Dan Devine

  • James Harden sets NBA playoff record for most turnovers in single game

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 7 hrs ago

    In Game 4 of the Western Conference finals, James Harden turned in the playoff performance of his career to help his Houston Rockets stave off elimination. In Game 5, though, the Rockets' superstar made the wrong kind of history.

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    Harden, one of the sport's most talented ball-handlers and playmakers, committed an almost unthinkable 13 turnovers in Houston's season-ending loss to the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday. That sets a new NBA record for most cough-ups in a single playoff game. Former New Jersey Nets guard John Williamson held the previous high-water mark, giving it away 11 times in a loss to the Philadelphia 76ers in an first-round playoff game back in 1979.

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  • Dwight Howard picks up 7th technical foul of playoffs, faces Game 6 suspension

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 10 hrs ago

    Dwight Howard has already gotten the benefit of the doubt from the league office once during these Western Conference finals. If the Houston Rockets are able to once again stave off elimination on Wednesday, he'll need the NBA's disciplinarians to smile upon him one more time to allow him to suit up for Friday's Game 6 back in Houston.

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    There doesn't seem like a whole lot of "there" there, but the repercussions could be massive. That was Howard's seventh technical foul of the postseason, which, by league rule, carries with it a one-game suspension (and a $5,000 fine).

    If the Rockets force a Game 6, then, Howard will be in line to miss it. Considering how well he's played in this series, and how exceptional he looked as a rim protector and board crasher early in Game 5, that would, of course, be a major blow to the Rockets' chances of becoming just the fourth team in NBA history to force a Game 7 after having lost the first three games of a playoff series.

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  • The 10-man rotation, starring the Hawks, the Cavs, systems and stars

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 19 hrs 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: ESPN.com. Kevin Arnovitz on the state of the Atlanta Hawks' system-over-superstars experiment in the moments after having the best season in franchise history ended by the biggest superstar there is.

    PF: SB Nation and Bleacher Report. For more smart meditations on the "stars vs. structures" debate, we turn to Paul Flannery, Tom Ziller and Howard Beck.

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

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 1 day 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 1 day 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 1 day 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 5 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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