Kevin Durant, after dropping 32 points on Wednesday night, was likely going to win the NBA scoring title. For Kobe Bryant to catch him, the Lakers star was going to have to score 38 in a meaningless game against the Kings Thursday.
Which he is not going to do because Lakers coach Mike Brown said Kobe is resting this game to prepare for the playoffs, reports Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated.
Durant finishes the season averaging 28 points per game to Kobe’s 27.9. This is Durant’s third consecutive scoring title, the last player to win three in a row was Michael Jordan.
In recent days both Kobe and Durant had downplayed the scoring title race, saying they were more concerned with being right for the playoffs. With this season’s short turnaround between the playoffs and regular season — the Lakers open at home on Sunday against likely Denver but maybe Dallas — many coaches are resting players the final game of the regular season. Kobe could have forced Mike Brown to play him and could have scored 38 points on what passes for defense in Sacramento (even if Kobe had to take 41 shots to get there) but he chose to focus on the big picture.
With the Thunder and Lakers favored to meet in the second round, both of these guys would trade a scoring title for a win in that series.
Joakim Noah kept his hands on DeMarcus Cousins after getting called for a foul, and that – and/or the Kings heading toward their third straight loss – agitated Cousins into pushing the Knicks center.
Remember, Cousins and Noah have a history.
Aaron Gordon has backslid this season while playing out of his comfort zone at small forward, but there are still signs he’s progressing from great dunker toward great player – like this crafty inbounds pass off Marcus Morris‘ back.
The NBA refuses to grant continuation when a player senses an intentional foul in the backcourt and launches a heave.
Fortunately, players continue to shoot anyway – which produced this fun Brandon Jennings non-basket.
Matt Barnes infamously fought then-Knicks coach Derek Fisher for dating Barnes’ estranged wife, Gloria Govan. Barnes even bragged that violence is sometimes the answer.
His self-earned reputation won’t earn him the benefit of the doubt over an incident earlier today.
Sacramento Kings star Matt Barnes is wanted by NYPD for questioning after he allegedly choked a woman inside a nightclub early Monday morning — and TMZ Sports got video of him right after the incident.
Law enforcement sources tell us cops got a 911 call to Avenue Nightclub after midnight, reporting a man assaulting 2 women and another man. We’re told things got physical when Barnes allegedly choked one woman during an argument — and when 2 other people tried to intervene … he punched both of them.
In the video, Matt and a teammate — it appears to be DeMarcus Cousins — are talking about the fight. The teammate is clearly heard saying, “Matt hit the s*** out this ni***!”
Barnes was also arrested for domestic violence against Govan in 2011. But she said the incident was blown out of proportion, and the charges were dropped.
The Kings have already played at the Knicks and Nets, so Sacramento doesn’t return to New York this season.