More and more it looks like Dwight Howard will be there when the Lakers open the regular season.
That’s not guaranteed, but doctors have cleared him for full contact, 5-on-5 scrimmages, reports Mike Trudell at the official Lakers site. It’s a big step.
This does not mean Howard has been cleared for games, he is not playing for the Lakers Wednesday against Portland (their next preseason contest).
However, the next step is doctor clearance for a game. And if he is on the doorstep of that now, on Oct. 9, the odds he is ready for an Oct. 30 season opener against Dallas look really good.
If you need a reminder or spent the summer holed up fearing the end of the world like the Mayan predicted (actually, they didn’t), Howard missed the end of last season due to back pain and had surgery to repair the issue in April. He has been in recovery — and forcing his way out of Orlando — since then.
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.