Rafer Alston has left the building, and the Heat

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UPDATE 2:50 am: According to Chris Mannix, a source has told Sports Illustrated that Alston is now considering retirement.

1: 53 am:
Rafer Alston has disappeared from the Miami Heat. No David Copperfield needed to make it happen, Alston was happy to burn this bridge all on his own. He just up and left the team. Drop the mic like a rapper at the end of the show and walk off the stage. That’s what he has done — and the team has now suspended him.

The timeline goes like this: Tuesday he was sat down after the first quarter and never returned to the game; Thursday night Alston was replaced in the starting lineup by Carlos Arroyo; Friday morning he does not show up to practice (something the Heat did not disclose); Saturday he did not show up for the game.

He did bother to send a text message. Very considerate.

He is now under indefinite suspension from the Heat, and nobody is betting on him ever returning to the team.

If Alston wants to know why Eric Spoelstra demoted him, maybe it has something to do with his 35% shooting percentage since he joined the Heat as a free agent Jan. 7. And that he was doing that while trying to create more shots off the dribble than he ever had in the past. Or that his play could be summed up well by his 7.7 PER since joining the Heat, which usually means “meet the D-League.”

Alston has had a very nice 11-year career in the NBA, but one that may be coming to an end — team’s don’t put up with antics like this unless your are a super-star. Alston is not.

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook go head-to-head, literally (video)

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This sure didn’t look like just another game for Kevin Durant – and not only because the Thunder beat the Warriors for the first time since he left.

The 108-91 Oklahoma City victory didn’t look like just another game for Russell Westbrook (34 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and four steals), either.

Harrison Barnes banks in game-winning, buzzer-beating 3-pointer (video)

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With the shot clock off in the fourth quarter and the game tied, Grizzlies big JaMychal Green put back Tyreke Evans‘ miss with a clutch flush. There’s a very fine line between ensuring the last shot and leaving time for an offensive rebound, and Memphis threated it almost perfectly.

Emphasis on “almost.”

The Grizzlies left the Mavericks 0.5 seconds, which Harrison Barnes used to bank in a 3-pointer – off a pinpoint bounce pass by Dennis Smith Jr. – to give Dallas a 95-94 win.

Heat snap Celtics’ 16-game winning streak

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
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The Celtics didn’t have another comeback in them.

After overcoming a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit against the Mavericks on Monday to extend its winning streak to 16 games, Boston lost to the Heat tonight, 104-98. The streak ends as the NBA’s longest since the Hawks won 19 straight during the 2014-15 season.

The Celtics trailed Miami by 16 in the fourth quarter then cut the deficit to only one with three minutes left. But Dion Waiters hit back-to-back 3-pointers, helping the Heat pull away.

Goran Dragic (27 points) and Waiters (26 points) led Miami, which needed a reason to feel good after losing three of four to fall to 7-9.

The Celtics, on the other hand, still have a four-game cushion over the rest of the Eastern Conference. This might help them regain focus.

Serge Ibaka gets dunked on by Enes Kanter, hit in face by ball (video)

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Is Enes Kanter mad Serge Ibaka rifted with his family?

(No, not this family. That family.)