Michael Beasley expects big things from Michael Beasley

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Minnesota — the fans, the organization — was done with Michael Beasley. As the Heat had been before. The question was not “can he score” because he averaged 19.2 a game for the Wolves two seasons ago. But he’s a high-volume scorer, he needed 17.1 shots a game to get there. Then there were the locker room distractions and off-the-court concerns that had teams questioning his priorities.

Beasley is getting a new start in Phoenix next season, in an up-tempo system where without Steve Nash there are plenty of shots available. On paper this is a good fit for him.

Beasley at least is saying the right things now, saying he is ready for second (really third) chance, a three-year, $18 million deal. He was on XTRA 910 in Phoenix (via Sports Radio Interviews and SLAM) and said he expects to live up to that lofty No. 2 overall pick status.

And he thinks he can be an All-Star.

“You have to embrace your past. Ultimately it was my fault. I’m here to play basketball and I’m here to work hard and hopefully my next contract will be a little bit bigger to say the least. I’ve been through a lot in my past, some good and some bad and that kind of altered my value. I understand I’ve grown and I’m ready to move on….

“I come into Training Camp with an open mind and realize there are going to be things that I don’t want to do and things that I do. Just have to do them both. Whatever the coach needs from me on both sides of the floor and on and off the court, just have to do it and work hard towards our bigger goal which is winning the ring…

“In my mind I’m going to be an All-Star this coming season. All I want to do is win. Whether I get the recognition for what I do on the floor or not, as long as we’re winning I’m okay with that.”

Nice words. We’re all going to need to see that in action before we really buy in.

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.)