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Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

Hassan Whiteside was asked if he pays attention to anyone criticizing his performance in the playoffs: "I don't get caught up in the guys that can't do my job but talk about my job." Whiteside had 5 points in 13 minutes in Game 3. He was in foul trouble for much of the night.

Ohm Youngmisuk ESPN Staff Writer 

Fred VanVleet (right shoulder) will not play in Game 3 but is considered day to day.

Ohm Youngmisuk ESPN Staff Writer 

Scott Brooks says no lineup changes to the starting five. Brooks said Mike Scott will continue to come off the bench because the Wizards need to counter Toronto's second unit.

Dave McMenamin ESPN Staff Writer 

Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said before Game 3 that the one player who has been out of his rotation that he could end up going to this series is Tristan Thompson. He knows what he will get out of him and based out of the last three Finals runs, he knows that Thompson can handle the playoff stage. Lue said he's spoken to Thompson about eventually getting his chance. "He's ready," Lue said.

Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

Erik Spoelstra told the Heat that the physical nature of the Miami-Philadelphia series reminds him more of an Eastern Conference final than a first-round matchup.

Chris Haynes ESPN Staff Writer 

ESPN Sources: Golden State guard Stephen Curry will begin participating in portions of practice starting tomorrow. His re-evaluation occurred today.

Mark Schwarz ESPN Reporter 

Damian Lillard has been embarrassing NBA defenders consistently since he entered the league six years ago. But Lillard says he has never seen the coverages New Orleans has shown him in these playoffs. Lillard, who has shot the ball at a .327 clip in this series, while hitting only 8-25 from deep, turned the ball over 8 times in game 3. He is averaging a subpar 18.3 ppg in the series after putting up nearly 27 points per contest in the regular season. I asked him whether the Pelicans smothering defense has shaken his confidence. Here is his reply:

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Mark Schwarz ESPN Reporter 

Rajon Rondo says Nikola Mirotic is in a much better place in New Orleans than he was when the two were teammates in Chicago. Mirotic, who sustained a fractured face and a concussion in a preseason altercation with Bulls' teammate Bobby Portis, scored a game high 30 in the Pelicans' game 3 win over Portland. While many teammates insist Mirotic's success can be traced directly to his decision to shave his beard a couple of weeks ago, Rondo offers a different explanation. He says "it's all about the energy around Niko."

Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

Joel Embiid says he was ‘built for' the physical nature of playoff basketball and that he relishes playing on the road in these settings. "I love it. I live for these moments."

Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

Joel Embiid said the mask and goggles he wore to protect his orbital bone were ‘annoying' and he wanted to ‘throw them off' at times during Game 3 but he understands he needs to wear both if he wants to play.

Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

Joel Embiid says his face feels "good, nothing to complain about" after he played on Thursday for the first since suffering a fractured orbital bone on March 28.

Mark Schwarz ESPN Reporter 

New Orleans point guard Rajon Rondo raved about the growth of Anthony Davis, calling him the best communicator on defense he has played with since Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins. "Early in the year he didn't say a lot. Now he has learned what to say, what not to say." Rondo explained that Davis' contributions to the team go beyond what most observers realize, saying for us "he is easily the defensive player of the year."

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