Ekpe Udoh, Cartier Martin caught in financial scandal

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It’s a sad story that has touched large parts of college basketball. David Salinas was an investment manager and AAU official in Houston who it turns out was running a ponzi scheme and bilked a number of college coaches — including Billy Gillespie and Lute Olsen — for big money. This could get even messier for some coaches as the investments could be tied to recruiting favors.

When the SEC and NCAA started to investigate, Salinas committed suicide.

Now this story has touched the NBA, reports Sports Illustrated.

Two NBA players, 2010 Warriors lottery pick Ekpe Udoh ($350,000) and former Wizards swingman Cartier Martin ($374,000), were confirmed to be clients by SI.

The money in parenthesis is how much each player invested. Udoh, a lottery pick of the Warriors, played his college ball in Texas (at Baylor) and Martin is a Houston native (he played for the Wizards last season but is now a free agent).

For the NBA guys, it’s lost money (for Martin, who has earned $1.1 million in his NBA career, that’s a big loss). For the college coaches, if they got players for investing with Salinas, the problems could just be starting.

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.)