We want to congratulate Mark Jackson on what soon will be his first fine as an NBA head coach. It’s coming.
Jackson was frustrated after the Thunder executed better down the stretch and in a contradictory statement laid part of the problem at the feet of the referees, as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle (via Ball Don’t Lie).
“We’re a no-excuse basketball team,” Jackson said. “Like we say, ‘One play doesn’t lose it.’ But on that play at the end, David Lee gets hammered by James Harden, clearly. We don’t get that call. David Lee picks up his fifth foul when he doesn’t even put contact on Russell Westbrook, who blatantly fouls Monta Ellis.
“These are calls that you cannot get back, but they hurt us. I don’t accept ‘My bad’ from my players all night long, and it’s getting old accepting ‘My bad’ (from the officials) on missed calls.”
For the record coach, you lost this game because you didn’t play good defense all night then got out-executed down the stretch — the six turnovers and the under 40 percent shooting in the fourth were bigger issues than the refs.
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.
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.
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.