Jazz GM O’Connor says team will not tank for pick

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From the AP:

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Conspiracy theorists might think the Utah Jazz have an interesting dilemma Friday night against Golden State.

A Utah win will knock the Warriors farther down the standings while keeping the Jazz within striking distance of postseason play – scenarios that could leave the Jazz going from two possible lottery picks in June to none.

Jazz general manager Kevin O’Connor doesn’t care.

He wants the win.

Here’s the Jazz’s dilemma: if the Warriors finish with one of the 7 worst records in the league this season, the Jazz get their 1st-round pick, which was included in last year’s Deron Williams trade. If the Warriors don’t finish with one of the 8 worst records in the league, the Jazz will get their pick either next season or the season after.

On top of that, if the Jazz make the playoffs, they lose the pick they got from Minnesota as part of the trade that sent Al Jefferson to Utah.

Golden State currently has the 9th-worst record in the league but have been fading fast, and the Jazz are currently a game and a half away from the 8th and final playoff spot in the East.

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.)