We’re going to see less of Charles Barkley… he dropped 27 pounds

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Somehow you know Shaquille O’Neal is going to take credit for this when he sits down in the TNT studio on Christmas.

Charles Barkley has dropped 27 pounds so far thanks to Weight Watchers, who now sponsors and promotes him.

“Diet is not a man’s word because we don’t like to diet—we like to eat,” Barkley said in a press release. “Like a lot of athletes, I’ve gained weight since I’ve retired. But, I don’t want to be a fat, old man taking lots of pills. Weight Watchers is helping me change my lifestyle and learn how to make smarter eating choices anywhere I am.

My natural inclination is to make fun of Barkley for this — now there is less of him for the Miami Heat fans to hate — and this weight loss did land him in People Magazine. There are 800 “round mound or rebound” jokes. But the fact is he had gotten pretty large and that’s not healthy. Great for him, good for Weight Watchers, but there are other methods to get there — I once asked David Thorpe of the Pro Training Center how he got a big man college player to lose weight for his NBA team and he said simply “get him to expend more calories than he takes in.” You can do that by exercising more, eating better, or some combination thereof, but he math is pretty simple.

That said, obesity is a serious health issue in the United States and if Barkley’s example gets some other people to lose some pounds and get healthier, then good on him.

Now, I feel like I need to run to the gym.

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.)