LeBron James misses practice with shin bruise

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According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com, Heat forward LeBron James did not participate in Thursday’s practice because of a shin bruise James suffered while the Heat were playing the Nets last Sunday:

LeBron James sat out the Miami Heat’s practice Thursday with what he calls a deep right shin bruise. But coach Erik Spoelstra plans to start James on Friday night when the Heat take on the undefeated New Orleans Hornets.

JamesJames suffered the injury last Sunday in the Heat’s victory at New Jersey. He played through the injury Tuesday when he put up 20 points and 12 assists against the Minnesota Timberwolves. But he stayed mostly on the perimeter and had his first game with no rebounds since his rookie season.

“Right now every time you kind of flex your foot, it kind of flares up,” James said. “We’re doing everything possible to get it back to 100 percent.”

The Heat have back-to-back games this weekend, so we’ll see if James’ shin turns out to be any kind of factor on either Friday or Saturday. LeBron has been averaging 20.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 7.2 assists so far this season.

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.)