings. Houston and Oklahoma City each scored 148 in games earlier this season.

Wayne Ellington scored 29 points for the Heat. Nikola Jokic had 34 for Denver, while Wilson Chandler added 26 for the Nuggets.

"That was as playoffs as it comes right there," Olynyk said.

The NBA's stat system crashed late in the first overtime, and crews were scrambling to determine the final numbers long after the buzzer. All that ultimately mattered was the score -- one that moved the Heat closer to a playoff berth and left the Nuggets two games back in the Western Conference race.

Neither team was at full strength. For Miami, Dwyane Wade (left hamstring strain) missed his fourth consecutive game, and Hassan Whiteside (left hip pain) sat out his fifth straight contest. Denver was without leading scorer Gary Harris, sidelined again by a strained right knee that could keep him out several more days (see full recap).

Oladipo, Pacers rally past Lakers
INDIANAPOLIS -- Victor Oladipo sparked a decisive run and finished with 20 points, Myles Turner had 21 points and the Indiana Pacers recovered from a poor start for a 110-100 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday night.

The victory snapped Indiana's two-game losing streak.

Los Angeles was led by Kyle Kuzma with 27 points and Brook Lopez with 23, but the Lakers still lost their third straight.

Oladipo and Darren Collison got Indiana going with back-to-back 3-pointers midway through the third quarter for a 77-70 lead. After a layup from Julius Randle, Collison made a 20-footer and Lance Stephenson hit a 10-footer. When the 14-4 flurry ended, Indiana led 85-74 with 3:04 left in the third.

The Lakers never seriously challenged after that.

It was a stark contrast to the Lakers' fast start. Efficient shooting helped them take a 28-19 lead in the first quarter, but when the shooters cooled off, the Pacers charged back and used a 15-6 second-quarter run to make it 51-50 late in the period.

The Pacers still trailed 59-57 at the half -- before Oladipo helped flip things in the second half (see full recap).

New Eagles DE Michael Bennett gets taste of Philly fans

Photo courtesy of Jessica Camerato

New Eagles DE Michael Bennett gets taste of Philly fans

It didn’t take long for Michael Bennett to get acclimated with Philadelphia fans beyond football.

Bennett attended the Sixers' 108-94 win Hornets Monday night at the Wells Fargo Center (see observations). Donning a green sweatshirt, the newly-acquired defensive end received a rousing ovation when he was introduced on the Jumbotron. 

He wasn’t the only Eagles player sitting courtside. Safety Malcolm Jenkins watched the game across from the Hornets’ bench. 

Fans yelled loudly when Bennett stopped by to take a seat next to Jenkins. 

“You’re a monster!” one called out. 

“Mi-chael Ben-net!” another chanted. 

Bennett and Jenkins took photos and even held phones to snap selfies, not just once but throughout the game between quarters and during timeouts.