Orlando Magic v Atlanta Hawks - Game Three

Dwight Howard: Players can find themselves during lockout

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We’re desperately looking for bright sides to the NBA lockout, because after today it feels like it’s going to be a long one.

Dwight Howard has one — the players can use this time to really find themselves. Find themselves in the sense of who they really are as a person — that stuff you started to figure out while living on Top Ramen in college then really put together the first time you lived alone.

NBA players can explore more than just gyms and pickup games this summer, and maybe learn something about themselves, Howard told the Orlando Sentinel.

“It’s weird, but I think it’s a good time for myself and the other guys to really find out what we’re all about,” Howard said. “Most people view us as just basketball players, and we can use this time to learn about ourselves and explore things that we wouldn’t have the time to do if we were in season…

“I’m still in shape and play basketball,” he said. “Everything happens for a reason, and even though we have this lockout, I think it’s good for us to really find out who we are. Getting away from the game for a while is good, and we’ll come back strong, hopefully with a different attitude.”

Howard has done everything from help tornado victims in Alabama to tour China on Nike’s dime this summer. Maybe he’s finding himself. More importantly, a few of his Orlando teammates had better find their shooting stroke an the ability to create their own shot or Howard may spend next summer trying to find himself a new home.

Cavaliers stand in middle of Raptors dancers’ routine (video)

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The Cavaliers were ready for their game against the Raptors tonight, and Toronto’s dance team wasn’t going to change that.

The last time I remember something like this happening, Grizzlies guard Tony Allen walked through the Warriors’ kid dancers. This video doesn’t show got the Cavaliers got to that point, but they might have the defense of being there first. Allen definitely didn’t have that.

Wizards score 6 (!) fourth-quarter points in loss to Hornets

Cody Zeller, Ramon Sessions
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Gary Neal made a jumper with 10:12 remaining in tonight’s Wizards-Hornets game.

That was Washington’s last basket.

Jared Dudley made a pair of free throws on the Wizards next possession, and Neal added two more free throws with 23 seconds left.

And that was all the Wizards scoring in the quarter.

Washington, which entered the final period up seven, lost 101-87 after its 1-for-20 final-period shooting.

The six fourth-quarter points were the fewest by an NBA team in a quarter since Cavaliers scored six third-quarter points in a Jan. 26, 2014 loss to the Suns. Last time a team scored so few in a fourth quarter: Nov. 13, 2012, when the Raptors had five against the Pacers.

At least Neal’s late free throws spared the Wizards further shame. Nobody has scored four or fewer points in a quarter since the Warriors managed just two in a Feb. 8, 2004 loss to the Raptors.

As it stands, this is one of only 44 times in the shot clock era a team has scored so few points in a quarter.

76ers tie NBA-record losing streak, dropping heartbreaker to Celtics

Isaiah Thomas, T.J. McConnell

After a rare period of on-court competence, the 76ers led the Celtics by five with two minutes left tonight.

Then, Philadelphia snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

The 76ers yielded a 9-0 run to close an 84-80 setback.

They’re now 0-16. Combined with their 0-10 finish to last season, that’s a 26-game losing streak – tied for longest in NBA history. Last year’s 76ers already shared the record.

Philadelphia is also in danger of the worst start to a season. The 2009-10 New Jersey Nets began 0-18, and last year’s 76ers won only one game sooner.

The 76ers will try to avoid the all-time longest streak at the Rockets on Friday. If that goes unsuccessfully, they’ll try to avoid matching the worst season start at the Grizzlies on Sunday. And if both fail, they could set the worst-start record against the Lakers on Tuesday.

76ers-Lakers – it’s shaping up to be a big one.

Timberwolves read mean tweets about themselves (video)

Flip Saunders, Karl-Anthony Towns, Tyus Jones
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The Timberwolves didn’t select the meanest tweets about these players, but credit Karl-Anthony Towns, Tyus Jones, Shabazz Muhammad and Zach LaVine for being good sports.