UPDATE 2/26 8:22 am: After the game Shaq did not have a wrap or splint on his his sprained thumb. Coach Mike Brown said he will not play Friday against Toronto and he will undergo an MRI today to determine the extent of the damage.
2/25 9:33 pm: It’s one of the great NBA ironies that the game’s biggest players and biggest stars are often sidelined with the smallest of injuries. But in a game based on such incredible technique and precision, every digit counts. Every toe is crucial in executing the a textbook jab step or drop step, and every finger the difference between the perfect bounce pass and a wild fling out of bounds.
Or in this case, every finger is the difference between badly missing a free throw, and just hurling the shot it into the stands, I guess.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone to hear that Shaquille O’Neal, he of 7’1” and 325 lbs. of body mass, was taken out of tonight’s game between the Cavaliers and the Celtics by a thumb injury. TNT’s David Aldridge described it as a “significant right thumb sprain,” and the injury was confirmed by x-ray. With the game still in progress, it’s obviously still unknown if O’Neal will miss any other games due to the injury, but updates will be provided as they become available.
In the meantime, Anderson Varejao will play double-time at the 5. He’s not a bad option (especially on the defensive end), but think the Cavaliers miss Zydrunas Ilgauskas right now?
John Wall goes coast-to-coast, behind-the-back for lefty dunk (VIDEO)
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) —Stephen Curry scored 34 points, Klay Thompson added 24 and the short-handed Golden State Warriors overcame a slow start to take a 3-0 lead in their playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers with a 119-113 victory on Saturday night.
The Blazers led by as many as 17 points in the first half, but couldn’t hold off the Warriors, who can clinch the series with a win Monday night in Game 4 at the Moda Center.
Golden State was without Kevin Durant, who was sitting for a second straight game cause of a left calf strain, and coach Steve Kerr stayed back at the team hotel because of illness.
The Warriors took a 108-100 lead after Andre Iguodala‘s dunk with 4:05 to go.
Noah Vonleh‘s dunk got Portland within four at 110-106 with 1:29 left, but Curry answered with a 3-pointer that all but sealed it, sending fans streaming for the exits.
Paul Millsap had 29 points, pulled down 14 boards, got to the line 11 times, and led the Hawks to the win. He got the calls he wanted this game, but Washington’s Markieff Morris was not exactly down with high praise for Millsap.
The key line here: “”He just did more for his team. He’s a crybaby. Get all the calls and you a crybaby.”
Millsap was asked about that comment in his postgame presser — and the best part may be Dennis Schroeder’s reaction.
“It definitely got personal now, yes. I mean, I don’t care. So what? He can take his loss and go back to the hotel and be ready for the next game.”
Kawhi Leonard scored 16 consecutive points for the Spurs down the stretch of regulation to force overtime, then in OT hit a corner three with 7.2 seconds left to tie the game at 108-108. Leonard finished the game with a career playoff high of 43 points.
It wasn’t enough. Because in those final seconds Marc Gasol did this.
The 110-108 Memphis win ties the series at 2-2 as it heads back to San Antonio for Game 5. I might not want to sit next to Gregg Popovich on the flight home.
While Gasol hit the big shot, he never gets the chance if Mike Conley isn’t every kind of amazing through the clutch parts of this game. Conley finished with 35 points, and that includes a floater in the lane that forced OT (although Leonard got a pretty good look to end it in regulation and just missed). I’m surprised the Spurs switched on the pseudo pick on this play.
The Spurs struggled to get stops down the stretch, mostly because they had David Lee and Tony Parker both on the floor and Memphis did a good job getting switches onto those defenders. Spurs starting center and best defensive big Dewayne Dedmon missed the game due to an illness, and that ended up mattering.