April 5, 2017 / 12:09 AM / in a year

National Basketball Association roundup

(The Sports Xchange) - Golden State Warriors star forward Kevin Durant may return for Saturday’s home game against the New Orleans Pelicans provided he doesn’t experience any setbacks after missing at least 17 games with a left knee injury.

Mar 20, 2017; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) responds to a fan during action against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Durant, in his first season with the Warriors, was diagnosed with a Grade 2 MCL sprain and a tibial bone bruise in his left knee after sustaining the injury on Feb. 28 against his hometown Wizards in Washington.

The Warriors reportedly targeted Saturday’s game as Durant’s return date, and he is expected to play in the team’s final three regular-season games per ESPN. Durant will start upon his return, but will be on a minutes restriction.

The 28-year-old former NBA MVP is averaging 25.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 4.8 assists in year one of a two-year deal worth $54.3 million with Golden State.

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The repeal of controversial House Bill 2 in North Carolina has led to the NBA considering to hold the 2019 All-Star Game in Charlotte.

This year’s game was moved from Charlotte to New Orleans due to the law that required individuals to use the bathroom that corresponded with the sex listed on their birth certificates. The NBA was outspoken about the law and how it discriminated against transgender people.

Commissioner Adam Silver said when the game was moved that the league would consider playing the 2019 game in Charlotte if changes were made.

A decision is expected later this month.

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Boston Celtics small forward Jae Crowder cleared a hurdle when results of an MRI exam came back displaying no structural damage in his injured left elbow.

Crowder underwent the MRI on Monday. He said he doesn’t know how he was injured but pulled himself out of Sunday’s game against the New York Knicks when he noticed the swelling.

It remains unclear whether Crowder will be available for Wednesday’s showdown with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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The Cleveland Cavaliers assigned forward/center Larry Sanders to the Canton Charge, their affiliate in the NBA Development League, as the former 15th overall pick continues to work his way back.

Sanders, 28, had not played in the NBA since the 2014-15 season before signing with the Cavaliers on March 13 to provide frontcourt depth following Andrew Bogut’s season-ending left leg injury.

Since signing on with the Cavs, Sanders has appeared in two NBA games.

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Archie Goodwin and the Brooklyn Nets have agreed on a multi-year contract after the guard signed a pair of 10-day deals with the team in mid to late March, the team announced.

Goodwin, 22, first joined the Nets on a 10-day contract on March 15 and signed a second one on March 25. He is averaging 6.6 points on 57.1 percent shooting, 1.6 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 12.4 minutes per game over seven games with Brooklyn.

Editing by Andrew Both

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