Kevin Love ties Moses Malone with record 51 straight double-doubles

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With a three pointer from straight away in the third quarter Tuesday night, Kevin Love recorded his 51st consecutive double-double (at least 10 points and 10 rebounds). That tied Moses Malone for the all-time record.

Well, all-time modern record (post NBA/ABA merger). Turns out Wilt Chamberlain did it 224 times back in the day. But as he was a freak of nature we’re just going to pretend that didn’t happen.

Love’s feat is impressive, he’s racked up the numbers, but it’s questionable how meaningful it is.

Love’s feat is a testament to him being the league’s best rebounder — he is grabbing 23.7 percent of all rebounds when he is on the floor, the highest percentage in the league this season. Rebounds are about want and Love wants to get the ball.

Love’s feat is a testament to a fundamentally sound offensive game. He can drain the three — as he did to tie Malone’s record — but he has tremendous footwork that can get him buckets around the basket.

It’s a testament to consistency, bringing it every night.

Of course, part of it is Love is on a bad team where he has a lot of chances to shoot, a lot of chances for rebounds that he might not have on a better team.

The double-doubles also have not led to wins — the Wolves are 11-39 during the streak heading into tonight.

It’s not to say this isn’t an impressive accomplishment. It’s to say that there needs to be some perspective because for all he has done Love has a ways to go to make those numbers he racks up more meaningful.

Nets’ national anthem singer kneels to finish performance

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NEW YORK (AP)—  The national anthem singer at the Brooklyn Nets’ home opener took a knee at the end of her performance.

Justine Skye was nearing the completion of the song Friday night when she went to one knee for the finish. There were some cheers, but appeared to be more boos from the crowd at Barclays Center to see the Nets play the Orlando Magic.

NBA players have continued to stand during the playing of the anthems, as required by league rule.

Mavericks’ rookie guard Dennis Smith Jr. misses game with knee swelling

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DALLAS (AP) — Dallas Mavericks rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. missed Friday’s game against the Sacramento Kings with swelling in his left knee.

Smith, the ninth pick in the NBA draft out of North Carolina State, had 16 points and 10 assists in the Mavericks’ season-opening loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

Smith participated in the Mavericks’ shootaround on Friday morning and was a late scratch. It is not known if Smith will play Saturday for Dallas.

The Mavericks were also missing guard Devin Harris, who was granted leave of absence after his brother died on Thursday.

Watch Lonzo Ball’s 29 point, 11 rebound, 9 assist game Friday night

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This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.

After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverley in his face all night — Ball found plenty of room to operate against the soft defense of the Phoenix Suns. With room to operate Ball had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists — just one assist short of a triple-double. He helped the Lakers pull away to a lead in the third then hold on for a 132-130 win over the Suns.

Ball wasn’t terribly efficient, 12-of-27 shooting, but he was 4-of-9 from three, he played with great pace, he was decisive, and was finding guys with his passes. It was a step forward, even if it was against a sad defense (Eric Bledsoe can be a good defender, but he has seemed disinterested in recent years).

Ball and the Lakers are going to be up and down this season, the goal is for there to be more ups near the end of the season.

LeBron James rejects Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim

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Through the first couple games of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has put up impressive numbers — he dropped 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on the Cavaliers Friday night.

But the Cavaliers still have LeBron James.

He had 24 points and 8 assists, leading Cleveland to the win.

LeBron also reminded the Greek Freak just how good a rim protector he is. Few people can slow Antetokounmpo on the drive, but LeBron is one of them.

Is it too early to root for a Cavs vs. Bucks playoff series?