Jeremy Lin

While Rockets are patient, Lin frustrated with performance

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Jeremy Lin has shot 21.1 percent through three preseason games.

He is coming off knee surgery and has not found his groove with the Rockets yet. He particularly struggled against the disciplined Spurs defense on Sunday. All this has led to smirks and some cowardly anonymous attacks out of New York, but the Rockets have been patient and called it a process.

But Lin, he is frustrated he told the Houston Chronicle.

“It’s frustrating,” Lin said. “Any time you don’t play as well as you think you’re capable of, it’s frustrating. I have to remember it’s a process. It’s not just going to happen overnight for me. I’m going to have to build and build step-by-step, brick by brick. As long as I get an upward progression of improvement over time, I think I’m happy.”

I think that’s a Harvard way of sounding positive. I’m not sure, I went to a state college.

It is going to be a process, both for Lin to recover and for coach Kevin McHale and the Rockets to come up with lineups that work well.

In New York Lin was able to play pick-and-roll basketball with Tyson Chandler — one of the better pick-and-roll bigs in the league — and kick out to shooters like Steve Novak who would knock down shots. It played to his strengths. With Houston starting Omer Asik at center and Chandler Parsons on he wing, it’s not the same. It’s going to take time.

And it may well never be that perfect storm, lightning-in-a-bottle again. It can be good without being that.

But Lin and the Rockets need to keep working to get him and their offense up to good, because it’s not there yet.

Dwyane Wade with dagger dunk to seal Bulls win vs. Suns (VIDEO)

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The time off during the All-Star break did Dwyane Wade some good.

The Bulls guard turned back the clock on Friday night, leading the Bulls with 23 points and topping it off with this dunk that proved to be the dagger, sealing a Chicago win. The Suns were convinced Wade was going to run the shot clock way down before making his move and they lollygagged into position — so he just blew past everyone for the poster slam.

The Bulls won 128-121. Devin Booker led the Suns with 27.

DeMarre Carroll shoves Isaiah Thomas to ground on break, tempers flare

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Atlanta’s DeMarre Carroll picked up a deserved flagrant for this foul.

With a couple of minutes left to go in the second quarter, Isaiah Thomas made the steal when DeMar DeRozan lost the ball on a drive, and Thomas was off to the races. Trying to prevent a lay-up, Carroll decided to foul Thomas far from the basket, but did so with a forearm shove that sent Thomas sprawling on the ground.

Thomas got up and had words, as did Jae Crowder.

Carroll got a flagrant and a technical, Thomas and Crowder each picked up technicals for jumping in.

Seth Curry puts up career high 31 against Timberwolves (VIDEO)

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When Stephen Curry wore a headband through the All-Star Game last weekend, West coach Steve Kerr jokingly called him “Seth” all night.

Dallas’ Seth Curry came out of the week-long break playing like an All-Star. He dropped 31 on the Minnesota Timberwolves Friday night, a career high for him. He hit 13-of-17 from the field, including three from beyond the arc, but did a lot of his damage in the midrange.

It wasn’t enough, the Timberwolves got a comfortable 97-84 win behind 27 points from Andrew Wiggins and 26 from Karl-Anthony Towns. Nerlens Noel was not yet with his new team in time to play for the Mavs in this game.

Spurs kick off rust from layoff to beat Clippers 105-97 in Chris Paul’s return

San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard dunks during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Friday, Feb. 24, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Associated Press
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kawhi Leonard scored 21 points despite foul trouble and the San Antonio Spurs shook off the rust from a nine-day layoff to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 105-97 on Friday night for their third straight win.

Pau Gasol added 17 points and 11 rebounds off the bench in his return from a 15-game absence because of a fractured finger. LaMarcus Aldridge had 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Dewayne Dedmon grabbed 12 rebounds.

Blake Griffin scored 29 points for the Clippers, who have dropped consecutive games to the league’s two winningest teams since the All-Star break ended. They lost by 10 points at Golden State a night earlier. The Spurs have the league’s second-best record at 44-13.

Chris Paul added 17 points in his return after missing five weeks with a torn ligament in his left thumb.