The Hawks and Celtics held ‘exploratory’ trade talks, Woj says. Don’t get excited.

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Yahoo’s Woj says that the Celtics and Hawks held “exploratory” trade talks about a swap but there’s nothing doing.This comes after a New York Daily News report indicated the two had held trade talks centered around Josh Smith for some package of the Boston Big 3.

Woj says the Hawks don’t want to move Smith for an expiring and the Celtics would rather just let Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen’s money slide off the books after this year if they’re not getting long-term younger players. The impression I’ve gotten is the Celtics do want to rebuild in a trade, but it’s hard to see Josh Smith being the centerpiece if they’re going to move the Big 3. They have to get more than that.

It’s an interesting idea, Smith and Rondo together as a new foundation, but the Hawks are also still a playoff team and will remain so for the foreseeable future. Even though we know they’re not going anywhere, that playoff revenue matters and moving Smith for Garnett and Allen would be part of a bigger rebuilding plan. You’d need new and better ownership for that to happen.

It does show you that the Hawks continue to be open to liquidating some of their assets for the right pieces, and that the Celtics continue to shop the Big 3 trying to put together a new core. Smith may be the model of the type of player they’re aiming for, even if he’s not the big target.

Also, try and imagine Al Horford and Zaza Pachulia on the same team as Garnett. That would be hilarious.

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.)