Baseline to Baseline recaps: Are there moral victories for the Knicks?

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What you missed while adopting your girlfriend as your daughter…..

Bulls 105, Knicks 102: Are there moral victories for the Knicks?

They played hard on offense, they attacked the rim, moved the ball at key points and looked pretty good against one of the best defensive teams in the league. But this is the Knicks, a good offense is balanced with poor play at the other end of the floor — the Bulls shot 53 percent for the game and got a lot of good looks.

It was a shootout, like we expected of Knicks games this season. New York put in the effort, but things like 11 turnovers in the second quarter gave Chicago a lead it never relinquished, even when the game got close. Amare Stoudemire had 34 points, his first over 30 this season. Derrick Rose had 32 points and 13 assists, putting on a real show at the Garden.

Grizzlies 96, Hawks 77: Sometimes it is the first game home from a road trip where everything catches up with a team — the Hawks went 4-1 on a road trip but looked like their legs were tired in this one. Memphis took advantage, grabbing control late in the first half and never looking back. Rudy Gay had 21 and the Grizzlies got a quality win. They should thank the schedule maker for it.

Spurs 93, Hornets 81: The Spurs are beasts at home, especially when vintage Tim Duncan shows up and scores 19 points on 8 shots. The Hornets hung tough until the fourth quarter, when the Spurs started the quarter on an 11-2 run to pull away. Tiago Splitter (16 points) and Tony Parker (18) keyed the winning rally.

Kings 95, Trail Blazers 92: LaMarcus Aldridge looked like the All-Star he should be in the first half with 19 points (he finished with 28 and 14 boards) and the Blazers were in control. Then Sacramento started doubling him and daring any other Blazer to beat them and, Portland shot 25 percent in the third quarter and 38 percent in the fourth. Meanwhile Tyreke Evans looked like his rookie self late with some punishing, physical drives to the rim.

Warriors 119, Jazz 101: Utah was without its top three rotation guards (Devin Harris, Raja Bell and Earl Watson all injured) against a guard-oriented team. Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry combined for 62 points on 74.3 percent shooting, and that’s pretty much your ballgame. Utah kept it close until the end of the third quarter, when Golden State pulled away. David Lee also had 23 in this game. Marcus Thornton had 13 second half points on his way to a team-high 20. Portland is now 3-9 on the road.

Nuggets 112, Clippers 91: On paper this should have been an interesting rematch of a Clipper win last week… except for the part where the Clippers were in Utah the night before and played this game like they were tired and at altitude. Doesn’t matter, the Nuggets will take it. Denver pulled away in the second half and never looked back. Ty Lawson had 18 for the Nuggets.

Lou Williams trolls Jimmy Butler for resting during All-Star Game

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Jimmy Butler was in Los Angeles and enjoying his well-earned All-Star slot on Team Stephen.

Well, except for the actual playing basketball part. Butler did not set foot on the court during the All-Star Game at his own request.

“Rest,” Butler said when asked why he didn’t play. “I have to rest. I have to rest my body up. This Timberwolves season is very, very important to me. I’ve got to make sure I’m ready to roll when I get back there.”

Lou Williams, the Clippers’ guard who likely would have been near the front of the line for an open All-Star roster spot in the West (likely second in the queue behind Chris Paul), but instead took part in the Saturday Skills Competition then had Sunday off, trolled Butler for it on Twitter.

This seems more good natured than genuinely bitter.

Williams will roll with it, but his point’s a valid one — if you’re an All-Star, at least play a little and give the people what they want. Get out there for five minutes or whatever. LaMarcus Aldridge only played four minutes, no big deal.

If you’re not going to use the roster spot, give it up to someone who will.

Report: Raptors won’t sign Vince Carter if he gets bought out

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Of returning to the Raptors, Vince Carter said, “It’ll happen one day.” It sounds as if the Kings would buy him out if he wants.

Will he end the season with Toronto?

Josh Lewenberg of TSN 1050:

After speaking with a few team sources, I can confirm that they’ve had internal dialogue and debate about the idea of bringing Vince Carter back. It’s something that they wanted to do over the summer. That’s why they made him an offer, something that I’ve reported in the past. And it’s also something that they’d be open to in the future, perhaps next year in some capacity. But they’ve decided now is not the right time. And I think the consensus seems to be there’s so much going on right now, and they want this season to be about this team, their accomplishments and their playoff push and not the sideshow that I think would come with a Vince Carter return.

The Raptors (41-16) are on pace for their best record ever. They’re excelling offensively and defensively. Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan are spearheading a more dynamic offense that spurs hope for more playoff success.

Toronto is probably correct to save the Carter reunion for another year – though it depends who else is available. That 15th roster spot could be useful. If Carter is the best player who’d sign, the Raptors should sign him and deal with the hoopla.

But it’s not clear whom they could get or whether they could even get Carter. He hasn’t sounded like someone who’d forgo guaranteed salary to play for the minimum.

Tiago Splitter announces retirement

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Tiago Splitter was so effective in his role for the Spurs during their playoff run to the 2014 title – 19.1 PER, .239 win shares per 48 minutes, +7.5 box plus-minus. It gets forgotten, because he twice lost his starting job that postseason.

Limited by a late start in the NBA and injuries, Splitter’s prime was short and ill-timed. He was a traditional center just as those were going out of style.

But for moments in the right matchups, he provided a major boost to a championship team. That was the peak of a seven-year NBA career.

HoopsHype:

Tiago Splitter announced his retirement at the age of 33 in an interview with SporTV.

Splitter just couldn’t get healthy. He missed 150 games over the last three years with the Spurs, Hawks and 76ers.

Drafted No. 28 in 2007, Splitter remained overseas for a few years and built hype and intrigue. He signed with San Antonio and started alongside Tim Duncan for a couple years. The Spurs later dumped him on Atlanta to clear space for LaMarcus Aldridge – a sign of Splitter’s success. He earned about $47 million in his NBA career.

J.J. Redick apologizes for saying what sounded like a slur for Chinese people

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76ers guard J.J. Redick explained saying what sounded like a slur for Chinese people – he was tongue-tied. But he didn’t actually apologize, and that bothered many.

Now, he’s getting that part right.

Redick:

Maybe Redick really did just stumble over his words. Based on the inflection, it certainly sounds possible.

Maybe he thought he was being funny then got caught.

He’d respond now the same way now either way. Maybe it’s just unfortunate he’s caught up in this. Maybe he’s using plausible deniability to get away with something.

I don’t know, but it’s good he apologized. People can apologize for accidents, and it usually helps make everyone feel better and move on.