Chris Paul Andrew Bynum

Reports: Lakers pull out of trade for Chris Paul, will trade Lamar Odom to Dallas, Dwight Howard move next?

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And the strange, strange saga rolls on.

After nearly a week of negotiations and one failed attempt by the Los Angeles Lakers to trade for Chris Paul in a three-way deal with the Houston Rockets which was blocked by the league, ESPN reports that the Lakers “have pulled out” of the Paul trade. The deal has “fallen apart” according to Yahoo! Sports. But what may be of even more interest is what comes next.

ESPN’s Marc Stein also reports that the Lakers will trade Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks for the trade exception they obtained in a sign and trade with New York for Tyson Chandler. Getting past the general insanity of the past two paragraphs is this: the Lakers are now in prime position to trade for Dwight Howard and take on Hedo Turkoglu’s massive contract, a sticking point for any trade for Orlando.

Kaboom.

So the big loser in the short term is Paul, though it’s entirely likely that the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Clippers, or Golden State Warriors will come through with a significant offer for Paul to move him from New Orleans in the coming days. Meanwhile, Lamar Odom is on his way to the reigning NBA champions who feature an All-Star, Hall-of-Fame, Finals MVP player at his natural position. The Mavericks are going to have an entirely bizarre lineup this year, but they’re also going to have a tremendous amount of depth, even if they have no center.

To review: Mark Cuban blocks a trade for the Lakers to get Chris Paul, then inserts his team into conversations and winds up with Lamar Odom, using the trade exception he gained from letting his center go, which will allow the Lakers to pursue the best center in the league.

Sure, why not? At this point you could tell me the Lakers are trading for Marvin the Martian with Fruity Pebbles and two Laker Girls and I’d believe you. The strangest year in the NBA rolls on.

Watch all 25 threes from Cleveland in Game 2 win

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Apparently, all it takes is a little public discussion of LeBron James‘ “broken” jump shot to get him back on balance and knocking down the three ball — he was 4-of-6 from deep Wednesday.

Then again J.R. Smith was 7-of-13, Kyrie Irving 4-of-5, and as a team the Cavaliers knocked down a record 25 threes — while shooting 55.6 percent — as they wiped the floor with the Hawks in Game 2.

In case you’re curious where the Cavs were hitting from, here’s the team’s shot chart.

Cavaliers threes shotchart

Report: Rockets to interview Mike D’Antoni, Frank Vogel for coaching vacancy

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Head coach Mike D'Antoni of the Los Angeles Lakers gestures during the game against the Sacramento Kings at Staples Center on February 28, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.  The Lakers won 126-122.   NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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The Houston Rockets aren’t in any rush to hire a new head coach, preferring to interview a wide range of candidates to find the right one. Jeff Van Gundy has been widely believed to be at the top of their list, now that Tom Thibodeau and Scott Brooks are off the market, but ESPN.com’s Marc Stein is reporting another name that has entered the mix: Mike D’Antoni, who last held a head coaching job from 2012 to 2014 with the Lakers and currently serves as the Sixers’ lead assistant.

The Pacers, meanwhile, haven’t made a final decision on Frank Vogel’s future with the team, but all signs seem to point to him getting let go in the next few days. And if that happens, Stein reports that Vogel will also be on Houston’s list of candidates.

Given the Rockets’ massive drop-off on the defensive end this season, Vogel would seem to be a better fit than D’Antoni. But it sounds like the Rockets aren’t close to finding a replacement for J.B. Bickerstaff, although it would make sense to have a new coach in place by next month’s draft.

Cavs set single-game three-point record in blowout win over Hawks

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On Monday, the Hawks played the Cavaliers close and even led in the fourth quarter, leading plenty of optimism that Game 2 would be equally competitive, that the Hawks had something to build on.

Nope.

The Cavs dominated from the start on Wednesday, with a 123-98 final score that was far closer than the game actually was — the Cavs led 74-36 at the half and led by as much as 38 at one point in the second half.

The Cavs also hit 25 three-pointers, which is the all-time record for a single game — regular season or playoffs. J.R. Smith hit seven of them, along with four each from LeBron James and Kyrie Irving and three for Kevin Love.

18 of Cleveland’s threes came in the first half, also a playoff record, and this was all Atlanta could do:

That’s the kind of night it was for the Hawks, who now trail 2-0 in the series as it heads back to Atlanta.

LeBron James whips one-handed pass, leads to open Kevin Love three (VIDEO)

CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 2: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers fights for a loose ball against Al Horford #15 and Kyle Korver #26 of the Atlanta Hawks during the second half of the NBA Eastern Conference semifinals at Quicken Loans Arena on May 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavaliers defeated the Hawks 104-93. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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LeBron James has always been an incredible passer. In the midst of the Cavs’ Game 2 beatdown of the Hawks, he zipped this one-handed beauty into the paint to Kyrie Irving, who kicked it out to Kevin Love for a corner three:

The three was just one of the 18 Cleveland hit in the first half, which set an NBA playoff record.