Mavs support Odom’s return as he has a good game in win over Utah

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After Dirk Nowitzki was done dropping 40, after the Jazz went quietly into the night, after Lamar Odom had returned just hours before to the team instead of beginning an assignment with the D-League, it was a time for reconciliation. And the Mavericks, as teams with good, quality guys do, were ready to stick up for a teammate who had barely been with the team, who had been missing since All-Star with a personal issue, who came under controversial circumstances and brought with him reality television. Because that’s how this league works. You stick up for your guys because they’re the only one in it with you. Not the media, not the fans (not really), not the owners, not management and not coaches.

After Dallas’ 102-96 win over Utah, the Mavericks told team reporter Bryan Gutierrez some things which reflect the character of the team. Odom scored 9 points on 5 shots, had 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 blocks in 18 minutes off the bench for Dallas in his first game back. And Odom told the team how much he needed them as well.

The Mavericks are a veteran locker room and that’s one of its biggest strengths. The players may not know each other exceptionally well but they’re in a position o know how to stick by one another and stand up for each other. Odom needs that. Beyond the frustrations, he needs support, or there’s going to be simply no survival. The first steps have been taken. Odom came back. He played well. The Mavericks won. The team rallied around him. Now they only need that to happen for another 30 games.

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.)