Why you shouldn’t expect LeBron to do the Dunk Contest

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In what is an annual tradition rivaling Meryl Streep getting an Oscar nomination or the Grammys being a disappointment, LeBron James is flirting with the All-Star Weekend Dunk Contest. He says he’s on the fence this year.

He’s not going to do it.

You know it. I know it. LeBron may be toying with the idea but he knows it.

The reporter who knows LeBron best, Brian Windhorst now of ESPN, did a great story about why LeBron will never do it.

James has never done it for a very good reason: he has absolutely nothing to gain and everything to lose….

Sure, true that fans would like to see him try it out. All-Star Weekend is, after all, supposed to be about the fans’ favorite players putting on exhibitions. The dunk contest ratings would leap if James said he was going to do it.

But fans also would have expectations for James that he would not be able to fulfill. He’s been there before, he knows the fallout from that situation. He’ll have enough expectations to deal with in his normal day job that putting himself in a position where success is going to be hard to achieve.

He’s right. Blake Griffin isn’t going to defend his dunk title because what is he going to do to top jumping over a car? Unless Kendrick Perkins wants to revisit his role, nothing. Blake can’t win again even if he wins. LeBron is in the same spot.

Some people are going to hate on him for this, but then again he could solve global warming and some people would say he couldn’t have done it if it Dwyane Wade didn’t help him. With the dunk contest, LeBron is making the only smart move. Even if it’s not the fun one for the rest of us.

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.)