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Heat oust Celtics to reach NBA Finals

(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) It was exactly one year ago Sunday when Jimmy Butler walked into the Miami Heat practice gym, took a seat on a makeshift stage and said he wanted to be part of the team's next title run.

He'll have that chance.

The Heat are going to the NBA Finals - surprising many, perhaps, but not themselves. Bam Adebayo scored a season-high 32 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, Butler scored 22 points and the Heat won the Eastern Conference finals for the sixth time by topping the Boston Celtics 125-113 on Sunday night.

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After year of drama, Lakers reach Finals

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) Here's a list of just some of the things the Los Angeles Lakers have gone through in the last 12 months: playing through a politically charged situation in China during the preseason and more massive fallout after returning home, the death of Kobe Bryant in a helicopter crash, a pandemic and four-plus-month suspension of play, the season being moved to a bubble 2,500 miles from their homes, the ongoing battle against racial inequality in this country and emotions fraying to the point where giving up was considered.

And here they are.

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James, Riley to face ex-teams in Finals

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) LeBron James vs. the Heat.

Pat Riley vs. the Lakers.

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Butler: Joining Heat was easy decision

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) It was June 30, 2019. The Miami Heat had an evening all planned out for their recruitment of free agent Jimmy Butler, down to every detail. They greeted him with music from Irish singer Dermot Kennedy, one of his favorites. A buffet dinner was set up, tables overlooking the water of Biscayne Bay. They had players-turned-executives Shane Battier and Alonzo Mourning there to talk about what it's like to be part of the Heat.

And then it was time to go inside, break into a smaller group, get down to business and give him the sales pitch. Butler never let Heat President Pat Riley and coach Erik Spoelstra even get started. There was no need. He'd already picked Miami. He just hadn't told them yet.

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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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Hayward, wife Robyn welcome baby boy

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) Celtics forward Gordon Hayward and wife Robyn are parents for a fourth time.

Robyn Hayward announced the birth of the couple's first son - Gordon Theodore Hayward - on Wednesday, a couple hours before the Celtics would face the Miami Heat in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals.

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Players frustrated with Taylor decision

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) LeBron James sent the word to the Los Angeles Lakers in a group text on Wednesday afternoon, and basketball suddenly seemed irrelevant.

A grand jury in Kentucky had finally spoken. And James was letting his team know that NBA players, who have spent months seeking justice for Breonna Taylor, did not get what they wanted.

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Bulls hire former Thunder coach Donovan

CHICAGO (AP) Billy Donovan wasn't on the market for long - hardly a shocker given he's won everywhere he's coached.

That he's headed to Chicago might be a surprise, only because big and bold moves have been few and far between for the team. Then again, these aren't the same old Bulls.

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