O.J. Mayo’s totally cool with Lionel Hollins

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O.J. Mayo is in a slump. O.J. Mayo is no longer a starter. O.J. Mayo is on the trade block.

And O.J. Mayo says he’s totally cool with Lionel Hollins about all this. Mayo started off the year with a shooting slump, and Hollins decided to move him to the bench for when his scoring came back. From the Memphis Commercial Appeal:

Mayo’s dip in scoring also coincides with a decrease in field-goal attempts in each of his three NBA seasons. He’s averaging 11.3 shots per game, which is down from 14 last season and 15 during Mayo’s rookie campaign.

But the Mayo bench situation has been underwhelming even though the Griz reserves averaged 27.8 points in the 10 games since Mayo became a reserve.

Hollins and Mayo agree that Mayo has made the most sacrifice of anyone on the roster. Hollins and Mayo agree that Mayo needs to play with more confidence as his move to the bench was based on the 6-3 guard’s scoring mindset.

Mayo also insists he still is on board with what Hollins is preaching.

“That’s our man,” Mayo said of Hollins. “We’ve let the owner, we let everyone know this is the guy we want to play for. We’ve been in a lot of winnable games. We’ve just got to start winning. Whatever our role is, whatever the dynamic of the team is, we’ve got to accept it and go hard. We feel like we’re a good team. We’ve just got to stick to the script.”

via Analysis: Grizzlies say they’ve put their issues behind them » The Commercial Appeal.

Just so we’re clear on this, Mayo’s not shooting as well because he’s not getting as many shots. He’s a rhythm shooter. He needs to be a functioning part of the offense. What could be taking that role away from him? I’ve got $40 million ideas.

You can actually notice some pretty bad body language on the floor with Mayo during the game. He seems tuned out, down, and generally disappointed with how this year is going. But it’s good to know he’s not blaming his coach for it. He’s maintained his status as a professional, even as his career has taken a downturn. Of course, when Mayo is inevitably traded, he’ll probably perk up a bit as he drops 30 on the Grizzlies each time they play.

Yup. Those are the Grizzlies.



Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue sits out second half Saturday with illness

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CHICAGO (AP) Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue remained in the locker room to start the second half of their game against the Chicago Bulls because of an illness.

Lue was on the sideline as the Cavaliers used a strong second quarter to build a 17-point halftime lead. He did not come out for the start of the third Saturday night, and he did not return to the game.

Lue has missed one other game this season due to illness. He is expected back on Monday when the Cavs host the struggling Bucks.

The Cavaliers went on to get the win over the Bulls Saturday, 114-109.

Grizzlies snap 19-game skid with 101-94 win vs Nuggets

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Dillon Brooks scored 24 points, Tyreke Evans added 20 and the Memphis Grizzlies snapped a 19-game losing streak with a 101-94 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Saturday night.

Wayne Selden scored 16 points for Memphis by hitting 6 of 7 shots, including 4 of 5 from outside the arc. Marc Gasol added 14 points as Memphis won for the first time since Jan. 29.

Nikola Jokic led the Nuggets with 17 points and 12 rebounds, while Jamal Murray finished with 16 points on 5-of-18 shooting. Denver shot just 37 percent overall and 27 percent from 3-point range.

Denver entered the night in ninth place in the Western Conference, a game out of the playoff race. Denver played without leading scorer Gary Harris, who is expected to miss the next few games with a right knee sprain suffered against Detroit on Thursday.

The Nuggets struggled through a miserable first half of shooting, connecting on 22 percent in the first quarter. Memphis stretched its lead to 21 early in the second quarter before Denver cut it to 53-48 at halftime.

Brooks hit four 3-pointers to start the second half and keep Memphis ahead.

For more NBA coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball

LaMarcus Aldridge’s 39 points lead Spurs past Wolves, 117-101

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SAN ANTONIO (AP) – LaMarcus Aldridge had 39 points and 10 rebounds, and the San Antonio Spurs overcame a sluggish start to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 117-101 on Saturday night.

San Antonio won its third straight to move into fifth in the Western Conference five days after dropping to 10th and out of playoff position.

Karl-Anthony Towns had 23 points and nine rebounds for Minnesota, which dropped to sixth in the West.

The Spurs had lost three straight and nine of 11 but are now unbeaten halfway through a six-game homestand.

San Antonio shot 84 percent in the second quarter, their best shooting quarter since 2010.

Two nights after battling New Orleans’ Anthony Davis on both ends, Aldridge had to take on another All-Star in Towns. Aldridge responded by leading the Spurs in scoring for the 49th time this season while helping keep Towns in check.

Aldridge scored 18 of 21 points during a five-minute stretch in the second quarter, including 12 straight. He capped the run by coming from the weak side to swat Towns’ floater deep into the seats.

Minnesota started quickly, shooting 78 percent from the floor in the first 5 1/2 minutes while San Antonio floundered at 17 percent. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich called timeout, only to watch the Timberwolves’ Jeff Teague steal the ball once play resumed.

The Spurs responded behind veteran reserves Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, Pau Gasol and Rudy Gay. San Antonio went on a 16-4 run bridging the first and second quarters to take a 29-26 lead.

Andrew Wiggins scored 21 points for Minnesota and Teague had 16.


Stan Van Gundy goes off on officials: “We got absolutely screwed all night”

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The Pistons were likely to lose to the red-hot Trail Blazers on the road, and that came to be Saturday night 100-87, Portland 12th straight win. The Pistons shot 38.8 percent for the game and had a dreadful offensive rating of 93.8 (points per 100 possessions).

Portland is one the top five defensive teams in the NBA this season, but that’s not what Detroit coach Stan Van Gundy thought was the problem — he laid the blame on the officiating.

That’s going to be a fine.

Van Gundy is frustrated — with this game and with this season. So are Pistons fans, and seemingly so is Detroit owner Tom Gores after his lukewarm vote of confidence in Van Gundy recently. They should be, this team is a disappointment and the Blake Griffin trade was a big swing that has yet to work out. The Pistons are going to miss the playoffs. Around the league, the sense is that Van Gundy will lose his GM job to former super agent Arn Tellem, who was brought in to guide the Pistons into their new building but now whose talents would better serve the basketball side of the operation. The only question is will Van Gundy still be coaching in Detroit next season — just coaching, like Doc Rivers with the Clippers — or of the change will be more sweeping than that.