Ball Don't Lie
- Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie46 mins ago
For the second game in a row, the Oklahoma City Thunder pushed the Memphis Grizzlies to overtime with a thrilling, improbable comeback spurred by a four-point play. For the second game in a row, the Grizzlies bounced back in the extra period to take control and come away with a huge win in this increasingly fascinating first round series.
Frankly, the host Grizzlies should have put the game away much earlier. With 7:43 remaining in regulation of Game 3, they held what looked like a commanding 81-64 lead and a clear path to going up 2-1 against the favored No. 2-seed Thunder. However, the offensive drought that followed reached near-catastrophic levels. Over nearly seven minutes, the Grizzlies failed to score and allowed the Thunder to creep back into the game at a time when their offense didn't even appear to be functioning at peak levels of efficiency. When Russell Westbrook drained a three-pointer with 57 seconds on the clock, he finished off a 17-0 run that brought OKC back into an 81-81 tie.
Jeff Teague hits ridiculous (and controversial) running-out-of-bounds 3 as Hawks beat Pacers (Video)Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie1 hr ago
Just after 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, shortly before tipoff of Game 3 between the Indiana Pacers and Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena, @NBAOfficial — a Twitter account offering updates on officiating and rule clarifications "directly from the league office" — published the following tweet:
Replay Clarification: no trigger exists allowing referees to determine if ball went out of bounds or player stepped out of bounds
Little did we know that this particular clarification would wind up becoming an important part of a remarkable play just a couple of hours later.
- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie5 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: Heather Rooney. Sure, the actual drawing of LeBron James is pretty incredible, but not nearly as incredible as how fast she's moving her hand!
PF: The Deseret News. The Utah Jazz's search for a new head coach to replace the ousted Tyrone Corbin will include interviews of "much more than 20" candidates, but even the Jazz don't know who they're going to be just yet. Are exhaustive searches and exhausting searches the same thing? Asking for a franchise.
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie6 hrs ago
The “why-is-this-news” folks who don’t understand what it’s like to be young and in the closet and scared and desperate for this sort of news are just going to have to deal with another bit of news.
Jason Collins was named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 most influential people this week. It’s a constructed award, with no real scientific backing, discussed and detailed in print by celebrities with only a tangential relationship to the honoree. Collins, who came out of the closet one year ago and was signed by the Brooklyn Nets in February, is the only openly gay male sports participant working in the four major North American pro sports. His go-to qualifier happily keeps adding words to it because more and more athletes – women, pro prospects, college players, those who run up and down a soccer pitch – are coming out. This is why someone like Jason Collins is influential.Fri, Apr 254:00 PM PDTToronto at BrooklynPreview Game
NBA fines Josh McRoberts $20K for forearm to LeBron James' throat, upgrades foul to flagrant-2 (Video)Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie7 hrs ago
Charlotte Bobcats forward Josh McRoberts has been fined $20,000 for the foul he committed against the Miami Heat's LeBron James with 50 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter of Miami's 101-97 win over Charlotte in Wednesday's Game 2 of their best-of-seven Eastern Conference playoff series, the NBA announced Thursday. The league also announced that McRoberts' foul — called a common foul on the floor by the officials during the game — has been upgraded to a flagrant-2.
Here's the foul, if you missed it the first time around:
Pacers GM Kevin Pritchard cites pretty high-ranking source in tweet saying Frank Vogel's job is safeDan Devine at Ball Don't Lie7 hrs ago
The Indiana Pacers relieved a little bit of the pressure they've been feeling on Tuesday night, riding a very good outing from Paul George and a good ol' third-quarter smackdown to a 101-85 win over the Atlanta Hawks that evened their best-of-seven first-round playoff series at one game apiece. The Pacers juggled their coverages, got vital aggressive play from point guard George Hill and created turnovers in bunches to turn the tide in the second half of Game 2, helping wipe away the sour taste of a Game 1 defeat.
- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie8 hrs ago
If Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson found himself in Carmelo Anthony's position — staring down the prospect of a summertime decision whether to return to the New York Knicks or seek greener pastures in free agency — his choice would be simple: "I would leave today."
The legendary former Cincinnati Royals and Milwaukee Bucks guard, a 12-time All-Star who famously averaged a triple-double during the 1961-62 NBA season and won a title in Milwaukee in 1971, offered that advice to the Knicks forward during an interview with Robertson that will be broadcast on filmmaker/Knicks superfan Spike Lee's SiriusXM NBA radio show on Thursday. He went on to explain his reasoning:
A few thoughts:
• Technically, the earliest 'Melo could leave the Knicks would be July 1, after opting out of the final year of his existing contract and hitting the market following the opening of unrestricted free agency. But I get what Mr. Robertson's saying.
- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie9 hrs ago
These are, to put it mildly, trying times for the Houston Rockets. They've found themselves utterly unable to stop, or even appreciably slow down, Portland Trail Blazers All-Star power forward LaMarcus Aldridge, who has stepped into the spotlight fresh-dipped in flames and become the breakout star of the opening round of the 2014 playoffs by averaging — averaging! — 44.5 points and 13 rebounds in 40.5 minutes per game in staking Rip City's finest to a commanding 2-0 lead with the series heading back to the Pacific Northwest for Friday's Game 3. It's been sensational to watch Aldridge repeatedly cook the likes of Dwight Howard, Terrence Jones and Omer Asik — although Asik was most successful against LMA in Game 2, according to SportVU one-on-one defensive matchup data — and make shot after shot from all over the court against all manner of coverages and tough closeouts ... provided, of course, you're not a Rockets fan.Fri, Apr 257:30 PM PDTHouston at PortlandPreview Game
- Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie23 hrs ago
Last summer, Portland Trail Blazers power forward LaMarcus Aldridge was the subject of trade rumors that would have moved him from the only NBA team he's ever known. Nearly a year later, he's clearly been the best player of the first few days of the 2014 postseason.
For the second consecutive game, Aldridge terrorized the Houston Rockets' defense. Coming three days after his 46-point, 18-rebound performance in Portland's Game 1 win, Aldridge scored 43 points on 18-of-28 shooting to lead his team to a 112-105 win and a 2-0 series lead, giving Portland a huge advantage as the series heads to their home court for Games 3 and 4.
- Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie1 day ago
In Game 1 of the first-round series between the Dallas Mavericks and heavily favored San Antonio Spurs, the No. 8-seed Mavs held a surprising 10-point lead in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately for them, that advantage didn't last — the Spurs held them to one field goal in the final seven minutes of regulation to grab a 90-85 win and 1-0 series advantage. Given the circumstances, the Mavericks could be forgiven for thinking they had squandered their best chance at stealing a road victory.
They would not let go of the same opportunity in Wednesday night's Game 2. On the strength of their typical offensive prowess and impressive defensive thievery, the Mavericks cruised to a 113-92 win to break a 10-game losing streak against San Antonio, even the series at 1-1, and gain homecourt advantage as the series heads to Dallas for Games 3 and 4.