Party-hardy Josh Howard punched his own ticket to Washington

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UPDATE 2/20 1:35 am: After the Wizards win on Friday night, Josh Howard called he accusation he was too hung over to play on Jan 19 a lie. He would not go into details, only to say that, “he would not respond to a lie.”

2/19 12:13 pm: Josh Howard’s (lack of) production and past infractions may have set things in motion long ago, but the inciting moment that may have led to Howard’s ticket out of Dallas seems to be a DNP- Hangover. From Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News:

The juicy piece of irony is that Howard ended up in Washington, which may well have been the site where he had the beginning of the end, according to several Maverick sources. They say Howard had a long night of partying on Jan. 19, the night after the Mavericks had won in Boston and less than 24 hours before playing the Wizards. The team officially said he missed the game against Washington on Jan. 20 with a stomach illness. But sources said team officials could not deny that it was a self-inflicted game off.

It certainly be the first time that Howard was out of line, as his notorious 2008 birthday party — that he threw during a playoff series in which the Mavs were getting creamed by the New Orleans Hornets — drew ire from then-coach Avery Johnson and Mavs’ management. Oh, and then there the YouTube video about the national anthem. And the drag racing. And the admission of marijuana use.

It’s worth noting, however, that Howard’s off-court issues were assumed to be a thing of the past. Josh showed tremendous maturity in tackling trade rumors during this last year in Dallas, and he legitimately looked to keep his mouth shut, fall in line, and play basketball. It’s no secret that the Mavs went to tremendous lengths to protect Howard from the media (and himself), which is why the emergence of incidences like these should be surprising, but hardly shocking.

Grizzlies’ James Ennis fouls out then hits half-court shot (video)

AP Photo/David Zalubowski
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Against the Pacers last night, James Ennis missed all three of his 3-point attempts… that counted. And he makes this one after fouling out?

Mike Conley more than picked up the slack to lead the Grizzlies to victory.

Pelicans’ Dante Cunningham jumps on scorer’s table, Anthony Davis jumps on him (video)

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The Pelicans are effectively out of the playoff race, but Dante Cunningham and Anthony Davis are still competing — even if it looks a little silly.

That tone and a big game from DeMarcus Cousins (29 points, 16 rebounds, six assists) led to a 121-118 win over the Mavericks.

Goran Dragic puts alley-oop pass through rim (video)

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Goran Dragic is very good at alley-oops.

Too good.

With a “shot” like that falling, the Heat trounced the Knicks, 105-88.

Hawks’ Tim Hardaway Jr. kneed in the groin while defending 76ers (video)

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Since trading for him, the Hawks have gotten Tim Hardaway Jr. to buy in defensively.

After this help defense on 76ers center Richaun Holmes cost him dearly, I wouldn’t blame Hardaway if he gave up on the endeavor entirely.