LeBron James, Kevin Durant push each other

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HOUSTON — Kevin Durant wanted to set the record straight once and for all about his relationship with LeBron James.

“I hate him,” he said before breaking into laughter.

Then he got serious.

“We’re actually really good friends,” he continued. “I think people want us to hate each other so bad just because we’re battling against each other.”

That doesn’t mean he has any good feelings toward him when they face each other.

“I like the friendly competition, but when we’re on the court we’re the furthest thing away from being friends,” he said. “We don’t take it easy on each other.”

RISING STARS: Kenneth Faried had 40 points and 10 rebounds and entertained the crowd at the end with a series of dunks, leading Team Chuck to a 163-135 victory over Team Shaq in the Rising Stars Challenge.

Faried, in his second season with Denver, made 18 of 22 shots and was selected the game’s most valuable player.

Cleveland point guard Kyrie Irving scored 32 points for Shaq’s team.

BIG THREE: Chris Bosh will start in the All-Star game, giving the NBA champion Miami Heat three starters for the Eastern Conference.

Bosh says he was told Friday by Miami coach Erik Spoelstra, who will lead the East, he had been chosen to replace injured Boston guard Rajon Rondo in the lineup.

Bosh will join teammates Dwyane Wade and James as starters Sunday.

OLD LEBRON?: James has never competed in the slam-dunk contest on All-Star Weekend. Asked Friday if he ever will, James said he thinks his window of opportunity may have passed.

He’s only 28, but playing his 10th NBA season.

“I’m getting older,” he said. “It ain’t looking good.”


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