From the Boston Herald’s Steve Bulpett:
Jermaine O’Neal will have season-ending surgery on his left wrist.
The 33-year old Boston Celtics center was once considered one of the game’s best big men, but O’Neal, who was drafted out of high school, aged quickly, and has not been a truly effective center for some time, although he has been able to provide size and decent defense in spot minutes over the last few seasons.
This season, O’Neal has averaged just 5 poins per game on 43.3% shooting, but was still thought of as a potentially attractive post-deadline buyout candidate for a team that needed a backup center, namely the Miami Heat. However, the chances of O’Neal actually being bought out were slim to none, and this will officially keep his name out of any further buyout speculation.
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.