Dan Devine

  • Dwight Howard won't be suspended for Warriors-Rockets Game 5

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 3 hrs ago

    The Houston Rockets and their fans are breathing sighs of relief on Tuesday night. NBA president of basketball operations Rod Thorn announced that Dwight Howard's flagrant foul-1 from Monday's Game 4 victory over the Golden State Warriors will stand as called, and will not be upgraded to a flagrant-2.

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    Howard's flagrant came with just over eight minutes remaining in the third quarter of Game 4, with the Rockets holding an 11-point lead over the Warriors:

    The referees blew the play dead, and Joey Crawford headed to the courtside replay monitor to review the play. After looking it over multiple times, the officials decided to give Howard a flagrant-1, assessed for "unnecessary" contact, rather than a flagrant-2, the penalty for "unnecessary and excessive" contact, according to the league's rulebook.

    After the game, Howard claimed no malice and no intent to injure on the controversial play.

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  • Two Rockets fans struggle through an awful game of tic-tac-toe

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 10 hrs ago

    No NBA franchise has been as closely aligned with the rise of advanced statistical analysis as the Houston Rockets, a thoroughly modern organization built on the precepts promoted by Sloan Sports Analytics Conference co-founder and general manager Daryl Morey, and embodied in the layup/free-throw/3-pointers-generating offensive exploits of MVP runner-up James Harden.

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    Nobody won the game of tic-tac-toe; everyone lost. Even the house MCs calling the action — whose "What is going on right now?!?" and "Wooooow" reactions were entirely appropriate — were diminished by their proximity to this mutually assured destruction, and their attempts to determine a winner despite the stultifying stalemate staring them in the face.

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  • Here's Slam Dunk champ Zach LaVine alley-oop-dunking footballs

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 11 hrs ago

    We briefly break this Tuesday morning from thoroughly covering the Eastern and Western Conference finals to recommend that you spend one minute watching Zach LaVine, spring-heeled Minnesota Timberwolves guard and reigning Slam Dunk Contest champion, alley-oop-dunking footballs:

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  • Curry's MVP performance keys Game 3 blowout, puts Rockets on brink

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

    They'd have preferred winning, of course, but after losing the first two games of the Western Conference finals on the road by a combined five points, the Houston Rockets headed back home feeling like they could hang with the big, bad Golden State Warriors.

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    "We had plenty of opportunities to win both of the games," said Rockets star James Harden after a brilliant Game 2 — 38 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists, three steals and a block — that ended on a sour note with a final-play turnover that sealed a 99-98 Golden State win. "So we have all the confidence in the world."

    ... and with "Iceman"-evoking finger rolls:

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  • Stephen Curry sets NBA record for most 3-pointers in one postseason

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 3 days ago

    Stephen Curry added another record to his illustrious Most Valuable Player-winning season with this 3-point make with 4:32 remaining in the second quarter of Game 3 of the Western Conference finals between the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets:

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    That triple was Curry's 59th of this postseason, an NBA record for most 3-point makes in a single playoff run. Hall of Fame sharpshooter Reggie Miller had the previous mark, with 58 during the Indiana Pacers' march to the NBA Finals in 2000.

    Miller needed 22 games and 147 attempts to set his record. Curry needed 13 games and 138 attempts.

    It was Curry's second 3-pointer of Game 3, and it was an absolute bomb — Rockets defender Jason Terry gave too much ground as Curry stepped toward a screen, so Steph just pulled up from 29 feet away and splashed the jumper. It's just ... I mean, what do you do about that?

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  • Looking ahead to Game 3: Hawks at Cavaliers

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 3 days ago

    Previously, on "The Hawks and The Cavaliers" ...

    Sing it, Terrance:

    OK, fine. There was other stuff.

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    The Cleveland Cavaliers' defense continued to short-circuit the Atlanta Hawks' offense. The Cavs mostly kept the Hawks' starters whisper-quiet, holding Mike Budenholzer's club to 41.8 percent shooting from the floor, a 6-for-26 mark from 3-point range, and a rate of offensive efficiency (92.4 points per 100 possessions) comfortably below the woeful Philadelphia 76ers' dead-last regular-season mark.

    Three Things to Look For in Game 3

    The Cavs' suffocating defense

    Where does Atlanta turn for points?

    Will/should Kyrie play?

    The answer, as Blatt sees it, is that the Cavs still have two more games to win, and even with the Hawks hurting, that's no sure thing.

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  • Dominant LeBron's near-triple-double leads Kyrie-less Cavs to 2-0 lead over Hawks

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 3 days ago

    Most players would be really, really happy after scoring 31 points, grabbing eight rebounds and dishing six assists in a series-opening road win that stole home-court advantage in the conference finals. But LeBron James, as you might have heard, is not most players.

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    “In the fourth quarter, I played way too much isolation basketball, one-on-one basketball [with] a lot of the defenses set, and I was letting the clock run down way too much," James said after Game 1, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com. "[...] “I’ll be more conscious about that in Game 2 if that opportunity presents itself."

    And we mean, like, really commanding:

    Of the 30 teams to begin an NBA best-of-seven series on the road and go up 2-0: 27 won the series, including 12 by sweep.

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  • Hawks' DeMarre Carroll (left knee sprain) to start Game 2 vs. Cavaliers

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 4 days ago

    DeMarre Carroll will occupy his normal slot at small forward in the Atlanta Hawks' starting lineup on Friday night for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, just two nights after suffering a left knee injury that had many fans fearing for the worst.

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    Carroll went down in apparent agony midway through the fourth quarter of the Hawks' Game 1 loss to the visiting Cavaliers:

    Carroll, Coach Bud and company will hope for a different outcome than the one the Rockets got at Oracle Arena. If nothing else, they'll be heading into battle with their full starting five intact, which has tended to be very good news for the Hawks throughout this franchise-record dream season.

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  • Kyrie Irving (left knee tendinitis) out for Hawks-Cavaliers Game 2

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 4 days ago

    The Cleveland Cavaliers announced point guard Kyrie Irving will not play in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Atlanta Hawks on Friday. The All-Star and newly minted All-NBA Third Teamer skipped Friday morning's shootaround and was examined by Dr. James Andrews as he continues to struggle with the left knee tendinitis that has plagued him for the past couple of weeks.

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    This will be only the eighth game that Irving has missed this season. Cleveland went 1-6 without him during the regular season.

    Irving seemed to tweak the knee while attacking the basket midway through the third quarter of Game 1:

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  • The 10-man rotation, starring Stephen Curry getting on a roll

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 4 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.

    C: Sports Illustrated. Lee Jenkins on how Stephen Curry gets cranked up, and how hard it can be to slow him down once he does.

    PF: USA TODAY Sports. The backlash to Stephen Curry's daughter Riley being wonderful at a post-Game 1 press conference was dumb, as were debates surrounding whether there should have been some backlash were dumb, and none of it, from my perspective, deserved much actual thoughtful consideration. Sam Amick provided some anyway, and it resulted in a good column.

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