Who had four games/13 days in the pool for how long Steve Francis would last in China? Come on down and collect your winnings.
Reports out of China have the Beijing Shougang Ducks cutting ties with Francis, something his agent confirmed to Sina Sports (via nuibball.com).
Francis played 14 minutes in the four games he was with the team, averaging 0.5 points per game.
The breaking point of the increasingly poor relationship came on Christmas, which is not a holiday really celebrated in China (the government does not sanction a day off). Francis skipped practice to be with his family, something that did not sit well with the team. Francis was not happy with how he was being used, either.
Francis was a name player in China because he was a star when Yao Ming came into the league with the Rockets. Ticket and merchandise sales were reportedly up since Francis’ arrival, it was on the court where the team and player were not getting along.
No word on what Francis plans to do next. Probably retire.
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.
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.
J.R. Smith (slightly out of context): “We don’t start paying attention until after All-Star break.”