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Former stiff NBA centers find politics no easier than basketball

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UPDATE 11:26 pm: It was close, but the red tide was not enough to help out Chris Dudley in a blue state. He conceded the race tonight.

1:04 pm: Two former NBA centers were on the ballot last night, trying to win elected office. One lost, one had gone into overtime and is still waiting to learn his fate.

Former Portland Trail Blazer Chris Dudley is still waiting for the final tally of the gubernatorial vote in Oregon (as of this writing it was still too close to call). He entered the race with an uphill battle — he was the Republican candidate in about the bluest state in the nation. The last time Oregon elected a Republican governor the Simpsons was just making its debut as a short on the Tracy Ulman show (1987). But the national red wave may carry him to office.

Dudley has 49 percent of the vote, which is much better than his career 41 percent shooing percentage in the NBA.

If he wins, Dudley might be the one Republican governor invited to the White House to play basketball on the court President Barack Obama had put in. Note to Dudley: When Obama is driving for a layup and you have the block lined up, just remember the Secret Service carries guns.

Dudley fared a lot better than Shawn Bradley, the 7’6” former Maverick player who ran for a House of Representatives seat in Utah. Bradley lost that race. Bradley is a Republican who lost to a Democrat in Utah, which I didn’t know could happen.

Al Horford shows he still has hops dunking on Solomon Hill (VIDEO)

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That’s just nasty.

Atlanta’s Al Horford gets the ball out high, but within his range, so when he pump fakes Indiana’s Lavoy Allen goes flying by. That opens up the lane and Horford attacks it, Solomon Hill tries to cut him off, but Horford just finishes threw him.

Pacers and Hawks played an entertaining, close game Friday night.

Dwyane Wade shows he still has hops with dunk on Hornets (VIDEO)

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Dwyane Wade still has some springs.

In what may be his best dunk in recent memory, he shoulders Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to create space in transition, then gets up and throws it down before Nicolas Batum can get there for the block.

Not sure even Wade saw that one coming.

Reigning dunk champ LaVine: ‘I’ve got tricks up my sleeve’

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine is heading back to All-Star weekend to defend his slam dunk title. And he says he has “a few tricks up my sleeve” after dominating the event last year.

LaVine will compete against Detroit center Andre Drummond, Denver swingman Will Barton and Orlando forward Aaron Gordon in Toronto next weekend.

LaVine was one of the breakout stars of All-Star weekend last year with his electric performance in the dunk contest. He says he debated about coming back and made his decision after strong encouragement from his fans.

If LaVine wins, he will become the fourth player in the 31-year history of the event to repeat as champion. Michael Jordan, Jason Richardson and Nate Robinson are the others.

Report: Blake Griffin has second procedure on hand, timeline remains unchanged

Blake Griffin
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Blake Griffin will still return to the Clippers some time in March (barring any setbacks).

That said, he had a second procedure this week to repair the boxer’s fracture in his right hand, reports Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.

Clippers forward Blake Griffin underwent a second procedure this week on his broke right hand, sources told ESPN. The procedure was a part of the original surgery last week, so sources said the 4-6 week timeframe for his return remains unchanged.

This might help explain why Griffin’s hand looked so swollen and scarred this week. But to be clear, this was a planned second procedure, not a setback.

Griffin suffered the fracture punching a Clippers’ equipment manager while everyone was out to dinner in Toronto recently, while Griffin was still sidelined with a quadricep injury. The Clippers have moved on, but it is likely the league will tack on a couple of game suspension for Griffin upon his return to health.

And no, the Clippers are not looking to trade Griffin in spite of this. So stop asking.