Warriors-Suns: What to watch for

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Warriors-Suns: What to watch for

Update at 11am: Warriors F-C David Lee will not play tonight due to an undisclosed illness. Dominic McGuire is reported to replace Lee in the starting lineup.

TheWarriors play their first road game of the season this afternoon againstPhoenix, then head to San Antonio and the Lakers. Here are some things to lookfor in todays game with the Suns.Sunsstruggles: Its not the Phoenix team youre used to seeing at leastnot yet. Through four games, the Suns are averaging 89.3 points per game, andjust two players are averaging in double-figures: Hakim Warrick and MarcinGortat.
Usually,a game with the Warriors would cure that and maybe it will but theWarriors defense has been significantly better so far this season than in pastyears, giving up just 95.3 points per game through four games.Pointguard Steve Nash, who makes the Suns go, has been bothered this season by a ribinjury that is affecting his shooting. Nash is an un-Nash-like 12-for-39 fromthe field this season (30.8 percent).Curry-Ellisback together: The Warriors will have their starting backcourttogether for the first time since last Monday. Stephen Curry missed Wednesdaysgame against the New York Knicks because of a sprained right ankle, and MontaEllis missed Saturdays game against Philly to attend the funeral of hisgrandmother.RELATED: Ellis to return Monday vs. Phoenix
Bothwill play this afternoon against the Suns.Strugglingfrom beyond arc: For the Warriors, the 3-point shot is usually a bigpart of their offensive arsenal. Not this year. The Warriors are shooting just27.5 percent from 3-point range and making fewer than five per game onaverage.

Magic Johnson to run Lakers front office, Mitch Kupchak fired

Magic Johnson to run Lakers front office, Mitch Kupchak fired

LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Lakers Governor Jeanie Buss announced today that the team has named Earvin "Magic" Johnson as President of Basketball Operations. In addition, General Manager Mitch Kupchak has been relieved of his duties, effective immediately. Furthermore, Jim Buss will no longer hold his role as Lakers Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations.

"Today I took a series of actions I believe will return the Lakers to the heights Dr. Jerry Buss demanded and our fans rightly expect," Jeanie Buss said. "Effective immediately, Earvin Johnson will be in charge of all basketball operations and will report directly to me. Our search for a new General Manager to work with Earvin and Coach Luke Walton is well underway and we hope to announce a new General Manager in short order. Together, Earvin, Luke and our new General Manager will establish the foundation for the next generation of Los Angeles Lakers greatness."

"It's a dream come true to return to the Lakers as President of Basketball Operations working closely with Jeanie Buss and the Buss family," said Earvin "Magic" Johnson. "Since 1979, I've been a part of the Laker Nation and I'm passionate about this organization. I will do everything I can to build a winning culture on and off the court. We have a great coach in Luke Walton and good young players. We will work tirelessly to return our Los Angeles Lakers to NBA champions."

Jeanie Buss added, "I took these actions today to achieve one goal: Everyone associated with the Lakers will now be pulling in the same direction, the direction established by Earvin and myself. We are determined to get back to competing to win NBA championships again."

Regarding Mitch Kupchak, Jeanie Buss stated, "We are grateful for the many contributions Mitch has made to the Lakers over the years and we wish him all the best."

With regard to fellow owner and brother, Jim Buss, Ms. Buss said, "Jim loves the Lakers. Although he will no longer be responsible for basketball personnel decisions, he is an owner of this team and we share the same goal: returning the Lakers to the level of greatness our father demanded. Our fans deserve no less."

In addition to the changes made within the basketball department, the Lakers also announced they have parted ways with John Black who had been the Lakers Vice President of Public Relations. Chief Operating Officer Tim Harris will immediately begin a search for a replacement. Jeanie Buss added, "We thank John for his many years of service."

Los Angeles Lakers media services
 

Report: Chris Paul gives Clippers verbal agreement he will opt out, re-sign

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USATI

Report: Chris Paul gives Clippers verbal agreement he will opt out, re-sign

Chris Paul will reportedly remain with the Clippers beyond this season.

Paul will opt out of the final year of his contract and re-sign with a long-term extension, according to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders.

The nine-time All-Star is scheduled to make over $24 million in 2017-18, but he has the ability to exercise an early-termination option.

Paul has not played since January 16, when he sustained a torn ligament in his left thumb.

He is expected to return in a couple of weeks.

Over 36 games, he is averaging 17.5 points, 9.7 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 2.2 steals.

Blake Griffin also has the power to terminate his contract early and become a free agent.

J.J. Redick will be an unrestricted free agent.

The Clippers (35-21) are currently in fourth place in the Western Conference.

The Warriors host the Clips on Thursday night.