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Former Kentucky Wildcats guard Terrence Clarke, 19, dies following car accident

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Terrence Clarke, a freshman guard for the Kentucky Wildcats this past season, died following a car accident in the Los Angeles area on Thursday, it was announced.

Clarke’s mother was at his side when he died, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Clarke was 19 years old.

Los Angeles Police Department Sergeant John Matassa, who works in the Valley Traffic Division, told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne that Clarke was a solo occupant in a vehicle that ran a red light going “at a very high rate of speed” in northwest Los Angeles at approximately 2:10 p.m. PT.

“The incident was captured on surveillance video. He collided with another vehicle that was preparing to make a left-hand turn. He struck the vehicle, hit a street light pole and ultimately hit a block wall,” Matassa said. “He was transported to Northridge Hospital and was later pronounced deceased as a result of the collision.”

Matassa said the driver of the other vehicle, who was in a truck, did not claim any injuries. Clarke was driving a 2021 Hyundai Genesis and he was not wearing his seat belt properly, according to Matassa.

“I am absolutely gutted and sick tonight,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said in a statement. “A young person who we all love has just lost his life too soon, one with all of his dreams and hopes ahead of him. Terrence Clarke was a beautiful kid, someone who owned the room with his personality, smile and joy. People gravitated to him, and to hear we have lost him is just hard for all of us to comprehend right now. We are all in shock.

“Terrence’s teammates and brothers loved him and are absolutely devastated. They know we are here for them for whatever they need.

“I am on my way to Los Angeles to be with his mother and his brother to help wherever I can. This will be a difficult period for all those who know and love Terrence, and I would ask that everyone take a moment tonight to say a prayer for Terrence and his family. May he rest in peace.”

Clarke announced last month that he was entering this year’s NBA draft and he had signed with Klutch Sports. The school in a statement that Clarke was in Los Angeles preparing for the draft.

“We are saddened and devastated by the tragic loss of Terrence Clarke,” Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul told ESPN in a statement. “Terrence was an incredible, hard-working young man. He was excited for what was ahead of him and ready to fulfill his dreams. Our prayers go out to Terrence and his family, who ask for privacy during this difficult time.”

This past season, Clarke played in the first seven games for the Wildcats but was sidelined with an ankle injury that kept him out until the season finale against Mississippi State. He finished the year averaging 9.6 points.

A former five-star prospect from Boston, Clarke was a projected lottery pick entering the season. He is listed at No. 72 in the most recent version of ESPN’s top 100 best available prospects for the draft.

“As an adolescent, having the privilege to put on the Kentucky uniform and play in front of the BBN was always a lifelong goal of mine,” Clarke said in a statement on social media last month. “Although it was hindered due to things out of my own control, the experience is something I will keep with me forever. I have grown a lot with this experience and I will never take it for granted.”

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Brooklyn Nets star James Harden returns vs. San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday; Kyrie Irving out

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NEW YORK — James Harden returned to the Brooklyn Nets‘ lineup on Wednesday against the San Antonio Spurs after missing more than a month with a hamstring strain.

Still, the Nets will have to wait, once again, to see their Big Three in action. Kyrie Irving was not playing in Wednesday’s game because of a facial contusion.

The decision for Harden to play was made minutes before he warmed up in Barclays Center on Wednesday evening. Harden did not start and was on a minutes restriction, coach Steve Nash said. It was the first time that Harden has come off the bench for a regular-season game since April 2012.

Nash has done this before with stars coming back from extended absences. Kevin Durant came off the bench earlier this season when he returned from a hamstring strain. At the time, Nash said that because Durant was on a minutes restriction, he wanted to ensure that Durant would be available to close the game in the event the Nets needed him to pull out a win in a close contest.

“I think he wants to get his rhythm and prepare for the playoffs,” Nash said of Irving before the game. “For us, we can go either way. We support him in that he’s cleared to play and he wants to play.”

Irving, meanwhile, was injured in the third quarter of the Nets’ game against Chicago on Tuesday night when he went up for a rebound and Nikola Vucevic inadvertently elbowed Irving in the face. Irving has been cleared of a concussion, Nash said.

Nash added that because he has been cleared, Irving will be able to play in the Nets’ remaining two games if he is feeling well enough.

“It’s a matter of how comfortable he is playing,” Nash said. “And if they get that time together, it would be great. If they don’t, they don’t.”

The Nets’ three stars — Irving, Harden and Durant — have played in just seven games together this season. Harden, who last played on April 5, has missed the Nets’ past 18 games. After making progress on the injury, Harden suffered a setback in his rehab on April 19, further delaying his return.

The Nets also on Wednesday were without Joe Harris, who has a sore left hip. It was the first game Harris has missed this season.

The Nets have played 38 total games with two of their three superstars — and only two of those are with just Durant and Harden. Wednesday marks the second time that Durant has played in both games of a back-to-back this season.

Nash said that while health is the most important thing to him heading into the playoffs, he added that if all three All-Stars get a chance to play together, it could aid the team down the line.

“If they can form any sort of cohesion or speed up that process, that’s great,” Nash said. “But we recognize there’s no perfect solution here. They’re not going to be totally formed and cohesive on one or two games. But could it help? Sure. But I think more than anything, it’s about them continuing to build their level and their confidence and their rhythm going into the playoffs.”

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For ninth straight season, NBA sets new league record for made 3s per game

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The NBA’s 3-point dependence is stronger than ever.

For the ninth consecutive season, the league record for 3-pointers made per game has been broken. Even if zero 3s are made in the final four days of a regular season that ends Sunday, the league’s average in 2020-21 will be higher than any other season.

The 3s-per-game record was clinched when Washington’s Davis Bertans made the NBA’s 26,375th 3-pointer of the season Wednesday night. Bertans connected with 10:04 left in the fourth quarter of the Wizards’ game against Atlanta.

Teams entered Wednesday averaging about 12.7 made 3s per game this season. The previous mark was 12.2 per game, set last season.

There’s no shortage of other 3-point marks that were broken in 2020-21.

The Utah Jazz are already assured of breaking the previous NBA mark for most 3-pointers per game by a team over a full season; they entered Wednesday at 16.8 per game, certain to pass the mark of 16.1 per game set by the Houston Rockets in 2018-19.

And the record for most 3s made per game by a player in a season is on the brink of falling, with Golden State’s Stephen Curry currently averaging 5.3 — 0.2 per game more than the previous mark, set by Curry himself two seasons ago.

If Curry makes one more 3-pointer this season in either of Golden State’s final two games, he will reset the record. There have also been 13 instances of players making at least 10 3s in a game this season, another record — seven of them from Curry.

The 3-point craze has no signs of slowing down, either.

Entering this season, there had been only nine instances in NBA history where a team averaged 13.5 3s per game for a full season. There are 11 teams on pace to average that many this season alone.

The rate of 3s made per game has basically doubled in the past 10 seasons, from 6.4 per game in the 2011-12 campaign to where it is now. And the rate of 3s attempted per game, as might be expected, is also on a record-setting run.

Teams are averaging 34.6 3-point tries per game, well ahead of the previous record mark of 34.1 per game set last season. This will be the 10th consecutive season in which the record for 3s attempted per game falls.

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Dallas Mavericks lose shooting guard JJ Redick (heel) for at least remainder of regular season

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Dallas Mavericks shooting guard JJ Redick will miss at least the remainder of the regular season due to right heel soreness that has bothered him for much of the season, coach Rick Carlisle said.

Redick aggravated the heel while defending during Tuesday’s loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, putting the 36-year-old’s availability for the playoffs in question.

“He’s getting his right heel evaluated,” Carlisle said, “and then we’ll see where we are.”

Redick was recovering from a nonsurgical procedure on the heel when the Mavs acquired him along with center/power forward Nicolo Melli in a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans just before the March 25 deadline.

Dallas hoped that Redick, a career 41.5% 3-point shooter who has played in 110 games, could help the Mavs by spacing the floor and providing leadership.

Redick didn’t make his Mavericks debut until April 12 and has averaged 4.4 points in 13 appearances off the Dallas bench, shooting 35.8% from the floor and 39.5% from 3-point range.

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