Kobe plays down his post-game workout in Miami

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“It’s my job,” he said. “You’ve got to work at it.”

Vintage Kobe Bryant quote to Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register that sums up why he was shooting baskets in AmericanAirlines Arena two hours after the Lakers had lost to the Heat. A game where Kobe faltered — he shot 2-of-11 in the second half, forced some shots and got stripped by Dwyane Wade late in the game. Those kind of things eat at Kobe more than most players.

Kobe has athletic gifts, make no mistake. But what separates him has always been his drive and competitiveness. This workout was simply an extension of that. Let Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo explain.

Hours later, when asked about his motivation in a text message, Bryant responded with the words of Achilles: “I want what all men want. I just want it more.”

You can say this was a message to the Heat that if they meet again — and that may not happen as both teams have formidable obstacles between them and the matchup ABC television executives want for the NBA finals — but after the workout Kobe played it down.

“Just trying to get better, that’s all,” Bryant said…

He was light-hearted after his extra workout session with three ball boys passing to him and rebounding for him, not angry or frustrated. He did allow that he was thinking about the loss but said it was more a big-picture thing: “It’s really not a big deal to me. Just working on different things. Just gotta keep on doin’ it….

“It’s good to get one (workout) in tonight and get some rest,” Bryant said. “Have a good day of travel tomorrow and be ready Saturday (vs. Dallas).”

Saturday is another big game for the Lakers where Kobe may be asked to make big plays down the stretch. He may falter again. But it will not be for lack of preparation.

Stephen Curry’s 32 lead Warriors over Rockets 113-106

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HOUSTON (AP) Stephen Curry scored 32 points, Klay Thompson had 25 and the Golden State Warriors built a big lead early and held on for a 113-106 win over the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night.

The Warriors scored 37 points in the first quarter and never trailed on the way to their eighth straight victory and 60th this season.

Golden State led by eight after a pair of free throws by Curry with just over three minutes left. Patrick Beverley countered with a tip-in layup for Houston, then was fouled when he was knocked to the ground on a screen by Draymond Green seconds later.

James Harden missed a layup on the next possession before Green added a shot on the other end to put the Warriors up 107-99.

Another layup miss by Harden followed, and Curry made a 3-pointer with 1:46 left to send fans streaming to the exits.

Warriors F James Michael McAdoo leaves game vs. Rockets with head injury (VIDEO)

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There was a scary moment during the matchup between the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets on Tuesday night. During a change of possession, Houston’s Trevor Ariza and and Golden State’s James Michael McAdoo got tangled up and fell together on the floor.

McAdoo was under Ariza and wound up getting his head slammed into the hardwood. He was immediately taken off the floor and sent to the locker room.

Via Twitter:

The NBATV broadcast said McAdoo received stitches but did not test positive for a concussion. He is averaging 8.7 minutes, 2.9 points, and 1.7 rebounds per-game for the Warriors.

Jusuf Nurkic trolls Nuggets, tells former team to enjoy their summer (VIDEO)

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Jusuf Nurkic did not enjoy his time as a member of the Denver Nuggets. His trade to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for Mason Plumlee was a welcome change of scenery.

On Tuesday night, Nurkic got to take on his old team with huge playoff implications at stake. Portland beat the Nuggets, 122-113, moving a game ahead of their rivals in the race for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference and giving them the best tiebreaker between the two.

Nurkic was impressive, blasting his old squad with 33 points on 12-of-15 shooting, adding 16 rebounds, three blocks, and two assists.

Nurkic was interviewed in the arena after the game, and he was obviously happy he helped his team while also sticking it to Denver. Speaking with Portland reporter Brooke Olzendam, Nurkic took one last shot at the Nuggets, telling them to enjoy their summer.

Via Twitter:

Nurkic quite possibly sent the Nuggets packing for the year with the game at the Moda Center on Tuesday, so he might have been the guy who helped start their summer.

Still, that is ice cold.

James Johnson decimates Marcus Morris with huge one-handed dunk (VIDEO)

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Miami Heat forward James Johnson is one of the NBA’s best in-game dunkers. On Tuesday night against the Detroit Pistons, he yammed down a huge one-handed slam that embarrassed Marcus Morris and drew gasps from the crowd at the Palace.

The play came midway through the fourth quarter with Johnson at the top of the key. After a quick pass over to him, Johnson gave a quick hesitation before driving to his left and past his defender.

With the quick step, Johnson’s only remaining opponent at the basket was Morris, who was unfortunate enough to find himself between the high-flying Heat and the rim.

This is what happened next:

Morris was whistled for a foul on the play.