Gordon Hayward staying in the bubble

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Gordon Hayward returning for Game 3?

Barring a setback in pregame warmups, there’s significant optimism within the Boston Celtics that forward Gordon Hayward will make a return to the lineup for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat on Saturday night, sources told ESPN. Hayward has missed a month with a right ankle sprain, but has progressed in recent days to the cusp of a return on Saturday with the Celtics trailing the Heat 2-0 in the best-of-seven series.
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At 34 years old, Miami Heat point guard Goran Dragic is setting a historic pace with his scoring average this postseason. The Slovenian ball-handler is pouring in 22.2 points per contest over 11 playoff games this year for Miami, which is the best playoff scoring average for a point guard who’s at least 34 years old since 1972-73. The only floor general with a higher postseason scoring average at 34 than Dragic? That would be Jerry West, a Hall-of-Famer and one of the greatest players the NBA has ever seen.

Mutual interest between Jazz, Derrick Favors

This is Utah’s main use of finding a guy who can slide into its rotation. Obviously, there is significant Derrick Favors speculation here. Here’s the deal. There is mutual interest. Favors would not mind a return to Utah, even if it means coming off the bench as Gobert’s primary backup. But, at this point, that’s all it is … interest. The Jazz have to decide whether Favors would be the right place to spend their most significant chunk of offseason money, especially considering finding a 3-and-D wing is of greater priority. Favors will have multiple suitors on the market, including his incumbent team, the New Orleans Pelicans. So, there’s a lot that can happen between now and the opening of free agency.

Brad Stevens held late-night meeting with Celtics leaders

Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens held a late-night hotel meeting with the team’s leaders on Thursday to talk through the frustration and emotions that spilled into the locker room after a Game 2 loss to Miami in the Eastern Conference finals, sources told ESPN. Stevens met with Jayson Tatum, Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart starting around 1 a.m. ET, and he let those players talk through the issues that had led to significant yelling and outbursts in the postgame locker room, sources said.
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