League asks State Dept. for clarity on travel ban
In reaction to President Trump’s executive order suspending immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries, the NBA has contacted the State Department to try to determine how the order could impact the league.
Two NBA players — Milwaukee Bucks forward Thon Maker and Los Angeles Lakers forward Luol Deng — have Sudanese roots, and the league does a significant amount of work overseas through its Basketball Without Borders program.
“We have reached out to the State Department and are in the process of gathering information to understand how this executive order would apply to players in our league who are from one of the impacted countries,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass said in a statement Saturday night. “The NBA is a global league.”
A judge granted a request from the American Civil Liberties Union to stay the order Saturday night, but it remains to be seen whether the order could impact Deng or Maker. The Lakers already have played their one game this season in Toronto, and given that Los Angeles has one of the NBA’s worst records, barring a trade, it seems Deng will have no issues.
Milwaukee, as it happened, played in Toronto on Friday night. Maker, who left Sudan — one of the seven countries on Trump’s list — as a small child and has an Australian passport, was able to return to the United States with his teammates without incident. The rookie started his second game of the season Saturday night in an overtime home loss to the Boston Celtics, finishing with four points and two rebounds in 10 minutes.
“No,” Bucks Coach Jason Kidd told reporters when asked whether Maker had issues getting back into the country. “He’s starting.”
While the Bucks have completed their regular season series in Toronto, there remains a possibility the teams could meet in the playoffs, which could leave Maker’s status for future games in Toronto unclear. — Tim Bontemps
Warriors rout Clippers
Stephen Curry scored 25 of his 43 points in the third quarter following his halfcourt buzzerbeater at the end of the first half, and the Golden State Warriors rolled to a 144-98 win over the Los Angeles Clippers in Oakland, Calif., for their ninth victory in 10 games.
Blake Griffin scored 20 points for the Clippers, who have lost four of five since star guard Chris Paul went down with a torn ligament in his left thumb.
HEAT 116, PISTONS 103: Goran Dragic scored 23 points, and host Miami pushed its winning streak to seven games with a victory over Detroit.
CELTICS 112, BUCKS 108 (OT): Isaiah Thomas finished with 37 points as visiting Boston beat Milwaukee in overtime.
KINGS 109, HORNETS 106: DeMarcus Cousins had 35 points and 18 rebounds, and Sacramento handed host Charlotte its fourth straight loss.
TIMBERWOLVES 129, NETS 109: Karl-Anthony Towns had 37 points and 13 rebounds to lead Minnesota to a victory over Brooklyn in Minneapolis.
GRIZZLIES 102, JAZZ 95: Zach Randolph scored 28 points, and Memphis defeated Utah in Salt Lake City.
NUGGETS 123, SUNS 112: Danilo Gallinari scored 32 points as Denver won at Phoenix.