Terrence Williams’ time-out in the D-League is over

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As the story’s told, Nets swingman Terrence Williams ticked off his coach, and rather than actually deal with the problem (Williams’ great crime? Unpunctuality.) internally, Avery Johnson “punished” Williams with a stint in the D-League. That story has been qualified and rebuffed, but the initial report still stings.

An assignment in the D-League isn’t a “time-out” sentence. The D is a valuable asset to NBA teams for a number of reasons, but it isn’t a disciplinary tool for when Johnson doesn’t feel like addressing whatever he deems to be a significant problem. What’s worse: even if the reports indicating that Williams was assigned to the D-League for disciplinary reasons were exaggerated or misleading, the damage has been done. For some reason the story led to that particular conclusion, and though Williams was technically the one punished, it’s the D-League as a whole that suffers for this decision.

On the bright side, Williams’ unfortunate — but successful — stint with the D-League’s Springfield Armor has come to a close. According to John Schuhmann of NBA.com, Williams has been recalled by the Nets, but it’s not certain whether he’ll be available for New Jersey’s game against Atlanta tonight. Williams averaged 28 points (on 42.6% shooting), 10.7 rebounds and 10.7 assists during his three games with Springfield, showing off every bit of his considerable talent. There was never a question of Williams’ potential, and his NBA-level skills sliced and diced the D-League competition.

Still, Williams clearly hasn’t started the season on Avery Johnson’s good side, and he won’t see the same opportunities in New Jersey that he did with Springfield. His situation with the Nets is definitely worth watching this season. Things have gotten a bit rocky for Williams, and though his abilities are impressive, Johnson is exactly the kind of coach who would bury Williams in the rotation for not playing by his rules.

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.)