National Basketball Association roundup

(The Sports Xchange) - LeBron James contends there was no exchange of words with teammate Kyrie Irving after the Cleveland Cavaliers' loss to the Portland Trail Blazers earlier this week. James, who returned to the Cavs this summer after four seasons with the Miami Heat, said he is developing a relationship with Irving. "Those reports are untrue," James said after a Friday shootaround before a game against the Denver Nuggets. "We have not had a verbal exchange. But I understand that negativity sells and no one wants to hear a good story. Those reports are not true. They're very false." Irving joked about the commotion. "As you can see, we're on opposite ends (of the court), so that means we hate each other," Irving said while sitting away from James during the interview. Golden State Warriors forward David Lee will miss at least two more weeks after an MRI revealed a reaggravated strained left hamstring. Lee originally suffered the injury on Oct. 24. In his first game back from that hamstring problem, Lee lasted just seven minutes on Wednesday before he had to return to the locker room. Lee, 31, averaged 18.2 points and 9.3 rebounds per game last season. The Chicago Bulls decided to sit point guard Derrick Rose for Friday night's game against the Philadelphia 76ers to give his sprained ankles a rest. Center Joakim Noah will return from a two-game absence because of illness. The injury-plagued Oklahoma Thunder signed guard Ish Smith with an extra roster spot granted by the NBA hardship rule. The NBA's standard roster maximum is 15 players, but the Thunder have so many injured players, the NBA allowed them to sign a 16th. (Editing by Gene Cherry)