NEW YORK (AP) — NBA Commissioner David Stern says he would consider it a failure if the owners and players don’t reach a deal to end the lockout in the next few days.

“There’s no guarantee we’re going to get it done,” Stern said, “but we’re going to give it one heck of a shot.”

Union executive director Billy Hunter, too, struck a positive tone about the talks.

“I think we’re within striking distance of getting a deal,” he said after the two sides met for 7.5 hours Thursday.

The two sides will resume bargaining Friday morning.

“There’s an element of continuity, familiarity and I would hope trust that would enable us to look forward to (Friday) where we anticipate there will be some important and additional progress,” Stern said. “Or not.”

“We’re looking forward to seeing whether something good can be made to happen.”

Small groups from both sides returned to a hotel Thursday less than 12 hours after finishing a 15-hour meeting that went until past 3 a.m.

Union president Derek Fisher said they’re working through a number of different issues and trying to close the gap in each issue.

Stern said he expects the two sides to address the distribution of basketball revenue on Friday.


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