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Nets host Timberwolves in Irving's debut

(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

The Brooklyn Nets put a toe in the water last spring with their first playoff berth since 2015 before making a splash a few months later with the acquisitions of Kyrie Irving, DeAndre Jordan and Kevin Durant.

The Nets hope the added firepower will lead to taking another significant step forward, beginning with their season opener against the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday.

"I don't know that all the guys we signed in the offseason are coming here for mediocrity. That's not part of it," Brooklyn general manager Sean Marks said, per the New York Post. "This is why we went in. That's why ownership showed the ability to get behind us, and support the vision that we've outlined."

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Butler to make Heat debut vs. Grizzlies

The Miami Heat, who play host to the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night in the season opener for both teams, are already off to a bad start.

Dion Waiters, who's in his fourth season with the Heat but has missed 126 of a possible 246 Miami games due to ankle/foot injuries, will miss the Memphis game due to a suspension for a violation of team rules.

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Walker set for Celtics debut in Philly

After Kawhi Leonard's shot bounced multiple times off the rim and through the basket to eliminate Philadelphia in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals in May, the 76ers were forced to wait and wonder through an entire offseason.

The Toronto Raptors went on to win their first NBA title.

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Kawhi has 30 in debut, Clips beat Lakers

LOS ANGELES (AP) Kawhi Leonard hit seven straight shots in one stretch, creating a run for the Clippers that his new teammates quickly joined.

"It's a great sign of leadership," coach Doc Rivers said. "He talks with his game."

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VanVleet scores 34 as Raptors win in OT

TORONTO (AP) The Toronto Raptors slipped on shiny new rings, unfurled a championship banner, then got their title defense started with a hard-fought victory.

Fred VanVleet scored a career-high 34 points, Pascal Siakam fouled out with 34 points and 18 rebounds, and the defending champion Raptors beat the New Orleans Pelicans 130-122 in overtime on Tuesday night in the NBA's season-opening game.

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Kerr: Thompson likely to miss season

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Steve Kerr insists he isn't ruling All-Star guard Klay Thompson out for the entire season, yet the Golden State coach cautions that Thompson's recovery from surgery July 2 for a torn ACL in his left knee is still expected to take nine to 12 months.

Thompson is "moving great" according to Kerr and certainly looked it as he's back doing shooting work on the court.

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Pistons' Griffin to miss start of season

DETROIT (AP) The Detroit Pistons will begin the season without star forward Blake Griffin, whose injury issues have flared up again.

The Pistons said Tuesday that Griffin would not travel for Wednesday night's game at Indiana and would continue a treatment and conditioning regimen for left hamstring and posterior knee soreness. He will be re-evaluated for a return the first week of November.

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Raptors' rings largest in NBA history

TORONTO (AP) The Toronto Raptors received the biggest championship rings in NBA history and unfurled a banner celebrating their victory in a ceremony before their season opener against the New Orleans Pelicans.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was on hand Tuesday night to honor the Raptors, who won the first title in team history with a six-game triumph over the Golden State Warriors last June.

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Charges dropped against Raptors' Ujiri

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) California prosecutors announced Tuesday that they won't charge Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri for shoving a sheriff's deputy after the NBA championship-winning game in Oakland last June.

The Alameda County district attorney's office made the announcement when the Raptors were in Toronto receiving their championship rings for defeating the Golden State Warriors.

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Dwyane Wade to join TNT studio team

NEW YORK (AP) Retired NBA star Dwyane Wade is getting into the media business.

Wade will be a regular analyst for TNT's studio coverage of the NBA on Tuesday nights alongside former Miami Heat teammate Shaquille O'Neal and Candace Parker this season. His agreement with WarnerMedia also includes other projects covering sports, lifestyles and entertainment across the company's various platforms.

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