Because the Hornets could use more problems….
Starting center Emeka Okafor did not suit up for New Orleans Wednesday on the first game of a six game road trip, and he could be out a while longer than that, coach Monty Williams said. Here is his quote, via NBA.com.
“From what I’ve heard it’s one of those weird deals,” Williams said. “I just heard yesterday he’s not going to travel with us and he’ll stay at home.”
New Orleans is not talking about what it is, but reportedly he will be out until after the All-Star game. Okafor provides the Hornets a solid 9.9 points and 7.9 rebounds a game, he’s not dominant but he shoots an efficient 53.3 percent. His PER of 15.7 is near the league average, but also near the top on the struggling Hornets.
With Okafor and Carl Landry out, a lot more falls on the shoulders of Chris Kaman, who took 23 shots (10 more than anyone else on the team) in the Hornets surprise win over the Bucks Wednesday. He only scored 18 points on those 23 shots.
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.