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“We want to get him back as soon as we can, so he’s really concentrating on that,” D'Antoni said. “He talks to the guys on the side. He’ll take Nick (Young) to the side, and I’ll see him talking to different guys. He’ll be there. We touch base all the time, and I’ll get his opinion.”


LET THE BANNERS FLY: Doc Rivers made preseason headlines when he directed the Clippers to cover up the Lakers‘ championship banners with larger-than-life portraits of his players during Clippers home games.

Since the Lakers were the home team in Tuesday’s opener, the banners were hanging unobstructed on the Staples Center wall. Rivers took the opportunity to make it clear he meant no disrespect to the 16-time champions down the hallway.

“I didn’t do that because, `Man, I don’t like the Lakers,’” Rivers said. “That was no intent at all, and I’ve said that 100 times. That was about, `We’re the Clippers, and when we play in our arena, it should be our arena.’ It’s just like thousands of other arenas around the country where two teams share.”

But the longtime Celtics coach slightly wavered from that description a moment later.

“That 2010 banner, I’ve got to say I don’t like seeing,” Rivers said of the banner celebrating the Lakers‘ last win over Boston in the NBA finals. “I can `fess up to that part.”


HOME COOKING: Paul George and Roy Hibbert picked up where they left off last season leading Indiana to a 97-87 win over Orlando. The two-man tandem looked every bit as dominant in the season opener as they did leading the Pacers to the Eastern Conference finals last season.

George’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter gave Indiana a 69-64 lead and sparked the decisive 17-4 run to open the fourth.

Hibbert nearly matched his career-high for rebounds (17) in the first half. He had eight points but left the game midway through the fourth quarter after injuring his knee in a spill underneath his own basket. Team officials said it was not serious and he could have returned.

But it was George’s 3 that provided the spark Indiana needed to seize control.

“I just think tonight was opening night nerves and jitters and feeling a different environment and different vibe for the first time,” Pacers coach Frank Vogel said.


NO MORE DELAYS: LeBron James knew it was coming.

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