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David Stern swung by Costas Tonight (on the NBC Sports Network) to do an interview that felt like old times — Bob Costas and Stern talking was a regular thing back in the NBA on NBC days. As you would expect, it’s a good interview.
They covered everything from Jeremy Lin to the Hornets sale to 66 game schedule. Watch the video, here are a few highlights:
On Dwight Howard (echoing what he said at the All-Star Game):
“We have a system where we tell a player — that’s what we do when we draft him — where he is going to play. And we have an economic system that makes it very, very, very likely he will re-sign with this team, like Kevin Durant did, like Russell Westbrook did. And that team will have him for seven or eight years. As I said before, it’s an ecosystem not a prison. Free agency is what players bargained for a long time ago and I’m a believer in that.”
On the lockout:
“The day we made the deal, if we didn’t make it, I think we were going to spiral out of control.”
“The bloggers said it was (the small market owners that were the hardliners) but uniformly, without regard to market size, there was a unanimity we had to make a deal that had a new paradigm for us.” (How committed each owner was to dragging it out to get that new paradigm is another issue entirely if you ask me.)
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.
J.R. Smith (slightly out of context): “We don’t start paying attention until after All-Star break.”