Dan Devine

  • Harden's playoff-career-high 42 leads Rockets past Mavs to 3-0 lead

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 14 hrs ago

    The Dallas Mavericks emptied both barrels on Friday night, throwing every ounce of offensive firepower they had at the Houston Rockets in an attempt to overwhelm Kevin McHale's favored crew and fight their way back into their opening-round series. Unfortunately for Rick Carlisle and company, in this matchup, Houston's got the deadliest weapon.

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    James Harden set a new career playoff high with 42 points (15-for-24 shooting, 5-for-7 from 3-point range, 7-for-7 from the foul line) to lead Houston to a 130-128 win over the Mavericks in Game 3 on Friday. The MVP candidate delivered the final two in the form of this step-back dagger from the left elbow over the outstretched arm of Dallas center Tyson Chandler to give Houston a three-point lead with 12 seconds left in a furious offensive affair:

    Mavs season came down to a Monta midrange jumper.

    It's a testament to just how potent Ellis and Nowitzki were, though, that it even came down to one shot at the end.

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  • What to watch for in Friday's NBA Playoffs Game 3s

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 23 hrs ago

    We've got a trio of Game 3s on tap for Friday night, with two series teetering on the brink of the point of no return and one that could absolutely still go either way. Here's a look ahead at what to keep an eye on during this evening's three-game playoff slate.

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    Houston Rockets at Dallas Mavericks, 7 p.m. ET — Rockets lead, 2-0

    The unit of Jefferson, Barea, Dirk Nowitzki, Tyson Chandler and Monta Ellis (a lineup that hadn't logged a single minute together during the regular season) offered a real offensive spark in Game 2, torching Houston for 27 points in 11 minutes of floor time. It literally gave it all back on the other end, though, allowing 29 points (-2) with the small Ellis-Barea backcourt providing little resistance to Houston's ball-handlers and the steps-slow tandem of Jefferson and Nowitzki creating too many messes for Chandler to credibly clean up.

    Much, much better.

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  • The 10-man rotation, starring Rondo, Carlisle and scenes from failed marriages

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    A look around the league and the Web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out.

    C: ESPNDallas. Tim MacMahon offers a great look at the similarities and differences between Rick Carlisle's relationships with Jason Kidd and Rajon Rondo, how the former flourished and how the latter fell apart.

    PF: RealGM. Jonathan Tjarks looks at the Rondo affair as another in a perhaps troublingly long line of bad-news breakups for the Mavericks: "The problem for Dallas is they are becoming like the husband with four ex-wives — who is the common denominator in all these failed relationships?"

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  • Chris 'Birdman' Andersen's new skull tattoos are pretty heavy, even for him

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

    If there's one thing we've all been thinking every time we've looked at Chris Andersen recently, it's that he's really been slacking when it comes to finding new and interesting ways to decorate the ever declining share of his body that isn't already covered in tattoos. It's been an impressive evolution over the years, but it seems to have stagnated of late. Surely there must exist additional opportunities for the illustrated man to express his colorful persona and individual style, right?

  • Kawhi Leonard edges Draymond Green in close Defensive Player of the Year vote

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

    Fitting, isn't it? Draymond Green spends all season establishing himself as the brash, score-stifling wing who can take any assignment on any possession, teaming with rim-protecting mauler Andrew Bogut to lead the Golden State Warriors to the league's best defense from the very start of the season ... and then, with a late surge somehow both hellacious and matter-of-fact, Kawhi Leonard just swoops in and steals his glory.

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    The 23-year-old Leonard was named the NBA's 2014-15 Defensive Player of the Year on Thursday, becoming the first non-big-man to win the award since Ron Artest took it home in 2004 and squeaking past the Warriors' Green in the closest DPoY race since 1998, when the Atlanta Hawks' Dikembe Mutombo received just two more first-place votes than Gary Payton of the Seattle SuperSonics.

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  • Deron Williams, Nets come up just short as Hawks escape, take 2-0 lead

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

    Against all odds, once again, the Brooklyn Nets found themselves right there, within hailing distance of the Atlanta Hawks late in the fourth quarter at Philips Arena. The opportunity to seize a shocking split on the road and wrest home-court advantage away from the East's scuffling No. 1 seed in their best-of-seven first-round playoff series sat right in front of them. All they had to do was seize it.

    Instead, once again, they fell just short. Instead, once again, point guard Deron Williams comes away wearing goat horns.

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    After trailing by as many as 11 in the fourth quarter of Wednesday's Game 2, the Nets found themselves down just one following a corner 3-pointer by reserve point guard Jarrett Jack with 1:55 remaining. Al Horford missed an 18-footer on the other end, giving Brooklyn a chance to take the lead, but Johnson missed a runner that returned possession to the Hawks as we neared the one-minute mark of the game.

    He wouldn't.

    Budenholzer says plan on last play was to run Deron Williams off 3-point line, and just hope he misses.

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  • Kevin Durant bids fond farewell to Scott Brooks, but supports coach's firing '100 percent'

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

    After Yahoo Sports NBA columnist Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Oklahoma City Thunder had fired Scott Brooks, many fans found themselves wondering what the Thunder's stars would have to say about the loss of the head coach who had led the team to three Western Conference Finals and the 2012 NBA Finals before missing the playoffs this injury-plagued season.

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    In his statement on the firing, OKC general manager Sam Presti said the decision to "part ways" with Brooks wasn't based on this year's performance.

    "We determined that, in order to stimulate progress and put ourselves in the best position next season and we looked to the future, a transition of this kind was necessary for the program."

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  • The 10-man rotation, starring how it all fell apart for the Raptors

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

    A look around the league and the Web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out.

    PF: Palm Beach Post. Jason Lieser caps a season full of interesting interactions with Miami Heat big man Chris Andersen with one last bizarre encounter, making it crystal clear that "The Birdman" has no interest in unburdening his mind and soul with the help of a professional.

    SF: Sporting News. Adi Joseph on the Charlotte Hornets' Lance Stephenson problem, and how Steve Clifford and company can solve it without jettisoning their prize free-agent pickup after arguably the worst shooting season in NBA history.

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  • Deadlines, $50M-$100M funding gap, relocation threat create tension in Bucks arena deal

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 3 days ago

    From lease extensions through league pronouncements, we've been talking about the Milwaukee Bucks' plans to build a new arena to replace the BMO Harris Bradley Center for years. As the recently rebranded Bucks prepare to host the Chicago Bulls at their nearly-27-year-old building in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series on Thursday, negotiations surrounding the club's $1 billion proposal for a "public-private partnership" that would fund a new arena and surrounding development project in downtown Milwaukee seem to be coming to a head, and the franchise's future in Wisconsin could hang in the balance.

  • LeBron James, Kyrie Irving take over late to lead Cavs past Celtics, take 2-0 lead

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 3 days ago

    Through eight quarters of postseason action, we've yet to see the best that the Cleveland Cavaliers have to offer on a consistent basis. We have, though, seen All-Star surges from their two top guns, and so far, that's been enough.

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    LeBron James and Kyrie Irving combined for 56 points, including the Cavs' final 28 points overall, on Tuesday, leading the way to a 99-91 win in Game 2 of their best-of-seven series against the seventh-seeded Celtics.

    Once again, Brad Stevens' club came out ready to play, making a concerted effort to press Cleveland's ball-handlers defensively, contest everything and take the fight right to the heavily favored Cavs. But despite missing 22 of their 29 3-point shots and committing 18 turnovers that led to 22 Celtics points, the Cavs were able to hold on behind the scoring prowess of James and Irving to take a commanding 2-0 lead with the stage set to shift to Boston.

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