Knicks searching for identity amid 3-game skid

5:45 PM ET

Tim BontempsESPN

NEW YORK — After the New York Knicks lost a third straight game and for the fourth time in their last five against the Denver Nuggets Saturday afternoon, All-Star forward Julius Randle said it’s up to him and his teammates to decide what kind of season they want to have.

“I have to be better. Everybody has to be better,” Randle said after New York’s 113-99 loss to Denver, a deceiving scoreline from a game that saw the Knicks trail by 30 with eight minutes to go. “I’ll take responsibility for the team. I’ll take responsibility for myself. That doesn’t bother me. At the end of the day, I just wanna win. I think everybody … well, I know everybody in that locker room wants to win, too.

“We gotta look ourselves in the mirror and decide what we want the season to be. I know what I

Mavs' Doncic out vs Grizzlies with ankle soreness

3:19 PM ET

Associated Press

DALLAS — Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic will miss Saturday night’s game against Memphis, the second night of a back-to-back, with what the team says is left ankle soreness.

Doncic missed three consecutive games last month because of left ankle and knee sprains. Dallas lost all three.

The 22-year-old showed moments of discomfort in Friday’s 107-91 loss to New Orleans, a third straight home defeat. There was no mention of an injury after the game.

Dallas plays the Grizzlies at home to complete a stretch of three games in four nights. The Mavericks will have two days off before hosting Kevin Durant, James Harden and the Brooklyn Nets.

Memphis will be missing guard Ja Morant for a fourth consecutive game because of a left knee sprain. Morant was the second-overall draft pick in 2019, a year after Doncic went third overall.

The Grizzlies will play for the first time since setting

Hornets have four players enter COVID protocols

9:57 AM ET

The Charlotte Hornets have had four players — LaMelo Ball, Jalen McDaniels, Mason Plumlee and Terry Rozier — enter into the NBA’s health and safety protocols, it was announced Saturday.

The Hornets have sent players and staff home from practice facility as there’s concern of more possible positive COVID-19 tests, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

If a player has a confirmed positive test for COVID-19, the NBA mandates a minimum of 10 days of isolation away from his team without any physical activity. After that period, a player must undergo a cardiac screening and reconditioning in order to be cleared to return to the court. A player who tests positive also could clear protocol by returning two negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests within a 24-hour period.

The Hornets (13-11) have four games over the next week — at the Atlanta Hawks (Sunday) and home games vs. the Philadelphia 76ers (Monday

Billups troubled by Blazers' effort in blowout loss

Dec 3, 2021

ESPN News Services

PORTLAND, Ore. — New Portland Trail Blazers head coach Chauncey Billups questioned his team’s effort after a 114-83 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night.

The Blazers were without All-Star guard Damian Lillard but still put up little fight against a Spurs team which came into the contest six games below .500.

“My biggest concern, I think, at the moment, is I want us to compete harder, man. I want us to compete harder,” Billups said. “I want us to be competitive in every game. And I don’t feel like every night we do that. We don’t. And it concerns me. And I’ve felt that way in a lot of our wins. This is not just after a loss, me saying this.”

The Blazers fell below .500 with the loss and will be without their superstar for the near future. Portland announced on Wednesday that

NBA Power Rankings: Can anyone catch the Suns and Warriors?

Nov 29, 2021

The battle for No. 1 in the NBA Power Rankings is on.

The Golden State Warriors, winners of seven straight games, take their league-best 18-2 record into Tuesday night’s Western Conference showdown with the Phoenix Suns.

Phoenix, meanwhile, hasn’t lost in over a month and is one win shy of matching the franchise record of 17 straight victories.

Elsewhere in the NBA, the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks are looking like themselves again and have successfully broken out of the Eastern Conference play-in race. Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks have won seven straight ahead of a Wednesday night meeting with LaMelo Ball and the Charlotte Hornets.

LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers are back to .500, the injury-riddled Denver Nuggets continue to slide in the West standings and the Memphis Grizzlies prepare for a stretch without star guard Ja Morant, who suffered a sprained left knee on Friday.

Where do all 30