Toronto Raptors player Jontay Porter was banned for life from the NBA on Wednesday after a league probe found he disclosed confidential information to sports bettors and wagered on games, even betting on the Raptors to lose.

Porter is the second person to be banned by Commissioner Adam Silver for violating league rules. The other was now-former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling in 2014, shortly after Silver took office.

In making the announcement, Silver called Porter’s actions “blatant.”

“There is nothing more important than protecting the integrity of NBA competition for our fans, our teams and everyone associated with our sport, which is why Jontay Porter’s blatant violations of our gaming rules are being met with the most severe punishment,” Silver said.

The investigation started once the league learned from “licensed sports betting operators and an organization that monitors legal betting markets” about unusual gambling patterns surrounding Porter’s performance in a game on March 20 against Sacramento. The league determined that Porter gave a bettor information about his own health status prior that game and said that another individual — known to be an NBA bettor — placed an $80,000 bet that Porter would not hit the numbers set for him in parlays through an online sports book. That bet would have won $1.1 million.

Porter took himself out of that game after less than three minutes, claiming illness, with none of his stats meeting the totals set in the parlay. The $80,000 bet was frozen and not paid out, the league said, and the NBA started an investigation not long afterward.


CLIPPERS: Kawhi Leonard has yet to practice five-on-five with the Los Angeles Clippers as they prepare to face the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the playoffs.

Leonard hasn’t played in a game since March 31 because of inflammation in his surgically repaired right knee. The best-of-7 series begins Sunday in Los Angeles.

“I’m preparing to have him on the court,” Coach Tyronn Lue said. “We just take it day-by-day. He’s getting better and we’ll see how much he continues to progress.”

PELICANS: Zion Williamson has been ruled out of the New Orleans Pelicans’ Western Conference play-in game against the Sacramento Kings on Friday night because of a left hamstring injury — and is expected to miss up to two weeks should New Orleans advance to the NBA playoffs.

The injury occurred with about three minutes remaining in a 110-106 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in New Orleans’ play-in tournament opener at home on Tuesday night. The club announced that imaging confirmed he had a strained hamstring and that he would be re-evaluated in about two weeks.

Williamson’s status is the latest in a series of untimely injuries during his first five NBA seasons and removes the Pelicans’ leading scorer from their lineup for a do-or-die, play-in tournament finale that will decide the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoffs.


WARRIORS: Klay Thompson has provided so many memorable moments during his decade-plus run as Stephen Curry’s Splash Brother running mate for the Golden State Warriors dynasty.

The Game 6 heroics. The scores of 3-pointers. The shut-down defense against some of the game’s top scorers.

Those were all distant memories as Thompson had one of his worst games ever at a big moment, missing all 10 shots he took Tuesday night in a 118-94 loss to the Sacramento Kings in the play-in tournament that was Thompson’s last game before an uncertain summer of free agency.

“Everybody’s going to talk about one game,” Curry said. “I know he wanted to play better. … I know he’s a true champion. We all prepare ourselves to play our best when the lights are bright. When it doesn’t happen, nobody needs to tell you anything.”

Thompson spent the final minutes of the loss sitting on the bench with a blank stare before slowly walking off the court for what might have been the final time in a Warriors uniform.

He went scoreless for the first time since his rookie season and had the most missed shots without a make in a playoff game by a Warriors player in at least 50 seasons.

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