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SportsPulse: Need a refresher on where we left off with the NBA before play was halted? Mackenzie Salmon hits the rewind button and gets us up to speed.


The first two days of the NBA’s restarted season tipped off Thursday and Friday, with two overtime thrillers highlighting the second night of action. Out West, the Trail Blazers survived the Memphis Grizzlies 140-135 and the Houston Rockets escaped the Dallas Mavericks 153-149 – both in extra frames. And the Milwaukee Bucks fended off the Boston Celtics for what would be a preview of the Eastern Conference Finals. 

What does Day 3 have in store for NBA fans? There are five games on tap, starting with the Miami Heat vs. the Denver Nuggets (1 p.m. ET, ESPN). Then the Utah Jazz take on the Oklahoma City Thunder (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN), the New Orleans Pelicans face the Los Angeles Clippers (6 p.m. ET, ESPN), the Indiana Pacers and Philadelphia 76ers square off (7 p.m. ET), with the Los Angeles Lakers and Toronto Raptors (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN) capping off the night. 

Remember, playoff spots and seeding are on the line in the final stretch, no matter how much it feels like the beginning of a season. 

Players, coaches and staff kneel during the national anthem before the game between the Rockets and the Mavericks on Friday. (Photo: Mike Ehrmann, USA TODAY Sports)

Keep it here for updates throughout the day and into the night from Jeff Zillgitt, Mark Medina — on the ground at Disney — and the USA TODAY Sports NBA team, including analysis, news and highlights:

POPOVICH:Spurs defend coach for not kneeling during national anthem

EASTERN PREVIEW:Do the Celtics have the talent to beat the Bucks?

Stand or kneel for anthem?

Miami’s Meyers Leonard, whose brother Bailey is a Marine and served at least two tours in Afghanistan, stood for the national anthem but wore a Black Lives Matter t-shirt.

“Some of the conversations I’ve had over the past three days, quite literally, have been the most difficult,” Leonard told The Associated Press. “I am with the Black Lives Matter movement, and I love and support the military and my brother and the people who have fought to defend our rights in this country.”

News, scores as bubble basketball underway at Disney, Republik City News

Denver’s Michael Porter Jr., who praised Orlando’s Jonathan Isaac’s decision to stand and not wear a Black Lives Matter t-shirt on Friday, knelt and wore a Black Lives Matter shirt.

Not everyone is kneeling, including Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon.

NBA ensures Butler changes jersey

Miami All-Star Jimmy Butler wanted to leave the back of his jersey blank and even though that wasn’t an approved option for players wishing to put a message on the back of their jerseys.

Butler tried to start Saturday’s game against Denver with no message or name listed on his jersey, but league officials made him change into jersey that had his name on it before the game.


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SportsPulse: The NBA has finally gotten back underway and our NBA experts ranked all 22 teams participating in the reset.